Inside the Perfume Cabinet ~ Arielle Weinberg

Arielle Weinberg step shelf, perfumes

“I have no perfume memories,” says Arielle Weinberg, blog mistress of The Scents of Self and owner of the brand new niche perfume shop, Arielle Shoshana, in suburban Washington, D.C. Ari’s father lost his sense of smell in a car accident before she was born, and her mother didn’t wear fragrance.

So, what got her interested in perfume? Mascara. When Ari was 15 years old (she’s 24 now), she was looking up mascara reviews and stumbled upon Makeup Alley, which led her to the Penny Pencil’s poetic reviews. Besides mascara, Penny Pencil reviewed perfume. Ari was at first intrigued, then hooked. In D.C., where Ari lived, she didn’t have much access to niche fragrances, so she dived into the Guerlains and Bond No. 9s. For a few solid years, she wore Bond No. 9 New Haarlem, and she still loves Guerlain L’Heure Bleue

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

Atelier Cologne Jasmin Angelique ~ fragrance review

Atelier Cologne Jasmin Angélique

I can’t believe it’s October already. I recently came across the sample of Atelier Cologne’s Jasmin Angélique that a friend passed to me over lunch one day back in July. That visit is still very fresh in my memory, and at the same time it seems much too long ago. That’s how things are with long-distance friends. Now Jasmin Angélique is inextricably bound in my imagination to that happy afternoon; fortunately, it lives up to that challenge for me.

Jasmin Angélique is the latest addition to Atelier’s Cologne Absolue collection, and it’s described as “a mysterious path to a secret garden”…

Read the rest of this article »

Penhaligon’s Halfeti & Levantium ~ fragrance reviews

Penhaligon's Halfeti

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes Collection was inspired by “the luxurious and decadent commodities which were traded through London’s historic docks at the turn of the 19th Century.” What comes to mind after reading that teaser? Delicious, fumy liqueurs and spirits, spices and foodstuffs, sandalwood, patchouli, leathers, fabrics and the fabulous plant “discoveries” brought back to England by botanist-explorers. But who knew the ships’ hulls had kegs and kegs full of…Iso E Super?!

Halfeti1 was named after the rare black roses that grow near the Turkish village of Halfeti…

Read the rest of this article »

Norell New York ~ fragrance review

Riley Keough for Norell New York

The press release accompanying my lab sample of Norell New York says that “the heritage of the campaign” is “Fusing Then and Now.” To a lover of vintage fragrances, these are dangerous words. I wonder, what’s wrong with leaving the “then” alone — why not simply offer the classic Norell made with good materials and balanced by a skilled nose? By “now,” do they mean “market-driven” (aka “pandering”)? Deepening my skepticism, the press release says “Norell New York makes you feel like ‘Each Time is the First Time’.” I groan in dread.

I’m happy to report that Norell New York does not pander to fragrance trends, and although I wouldn’t call it a dupe, it respects the original’s bones and character. Whether it’s for you is a different question…

Read the rest of this article »

Kerosene Broken Theories ~ fragrance review & a quick poll

Kerosene Broken Theories

I almost reviewed Kerosene’s new Broken Theories alongside The Different Company’s Le 15 on Wednesday— they have little enough in common otherwise, but both scents went into my (imaginary) “incense box” just as soon as I smelled them. And the respective juices fit nicely into the (other imaginary) boxes you’d expect: Le 15 is smooth and sophisticated, and perfectly plausible as an anniversary fragrance of an established (and expensive) niche brand. Broken Theories is indie, and it’s not particularly smooth, and it’s about, well, broken theories, or existential dread, or garden-variety anxiety-induced insomnia, or somesuch…

Read the rest of this article »