The perfect petals

It needed to have the perfect petals; not too thick and leathery, yet not tissue-thin. The scent had to be powerful enough to be steam distilled. The plants must be bred under the natural constraints of the field, and then must make it through the next winter as well as be regrown from seed to test for staying power. It takes five years to know if the flower will produce enough oil and resist disease and pests. Kurkdjian and Ducher, whose main tool is a slender sable-tipped paintbrush to spread the pollen of one plant onto the stamen of another, have spent dozens of near-dawn mornings sniffing madly, eyes shut beatifically.

— Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and rose breeder Fabien Ducher work to create a new perfume rose. Read more in Francis Kurkdjian and Fabien Ducher, Changing History in a Bottle at the New York Times. (found via @sniffapalooza at Twitter)

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Nina Ricci L’Extase ~ fragrance review

Nina Ricci L'Extase, brand images

Nina Ricci’s perfume distribution in the US is spotty. You can find the old classic L’Air du Temps at Nordstrom or Macy’s, and Macy’s also has the youth-oriented Nina. That’s about it. Bloomingdales, Saks and Neiman Marcus don’t have anything (although Neiman Marcus has some lovely items from the fashion line at the moment), nor does Sephora. I never saw Ricci Ricci or Mademoiselle Ricci here at all, although admittedly I did not look all that hard.

I was curious about L’Extase, the latest, which is geared older than Nina but younger than L’Air du Temps. +1: it’s a musky floriental from perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. -1: the advertising, with Laetitia Casta, is the usual drearily predictable writhing we’ve already seen a million times over…

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Carven Pour Homme ~ fragrance review

Carven Pour Homme

Carven Pour Homme1 is instantly recognizable as a contemporary men’s fragrance, but it’s much nicer than your average masculine mainstream perfume. Imagine a friend who always dresses like a slob. One day, you see a figure approaching who looks familiar but…different. It’s your friend! But in beautifully tailored clothes, and he’s sporting a great new haircut to boot. Such is the Carven Pour Homme effect.

Carven Pour Homme is a violet leaf scent. We often smell violet leaf in perfumes in loutish guise: loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ordinaire. Carven Pour Homme presents violet leaf made chic…

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