Caron En Avion : Perfume Review


I’m not sure why exactly I decided to revisit Caron En Avion after so many years, but it might have been inspired by my reading of Miklós Bánffy’s The Transylvanian Trilogy. An epic novel set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before the First World War, it paints the vanished world of the Hungarian aristocracy, the era that was quickly coming to a close. There is something equally poignant and nostalgic about En Avion, a perfume created by Caron’s owner Ernest Daltroff in 1932, just a year before Count Bánffy started writing his masterpiece.


En Avion, as the name suggests, was inspired by the first pilot women such as Helen Boucher and Amelia Earhart. It was a luminous but dark orange, dipped in the sweetness of jasmine and the incense-like warmth of opoponax. It was spicy but also cool and mossy. The kind of fragrance that could only have been the product of Daltroff’s eccentric pairings and the era’s penchant for perfumes thick as fur coats.

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My Perfume Story : Andy

Andy, whose perfume reviews and tea articles we have been enjoying on these pages, shares a story of how he fell in love with scents.

Like so many others, I didn’t enter the world of fragrance in a contemplative tiptoe. Without plan, and against my better sensibilities, I plummeted into this universe in a headlong nosedive.


Fully explaining my fragrance journey up to now is to tell a true love story though, which is to say that along with incredible serendipity and bliss, has not been without occasional doubt and darkness. Unforgettable is the exhilaration I felt when I first tentatively tested some perfumes, finding myself feeling at once both helplessly surrendered to and strangely in control of my own sense of pleasure. On the other hand, it’s hard to forget the misgivings that initially led me to look deeper into perfume in the first place.

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Traveling Perfume Box : First Two Journeys

I’ve randomly selected the first two destinations for our perfume boxes: Kate in the US (Bernadette’s box) and Hamamelis in the EU (Victoria’s box). Please contact me with your addresses, and Bernadette and I will ship your boxes.


Once you receive them, please sample everything to your heart’s content, keep a couple of samples and replace the ones you’ve taken with your own samples. If you’re new to making samples and decants and packaging them for shipping, please see this article.

Please take notes on what you’ve smelled, what you liked, didn’t like, etc. It would be great for all of us to learn from each other and just to have fun smelling together.

When you’re ready to let the box go (ideally, within a week or two), please contact me with the list of samples in the box and your perfume notes. This way, everyone, regardless of whether they’ve participated, can follow the adventures of the box. I will post a draw and select the next destination out of the responses via a random number generator.

Of course, if anyone wants to start their own traveling perfume box within your region or worldwide, please let me know.

Bois de Jasmin is not responsible for the boxes lost, stolen, held by customs or damaged. 

Tom Ford Private Blend Fleur de Chine : Perfume Review


Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection is a mixed bag. It’s too large and hard to navigate. Some fragrances are excellent enough to justify the high prices; others barely stand out. I can list further complaints, but the truth is that I keep returning to the collection and smelling all of its launches, because when Tom Ford scores, he really does offer something impressive. Such is the case with Fleur de Chine.


When I first tried Fleur de Chine, it intrigued me, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  Shanghai Lily from the same Atelier d’Orient collection (it also includes Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre) was an instant hit for its lush white flowers and generous dose of spice. Fleur de Chine wasn’t going to open up so easily, though. I loved its baroque, ornate character and its hints of retro glamour, but it took its time to grow on me.

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Traveling Samples Box Giveaway

Thanks to many of you, we have been holding regular draws for perfume samples, and today we have another generous offer from Bernadette. When Bernadette moved to a new city two years ago, she felt lost and disoriented, and it was thanks to small pleasures like perfume that she was able to weather the initial transition period. She would like to offer her collection of samples to one of you. She also thought that it might be fun if a winner tried the samples, maybe kept 1 or 2 (and possibly added a couple of samples of their own), and then passed the box onto someone else. I thought that it was a terrific idea.


How does it work: Bernadette and I will prepare two packages of samples. Hers will be for a reader in the US, mine–for a reader anywhere else in the world. So, to enter, please answer these questions: 1) where are you located? (US, Europe, Asia, etc., you don’t need to include your city or any personal details); 2) do you agree to pass the box onto someone else in your country/region? and 3) how you do go about sampling fragrances–in stores, mail orders, exchanges with friends, etc? The contest is now closed. I will pick two winners via a random number generator, and announce them this week.

When a winner is ready to pass the box onto someone else, they should get in touch with me. Since this is our first attempt to do something like this, please feel free to offer suggestions and your ideas! I think that it will be a lot of fun.

Bernadette’s box for a reader in the US (some samples are carded store samples, others are 1ml vials):

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