Victoria: 2423 posts

Are You Confused By Fragrance Families?

When we were discussing whether the oriental fragrance family should be renamed, a few people asked a question — do we need fragrance families in the first place? Even classical terms like fougère and chypre have been edged out by the herbal and mossy descriptors, while cologne is used less for citrusy composition than for the light and refreshing style of fragrances.

Fragrance families can be confusing. For this reason, I devoted my recent episode to this topic and described how the concept originated and what it means today.

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5 Modern Perfumes with a note of surprise

A good fragrance smells familiar, a great fragrance smells surprising. The whole quest of modern perfumery can be summed by this sentence. We’re instantly attracted to the scents that remind us of something — a pleasant memory or another pleasant perfume, which is why well-liked, best-selling fragrances are often reminiscent of other perfumes on the market. A composition that rises above a merely easy-to-like, however, has an unexpected element. This surprising touch makes the scent linger in the memory and intrigue us. Finding the right combination of familiar and surprising is part of perfumer’s aim.

The five fragrances below represent different genres and styles, but the one element they have in common is surprise. I’ve selected examples that surprise rather than jolt to show subtle accents at play. These perfumes reinterpret classic themes, challenge conventions, and most importantly, smell wonderful.

Galop d’Hermès

At the top of my list is Galop d’Hermès, a fragrance that appears at first as a pastel toned, chic rose but has a dark, smoldering heart. To wear Galop is to be enveloped in soft layers of leather, woods and musk. The new Hermès in-house perfumer Christine Nagel also added an accord of incense inflected rose and juicy quince, an additional surprise.

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100 Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History E-Book

Many of you have been asking me to continue the series 100 Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History. These articles still remain among the most visited ones on Bois de Jasmin for the behind-the-scenes information they offer, stories and the connections between famous fragrances and contemporary launches. Since Bois de Jasmin is going to turn 17 years old next year, I decided to put the series into an e-book, which I will make available to my readers as a gift. Your participation and support mean a lot to me, and I would have been able to maintain Bois de Jasmin over almost two decades without it. It would be my pleasure to share something special with you.

How to receive the e-book

To receive the e-book, please subscribe to my newsletter. When the book will be available, I will send it to you in the pdf format.

If you’re a current subscriber and would like the newsletter, then when you enter your email address into the box below, you’ll have a chance to update your preferences.


If you’ve subscribed, but you don’t receive any emails from me, please check your spam filter and add my email address to your contact list.

The 100 Fragrances That Influenced Perfume History e-book will be available in fall-winter 2021, date TBD.

Any questions or requests? Please ask them in the comments below. Also, please let me know what would be your preferred format for the book.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2021

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 and what book you are reading.

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

Blending History and Architecture : Arquiste Parfumeur

I first came across Arquiste Parfumeur when I was looking for an original gourmand fragrance. Most of the dessert-inspired blends crossing my path were of the cotton candy and crème brûlée variety, and I wanted bitter chocolate. “Why not try Anima Dulcis?” suggested a friend, and gave me a small sample of cognac-colored liquid. It turned out to be the treat I was craving—dark, smoky, spicy, and properly indulgent.

Arquiste Parfumeur is a niche line conceived by architect Carlos Huber in 2012. In his original métier Huber specialized in the historical preservation of buildings, and his proclivities are obvious in the way he interprets history through scents. In Fleur de Louis, a graceful blend of jasmine, orange blossom and iris, he paints a picture of the engagement between Louis XIV and Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain. The citrusy L’Etrog promises to show me the 12th century Calabria, while my favorite Anima Dulcis is a glimpse of the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria in Mexico. Helping to realize Huber’s vision are perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier. Flores-Roux and Vasnier teamed up on Anima Dulcis and L’Etrog, while Fleur de Louis is a solo project by Flores-Roux, a perfumer who shares Mexican origins with Arquiste’s founder.

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