Latest Posts

Suntan oil perfumes that bring you right to the beach

Summer is now approaching, and it’s soon time to head out to the coast and cool off in the ocean. Time to embrace the feeling of play and freedom by enveloping your senses in beachy, suntan-oil-like fragrances! This post introduces some perfumes that relish memories or dreams of basking in […]

Scent Trunk – a perfume subscription service in review

My perfume membership plan with Scent Trunk is ending. I thought I’d take the time to reflect on my experience with this perfume subscription service and let you know what I thought of it. Overview “With too many options and so little guidance, fragrance shopping can defeat the best of […]

Fragrance to Help Learning? Makes scents!

A few years ago a wee article I wrote was published in a small institutional journal where I was employed in Tokyo. I wanted to find out if scent had any affect on the cognitive process of learning, so I did a little bit of digging. I had forgotten about […]

DIY Poopourri – make your own perfumed eau de “toilet”

Poopourri is clever product that has been successful due to its concept and zany marketing. How it works: before you release your burdens into the porcelain god, you spray Poopourri into the bowl, being sure to coat the surface. The oily surface wraps around your baggage as it plops down, […]

Samples from Rancé 1795 – Joséphine & Eau de la Couronne

Rancé 1795 is an old French perfume house from the Rancé family of the 1600s, famous for producing perfumed gloves for the French Aristocracy in Grasse. At that time Europe was a pretty stinky place to be, and gloves, fans and handkerchiefs were used by upper class ladies to disguise […]

20 uses for old or unwanted perfume

Do you have perfume bottles that serve no other purpose than collecting dust or taking up space? Did you fall out of love with a fragrance mid-way through the bottle and now have the remains to deal with? Too many perfumes, too little time? Fragrance that has gone off? You […]

Designer, niche, artisan, indie, bespoke… Say what?

Perfume is usually categorized into types based on smell, and there are several ways to categorize those smells. Michael Edwards, for example, has defined 4 groups – florals, woody, fresh, and oriental – and he has subdivided into 14 categories. There is another way to categorize fragrances, though, and that […]

Procuring perfume samples

Well, if you’re like me, you probably want to get your nose on absolutely everything there is out there, but unless your pockets are extremely deep, that will unlikely happen, especially when you consider that the market throws out hundreds of new fragrances every year! The best way to try […]

Three perfume houses that underwhelmed me

There are very few occasions when I well and truly dislike a perfume, but I do have what I’d call a scent profile. In general, I gravitate toward the woody orientals and away from fresh florals, and of course this fact will bias all my opinions of fragrances that I […]

Dzing! by L’Artisan Parfumeur

This perfume is a glorious example of what a gifted perfumer can create when not pressured to fit within the constraints of working with major brand executives, who in turn have to appeal the mass market in order to produce what any corporation requires to thrive.

How to make your scent last longer

Especially in warmer months, you tend to perspire more and as a result there is potentially less longevity in your fragrance, which is annoying. In this post are a few tips for getting the most out of your scent.

Bvlgari Black by Bvlgari

Bvulgari Black is “the Michelin man driving a good year blimp into a vat of vanilla extract.” Indeed, and it’s great!

How to apply perfume

Believe it or not, there may just be a bit more to perfume application than a spritz on the wrist…

Samples from Rania J.

Rania J. (short for Rania Jouaneh) is the nose behind – as well as the name of – a beautiful line of natural perfumes from Paris that contained 5 fragrances at the time I sampled (now there are more).

Scent subscription services

If you are interested in exploring new scents, I feel there are five main reasons you should subscribe, regardless of the company(ies) you end up choosing. In this post you’ll also find a list of perfume subscription services.

Manifesto by Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

The creators of this fragrance wanted to create a Manifesto of Femininity whose fragrance would evoke “an attitude, a burst of laughter, a tone of voice, a presence.” Umm, perhaps I’d respect Manifesto a lot more had it been named something less misleading.

Fragrance concentrations

This post contain an explanation of the 5 main scent concentration formats from strongest to weakest. Note that the percentage breakdown varies from source to source and I would assume also varies from fragrance to fragrance, so the percentage numbers offered are just a guideline.

Samples from Zoologist

The mix of cute and novel animal characters dressed like refined gentlemen with sophisticated, quality packaging make this fragrance house out of Toronto delightfully eclectic. One visit to the website after finding out the brand was Canadian (Go, Canada!) brought me quickly to the check out page to purchase a sample set that was waiting for me on a visit home to Canada from Japan.

Guide to buying vintage perfume

Aside from the desire of many to simply collect (indeed, there appears to be quite the market out there just for the empty bottles than once contained the precious liquids), a strong reason for buying vintage perfume may simply be that it is discontinued, and getting an old bottle may be the only option. An even stronger reason has to do with reformulation. Perfume formulas change for various reasons, including budget constraints, raw material scarcity, changes in business ownership, and, sadly and increasingly, bans on certain ingredients. Read on to find out how to get your nose on some great oldies but goodies.

Sikkim Girls by LUSH (Gorilla Perfumes)

This warm, sensual and exotic fragrance created by father and son team Simon and Mark Constantine conjures up thoughts of hippies, and as such I can imagine the likes of Janice Joplin enjoying this scent that is Sikkim Girls. That’s definitely due to the Indian incense vibe that wafts off from the fumes…

L’Eau Froide by Serge Lutens

…I knew right away I was going to invest in a bottle from Sergy baby, but I thought for sure it would be a number from his selective distribution line, such as Féminité du Bois, Ambre Sultan, Chergui, or Jeux de Peau. I was sure I’d be a complete mess deciding which deep, dark, and spicy concoction I would best like before running to get to my gate and onto the plane, but much to my confusion, I ended up with a bottle from his much cleaner, more reserved and lighter line, Les Eaux.

Streamlining your perfume collection

As long as it gives you joy, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a collection, be it stamps, coins, books, dolls, or in my case, and probably yours – perfume. But how do you know if your collection is getting out of control, and how can you manage it?

How to rate perfume

One’s preferences regarding perfume are highly personal, so it does not matter what anyone else thinks. Nonetheless, here I’d like to describe a list of criteria that are typically used by perfume reviewers, which include 1) quality, 2) originality, 3) projection, 4) longevity, 5) versatility, 6) value, 7) complement frequency, 8) packaging, as well as an 9) overall rating and 10) recommendations. I mostly stress the first four in addition to an overall grade when deciding whether to add a full bottle to my own personal collection.

Musk Essence Oil by Kiehl’s

This musk has been compared to Muscs Koublaï Khan by Serge Lutens, without all the spices, without being as animalic, and without the painful kick to your wallet. According to some, it also has similarities to Frederic Malle’s sweeter Musc Ravageur. However, I think Keihl’s is too clean for such comparisons.

Sniff out some more!