Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spring Break

Just a note to let you know I'm away for the week. It's Spring Break in Oregon and I'm at the beautiful Oregon Coast.

The Perfume Bee has been undergoing some fresh changes in format and design lately. I will share the new look with you next week. Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite pictures of the Oregon Coast. Have a great week!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Oregon Inlet
Oregon Inlet

Pacific Sunset
Pacific Sunset

photos © Copyright 2007 by The Perfume Bee.

Monday, March 26, 2007

My New e-Book is Available: "The Perfume-Lover's Guide to Paris: A 3-Day Walking Tour"

Eiffel tower

I am happy to announce my new e-book, The Perfume-Lover's Guide to Paris: A 3-Day Walking Tour, is now available for immediate download.

This practical, easy-to-use guide is for people who want to visit the city's finest boutique perfumeries by foot and by metro. Written as the guide I'd wished I'd had on my recent trip to Paris, this e-book is filled with useful addresses, metro stops, photographs, and descriptions of the major perfumeries in the perfume capital of the world.

Guerlain...L'Artisan Parfumeur...Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle...Caron...Etat Libre d'Orange... these and many more perfumeries are covered in the guide.

Whether you have a few hours or a few days, if you love perfume and you are going to Paris, I think you'll find this guide useful. 33 pages.

Cost: $9.95 US dollars

Friday, March 23, 2007

Niche Fragrance Launch: Two New Scents from "Eau d'Italie"

Eau d'Italie
Sienne l'Hiver and Bois d'Ombre
image source:

The 3-year old niche fragrance line Eau d'Italie, has announced the creation of two new scents: Sienne l'Hiver (Siena in Winter) and Bois d'Ombre (Woods of Umbria). The fragrances were blended by French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (Créations Aromatiques) and were inspired by the Italian winter. The co-founders of Eau d'Italie, Marina Sersale and Sebastián Alvarez Murena, had originally planned on launching just one fragrance inspired by winter in Italy.

"We wanted to work on the idea of winter in Italy, so we sent the perfumer some ideas. He came back to us with two very unique and completely different proposals, both of which we loved and decided to work on, with the intention of later choosing between them," said Sersale. "In the end we decided to launch both of them. What we create depends very much on what inspires us, and this allows us a lot of creative freedom." (via

The unisex fragrances are described (by Eau d'Italie) as follows:

Sienne l'Hiver: an earthy fragrance composed of subtle nuances like coal roasted chestnuts, black olive, autumn leaves and truffles followed up by French straw, iris root and white musk.

Bois d'Ombre: a deep woodsy scent with hints of cognac, leather, iris root and vetiver.

The fragrances, both to be available in 3.4-oz. bottles eau de toilette, will retail for $120 each and will be available in the U.S. in June. Retailers will include Lafco in New York and Los Angeles and Takashimaya (tel. 212-350-0100) in New York.

To read more about Eau d'Italie, please visit

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fifi Awards Finalists Announced

Fifi Award
Fifi Award

The FiFi Awards are an annual event to honor the fragrance industry’s creative achievements and are considered the “Oscars” of the global fragrance industry. Over 1,000 members of the international fragrance community attend the glamorous “FiFi” Ceremonies, held in New York City. The awards are presented by celebrities from the world of fashion, theater, film and TV.

This year's top 10 finalists for the major categories have just been announced by the Fragrance Foundation. Winners will be announced during the 35th Annual FiFi Awards & Celebration held on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at the Winter Garden at The World Financial Center in New York City.

Here are the top 10 finalists for Fragrance of the Year FiFi Award in each distribution category (in alphabetical order):

• Ange ou Démon – Parfums Givenchy
• Anna Sui Dolly Girl on the Beach – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
• Armani Privé Cuir Amethyste (unisex) – Giorgio Armani Parfums
• Delices de Cartier – Cartier North America
• Fleur de Narcisse 2006 – L’Artisan Parfumeur
• KenzoAmour – Kenzo Parfums
• Missoni Eau de Parfum – Missoni Profumi
• The Scent of Peace Bond No. 9 New York – Laurice & Co.
• Tom Ford Black Orchid – Tom Ford Beauty
• Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Extreme Amethyst Edition – L’Oréal USA

NOUVEAU NICHE - MEN’S (Eleven finalists due to one tie):
• Armani Privé Cuir Amethyste (unisex) – Giorgio Armani Parfums
• Baldessarini Ambre – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
• David Beckham Instinct – Coty Beauty
• Dunhill Pursuit – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
• Figue Eau de Toilette by Calypso Christiane Celle (unisex) – Calypso Christiane Celle
• Fire Island Bond No. 9 New York – Laurice & Co.
• Fou d’Absinthe – L’Artisan Parfumeur
• L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent – YSL Beaute
• Montblanc Starwalker – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
• Paul Smith Story – P&G Prestige Products, Inc./Inter Parfums USA
• Viktor & Rolf Antidote – L’Oréal USA

• Armani Code for Women – Giorgio Armani Parfums
• Badgley Mischka – Elizabeth Arden
• Betsey Johnson Parfum – Colorful Licenses USA/Karis Group Ltd.
• Burberry London for Women – P&G Prestige Products, Inc./Burberry Fragrances
• Donna Karan Gold Eau de Parfum – Donna Karan Cosmetics
• Insolence – Guerlain
• Juicy Couture – Liz Claiborne Cosmetics
• Pure White Linen – Estée Lauder
• Stella in Two – Stella McCartney Parfums
• Vera Wang Princess – Coty Prestige

• Burberry London for Men – P&G Prestige Products, Inc./Burberry Fragrances
• Calvin Klein euphoria for Men – Coty Prestige
• Cannabis Santal Eau de Parfum – Fresh Inc.
• Lacoste Essential – P&G Prestige Products, Inc.
• Lucky Number 6 for Men by Lucky Brand Jeans – Liz Claiborne Cosmetics
• Polo Double Black – Ralph Lauren Fragrances
• Prada – Puig USA
• Terre d’Hermès – Hermès
• Unforgivable by Sean John – Sean John Fragrances/Estée Lauder
• Versace Man Eau Fraiche – EuroItaly/Fragrances Elite International

POPULAR APPEAL – WOMEN’S (Five finalists in this category):
• American Beauty Wonderful Indulgence – BeautyBank Inc.
• Bijan Black Women – Five Star Fragrance Company
• Celine Dion Parfums Always Belong – Coty Beauty
• Dianoche by Daisy Fuentes – BeautyBank Inc.
• Stacie J – Golden – Revelations Perfume & Cosmetics, Inc.

POPULAR APPEAL – MEN’S (Two finalists in this category):
• Antonio Antonio Banderas – Puig Beauty USA, Inc.
• Bijan Black Men – Five Star Fragrance Company

PRIVATE LABEL/DIRECT SELL – WOMEN’S (Eleven finalists due to one tie):
• Banana Republic Alabaster – Inter Parfums USA
• Banana Republic Jade – Inter Parfums USA
• Banana Republic Rosewood – Inter Parfums USA
• Crystal Aura – Avon Products, Inc.
• Dream Angels Desire – Victoria’s Secret Beauty
• Mary Kay® Affection™ – Mary Kay Inc.
• Play-Doh – Demeter Fragrance Library
• Secrets d’Essences Voile d’Ambre – Yves Rocher Inc.
• Signature Collection Japanese Cherry Blossom EDT & Perfume Mist – Bath and Body Works
• Signature Collection Sensual Amber EDT & Perfume Mist – Bath and Body Works
• Thierry Mugler Interprets Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (unisex) – Clarins Fragrance Group

PRIVATE LABEL/DIRECT SELL – MEN’S (Five finalists in this category):
• Banana Republic Black Walnut – Inter Parfums USA
• Banana Republic Slate – Inter Parfums USA
• Driven – Derek Jeter – Avon Products, Inc.
• Re: Verb – Revelations Perfume & Cosmetics, Inc.
• Thierry Mugler Interprets Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (unisex) – Clarins Fragrance Group

To learn more about the Fifis and the Fragrance Foundation, please go to the fragrance foundation website.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jasmine 2006 Literary Award Goes to Hannah Betts

Journalist Hannah Betts has been awarded the 2006 Literary Award for new press at the 2006 Jasmine Awards, the most prestigious awards in beauty journalism. Her award-winning article is titled "Picking up the Scent," in which she discusses the development of one's olfactory palette. She states:

Fragrance is the consummate marriage of art and science, and it pays to approach the subject with the seriousness with which you indulge other sources of sensory and aesthetic stimulation, such as music, literature, wine and food.

The three principal genres are: floral, oriental (musky, spicy and exotic), and chypre (citrus top notes, floral heart, mossy underbelly).

....In developing an olfactory palette you rapidly come to appreciate that tastes collide. My own penchant for the mossier, leatherier, more resinous chypres such as Caron's Tabac Blond chimes with my predilections in tea, wine, food and scotch, where a smoky lapsang or peaty Islay malt will always be more desirable than pastry or pudding and wine.

Her poetic prose is a delight to read. And her clarification of what defines a chypre is worthy of a read all by itself. To check out the rest of the article, please visit the TimesOnline.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Guerlain Launches New L’Art et la Matière Fragrance: Iris Ganache

Iris Ganache
Iris Ganache by Guerlain
image source: OsMoz

The House of Guerlain has announced the launch of its fifth fragrance in the niche L’Art et la Matière collection: Iris Ganache. According to OsMoz, this fragrance

‘envelopes you like a pashmina shawl, and leaves a powdery trail of an extreme elegance’. Created by designer Thierry Wasser / Firmenich, in collaboration with Sylvaine Delacourte, Iris Ganache reveals an iris butter ‘worked like a pastry ganache’. A mouthwatering scent, like ‘white chocolate shaded with floral notes’ and enhanced with cinnamon, bergamot, patchouli, white musks, cedar and a slightly ambery vanilla note.

This sounds like a very warm, all-enveloping fragrance. Although I must admit to being a bit confused by the description. Is it more like a powdery pashmina shawl or a flowery, buttered pastry? Or a little of both? Like wrapping oneself in a gooey, sugary chocolate éclair?

Mixed metaphors aside, if it is anything like the first four fragrances in the collection, it is sure to be exquisite. Please click here to see my previous comments about this collection.

This fragrance will be available at the Paris House of Guerlain in June.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Molinard Perfume Launches New Series

La Collection parfumée de Molinard

La Collection parfumée de Molinard
image source: OsMoz

The House of Molinard has announced a new fragrance collection called La Collection parfumée de Molinard. The collection involves a restyling of the house bottles to have sleek lines, rounded shoulders and sharp corners.

The creations have been grouped into 6 families: ‘Les Fleurs’, ‘Au Féminin’, ‘Les Orientaux’, ‘La Fraîcheur’, ‘Les Fruits’ and ‘Au Masculin’. (The Collection includes) six new fragrances: Bois Fleuri (Wood in Bloom), Vents et Marées (Winds & Tides), Pêche de Vigne (Red Peach), Chypre d’Orient, Eau de Verveine and Eau de Citrus. (via OsMoz)

The collection is due to be released in April.

While I have not yet tried these new fragrances, just reading about them made me nostalgic for other Molinard scents. So today I wore Habinata, the floral-oriental fragrance created in 1921. It features (via Ayala writing on Basenotes):

Top notes: Mastic, Cedarwood, Lavender, Bergamot, a hint of Juniper berry, Leather notes

Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Peach, Heliotrope

Base notes: Vanilla, Tobacco, Tonka Bean, Amber, Oakmoss, Musk, Opoponax, Vetiver

It is a rich, smoky fragrance that evokes the energy of the flappers of the Roaring Twenties. I imagine wearing it while frenetically dancing the Charleston, faux pearl strands a-flyin'!

Flapper does the Charleston

Flapper does the Charleston;
image source:

For my previous post about Molinard, please click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Chanel No. 19: Quest for the Eau de Parfum Continues

Chanel No 19 Eau de Parfum
In a previous post, there was a question regarding the availability of Chanel No. 19 eau de parfum. I have received a letter from Chanel-USA's customer relations department, as follows:

Dear Christine,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding CHANEL N°19, that was Mademoiselle
Chanel's personal perfume and named to celebrate her August 19 birthday.
Like its creator, Nº19 is forever young, intensely feminine,
contemporary and supremely spirited.

CHANEL N°19 Eau de Parfum is discontinued (emphasis added). I searched all CHANEL
Boutiques in the US and was unable to locate any remaining inventory of
that item....

CHANEL Nº19 can be enjoyed the following forms:

-- CHANEL Nº19 Eau de Toilette Spray ....

-- CHANEL Nº19 Body Lotion ....

Thank you for your interest in CHANEL.

Best regards,
Consumer Relations

I had written my query to CHANEL-France, and my letter was forwarded to the American office. Thus, the answer is still incomplete. We know that in the United States, eau de toilette is the only form in which our beautiful Chanel No 19 is available. HOWEVER, I still have questions as to the availability of the eau de parfum (and parfum) in France. If any of you can shed light on this mystery, please drop me a line! Together, we can figure this out!

Chanel No. 19 parfum
images source: french

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fragrance Launch: "Purplelight" by Dali

Purplelight by Dali

First there was Dali Purplelips, a floral/amber fragrance with notes of blueberry(!), purple granadilla, vanilla orchid, violet, amber and sandalwood. It was created by perfumers Antoine Lie and Guillaume Flavigny (Givaudan) and launched in September 2006.

In May of this year, Dali fragrances will be releasing Purplelight. This woody/floral/musky fragrance was created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (Takasago). It features notes of lilac, jasmine, cherry blossom, bamboo leaf and Tahitian tiaré blossom over a base of almond wood, vetiver and musk.

Eau de Toilette 1, 1.7 and 3.4 fl. oz.; Price €28 to 58.

What will be next? "Purple Rain"?

You go, Prince!

YouTube Video: "Prince 1987 LS Tour Live"
Perfume image and notes source:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Christian Lacroix Launches New Fragrance: "C'est la Fête!"

C'est la Fête!

Designer Christian Lacroix has announced the launch of his newest fragrance, C'est la Fête! This translates into English as It's Party Time! and this joyous energy is captured in the bright tropical hues of the packaging and flacon. Created by perfumer Jean Jacques (Takasago), the fragrance contains:

Top notes:
Passion Fruit

Heart Notes:

Base Notes:

Price: 30 ml - 28€; 50 ml - 42€; 100 ml - 55 €; 200ml - 70 € ($37-$93).

image and notes source:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Niche Perfumers in the News

Because our olfactory sense is so closely linked to memory, people remember what perfume you wore long after they have forgotten what you had on. This is why you should spend at least as much time selecting a signature fragrance as you would on a wonderful dress. -- Mona di Orio, The Daily Mail

In a not-so-recent (August 2006) Daily Mail UK article, author Judith Keeling interviews 4 notable women perfumers. She talks to Patricia de Nicolai (Parfums de Nicolai), Lyn Harris, (Miller Harris), Celine Ellena (The Different Company) and Mona di Orio , (Mona di Orio perfumes). The reason for bringing this article to your attention is that it highlights the creative minds behind four of my favorite niche perfumeries. In a world that has long been dominated by male perfumers, it is refreshing to hear from such gifted female noses. To read the entire article, please go to Scent of Success.

Meanwhile, our friends across the pond share their views on celebrity fragrances in a Daily Mail UK article today titled, "Celebrity Scents on Trial: From Celine to J-Lo." Readers of The Perfume Bee will know that I am not a big fan of celebrity fragrances. Quite the contrary. But I include a link to this post because it features comments by Roja Dove, one of the world's leading fragrance experts whose comments are always insightful, if sometimes blunt. For this article, please click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fragrance Review: Éclat d'Arpège

Éclat d'Arpège
Beautiful, limited-edition bottle of Éclat d'Arpège

image source: Nordstrom

On this misty, nearly-end-of-winter day, I felt drawn to spritz on one of my favorite springtime scents: Éclat d'Arpège. From the elegant house of Lanvin, Éclat d'Arpège was created by perfumer Karine Dubreuil and released in 2003.

This is a light, musky floral fragrance that starts off with a crisp, green lemony top note. It maintains a certain tartness as it evolves into the sweet, peachy floral center. The red peony and Chinese osmanthus give it a beautiful heart, which rests lightly on an ambery and musk base. This fragrance always reminds me of a beautiful summer day in London, which is where I first purchased it while on vacation in June of 2003. I remember with fondness carefully examining all of the new fragrances at Selfridges and selecting this as "the one" to bring back to the States with me. It has proven to be a wonderful, popular choice -- one that I have received many favorable comments on.

It contains the following notes (from Lanvin):

Top Notes: Sicilian Lemon Leaves, Green Lilac

Heart Notes: Wisteria blossom, Green Tea Leaves, Peach Blossom, Red Peony, Chinese Osmanthus

Base Notes: White Cedar of Lebanon, Sweet Musk, Precious Amber

The Art-Deco bottle was designed in 1927 for one of the earliest Lanvin fragrances, Arpège. That fragrance was designed by Jeanne Lanvin for her daughter, Marguerite as a tribute to a mother's love for her child.

This maternal love is represented by the perfume's emblem, unique in its kind: a woman and child, reresenting Jeanne Lanvin and her daughter, in an attitude of loving tenderness. This emblem later became the symbol of Lanvin.

This is one of my favorite bottles, and everytime I look at the image of the little girl playfully swinging from her mother's outstretched hands, I am touched by its tender poignancy.

Cost: 1.7-oz spray limited-edition bottle, $70. Available at The entire collection is available at The Perfume House.

image source: Nordstrom

Friday, March 09, 2007

Chanel Announces New Fragrance for Men: "Allure Homme Sport"

Chanel Allure Homme Sport
Chanel has announced the launch of its newest fragrance for men, Chanel Allure Homme Sport. It was created by Chanel perfumer Jacques Polge (who, as you may recall, created the six new Chanel Les Exclusifs. Does this tireless man never rest?!?).
Described as "dazzling," "fresh," "sunny," "gentle," and "elegant," this eau contains notes of citrus (mandarin orange, lemon, grapefruit, bergamot), elemi resin, cedar and white musks.

Cost: 5 fl-oz. spray bottle: €72 ($94.40 at today's exchange rate), from March 16th.
image and notes source: OsMoz.

Vintage Men's Fragrances

Dior Eau Sauvage
Eau Sauvage, by Dior, was created in 1966 by perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. With top notes of lemon, rosemary and petigrain; heart notes of basil and water jasmine; and base notes of vetiver, it has been one of the best-selling fragrances in France for the past 40 years. Last Sunday's Times Online (UK) offers a guide to this and seven other classic vintage men's fragrances. The writer suggests that if you don't know which fragrance to wear,

...then something that has lasted more than 50 years is a safe bet. You will find that vintage scents move with more grace than modern ones, and change more slowly on the skin. They are more feral, their vanilla dustier and their woods more mysterious. They are the product of old loves, the works of men long-buried but, amazingly, still bottled an for sale.

To see the list of 8 men's classics, you can read the rest of the article here.

Eau Sauvage is available in 50-ml and 100-ml spray eau de toilette at nordstrom and saks.

perfume ad image: images de parfums.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

California Dreamin'

OsMoz Image
For those of you who want to know more about the very cool Los Angeles fragrance scene, have I got the link for you! This month's OsMoz magazine features a wonderful "road trip" to L.A.,

where Agnes, our Made in USA fragrance expert, went to the hottest spots and chic-est boutiques to find out everything you always wanted to know about the perfumes, the designers and the stars...

Agnes discovered some really great boutiques and does a terrific job of describing them. For each locale, she highlights special and unique fragrances that may make you want to hop on the next plane to LA! To read the complete article, click here.

image source: OsMoz

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scent Education Promoted by Christopohe Laudamiel

Christophe Laudamiel

Practice makes perfect, or so the saying goes. Many of us have found this to be the case when learning to play a musical instrument, learning a new sport, or attempting any number of new activities. Repetition, training and practice improve our skills in most areas of our lives. And yet, for some reason the thought of improving our ability to distinguish various scents is rarely considered or discussed.

Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. Even as wine connoisseurs are able to refine their sense of taste, so, to, can perfumers refine their sense of smell. And the good news for the rest of us is that such olfactory refinement is not limited to master perfumers (or "noses"). We are all "trainable" in terms of our ability to improve our scent recognition and memory. Granted, there are those with greater natural talents in this area, even as there are those people who are born with perfect pitch. But there is hope that we each possess the capacity to greatly improve our olfactory sense and, subsequently, our enjoyment of fine perfume.

Interestingly, some experts are of the opinion that scent training should be a regular part of a child's education. They believe olfactory training should begin at an early age, when other skills are developing. For instance, renowned perfumer Christophe Laudamiel (co-creator with Cristoph Hornetz on the Thierry Mugler Parfums' 'Le Coffret' for the movie, “Perfume, The Story of a Murderer”) has teamed up with the Fragrance Foundation to develop a program that he hopes will bring scent awareness training to school-aged children in all public schools. In a recent Boston Globe article, Laudamiel states,

We are now going into phase two of the program to find out what would be appropriate for the curriculum of schools....This is a time when kids are learning a new language or starting music or drawing. Scent is just another sense that they have to awaken.

Laudamiel hopes that olfactory training will enable people to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the fine notes in a perfume. He compares perfumery to music, architecture and painting. Understanding the notes and instruments involved with a symphony orchestra make going to a concert an even more enjoyable experience. Similarly, he believes scent education will enhance an individual's appreciation for fine fragrances.

I agree wholeheartedly with Laudamiel's assessment of our need for scent training. In light of that, I am embarking on my own personal "scent training" program. I have a lot to learn, and I will share the details and my progress in future posts. Stay tuned, and meanwhile, I'd love to hear about your own experiences with "learning how to smell."

For further reading about Christian Laudamiel and his views on olfactory training, please see this 2004 interview as well as this recent interview on Basenotes.
photo source: National Science Teachers Association (2004)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cacharel's New "Liberté" Fragrance to Launch this Spring

Cacharel (owned by L'Oréal) has announced the upcoming launch of its newest fragrance, Liberté (French for "Freedom"). Described as a "chypre orange juice," it was created by International Flavors & Fragrances perfumers Olivier Polge and Domitille Bertier. It contains:

Top notes: bitter orange, plus zests of bergamot, citrus and mandarin;
Heart notes: white flowers;
Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, vetiver and vanilla.

Liberté is scheduled to launch in Europe beginning this spring and in the U.S. probably in the second half of this year. It will be available in 3 sizes. In France, the 30-ml. eau de toilette spray will retail for 33 euros, or $43.60 at current exchange rates; the 50-ml. spray for 49 euros, or $64.75, and the 95-ml. edt spray for 62 euros, or $81.95.

Liberté's tall, multifaceted orange bottle was designed to look like an abstract flower. It was inspired by the works of artist Dan Flavin, known for his beautiful creations with fluorescent light tubes.

Dan Flavin, untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow and blue), 1970
Dan Flavin, untitled (to Barnett Newman to commemorate his simple problem, red, yellow and blue), 1970

For more information about this 'thinking-outside-the-frame' artist, please see the Dia Art Foundation website.

perfume image and information source:
Dan Flavin's artwork: National Gallery of Art.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Better-Know-A-Niche Perfumery: fresh scents / terri

 fresh scents terri
Sometimes we just need to breathe. And if it takes a flacon of eau de parfum to remind us, all the better! Which is why I immediately went for Fresh Scents / Terri's Breathe eau de parfum. An uplifting combination of Light Musk and China Rain, it is smells very crisp, clean and light. The whimsical label shows a line drawing of a woman surrounded by fluttering butterflies that look as if they are reminding her to take life a little less seriously. The entire line looks like it is designed to uplift and inspire.

Fresh Scents / Terri is the creation of perfumer Terri Weitzman. Terri lives in southern Californian and started creating her fragrances about four years ago. Her line consists of oils, lotions, body washes and bath & shower gels. There are 7 women's fragrances and 2 for men:

  • Dream - Notes of vanilla and fig.

  • My LuLu - A blend of China Rain and Gardenia.

  • Oh Baby! - A blend of China Musk and Pikaki.

  • Breathe - A blend of White Rain and Light Musk.

  • Zoe - A blend of Light Musk and Sheer Musk.

  • Tangerine Kiss - Notes of cucumber, lime, watermelon and tangerine (available with a bronze shimmer).

  • Berry Cute - A blend of blackberry and vanilla creme (with purple and gold shimmer).

  • Peachy Keen - A blend of peach and vanilla creme (with peach and gold shimmer).

  • My Man - A blend of bergamot and musks.

  • Gregory - A blend of patchouli, ylang ylang, and leather.

The fragrances are available as 2-oz spray eau de parfum ($48); 1/3-oz. roll-on ($38 - first five fragrances only); and as a 10-piece sample set ($7 plus $6.95 s/h). The bath products cost $25 each. They can be ordered online at and at select boutiques.

image source:

Friday, March 02, 2007

Serge Lutens, 'Goldsmith of the Senses,' Awarded French Honor

Serge and Renaud
Serge Lutens and Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres

Fragrance designer Serge Lutens was recently awarded one of France's highest cultural honors: the insignia of the rank of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. Established in 1957, The Order of Arts and Letters recognizes artists and others who have contributed to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. Within the Order, Commander is the highest rank and a maximum of twenty such awards are given each year.

Commander Medallion
Medallion, Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters (image source:

In presenting the award, French Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres praised Lutens, describing
‘the immense talent of a true aesthete, a goldsmith of the senses, an extraordinary creator of images, who has made the quest for beauty his life’s work, and who has been a continual inspiration for the new artistic scene’ (photo and info source:

Serge Lutens is an extremely innovative perfumer and is the genius behind the Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido line of exquisite fragrances. Some of these include Iris Silver Mist, Tubéreuse Criminelle, A La Nuit, and his latest release, Rousse. For more about this niche line, please see my prior post.

Congratulations, M. Lutens!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mood and Scent: Clarins Eau Ensoleillante

Clarins eau ensoleillante

Clarins' new summer essence is called Eau Ensoleillante, which translates as "Sunnying Scent." Isn't that delightful??? I, for one, am all in favor of anything that can be considered "sunnying." It implies brightness and cheeriness of the highest order.

But what is it about this essence that gives it these solarial qualities? First of all, the liquid itself is orange-hued. The color orange is a tried-and-true mood-elevator.

Secondly, it has essential oils known for their uplifting qualities, particularly the citrus oils. (It also contains ylang-ylang, tonka bean and patchouli).

And finally, the essence contains extracts of soothing linden tree; griffonia, a precursor of serotonin; and vitamin-rich watermelon. Now, hold the phone! I must confess to being ignorant of griffonia altogether, let alone as a precursor of serotonin. But a little detective work (thank you, Wikipedia!) revealed the following:

  1. Serotonin (5HT) is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger in the brain) influencing many aspects of our health, including mood;

  2. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder;

  3. One possibility is that SAD is related to a shortage of serotonin;

  4. The small African bean, Griffonia simplicifolia, is thought to act as a precursor to serotonin. It supplies 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), an amino acid that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it converts to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) in a natural process (source: Steven Schechter, N.D.)

The implication, of course, is that products containing griffonia can help raise serotonin levels, which in turn improve mood and thereby alleviate conditions of SAD.

medical disclaimer: Remember, I am not a medical doctor, nor do I play one on television. True, I am a dietitian, but that is another story.... For any medical questions or conditions, please check with your primary care professional!

Griffonia simplicifolia

Whether or not the Eau Ensoleillante has pharmacologically effective levels of griffonia is information I am not privy to. But the idea of adding pharmaceutically-helpful ingredients to fragrance is something I will be following with great interest. Meanwhile, I hope the Eau Ensoleillante smells as good as it looks!
Clarins image and notes source: OsMoz
Griffonia image source:

Sheer Stella

Designer Stella McCartney has announced the launch of her new limited-edition fragrance for summer: Sheer contains notes of Bulgarian rose, peony, sugared lemon zest and green apple on a soft amber base.

Sheer will be available April 2007.

image source: