Victoria: 2425 posts

Patchouli Fragrances : Part 1 Classical Patchouli

A green plant that evokes the scent of earth. A leaf that smells like wood. A wood that smells like chocolate. Patchouli is a complex, intriguing, and polarizing ingredient in a perfumer’s palette. Some like it, others hate it. It leaves nobody indifferent. Yet, it’s also a material that gives perfumery today its distinctive character. A modern chypre can be made without oakmoss, but not without patchouli.

My latest video is part of the patchouli series, and in the first episode, I discuss the material itself and cover classical patchouli fragrances. The way patchouli is processed affects its smell dramatically. A steam-distilled patchouli oil smells earthy, musty, loamy, while solvent-distilled patchouli absolute is reminiscent of cacao and dry woods. Other methods allow distillers to recompose fractions of patchouli essence to highlight certain effects, such as its licorice or sweet notes.

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In Memory of Issey Miyake and L’Eau d’Issey

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In memory of Issey Miyake.

The legendary Japanese designer passed away on August 5th at the age of 84. He changed fashion by creating geometrical designs out of pleated fabrics, loose kaftans out of batik, and his signature Flying Saucer dresses. He also revolutionized perfumery by collaborating on a fragrance that smelled of water.

The iris-perfumed water that served as inspiration for L’Eau d’Issey is based on a custom called shoubu yu. On May 5th, Children’s Day, people in Japan take a bath with iris leaves. The leaves are sold in small bundles to be floated in an ofuro bathtub, and while the symbolism is good health, the delicate fragrance of iris leaves was one of the lasting memories for Mr. Miyake. He explained to Cavallier that he wanted to capture this specific scent in his fragrance.

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Aizuri-e or Japanese Blue Pictures

Azure, sapphire, cobalt. Blue traditionally has been one of the most precious colors in paintings. Ultramarine was derived from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli that had to be ground into a powder. The discovery in 1830 of a synthetic blue hue called Prussian Blue changed the art world, and it had a major impact on Japanese woodblock printing. Series of aizuri-e, blue pictures, became popular. Rendered in vivid blue, they captured landscapes, fashionable ladies, and city scenes. They are among my favorite Japanese woodblock prints for their l’heure bleue quality that lends itself to reveries.

Take a look at the print above, Kinryuzan Temple in Asakusa from the series “Famous Places in the Eastern Capital” by Hiroshige II. The striking use of red and blue creates an elegant effect, with the temple and the pagoda standing out prominently against a blue-shaded landscape. The small figures of passersby are sketched out just enough to give a sense of movement and a lively atmosphere. The splashes of deep blue on trees and the tops of the clouds create a color accent that adds more complexity to the composition. The feeling is of a majestic and mysterious place.

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Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Perfume Giveaway

Today we have an amazing giveaway courtesy to Diana. She is giving away a bottle of Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower (30ml, sprayed a few times only, box included). Diana says, “I bought it last fall at a Frédéric Malle shop in Paris. I tried it a few times, and wanted to like it, but it is a bit too strong for me..”

Diana can ship anywhere in the continental USA.

Disclaimer: Bois de Jasmin is not responsible for leaks or damage during transit or for lost packages.

Please answer all of the questions below to be entered into the draw. I will create two groups and randomly draw one winner from each.

1. One thing that has always interested Diana is the mysterious interplay between scent and memory.
Is there a fragrance that evokes in your readers a particularly intense or nostalgic memory of a long-ago experience?
2. May I contact you via email to notify you of your win and share your email with Diana?

The contest is now closed. The winner is KatieAnn. I will contact you via email shortly.

I would like to thank our entire Bois de Jasmin community for your generosity and kindness, whether it means giveaways like this, advice or comments.

5 Perfume Masterpieces for Summer

Beautiful fragrances can lift your mood. Over the past few months I have been wearing my most opulent perfumes without being concerned that they might become associated with a dark period in my life. I needed colors, texture, and vibrancy, and my beloved classics satisfied me. Complex fragrances have the benefit of being multifaceted, so that each time you wear them, you discover a new layer or create your own story to match the mood. Perfume may be a dispensable luxury, but like all beautiful things, it serves to elicit positive emotions and boost the spirits.

For my summer-themed selection, I’ve settled on a list of five masterpieces. These are the perfume equivalents of novels by Tolstoy and George Eliot because of their layers, nuances, and twists. Some are elegant colognes; others are lush florals and bittersweet chypres (mossy-woody blends.) The list is personal, but I think that you will agree that these are among the classical perfumes to try. Some of them might be ideal as an introduction to classics.

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