Charenton Macerations Eye, Hatshepsut ~ fragrance review

Charenton Macerations Eye, Hatshepsut brand image

I’ve always loved ancient Egyptian art and history, the complex religious practices of Egyptians and the depictions of their gods (including such “gods” as the female pharaoh Hatshepsut). Call me macabre, but I enjoy reading about ancient Egyptian mummification practices and the fragrant oils used to preserve and scent important corpses big (rulers) and small (cats); I’ve written here at Now Smell This (10 years ago!) about kyphi incense. Like everyone else, I’m sometimes susceptible to advertising, so any time a perfume house releases a scent that references Egypt, I sample it in hopes it will be glorious. (Why didn’t Serge Lutens ever “go there”…with a rich, “profound” Egypt-inspired fragrance?)

Charenton Macerations Eye, Hatshepsut (which was, according to ad copy, researched at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo) goes on smelling medicinal, or “medicinal” as interpreted by a contemporary perfumer…

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Mirus Wicked Stepmother & Driftwood ~ fragrance reviews

Rubus sumatranus stem

I’d never heard of Mirus perfumes until I visited Tigerlily in San Francisco this July; a sales assistant insisted I sample the Northern California-based line. I was so taken with Mirus Wicked Stepmother, I included it in my Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2016 post.

Wicked Stepmother

(jasmine, lychee, orange, carnation, animalic amber and vanilla)

Wicked Stepmother reminds me of a vintage French perfume, one I could easily imagine being worn by the likes of Anouk Aimée or Simone Signoret in their heydays (both actresses could have rocked a mean stepmother — méchante belle-mère — role!) Wicked Stepmother opens with lush jasmine, spiked with a shot of something green…

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Last Roses of Summer ~ jam recipes

rose 1

As autumn approaches, my garden is preparing for one final flourish before Day of the Dead (in Seattle that’s, aptly, The End…when my last marigolds will succumb to too much damp, the few remaining roses ‘forget’ to open fully, and quince stragglers, brown, soft and vinegary, lie on the ground).

In these late-August days, I’m thinking ahead: I need to make one more batch of fig-leaf syrup (my Desert King fig tree is so happy it’s two stories high, its leaves bigger than my head) and plan this year’s assorted quince treats: savory, sweet and alcoholic. Our Russian quince tree (Aromatnaya) has so much fruit I’ll be donating some to a pig sanctuary and a weed-chomping, underbrush-clearing goat herd. I’ll also make the final batches of rose jam.

I didn’t grow up eating roses…

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Auphorie Miyako ~ fragrance review

Auphorie Miyako brand image

Auphorie is a small perfume house based in Malaysia; it’s run by two brothers: Eugene and Emrys Au. Recently, many bloggers have written (excitedly) about Auphorie’s limited edition Miyako1 so, of course, I had to try it.

Miyako goes on smelling like a rich fruit syrup, not an ‘ordinary’ syrup, but one concocted (with secret ingredients) at a lavish Parisian restaurant for use in over-the-top desserts and cocktails. Miyako’s syrup is made mostly of ripe stone fruit — heavy on peach and apricot. Miyako’s fruit accord begins to dry rather quickly and the perfume becomes a tad talc-y before the arrival of moist osmanthus blossoms and a smooth leather aroma…

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Amouage Myths Man ~ fragrance review

chyrsanthemum by Piet Mondrian

I’ve smelled almost all Amouage fragrances but have bought only two: Jubilation XXV and Gold Man. Most of the Amouage perfumes don’t suit me; when I wear them, they make me feel “mature,” serious, and their heavy-opaque feel and scents are uncomfortable. I don’t think of myself as a careFREE guy, effervescing all over town, a giggle-box. I like sober scents, too, at times, but ones that float, like spirits. Amouage perfumes often sit, heavily, on me. (Yes, I’ve tried the Sunshines…no thanks.)

Amouage’s new Myths Man has a promising mix of notes (chrysanthemum, orris, rose, rum, elemi, labdanum, vetiver, “ashes” and leather); its described trajectory, from chrysanthemum to smoke, sounds romantic and brought to mind images of flower and bird paintings, philosophers and poets from Asia…

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