Just Showered

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Step out of the shower on a sweltering day and even the steamiest bathroom air feels deliciously chilly on damp skin. As the summer days heat up, fragrances that help recreate that just stepped out of the shower feeling are very compelling. Clean scents linger softly during the day.  The hint of delicate soap whispers cooling memories.

Penhaligons Castile is the quintessential classic soap scent, with notes of neroli, petitgrain, bergamot, orange blossom, rose, woods and musk.  CB I Hate Perfume lets you choose from five different varieties of soap – Musky, Pine Tar, White, Tabac, and Plain Old. Philosophy Pure Grace claims to be simple soap & water, while Gendarme Carriere adds jasmine & lilac. And then there’s Bobbi Brown Almost Bare, reminiscent of a certain hair smells terrific shampoo. But that’s a whole other blog post.

Fragrance on The Brain

Sometime in the last ten years I came to the realization that everything I observe, hear, taste, inhale, process,  digest, or soak up through osmosis I do in a sensory way. Translation: virtually everything makes me think of fragrance!

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I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, I’ve been doing it since I’m four years old… when my grandmother Rose first brought me a little wrapped, triple-milled, highly fragranced soap from the Ritz Hotel in Paris and my sense of smell stood at attention, saluted and my potent attraction to scent was born.

 

 

 

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I’m in the Strand bookstore – the sweet, damp smell of vintage books and brittle, yellowing newspaper wafting to my nostrils. And my thoughts immediately gravitate to CB I Hate Perfume In the Library, which really *does* smell like a room full of well-loved tomes. Or Chanel Cuir de Russie, a beautiful portrayal of pungent, tanned leather, worthy to bind   the      complete works of Shakespeare or Dickens

black-licorice

A trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar with my daughter, and I’m loitering by the black licorice, which I’m fairly convinced I’m addicted to. Good n Plenty, Twizzlers, black Jelly Bellies, Australian, salted, licorice shaped like ropes, pipes, Scotty dogs… I crave it all. And I want to wear it – in the form of Etro Anice (the closest you’ll get to smelling like the black and pink morsels of Good n Plenty), and Caron Aimez Moi, which, with it’s intoxicating blend of anisette and violet, replicates not only licorice, but also those powdery violet candies your grandmother used to keep                                                                                      in her purse.

 

kiki

Window-shopping in Soho, and I’m mesmerized by the display of creamy, blush-colored lingerie at Kiki de Montparnasse. Nothing could be more sensual, languidly kissing the female form. And the fragrance that my mind conjures up? Stella McCartney Stella Nude, which is absolutely the personification of lingerie with its soft, musky, rose accord.

Is this normal? Is it a quirk? Do other people convert everything to smells in their minds? I don’t know… But I’ve learned to enjoy my affinity and it’s become a form of entertainment.

Moment de Bonheur

Scents can magically transport you to another place and time. High above Madison Avenue, steps from a rooftop garden, Yves Rocher whisked us away to a Parisian street for a Moment de Bonheur. Having spent my teen years wafting in Chevrefeuille,  it was very exciting to attend the launch of this new fragrance. François Bousquet, Vice President Fine Fragrance Development and Consumer Insight at Firmenich, helped present Moment de Bonheur. We sampled the finished fragrance, as well as the individual scent notes, on blotters – rose centefolia, violet, patchouli & cedar. Perfumer Annick Menardo created the fragrance to provoke an instant of true happiness. Moment de Bonheur will be available in October 2011.

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The cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were as pleasing to the eye as to the taste. The pink -green-yellow descending hues of the bottle are also reflected in the cocktail.

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The Madras – Vodka, Grapefruit Juice & Cranberry Juice.

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What fragrances are instant time-travel for you? Leave a comment and enter to win a sample of Moment de Bonheur!

Tending Garden

Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by wonderful scents. And one of the best ways to do it is by tending a garden. After several years of growing vegetables in containers, I figured that starting a backyard vegetable garden was the natural next step. I put my thoughts out into the universe, and amazingly enough, my guys made the garden a reality. Mothers’ Day found them preparing a 10 x 10 plot of land, tilling the soil, digging holes for the seedlings, and installing a deer-proof fence.  With the preliminary work done, I joined in and planted my crops, adding a moderate sprinkling of dehydrated manure (which, thankfully, has very little scent!)

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Now that my garden’s growing – the corn was knee-high by the 4th of July – so are the weeds. Which means the tending is very hands-on, dirt-under-the-fingernails (ok, I do wear gardening gloves!) maintenance that keeps your nose close to the soil and all the glorious earthy & green smells. Many of these scents can be enjoyed year round, thanks to the talented perfumers who have recreated them.

Though spindly, the celery plants provide the first waft of scent when you approach my garden, making it reminiscent of a green salad. Comme des Garcon Calamus and L’Artisan Dzongkha bring the celery note to skin scent. Aftelier Celery Seed Essence is used by chef’s to enhance the flavors of food.

Tomato leaves are one of my favorite green herbal scents. It’s distinctively strong, and the oils linger on your skin. Christopher Brosius has bottled tomato leaf in CB I Hate Perfume   Memory of Kindness and In the Summer Kitchen.

Digging the dirt to remove pesky weeds often involves unearthing worms that frantically slither & squirm deep into the cool soil. Demeter Dirt, and CB I Hate Perfume Black March are wearable earthiness.

Pepper plants bring to mind the scents of Molton Brown Black Pepper Air Candelas, L’Artisan Poivre Piquant, and Lorenzo Villoresi Piper Nigrum.

The garden’s not complete without a few herbs, so I included two of my favorites in my garden – mint and basil. I also wear them year-round in  Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, Jo Malone Fresh Mint Leaf & Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, and Marc Jacobs Basil.

Do you have a favorite herb or vegetable in your garden? What vegetal scents do you enjoy wearing? Feel free to add your thoughts, talk about your garden, discuss your favorite green scents. Oh, and please let us know how you like our new website format, too!