Maybe this is an ooh la la sort of question, but I wonder what are the best fragrances for nudity? Now I realize that the answer is going to vary a good deal because the subject of skin and what works on the skin also varies considerably from one person to another, but factoring that in, which are the very best scents for nothing at all? Continue reading
Some years ago sandalwood was nowhere to be found. The white sandalwood that I remembered from my childhood was produced by too few trees in India, and as a result, Indian authorities shut down production for some time.
In the interim, you got imitations of sandalwood, Mcqueen’s Kingdom for instance, a fragrance that was a flop with the market, but not at all bad as a sandalwood mock-up. Worse, far worse, to my mind was what happened to perfumes that were constructed around sandalwood. Bois des Isles one year smelled of Santalum spicatum though really the scent was thrown off by this kind of substitution, but what was a fashion house to do? There was no Santalum album to be had. Chanel merely made the best of a bad business. Continue reading
When they fester, they may smell far worse than weeds, but lilies, especially the great big oriental and trumpet lilies of July and August, are still among some of my favorite garden flowers. They’re favorites with many people. There was a time in the nineties when no chic New York interior was complete without an extravagant display of pure white oriental lilies nearly toppling out of a vase. So far though I don’t wear any lily (meaning these big lilies, not pee-wee lilies of the valley) scent successfully- that is, up to now. Continue reading
People remember the late Edmond Roudnitska for different reasons. Myself I remember his book about perfume, the first serious one I ever read on the subject. In it he made a plea for perfume to be considered an art form, maybe not a major art, but an art all the same. I’m not sure what I made of that at the time I read the book in the nineties, but I am sure that a number of Roudnitska compositions struck me as being quite artful. Continue reading
Periodically the fashion press will trot out the statement that “perfumers have been liberated from the old pyramidal structure” of fragrance. This to me is often a tip off that the new scents about to be described by a harassed beauty editor are essentially accords.
Whole perfume business models have been built on this idea, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but if you don’t like layering fragrances, the modular system can be daunting. If you prefer to wear something finished and worked out to the final evaporation, with no roughness, no fade outs, and no awkward sections, what you are looking for is the symphonic fragrance. Continue reading
Right now colognes seem to be out of favor with the market. This always surprises me since colognes seem like such a wonderful option for many people. They’re often largely natural, they’re light, they offend very few, and yet look at Andy Tauer trying to get the Cologne du Maghreb into circulation. Apparently, that’s an uphill battle. Continue reading
Most of us are very clean. I’ve never met anyone interested in perfume who was not something of a clean freak. Maybe we don’t take three baths a day a la Tom Ford but we are very fussy about hygiene. So why do most of us just not like soap in our perfume?
Possibly the note seems old fashioned to us now. Back at the turn of the century though J Lo did have that hit of hers Glow. The whole idea there was freshness and something similar happened with Narciso Rodriguez’ Essence. I thought that the scents were nice enough and had the advantage of wearability in public places. However, both were modern soaps, and understated. Continue reading
Is there such a thing? I’d say not although there definitely are city smells. In my extended family we refer to the New York smell, which is made up of car exhaust, uncollected garbage and yes a tiny touch of urine. And before anyone says “How awful!” let me point out that members of the same family get nostalgic for this scent and have to go into the city just to huff. True fact.
Charleston SC seems to have a pleasanter smell, with the exhaust cut by a bit of horse manure and flowers. I quite like it. Montreal always smells of frost and grit to me, Philadelphia has some frying oil in the air somewhere, Chicago has got that frost and grit thing going on plus some smell tossed up by railroad tracks and stockyards. The universal smell of North American cities seems to be predicated on carbon monoxide. I’m not certain that anyone has succeeded in bottling it.
What does your locality smell like? If it’s anywhere in the US, tomorrow it’ll probably smell of barbecue. Happy Fourth of July!