Couture to skank

What starts out glamorously couture with honey-drizzled petals soon strips down to a smell that Ms. Beaulieu describes, not derogatorily, as “skank.”

— Denyse Beaulieu, talking about Schiaparelli Shocking, in today's New York Times. Read more at Revealing a Lot, Aromatic and Otherwise.

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New perfume books 2013

The paperback edition of Alyssa Harad’s Coming to My Senses, the US edition of Denyse Beaulieu’s The Perfume Lover, plus Cult Perfumes by Tessa Williams, and two novels — The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro and Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin.

Coming To My Senses by Alyssa Harad

Alyssa Harad, Coming To My Senses, paperback cover

Published last year in hardback (see our Q&A here), the new paperback edition (see above) is due for release in June…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l’Aube ~ fragrance review, sort of, and a quick poll

L'Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’Aube labelL'Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’Aube fragrance bottle

Séville à l’Aube is the latest from French niche line L’Artisan Parfumeur. Over the years, I’ve reviewed a fair number of their fragrances — yes, I’m a fan. This, however, is not a proper review. I’ve never met blogger Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, who worked with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour to develop Séville à l’Aube (and who wrote a book about the process: The Perfume Lover). But I’ve corresponded with her, and I utterly fail the test for any sort of objective review: would I be completely honest if I thought it was dreck? No, I really wouldn’t. I’m quite sure I would just keep my mouth shut and review something else. As it happens, I love Séville à l’Aube, enough so that I want to say something about it. So, consider this a review with a major disclaimer.

The scent’s inspiration and development was detailed in Denyse’s book, and has been repeated elsewhere, so I’ll just quote her own quick summary from Grain de Musc:

[Séville à l’aube] was inspired by one of the most beautiful nights in my life, in Seville during the Holy Week under an orange tree in full blossom, wrapped in incense smoke and the arms of a Spanish boy…

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