Category: green

Imaginary Authors The Soft Lawn, 2012

Perfumer Josh Meyer. I am suspicious—make that incredulous—of storytelling in perfumery. The minute the exposition or the plot commences, I tune out. Perfume evokes ideas and states, and reflects trains of thought that no other art-form can. Trying to make perfumes tell stories reminds me of those tiny dogs in circus acts, dressed in clown-like costumes, jumping up and down…

Why I’m Wearing Cristalle Today

There is a succinctness to Cristalle that appeals to me.  It makes me think about syntax and tense in language. The past is perfect, the present is subjunctive and the future is conditional. My relationship to time has everything to do with the language I speak, English, which favors an analytical/logical view of dividing time. Preterite, pluperfect, present, conditional, anterior,…

Frédéric Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire, 2002

(image Randolph Scott and Cary Grant) Perfumer Dominique Ropion. Vetiver root has been used in perfumery since day one, but the eponymous masculine Vetivers fixate on it with a particular reverence. Vetiver isn’t simply the masculine equivalent of the feminine white floral. It’s become a ceremonial totem of male toiletry, ranking with the fougère as a masculine olfactory reference. In the late…

digging (into) vintage: Guerlain Chamade, 1969

Image, Gregory Crewdson. Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain. Chamade captures the olfactory gestalt of Springtime like no other perfume. It smells like fresh stems, flowers, moisture, soil and rot. Succulence and indolence. More than a summary of notes, though, it smells like the sensations of Spring. It combines the acceleration of exploding growth and the leisurely pace of a world thawing over…

Vero Profumo Onda Extrait, 2007

Perfumer Vero Kern, 2007. Aesthetics might be shared but beauty is experienced personally. Discussions of aesthetics often lead to unanswerable questions on the nature of attraction, absolutes and subjectivity. Onda’s contribution to the debate is to show where the discussion takes place. Wearing Onda shows you that beauty is experienced at the limits. Simple ease and comfort might be found without…

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, 2009

  (image source unknown) Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake I’m from a small town in Connecticut. Not, Suburban-New-York-Connecticut. New-England-Connecticut. In my 1960s-1970s, the New England countryside was a place of wonder and democracy. The woods were a frame of mind as much as they were a location. Though I never thought of anything local as particularly exotic, pine was the scent of local…

Tauer Perfumes Carillon pour un Ange, 2010

Image lifted from Loretta Lux. Perfumer Andy Tauer Carillon pour un Ange hits like an olfactory epiphany. It is captivating, ravishing. I can’t stop taking long, slow inspirations of it. The muguet (earthy, oily, creamy, strangely autumnal) is so distinct from the light, pretty lilies of the valley I’ve smelled before. Muguet is the lead-in to the leather, the fresh,…

Lancome Sikkim (La Collection), 2005

Perfumer of 2005 version unknown Sikkim reminds me of the expression, “to fly off the handle.” Sikkim’s escalation is so quick that it doesn’t even seem like progression, just the flip from something calm to something disturbed. The first sniff sends you reeling. Sikkim is fast, rough and, I don’t know. I guess abundant. It’s everything at once. It’s a…