Monthly Archives: November 2013

On the Jasmine Spectrum

jasmineThe new Aerin Lauder range has just been released, and along with the news that she is now a billionaire because of her share in the company’s stock, it was the most one had seen of her in the media for a long time.

Ikat Jasmine was in the pages of Vogue and I have been admiring it for the clean understated floral that it is, and observing that it falls into the sweet and fresh part of the jasmine range.  Having grown jasmine, I noticed that the scent falls into a spectrum of sorts the first day is the smell approximated by Ikat Jasmine, the second day takes on the famous stinky notes, which some French writers call odeur de femme, that underline the sweetness, and then on the third day the blossoms turn purple and fall off the plant with a decidedly indolic smell to them. Continue reading

Turkey, Relatives, Football: Perfume at Thanksgiving?

Flapper-Shooting-TurkeyI have a theory that Thanksgiving is the new Christmas.  Think about it, the heaviest travel weekend of the year isn’t at Christmas, it’s at Thanksgiving, and that is becoming the weekend on which the largest clan gatherings of the year customarily take place.  You see it all around you, particularly if you’re unlucky enough to end up at an airport on Nov.27th learning that your plane has been delayed…again. Continue reading

Leaves of Licorice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Male_Luna_Moth,_Megan_McCarty141.jpgLicorice doesn’t seem like a boon companion of green leaves and herbs but some fragrances have set the pair up together.  As matches go this one seems more like optimism than common sense, but it pays to remember that licorice itself has a background in the herb garden.

The perfume from Bielhlparfumkunstwerke PC 01 is rather like that.  Since the packaging is so clean and minimalist you receive no clue from the line what you’re getting when you crack a sample vial, and so the perfumes take their exits onto the air with no fan fare and no preconceptions.  You have no idea whether the perfumer was a realist or a romantic, evoking an experience or simply bottling an abstraction.  Continue reading

Spinning Sugar

sugarWhen the current perfume fever originally spiked around 2002 or so, one of the first aspects of new perfumes that spiked in tandem, was their sugar content. Perfumes were like bon bons, and no doubt this was mostly due to the success of Angel, and the whole family of gourmands generally, but the effect was sometimes…sticky.

Like everyone else I read the Guide and remember Luca Turin blaming a good deal of the candy floss on ethyl maltol, which is evidently a fairly inexpensive synthetic, that powered his favorite Vanilia as well as Angel.  Ethyl maltol was everywhere in those days.   Continue reading

Heliotrope Forest

heliotropeHeliotropes are such a pleasure for the nose.  I’ve had one around the house most years, even in wintertime.  They’re really perennials after all, and can go on for season after season if you live far enough south.

Here in northern New Jersey we are definitely not far enough south, so long before the first frost, I go out and rescue my heliotropes.  This particular plant has now given me some offspring.  They arrived by the rather simple method of rooting in water.  It turns out that heliotropes, just like basil, will root in water quite easily, and so my one heliotrope has turned into three heliotropes, and this gives me a feeling of accomplishment (an idiotic one, since the heliotropes managed the operation on their own). Continue reading

Mount Hymettos in November

hymeyyusSometimes a favorite note goes off your wrist until another season.  This happens to me every fall after Hallowe’en. My favorite green perfumes get banished until March, and it seems like a long time to me. Let’s face it, I’m a lover of green perfumes no matter what the weather conditions, and could be shoveling snow and still want to fill my lungs with something that smells like leaves. Continue reading

Cognac and Cigars All Around

brandy cigarsSome time ago I remember suggesting that Creed, if it really wanted to appeal to Generation X , should compose a perfume with a cognac beginning and a Macanudo cigar dry down.  That would fetch buyers, or I didn’t know the Upper East Side and Fairfield County.

Turns out that such a thing already exists in Krigler’s Established Cognac, and it’s a departure from other boozy perfumes in being far less wine oriented than say, the Frapins, moreover the beginning of the Krigler is the real thing. A divine snootful of a really fine old cognac, and although I’m not a cognac drinker, I do love the smell.  Krigler has that down cold, or warmed in a palm, swirling lazily in a crystal snifter. Continue reading

Had a Wife but Couldn’t Keep Her

Peter_Peter_PumpkinThe subject of the last line is, of course, Peter Pumpkin Eater.  Pumpkin is not on the short list of things that make me enthusiastic about anything, but according to the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, it’s the combination of pumpkin and   lavender that does it for men.

Really.

Pumpkin.

Lavender.

Uh huh.

You can forget your Shalimar, never mind the Mitsouko, detonate your Flowerbomb without him because it’s pumpkin and lavender that men love and respond to (the smell of cinnamon buns come in second by the way). Continue reading