Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

Happy New Year dear readers, family and friends! I hope that in your celebrations you are able to close the chapters of 2007 and honor them for what they taught you. Be kind, be respectful, be responsible and have fun!! The year 2008 promises amazing things and I hope it brings you everything your little heart (and nose) desires!

In honor of New Year's Day, I will be posting my favorites from 2007. Please stay tuned!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Frapin 1270

The last Sunday of the year 2007 inspires me to explore the word "complete". In thinking about the past year, it has been a most fascinating one. I have experienced the pinnacles of happiness, excitement and elation (new job offer!) along with the unfortunate dregs of hopelessness, grief, trauma and despair. I have faced physical, mental and emotional challenges that have brought forth even more inner strength. Yes, I could write multiple entries on what I endured this year. I could also write multiple entries on my strengthened faith and overwhelming gratitude for the multitude of blessings, love and supportive people in my life, most of all my incredible husband. I am not sad to leave 2007 behind. In fact, I feel so complete with it that I am relieved. I anticipate with much hope a new year, a new chapter, a new outlook, a new experience .... and perhaps a new full bottle of an amazing fragrance.

In that vein, it was important that I choose for this final review of the year 2007 a fragrance that I consider complete - a blend that is unabashedly magnificent, rich and whole. That fragrance is Frapin 1270.

I have never been to a cognac cellar. I have never even (that I recall) tasted good cognac. An allergy to alcohol prevents me from celebrating its charms and writing about it with any sincere knowledge. However, what I conjure imaginatively a cognac cellar would entail - the sights, sounds and smells - that is Frapin 1270. This is certainly not an original thought. The creator of the fragrance, the great granddaughter of Pierre Frapin, longed to conjure that image. Pierre Frapin's family began creating roots in the cognac region of France during the year 1270. To pay homage to her great grandfather and the grand cognac company he created, the rich, warm and enticing masterpiece of 1270 was born. The notes, according to Lucky Scent, include exotic woods, spices, raisin, vine flowers, pepper, candied orange, nut, hazelnut, prune, cocoa, coffee, leather, woods, white honey, and vanilla.

This fragrance for a man or a woman begins with a spicy, fruity and boozy accord. Images of dark wooden floors, large vats of alcoholic liquid in a damp, cool basement and elaborate bowls of dried fruit flood my mind as I inhale the honeyed richness of 1270's introduction.

As the woods, cocoa and leather make their appearance during the heart of this fragrance, the images in my mind become much more elaborate, colorful and emotional. It whisks me away to an opulent, luxe, formal event in a foreign land. This scent is not familiar to me at all and yet I long to go to the place from which it originates and submerse myself in the culture. Like a wallflower crashing a party, I would observe the conversations, behavior, attire and cuisine of this foreign place and no one would be able to see me. I can smell the gourmet food, the ladies' perfume, the men's warm skin, the decadent leather coats and shoes, the history of the building (I picture a castle), the damp earth beneath it and the unadulterated lust that circulates like air. And just when these fragrances nearly intoxicate me, I become visible and participate in the festivities of the evening as if I had always been there. For one night, I am someone else, someone more exotic, free-spirited and affluent; someone who has led a completely charmed life yet possesses a decent character. Male or female, young or old does not matter. What does is the fact that I am undeniably mysterious, rich and comfortable, desired and adored, respected and admired. And I think of nothing else but the present moment. This image stays with me through the sexy, slightly sweet and more woodsy drydown. I feel complete.

Frapin 1270's timeless, gourmand, Oriental and luxurious character makes it entirely full bottle worthy to me. In fact, if it is the only full bottle I purchase in 2008, I will still be complete.

Frapin 1270 is available at and (althoughy is sold out at publishing of review). A 50mL of the EDP is $85.

Image of cognac courtesy of Image of Alnwick castle courtesy of

Friday, December 28, 2007

Interview with Sali Oguri

When I asked Sali of Pink Manhattan to share the story of her personally created fragrances, she was more than happy to oblige ... and quickly! This multi-talented, generous and insightful lady has been so gracious in sharing some of her thoughts and secrets regarding her beautifully composed fragrances. Here are a few of them.

What inspired you to create your own fragrances?

Concept: I’m an independent singer-songwriter who wanted to combine music and scent together as part of one sensory experience. I named my CD Pink Manhattan, and so the matching fragrance shares its name. I call the work Pink Manhattan Sensorium of Song and Scent, Part I (CD) amd Part II (Perfume). That was my first perfume, and then Persephone followed just a couple of years later. Persephone will have a corresponding CD released in 2008. It was planned for 2007 but I’ve pushed it back till it’s really ready. We’re working on it, and when it launches, it should be slammin’, so stay tuned.

Tell me the significance of the names "Pink Manhattan" and "Persephone"?

I’m the nose behind both. I’m a grass roots perfumer who uses oils and mixes them in my home studio. I don’t work in a fancy high tech lab—I just use my nose and buy the best materials I can afford, then mix them till they live up to my personal standard of a well-blended piece of work. While I was finishing my Pink Manhattan CD, I was looking for a peach-gardenia-vanilla scent to wear (I usually wear perfume to feel inspired, or just to enjoy) and found none that perfectly suited my craving, so I decided to make my own. The theme fit the name Pink Manhattan exactly, so I went with it. I liked many fruity vanilla-based gardenias out there but wanted something a little more understated than what I found—something close to the smell and taste of gorgeous, huge, crisp and juicy white peaches I’ve experienced in Japan. Those of you who’ve visited Japan know that if anything is excellent in Japan, the quality of food is. Speaking of Japan, Pink Manhattan was first sold through a Tokyo radio station (J-Wave) that sold both CD and perfume to my American Top 40 listeners overseas!

Persephone was first created as part of a collection of goddess-inspired perfumes for a friend with a New Age business. The business has been on hold, so I rescued Persephone, the favorite blend of just about everyone in my life, and decided to recreate it using the very best materials I could afford before releasing it under my own brand. The result is a sumptuous, hedonistic Gourmand-Oriental, just the way I’d envisioned it: a ravishing jewel of a blend for evening, a modern take on the classical Oriental. It also follows Pink Manhattan logically because it’s a similar composition built with lower notes, maybe an octave or two down. Here, too, I wanted to create something I didn’t find out there, which was a chocolate-berry-amber. I think Bath & Body works and others have all taken up on this idea by now, but only mine contains no patchouli nor orange, and instead includes magnolia, hyacinth and other regal florals to round out the elegant composition. Why is it sometimes referred to as Unreleased Mix a.k.a. Persephone? I had renamed it Unreleased Mix at one point because I thought my 2nd CD might be called that, but that idea’s been changed, so it’s now back to Persephone.

How did you discover each? (In other words, how many formulas did you try? How did you select the notes?)

Mixing took about a year for each perfume. I compare the art of mixing perfume to mixing music. Although I’m a composer-arranger and not an audio engineer, I believe what the engineer does--the balancing of levels of each track--is very similar to the art of actually hand-mixing a perfume composition. It’s one part conceptual and one part physical—you really only get to do it once and if you mess it up, you’re back to the drawing board. It’s a bit like cooking too, although I’m much better in the studio than in the kitchen. I learned a lot in the process, such as how accords are born. It’s one thing to design a scent in your head but another to actually mix the notes and smell the result. Combining more than two notes was a huge challenge and took me hundreds of tries to perfect. In the end, I believe my perfumes came out as close to my original inspiration as possible.

I invested in countless oils from many sources, but finally came across a handful I knew I could use. Finding the right materials took about 8 months for Pink Manhattan; then for Persephone, about a year. The biggest challenge for Persephone has been continuing to find the top grade Mysore sandalwood which has become extremely rare. As it stands now, I had just enough to finish the mixes I’ve made, and I don’t think I can make anymore that would smell like this, which is part of the reason I’m discontinuing the online sale of Persephone. I’m selling some and keeping the rest as my private blend until I can find a new resource for the sandalwood. Some of the “real” Mysore sandalwood I’ve bought in recent months have been of poor quality and I just wouldn’t use it, nor would I replace it with cheap synthetic sandalwood because I never liked that smell. I’m thinking perhaps it’s best to move on from using Mysore sandalwood since the trees are becoming extinct. My favorite sandalwood sold out at one source that still talks about that yield of oil, reminiscing about how amazing it really was. I can vouch for the quality because it’s what inspired me to create Persephone.

What is your favorite aspect of the art of perfumery?

As with music, I like the creation of the concept best of all. The initial inspiration is what propels the project forward. It’s the song I hear in my head, pretty much done. I might add lyrics later, but the song sounds the way it goes. I have to love the idea first—then, I can work at making that dream a reality. That part is also fun but harder work. Seeing the end result is a great reward, but I’m a perfectionist and tend to pick everything apart and think they could be even better. However, I think my perfume blends are as close to perfection as they could be at this stage, and I am proud to present them to the public.

Tell me a little known fact about you?

I used to host a weekly Japanese TV show called “New Yorkers” that was watched by millions. However, it was a satellite show, and not everyone had access to it. It was one of the first HDTV shows made by NHK. I sang the opening and ending theme songs, and actually wrote the ending theme song which is on my Pink Manhattan CD. I’ve also had a couple of radio shows, and here’s the weirdest job I’ve had in show biz: I do voice-overs for educational tapes. For these, I’m often asked to put on various degrees of a Japanese accent which I don’t normally have. LOL. It’s a blast and I love working with the people I work for.

Her scents Persephone and Pink Manhattan are not only original and unique, but also very beautiful. Persephone combines dark chocolate, ripe blackberry, juicy pomegranite, earthy Mysore sandalwood and royal purple flowers to create an unforgettable gourmand fragrance that delights the nose with its sweet and delicious bouquet. As Sali mentions, Pink Manhattan is a delectable peach and gardenia blend featuring the most authentic and original peach accord I have ever encountered. The addition of pink hibiscus, French vanilla and sensual skin musk give it just enough intrigue and balance. Both fragrances stay close to the skin and would make a beautiful addition to any fragrance collection. Many thanks to Sali for her generosity with her time, energy and perspectives!

For a limited time, Sali is generously offering a 10% discount and free shipping until 2/14/08 on any orders of Persephone for "For The Love of Perfume" readers only. To order go to or follow this link and include the code LOVEPERFUME for your discount.

Image sources: "The Return of Perspehone" courtesy of White peaches courtesy of

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Feature: For the Love of Perfume History

My most generous and intuitive husband gifted me with the glorious text Perfume: A Cultural History of Fragrances From 1750 to the Present by Richard Standelman. My gratitude and excitement cannot be expressed in words! I have briefly skimmed the book over the course of one hour and find it so rich in history and ideas I must share them with you. In that vein, I plan to share little-known facts and discussions regarding perfume history, based upon this book and other sources, once per month. To keep things consistent, this feature will appear the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Today's tidbit centers around Lancôme's 1995 launch of Poême. I will paraphrase and summarize pages 204-205 from the book Perfume. The surrealist poet Paul Eluard (1895-1952) ironically rarely spoke of the olfactory sense but rather relied on specific visual descriptions to literally be his nose. Because of his exquisite work and his ability to put into words surreal concepts eerily parallel to the elusive nature of perfume, by the end of the twentieth century Paul Eluard's poetry became closely tied to fragrance. The marketing campaign of Lancôme Poême, although certainly not the first to link perfume and poetry, catapulted Eluard's popularity to the masses. Advertisements for Poême quoted a poem by Eluard called "Je t'aime" (I love you). Lines such as "I love you against everything that is mere illusion" became the eloquent backdrop to the floral bouquet of Poême. Even more fascinating is the literal translation of Poême, which contains the signature circonflex above the "e," a trademark Lancôme marketing strategy. Because of this adjustment, it can translate to "la peau qui aime" meaning "the skin that loves." Because skin is the medium of scent, how clever to suggest an amorous relationship between the largest organ and scent. Certainly the marketing folks at Lancôme thoroughly investigated the factors that would make this launch a success and they were able to make a connection that tomes could be written about today.

I have discovered over the last year of writing perfume reviews that I quite often link perfume to something tangible in an effort to describe it. The truth about perfume is its elusive nature, its inability to be grasped and looked at and the challenge inherent in describing it. This truth is the reason we perfume bloggers have such fun and the reason writing about perfume is an art form. Therefore, I am duly impressed at Lancôme's ability to link such baffling concepts of the imagination demonstrated by Eluard's poetry to their fragrance.

For more on the connection between poetry and perfume, my lovely and intellectual friend Heather's blog Memory and Desire is devoted to it.

Where else have you discovered connections between poetry and perfume? Is there a specific scent you've linked to a certain poem?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

For all who celebrate, may your home (or relative's home) and heart be filled with love and joy this Christmas. For those who celebrate other winter holidays, may the spirit of the season surround you. I thank you all for bringing so much joy to my life.

The TMH home will be hosting a small dinner today and we are so grateful for the opportunity to do so. I am wearing Persephone by Sali and it is delectable. I promise to review it by Friday! Feliz Navidad! Please feel free to share what you're wearing today.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Obscure Toiletries

Every once in a great while, I discover toiletry gems and great candles. Make no mistake, this blog is dedicated to perfume. However, because some lotions, potions and home fragrances smell so divine they prompt an emotional attachment similar to my borderline obsession with my perfume collection, I am compelled to highlight a couple. (I reserve the right to periodically review products in this category!)

First, I sing the praises of a darling little website called Bathed and Infused. Their philosophy "Get clean. Smell good." has most certainly served them well. Unlike the numerous e-tailers devoted to creating lotions that smelled like birthday cake who surfaced a few years ago (and mostly faded away since), Bathed and Infused has stood the test of time. They have also mastered the art of great customer service, created packaging that leaves an unforgettable impression with each consumer, and produced extremely high quality products that appeal to most. I adore the long list of fragrances! Looking for a body lotion to compliment your favorite fragrance? Bathed and Infused probably has one. How about a shower gel to augment the season or time of year? Look no further. Although I will admit that their fragrance dupes lack staying power, for any bath and body need, this website is certainly worth looking into. Best of all, their items arrive in a cute little Chinese take out box with a blue fortune cookie to match the website's color scheme. Adorable! I have thoroughly enjoyed Mandarin Tiki and Spiced Orange Tea Cakes lotions this month. (They are closed through January 7. Visit them after the New Year!)

Second, for creating the perfect atmosphere in your home, Alternative Breeding offers excellent products. Lest you turn your nose up at the name, I assure you the link is safe! I have become quite attached to the artistically blended simmer wax. No cotton candy or birthday cake smelling candles here, although they do have variations if you appreciate that sort of thing. A much more sophisticated variety of scents is also available. A few favorites of mine? Ginger Regale, Prelude and The Way Back.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Forget Me Not: Estée Lauder Private Collection

As the story goes, Estée Lauder often wore a variety of scents as she created new fragrances for her company. She developed her own personal favorites and when she wore them, she would inevitably be asked what she was wearing. She always said, "Oh, it's from my private collection." As often happens in the close knit beauty and fragrance community, word spread rapidly culminating in people asking for her private collection at Lauder counters(1). Estée Lauder acquiesced and moved on to market the fragrance, aptly naming it Private Collection. The year was 1973.

My first memories of Private Collection involve my cousin Anne-Marie, who always smelled incredibly feminine and pretty. As a young, naive nose I recall asking her what she was wearing and she announced, "Oh! It's Private Collection." I asked if I could try it, spritzed some from her bottle on my skin, quickly decided that it was only for Anne-Marie and swore to never wear it again. This event was quite possibly my first lesson in skin chemistry. At a ripe 12 or 13 years old, I was terribly disappointed I could not duplicate her scent.

Fast forward to last week when I along with Divina of Fragrance Bouquet decided to feature this fragrance for December's "Forget Me Not". I had not retested since that formidable day in my cousin's bedroom. And I fully expected to have the same reaction to the fragrance today that I did at twelve. How pleasantly surprised I am at this wonderfully sophisticated green floral which has entered the distinguished realm of "vintage" fragrances.

I have tested Private Collection three times in the past week and remarkably the scent morphs differently on my skin with every application. Like a chamelion, the scent becomes what I want it to be depending upon my mood, my attire and my plans for the day. It was slow to grow on me and turned up my nose with the first testing, probably due to my history with it. However, as I have studied the notes and how they interplay with one another, I truly appreciate the composition of the scent and my skin has befriended it.

The notes include citrus notes, green notes and hyacinth at the top, a heart of narcissus, rose, jasmine and pine landing on a base of oakmoss, cedar, amber and musk. The fragrance is slow to develop, increasing its charm and intrigue.

Private Collection begins very green and earthy, reminding me of grass and the dirt beneath it that grows lush on the Irish countryside. During the second stage the floral notes emerge. Because of their perfect blending, it is nearly impossible to identify just one, yet you know they lie just beneath the surface due to the enticing, feminine yet delicate nature of the scent. Very faintly sweet, even more faintly soapy and mostly green define the top and heart of the fragrance. The animalic base proves worth the wait. As the amber and oakmoss appear beneath what could be a green layer of batiste fabric, they render Private Collection a warm, hushed, soft as a whisper scent. On my skin, animalic notes are sometimes a tad nutty and this aspect took me completely by surprise, pleasantly so. The beauty of this base reminds me of an Oriental rather than a Chypre, although Private Collection is classified as the latter.

The picture painted with this lush chamelion fragrance, no matter how it develops from one application to the next, is that of a classy sophisticate - one who hosts elegant dinner parties, never leaves the house without wearing lipstick and boasts a large circle of friends and associates. Perhaps similar to Estée Lauder herself, the fragrance of her private collection begs to be the signature of an unforgettable woman, one with grace, beauty and style. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to revisit it.

(Not to be confused with the recent 2007 release of Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, a much lighter and more floral fragrance that is uniquely beautiful in its own right, created by Estée's daughter Aerin.)

(1) Paraphrased from the story listed on

Estée Lauder Private Collection is available at in a gift called "Two to Treasure" including the body lotion, for $60. Also, a 1.75 oz. pure fragrance spray retails there for $45.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

For The Love of Serge Lutens

This time of year calls for unique fragrances that inspire and define. If I had to live the rest of my life without a fragrance from the master of houses himself, I surely would endure a less fulfilled existence. Serge Lutens is to fragrance as Angelo Gaia is to wine. Read more about him here and read my narrative on Les Salons here. I have reviewed other offerings from Mr. Lutens and find all of his fragrances to be completely different from one another. Today I offer several that I am wearing through the holidays, all created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake.
  • Chergui - An ode to the hot winds that blow through the Moroccan desert and an olfactory time traveler, whisking the wearer away to desert sand, resting camels, spicy cuisine and opulent palaces. Sweet and rich, spicy and luxurious with honey, tobacco and an ambery-leather accord that compels me to bury my nose in it, Chergui holds the #1 spot in the MakeupAlly Top 25 Fragrances for 2007. Indeed!

  • Douce Amere - An instant love that faded away to strong like after one wearing due to overspraying. Immediately I thought it very similar to Chergui with its honeyed and oriental sweetness. However, this fragrance's loveliness lies in its lighter sweetness, contrary to the heavy, spicy and luxurious sweetness of Chergui. Douce Amere's composition centers around artemisia absinthium which is used to make Absinthe liqueur. With anise, cinnamon, cedar and musk to counterbalance the medicinal and bitter nature of artemisia absinthium, Douce Amere smells like a sweet, creamy and sophisticated dessert. One spritz is all that is needed for hours of wear.

  • Rousse - Pure, unadulterated cinnamon! Fabulous when layered with Douce Amere. The top of this fragrance perfectly reminds the wearer of cinnamon candy. As it dries and fades, the musky base of dark woods and iris takes over, but at this point the fragrance is very faint. Therefore, an enduring and sweet scent like Douce Amere is its flawless compliment.

  • Un Lys - With the exception of Bois de Violette, the only other fragrance from this line that I find utterly pretty and feminine. It is the perfect, creamy and abundantly blooming white lily - make that bouquets of them. Nothing sharp, overwhelming or cloying occurs during the olfactory progression of this fragrance. Rather, the vanilla and musk at the heart maintain its creamy quality from start to finish. I could easily call this my favorite soliflore scent.

Photo of Serge Lutens courtesy of and Douce Amere courtesy of

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Perfect Scent for Home for the Holidays?

I would love to make hot, spiced apple cider, throw orange peel into a roaring fire, have a live Christmas tree in every room and roast chestnuts to create perfect atmosphere and aroma for the upcoming holidays. None of those are in the cards for our very balmy climate or this very busy time. Therefore, I have scoured the stores searching for the perfect fragrance for scenting the home - one that does not overwhelm the nose but rather sets a cozy, comforting and nostalgic mood. And I am pleased to announce that it is not difficult to find nor terribly expensive. It is Winter by Slatkin & Co., available at all Bath and Body Works stores (which has rather become like Starbuck's with the number of stores in the U.S.) I highly recommend the oil which when added to an oil burner creates an incredibly soothing Douglas Fir tree type scent. The notes include "shimmering pine, crisp bay leaf and red cinnamon." The bay leaf prevents the scent from becoming too cloying or sweet and the fragrance truly does warm the heart and mind.

Please stay tuned for my previously promised review of several offerings from Serge Lutens, which I will be writing later today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Feuille de Reglisse Winner

And the winner is .... from ....


Congratulations T. and please send me your address! I am anxious to hear your impressions of this fragrance! Each of you had such wonderful ideas regarding the entry. Because this house is devoted to puns as well as perfumery, I thought it appropriate to make my post full of them. Each and every one of you is right. (Kudos to Anne for identifying perhaps the most complicated one!) The ridiculously obscure and perhaps too simple pun that eluded you was my reference to the fragrance being a "celebrity" or a "star". Star is a type of anise, which is the top note of the fragrance. (chuckle)

Thank you all for participating!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Parfums 06130 Feuille de Reglisse

When I met Nicolas Chabert, founder of Parfums 06130, or the French pronunciation Zero Six Cent-Trent, I was impressed with his knowledge of the art of perfumery and also with his origins. The prestige inherent in residing in Grasse, France was not lost on this perfumista! (Remember, this is where the art of perfumery was born.) Even more impressive is the name of this house. It is the zip code of Grasse, France which further underscores the owners' dedication to perfumery. Knowing all this, I was elated to try all of the fragrances he so passionately represented.

To say that the Feuille de Reglisse is original is truly an understatement. I would venture to say that it must be worn by a true fragrance connoisseur, for it is ineffably unique. Feuille de Reglisse translates to "licorice leaf" and lends itself to interpretation since licorice is actually a root, not a leaf. (I vaguely remember Mr. Chabert referencing this point and wish I had had a tape recorder with me!) That fact is only the tip of the iceberg. This fragrance is truly a study in dichotomy, a study that only true fragrance lovers can appreciate.

The leaf of a licorice plant would be subtly suggestive of the root, with a softer, more transparent scent. And that is exactly what this fragrance manages to pull off. The strong top notes of heliotrope and anise boldly announce the fragrance for the first five minutes of wear, however this sharp opening bears little resemblance to the heart and base of the fragrance. Herein lies the dichotomy. Very few fragrances have such a drastically different opening and heart. After proudly wearing Feuille de Reglisse for nearly a week, I have realized an interesting routine with it. Immediately following first spritz I avoid sniffing at all. Rather, I wait for the subtle, soft and soothing heart to emerge and wash over me like a warm blanket. It never fails. Delicate muguet and sweet orange flower bring forth the transparent and soft qualities of this fragrance. This stage is the one that I favor and I find it beautifully soft and slightly powdery. The base notes of sweetly spicy ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and earthy cedarwood substantially ground Feuille de Reglisse. Although the combination of notes alone could inspire fear in the hearts of those who loathe spicy scents, the spice of Feuille de Reglisse is deceptively subtle. It is remarkably well-blended, true to the company's mission. Finally, it is suitable for every day wear.

I predict this fragrance will not take the fragrance community by storm but rather will slowly sneak up on unsuspecting perfumistas looking for a soft, subtle and truly different scent that is destined to be a star. The contrast between notes, the distinct progression of scent from top to bottom, the company's commitment to the art of perfumery and the uniqueness of this fragrance catapult it into a very prestigious category - celebrated niche.

Find the pun in my above post to be entered in a drawing for a large sample of this excellent new fragrance!

Feuille de Reglisse is available at, Takashimaya and other exclusive retailers. A 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $145.

Photo of bottle, courtesy aedes. Licorice plant courtesy of

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tocca Candles

I love scenting our home with incredible fragrances that inspire people to say, "It smells so good in here!" More importantly, I love scenting our home just for Christmas. The scents I choose for this time of year and their importance cannot be over estimated. Therefore, when I received word of these offerings from Tocca I had to pass them along to you!

First, is the Holiday Candle in Mimosa being offered through (pictured above). With a topnote of champagne, it will set a celebratory mood. Second, the Candele da Viaggio offers four travel sized candles in the following scents:

  • Cleopatra - cucumber and tangy grapefruit

  • Grace - Casablanca lily

  • Havana - spicy sugarcane and rum

  • Kyoto - fruity floral

An interesting and varietal combination to scent your home or gift for someone special, this set is available at Sephora or Have a wonderfully scented holiday and enjoy!

Stay tuned for a review of Parfums 06130 Feuille de Reglisse tomorrow. This weekend, I will explore two offerings from Serge Lutens.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Perfume for the Occasion: Air Traveling

I apologize for my delay in posting this. Participating in my dear friend's wedding this past weekend (I am so happy she met such a wonderful man!), updating our home with Christmas decorations, maintaining my exercise program and preparing for work this week has inundated my time. A girl can only do so much, right?

Nonetheless, I am pleased to discuss a topic that often causes anxiety and worry. With 4.7 million U.S. residents expected to fly during the month of November according to AAA and the Air Travel Association, it is no wonder holiday travel inspires dread in the hearts of those who bravely choose to do so. The TMH household has made an executive decision to stay put during the holidays, partly because our weather is so balmy (why would we want to leave?) and partly because we both travel so much for business we would rather relax at home during time off. But I digress. My aim in writing this piece to assist those who do travel to get through it stress-free and smelling fine!

First and foremost, remember that U.S. regulations regarding liquid carry-on items are very strict. You cannot carry more than 3 ounces of liquid in one container and all liquid containers must fit in a quart sized plastic zip-lock type bag. You can only carry one plastic bag and it must be removed from your carry-on and placed in a bin to go through security. (There are exceptions such as baby formula, prescription medication, etc. Read more here.) Second, if you are brave enough to pack your coveted perfume bottles in your suitcase, beware! If you have ever been privy to how roughly your suitcase is handled, you will keep those bottles in their deserved safe place. In light of all this, what is a perfumista to do?

Several maneuvers that I have employed have allowed me to travel fragrant and worry-free since these policies were implemented. They are the following:

  • Decant whatever fragrances you plan to wear into smaller containers. I prefer 5mL atomizer sprays as it gives me an ample dose of the fragrance. Pack these fragrances into a waterproof pouch, such as a dop kit or even a plastic resealable bag. Wrap it with a towel or washcloth and nestle it between two items of machine washable clothing or inside a shoe in your checkable luggage. I have yet to have a problematic leak when I have adhered to these tips! And it allows me to take as many fragrances as I would like safely.

  • Invest in a few solid fragrances to put in your carry-on. That way no matter how far you have to travel, you will be able to reapply and smell wonderful. Better yet, utilize some tips from our last entry "In Times of Stress" and incorporate solid fragrances with stress-relieving notes. A few solid fragrances to investigate include Zents which can be found at this website and my personal favorite Crazy Libellule & the Poppies (read my entry here). There are many other solid perfumes to try! Keeping them in your purse makes the task of getting through security much easier and faster, saving you time and sparing the nerves of the travelers waiting behind you. In addition, solid scents typically have very little sillage which other airline passengers may appreciate. Remember, air on planes is circulated! What smells great to you may cause the traveler behind you to have a terrible asthma attack. Be a responsible traveler and consider the needs of those around you.

  • If purchasing a fragrance at your destination, have it shipped home. This may incur a larger expense than packing the lovely new scent into your suitcase, but unless you have a lock I would not risk it. I recently had an empty Tumi tote bag stolen from inside my suitcase. Claims submitted to the airline, TSA and airport lost and found left me empty handed. If you must pack the new fragrance, invest in a TSA accepted lock. You can find one in an airport or online. A list of accepted locks can be found here. In addition to risk of theft, the bottle may be crushed or broken (heaven forbid!) in your checked baggage. That said, I did miraculously make it back from Italy with an intact bottle of Nasomatto Absinthe. I doubt this happens often unless you bring bubble wrap and tape with you, as I did. If you purchase a fragrance abroad, you will also have to declare the item to customs upon re-entering the United States. Just pay the shipping and lose the hassle and worry.

If you follow these simple tips and plan accordingly, you can count on smelling great and making it through what I call "the airport gauntlet" hassle-free. Now, let us hope that flight delays and rude passengers or airline staff do not ruin your day. That is another subject altogether and one that I have dealt with repeatedly. For that, I just say bring a great book, a cozy sweater or blanket, an iPod with your favorite music loaded, some noise-cancelling headphones and remember the old adage, "You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar." Happy and Fragrant Holiday traveling to all!

Please be sure to read Divina's wonderful European take on things at Fragrance Bouquet.

Image of airplane courtesy of Solid Crazy Libellule & the Poppies perfume courtesy of

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December is here!

Time for shopping, decorating, enjoying great food and sweets, and spending time with family and friends. I love this time of the year and everything that goes with it. Each year I vow to avoid feeling stressed or fall into the trap of being driven by commercialism, but rather to enjoy this time and move a little slower, sleep a little more, cherish the people in my life and enjoy my favorite fragrances! Here are a few on the docket this season:

  • My favorite layering combination: Jo Malone Pomegranite Noir over L'Aromarine Vanille

  • My second favorite combination: Ava Luxe Milk over Ava Luxe Madeline

  • For a wedding today: Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

  • For shopping days: One of above layering combinations

  • For romantic nights with Mr. TMH: Bella Bellissima Perfect Night

  • For the party we will attend on the 14th: Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

  • For work: Parfums 06130 Feuille de Reglisse (please stay tuned for a review this week!)

  • For Christmas Eve party plans: Escada Collection

  • For Christmas Day: Whatever Santa brings! (Perhaps Laura Mercier Eau de Lune or Hermès Kelly Calèche)

What will you be wearing this season?