An advertising image for Habit rouge from Ebay.com
Citrus may not be a word you associate with amber. If you don’t I won’t blame you. The word amber itself is complicated since in the perfume world it can mean one of three things 1) the sea soaked upchuck of whales who have eaten too many tiny shrimp 2) the fossilized tree amber from long dead forests or 3) a mixture of labdanum and vanilla.
It is the third of these definitions that most of us come into contact with since definitions nos 1& 2 are either outrageously expensive or hard to source or both at once. So for our purposes amber = labdanum + vanilla and the proportions vary. Generally it is a lot more labdanum and not too much vanilla or else your amber becomes stickily sweet. I think there are so many ambers in commerce, that each amber enthusiast ends up finding their own preferred brand. Continue reading
Old advertising for Shalimar with the familiar bottle…
Some of the great classics are stumbling blocks. There is something about the journey of perfumery that can make you think that you would never be the sort of person who would wear say No 5, or Mitsouko, or L’Origan, or in my case Shalimar. Here’s the point though – you may be exactly that sort of person after all.
Maybe it’s a kind of snobbism that makes us not want to admit that some well known formula brings us as much joy as the next person, or that some perfume is just about unbeatable in its class though that’s often the case. My own experience in coming around to Shalimar had to do with realizing that I was already wearing Shalimar, just not the blue stoppered kind. I mean I wear leather, a lot of leather, and citrus, and vanilla and what does that add up to? Yeah, it adds up to Shalimar Continue reading
“A truly great perfume, however, is one which provokes genuine emotion in the person who smells it for the first time….The best perfumes are ones which ‘give us a shock’.”
from Perfume by Elizabeth Barille and Catherine Laroze
If you’re a perfumista long enough you begin to drift away from the days in which you frequently got shocks from perfume. But I still experience them and the wonderful part of each shock is that it is completely unpredictable. I can wear something artisanal and unprepossessing and I can put on something from the CVS (Canoe actually) or I can put on some perfume that I was pretty sure I disliked, only to find the formula opening out brilliantly on skin- to my surprise. I’m blown off my feet by a few scent molecules, and not for the first time. Continue reading
Ah leather, there is nothing quite like it in perfume, and once you have gotten addicted to the scent, nothing else will do. Hearing about tanning may be enough to turn your stomach, but the results of tanning, buttery soft sides, and the grip of well stitched handles, are one of the civilized pleasures of leaving the house. Otherwise how could Hermes have come so far?
When Jeffrey Dame sent me his Grand Cuir the first of his Parfums Retro releases, I though oh good, some dirty leather. I live in Jersey after all, and we like leather, wear leather – you know, the whole nine yards: leather with spikes, leather with grommets, leather with dust, leather with black lace, you got it. Continue reading