Tag Archives: L’Air de Rien

Pricey Niche

peacockThere’s a very odd thing going on out there in the world of perfume: niche fragrance prices are rising.  This year the cost of a 50ml. bottle is well over a hundred dollars US.  In fact, and in the interest of consumers, it’s worth pointing out that this hike comes at a time when many commodity prices are falling, natural gas, metals, pork, corn, etc, and when inflation in the US is running at or below 1.7% (the Federal Reserve’s target is 2%).  So, why are perfume prices up so much?  Is it demand, is it production costs, is it the dollar/euro exchange rate*, is it something that someone outside of the business can’t calculate, or are we…just being suckered for the sake of fashion? Continue reading

Keepers

keeperaThe world of perfume blogging dearly loves a list.  Who knows why we are so very fond of these sequential processions of names and titles, but I do know that nobody who loves perfume can resist them.  I thought it was time to compose a list of the best of the last ten years, a list of the perfumes that have struck me as lasting presences on the scene, keepers, potential classics, if you like.

A list like that should have kept me deliberating for days, but actually only kept me busy for one afternoon. Why?  Well, despite the enormous numbers of releases these days, not much really strikes me as all that durable.

So here is a list that includes perfumes I don’t necessarily like myself, but which I think are classics or potential classics in the making. Just because I don’t care for it personally, doesn’t mean it isn’t in the running. Continue reading

Chintz, Tea, and Civilized Discourse

There is something to be said for homogeneity.  Most of us never achieve it.  You can’t tell, when you enter our houses, or see our gardens, or our perfume collections or for that matter our clothes, that a single, organized taste supervised the process of decorating, planting, collecting, or selecting. Generally speaking what you get is a hodge-podge, and in a minority of cases, an expression of whatever the prevailing fashion is, in homes or gardens or perfumes or clothes.

But two English ladies tend to buck this trend,  and I might as well mention them here. Continue reading

Prince of Cats

Treat or claw,
Smell my paw,
Give me something
Good to gnaw!

(my daughter’s verse composed for Trick or Treating Cats)

You may have read that oakmoss, that dark extract that lends Chypres their  swarthy good looks is on its way out.  It seems that in 2013 oakmoss will be restricted to almost trace amounts in formulas, .0001% if I read the notice on the Basenotes thread correctly, and that is not good news for any number of classic perfumes. Continue reading

That’s Another Fine Bottle You’ve Gotten Me Into

To misquote the immortal Oliver Hardy, who was generally accusing his comedy partner Stan Laurel of being the prime instigator of their continual disasters.  With me, it’s my brain.

Why?

Because my Brain thinks it’s intelligent. The Brain thinks it’s educated. And worst of all, the Brain thinks it has taste.

My Nose is never concerned with any of that.  The Nose doesn’t care whether what it smells is avant garde or not, the Nose could not care less whether a perfume is clichéd.  The Nose just knows what it likes. Continue reading

The Black Orchid Underground

There is something internally subversive about the productions of Tom Ford.  He is so charming and so practiced in the seduction techniques he uses on his public that it is almost camp.  Every Tom Ford perfume has something about its packaging and promotion that recalls a weekend in one of those resorts popular with swingers in the 1970’s; about equal parts chic and louche, all black toilets, black marble counters and black bidets, so much so that it sometimes tips over into (I hope) unintentional self-parody. Continue reading