scent diary: 31 posts

Summer Cologne for Winter

I’ve noticed over the past few years that my most worn winter perfumes have been the most summery ones in my collection. Or at least, the ones that feel crisp, bright, and effervescent. Enveloping ambers, dark musks, or plush leathers edge in, but they are not as prominent. While Belgian winters have been getting warmer, the main reason is that radiant, uplifting fragrance fit my mood better during cold days than anything rich and heavy. For instance, Hermès Eau de Citron Noir gives me an instant boost with its combination of citrus, spice, and woods.

Another favorite category is white florals, from dewy Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée to opulent Guerlain Cruel Gardénia. This genre of fragrance behaves so differently during cold weather that it’s fascinating to wear and compare one’s impressions. The blossoms open up slower, the dew lingers, the freshness persists. Sometimes I don’t even get to the final drydown before the day is over and the winter dusk falls.

What about you? What are you wearing today?

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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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Scent Diary : Lindens

It’s this time of year when lindens smells so intensely that I only need to open a window, and my whole room becomes filled with their honeyed scent. As the blossoms wither, they begin to smell indolic and dark, reminding me of nag champa incense and Indian temples.

Please jot down any scent observations in this thread. What perfume are you wearing today? Do you have a linden fragrance that you enjoy? Would you like one? You can write about your favorite perfumes or interesting scents you’ve encountered.

You can also use the Scent Diary to sharpen your sense of smell. As I wrote in How to Improve Your Sense of Smell, the best way to do so is to smell and to pay attention to what you’re smelling. It doesn’t matter what you smell. The most important thing is to notice scents around you. It’s even better if you write it down. Feel free to ask any questions here too.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Scent Diary : Green Tea

Do you like the smell of green tea? This morning I wanted to write about a completely different topic, but I brewed a cup of Japanese sencha, unfermented green tea, and I lost myself in its scent. This particular tea smelled of seaweed and violets, and it lingered on the palate as sweet, tender, velvety. I understood then why so often green tea accords are interpreted as combinations of the violet-redolent ionones, green notes and hedione. Some of my favorite green tea perfumes include the classics like Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. I also have to mention the new Maison Margiela Matcha Meditation, a fragrance by perfumer Maurice Roucel.

Comments about your favorite tea perfumes are much appreciated. Please jot down any interesting scent observations in this thread. You can write about your favorite  fragrances or interesting scents you’ve encountered.

You can also use the Scent Diary to sharpen your sense of smell. As I wrote in How to Improve Your Sense of Smell, the best way to do so is to smell and to pay attention to what you’re smelling. It doesn’t matter what you smell. The most important thing is to notice scents around you. It’s even better if you write it down. Feel free to ask any questions here too.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, green tea on a red tray

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