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.


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.