Perfume 101: 142 posts

Here you can find how to guides to selecting, testing and enjoying scents. Also includes are the lists of our top favorite perfumes for different occasions and articles covering all range of topics related to fragrance. If you’re curious to step inside a perfume lab (or even become an industry professional), this group of essays will be of interest.

Belgian Lavender

The Belgian province of Limburg is an expanse of green fields punctuated by neat red brick towns. Although Brussels is a much more laid-back and calm city in comparison to London, Paris or Berlin, as I stroll through the woods near Hasselt, Limburg’s capital, I feel as if I just left a bustling metropolis. It’s all serenity, stone church spires and the soft rustle of leaves in the trees lining the river. And the rich perfume of lavender.

lavender1

Although lavender is usually associated with Provence, there is a 4 hectare farm near Herkenrode in Limburg, and it’s open for the summer. “Yes, we have lavender in bloom, and it’s a genuine variety, not lavandin,” I was told by a lady at the nursery. “Please visit before we harvest it.” The following weekend my husband and I drove one hour to Limburg to see the lavender fields of Belgium.

Continue reading →

Is it Safe to Buy Perfume from Online Discounters?

Even if you live in a city with lots of perfume shopping options, sooner or later you discover that buying fragrance online can be simpler and cheaper. You google the name of your favorite scent, and lo and behold, it’s offered on Ebay, strawberry.net or fragrancenet for considerably less than at a brick & mortal retailer. Moreover, the choice is vast, from popular best-sellers like Hugo Boss to niche stars like Serge Lutens. The only question, is it safe to make a purchase?

joy

The answer is no, it’s not 100% safe, but the level of risk varies. The list of aforementioned sites can be expanded to include dozens of others, and while they have different standards and selling angles, most of them are not authorized retailers for the brands they carry.  What they offer is grey market inventory, which includes goods that are imported from abroad and sold outside of the manufacturer’s official channels of distribution.

Continue reading →

Perfume Drawer : Simple Storage Idea

I’m the last person to give advice about organization, since until recently my perfume collection was arranged in a manner defined as chaos in most dictionaries. I took searching for samples and decants as par for the course. But even dinosaurs like myself can evolve. What inspired me to change was a discussion brought about by Lauren’s article about her perfume collection. In her article, Lauren describes following a decluttering system based on the best-selling book by Marie Kondo and selecting out items that bring her joy. Her fragrance wardrobe, having been exposed to heat, is unfortunately beyond cure, but the sight of it nonetheless touches her so deeply that she is determined to keep it. It’s not just the perfumes in the bottles, but memories and feelings that matter.

perfume-storage

As I read the article, I realized that the last time I felt any thrill out of my collection was when I was a college student and had a few bottles arranged on top of my bookshelf. The little arrangement–Prescriptives Calyx in its frosted green bottle, a small black cube of Robert Piguet Fracas, a precious bell jar of Serge Lutens Bois de Violette ordered via a friend in London and delivered to New Haven by another friend, and a ragtag assortment of decants from Makeupalley swapping–next to my textbooks on economics and political philosophy spoke to me of new discoveries, wanderlust and new friendships. Since then, my collection has grown by leaps and bounds, and while I pared down a lot during my move to Belgium, I still had enough to require a storage solution. I enjoyed the individual bottles, but whenever I surveyed the haphazard arrangement, I felt overwhelmed rather than overjoyed.

Continue reading →

Top 10 of Summer: Light and Easy Edition

Elisa on some of her favorite summer perfumes.

Earlier this week, Victoria wondered if summer perfumes are necessary, or if the “summery” designation is just marketing spin. In past years, I’ve mostly ignored the supposed seasonality of my perfumes, often most enjoying smoky ambers or patchouli gourmands when amplified in the heat. (Perverse, I know.) But this year, I’ve been in more of a relaxed, hammock-lounging mood, and traditionally “summery” perfumes like citrus scents and light florals are just what I want. So here are some of the easy, almost humble perfumes I’ve been reaching for at home and packing with me when I travel.

roses in blue

Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus

Far from the most renowned perfume in the Ormonde Jayne line, for good reason; Osmanthus is not as opulent or distinctive as some. But it’s an incredibly pretty rendition of the apricot-tea scent of osmanthus, mixed half and half with pomelo juice like a spa version of an Arnold Palmer.

Continue reading →

Is Summer Perfume Necessary?

Sady Dole of The Guardian has written a very nice piece on summer fragrances, and one of the questions she poses is whether such a thing as a summer perfume even exists. My voice is a skeptical one in the story, while Angela Sanders of Now Smell This and Alyssa Harad of Coming To My Senses provide other perspectives.

strawberries1

While I think that seasonal divisions are mostly about marketing, why not have fun with it? Wearing Angel, rain or shine, is fine, but I think that it’s more interesting is to pick a fragrance to reflect my mood or the changes in nature around me. A summer perfume may be something lighter, brighter, with a cooling effect like Guerlain Vétiver. Or it may be a lush tropical floral–Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower–to remind those of us immured in the concrete office buildings that there is summer out there.

The only type of perfumes I avoid are the ubiquitous summer editions every brand brings out, the “Light” or “Summer” versions of their current top sellers. They are not always bad, but they’re rarely exciting.

So, what do you say on the subject of summer fragrances–do you always switch scents in the summer or not?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, one of the best summer perfumes.

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • angeldiva in The Belgians : An Unexpected Fashion Story: Karen, I’m always the most (overly!) festively dressed woman in the room. I’ve come to accept this about myself, and just do my thing! I believe that a person can… September 2, 2015 at 7:57pm

  • angeldiva in The Belgians : An Unexpected Fashion Story: Karen, Thanks for your writings about Iris! It was the archival film footage of the old world weavers business that really thrilled me. Amazing dedication to textile duplication, and preservation. September 2, 2015 at 7:53pm

  • Bregje in Miu Miu Perfume Review: Totally agree! Sixties style(very miu),great bottle, cute kitten When I was younger I would have bought it just because of that image. September 2, 2015 at 6:47pm

  • Bregje in Miu Miu Perfume Review: It reminded me of chasse aux papillons. I prefer and love jour d’hermes Miu miu disappointed me too. On me it was kind of sweet. A bit like one of… September 2, 2015 at 6:41pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2015 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.