Lavender Farmers Against EU Regulations

In my latest article for the Financial Times Magazine, I wrote about the malaise affecting lavender. Another problem lavender farmers face is due to the new EU regulations. As ABC News reports, “They fear European Union rules adopted last year and due to come in force by 2018 will threaten [them]. According to regulators, lavender oil’s potential to produce allergies places it firmly within regulations on chemical toxins. That means lavender products will have to bear labels involving bold black and red warning labels with messages such as “CAN BE FATAL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED.” Producers say the rules are too extreme — they note that lavender oil allergies usually produce only rashes — and too expensive for small farmers.”


You can read more about this issue in Lavender Farmers Rebel Against EU Regulations.

One thing is important to keep in mind. Lavender is not the only material that falls under the umbrella of REACH directive (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). REACH applies to all chemicals imported or produced in the EU. Whether lavender essential oil deserves to be classed in the same group as hydrochloric acid is open to debate.

Diptyque Samples Giveaway

Thanks to the generosity of Bois de Jasmin community, we are able to host regular contests and giveaways for samples and full perfume bottles. I want to thank you once again everyone who participated and shared their treasures with the rest of us. These giveaways offer an opportunity to try costly perfumes to newbies or those who don’t have fragrance stores near them. And of course, encountering so much kindness and generosity is wonderful in itself.


So, today we have another giveaway from our reader L, who comments as limegreen on these pages. L will send one person a lot of Diptyque samples: Diptyque Eau Duelle EDP, Eau Moheli, Eau Lavande, Eau Rose, L’eau Diptyque, L’eau de L’eau, L’eau Du Trente-Quatre EDT, L’eau Neroli, L’eau Tarocco, L’Ombre Dans L’eau EDP, L’eau Trois, Olene, Opone, Oyedo, Tam Dao EDT, Vetyverio, Volutes EDT and EDP (manufacturer sample vials and decants, varying levels of juice). The contest is open to the US readers; L is not responsible for leaks or damages during transit.

Her question to you is as follows:

“This summer I went to Paris for the first time in 30 years and last time I went I didn’t care about fragrances! With 3 days, I took advantage of only a few things but didn’t get close to scratching the surface. Victoria has provided Paris perfume recommendations and pharmacy finds, but it was  nevertheless overwhelming. My question: what is your favorite French perfume experience or place to recommend if I go back again? Or if you have not been to Paris, what non-obvious (e.g. not Guerlain Shalimar) French fragrance do you love to recommend? I love most of the Frédéric Malle line and the experience in two of the boutiques (yes, I went to two of them) was fabulous. (And obviously, I love Diptyque.)

The contest  is now closed; thank you for participating. I will select one winner via a random number generator and will announce the winner over the weekend.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who generously contributed to these giveaways–samples or full bottles. If anyone else wants to participate, if you have unwanted perfumes that need a new home, please contact me.

Moschino Couture! : Fragrance Review


Elisa on another perfume that’s lighthearted, easy to wear and interesting.

There are certain perfume brands that fly under the radar. They are neither so mainstream that you see testers on every department store counter (Estée Lauder, Gucci, and the like), nor do they qualify as “niche” or earn the cult status of pricey brands like Serge Lutens and Amouage. These perfumes – I’m thinking of brands like Paco Rabanne and Cacharel – are found at mall perfume kiosks and online discounters, usually for under $50 a bottle. If you know about one of these scents, you probably either bought it at a drugstore as a teenager, heard of it through word of mouth, or discovered it via pure happenstance.


This last method of discovery was the case for me with Moschino Couture!, launched in 2004. (The exclamation mark is part of the name, but I’ll drop it from here on out.) Early on in my perfume-buying days, I had an insatiable hunger for new fragrances, but not a lot of money to spend, and I frequently blind-bought bottles when they could be had for just a few times the cost of a sample ($4 for 2 ml or $20 for 50 ml … this seemed like easy math to me). I bought Couture on a whim because I was ordering a bottle of Moschino Funny! and the site had great deals on both.

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Roja Dove The Essence of Perfume Book Winner Announced

And it is Ann (the one who commented about Nero, Rome and National Geographic). Congratulations! Please email me your address.

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

Bottega Veneta Knot : Perfume Review


The main argument you hear from brands launching one bland, derivative perfume after another is that consumers like this sort of thing and that it is impossible to come up with an easy to like and uncomplicated perfume that holds the attention and smells interesting. But Bottega Veneta Knot, the new fall launch, proves that this reasoning doesn’t have much merit. If you want a fragrance that is as versatile and stylish as a little black dress, then this radiant orange blossom has much to recommend itself.


Bottega Veneta’s first perfume was a leather-moss blend attuned to today’s fashions, with emphasis on radiance, softness and bright top notes. Knot’s basic idea is sheer as tulle orange blossom edged with vanilla and musk. Orange blossom is derived from the flowers of a bitter orange tree, and depending on how it’s processed–melting the flowers in a solvent or distilling the essence with steam, the result will be different*. The former gives you orange blossom absolute with its sweet, sumptuous notes, and the latter–neroli oil redolent of green buds of spring. Knot blends both of these essences and sheers them out with citrus juice and featherweight musk. The result is as fresh as a classical cologne, but with a curvier body.

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