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Just back from a week’s vacation to one of my favorite places, York Harbor, Maine. Summer vacations are best when they include a string of lazy days spent lounging on a beach.

My body instantly relaxes with the first deep breath of salt air.  I take in all the sights, sounds, and scents – damp tangled seaweed, fishy sea creatures, sun-baked driftwood, the shell strewn sand. The sun warms my skin as I listen to the rhythmic roll of the waves, the calls of hungry seagulls,  the playful laughter of children.  The cool ocean breeze blows a salty film on  my sunscreened skin. York Beach and a good book are all I need. I dig my feet in a little deeper and find the cooler sand.

Recreate the summer beach any time of the year with these fragrances:

MCMC Maine – Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Clary Sage, Wild Somalian Myrhh, French Seaweed Absolute

Hampton Sun Privet Bloom – Lily of the Valley, Lemon Verbena, Jasmine, Dune Rose, White Hyacinth, Privet Blossom, Low Sea Grass, Sun-Warmed Musk, Blue Plum

CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966 – Wet Sand, Seashell, Driftwood, Hint of Boardwalk

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel – Rosemary, Clary Sage, Red Thyme, Wild Marsh Flowers, Ambrette Seeds.

Norma Kamali Beach – Sea Air, Coconut Shavings, Exotic Oils, Warm Glow of the Sun

I Profumi di Firenze Brezza di Mare  – Fleur de Sel, Bergamot, Sicilian Lemom, Lime, Watermelon

L’Artisan Cote D’Amour – Golden Yellow Gorse, Heather, Broom, Soft Resin, Floatwood

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Perfect Peach

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I’m sitting at the kitchen desk composing an email when a velvety sweetness wafts by – almost like fresh coconut.  It confounds me, since I don’t have any tropical fruit, or candles, on hand. I quickly turn my head and find the scent source. A small bowl of peaches and nectarines is ripening on the counter.

Inhaling deeply, I’m transported back to summer camp in upstate New York. My bunkmates and I have been subsisting on bug juice, mystery meat, and a few other barely edibles for weeks. One of the counselors offers a rare treat – a ride to town for this group of displaced city kids. We walk around the sleepy little hamlet like we’ve been sprung out of jail. A produce stand appears, stocked with mounds of local summer fruit. I purchase a single perfect peach – larger than a baseball – and take a bite. The sweet juice runs down my chin and I think –  this is most delicious peach I have ever eaten in my entire life.  And to this very day, it still is.

Sniffapalooza Travels: London

With thoughts of peace for our friends in London, and beautiful memories of our 2009 journey.

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Sniffapalooza London Itinerary

Sunday, July 5
Arrive in London
Relax and Refresh
Informal neighborhood touring, museums
Assemble for group dinner in hotel lobby

Monday, July 6
9:30 am – 11:00 am –  Les Senteurs with Basenotes
11:00 am– 12:30pm – Double Decker Bus Tour with Basenotes Community
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Selfridges – Seminar with Michael Boadi – Boadicea the Victorious
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Content/Wellbeing – Scent Systems
6:00 pm –  7:30 pm – Cath Collins @ OKA Showroom

Tuesday, July 7
10:00 am – 12 noon – Liberty of London -Historical Tour & Reception
1:00pm – 4:30 pm  – Miller Harris  –  Meet Lyn Harris at her lab
4:30pm – 5:30 pm – Ormonde Jayne – Meet Linda Pilkington

Wednesday, July 8
9:00 am – 10:00am – Jo Malone – Fragrance Workshop & Hand Massages
11:00am – 1:00pm – Meet Roja Dove @ Harrods – History of Fragrance Seminar
3:00pm  – 5:00 pm – Al Qurashi – Discover the Oudhs

Thursday, July 9
10:00 am – 12 noon – Harvey Nichols – Fragrance Marketing Session
12:30 pm – 1:30pm – Amanda Lacey – Spa Fragrances
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Clive Christian – Tea @ Fortnum & Mason  with Victoria Christian
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Penhaligon’s – Meet Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm  – B Never Too Busy to Be Beautiful – Meet Pia Long

Friday, July 10
8:30am departure – Norfolk Lavender Farm – FULL DAY TRIP – Private Motorcoach

Saturday, July 11
Visit local museums, shop, pack.
Depart for Heathrow Airport. Cheerio!

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Michael Boadi @ Selfridges

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Miller Harris
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Linda Pilkington @ Ormonde Jayne
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Jo Malone

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Roja Dove @ Harrods

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Al Qurashi

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Victoria Christian @ Fortnum & Mason

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Bertrand Duchaufour @ Penhaligons
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Pia Long @ B Never Too Busy…

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Norfolk Lavender Farm

Sniffapalooza Reads: The Lantern

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One of my favorite summer pleasures is to lose myself in a good book. There’s nothing like being totally immersed in a story that, like scent, transports you to another place and time. The Lantern, author Deborah Lawrenson’s first novel, does just that. An Advance Reader’s Edition of The Lantern arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago and it has been my constant companion ever since.  Whenever I’ve got a spare moment, I steal away and read a chapter or two.  Set to release on August 9, this modern Gothic novel interweaves past and present through the voices of 21st century Eve and 20th century Benedicte. They alternate to tell the story of Les Genevriers, a hamlet nestled in the lavender fields of Provence.

As the characters develop and their tales progress, so does the fragrant back-story which provides insight into the 20th century French perfume industry. The violet waves of the lavender fields come so alive on the pages, you can almost smell the aromatic plants.  OK, I confess, I actually did smell lavender. While reading, I felt compelled to find my Norfolk Lavender and spritz both myself and the book’s pages for some true scent immersion.

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What are you reading this summer?  Do you seek out and savor scent descriptions in the books you read? Leave a comment and enter to win a copy of The Lantern.