Open Doors Day at the Osmotheque

If you could smell one perfume in its original formula, what would you pick? For me, it would be a tie between Coty Jasmin de Corse and Guerlain Après L’Ondée extrait de parfum. Well, it might be possible. On Saturday September 15, 2018, 10am-5pm, the Osmothèque will open its doors to all vintage perfume lovers. Located in Versailles, the International Conservatory of Perfume has the largest collection of rare and long vanished fragrances recreated according to the original formulas. To date, the Osmothèque holds around 4000 perfumes, of which 800 are no longer available commercially. My beloved Jasmin de Corse is part of its archives.

The Osmothèque event is part of European Heritage Days, and visitors will have a chance to meet the perfumers, smell rare fragrances, raw materials and learn about the art of perfume creation. Each visit takes around 1.5 hours. A donation of 1 € is appreciated.

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The Different Company Kashan Rose : Perfume Review

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Our recent talk about Mughal empresses, attars and roses reminded me of a perfume I’ve been meaning to review, but it somehow slipped my mind. I mentioned The Different Company’s Kâshân Rose for my FT article about the rose capital of Iran, The Roses of Kashan, but the perfume deserves more attention.

To be fair, it’s not the be-all and end-all of rose perfumes. Kâshân Rose is a bright, transparent composition that seems uncomplicated and linear. Leave the complex stories and intricate turns to the grand roses like Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady, Guerlain Nahema or Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. Kâshân Rose is about sunlight and pink petals.

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Empress Nur Jahan by Ruby Lal : Power and Roses

One doesn’t often see empresses portrayed loading a gun, but among the many representations of Nur Jahan, the 17th century Mughal sovereign, the most famous shows her doing just that. She’s standing against a leafy landscape, dressed in a man’s turban, orange trousers and a transparent silk coat. The musket is long and unwieldy, but she handles it with ease. Her posture is confident, bold and self-assured. When the painting was presented to Nur Jahan’s husband, the emperor Jahangir, he proclaimed it perfect and named the court painter Abul-Hasan, Nadir uz-Zaman, the Wonder of the Age. But as the historian Ruby Lal notes in her book, Empress : The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, the true wonder was the subject of the painting herself.

Nur Jahan (1577-1645) was born Mihr un-Nissa, a daughter of Persian nobles who left the repressive conditions of Safavid Iran for the greater freedom–and wealth–of Mughal India. She became Nur Jahan, the Light of the World, when she married Jahangir in 1611. She was an unconventional imperial spouse, because she was not only past the nubile age–she was 34 at the time of their betrothal, but also a widow and a mother. Records don’t tell us exactly how the meeting between Mihr and Jahangir happened. What we know for sure is how much the emperor esteemed his wife, describing her bravery, archery and shooting skills, her wisdom, and her generosity at length in his journal, Jahangirnama.

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Hermès Agar Ebène and Myrrhe Églantine Perfume Giveaway

Today we have a giveaway thanks to Andrea, one of the Bois de Jasmin regular readers. Andrea has a set of by three recent Hermessence samples that she didn’t click with and she would prefer to sent it to someone else. The set includes 2 x 4 ml spray samples: Hermès Agar Ebène and Myrrhe Églantine. They have been sprayed  once or twice and are mostly full. Andrea can only ship within the USA.

We are not responsible for leaks or damage during transit or for lost packages.

To participate, please answer these questions. I will randomly draw one winner.

1. Andrea would like to know what fragrance met your expectations?
2. What fragrance disappointed you?
3. May I contact you via email to notify you of your win and share your email with Andrea?

The contest is now closed. The winner is Lara Anderson. I will contact the winner via email shortly.

Chanel Paris-Deauville : Fragrance Review

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Deauville doesn’t evoke a particular scent for me. The name of this resort town on the coast of Normandy mostly reminds me of A Man and A Woman, the 1966 French film starring the incomparable Anouk Aimée. I have visited Deauville several times but only for work, unlike most normal people who travel to Normandy on vacation. As a result, when I sprayed Chanel’s Paris-Deauville on my wrist, its fragrance made me bypass France entirely. Instead, it took me to Sicily.

I smelled the bitterness of orange peel and green leaves unfolding on my skin and I could almost feel the breeze from the Ionian sea and the bright flavor of orange granita. The hot stones and sun bleached grasses slowly enter the picture. And then before the fragrance even reveals its jasmine inflected heart, I already recall the opulence of blossoms in Aci Trezza, the rocky strip of the Riviera where Ulysses might have fought the Cyclops. My memory erases the misdeeds of the 1960s real estate developers, which make the Cyclops seem rather innocuous, and instead as I wear Paris-Deauville, I escape to visions of endless blue sea, cliffs, orange orchards and jasmine vines.

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