Perfume 101: 365 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.

Smelling in Colors : Blue

Do you smell in color? Or perhaps you associate scents with shapes, textures or tastes? For some people, a synesthetic perception of the world around them is part of their life. Synesthesia refers to a condition when the stimulation of one sense engages others, and some famous writers and artists like Vladimir Nabokov, Vincent van Gogh and Tori Amos are known to be synesthetes.

I don’t think of myself as a true synesthete, but over the years, I have developed a way of thinking about smells that has an element of synesthesia. Certain aromas evoke colors for me, and in my video and article today, I wanted to share my experience of scents that smell blue.

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Women’s Fragrance for Men : Let’s Be Daring with Tuberose

As a counterpart to my article and video Three Men’s Fragrances for Women : Modern Classics, I would like to talk about women’s fragrances for men. In a way, this is a more complicated topic, because men’s fragrance styles are more conservative and limited than those intended for women. On the other hand, I’m constantly inspired by my readers here who experiment and wear different types of perfumes, and I wanted to offer a few words of encouragement to those who’d like to follow their lead.

First of all, if you like certain types of scents, disregard their gender classification. The one unexpected benefit of social distancing these days is that it gives you space to try something that you wouldn’t otherwise. Also, reconsider fragrance notes and their associations. The reason I selected tuberose for my example is because it can be adopted by anyone, men and women.

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If Your Perfume Doesn’t Last — a few solutions

You find a perfume that seems perfect and you eagerly put it on. You enjoy the first few moments, but then over the course of the day, you can’t smell it. You might as well not have worn anything. A perfume that doesn’t last is one of the most frustrating occurrences for a fragrance lover, and I’m often asked to explain why it happens.

A perfume may have a fleeting presence, because it’s based around volatile materials like citrus, leafy notes or pink pepper. It might be a cologne designed to be an instant refresher, like Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Roger & Gallet Bois d’Orange. Citrus gives a bright opening; however, it fades quickly. You can either keep reapplying the cologne, as if hitting replay on a favorite song, or you can switch to a different perfume later in the day. Continue reading →

Three Men’s Fragrances for Women : Modern Classics

The modern concept that scents can be gendered–roses are for women and cedarwood is for men–dates to the post-WWII consumer boom when marketing tried to find new ways to encourage people to buy more products. That’s when the different concentrations of perfume also became popular, resulting in the current trend to release Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette versions in the same way that publishing houses tempt the public with hard and soft cover versions of books. The idea, however, is nothing new. The Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote in his book, Concerning Odors, that men should wear lilies and roses and women myrrh and spikenard. So, there you go.

The main difference in how gender is assigned to scents is cultural. The quintessential feminine note of American and European perfumery, the rose, becomes unisex in the Middle East. Vanilla is much more common among masculine fragrances in Italy than it is in the US. Orange blossom is association with crisp freshness in Spain and with baby products in France. So, for those who are adventurous, the easiest way to have fun is to forget the gender labels and try perfumes based on their notes or stories.

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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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