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5 perfumes: appreciating the Big Five

Like much art, some fragrances — especially the complex classics — take time to appreciate fully. At first, you might even find them off-putting. But as you spend time with each fragrance, you begin to appreciate its peculiar nature, its singular beauty. That describes how I’ve felt about the perfumes I’m calling the Big Five.

I’ll tell you a little about my relationship with each fragrance, then I’d love to hear how you’ve come to know each of them.

Chanel No. 5

Chanel No. 5

For the longest time, I was convinced I knew all about No. 5. No. 5 was fine, full of straw-tinted jasmine, awash with aldehydes, and charming, if fusty. But it wasn’t for me — or so I thought…

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2015

yellow leaf

It’s mid-September, and I’ve been flipping through various beauty-and-fashion magazines to keep up with things. I’ve been particularly struck by all the “New Season, New Scent” headlines. I know, I know — this is how the fragrance business stays in existence, yet this autumn I’m craving comfort and familiarity far more than novelty.

Looking back five years (!), I’d still wear most of my picks from my Top Ten Fall Fragrances of 2010, but I’ve also made a few “new” favorites since then. Here are my very personal picks for the months ahead.

I’m looking forward to an off-season seashore getaway soon, and I’ll be packing Diptyque Florabellio

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Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles 2015, part 14

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US. Today’s post includes collector editions from Nina Ricci, Estee Lauder, Hermès, Guerlain and Yves Saint Laurent.

Nina Ricci Nina Or

From Nina Ricci, a brushed gold edition of Nina, in 80 ml Eau de Toilette. Available at Nocibe in France…

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