In Your Opinion: 264 posts

Recommend Me a Perfume : July 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

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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Perfume for the New Year

If I were to select one scent to represent this year for me, it would be iris. Its dove-grey leitmotif ran through 2021 for me, whether it was the majestic Serge Lutens’s Iris Silver Mist or the baroque iris twist in Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue. I smelled new perfumes for work, but I kept returning to favorites and classics. I would spend days wearing the same fragrance like La Myrrhe or Mitsouko, studying their nuances and the play of notes, the way a jeweler might appraise a precious stone. This made me understand perfumery, classical and modern, so much better than sampling one new thing after another. And it reminded me how important it is to slow down. It’s no wonder that in many languages, from French to Japanese, one “feels” or “hears” fragrances, as well as smells them.

For this reason, I don’t have a list of Best of 2021. Another reason is that 2021 brought too much loss to unravel it month by month and look back. I don’t regret that it is over.

Of course, there have been some wonderful discoveries and encounters. As I mentioned before, meeting many of you face to face has been a delight–and a highlight of the year for me. I knew that I enjoyed teaching, but stepping back into the classroom, even the virtual one, was such an inspiring and exciting experience. “When you share what you know, you receive back tenfold,” my grandmother used to say, and she was one of several teachers in our family. I can’t agree more with this.

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Scent Diary : Chamade and Ice

I like when I wake up in the morning expecting another grey winter day and find everything touched with ice. Belgian skies are grey, fog has a grey tint, but seen through the arabesques of ice on the window, the world looks enchanted–and the grey becomes pearly. I selected Chamade today, one of my favorites from Guerlain. I’ve been revisiting Guerlain classics lately, and Chamade, along with Mitsouko, have kept me company. Chamade is a green floral, with notes of hyacinth, blackcurrant, and galbanum offset by amber and woods. Impeccably crafted, it develops in waves as it were. First, there is a wave of lemon yellow, then green, then pale purple. But Chamade’s radiance persists throughout. It lingers so well that I’m sure that when I wake up on the Christmas morning, its soft glow will remain on my scarf.

What about you? What are you wearing today?

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.

I wish all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for your reading, visiting, and for joining my classes. It’s been such a pleasure meeting many of you face to face.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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