Monday, May 26, 2008

Ramblings of a Pregnant Perfumista

Hello dear readers! I hope you are well, enjoying your fragrances and resting this holiday weekend. My life has changed drastically over the last few months, as you can imagine. I never thought I would be so disinterested in my perfume collection and I find it somewhat disturbing. There are times that I will be lounging on the couch (which is quite often these days due to fatigue and sickness) and I will suddenly think of all my beautiful bottles. I run through each of them in my mind, conjuring up their scent and asking myself, "Does that sound nice?" with each one. I have yet to find one that does. Even my beloved Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien left me unimpressed this past Saturday night after I spritzed a tiny amount on my wrist before a party. I long for the day that I can enjoy fragrance once again! The only scent that sounds remotely interesting to me right now is Jo Malone Verbenas de Provence, a lovely citrusy light-as-a-breeze and refreshing scent. I imagine inhaling it as I do fresh oranges and lemons lately, pressing them to my nose to drown out other disturbing and overwhelming scents. In fact, citrus is the only scent that always smells good to my hormone-filled senses right now and I find it the perfect antidote to nausea. Even mint is a little too much at times.

Again, I appreciate your patience and understanding during this time of respite and wonder. I definitely need the break because my body and mind become exhausted after four or more hours of activity. I cannot imagine taxing my mind for another two to three hours to write a review. But I miss you all terribly! Please, tell me what you are wearing these days.

May God bless all fallen soldiers today and every day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day Announcement

My Dear Readers,

I never thought I would have to write this. This blog has been an integral part of my life for over one year and I derive so much pleasure and enjoyment from it. It has taught me so much and I have made some wonderful friends! However, I have to take a temporary break. You see, Mr. TMH and I are expecting!! As a result, this week was the first week where I really started to abhor scent and it is getting worse by the day. I get headaches and nausea from a simple sniff so the thought of writing an entire review is overwhelming to my nose and body, and of course the little miracle growing inside. It has been a long, hard road for us to have a child so this miracle deserves every ounce of energy I have! I am so sorry to disappoint temporarily but I know that you are all wonderful people and that you understand. I promise to come back as soon as possible!! In the meantime, keep smelling, sampling and investigating those harder to find fragrances.

On a brighter note, Happy Mother's Day to all mothers! Your nurturing, protection, care and hard work deserve applause, this weekend and every day.

Much love to all,


Friday, May 09, 2008

Post Delay

Hello Dear Readers,

My schedule did not allow for an entry today so in lieu of it I will post tomorrow Saturday. Please stay tuned and enjoy your Friday evening!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Antonia's Flowers Floret

I had the pleasure of meeting Antonia herself in New York City last fall. Quite a humble and kind woman she is; humble in the sense that she has created amazing fragrances and simply sees herself as being of service to the perfume community, and kind in the sense that she gave items to me and my contemporaries that are quite valuable. One of these items is a gorgeous purse sized spray of a delightfully floral, fruity fragrance called Floret. Inspired by the "rambling" sweet peas in her grandmother's garden, the bouquet centers mostly around the pinky, purple flower. With marigold, apricot, lily of the valley, rose and tuberose added, the bouquet is as sweet as springtime, as fruity as punch and just downright precious. I get loads of lily of the valley which makes me very happy. I was quite a fan of the flower as a little girl and they grew abundantly in our back yard. I adored the tiny little bells that adorned the large green leaves and wondered how I could bottle their delicate scent. So Floret finds a place in my book for a full bottle purchase simply for realizing my childhood dreams. It reminds me of all things innocent, sweet and cheerful - like a smiling little girl in a frilly dress. I will wear it on days that I am feeling particularly girly and whimsical, to add bounce to my step and sweetness in my wake. No more than one or two spritzes is all you need! The staying power on my skin lasts all day. Pardon me for being particularly short-winded today. As you may agree with your own experience, I know a good thing when I smell it!

Floret is available in EDT and EDP formulations and ranges anywhere in price from $21 for a purse spray to $140 for a 2 oz. EDP custom bottle. Matching body lotion is also available, all at Image from said website.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion: Weddings Part II, For the Bride and Groom

This topic is very near and dear to my heart. In planning our wedding, I discovered that I really enjoyed it. Granted, there was the usual nervousness, perfectionist approach, and borderline obsession with creating a beautiful day, but overall I loved the project management aspect of wedding planning – so much that I considered, for a short time, becoming a professional wedding planner. The cost and risk involved in starting my own business and the current stability of my career ultimately scared me away. I have talked about my ideas since with close friends. I would like to specifically help brides on a budget create a wedding just as gorgeous and meaningful as those with over $30K to spend. (The average wedding cost in my city is $27,000 which, as a nervous and frugal bride, I thought was a little ridiculous.) Maybe some day …

In lieu of planning other people’s weddings, what better topic for us to choose for Perfume for the Occasion than the fragrances brides and grooms should wear on their big day? The vast majority agree that picking something already loved by your fiancé is a key consideration. One week before your big day is not the time to rush out and buy the latest trendy fragrance. (Of course, if you receive a fragrance as a gift from a family member or your fiancé the day of the event, by all means wear it for sentimental reasons.) You may already be incredibly certain as to what you will wear, based upon reactions from your beloved. However, for those who do not have anything in mind, Divina of Fragrance Bouquet and I offer some choices that will steer you in the right direction.

This is perhaps the most personal fragrance choice you will ever make since most brides will always remember what they wore on their wedding day. (I wore Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier because my husband adores it!) Make sure to find something you both love by testing the following picks:

For the Romantic

Did your fiancé plan an amazing proposal? Are you choosing songs like “At Last” by Ella Fitzgerald for your play list? These scents will whisk you away to starry nights, candlelit dinners and hushed voices.

Laura Mercier Eau de Lune – a soft, ethereal whisp of a floral scent that reminds me of Julia Andrews in love in the Sound of Music. I believe this is one of the most romantic florals available on the market!

Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle EDP - full of innocence and promise, white flowers beckon you to a beautiful, romantic garden where your beloved awaits.

Hanae Mori Eau Fraiche - this recent limited edition would be a perfect compliment to any bride who wishes to smell simultaneously sweet and fresh. Most importantly, it contains a peony note which is the symbol for long-lasting love and feminine beauty among the Chinese.

Groom: I Profumi di Firenze Terra di Sienna – what better scent for a groom who is a lover of all things romantic than one from a city of romance: Florence? When my husband wears this soft, romantic and warm scent, I know what lies ahead will be at the very least fun, at the very most incredibly memorable.

For the Traditionalist

For the bride and groom who enjoy tradition and would rather not set any new trends on their wedding day, these scents offer a classic option that will not offend you or any of your guests. And they just might deem your wedding unforgettable.

Jean Patou Joy – this legendary fragrance was created in 1935 by Henri Alméras for Patou at the height of the Great Depression. The scent was designed for Patou’s former clients who could no longer afford his fashions, according to Wikipedia. A quintessential classic foral heavily focused on roses, it would compliment a traditional bride superbly.

Chanel No. 22 EDT – another classic from Chanel that has stood the test of time. No. 22 is powdery green, effervescent, clean, innocent and nostalgic, perfect for a bride who is sweet and fresh but who desires to be classic.

Christian Dior Diorissimo – a timeless classic of clear, soft composition centering upon muguet and tuberose that is reminiscent of a spring garden.

DSH Perfumes The Perfect Bride – a superb, feminine blend of flowers that will beautifully match any flower arrangements you choose, as well as any dress!

Goeffrey Beene Grey Flannel – unanimously one of the best selling fragrances for men and the women who love them, this treasured classic is sure to please your bride.

DSH For the Groom – an understated and complimentary blend for the groom who has time to order online and test. will not disappoint you!

For the Nervous

I have yet to observe a wedding where both the bride and groom were pillars of calm and serenity. For those who believe in the powers of aromatherapy and would like their fragrance choice to benefit them, I offer a few fantastic choices with lavender as headline, known for its anti-stress properties.

Bride: Andy Tauer Reverie au Jardin – this choice could work for both the bride and groom but I offer it for the bride because of its sweet, powdery qualities. This soft, incredibly interesting blend offers enough lavender to calm nerves without overwhelming.

Groom: Caron Pour un Homme - a soothing blend of lavender atop a warm, ambery vanilla that smells, quite simply, like a gentleman. One spritz is all you need.

For the Earthy

Do you buck most tradition and instead opt for a simple, low-budget wedding in a beautiful setting? Do you prefer picking wild flowers to hiring a florist? How about flip flops instead of shoes? These choices will offer a stunning addition to your meaningful day.

Bride: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia – an incredible offering from Guerlain’s L'Art et la Matiere line that blends gorgeous florals with a grounding, earthy, and warm base. This choice is a fantastic one for any bride, but I offer it for the earthy because I detect so much of the gorgeous base notes.

Groom: Hermes Terre d’Hermes – an earthen yet uplifting scent that offers contrasting notes to create something truly stellar. Grapefruit juxtaposed to woods, cedar and patchouli with a velvety dry down renders the fragrance fabulous without extra “frills.”

For the Fashion Plate

Finally for those who insist on wearing the latest designer gowns and/or tuxes, choosing the trendiest accessories, and creating a day that will go down in history as one of the coolest ever, these choices are for you!

Bride: Stella Absolute Rose – this gorgeous rose based in amber is not only unforgettable but created by arguably one of the most trend-setting designers today: Stella McCartney. Please read my review for a description of this refined scent, perfect for a wedding day.

Groom: Chanel Egoїste or Platinum Egoїste – Alluring, sexy and fashion forward, these fragrances will compliment a man devoted to looking and smelling good.

Should you have any questions about where to find my suggestions, please leave them in the comments section and I will do my best to help you find them. Most are widely commercially available. Enjoy your day and turn your mind into a video camera to capture every moment. If there is one thing that all of us who are married know, it is that the day goes by way too quickly. Try to savor every delicious moment. Most importantly, best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together!

Images are from my own wedding, courtesy of

Friday, May 02, 2008

Perfume History: Colette Advises Women

From the pages of Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin by Richard Stamelman comes an interesting vignette about Colette, a legendary woman who opened her own boutique, Société Colette, in 1932 - quite a feat if you ask me! Following the opening of the boutique in June of that year, which drew the most elite of Paris society, she continued her ongoing interest in fragrance, makeup, skincare, fashion and writing. When a critic labeled her as an "olfactory novelist" she graciously accepted the idea, claiming "I have followed my nose, and it has always led me to what is best and worst."

She was quite passionate about fragrance and it came through in her glorious writing. Most interesting, however is her suggestion of one signature fragrance. The following is from page 257 of the book mentioned above:

Colette favored floral fragrances for herself and for the women readers to whom she offered advice. "Any perfume that does not have a vegetal origin," she counsels, "can be nothing more than a passing fancy of fashion." There are scents around "that could kill a bull. In a restaurant, at the theater, women leave fragrances in their wake that cut one's appetite or detract from what is happening on the screen or the stage"("Parfums," Paysages, 150).* Women with "nez fins," like Colette, are too sensitive to embrace perfumes that are not conservative, classic or what she calls "eternal like the flower that is their inspiration." It is vital that women not flutter like "drunken bees" ("Parfums," Paysages, 151, 153) from one perfume to another: "Madame, you who read my words, I hope you never have ... a 'new' perfume." A woman must practice a certain self-denial by remaining faithful "to a well-chosen perfume, linked to your moral person, to your physical charms, a perfume your friends love and recognize, one that surprises people you meet for the first time and that makes them dream" ("Parfums," Paysages, 152).

In addition, Colette was a particular fan of "white" fragrances including notes such as jasmine, gardenia, tuberose and white tobacco. Oh, would she be aghast at the state of the perfume industry today! The quest to launch new and ultimately mediocre fragrances, the plethora of different genres of scent and the deviation from truly beautiful white florals. I think she would be quite pleased, however, with Estee Lauder's Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and even Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia. I have a difficult time with her idea of loyalty to one scent although I see the value in finding one stunningly stellar scent that defines me, or that I define. There is a certain fun and whimsy in the "drunken bee" analogy that aptly fits my attitude toward fragrance. Yet, it certainly would simplify my life to settle down with just one. My question is, "Why?" when there are so many beautiful scents to be tried and discovered - scents that tomes are written about. Sniffapalooza is devoted to people of the "drunken bee" type and we certainly have no qualms about it! So today dear reader, please comment on your thoughts of claiming one fragrance as your own. According to Colette's criteria, if you had to pick just one, which would it be and why?

My possibilities:

Chanel No. 5, Chanel Cristalle or Molinard Nirmali

Chanel No. 5 is a fragrance I could wear for the rest of my life. It is close to the skin, classic and sparkling. Yet sometimes it feels too mature for me. Chanel Cristalle is again a classic, much younger in feel and greener than No. 5 and it would suit my positive outlook on life. Molinard Nirmali is perhaps the best fit with fruity and floral notes that would probably never bore me. It has curves and sex appeal and in my best moments I have the former and would love to possess the latter!

*Precisely the reason Divina and I have developed "Fragrance for the Occasion!"

Image of bee courtesy of