Perfume 101: 361 posts

Here you can find how to guides to selecting, testing and enjoying scents. Also includes are the lists of our top favorite perfumes for different occasions and articles covering all range of topics related to fragrance. If you’re curious to step inside a perfume lab (or even become an industry professional), this group of essays will be of interest.

Sandalwood : Woods Series (New Video)

I’m continuing my woods series and today I’m discussing sandalwood, the most distinctive sweet wood in the perfumer’s palette.
The beauty of sandalwood lies in its sweet and creamy scent that differs from the aromas of other woods, which tend to be dry and sharp.

While I mention a variety of perfumes in this video, such as Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore, Santal Majuscule, Ambre Sultan, Jeux de Peau, Chanel Égoïste, Guerlain Samsara, Diptyque Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como, this is far from a complete list. Therefore, I wanted to supplement it with several other examples of excellent sandalwood perfumes.

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How to Satisfy Wanderlust with Perfumes

Perfume can inspire wanderlust as well as satisfy it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve planned my vacations around the harvest period for rose, lavender or jasmine, and fragrances have taken me on many journeys to meet those who grow aromatic materials or those who distill them into essences. At the same time, perfumes can be effective at satisfying wanderlust, as I have confirmed over the past few months.


It’s not surprising that scents and memories have a strong link. Olfactory impressions are processed in the same part of the brain that’s responsible for emotions and memories, the limbic system, and for this reason, memories generated by smells are particularly bright and distinctive. While it takes a very specific combination of aromas and other sensory impressions to plunge you back into a certain time of your life, perfume nevertheless can be a good way to armchair travel.

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Dry vs Sweet vs Bitter : Perfume Descriptors (New Video)

What does dry mean when applied to a perfume? In fragrance, dry is used to describe compositions that are not sweet–it’s similar to wine terminology. Since the distinction can be confusing, I made a video comparing and contrasting different woods based on their main characteristics–dry, sweet or bitter.

Examples can be drawn from the whole perfume wheel, but I decided to focus on woods, because it’s easy to see why cedarwood is classified as dry and sandalwood as sweet. There are also many excellent perfumes on the market that fully explore these characteristics of raw materials and make them the key elements of their structure. The creamy sweetness of sandalwood in Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore, for instance, is its hallmark trait. The dryness of cedarwoods gives Cartier Declaration and Hermès Poivre Samarcande their pleasing sharpness.

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5 Moods, 5 Roses

Rose is a classical note in a perfumer’s palette. It can be a natural type-rose, with rich honeyed facets, a citrusy blossom, or a musky bouquet. While some iconic fragrances like Guerlain Nahéma and Jean-Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose are rose-dominated, it often finds itself in a supporting role, which it performs beautifully. As I hope to demonstrate to you with my list below, rose is versatile and can suit a variety of moods and fragrance styles.

Although rose is most closely associated with feminine perfumery, I encourage men to disregards such labels. The truth is that citrus, metallic rose notes are already present in many masculine compositions, such as Amouage Lyric Man, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire Pour Homme and Cartier Déclaration d’Un Soir. The darker the rose becomes, the more you can experiment with it. For instance, Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady smells devastatingly sexy on a man.

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Scent 101 : Skin Chemistry (New Video)

Is there such a thing as “skin chemistry”? I have to note that the phrase itself is misleading, because it implies that a chemical reaction takes place on skin once a fragrance is applied, while it’s not clear that such reactions take place. In general, the effects of perfumes on the molecular and chemical diversity of the skin are poorly understood, although some studies attempt to fill the gap in our understanding. When “skin chemistry” is used in the context of perfumery, people usually mean that fragrances smell different on different people.

From my first day working in a perfume lab, I’ve been taught to smell every single fragrance mod on skin. Usually, perfumers test the same sample on several different people, because indeed compositions may smell differently depending on one’s diet, hormonal imbalances, medication regimen, or the level of moisture. People smell differently–that’s a fact.

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