Monthly Archives: July 2017

As it Was, So it Is

French garden sculpture from pinterest.com

When  this blog began six years ago I never would have thought it would run on for so long.  But I am a Southener and we can natter the length of a summer’s day and never get tired.

Still these days the demands on my time have grown, and the effort it takes to post every week has gotten beyond even my powers of small talk. So I will largely cease to post here although will leave the blog up so that anyone who wants to  can search the archives and ( I hope) enjoy themselves in the process.

The very best of blogging has been the people I have met on these many posts, lively, funny, sophisticated, what an ideal bunch of readers you are.  I have to thank you for giving me the most valuable gift a reader can give a writer-your time.

Every once in a while I will  look in on the world of perfume through its marvelous cloudy atmosphere. Oh and  let me say that I don’t find this world is ending or producing terrible product.  I am so impressed lately with the work of Hiram Green, Neil Morris, Mandy Aftel, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, still the de Nicolai family, and am encouraged by a number of recent French firms.  As for new bottles, yes children!  I am buying some.

And the very best of luck  to all of you on every day.

So here is the blog for your enjoyment!

I will be over at Ahistoryblog.com every two weeks or so.

Citrus Ambers

An advertising image for Habit rouge from Ebay.com

Citrus may not  be a word you associate with amber.  If you don’t I won’t blame you.  The word amber itself is complicated since in the perfume world it can mean one of three things 1)  the sea soaked upchuck of whales who have eaten too many tiny shrimp 2) the fossilized tree amber from long dead forests or 3) a mixture of labdanum and vanilla.

It is the third of these definitions that most of us come into contact with since definitions nos 1& 2 are either outrageously expensive or hard to source or both at once.  So for our purposes amber = labdanum + vanilla and the proportions vary.  Generally it is a lot more labdanum and not too much vanilla or else your amber becomes stickily sweet.  I think there are so many ambers in commerce, that each amber enthusiast ends up finding their own preferred brand. Continue reading

Curious: Mandy Aftel’s New perfume

Lapsang Souchong which also comes to mind in Curious

Curious is the name of Mandy Aftel’s new perfume and it was immediately reminiscent to me of another perfume she created, the sophisticated Sepia from 2012.  Sepia was composed in conjunction with the blogger Nathan Branch and was inspired by the brown tints of old sepia prints.

I have to say that I was probably in the minority then because I liked Sepia which was a divisive love it/hate it kind of scent. The perfume had a sophisticated heart full of unexpected elements like strawberry (that is Fragrantica’s listing) and coffee  (again I did not smell this). Here I will dismiss the notes and describe what I smelled.  What I caught from Sepia was a scent very like Lapsang Souchong tea.  This was entirely accidental  and probably wasn’t the takeaway that other people had, but  was my impression.  Curious strikes me as having a similar central accord as the earlier work. Sepia was more complex, and had a wonderful ambergris drydown, which I still love, but Curious is drier, more woody, and has a smokiness which reminds me of Lapsang Souchong all over again, or possibly Russian Caravan Tea. Continue reading

Happy Fourth of July

A wonderful Fourth of July Cake from pinterest.com

To all of my readers a happy Fourth of July and if you are international, I hope that you are enjoying this July wherever you are. 🙂

I will be back in a couple of weeks with a discussion of Mandy Aftel’s work and her new perfume Curious which should be fun and cooling for the summer.