Monthly Archives: June 2014

The All American White Flower

Fracas in extract

Fracas in extract

In the perfume business all sorts of quirks seem to be part and parcel of the market. Most of them are embedded deep in the psychological propensities of consumers, tastes that only seem individual and arbitrary, but are actually replicated millions of times: such as the French love of strawberries, or the Italian adoration for orange. The British are said to love any fragrance so long as the scent’s powdery, and the Germans far prefer their own products to imports. Brazilians love scent, but particularly fougeres. Continue reading

Vanilla in the Heat

vanilla ice creamVanilla almost seems made for the woolens of fall and winter, a comforting and almost a warming scent. But vanilla can also have cold aspects or allude to boardwalk in a heat friendly way, one that I’ve learned to take advantage of with both recent and vintage scents. Continue reading

White Lavender

White Spike

White Spike

There’s an anecdote going back to the end of the sixteenth century that someone wanted to present Elizabeth I with a beautifully bound book, and to finish off the attractions of that volume they were going to perfume the binding with oil of lavender. Big mistake the giver was told by courtiers in the know, for “Her Majesty could not abide such a strong scent.” She sounds like a modern perfumista to me.

Actually I enjoy lavender and such great classic perfumes as Maja and Moment Supreme are largely based on the scent, not to mention Jicky, still many modern perfume enthusiasts don’t care for it. But what if the flower smell of lavender could be amplified, and the herbal side muffled? Continue reading

Pot Pourri for Beginners

Potpourri by George Dunlop

Potpourri by George Dunlop

Now I’m aware that the very word potpourri conjures up images of cellophane bags full of what look like wood chips and which generally smell a good deal worse. This is because I suspect that a good deal of what passes for pot- pourri has been made in China and is wood chips, frequently dyed improbable colors such as turquoise, and other bits and bobs that ought properly to have ended up in the trash but in a bag, with a ribbon can be sold for $4.95 in some mall to some luckless shopper looking for something to take along with them to Thanksgiving dinner. The less said about this kind of potpourri the better. Continue reading

Five Jasmines for June

Redoute Jasmine

Every year there seem to be too many jasmine perfumes on the planet. You would think that something would come  along to thin out their population, but they proliferate anyway, though the truth is that there are better ones and worse ones out there.

There is something about jasmine that makes it special, apart I mean from being the queen of perfume ingredients, and that is the fact that even those who love their perfumes heavy and full of resins can trend lighter with jasmine and not feel dissatisfied. Jasmine is the one floral that even customary Oriental wearers can love. Here’s my list of five favorites. Continue reading

Animalic June: Vraie Blonde and Sepia

amber eyesJune is supposed to be the month of roses but this year in honor of my cat and my daughter, I’ve decided to let things take a decidedly animalic turn. Yes, that’s not very apropos for the month of roses. But I spent so much time last month dousing myself in Or et Noir (the old Caron urn perfume) that this month I am looking for something with a more …furry tonality. Continue reading