Chanels are challenging perfumes for me. Not many people share my prejudice, Chanel is one of the top selling brands in the world, but if I had to choose a Chanel I would take their cologne and Bois des Iles. It’s not as though a whole lot of thought would have to go into this selection. You are either one of those people who love No5 or you aren’t, you have to be a lady to wear No19, by which I mean a woman who knows how to say no gracefully. (If you can never say no I suspect No19 will not suit you)
Bois des Iles is far more easy going though. Being one of those people who in Henry James’ phrase try to take things easy rather than hard, I appreciate this quality. Continue reading →
Of course, it was obvious all along, but I never saw it. Call it one of those annoying instances when your subconscious mind realized something from the get-go but chose not to share it with your waking consciousness. Very irritating, very sneaky, very left brain of it, but then, as it is the left brain, very typical as well.
The apercu in this case is that the great classic Chanel Bois des Iles is of course, a do-over of Caron’s Nuit de Noel.
Oh yeah! Right? You always knew that. We always knew it, but critical opinion had a way of making us think that the two things were poles apart and probably at opposite ends of the good taste spectrum – well, not so much. Continue reading →
As I was going through the usual blizzard of new releases this season, something struck me: no one perfects perfume anymore. I know perfectly well that there are art directors at Amouage and Guerlain and Chanel and so on, but because the business model of perfumes has become the model of planned obselescense, with buyers most interested in the novelties (little suspecting that the novelties are often oldelties) you get a paradox, an ocean of novelty, mostly already passe. Continue reading →
Or a sugar plum fairy for that matter; you can take your pick. The ballet’s been a Christmas tradition in the greater NYC area for ages, and it’s hard to run into young girls who haven’t been dragged to the The Nutcracker along with reluctant fathers and brothers.
The Hub was kinder than most of the former and subsidized a trip tothe theater. I remember taking my daughter and my pint sized nephew to see the ballet in Stamford one year. Nephew complete with miniature necktie and daughter in a frilly skirt. She was three. Surprisingly they both had a good time and came away clutching small nutcrackers in their sticky fingers. Continue reading →
People who follow the goings on at Guerlain may have noticed the discontinuation of their Voyage Olfactif Series, the one that included Tokyo, Moscow, London, New York and Shanghai. Presumably they did not sell too well and that probably explains their demise. I did like the idea which seemed to be a light edt concentration very wearable in daytime. They had a clever concept too which was to combine a distinctive smell of each city with an indigenous food fragrance. Tokyo- which I own- smells of cherry blossoms and green tea with a little cypress wood thrown in- no wasabi here. London smells of hard candies and rhubarb, Moscow is sweet with plums and jasmine. One of the series was Christmas themed though:New York. Continue reading →
You’ve probably done this too, perpetrated the scent of paperwhites on your near and dear because you saw one of the adorable little kits at the home center with the dehydrated peat moss disk hiding underneath a plastic pot, or else you bought the little white gravel packet and glass vase hoping to observe the snaking progress of paperwhite roots around the stones. This dear readers is how paperwhite pollution starts, but this particular air quality issue does not end there. Continue reading →
It’s one of the very first things that I do every December: change perfume. Christmas is one of the best times for perfume, there are so many smells on the air anyhow that perfume only raises the resonance of the season a little.
That however is the easy part, the hard part is deciding what you feel is worthy of wearing for a month or so. That’s not so simple. I suppose I could do the sensible thing and simply wait for Spring to change my perfume, but I like to have something that is Christmasy on my wrist, and so get into this difficulty right on schedule every December 1st. Continue reading →
Hobble gobble seems to be the motto of every Us citizen on November 27th. Some of us even run marathons first in order to justify all that subsequent eating- the hub did once in Atlanta. But I’m not in the marathon running business, and in order to keep the gluttony down to liveable levels- because I don’t intend to go up a dress size- I sometimes wear my desserts instead of ingesting them. Continue reading →
There is nothing quite so graceful as a cyclamen in bloom. Every year when the last things in the garden have been blackened by frost I tend to look for the pots in the super markets and plan table scapes in baskets with cyclamens dominating (kept in shape by watering with weak tepid tea). It’s too early for the amaryllis that I’ve begun and is still the season for chrysanthemums indoors, so I have to postpone my cyclamen fest until December, but I begin thinking about them now. Continue reading →
Orientals had been rather passe. I’m not sure when the turnaround came, but sometime around the end of the oughts, oriental perfumes came back into fashion and the previously ubiquitous fruity florals were back- catalogued. Something had shifted in the zeitgeist, or fashion, or the cloudy upper ether of the fragrance world.
I realized that the change was complete when I leafed through a book on Berlin fashion and discovered that some cool Berliners were now wearing Frederic Malle’s Dries Van Noten (a woody oriental, specifically an update of Nuit de Noel and Bois des Isles). They wouldn’t have been doing that five years ago. Continue reading →