Sniffing Around: Fenwick of Bond Street

Standard

18th September 2015_Fenwick 1557

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…

Continue reading

Advertisements

ODOU Issue Four

Standard

18th September 2015 064_b

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 London

Standard

 

11th August 2015 146_bb

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.

Continue reading

The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Scavenger Hunt for Scents

Standard
Watercolour sketch by Alastair

Watercolour sketch by Alastair

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…

Continue reading

The Perfumes of Dorian Gray: Chapter Nineteen

Standard

Fleurs_de_lilas_blanc_à_Grez-Doiceau_001

“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 Eleven

Standard

2nd July 2015 345

“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 / Persicol

Standard

Gamma-undecalactone, Periscol, Peach Aldehyde, C14

“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

Continue reading