Thursday, January 28, 2016

Whiffs of Heaven and of Hell: The Scents of Sanctity and of the Devil, a Historical Exposition of Myth and Reality

I have been having a bit of trouble with putting in comments lately, Blogger acting up or something, so please excuse my delay in responding to you. I hope the problem gets fixed quickly.
Meanwhile I have published two of my most interesting, if I say so myself, articles involving a controversial topic that intermingles religion, culture, history, myth and ever present smells and fragrances. Not everything is coming up roses, but some things apparently are?

One if called A Saintly Aroma: Scents of Heaven, linked here, and its companion is called A Diabolical Whiff: Scents of Hell, linked on this link.

I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed myself while researching and writing them. As always, please free to comment and agree/disagree either here or there.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Glimpse of Spring Amidst the Snowzilla

The snow has taken New York by storm if Instagram is any proof of that, but do not fear. Here we can bring the crocuses from under the stony frozen rock in our imagination. In an effort of some welcome diversion of spring-time thoughts, before any floral prints erupt happily on our dresses and pink suffocates our makeup routine like there's no tomorrow (not that it happens in my routine, but you know how things go in the press) there's a Fragrantica collective article with spring scents.

Best in Show: Welcome Spring (hit the link please to read) features one choice by yours truly (scroll to find it in the middle of the article) as well as other worthwhile choices by our editors. Enjoy reading and please share what scent/smell makes you think of springtime in the comments.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

An Interesting Statistic: Most In Demand Niche Fragrance Launches for 2015

This comes from one retailer of niche fragrances (it might be different on another) and it also reflects only the brands they carry but the interest that people showed for these launches in the previous year might be of interest to the careful collector of market trivia, the luxury market observer and the antagonizing companies vying for attention.

So without further ado this is what most people bought samples/bottles of from Luckyscent during the past year:

4160 Tuesdays - Maxed Out
A Lab on Fire - Mon musc a moi
Andree Putman - L'Original
DS & Durga - Debaser
Eau d'Italie - Morn to Dusk
Naomi Goodsir - Iris Cendre
Parfum d'Empire - Tabac Tabou
Papillon Artisan Perfumes - Salome
Penhaligons - Ostara
Shay & Blue - Framboise Noire
Slumberhouse - Kiste
Stephane Humbert Lucas - Mortal Skin
Tauerville - Rose Flash
The Beautiful Mind Series - Precision and Grace

A bit like with hot trends in fashion trickling down to mass market brands in a year or two, they're work checking out to see where the interest of the perfumephile lays.

Related reading on PerfumeShrine: 
Best-selling Fragrances Lists per Country and per Year

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chandler Burr's Untitled Series Back at Full Swing

The Untitled Series
A specific fragrance, chosen by author and critic Chandler Burr and presented anonymously, allowing you an uninfluenced opportunity to smell, guess, and discuss, before the name is ultimately revealed.
The ongoing saga is documented on Luckyscent where you can purchase decants in unlabelled vials from.

For S02E08 Burr writes:
"There is a damp cold that England seems to specialize in, but this cold doesn’t lower the level of scent, and the air was filled with brackish water, wet green grass, damp cement, a few traces of car exhaust and ozone. The wind shifted, and I smelled her perfume...Suddenly there was a completely different green: a spring-twig green, filled with sunlight and mixed with freshly cut grass. A handful of fructose was tossed into the scent along with a few peonies. Then pieces of cool pink fruit. I felt exhilarated. During that moment—maybe five or six seconds—the Newcastle clouds were gone.
I asked her what it was. It’s in these bottles. I imagine most of you will be as surprised as I was to hear her answer."

Reveal date is set for 16/2. Good luck in the guessing game!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Oriental Diary According to PerfumeShrine

Readers recall how I had requested input in what to offer you next. Personal preferences came high on the list of requests and I have catered to this demand by sharing a List of my Favorite Less Celebrated Fragrances, as well as Oohing and Aahing Together on my Favorite Chypre Fragrances.  (Both subject to edits/updates as they're not carved in marble).
The time has come to share those particular nuggets of Orient-via-European-Aesthetics that make me tick. Please feel free to share yours in the comments below!

Please note I'm excluding straight-forward musks (of which I love many), predominantly woody fragrances, and florientals, which I consider a bit like baklava-light; there's a time and place for that too, but not today.

In alphabetical order

Ambre 114 (Histoires de Parfums)

Resinous goodness in the classic style of great French perfumes. It's substantial enough to really get the amber through, but light enough not to smother you like your angora-sweater-wearing obese great-aunt. Sounds funny, but really is high praise.

Angelique Encens (Creed)

It helped that a legend apparently wore it, Marlen Dietrich. But it was the name that lured me personally. Incense and angelica, a source of vegetal musk. The effect is mystical.

Antaeus (Chanel)

Among my favorite men's perfumes. A girl friend smelling it actually purred...Men, you now know this.

Arabie (Serge Lutens)

I seem to be alone in the blogosphere in actually enjoying this dried fruit orgy that recalls the souk like few things can. More for me, I guess!

Black (Bulgari) the original unisex edition

Is there any perfumephile worth their salt who doesn't like Black? Anick Menardo's brain child has a genius IQ. Half rubber, half vanilla. Half BDSM, half, well, vanilla. What a riot!

Cinema (Yves Saint Laurent)

Seems simple and middle of the road, but it stays on hair and clothes (and pillows...) for days on end, making you wonder "just what is it that smells so good?". It's a great script.

Douce Amere (Serge Lutens)

Bittersweet symphony of melancholy and comfort. Like love, like an old wound, like life.

Feminite du Bois (Shiseido)

There's something about this spicy mix with dried fruits and cedarwood in the drydown that makes the head spin. If Cleopatra wore a dress made of carved wood dripping of honey this would be it.

Myrrh Ardente (Annick Goutal)

I have a great affinity for the bittersweet facet of myrrh resin and I like almost all scents where it's prominently featured, something that I'm not sure labels me as entirely sane in my greater entourage. But no bother. This oriental Goutal fragrance is for endoscopists anyway.
(I also LOVE La Myrrhe by Lutens, but do not consider it a true oriental. Rather an aldehydic one.)

L de Lolita Lempicka

Every perfume lover craves a pomander scent from time to time and this combo of vanilla, clove and cinnamon is especially good. Nothing marine about it despite the advertising images of mermaids and fishnets.

Nu (Yves Saint Laurent)

Another one of the Tom Ford sanctioned scents that wrote history, it was ahead of its time. Sadly discontinued it marries spice with incense and feels like angels and demons are dancing on your skin.

Opium (Yves Saint Laurent) vintage of course!

This used to be my companion, my self, my id for many many years. They have eclipsed it and spat on its grave. I'm livid.

Rykiel woman (Sonia Rykiel)

Very under the radar. Powdery suede-like and rich on dates, of all things. It manages to be very softly beckoning but not submissive in the least.

Tolu (Ormonde Jayne)

This is how proper night-time perfume for a rendez-vous should smell like. Comforting and luxurious like a mink coat, balsamic in scent. Minus the cruelty. Priceless.

Tonka Imperial (Guerlain)

Tonka beans are rich in coumarin and coumarin is among my most favorite smells. Enough said. Satisfying and sinful like a full meal on a diet day.

Vol de Nuit (Guerlain)

This great classic has a smoldering quality about it with its green touch on top and its jonquil floralcy later on. Still the base is unmistakably Guerlain; calorific, dressy, soft to the touch, very French-smelling.

Please let me know which oriental perfumes adorn your previous selves the most!

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