Roses and Jasmine : Skin Toners

One of my favorite discoveries during my stays in Japan was the skincare. Any beauty store, from the glitzy establishments like Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya to the emporia like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Ainz & Tulpe, has knowledgeable staff that not only can help you select the right products, but also diagnose your skin type and choose the right regimen. This is how I discovered the versatility and usefulness of face toners and mists. In my new column, Putting on the spritz: face mists, I cover some of my favorite products, both naturally scented and fragrance-free, as well as ways to incorporate them into a skincare routine.

Although my face toner schooling took place in Japan, most of the products I use are made by the American and European brands that offer well-formulated and interesting choices in all price ranges. I mention all of my top favorites in the article: Clinique, Tata Harper, May Lindstrom, Omorovicza, pure rosewater and more.

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Christian Dior Miss Dior (The Original) Giveaway

Today we have a wonderful giveaway thanks to a Bois de Jasmin reader Sandra. Sandra would like to find someone else to appreciate a bottle of  Christian Dior Miss Dior (the original floral chypre, Eau de Toilette, 1.7 oz, 50ml, sprayed only a few times, no original box). She bought it at a garage sale but didn’t love it. Sandra says that it smells good. She prefers to send to a reader in the continental USA. I will be happy to share the Miss Dior love further by sending a sample to a non-US reader. My contribution won’t be a full bottle, but rather a 5ml sample of a vintage version of Miss Dior.

miss-dior.It goes without saying that we are not responsible for leaks or damage during transit or for lost packages.

To participate, please answer these questions.
1. Where are you based? This is only to allow me to separate respondents into the two groups for the purposes of our draw. You’re welcome to reply only with your general region. I don’t need more details than that.
2. Do you think of perfume seasonally? Why or why not?
2. May I contact you via email to notify you of your win?

The contest will be opened till Sunday is now closed. I will contact the winner via email and will post her name in this spot. Rafaella and Amelie, congratulations! I will contact you via email.

If you would like to find a new home for your unloved perfume, please feel free to contact me via email.

Perfume in the Library : Lolly Willowes and Le Temps d’Une Fete

The heroine of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel, Lolly Willowes, rebels against society’s expectations. It’s a common enough theme, except that her rebellion takes an unconventional turn. Laura Willowes’s father dies when she’s twenty-eight, and the family council decides, against her wishes, that she should leave the country estate where she grew up and move to London. Treated as “a piece of family property forgotten in the will,” she becomes attached to her older brother’s household, where she’s expected either to marry or be useful as Aunt Lolly. She steadfastly refuses to do the former, and eventually she shocks her relatives by announcing that she will live on her own in a village called Great Mop. To safeguard her freedom, she becomes a witch.


Townsend Warner paints Laura’s transformation from Aunt Lolly to her own self through a series of events, most of which involve small sensory pleasures, out of which “she had contrived for herself a sort of mental fur coat.” They include second-hand bookshops, soaps, roasted chestnuts eaten in bed and cut flowers. Her relatives look down upon such frivolous–in their eyes–expenses, but for Laura they become an antidote to her dull, senseless life and catalysts for her awakening.

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Aedes de Venustas Grenadille d’Afrique : Perfume Review


When Serge Lutens came up with an idea for Shiseido’s Feminité du Bois, he was asked so often about his “vision of a woman” that he got exasperated and said that he wasn’t making a perfume that smelled of any woman, that he merely wanted the smell of Moroccan cedar. That was in the early 1990s. I’d wager that today few briefs will surprise a perfumer, even as in the case of Aedes de Venustas’s Grenadille d’Afrique, the request is for ebony, “from crackling sap to balmy resin and from smoky wood to sun-heated stone… [and] also the primal landscape in which it grows.” For this, we have to thank Lutens and other niche pioneers.


At first glance, Grenadille d’Afrique is a classical Aedes perfume–dry woods, peppery spices, amber, a hint of incense. With seven fragrances in its collection, the New York boutique has put together a coherent, well-edited lineup. Even if it’s famously enamored with incense, its touch is delicate enough, neither the church nor the ashram. Grenadille d’Afrique, however, brings a new element that I haven’t noticed before–retro glamour.

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Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2016

Bois de Jasmin is back with its “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread. You can use this space to ask any questions about perfume, including fragrance recommendations, and of course, share your discoveries.


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, all rights reserved

Abraham van den Tempel (c.1622 – 8 October 1672), a Dutch Golden Age painter. Portrait of Jan van Amstel (1618-1669) and Anna Boxhoorn (1642-1726), a fragment. Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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