Happy Anniversary to Serenity Now!

Happy Anniversary to Serenity Now!

WordPress has just reminded me that I started blogging four years ago today and thus my blog was born! Wow, it doesn’t seem as if it has been that long — probably because I’ve had so much fun doing it and tumbling down the fragrance rabbit hole. Thank you, to all of you who read my meanderings, whether you comment or not. Knowing that you’re out there (and now having met a couple of you in person!) and hearing from you are the parts that make this the most fun.

Stay fragrant, friends!

LVMH Silences Monsieur Guerlain

Instead of my usual “Fragrance Friday” post, I am sharing this, from Kafkaesque. Sadly, the title of that blog is eerily appropriate for this news:

I was stunned to wake up this morning to news that LVMH, the parent company of Guerlain, has shut down the Monsieur Guerlain website,

Source: LVMH Silences Monsieur Guerlain

Fragrantica and Pantone’s Colors of the Year

Fragrantica and Pantone’s Colors of the Year

Well, this is fun! Fragrantica has a new article today highlighting Pantone’s new “colors of the year”, which happen to be Rose Quartz and Serenity: A Melody of Rose Quartz and Serenity. Perfect for a blog named “Serenity Now”! The Fragrantica challenge to readers is to suggest their own fragrance building blocks for scents based on those colors.

Hydrangea Blooms Fragrantica

Photo: Fragrantica.com

Fragrance Friday: Amouage’s Memoir Woman

Fragrance Friday: Amouage’s Memoir Woman

Wow!! This is not my usual type of fragrance, as I normally gravitate toward green florals, but I was excited to try it from a lovely gift coffret of six mini Amouage perfumes. Memoir is amazing. Many reviewers have said it reminds them of the original Poison. I used to wear Poison in the 1980s and this is much, much better. I do understand that impression, though, but to me Poison was very plummy and I smell no fruit in Memoir other than the spicy orange in the opening.

As soon as I dabbed Memoir on my wrist, Continue reading

Fragrance Friday: Carner Barcelona

Fragrance Friday: Carner Barcelona

My lovely husband has returned from another business trip to Barcelona; and I am now the happy recipient of several samples of fragrance from the niche perfumery Carner Barcelona, as well as the “travel set” of its fragrances Tardes and Rima XI. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet, so this week’s “Fragrance Friday” will be about the perfume house instead.

Carner Barcelona was founded by Sara Carner in 2009. According to the company website, Continue reading

What Went Well

What were my “three blessings” this week?

  1. My sisters and I teamed up to handle a caregiving crisis with our elderly mother, and all’s well that ends well; she is fine, and a reliable caregiver is back in place. Because we shared information and divided up tasks, and supported each other.
  2. My nice husband has finalized some lovely travel plans for the whole family. Because he loves us and shows that by the many things he does for us.
  3. I had lunch today with a really nice new colleague and that makes me optimistic about improvements to come in my workplace. Because it is better to work with happy, thoughtful people than their opposites.

What went well for you this week? Please share in the comments! Have a great week and weekend!

“The Smell of Loss”

“The Smell of Loss”

Normally I post about fragrance on or around Fridays, in my weekly “Fragrance Friday” blog post. But this weekend’s New York Times had such a stunning, beautiful op-ed piece, The Smell of Loss, that I just had to share it.

The first time it happens is a dark winter’s afternoon, not quite a year after her death. I’m at my desk working, and there it suddenly is: sharp, glassy-green, with that faint, musky undertone that catches at the back of your throat.

I recognize it instantly: the scent that hung in our hall every time she came to supper. The perfume that clung to her coat, her scarves, detectable sometimes for hours on my babies’ hair after she’d been carrying and kissing them.

That first time, it’s a shock. Her perfume is something I’ve long forgotten (in her final months, mostly bedridden, she was beyond all that). But here it is — absolute and definite and quite overpowering.

The author, Julie Myerson, is describing the signature fragrance of her beloved, deceased mother-in-law, which she starts smelling at unexpected moments, for minutes at a time, with no apparent source such as clothing. She consults experts:

I email Jay A. Gottfried, a neuroscientist who runs the Gottfried Laboratory at Northwestern University, which investigates the links between brain activity and sensory perception.

Professor Gottfried tells me that what I describe is known in his business as “phantosmia” or “phantom smells.” The sense of smell, he says, is our most ancient, primal sense and has “intimate and direct control over emotional and behavioral states.”

You really have to read the rest of this article, it is wonderful. Enjoy! Have you ever experienced this phenomenon?

Illustration: Aidan Koch, for The New York Times

Fragrance Friday: A Reclusive Perfumer

Fragrance Friday: A Reclusive Perfumer

This week’s Fragrance Friday is more about the perfumer than the perfume. I bought a coffret of Lollia eaux de parfums at Anthropologie, a limited edition “wardrobe” of three fragrances by Margot Elena, who is also the creator of TokyoMilk and other brands. I was curious to find out more about her, and found an intriguing interview she gave to Sephora: Character Study: Margot Elena. One of my favorite quotes from the article:

Fragrance is alive and the most intimate “accessory” we can select. It is never the same scent on any two people, and it is never the same exact fragrance from day to day based on the interaction with one’s body chemistry. Is there any art that is more intimate and beautiful than that?

The packaging of the set is lovely too, designed by RedGrackle (whose photo is featured).

I was also intrigued by the names of the eaux de parfums: I Can Still Smell the Rain, Velvet As Night, and Another Quiet Day. I haven’t tried them other than in the store, but will share my thoughts once I have. If you have tried them or other Lollia scents, please share comments, below!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This is my first New Year’s Day as a blogger. Thank you to all of you who read Serenity Now occasionally or regularly — I have loved becoming part of your community! Best wishes to all for a happy, serene New Year.

Photo: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

What Went Well: Happy New Year!

A lot of things can go well in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Top three:

  1. Christmas! Because.
  2. We had a wonderful family gathering with cousins. Because even in all of our busy lives, we try to maintain connection especially around the holidays.
  3. I have been able to work from home this week, and I cherish just being able to be in the house while the kids are around. Because I am lucky to have a job that offers some flexibility.

I hope you all have had wonderful holidays, a merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a happy soon-to-be New Year!