Victoria: 2511 posts

Pink Berries or Pink Peppercorns in Perfumes

If you’ve ever wondered what “solar musk,” “lunar petals” or “electric vanilla” smell like, you aren’t alone. Fragrance marketing lingo is in a world of its own, and I have given up trying to find the logic behind the use of terms that nobody, not even professionals, can untangle. A list of notes describes a perfume’s smell as well as an enumeration of pigments captures Mona Lisa’s smile. While notes can suggest whether a fragrance is predominantly floral, leathery or spicy, they can also be misleading.

One example is “pink berries.” The name hints at the scent of strawberries or raspberries, but instead, “pink berries” is a literal translation of baies roses, French for “pink pepper.” The rose colored berry of the shrub Schinus molle is unrelated to the black pepper plant, but it has a spicy, sharp scent reminiscent of crushed peppercorns with a touch of violet. Its presence in perfumes is confined to the top notes where it reveals its fiery temperament, but pink pepper’s piquancy is without bite. It softens readily, allowing the subsequent layers to shine, be they flowers or woods.

Continue reading →

Serge Lutens La Myrrhe Perfume Giveaway

Today have a generous giveaway courtesy of Bois de Jasmin’s reader John. He would like to give away a nearly full bottle of Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, 75ml (my photo is for illustration only, you will receive a bottle that is 95% full.)

John would like your help to find a new fragrance for his partner. Please see his question below. John is Germany and he can send his package anywhere, as long as you take care of customs charges.

We are not responsible for leaks or damage during transit, customs fees, or for lost packages.

To participate, please answer these questions. I will randomly draw one winner.

1. Please suggest a new perfume to John. “I hope that La Myrrhe will find a good new home. For me, the big project now is to find a new perfume for my partner of many years. He likes woods, spices and citrus. His favorite fragrances are colognes like Guerlain, Atelier Cologne, Christian Dior, but he also likes Diptyque Tam Dao and Frédéric Malle L’Eau d’Hiver. He’s also been helping himself to my bottle of Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque, so you can tell that his tastes are all over the place. I would appreciate some guidance from this amazing community. Thank you in advance.”
3. May I contact you via email to notify you of your win and share your email with John?

The contest is open till Friday.

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. 

Scent Diary : The Colors of Kateryna Bilokur

The colors of Kateryna Bilokur (1900-1961). Born into a peasant family, she learned painting on her own. Her family thought that she brought shame on them by refusing to be “a normal woman”—marry and have children. The Soviet government wanted to showcase that even peasants on Soviet collective farms can do such incredible things, so Bilokur was denied education she sought and a transfer to Kyiv. In 1954, her paintings were praised by Pablo Picasso when he saw them at the international exhibition in Paris. But that praise didn’t materialize into anything significant for Bilokur. She died in poor health a few years later.

Look at these rich colors and the splendor of these flowers. Imagine a place where all flowers bloom at the same time.

Scent Diary is a place to write your observations about the scents around you. Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

While looking through my articles, I found this article that I wrote a few years ago but that still remains popular and often-read: A to Z Tips for Enjoyable, Affordable and Rewarding Perfume Hobby. If you have any tips to add, I’d love to hear them.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

What Do Perfume Concentrations Mean?

Eau de cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, extrait de parfum. What do these terms mean? Open any perfume book, and I guarantee that you will read an explanation that these French words denote different concentrations of fragrant oils in the finished product and a corresponding strength. Some authors might even give you a chart showing that cologne is 2% oil and lasts for only 2 hours, while extrait de parfum is 25% oil and requires a skin graft for complete removal. It sounds convincing until one confronts the truth. Perfume concentrations are a marketing tool and they do not mean anything specific.  The proportion of oil doesn’t play as great a role as the ingredients in the composition. As such, different concentrations denote neither how long a perfume will last nor how many “rare and precious” materials it contains.

Eau de cologne refers to a style of fragrance rich in citrus essences. It is the Cava of the olfactory world, bright and shimmering. Citrus oils are among the most volatile in the perfumer’s palette, and some colognes are indeed evanescent, meant more as an instant boost of freshness rather than a thick veil of aroma.

Continue reading →

Mexico City and Oaxaca Recommendations

I’m participating in the Hay Festival Querétaro 2023 and I have two events, during which I will present my book, The Rooster House, and talk about Ukraine:
Victoria Belim in conversation with Eduardo de la Garma de la Rosa and Alejandra Martínez Quesada
Thursday 7 September 2023, 12pm
Venue: Tec de Monterrey, Punto Blanco

Victoria Belim in conversation with Yael Weiss
Friday, September 8, 2023, 10:30 a.m.
Venue: City Theatre

I hope to meet some of you there. You can see the full program at the Hay Festival Querétaro website.

On this note, if you have recommendations for what to see and do in Mexico City and Oaxaca, I would be grateful. My readers make the most wonderful suggestions and I learn a lot from you.

Image: Frida Kahlo, Roots.

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Aurora in Pink Berries or Pink Peppercorns in Perfumes: Pink pepper is so popular, it is inthe top notes of Le Couvent Fort Royal and as you would expect Fragrantica got confused and describes it as wild berries. I… September 26, 2023 at 2:54pm

  • Judith R in Feel-Good Perfumes: Although traditionally summer is the time for lighter fragrances, I enjoy the lightness of L’Eau de Hiver in winter. This past summer, I wore Love Coconut almost exclusively; the scent… September 25, 2023 at 7:22am

  • Luv Max in Christian Dior Dune : Perfume Review: I have been a lover for Dune since in the nineties… I only wear it in winter , it gives that rich aunty feeling. Dune it’s one of my favourites… September 24, 2023 at 3:16pm

  • Anita in Estee Lauder Youth Dew : Perfume Review (New and Vintage): Unfortunately, the IRFA has made regulations against use of certain perfume oils and has banned others, many of which are in almost all high end perfumes, such as Oakmoss, Civet… September 23, 2023 at 12:11pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2023 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy