The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter Eighteen

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“There was something in the clear pine-scented air of that winter morning that seemed to bring him back his joyousness and his ardour for life.”

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Chemistry 101: Rose Oxide

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RoseOxide_1968maslo

Rose oxide was discovered in 1959 by Casimir F. Seidel and Max Stoll at Firmenich. It is a significant ingredient of Bulgarian rose oil. It is also a contributing factor to the flavour of lychees.

Its discovery was considered so important it warranted a postage stamp in Russia.

Further reading: Rose oxide – the scent of shiny metal roses via 4160 Tuesdays.


sources: From Classical to Modern Chemistry: The Instrumental Revolution by Peter T.J. Morris

leffingwell.com

 

Party of the Century | Le Bal Oriental, 3rd September 1951

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photograph by Robert Doisneau

photograph by Robert Doisneau

Over one thousands invitations for Charles de Beistegui’s Le Bal Oriental were sent out six months prior to the night of 3rd September 1951 to give guests time to design their elaborate costumes. The event, inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s fresco The Banquet of Cleopatra at his Palazzo Labia, would see desperate Americans anchoring their yachts at the Venice Lido in the hope of an invitation.

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The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter Fifteen

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Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (c.1533-88), Sweet violet (Viola odorata) and red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (c.1533-88), Sweet violet (Viola odorata) and red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

“That evening at eight-thirty, exquisitely dressed, and wearing a large buttonhole of Parma violets, Dorian Gray was ushered into Lady Narborough’s drawing room by bowing servants.”

Shiseido Zen | Josephine Catapano, 1964

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Shiseido Zen

Josephine Catapano created just four perfumes during her career. She followed up 1953’s Youth Dew for Estée Lauder with Zen for Shiseido in 1964. Zen is described by Luca Turin as “a perfect woody rose”. It wears deceptively elegant, like a fresh-faced, no-make-up look that you know requires a full palette and very deft touch to achieve. A supremely affable blend of plum, roses and wood. Impossible not to love.

Shiseido Zen photographed against Japanese Chiyogami paper

Shiseido Zen photographed against Japanese Chiyogami paper

The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter Eleven

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“And so he would now study perfumes and the secrets of their manufacture, distilling heavily scented oils and burning odorous gums from the East. He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life, and set himself to discover their true relations, wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergris that stirred one’s passions, and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances, and in musk that troubled the brain, and in champak that stained the imagination; and seeking often to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes, and to estimate the several influences of sweet-smelling roots and scented pollen-laden flowers, of aromatic balms and of dark and fragrant woods, of spikenard that sickens, of hovenia that makes men mad and of aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy from the soul.”