On my last few visits to the perfumery at Fenwick on Bond Street, I noticed that they carried quite a few brands that I hadn’t seen at other Central London boutiques. So I decided to pop in for a proper sniff around…
ODOU Issue FourStandard
If someone had told me last year when I began this blog that I would one day see an article published I probably would have cracked up laughing. So you can only imagine how absolutely thrilled I am to have been able to contribute to ODOU Issue Four. Continue reading
Sampling Thoughts: Deco LondonStandard
Sophia Fannon-Howell’s Deco London launches next month. She has translated her appreciation for history and fragrance into a well-rounded collection of perfumes, three feminine and three masculine eau de parfums developed in collaboration with Robertet. I’ve spent the past few weeks getting to know the scents a bit better.
The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Scavenger Hunt for ScentsStandard
Now that I have completed the series of scents referenced in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, I thought it would be fun to track down perfumes that best match the references. It’s quite a list, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Let’s take a look at what I need to hunt for…
The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter NineteenStandard
“You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play – I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend. Browning writes about that somewhere, but our own senses will imagine them for us. These are moments, when the odour of lilas blanc passes suddenly across me, and I have to live the strangest month of my life over again.”
The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter ElevenStandard
“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.”
Chemistry 101: Gamma-Undecalactone / PersicolStandard
“Jacques Guerlain built Mitsouko by breaking the power of the oak moss with a natural jasmine and, more significantly, a new synthetic molecule that had recently appeared. Jukov and Schestakow might have patented aldehyde C-14 (actually not an aldehyde but a lactone; it’s real name is gamma-undecalactone) in 1908, but Michael Edwards reports that it had been available from other suppliers, and it was probably Firmenich that introduced Jacques Guerlain to the molecule in the form of a base it called Persicol, which it had put on the market in 1908. C-14 was a marvel, a fruity, aromatic, delicious scent that gave ripe peach skin. Guerlain plugged C-14 into the equation perfectly (the rumor is, actually, similar to Chanel 5, that he in fact accidentally overdosed the stuff; who knows), and Mitsouko became a thing of subtle opulence, strength and balance and silken twilight.” Chandler Burr
The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter TwoStandard
“Lord Henry went out to the garden, and found Dorian Gray burying his face in the great cool lilac blossoms, feverishly drinking in their perfume as if it had been wine. He came close to him, and put his hand upon his shoulder. “You are quite right to do that,” he murmured. “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter OneStandard
A perfume friend of mine recently shared with me a wonderful article she wrote on fragrance in Decadence literature. It inspired me to start exploring this further, and I’ve begun reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’ll be sharing the references to scent I discover…
Les Parfums de Jacques Fath 1945 – 1953Standard
During his lifetime, Jacques Fath, the “little prince” of post war Parisian couture, would see seven perfumes released for Les Parfums de Jacques Fath between 1945 and 1954. Two of the most famous fragrances, Iris Gris and Green Water, were created by Vincent Roubert, who also composed Knize Ten in 1924 and Coty’s answer to Chanel No. 5, L’Aimant in 1927. He also worked with Coty on L’Or (1912), A’Suma (1934), and Metéor (1949).