I am moving on to new and exciting things in work and writing and have to make choices on how I spend my time and energy. Perfume must take a back seat. Thank you all for the support and encouragement. Bye for now.
Tasted it last night, fresh as paint, came out of the bottle adjusting its cuffs and saying “what kept you?” I expected something syrupy, prune-like and with no acidity, and got quite the opposite. I swear some odd chemistry had happened over 87 years because it put me in a euphoric frame of mind I don’t normally associate with heavy sweet wines. Money well spent, unlike —ahem— some other things I can […]
Finally had a chance to catch up with mainstream perfumery at the Globus Department store in Zurich. To fortify myself I first went to the newly renovated food floor and staggered around the wine section in amazement at the treasures all around me. I found a very reasonably priced Maury from the year 1929 to celebrate my mother’s 87th next week. But it was the perfumery floor that brought the biggest […]
If you’re a niche perfumery and you’d like to send me samples, please contact me on perfumesIlove@gmail.com and I’ll give you my address and phone number. The deal is: I will only mention your perfumes if I like them, so the worst thing that can happen is nothing.
New kitten (adorable in most respects) spilled water over keyboard and Apple says the machine is “vintage” i.e. more than 4 years old, may be impossible to find parts! Apple’s new Hermès watchstraps and no new Mac Pro thing is starting to chap my ass, given that one way or another I’ve probably spent over $200k on their hardware (lab and home) since 1981. Update: fixed, €270, i.e. the price of […]
Readers of The Economist and jaundiced realists like myself will not be surprised to hear that diversity and competition are the engines of creation. Add to that the magic element of surplus, i.e. a surfeit of talented art school graduates chasing too few jobs, and you have the makings of a revolution. This is precisely what happened in postwar Italy: too many architects + too few interesting things to build = Italian […]
I first met Hiram Green over a decade ago when he had a tiny boutique called Scent Systems in near London’s famed (and now completely theme-parked) Carnaby St. He then moved to the Netherlands and set up as an independent perfumer. He sent me samples of three of his fragrances. Dilettante is an orange flower composition, sunny and straightforward, “fresh and sweet throughout” as HG himself describes it. Moon Bloom is a beautiful […]
I am always wary of programme art: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring was composed in complete ignorance of its title, with Martha Graham merely asking for a piece “on an American theme”. Yet Copland got a lot of mail afterwards telling him how the piece nailed spring in the Appalachians. One thing is to give a piece or a perfume a brilliantly apt name after it is done, as in Lento or Angel, quite another is to produce […]
Big, beautiful fragrances like Vero Kern’s require a reset to older smelling habits and demand to be judged after at least an hour on a strip. Of course until about 1980 all fragrances did, then the industry assumed that people have the attention span of a sedated gnat, and put all their money on the first fifteen seconds of pleasure (often followed by hours of repentance). I hadn’t smelled her creations for […]
Refinement is hard to define and easy to recognise. When I lined up the six Cognoscenti samples and before I started smelling them, I was struck by the elegant simplicity of the packaging, the naming (numbers with a subtitle, no Datura Catastrophique nonsense for a change), and the straightforward explanatory text, miles away from the usual hyperventilating tosh. The fragrances, while very diverse, have a family resemblance in their effect, i.e. strikingly original, inviting topnotes followed […]