5 perfumes: iris fragrances for winter

iris on black

A light dusting of snow on the ground this morning reminded me that yes, we’re deep in mid-winter. If you love iris, this is when you can wear the richest and darkest irises in your collection. I’ve picked my five favorites for cold weather, and do add your own in the comments! And if you missed them, do see my list of iris picks for summer and iris picks for fall. The spring post is coming up in April, and then I’ll move on to a year of vetiver…

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Derek Lam 10 Crosby Silent St., Looking Glass, Hi-Fi, Drunk on Youth, Afloat ~ fragrance reviews

Derek Lam 10 Crosby fragrance collection

American designer Derek Lam recently released a new collection of ten fragrances, a partnership with Butterfly Beauty (the producer and distributor of the Elizabeth and James line) and his brand’s first official foray into the perfume world. 10 Crosby Street is Lam’s Manhattan business address, and it inspired the name of his more affordable diffusion collection, which offers modern fashion with a “calculated simplicity and thoughtful detailing” for a younger “downtown” woman. Now the address is also being applied to these fragrances: “1 STREET, 10 STORIES, 10 CROSBY.”

The 10 Crosby packaging has a fresh new look, with minimalist white cylinders and a rainbow of glass shades…

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MojoMagique Seer ~ fragrance review

tarot cards

Last week at work, a friend and I were discussing an acquaintance of mine in Russia: a “seer.” I had been introduced to the seer last summer by someone who swore by her talents and “influence,” even from far away. I was feeling some unwanted (and uncomfortable) sway, so my friend and I took a walk in Little Saigon. As I was vividly imagining the seer forgetting all about my existence, a woman approached me on the street and screamed in my ear: “YOU BELONG TO ME!” Her hateful shriek made my head go momentarily numb on the side that faced her. Back at work, my friend and I, feeling a bit incredulous and shaken, discussed witches, amulets, tarot cards and runes, and I Googled a famous psychic from Seattle who I had met ages ago…to find that she had died in 2013. When I got home that same day, on my porch was a package from Louisiana sent by a perfume company called MojoMagique; it was filled with fragrances called Magique, VooDooChild, PixieRose and…SEER.1 Guess which one I opened and tried first…

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The Shalimar Face-Off

Guerlain Shalimar, bottle detail

Has everyone recovered from Friday’s group project of wearing Guerlain Shalimar? Today I’ll test your endurance with a Shalimar Face-off. For the past few days, I’ve been wearing different formulations and vintages of Shalimar to suss out their differences.

Before we start, let’s have a quick Shalimar refresher. Jacques Guerlain created Shalimar, and it launched in 1925. Its notes include bergamot, lemon, iris, jasmine, rose, vanilla, incense, opopanox, patchouli, musk and tonka bean. What you smell are chiefly Shalimar’s tent poles of lemon, vanilla and rotting squirrel. Wafting over these tent poles is a complex fabric smelling of incense, amber, tonka, opopanox, vetiver, musk and powder.

For the face-off, I dug out every concentration of Shalimar I had on hand: a 1970s Eau de Cologne, the sought-after 1980s Parfum de Toilette, a 1990s Eau de Parfum and a pre-1985 Extrait…

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5 perfumes: flankers I like better than the original fragrance

Thierry Mugler Angel Liqueur de Parfum

We all complain about flankers, and they’re an easy mark: there are too many of them (really, WAY too many of them) and the general tendency of flankers, of course, is to dumb down, or sportify, or summer-ize, or oud-ify, or otherwise attenuate a possibly already less-than-marvelous pillar fragrance. But I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a few flankers I like better than the original. Here are my five picks,1 do share yours!

Tops on my list is Givenchy’s Organza Indecence. I never did care, either way, about Organza…

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