Rose Barbare | Guerlain
Mitsouko | Guerlain

by Chandler Burr

In 2004, the Creative Director of Guerlain, Sylvaine Delacourte,
approached several perfumers, among them Francis Kurkdjian,
with the proposition of creating a new Guerlain feminine.
What was interesting about the "perfume brief" (the perfume's
conceptual blueprint) was that there was no brief, at least not
in a traditional sense. Delacourte wanted, she said quite
concisely, a concept of rose. She stipulated a rose not vapid,
not romantic, and not sweet. But what it could be? No guidance.
"Give us your concept— whatever you want." Kurkdjian not only
created Rose Barbare, a sublime rose, in three weeks,
he did it in one, single modification.

The concept of Rose Barbare is a contemporary
reinterpretation of Guerlain's 1919 Mitsouko, one of the
greatest chypres ever. A chypre perfume is the most strictly
parametered of any classic category, built on a mathematical
equation of three precise materials: mousse de chêne
(oak moss) + ciste labdanum (which comes from a bush
and smells, bizarrely enough, like a wild rutting animal) +
patchouli. And then all the usual theological arguments:
Must there or must there not also be a citrusy bergamot top,
etc. Jacques Guerlain built Mitsouko by breaking the power
of the oak moss with a natural jasmine and, more significantly,
a new synthetic molecule that had recently appeared. Jukov
and Schestakow might have patented aldehyde C-14
(actually not an aldehyde but a lactone; it's real name is gamma-undecalactone) in 1908, but Michael Edwards
reports that it had been available from other suppliers, and it was probably Firmenich that introduced Jacques
Guerlain to the molecule in the form of a base it called Persicol, which it had put on the market in 1908. C-14
was a marvel, a fruity, aromatic, delicious scent that gave ripe peach skin. Guerlain plugged C-14 into the equation perfectly (the rumor is, actually, similar to Chanel 5, that he in fact accidentally overdosed the stuff; who knows), and Mitsouko became a thing of subtle opulence, strength and balance and silken twilight.

Kurkdjian took Mitsuoko's idea and spun it forward. Instead of jasmine, he built with rose as the steel skeleton of this machine, an extremely expensive Turkish rose absolute from the excellent Grasse-based scent materials producer Robertet. The rose/patchouli accord features in Clinique's 1971 Aromatics Elixir by IFF perfumer Bernard Chant, and Kurkdjian himself had done a run with it in his Narcisco Rodriguez. Here, he welded on the C-14 for the peach, then attached aldehyde C-11, which gives at once a certain rosiness and a tiny zinging sharp. Then Firmenich's Hedione and some musks. The result is one of the most stunning roses on the market. That this thing was built in one mod doubles the effect. Here is a scent that sweeps over you like the shadow of an Airbus 340, vast and utterly smooth in a mixture of light and dark, impressive in its wingspan, but it has is a tactile component that is eye-narrowing, like running your fingers lightly over 000-gauge sandpaper. Paris is a gorgeous rose, and Shiseido's White Rose is a luminous one, but Rose Barbare, with this texture like a sheet of graphite, is the one whose skin you can feel.

(Re-printed with permission from Chandler Burr. All rights reserved.)

Chandler Burr of the New York Times now has a new "one click" link to all of his New York Times columns on "The Moment", The Times Style blog. 
Chandler's new blog version of his Scent Notes column on the Times website conveniently gives access to all the online Scent Notes columns,
with the most recent always conveniently on top. His columns appear each Thursday. Chandler Burr is the fragrance critic for The New York Times and
renowned author of The Emperor of Scent and  THE PERFECT SCENT: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York. Kirkus Reviews called
his book  "A fascinating, unprecedented work of behind-the-scenes long-form journalism by the New York Times' scent critic" .  
You can also visit Chandler

Flowers of a Lost World:
Sniffapalooza Reviews L’Artisan Parfumeur’s
Fleur de Liane and Pulp by Byredo

Imagine an astonishing mist-shrouded "lost world" of previously
unknown and rare flowers found in the jungle of Bahia, Colombia
or tropical rainforests of an uncharted island.   Or perhaps these
new species are the works of the imagination of two talented perfumers
who capture the essence of ‘discovery of what has never been discovered’.
L’Artisan Parfumeur introduces Fleur de Liane and the ‘Stockholm
Scentsation’, Ben Gorham debuts Byredo in the USA and his primeval
perfume Pulp.

I recently interviewed Bertrand Duchaufour, the new ‘perfumer in
residence’ for L’Artisan Parfumeur, (who created many memorable travel
inspired fragrances for L’Artisan including Timbuktu, Dzongkha)
who shared with me how he ‘discovered’ Fleur de Liane.
According to Duchaufour, “It is inspired by my journey to Panama,
to an island called Bahia Honda which is owned by Jean Pigozzi. I spent
ten days there, exploring the sights, sounds, smells of the jungle.
I brought my nose and sketch book in order to capture this mysterious
and primeval place. I created Fleur de Liane as the scent of an unknown
species of flower that could grow there and no where else.”

Fleur de Liane does not use the traditional ‘pyramid’ of top, heart and base notes in its
composition. In order to create this lost world fragrance, he used four accords:

-- Eau de Fleur de Liane: the watery accord, evoking rain over the leaves, vapour and ocean mist everywhere in the air of this small island (a very complex composition of ozonic, watery and marine notes).
---Vert de Fleur de Liane: the green, sappy (slightly milky) green, slightly fruity green,
brought by lantana, a tropical bush flower and tagète, marigold; not at all the cut grass effects but the shiny green effect of the huge green leaves everywhere in the forest
---Fleur de Fleur de Liane: an imaginary tropical flower, Bertrand’s idea of what a Vine Flower would smell; a  rich, white, opulent flower composed with magnolia flower and tuberose absolus twisted with marigold…
---Bois de Fleur de Liane: the scent of the woods, of the barks, of the vines, of the trees with the mosses, of the special tropical earth with its effects of coffee and spices.

Available: September ’08 at L’Artisan Boutiques and at Barneys, NY.
Price: $135 USD 100ml/$95 USD 50 ml

Ben Gorham, the thirty year old tattooed and sloe eyed founder of Byredo Parfums
is bringing his line of fine niche fragrances stateside. To create Pulp, he engaged the
young perfumer Jerome Epinnette (who is best known for Cannabis Rose by Fresh
and his work for Jovoy Paris). While fine ingredients are important to Gorham,
the language of perfumerie is vital to the brand. Memories and visceral connection
define the Byredo brand.
Pulp is hard to define; is it a fruity scent or a floral? For me, it’s a new species of
flower with pungent green leaves and a heady fruity flower. The fragrance on my skin
opens very green and with a dense sap, but the drumbeat of the middle notes
emerge and the power of the fig, red apple and tiare accord comprise the ‘pulp’,
with base notes of praline and cedar wood grounding the fragrance. 

The ‘heart’ touched my heart --- the elemental darkness and light, wet
and humid, fruit and flower.

Available: Launching September-October ’08
exclusively in the USA at Barneys, NY.
Price: $195 USD 100ml

If Pulp was a flower…
Kingsbury Fragrances Lime Lift
By Kathy Patterson

According to Dorothy McCall, the mastermind behind Kingsbury Fragrances and a fellow fragrance fanatic, the goal of Lime Lift was to build layers of green, aromatic freshness that had both tenacity and kick.  Not an easy thing to accomplish with a citrus-based fragrance.

“The inspiration came from wanting something to lift the spirits during the hot muggy summer days and to feel crisp and refreshing.  Lime is stimulating, helping with fatigue and mental concentration, anxiety and depressed mood.  I had this great sparkling lime from Mexico that I wanted to use, which always made me smile when I inhaled its fresh crisp joyous attitude."

"Secondly I wanted to enhance the freshness and add interest with a bergamot from Italy - but not too much because I didn't want to lose the dominance of the lime aroma. Additionally bergamot is known for its antidepressant properties, and it also blends well with lime."

”Green fragrances make me feel wonderful, so I definitely wanted to keep the green theme throughout.  I chose green tea as it is very fresh and clean and would give the fragrance tenacity in combination with a musk to help hold on to the citrus notes. Lime pettigrain gave additional body and a green woody note (as it comes from the leaves and twigs) to the lime and bergamot, helping to fill out and give substance to what could have been a thin aromatic experience.  It holds on to those top notes for a bit longer so the lime can last as long as possible. Additionally it is known for helping to enhance mood. Geranium is known for having a green floral aroma (I love geranium) another layer of green as well as another known mood lifter.  I kicked up the green theme with rosemary, to add an herbal note. Rosemary is just too wonderful and is known for being a stimulant and for helping with mental clarity. More green with lavandin absolute which also grounds the fragrance, gives additional body and tenacity as well as the green color of the fragrance. Hydrosols of rosemary and neroli were added to the finished composition which had been placed in an organic grape alcohol.”

C’mon – now doesn’t that sound fabulous and refreshing?  And it is!  The lime-ness of Lime Lift is amazing – it smells very true, of both the juice and the rind of the fruit.  And it definitely has tenacity.  Although in the dry down the herbal and tea notes are more prominent, there is still obvious lime essence keeping things tangy.

All of the notes that Dorothy has added for their aromatherapy qualities are so well blended that they form a wall of green, like a fragrant hedge, within the scent.  If I try really hard, I can pick out the rosemary, but not much.  It’s a light green, gentle and full of sunlight, and it’s a perfect match for the lime.

I love Lime Lift and have a big bottle of it that I keep in the fridge to spritz whenever it gets a little too hot for me (and that would be most of the summer here on the humid East Coast).  It’s a perfect refreshing pick-me-up.  -

-Kathy Patterson

You can get yours by contacting Dorothy McCall via Kingsbury Fragrances at or visit her Web site at

This fragrance is currently not on the Kingsbury website so please email
with any requests or questions.


By Mark David Boberick

In 17th Century Italy, Anne Marie Orsini, duchess of Bracciano and princess of Nerola made the steam distillation of the blossoms of the bitter orange tree both fashionable and famous when she began to scent her gloves and her baths with the essence. In 20th Century England, Czech and Speake, a luxury brand of bathroom fittings and accessories began to sell aromatic products, and among the first of these products was their Neroli cologne.

It is rare to discover a cologne that is classic and still stands apart from the masses. Neroli is one of the latter, most especially but not exclusively due to its incredible lasting power. A generous spritzing will last from early morning well into the late afternoon, instead of 10 or 15 minutes like other incredibly famous colognes which shall remain name-less.

The exquisite floral character of this scent (orange and ylang ylang blossom) is accented by the ripe addition of the zest of the fruit, a refreshing burst of energy on a hot summer day or a generous reminder of summer on a cold winter’s morning.

This is not a terribly complex fragrance. Nor is it a study of simplicity. What Czech and Speake Neroli is, is the very pinnacle of a basic, traditional idea, that becomes a marvel of precision blending and a luxurious example of top-quality ingredients used to perfection.

Should this be a staple in your perfume wardrobe? In a word - absolutely.

available at Apothia

Czech & Speake Frankincense & Myrrh
By Tracy Figler

The Smell of Power

If projecting gravitas is your goal or occupying the corner office is your objective, the concept of dressing for success is more than a cliché.  This elegant 1984 cologne by English bathroom and kitchen purveyor, Czech & Speake, transcends time, season and gender, creating an aura of quiet dignity and executive confidence.

Despite the name, frankincense and myrrh are not apparent to my nose. There is no suggestion of ancient cathedrals or smoky censors – no wintry Christmas connection. Top notes are orange, lemon and basil. Most obvious, though, is the heart and base, which are dry, but not astringent, with an olfactory temperature that is neither warm nor cool.  Sandalwood and cedar notes dominate, but this is not the smell of pencil shavings. The effect is barely citrus, extremely woody and herbaceous, with an oriental touch. It develops a beautifully soft and slightly powdery finish.  Reliably linear in structure, the drydown varies little from the opening.

Well-heeled, impeccably tailored, freshly showered; this is a bottle of boardroom power.  As a complement to wingtips or a wonderbra, Frankincense and Myrrh is a handsome, classic scent that commands respect.   Wear it when you want to be taken seriously.

available at Apothia

New Review

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue

By Kathy Patterson

The latest in the Andy Warhol line of scents by Bond No. 9, Lexington Avenue is billed as a “floral woody chypre,” with notes of peony, orris, patchouli, sandalwood, cardamom, fennel, almonds, cumin, and crème brulée.   It’s a “seductive and intoxicating autumn-winter fragrance” and “the perfume equivalent of that rarity, an outrageously luxurious pair of stiletto heels that fit as comfortably as a glove.  Wearing the sent, like wearing the shoes, will turn a woman’s walk into a sinuous glide.”

Personally, I think wearing stiletto heels would make my walk more like a stumble and fall, but that’s me.  I’m a flats kinda girl.  Not that I don’t appreciate the look of a gorgeous sky-high heel, I just have no use for them in my life.  And I kinda feel that way about chypres.  There’s just something about them that I don’t care for, a sort of dirty hair quality that turns me off.  So when I looked at the press materials for Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, I was pretty sure I would hate it.

Then I tried it on.  The opening is rich and fruity with a lovely sweet spice from the cardamom and a soft creaminess from the almonds.  Yes, I did say “fruity.”  I am surprised there are no listed notes of peach/plum because I smell a rich ripeness, more fresh than jammy, but definitely fruit. It mingles with the spices to produce a fragrance reminiscent of a cobbler.  And then there’s a sneaky note of cumin that pops up – faint, but noticeable – and a bit of aromatic fennel.  Soft woodsy notes start to come out a bit when it dries down, but nothing much to overcome the delicious gourmand quality that is only enhanced by a big hit of custard.  Like a sexy drizzle of crème Anglaise.

I think to myself, “this is no chypre. I love it!”  Wearing this scent on my forearm, all I smell is a trip to the pie shop.  But then I spritzed Lexington Avenue on my décolletage, where I usually wear scent.  Suddenly that familiar warm funky earthiness jumped out at me – it was a chypre!  If I tilted my head downward toward the smell, I got the sweet, spicy fruit. When I picked my head back up, I got the chypre effect.  Despite that, I still love Lexington Avenue.  It’s a chypre for those folks who might be a little scared of the classics like Mitsouko, and who enjoy a rich gourmand fragrance.

And the bottle design is terrific!

By Christopher Voigt

Washington Tremlett
Royal Heroes 1805

1940 by way of 1979 might be the best way to characterize Washington Tremlett’s Royal Heroes. This is fragrance that, right out of the gates, is looking to make an impression.

But it’s an impression of Mountbatten (or Mountbatten as if he were being played by James Mason) outfitted by Tailor Ede and Ravenscroft. There’s irreproachable elegance here and an air of being in command, allied with a Yorkshireman’s rustic humor. Tremlett’s perfumer has certainly taken a few pages from Creed’s distinguished formulary. Contra the brand’s marketing spiel, I don’t find this dandified in the least. It’s rugged but with a touch of a cashmere woven into the horsehair. Despite the sense of satisfaction it creates in me, there’s nothing particularly outstanding among the notes (bergamot, clove, anise, cedarwood, patchouli), which to my nose makes this a gem of chemistry. Out of the bottle, the anise sings a few high notes and then blends into the warm background. The synaesthete in me sees this as a piece of green devoré velvet or fine forest stubble of moss.

This is how a man should smell, and as much as I love Tom Ford’s Moss Breches, I’d rather my man be wearing a tight pair of these.

Washington Tremlett
Black Tie

This is the dandy in the group. When I first smelled Black Tie, I thought of someone like Ronald Firbank in evening dress perched at his writing desk, penning a chapter of The Flower Beneath the Foot on large Nile blue notecards. This is a very English interpretation of an Arabian mukhullat. All the elements––rose, saffron, sandalwood, patchouli––are handled with a reserve I’m not unappreciative for having experienced. It feels dressed up but not overdone, the saffron and rose (and something approximating oud) predominant for the first hour or so. I wish the sandalwood lingered with a bit more presence … at least waiting till the tie came off.

Black Tie, for whatever reason, has a family resemblance to Byredo Rose Noir and Tom Ford Noir de Noir. And while I wouldn’t exactly call this a textbook “rose for men,” it would do splendidly for formal use.

Christopher Voight comes to Sniffapalooza courtesy of

available at luckyscent.comimages courtesy of Lucky Scent

"I like Brandy--because it reminds me of sweet outdoor memories.''
- Supermodel Beverly Johnson

“BRANDY suggests the smell of fresh cut grass, aromas of fresh fruit and
cool breezes.”  - Deborah Gregory, Author of Catwalk

Brandy Review
by Kathy Patterson

Notes: apple, peach, herbaceous heart notes, spices

Brandy was literally the first niche scent I purchased.  A couple years back, while perusing the Internet during a particularly boring patch at work, I stumbled upon and their astounding collection of fragrances which were all new to me.  I ordered a batch of samples, one of which was Brandy.  Their description of the apple and spice scent intrigued me, and it was pretty much love at first sniff for both me and my husband.  The price was extremely reasonable, and so I wasted no time in procuring a full bottle of this liquid Autumn.

Autumn is my favorite season.  I love the way the air smells, the leaves crackling underfoot, shorter days and cooler temperatures.  Brandy – the fragrance – is the perfect scent to conjure all the pleasant thoughts of fall.  It smells of apples, the last of the summer peaches, and a touch of cinnamon.  It's a walk in the apple orchard, with the leaves in full color, and the scent of cider being pressed in the barn. It's sweet, but deliciously so.  Brandy also makes me think of going to the tobacconist with my Dad, sniffing all of the fruity pipe tobaccos in their unsmoked state, a real treat for me when I was a kid.

When first sprayed, the initial impact is of bright fruit scents, like cutting into fresh apples for pie, with a stray peach thrown into the basket. During the drydown, the spices emerge, evoking those warm autumnal memories. As the fruit and spice notes blend, I’m reminded of my best friend Kate’s magnificent apple cake, perhaps spiked with a little Calvados.  All I need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream….

Ah, Autumn.  I look forward to your return.

-Kathy Patterson

Trance Essence
by Kathy Patterson

Trance Essence is…Beguiling, Intoxicating, Alluring

It is where old-world perfumery meets apothecary, Where purity mingles with sensuality
And craftsmanship is imbued with the voluptuous, Made in small batches, it is muse-produced rather than mass-produced
Blended from the finest essential and perfume oils, each Trance Essence is nectar, These reveal their hidden notes when activated by your own body heat, Trance Essence is earthy yet ethereal, Intimate and refined, it whispers.
Trance Essence is nature, naked and alive, captured in a collection of Eau De Parfum sprays, roll-on perfume oils and hand-poured soy-based candles.

They are the creation of Janna Sheehan, a perfumer/designer and lover of natural scents. Each of the Trance Essence Nectars contains up to twenty-five essential and perfume oil elements. Two years in the making, each fragrance emerged from an inner journey to a fanciful imaginary location. Six scents, six exotic destinations:

London in the sixties (Abbey Rose)
Down a rabbit hole (Whyte Rabitt)
A sultry Moroccan nightclub in the summer (Genie in a Bottle)
A Chinese mandarin garden at dawn (Chen-XI)
An Indiana forest after a rain shower (Hail Merri)
The gardenia and rose garden from a childhood story (Pink Kat)

Many more journeys remain to be taken. Yours. Trance fragrances aren’t standard and they aren’t static. They unfold and respond, reacting to time, place and wearer.

Anoint yourself and begin your journey.

She Speaks For The Trees
Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfume

By Tonie Silver

Just like Dr. Suess’ Lorax, Roxana of Roxana Illuminated Perfume has a deep and personal relationship with trees~ the mighty Oak in particular~ and that relationship is expressed in the song of her perfumes.

Roxana lives in a fairy world of her own creation, one in which she invites us to share.  To step in, one has but to apply one of her scents, close one’s eyes, and breathe deeply.

All natural, handmade, and all carrying Roxana’s signature tweak, these potions allow one to wear a bit of the green world on their person.

Q is an homage to Roxana’s beloved Oaks.  Round like the great trunk, with dark, shady greens, and the sharpness of leaf points.  An enveloping scent, one which encloses the wearer within its protective arms, er, branches.

Vera starts with green stems, then flows up to lavender blossoms.  Green and fresh in an herbaceous way.

My favorite potion from Roxana was a special commission per my request.  Hedera helix~ the mighty IvyDark green leaves, reddish, yellowish pink vines, and that special sharp tang that ivy possesses.  This is the big, aged, thick leaved ivy of my Grandmother’s front porch, climbing and twining in the shade.  Cool and crisp, an inviting home to innumerable dark creatures.

Roxana’s scents are but one facet of her whole artistic concept~ visual, sonic, and olfactory~ quite a package, this little Argentine lass!:)

Liquid Nature, these brews.  Climb up, sit back, draw up a leaf, dab some on, and stay a while, won’t you? Artwork and images courtesy of Greg Spalenka.

by Kathy Patterson

Pacifica candles have been a favorite of candle connoisseurs for several years now because of the high quality of both their materials and their robust fragrances. 

In February 2008, Pacifica introduced solid perfumes to their line.  The packaging is quite lovely and made with post-consumer content; the tins are completely recyclable as well.  And the fragrances are in a base of 100% organic soy and coconut wax.  I had the opportunity to try a few recently. 

Avalon Juniper has notes of juniper, grapefruit, and heliotrope.  The combination of these notes is somehow like incense under water.  The grapefruit is bitter and bright and watery.  The juniper has a clove-like essence that is both spicy and smoky.  A weird yet wonderful juxtaposition.

The Bali Lime Papaya has notes of papaya, kaffir lime, and lime blossom.  It smells like a fruity umbrella drink that would be a refreshing sip on a hot summer’s day.  The scent is predominately lime, with the tropical undertone of papaya.  Papaya isn’t one of my favorite scents, but it blends very nicely with the lime here. 

Madagascar Spice has notes of clove, sweet orange, and a touch of black pepper.  I love the smell of clove, which dominates here.  The orange makes it smell a bit like a pomander, one of my favorite smells during the fall and winter, making it a perfect scent for the holiday season.

Mexican Cocoa has bitter almond, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and smells like the most delicious marzipan candy dipped in chocolate and rolled in spices.

It’s nice to have a tiny tin to carry around in one’s purse for touch-ups during the day.  Just don’t be tempted to eat them or use them as lip gloss….

In addition to the eleven solid perfumes, sixteen Pacifica fragrances are available as perfume sprays.  The Tuscan Blood Orange Perfume is all about orange, bright and happy, sweet and candyish, like tangerine Life Savers. 

Pacifica’s fragrances are available on the Web at and at retailers like Whole Foods and Wild Oats.  You can’t beat the bang you get for your buck – the solids are only $9, and sprays are $20 for 1.2 oz.

BRANDY Fragrance

Every so often, a fragrance is launched that generates ever-widening circles on its own merit, something like the ripples created by casting a stone on still water. BRANDY Eau de Toilette is such a phenomenon.  First created by artist Patricia Namm who used Brandy, a striking palomino, as her muse, the fragrance
was immediately embraced by the so-called ‘horsey’ set. It has been featured in countless glossy equine publications and catalogues, both here and abroad.

Now the message is out as women and men of all ages engaged in diverse sports and activities adopt this fragrance for themselves. We think it is the suggestion of distant fields, rolling aromatic meadows, apple and peach top notes, and herbaceous heart notes that account for the appeal of this pleasing scent. Just one mist from the handsome eau de toilette spray bottle has the ability to erase stress and turmoil, and transport the most jaded urban dweller to verdant countryside for a reviving and cleansing visit.available at and

See "interviews section" for interview with Brandy's Patrica Namm

Reviews by Kathy Patterson

Chen Xi (First Light of Dawn)

“This scent has the Zen sensibilities of simplicity and happiness. Light
and fresh, wild ginger, red and yellow mandarin, lemongrass, spearmint
and a hint of lily make this subtle, delicate perfume a transformative timeless classic.”

Bright and sunny, the scent is redolent of citrus, with the herbal tang of lemongrass being most outstanding.  A whiff of spearmint adds a faint touch of green.

Genie in a Bottle
“Seductive, potent, scents of exotic oils like jasmine, vanilla, organic frankincense, bittersweet chocolate, black and organic black pepper are just a few of the essences that infuse magic into this bottle.”  Floral and gourmand at the same time, with a touch of the oriental as well, somehow this is a familiar fragrance.  The jasmine predominates, with a touch of chocolatey sweetness, and the drydown becomes more of an incense scent.

Abbey Rose
“Imbued with clarity and balance, this essence has rich notes of fig, rose, bergamot, lavender, neroli, and a bit of grapefruit.”  A rose is a rose is a rose, except when it’s a fig wrapped in lavender, too.  The citrusy accent is just enough to brighten this scent and make it a rather happy rose.  The drydown is predominately rose.  This one is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Hail Merri
“Complex and alluring, Hail Merri carries the frequencies that inspire sublime grace and beauty. Vetivert, oak moss, violet leaf, rosewood, tuberose and a touch of sweet pea inspire this lofty elixir of restoration, regeneration and renewal.” Mostly mossy/woody, but with the surprising addition of rich florals and a touch of violet underneath. Like flowers blooming on a forest floor.  Starts out dark but gets brighter as it dries down.  Complex and alluring indeed.

Pink Kat
“The freshest smelling perfume and oil essences of gardenia, rose, wild ylang ylang and neroli lend their properties of love from the heart and earthy sexiness. Pink Kat is innocent, sensual and alluring all at once.”   Neither pink nor catty, Pink Kat is a rather mentholated blend of strong floral notes, with gardenia in the forefront.
The drydown is a nice dry, green, gardenia. Sexy perhaps, but innocent – no way.

White Rabbit
“Quixotic and playful, this essence never smells the same twice on your skin. Mercurial by nature Whyte Rabbit embodies notes of linden blossom, banana, basil, wild blue cypress, calendula, and blackberry.”  This scent is almost a savory gourmand, with the strong herbal tones.  The basil/cypress combo is almost like
celery/parsley, but its sitting on a slightly sweet and fruity base of linden and a surprising note of banana. 
A scent any bunny is sure to love.

Available at:

Click here to see interview with Janna Sheenan from Trance Essence

Each of these perfumes contain over twenty different essences, in some cases multiple accords.
Sierra is the most complex followed by Chaparral with over fifty essences total.

These perfumes have all been made by hand using high grade essences, many organic and vital,
obtained exclusively from the plant, mineral, sea and apis kingdoms. We use a base of organic grape and grain alcohol for the tinctures and perfumes.

Notes include: Orange, Spice, Rose, Jasmine, Patchouli, Distilled Earth, Oud. Currently in its 1st edition.

Notes include: Mandarin, Spice, Egyptian Jasmine, Rose, Amber. In its 2nd edition

Many of the essences, accords and tinctures are of the plants found in the Chaparral Biome of California.
Notes include: Citrus, Mimosa, Iris Root, Sage, Rhodendron, Pine, Cypress. The 2nd edition is available this Autumn.  A portion of the proceeds from each 1/4 oz perfume supports The Chaparral Institute.

Many of the essences are grown and distilled in Ojai, with regional plants utilized in our specially prepared tinctures. Notes include: Lemon, Lavender, Orange Blossom, Hay, Coastal Sage, Seaweed, Labdanum. Currently in its 2nd edition.

Q (formerly known as Quercus)
Tinctured Oak leaves combine with accords of Citrus, Wood and Resin. Currently in its 2nd edition
A portion of the proceeds from each 1/4 oz perfume supports The California Oak Foundation.

The most complex of our perfumes, combining chords within accords of Conifer, Wood and Resin.
A portion of the proceeds from each 1/4 oz perfume supports TreePeople.

Notes include: Pink Grapefruit, Egyptian Jasmine, Ylang Ylang,
Complex Amber Accord. The 3rd edition available soon.
Fragrance Family: Floral

The inspiration for Lyra began with a custom perfume created for my daughter Eve (Evangeline). Since I do not replicate custom perfume formulas, I swapped out some essences in the top, middle and base and added new ones. The tropical headiness of this perfume lies in the melding of Jasmine and Ylang Ylang at the heart. Both these essences are associated with femininity and sensuality. In fact, in aromatherapy circles these essences are considered relaxing, euphoric and strong aphrodisiacs. The word aphrodisiac comes from the name of the Greek Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

The sensuous, floral fragrance is reminiscent of Stargazer lilies. Built upon an amber accord, the exotic sweetness of the Jasmine Ylang Ylang heart is lifted with heady citrus notes. The perfume is euphoric and playful uniting us with the delectable sweetness of pure joy.

There are twenty different essential oils, absolutes and C02 extractions in this perfume. Main notes are: Citrus, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Amber.  The liquid perfume is available in a quarter ounce stopper bottle from France, which arrives in it's own couture, hand crochet pouch.

Her blog:

All artwork and images courtesy of Greg Spalenka.

Five Sizzling New Solid Perfumes from Pacifica

Since their smashing spring 08 debut, the buzz about Pacifica Solid Perfumes just keeps building! Absolutely everyone
loves these darling, deliciously designed tins and the captivating scents they contain. Now, Pacifica is back with a killer
collection of five, deep and spicy new Solids that are just the thing for fall.

Seasoned with notes of juniper, clove, amber, Mexican chocolate and ginger, these scents will warm up a winter’s day (layer
on skin; add cashmere sweater and voila!). Brilliantly patterned in hues of brown, burgundy, pine, caramel and sky blue, they
couldn’t be any prettier or smarter as they toss handily into anything from a carry-on (no need for that TSA-approved Ziploc)
to a diaper bag to a yoga bag to an evening clutch. Pull one out any time, anywhere for a chic and easy scent refresher.
No wonder Pacifica Solid Perfumes have become the latest obsession of moms on-the-go, world-class fashionistas and
everyone in between!

On the heels of the phenomenally successful launch of Pacifica Spray Perfumes, perfumer Brook Harvey-Taylor, brings her modern, exuberant expression to the most ancient of fragrance forms with Pacifica Solid Perfumes.  A sensory celebration and secret treasure, each tiny tin is filled with delectable scent in a pure vegan and organic base and decorated with vibrant, colorful pattern.  Taylor’s fascination with solid perfumes began in her youth, when she was captivated by the mysterious scents in carved containers found in head shops and toted by cool kids.  Light as a feather and spill-free, Pacifica Solid Perfumes are the ultimate on-the-go scent.  Take one along in a pocket or toss a few in a bag for creative combining.

The “Nose”
Pacifica Co-Founder and “nose” and the creative force behind the company’s scents from the beginning,
Brook Harvey Taylor has always had an unusually astute olfactory sense.  As a child, she loved to play
with mixing spices to create new smells.  In high school, she was so moved by reading Tom Robbins’
Jitterbug Perfume that she began mixing her own fragrances from essential oils found at the Health
Food Store where she worked.  During college, Brook received aromatherapy training via an apprenticeship,
but today, she thinks of herself as more of an “intuitive perfumer.”  She has always made her own personal
scents, has always been asked by friends, loved ones, and strangers what she is wearing and can she make
it for them too.  Perhaps, most amazingly, she has also always blended Pacifica’s scents despite being told
at the beginning that this would be impossible and that she would have to hire a professional “fragrance developer.” 

Pacifica Solid Scents Fall Collection

NEW Avalon Juniper – Rich with notes of juniper, grapefruit and heliotrope, Avalon Juniper is the perfect new scent to
ease you into fall. Thriving in the icy regions of Northern Europe, juniper is considered magical and has been used
throughout time to usher in and out the months of winter. Tempered with the slight scent of earthy grapefruit and the
watery notes of heliotrope, this blend is a play between light and dark, fire and ice, and the realms of the spiritual and
physical worlds. Icy and fascinating, Avalon Juniper is a perfect winter scent for women and men.

Tibetan Mountain Temple – Smoldering with warmth, this tranquil, incense-like blend is
grounded in vetiver and Indonesian patchouli with Chinese ginger sitting lightly in the middle and
orange providing expansive lift.

Spanish Amber – Inspired by a scent Pacifica Co-Founder Brook Harvey Taylor discovered in an
ancient Madrid apothecary, this sexy scent modernizes the old world classic with rosy geranium
base notes, sandalwood middle notes and bergamot and elemi swirling on top.

Mexican Cocoa – At the base of this enchanting blend is the dark, rich scent of Mexican chocolate.
Rounded out with mild notes of bitter almond, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, this longtime Pacifica
favorite is now reinterpreted for wear on the body. Its devotees will be thrilled!

Madagascar Spice – Once a coveted aphrodisiac, spicy clove, primarily produced in Madagascar, is
the overwhelming note in this scent. Sweet orange and just a small touch of black pepper top off the
Pacifica classic, originally inspired by the age-old custom of decorating oranges with cloves at holiday time.

Silky smooth and long-lasting, Pacifica Solid Perfumes are comprised of a 100% organic and vegan,
soy and coconut wax base and Pacifica’s proprietary perfume blends, made with sustainable and
safe raw materials. Pacifica’s Solid Perfumes do not contain known carcinogens or toxins such as
phthalates or parabens. As always, Pacifica’s outer packaging is made with post-consumer content
and the Solid Perfume tins are completely recyclable.

Pacifica Solid Perfumes are available at, as well as Anthropologie stores and Whole Foods
and Wild Oats for a suggested retail price of $8.95 each.

The Corner of Fifth and Zen: Neil Morris for Takashimaya NY Perfume - A Fragrance Review

Shopping along Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is unlike any experience in the world. The finest luxury stores line the Avenue yet well dressed, sophisticated New Yorkers barely raise their eyes to marvel at the sumptuously appointed store windows as they dash to their next appointment.  Brief cases bump you, your ears are assaulted by businessmen screaming into their cell phones and men and women dressed in designer suits run you down like so much ‘streetkill’.
There is a haven on 5th. Takashimaya NY (as any out of town or home grown ‘Sniffa’ knows) has a distinctively tranquil and serene atmosphere, where one can browse for hours amidst their unique and hard to find niche fragrance and beauty brands.

When Takashimaya NY’s management decided to create an exclusive signature scent that captured their brand in a bottle, they turned to ‘our’ Neil Morris.  They chose a self taught perfumer who is one of the world’s best noses, the world’s BEST hugger and a man whose creativity is only surpassed by his humanity; they did not choose a ‘celebrity’ perfumer with a big name and a bigger ego who has five publicists and three handlers. Takashimaya NY shared their brand with Neil Morris, not just from the perspective of its composition but by joining their store name with his on the bottle; this speaks to the core values of a remarkable retailer.

There is a Neil Morris fragrance for everyone because Neil works with real people, (not locked away in a lab).  I was privileged to be invited to the press launch of Neil Morris for Takashimaya NY and to be the first to write a review on behalf of Sniffapalooza Magazine.  And knowing Neil’s loving fan base, this is one of the
proudest (and daunting) moments I have had writing for Sniffapalooza Magazine.

Neil Morris for Takashimaya NY is in my opinion among Neil Morris’s finest fragrant offerings. At the launch I was free to spritz and test on Neil, the Takashimaya management team and my fellow editors; it always smelled beautiful and differently on each of us.  The fragrance is a Japanese painting (絵画, Kaiga-- one of the oldestand most highly refined of the Japanese arts, encompassing a wide variety of genre
and styles).

Brushstrokes of Black Currant, Mandarin and Bergamot are layered with such delicacy over sparkling Aldehydes. Plum Blossom and, Jasmine Tea, bring the fragrance of Japanese Cherry Blossom to the forefront; fine strokes of Bamboo and Dossinia orchid are accented by Oak, and Oud which cast their sepia and grey incense hues over the ochre and indigo colors of Tonka and Orris.

The fragrance on Neil’s skin immediately evokes the sight and smells of a Japanese monastery at dusk; cedar, oak, bamboo and oud predominate. On my skin, the fragrance opens with the smell of ‘luxury’ (you know it when you smell it!), and morphs into the ‘taste’ of a delicious tea cake filled with plum and cherry blossom jam. Even now, ten hours later, I still detect a distinctive and unexpected powdery orris and soft incense drydown.

One word. Bottle-worthy.  You may not want to wait until Sniffapalooza in NY on Oct 25th.

Neil Morris for Takashimaya NY is available soon at 
Call or visit: Takashimaya  NY
693 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone:1-800-753-2038, 1-212-350-0100
Between 54th and 55th Street, on the east side of Fifth Avenue .
A two ounce bottle of Parfum is $125.00

Two reviews...

L’Artisan for Aedes de Venustas
Eau de Parfum
by James Dotson

Being the big incense freak that I am, I must bow down to Bertrand Duchaufour for his mastery of the smouldering resins, and here is another great one.  So what’s the difference between the room spray and its new sibling, the L’Artisan for Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum?  They both have that initial chime of silvery frankincense, that smells like a cascade of a hundred tiny bells ringing in a Himalayan monastery - a clear and sustained note that keeps on chiming for hours.   And both have the distinct background immortelle, a scent that reminds me of Indian summer daisies, rattan chairs and ceylon tea.  But the Eau de Parfum diverges from the start with an overlay of something darker, an accord reminiscent of Dzongkha - the inside of a hand-carved wooden box, soft and dry-spicy like a blend of cyperus root, vetiver and cedar, with splashes of warm coffee and cardamom.  After awhile the divergent trails reconverge in a drydown of balsamic leather and musk.

For technical reasons, candles and room sprays must have a lot of “throw” or diffusion, so the volume on the Eau de Parfum may seem toned down in comparison to the ambient spray, which makes sense since it is meant to develop on the skin as opposed to being diffused through a large space.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Aedes de Venustas
By Kathy Patterson

Notes: orange oil, pink pepper, cardamom, incense essential oil, black pepper, rose, iris, cedarwood, incense resinoid, patchouli, coffee, opoponax, benzoin, treemoss, everlasting flower, white musk, vanilla

“The spicy and vivacious fragrance, created through the vision and expertise of Bertrand Duchaufour for L'Artisan Parfumeur, retains the woody, Oriental allure of the candle and the room scent, yet includes new facets of spice for sparkle, chypre effect for sophistication, balsam for comfort and leather to compliment and enhance the original fragrance.”

In other words – a whole lot of yum.  The opening is all orange and spices, a perfume version of my favorite Constant Comment tea, but with a bit of effervescence and pepper. It also shares some qualities with the intensely-flavored cola syrup my mother used to give me to settle my stomach as a child, but is much better than the real thing. 

The description on the Aedes site speaks of Japanese incense and temples, but to my nose, there is nothing contemplative or zen-like about their signature scent. It’s actually rather decadent with its deep and rich tones, beautifully and intensely spicy with an overlying honeyed sweetness and undertones of very expensive and buttery leather mingling with incense.  It’s a winter scent for sure, fiery and passionate and a more than a bit opulent.  And a perfect signature for the world of Aedes, a romantically dark and cozy place filled to bursting with amazing fragrances.  Such as this one.

Bertrand Duchaufour
Real Men Wear Roses
by Michael W. Davis

Real men define masculinity on their own personal
terms with little or no outside influence. They do not
need media personalities nor anyone else telling them
what is masculine. I consider myself to be a real man
in that I define my self-identity as a masculine male in
my own terms.

My self-identity as a man is partially related to some
of my interests and personal taste. Real guy stuff;
restoring vintage cars, weight training, contact sports,
motorcycles, grilling red meat, drinking single malt
scotch whisky, watching action flicks...and wearing rose - based fragrances. Yes, you read correctly, rose - based fragrances.  I'm not referring to those that have a hint of rose buried by woody and spicy notes either. I also include rose soliflores and other fragrances in which the rose note plays a dominant or featured role. Dominance is a so called 'masculine' trait!

Assigning gender to specific notes or fragrances is based on culture and personal taste. In western culture, there are many men and women who consider rose fragrances for women only. A common stereotype is that rose scents are 'old lady', 'pretty' or otherwise 'too feminine' for men. This is not true of other cultures and groups. Rose fragrances have always been popular among men in the Middle East. Many of my friends who are perfume aficionados have been wearing masculine and feminine rose fragrances for years.
Fortunately, for those of us who are open-minded about fragrances, there are some exceptional choices en niche. Paestum Rose from Eau d'Italie is a spectacular rose fragrance that defies gender stereotypes and wears beautifully on both men and women. It is a fragrant experience of sun-warmed stone, wood and earth infused with incense, flowers, and spices.

Paestum Rose was created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who is noted for his exceptional use of layering accords, rather than adding note atop of notes in his creations. Subtle spicy blend of pepper and coriander awaken the senses; a light touch providing a warm introduction rather than a heavy hand and a bracing bite. Incense, tea and myrrh lend a resonance of timeless wisdom. Elemi oil provides a sense of calm and peace. The floral notes in Paestum Rose are the highlight, exuding a lyrical, realistic hint of sweetness avoiding the false pretense of artificiality that has been the ruin of many floral fragrances. Turkish rose which is a key material, is voluptuous, luscious and succulent. This fragrance is a holy grail for those men and women searching for a perfectly rendered rose with a kick. There is a base accord that is quite woody and at the very foundation are the aqueous and earthy accords, evoking the damp, fertile earth that allows for this uncommon rose to flourish; damp earth grounds the fragrance.

Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour masterfully blended the accords in Paestum Rose using notes of davana, cinnamon, pink and rose pepper, black pepper, coriander, black currant buds, osmanthus, peony, Turkish rose, tea, elemi, incense, myrrh, opopanax, cedarwood, papyrus, patchouli, Wenge wood, vetiver, musk, and benzoin. However, describing Paestum Rose in terms of notes only is facile and belies its complexity and the many levels on which it stirs the senses. It is a fragrance that one must wear, experience and feel to develop his or her own personal understanding of this tremendous accomplishment of perfume art.

Available at Lafco New York

A Rose is a Rose is a…oh forget it.
Rose Poivrée - The Different Company
Perfumer Jean Claude Ellena

By Mark David Boberick

About a month ago, Raphaella told me she needed a review of a rose scent
that was acceptable for a man.  I said – well, any rose scent is acceptable
for a man, but I just so happen to be doused in Rose Poivrée by The
Different Company at the moment, so that’s what you’re getting.
I told her that it was one of my favorite roses.  Her reply? “I thought your
favorite was Rose Barbare?” My reply? “Well, its kind of pointless to have a
favorite rose scent, isn’t it?”  So I withdrew the previous comment.

For the budding perfumista who may not know better – roses on a man is not
really a new and groundbreaking idea. It is, however – very American.  Roses are beloved and worn around the
world. Every year, at the rose harvest in Morocco, men and women alike gather to dance under a shower of spicy rose petals. And wasn’t it Nero who filled a lake with rose petals just so he could swim in it? A bit extravagant, yes – but that’s Nero for you. And it was for the glorification of the Roman Empire, so I’m sure he got a tax deduction for it. At least, I like to think he did. Those were the days, weren’t they? Try to write-off filling Lake Placid with rose petals today and see where that gets you.

Back on topic -  Rose Poivrée, created by Jean-Claude Ellena in 2001 as one of the four premiere scents for his line, The Different Company is one of the most interesting studies I have ever encountered on the topic of what I often feel is the white elephant in the room in perfume reviews: Skin Chemistry.

If I were to listen to all of the stories and reviews I have read on this fragrance, I would probably never have picked it up and tried it. I'm told, by countless people, that this fragrance is supposed to be dark and dirty – very dirty, in fact. On my skin, which usually amps up civet (one of the main ingredients in Rose Poivrée) without fail – I'm surprised to find that I can barely detect it at all. Instead, what I get is a dusty sweet study of perfume’s most celebrated flower.  And the pepper? I don’t get much of that, either.  So much for “Poivrée”.

Now, as I understand it, the formula has changed over the years and what we smell today from a new bottle, is not what one would have smelled when the fragrance was just released. Rose Poivrée is supposedly not as dirty as it once was.  Yet, even judging the current formula, people still seem to detect a significant amount of civet.  But I do not.

When I smell Rose Poivrée - I don’t get dark, I don’t get dirty, I don’t get Transylvania. And I don’t think this would be at home in a Mary Shelley novel. So for me, in the end, reading reviews of Rose Poivrée basically equals wasted time that I will never get back.

So the moral of the story here is: Don’t listen to a word I say or anyone else for that matter.  Just try it for yourself.  Maybe you’ll end up smelling like you just rolled around with an African feline. And if that’s your thing – then you should be very happy with the result.  But maybe, like me, your skin will transform the scent into a cleaner, austere beauty. And you know what? That’s ok too - because perfume is not about finding the right or wrong answer for the scent itself. No. What it’s really about is finding the right or wrong answer for YOU.

So if you like a particular fragrance - What I or anyone else writes about it is, well...irrelevant.

Rose Poivrée and the full range of The Different Company products are available at Takashimaya in New York City.

Lyra by Roxana Illuminated Perfume
By Victoria Austin

There is a unique and luxurious comfort and an innate spiritual experience in wearing distinct and beautiful handmade perfumes containing the highest quality essences from around the world.  And if your social conscience is raised by the fact that the perfumer utilizes old world alchemy while supporting local holistic farmers and distillers, what more can you ask?  This is the philosophy of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes.
Roxana Villa creates her luxurious perfumes in small batches with a spiritual, social and ecological artistry in her studio in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Born in Buenos Aries and raised in Los Angeles, she excels in the visual arts as well as the aromatic arts.  After receiving a B.A. in Communication Design from Otis Parsons, she moved to New York.  Returning to California after the birth of her daughter, she became certified in aromatherapy and developed her artistry in perfumes through her love of nature.  Roxana Illuminated Perfumes also avows a healing element in her perfumes while speaking to the individual wearer.  Lyra is one of seven “exo-luxe” creations by Roxana included in her Literaium series. 

Originally created for Villa’s daughter, Eve, the name “Lyra” is derived from a favorite novel, “The Golden Compass.” A rich, full-bodied, sweetly tinged amber, floral fragrance that evokes the essence of Fall with its warm sensuality.   Through a veil of tropical flowers, the amber and somewhat licorice tinted base glows leaving a dry down trail of light citrus so as not to allow the amber to overpower.  Although Villa’s website touts Lyra as inspired by the “effervescent twilight on the seashore,” this reviewer experiences a walk through a damp leaf-laden forest floor in Fall.  The glowing amber floral fragrance exudes an ethereal waft of a bonfire note arising then transitioning in a light citrusy orange drink at the end of my sensory-awakening tramp in the cool, late October forest.

Lyra, as all fragrances from Roxana Illuminated Perfumes, is attached to a socially astute ecological foundation which receives a percentage from the sale of the fragrance.  What a beautiful way to wear a fragrance -- knowing not only do you smell divine, but your purchase of the fragrance assists in the sustainability of holistic agriculture on our planet.  Enlighten and illuminate yourself more about these unique fragrances through Roxana’s website:

Pacifica: A Summary of Summer Scents

It is hard to say good-bye to another summer season. I will miss the sounds of chattering birds early in the morning, the rush of waves blowing, and the suns blazing reflection on the windows and doors of Chicago’s high rises.    

This past summer I was introduced to three fragrances that were captivating. The perfumes were French Lilac, Vanilla Vera Cruz and Tahitian Gardenia created by Pacifica. These remarkable scents offer a woman a chance to dream and to be at peace with life’s challenges. 

French Lilac is a sweet scented blend of magnolia leaves, heliotrope and a hint of nectarine for summer’s pleasures. In the worlds coldest climates lilac is the first to bloom. So, one can see how this is an authentic early summer darling.

Vanilla Vera Cruz is sweet with added spice. Vanilla is a treasured favorite in Mexico. And this fragrance with added spice reminds me of delicious pastries my mother made during the summer months.

Tahitian Gardenia was an exceptional scent that took my breath away. It evoked memories of the first time I saw the 1962 version of “Mutiny on the Bounty”, starring Marlon Brandon. I absolutely fell in love with Tahiti and everything and anything associated with it. The Gardenia is sacred in Tahiti and I can now truly understand why. It has a heady smooth fragrance that last and last. Moreover, the flower symbolizes love, unity, grace and strength.

It is so hard to say good-bye to summer. However, when the frigid winter of Chicago gets the best of me… I will stay sunny and warm knowing that French Lilac, Vanilla Vera Cruz and Tahitian Gardenia will embrace me once again in the summer.   and Whole Foods

A Mans Perspective...Review of Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance
by Jim Squier

Oh great,another parfumer doing vetiver.  But this is Swiss Parfumer Andy Tauer, who already has developed a cult following with the likes of Incense Rose, Incense Rose Extreme,and L'Air du desert Marocain.  With Andy,you expect different,and Vetiver Dance is no exception. Upon contact with the skin,the opening notes of grapefruit,black pepper,clary sage,and lily of the valley just scream FRESH..Truly a unique beginning.  The Javan vetiver doesn't just pop out right away.  Helped by cedar wood and ambergris it slowly reveals it's earthy nature.Unlike other vetiver fragrances this one can hang. On my skin,it was still around over six hours later,no doubt aided by the cistus(labdanum?) and tonka beans in the base.

A totally different interpretation of vetiver.  Andy has invited everyone to the Vetiver Dance.

If you are looking for a change to the normal routine of vetiver,don't be a wallflower.

Available at Aedes and Lucky Scent

Septimanie Perfumes Pavillon des Fleurs
Review by Raphaella Barkley

Septimanie Perfumes/ Pavillon des Fleurs is a new independent luxury perfume house founded by Jeanne Weber.  This past year she launched a sensuous white floral fragrance, Pavillon des Fleurs, inspired by the ethereal scent of a nocturnal garden.  Underpinned with jasmine absolute and ylang, notes of orange blossom, Lily of the Valley, English leather and Iris, and a barely suppressed hint of cloves, it bears a striking resemblance to flowers in full bloom.

This new niche company captures the scent of a romantic garden in a luxurious white floral perfume.  The company was named after Septimanie, the Comtesse d’Egmont Pignatelli, who was the daughter of the Duc de Richelieu and lived at Versailles during the reign of Louis XV.  Despite being a ravishing beauty, she was celebrated more for her intellect and her support of key figures of the enlightenment, including Mozart and the philosopher Rousseau. 

Jeanne Weber designs masterful pleasure gardens and she believes that “The fragrant garden is sublime, and particularly so in the evening.  I sought to create an irresistible and intoxicating bouquet of floral notes which would perpetually lift my mood and that of others around me, much as a garden would”.

“Luminous and supremely sensual, Pavillon des Fleurs is a radiant bouquet of white flowers laden with aphrodisiacal notes.  Designed to conjure the sublime experience of the fragrant garden and achieved with great quantities of natural absolutes, this sonata of white flowers pleases and delights with the aroma of living flowers.”

Pavillon des Fleurs is a stunning fragrance. There are so many white floral fragrances appearing on the market and as a collector of "white floral" fragrances, sometimes you pause.  I myself have become quiet jaded with so many new releases on the market, the majority of them so incredibly uninspiring.

Pavillon des Fleurs is my new inspiration.  It is a shimmering white floral and a beautiful fragrance that is truly unique in that it smells very fresh, expensive and rich, without appearing overly sophisticated and cloying.  I have never smelled a fragrance that was so green, green as a fragrant garden after a rain and the white flowers shine forth; like a bright full moon or like a burst of intense spring, knowing it will heat up as hot as any southern summer ever could.

Jeanne Weber is to be congratulated in producing such a beautiful fragrance on her first venture, an enviable feat that many do not accomplish. It is simply scrumptious.  

This fragrance is available at Aedes and Takashimaya in New York City during Fall Ball.  and Aedes
Tom Ford White Patchouli
by Kathy Patterson

Notes: bergamot, white peony, coriander, rose absolute, night blooming jasmine, ambrette seed, patchouli, blonde woods, incense

With White Patchouli, Tom Ford attempts to reinvent patchouli by mixing it with white florals.  Although patchouli is a note smelled from top to bottom in his new fragrance, it’s more of an accent than the raison d’etre.  “White” is the key word here, as the floral notes, particularly the jasmine, are far more prevalent.  

Ford used something he calls patchouli “orpur” (an awkward amalgam of “origin” and “purity”), which removes some of the darker and smokier qualities of patchouli - the same qualities that create the “love it or hate it” feelings that are often evoked by this strongly scented bushy herb of the mint family.

The scent starts out with a quick blast of this lightened patchouli which is quickly enveloped in a cloud of bergamot and jasmine.  There is also some nuance of rose, not so much the actual detectable scent but rather its rich floralcy. The combination of warm, musky ambrette and blonde woods in the drydown gives an impression of sandalwood and the slight skankiness that sometimes accompanies it.  The bright whiteness of the jasmine remains through the drydown and is partnered by the patch, creating a nice juxtaposition of light and dark.  Well, ok, it’s not really that dark….

White Patchouli is not as rich or formal smelling as Ford’s Voile de Fleur, and definitely not as darkly pungent as Black Orchid, but it fits well as a third member of his family of fragrances and may be more universally appreciated than those that came before it.

Special thanks to Christopher Lynch, Tom Ford Private Blend
Sak's Fifth Avenue, San Francisco.
Michael W. Davis is a writer and management consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael has been collecting and testing fragrances for fifteen years, and is an active contributing member of Basenotes.  Michael holds a B.S. in psychology, an M.S. in organizational behavior and focuses on behavior modification in corporate environments. Michael also studies the effects of fragrance from a social psychology perspective.

By Michelyn Camen
Mark David Boberick is an Interior Designer who has been in love with scent for as long as he can remember and has been collecting fragrances since the age of 12. A lover of art and music, Mark David frequents museums, Theatre, and the Opera. He is also an accomplished theatrical set designer having already amassed a large portfolio of work for only being 23 years old. In 2006, Mark David established Atelier Mark David, his freelance design business based in Philadelphia. He is an avid supporter and volunteer for Greyhound Rescues and is happiest when he’s designing or sniffing.
Victoria Austin is a passionate accomplished dreamer, hopeful romantic, spiritually attuned-grounded and musically diva-ish.  She spent her childhood days dreaming, exploring the forest trails and gleaming streams.  She now lives in a sprawling metropolis, but still a jewel of a city in north Texas and her wonderful family. She loves traveling and experiencing new places, people, cultures and foods. She also enjoys reading great books, writing, singing, acting and playing several musical instruments, cooking, decorating, beauty and fashion, music, movies, live theater, and learning foreign languages.  She enjoys thought provoking discussions and communicating with interesting people. Her new hobby is collecting unique boutique and niche fragrances from Serge Lutens, L'Artisan and Andy Tauer to name a few.  Victoria and her family also love working with Habitat for Humanity.

Founder and perfumer for Pacifica
Kathy Patterson has had an interest in fragrance all her life.  Some of her fondest memories involve digging through her mother's toiletries and playing with her scented soaps.  (She hated Mom's Youth Dew though.)  At the ripe age of 40, Kathy discovered niche scents and Sniffapalooza.  Now she's getting out of hand with the perfume collection, and her husband Neal thinks she's maybe a little crazy.  Kathy is a jewelry designer/graphic artist/research analyst who lives in Baltimore, MD with her loving hubby and two cats.  You can find her all over the place as theminx,including her site,
Septimanie, Comtesse d’Egmont Pignatelli 16 years old, becoming the Comtesse d'Egmont Pignatelli.
All rights reserved 2006-2010.  All content belongs to Sniffapalooza Magazine.

All articles by individual writers and contributors, understand and agree that each article that is accepted by the Editor for publication; becomes the property of Sniffapalooza Magazine for the sole purpose of publication for Sniffapalooza Magazine. Articles may be archived for permanent use on the web site for Sniffapalooza Magazine and for future issues.  All articles remain the property of Sniffapalooza Magazine for display purposes only.
Sniffapalooza Magazine is independently owned and operated by Raphaella Barkley.

By Dr. John King 

(better known on the internet as King_of_England)

As the King of England, I often get premonitions of things to come. My friends,
I jest not.  Virtually everything I’ve written about in previous years has come true.
Aromatherapy was an obscure and quackish topic until I wrote about it in 1983.
The same year I created a little known perfume called Deadly Nightshade, which
was swiftly followed by Dior’s Poison.

I could go on, but  I don’t want to get carted away as suffering from delusions of grandeur.
I am a psychiatrist in real life, so I’ve seen it happen.  Friends (I do have some) have tried to persuade me to keep my tips and predictions to myself.  I don’t know if they are humouring me, but they assure me that my valuable insights should be the exclusive preserve of a privileged few at the palace, so to speak.  They do not understand that kings tend to be generous, and I am no exception.  Besides which, between you and me, they don’t appreciate that England isn't the only place in the world. Since my enlightening encounter with the Sniffapalooza group in Paris, I have been impressed by new ways of doing things.  My colleagues in the New World have an open and straight talking approach, such a refreshing change from English reserve.

So what do I see when I gaze into my crystal ball? I see the number 69. What does it mean?
It means 69 Rue des Archives, the address of an avant–garde perfumery company called Etat Libre d’Orange  (ELO). Their headquarters, if you happen to be in Paris, is well worth a visit, though finding the place will test your determination. They hang out in an artsy, hippy district called le Marais, where luxury rubs shoulders with dilapidation, where the pavements are unpredictable and you have to dodge the occasional bucket of water descending from above (at least, I hope it was water).

Number 69 turned out to be a smart, imposing establishment perched on a corner. At first I didn't realize the significance of the number, having led a somewhat sheltered life. In fact, it sums up the whole philosophy of the company. The perfumes have names like “Secretions Magnifiques” (Magnificent Secretions), and “Don’t Get Me Wrong, Baby, I Don’t Swallow.” Quite a mouthful, that last one, but it wasn't the length of the name that unsettled me.  Shampoos like “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” set a precedent for the occasional success of unwieldy brand names, and were quite amusing. No, it was the lewd connotation that I couldn’t stomach at first.

Most perfumes are purchased as gifts, but who would like to receive “Putain des Palaces” (roughly translated as Hotel Slut)?  Mrs King would not approve, I fear.  Maybe if I was the Sultan of Arabia, I could buy a caseload for my harem. But the King of England is respectable, and so are most of his subjects.  And so as I understand it are the inhabitants of the USA, that epitome of an upright and godfearing nation.  With names like these and even ruder logos to match, the Etat Libre d’Orange was on to a loser, was my immediate reaction. It was a complete lemon and a non-starter.

Such were my thoughts until I smelled the fragrances, then everything changed. All the qualities I expected to hit my nostrils, crudeness and vulgarity, were nowhere to be found. All the qualities I hoped to find in Paris, those of elegance and good taste, shone forth. Here at last were perfumes of real beauty and elegance, refined and discreet, but above all highly original.

Such is the power of smell that my entire viewpoint shifted. Suddenly I saw the names in a
different light – lighthearted, daring, playful.  And I saw the same transformation in my
American companions as soon as they began sniffing: doubt and scepticism replaced by
wonderment and the sudden appearance of wallets to snap up as many of these lovely creations as possible. 

Reviewers and internet critics have generally heaped praise on ELO’s efforts.  Pride of place is reserved for – wait for it - Putain des Palaces.  The infamous hotel slut gets top marks on Bois de Jasmin, where Victoria writes “the only thing worth judging a perfume on is its scent, and this is possibly the best of them all. Every nuance conveys an image of softness and subtle elegance, tempting but never losing restraint…  Hardly a vision of a raunchy brothel, more like a dream of someone beautiful and alluring, a femme fatale”.

Personally, my own juices were turned on by Magnificent Secretions. Here I was delighted to recognize of one of my favorite ingredients, Givaudan’s vernaldehyde, but done in a way I had never been able to achieve, to give the scent a fresh cachet of mountain air (vern=mountain).  A world away from bodily secretions, but magnificent. All credit to the talents of the charming young perfumers we had earlier met at Givaudan’s impressive new creative centre near the Champs Elysses.  And all thanks to Etienne de Swardt, the man behind ELO, for giving these creative artists the freedom to explore their own ideas.  Bold use of a single ingredient has a venerable history – one thinks of Chanel No 5 which put aldehyde C12 centre stage, or Roudnitska’s lavish use of hedione in Eau Sauvage. 

Courage, to strike out new territory, to boldly go where no-one has gone before, is what this company is all about. Irreverence, fun, cheerful humor, but allied to high quality. Tune into their website to get a flavor, but mind you don’t twist your neck – their motto is emblazoned on a rotating wheel, which threatens to hypnotize you.  It reads “Le Parfum est Mort, Vive le Parfum.” An allusion, I believe, to “The king is dead. Long live the king.” Ah, so that’s why I like this brand. It’s all about me!

Seriously, what is my conclusion?  No question about it, this one’s a winner, the future is orange. Contrary to what I first thought, the mild shock tactics do not hide mediocre merchandise, as with FCUK.  These perfumes are exceptional. Mark my words, a rosy future lies ahead for the Orange Free State, or my name’s not the King of England.  I am betting a pound to a penny, as we say over here, on their success.  I shall certainly be dipping into the royal coffers to place another order, but for anyone with sufficient nerve and a bit of spare cash, this may well be an investment opportunity worth thinking about.

Well, that’s my tip. All I ask, as you languish on your south sea island sipping champagne and counting your good fortune, is that you remember one thing.  You heard it first from John King.

Dr. John King ,a psychiatrist in real life, (better known on the internet as the "King_of_England" is a perfume enthusiast from the UK.  A longstanding associate member of the British Society of Perfumers, he has recently discovered Sniffapalooza and hopes to contribute more to the magazine in the future.