Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt : Fragrance Review

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Patricia on the Boston Harborwalk, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt and tide.

The Boston Harborwalk is a 47-mile continuous public walkway from Chelsea to the Neponset River along the Boston waterfront. Currently 80% completed, it is a treasure for locals and visitors alike, and I never tire of strolling along a small portion of it, watching the boat traffic and inhaling the briny, mineral scents that are part of a busy working harbor. The tides, too, influence the degree of intensity of salt and vegetation in the air. During high tide, saltiness predominates, and the breeze is fresher and cleaner smelling. Low tide, however, uncovers the rocky bottom, exposes wood pilings and seaweed, and adds an interesting vegetal and animalic muskiness to the air.

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Wood Sage & Sea Salt, a cologne created by Christine Nagel for Jo Malone, falls within the cleaner range and is what I would call a high-tide fragrance. It opens with a refreshing blast of grapefruit and ambrette, which as it is an unusual combination of top notes, sadly doesn’t last long enough to suit me. The overall effect is one of freshness from the citrus and depth from the plant-based musk tones in the ambrette seed. Soon, the sea salt and sage come into play, and they, too, are clean and polished and not likely to offend. This stage lasts for a few hours, not changing in essential character but gradually fading to a pleasant skin scent.

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Serge Lutens L’Orpheline : Perfume Review

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The other day I was trying hard to figure out why exactly I disliked Serge Lutens’s L’Orpheline as much as I did. Because I didn’t simply not care for it; it made me recoil and I had difficulty wearing it multiple times in order to review it. With some fragrances, you need a longer courtship to learn their moods and see how they can match yours, but in the case of L’Orpheline, I liked it less and less with each wear.

lorpheline

On the face of it, L’Orpheline should be the right one for me. It’s an incense blend, and I love incense. It intriguingly promises to layer incense with cream, and I’m game for such surprises. It’s also the product of a collaboration between Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake, and I have so many perfumes created by them in my wardrobe that I can be easily called a fan. So, why does L’Orpheline fail so dramatically to entice me?

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Scent Diary : Apples and Wet Leaves

I love the first of the season apples that are still not quite perfect. They may be too small, too bumpy or too soft, but the fragrance of green leaves, honey and butter compensates for any aesthetic flaws. This was the reason why I couldn’t resist getting more apples at the market, even though my fruit basket at home was overflowing.  When it comes to scented things, I’m too easily tempted, especially by the assurances of a sweet-looking lady that she grew these apples herself.
apples

The apples at the market stalls are now competing with the nutty scent of fallen leaves. Golden autumnal light fills the parks and every gust of wind makes the carpet on the ground thicker and thicker. Sometimes I take detours to experience more of that aroma, because few things create that serene, yet bittersweet feeling of time flying by, one chapter closing and another one yet to open.

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 richer way. Whether you write down 1 recollection–“I smelled coffee this morning”–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

Why You Can’t Smell Your Own Home

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t smell your own home or why you stop smelling your own perfume, the explanation given by Pamela Dalton, a cognitive psychologist at Monell Chemical Senses Center, will shed some light. “At home, say you have a new cinnamon-scented air freshener. When you first start to use it, the odorant molecules waft through your nose and hit your odor receptors, which then send signals to your olfactory bulb in the brain’s limbic system, which is associated with emotion and behavior. There, your brain identifies the odor and decides what to do about it.”

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“But very quickly — after just about two breaths — ‘the receptors in your nose sort of switch off,’ Dalton says, and the intensity of the smell starts to fade. That’s because your brain has perceived the scent to be nonthreatening, which means there’s little need to pay close attention to it.” Read the rest of the article in NY Mag.

How do you counter this sensory adaptation? Switch scents from time to time, take breaks from using the same fragrance and also simply pay attention to smells. The more you focus on smelling, the more sensitive your nose becomes.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Parfum d’Empire Equistrius : Fragrance Review

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Patricia wraps herself in iris, sandalwood and amber and talks about some of her favorite fragrances from Parfum d’Empire.

Even if Equistrius, a fragrance from the French niche line Parfum d’Empire, hadn’t been named for an outstanding competition horse, I would have been intrigued by the well-balanced combination of some of my favorite notes in perfume. Although Equistrius can easily be worn year round, I find it especially suited to early fall, when the days begin to shorten noticeably, the southward-heading robins congregate in my backyard Kousa dogwood to devour its ripening berries, and the breeze carries a premonition of the chill to come.

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Equistrius opens with refreshing green notes and violet, but eases quickly into a warm and buttery iris that is mouthwateringly delicious and demands frequent wrist to nose enjoyment. This is a soft, rather than a demanding iris, and perfume notes have included rice powder to convey this softness. What I get is more a feeling of rice paper: white, translucent, and richly grained, allowing the warm amber and milky sandalwood to show through, especially as the perfume continues to soften and develop on skin.

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