Category Archives: Plants

Myrrh-myrrhings

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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The Scent of Camellias

Somehow or other everyone seems to have gotten it in their heads that camellias have no scent.  The reason is probably La Dame aux Camellias  in which novel, the dame in question always wore them to the Paris Opera, because … Continue reading

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Twelve Smells of Christmas – Day Eight: Wholly Myrrh

Most of the incense scents out there have a habit of replicating the experience of being in church for many of us, but some of them have a habit of reproducing particular churches at particular times. Now, a disclaimer-  for … Continue reading

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Twelve Smells of Christmas – Day Two: The Smell of Falling Snow

The smell of snow is one of the most ethereal smells on earth.  It’s very difficult to catch, being essentially frozen water and ozone, and I can’t think of  many perfumes that even try.  Of course, one famous house did … Continue reading

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Twelve Smells of Christmas – Day One

It would have been nice to align the twelve smells of Christmas (or any other winter holiday you celebrate) with the items listed in the old carol.  But I can’t think what partridges in pear trees smell like – other … Continue reading

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A Minuet for Mignonette

If you’ve ever cruised through the Wrightsman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you notice one thing at once. The colors are different, different from 21st century Pantone shades, strikingly so. I used to think, because of age and … Continue reading

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Shock-headed

The hay note is such a strange and rich one, that sometimes I wonder why it has been in abeyance for so long.  Once there was a whole sub genre of perfumes (according to Jean Carles) called Foin (hay) and … Continue reading

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Atmospherics

The last week of summer I was in South Carolina. I love South Carolina, but  flying in from New York always astounds me because the atmosphere changes so much and by atmosphere, I mean the barometric pressure, the humidity levels … Continue reading

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Just What Is It About Vanilla?

Such a homely fragrance if you grew up anywhere in the West.  Vanilla – for us – is a flavoring that inhabits our kitchen shelf.  We bake with it, and the smell is reminiscent of childhood for a large number … Continue reading

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Roses on the Rocks

One of my favorite garden flowers has never done well for me.  Cistus ladanifer or just plain cistus, is a white flowering shrub that comes from the rocky dry countryside of Portugal and southern Spain.  The land of arid scrub … Continue reading

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