Nixing the Musk in Your White Florals

The Pearl in in full bloom

The Pearl in in full bloom

In the perfume world some people are proponents of layering perfumes, and some people aren’t.  It can depend somewhat on the perfume itself.  If you are spritzing on some masterpiece of perfumery with all sorts of crescendos and diminuendos, then dabbing something else on top can simply add up to a multi note cacophany.  Trust me, I’ve tried combining old Jean Patous and the results were seldom good, except with their citrus Cocktail (which picked up stodgy florals and orientals with a zing).

Most perfumes these days are not so complicated as old Jean Patous.  One of my personal favorites for this sort of treatment are white florals. Continue reading

Tuberoses for a Founding Father

Thomas Jefferson at the age when he was experimenting most in the garden at Monicello

Thomas Jefferson at the age when he was experimenting most in the garden at Monicello

Ever wonder what were the favorite scents of historical figures?  In the case of Thomas Jefferson we know one of his: the Mexican tuberose.  Jefferson was a gardener when he was not writing the Declaration of Independence or being president.  Monticello was a sort of test garden for all sorts of plants and flowers that Jefferson had admired abroad, or that he thought might be useful or simply ornamental, in American horticulture.  One such discovery for him was the tuberose.

He kept a diary which is how we know about his tastes and what he ordered.  Like anybody else who gardens, he loved to look at plant lists from nurseries and dream of where he could tuck this or that little rarity into the spaces he had open. Continue reading

Bare Skin Scents

Marilyn Monroe in Niagara

Marilyn Monroe in Niagara

Maybe this is an ooh la la sort of question, but I wonder what are the best fragrances for nudity?  Now I realize that the answer is going to vary a good deal because the subject of skin and what works on the skin also varies considerably from one person to another, but factoring that in, which are the very best scents for nothing at all? Continue reading

Strange Partners

fontaine Tuberose is often considered the most feminine –  no, strike that, the most female scent going.

There may be many reasons for that, but the headiness of its white floral, the often commented upon smell of blood, or some people say iron, that is part of the flower, intrigue perfumers, and the result is a parade of scents, everything from Carnal Flower to Tubereuse Criminelle, that attempt to recreate the flower.

But what about tuberose in partnership?  Continue reading

Tuberose Dressed for Day

tuberosecAnyone who has stood in front of a display of perfumes soon becomes aware that a number of those bottles are going to contain the name “tuberose” on the label.  Even if they don’t, as in the case of say, Fracas, they soon announce their tuberose intentions to the world.  Even a perfume novice learns to recognize tuberose early on. Tuberose is hard to miss, and once you’ve smelled it, you never forget it.

It’s a winner, that much is certain. Of all the floral notes out there, tuberose is the one that never seems to go “out of print” (or let us say, “out of bottle”).  This is not the case with many other florals. There have been long stretches of time when there were relatively few rose perfumes on the market, and times when neither carnation nor lilac was plentifully represented – now, for instance.  Continue reading