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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Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman ~ fragrance review

 Sultan Suleiman I taking control of Moldova

When I hear that something is a leather fragrance, almost always my first thought is, what kind? Leathers can be as oily and potent as a motorcycle gang’s garage hangout, or tender and soft as a well-used chamois. They can be salty or sweet. Sometimes the leather blends so well with the rest of the fragrance that it’s barely discernible, and sometimes it wallops you straight from the bottle.

Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman is a rich, comfortable leather with a soft but durable texture. If it were a leather article, it would be a saddle leather handbag you buy for its practicality, not glamour — despite how expensive it is — then wear so often that it becomes a part of you…

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