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Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2016

I didn’t realize how much I missed summer bugs (animals, not diseases) till I left Virginia as a teenager. Living on Manhattan, then Los Angeles and now Seattle doesn’t compare to the South when it comes to insect life. My childhood summers were filled with the sounds of crickets and cicadas. Butterflies put on a non-stop show in the flower gardens. Nighttime was when my grandmother and I would sit on the front porch (swatting mosquitoes, one bug I do NOT love) and watch the fireflies as we took in the heady scent of gardenias — whose white blossoms also lit up the darkness. I’d love to see a grasshopper or praying mantis, a big black-and-yellow garden spider shimmering in the sun, or a dragonfly flitting about my yard.

Here in Seattle I do get to see some beautiful moths, living their brief moments on earth holding fast to my deck screens or circling a light bulb. Tiny spiders are everywhere, inside and out, and I would never think to kill one — they work so long and hard to live and make a living. Right now in Seattle it’s the season for ten-lined June beetles (a type of scarab beetle); my cats (to my chagrin) love to chase, torment and kill June beetles, who, as they fight for their lives, raise up their antlers (yes, antlers) and make puffing sounds to ward off attacks. Here’s to bugs! (AND summer perfumes!)

Coqui Coqui Rosas Secas ~ This wonderful rose perfume smells of dried rosebuds mixing with a fresh rose bouquet; there’s also a pinch of tobacco leaf. Rosas Secas is a great rose perfume for men…

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Scented Father’s Day Gifts ~ 2016

pink tie

It’s Father’s Day ALREADY? This year I’ve assembled twelve gift choices (13 counting the non-scented tie above) that can be mixed and matched: a box of soap and a shower gel, or some grooming products and a bottle of booze (there’s always food and drink on my list…they’re “fragranced,” correct?) So, buy a nice box or bag and fill it up! (If the box is a lacquered Chinese antique or the bag is a leather tote — all the better.)…

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Hermes Parfum d’Hermes ~ fragrance review

Hermès Jige clutch

In a review of Hermès 24, Faubourg, I compared it to the company’s Constance bag.1 While sampling Parfum d’Hermès, I couldn’t help but think of a mild-mannered cousin to 24, Faubourg. So, let me play the game one more time and pair Parfum d’Hermès with the Jige bag. To me, the Jige, a clutch, is a less formal, less sharply featured version of the Constance shoulderbag. So Parfum d’Hermès is to 24, Faubourg.

Perfumers Akiko Kamei and Raymond Chaillan developed Parfum d’Hermès. Its notes include aldehydes, bergamot, hyacinth, Egyptian jasmine, Florentine iris, ylang ylang, Bulgarian rose, labdanum, cedarwood, musk, amber, spices and vanilla. I’d add orange blossom to that list. Parfum d’Hermès was released in 1984. It shows a little of the era’s swagger in its top notes, but it calms into a sweet, proper perfume almost right away…

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I wanted to snatch the fragrance of these flowers from the dawn sky

He describes his approach thus: ‘I don’t recall ever having challenged a scent in this way. Firstly, in a physical, hedonistic way, because I wanted to snatch the fragrance of these flowers from the dawn sky, together with that of the foliage that envelops them. And then, in a cerebral way, I worked on the coolness of its aura, the delicacy of its opalescence and the ethereal nature of its existence.’

[...] Sadly, 'Muguet Porcelaine' is Jean-Claude Ellena’s final perfume as Hermès’ in-house perfumer, but it’s a sparkling swansong: this is what we call going out on a high.

— Read more at 'Muguet Porcelaine': Jean-Claude Ellena’s sparkling swansong for Hermès at Wallpaper.