Lalique Perles de Lalique ~ fragrance review

Perles de Lalique

Last weekend brought a near-record-breaking snowstorm to my little corner of the world, and when mass transit shut down and a temporary travel ban was put in place, I had no choice but to spend a cozy weekend indoors. It was the perfect occasion to spritz on clouds of Lorenzo Villori Teint de Neige or Serge Lutens Rahät Loukoum for fluffy comfort while I curled up to read and write.

Monday arrived right on schedule, however, and the roads had been cleared sufficiently and I had no excuse to hibernate any longer…

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Parfums Raffy

Must de Cartier Pour Homme ~ fragrance review

Must de Cartier Pour Homme

Why was the Must de Cartier men’s line so unsuccessful? Must de Cartier Pour Homme1 was launched in 2000 and is already discontinued. Ditto with Must de Cartier Essence (2000), Must de Cartier Vert Anis (2001) and Must de Cartier Eau Genereuse (2003).

Must de Cartier Pour Homme is a sleek, appealing fragrance; it begins with a delicious-smelling and opaque anise-tangerine accord; the citrus is not icy, fresh or “clear,” but warm, cozy and generously spiced with anise, ginger and “olive leaf” (which may provide the momentary camphor-like aroma produced in Must de Cartier Pour Homme’s early mid-development). Coriander, which has a citrus character itself, floats in the background and is a perfect lead-in to Must de Cartier Pour Homme’s sweet tonka bean/vanilla base…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet ~ Tara

Tara perfume collection 1

Like many Now Smell This readers, Tara grew up fascinated with perfume. It started with a bottle of Jean Naté splash in the bathroom, grew to appreciate her mother’s Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps and Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, and proceeded in her early twenties to embrace classic whoppers including Giorgio, Christian Dior Poison, and Givenchy Ysatis before mellowing out. Unlike most of us, however, her collection now soars somewhere north of 700 bottles.1

Tara says that her perfume collection was a standard rotation of five or six bottles until 2005 when she discovered the Perfume of Life forum. That was the same year her husband started traveling to Europe for work. Tara began handing him shopping lists…

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Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2016

Mikhail Vrubel, The Snow Maiden, detail

I am on record, here and elsewhere, as hating winter. The forecast for this weekend — snow, snow, and then more snow — just adds insult to injury. I’ve mostly managed to avoid the winter rotation in our seasonal Top 10 lists, but I did get stuck with it back in 2011, and reviewing that list, yes, I could easily go through the winter with just those 10 (and I am convinced I could make it through any winter with just Fendi Theorema, if I had to).

To avoid repetition with my 2011 list and the winter lists we’ve done since, I decided to come up with a cold-weather wardrobe based solely on newer fragrances…and then once I’d decided on my 10, I realized, too late, that this post is essentially an abridged and annotated version of the Best of 2015. So much for good intentions. If you have some new ideas for winter, do comment! And do check out the lists at Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc and The Non-Blonde

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Diptyque + Olympia Le-Tan Rosaviola ~ fragrance review

Diptyque + Olympia Le-Tan Rosaviola solid perfume with box

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Diptyque has introduced a limited edition capsule collection: Rosaviola, a scent packaged in collaboration with designer Olympia Le-Tan. I’m not specially a fan of Le-Tan, whom The New York Times has praised for her “glamorous geek aesthetic” and her clutch purses that reinterpret classic book covers in fabric and embroidery — a “nod to a bygone era when people carried actual books,” the Times tells us.1 I still carry real books, rather than a $2000 clutch, but I’m not one of the well-connected Le-Tan’s celebrity clients and never will be. What I am, however, is someone who can not resist a violet-rose perfume, so here we are.

Rosaviola is composed of notes of violet, violet leaf, raspberry, iris and leather; it’s meant to evoke the scent of a woman’s handbag and the cosmetics tucked inside…

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