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Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2015

winter is going away

While I am almost impervious to cold, I hate the inconvenience of winter. Imagine the shock-and-awe factor of a blizzard before the urban industrial era. People must have looked out into the eerie silence of a storm, a thick, blank curtain of white dampening even the wind’s whistle, and prayed to their higher being for safety and survival.1 Now, I get a snow alert on my phone and think: “Blast! If this causes me fifteen minutes of delay on the commute, I’m going to lose it!” I know, #ModernWorldProblems. In fact, after an ice storm that darkened Toronto into the new year for 2014, we’ve been lucky enough to avoid most of the chaos this winter. My condolences to Buffalo, Chicago, Boston and those on the East coast in Canada and the US.

The upside to darkness and inclement weather is the time I have inside to prepare an assault on two high peaks: the book pile and Mount Sample. Generally, I wear whatever fragrance I feel like at any time of year, but almost all perfumes conjure a particular season for me and the ones that evoke winter probably get less of my air time than most, merely for practical reasons. (Who will wear Guerlain Attrape-Coeur on a warm day in May? Not I.) My personal strategy for combating winter, then, is to dig out those under-loved warming, rich and sweet scents. But I do empathize with those who use the opposite approach, the denial method…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Jacinthe de Sapphir & Deco Diamonds ~ fragrance reviews

Denver Art Museum, Brilliant exhibit banner

In late 2014 independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz released her Brilliant Collection, a quartet of fragrances inspired by an exhibition of Cartier jewelry at the Denver Art Museum. I’ve been sampling the four Brilliant scents this week, and while I could go on and on about this interesting analogy between jewels and perfumes, and the language we use to describe both, I’ll try to stay on topic by sharing my thoughts on my two favorites from the collection.

Jacinthe de Sapphir was created to evoke “a densely blue, gorgeous hyacinth in the ground” and was “inspired by the Queen of Romania Sapphire, one of the famed Cartier jewels.” It has a composition of violet leaf, galbanum, bergamot and hyacinth; rose de mai, narcissus and tuberose; and tolu balsam, Peru balsam, vetiver, styrax and civet. As promised by Hurwitz, this fragrance evolves from “dewy” to “luscious and earthy.” It opens with a stemmy-green burst of galbanum that only gradually fades into a bouquet of floral notes…

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