Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Toilette ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Toilette

“What?” you might be asking. “Black Orchid. Umm, haven’t we covered this ground before?”

Well, yes, sort of. Robin reviewed Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum soon after it was released in 2006, and we’ve since reviewed its flankers: Voile de Fleur and Velvet Orchid. But this review is for the newly launched Eau de Toilette, which the perfume house touts as different from the original…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

Perfume and Comfort

rescue dog

Paris holds a special place in the hearts of many perfume lovers. Last week’s tragedy in Paris shook a lot of us. I know I’ve been thinking about how fragile and unpredictable life is. What do you do to comfort yourself when your life is shaken up? Is there a perfume you turn to?

Just as events remind me not to take the people I love for granted, they also encourage me to remember the foolishness of saving “nice” things. Every day is nice. Over the weekend, I dipped into the few milliliters of Lanvin Scandal I have left, and I liberally splashed on some vintage Carven Ma Griffe Extrait…

Read the rest of this article »

Aftelier Vanilla Smoke ~ fragrance review

lapsang souchong

Autumn and the scent of smoke seem made for each other. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the season’s first wood fires, or a taste of peaty Scotch, or the steaming pots of smoky Lapsang Souchong tea that sound so good on a rainy afternoon, but for me it’s hard to separate smoke and November. For that reason, I looked forward to sampling Aftelier Vanilla Smoke.

Not that I didn’t have my concerns. After all, not all smoke is good smoke. Would the smoke be toasty or touched with cumin (like real wood smoke can be) or acrid? Worse, would the vanilla smell like cake batter? Fortunately, with Mandy Aftel we’re in good hands…

Read the rest of this article »

Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois vintage & new ~ fragrance review

Shiseido Féminité du Bois brand image, doubled

Just as Picasso had his Blue period, Serge Lutens had his “Bois” period, and Féminité du Bois was its foundation. Féminité du Bois established a new “flavor” in women’s perfume: sharp cedar counterbalanced with fruit and spice.

Like the gastronomic rediscovery that salty and sweet go well together (hello salted caramel and bacon chocolate), Féminité du Bois’s honey- and spice-dipped shaved cedar feels intuitively right. Serge certainly thought so. He followed it up with a raft of Bois fragrances…

Read the rest of this article »

Folio Columns: 2003-2014 by Luca Turin ~ book review

Folio Columns: 2003-2014 by Luca Turin

If I were Luca Turin (forget for a moment that this is a review of his book), I might start this article with a story seemingly unrelated to Folio Columns: 2003-2014. For example, maybe I’d tell you about standing at a confiserie window as a child, pondering the tiny green leaves or dot of red or praline flower adorning each bonbon and guessing at its relationship to the candy’s hidden center. Once you’d finished the article — which has nothing to do with chocolate, by the way — you’d understand that I’d delivered a curious, but apt, way to explore something entirely different.

Fans of Turin’s writing already know this roundabout way of addressing a subject. (They also know to expect a smattering of evocative metaphors as well as frequent references to classical music, scientific theory, and rare automobiles, no matter what the essay’s subject is.) If you enjoy Turin’s perfume reviews in his and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: the A-Z Guide for their style at least as much as their insight on fragrance, you’ll definitely want a copy of Folio Columns

Read the rest of this article »