Perfume Chat Room, August 12

Perfume Chat Room, August 12

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 12, and our summer travels are over. We had a great trip to New England to see my FIL. Along the way, we had our three kids with us on a beautiful lake for several days, saw both of my sisters and three of their kids, also saw my husband’s sister and her family, met our great-nieces for the first time when our nephew came to see my FIL with them, and met both the newish puppy and the young ocicat in my younger sister’s house. Whew! Unlike last summer, we didn’t digress to other destinations but drove straight up the Eastern seaboard, with one stop in Richmond and one in Connecticut, both on the way up and the way down.

We stayed in the most fabulous bed-and-breakfast inn in Richmond, called the Boulevard Inn. It’s a 1914 townhouse in a historic neighborhood called the “Fan” (due to its shape on a map) that is full of cute restaurants and beautiful houses. Our hosts, Mitch and Roni, couldn’t have been nicer or more hospitable. I highly recommend it!

Victorian room in bed and breakfast inn
Bon Air room in the Boulevard Inn, Richmond VA.
Streetscape in Richmond, VA, showing inn.
The Boulevard Inn, Richmond VA.

Have you been able to stay anywhere special this summer? I kind of can’t believe summer is really over, but it is. Our son moves back to campus today, and I return to the office. The weather, however, is still very hot and steamy. How about you?

Perfume Chat Room, August 5

Perfume Chat Room, August 5

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 5, and I have family on my mind. This is mostly because we have gone to New Hampshire with our young adult children for the specific purpose of seeing my elderly father-in-law, who is their only remaining grandparent. We’re having a great time! We have had some fabulous weather, although today is overcast after some heavy rain last night. As hoped, we have seen and heard several loons. Their calls are so distinctive, and instantly bring back memories of past vacations in New England.

The other reason family is on my mind is that the “Scent Semantics” blogging crew, of which I am one thanks to Portia, posted this week about the word “family.” I wrote about the family of fragrances launched by one of my favorite perfumers, Liz Moores, and her independent brand Papillon Artisan Perfumes. Please check it out, as well as the other Scent Semantics blog posts!

It feels as if summer is coming to a close, and I’m not quite ready for that. How about you?

New England lake with loons
Loons on lake in Maine
Perfume Chat Room, July 29

Perfume Chat Room, July 29

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 29, and we are on our way north to New England! I’m eager to have at least some cooler nights, if not days. And the lake we will visit has loons!

I’ve been wearing Hermés’ Un Jardin sur le Nil almost daily; it’s a tonic in the hot humid mugginess where I live. Do you have a fallback fragrance that just works for you in a particular season?

Loons on lake in New England
Perfume Chat Room, July 22

Perfume Chat Room, July 22

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 22, and it is HOT! It’s abnormally hot almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, apparently. We have had days and days of thunderstorms and torrential downpours of rain, which barely cool the ambient temperatures at all. I’m tempted to make Un Jardin Aprés La Mousson and Aprés L’Ondée my only fragrances right now! I’m also enjoying a new fragrance, Carthusia’s A’mmare, a salty, aromatic fragrance that will suit men and women equally well. It’s very refreshing. I found it in a Carthusia boutique in Milan when we were there in May (our first trip outside the US since 2019!). Yay, perfume tourism is back!

Speaking of perfume tourism, my husband and I will be going to Las Vegas this fall, on a business trip for him. It looks as if there is still at least one Guerlain boutique open there, and I plan to visit it! Have any of you been to it? I know Undina has! Any suggestions, anyone? I’m eager to try some of the 2021 versions of the classic Guerlain fragrances like L’Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, and Mitsouko, I’ve read good things about them. Thoughts?

Las Vegas sign; Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m also excited that we have tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show “The Beatles Love”. We’ve seen it once before, on my one and only trip to Las Vegas, and I’ve often said that it might be the only thing that could bring me back to that city. (I should say that I thoroughly enjoyed that trip, but a lot of what many people love about Las Vegas just isn’t my vibe, no offense intended, as I generally don’t like heat, crowds, or casinos). The show was absolutely fantastic and you don’t have to be a lifelong, diehard Beatles fan like me to enjoy it. I can’t wait to see it again!

Perfume Chat Room, July 15

Perfume Chat Room, July 15

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 15, and the euro has equalized to the US dollar for the first time in 20 years, i.e. 1 euro equals 1 dollar. We traveled to Europe earlier this summer and benefited from the favorable euro-dollar exchange rate even before this, including for my purchase of a couple of fragrances, but that was in person. If you’re in the US, have you noticed any effect on the prices of fragrances either in person or online? If you’re not in the US, has the exchange rate had any impact on prices in other currencies you use? If you’re in Europe, have you found that fragrance prices for American brands have increased?

P.S. WordPress has just informed me that I first registered with it 7 years ago today! Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago, when I was stuck at home with a broken shoulder, still working fulltime, undergoing a reorg at work, and needing a positive, creative outlet. Thanks for joining me on that blogging journey, whenever you joined!

Fragrances on sale in Spain in May 2022

Perfume Chat Room, July 8

Perfume Chat Room, July 8

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.

This week, I posted another in the series “Scent Semantics“, which Portia started. Every month, on the first Monday (or as close to that as possible), Portia and I and several other bloggers write posts based on a single word, chosen by one of us in rotation. It’s great fun! The word for July was “cornucopia”. If you haven’t read the posts so far, the links to all the participating blogs are here: Scent Semantics Blogs.

I can’t ignore, this week, the dreadful recent toll of gun violence in the world, between Monday’s July Fourth shooting at a small-town parade, to yesterday’s assassination of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The toll in the US is, of course, the worst in the world, and this summer has been particularly awful. The assassination of a world leader, whether or not one agreed with his politics, is always shocking, historic, and an attack on the governmental system itself, whether that be monarchy, democracy, or something else. The attack on families at a parade is an attack on all of the freedoms most of us take for granted — like going to a public event in safety. I don’t post about politics on this blog, but I feel I should acknowledge these tragedies.

On a more cheerful note, my roses are having a second flush of bloom lately, and they smell marvelous. I may have to revisit my “Roses de Mai Marathon“! Here are some of them in the early summer:

If you had to pick a fragrance to relate to “cornucopia”, which would you pick? And why?

Perfume Chat Room, July 1

Perfume Chat Room, July 1

Rabbit rabbit rabbit! Happy July 1, and 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 1, and I have peonies on my mind. I also have peonies in my house, thanks to Trader Joe’s, which is currently selling large bunches of them for a very affordable price. So of course, I bought three bunches! I haven’t had a bouquet of peonies in years, and I had forgotten just how gorgeous their natural fragrance is. My cut peonies have opened beautifully; the tightly furled buds I brought home opened within hours to huge, blowsy flowerheads up to 8″ across. Their fragrance is permeating the family room, where I have them in a large green vase on a table by the windows.

I checked my collection against Fragrantica to see if I have any peony-dominant fragrances, as none came immediately to mind. I do: Estée Lauder’s Pleasures and Pleasures Bloom. Of the two, the latter is supposed to be more peony-focused, which makes sense given that its box is covered with pink peony petals. It’s very lovely — the peony really emerges after a fruity opening, a nice combination of litchi and raspberry, with touches of violet and grapefruit (very little of the citrus, though — just enough to brighten the opening). Pleasures Bloom actually smells less “soapy” than the actual flower; it is more evocative of peonies than photo-realistic. Definitely not a peony soliflore.

Do you have any peony fragrances? Any recommendations? And for those who celebrate the Fourth of July, Happy Fourth!

Bunch of pink peony blossoms
Peonies in bloom; image from Southern Living and Getty Images
Perfume Chat Room, June 24

Perfume Chat Room, June 24

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.

This week in the New York Times: “When Did Perfume Stop Being About Sex?”. From the article: “Smaller, independent brands are often more creative in their approach to perfume making, highlighting individual ingredients and notes or using a story to attract customers. Fragrances are often stronger, bolder and more expensive than department store stalwarts synonymous with a ‘free gift with purchase.’”

The article is interesting although I doubt it says anything that you readers don’t already know. If you’re here, you have more than the average interest in fragrance! I thought it was interesting that it mentions more people turning to fragrance during the pandemic.

Turning this article on its head: what is the most seductive fragrance you own? And what makes it seductive? Right now, I would say my choice would be the Shalimar Philtre de Parfum I bought earlier this summer (available online these days for a very reasonable price, btw). Its listed notes are lemon, bergamot, lavender, iris, jasmine, rose, vanilla, tolu balsam and patchouli. Philtre is a summery Shalimar, but it has that warm vanilla that many people find irresistible and that in my experience often attracts compliments from strangers.

Illustration of perfume and perceptions of gender
Image by Miki Kim for the New York Times
Perfume Chat Room, June 18

Perfume Chat Room, June 18

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 Saturday, June 18, and I’m posting a day late because of more travel! Within the US this time, for another wedding (which is what kept me from posting last weekend!). We are at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, which we haven’t visited in several years, since we brought our kids here. The weather has dawned bright, sunny, and 20 degrees cooler than yesterday. That’s not a typo. Much of the Eastern US is having a heatwave. Luckily for this bride and groom, some storms blew through Virginia last night and pushed the heatwave away temporarily. Apparently it will be back up to 100 later this week!

Do you wear fragrances during heatwaves? Which do you find refreshing, or at least tolerable? Probably my favorite hot weather fragrance is Hermes’ Un Jardin Sur le Nil, famously created by Jean-Claude Ellena, as documented by Chandler Burr in the book “The Perfect Scent.” I’m really enjoying Carthusia’s new release, A’mmare.

Stay cool, friends!

The Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg, the Governor’s Palace.
Perfume Chat Room, June 3

Perfume Chat Room, June 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, June 3, and it is the first of my “summer Fridays”! As I did last summer, I am taking Fridays off work in June and July, using up some of my massively underused leave time. To be honest, it has been an exhausting two years, having added COVID-related duties to an already full plate at work, so the long summer weekends were a boon last year. I’m very happy to be able to have them again this summer!

I’m looking forward to doing a lot of fragrant gardening; we just installed a “dry creek” for drainage in our garden, which leads into a “rain garden” to catch excess water. Our soil is very dense clay, typical of this area; and in a wet spring such as we had this year, it gets so sodden with water that we’ve had water in our basement, erosion on a small slope in our back yard, and areas of lawn that haven’t been able to grow any grass for ages. The dry creek is a rock-lined channel that leads to a sunken area filled with gravel, then soil, then planted with vegetation that doesn’t mind wet feet. That’s the rain garden, which holds the excess water until it can percolate down into the soil. I’ve incorporated a number of pollinator-friendly and native plants. The dry creek has a long, low berm alongside it, for plants that need good drainage, which I will plant with creeping rosemary and upright silver lavender, mixed with some fragrant dianthus and creeping phlox as groundcovers.

Close up of lavender plant "Silver Anouk"
“Silver Anouk” Lavender

So that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend, and my hands will smell wonderful after handling all these scented leaves! Speaking of lavender, I used to think I didn’t care for it much as a fragrance note, and now I love it. I think Jicky eau de toilette was the turning point for me. Do you like lavender? Do you have any particular favorite lavender-centric fragrances? What about rosemary? That’s a less common note in fragrance, I think; one of my perfume souvenirs from our recent trip to Italy was a bottle of Carthusia’s new A’mmare, by perfumer Luca Maffei, which has a vivid rosemary top note. It’s a great summer scent, and I look forward to getting to know it better.

Creeping rosemary plants, "Huntington Carpet"
Rosemary “Huntington Carpet”