- 14th February
- 23rd September
- 23rd September
Perfumers have signatures, you can pick up a fragrance and know who the perfumer is by the way certain ingredients are put together. I’m known for floral accords, bottoms and cleavageSophia Grojsman from her 1993 NY Times interview ‘In the World of Fragrance, Reputations Rest on the Nose…’
- 18th August
- 20th July
The perfumer is the last romantic of our time. Still able to communicate love, desire, audacity or temptation in a scent
- Arcadi Boix Camps
- 29th June
The creation of a perfume is an act of love, whether real or imaginary. I am a romantic, I couldn’t imagine living without dreams - Nina Ricci
- 6th June
- 3rd June
Time is a strange thing. We feel trapped by it when we are too aware of its passage and it goes by too quickly when we are not.
Time is a fragrance’s friend and its foe. The moment a scent bursts into the air is fleeting. It’s there one minute and gone the next, but for many of us, that moment also becomes still, the scent is all that matters. That’s so remarkable, how can something be temporarily static and moving all at once?
You must be wondering, ‘well that’s strange, why would anyone want to devote so much energy into something that doesn’t last?’ I guess I see it as existential in a way. I’m the type of person who seems to dwell on the past, generally, because it’s hard to let go of things, but also because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Ironically enough, I’ve chosen a path that requires me to live in the moment. Every day. Excuse the pun, but I actually stop and smell the roses! If my nose catches a scent, I archive it. This is a moment to cherish, one to put in your memory bank. On top of that, I have been taught to create something that can transport someone to another realm. So I have to be on my game, an active imagination always needs a good dose of reality plus a pinch of razzle dazzle to spark it up.
It’s reality 2.0- enhanced, appreciated and preserved. Perfect for dreamers.
Ohhh if only you could smell something over the internet so people could share the love, but the only way to smell something and truly understand it, is in person. Either way, perfume should be worn for you, by you, here’s a chance to live in the moment and in doing so, you learn about yourself.
Fragrance is a lot like love in that it has a similar lesson: Saying goodbye always hurts but the only way to heal (even though some of us hate to admit it) is to love again. Even though it is bittersweet, and you want that goodness to stay, whether it be smelly or otherwise, we just have to remember that with every goodbye there will be another hello. So enjoy the moment, and find more. Keep listening to others’ stories and keep telling your own, cuz that’s just the way it goesss.
time warp clock photo via http://fasteddie.wordpress.com
- 30th May
- 25th May
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty - Maya Angelou
- 25th May
- 29th April
There is a light seed grain inside
you fill it with yourself or it dies
- 27th April
I have had a major crush on Jasmine for as long as I can remember. Everything about this flower intrigues me and I never get tired of her scent. What’s great about our sense of smell, is that it goes right to the roots. It is primal in it’s effect, warping you back into a memory, and Jasmine seems to be one of the scents that has been a part of many of mine.
In the Middle East, there is a greeting made in the morning that goes something along the lines of ‘a morning filled with ful and jasmines’ (ful as I have recently found out is Jasmin Sambac.) I’ve always loved that, it brought the sunshine out, and the people who said it were always people of the land who would say that with unforgettable sincerity.
The Jasmine flower holds great meaning for many cultures. It is the national flower of India, Pakistan, Tunisia, among others. It is talked about in songs, worn almost every day in some parts of the world, has healing properties and is the epitome of beauty.
In perfumery, this flower is undeniably treasured. It is not easy to cultivate Jasmine because it has a low yield, meaning you need a lot of it to make a small batch. The most common process of extraction is solvent extraction, mainly using hexane (an organic solvent) to create the concrete. Alcohol is then added to the concrete to separate it and make an absolute. An essential oil is made by steam-distilling the absolute. Both types are used in perfumery and both are damn good.
Also, enfleurage is another process, one which I prefer, because it lets the petals steep and get absorbed by the wax they are placed in. It does take some time though.
You can get Jasmine absolute and essential oils from India, Egypt, Morocco, Grasse (very rare, but if you get a chance to smell this stuff, you will be blown away) and sometimes China.
Indian Jasmine is the sweetest for me, it is slightly more fruity and has a beautiful earthy quality to it as it dries. Egyptian Jasmine is a little sharper, more indolic, (2.5% of Jasmine is made of Indol.) It has a natural green note in the beginning, it is very powerful and very very good. Moroccan Jasmine is more green in general, and has a great spunk to it which I enjoy. Jasmin de Grasse is expensive to cultivate, but is used by Chanel for example. It is rounder, more floral, and has a subtle, delicious honey note. It takes around 700 kgs for 1 kg of absolute, and 1,400 hours of loving, hard work to get it done.
Hedione is in the Jasmine family, an aroma chemical used to enhance floral accords and generally adds volume to a perfume. Many perfumers use it, and a lot of it. I don’t blame them because it does brighten up most accords (it’s also fun to work with because it’s so versatile) Check out the classic, first of its kind (but unfortunately a now-overused accord) Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior originally made by the master himself Edmond Roudnitska.
The Different Company has a beautiful Jasmine perfume called Jasmin de Nuit, which was created by Celine Ellena, the daughter of Jean-Claude Ellena. (Keep an eye on her, she has also created Côte d’Amour for L’Artisan Parfumeur)
Serge Lutens has A La Nuit which features Jasmine as its main diva. Bringing whole new meaning to ‘Queen of the Night’.
It is incredible how beautiful this flower is, girls all over the world have been named after her, lovers swoon at the very thought of her, and memories are made with her in mind because she makes life so much more colourful. If you were wondering why I keep capitalizing our darling Jasmine, it’s because that’s the respect she truly deserves.
p.s. There is an annual Fête du Jasmin in Grasse, usually held in August. It’s a wonderful feeling to be immersed in the culture, the whole town smells like it!
- 22nd April
Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!
I seem to remember the first day when I filled my hands with
these jasmines, these white jasmines.
I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green earth;
I have heard the liquid murmur of the river thorough the
darkness of midnight;
Autumn sunsets have come to me at the bend of a road in the
lonely waste, like a bride raising her veil to accept her lover.
Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white jasmines
that I held in my hands when I was a child.
Many a glad day has come in my life, and I have laughed with
merrymakers on festival nights.
On grey mornings of rain I have crooned many an idle song.
I have worn round my neck the evening wreath of bakulas woven
by the hand of love.
Yet my heart is sweet with the memory of the first fresh
jasmines that filled my hands when I was a child.The First Jasmines - Rabindranath Tagore (Indian Poet)
- 20th April
Soleil by Fragonard.
Let me tell you a little story. About thirteen years ago, my parents decided to take my brother and I to France. My aunt had lived in Paris for many many years and it was time for a visit. We ended up going to the South shortly afterwards. We visited Nice, Biot (a little town not too far away, known for glass-making) and Grasse. The rest as they say, is history.
We visited the Fragonard factory where my mother bought me my first perfume. A teeny 10ml vial of Soleil. The sun has been an important symbol in my life; I have always loved being by the sea because the sunset had an undeniable power over me. I prefer heat to cold (Montreal in the summer is out of this world, totally worth sticking out the cold months for) and when I was much much younger, at kindergarten, each child had a locker with a symbol, and mine was the sun.
I have truly never forgotten the scent of Soleil. It stuck with me for years and felt like it was meant to be on my skin. I kept coming back to it as my go-to scent.
Around three years ago, I graduated from university and was not satisfied with what I had graduated with. So I read, and I read a lot. One of my best friends decided to share Jitterbug Perfume with me, and it changed my life. I then proceeded to read The Alchemist, which just further proved that there was something better out there for me. I ended up getting another bottle of Soleil in the mail, and everything just clicked!
How could I remember a moment like that so clearly, even though it happened so long ago? I remembered the Jasmine, the Wisteria, the beautiful Rose and the fresh Lily. I was brought back to Grasse instantly, and so, I decided to go back, find myself and pursue my new-found yet undying love for perfume.
It is a definitive floral, but it has such depth that it really does bring sunshine into my life. I feel instantly better when I wear it, so it’s a no-brainer to make it the perfume of the week, and personally; my signature scent.
It is hard to find Fragonard products across the pond, but there are ways to get them online. Out of all their perfumes (and maybe I’m totally biased) Soleil is the best one. It is an accurate depiction of the South of France; vibrant, colourful, beautifully golden and full of life. Many people believe it is a generic scent, made for the mass market, with no definite single note. I actually think that the unity within the ingredients makes it that much more special. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
Soleil is an Eau de Parfum, with above average sillage and great tenacity. Who doesn’t love that left-over-on-your-clothes smell? This stuff lasts!
You can find it on www.fourseasonsproducts.com (that is where I prefer to buy it)
Or if you ever get a chance to visit Grasse, the Fragonard Museum and factory are a must see.