Author Archives: Blacknall Allen

Realistic Lilies

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 … Continue reading

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Salty Melons and Married Love: Le Parfum de Therese

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, … Continue reading

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The Symphonic Fragrance

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 … Continue reading

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Lemon-y but Lovely: New Citrus Florals

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 … Continue reading

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Bubbles in the Soap Dish: Cruel Gardenia, Caline, Fleur de Rocailles

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.  … Continue reading

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The American Smell?

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 … Continue reading

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The All American White Flower

In the perfume business all sorts of quirks seem to be part and parcel of the market. Most of them are embedded deep in the psychological propensities of consumers, tastes that only seem individual and arbitrary, but are actually replicated … Continue reading

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Vanilla in the Heat

Vanilla almost seems made for the woolens of fall and winter, a comforting and almost a warming scent. But vanilla can also have cold aspects or allude to boardwalk in a heat friendly way, one that I’ve learned to take … Continue reading

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White Lavender

There’s an anecdote going back to the end of the sixteenth century that someone wanted to present Elizabeth I with a beautifully bound book, and to finish off the attractions of that volume they were going to perfume the binding … Continue reading

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Pot Pourri for Beginners

Now I’m aware that the very word potpourri conjures up images of cellophane bags full of what look like wood chips and which generally smell a good deal worse. This is because I suspect that a good deal of what … Continue reading

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