Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2016

tulip in snow

I am vocal about disliking spring. Where I live, there are always a few days in late February that feel like an elaborate set-up from Punk’d. Like newborn babes, they come: the office mates, friendly neighbors, the recently retired. They peer up into the warming blue and wonder aloud, trying to remember which way a hapless groundhog waddled weeks ago. Please don’t take spring’s bait. This year it snowed in April in the colder areas of Europe and North America and fans and news writers seemed to blame poor departed Prince. Let’s face it, in Minneapolis anyway, it usually snows in April. And snow can be the least of our worries. I am a fan of heterogeneity — I like mixed drinks and mixed company, for example — but few phrases freeze the heart faster than that euphemism “mixed precipitation”. Spring also brings wind, rain, seasonal allergies and skies the color of dead fish. Yes, the vernal months provoke a rare ire in me.

And yet, looking over my April 2011 Top 10 and Robin’s post from last year on pretty spring florals, I’ve realized I have little cause to be so sour while wearing some of my favorite fragrances. Clutching roots and branches may grow from stony rubbish, as Eliot wrote, but I have hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, magnolia, violets and iris to console me until mid-May…

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Parfums Raffy

Frederic Malle Monsieur ~ fragrance review

Janis Joplin

According to Barneys New York, Frédéric Malle’s inspirations for Monsieur1 were…

“…remorseless seducers2 who would playfully flit from women’s embrace to social merrymaking. Gentlemen3 whose manly and timeless elegance has relentlessly guided the development of this perfume and enabled Frédéric Malle to stay on course during the creation of this very minimal scent.”

Here they are, a-hem, “aristocrats” all…

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5 Perfumes: Dressing Table Fragrances

Carole Lombard at her dressing table

Sometimes I want a glamorous perfume. I don’t mean a blatantly sexy fragrance, but one that oozes retro allure. Imagine Carole Lombard, swathed in silk charmeuse, warm from the bath, with bowls of roses in every room. That kind of perfume. I think of these fragrances as “dressing table” perfumes. They’re resolutely feminine and are usually dosed with rose, violet, iris, and powder. The best of them carry an animalic purr. They’d be right at home perched on a vintage dressing table with a postcard from a lover in Paris clipped to the mirror.

Here are five of my favorite dressing table perfumes. With each perfume, I add a dressing table accessory that suits it. In the comments, please share your favorite dressing table perfumes…

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Still covered in Eau Sauvage

But the real memory that was very important for me is, I was at boarding school, playing a lot of sports, as one does. And I must have been about 12, and was still covered in Eau Sauvage. You know when you run and sweat? That sort of smell of, I suppose, myself and the perfume, it was something that I realized then was addictive. And then when I was trying to desperately become a playboy -I was 15 – my mother had some products sent from the States to study, and one of them was Halston Z14. [...] I thought, Wow, this is damned good. I used that stuff for years. First of all, I was probably the only one is Paris who owned it at the time, and I thought I was so goddamn special wearing it. It was the first overdosed use of Iso E Super.

— Frédéric Malle, quoted in Frédéric Malle on the Art of Seduction at W Magazine.