Scent Diary : Coup de Coeur

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful celebration. Coup de Coeur in French means love at first sight or crush, and I have been thinking of all the things that were my small coups de coeur this year–discovering blue tinted teas, orange blossom scented Moroccan pastries, Belgian violet sugar, and how delicious pine buds can taste (and smell) when steeped in honey. Such little pleasures have done a lot to lift my mood on days when nothing went right. And of course, there were books, music, and scents. This year certainly hasn’t been easy for many, and I hope that as it draws to a close, I want to thank you for visiting Bois de Jasmin and for making this place so special.

Also, I can’t even begin to enumerate how much I’ve discovered thanks to all of you. I look forward to more in 2017.


You can write about anything you wish in this thread, but those who would like to use the Scent Diary to sharpen their sense of smell, I will give a short explanation. As I wrote in How to Improve Your Sense of Smell, the best way to sharpen your nose is to smell and to pay attention to what you’re smelling. It doesn’t matter what you smell. The most important thing is to notice whatever you smell around you. It’s even better if you write it down. So please share your scents and perfumes with us.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, coeur de crème



  • Gina Tabasso: OMG, because of this post I heard about blue tea for the first time. I collect vintage tea cups and pots. I just ordered some. Thank you!!!! I also don’t drink caffeine, but can drink this since it’s herbal. Thank you. December 26, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

    • Victoria: This tea is wonderful, and it can be made from blue mallow flowers or blue butterfly pea flowers. The latter especially gives a vivid blue tint. December 27, 2016 at 4:08am Reply

  • limegreen: Thank you, Victoria, for your generosity of spirit, this blog means a lot to many of us. I have met great perfume friends herr.
    Here’s hoping 2017 is uplifting.

    On the scent front, I discovered tomato leaf and leather as a combo that I didn’t know existed but absolutely adore, in Cognoscenti no. 16. 🙂 December 26, 2016 at 10:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! I’m very happy to hear it. 🙂

      The tomato leaf and leather combination sounds brilliant. December 27, 2016 at 4:09am Reply

  • Sylvia: Beautiful picture! Love at first sight this year were my sweet grandbabies faces watching twinkling lights, tea flowers blooming in hot water and the pioneer woman teapot and tea cups in aqua with red poppies. So beautiful.
    Wishing you a restful holiday Victoria and staff! December 26, 2016 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you! May they grow strong and healthy! 🙂 December 27, 2016 at 4:11am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Merry Christmas Victoria, and I thank you for all the enjoyment I have received from your blog. I’m looking forward to many more in 2017. December 26, 2016 at 11:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! Merry Christmas to you too! December 27, 2016 at 4:12am Reply

  • Bela: Happy Christmas, V! Hope you ‘re enjoying yourself.

    ‘Love at first sight’ is ‘coup de foudre’. ‘ Avoir un coup de cœur’ does mean ‘to be in love with’, ‘to be passionate about’ but not necessarily at first sight. December 26, 2016 at 11:29am Reply

    • kekasmais: Technically, “coup de cœur” can translate to “love at first sight”, but in connection to things instead of people (it’s pops up frequently in real estate listings). No harm done if you use it to talk about small pleasures. 🙂 December 26, 2016 at 3:09pm Reply

      • Victoria: Yes, that’s right. My Larousse includes “love at first sight” in its list of definitions. It’s a lovely idiomatic expression I hear often around here. December 27, 2016 at 4:23am Reply

  • Tijana: Dear Victoria – thank YOU for being in our lives. ❤ December 26, 2016 at 11:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for reading and visiting, Tijana! December 27, 2016 at 4:23am Reply

  • Liz: Finding your blog was one of my best discoveries this year. The scents I’m immersed in while exploring the eco-printing and dyeing process, like the smell of eucalyptus leaves steaming between layers of silk, wool and cotton (and the scent of the wool too) has been wonderful to experience along with creating pieces that I find beautiful. And even though indigo smells quite terrible, I try to tell myself I’m expanding my nose’s abilities!

    Some of the best scents that come to mind, in large part thanks to this site, are Santal Majusucule, Caron Parfum Sacre, Dame Perfumery Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, Kyoto Autumn Leaves incense and the fresh scent of my Christmas tree. December 26, 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Liz!

      Do you use eucalyptus leaves for scent or for something else? Your description of the whole process sounds fascinating. December 27, 2016 at 9:22am Reply

      • Liz: Eucalyptus actually prints onto the fabric extremely well. To really see the possibilities of eco-printing check out India Flint. Her work is amazing. She’s a pioneer in ecoprinting. Eucalyptus prints a rusty red color, or can give a golden yellow sometimes depending on the process. You can also print with flowers and herbs so it’s been a scent-filled adventure! December 27, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

        • Victoria: I’m off to take a look at her work. Sounds very interesting. December 28, 2016 at 5:17am Reply

    • Karen A: Several of the weavers in the guild I belong to do Eco dying – one had some terrific results. Fun process.

      After attending a talk br Roland Rickets on indigo, I ordered several hundred indigo seeds and am looking forward to growing and processing it!

      Do you do art quilts or sew with your fabric? Always good “meeting” a fellow textile person! December 28, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

      • Liz: I’m actually planting a dye garden this spring! I’ve already got my smokebush and am so excited to have fresh plants to use!!

        I don’t sew unfortunately, but I’ve been taking secondhand clothes and plain scarves to dye so far that are then ready to wear. I’m also dyeing fabric yardage that my dear friend is going to sew into garments to make a spring collection.

        And it is always nice to connect with other artisans!! December 28, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

        • Karen A: Very cool! If you are in the US, and if my indigo plants are successful, I can send you some dried leaves for you to play with. My email address is: karenlovesroses at yahoo dot com. We can continue our textile talk if you’d like! I just sent my friend who is doing the Eco dying demonstration for our guild a link to India Flint’s site – not sure if she already knows about her work, but it’s quite interesting. December 28, 2016 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Joy: I so look forward to reading your articles and the responses. It focuses my mind on things that are pleasant, educational, and beautiful. So, thank you for that.
    Love at first site is the sun coming up on the Columbia River many mornings and the smell of the river, sea, and damp forest. December 26, 2016 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Those kind of scents always move me too! Happy holidays to you, Joy. December 27, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

  • Olivia: My loves at first sight this year were my first nephew, as well as this blog, and Shalimar Parfum Initial. I’d never paid much attention to the irises growing in my neighborhood until now, and it turns out I love the smell. Looking forward to more of your beautiful photos and posts in 2017. December 26, 2016 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations, Olivia! My best wishes to your family.

      Iris flower have a lovely perfume, don’t they! And it can vary so much from one variety to another. My grandmother grows a purple one that smells of caramel. December 27, 2016 at 9:27am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Dear Victoria and perfume lovers,
    Merry Christmas to all of you.
    The list of my coups de coeur this year:

    Lavandula by Penhaligon’s a sweet and ladylike perfume that i wore for a historic ball and it got me converted to lavender scents

    Fresh jasmine scent coming from flowers pinned in my hair in a temple in India

    Rose petal ice cream

    Après l’Ondée by Guerlain (current EDT) : i bought myself a bottle blind for my birthday in April and it was a summer favourite, my heart beats faster every time I smell it December 26, 2016 at 7:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of these sound fabulous! Just reading through your list of coups de coeur, I imagined beautiful scents. December 28, 2016 at 5:19am Reply

  • PD: I’ve never been a fan of anything that smells of a pastry shop, except of course for actual pastry shops. I’m not a fan of gourmand perfumes in general, tending to more austere scents–certainly nothing candy sweet.

    But Lolita Lempicka! Based on reviews and comments on this blog, I recently bought a sample. I have been applying it every night at bedtime, giggling because I smell like licorice. December 26, 2016 at 10:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it a great perfume? It’s not at all like the sugary, cotton candy gourmands. I also enjoy it very much. December 28, 2016 at 5:20am Reply

  • Hayley: I discovered so many scent related things thanks to your blog this year. A mild obsession with rosewater and sandalwood. An appreciation of iris and violet. So many Guerlains. A whole lot of Lutens.

    Thank you so much for generously sharing with your readers. Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year! December 26, 2016 at 11:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Hayley! I’m very happy to share my love for rosewater and sandalwood. 🙂 December 28, 2016 at 5:21am Reply

  • Jillie: Bois de Jasmin is a bright light in a world of gloom!

    Your writing is always a delight and I learn so much about perfume, recipes and culture from reading your radiant posts.

    Wishing you and your lovely readers a very happy 2017! December 27, 2016 at 2:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Jillie! All of you add so much to make BdJ special. December 28, 2016 at 5:21am Reply

  • Solanace: We spent Christmas in a small cabin in the woods. Taking a walk very early in the morning, before anyone was awake, I could see a thin waning Moon shining right above the rising Sun. A thousand birds were singing, and then this huge white flower scent, a lot like Guerlain Terracota, hit me. In my country these very heady plants, called “Dama da Noite” have a bad reputation, as being headache inducing. But I love them! (Cannot wear the perfume, though, go figure. But for those who enjoy it – I wish I did! – it really does smell like a live tropical plant. December 27, 2016 at 4:47am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m looking up these plants right now! I do like Terracotta, but it’s not a perfume I can wear daily. A bit much for me. December 28, 2016 at 5:23am Reply

  • SM Chong: Ahh so many new loves this year!

    * the scent of puffy sprigs of baby’s breath by my bedside, accompanied by scentless but beautiful white eustomas.
    * a lovely well-used and nearly empty bottle of vintage Shalimar EDT with an adorable seashell cap.
    * empty macadamia shells that smell like creamy, nutty shea butter, completely and unexpectedly unlike the shelled nut.
    * MC Escher’s Puddle (1952), a woodcut print of a reflection of the sky from a puddle in the ground (do look it up!)
    * a bar of Karma soap from Lush that smells like bergamot and cinnamon gifted to me from a dear friend. it has ended my search for the best scented soap.

    Happy 2017, all! December 27, 2016 at 9:07am Reply

    • Victoria: I love your list! I want to smell macadamia nut shells. 🙂 December 28, 2016 at 5:24am Reply

  • Frankie: Hi! Hope everyone’s holidays were happy and beautiful. Has anyone had any expirence with blooming teas? I got a beautiful antique glass teapot for Christmas and it would be perfect for blooming teas. They are so pretty to watch unfold but I have no idea which ones would taste the best. The art of tea had some interesting flavors and I’m up to trying almost everything. Thanks! December 27, 2016 at 11:02am Reply

    • Victoria: None of them are that great quality, but maybe it’s just my experience. They just look good. Ten Ren has a nice selection. December 28, 2016 at 5:25am Reply

  • Qwendy: Dear Victoria, thanks for being a shining beacon in dark times … I have especially enjoyed your tips on and insights into exotic locales, books and exhibitions! Wishing you continued adventures, virtual and real, for 2017, thanking you for all you do! Xxx December 27, 2016 at 1:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Wendy! I’m so happy to hear this. December 28, 2016 at 5:26am Reply

  • faristaskye: Thank you so much for your website! The beautiful pictures, and such wonderful information you share. It gives me such a lift and inspiration through the year. I look forward to further info and enjoyment in the coming year. Thank you! Thank you! Much Health, Wisdom and Beauty to all connected for the New Year! Farista December 27, 2016 at 2:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Happy New Year to you too! Thank you for your warm words. 🙂 December 28, 2016 at 5:27am Reply

  • Gabriela: Never heard of blue tea!
    Victoria, thank you for his blog and lightning our lives, wish you all the best. December 27, 2016 at 4:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Gabriela!
      If you can find Yuzu Indigo by Mariage Freres, it’s a fantastic blue tea. And it’s really blue colored. December 28, 2016 at 5:28am Reply

  • Pearl: Happy Holidays everyone!
    Thank you Victoria for creating such a wonderful blog and community. Since discovering your blog, I have fallen head over heels in love with perfume and though it’s been bad for my wallet it’s been wonderful for my soul 😉 This year I fell in love with many fragrances including:
    – Silk by Andrea Maack
    – Rouge Nocturne by Terry de Gunzburg
    – Bois de Paradis by Parfum Delrae
    – Black Jade by Lubin
    Wishing you all a wonderful new year!!! <3 December 27, 2016 at 5:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: So many favorites on your list. Hope that you will enjoy them and that the new year will bring more beauty and discoveries. December 28, 2016 at 5:29am Reply

  • Karen A: Happy New Year to you, Victoria, and all fellow BdJ readers/followers. Many thanks for offering a respite from what has been just too much awfulness. Fortunately there have been many beautiful sights, scents, experiences to keep my spirits up. Your generosity and knowledge inspire all of us, and I treasure all of my “perfume pen-pals” I’ve met through BdJ. December 28, 2016 at 6:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Karen, thank you so much! Thank you for your generous and kind spirit, too. 🙂 January 10, 2017 at 6:29am Reply

  • Hamamelis: Not exactly a Coup de Coeur but a very interesting experience was that I burned the side of my right hand wrist quite badly recently (stressed cooking with a steamer…). Besides cooling it gently with water for a long time, I remembered reading somewhere that a French physician used lavender essential oil during WWI to heal the terrible burns the soldiers suffered. I used high quality organic real lavender essential oil, and the pain almost immediately lessened considerably. I applied a few more times and the burn has healed rapidly.
    Perfume Coups this year are many, Ostara (thank you Victoria), Journey Woman, Iris Nobile, several Mona di Orio’s, Une Rose Chypree and Arbolé Arbolé (and I am sure I forgot some). Best wishes to all! December 28, 2016 at 7:08am Reply

    • Karen A: Yikes! Sorry to read of your mishap, but glad you thought to use lavender oil. It’s really an amazing oil, good for just about everything! Happy New Year, and can’t wait till our witch hazel blooms in a month or so. December 28, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, no! I hope that you’re better and that it healed completely.

      A friend from Provence mentioned to me that her grandmother used lavender oil as a panacea for everything. Including a tiny drop on a piece of sugar as a headache cure. January 10, 2017 at 6:30am Reply

  • Aurora: When preparing Christmas Eve dinner:

    – burst of citrus while cutting clementines and limes for mulled wine, immediately reminded of Amor Amor
    – fresh mushroom smell prepared for a creamy sauce
    – the scent of Baghari which I chose for Christmas Eve thanks to Cornelia’s recommendation

    Victoria: how to thank you enough for this unique blog, I don’t bother with any other as you cover so many topics. Very Happy New Year! December 28, 2016 at 7:51am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Happy New Year, Aurora, Victoria and everybody else!

      I like the scent of peeling clementines when I have J’Adore (the original) on my wrist. December 28, 2016 at 8:23am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much! I hope that in 2017 we will have more discoveries to make together.

      Gosh, your dinner sounds heavenly, with all those scents and tastes. January 10, 2017 at 6:32am Reply

  • Kate: Best wishes of the season to you, Victoria, and to all your readers.

    I have been reading your blog for what must be about eight years now, and it just gets better and better. Thank you for the work you do and for this beautiful resource; I never fail to learn something new here, and always leave feeling inspired. December 28, 2016 at 10:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear it! Thank you very much for letting me know. Happy New Year to you! January 10, 2017 at 6:33am Reply

  • Jeanne: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Victoria! I’ve learned so much over the past few years from you. I love The Pillow Book, and I always look for ways to use rose and orange blossom waters. It’s always a pleasure (and a relief) to visit your site these days. You’re definitely a ray of sunshine!

    Happy New Year to you and all the readers! December 28, 2016 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Yay! Another Pillow Book lover. Isn’t it such a delightful book, to use Sei Shonagon’s favorite word? January 10, 2017 at 6:33am Reply

  • spe: Merry 4th day of Christmas Victoria and BdJ readers!
    The past few years have been a little “slow” for me perfume -wise. I enjoy the 1932 perfume Victoria recommended to me and fell in love again with Eau de Soir and Chamade. One line I fell in love with this year is from Francis Kurkdjian, especially Aqua Universalis Forte. It smells like a carefree weekend to me. In fact, many of his creations have a carefree or clubbing / fun vibe to me.
    A blessed New Years wish to you all! December 28, 2016 at 11:53am Reply

    • Victoria: So true! I also notice this vibe about his perfumes. Curious, isn’t it? January 10, 2017 at 6:39am Reply

  • mj: Happy Christmas Victoria! I hope everybody is having a peaceful time.
    This year I have discovered (almost all through you wonderful blog) a few scents that I have like them a lot.
    – Alaia
    – Bottega Veneta
    – Dans la Peau
    of the three my fave is Bottega Veneta and maybe for Epiphany Day the Three Wise Men will gift me with one bottle.

    Happy New Year to everybody! December 28, 2016 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, these are so beautiful! Very happy that you found them, and I’m glad to have helped. 🙂 January 10, 2017 at 6:40am Reply

  • Chin C.: Hope you had a merry xmas Victoria! I learned many things from your blog this year, and i think the greatest discovery was the Serge Lutens line. I love many of their scents, and santal majuscule has become one of my most loved scent! Im very grateful to have somewhere for me to share my thoughts on fragrances, because its quite hard for me to find someone around me who share my love for fragrances.

    Have a prosperous year ahead everyone! December 28, 2016 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: Which Lutens stole your heart? 🙂 January 10, 2017 at 6:40am Reply

  • Mia: “A very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.”

    Thank you Victoria and every scent lover for a safe and fun space! December 28, 2016 at 11:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Happy New Year, dear Mia! January 10, 2017 at 6:41am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I have enjoyed some lovely new scents this year, fresh cracked cardamom in a mango lassi, papadum with grey salt- love that funky sulphurous scent of grey salt. Divine on crunchy edibles. Frederic Malle’s Christmas candle with scents of pine and fir- ahhh. It’s burning now. And fresh thyme in my husband’s favorite fresh cod fiskesuppe. Yum!

    I have learned so much from your blog, Victoria and I look forward to another year of learning and loving the world of scent. Happy New Year! January 1, 2017 at 5:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: The crunch of cardamom seeds in lassi is such a jolt. It’s the reason I like to leave them coarsely ground.

      Thank you very much for your kind words! January 10, 2017 at 6:43am Reply

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