Author Archives: Blacknall Allen

The Oriental in All of Us

Once in an idle interval, I remember toting up all the perfumes worn by every member of my extended family according to scent families. An idiotic little game of parallelisms and no doubt OCD as all get out, but bear … Continue reading

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Busting a Mauve

The flowers that are supposed to have the strongest scents are white. But the second most wonderfully scented group, to my nose, are the purple flowers. Consider lavender, lilac, violet, wisteria, iris, and heliotrope – all of them are beautiful … Continue reading

Posted in Perfume | 14 Comments

Speaking Allegorically

The Aqua Allegorias, the series of simpler, less expensive fragrances that Guerlain released beginning in 1999, has continued as a series up to the present day.  The quality of the series has varied considerably from the nearly irresistible, Flora Nerolia … Continue reading

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The Allegoricals

“Their heads are green and their hands are blue and they went to sea in a sieve.” The Aqua Allegoria series really was among the best launches that the venerable firm of Guerlain ever had.  The releases addressed a demographic … Continue reading

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Having recently written about myrrh, possibly it’s been on my mind.  It’s hard to say really. Myrrh is one of those notes that you think you know or think you like , except, I find when it’s actually under your … Continue reading

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Casta Diva

We always got them in February in Rome, silly fluffy little bouquets that made some people sneeze but which delighted others.  They were so bright and saffron and yellow, after a Roman winter of greige and beige and gray, mimosas … Continue reading

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Upscale, Downscale

What is that odor wafting from the butler, the dignified Mr. Treadcarpet as he paces noiselessly over the hall runner on his way to open the front door?  It is discreet, for butlers cannot drench themselves in scent.  Mr. Treadcarpet … Continue reading

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Recently I read a review on I Smell Therefore I Am, of Alien Essence Absolue.  Brian, who does most of the writing over there, is a man who knows his perfume, and when he says that something is worth smelling … Continue reading

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In Which I Grow Wings

As a logical progression to trying to understand the Mugler perfume house, I decided the only way to understand something is to live with something, to stay in close proximity to something, basically, to wear it.  So that’s what I … Continue reading

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The Meantime Perfume House

Which will be the next great perfume house?  The house that will define early 21st century tastes in scent?  Good question, isn’t it? You can go on speculating about which house will define the tastes of the 20s and 30s, … Continue reading

Posted in People, Perfume | 14 Comments