Week in Photos and Perfume Highlights

Classical NYC subway shot

I usually keep several notebooks in my bag to jot down any thoughts or observations.  Smelling blooming black locust treea–its flowers smell like jasmine, Indian incense and coconut water–next to a bakery makes me wonder if a toasted hazelnut note would work with a creamy jasmine note and which perfume on the market has done it already. So, into my notebook it goes. I taste a tart juice made from beets, pineapple and lime and think that it would make a refreshing sorbet. I write it down. Lately, I’ve added my camera to the things I carry around with me–my arms are going to be nice and toned by the end of the year! Using a camera to see the world around reveals a whole new dimension, and I find it fun to capture the moment. So, I’ve decided to supplement my usual weekend scented observations and discoveries with my photographs.

Cheese and roses at Lucy’s Whey (a cheese shop inside Chelsea Market)

You never know where you will find a memorable scent. Two weeks ago I passed by Lucy’s Whey (425 West 15th Street In Chelsea Market) and was drawn inside by its beautiful display of roses and the lemony aroma of fresh goat cheese. I was rushing to a meeting, so I couldn’t really buy anything, but this time I returned for a proper exploration. Lucy’s Whey stocks mostly American cheese from small producers, and their selection is diverse and interesting. The aged Gouda from Holland’s Family Farm was a great discovery–sweet, smooth, with a rich caramelized aftertaste.

A Florist at Chelsea Market

Florist shops smell so good–crushed stems and cool petals!

The Thinker

Or The 21st Century Thinker, I should say.

Strawberries and yogurt

In Japan, the first food of the season (hatsumono) warranties a holiday of sorts, when friends and family share the gifts of the seasonal delights. It’s a tradition I would be happy to adopt. So, this week I had my first-of-the-season strawberries. We ate them with yogurt and sugar. They are still a bit watery and lack the sultry caramel sweetness that makes this berry so seductive, but I was still happy to savor them.

Mess? Work? Depends on whom you ask, me or my husband

I’m very organized with my time, but my work space is another matter. I know exactly where everything is, but to most people it looks chaotic. My husband has been around me long enough to ignore it, unless I leave the samples on the floor. Nothing new and exciting this week–just retesting old favorites and the current fragrance top sellers.

Capturing the moment

What was your week like? Any scents, perfumes, food, books, movies, or anything else that caught your attention over the past week?



  • Mikael: The sample vial sticker that has “…ie Art” and “…iad” makes me think Huitieme Art Myrrhiad, am I correct? If I am, I’m a bit baffled by the pale yellow-amber colour of the juice in that vial; my Myrrhiad is very red… May 12, 2012 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I think that you’re right. I was working with myrrh last week, so I was testing some myrrh based perfumes. Maybe, it’s just the exposure, but the juice is reddish-amber, not very dark though. May 12, 2012 at 9:44am Reply

  • Lucy: The fragrances you notice everywhere have expanded your experience of everyday beauty, it’s now lead to your interest in photography, and documenting it all with notes. The snippets of your experiences are so enjoyable, it’s another City that way. May 12, 2012 at 9:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Lucy! Looking at the world through the camera makes me notice things to which I haven’t paid attention before. It’s so much fun. I started taking photos when I was learning to cook (to document my progress or the lack thereof), and then I really got into it. Glad that you liked the photos. May 12, 2012 at 9:57am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were busy identifying the smells of the roses in the St John the Divine Cathedral garden. Some smell like lemons, some like melons, some like apricots, and our favorites, the blush pink old English roses, just had the most exquisite rose smell. 🙂

    Last night I read some passages from Perfumes: The Guide to my boyfriend and he was very entertained. I have a budding perfume lover on my hands! His favorite scents so far are Knize Ten and Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme. And he wants to try La Myrrhe! 🙂 May 12, 2012 at 11:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Congrats! 🙂 Seems like you found a great perfume buddy, in addition to everything else. I love that he wears Knize Ten, which is such a beautiful, if underrated fragrance.

      Roses really have such a fascinating range of scents. I’ve smelled a pretty yellow rose the other day that smelled disconcertingly like smoked fish. Not something I would want in a perfume, but it was…well, memorable. May 12, 2012 at 3:53pm Reply

  • solanace: My week was amazing, specially perfumewise. I have just started to get samples and decants from mail (I live in the middle of nowhere, at least perfumewise!) My first Lutens: Borneo, Fumerie Turque (my favorite, by far!!!) and Rahat loukoum. May 12, 2012 at 2:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Did you try Chergui? That’s another Lutens you might like if you’re enjoying Fumerie Turque. May 12, 2012 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Undina: Yesterday at the friends’ house I saw (and smelled) a beautiful bouquet – lilacs and peonies. Lilacs smelled divine and peonies were disappointing: they have almost no scent – similar to those beautiful but scentless roses. May 12, 2012 at 2:21pm Reply

    • marsi: I had a similar thing happen to me. I bought a bouquet of peonies yesterday. They were pretty but scentless. I thought that peonies have a scent but these didn’t. May 12, 2012 at 2:39pm Reply

      • Andy: I find with peonies that the scent often ranges from delicate, watery rose to somewhat putrid (sometimes dirty and fecal, almost similar to the animalic scent of boxwood). But my favorite peonies, in fact, have a blend of both (the contrast between fresh rose and dark earthiness is rather beguiling). May 12, 2012 at 6:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: Peonies really vary in terms of scent. I’ve smelled some at the Botanic Garden in Brooklyn that had a heady, rose and strawberry like aroma and others that smelled of hardly anything at all. May 12, 2012 at 4:03pm Reply

      • Ruth: Shrub peonies are not in bloom yet in the Pacific NW (they’re a reliable Memorial Day or later bloom). Those in my garden vary, some have almost no scent, but a white one is absolutely fresh cut lemon. A colleague brought a bouquet of tree peonies and bearded iris to our secretary this week. Individually, most were not all that pleasant or even noticeable. Together, though, they were a beautiful watery/crisp rose scent that was evident even outside the door of the building. May 12, 2012 at 6:48pm Reply

        • Victoria: Did bearded iris smell of anything in particular? I discovered that some varieties have a wonderful apricot-lemon perfume and others smell just green and fresh. May 13, 2012 at 4:23pm Reply

  • karin: Lilacs are just starting to bloom, and their fragrance is in the air – love it! May 12, 2012 at 5:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m jealous, Karin! Our lilacs are done already, and whatever is still in bloom doesn’t really smell of anything (too much rain). May 13, 2012 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Elisa: I came into two new perfumes this week through the serendipity of the blogging community — I organized a swap with a woman who commented on NST that she had purchased a travel kit of Beyond Love and didn’t care for it after all. I wasn’t prepared for how nice the little kit with the atomizer is! I also met a blogger who I was surprised to learn lives about a mile from me; I bought her a couple of glasses of wine in exchange for her unwanted Tendre Madeleine. Fruitful week for perfume and new friends! May 12, 2012 at 5:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s my favorite part of blogging and reading other blogs–discovering new perfumes, making new friends. By Kilian packaging is fantastic. I grumble about the prices, but I have to admit that everything about the line is very well-done. May 13, 2012 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Andy: Just today I walked around an arboretum at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. There was one lilac in bloom still, and they have a sizeable rose garden. I went around sniffing them all—the highlights included a violet-scented rose appropriately called ‘violetta’ as well as an anise and fruit tinged rose with an Italian name. I also loved the various powdery lemon-scented roses, and one plant, which looked like it was probably very closely related to Rosa damascena (but wasn’t labelled) that smelled just like Bulgarian rosewater. Just lovely. May 12, 2012 at 6:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: The small community garden not too far from me is filled with roses, but their perfume is very mild. What you’ve described, Andy, sounds heavenly. I wish I could smell Violetta rose. May 13, 2012 at 4:20pm Reply

  • Jillie: The scent that is catching my attention right now is also a food – we have Epoisses cheese in the fridge and we will be eating that with fresh baguettes for lunch. It has to be the smelliest ever fromage, but it tastes divine! I wonder why that should be? May 13, 2012 at 2:31am Reply

    • Rachel: That always makes me wonder. Someone must have been very hungry to take a bite of that cheese to discover that it tastes good. DH and I love cheese, but our daughter complains that our fridge always smells like a musty basement. LOL! May 13, 2012 at 11:15am Reply

    • Victoria: For me, the worst smelling cheese of all is Limburger. It smells so much of dirty socks that I couldn’t even bring myself to taste it for a long time. Plus, it’s not just that it smells a bit like dirty socks; the bacteria that ferment Limburger are the same ones that are responsible for human body odor. Now, that I’ve made it sound as unappetizing as possible, I will add that Limburger is delicious–creamy, soft, with a sharp, nutty flavor. Go figure… May 13, 2012 at 4:34pm Reply

  • RVB: I recently rediscovered Habit Rouge EDT-I had no idea how much I missed it!It’s thrilling to rediscover a scent that had such a profound influence on me.I’m also exploring the scents of Slumberhouse, a small perfumery out of Portland Oregon.Most of their scents are deep, dark and resinous-very unique and interesting and certainly worth a try May 13, 2012 at 3:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m with you on Habit Rouge! Every time I revisit it, I wonder why I bother looking further for a warm, elegant oriental. It’s just perfect. May 13, 2012 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Ari: I was heeeeere just last week for Sniffapalooza!!! (Pardon my embarrassing overexcitement- I’ve only been to New York maybe four times in my life!) Your photos are actually really beautiful, V. You should be a professional! 🙂 May 13, 2012 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Nothing embarrassing about it! I was talking to someone the other day who visited NYC for the first time and her response was, “oh, it was ok.” NYC can drive you nuts–and it does that to me, which is why I can’t see myself staying here permanently, but it shouldn’t leave you indifferent.

      Ari, as much as I know that I’m far far far from being good enough, but your sweet compliment made my day. Thank you! May 13, 2012 at 4:38pm Reply

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