Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a new year filled with peace, delight, and indescribably beautiful fragrances. It has been a joy writing about perfume and getting to know you through your wonderful comments and emails. I am finding people in the world of perfume bloggery, both writers and readers, to be some of the most creative, generous, and humorous people around! Thank you for your kind, enthusiastic support of The Perfume Bee. May 2007 be scented with all good things for you and your families!

I have just returned from a delightful, whirlwind, perfume-filled family vacation to Prague, Salzburg, and Paris. I made a pact with myself to purchase only those perfumes that I could not easily get in the States, if at all. I think you will be pleased with my choices, which I look forward to reviewing for you. However, there will be a short delay in writing my reviews, as my carefully packed bags have yet to arrive at my home -- my luggage is currently stranded somewhere between here and London's Heathrow Airport! Air Transportation rules being what they are, I have a total of one (yes, one!) tiny perfume sample to show for my efforts. And it is lovely, if not new: L'Artisan Parfumeur "La Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme" (translation: Chase of the Butterflies). This eau de parfum version is a sparkling blend of sun-kissed white flowers: linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose, as well as spicy pink pepper and a touch of saffron. I find it warm and wearable, even in winter. This fragrance is available in the U.S. at Aedes, $90 for 1.7 oz.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow, in the saga of, "Will her luggage arrive today?"

top photo (personal collection): Caron Parfum Interior, Paris

botton photo (personal collection): Flagship Store, L'Artisan Parfumeur, Paris

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Traveling Bee...

I'm off to Europe for the next two weeks, seeking out intriguing perfumes wherever I go! I look forward to sharing my new discoveries with you when I return December 31st. I will try to post while I'm abroad as my internet access allows. Meanwhile, I wish you the happiest of holidays and a beautifully-scented new year!
image source:

Also, don't forget to vote for your favorite perfume blog at the 7th Annual Basenote's Awards for best fragrance blog (as well as best niche fragrance, best new fragrance, best fragrance packaging, etc.) It is quick and simple to vote here. Your name will be entered in a drawing to win a $200 giftcard from the sponsor, Aedes de Venustas! Closing date for entries is December 31, 2006.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Frank Los Angeles

While I have focused most of my writing on so-called "feminine" fragrances, my good friend J. suggested I branch out a bit and review men's fragrances as well. It would, she said, be helpful to men as well as to people buying fragrances for men. And, I might add, helpful to those of us who dislike the whole "feminine"-"masculine" perfume distinction in the first place.

So, today's niche fragrances are from a California line called Frank Los Angeles. There are two fragances in this line, convenienty named Frank and Frank 2.

Frank is the lighter of the two. Its notes are grapefruit, lemon, tagette, green tea, ginger root, cassis, bergamot, angelic seed, clove, cardamom, peppermint, ylang ylang, galbanum, and sandalwood. Did I like it? To be perfectly, well, frank, I did not care for this fragrance. At first. It started off smelling of rubbery Chinese food. It did not agree with me at all. However, MANY hours later, it dried down to a much more palatable citrus/spicy slightly woodsy scent. The ginger root/peppermint/sandalwood combo is what came through strongest at the end in a rather surprising finish. And for an eau de toilette, it has above-average staying power.

I found Frank 2 much more to my liking. With notes of bergamot, balsam fir, crushed plum leaves, white lavender, coriander, red maplewood, teakwood, cognac, coffee bean essence and white musk, this is a very magnetic and sensual fragrance. It is warm and slightly sweet, and is especially good to wear in cooler weather. I would definitely consider buying this for the Perfume Drone, if only he wore scented products!

Frank and Frank 2 cost $65 each for 65 ml. They are available at lucky scent and blush beauty bar.

image source: lucky scent

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Winter Camellias

As I was glancing out my kitchen window this morning, my gaze came to rest on a beautiful winter camellia plant in full bloom. It called to mind one of my favorite fragrances, Eau de Camelia Chinois by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.

I immediately gave myself a healthy spritz of the eau de toilette, and instantly felt lighter and brighter. Right off the top, it smells fresh and clean with a subtle zing of grapefruit. As it dries down, it becomes softer and sweeter, but not at all powdery. Its finish is reminiscent of a gossamer blanket of sheer, light musk and sandalwood layered within a pleasant green accord.

This is ostensibly a "summer" scent. And yet, if nature has camellias blooming in the middle of winter, surely it must be appropriate to wear a camellia-based scent in winter, too. So I am. And it's lovely!

Eau de Camelia Chinois has top notes of exotic fruits, grapefruit, banana and bergamot; middle notes of camellia tea leaves, basil and fir; and base notes of musk and sandalwood. It is part of the "L'Invitation au Voyage" collection and costs $105 for 100 ml EDT. It is available at, champs elysees cosmetics and luscious cargo.

Monday, December 11, 2006

"Comfort Scents"

In my role as a nutrition counselor, I quickly became familiar with the concept of "comfort foods." My clients would confide that often they were eating, not because they were hungry, but because a particular food brought them a sense of psychological comfort and well-being.

I find this true of certain fragrances as well. To me, Christian Dior Addict is the emotional/olfactory equivalent of milk and freshly baked cookies. (This might be in part due to its delicious bourbon vanilla base). Sometimes I spritz my Addict in the air around me and just wait, eyes closed, as it floats in a gentle mist around me, landing on my skin like a gentle ethereal hug! Just breathing in the lovely scent makes me feel grounded, comforted and at peace.

How about you? Do you have a "comfort scent" that brings you a feeling of peace and equanimity?

Addict is available at Nordstrom and Sephora.

image source: Nordstrom

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"The FEAR of Smell -- The smell of FEAR" Exhibit

Today's topic is a slight departure from our recent perfume reviews. But in the name of science, I share with you information that you may choose to use, skip, or ignore. If you have a delicate constitution, you may wish to stop reading here. Know that our next post will be of a more, shall we say, palatable, nature.

I have always been interested in the intersection between the the art of making perfumes and the emotional impact of scents on our psyche. But what about actually making art from body odors? Is it possible to capture the essence of a body scent and put it on public display in an artistic setting?

This is exactly what Norwegian artist and researcher Sissel Tolaas has done in her exhibit currently on display at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Titled, "The FEAR of smell -- the smell of FEAR," this exhibit is part of a show called, "Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art."

In a high-tech version of scratch-n-sniff, visitors can smell the odors of nine male scent donors. These men, who suffered from extreme phobias, were asked to touch a cotton-swab to their armpits at the time they were most afraid. These scents were then chemically reconstituted, mixed with wall paint, and applied to the panels in the exhibit. Visitors can touch the paint and smell the fear. For more, please read the Albany Times Union article.

In a related article, "Senses: A Whiff of Fear Can Sharpen a Woman's Thinking," Nicholas Bakalar (New York Times April 11, 2006) explains that a whiff of fear can actually make women better at recognizing useful information. In a slightly different version of smelling the scents of armpits, women in this study were asked to smell the sweat pads of sweat collected from volunteers during a frightening video, pads collected during a neutral video, and pads with no sweat at all. The women performed word association tasks, and those women smelling the fear pads were more accurate than those in the other two groups. Denise Chen, the study's lead author, surmised that it was the smell of fear that improved performance. Click here for the article.

What does this mean to those of us who love perfume on ourselves and others? Are we effectively disguising our true emotional states? Is this a good thing? As always, I am very interested to know your thoughts on this topic...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Lily Lambert Perfume

Portland perfumer Lily Lambert has just released her new line of eight perfume oils called SPECTRUM. Each fragrance is named for a letter in the name: S,P,E,C,T,R,U, and M.

These perfume oils are, in a word, fabulous! They each have their own personality and I have really enjoyed "getting to know them." I am naturally inclined, when faced with an array of roller-ball perfume oils, to get creative and mix and match and blend to my heart's content. However, in this case, each blend really stands beautifully on its own. So whether or not you can resist the temptation of mixing them into your own unique blend or prefer to wear them in their pure form, here are my thoughts on the individual fragrances:

  • S: Opium, amber, black berries and a hint of patchouli...

  • This is a deep, rich floral that lasts and lasts. It is spicy and warm. It is also slightly powdery, in a good way. One of my two favorites of this line...

  • P: Waterlily, chocolate, mango and a touch of nutmeg...

  • This really does smell like chocolate! Like a dark, rich 72% cacao blend. Nice, but too gourmand for me...

  • E: Coco, opium, musk and rain...

  • This is the heaviest and perhaps most complex scent in the line. It is very elegant and dries down to a gorgeous, evening scent. The rain element keeps it just light enough.

  • C: Cucumber, lemon lace and berries...

  • This is the clearest in color of the set (it is essentially colorless), which is representative of its sheer quality. It's light and airy and fruity -- the cucumber top notes are a pleasant surprise!

  • T: Coconut, sandalwood and powder...

  • This fragrance is very soft, sweet and pleasant. The dry-down has a nice little kick to it.

  • R: Cherries and a veil of light musk...

  • The top-note of this delicate, pale-green fragrance truly evokes a bowl of freshly picked, still-warm-from-the-sun cherries! This fragrance seems the most youthful to me -- it would be a great pick for teens and the young-at-heart.

  • U: Pink rose, caramel, and Egyptian sandalwood...

  • This light floral is very wearable and quite lovely. It is very clean.

  • M: White flowers, warm spices, musk...

  • This is my other favorite fragrance in the line. It is a beautiful blend of just the right mix of sweetness and soft musk. This is the yin to S's yang.

Lily Lambert perfume oils can be purchased for $40 each at blush beauty bar in Portland, Oregon. Since the line is so new (and perhaps not yet listed on their website), it might be easiest to order the old-fashioned way, via telephone: USA 503-227-3390. Be sure to mention The Perfume Bee when you do!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: The Bermuda Perfumery

During the increasingly cold days of this season, when the days are short, the nights are long, and the sun seems far away, it is with great pleasure that I learned about the The Bermuda Perfumery, the house of the Lili Bermuda perfumes. This bright little niche perfumery was founded in 1928 by William Blackburn Smith and his daughter Madeline Scott. It was acquired by the Brackstone family in 2004. The sweet-smelling, distinctly Bermudian perfumes were originally made from the local flowers of the island and now contain essential oils from around the world. Visitors to the perfumery are encouraged to stroll through the beautiful garden behind the building and to visit the old cottage, where the perfumes are actually made. All their perfumes are still bottled and packaged individually by hand on-site at the Perfumery.

The line consists of 7 fragrances for women and 2 fragrances for men.

  • Lily: wild muguet, tamarine and pear flower

  • Jasmine: romantic jasmine, freesia and magnolia

  • Oleander: delicate Bermuda oleander, muguet and white orris

  • Passion Flower: heady gardenia, passion flower and mimosa

  • Frangipanni: captivating orange blossom, ylang ylang, patchouli and jasmine

  • Paradise: subtle and warm bergamot, warm spices, vanilla and patchouli

  • Coral: Fusion of clementine, freesia, nectar of rose and ginger

  • Cedar: warm cedar, bergamot, rosemary and juniper

  • Navy: fresh bergamot, mandarine and green lime

I tested two scents. Coral is their newest fragrance, introduced last spring. It smells very fresh and clean, with the freesia adding just the right note of sweetness to balance the spice of the ginger. For a relatively light scent, it has very good staying-power.

The second fragrance I tested is Lily. Catching a whiff of this very feminine, elegant-without-being-stuffy scent is like thrusting your nose into a freshly-picked bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley. It is quite lovely, and would be appropriate for a formal evening affair, or when you just want to be reminded of springtime in the middle of winter. While I like them both, Lily is my favorite of the two.

A wonderful way to try this line is by ordering The Perfume Library. This sample box contains vials of all seven women's' perfumes and two men's eaux de toilette for $22.

Each fragrance is offered in the form of a perfume, eau de toilette, body lotion and shower gel. For more information, please go to their website.

perfume images source: bermuda perfumery
lilies-of-the-valley image source: wikipedia

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

... More on Signature Scents

In our continuing conversation about signature scents, I 'd like to share a link to Victoria's blog, Bois de Jasmin, in which she features a fascinating article on this very topic by Canadian fragrance expert Marian Bendeth.
image source: wikipedia

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hunting for Your Signature Scent...

That elusive signature scent... The perfect scent to call one's own. Will the hunt ever end? Or is it the hunt that makes it all worthwhile?

Yesterday's New York Times T Magazine has an article by Daphne Merkin discussing her lifelong quest for her signature scent. (If you want to know if she is successful in her quest, please read the article here. Hint: she is...) She describes the search for your own perfume, the one imbued with your signature every bit as much as your handwriting.

I like her comparison of a signature scent to one's actual written signature. It is something that is uniquely associated with oneself in an extremely personal, inimitable manner. It is like a scented calling card which you leave behind, letting others know that, yes, you were there.

As I look through my own fragrance wardrobe, I do not see a signature scent. What I do see is my own fragrant journey... I will write about the particulars of this scented story in a future post. For now, I am in interested in your signature scent. Have you found it? If so, how long did it take you to find it? How did you know when you had found it? Or are you, like me, still searching?
image source: Wikepedia public domain

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Japanese Smell Recorder Recreates and Reproduces Scents Digitally

How many times have you said to yourself, "Gosh, the description of that perfume sounds marvelous. If only I could press a button on my computer and have a whiff of it to see if I like it?"

Well, Japanese scientists are getting close to making that a reality. As can be seen from the above illustration, it is now possible to digitally record a scent. This scent can then be reproduced by mixing 96 chemicals in a scent blender, vaporized, and, puff, the scent is recreated at a computer for one's smelling pleasure!

The possibilities for the use of the scent recorder in perfumery seem limitless. However, the technology is still in the experimental stages and the equipment is a little cumbersome (see image below).

images source Tokyo Institute of Technology

But I am confident that soon we will able to, with a push of a button, smell any number of fragrances right at our own computer. Imagine the monetary savings in being able to easily test a fragrance before purchasing -- no more blind purchasing mistakes! Let me know: do you think this technology will be a good thing?

For more information about this technology, please visit The Tokyo Institute of Technology Nakamoto Laboratory website.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Art Deco and Molinard Perfume Bottles

I'll admit it: I have a weakness for all things Art Deco. When I am visiting New York and turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the exquisite Chrysler Building, it invariably takes my breath away. There is just something about the art and architecture and general ambience of that era which I really resonate with.

So imagine my delight in coming upon the Molinard Collection of perfumes on a recent visit to the Perfume House. The Molinard 1849 collection of seven luxurious Eau de Parfums is based on Molinard's original recipes dating back to the 1920's, 30's and 50's. The exquisite collection features each of the seven fragrances in gorgeous art-deco styled bottles, complete with puff-ball atomiser!

image source: Perfume House

The collection includes
  • Habanita, a floral-oriental created in 1921 featuring petigrain, vetiver, ylang-ylang, heliotrope, amber, vanilla, musk, patchouli, and sandalwood

  • Gardenia, a floral with notes of freesia, orange flower, gardenia, jasmine, cyclamen, and musk
  • Iles D'Or, a fruity floral scent with freesia, jasmine, amber, sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla and musk

  • M de Molinard, a floral green scent opening with bergamot, rose and narcissus on a base of amber, patchouli, incense and vetiver

  • Verveine, a fresh green natural scent with notes of bergamot, verveine leaves, mandarin, jasmine, osmanthus, vetiver, musk and amber

  • Un Air de Molinard, a citrusy fragrance of mandarin, grapefruit, jasmin, rose, blue iris, vanilla, vetiver, musk and amber

  • Nirmala, a fruity floral with mandarin, grapefruit, jasmine, fleurs-des-iles, vanilla, tonka, and sandalwood

image source: Aedes

The House of Molinard was established in Grasse, France, in 1849. A wonderful history of this House can be found at the Molinard website. It is here that we learn, for instance, that during the Second World War, Molinard invented "the Prisoner's parcel" to bring comfort to French prisoners. How great is that!?! I know that if I were in prison, a care package of perfumes would be so very appreciated!

The fragrances are available in the beautiful bottles 3.3 oz. bottles ($185, except for Habinata, which is $295) as well as in portable concrete solid perfume compacts (great for air travel!) for $65. They can be purchased at The Perfume House and aedes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Sharon Bolton Scents

When my Sharon Bolton Scents arrived, I was immediately taken with the bold packaging and sophisticated presentation. Nestled in a sturdy black photo-storage box filled with crinkly white paper, the perfume oil came tied with a bright pink grosgrain ribbon and the entire package was wrapped in a satiny black bow. This loving attention to detail is evident in the whole Sharon Bolton Scents philosophy.

Sharon Bolton is a Santa Barbara, California, perfumer who has created three beautiful scents which incorporate soft white florals, sparkling citrus notes, and exotic tropical highlights. She uses no dyes or pigments, and all of her products are kept as natural as possible. She expertly blends her fragrances with great care, using the finest ingredients. All products are cruelty free and her packaging is 100% recyclable. Further, Sharon Bolton Scents gives to a number of charities. These include the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Susan G. Komen, The Teddy Bear Foundation and the Diabetes Association.

Each perfume oil comes in a 1/8 ounce roller bottle and costs $42 (with samples for $2 each). I found them all to be absolutely lovely and wearable. Furthermore, the light musky base notes common to all three scents made them easy to wear in combination.

The first scent I tried was Luv Perfume Oil. This very feminine scent proved to be my favorite of the three, with its pink gardenia, Hawaiian white flowers and creamy vanilla floating on the airy musky base. Luv is the kind of scent you can wear all day and never grow tired of. I found it a mood-lifter as well; just catching a whiff on my wrist was like a mini tropical get-a-way. It also has incredible staying power. It lasted through the night and into the morning.

Truth Perfume Oil is a clean, citrusy-floral, again with the light musk undertone. It smells green and sheer and would be perfect for a day by the pool or a game of tennis!

Soul Perfume Oil is the fruitiest of the three. It contains papaya, pineapple, and creamy coconut with a base of sheer musk. It smelled a bit like pink bubble-gum at first, but then dried down to a soft, fruity finish. It might be the most appealing to the preteen/teenager in your life.

Each fragrance also comes available as a Body Lotion (8 oz. $27) and Body Wash (8 oz. $24). The body wash is enriched with Shea Butter and White Tea. It lathers into a rich foam and also works as a bubble bath. The body lotion is not too heavy, and smells wonderful. I'd like to suggest that Sharon consider plans to develop a body cream as well, for the drying winter months ahead...

Overall, these three beautiful scents are a delight to the senses. Their portability is an added plus. They can be ordered online at sharon bolton scents as well as at several boutiques listed on their website. And readers of theperfumebee are being offered free shipping on all orders over $40.00 until December 23rd using the promo code perfumebee.

For another great review, please see Product-Girl
image source: sharon bolton scents

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fragrance Foundation Offers Fragrance Tips

The Fragrance Foundation offers a wealth of information related to the world of perfume. In their Fragrance Tips, we read:

  • Everyone has a personal "scent circle": approximately an arm's length from the body. No one should be aware of your fragrance unless he or she steps inside your "circle." Fragrance should be one of the most subtle, personal messages you send to those with whom you come in contact.

  • For a long-lasting effect, fragrance should be layered all over the body, starting with toilet water or eau de parfum...
    Click here for the rest of the tips and follow the link at the bottom of the page to Press/Consumer Info and then locate Fragrance Tips.

I really like this idea of the scent circle. It has been my experience that an arm's length of scent radiation is just about right, but it is not easy to achieve. How many of us have had the unfortunate experience of being in the presence of someone with a scent circle MUCH larger than an arm's length? As in the size of a room? Conversely, sometimes a fragrance clings so closely that we are not aware of it on others even when sitting next to them.

What do you consider to be the perfect size for a scent circle? And what fragrance have you found that achieves this goal?
image source: fragrance foundation

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Courvoisier™ Cognac L'edition Imperiale Fragrance for Men

I was reflecting just the other day on the fact that my husband has a vast collection of miniature liquor bottles collected over many years of travel, while I have a collection of beautiful perfumes collected over many years of shopping and travel.

With the recent debut of Courvoisier™ L'edition Imperiale eau de parfum at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, our collections will finally merge: here is a fragrance made by a liquor company! Granted, this is touted as a men's fragrance, but it may very well be a unisex scent. One thing is for certain: Courvoisier™ LÂ’edition Imperiale is not a cognac-flavored fragrance!

Top notes include cardamom, mandarin, tagette and coriander. The mid-notes are atlas cedarwood, smoked tea, royal calla lily and violet, while the base notes consist of vetiver, fir balsam, leather and warm amber.

Courvoisier™ L'edition Imperiale eau de parfum will retail for more than $100 per 75ml bottle, while the eau de toilette will retail for slightly less. Both offerings will also be available in 125ml bottles. This fragrance will be sold in select upscale department stores and duty-free locations and will be available in the spring of 2007.
info source: press release

Monday, November 20, 2006

...Scents from Perfume: The Story of A Murderer, continued

Chandler Burr's recent New York Times article provides a fascinating look at the creation of the 15 scents mentioned in yesterday's post. Beginning in 2000, Christophe Laudamiel began systematically recreating the major scenes in the movie, in scents, one by one.

Without giving away too much of the movie, let's just say that it was impossible (not to mention diabolical) to try to recreate the scent of murderd virgins as the character Grenouille tried to do. Ergo, the creation of a perfume to enhance one's own smell, namely: Aura. For the rest of the article, read here

For more about the movie, due out December 27th, click here

Thierry Mugler's Aura: A Perfume Enhancer!

When is a perfume not a perfume? When it's a perfume ENHANCER! Aura is one of the 15 essences in The Thierry Mugler Limited Edition "Perfume" Coffret which has been created in conjunction with the new movie Perfume. The set contains 14 Perfume-related olfactory compositions plus Aura, a fragrance enhancer.

I really am trying to get my mind around the concept of a perfume enhancer. To help us out, I quote from the Thierry Mugler website:
How does Aura work? Worn on its own, Aura is a subliminal enhancer that acts like a second radiant skin. Worn in combination with one's favorite fragrance, Aura intensifies facets of the fragrance.

Aura's adaptability is truly unique. To ensure that the elixir harmonizes with all 12 of the current primary fragrance families, Aura contains one or several ingredients from each respective family. Consequently, Aura can adapt to any perfume it is paired with like a chameleon, regardless of the fragrance family it originates from.

As far as the ingredients of this masterpiece are concerned we will reveal only this: it is not a conventional composition of top, heart and base notes, but an ingenious interweaving of powerful and lasting notes dosed to radiate, and entwined together in such a way as to not betray themselves...

Okay, that is all well and good. But what does it smell like?!? For this, we turn to Victoria at Bois de Jasmin who writes,
Aura is the only fragrance in the coffret that is slated to appear separately. In many ways, I find it to be the most approachable of the fifteen, but it makes it no less fascinating. It is warm, without being spicy; rich, without being heavy; woody, without being dense; musky, without being animalic.... click here for the rest of her post.

This description makes it sound very intriguing. If anyone else has had the opportunity to smell this scent, or any of the other 14 essences, I'd love to hear your impressions.

Retail price for the Perfume Coffret is $700. Ordering information can be found at their website.
image source: thierrymugulerusa

Friday, November 17, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Sarbez Perfume

I like to think of Sarbez Perfume as The Little Engine That Could. Against great odds over a time period spanning many years, Florida-based creator Peggy Dean created and launched an elegant perfume that is sure to become a classic.

Sarbez is a rich floral fragrance with bergamot, lavender and tropical modern twists. The heart of the fragrance consists of rich notes of ylang-ylang and jasmine with hints of fresh floral rose. The base is a resinous accord of sweet vanilla and Tonka beans surrounded by precious woods of patchouli. I found it started off a bit strong with the lavender/bergamot blend, but it quickly changed to a beautiful, flowery bouquet.

Peggy worked for many years in the perfume manufacturing and packaging industry before the long saga of her own perfume creation began. She has written a fascinating insider's book examining the big business of perfumery as well as the creation of Sarbez.

Sarbez: The Renaissance of a Fragrance, portrays the perfume industry in all its glamorous and not-so-glamorous glory. I really enjoyed reading this book. While it may not be the most mellifluous book, what it may lack in literary style it more than makes up for in its honest and enthusiastic description of the perfume industry and what it takes to bring a perfume from initial concept to final product. The book reads like a mystery, taking the reader on the fascinating journey of making a perfume. l learned a lot, including how difficult it is to find a good, and available, name for one's perfume. I have renewed appreciation for all perfumers willing to take this arduous journey to create their treasured fragrances and bring them into the world for us to enjoy.

Peggy has created a nice promotional package which includes a copy of the book and a 12 ml .40 fluid ounce spray for $25. It is great fun to be able to read all about the creation of a perfume while actually wearing the scent. Very interactive! See for ordering information.

For a lively interview with Peggy, see Marlen's conversation at The Perfume Critic.
image source: Sarbez Perfume

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: Ineke of San Francisco

Today we are getting to know the San Francisco niche perfumery, Ineke.

Ineke Ruhland is a classically-trained perfumer who creates beautiful, original scents in her independent studio in San Francisco. She studied perfumery at ISIPCA in Versailles, France and then apprenticed for three years at a fragrance house in Paris. Ineke moved to San Franciso, where she makes her lovely fragrances.

Each fragrance in her alphabetical collection begins with a consecutive letter of the alphabet: A - After My Own Heart; B - Balmy Days and Sundays; C - Chemical Bonding; D - Derring-Do.

The Deluxe Sample Collection contains spray samples of all 4 fragrances wrapped in a soft bag for travel. The $12 price is fully redeemable with any product purchase and is a terrific way to try the scents. This company is very customer-service oriented. When I ordered my sample set, it had insufficient postage (short by 34 cents). I didn't give it another thought, until a few days later I received a personal phone call from "Bill" at Ineke asking me to please call him and let him know of any postage due which he would gladly refund. Of course, I didn't report the fee, but I was very impressed that he had taken the trouble to ask.

The scents themselves are quite pleasant and wearable. My favorite is After My Own Heart, which Ineke describes as "the scent of fresh lilacs floating on the early breeze." It's soft and sweet, in a good way, and really does smell like the lilacs that bloom in my yard in May.

Balmy Days and Sundays is a chypre green scent; Chemical Bonding has sparkling citrus notes with a powdery dry down; and Derring-Do is citrusy-woodsy and the most unisex scent of the collection.

What others are saying:

Grant Osborne at writes, "It is surprising no-one has done this before (as far as we know). San Francisco-based independent perfumer, Ineke Rühland has just launched four perfumes, each named after the first four letters of the alphabet. Ineke plans to launch 'E' in 2007, and the rest of the alphabet over the next ten years." Grant's article

Cait Shortell of Legerdenez writes, "Like all of Ineke's fragrances, Chemical Bonding is transparent and eminently wearable. In spite of its seeming simplicity, a careful analysis reveals..." Cait's article

The Scented Salamander writes, "My first impressions are that Ineke's perfumes are clean, pure, modernist, and original. They have a definite very contemporary feel to them.... " Scented Salamander article.

Scent update: even as I've been writing this while wearing two of Ineke's scents, I find that Chemical Bonding is proving to be very delicious. I highly recommend it.

For purchasing information, please see Ineke's website.
image source: ineke

Monday, November 13, 2006

Vote for Your Favorite Perfume and Perfume Blog

Now it's your turn to make your preferences known and enter the chance to win a $200 giftcard from the sponsor, Aedes de Venustas! The 7th Annual Basenotes Awards are asking you to choose your favorite perfumes in several categories, including best new fragrance (for men and women), best niche fragrance (for men and women) and BEST FRAGRANCE/BEAUTY BLOG.

It's fine to leave some categories blank. Just vote for the ones you want to, paying special attention to question #20 (best fragrance/beauty blog) and question #21 (entry for the prize drawing). It is quick and simple to vote here. Closing date for entries is December 31, 2006.

Aedes de Venustas (latin for temple of beauty) is a New York-based perfumery, specializing in niche fragrance and beauty products. Founded in 1995, Aedes is located on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, NY, but products can be ordered via mail-order or from their website Their product ranges include, amongst others, Etro, Creed, Acqua di Biella, Comptoir Sud Pacifique, Diptyque, Escentric Molecules, Lorenzo Villoresi, Mark Birley, Mona di Orio, Montale, Parfums de Rosine, Penhaligon's, Santa Maria Novella and Serge Lutens.
image source: basenotes

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Katie Holmes to Wear Clive Christian No. 1 Perfume on Wedding Day

Let it never be said that Katie Holmes doesn't have expensive tastes. In her upcoming nuptials with Tom Cruise, she is said to be planning on wearing Clive Christian No. 1 Perfume. Created to be the most expensive perfume in the world (according to, it costs $2,350.00 per ounce.

This lovely floral-oriental fragrance consists of top notes of pineapple, plum, mirabelle, bergamot, lemon, and cardamom; heart notes of rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, orris, and orchid; and base notes of vanilla, tonka seeds, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk amber.

It comes in a 1-ounce, handmade crystal bottle adorned with a sparkling brilliant-cut white diamond on the collar.

The Clive Christian women's line has two other fragrances. 1872 is a floral-fruity-citrus fragrance made in honor of the year the Crown Perfumery was founded. It contains top notes of bergamot, tangerine, lemon, pineapple, blueberry and rosemary; heart notes of rose de mai, lily of the valley, jasmine, purple violet, and freesia; and base notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, erogen musk, and moss. It retails for $700.

X is a sexy, modern fragrance infused with the dynamic, captivating scent of Egyptian jasmine. Classified as a chypre-fruity fragrance, X has top notes of peach, Sicilian mandarin, bergamot, rhubarb, and pineapple; heart notes of Egyptian jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, and orris; and base notes of patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver, vanilla, and cashmere musk. One ounce costs $850.

Clive Christian has a men's line with identical names, identical prices, and different ingredients. No. 1 Pure Perfume for Men combines rare notes of bergamot, lime, ylang ylang, and ambery woods.

1872 Pure Perfume for Men is a classic, spicy scent with notes of grapefruit, lime, cyclamen, cedarwood, and patchouli.

X Pure Perfume for Men is a sexy, woody fragrance combining notes of bergamot, sambac oil, orris, amber, and cedarwood.

Now, the good news is that both the women's and men's collections come in convient, and slightly more affordable, travel sets. Presented in a black box emblazoned with the signature crown and lined with satin, the sets contain 0.3 ounce spray bottles of No. 1, 1872, and X. Each set retails for $285.

Clive Christian perfumes can be purchased at The Perfume House, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Fortnum and Mason.
image and perfume description source: Bergdorf Goodman

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Choosing the perfect "Attraction" Perfume

Timing is not typically something associated with the wearing of perfume. But according to scent expert Luca Turin, timing is everything. For instance, if you are trying to make a favorable early impression, it is important to wear a perfume with good sillage. Sillage is a French term refering to the wake of scent left in the room after you leave. He gives the example of Givenchy’s Amarige d’Amour which is all radiance, a strident tuberose-lavender accord that sings the perfumery equivalent of trumpet calls at a tournament.

Good heart notes are required if you want your scent to be most noticeable after a couple of hours. Rather than giving specific examples, Turin suggests personal experimentation. He explains that it is best to start with perfumes that have been around for a few decades: they seldom survive by accident.

And for the big finish, choose a scent with an excellent dry-down. Examples include classics such as Chanel Nol 5, Patou’s Joy, Piguet’s Bandit, and Guerlain’s Shalimar. Modern masterpieces include Bulgari Black and Bond No. 9’s Chinatown.

For more, please see the Times article.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Extensive Perfume Gallery Recreates Historical Fragrances

The Osmotheque is a vast fragrance conservatory in Versailles, France, that collects, catalogues and recreates perfumes of the past. It contains over 1700 fragrances, many reproduced from the original formulas.

Susan Stone, a contributing reporter/producer for NPR's All Things Considered, recently went to the Osmotheque and uncovered some interesting facts. For instance, Paul Poiret, a fashion designer whose perfumes preceded Coco Chanel's No. 5, created a very sweet scent in 1914. He named it Le Fruit Defendu, or Forbidden Fruit. Unfortunately, his timing couldn't have been worse. This perfume was reviled by the population because it was launched during the Great War. It was perceived as a scented slap in the face against the bloody backdrop of the the war. Today, it smells not unlike many sweet scents on the market and would probably be a huge hit. For more, please go to NPR.

The Osmotheque is open to the public (although appointments are required). There are weekly lectures about the history of perfumery and the techniques involved. Visitors can see slide presentations and films about perfumery, learn more about the raw materials used, and even try some samples. For further information, please see this article in Osmoz.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pilar and Lucy Eaux des Parfums

Today's installment in our "Better Know a Niche Perfumery" series features Pilar and Lucy.

Luscious cargo tells us that Pilar and Lucy is a cult name among fragrance mavens and home of some of the most exquisite new scents this side of Hollywood, this enchanting line is the brainchild of Victoria and Gretchen, ballerina and poet respectively, who tapped into their past lives to create a perfectly mesmerizing line of perfumes and lotions. With a tip of the hat and an affectionate nod to the Hollywood of yesteryear, these scents are adored by twirly girls everywhere---and counts Carmen Electra and Jennifer Love Hewitt and Mena Suvari among its grateful devotees...

This line features three scents which evoke old Hollywood glam and youthful exuberance.

The first eau de parfum, I: the exact friction of stars, is a warm, vanilla-based scent with a hint of coconut.

The second, II: to twirl all girly, is a warm, floral gardenia scent.

And finally we have III: tiptoeing through chambers of the moon. This rich, complex floral is my favorite of the three. It combines heady tuberose on a deep amber base. Very pretty and elegant!

Each fragrance also comes in a long-lasting perfume oil version as well as lotion.

Robin at Now Smell This says, "I love Pilar & Lucy's glam bottles and cutesy perfume names, but I have to admit to feeling some trepidation about their latest, Tiptoeing Through Chambers of the Moon..." rest of review...

Lucy and Pilar is available at luckyscent, home 101, Luscious cargo and blush beauty bar.

image: luckyscent

Saturday, November 04, 2006

First Women's Scent for Horse Lovers

Something we have not yet talked about in this blog is the idea of "a niche within a niche." This refers to any particular subset within a special category. For instance, today we are talking about a niche fragrance dedicated to people who love horses.

"Nuzzle" is a new fragrance designed for horse lovers and equine enthusiasts. It contains fruity plum, black currant, juicy orange, and lime.

Available in a 50 ml Spray Eau de Parfum for $36.00, Nuzzle comes nested in a pink and black box adorned with a "good luck" crystal horseshoe charm. Nuzzle can be purchased at and fine tack shops and boutiques popular with horse enthusiasts.

Portions of Nuzzle proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Horses, a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of horses.

Nuzzle Products are not tested on animals.

There are many other niche-within-a-niche fragrances which we will discuss in future blogs. Do you have any suggestions?

image source:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sometimes you just want to have a fragrance that is uniquely your own. One way to do this is by spritzing on a couple different perfumes together to make your own fragrant statement.

Another way is to have a scent custom-blended just for you. Custom-blended fragrances have typically been prohibitively expensive, with price-points starting at $40,000. Fortunately, there are now more affordable options. For example, the British company, Create-Your-Own-Fragrance, charges £30, or approximately $60, for a 50ml eau de parfum atomizer.

The fun process of designing your scent can all be done on-line at You will be led through a series of questions aimed at understanding you better. Questions include naming your favorite food, favorite time of day, interests, favorite perfume, least favorite perfume, and others designed to give a snapshot into your preferences and character. The short quiz alone is very entertaining!

Once you've answered the questions, paid you money, and received your personal blend, if you don't just love it, you may return it for a "full, no quibble refund."
image source:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Crazylibellule and the Poppies - Shanghaijava Collection

Sometimes a perfume line comes along that makes you smile just to say the name! Such is the case with the new French line: Crazylibellule and the Poppies. This company makes a charming line of solid perfumes which come in a lipstick-like applicator. Made of a waxy compound, the perfumes are applied "anywhere you'd like to be kissed" and offer very long-lasting staying power. Even the retro packaging is bright and grin-inducing!

The first collection to be offered in the U.S. is the Shanghaijava Collection. These seven sensual, exotic blends evoke the mystery of oriental nights. The set includes Lilas Spiritual, Litchi Blossom, Encens Mystic, Ginger and Coconut, Musc & Patchouli, Ananas Imperial, and Blue Orchidee. Of the seven, my favorite is Lilas Spiritual. With its creamy, lilac scent, it is like a cheerful breath of springtime. An added plus is that these products meet the strict new air travel regulations and can be carried onto the airplane in your handbag!

Aromascope says, "The line was launched in French Sephora in 2005 and became an instant success and has finally made its debut in the U.S. The brand name has a quirky vibe to it, “libellule” meaning “dragonfly” in French because “like fragrance, dragonflies delicately hover in the air and then lightly touch down”, and “crazy” references the female proclivity for fantasy and “the Poppies” stand for freedom in nature..." (here is the rest of Ina's review...)

Robin at Now Smell This reviews Encens Mystic. "Encens Mystic is mildly sweet at most, and could easily be worn by either sex. All of the Crazylibellule & The Poppies solids leave a bit of a waxy residue on skin. It didn't bother me in the least, but if you think it will bother you, consider yourself warned." (Here is the rest of Robin's review...)

The perfume sticks come in 5 gram containers at the reasonable price of $16 each and can be purchased at b-glowing and blush beauty bar in Portland, Oregon.
image source: b-glowing

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Niche perfumery

There is quiet revolution brewing in the world of perfumery. In small and not-so-small perfume studios across the U.S. and in Europe, there has been an incredible flowering of niche perfumery. I define niche perfumes as those which are created by individual perfumers with the finest ingredients on a small scale with an incredible attention to detail and product. There is a wide variation of philosophies within niche perfumery: some perfumers use only natural ingredients; others use a combination of natural essential oils and laboratory-made ingredients. Some use alcohol as a base, while others use oil or wax. Some niche perfumers create a large line of scents, while other make 3 or 4. Some of these perfumer sell only from their own studio, while others have their products in select boutiques around the world. But the common ingredient to all niche perfumers is a heart-felt passion for their profession and their product.

Future postings to this blog will highlight niche perfumers here and abroad. We will look at what other bloggers have said, and include original articles and interviews with niche perfumers. We will also look at those retailers, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, who make these wonderful products available for our use.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rubbing Wrists Together Does NOT Change Perfume Scent

How many times have we been told NOT to rub our wrists together after applying perfume because doing so will break the molecules of the perfume and destroy the scent?!?

Allure's beauty editor, Linda Wells, finally lays this myth to rest in the new book, ALLURE: Confessions of a Beauty Editor.

She writes, "Finally an astute reader with a doctorate in chemistry wrote in and pointed out that if it were that easy to crush single molecules, her job would be a lot easier. Good point, Maggie Topp from the Netherlands. From now on, we'll rub to our heart's content."

image source:

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Let them eat cake, and smell good while doing so!

"A fragrance worn by Marie-Antoinette, a woman sometimes described as the world's first fashion victim, has been re-created by a French perfume-maker for an exhibition at the Palace of Versailles." Click here to read entire Times Online article...

This perfume consists of lavender, rose petal, jasmine, iris, galbanum, essence of citron tree, musk, tonka bean, ambergris, vanilla, benjamin, cedar and sandalwood. The recipe for the perfume was discovered by Elisabeth de Feydeau, a French historian. It is a floral bouquet made from completely natural products. It sells for the queenly price of $440, with the profits going toward restoration of Marie-Antoinette's furniture and objects.
Painting by Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun
image source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Belle Fleur Candles

We have been talking a lot lately about environmental scenting. Good - bad - indifferent. But I am a big fan of scenting my home and am always trying new products. I am on the hunt for that perfect fresh, clean floral scent with no chemically undertone.
The elegant Fifth Avenue Florist Belle Fleure may have the answer. It now offers sumptuous candles for the home. They combine rare botanicals with delicate florals to produce long-lasting (approx. 45 hours) fragrances. The Exotic Garden collection features 4 scents: Mayan tuberose, orange blossom pomegranate, jasmine verbena, and white orchid tea. Priced at $48, think about it as $1/hour of delicious fragrance!

image: Belle Fleure

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Ethics of Scent Branding

Yesterday's British Times Online features an interesting article about "scent branding," which is widespread in America and is now arriving in Britain.

Also known as "Muzak for the nose", scent branding refers to the pumping of particular scents into hotel and retail spaces with the aim of influencing shoppers' purchasing decisions.

Writer Iain Hollingshead states, "The smells are not designed as air fresheners. Instead, firms are trying to affect consumer behavior through the subliminal use of smell. The idea is to encourage them to spend more time and money in a store or help them associate a smell with a brand."

Are we entering a slippery slope here? What are the ethical implications of subliminally manipulating our purchasing decisions in this way?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Color Fun!

Today we are giving our noses a rest and looking at a fun website called Colorstrology. This site shows you your own special color based on your birthday. My special color for September 17 is... Tabasco! The accompanying description makes me sound more like a worker bee than a perfume bee, but there you have it! What is your special color? Do you resonate with it?

This website came to us from a link on Ava Luxe's site. Ava Luxe is an indie perfumer based in San Diego. Definitely one to watch! (Thanks to Marlen at The Perfume Critic for this tip).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vanilla-Lover's Delight

If a little vanilla is good, then a lot of vanilla must be better! Such is the case with indie-perfumer Susanne Lang's set of 9 vanilla-based roll-on eaux de parfums. These scents can be mixed and matched to create your own personal blend. The set includes 4-ml bottles of Vanilla coconut, Midnight orchid, Warm vanilla, Vanilla wood, Vanilla champagne, White chocolate, Vanilla sugar, Sugarcane, and Vanilla musk.

The Vanilla Collection is available at Luckyscents and select Saks stores.

image source: Osmoz

The Madeleine Effect

Have you ever caught a whiff of something and suddenly been thrust back to another time and place? I know that whenever I smell a particular ginger/molasses aroma, I am instantly back in the warm cozy kitchen of my grandmother Margaret. Scientists have a name for this: The Madeleine Effect. This is based on a passage written by Marcel Proust in Remembrance of Things Past. He describes how the fragrance of a madeleine cake dipped into linden tea suddently sent him back to his childhood. When a strong memory is evoked by catching a sudden sniff of a scent, "the madeleine effect" is present.

This reference is found in an article in the current issue of Scientific American Mind. Author Eleonore Von Bothmer points out that the sense of smell is one of the oldest senses, from an evolutionary point of view, and is strongly associated with emotions and memory. Interestingly, loss of smell may be indicative of some neurodegenerative diseases. For example, at the onset of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, people frequently lose their ability to smell.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Seeing Scents: Braille Packaging at L'Occitane

Have you ever noticed the small, discreet dots found on the labels of L'Occitane products? L'Occitane uses braille as a way to help the blind and vision-impaired to make informed choices.

L'Occitane also has a summer perfume school created to help blind and poor-sighted teenagers learn about the the world of perfume. The school aims to aid in the development of these young people's oflactory senses, and perhaps open doors to a future career.

While this blog accepts no paid advertising, I believe exemplary companies deserve kudos. Well done, L'Occitane!

image source: L'occitane

Monday, October 16, 2006

Patchouli Oil: Mothball of the Middle Ages!

What is it about patchouli oil? For most people, it evokes a strong love or hate reaction. Many associate it with the free spirited energy of the sixties. Others find is reminiscent of earthy bodies in need of a bath. In a recent radio interview on Studio 360, Kurt Andersen discussed this and other "scented" topics with the New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr.

Burr explains that in the Middle Ages patchouli was the smell of the spices and vegetable matter that the Middle-eastern traders would pack around silks that they would then ship to Europe.

He states, "The Europeans associated these luxury goods with this smell and therefore they came to think of patchouli as something that was luxurious. To the Arabs, the stuff smelled like mothballs, because, of course, that's what it was, it was a kind of mothball!"

I personally find patchouli off-putting in large doses, but appreciate its role as a base-note in many wonderful fragrances such as Gucci Rush, Le Labo Patchouli 24, and Jil Sander No. 4.

For more of Chandler Burr's insights, I encourage you to check out Robin's interview with him at Now Smell This.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Le Labo Jasmin 17

I made a beeline for the ultra-hip Le Labo perfume boutique in Nolita when I was in NYC last month. While there, I had a wonderful conversation with Eddie Roschi, one of the co-founders. He took the time to explain many ingredients of perfumery to me and my two friends, Chris and Jan. One of the most interesting discussions was about ambergris, a product highly valued as a perfume fixative. It is a product of whale digestion (yes, you read that correctly), which comes about when the sperm whale regurgitates a mass of partially-digested squid. It is, says Eddie, "like coughing up a hairball," which then floats on the surface of the ocean or washes up on the beach. Depending on the quality and current market, ambergris sells for as much as $60-$240 per pound.

Eddie then pulled a jar from his amazing apothecary, and inside was a dark, grayish lump of waxy-looking ambergris. We three all took a sniff of this animalic product and unanimously agreed that it would be fascinating to know how the first person ever decided to use this in perfumery! It was not an offensive scent; rather, we just pondered the thought process that may have led to using whale vomit residue in this way!

We thoroughly enjoyed testing all ten of Le Labo's scents. I came away with a bottle of Jasmin 17, a very feminine floral composed of jasmine, litsea cubeba (exotic verbena), neroli, orange flower, palma rosa, bigerade (bitter orange), amber, musk sandalwood and vanilla.

For a wonderful interview with Eddie, check out Marlen's conversation at The Perfume Critic.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Scent of Colors

For a refreshing visual break, I suggest visiting the Scent of Colors site. It is a japanese floral blog, organized by colors. The link between flowers and scent is obvious, but until digiscent (the topic of a future blog) is readily available, we must satisfy ourselves with inspiring pictures on our computers. (Of course, we could and should be surrounding ourselves with mountainous bouquets of real flowers, but sometimes a quick glance at the computer screen is all we have time for)!

This site was mentioned on Emily Davidow's website Emily's playground, which I highly recommend visiting when you want to feel uber-hip and in-the-know. Be sure to scroll her great pop-culture links.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Badgley Mischka perfume

With their eponynous debut fragrance, Mark Badgley and James Mischka have created a lovely, hollywood-glamour era perfume. It is a spicy-floral fragrance with notes of jasmine, cassis, osmanthus flower, white peony, caramel amber, Indian sandalwood, patchouli, and musk.

The perfume opens with a strong fruity/foral beginning and then softens to a soft, woodsy finish. In the first few minutes, I was reminded of Fath de Fath. But half an hour later, Badgley Mischka had its own distinctly elegant message. It felt warm and inviting, like a finely spun cashmere sweater. My only complaint is that its lasting power (on me) is about a 4, on a scale of 1 (evaporates instantly) to 10 (lasts overnight).

For more about what Mark and James have been up to, check out this recent interview: Showbuzz

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Autism Fundraising Project at "The Perfume Critic"

October is National Austism Month. Our friend, Marlen, The Perfume Critic, has set up an Autism fundraising project. For every $1 US you send to, you will be entered into a drawing for a bottle of Estee Lauder's Youth Dew Amber Nude eau de parfum. The proceeds will be donated to the Autism Society of America.

To make a donation, please visit The Perfume Critic.

Marlen was inspired by Ayala Moriel, Canada's premier natural perfumer. Ayala has created an Autism Fundraiser which supports Autism Communication Training of British Columbia.

Autism is near and dear to my heart, as I have a sweet nephew who is autistic. It is wonderful to know that perfume-lovers can help support this important cause.

Retailers Search for Signature Scents

We all know how difficult it is to discover our own signature scent. To find the one perfume that captures our very essence is the holy grail that keeps us searching. Now major companies are joining the club as they seek to develop their own signature scents. In hopes of luring customers into their stores, as well as linking their image with a particular scent, retailers, hotel chains and casinos have begun using aroma as part of their imaging package.

The current Time magazine discusses this in it article, "Scents and Sensibility," by Jeremy Caplan. For the complete article, please go here.

Caplan also provides a short quiz to test your smell IQ: Does the Nose Know?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why the Perfume Bee?!?

Without flowers, there would be no perfume. Without bees, there would be no flowers. The bee buzzes around making connections and helping beauty to be expressed in the world. In this blog, I want to share ideas about the joy of scent and perfume. There will be article reviews, interviews, fragrance reviews, and, of course, personal opinions. Let's catch the buzz together!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Scent and Mood: Science offers proof that certain smells make us happy!

As if we didn't know...! Telling a perfume-lover that scent affects our mood is like telling a meteorologist that air pressure affects the weather! However, it is always gratifying when science supports our addiction, and this recent study by Quest International can only be seen as a check in the "plus" column for those who adore perfume. The study made an interesting distinction between scent associations and nationality. For instance, Americans associate the smell of red berries and tropical and orchard fruit with a sense of well-being and happiness. Meanwhile, the French associate the sweet, powdery, floral and musky woody smells with a happy feeling. For more, please go to: Scent and Mood.

This brings to mind the idea of "perfume therapy," a term I just coined to indicate the strategic use of scent for mood enhancement. I know that for myself, when I am feeling a bit low, there is nothing like a spritz of Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne to immediately lift my spirits.

Do others have particular scents that are guaranteed mood-elevators for them?