December 31, 2011

This is the time.


Remember how for Christmas I suggested that you think twice before sedating someone with your lilies and patchoulis... Well, tonight I tell you the opposite.


Tonight is the night for the tux, the feelings, the love, the impossible heels and that perfume you love but feel often is "too much". It is perfect tonight. Go for the oriental, animalistic, hedonistic, go full spectra.

December 30, 2011

Invisible languages, words and no words

I can't get this out of my head so I have to share it with you because someone just made me think of this again. The last week I have been doing research on Jacques Polge and reading quotes. Polge often speaks about the invisible poetic language of perfume, the poetry, the language... you can see examples in my post from yesterday on Chanel.

His words give me this echo in my head...  I keep hearing two male voices at the same time, intertwined. It sounds like madness, but it is not, it's beautiful.



December 29, 2011

A fragrance for days without perfume

In Stockholm there is a place for yoga called Yogayama. If you ever come here, and are a yogi, I recommend you drop in for a class or just stop by for lunch upstairs. In the winter there is an open fire and the whole place smells of beautiful soothing incense and chai. During a recent visit I lingered for a while around the shelves with candles, incense and fragrances. I discovered a brand called Jimmy Boyd (sounds like a friend of the Rat Pack rather than a nose doesn’t he?). Unpretentious clear bottles of soft breezy fragrances that made me think of washed bed linen swaying on a cord to dry in the sun. I left with a ”water”, Limón y rosa. On the bottle it is written, ”Produced with love”. I like that... The fragrance is an aromatherapeutical mix of citrus and rose that can be used for the body or spaces.
This fragrance really stands out in my collection which, as you might suspect by now, has several orientals and very few florals or citrus fragrances. The closest, and actually very close, is my summer favorite Escale a Portofino. In fact, this breezy thing feels like a virgin version of that one.

Castoreum

You can see just looking at the word that it has to be something a bit nasty, can’t you? It sounds like a place on the human body that is geographically located in an angle that only very close allies ever visit. 

As we know, the poetic world of perfume would not be so seductive and mysterious without the mysteries and oddities. Just like a perfume wouldn’t. Perfumes that are just easy and sweet are… boring. Just like people who are just easy and sweet can be. And then we have those who use perfumes like Mandy Afteliers Secret Garden (also has natural civet as Mandy Aftelier is known for her use of natural ingredients), Cuir de Russie and Antaeus (of course…) from Chanel or Labdanum 18 from le Labo. 



Castoreum, comes from the castor sacs of a mature North American or European beaver. Both males and females have castor sacs located in cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. Together with the urine, it helps the animal to scent mark and mate. The secretion has a bitter and strong-smelling odor (as if you expected it to smell like roses...). To create the castoreum resinoid that is used for perfumes it is dried, ground and put into alcohol. The dried sacs are generally aged for two or more years for the harshness to go away. The scent it then gets is compared to dried leather.


Castoreum is not only used in fragrances but also in food. You can find it in alcoholic and other beverages, baked things, frozen dairy and ice cream, chewing gum, candy, meat products and gelatin. In Scandinavia it used to flavor a schnapps called Bäverhojt. A few months ago some people went rather ballistic when Jamie Oliver brought up castoreum at David Letterman. Interesting, since quite a lot of parents feed their kids artificial crap without any moral dilemmas. The vanilla ice cream and ”beaver glands ” appear around 2:30.


December 28, 2011

.




…what remains of her is her fragrance.




What would the perfume house of Chanel be without Jacques Polge? Of course, there were Chanel perfumes before Polge. But he has done so many of Chanel fragrances and had such an infinite impact on the olfactory aspects of the Chanel brand that it is hard to imagine a bottle with Chanel written on it without the content being if not created than poetically surveyed by Polge.

I am a lover of poetry. What would reality be without its poetic dimension? Even if you do not read poetry, it plays an important role in everyday life. I am a lover of fragrance, and fragrance is a form of poetry. It doesn’t speak, but it gives so much.” Jacques Polge

Jacques Polge was born in 1943. During his childhood he spent many summers in Grasse, which he has said what made him aware of the possibility of pursuing a career within the perfume world. It was in 1978 that he became the house perfumer of Chanel and took over the role from Henri Robert who created, among other perfumes, the last perfume in Gabrielle Chanel’s life, No. 19. Before coming to Chanel, Polge worked at what is now Givaudan (then Roure) and before that he did an apprenticeship in Grasse after taking his degree in English and literature. 


When Polge came to Chanel he took it upon himself to both treasure and renew a perfume brand synonymous with the world’s mot famous perfume, Chanel No 5. This perfume was in fact the first perfume launched by Chanel and there are of course many myths and stories about it’s creation. It was created by Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux who Gabrielle supposedly met through her lover Dmitri. Dmitri knew Ernest Beaux as Beaux was the favorite creator of bespoke perfumes for the Russian court.

With Chanel No 5, Gabrielle Chanel, like many other times, challenged what views, offers, restrictions, aesthetics should be associated with men or women.

December 25, 2011

Eau de Noël

An unusual man brought up the matter of what fragrance to wear for Christmas. By now I suppose you have all made your choice for today, (I would love to know what it was). Tomorrow we will all make it again. So, my thoughts on this are as follows.

Christmas is a beautiful holiday that offers a wealth of inspiration for self-insight and care for others regardless of how or where you spend these days. It is a special time and therefore deserves a special fragrance, This does not mean complicated fragrance. Just a deliberate choice. (Which on the other hand is the way I wish more people looked at fragrances all days of the year but anyway).

Here are a couple of examples of things to consider when picking your Christmas fragrance.

December 22, 2011

5 ways to give perfume as Christmas gift

I get this question these days:

I would like to buy my man/woman/wife/husband/someone perfume for Christmas, do you have any recommendation? Which perfume should I get?

I love the idea. In theory. But my answer is: no, I don’t have a recommendation for a specific perfume for your partner simply because I have no idea how your man’s/woman’s/wife’s/husband’s/someone’s skin smells like, feels like, what temperature it is, if they sweat salty or sweet, where they put on perfume, when… what makes them laugh or blush or swear... and a million other things. So my general recommendation is: buy something else.

There are however 5 exceptions:
  1. You are a perfumer and have created the perfume yourself.
  2. You are not a perfumer but have created the perfume yourself.
  3. The gift is a bespoke perfume. You give the chosen beloved person a session with a perfumer who will create a bespoke fragrance with them for them. Miller Harris and Mandy Aftel for example offer this service.

    Photo: Miller Harris
    A much simpler more popularized lot less expensive version is offered by the Perfume Studio. Mandy Aftel also offers bespoke perfumes, you can read more about how it works at Aftelier here. If you go to Paris you will find this helpful. 
  4. The person who the perfume is intended for has already tried fragrance x and wants it/has had fragrance x before and misses it/for some other reason really wants fragrance x. For example, if you went to Paris and she spent an hour at Guerlain falling in love with Spiritueuse Double Vanille but didn’t get it because you were in a hurry or maybe it was too expensive. Well, then of course it is very romantic if you call them and have it shipped right to her skin for Christmas. 
  5. The fragrance your buying is an icon or comes with a story that makes it an evidently interesting part of a perfume collection regardless of whether the recipient will wear it or not. It is just interesting to have. Examples of perfumes like this for women are Joy, Chanel No 5 and Shalimar. 


But generally, apart from in situations like the ones mentioned above, I do not really believe in giving perfume as a gift. The reason, is that wearing and selecting the ingredients that blend with your skin, its chemical composition and your soul – is a precious and intimate thing. Perfumes, like personalities, are not random, not generic and they are not about what is new or trendy or whose last name is on the bottle. If you think it is, that's not very strange as this in fact is how the media talks about perfume. There are top ten lists, there are what’s new lists, there are perfume bottles that match the latest Marc Jacobs bag or Dior shoes. But perfume is not just something you put on yourself the way a garment is. A garment comes in a ready size that fits your body and the material is the same regardless who wears it. It wrinkles on you, it wrinkles on her.

Perfume is different – not just seems different – IS different on every person. It exists with you, blends with your temperature and skin.

December 20, 2011

And Audrey Tatou.

Ah, that last sinusitis post was so boring I need to post something more to compensate.

I have noticed that a shorter version of the Chanel no 5 film from 2009 with Audrey Tatou has started to appear on television again... Not an easy challenge to create communication about this iconic fragrance.

If you ask me Audrey Tatou is perfect for the job. In my eyes she has all of the indescribable innately French combination of sweetness and feistiness. A blend of soft and hard that I also associate with Chanel. And a very stylish sort of freedom. Audrey Tatou also embodies the entire range of the femininity palette from sophisticated seductive to poetic playfulness. And then I also think she is one of the most beautiful women in the world, plus in this film she has a hair style to die for.

Not to mention they have used one of my oldest elegant-sad-song-crushes: I'm a fool to want you with Billie Holiday.

If you want to read more about Chanel No 5 check my tags. Think also probably I will do a post specifically on this parfum des parfums someday soon.

Donc, je vous laisse ce soir avec...


Olfactory depression

I have sinusitis. It's been going on five days now so I am guessing it will stay with me at least five more. Apart from headache and a general feeling of tiredness and a heavy cold...it has also removed my ability to feel smell, scents, odors. I feel like I am walking around in a strange numb bubble. Don't use perfume because I don't want to irritate any inflamed part and because I wouldn't feel anything anyway. Have no idea how other people smell.

Since my sense of scent provides me with no inspiring impressions whatsoever I have turned to intellectual stimulation instead and started reading a book on pheromones. To be continued. Should be interesting.

Good night sleep well, smell well.

December 19, 2011

Coming home to Kilian

Found this waiting for me in an envelope from France when I came home. Bliss.



December 16, 2011

On perfume and work meetings with your lover

I think it began in school, when we read about Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.


They started my fascination with couples that share both heart and brain. The couples that, apart from the romantic bond, physical attraction and private journey, also take an active part in each others professional and intellectual developments and platforms. And by that I don’t mean couples that work in the same office or company. I mean something much more intimate and profound. Sometimes one is the leader or guide, sometimes the other but with power balance.


It’s not what suits everyone. But for me, it is what I aspire to be and have, regardless of whether it is during 2 months, 2 years or 20. Just as it is important to have your own mental space in a relationship, it is also a beautiful gift to see your passion and goals embraced by another person’s soul and mind. I believe in this as a way of enriching relationships, as a way of building relationships, as a way of discovering the designated nature of a relationship and as a way of preserving the non-transient values of an ended romantic relationship. 

The perfume world has a few examples of couples that share both private passion and perfume passion. The first one that comes to mind is of course Luca Turin and Adriana Sanchez. Adriana Sanchez had a blog, and scientist Luca Turin was one of her readers. One day in 2005 he posted a comment. They met and started talking about their mutual passion for perfumes and fragrances. The conversation eventually led to love, marriage and a book. In 2008 they released “Perfumes – The Guide”. 


There is a really nice interview with the couple where Tania Sanchez says: "We made a bet as to which was the worst fragrance in the whole book." They must have so much fun together. There are so many ways to have fun together.


Another perfume couple is Lynn Harris, the founder of Miller Harris and her husband Christophe. They met... in Grasse, (of course!) though at that time he was not in the perfume business. Today however they develop Miller Harris together. Lynn Harris and Miller Harris deserve an entire post. Her story is beautiful and inspiring. In this article about her she says:

 “Somebody looked over me, and this guy was so persistent. And it was love at first sight. He's like my guardian, he's very patient and a very special person to me. Best of all, I could share my love of fragrance with him, which is not true of many men.”  In their home, he cooks becuse she can’t have hands that smell of garlic at work.

Speaking of marriage. The name of Givenchy’s Amarige is the anagram for “mariage”. The bottle was inspired by a blouse that Hubert de Givenchy created for his muse Bettina Graziell. (Notes: neroli, rose wood, violet leaves, citrus notes, gardenia, mimosa, melon, peach, plum, cashmereon wood, tonka Bean, vanilla. Nose: Dominique Ropion.)



There are several perfumes that were made by a nose with the heart. In the Byredo range, there is  Blanche, which Ben Gorham created for his girlfriend when she was sensitive to strong scents. A famous dedicated perfume is Le Parfum de Thérèse which was created by Edmond Roudnitska in the 1950's as a tribute to his wife. For a long time the only person who could use this scent was Thérèse as the composition was a secret. After many years however, she shared the formula with Frédéric Malle. It is still made and sold by his perfume house as a fragrance for both men and women.

Speaking of marriage - and of sharing passion and creativity. There is a recent interview in Swedish Dagens Nyheter with director Jonas Åkerlund who often works with his wife, Bea, a renowned stylist. They prefer to work together as they inspire each other and reflect each other’s creative and aesthetic worlds. In the interview Jonas describes how they both make each other better at work, and how their private life is at its best during shared projects because when they are separated they are “apart, not in sync and in different worlds”. I think this describes it so very well.


One of my favorite creative couples is jewellery designer Efva Attling and her wife singer and writer Eva Dahlgren. Both of them are extremely strong, talented, sensual, inspired and successful in what they do. In an interview with Eva earlier this autumn Efva was asked to describe her and said: "We have the most fun when we travel and meet people. Then we also become new to each other and find new things to tell each other about. We talk about everything, It’s possible that I talk more about my business than she does about her writing. I never insist on finding out more, I let her tell me things if she wants to. We really fill eachothers gaps. I have evolved enormously." The last sentence is my favorite. I believe we sometimes underestimate the value of the feeling in relationships. I think it's not unlikely that Efva Attling could make a fragrance. It is likely that it would be made with great care and very elegant.

You might think that this post went off topic or that I lost the red thread. Well, I like to live life with many threads of different colors and many red ones as well. They are all part of the same pattern. And hey… this is my blog.

The next post will be on giving your beloved perfume for Christmas. I think you will understand then why I wrote about these things tonight.

I leave you with a good night in the form of one of the most beautiful songs ever written in Swedish. It's by above mentioned Eva Dahlgren. Why does not someone make films about fragrances that look like this? It is not a very far-fetched idea... The song is "Vem tänder stjärnorna" which means "Who lights the stars". Sleep well.

December 15, 2011

Scent and sensibility

I love this article.
I generally love all articles about Ellena. But this piece of writing gives so much more.
It is written by Vir Sanghvi and from Hindustan Times.

"Most of us wear fragrances because they smell nice. But Ellena’s scents appeal to those who want a little bit more than ‘nice.’ They tend to be bought by people who want to smell ‘interesting."

December 13, 2011

Ambergris

I know you have heard of amber. The word appears often in the perfume world when talking about oriental fragrances for example. Makes me envision nature caramel. Then you hear of ambergris. I am guessing many of you assume these two are, if not the same thing, that at least linked to each other. A very logic assumption and it seems even the perfume industry sometimes likes to blend the two (on purpose?). They are not the same… And the difference is significant, so my suggestion is that you keep an eye on which one it is that you are going for when looking for a new fragrance. I will definitely do a post on amber soon but tonight it is time for the nastier of the two.

I will admit, I was a bit surprised the first time I googled ambergris. This, for example, is the first sentence that you find if you look it up on Wikipedia:

Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull gray or blackish color produced in the digestive system of and regurgitated or secreted by sperm whales.


If you follow this blog you might have gotten accustomed by now to the fact that perfume and animal secretions have a lot in common, and accepted that probably you have had both one and two of them on your skin. You have also probably noted that most of these secretions are replaced with synthetic options nowadays. But not always. Perfume houses are not always enthusiastic when it comes to defining whether they use synthetic or natural ingredients but I have heard that for example Creed use natural ambergris. Some people are put of by this but in my opinion, if the animal is not harmed and the synthetic option can be allergenic – then nature’s gifts are definitely my preference. 

December 10, 2011

"I prefer it on my wife, but now and then I sneak a little spray"

One of the things that fascinate me about the world of perfume is the mix of conservatism and avant-garde. In many of the most successful creations there is a balance of the two. The future and the past keep making love to each other in new ways, some conventional, some unpredictable.

But something that surprises me in a less positive way is the still dominating obsession with pour home or pour femme. Not so much from the new brands. They are creating a world of fragrances liberated from lazy descriptions of soft women and strong men. But the big global perfume brands of the cosmetic industry, the celebrity scents and the fashion houses… You all surprise me with your boxes. Also bore me a little bit. If you really want to make a fragrance for men or a fragrance for women, by all means... But the illusion that this is the way it h-a-s to be, are we not past that? It feels a bit like a system adapted for sales, shelves, photo shoots, logistics, excel sheets, easy life.

December 8, 2011

Hommage a Byredo

Anyone interested in perfume or fashion trends for that matter has heard about Byredo or/and founder Ben Gorham. Anyone who has been in Stockholm during the last five years has probably at some point been embraced by a soft Byredo-hue as the brand’s fragranced candles and bathroom products are loved by hotels and restaurants here. I love that. Not just because a lot of places now smell great, but because it is a nice sort of token of local appreciation. Byredo has become the signature scent of the Swedish capital.


However, as you might have noticed, not only Swedes love Byredo. Sweden is in fact not even one of the larger markets, both the US and France are stronger markets. This is probably unfortunately partly due to the fact that Sweden does not really have a tradition of fine perfumery. People are super-clean, yes, Swedes smell like freshly washed laundry. We have great teeth and saunas everywhere. Perfumes sell, but there is no luxury perfume culture to talk about. Now, in post-Gorham Sweden perhaps, in some places. But generally, no. There are some of us who would gladly spend our lives changing that though. (Thus this blog for example). 

So. What’s so cool about Byredo? 

One thing is definitely the ability to combine the traditions and heritage of fine perfumery with a very contemporary twist. Not to forget that everything about Byredo is extremely aesthetic, with a graphic profile that has been carefully created to communicate elegance but not steal the fragrance’s voice. The company works with storytelling around the fragrances, ingredients and around Ben Gorham. This is something that could be done even more I think. It is very refreshing to see perfume rhetorics that are not just empty clichés. 

There is also something about the brand and communication, and the business that is dynamic and interesting. In the first couple of years most of what you heard about Byredo had to do with collaborations, for example with Acne (also Swedish) and hotels. The collaboration-theme has continued with Fantastic Man being one of the best examples. One of the first places to sell Byredo was Colette in Paris, a result of Ben contacting them to ask if they wanted to have a coffee and see his products. 


From the beginning Byredo’s founder Ben Gorham has been a big part of the Byredo story in media. No wonder, his background, style and character seem to made for it. Brought up in Stockholm, Toronto and New York but with roots in India. He had a career as a pro in basketball, studied architecture. Covered n tattoos, famous for his humble and kind appearance.

You sort of know this is a person who can offer some truly great conversation.

I have never met Ben but I do hope that I will have the occasion someday to talk with him about fragrances and the stories around them. Continue reading for some interesting facts about Ben and the history of Byredo, as well as some beautiful quotes gathered from various interviews.

Civet

Let’s talk about another one of the animalistic perfume ingredients. Civet. Just like musk its value for the perfume industry lies in its ability to enhance fragrances and prolong the life of scents.

So now to the less romantic part.

Civet, or civetone as it is called at its more refined stage, is a substance taken from an animal called the African Civet - a nocturnal animal in sub-Saharan Africa. It eats most things, including snake and species that other animals find too poisonous to have for dinner. When moving around a territory the civet spreads a fluid to mark it. This fluid comes from the animal’s perineal glands and is the link between this African mammal and the perfume industry.


There is definitely a market for civet, which has led to numerous civet farms where animals are kept under dubious conditions only to serve as sources of gland secretion. One animal provides the owner with three to four grams per week.

Civet is one of the absolutely oldest perfume ingredients, particularly popular in France. It has a strong odor similar to musk and is used in very small quantities as a fixative that gives the fragrance depth and longer life. Chandler Burr compares it to using whole cream in soups and sauces.

December 3, 2011

Creating My Own Perfume Day

After two fragrance-free (!) flu weeks I made a proper comeback today. In some ways I think this involuntary two-week preparation was positive because I stepped into the perfume making session as an (at least mentally) olfactory tabula rasa prepared for new discoveries and willing to re-evaluate preferences.

This was my first time. The entire thing lasted maybe two hours (not exactly the time-frame that a professional nose has at his or her disposal) but it felt like an eternity. In a good way. In the same way that a first kiss can feel like a lifetime of life. Experiencing note by note, slowly, is magic. I was sometimes surprised by what I liked and disliked - and that I disliked so much. How that made me feel. There was an oakmoss thing that was like having the essence of bad mood right in my nose. Why is that? I mean, I realize that someone else would inhale the same thing and be transported to excitement and desire. There was another little paper with perfume oil that reminded me of the horror of entering tax-free shops on airports where people are spraying hundreds of perfumes in all directions. In fact, the note I had under my nose at that moment was a floral one and I am just not a floral fragrance woman. However many women are. Many… And it seems, my guess is at least, that you can find these women in lavish quantities in tax-free shops at airports. Florals sell well at airports. That's why someone like me waits for the boarding call at the coffee bar.

Back to perfume lab.




December 2, 2011

Tension, sensation, suspense

Tomorrow is an epic day. I am going to a perfume laboratory to make my own fragrance. I am too excited to think of anything else or write about anything else. To be continued.

November 29, 2011

The scent of a chair, of history, of life

I spent this Tuesday evening in one of my favorite places in the entire world, auction house Bukowskis in Berzelii Park, Stockholm. To my great pleasure and surprise – scents – were one of the main topics this evening.

Fantastic Bukowski furniture expert Björn Extergren explained how the scents in furniture objects not only bring history closer but also help in a very tangible way to define authenticity. He explained this with the help of a Swedish rococo chair, describing how the removal of color layers exposed new textures and scents…and times. Much like an archeological excavation. You can imagine, I was quite captured by this moment. I remember, from my years doing guided tours in the palaces and old parts of Stockholm, this longing to find the alive part of things from our ”before” and making it accessible for others to experience. Because it is always there. In fact, being in the presence of great architecture and art from centuries back, at some point you realize that you are actually the only transient thing.


Björn’s words about the life in what we sometimes perceive as static moved me. Also because it is a beautiful thing to watch someone in action doing what they are most passionate about. As Björn explained how they removed the color layers to find the original green and how the rose fragrance first appeared from the top of the chair, and then as they proceeded the less pleasant smells emerged. This gets to me. That a smell incapsulated under centuries of paint suddenly hits the nose of a young man from another time. It gives me existential goose-bumps in my soul. And makes me wonder, what scent will I leave in my things for my grandchildren?

This topic makes me think of the French perfume company Histoires de Parfums. Their Library of Scents is a sixteen volume collection of fragrances inspired by famous people who influenced their generation and named after their date of birth.



A thing that I appreciate about the web site is the list of fragrances group by olfactory category, and that you can order a selection of samples.

History, or lets rather say time in general, and scent is an intricate fascinating topic. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. For Swedish readers, I also recommend this text by Swedish historian and writer Peter Englund.

Sleep well.

November 28, 2011

EdP, EdT, etc.

To some of you this is just too basic. Well, then good for you, have a nice cup of tea and join me tomorrow for new in-depth adventures. For most people though, I think these abbreviations seem obvious but are not. Or perhaps you just don’t think about why one of your fragrances is so much stronger than another, you just notice that it is. It was like that for me for a long time, so I think - let’s just go through it.

You might feel that one of your fragrances is stronger than another. That is probably true. Perhaps you have not noticed that one of them is an Eau de Parfum and the other Eau de Toilette. But that does not have to be the reason.

November 27, 2011

Dazzle like it's 1925.

The 1920's were a decade that had great impact on perfumes and perfume use. In fact, this decade produced some of the most important perfumes of the entire century. One significant trend was that fashion designers started to sell perfumes under their clothing brands, the most legendary one (and quite revolutionary at the time) of course being Chanel No 5, released by Chanel in 1921. Even the bottle was a bold zeitgeist statement with a bottle design far from the ornamentation associated with feminine things. It was simple, bold and unquestionable. 


Bottle designs and the visuals around the fragrances were extremely important and often flirted with contemporary life style. There was the mascerade theme… Masque Rouge, for example, was introduced in a modern bottle, and a box with a red mask. "Mascarades" by Cherigan came in a black bottle with a golden face under a rain of gold dust and gilded triangles. Baccarat were extremely popular for bottles because of their superior quality crystal.


One of the reasons for doing a post on the 1920’s, I admit, is the occasion to indulge in…

November 24, 2011

Another olfactive reason to return to A'dam

Laboratorio Olfattivo. (That sound you heard was my heart going *boom* *boom*). Yes, of course you can get these elsewhere. But you can also get them in Amsterdam, at Louis Maximilian, a new store in Haarlemmerdijk where you can get nice soft sweaters, men's bracelets, Prada jewellery and Marvis. And in Amsterdam you can also get and do an infinite lot of other different really nice Amsterdamish things. And visit this store that seems very nice.




Louis Maximilian also have a really nice blog where you can read a little bit about about Laboratorio Olfattivo. Nice things just somehow always find eachother. Just like people, and scents.

You can read a lot about Laboratorio Olfattivo (yes, same sound) here.


Wood, floral or oriental and does it matter?

Does it matter if you can classify what fragrance you’re wearing? If you know whether it is a floral, fougère or oriental? In theory, if you ask someone like me who is against superficial pointless namedropping – the answer is no. There is absolutely no point in keeping that sort of stuff in your head just for the sake of it or because you “should” know. In practice however, there are two reasons for you to think about perfume classification – the main one being that it’s a great tool for new discoveries as it will provide you with concrete links between what you like or dislike, and this will lead you to new fragrance pleasures. And pleasure is a great reason to care about things. The other reason is just simply curiosity. Some people just like maps. I do.

19th century perfumer Charles Piesse was one of the first to start classifying perfumes. He quickly turned to the world of music for symbols and so the language of perfumers became similar to that of musicians (which it still is today). The terms used in perfume language have the purpose to describe the different aroma layers in a fragrance, like chords. We also talk about top notes and different tones when distinguishing between ingredients and specific scents. We talk about the tonality of a fragrance just like we when analyzing a music piece.

There is also a more architectonical way of visualizing perfumes. William Poucher was one of the first to use the ‘fragrance pyramid’ to explain the top, middle and foundation as layers. He created the structure based on measurement of evaporation rate of perfume ingredients (fastest evaporation = top).

Image borrowed from davidreport.com/201103/scent-tokyo/


Here are some terms (from different eras, let’s not be so dogmatic) that are good to know when going on your perfume quest. The terms continuously develop and some perfumes contain traits of different families.

November 23, 2011

Feromones...

I'm thinking... don't go there? Or can't avoid going there?

In the meantime, here is some hairy chest.



Dior Homme is a woody aromatic created by Olivier Polge. It is characterized by the top note iris (Tuscan) and has an amber/wood base dominated by cedar and ambrette from hibiscus seeds.



‎"If commercial fragrances are not for you..."




Some time ago Désirée M, a never-ending source of things inspiring, sent me this article from Interview Magazine. It includes a guide to finding the right fragrance with 10 smart tips from Dawn Goldworm, cofounder and scent director of olfactive branding company 12.29 and the personal nose of perfume house Coty. Swedish readers of this blog will recognize some things from my post 'Att köpa parfym 1A' and 'Köp inte parfym på lunchen och noterna', for example the importance of avoiding hasty decisions. Goldworm also mentions osMoz fragrance guide tool which you might find helpful on your fragrance quest.

Photo from the article in Interview Magazine

So, tiger or butterfly?


From coumarin to Tonkene: Luca Turin TED-talk

Luca Turin is a biophysicist who studies the science of smell with particular focus on the vibrational theory of smell, eg a theory that states that what we perceive as our nose noticing a smell is in fact our reaction to the properties of a molecule. Basically this means that he deals with how molecules smell. 


A few years ago he gave a TED-talk on this. Now, my childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist so that I could work with dolphin rehabilitation was destroyed by my brains total inability to excel in chemistry. So this talk demands some energy and focus from me. But if you are a more scientific kind of thinker this will probably be like a night at the cinema for you. And it is an interesting talk as it touches upon the issue of natural vs synthetic ingredients. Luca Turin is also just generally a great speaker. There is a section about coumarin (which I wrote about yesterday remember?) with this super-nerdy quote.

"So they asked us to make a new coumarin. And so we started doing calculations. 
And the first thing you do is you calculate the vibrational spectrum of coumarin, 
and you smooth it out, so that you have a nice picture of what this sort of chord, 
so to speak, of coumarin is. And then you start cranking the computer to find 
other molecules, related, or unrelated, that have the same vibrations."

Tonka bean

My plan is to have a few re-occuring topics in the blog, for example perfume searching tips and tricks, famous houses/brands and common - or just interesting - ingredients.

This time - tonka bean.

Dipteryx odorata (known as cumaru) is a flowering tree in from northern South America. Today, the main producers of the seeds are Venezuela and Nigeria. Kumarú is the word for tree in Tupi, in the region of French Guiana. The tonka bean is the seed from this tree. The beans are black, wrinkled and brown on the inside. They smell like vanilla similar to vanilla with a touch of almond, clove or cinnamon. The seed contains coumarin, which gives the seeds the great smell. The taste however, is bitter and eating coumarin can damage the liver.


Tonka beans are banned or subject to restrictions in several countries (for example use in food is forbidden in the US – probably because it affects coagulation). In others (like France), they are used in desserts as a vanilla substitute or to enhance the flavor in nuts or poppy, and in South America it seems it is used to create a specific aphrodisiac beverage. A google session will indicate that there seem to be a lot of chefs around the world who do like to experiment with this bean. And then they also appear in pipe tobacco and…in perfume.

The tonka bean has been considered to have both magical and medicinal powers. It has been used to cure depression, to boost the immune system, to cure snake bites and to treat coughs and rheumatism. The bean has been used for a long time for medicinal purposes among tribes in the Amazon. In occult traditions ceremonies that involve tonka beans are believed to help wishes come true. I also found recommendations to carry a bean in your pocket or bag for courage.

November 22, 2011

Famous perfume creators: Creed

CREED, or House of CREED to be correct, was founded in London by perfumer James Henry Creed in 1760. Throughout it's long history this house of perfume has had many royal clients. The first royal commission came already in 1781 from King George III, for whom CREED made the scent Royal English Leather. When it was time for CREED's 100th anniversary the company moved to Paris at the request of client Empress Eugénie for whom CREED created Jasmine Impératice, a fragrance that the company to this day continues to make and sell. (Top notes: bergamot, middle notes: Bulgarian rose, ambergris and Italian jasmine, base notes: vanilla and sandalwood). Eugénies husband, a certain Napoleon III, was also one of CREED's clients.

In 1885, Queen Victoria appointed CREED “official supplier” to the British royal court. For her majesty, CREED created the scent Fleurs de Bulgarie by commission. This engaging scent, rich with roses, is available today. (Top note: bergamot, middle note: Bulgarian rose, base notes: ambergris infusion and musk).
The list of famous persons who have not left their home without their favorite CREED on their skin is as endless as diverse. Queen Maria Cristina of Spain was a client, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor wore CREED, for some time Sir Winston Churchill's favorite perfume was Tabarome. In 1933 CREED created Angelique Encens,  for the Bishop of Paris. And in 1956, CREED created Grace Kelly's wedding scent, Fleurissimo, by order of her fiancé Prince Rainier.


The brand had a powerful revival in the 1980’s with the fougère Green Irish Tweed, created by Olivier Creed and Pierre Bourdon. I cannot really go in without mentioning something more about fougère... A fougère is a classification. These perfumes belongs to a family with a top note of lavender and base note of oak moss and coumarin and are more common in fragrances pour les hommes. There are also aromatic fougères which then also have spices and wood in them. You often find vetiver and bergamot in a fougère. The name comes from the paradigmatic perfume Fougère Royale for Houbigant created by Paul Parquet in 1882. It was relaunched in an updated version in the late 1980's, then production was not produced anymore but I heard that it has just been relaunched again? Epic however regardless.


Back to CREED. CREED is a rare fragrance company, not only for it's respect for the traditions of perfume making but also because it is the world’s only privately held fragrance dynasty. It was founded by a CREED and it is still 250 years later passionately developed by the same family. This also makes it one of the world’s oldest family businesses in general. Today, the company is based in Paris and led by Olivier Creed. His son Erwin works with him and is likely to be the seventh generation of CREED perfume makers. I find this aspect of the company immensely admirable and fascinating. 

Olivier Creed
CREED perfumes are created using the techniques of maceration and filtration. The house is famous for being a strong proponent for natural ingredients.

As you can imagine there is quite a range of CREED fragrances to choose between. I have yet to find a favorite but wouldn’t mind owning a selection of bottles with magic from this house. Especially Sublime Vanille from 2009. You can find a complete list of CREED fragrances and information about them here.

Another great feature of CREEDs homepage is their scent finder form which is sent to their staff who will help you find the right fragrance, you find it here. (Penhaligons also has this kind of service and it is actually a good exercise in itself to think about the questions in the form as this will help you define your fragrance preferences for yourself regardless of where you then go looking for them).

For US citizens, I am happy to tell you that you can order samples from this admirable brand. There is also the store at 794 Madison Avenue in Manhattan which was opened when CREED celebrated its 250th year in 2010.

November 21, 2011

Skins, Amsterdam

There is no limit to my love for Skins in Runstraat (11) in Amsterdam. The combination of my most beloved city, this street AND this store is almost more than I can handle. Everyone in the store is charming, professional, skillful and assist you on your perfume quest with total knowledge and understanding. Last time I was there I bought a limited edition by Kilian and got so lost in fragrance conversations I almost (really...) missed my flight home. I have run across Schiphol many times, but never so happy and great smelling.


The selection of brands and products in the store is exquisite. You find your favorites, limited editions, suprises and new unique discoveries. I love love love Skins in Runstraat. Go there if you can. And if you can't - enjoy their excellent web shop. Also love that they have Swedish Byredo which makes my nose proud of being from Sweden.



Muscus

Mysk är en basnot förekommer i många, många, parfymer, oftast som "white musk" vilket är den syntetiska versionen. Mest framträdande är den i dofter som hör till orientaliska. Mysk fixerar och förlänger doftens liv samt förstärker vissa andra dofter. Men det är betydligt mer intressant än så...

Mysk påverkar oss hormonellt och känslomässigt. I den mänskliga delen av tillvaron har mysk en del gemensamt med manlig svett (mer om detta i ett mer feromonfokuserat inlägg) och sägs kunna påverka en kvinnas menscykel och förmåga att bli gravid. Kvinnor uppfattar myskdoft som mest under ägglossning. Men det är vanligt hos både män och kvinnor att man inte kan känna mysklukt överhuvudtaget. Få personer både uppfattar och kan definiera myskdoften. De som kan beskriver den som animalistisk, jordig, ursprunglig, ren och alla möjliga liknande lite svårtolkade saker. Men även de personer som inte känner den påverkas rent fysiskt.

Om du inte tycker det är spännande redan så kommer lite mer extraordinära detaljer nu… Begreppet mysk används ursprungligen för en substans som skapas av det som utsöndras från körtlar i typ herrdelarna på myskhjortar. Idag används mysk även som beteckning för substanser som utvinns från andra djur och växter till exempel myskoxe och myskblomma. Men myskens kärna och ursprung är alltså torkad substans från ett manligt djurs manskörtlar. Jepp. Hepp.

För att utvinna myskdoft använder man körteln från det utvalda djuret. Denna torkas och får en mörkt rödviolett färg samt blir mjuk och oljig. Själva ordet musk kommer passande nog från ordet för testikel i sanskrit. Om du är intresserad av att fördjupa dig i detaljerna runt myskutvinningen kan man få ganska explicita beskrivningar av processen om man googlar. Idag åstadkommer man i princip alltid myskdoft i parfymer med hjälp av syntetmaterial (detta har dock endast gjorts sen slutet av 80-talet). Den största anledningen sägs vara etisk eftersom den naturliga framställningen lett till dödande av djur enbart för myskkörtelns skull. Det går att få tag på mysk utan att döda djuret eftersom djuren kan tappa de här körtlarna men det begränsar tillgången att förlita sig på denna metod. En problematisk aspekt är att äkta mysk uppfattas som icke hudirriterande medan det råder viss debatt runt syntetisk.

(foto Steve Kazlowski)
Myskhjorten kommer ursprungligen från Tibet där man anser att mysk råder bot på lite allt möjligt. Medicinsk användning av denna minst sagt speciella substans har förekommit i Kina i minst 1500 år. I Sverige har man talat om mysk sedan mitten på 1600-talet men det är lite oklart när mysken kommer till Europa. Det verkar som om att det tog några hundra år av myskobservationer på andra sidan jorden innan man vågade sig på närkontakt. Man vet dock att mysk ingick i en gåva från sultan Saladin till Östroms kejsare i Konstantinopel. I slutet av 1200-talet dök mysken upp som handelsvara i Venedig. Cirka ett hundra år senare omnämns mysk i engelska och franska texter och anses vara en lite märklig vara. Man pratar om läkande effekter men också om svårigheten att transportera den eftersom lukten påverkade andra varor på samma fartyg, t ex de värdefulla teerna. Mysk har tillskrivits medicinsk effekt i många olika kulturer och använts för att skydda mot pest, bota såväl cirkulationssjukdomar, infektioner i luftvägarna som melankoli, lösa kramp och fungera som afrodisiakum. Den har även använts som insektsmedel – och smakämne i sötsaker (dock i miniminimala mängder).

Mysk är, säkert delvis med anledning av det lite speciella ursprunget, en mytomspunnen vara. Den måste också hanteras med stor försiktighet eftersom den påverkar doftblandningar även i mycket små doser.

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Musk is a basenote that can be found in many perfumes. It is most prominent in oriental fragrances.  It extends the fragrance's life and can reinforce other ingredients.

Musk affects us hormonally and emotionally. It is associated with male sweat (more on this in a pheromone focused post coming up) and is said to affect a woman's menstrual cycle and her ability to become pregnant. Women perceive musk more during ovulation. It is however common that men and women can not detect musk at all. In fact rather few people both sense and can define musk. Those who can, describe it as animalistic, earthy, primitive, clean etc.

Musk is originally derived from glands of a male musk deer an the very word musk comes from the word for testicle in sanskrit. Today it is also extracted from other animals and plants. If you are interested in the details of musk extraction some googling will provide you with rather explicit descriptions. Today, the musk used in fragrances is usually synthetic. The main reason has been said to be ethical since the natural production has caused extensive killing of animals. This is in reality not necessary as animals can rub the glands off so that they drop on the ground. But finding these glands is very time-consuming of course... A problematic aspect however is that natural musk is perceived as non-irritating to skin, while there is some debate concerning the synthetic kind.

Musk deer are originally from Tibet where musk is viewed as a remedy for a bit of everything. In China it has been used for medical treatments for at least 1500 years. It is a bit unclear when musk came to Europe but it is known that musk was part of a gift from the sultan Saladin to the Emperor of Eastern Rome in Constantinople. In the late 1200s musk appeared as a commodity in Venice. Musk was appreciated because of its healing effects but also a bit of a problem in terms of logistics because the smell affected other goods on the same ships, such as the valuable tea leaves.

Musk is one of the most mythical and interesting ingredients in perfume. It is powerful, controversial... It also has to be handled with great care as even small amounts have strong effects on scents.

Kleopatra

Det finns många tecken på att inte bara kajal utan även doft var en stor del av Kleopatras liv. Visst är det fascinerande att tänka sig att när Julius Caesar eller Marcus Aurelius färdats mil för att klä av sig och lägga sig i hennes bädd så vägleddes de dit av en omsorgsfullt utvald och skapad doftslöja. Att när dessa historiska män som vi känner som oförgängliga stenskuplturer tog av sig rustningen och la näsan i nacken på Nilens drottning... så omfamnades de av en doft av rosor.


Kleopatra använde gärna färska rosor. Det sägs att hon hade rosenblad i sängen och strödde dem i hela huset i väntan på sina älskare. Älskade? Älskande? Marcus Aurelius sägs ha välkomnats av Kleopatra på ett skepp med parfymerade segel och inför deras kärleksstunder badade hon i saffransvatten som skulle ge hennes hud en afrodisiakisk doft.

Sensuellt, non?

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There is evidence that not only eyeliner, but also perfume, was an essential part of Cleopatra's life. Isn't it fascinating to imagine that when Julius Caesar or Marcus Aurelius travelled miles to lie down in her bed they were guided by a carefully delicately created fragrance veil. When these historical men who we know from stone sculptures and monuments took off their armor and put their nose in the neck of the Queen of the Nile... they were embraced by the scent of.... roses.

Cleopatra used fresh roses. It is said that she slept with rose petals in her bed and sprinkled them all over the house while waiting for her lovers. Her beloved. Marcus Aurelius is said to have been welcomed by Cleopatra on a ship with perfumed sails, and for their intimate nights she bathed in saffron water, which would give her skin an aphrodisiacal scent.

Sensual, non?

November 19, 2011

Att köpa parfym 1A

Att hitta "sin doft" är en hel vetenskap värd minst en hel bok. Men innan vi hittat den och läst den... här kommer några ganska basic tips som kan vara till hjälp för dig som vill hitta en ny parfym men inte komma hem med en kompromiss, en chansning, ett misstag eller ett spontanköp. Bra parfymer är dyra och behållarnas storlek gör att man ju har dem ett tag. (Meddelande till parfymindustrin: mindre flaskor någon?) Så gör så här tycker jag.

1. Förberedelse
Gå inte till en parfymbutik helt oförberedd. Du kommer att få superengagerad hjälp med drunkna i godtyckliga rekommendationer och doftmoln. Sätt dig ner en kvart och gör en lista på det här:

  • När ska du använda parfymen? Jobbet, fritid, dag, natt, kväll, date?
  • Vad vill du att parfymen ska säga om dig? Lugn, dynamisk, sexig, mystisk, charmig, sportig...etc?
  • Hur vill du att parfymen ska kännas för dig? Lätt, varm, inspirerande, uppiggande?
De här ledtrådarna gör det mycket enklare för expediten att leta på rätt ställe. Men du ska göra en sak till. Kolla vad du har hemma. Kanske har du 3-4 parfymer som du gillar, men ingen av dem känns perfekt. De har dock alla något som du gillar... Googla dem. Sannolikheten är stor att de faktiskt har minst ett par ingredienser gemensamt. Anteckna vilka dessa ingredienser är för det är förmodligen de som är det du gillar. Om alla parfymer är HELT olika...ja då är det kanske läge att börja om från ruta ett istället.

2. Ta med dig dina anteckningar i fickan och gå till ett bra ställe
Nu har vi ju alla olika definitioner på ett bra ställe och jag känner definitivt inte till alla de riktigt bra parfymexperter som jobbar i svenska butiker. Så jag ger dig ett par säkra kort. NK i Stockholm har en rådgivare just på parfymavdelningen. Fråga efter henne. De har dessutom ett riktigt bra utbud. Inte långt därifrån ligger COW Parfymeri på Mäster Samuelsgatan. De har också en mycket fin parfymsamling med märken som är hög kvalitet och inte så mainstream. På samma gata ligger svenska märket Byredos affär - där kan du få kunnig hjälp om du känner att detta märke attraherar dig men vill ha hjälp att välja. Om du som läser den här bloggen har andra bra ställen eller personer att tipsa om så hör av dig är du snäll så hjälps vi åt att tipsa om dem! Och så har vi då typ det vanligaste inköpsstället av alla...flygplatser. Och jag känner - grymt om du vet vad du vill ha. Men inte så bra ställe att starta ett mer ambitiöst sökande på. För mycket dofter som sprutas överallt samtidigt, för mycket kräng, för mycket av allt möjligt. Och så himla ofräscht att gå på ett litet plan och lukta som en kakafoni.

3. Stressa inte
Det är inte bra att stressa fram parfymköp. Då sitter du där sen hundratals kronor fattigare med en flaska som aldrig känns riktigt rätt. Du bär den lite missnöjd eller låter den stå och damma. Ta din tid. Testa inte tio olika dofter på handlederna för då blir det bara doftkaos i din hjärna. Använd pappersremsorna för bruttogallringen och testa sen de verkliga favoriterna på huden. Optimalt är om du kan få doftprover så du kan testa din eventuella framtida doft ett par dagar. Om du vill göra en snabbare affär så plocka med dig pappersremsorna, gå ut i friska luften en stund, ta en kaffe, dofta lite då och då. Fråga också i butiken vad de vet om basnoterna så du får en bra känsla för hela parfymens väsen. Sen bestämmer du dig. Men stressa inte. Parfym är njutning.

Det här är en superbasal rekommendation. Men den kan öka chanserna till en fullträff lite iallafall. Återkommer till ämnet längre fram med lite mer detaljerade tips.

PS: Om du råkar ut för att det står kaffebönor i parfymbutiken eller expediten erbjuder dig att lukta på en skål sådana så är det ett bra ställe. Kaffebönorna hjälper luktsinnet att ställa om mellan olika dofter. Bra grej. (Dricka en kopp har inte samma effekt).

November 18, 2011

Körtlar och the dark side

Parfym och parfymprat associeras ofta med tjusiga vackra saker. Det är blommor hit och det är nektar dit och det är glamour och stiliga herrar med glänsande muskler och fladdrande tyger. Eller Rupert Everett och dekadens. (Ok, Rupert var ett tag sen men vissa har lite svårt att släppa YSL-annonserna). Hursomhelst är det ofta en ganska elegant nivå på det hela och när du hör någon fråga efter parfymer som innehåller specifika ingredienser så är det ofta just de trevliga sakerna. Men de bästa parfymerna har något betydligt djupare, mörkare, primitivare i sig... om än bara ett liten tunn slöja.

Precis som du.

Jag ska ägna några inlägg åt att titta närmare på några olika ingredienser. Några alldeles ofarliga blomblad och frön. Men också lite mer märkliga saker som gör saker och ting mer intressanta. Om några dagar kommer ett inlägg om något sådant.

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Perfume and fragrance conversations often revolve around glamorous beautiful things. Flowers, nectars, exotic spices, memories... glamorous and handsome gentlemen with muscles and flowing silk dresses. Or Rupert Everett and decadence. Either way, it is often a rather elegant discourse and when you hear someone ask for perfumes that contain some specific ingredient, it is usually the pretty stuff like vanilla and this or that flower. But just as in life, it is not that interesting if you only get roses, ruffles and tennis coaches to feed the soul. The best perfumes have something much deeper, darker, more primitive in them... even if only a thin veil of it.

Just like you.

I'll spend a few posts looking more closely at some different ingredients. Some harmless flower petals and seeds. But also a couple of more remarkable things that make things more interesting. In a few days, a post about something about one of these. Glands and stuff.

November 9, 2011

Intervju med Fragrance God Jean-Claude Ellena

Jean-Claude Ellena är Hermés husnäsa sen många år. Han har skapat de mest berömda Hermésdofterna bl a unisexserien Hermessence och skrivit ett antal böcker. Såklart är han född i en familj av parfymmänniskor och från Grasse. Så klart ser han ut så här...


Här finns en väldigt fin och intressant intervju med monsieur Ellena.

Hans böcker finns att beställa på Amazon.


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Jean-Claude Ellena is the nose of Hermés since many years. He has created the most famous Hermés fragrances including the unisex collection Hermessence and has published several books on perfumery. Of course, he is born into a family of perfumers in Grasse. Of course he looks like this...

Here is a very nice and interesting interview with Monsieur Ellena.

His books can be ordered on Amazon, here.

November 7, 2011

Iris

Gjorde ett radikalt doftäventyr för ett tag sen. Radikalt i det här fallet innebär att min hylla är den som doftar amber och kryddor och vanilj och allmänt sammet.

För mig är denna doft totalt unisex. Jag tycker den doftar nyduschad man-med-kostym och lite, well, hud. Tror inte det var intentionen från house of Prada som släppte doften 2007. Vad tycker du?



Nose: Daniela Andrier. Född i Heidelberg, studerade filosofi på Sorbonne innan hon valde parfymens värld. Började på Chanel som trainee. Har en rad italienska modehus dofter på sitt CV (Armani, Gucci, La Perla m fl) - och så en miljard Prada-dofter. En Guerlain (Angelique Noire). Jag har en särskild vördnad för alla som skapat en doft för Guerlain. 2011 verkar vara ett starkt år för madame Andrier: Prada No. 11 Cuir Styrax, Untitled L'Eau för Maison Martin Margiela, Prada Candy och Prada Infusion de Rose har alla lanserats i år.

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Had a radical fragrance adventure recently. Radical in this case, means that my normal range is the one that smells of amber, spices, vanilla and generally velvety things. Told a Mr H about my spontaneous reaction to the experience and he thought it was entertaining so I'll share it with you.

"I smelled more or less like some stock market finance guy putting on a never before worn shirt just after a shower and morning pre-work-sex in random skyscraper metropolis".

For me, this fragrance is totally unisex. Don't think however that was the intention from the house of Prada, which released it in 2007. What do you think?

Nose: Daniela Andries. Born in Heidelberg, studied philosophy at the Sorbonne (you gotta love that) before she chose the perfume world. Joined Chanel as a trainee. Has a range of Italian fashion house smells on her CV (Armani, Gucci, La Perla and others) - and a billion Prada fragrances. A Guerlain (Angelique Noire). I have a special reverence for all that have created a fragrance for Guerlain. 2011 seems to be a strong year for Madame Andries: Prada No. 11 Cuir Styrax, Untitled L'Eau for Maison Martin Margiela, Prada Candy and Prada Infusion de Rose have all been launched this year.

November 1, 2011

Köp inte parfym på lunchen och noterna

Du har förmodligen hört om noter och att parfymer består av olika sådana. Lite förenklat kan man säga att det är de olika faserna för upplevelserna av en parfym. Det är vad som skapar upplevelsen av av parfymen när du har den på dig, för dig och för andra. Men det är också något som är väldigt bra att tänka på när du ska köpa en ny parfym så du inte gör ett misslyckat köp bara för att du inte hann få en rättvis (hel) bild av doften du valde. Det är inte riktigt så enkelt om vi ska vara noga för alla parfymer är inte uppbyggda med dessa tre aspekter, det finns även linjära dofter som luktar likadant hela tiden. Men de flesta som det ser ut nu på marknaden fungerar så här.

Om du har koll på de tre noterna och hur de fungerar, blir det enklare för dig att hitta rätt i parfymdjungeln – och du får en bättre upplevelse av dina parfymer eftersom du blir mer medveten om deras egenskaper.

Toppnot
Toppnoten handlar om den första upplevelsen av en doft, det allra första ögonblicket. Toppnoter ska därför få din uppmärksamhet och skapa nyfikenhet. Toppnoten visar alltså inte hur du kommer att dofta med denna doft hela tiden. Parfymen domineras av andra ingredienser redan efter cirka en halvtimme. Det här är bra att komma ihåg vid parfymköp, och därför undvika alltför snabba beslut. Då står du nämligen sannolikt efter en timme med en annan doft än den du trodde att du valde. Det du känner när du tar på dig din parfym på morgonen är alltså inte samma doftupplevelse som någon du träffar på kvällen upplever.

Mellannot
Mellannoter ger upplevelsen av en parfym som till stor del definierar dess karaktär och gör att man kan sortera in den i en doftfamilj, till exempel orientalisk eller blomdoft. Det är mellannoternas ingredienser som doftar mest olika på olika personer. Många blomdofter är mellannoter, även kryddor. Mellannoten kommer efter att toppnoten går ner i styrka, inte samtidigt. Kvalitetsparfymer utmärker sig genom att ha en mellannot som dröjer kvar länge.

Basnot
En basnot kommer fram först efter ett par timmar och dröjer kvar flera timmar. Basnoter är ofta jorddofter och trädofter. Om du någon gång hittat ett klädesplagg som inte använts på dagar, veckor eller månader och du känt på parfymdoften i tyget vem som burit det så är det basnoten du känt. Om du någon gång gått till en parfymbutik för att köpa en parfym som du gillar på någon annan - men tyckt att den doftar annorlunda när du testar så vänta tills även du kommit till basnotens stund. 


Utifrån detta är du med på varför spontanköp och parfym är riskabelt. Visst, det kan bli en fullträff. Men det är en chansning. Och skillnaden mellan att ha på sig en fullträff och en kompromiss är enorm. Mitt råd?  Om du är ute efter en ny parfym och har några timmar på dig - börja med att testa en parfym och låt den få utvecklas medan du gör annat ett par timmar. Sedan kan du känna efter hur den känns och basera ditt beslut på det. Det vill säga, om du vill kolla på nya parfymer på lunchen så ägna lunchen åt att testa, ta med dig pappersremsorna, be om prover på dina favoriter. Men köp parfymen efter jobbet eller dagen efter när du fått veta mer.