L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis ~ fragrance review & very quick comfort scent poll

Bûche fumée praliné et noisettes de Philippe Conticini

Noir Exquis is the latest Bertrand Duchaufour production from L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s another gourmand, and was “inspired by an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie” — it promises all sorts of delicious things, from glazed chestnuts to coffee to maple syrup.

And the start is delicious: a bright citrus top note disappears almost as soon as it arrives, then it’s a lovely swirl of sugared chestnuts with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee bean, with mild fruity undertones. It’s rich and warming, and perfect for the October chill…

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5 perfumes: iris fragrances for fall

orange iris on green

No, it isn’t fall yet, but in case you’re planning ahead (or just sick of summer), here are five iris fragrances to consider as the air takes on a bit of a chill and darkness falls a bit earlier every day. If you missed it, do see my list of iris picks for summer.

Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue: I included “regular” Infusion d’Iris on my summer list, but the Absolue version is the one I reach for more often, year round. As you’d expect from the name, it’s more…

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5 perfumes: (great) old school summer colognes

orange slices

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, there’s a decent chance you’ve already entered that part of summer known as the dog days. The hot, humid weather was traditionally expected to last around 40 days, but where I live, we’ve surely already had 40 days of sticky, and we could easily have 40 more before it’s over.

I’m not complaining, or at least, I’m not complaining as much as I’d be complaining if it was cold out. I’ll always take hot over cold. But this is just the sort of weather that calls for a classic Eau de Cologne: a little concoction of citrus and flowers, perhaps a few spices, perhaps some oakmoss or amber. It won’t last long, but it will lift up your spirits while it does, and you can always reapply later or move onto something else. Here are five choices, although I’ve (of course) expanded the definition of a classic Eau de Cologne a wee tad…

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Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2015

Japanese Garden, Portland

Instead of returning to my weary perfume cabinet for a rundown of summer favorites (I already hear longtime readers thinking, Is she going to bring up that blasted bottle of Jean Naté in her refrigerator again? Yawn), this year I got smart. I asked André Gooren from Portland’s fabled The Perfume House to share ten of his summer favorites.

André was up to the challenge. During a Saturday morning, between helping a bearded Australian opera singer (Caron Nocturnes, two bottles), a charming older woman (4711), a Romanian couple (Robert Piguet Jeunesse), and a booming-voiced regular (Pino Sylvestre and Comme des Garçons Avignon), he laid out ten sophisticated and sometimes quirky choices…

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