The Secret of Scent : Luberon 2016

When: October 2o-24, 2016. Where: Luberon, France. What: The Secret of Scent, a three day perfume course that I will be co-authoring with Luca Turin. The organizers tell me that we can still accommodate a couple of spots, so this is just a reminder. More details can be found via Science and Vacation and my previous post.

coty chypre

Those who have already emailed me about attending, I look forward to meeting you later this fall.

Whether you’re attending or not, I’d love to hear what fragrances you would most like to try in their original formulations?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, my vintage Coty Chypre is part of the plan!

Apricot Poppyseed Cake

The smell of a ripe apricot is mesmerizing enough to make me want to give up perfumery and tend an orchard instead.   It smells of cream, sweet orange, bitter almond, and a hint of rose. Unfortunately, unless you have access to an apricot grove, finding such a perfect specimen is difficult. Apricots are invariably picked green, and even if they soften, they never develop the perfume of tree-ripened fruit.

apricot-poppyseed2

There is, however, one technique to unlock some of the apricot’s fragrant potential. It’s to cook it. Even the hard supermarket variety becomes luscious and perfumed, especially if you add a touch of vanilla. I often sprinkle apricots with vanilla sugar and rosewater and roast them just until they start to turn jammy and tender. You can add cream, but that’s already gilding the lily. Or I make a poppyseed cake topped with apricots, an ideal late summer-early fall dessert.

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Scent Diary : Summer Highlights

What were your scented summer highlights? What interesting fragrances (bottled or otherwise) have you discovered?

summer-room

 

For most of the summer I was on the road, but even so, I tried and fell in love with Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate and Néroli Doré, by Kilian Moonlight in HeavenAntonio Alessandria Fleurs et Flammes, Rubini Fundamental and The Different Company Adjatay, a deliciously dark leather.

The best discovery, however, was courtesy of an eight year old who took part in a perfume class I organized for children in Ukraine. She combined blackcurrant and orange, with a generous dose of rose–no prompts from me, I should add. The result was dramatic and complex.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Chanel No 5 L’Eau : Fragrance Review

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Although sometimes I’m prone to romanticizing the golden days of perfumery–that vague time in the past when regulations and profitability didn’t shape the industry the way they do today, I’m not a traditionalist. Tastes change, and I don’t expect that young people today want to wear only fragrances created 100 years ago, just as the children of those whose wear Lancôme La Vie est Belle and Bleu de Chanel might reject their parents’ choices. Yes, a day of “vintage” La Vie est Belle will come. This is why I don’t object to the reworks of classics, such as Chanel No. 5 L’Eau, provided that the brand keeps the original intact and interprets the “young and trendy” theme in an interesting manner.

chanel 5eau

L’Eau is an attempt by Chanel to draw a younger, trendier audience to No. 5. Although I smell enough of No. 5 on women in their twenties in Paris and notice its constant presence in the top 10 best sellers, it is still somewhat of a cult favorite. L’Eau goes for wider appeal.

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Sunscreens : An Update

This is the second installment to my original overview of (mostly unscented) sunscreens. I have so much to say about Asian sunscreens that I shall keep them for a separate post, but today I will cover a number of selections from American and European brands. Unlike the first selection, this group includes products I disliked or found lacking in one aspect or another. Many of them have received glowing reviews from leading skincare bloggers and dermatologists, but since skincare is never made to suit everyone, I thought that another perspective would help those looking for the best sun protection.

sunscreens

First, I should mention what I look for in a sunscreen. My skin is combination and a sunscreen shouldn’t irritate it. It should also leave a satiny, non-oily finish. It should be lightly moisturizing. It should allow for layering–I reapply sunscreen at least twice a day. I also prefer my sunscreen unscented. Finally, and this is the most important part, it should have full spectrum protection, UVB and UVA. I don’t have preference over the sunscreen being chemical or physical, but a mix tends to have the best results in terms of finish and protection. This is my ideal type, if you will, and yes, such a sunscreen exists (many of them were described in the first article.)

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • spe in Perfume in the Library : The Pillow Book: Thank you! I’ve always liked that Lutens, along with A La Nuit. For a brief moment, myrrh scents fascinated me, but they ultimately weren’t lively enough. In fact, there is… September 25, 2016 at 1:56pm

  • Roky in Apple Perfumes for Autumn (and Anytime): 🙂 … nice one, yep. I’m also loving it on my ladyfriend. The rose is dark red and wine-like, the apples are those red-yellow, spicy-earthy type and ripe ones with… September 25, 2016 at 1:47pm

  • Victoria in Perfume in the Library : The Pillow Book: Not obvious, because in perfumery both are made from similar building blocks. Un Lys by Lutens, perhaps? September 25, 2016 at 11:55am

  • Elisa in Apple Perfumes for Autumn (and Anytime): Thank you Aurora! As of this weekend in Colorado, there’s a distinct chill in the air and leaves are starting to fall and I’m really getting in the fall mood! September 25, 2016 at 11:41am

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