Jan Moran : Fabulous Fragrances of the World

I am walking through a fragrance library, where scents and words are intertwined. I browse through the pages of perfume history, perfume images and various other bits of information a fragrance lover relishes. Whether I want to read about Daim Blond by Serge Lutens, creations by Jean-Claude Ellena or a fragrance in a Mossy Woods family, the information is at my finger tips. This veritable fragrance library is an online program created by Jan Moran, the author of Fabulous Fragrances series, in collaboration with Michael Edwards.

Jan Moran guides me through my first steps, her warmth and patience making the journey even more pleasant. She describes the process of compiling the information, which seems like an enormous amount of time and effort. Then again, the program is so impressive that one cannot but suspect that besides everything else, its creators must have had a true passion for the project.

The fragrance library is the first place where Ms. Moran leads me, explaining elements of classification: gender, perfume house, distribution venues, fragrance families. I feel like a kid in the candy store seeing names of my favorite fragrances under a neat drop down menu. Ms. Moran suggests we start with 1000 by Jean Patou. Each entry contains a variety of information, starting with a correct pronunciation, a name of the nose and a date of release and ending with a designer/celebrity quote. Quotes from Luca Turin’s Parfums: Le Guide are included as well. In addition, the fragrance is classified under Michael Edwards’ system—Mossy Woods Rich, in case of Yatagan. Moreover, Jan Moran’s writing is an important part of the fragrance entries, often including various stories about a fragrance as well as descriptions of its character. Ms. Moran’s beautiful review of Yatagan, a dark Caron fragrance, with key notes of woods, musk, castoreum, oakmoss, fennel, and basil make me want to reach for my bottle immediately.

Promotional Wizard is another fascinating aspect of the program, allowing one to tailor a search in a variety of ways, whether it is a year of launch, fragrance family, or a perfumer. Thus, a surprising discovery for me is that Pierre Bourdon, the nose behind Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums Iris Poudré, also created Les Parfums de Rosine Roseberry, another favourite of mine. Fragrance structure index allows one to search for a fragrance with a specific note. Whether one wants a fragrance with ambergris or rose-violet lipstick accord, the information can be found in the most effortless way. By way of example, should one desire to search for a fragrance containing amber, the list would include about 1500 titles. However, it is also possible to search for a specific combination of notes. Thus, among fragrances including rose, sandalwood and benzoin, I discover Clarins Par Amour, a recent release composed by Raphaël Haury. Par Amour, with its luscious rose otto note on a dark vanillic backdrop, conjures associations with a weightless velvet scarf.

Ms. Moran points out a feature that allows to search for perfumes various celebrities prefer. Thus, I discover that Catherine Deneuve could be my fragrance twin, preferring fragrances like Guerlain Chamade, L’Heure Bleue, Chanel #19 and #22 among others. Isabelle Adjani, on the other hand, favors Caron En Avion and Creed Fantasia de Fleurs, both of which I also very much enjoy. Moreover, I find out that Edith Piaf wore Robert Piquet Bandit, a dark leather fragrance, as outstanding and unconventional as Piaf herself.

Ms. Moran’s ability to undertake several projects simultaneously is impressive indeed. Not only does she serve as a fragrance expert, publicity spokesperson and brand communications consultant, she writes articles for a variety of venues. Moreover, she also has her own fragrance line, Jan Moran® Beverly Hills.

I ask Ms. Moran if her fragrance line, which includes Fabulous, an elegant composition of rose and jasmine on a rich ambery base, will be joined by another perfume. While the process of creating a fragrance was very enjoyable and allowed Ms. Moran working with a perfumer Marvel Fields to recreate a perfume she remembered from her childhood, her current projects do not leave much time to expand the fragrance line. Nevertheless, the idea is not dismissed. As Ms. Moran wistfully notes, if it is a right thing to do, it will happen.

At the moment, the program, which already earned a Stevie Award for Technological Innovator of the Year, is intended for researchers, editors and above all retailers, allowing them to plan sales promotions, help customers, as well as organize staff training sessions relying on a comprehensive database of more than 4,000 fragrances, which is updated weekly. Of course, I cannot wait for the program to be more widely available. I am anxious to have more opportunities to visit that wonderful fragrance library.

Photo: Countess Jan Moran. For more information, please see Scentsa.

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12 Comments

  • Robin: Lovely tour, V! It sounds like a wonderful resource for a perfume addict. August 22, 2005 at 8:41am Reply

  • Katie: That sounds so fun. That screen shot example of J’adore looks just cool. I do also hope it will be available more widely. Her books are quite handy, but I love the idea of something easily seachable like that, with graphics.

    Thanks, V. August 22, 2005 at 9:30am Reply

  • Tania: That sounds totally awesome. August 22, 2005 at 9:30am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, it is a great resource! I loved the ability to search by various parameters, including perfumers. I am sure you would find it fascinating. August 22, 2005 at 10:28am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, you are welcome! The program is just wonderful, and I spent hours browsing through its fragrance library. August 22, 2005 at 10:29am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tania, you are right! It is a mine of information. August 22, 2005 at 10:30am Reply

  • Anya: Hi V
    I discovered this site many years ago, and always thought she looked like Loretta Young, poised, ready to twirl in beautiful gown. The lady loves red, the site has always been rosey, rosey, rosey 😉

    Thanks for reminding me of this great resource. What’s old is new again. August 22, 2005 at 9:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anya, I discovered Fabulous Fragrances books before any other writing on perfume, and I have been following the developments since then. It is great to see the evolution of this project into the wonderful program that Ms. Moran created with Michael Edwards. I am sure you would find it very interesting as well. August 22, 2005 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Sali: I’m a diehard fan of the lovely Countess Jan Moran. I’ve got both Fabulous Fragrances books I and II, and refer to them almost daily. I must check out this online program. August 22, 2005 at 10:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Sali, you can read more about the program on the fabulousfragrances website. It is a labour of love, no doubt about that. August 22, 2005 at 11:50pm Reply

  • Marvel Fields: Hello…. I absolutely LOVE the fragrance 🙂 and have to say that I, too, refer to the books many times… they give inspiration for new creations!

    -Marvel February 16, 2006 at 5:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marvel, it is a pleasure to see you here! I love Fabulous, and Jan Moran’s work is such a great contribution. I only look forward to more! February 16, 2006 at 11:41pm Reply

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