An Explosion of Brands

 John Singer Sargent  Promenade during the uncrowded fin de Siecle

John Singer Sargent
Promenade during the uncrowded fin de Siecle

Believe it or not this happened once before.  You may think that nothing like the multiplication of perfume niche companies has ever been seen in the history of scent sales but back in the early twentieth century something very like this happened.

Frankly I’ve long since lost count of the number of new niche fragrance houses that have debuted in the last three years or so.  Some of them will survive of course, and many will not, but back in the teens and twenties the world of perfume was similarly flooded. Continue reading

Before It’s Gone

Soap Bubbles

Soap Bubbles

Discontinuations are one of the facts of the perfume business.  Anyone who loves perfume tends to complain about the arbitrary way in which one scent after another can bite the dust, but we have to remember after all these are businesses, not  revolving exhibitions.  Either perfumers manage to stay current with public tastes and fashions or they don’t, and when they don’t, sales decline.

Did I write that?  Yes I did, and actually believe myself, but this does not stop me from behaving like a fractious toddler when one of my own favorites ends up on the chopping block. I fuss, I whine, I ask SA’s to double check for me one final time.  Maybe there’s a bottle gathering dust at Epcot or Las Vegas?  The whole process is pretty irrational. Continue reading

What I Wore to the Deluge

When the sea and the sky get into the informal partnership we like to call a hurricane, it seems like all heck’s broken loose.  Here in Jersey, we’re used to heck breakin’ loose.  Heck, we often break it loose ourselves.

This last week’s meteorological event had our full attention.  We even stopped watching Bravo.

Who knew how bad was it going to be?  Well, along about noon on Monday our cat (the Jersey Girl par excellence) put her nose out the front door and considered a quick dash to avoid the litter box.  If the Jersey Girl had been any other type of cat than the scrappy little tabby that she is, and a Jersey Native, she wouldn’t have risked it.  As it was, she was out the door for a grand total of ten minutes and then dashed back inside.  She had taken care of the essentials. Continue reading

The Salty Chypre

In musing over the reasons why chypres are no longer in fashion, I’ve come up with an argument predicated on taste-buds.  If the oriental is all about the sweet and the resinous, maybe the chypre is all about the salt and the woodiness. It’s that same division in taste you notice between people who can’t pass an ice cream parlor and those who can’t pass a deli.

I belong in the latter group myself. One of my great loves is a good deli, and the best thing in life is a really good pickle and really good potato chips.  The British adoration of crisps in a wide panoply of flavors is completely comprehensible to me.  Barbeque, Salt’ n’Vinegar, Chicken Vindaloo… bring it!

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