Perfume Chat Room, September 10

Perfume Chat Room, September 10

Welcome 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, September 10, and we are seeing many programs about 9/11, with its 20th anniversary tomorrow. A somber date, to be sure. However, I am choosing to dwell on this week’s scientific revelation that hummingbirds do, indeed, have a sense of smell: Hummingbirds Use Sense of Smell to Avoid Danger. We had many visits from hummingbirds this summer, more than we’ve ever had before. I credit my new, cheap feeder that I put on a short stake in the rail planter of herbs on our deck, right outside the kitchen door. My husband claims that he has a magic touch when it comes to making sugar water. Whatever the reason, we’ve enjoyed their visits very much! Those have tapered off recently, I think due to migration patterns.

Who knew that they have a sense of smell? Nature is miraculous.

As previously reported, I have been drawn into a zoning battle with our city on behalf of our neighborhood, so I’m wearing a lot more Chanel No. 19 than usual. I feel it stiffens my backbone. Do you have a scent that makes you feel brave?

Perfume Chat Room, September 3

Perfume Chat Room, September 3

Welcome 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, September 3, and it is the start of the Labor Day weekend here in the US! I was remiss last week in not posting the usual Chat Room — my apologies! Our neighborhood is in the middle of a zoning battle and I’ve been dragged into it against my better judgment, which has taken up time. When I realized last weekend that I had missed my Friday post, I decided to just wait until this week and the start of a new month.

It’s amazing how the weather has changed! On September 1 and 2, we suddenly had blue skies and much lower humidity, which has continued today. That has revived my fragrance mojo a bit — the very hot, sticky weather had left me stuck in a rut with just a few fragrances I was enjoying in the heat.

I’ll be looking out for any good Labor Day sales — how about you?

Sometimes it’s just the feeling we recall — Now Smell This

Sometimes it’s just the feeling we recall — Now Smell This

Interestingly, smell has the ability to elicit a strong emotional response without the recollection of an explicit memory. Sometimes it’s just the feeling we recall. When you encounter a smell tied to something meaningful in your past, you first feel the emotion followed by a cognitive recognition, information that was stored in your brain. Often…

Sometimes it’s just the feeling we recall — Now Smell This

Fascinating! This is why I’m collaborating with a playwright and composer on a “scent score” for a new play with music.

Perfume Chat Room, August 20

Perfume Chat Room, August 20

Welcome 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, August 20, and I have been swarmed by mosquitoes in a 15-minute trip to my backyard. So my theme for today is bug repellent. I spray Deet formulas on outer clothes, and a lemon/eucalytpus blend on skin. I actually sort of like the way it smells. Do you have any secret scent formulas to keep bugs away? Or do any of your favorite fragrances seem to attract bugs more than the norm?

Perfume Chat Room, August 13

Perfume Chat Room, August 13

Welcome 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, August 13 — how has your luck held up? I thought about wearing Frederic Malle’s Superstitious as my SOTD, but work was so busy today that I haven’t worn any fragrance yet! (And that’s also why I’m late posting — apologies!). What’s your SOTD? Do you harbor any superstitions? Do you remember vinyl records from the 20th century?

Perfume Chat Room, August 6

Perfume Chat Room, August 6

Welcome 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, August 6, and I am SO READY for the weekend! Even though I had a short work week, I was in my office for three straight full workdays, and I had forgotten how tiring that is. I have to conserve some energy, as our oldest daughter is moving back out this weekend, after having lived at home for the past year because of COVID. She started a great new job earlier this week, and she will be sharing a small rented house with two friends. It’s very exciting! Our second daughter moved out last month, to share an apartment with her bestie from high school. So our chickadees are re-launching! We’re very proud of their perseverance during the past year of challenges.

And now that their belongings will be out of our house, we will finally repaint the several rooms that were damaged and had to be replastered after last fall’s plumbing disaster, including their bedrooms. That is supposed to start next week, and I’m really pleased with the paint colors I’ve chosen. About half will be the same, and half will be variations on the original colors. We’re splurging on doing the living room in a gorgeous dark red from Farrow & Ball, and I’m finally changing our dining room walls from a light taupe to a more greenish neutral, to go better with the William Morris rug in that room. I will rearrange the art we had on the walls in those rooms, and hang more art in the bedrooms, since I have several pieces from my late mother’s house that I hadn’t yet hung. Our youngest (the only boy) will finally get to move into the largest kids’ bedroom, which makes him very happy.

Speaking of happiness, today’s Community Project over at “Now Smell This” is to wear a fragrance that evokes happiness, however you choose to interpret that. I’m wearing Blyss, from Perfumology, the independent perfumery in Philadelphia, PA. It comes in parfum strength, and Perfumology has a discovery set that includes Blyss and three other fragrances commissioned by owner Nir Guy. The set is currently sold out; I hope it gets re-stocked soon!

Have you tried any of the Perfumology scents? What is currently making you happy?

Perfume Chat Room, July 30

Perfume Chat Room, July 30

Welcome 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, July 30, and tomorrow is Harry Potter’s birthday! I still remember getting the first book in 1997 and reading it with delight, as a young mother. The books continued to arrive during the same era when my own children arrived. When they were older, we read the earlier books aloud to them and played the audiobooks on long car trips (the American audiobooks, narrated by British actor Jim Dale, are wonderful!). A couple of years ago, I posted about my thoughts on what fragrances various characters from the books might wear. I stand by my choices!

Did you know that Ulta released a “Harry Potter” collection of fragrances last year?? I’m not sure who thought “soothing raindrops” was appropriate for Slytherin. The fragrances chosen by Scentsy for their Hogwarts wax melts seems more apropos:

Gryffindor™: Bravery and Determination
Race through daring smoky woods, while amber and a touch of dapper cinnamon leaf bring warmth to your journey.

Slytherin™: Cunning and Ambition
Forest woods
 hide dark secrets in fresh oak moss and a sweetly sinister layer of deep blackberry.

Hufflepuff™: Just and Loyal
The Great Hall beckons with sweet and steadfast notes of golden applewhipped vanilla almond and cinnamon sugar.

Ravenclaw™: Wit and Wisdom
A clever concoction of suede and sandalwood is mellowed handsomely by a ribbon of smooth vanilla.

Do you have any favorite book characters? What fragrance(s) might they wear?

Featured image from Warner Bros.

Scent Sample Sunday: Juniper Sling and Scenthusiasm

Scent Sample Sunday: Juniper Sling and Scenthusiasm

I’ve been wanting a bottle of Penhaligon’s fragrance Juniper Sling for a long time, since I got a tiny mini bottle of it in a Penhaligon’s gift coffret and sampled it in place of 4160 Tuesdays’ Scenthusiasm, which hadn’t been available to me in 2018 when I read a review of it on the blog “I Scent You A Day.” Happily, since 2018, I’ve been able to snag a full bottle of Scenthusiasm and, now, one of Juniper Sling, in Penhaligons’s summer sale. So I’m fully stocked with gin-inspired fragrances, thank you, to go with a gin cocktail (click the link for a recipe for one made with Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade).

Revisiting my former thoughts on Juniper Sling, I still find that the juniper berries dominate the opening, and that note persists for a while. It lends the fragrance an aromatic aura and adds to the sense that this scent is truly unisex. It’s also an ideal scent for hot, humid, summer weather — herbal and cool. Created by Olivier Cresp, its notes are listed as follows: Top notes are angelica, cinnamon, orange brandy, and juniper berries; middle notes are cardamom, orris root, leather and pepper; base notes are vetiver, cherry, sugar and amber. I like that I can clearly smell the cardamom, and now that I have a full bottle and can really spritz, I can also smell the angelica. Not much cinnamon, thank goodness — I can only take cinnamon in very small quantities in fragrance, much as I like to cook with it. Orris root softens the edges of the herbs and spices. Vetiver is detectable in the base, but I can’t say that I smell cherry or sugar. An amber accord may be there, and there is definitely something warm that balances the vetiver. Juniper Sling is a transparent sort of fragrance, like a limpid pool on a hot summer day — clear and sparkling. It doesn’t last more than a few hours on my skin, but I’ll be more than happy to reapply as needed.

Scenthusiasm, on the other hand, is more floral, though it is also very summery, cool, aromatic, and refreshing. It was created for a Hendrick’s Gin event — not to smell like the gin itself, but to complement the floral and herbal notes in Hendrick’s.

Hendrick's Gin cocktail and recipe
Hendrick’s Gin Cucumber Lemonade

If you like the sound of Gin Cucumber Lemonade, try the recipe and let us know how it is in the comments (or try my recipe linked above, or try both)!

In Sarah McCartney’s own words:

Scenthusiasm is made with natural orris (iris) butter, rose absolute, lemon and orange essential oils, cucumber extract, juniper absolute (of course) and coriander essential oil. To make it last, boost the scents of the naturals and too smooth them out, we blended it with our favourite simple musk, fresh air and white wood note synthetics.  It’s inspired by gin, and has gin notes but mostly it’s a floral at heart: rose and iris, with the herbs dancing around it.

I think Scenthusiasm is also quite unisex, though it may lean a bit more traditionally feminine. Sam at “I Scent You A Day” wrote that the orange and lemon notes risk making it go “a bit Pimms”, but I’m not qualified to judge that! My lack of familiarity with Pimms several years ago resulted in my allowing two of my three children (all under the age of 12, as I recall) choose it as a canned drink to go with their lunches at Kew Gardens, on a day-trip from London. As all the food and drinks were together, I’m sure the checkout cashier thought I was planning to drink the lot myself!

Luckily the older of the two would-be Pimms drinkers took one sip, realized it was alcoholic, and alerted me before her (much younger) brother drank any. Not that it would have killed either of them, of course, but one doesn’t like to render a five year-old tipsy. So having sensibly got for myself a simple lemonade, I switched with the children and drank one of the Pimms, pouring out the other surreptitiously on the ground as both had been opened. It was fine as a summer drink, but on a later trip to London I was introduced to Aperol spritzes, and that is now a favorite (nor does it raise embarrassing memories).

I really love Scenthusiasm. One might say, I am scenthusiastic about it, lol. It’s a delightful summer floral with the unexpected references to gin botanicals, more aromatic than sweet. Definitely not fruity, nor green. The cucumber note is noticeable, and it’s an unusual note to find in perfume. One of the few I’ve been able to find with a prominent cucumber note is a 2020 launch from By Kilian, called Roses On Ice. Lo and behold, it is supposed to smell like Hendrick’s Gin, the original inspiration for Scenthusiasm. I may have to try it some day, but for now, I’m very happy with my purchase from a favorite independent small perfumer.

Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays

I could see a couple wearing Juniper Sling and Scenthusiasm to complement each other’s fragrance. But which would each one choose? Which would you choose? Or would you, like me, say “Both, please!”?