Lapsang Souchong which also comes to mind in Curious
Curious is the name of Mandy Aftel’s new perfume and it was immediately reminiscent to me of another perfume she created, the sophisticated Sepia from 2012. Sepia was composed in conjunction with the blogger Nathan Branch and was inspired by the brown tints of old sepia prints.
I have to say that I was probably in the minority then because I liked Sepia which was a divisive love it/hate it kind of scent. The perfume had a sophisticated heart full of unexpected elements like strawberry (that is Fragrantica’s listing) and coffee (again I did not smell this). Here I will dismiss the notes and describe what I smelled. What I caught from Sepia was a scent very like Lapsang Souchong tea. This was entirely accidental and probably wasn’t the takeaway that other people had, but was my impression. Curious strikes me as having a similar central accord as the earlier work. Sepia was more complex, and had a wonderful ambergris drydown, which I still love, but Curious is drier, more woody, and has a smokiness which reminds me of Lapsang Souchong all over again, or possibly Russian Caravan Tea. Continue reading
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
June is supposed to be the month of roses but this year in honor of my cat and my daughter, I’ve decided to let things take a decidedly animalic turn. Yes, that’s not very apropos for the month of roses. But I spent so much time last month dousing myself in Or et Noir (the old Caron urn perfume) that this month I am looking for something with a more …furry tonality. Continue reading
Do you have a smell from childhood that you loved-anything from your Mom’s perfume to your dog’s paws-and what was it?
I loved the smell of my mother’s mink coat sprayed with Joy perfume (the heady mix of animal and floral) when she was going out with my father for a special dinner. Continue reading
There has been a debate, carried on in a sporadic way on perfume blogs about natural perfumes versus synthetic and mixed fragrances. Most perfume lovers come down on the side of the classic fragrance that combines chemicals with naturals, though unfortunately, the list of naturals in scents coming out of Europe these days is growing short. Continue reading