Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2015

orange tulip

At last, spring! It’s taken long enough, and if your local weather has been anything like mine, you might be wondering if winter is not quite done playing games with you yet. Here are 10 perfumes (and another 10+ alternatives, because everyone needs choice, right?) to cover the full range of (crazy) spring weather, from boots to sandals and back again. As always, do add your own picks in the comments, or go read the lists at Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Perfume Posse and The Non-Blonde.

Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk: When I reviewed Forest Walk, I said you could wear it year-round but that the outdoorsy blend of earthy notes and pine-y woods was perfect for chilly fall evenings. Turns out it suits a brisk spring night just as well…

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Parfums Raffy

The Perfume that Gets Used First

Chanel Cuir de Russie, Eau de Rochas, Ananas Fizz and Miss Dior

This month marks nine years — !! — that I’ve been reviewing fragrance for Now Smell This. At, say, 50 reviews a year, that’s a whopping 400 fragrances I’ve written about. After all those perfumes and reviews, I thought it was time to talk about the fragrances that have stuck around in my perfume cabinet, those whose decants I drain and bottles I turn to again and again.

Chanel Cuir de Russie: At least three times a week, I wear Cuir de Russie. I started with a 10 ml decant, and when it was finished I thought I’d be fine relying on one of my many other leather scents. Not. Cuir de Russie stands alone…

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Parfums DelRae Wit ~ perfume review & quick poll

Antonio del Pollaiolo Apollo and Daphne

When DelRae asked me to work on her new fragrance, ‘Wit’, I was charmed and very interested. First, with such a fresh, bright, fun and clever name for the perfume. Secondly, a fragrance centered around Daphne, a beautiful flower never really explored before in fragrance, and finally the story of Daphne, a mythical character full of intrigue, imagination and love.

That’s perfumer Yann Vasnier, talking about the latest from niche line Parfums DelRae. I was likewise charmed and very interested when I heard about Wit, not least because Parfums DelRae is not exactly prolific: they’ve done nine fragrances since they debuted in 2000. In comparison to some niche brands, that’s not even a snail’s pace.

But they’ve all been worth waiting for,1 and there aren’t many brands that warrant such praise. Wit, the fourth Yann Vasnier fragrance for the brand, joined my buy list almost as soon as I had it on skin, and yes, it stayed on my list even after several wearings…

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5 Perfumes for: Nerds

classic nerd glasses

In a recent post at Perfume Posse, Musette described her adolescent self as “Geek before Geek was cool”. During a week when I watched The Social Network and contemplated buying a Gregory Brothers / Auto-Tune the News t-shirt, her description was just another sign that we have lived to see the day my mother was always promising me would come: nerds have inherited the earth. We’ve come a long way since the 1980s and nerdom has evolved: gone are the high pants and the pocket protectors (as well as most of the pens), nerds of every gender and race are acknowledged, and globalization and the internet have opened up new, niche fields of nerd inquiry. No longer restricted to math, science, computing and Star Trek conventions, nerds are becoming foodies and bespectacled mixologists, pop musicians, graphic novelists and film bloggers, beekeepers, adventure travelers, market watchers, reality television competitors and whistle-blowing website activists. Nerds have money. They own the best home theatre equipment and make the coolest Halloween costumes. They know the only coffee place in town with a Clover. And, increasingly, some of them are smelling really good.

Perfume is a great hobby for geeks and systems wonks. It can involve hours and days and weeks of research into a secretive, trend-driven and detail-oriented industry. You end up collecting bottles and vials, ordering or swapping rarities through the mail and building storage units or furniture to organize your collection. You exhibit a lot of mavenish behavior, like checking currency conversion websites multiple times a day. Almost every perfumista of long-standing I know keeps a spreadsheet or electronic notepad full of data on sample testing count, fragrance notes, prices, perfumer names or vintage scent markers…

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