Fragrant Pleasures: 360 posts

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

Help! My Spouse is Addicted to Perfume

The following message arrived into my inbox last week:

“Dear Victoria, help me!

l'ar perfumes

Several months ago my wife became perfume addicted. She tried a new scent and was instantly hooked. Since that day no sensible conversation with her is possible. Whatever subject I bring up (varying from Islam to when to prune roses or whether dogs have a conscience), after two minutes she turns the discussion to fragrances.  She  bought a kind of perfume bible and studies it for hours and hours, she orders test bottles and sniffs  small puffs, commenting on them like an old winebuff tasting  Petrus 1996. She has bought some bottles ( “so you need not look for a birthday present next year darling, I have it already”) and is in fact completely out of control.

Dear Victoria, what to do? Forbid her to read your blog? Alternatively, is there a cure for this disease? Where can I find a clinic for deperfumisation and rehabilitation?

Yours truly helpless, W.”

I asked W for the permission to post his message here and to open the question to all of you. What advice would you give him? How do you manage your fragrance hobby to keep things in balance?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Perfume Resolutions Past and Future

Early last year, Pat and Elisa set down some perfume resolutions for 2014, with the intention of revisiting in early 2015 to see how they did. In this post, our writers share their resolutions and progress.

Elisa’s Resolutions

If you really love something and there’s nothing else like it, buy it, even if it’s expensive.

I get partial credit for this one; one of my first purchases last year was a small amount of Mona di Orio Musc, which I truly love. However, I’m not wearing it enough; perhaps I should reward myself with a full bottle if I’m able to finish the mini!

Otherwise, I made few full bottle purchases this year, but I did manage to get several scents that have been on my wishlist for a very long time as birthday and Christmas gifts.

perfumes1

Give more perfume away! I have so many full bottles I’ll never get through.

Again, partial credit; I mailed away plenty of decants and also gave away a few full bottles that weren’t getting much wear. But I want to share even more in 2015, especially with locals so I don’t have to deal with the post office.

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Top Selling Fragrances in France 2014

As the last of the Christmas sales are tallied up, consumer research groups are sending in their numbers and preparing their lists of top selling perfumes in 2014. In many ways, it was a year that brought some surprises and at the same time ensured that some trends won’t be going away. For instance, despite the breathless proclamations of forecasting agencies last year, there are no signs that the gourmand trend is giving way to woods and chypres. The best selling perfume of the year in France is an extra sweet blend of caramel and cotton candy. But at the same time, the list contains incense accented blend of woods and a powdery floral.

shalimar

The information comes from NPD Group and it was shared by ChallengeS, a French weekly. ChallengeS focuses on economic topics, so if you read French, please follow the link to learn what the new constellation of best sellers means for the French perfume market and L’Oréal in particular.

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Snapshot 2013

Top Selling Perfumes France 2012

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Popular Fragrances Spring 2012

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2011 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 France

Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA

10. Flower by Kenzo (2000)

Soft and powdery, alternating between floral and musky notes, Flower is an intriguing perfume. It has a gentle personality, but its presence is distinctive and enveloping.

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An Evening of Bounty

If you’ve ever sung or listened to “Carol of the Bells”, you’ve indirectly partaken in one of the oldest Ukrainian traditions of shchedrivky. The old style New Year’s Eve on January 13th is called Shchedriy Vechir, which means Bountiful or Generous Evening, and part of the celebration includes young women and men visiting their neighbors and singing shchedrivky, couplets wishing good fortune, health and much of bounty in the new year. The most famous song associated with Shchedriy Vechir is “Schedryk” (Щедрик), which was arranged by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1916 and later adapted by Peter Wilhousky as an English Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells”.

ukrainian christmas

Old traditions are closely intertwined with the customs. Shchedriy Vechir also has the alternative name of Malanka in honor of Saint Melania the Younger whose feast is celebrated on the same day. But the old, pre-Christian customs color the festivities.

Different from carols, which are performed starting on Christmas Eve on January 6th and until the Epiphany on January 19th (the Ukrainian Orthodox calendar still follows the one established by Julius Cesar), shchedrivky focuses on the bounty of nature. The original Ukrainian lyrics for “Carol of the Bells,” for instance, tell the story of a swallow visiting a household and describing all of the rich gifts the family is to see in the spring.

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Recommend Me a Perfume : January

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates today! In the Orthodox tradition, the main festivities begin today and run until Epiphany on January 19th. I’m celebrating by cooking my family’s favorites, such as garlicky pork belly roasted over cherry branches, beet and mushroom salad, and pampushki (donuts) with rose and almond filling.

Bois de Jasmin will return on Monday, January 12th with its regular schedule. Today 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.

tea-time

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

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