Archive | March, 2012

The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu “Grain de Musc”

26 Mar

In summary:- the author’s perfumed journey through life, a vivid and sensual experience in Seville during Holy Week, and, inspired by the latter experience, what she has made of the opportunity to work with  master perfumer, Bertrand Duchaufour.

Seville is one of my favourite cities, and I love perfume, so I awaited the book with interest.  Everyone should experience Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril,  which heighten the unique mix of the sacred and the profane posessed by the city and its inhabitants.  Beaulieu’s witty elegant prose captures the City’s hidden olfactory landscape .  I say hidden as most visitors to Seville will first encounter the whiff of drains and delicious deep fried seafood.

But the book is not a travelogue at all, and Seville is a supporting player. It is mainly a fascinating insight into the complex process of creating a perfume.  Some of the best passages recount the conversations between perfumer and author as they go down a long and winding road together with many detours and delays.  As a vraie perfumista, Beaulieu’s delight in the project is infectious, and we feel her and Duchaufour’s struggle to achieve “duende”.

There is a strong autobiographical thread in the book and I felt that the polished prose would have been enhanced by some pictures or photos, as that is often an enjoyable part of an autobiography.  Also the lack of a perfume sample with the book is quite unforgiveable!!  As I live a long way from anywhere which stocks L’Artisan, it will be a long while before I can sample the “juice” and it would have been great to read the book and sniff the perfume at the same time.

A must read for perfumistas, but you might want to wait until the perfume is out there before opening the book……


L’Artisan Parfumeur Mure et Musc

13 Mar

Sometimes I just can’t decide which perfume to wear.  We have all been there – too rushed, unsure of the “rightness” of a fragrance for our mood or the situation, or just plain bamboozled.

Mure et Musc is the absolute Go To for these situations.  It always smells great on me, although I would caution that it seems a bit love or hate out there in perfumeland..

I had been looking for a no brainer ‘fume for the longest time.  I have a mini EDT and a 100ml bottle of the EDT Cologne (courtesy of the L’Artisan sale).  The two are different, the edt is slightly sweeter, the cologne is breezier and more citrusy, fortunately I like them both.

Confusingly there are many iterations of Mure et Musc – I haven’t sampled the perfume solid or the Extreme version or the extrait, and probably shouldn’t as I may have to have them as well.

M et M doesn’t get a lot of love out there in the fumeosphere, so I just wanted to give it a boost!  I will never have a signature perfume, but M et M will always get a lot of wear.   If I had to choose between them today, it would be the EDT, not the cologne.  Tomorrow it might be the other way round.

Do you have a perfume to fall back to if you just can’t decide?



Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations

10 Mar

I just read the delicious NST review by Jessica –  do read it at

The sample package from Neela Vermeire is elegant – three little black atomisers in a tiny gauze bag with a handwritten note.  Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling.  I have never visited India but the links with the UK are strong and enduring, and the history is dramatic.  My personal connection with India, like so many of us here in Britain,  is through the aromatic spiced food and colourful cultural displays.  Each of the fragrances rings true, like a crystal glass, but has a shifting character.

Maybe the shifting nature is to do with the amount of naturals in the blends.  My current favourite is the spicy dark rose Mohur.  Today it truly has displayed a luminous quality.  Jessica describes “it hovered around me like a shimmery cloud of gold dust and rose petals.”  It truly did that for me today.  Other days it has displayed a woodier nature and stayed closer to the skin

I compared it with a few other roses I love, up and down my arms.

Vintage Rose and Rose Musc by Sonoma Scent Studio.  Vintage Rose is more boozy and Rose Musc is less spicy.

Une Rose Chypree and Rose Incense by Tauer Perfumes.  Une Rose Chypree is greener and Rose Incense is drier.

Mohur is subtly spiced, and this is its unique beauty.  I will be very sorry when my sample runs out – sorry enough to want the 3 10 mil discovery bottles…..



Woo Hoo

7 Mar

After not winning anything in competitions and raffles my entire life I won a Cologne du Maghreb in the lovely Andy Tauer’s Advent.  I got the email after a rubbish day and my spirits were immediately lifted.   CdM is all natural and on me is a wonderful citrus blast.

Now I have won perfume from  Osmoz after taking part in a survey about experiencing perfume.  Choice from the following list of mainstream ‘fumes.  I didn’t know any of them well, and initially was tempted more by the Fragrances for Men – Dior Homme or Kokorico.  In the end I picked Chanel Coco.  Not sure if the prize will be a tester or an FB but excited anyway.  Which would you have chosen?

Fragrances for women Fragrances for Men
Coco Eau de Parfum – Chanel Bleu Eau de Toilette – Chanel
Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum  – Chanel Le Mâle Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier
N°5 Eau de Parfum – Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau de Toilette – Chanel
Angel Eau de Parfum – Thierry Mugler L’Eau D’Issey Homme Eau de Toilette – Issey Miyake
Trésor Eau de Parfum – Lancôme La Nuit De L’Homme Eau de Toilette – Yves Saint Laurent
Chance Eau de Parfum – Chanel Chrome Eau de Toilette – Azzaro
J’Adore Eau de Parfum – Dior Fahrenheit Eau de Toilette – Dior
Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette  – Dior Kokorico Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier
Idylle Eau de parfum  – Guerlain Allure Eau de Toilette – Chanel
« Classique » Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier Dior Homme Eau de Toilette – Dior

Sample of the day No 4 – Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois

6 Mar

I have had this sample knocking about for a while, it arrived with my beautifully packaged SSS FBs of Rose Musc and Winter Woods.

This is so Chanel.  If I didn’t know where it was from, I’d think it was a new addition to Les Exclusifs. It is a chilly winter-spring evening in Edinburgh and when I close my eyes I am somewhere else entirely.  A shaded woody path in an exotic botanic garden. Vetiver!  I love vetiver.  The other notes are aldehydes, jasmine, clove, sandalwood, labdanum, and amber.  I am normally not fond of jasmine or clove but the whole is so well blended.

Elegant and warm, with a lively personality.