Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sorcery in the Air

Black smoke trailing from some botched potion class at Hogwarts, that’s the reference point.  Just what does it smell like?  I would submit a combination of squid ink and licorice with a little dried dragon’s blood thrown in for good … Continue reading

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What Becomes a Legend? What Does a Legend Become?

I have been reading about Wallis Warfield Simpson, aka the Duchess of Windsor.  She has become the strangest mosaic of pariah and icon that I can think of.  The resulting likeness, assembled over decades, resembles a Chuck Close portrait with … Continue reading

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A Froth of Flowers

My mother was the sort of person who did a lot of things with insouciant ease and couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t also. Her most inexplicable and unfair successes came in the garden. She could grow practically anything on … Continue reading

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The Difficult Season

A few years ago Guerlain, which likes to come out with sets of things, came out with a set of four fragrances.  It was called Les 4 Saisons, and the idea was that you had an instant seasonal wardrobe of … Continue reading

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Unpretention

If you watched the riding events this last summer at the Olympics, you will have noticed a continuing trend in horses’ names, their length.  In all of the events there were horses who had monikers that would have done justice … Continue reading

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The Sound and the Sniffa

I went to Sniffapalooza last Saturday, and it was an irrepressible, loud and crowded, fragrant cacophony with perfumophiles everywhere smelling the niche, the rare, the new, on an endless number of scent strips. It was in a word, wonderful, and … Continue reading

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The Single Note Symphony

There are so many perfume releases these days that the perfume wearing public risks being inundated by them.  What is perhaps worse is that so may the non perfume wearing public. Anyone who buys perfume tends not to buy just … Continue reading

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Melancholy Baby

Florals tend to have something inherently optimistic about them;  as Catherine Donzel writes in her book Le Parfum, “Floral bouquets (composed of several floral essences) have in common a certain idea of happiness.” For the most part this is true, … Continue reading

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A Lemon Meringue Harangue

You know how you sometimes go on enthusiasms?  The week you had to eat kettle corn, or the summer you couldn’t get by without your water melon fix once a day, or the ceviche month, that sort of thing? Perfumes … Continue reading

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Two Rainy Day Gardenias

Gardenias, we were told for the longest time, do not yield a usable essential oil.  That meant that every gardenia you smelled in perfumery was a reconstruction, either a base, or an approximation created by the perfumer.  Now however you … Continue reading

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