Smoke: 4 posts

Smoke and Fire : Spellbinding Dark Perfumes

The smoky aromas of bonfires, roasted chestnuts, frankincense and lapsang souchong tea are among the most complex, and I know quite a few individuals who fantasize about a fragrance that smells like a smoky charcoal-grilled steak. There is a difference, however, between enjoying a scent in its proper context – charred ribeye at a barbecue or burning leaves in an autumnal park – and wearing a fragrance that reprises such odors. For this reason, perfumery interpretations of smoke tend to blend it into a more familiar setting of woods, spices and resins. In my FT Magazine column, Smoky Perfumes, I explore how smoky notes are used in fragrance and what effects they produce.

One of the best introductions to a smoky perfume is L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Passage d’Enfer (£105 for 100ml EDT). Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti is known for her ability to create olfactory watercolours – airy, transparent compositions. Passage d’Enfer combines lilies and incense, filling the spaces between the white, cool petals with smoke. Giacobetti’s touch is light, and the perfume remains soft and radiant, from the smoky opening to the vanilla- and cedarwood-accented drydown. To continue reading, please click here.

What about you? Do you find smoky fragrances appealing?

Image via FT HTSI

Comme des Garcons Black : Perfume Review

44444

If you’ve never tried any Comme des Garçons fragrances, think of the stuff you might smell at your car mechanic–tar, machine grease, burnt rubber. Today’s collection includes more than a dozen perfumes, and by and large, they have an industrial, deliberately synthetic feel (even if created with natural materials.)  To some people, these are the ultimate edgy perfumes, to others–smells to avoid.

kandinsky

Whatever camp you belong to, Black Eau de Toilette is likely to be a love it or hate it perfume. The name doesn’t lie–it’s a dark, potent brew. If you’ve ever dreamed of smelling like molten asphalt or barbecued ribs or a cross between the two, then your wish has come true.

Continue reading →

Lapsang Souchong Tea : Smoky Harmony

A heart of darkness. Andy’s homage to lapsang souchong tea.

Intensely smokey, tarry, beguilingly dark…It sounds like the description of a fragrance I’d like to spray on my wrists, but instead these words are about Lapsang Souchong, perhaps my most beloved tea. It’s rare I select a singular favorite, but there is something so intrinsically satisfying about brewing a cup of broodingly dark Lapsang that I can’t help but come back for more.

andy-lapsang1

Upon opening a tin of Lapsang Souchong, the aroma of spent ashes permeates the air, like smelling last night’s bonfire lingering on your clothes. Once hot water saturates the tea leaves though, the impression is that of a fire reincarnated—the fragrance rising from the cup is unmistakably that of fresh woodsmoke and crackling flames slicing through the flinty chill of a winter’s night. Lapsang Souchong is the tea equivalent to film noir, with the mysterious femme fatale, disconcerting plot twists, and menacing darkness and shadows condensed into a mere cup.

Continue reading →

Smoke and Ashes

Please give a warm welcome to Elisa Gabbert, a new Bois de Jasmin contributor. Elisa’s first brush with perfume greatness came in the form of a bottle of White Linen lotion from her grandmother. About 20 years later, she fell down the rabbit hole after reading “Perfumes: The A to Z Guide” cover to cover on a flight. Currently she lives in Denver and is the content marketing manager at a small software company based in Boston. She also writes poetry (with collections including “The French Exit” and “The Self Unstable”) and is a founding member of Denver Poets’ Theater. You can discover her poetry and reflections on other things at her blog, The French Exit.

If we were wired properly, the smell of smoke would read as a warning sign. Yet I don’t associate smoke with Colorado wildfires or the carcinogenic properties of cigarettes and burnt toast. Instead, smoke conjures all things cozy and delicious: passing whiskey around a campfire, worn leather gloves, blown-out candles, the whiff of vanilla pipe tobacco when you pass a dapper old fellow on the street. I love smoke in my food (lox, bacon, barbecue,  smoked paprika, chipotle chiles) and I love smoke in my perfumes.

incense-smoke

Because smoke comes from fire, it’s an inherently warming scent, so as the air gets crisp and I pull out my scarves and fall jackets, I start craving my smoky perfumes. There’s a bit of magic in them – it makes sense that crushed rose petals would smell something like rose, but it’s somehow less obvious that you can bottle the effect of gray wisps rising in curls from ash.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2019 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy