Tag Archives: Cuir de Gardenia

2015: The Year of Flora and Fauna

The surprising source of castoreum

The surprising source of castoreum

Animalic perfumes are back. This may help to explain the popularity of challenging scents like Papillon’s Salome with its initially furry and glandular notes. ( I also enjoyed Bonker’s  wonderful  interview with Liz Moores of Papillon who keeps her snake collection in drawers! And no, that is not a spoonerism of mine. She keeps them in doors in drawers or racks) If the taste of the public is changing and the sterile field of synthetic fragrance is breached by scales or fur or fins, then Salome might as well be the perfume to do the breaching, although if you ask me, Mandy Aftel’s Cuir de Gardenia did this just as well, and I personally liked Anya’s Garden Enticing which also included a  strong animal note in natural musk.  You could say that, from a niche point of view, this was the year that re-established the connection between our skins and our scents.

Certain perfume families have always maintained that link and I refer to chypres and leathers here.  If you wore those you always kept that chiaroscuro of prettiness and relative ickiness in impasto on yourself .  Your perfume read that life, and maybe you too, were complex and had different motivations and activities on different days.  Some days you hibernated, some days you hunted and gathered, some days you groomed, and some days you played.    Continue reading

Forbidden Fur

When i have a little Girl by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Hilary Knight

When i have a little Girl by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Hilary Knight

You don’t see too many fur coats on the streets in New York these days.  I have to say I’m glad having always been happier with fur on the original animal than on humans, but I’m not quite of the same mind on the subject of animalic notes in perfume.

They seem to be making something of a comeback in the world of niche and natural perfumes and I’m happy about this development.  Some of the newer animalic ingredients are not cruel- ones derived from goat hair for instance or sea shells, or are botanicals like angelica, cumin or helichrysum which smell furry or musky but are actually plant derived. 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