“10 Fragrances Every Woman Should Own” : Red Magazine

Red Magazine’s November issue includes my love letter to Guerlain Chamade in its feature, “10 Fragrances Every Woman Should Own.” I was thinking more along the lines of a great perfume everyone should try, and Chamade made the cut for a number of reasons: it has a distinctive personality, an original form, and it is beyond the trends and whims of fashion. There are many excellent and unexpected selections in the article. For instance, Tania Sanchez makes an impassioned call for Lush’s Gorilla Perfume Breath of God. Michael Donovan writes about Caldey Island Lavender Water, and Sali Hughes makes a great case for considering Chanel No 5.


I also describe why I love Serge Lutens’s Féminité du Bois in Red’s online feature, Best Perfumes for Women.

If you were to suggest fragrances for others to try, what would you include?

Perfume Samples Giveaway

The winners are Tim Graham and Carolyn. Congratulations! Please email me your addresses.

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

Scent Diary : Orange Blossom and Flemish Paintings

The other day I finished work early and took a long walk through Musée des Beaux Arts in Brussels. One of my favorite halls contains a long enfilade of exhibition spaces, where one can spend hours peering at Hieronymus Bosch’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony or the elaborate still lifes by Osias Beert, very different in subject matter but equally compelling. Standing in front of this painting and admiring the mouthwatering collection of pastries, Jordan almonds and candies, I could distinctly smell the sweet orange blossom and strawberry perfume. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t my imagination, but the Guerlain Insolence on a woman who was likewise drawn to Beert’s extravaganza.


Scent Diary is a place where we can share fragrances we encounter, good and bad, perfumes we wear and the scents around us. It’s a way to sharpen our sense of smell, but also just to enjoy the fragrance hobby in a richer way. Whether you write down 1 recollection–“I smelled coffee this morning”–or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

Osias Beert (c. 1580–1624), Still Life with Oysters, Pastry and Fruits. Detail, photography by Bois de Jasmin.

Warmth and Comfort: Perfect Teas for Autumn

Andy invites us to share a cup of tea.

I’m never really sure autumn has begun until I can smell the fallen leaves. Even as the trees begin to shed their green coats, sporadic warm days and bright sunshine deliver teases of summer. Nonetheless, once the leaves begin to tumble, so fall the tea leaves into my cup, and when dried foliage starts to crunch underfoot and release its crisp perfume of vetiver, myrrh, and scorched citrus peels, I know I’m in another season. Much in the way I select a perfume to wear, I often tailor my choice of tea to harmonize with the seasonal scents that naturally color my day. Whether you wish to reflect the time of year in your teacup or simply want to experience a taste of fall wherever you are, below are some of my favorite autumnal teas.


The Art of Tea Caramelized Pear

I never would have believed a tea could deliver on a promise as specific as caramelized fruit, but this offering by Art of Tea actually does. The real wonder lies in a pear flavor married perfectly with the toasty softness of rooibos, so as to create the effect not merely of pears, but those slowly baked in the oven and glazed with golden sugar. This herbal tea is an indulgent choice, but even a sometimes tea-purist like myself can appreciate the autumnal embrace of this comforting cup.

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Antonio Alessandria Parfums : New Fragrance Line

Last year I wrote an article about an intriguing perfume boutique in Catania, Sicily, Boudoir 36. Run by Antonio Alessandria, it is a treasure trove of artisanal perfumery and other scented products. Now, the boutique offers its own line of fragrances, Antonio Alessandria  Parfums. It includes three fragrances, Nacre Blanche, Nuit Rouge, and Noir Obscur.


Nacre Blanche

“The light of the moon, white as a pearl, enters the window…”

Nacre Blanche is based on tuberose, and it includes notes of coriander, bergamot, osmanthus, jasmine, benzoin, vanilla, and leather.

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