Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Speaking Perfume

The Speaking Perfume is like the Speaking Portrait – so alive that it seems to have paused mid remark.  It’s telling you something and you have to be a dolt not to catch the conversational drift. It’s an odd concept, … Continue reading

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Lavender Land

Snobbism, like crime, doesn’t pay.  If something works, and works well, why avoid it? The answer is, you don’t, and the reason, as far as lavender in fine perfumery goes, is probably familiarity.  There are fields full of the plants … Continue reading

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Less is More, More or Less

“Well, less is more, Lucrezia” Robert Browning In the Financial Times the other day a small piece appeared entitled  Retail Groups Tackle Consumer Overload. It was all about efforts by such giants as the Dutch/English company Unilever to weed out … Continue reading

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What Do They Know That We Don’t?

My Shih Tzu of sainted memory was a fusspot.  To be fair to Mr. Tang, aka, Tang Dog, Mr. T, and sometimes even, I blush to say it, Tang-Tang, he was born to fusspottery.  If you and your race had … Continue reading

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Smell The Glove

“Lady, I would descend to kiss thy hand But that ‘tis gloved, and civet makes  me sick” Philip Massinger (1583 – 1640) You can see his point.  They laid it on thick back in the day, and in civet we … Continue reading

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Adoption versus Selection

The great perfumer Jean Carles once wrote that all scents are adopted, never selected.  It’s a startling statement and  has the resonance of truth, though I wish it didn’t. The implication is that there’s a tremendous gap between what is … Continue reading

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The Season of Mellow Cakiness

When summer’s over you begin to search through your piles of samples for something challenging to wear but something that is also seasonal.  To me, autumn is the time of year when the fruit crop comes in.  It isn’t, please … Continue reading

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A Curious Succession

Everyone remembers their mother’s perfume, and my mother’s favorite was Tabu.  It was very popular – musky and heavy and not at all what you would expect from a clergyman’s wife.  These days the scent reminds me of something that … Continue reading

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Caron vs Guerlain (with an aside from Jean Patou)

Vulgarity is a word tossed about like a live grenade by perfumers.  After all, what is more intimate than scent and if (heaven forbid) other people use that word about your perfume, then it takes some major strength of character … Continue reading

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The Powdering Gown

“Another day I will do the same; I will sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering gown, and give as much trouble as I can….” Mr. Bennet,  Pride and Prejudice   What is it that the elite in … Continue reading

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