Article by Chandler Burr

Let me bring to your attention an article by Chandler Burr in London Times, “The Unbearable Lightness of Scent,” which is quite complementary to the topic I am exploring next week.

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15 Comments

  • Laura: That was fascinating, V! Can’t wait to try the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. Btw, what happened to the other post that was here today? Am I seeing lemon-lime ghosts?
    xoxo,
    L July 24, 2005 at 6:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: The post was by accident posted at 11:50 am, as opposed to 11:50pm, therefore by correcting my mistake, I by accident deleted your comment. I wrote an email to you, btw. I hope that it reached you.
    xoxo July 24, 2005 at 7:31pm Reply

  • Tania: “Her genius is not weightlessness — it is weight that floats and hovers in the air. ”

    Jo Malone: levitating perfumer. Ha!

    The whole thing makes me want to eat oranges right away. Although isn’t it odd: my favorite time for citrus is actually in winter. I find myself perversely wearing sweet woody things this summer, and putting my lemony grapefruity limey orangey bergamoty things away to wait for the cold wind to start coming. Perverse. July 24, 2005 at 8:34pm Reply

  • Victoria: Although I admit that I crave lemon and lime more in the summer, oranges and especially mandarins and tangerines are winter fruit for me. I still remember my father bringing a wooden box of Spanish oranges around New Year’s Eve. The box was covered with snow that would accumulate as he walked home. Yet, the oranges were amazing–icy cold skin, exploding in tangy bitter bursts to reveal sunny sweet flesh underneath. Wearing orange fragrances in the summer just does not do anything for me.

    What are your favourite citrus fragrances, Tania? July 24, 2005 at 8:42pm Reply

  • Tania: I admit, I have been wearing Divine Bergamote, but I thought I’d save some of my decant for December, for that cold, sweet bite. 🙂

    Ginger Essences is a great bright citrus, with some of that searing ginger burn to give it muscle, and it lasts such a long time. Most citruses are so fleeting, though. You have to keep putting them on. I wish the lime in Isfahan could go on and on! I’m also a fan of citrus as part of the classic cologne motif, in Thierry Mugler’s Cologne, in Bigarade from the Frederic Malle line. I dislike citrus when it becomes candied, paired with vanilla. Then it gets cloying. For an utterly boring but cheering moment of sour, green citrus, I like to steal a sniff of Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte as I pass it in the store, like a palate cleanser. Yuzu Rouge is fantastic, beautifully translucent, like a mouthful of lychee nut chilled from the fridge, although damned if I know what yuzu fruit actually smells like. Eau de Cartier Extreme claimed to have yuzu, but I forget completely what it smelled like. And Pamplelune, of course, is perfect, perfect grapefruit. July 24, 2005 at 8:56pm Reply

  • Tania: Oh, and I almost forgot: Thé pour un Été! The lemon in that iced tea is so refreshing. July 24, 2005 at 8:57pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you for this terrific list! Some of your favourite will have to be added to the list of citruses I compiled. I completely forgot about Eau de Cartier Extreme having yuzu. You make me reach for my Yuzu Rouge right this minute. Although I was disappointed by their Cèdre, Yuzu Rouge never fails to please. Yuzu itself smells like dry, tart, green grapefruit crossed with clementine. It is usually more tenacious in perfume than other citrus oils. I love it, because it reminds me of traditional Japanese baths, since yuzu fruit would be floated in the water. Now, someone needs to make cedar and yuzu fragrance. That would be the ultimate comfort scent for me, the scent of Japanese bath. July 24, 2005 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Tania: Ah, perhaps you should layer both 06130 scents and see if you turn Japanese! 😉 July 24, 2005 at 9:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: Hmm, what an idea, oh the witty one! 🙂

    However, what I really envision is something like Eau d’Hadrien, but with yuzu. Check back tomorrow for my opus on citruses! July 24, 2005 at 9:39pm Reply

  • MC: I read this article in the Sunday Times yesterday morning and thought, hmmm, I must post a link on Victoria’s weblog.

    It is heartening to read so much good commentary on scent these days. Your weblog, Robin’s, Luca Turin’s and now Chandler Burr making regular appearances in the newspapers: I am sure there has never been so much serious (and not so serious) writing on perfume before.

    I was also interested to read of Burr’s very high opinion of Jo Malone scents. I tried this brand for the first time last week with very low expectations – I was expecting a British L’Occitane or another anaemic line like Penhaligon’s – and was mightily impressed. Scents like Lime, Basil and Mandarin, Vetyver and Ambre-Lavande have a natural transparency and “cleanness” that strikes me as very modern and very wearable. I don’t suppose that they could compete with Chêne or New York for complexity though. July 25, 2005 at 2:48am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Mike!
    I am also glad to see more of writing on perfume in the press. This article is fascinating, especially in noting names behind some of the fragrances (that Hamptons was made by René Morgenthaler, Little Italy by Francis Camail). This kind of information is difficult to locate. Of course, the commentary on perfume is great too.

    I wonder what happened to Penhaligon’s. I used to like some of their scents, but nowadays they are hardly registering with me. Anaemic is the right word. July 25, 2005 at 10:09am Reply

  • MC: I used to like Penhaligon’s Bluebell – an old girlfriend from university wore it so it inspires fond memories. It seemed to suit her, she was a punting and afternoon tea kind of gal. Though it was also a favourite of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Gawd bless ‘er) and she was more of a royal yacht and gallon of gin gal.

    I also liked Hamman Bouquet, though it reminds me of ancient great uncles “who never married.” July 25, 2005 at 11:09am Reply

  • Victoria: Bluebell is supposed to be a favourite of Margaret Thatcher. Now, that I have difficulty imagining for some reason. As my dear friend said describing Margaret Thatcher wearing Bluebell to Parliament during question time, “it gives new meaning to the term ‘mixed message’.” July 25, 2005 at 11:51am Reply

  • MC: Ha ha! Not as surprising as you might think, though: Ye Olde Worlde Englishness was very much in vogue in Britain in the 1980s. Perhaps it was all those Merchant-Ivory films, or perhaps it was a response to a supercharged modernity many people found unsettling.

    As for Mrs T, I know a couple of men who were close to her in her pomp and do you know, they are still smitten. She had something – believe me, Bluebell alone does not have that effect 😉 July 25, 2005 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: It makes perfect sense then. Indeed, when I lived in London, I noticed this trend, which was very interesting and somewhat different from what I experienced in Ukraine. In Ukraine at that time, everyone attempted to blanch their identity of Sovietic origins, while emphasizing the European and Ukrainian aspects of it. The trend still continues, hence, Orange Revolution EDT! July 25, 2005 at 1:57pm Reply

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