Monthly Archives: October 2011

Fixing a Hole

Back when Guts and I were first married, I got to have one of the things I wanted most: a garden.  We had a ramshackle old house in a small Vermont town, and although the house was really no bargain, … Continue reading

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Mona di Orio has had a hard time of it.  She received catastrophically bad reviews from that de facto dean of perfume critics Luca Turin who described her perfume Oiro as : “Third world air freshener for the price of … Continue reading

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The Emperor’s New Scent

It was Mrs. Bonaparte who turned the general on to scent.  Left to his own devices, Napoleon might have preferred the smell of gunpowder in the morning, but he was besotted by Josephine and perfume was – civilizing. It is … Continue reading

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International Woman of Mystery

Another in my series of scents that are outrageously priced, I’m considering one of the limited edition Guerlains: Elixir Charnel Oriental Brulant.  It was in the neighborhood of 255.00 per 75 mls.  On Ebay the last price I saw listed … Continue reading

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Boozeless Barflies

You wouldn’t think that drinking is an allusive pleasure, would you?  It is, but in a strange manner. If we do go down to the well on any given night and drink our fill, it seems that we do like … Continue reading

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The Chypre’s Child

It was 1917 and François Coty invented something new – a perfume that was floral, but also woody, light but also dark, sexy but also restrained, and, like Jicky,  a fragrance that could be worn by women or by men. … Continue reading

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The Green Two Stroke Engine

There are whole genres of perfumes out there which are supposedly familiar terrain, only I find that in fact they’re almost completely uncharted territory, I’ve never really explored  them properly at all. Take, for instance, the green floral.  The very … Continue reading

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What a Fougère Wears Under Its Kilt

Some time ago,  Alan Cumming decided to join the group of celebrities releasing a scent.  Arguably, he and Jane Birkin were the only two celebrities to back interesting ones.  Everyone else seemed to be pushing a synthetic variant of something … Continue reading

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Josephine and Caporal Violette

The subject is violets, Napoleon, and Josephine Beauharnais, the original  trophy wife. Well, highly decorative wife, at any rate, and she would have been rich – “rich as a Creole” was the expression in pre-Revolutionary France – had her  sugar … Continue reading

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The Non-Speaking Perfume

What if you want to affirm your elegance in a work-a-day world without revealing anything else about yourself? It sounds like a pretty familiar proposition. Anonymity can be a powerful thing, come to think of it, and that’s why in … Continue reading

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