Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone

The big day of gift-giving in Germany is the 24th. I gave perfume (Rousse for the wife , Divine L'Homme Coeur for dad-in-law, a pack of care products from The Refinery for "junior") and received... whisky (gotta work on my reputation). Yesterday I wore Sharif by La Via del Profumo, low key radiance and a tribute to the Magi, today I stayed clean, as I was busy in the kitchen all day with chestnut soup, Turkey and hazelnut praliné semifreddo; extensive cooking orgies and perfume just don't mix. For the relaxing part of the evening it's going to be Aveda Chakra 7 Balancing Body Mist, not just meant to represent wisdom and joy of life, but also a very Christmassy scent built around olibanum, angelica root and elemi gum. It is strongly resinous-green, quite enlivening and archaic, lacks any kind of modern perfumist structure and fades within a few hours, as a body mist would be expected to do, but it works for me, particularly on this day. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ceci n'est pas santal - Santal Majuscule by Serge Lutens

I was griping about the disappearance of Mysore sandalwood six months ago - how fitting, that Serge Lutens would now release a perfume ironically title Santal Majuscule - ironically, because there's no CAPITAL LETTER sandalwood here. In fact, it's hard to make out any at all. Smelled blindly I would have taken this to be Amouage Jubilation XXV, or maybe Paestum Rose by Eau d'Italie, two perfumes (by Bertrand Duchaufour) I briefly owned. I sold them, because I found the gourmandy rose just a bit too much, both in terms of the actual smell and its ubiquity - that sugary floral accord has been all over the place in the last couple of years, it seems (I also perceive it in Cannabis Rose). So this is a spicy woody floral, but the wood is just another conventional accord dominated by the soft textures of cashmeran, iso-e-super and the likes. There is nothing here close to an actual Mysore sandsalwood note.  "Santal" "Majuscule" smells nice enough, though its confectionary intensity is not my cup of tea at all subjectively, but it's aesthetically redundant and misleadingly named - making Uncle Serge's schoolboy reminiscences a bit beside the point. Wasn't it nice, when a perfume named Rousse matched a redhead (like my wife) perfectly and Arabie actually smelled of 1001 nights. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ring out, solstice bells

What better time to revive state of the [car]nation than around the winter solstice, when the days begin to wax again. I shall be waxing poetic again myself, now that I'm on Christmas break, on this and that, but for now, let me please advertise Anya McCoy's lovely winter solstice project which includes lovely prizes every day and reflections on solstice rituals across the world:

A New Tradition: Anya's Annual Winter Solstice Giveaway Event
Anya is starting a new annual tradition on her blog. She has long been fascinated with this time of year, when, as a child, she noticed the cold, dark days of wintertime Philadelphia were made tolerable by the festive lights of Hanukkah and Christmas. In her neighborhood, Christmas lights were kept lit in windows until New Years Eve, brightening the dark streets and making the cold more tolerable.
This year, Anya is inaugurating a Winter Solstice Event on her new blog, hosted on her own website. The former blog site didn't allow her to see the email addresses of people who left comments, and some giveaway prizes went unclaimed when the winners couldn't be notified. Now, everyone will be notified immediately after their name is randomly chosen.
The celebration of lights will begin on the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21st, and continue through the lengthening days with a giveaway every day. Anya will also write about personal, perfumery, mystical and practical events that have shaped her in her art and life. It will be a lovely journey that she hopes to share with you, and with the giveaway gifts, pay it forward to the community of customers and natural perfume lovers who have helped build her businesses.
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