July 2010: 3 posts

Test Your Fragrance IQ : Perfume Quiz

Madame rochas

A perfume aficionado with a taste for details and history might know the story of Chanel No 5 and the meaning of chypre. Some of us comb libraries for old perfume books and auction sites for forgotten vintage gems. We collect raw materials and analyze their nuances. When we start talking about accords, sillage, drydown and composition to “regular” people, their eyes glaze over. If you have a mischievous streak to your personality, take this talk to the perfume counter at your local department store. You will be rewarded with a look of total incomprehension. Therefore, when I came across a fragrance quiz devised by the British perfume writer Nigel Groom in July 1996 for Mastermind, I immediately wanted to share it with you. Nigel Groom thought that these are the things a perfume lover should know. So, give it a go! How many can you answer without referring to Google? What other questions would you add?

P.S. And no, these are not easy! I admit that some of the questions stumped me. On the whole, it is an interesting and educational quiz.

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Thierry Mugler Womanity : Perfume Review


Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Whether fashion or fragrance, Thierry Mugler is among the most avant-garde designers, capable of creating unique and memorable experiences. Consider this one fact—while most new launches wilt as soon as they hit the counter, Angel has maintained a strong following and a top position in the market for more than a decade. Even the numerous Angel clones could not undermine its allure. Of course, such success is extremely difficult to replicate, as Alien proved quite patently. Womanity is the newest release from Mugler, a pink potion that tries “to encompass energy, tenderness, and sophistication at the same time.”

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Sparkling and Opulent : Full Spectrum of Favorite Summer Fragrances

Summer favourites

A couple of weeks ago, I finally took a break from travel, work, email, and everything else that could distract me from the most elusive of goals—rest and enjoyment of our languorous summer days. I stayed at home, breaking my previous traditions of vacations far away from home. Instead, I cooked leisurely meals, went for long runs along the nearby river, took my tea and books on the patio, which was overtaken by mint and jasmine thanks to the tropical weather we have experienced. It finally felt like summer, and I vowed that even in my busy, hectic, always on the run (well, who is not in NYC?) routine, I will make time for these small pleasures. Above all, I enjoyed rediscovering some fragrances that I have not been wearing for ages.

In general, my picks for the summer fall into two very different categories. One consists of ethereal and effervescent blends accented with citrus, green and mossy notes that lend a cooling sensation in oppressive heat. They are unobtrusive and are easy to wear, considering that heady scents magnified by the warmth of the skin in the summer can sometimes feel uncomfortable. Having experienced Dior Poison in a stuffy subway car, I caught a glimpse of what hell must be like. On the other hand, opulent compositions can seem especially extraordinary in the summer when worn in moderation. Jasmine, orange blossom, gardenia, and tuberose reveal their luscious facets particularly well in the balmy ambiance of summer. Even attars (sandalwood, rose, oudh, saffron) are utterly spellbinding, provided the application is light. It is all about the mood and the setting. Below are my top choices in these categories.

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