Bitter and Sweet Chamomile : Perfume and Tea Note

I am spending a summer afternoon at my grandmother’s in my favorite manner–stretched out on the grass, reading a book. Absentmindedly, my eyes glued to the page, I pick a small flower from a patch in front of me and bring it to my nose. In that instant, I forget about the book, and the only thing capturing my attention is the poignantly familiar aroma of chamomile, of bitter honey and green apple.

chamomile3

The reason chamomile, a simple, ubiquitous flower, puts me under its spell so quickly is that the herb used to be a favorite cure-all remedy in our household during my childhood. It was used in tisanes to help me sleep, lotions to soothe rashes or hair rinses. It’s the smell of summer in the countryside, and when my great-grandmother was alive, at this time of summer we picked baskets of chamomile and dried them in the shade. These days we don’t bother anymore, and my grandmother is happy just to buy the ready-made chamomile teas from the pharmacy. But since I have nothing but time and plenty of chamomile around me, I find an old wicker basket and gather a few handfuls of flowers. Spread out in a thin layer, they look like a polka dot extravaganza, and the scent intensified by the sun is unexpectedly lush.

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Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi : Perfume Review

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Mandarins smell unlike any other citrus fruit. Cradled inside their zesty, bright aroma is a sweet orange blossom, and this nuance gives mandarin essence complexity and richness. (For fragrance nerds: this orange blossom note is given by methyl anthranilate, an aromatic compound also present in Concord grapes and wild strawberries.) Because of its sweetness and juicy effect, minus the strident sharpness, mandarin is used in many fragrances as a top note. It’s inviting and refreshing, and it works in many different contexts.

tom ford mandarino

By contrast, mandarin based colognes are less common, with bergamot, orange, and lemon forming the trifecta of favorite cologne citrus. Mandarin can be used generously, but I have often craved more than most colognes offer. And here comes Mandarino di Amalfi by Tom Ford.

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Viktor & Rolf Bonbon : Perfume Review

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I divide the contemporary fragrance world into the children of Thierry Mugler Angel and the children of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue? Well, the Angel clan can welcome a new sibling, Viktor & Rolf Bonbon. A textbook gourmand, Bonbon is exclusively for the lovers of sweet. If you like your cotton candy with a dose of peach syrup, then you’re in  for a treat. If not, then you can count on a headache.

bonbon

When Angel was launched in 1993, its caramel and vanilla overdose was so novel that it at once attracted and repelled. “It’s not a perfume, it’s a flavor blend,” said some perfumers. “Unsophisticated, vulgar, crude,” said others. But after a slow start, Angel proved that it had much more than sweetness and that it could create a new family of perfumes. Today, over-the-top vanilla and caramel are nothing new, and as Bonbon demonstrates, they make a commercial, easy to like scent. We’ve been well-trained by Angel.

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Perfume Samples Giveaway

Bois de Jasmin will return on Thursday, July 17th, and today we have another generous samples giveaway thanks to our reader Rachel. Rachel would like to send several perfume samples she no longer needs and instead hopes that they might help out a newbie perfume lover.  Her package will include Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade (2ml), Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan (10ml decant, full), Estée Lauder Youth Dew (2ml), Estée Lauder Private Collection (5 ml decant), L’Artisan Voleur de Roses (10 ml decant, half-full), Parfumerie Generale Musc Maori (2ml), Aftelier Honey Blossom (2ml), and Guerlain Limon Verde (a mini bottle, looks like 7ml but maybe less, it doesn’t say).

Rachel’s question to you: “please recommend a good summery, light perfume, but not citrus cologne. I like florals, woods and anything with green notes. Hermès Eau des Merveilles is one of my favorite perfumes.”
limon verde

Rachel will ship to any country, but neither she nor Bois de Jasmin are responsible for the package being help by the customs or lost in transit. The contest is now closed. I will select one winner via a random number generator and will announce the winner over the weekend.

Thank you very much, Rachel!

Of course, if anyone wants to share anything from their stash or send a perfume you no longer need to a good home, please let me know.

Scent Diary : Cornflowers

“Why do you want to take my picture?” “You look so beautiful with these flowers, and they are the same color as your eyes.” “Oh, bless you, you’re making me blush.”

I can’t pass by the sidewalk sellers without at least glancing at their wares, and almost always I leave with a purchase: wild strawberries that smell of caramel and orange blossoms, a bunch of herbs for tisane tied with a string, or plums covered with a mottled silvery patina. When I saw this cornflower seller on a busy street in Kyiv, I already knew I couldn’t resist the temptation. And you know, cornflowers smell wonderful–green, earthy, with a subtle peppery note.

cornflowers

Our Scent Diary is a place where we can share fragrances we encounter, good and bad, perfumes we wear and the scents around us. It’s a way to sharpen our sense of smell, but also just to enjoy the fragrance hobby in a different way.

Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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