Fragrant Pleasures: 375 posts

Essays on scented pleasures: collecting and enjoying fragrance, building perfume wardrobe, growing aromatic plants and more.

Recommend Me a Perfume : March

This week, we have our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread. You can use this space to ask any questions about perfume, including fragrance recommendations. If you’ve asked for a recommendation before, we would love to hear how your search went and what you’ve discovered. Bois de Jasmin will be back to its regular schedule on April 6th.


How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, snowdrops

Many Wonders of Facial Mists

I didn’t realize, until my husband pointed it out, that I have quite a collection of facial mists. Besides several bottles on our bathroom shelf, I carry a small spray in my purse and always keep an extra one in my travel case. As far as I’m concerned, facial mists are among the best skin care tricks for sealing in makeup, getting a quick dose of hydration and feeling refreshed. Another bonus is that many facial mists are naturally scented, and their light, mild fragrance of rosewater, linden, lavender or orange blossom offers a dose of aromatherapy throughout the day.


My staple facial mist is a simple blend of rose and distilled water, which I either concoct myself (1 cup of distilled water, 4 Tablespoons all-natural rosewater) or buy it ready-made at the pharmacy. In the US, Whole Foods and other health food stores carry several good brands of rosewater* in small, handy atomizers.  Rosewater is a boon for my combination skin; it’s soothing, calming and has a delicate scent of sun warmed petals. The scent is all-natural, fleeting, but stimulating while it lasts. Besides falling into a rose perfumed reverie, you can use a mix of rosewater and argan oil to remove makeup, including water-proof mascara and eyeliner. Instant radiance is guaranteed.

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My Ideal Perfume Layering Combination : Horses

While perfume is a personal pleasure, its sillage means that our fragrance choices are sometimes influenced by the preferences of others–our family, friends, school or office colleagues. What if your perfume selection has to take into account your horse’s tastes? Patricia reports.

Layering two different perfumes is a fun way to play with fragrance and create a new scented experience. I find it interesting, and in principle, I should have accumulated an array of favorite combinations, but I confess that I haven’t made much foray into it. You see, my universal layer most days is not another perfume, but the smell of my horse. I’m an avid rider and go to the barn as often as I can manage to spend time with my boy. And although I love the smell of horses, the forty-minute ride home in an enclosed car can get a little ripe with a mixture of pungent horse sweat, the fecal smell of manure, sour urine notes, and the dry green of hay bales. And that is where perfume comes in.


Without really thinking about it, I’ve collected many horse-friendly scents over the years. Chanel Cristalle is not only lovely on its own, but blends beautifully with barnyard smells and seems to be appreciated by equine noses as well. Other favorites are L’Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’aube (the slightly dirty quality of white flowers works well with the rich animalic background of the horse barn) and I wore it on the car trip home from the barn for months on end when it was first released in 2012.

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Scent Diary: Mimosa and Chocolate

Soon after the blooming mimosa groves turn the hillsides in Provence bright yellow, splashes of color liven up the streets of Brussels and the florist displays. A bouquet of mimosa is like a box of bonbons–the ultimate treat. It smells like violet, cucumber peels and almonds, and although the scent is delicate, it fills the whole apartment. This morning mimosa is my scent of the day.

mimosa and chocolate

What fragrance are you wearing? What scents do you notice around you?

More on mimosa and how it’s used in perfumery: Mimosa, Cassie, and Honeyed Almonds

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

The Mixed Legacy of Francois Coty

The Chinese heritage mansion in Georgetown, the capital of Penang island in Malaysia, may not have been the most obvious place to reflect on François Coty had it not been for the perfume flacons on display. The vanity tables in the ladies’ quarters featured L’Aimant scented talcs, cream powders, soaps and colognes. Some boxes were barely touched, with the bottles still set into the artfully rumpled peach satin. That these bottles traveled from France to this Southeast Asian town in the interwar era is a testament to Coty’s marketing genius.


The man who gave the multi-million dollar fragrance empire his name was a renegade. Decades before Estée Lauder purportedly made it acceptable for women to treat themselves to a bottle of perfume, he revolutionized the industry by breaking some of its rules. Coty cleverly matched the packaging to scents and created eye-catching designs and logos. He offered budget alternatives and scented products, from oils to creams and powders. He didn’t shy away from using new materials, and to this day, the accords he favored qualify as classics. Most of his fragrances charted new avenues in perfumery and set lasting trends.

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Latest Comments

  • limegreen in Recommend Me a Perfume : March: H – Thank you for your careful and thoughtful response! No wonder I could not find Omani prices! I won’t trouble my friend (bringing fluids back to the US with… March 31, 2015 at 5:22pm

  • Delacey Tedesco in Recommend Me a Perfume : March: I love Marni, but also find the longevity an issue. But, I tried layering it with an inexpensive rose-scented body oil, and it works like a charm. All the lovely… March 31, 2015 at 5:07pm

  • Indigo in Recommend Me a Perfume : March: To me, Guerlain’s Jicky comes pretty close to the notes you list. The lavender, basil and jasmine smell very like rosemary, marjoram, and frangipani. Then with the orange blossom, incense… March 31, 2015 at 4:20pm

  • Mariann in Recommend Me a Perfume : March: I get a strong ylang ylang note from Alahine that I like a lot. March 31, 2015 at 4:20pm

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