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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New Online Classes : Spices, Citrus, and Dark Woods

Three Bois de Jasmin classes are now available: Spices, Citrus, and Dark Woods. These classes are for students of all levels of interest in perfumery. They cover three fundamental classes of perfume materials. We will talk about different fragrance notes and I will teach you how to find them in perfumes. The lectures are designed to sharpen your sense smell and improve your enjoyment and appreciation of scents. And since this is the holiday season and everyone loves a good story, I will tell you insider stories about classical and niche fragrances that revolutionized the industry with their use of spice, citrus or woody notes.

The class size is small to ensure that everyone gets attention and a chance to interact.

Notify Me of New Classes


We will use readily available fragrant materials for our class exercises, such as spices, coffee, or citrus fruit. You do not need to buy perfumes or essential oil kits for these classes. You’ll receive the full instructions before the start of the class and after finishing the class also you will receive a list of fragrances to try based on the lecture theme.

You’ll also have time at the end of the lecture to ask questions. If you are interested in something specific, you can send me your questions beforehand. I look forward to meeting you! 

Location: Online

Date & Time: 1h + 15min Q&A

December 15th, Wednesday 1:30pm-2:30pm ET/7:30pm-8:30pm CET (time zone converter)   Spices $55 per person: SOLD OUT 

December 18th, Saturday 1:30pm-2:30pm ET/7:30pm-8:30pm CET (time zone converter)   Citrus $55 per person:  SOLD OUT 

December 22nd, Wednesday 1:30pm-2:30pm ET/7:30pm-8:30pm CET (time zone converter)  Dark Woods $55 per person SOLD OUT

Important: If you booked the class successfully, you should receive a receipt and a confirmation from me. If you don’t, please check your spam folder or contact me. Closer to the date of the class, you will receive a separate email with joining instructions.

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For the news of upcoming lectures, refund policy, and privacy policy, please take a look at the Online Courses page.

How to Find the Right Perfume and Seduce Yourself

“What perfumes do men like?” is one of the most common questions I am asked, followed closely by “What perfumes will make women fall for me?” For both I have the same reply: each to his or her own, and instead of bothering to entice others with our perfume – a task of rather dubious merits – why not seduce ourselves instead?

Selecting perfume, however, can be tremendously complicated. The market is full of new launches, each making lofty promises, but with many smelling almost identical. There are also considerations of brand, packaging and marketing that influence us more than we are willing to admit, even to the point of obscuring our real preferences. And then there is the problem of the sheer volume of choices.

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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

Saffron Biscotti with Pistachios and Chocolate

Saffron’s fragrance is complex. A leather accent shimmers darkly against the brightness of green and herbal notes. A languid floral undercurrent meets a spicy warmth. You would think that such an intricate fragrance would be difficult to pair, but as Persian cooking demonstrates, saffron marries well with a wide range of scents and flavors. And so I thought, why not pair it with dark chocolate?

Chocolate is another versatile ingredient despite its richness, and it serves as a perfect sidekick for saffron. The two ingredients complement each other in the most delightful way–the first impression of fresh spice is followed by the floral richness. I sometimes taste gardenia and sometimes a hint of a rose. And to enjoy saffron’s sumptuous color, I selected my favorite recipe for biscotti.

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Latest Comments

  • CC in Summer Cologne for Winter: That’s a wonderful description of Pamplelune! I do the same with Hermes’ L’Eau d’Orange Verte, which is invigorating and never fails to deceive me into believing I am on holidays… January 19, 2022 at 2:29am

  • irem in 10 Books on The Art of Science: Hello Victoria, as always a great list. Why not add a good math book to the selection though? My choice would be “Journey Through Genius” by William Durham. I think… January 18, 2022 at 9:37pm

  • Fazal in 10 Books on The Art of Science: Amazing article. Science is the biggest reason I became a skeptic despite growing up in a religiously conservative environment. Particularly glad to see the mention of Carl Sagan as he… January 18, 2022 at 7:48pm

  • Tourmaline in Summer Cologne for Winter: Hi Hélène, Thank you for your kind words. That is true, the scent memories are indeed often the strongest. That is such a lovely memory, and I’m glad that you… January 18, 2022 at 8:03am

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