News: 529 posts

Latest news from the fragrance world and other interesting reading

The Art of Fortunate Proportions

“The art of fortunate proportions” is how Edmond Roudnitska described perfumery. The idea is simple–all elements in the right dosages and in the right balance, but as is often the case, the simplicity is the most elusive attribute of all. Whenever I revisit his fragrances, I’m moved time and again by their grace and harmony. In Perfumes: The art of balance and proportion, my new FT column, I describe Roudnitska’s art, the elegance of Guerlain and the feisty brilliance of Germaine Cellier.

art of balance

When I speak of balance in perfumery, I mean both the aesthetics and technique. Consider Guerlain’s Chamade, one of the most perfectly balanced fragrances. From the bright-green top notes to the rose and hyacinth heart and velvety, woody notes, the perfume unfolds like a silk scroll. Similarly modulated is Dior’s Diorissimo, one of Roudnitska’s masterpieces and the subject of many articles in this column. To continue reading, please click here.

Image via FT HTSI

“Secret of Scent” Course with Me and Luca Turin

On October 20-24 I  will be giving a glimpse inside the world of perfumery during a 3-day science & art event in France. I will be joined by Luca Turin and together we will explain various aspects of smell, from the chemistry and neuroscience of olfaction to the art and culture of perfume.

perfume-lab2

The event is part of the Science & Vacation program, and it’s designed to give you as rich and multifaceted an experience as possible. You will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the sense of smell, study the perfumer’s palette, smell rare vintage fragrances–and by rare, I mean Coty Chypre, original versions of Guerlain Mitsouko and other Osmothèque worthy treasures, and even learn about the basics of fragrance composition. The course will take place in the Lubéron region famous for its lavender fields, and there will be lots of good food, wine and interesting discussions.

Reservations can be made via Science & Vacation. For all of the logistical details, accommodation and prices, please contact Science & Vacation directly.

Also, on October 6-10th, Science & Vacation will have a food related course presented by Guelia Pevzner. “Over the course of a long weekend in October, we are presenting a series of lectures and discussions on the subject of food and its future. We also plan to indulge in sampling a variety of regional French cuisines.” It’s worth taking a look.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Perfume Discontinuations, Museum Closures, Bosch

As an illustration of the idea that time doesn’t always separate the wheat from the chaff, two gems–Bulgari Black and Guerlain Nahèma extrait de parfum–have been discontinued. Black has been in limited distribution for some time, but the news of its discontinuation is now official. It has a peculiar odor of rubber and lapsang souchong tea, an anti-trend perfume as it were. As for Nahèma, the parfum was one of Guerlain’s treasures.

nahemajonquille

Other perfumes to bid goodbye to this year include Fleur de Chine, Lys Fume, Jonquille de Nuit, and Azure Lime, all from Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection. Azure Lime was Ford’s attempt to do an expensive take on a cheap sports cologne, so I’m not going to miss it, but Fleur de Chine was a brilliant aldehydic floral, modern but with a clever retro twist.

Continue 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.

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Carolyn Middleton in Hermes Muguet Porcelaine : Perfume Review: Have had a look at their website, & some of the products I used to use are still available, including the Hamamelis skin care range which I remember well. Am… May 31, 2016 at 5:53pm

  • Alicia in Postcard from Ukraine: My Reading Corner: Cornelia, Victoria asked me which book have impressed me lately. Holland’s did. As for Professor Crone’s she is greatly admired- and very much loved- in the American groves of Academe.… May 31, 2016 at 5:27pm

  • Alicia in Postcard from Ukraine: My Reading Corner: Yes, Victoria, your observation is very much to the point. Holland is essentially a historian of Empires. As for the direction of mosques it is difficult to ascertain. Some say… May 31, 2016 at 5:17pm

  • Cornelia Blimber in Postcard from Ukraine: My Reading Corner: Mosques faced to Jerusalem? maybe you read some author from the Iranah society, German scholars maintaining that the Q’ran was originally written in Aramaic. (!). I agree, the Description of… May 31, 2016 at 4:28pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2016 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.