Victoria: 1807 posts

Best Lavender Perfumes : My Financial Times Magazine Column

In my new article for the Financial Times Magazine’s fragrance column, The Best Lavender Perfumes, I talk about some of my favorite lavender blends as well as fragrances that use lavender notes.

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Lavender is a much misunderstood perfume ingredient. “Too simple” is a common response from many who’ve long associated it with aftershaves and soaps. Among perfume materials, lavender may not have the femme-fatale allure of jasmine or tuberose, but in terms of versatility, the essence of its tiny violet flowers often outranks more exotic blooms. It can be found in fragrances from all corners of the perfume map. Please read the rest by clicking here.

Climate change and the spread of disease are creating pressures for the production of lavender in France, and I also touch upon this issue in my article.

If you have favorite lavender perfumes, I would love to hear what you enjoy and wear. 

Photo via FT

L’Artisan Seville a l’Aube Giveaway Result

The winner is Polinia. Congratulations! Please email me your address, and I will pass it on to A.

Again, thank you to A. for your generosity and willingness to share!

If a winner doesn’t respond within 7 days, I reserve a right to pick another person.

Parfums de Nicolai Musc Monoi : Perfume Review

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Summer ends the same way for me. It seems that only yesterday I made vacation plans, unearthed a swimming suit from a pile of winter clothes and bought an extra bottle of sunscreen. And then I wake up at the end of August and see that the local stationery store is advertising “start of school” sales and tall lindens lining the avenues in the city are slowly changing from green to gold. If I could hit a pause button for a moment, I would, if only to capture this languid, golden sensation of late summer days. But everything rushes forward inexorably, and the most I can do is reach for bottled summer fantasies, such as Parfums de Nicolaï Musc Monoi.

musk monoi

Monoi (also called tiare) is a tropical blossom that smells creamy and intensely sweet. It’s macerated in coconut oil to capture its heady perfume, and the scented oil is used on skin and hair. If you’ve ever seen a fragrance or body product advertised as having a tropical fragrance, then this monoi-coconut combination is something you’ve already encountered. In France, summer scent often means sweet orange blossom, such as L’Oreal’s classical Ambre Solaire sunscreen, and in Musc Monoi, perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï weaves both Mediterranean and tropical inspirations.

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Scent Map of the World

Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, a creator of company DreamAir is launching a project to track scent preferences around the world. It consists of a map defined by aromas, and you can contribute yours as well. In order to do so, please go to DreamAir website and add descriptions for what you are currently smelling. Be sure to indicate your location too.

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Once a good amount of data is available, you will be able to click on a country and “see the represented scent families as pie charts, for what locals and people visiting are smelling,” say the creators.

Brussels smells like mineral dust, wet wood, vanilla waffles and crushed leaves. What about your town?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, the infamous Manneken Pis.

Parfum d’Empire Corsica Furiosa : Perfume Review

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Scents that capture everything green are my obsession. Don’t give me a pale whisper of crushed stems or a hint of young leaf;  that’s not enough. I want the dazzling, overwhelming, explosive experience that you feel at the height of springtime when everything smells green and heady–the buds dripping with honey, blades of grass pushing through the asphalt, leaves unfurling from their sticky casings with violent force. Green is life, and I want to feel this verdant rush.

corsica-furiosa

But I’m in the minority. As Coty, Balmain and scores of other houses quickly discovered after launching their violently green perfumes, from Coty Chypre to Balmain Vent Vert, most people don’t want that much force. Green can be exciting, but it can also be raspy, sharp, challenging. Green accents are essential for many compositions, but strong green fragrances are rare. Which is why initially Parfum d’Empire Corsica Furiosa seems like such a welcome divergence.

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