News: 526 posts

Latest news from the fragrance world and other interesting reading

Rethinking Gourmand : Savory Fragrances

Does gourmand have to be only about cotton candy and caramel? In my article for the Financial Times Magazine, I explore whether there is room on the perfume counter for different flavors, including salty, piquant and savory.

savorygourmand

Most savoury gourmands aim for a subtle illusion – the tangy darkness of olives, the green sharpness of coriander leaves or the musky warmth of basmati rice. Fittingly, the biggest savoury gourmand launch came in 2010 with Womanity (from £38.50 for 30ml, second picture), another Thierry Mugler creation. The composition is built around caviar and fig, the briny nuance pushing against a backdrop of roasted hazelnuts, musk and woods. Like Angel, it provoked polarising reactions, though not the same level of infatuation. To continue, please click here.

Do you have any salty or savory favorite perfume? Today I’m wearing Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fils de Dieu, which fits the savory theme well.

Photo via FT

The Hidden Gems of Brussels

The Financial Times Weekend issue, October 31st, is devoted to Brussels, and it includes my article (p. 19-21) on my favorite places for sensory discoveries. I share advice on where to enjoy the best of Belgian chocolates, rare Chinese teas and beauty products. I also walk you through the fashion district of the city and highlight a few of its must-visit perfume spots. The issue also includes several other pieces on different aspects of Brussels, an interview with one of the best chocolatiers Pierre Marcolini and an excellent piece by Jim Brunsden with a city walk itinerary.

ft weekend

Click here to read the online version.

Of course, my list is not exhaustive, and since Brussels is a dynamic, ever-growing place, exploring its different neighborhoods and making your own discoveries is a special experience. If you’re familiar with the city and have other recommendations, please share them. Also, if there is a Brussels related topic you would like me to cover, do make a note in the comments.

The FT Weekend Magazine is available on newstands right now.

Luca Turin’s NZZ Folio Columns

From 2003 to 2014, perfume critic and scientist Luca Turin wrote columns for the Swiss magazine NZZ Folio on all things scent related. The topics ranged from the beauty of Jean Patou Sublime and Guerlain Mitsouko to the reflections on science and culture, and the columns had a wide following. This month the articles have been released in an e-book form, titled simply The Folio Columns. The foreword is written by Tania Sanchez, Turin’s co-author on Perfumes: the A-Z Guide.

folio

Turin is also the author of The Secret of Scent, a book that the perfume lovers with a penchant for chemistry will find fascinating. Like all of Turin’s writings, it’s witty, erudite and full of surprises.

The Folio Columns: 2003-2014 by Luca Turin, Tania Sanchez (Foreword)
Print Length: 310 pages
Language: English
ASIN: B016A53RMG

Available via Amazon.

Doors Open Day at The Osmotheque

On Saturday, September 19th, the Osmothèque perfume conservatory will open its doors to visitors. Part of the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine program, the event gives a chance to discover the Osmothèque and its activities. As part of your tour (the entrance is free of charge), you can explore 4 rooms organized by olfactory themes, rose, vanilla, bergamot and patchouli. Then you can smell various natural and synthetic materials used in perfumery. Finally, you can visit the famous cave d’Osmothèque, a climate controlled cellar where the conservatory stores its 3300 fragrances.

coty chypre ad

The most interesting part of the visit for many would be the perfumes, and quite a few jewels are available. For instance, in the patchouli room, you can smell Coty Chypre (1917), Réminiscence Patchouli (1970), and Rochas Mystère (1978), in addition to modern patchouli examples like Thierry Mugler Angel (1992) and Dior Patchouli Impérial (2011).

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The (Blind) Smell Test at WWD

As promised, today I’ll give you a brief update on The Smell Test series from Women’s Wear Daily. The goal is to blind test recent launches and offer anonymous opinions. All ten judges, myself included, receive fragrances in plain lab bottles, marked only by number, smell at their leisure and offer a rating from 1 to 10. WWD is one of the leading and most influential fashion and beauty publications, and it’s commendable that the magazine offers such a feature.

aerind

You can see the results and read our short comments in the links below. I will only make a few observations: First, all statements claiming that perfume is somehow too subjective to be described or reviewed critically don’t stand the test. The exercise blew this tired argument out of the water again and again.  Yes, everyone has his or her own sensitivities and preferences, but by and large, the consistency of responses has been impressive.

Second, there has been much positive response to the feature. (If any houses have been upset by their product receiving a low score, they’ve kept quiet.) Since WWD is primarily geared toward the beauty industry and its movers, all of this is a good sign. The industry also feels that things can’t continue in the same “let’s drown them in launches” (or “let’s do another Angel/Light Blue/another best seller”) mode, and as s result the attitudes towards criticism are changing.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

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