Truly Madly Oddly

Guerlain's pamplelune

Guerlain’s pamplelune

Originality is risky.  You may have observed this yourself in the matter of wardrobe selection.  You may be creative and a free spirit, and completely unrestrained by those tiresome things called conventions, but that’s not the point, the point is, what about everyone else?

When it comes to scent convention tends to control what we wear and where we wear it.  A pervasive oriental to the office? A titanic white floral to a dinner party?  Perfume no matter how romantic in essence, has to fit in with its olfactory surroundings and those tend to be the set pieces of existence everything from the dry cleaner’s to the doctor’s office. Continue reading

The Subject Will Be Roses and Violets and Overlooked: Summersent

Summer Garden for SummersentThis has been a particularly hard and unpleasant winter on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and in fact in the US generally, so to make up for some of our collective chilblains and blocked driveways and backs thrown out by snow shoveling, I am offering my readers a bouquet of roses and violets plus a small selection of chocolate spiked perfumes, as a virtual Valentine. Who doesn’t need a little scent and color this February?  I think we all deserve a treat just for surviving till March. Continue reading

The Organic Perfumers

organicThe year before last a small line of perfumes debuted.  Honore des Pres was going to do it the hard way, they were going to offer perfumes that were not only natural but also organic, and that of course opened up a can of worms for any perfumer working with them.

It’s difficult enough to swear off the chemicals.  Think how small the possibilities become: animalics are nearly impossible, and when you do resort to them, you are left with odd possibilities such as extract of goat hair (yes, I know).  Fruit notes are exceedingly hard because nearly all of them come to us courtesy of the lab, e.g., fructone and friends. So you have trouble with those old faithfuls, the masculine and the fruity floral.  Continue reading

The Tropical Nightmare

If there are many ingredients in perfume more polarizing than tropical flowers I would like to know what they are?  Possibly cumin, or maybe melon notes, but to me few ingredients are as likely to cause an instant brawl on a scent forum, than the smell of the tropical flowers.

Take Chanel’s Beige as an example. Beige got an awful, stinker of a review in Turin and Sanchez’ Guide;  not enough to put me off because, dear reader, very little puts me off -  but enough to give me pause.  Continue reading