Victoria: 2411 posts

Recommend Me a Perfume : January 2022

Our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is open this week. You can use this space to find perfume recommendations, to share your discoveries and favorite scents, and to ask any questions about scents, aromas and flavors. Or you can just tell us what perfume you are wearing!

How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, yarrow flowers

20 Best Narcissus & Daffodil Perfumes

I’ve always been drawn to narcissus, a spring blossom with an autumnal soul. The narcissus poeticus typically used in perfumery is a delicate blossom of gauzy white petals surrounding a small orange crown in the center. At first sniff, it evokes whiteness, purity, and a touch of pale honey, but if you press it to your face, not caring about it leaving a blush of pollen on your cheeks, you will notice darker, deeper, heavier notes. Some people smell suede in it, others–antique books. I notice a hint of mulch and barnyard.

This complexity becomes even more evident when narcissus is distilled into an absolute. The flurry of white petals gives way to a humid warmth reminiscent of tuberose or gardenia and then transforms into the darkness of leather and tobacco leaves. Narcissus absolute is an expensive material, and using it requires skill to bring out all of its different facets in a composition, but when it works, the results are spellbinding.

And so I decided to put together a list of my favorite narcissus fragrances, from classics to modern blends. I didn’t realize that it would run into 20 perfumes! I’m sure you have your own choices, so I would love to hear what you enjoy.

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10 Books on The Art of Science

Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time revealed to me how fascinating and beautiful physics can be. Whether he was talking about black holes and explaining that if the universe had a beginning then it was likely to have an end, page after page Hawking was inspiring me to see the world in a new way and to follow him in asking big questions. How does time flow? How did our universe come together? What is matter? What is the spirit? I had by then received a thorough science oriented education, but I had no idea that science could be discussed in such a creative and beguiling manner.

Hawking (January 8, 1942-March 14, 2018) had many achievements in the fields of theoretical physics and cosmology. One was his famous Hawking radiation discovery. Black holes were long predicted to swallow everything that crossed the surface that surrounded them, event horizons, but Hawking showed that they emit radiation and even glow because of the energy they radiate. It was a revolutionary discovery, because in the process of explaining it Hawking connected two seemingly incompatible domains, that of quantum mechanics and relativity.

Even more important, however, was Hawking’s drive to make scientific subjects, even complex ones like theoretical physics, part of popular culture. He found it a loss that with the increasingly technical nature of science and the overspecialization of academia as a whole, few people, other than specialists could understand it. In his books like A Brief History of Time, The Grand Design or The Universe in a Nutshell he set out to show the general public why science can enchant with its ability to answer complex questions or ponder the mysteries of life.

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Summer Cologne for Winter

I’ve noticed over the past few years that my most worn winter perfumes have been the most summery ones in my collection. Or at least, the ones that feel crisp, bright, and effervescent. Enveloping ambers, dark musks, or plush leathers edge in, but they are not as prominent. While Belgian winters have been getting warmer, the main reason is that radiant, uplifting fragrance fit my mood better during cold days than anything rich and heavy. For instance, Hermès Eau de Citron Noir gives me an instant boost with its combination of citrus, spice, and woods.

Another favorite category is white florals, from dewy Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée to opulent Guerlain Cruel Gardénia. This genre of fragrance behaves so differently during cold weather that it’s fascinating to wear and compare one’s impressions. The blossoms open up slower, the dew lingers, the freshness persists. Sometimes I don’t even get to the final drydown before the day is over and the winter dusk falls.

What about you? What are you wearing today?

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Spices, Citrus, Woods, Rose, Orange Blossom, Iris : New Classes

Update: The interest in the new classes has been overwhelming, and all six seminars are now fully booked. I appreciate your enthusiasm and support. If you are interested in the Bois de Jasmin classes, please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of new dates and topics. Of course, if you are interested in a particular class or topic, please send me a note.

New Bois de Jasmin online classes are now available for enrollment in 2022. I am continuing the popular Spices, Citrus, and Dark Woods series. I will also add three new classes focusing on florals: Rose, Orange Blossom, and Iris.

About Bois de Jasmin classes: These classes are for students of all levels of interest in perfumery. The classes teach you how to smell like a professional perfumer, take apart complex scents, and sharpen your sense of smell. Together we will study the fundamental classes of perfume materials and discover how they are used in perfumes. The lectures are designed to improve your enjoyment and appreciation of scents.

Class structure: 1h 15min. Small-group, interactive classes.

Having completed several classes, I listened to your suggestions and made a few changes. Originally, the classes were 1 hour and I set aside 15 minutes for questions. Many felt that 1 hour was not enough and wanted more guided exercises, so the lecture + exercise portion will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. We have time in between exercises for questions, and I’m always available to answer your questions afterwards.

Another change is that I suggest to bring perfumes to each class. I will give you a couple of suggested fragrances, but you can always use any suitable perfume from your own collection. We will still continue using readily available spices and fragrant materials for our smelling exercises, such as spices, coffee, or citrus fruit. You do not need to buy essential oil kits for these classes. You’ll receive the full instructions before the start of the class and after finishing the class you will also receive a list of fragrances to try based on the lecture theme.

Location: Online, Zoom

Date & Time: 1h 15min

Spices January 22nd, Saturday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter)  SOLD OUT

Citrus January 26th, Wednesday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter)  SOLD OUT

Dark Woods January 29th, Saturday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter)  SOLD OUT

3 class series: Spices, Citrus, Woods  SOLD OUT

Rose February 5th, Saturday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter) SOLD OUT

Orange Blossom February 9th, Wednesday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter)   SOLD OUT

Iris February 12th, Saturday 1:00pm-2:15pm EST/7:00pm-8:15pm CET (time zone converter) SOLD OUT

3 class series: Rose, Orange Blossom, Iris  SOLD OUT

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