Etat Libre d’Orange La Fin du Monde ~ fragrance review

Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin du Monde

Go Out With A Bang. Or not. Before smelling Etat Libre d’Orange’s new La Fin du Monde* fragrance, I imagined many ways to approach the ‘end of the world’ in perfume — the possibilities! —what FUN! Having worn La Fin du Monde for two days (not scary, not inspiring, and definitely not fun), I’ll save any talk of earth’s annihilation for a future review of a worthy scent.

When first applied to skin, La Fin du Monde presents a sweet, earthy/food-y spice mix of carrot seeds and light cumin, with some pepper in the periphery…

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Best Men’s Fragrances of 2011-2012-2013 (Better Late Than Never)

Self Portrait, Dick Ket

Did I really skip 2011 and 2012 when it came to writing my annual best-of-men’s-perfumes post? (Wow…and the world kept turning — imagine that!) I’m two years behind so today I’ll catch up by picking my favorite men’s fragrances from 2011, 2012 and 2013 (you can see my picks for 2009 and 2010 here). Some of these perfumes are unisex, but with a masculine edge (to my nose anyway). Though I missed my fair share of fragrance releases, I’ve still smelled tons of perfume product in the last three years. I don’t feel that a masterpiece escaped my attention.

Every year, I tend to write about men’s fragrances that I either “love” or “hate” (using those verbs with feather-weight intent since I don’t cry over favorite perfumes gone missing or reformulated, and I don’t gnaw on my fingers when I encounter awful perfumes). I’m still, I believe, a Perfumista, but I’ve put perfume in its proper place…

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Perfume in Paris

Teatro siciliano, Italian embassy in Paris

What would a trip to Paris be without perfume? While I’ve been in Paris, I’ve spent time with Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, who kindly wrangled me a few perfume-related press invitations. In this post, I’ll give you an overview of a few of these doings, with real reviews to come over the next few weeks.

Jean Patou: To launch Jean Patou Joy Forever, Patou set up one-on-one meetings for journalists with a company vice president and Patou’s new nose. Denyse and I went to Patou’s tiny storefront on the rue de Castiglione and were ushered upstairs to a reception room just big enough to hold a desk and a table with tea and plates of jasmine and rose macarons from Pierre Hermé.

Big changes are happening at Patou. First, Procter & Gamble sold the brand to a family-owned company in 2011. The new company brought in a new perfumer, Thomas Fontaine, who orchestrated the re-releases of Chaldée, Eau de Patou and Patou Pour Homme…

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2013

fall leaves

I’ve experienced autumn in several places. When I was growing up in the ‘tropics’ (Virginia), the arrival of autumn was marvelous — no more steamy heat or mosquitoes. One of the first signs of autumn was the arrival of glass jugs of amber-colored fresh apple cider, for sale at orchard stands along almost every road. I tried to find an apple scent for this post (and for my perfume “collection”) in honor of apples and cool weather, but I was unsuccessful. Any suggestions? (Donna Karan DKNY scents need not apply.)

My early college life in New York City proved the Big Apple was not much different from Virginia in summertime, except for the added smells of simmering garbage on the streets. But autumn in New York was great; all the food cart aromas, even the exhaust fumes, smelled nicer mixing with the cool, marine air surrounding Manhattan, and the autumn leaves in Central Park added a dry, “woodland,” hay-like scent to the crisp air.

When I lived in L.A., autumn was pretty much like any other season (warm and sunny), except for days when the ferocious Santa Ana winds made autumn feel like I was standing in front of an open oven door…and the oven temperature was at 450° Fahrenheit. I’ve never in my life been more lethargic than during hot weather in Southern California, nor have I reached for cooling Eaux de Cologne more, applying them morning, noon and night.

Now I live in the Pacific Northwest…

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