In Your Opinion: 262 posts

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

Scent Diary : Mitsouko and Japanese fairy tales

Yesterday came the snow. It always feel magical to watch the city disappear and melt behind the curtain of whiteness. Even when the snow melted, the sensation of miracle lingered. I had a full day, but as soon as I was finished with work, I made a cup of tea, put on Guerlain Mitsouko and started reading Aoko Matsuda’s Where the Wild Ladies Are, a modern retelling of Japanese folktales, complete with ghosts, foxes, and magical trees.

To be exact, Guerlain Mitsouko selected me, and not the other way around. I sprayed some Mitsouko the other day to study its woody accord, and the fragrance lasted on a blotter for several days. Some even landed on my chair cushion, so I feel like I’ve been in a cloud of Mitsouko this whole week. The peaches and cinnamon top notes, however, are so luscious that I didn’t mind re-spraying it again. Its mysterious character fits well the mood of Japanese fairy tales.

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Recommend Me a Perfume : November 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!

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 : October 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!

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

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