Parfums MDCI Fetes Persanes ~ fragrance review

La Fête Persane, Georges Lepape

Parfums MDCI Fête Persanes was inspired by the Fête Persane portion of Les Indes Galantes, an 18th-century opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau. I looked up the music before I started in on the review, and, my goodness, I dare you to listen to it without your heart cracking open. (Here’s a link. It’s not quite six minutes long, and the really good stuff kicks in at just after two minutes and fifteen seconds.)

But we’re here to talk about perfume, not music. Is Fêtes Persanes Eau de Parfum as moving as its muse…

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Scented Bath Powder ~ an appreciation

Les Houppettes Caron

This past week I’ve had a touch of flu, the kind that kicks off with aching muscles, sensitive skin, and chills. For a day, the only time I was comfortable was in a hot bath. And what helped keep me comfortable before I pulled on the layers and slipped into bed was a gentle patting of scented bath powder.

I only use bath powder four or five times a year. It can be messy, and powder that’s talc rather than cornstarch has health risks. (Try not to inhale talc-based powder, and keep it away from your lady parts.) Most often after a bath my skin wants moisture, and I reach for lotion.

Bath powder has been out of fashion for years…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet ~ Andrew Shayde

Inside the Perfume Cabinet ~ Andrew Shayde

For this episode of Inside the Perfume Cabinet, I bring you a creature rarely spied at Now Smell This: a regular guy who doesn’t know Guerlain from Garry Shandling. Andrew Shayde has been wearing scent since he was fifteen years old — so, for twenty years now. He likes fragrance and can’t imagine not wearing it. But to Andrew, words like “flanker” and “niche” draw blank stares. In other words, he’s like most of the scent-wearing public.

First, a little background. Andrew is from Kentucky, and his father is a minister. (Some of you might have seen him and his father competing on The Amazing Race.) He’s a handsome, laidback guy with an easy smile…

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Hermes Parfum d’Hermes ~ fragrance review

Hermès Jige clutch

In a review of Hermès 24, Faubourg, I compared it to the company’s Constance bag.1 While sampling Parfum d’Hermès, I couldn’t help but think of a mild-mannered cousin to 24, Faubourg. So, let me play the game one more time and pair Parfum d’Hermès with the Jige bag. To me, the Jige, a clutch, is a less formal, less sharply featured version of the Constance shoulderbag. So Parfum d’Hermès is to 24, Faubourg.

Perfumers Akiko Kamei and Raymond Chaillan developed Parfum d’Hermès. Its notes include aldehydes, bergamot, hyacinth, Egyptian jasmine, Florentine iris, ylang ylang, Bulgarian rose, labdanum, cedarwood, musk, amber, spices and vanilla. I’d add orange blossom to that list. Parfum d’Hermès was released in 1984. It shows a little of the era’s swagger in its top notes, but it calms into a sweet, proper perfume almost right away…

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Gri Gri Eau de Parfum for Tattooed Skin Tara Mantra, Moko Maori & Ukiyo-E ~ fragrance review

Gri Gri Eau de Parfum for Tattooed Skin

Do you have a tattoo? I don’t. But I love to see them on others. Among the overplayed lotuses, butterflies, and infinity signs are gorgeous works: angelfish swishing chiffon-like tails; maps of fictional places; gardens that couldn’t exist in real life. Last summer, I spent an afternoon at the Musée Quai Branly’s tattoo exhibit and was mesmerized by photographs and drawings of centuries of body art adorning everyone from prisoners and fire eaters to sailors and tribal leaders.

So, despite my tattoo-less skin, I thought I’d give the three Gri Gri for Tattooed Skin fragrances — Tara Mantra, Moko Maori, and Ukiyo-E — a go. Gri gri (or gris gris) is a form of talismanic magic consisting of a small, handmade pouches with something significant in them to protect their wearers or bring luck…

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