5 perfumes: Euphoria


It has been said of great poetry — as well as of pornography, of course — that you know it when you see it. A few perfumes have struck me with an analogous revelatory force.1 Many of my favorites have crept up on me, gaining in beauty and mystery over the course of several exposures. In a small number of cases, though, a first encounter with a fragrance has been more like being within 50 feet of a lightning strike: no immediate definition or description does the matter justice. Since my perfume hobby started, I’ve watched the epiphanies of several of my fellow fume-heads. Upon processing the first sniff, two enthusiasts have wept. One friend laughed in surprise, and another pirouetted. My reaction to such new love is to blush beet-red, regardless of whether there is anyone around to witness my surrender. Apparently, if I am greatly moved, my sympathetic nervous system must become involved.

Does it say something about me that I have spent a great deal of time ruminating on these singular events, trying to identify a unifying thread? (Short answer: yes.) In fact, I have noticed there are similarities between my own heart-struck moments…

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Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Toilette ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Toilette

“What?” you might be asking. “Black Orchid. Umm, haven’t we covered this ground before?”

Well, yes, sort of. Robin reviewed Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum soon after it was released in 2006, and we’ve since reviewed its flankers: Voile de Fleur and Velvet Orchid. But this review is for the newly launched Eau de Toilette, which the perfume house touts as different from the original…

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Enfleurage Sanctuary, Roses & Amber ~ fragrance reviews

Enfleurage house blends

Was it really six years ago that I wrote a shopping report about Enfleurage, New York’s most specialized purveyor of natural aromatics? Yes, apparently. The boutique has since moved to a new address (237 West 13 Street, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood) but its staggering selection of essential oils and natural incenses remains unchanged. I still sniff individual oils during each of my visits, but I’m also very fond of Enfleurage’s “house blends.” They’re available as concentrated oils and as “roll-ons to go,” diluted in a base of organic jojoba oil for ready-to-wear use.

My favorite house blend is Sanctuary, a blend of ylang ylang, chamomile, patchouli, clary sage and black pepper…

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Perfume and Comfort

rescue dog

Paris holds a special place in the hearts of many perfume lovers. Last week’s tragedy in Paris shook a lot of us. I know I’ve been thinking about how fragile and unpredictable life is. What do you do to comfort yourself when your life is shaken up? Is there a perfume you turn to?

Just as events remind me not to take the people I love for granted, they also encourage me to remember the foolishness of saving “nice” things. Every day is nice. Over the weekend, I dipped into the few milliliters of Lanvin Scandal I have left, and I liberally splashed on some vintage Carven Ma Griffe Extrait…

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A Lab on Fire Mon Musc a Moi ~ perfume review

A Lab On Fire Mon Musc à Moi

A Lab On Fire’s new fragrance, Mon Musc à Moi, sounded reasonably tempting. It was developed by perfumer Dominique Ropion, and it’s from a brand that’s done more than one fun gourmand (What We Do In Paris Is Secret, Paris*LA). The ad copy was a little silly, but it usually is, and while I couldn’t say exactly what they mean by “contemporary retro”, it sounds like it can’t hurt, right?

As it turns out, Mon Musc à Moi smells entirely contemporary to me, and I probably would have liked it better with another dash of retro…

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