Monthly Archives: April 2015

Beauty and the Bottle

Le Labo Bottle

Le Labo Bottle

Bottles and packaging used to matter very little to me.  I was what your might call a reverse perfume snob, in that the prettier the presentation the more I thought the perfume inside the bottle would be a thin chemical mess.

Of course there was some justification for assuming that because in the past packaging for perfumes had taken up a good deal more of their budgets than the actual perfume, a  cart before the horse situation that predominated for a long time. Francois Coty’s old saying that you should offer a woman a quality product in the best packaging that you could afford seems to have gone by the wayside, but I wonder if after all he wasn’t right. Continue reading

A Pounding Perfume Headache

The headache

The headache

One thing is for sure, I’m not the only one.  Increasingly I hear and read about people getting headaches from perfume.  It’s a very unfortunate side effect of being a perfume enthusiast.

Now you might think being someone who blogs about perfume  and smells generally, that I therefore spend my days drenched.  Not so.  In fact I generally only wear perfume after three p.m. if  I have nowhere to go in the evening.  No restaurant, concert or theater trips get accompanying perfumes .  I’ve been to those places and had my evening scented with someone else’s selection once too often.  I have also gotten what you might call  contact headaches from perfume saturated venues, and so steer clear of any powerful perfumes in public. Continue reading

Have You Read Any Good Perfumes Lately?

Bookshelf from

Bookshelf from

Perfumers don’t compose perfumes, instead they “write” them.  It’s an interesting choice of verb.  If you are one of those people who regard perfume as rather like cooking, then this idea will probably not appeal to you, but it is part of the industry, especially in France where fairly or unfairly, the metaphor for “cooking” in perfumery also exists but in a pejorative sense.  A chemical brew is known as a “soup” and these comprise the majority of releases on the  mass market.  Something may be cooking or stewing at the big oil production houses , but  isn’t being conceptualized, most product has no discernible plot beyond, “Make the sale!”

However perfumers themselves who are concerned with more than the fiendish difficulties of scenting detergent or soap, have a little more leeway, and for them the idea of ideas becomes feasible, even defensible. You get Frederic Malle’s “Editions” de Parfums, for all the world like Hachette or Gallimard. Continue reading


Robin's nest from

Robin’s nest from

I don’t know about other parts of the country but around here in Jersey the perfume counters are a tad lackluster.  Most of the new perfumes are flankers of the Dolce “Floral Drops” variety, and do not cause much in the way of excitement, put it this way, you can buy the aforementioned drops on What does seem to be different is the growth in the Nest personal perfume range.  Our Sephora now sells what must be about eight of these and they are all beautifully packaged in prints derived from the work of Mary Delaney the 18th century botanical decoupage artist. Continue reading