Monthly Archives: May 2015

What I Wear: Leather

Bandit

Bandit

I came to this conclusion recently when  taking inventory of my several bottles, all of which have got to be moved. Many were leather scents.  I mean a surprising proportion of them were leather, almost thirty percent of what I actually wear these days qualifies as some sort of leather scent.  I had not the faintest notion.  If you had asked me, my nice well mannered left brain self would have told you that I wear florals. Yes I do wear some florals, mostly aldehydic florals, and some modern chypres, but a lot of the time…well you know. Continue reading

The Ylang-Ylang Tree

le de Givenchy in reissued bottle

Le De Givenchy in reissued bottle

Every Spring turns into summer and then scents with a touch of tropics are what you crave.  Anyway they’re what I generally go looking for, though in the case of Ylang Ylang, I seldom succeed.  It’s very difficult to discover ylang starring as the main note of a perfume rather than as supporting player. Ylang is like the blonde in a Film Noir, obligatory, seldom featured, often dying in the first reel.

Some years ago I spent an entire summer wearing I Coloniali’s Javanese Cananga which was the closest thing I have ever found before or since to a ylang ylang soliflore.  There are some claims made for Micallef’s Ylang in Gold but I have never smelled that and wonder if it ever emerged from the vanilla pudding vat into which so many Ylang Ylangs tumble. If you are lucky those vats are full of creme anglaise made with cream and if you are not, they are Jello mix made with skim milk. Continue reading

The Tidal Wave of Pollen Known as Spring

Bee and Pollen

Bee and Pollen

Spring this year is unusually pollen heavy, everywhere I go in New Jersey people have watery eyes and running noses.  My Hub is apparently in competition for the greatest number of recorded sneezes during any twenty four hour period, and even the check out people at Shop Rite can barely see out of their swollen eyes.

What is causing all this misery? Pollen, pure and simple, but also remarkably plentiful this year.  Our car is covered in a powdery chartreuse veil of the stuff.  I can’t help  but wonder, how many more floral smells can we actually endure? Continue reading

Reconsidering Smells

Christmas tree cauliflower

Christmas tree cauliflower

There are some smells that all of us have a visceral dislike of, some people hate boxwood with its pungent slightly cat pee odor.  Others love it and have all sorts of happily associated memories of parks, gardens and playgrounds triggered by boxwood.  Eau Illuminee from Parfums Delrae is said to feature boxwood as part of the sensory landscape of San Francisco. Then again some people love the scent of cumin while for others cumin (especially detectable in  the revamped Femme from Rochas or old Alpona from Caron) can put off a lot of people who only smell sweat and stale takeaway curries. Even roses can be controversial, although most of us love them. Anne of Austria (Louis the XIV’s Mum) so hated them that reportedly she couldn’t stand to see a rose in a painting and who knows what happened when she spotted one in a vase…* Continue reading