Author Archives: Angela

Shalini Amorem Rose & Aftelier Antique Ambergris ~ fragrance review

Sometimes transitioning to autumn feels like falling off a cliff. One minute, you’re sleeping with the fan pointed at you. The next, mornings are downright cool, and you’re liberating your wool from the basement. In other words, it’s time to dig out an amber fragrance. Two new amber-friendly fragrances to consider are Shalini Amorem Rose and Aftelier Antique Ambergris.

Shalini Amorem Rose was conceived as “a poem dedicated to the greatest love stories.” Perfumer Maurice Roucel composed the Parfum..,

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Homemade Perfume by Anya McCoy ~ book review

Are you crafty? Me, neither. But I love talking to people who make things. Once I happily spent half an hour listening to a stranger explain how to transform a thrift store needlepoint canvas into a tote bag, and now I have an adorable vintage needlepoint of a cat and a bird, half a yard of upholstery velvet, and pagoda-printed fabric waiting to be made into that perfect bag. Will it happen? I doubt it.

Similarly, as much as I love perfume, I’ve never had the yen to make my own fragrances. It’s fun to learn about, though, and exploring the fine points of techniques such as enfleurage and distillation gives me a keener appreciation for the perfume I wear. If I ever were to tackle a tincture, Homemade Perfume by pioneering natural perfumer Anya McCoy of Anya’s Garden is where I’d start…

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Le Galion L’Ame Perdue ~ fragrance review with an aside on perfume in Paris

Sure, I’m in Paris, but I wasn’t planning to buy perfume. I have plenty already. Besides, I’d already bought a pair of sandals and some underthings, and my budget was shot. Then I smelled Le Galion L’Ame Perdue, a chypre that would have been right at home on Rita Hayworth’s dressing table. When I discovered I couldn’t buy it in the U.S., I handed over my credit card. This baby was going home with me.

Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux developed L’Ame Perdue. Its notes include lemon, Sicilian green mandarin, cardamom, coriander seeds, white pepper, datura, Egyptian jasmine, jasmine sambac imperial absolute, Bulgarian rose, ylang ylang, red lily, cloves, cinnamon, plum, mirabelle, patchouli, amber, benzoin, balsam of Peru, rosewood, vanilla, honey and oak moss.

L’Ame Perdue is a complex, spicy-fruity chypre with an initial hint of skank and miles of earthy glamour…

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Chanel Paris-Venise ~ fragrance review

Wow, has it been hot. Where I live — and now in Paris, where I’m spending a chunk of August — summer has been one heat wave after another. What’s a perfume-loving girl to do? Turn to light, fresh fragrances, of course, like Chanel Paris-Venise Eau de Toilette.

Paris-Venise is one of the three Eaux de Toilette from the new Les Eaux de Chanel collection (the others are Paris-Deauville and Paris-Biarritz). Perfumer Olivier Polge developed all three…

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Chanel Paris-Venise ~ fragrance review

Wow, has it been hot. Where I live — and now in Paris, where I’m spending a chunk of August — summer has been one heat wave after another. What’s a perfume-loving girl to do? Turn to light, fresh fragrances, of course, like Chanel Paris-Venise Eau de Toilette.

Paris-Venise is one of the three Eaux de Toilette from the new Les Eaux de Chanel collection (the others are Paris-Deauville and Paris-Biarritz). Perfumer Olivier Polge developed all three…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet ~ Kevin

For this Inside the Perfume Cabinet article, we feature NST’s Kevin. Who better to tell his story than Kevin himself?

I became interested in perfume through gardening. My grandmother got me hooked on plants when I was 8 years old; her favorites were all scented: wallflowers, geraniums (for the leaves’ scent), daffodils, sweet peas, Summersweet, magnolias of all types, Nicotiana alata, evening stock, mignonette, roses, lilies, sweet box, Carolina allspice, on and on. I was intoxicated by those aromas and thrilled when I realized many of the scents were available year-round — in soaps and perfumes…

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Aedes de Venustas Musc Encense ~ fragrance review

With Aedes de Venustas Musc Encensé, it’s all about texture. A musk-centered fragrance — especially one that puts incense on the billing — could easily be stifling and itchy, a fur stole of a perfume. Musc Encensé, however, is a vapor that hangs as sheer as the waft off of a cup of tea. It’s the sort of fragrance you spray on, forget about, then later catch a whiff of something nice and realize it’s you.

Ralf Schwieger composed Musc Encensé. Its notes include clary sage, cashmeran, tonka, musk, incense and leather. The musk-savvy perfume lover will want to know what kind of musk this fragrance embraces…

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What to Do When Your Favorite Perfume is Discontinued

At last, you find a fragrance that you can’t wait to put on in the morning. It’s fresh but interesting, light but present. It smells like you and how you want to feel every day. One morning, you spritz the last from your bottle and hie to the store to buy a replacement, and….it isn’t there. The fragrance is no longer being made.

What now? Here are the steps I’d follow to get my hands on more of my Holy Grail…

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Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele ~ fragrance review

You know how you only need to see a few square inches to know that a painting is a Van Gogh? Or read a paragraph to know a story is by Hemingway? Perfume brands can have a distinctive style, too. It’s wonderful when an artist has a “voice.” On the other hand, can a style become limiting — or even boring? For perfume, how do you avoid the olfactory equivalent of playing the same tune, but in a different register?

Neela Vermeire Créations’ fragrances have a definite voice: spice, a creamy density, a love of incense, wood and rose…

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Parfum d’Empire Le Cri de la Lumiere ~ fragrance review

Sometimes it’s interesting to put aside the scent of a fragrance for a minute and focus on its texture. Is it murky and thick like a dark paisley wool throw? Or maybe it’s as diffuse as silk chiffon? The feel of a fragrance can be tight and dry or roomy and almost humid. It can be too dark to parse or nearly seem to shimmer.

As its name advertises, Parfum d’Empire Le Cri de la Lumière throws light like a moonstone. At the same time, it’s as cool and as finely grained as luxury face powder. Something so delicate should crush and fade easily, but Le Cri de la Lumière is a solid number, leading me to yet another comparison: a crystal take on Brancusi’s bird resting on an end table by the window…

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