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More Perfumes for 2008

Fragrances, Perfumes Suggestions
My Best in Scent for 2008 (Plus Some Best Scents for Men)

The best in Vintage Perfumes plus the new crop!

 
 
 
It’s been a very busy year in fragrance. It’s not that there are so many new perfumes out there (but of course, there always are) ; it's rather, it’s that there are simply so many outstanding perfumes already on the market but either undiscovered or unappreciated. As the world discovers how gorgeous scent can be (it can be subtle you know – for you scent haters or allergy kids and aromatherapy back-lash sorts), the offerings just increase like a fertility bouquet. I’ve been strolling through new scents, magical scents, and some heavy duty classics. I’ve also rounded up my best for the guys. There are also some beloved scents of yesteryear that I happily rediscovered. Boomer babes, are you listenin’? When was the last time you heard about Memoire Cherie, Oh De London, Love’s Baby Soft. Ma Griffe, Blue Grass, and sunny, fresh Jean Nate? Come on in, it’s cold outside! The fragrance of the holidays starts with inhaling the joy of scent. Welcome to Scent of a Baker 2008.

Don't forget to check out my feature and recipes on Lavender, at www.Basesnotes.net, where I am the contributing Home Fragrance columnist or my new perfume, Wheat Siren (to order, go to the BetterBaking.com main page). Wheat Siren is a vanilla laced potion of orange blossom, honey and jasmine. It starts sweet and warm and settles into a soft floral that is subtle but unique and feminine. I created it with a nod to us baker girls and Demeter, the goddess of grain. This perfume is in collaboration with www.LovePotionPerfume.com whose scents I often profile.




 I also take this occasion to suggest that whereas many of you wear one perfume forever(!) – it’s time to venture out, scent-wise.  As the economy flounders, make-up and perfume sales go up – because nothing is so uplifting. Scent alters your mood and your own persona. It beckons and beguiles but lifts your spirits in such a way that you actually move to a higher plane of thinking – from how you look and feel to what new life moves are possible. That is how powerful perfume is. And just as you have many moods and personas, no one perfume is ‘it’ for any of us. So please, please, please – don’t let go of your favorites (Youth Dew, Angel, Joy, or Tresoire) but do explore the incredible world of scent out there. The world of scent has never, ever been as rich and varied with possibilities. 

Yes, you can mix and match scents. No, it doesn’t cost the earth to find some great new scents and yes, you are more than your old perfume. We all change – so should our perfumes reflect our evolution. At the least, it attracts new attention (or old attention in a new way) and makes even you, the wearer, see yourself and the world around you in a new way. Don’t get stuck. Perfume is not like lip gloss or deodorant (i.e. something you put on without thinking); it is primordial; it’s a signature. If you dislike heavy perfume, try oil based ones that waft less. If you are not a girlie girl, then look for fresh scents (especially Jo Malone). But perfume is something that is so special that to choose the same old over and over again is like baking the same recipe Tollhouse Cookies each day. And we all know how we keep tweaking that recipe!  

For the men in your life who have not a clue (and apologies to those that do) about scent, I’ve included some stellar scents – colognes that make them smell manly, unique, understated but offer a sense of innate, male pride. 

To order some of these scents,
Frangrance Net is one of the most reputable fragrance suppliers online for both the U.S. and Canada, with broad offerings and weekly promotions. www.FrangranceNet.com



Memory Lane Perfumes
Vintage is In – 60-70’s Perfumes are Hot!
Oh De London, Memoire Cherie, Jean Nate, Heaven Scent and more....



What makes you feel more happy or nostalgic than smelling a scent that made your world spin when you were 16 or 20? Innocent scents (or even bad scents, innocently chosen) that were not just part of your toilette as a girlie girl, but also a way of stepping out – differentiating yourself from your mom’s perfumes (Femme, White Shoulders, Diorissimo, and Chanel) but they also represent an era of you. Nothing, save banana bread baking, takes you back so fast, so poignantly and happily as experiencing some of those scents again. Hard to track (most of them) but bless Ebay and out-of-stock perfume specialists, these perfumes are a trip to yesterday. But remarkably, some of them are absolutely amazing – decades later. Strap on a pair of cyber Mary Janes or your Fry cowboy boots and a Laura Ashley dress (or Belle France frock if you still have one) and revisit some favorite scents.

 

It’s back! Oh De London, now available by Tuvache www.irmashorell.net
and it’s a deal. You can also find vintage bottles on Ebay. But do take care! Those bottles go for a king’s ransom and being 30-40 years old, it’s impossible to know if they are at all fresh or usable.
 
 
I’m dating myself but I recall a time when Oh De London was what you doused yourself with before a date. Yardley of London, famed for lavender soap and spray, launched Oh De London in a turquoise, white, striped bottle.Oh! de London® perfume is now produced by Tuvache who describes it as a bright, sparkling and lively fragrance that was originally introduced circa 1962. Perfumers categorize this as a Floral Oriental. Today’s, (as the original had )Oh! de London Perfume has top notes of bergamot, Russian sage and Roman chamomile. Middle notes of Chinese geranium, clove bud, rose petal, violet, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang and heliotrope. It features dry down notes of East Indian sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla, oakmoss and vetiver. "Oh! de London perfume is bright, sparkling and lively over a mellow and creamy base with floralcy woven throughout. A wonderful, feminine scent character with a terrific signature, complex in accord." Says Jeffrey Dame, of Irma Shorell, Inc. who now owns the Oh! de London trademark for perfume and other fragrance products. Tuvache specializes in out of stock perfumes or Lost Perfumes. Some seem to be original mini samples and some are recreations based on formulas of old. I found their U.S. site unresponsive for general information but ordering the perfume was fine. But their Canadian order service and general information number was amazingly efficient. (I got my order a day later). Visit the site www.irmashore.net or call 1-800-226-6652.  I have to tell you when I sprayed on the Oh de London, I could not quite remember the scent but a deeper memory base must have because it brought an instant sweet and sentimental tear. On its own, memories aside, this is one of the most unique perfumes I ever experienced. Worth every penny just to see the bottle on your dresser top but it is also pretty special.


Remember Memoire Cherie?


I also bought a tiny bottle of Memoire Cherie, an angelic perfume from Elizabeth Arden. Memoire Cherie, according to IrmaShore fragrance spokesman and owner Jeffrey Dame begins with a classically constructed 50's woody-floral accord, tightly wrapped together; dense and waiting for air. After a moment of hesitation, Memoire Cherie escapes and descends into a rich and wonderful oriental accord; creamy, nutty and sensual beyond belief. It is as if the perfume walked out of the room and came back in a new outfit. This wonderful warm amber musk tone has a gentle floralcy which dances around the base and carries on for hours and hours. At the end, the oriental base settles down below the floralcy and Memoire Cherie walks quietly into the night. I had a friend who bathed in Memoire Cherie when she was 15. I associated that scent with her but when I recently smelled it again, I realized – wow – this is one amazing perfume no matter who wears it.

 There’s also Sortilege, with top notes of bergamot, peach lactone, and orange blossom, followed by middle notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, violet, orris, lilac. It resolves with a dry down of musk, oakmoss, vetivert, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka, opoponax, styrax, balsamic ambers. Gorgeous- fresh but not acidic, feminine, floral and sophisticated and pretty well ageless. Remember My Sin? My Sin perfume has top notes of bergamot, heliotrope, neroli, clary sage, lemon, aldehydic accord and carnation with middle notes of ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, violet, iris, orris, clove, rose and jasmine and a sweet, mellow base of musk, vanilla, cedarwood, tolu, styrax, vetiver and sandalwood. IrmaShore writes of My Sin, this is ‘a soft and very feminine perfume, with sophisticated and classical powdery-woody notes. A bright nutty-warm floral entry blooms into a gorgeous floral accord, settling down to a wonderful creamy-powdery base with a woody sensual allure. Broad, rich, expensive and expansive. Very much an uptown perfume for special occasions. Classic, sensuous and complex beauty." Who can forget Crepe de Chine, with top notes of nerolie, Italian bergamot, Egyptian basil, oil of Peru and fresh aldehydes, middle notes of gardenia, ylang ylang, carnation, lilac, otto of rose, Romanian chamimille and Egyptian jasmine and a dry down notes of sandalwood, East Indian musk, oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver, benzoin and Indonesian patchouli.

I tried to get hold of Ma Griffe (on Ebay and some perfume sites) for those of you who remember this powerful green and wood based scent. It is still around and there is also Fleurs de Rocaille, made famous in Scent of a Woman. Caron is the esteemed perfume company that makes Fleurs de Rocaille but do make sure you get the original formula and not the new one. The new Fleurs de Rocaille is nothing like the original whereas the original is gorgeous, French and perfect for day or night. It is lilac, rose, violet, iris, jasmine and lily of the valley. The whole effect is like wearing wildflowers after a spring rain. 
Those are but a few of the Lost Perfumes on the IrmaShore site. There are tons more you have forgotten bu ta brief browse on their site bring back amazing memories.

Tried and True Elizabeth Arden's Blue Grass


 
 
Memoire Cherie was originally created by Elizabeth Arden who still makes my beloved Blue Grass. In my perfume evolution, I had shelved Blue Grass as an old lady perfume but it is now so retro, it’s hot again. It is a stunning bouquet of jasmine, lily, rose, lavender, geranium, orange blossom, followed by heart notes of vetiver, clove, laurel, and fresh but woody base notes of Virginia cedar, sandalwood and classic mush. Blue Grass is still widely available. It is feminine and airy but soft as a breeze. When you wear it, you float into a room and imply your presence (versus insinuate). I also wear Arden’s Green Tea, mixed with Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose and Kiehl’s pure vanilla oil. It makes you smell like strawberries in a dewy forest.
 
 
 
 
 
Introduced in 1935, by Revlon (and still by Revlon), Jean Nate was a spritzer cum perfume. It was so fresh and inviting you could splash it on all summer long and not feel you overdid it. It is still a gorgeous, sunny scent and a steal of a price. As the Revlon copy reads:Refresh, renew and revitalize your senses. The light citrus scent you love--all over. Clean Nate. Clean never felt so fresh! Go one step beyond any clean you've ever known with Jean Nate. The light clean scent refreshes your senses all day long. The scent is actually citrusy on top but soon gives way to florals and a touch of spice – or so they say. I don’t smell any spice. I get citrus, florals, lavender, rose in a mix that no one else does as well or attempts that often. The result is a sunny scent that doesn’t fly away, it warms as you wear it and settles into a wonderful day-time scent that is now as unique as it was once ubiquitous.




Love’s Baby Soft - Timeless Innocence. Lovely at 16, still the one, decades later......
 
Oh baby is right! How did we live so long without taking Love’s Baby Soft with us? Why or why did we think it was for teenagers only? This is powdery but in the best of ways – it is jasmine and rose, wood and ‘animals scents’ (musk, I gather) but actually, in the end, it is pure innocence – and yet smart enough to be a femme fatale signature scent, decades later. I would bet this makes anyone irresistible. I tried it again (and now it also comes in Love’s Musk, Love’s Vanilla Pop and others) and fell in love all over. It is a deal and widely available (although it is just as often sold out) but I bought mine at www.FragranceNet.net.
 



Heaven Sent Perfume by Dana, was launched by the Design House of Dana In 1936, Heaven Sent Is classified as a refined, spicy, lavender, and amber fragrance. It also offers a blend of floral apple blossom (vs. sweet and fruity), mandarin, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, patchouli, musk, oakmoss and sandalwood. These days you can also get Heaven Sent Vanilla which is predictably a bit sweeter. I am not wild for this scent anymore but I have to say, one whiff brought back so many memories of first dates, staying out too late with high school exams the next day and drugstore wanderings, where you aimlessly tried on lip glosses for an hour (who had an hour?). I have Heaven Sent around just to remind me of ...me when I knew me when. Of course, if you don't like Heaven Sent, there is Chantilly Lace, its sister scent by Dana.
 
Don’t forget to cross reference perfumes to either purchase or read more about their fragrance roots by checking out perfume blogs (Basenotes.net who I write for is excellent, and NowSmellThis is another terrific perfume blog or check with me, via Scent of a Baker, on www.betterBaking.com).

www.FragranceNet.net is a reliable place to order from (if they have what you want) and Ebay as a back-up. If you know the vendor and trust them, the perfume is fresh, sealed, and the mailing costs are not too much, it is an option. But more often than not, I prefer bonafide perfume suppliers such as www.Fragrance.net
. They are responsive, quick and prices are super as are their specials and discounts.
 
 
New or Newly Classic and Some Classics

www.KaiFragrance.Com

 

Kai is a fragrance created by Gaye Straza Rappaport, who wanted to capture the aroma of her vacations in Hawaii. She made it for herself and pretty soon, everyone started asking what it was and could they have some. Kai has something of a cult following and is the darling among celebrities. The notes are gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and lily. Kai is a simple, innately wearable scent. It starts with incisive green notes and gardenia which fades and softens into gentler, floral notes. It reminds me of an exotic breeze that blows into your window on a tropical vacation. Just wearing it makes you feel happy. The Kai Butter and Body Lotions are like silk. Packaging is outstanding. It is a very clean, fresh scent that would work in a few seasons, and is something you could wear to work and into evening. Few people manage to make gardenia lush and light at the same time but Kai does.

 www.Terrimichelefragrances.com

Shenandoah

Shenandoah by Terri Michael is a green and white experience of fresh sweetness that is captured with white lily, bergamot, sandalwood, and lotus flower. It is airy, feminine, and dreamy  - probably one of the most romantic of new fragrances. It has a sense of frontier petticoats about it – a touch soapy and therefore terrific for those who like clean and fresh, or as a daily perfume. I would also combine it with rose oil. The packaging is beautiful, the company is green dedicated and




By Kilian

Luxury niche fragrance line established in 2007 by Kilian Hennessy, grandson of the founder of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. The initial offerings included six scents under the name The Black Masterpiece: two for women (Love and Beyond Love), two for men (A Taste of Heaven and Straight to Heaven) and two unisex scents, (Liaisons Dangereuses and Cruel Intentions). Recent releases include Prelude to Love (2008). These are lavish yet restrained scents, wholly comprises of essential essences, all artfully layered so that the many dimensions fuse into one mysterious experience. Online you can order via the Kilian website or you can find Kilian at Bergdorf Goodman, Goodman, Aaedes, Aapothia, Luckyscent; in London at Harvey Nichols; in Paris at Printemps Haussman. Remarkably, Kilian features the entire formula of each perfume on their site. It is a bold statement. This flies in the face of traditional perfume spy games but I can't see anyone imitating these perfumes. They are so unique, branded and so....Kilian, who would dare?  But the formulae also shows off the incredible nuance, invention, and attention to detail and fine interplay of essential oils (versus fragrance oil perfumes or those that mix both essentials and fragrance oils, which are man-made). Kilian perfumes are sultry and heady but still understated. No one will know what you are wearing and no one will miss the statement you make. Love is about my favorite - few perfumers do a vanilla oriented perfume quite as well, unless it is Serge Lutins Vanille de Bois but Kilian's Love is sublime. Interestingly, Kilian's perfumes are all done up in black velvet with tassels, evoking history, romance, poshness, money and status. But it is still, for all the history (earned and real) and hype (earned and honed) unbelievable and enviable potion making. There is also a collaboration with the great grand-daughter of Matisse, with Sophie Matisse sharing her art and design in some special edition, hand painted By Kilian perfume bottles.


www.Guerlain.com
 


Most of us know Guerlain for Shalimar and it is masterful but Mitsouku and Chamade are about the best fragrances in the world and both are so different. Mitsouku is mysterious, feminine, understated, slightly woody, warm and quietly floral.  Mitsouko dates to 1919 and is classified as a fruity chypre; its list of notes of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, neroli, peach, rose, clove, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, benzoin, vetiver, and cinnamon. But nothing prepares you for the complexity of this slightly smoky scent, redolent of spice, velvet, peaches and a beautiful baroque Oriental melody line. It might not even be your taste or the sort of scent anyone would usually choose but it is almost beyond perfume – it is a miniscule symphony, encapsulated in a few molecules that birth into yet new life on the skin of the wearer. 

By contrast, Chamade is romance, longing, and the quintessential feminine soul in a perfume.  Few perfumes are as romantic or express such longing (Chamade actually means drum beat as in the drum beat of the heart). I would pit Chamade against Joy and Chanel #5 anyday -it is lilac, lily of the valley, greens and more floral - and it has staying power (in a nice way) like no other perfume I've ever worn. 

I would get Mitsouku or Chamade or both before they stop making these sorts of magic altogether. Mitsouku is probably (due in part to the rapturous reviews it got in Luca Turin's book on scent) safer but Chamade, because it is neither Mitsouku nor Shalimor is an endangered species. But both perfumes
are totally, unequivocally stunning. 

Guerlain is one of the last of the great perfume companies, aside from Chanel, Dior and Caron (even Jean Patou is now, I believe, part of Proctor and Gamble). New perfume companies and entrepreneurs are ever on the rise (especially nowadays as 'noses' are hired for special concept perfumes) but Guerlain is an empire like no other and these two perfumes, Mitsouku and Chamade, among other superb ones in the Guerlain line, show why. Another lesser known best secret is that Guerlain makes the finest lipsticks around as well as a whole new line of treatment products. Check the Guerlain site for the full offerings.



http://www.acquadiparma.com/



Acqui di Parma makes very few scents for women - ok, two. But what scents! Iris Nobile is an instant hall of famer. First of all, no one does Iris as well. Not that iris even has a real scent but perfumers have always tried to capture it or their concept of it. Acqua di Parma is masterful at it. This is a light floral that is very 'omigod, what ARE you wearing"? seduction. It is feminine, but not cloying and fresh without being cool or breezy - more of an evening bouquet. Always available in eau de cologne, this year, they launched a special edition of Eau de Parfum. Sometimes this means a more expensive version of a longer lasting scent -in the scent you already know and love. In this case, it is Iris Nobile but a bit different and yes, more enduring. How to choose? Buy both! You will never tire of this scent. Despite the many fragrances I wear, this remains a romance that doesn't quit. 

www.BlackPhoenixAlchemyLab.Com

 
 
 
www.BlackPhoenixAlchemyLab.com
Black Phoenix (in their own words), specializes in formulating body and household blends with a dark, romantic Gothic tone. Their scents run the aesthetic gamut of magical, pagan and mythological blends, Renaissance, Medieval and Victorian formulas, and horror / Gothic-themed scents. By utilizing their knowledge of homeopathy and aromatherapy, they have mastered the art of encapsulating allegorical ideas into singular olfactory experiences. You could pour over this site for days, getting lost down the proverbial rabbit hole of text and illusions. There is a darkness about Black Phoenix but somehow a friendly one; it is somehow inviting and mythic versus scary dark, largely in part because of the tales of courage and inspiring legends, and the ever so slight sense of humor and lightness that pervades the site. The perfumes themselves are complex, romantic, and each one is a story in itself. Wolf’s Heart, Dorian, Snake Oil, Bewithed, Veil, Wank, Ephemera, Leanan Sidhe are just some of the offerings. Consider these descriptions:AEVAL - A raven-haired Fairy Queen of Ireland. One of her eternal duties dictates that she must hold a midnight court every season and hear the pleas of married Irishwomen. The court serves only to determine whether or not husbands are adequately serving their wife’s sexual needs. A judicious yet powerfully sensual blend, a mingling of justice and sexuality: sage, sweet pea, bold pale musk and warm tonka. Or BEWITCHED: Deep, luscious green and berry scents that evoke images of woodland witchcraft and the raw power of nature: blackberry, sage, green tea, wild berries and dark musk. Some perfumes feature an entire story; others just capture a mood. Each one becomes a signature scent.
 




This perfume house, the founder and perfumer of which is Ineke Ruhland, is based in San Francisco. Young Ineke is inspired by gold this time and she created this perfume with a touch and scent, which are associated with this optimistic colour. The perfume Evening Edged in Gold opens with fragrancy, light notes of plum and golden osmanthus. The heart of the fragrance introduces a tide of Angel's trumpet, with a hint of saffron and cinnamon, while the base notes introduce intoxicating night flower named Midnight Candy (zaluzianskya capensis), with accords of dark wood and leather. Like the other fine Ineke perfumes, Evening Edged in Gold comes in an extraordinary box and design but wafts glamour and elegance from the top note down to the dry down.

 

www.Ayalamoriel.com


Ayala Moriel Parfums is an artisan perfume house dedicated to the art of natural perfumery. Designer Ayala Moriel creates and handcraft ednatural perfumes from pure and precious botanical essences. The company also hosts SmellyBlog, supports all things green and free trade. Moriel's fragrances are incredibly thoughtul, multi-dimensional experiences but not one among them, which is a coup for all-natural perfumery, is harsh or medicinal. Moriel's line favors woods and forest based fragrances but there are some warm, spice scents in the line. Magical, mysterious names like Song of Songs, White Poison, Sabeh, Gaucho, Moon Breath are just some - (I think the only complaint is that there are too many to choose from). Like famed perfumer Mandy Aftel, who is largely to praise for pushing all-natural perfumes to a more mainstream level, Moriele also takes great time with clients to find their true tastes and offers perfume courses. Montreal born and now based in Vancouver, Canadian perfume entrepreneur Ayala Moriel is a star on the rise. Again, like some of the modern perfumers, some of the scents are equally good on men as women and scents are decidely edgy and complicated versus 'American celebrity floral'. There is also her blog to check out http://ayalasmellyblog.blogspot.com/


www.JoMalone.Com


If you like fresh and crisp, then almost of Jo Malone's line will suit. This is the mix and match line of crisp fruits, woods and florals. But for my mind, the best has to be Orange Blossom mixed with French Lime Blossom or just the Orange Blossom

 
Last but not least, Chanel launched Eau Premier, a softened version of Chanel #5. It might be softened but to my sensibilities, this is a whole new perfume and a winner.


My Favorite Recommendatins for Men's Scents

Men's fragrances can smell 'all the same' far more so than women's scents. But there are some that defy style and are classics. These are superb for men, of any age. They are subtle, manly, quietly stylish. Nothing too sporty or fobbish or reeking oakmoss and vertivier.

Dior's Eau Savage
 
  
Dior's Homme




Guerlain's Habit Rouge


The thing to remember, btw, about men's scents called Homme, is that many of them exist. Yves St. Laurent has one, as does Guerlain and Chanel. But Dior's Homme is one of the finest, whether you are a 20-something computer geek or 60-something vintage leather crafter. It is beyond the pack. Other contenders include Guerlain's Homme, Ed Hardy for Men, and Georgio Armani's Aqua di Gio.

www.loccitane.ca
www.loccitane.com
Orange Cinnamon Incense and Winter Forest Incense 

 

No one does certain things as well as L'Occitane. Like Lavender Shea butter hand cream, soaps and their incredible incense. They have about the best lavender incense in the world bu tteir seasonal Orange Cinnamon and Winter Forest have the power to totally transport you somewhere else. Each is fresh, natural, and clean burning but smells: divine. You get 40 sticks in a nifty pewter looking tube, making it a great gift or a gift to yourself. Check out their other scents and their newest in orange-scented lotions. 








 


 


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