Perfume Chat Room, March 4

Welcome back to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is Friday, March 4, and I am officially on spring break! The coming week is when the university where I work will not hold classes; most students and faculty will leave town; so I’m at liberty to take a week-long vacation. Hurray! To be honest, I feel the need for it quite acutely this year. Spring break was the week when everything changed in 2020 due to the pandemic. It’s hard to believe that two years have elapsed since then. I feel so lucky, though, that our family remained safe and healthy.

The war in Ukraine continues. As this is a fragrance blog, I’ve tried to learn more about perfumery in Ukraine. I found this article; and this perfumer, Oleksandr Perevertaylo, listed on Fragrantica with his house Partisan Perfumes. One of his creations, Coven, was very favorably reviewed and awarded three starts by Luca Turin in “Perfumes: The Guide 2018.”

There is always joy in discovering new talent, and Aleksandr [sic] Perevertaylo is definitely one, possessed with the perfumery equivalent of that elusive things writers hanker after, a voice. He composes perfumes in Dnipro, recently renamed (for only the eighth time since its foundation) from Dnepropetrovsk. Coven is his most classical fragrance, and a very solid piece of work it is, in a buttery-floral manner that puts me in mind of a denser version of Molyneux’s Vivre, long discontinued.

M. Turin also praised M. Perevertaylo’s Porto de Rosa, putting it alongside Tocade and Galop as “a rose that makes you reconsider set ideas about that supposedly familiar flower.” Silky Way and Sugar Daddy also earned three stars, and Silly Love earned four stars and the praise that it was “brilliant work.” I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of these, or the 2021 release Partisan, but I hope to do so one day. Victoria at Bois de Jasmin has also written about a favorite niche perfumery in Kyiv, Le Flacon; I hope its owners and staff are safe.

I have been dipping into a fascinating book that covers part of the history of Russian perfumery, “The Scent of Empires: Chanel No.5 and Red Moscow”, by Karl Schlogel. Now that I’m on vacation, I plan to read it more thoroughly.

Do you have any experience with, or insights into, perfume in Ukraine or Russia? Or do you have any favorite books about perfume, whether fact or fiction or reviews?

Flowering branch of yellow mimosa
Mimosa in bloom; in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8

4 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, March 4

  1. Other than guides, I enjoyed reading Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent and Denyse Beaulieu’s The Perfume Lover. My most recent acquisitions are the guides from Sarah McCartney/Samantha Scriven and Neil Chapman. My SOTD for the NST project is Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s Colorado. While I have many favorite female perfumers, I have always been a fan of supporting indie perfumers’ work. The biggest problem with DSH is that she is so prolific, it’s hard to keep up!

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  2. Your book sounds fascinating! I’m not familiar with any Russian perfumers, unless that Orlov brand is Russian? Not sure. I’m looking forward to the orange blossom class on Wednesday with Victoria from Bois de Jasmin. Do you follow her on Instagram? Victoria has been posting some beautiful photos from her travels over the years. She has lovely photos of work by various artisans from Ukraine, Iran and other countries.
    I’m trying to concentrate on appreciating the beautiful things in my life. As an empath, the war in Ukraine can cause me acute pain if I let it, so I have given money to all sorts of groups supporting Ukranian children, refugees, the Ukranian military, etc. Yes, I checked them out to make sure I was giving to legitimate organizations. That’s all I can do.
    I finally sent you some samples of a few tea fragrances. Hopefully you will get them before too long. They are in an orange padded envelope. Enjoy spring break!

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    • Thank you, that is so kind!! I do follow Victoria and read her blog Bois de Jasmin regularly. I haven’t taken one of her classes yet, but I want to! Yes, I’ve also given to aid in Ukraine. I feel terrible for Victoria, and Undina of Undina’s Looking Glass, who still have loved ones in Ukraine.
      Re Russian perfume houses: Brocard is one, revived as a brand name (it was nationalized during the Russian Revolution and continued operating under the name Novaya Zarya). I’ve been able to try and buy some of its fragrances at Bloom Perfumery in London. A higher-end, niche perfume house in Russia is Anna Zworykina. also to be found at Bloom Perfumery.

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