Zelda by Shelley Waddington for EnVoyage Perfumes 2013


Post by Jordan River


Her name was Zelda,

She was a showgirl,
But that was 60 years ago when she used to have show…

Well now she has a perfume!

It’s a neo-oriental (what?) for woman (what?) featuring a chorus line of notes who have learnt their choreography to Broadway standards.

Zelda by Shelley Waddington for EnVoyage Perfumes 2013


Top: Iranian Galbanum, Spiced Italian Bergamot, Spices
Heart: Creamy Magnolia Blossom, Garden Florals
Drydown: Cedarwood, Balsams, Mousse de Chêne, Sandalwood, Smoky Amber, Vanilla, Vintage Musks, Vetiver

I opened the bottle at the same time as I sipped on a cup of tea. My senses went awhirling and I thought I had discovered an exotic tea. I was awondering just how those leaves had found their way into the teapot. Not that Zelda smells like a tea note; that was just a trick of my taste and smell sensors. A dab and a spritz and my tea returned to English Breakfast while I was enveloped in warmth from this beautiful beautiful perfume.

The addition of spice to bergamot for the opening gave Zelda the warmth I was feeling. Persian Galbanum adds the green of spring at this stage. Let’s call that youth.


The show stopper is magnolia which breaks through a powdery cloud (the cloud is like very very expensive talc), taking the stage with big effects and affectations for about 3 hours with The Big Magnolia Show. Really it swirls around magnificently then retreats to the wings and retires while the smoke machine puffs amber, vanilla, balsams and Mousse de Chêne across the audience. The stage backdrop of trees is very choreographed; slow dancing real sandalwood trees surrounding a towering cedar with a stage floor of jazz-tapping vetiver grass.

I kept waiting for the magnolia to return but even a standing ovation (applause, applause applause, she lived for the applause) did not bring a bow. Zelda left the world’s stage at 48 years young. Let’s call that gone. Reapplication is the answer here if you want to smell the Magnolia Diva herself after 3 hours. The drydown will keep you entertained though to the 5 hour mark. A long enough show and like all good shows left me wanting more.

Now; for women? Nonsense. I am so rocking this floral. Neo-Oriental; yes it is an Oriental and yes it has just been released but it smells like vintage to me.

If this Art Deco perfume bottle could speak you would hear Zelda’s voice saying:

I give a damned good show.
– Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald. Photo Enchantment: Tarleisio

This 2013 ‘show’ has won an award: The 2013 Top Artisan Fragrance Salon Award; Silver in The Most Seductive Scent category.

Showgirl History
Before the days of Portia Turbo there was Zelda Fitzgerald, the first American flapper who pounded the boards in the 1920’s. As The Alembicated Genie tells it, Zelda was a woman…

too passionate not to burn so bright, too talented to ever go unnoticed, a free spirit too uninhibited not to thumb her nose at convention, only to be done in by the very conformity her fiery heart raged against.
– Tarleisio
– The Alembicated Genie

Shelley was inspired and elated; voilà Zelda!


EnVoyage has $US75/17ml in an Art Deco bottle

Further Reading
Scents of Self – Arielle’s experience
The Alembicated Genie – Liquid Filigree
Another Perfume Blog – sunny and dusky

The book mentions “white flowers perfuming midnight”, “sweet-smelling blossoms…and night-blooming vines

Zelda’s book mentions “white flowers perfuming midnight”, “sweet-smelling blossoms…and night-blooming vines”

There is a brightness and bloom over things; she inspects life proudly, as if she walked in a garden forced by herself to grow in the least hospitable of soils. She is already contemptuous of ordered planting, believing in the possibility of a wizard cultivator to bring forth sweet-smelling blossoms from the hardest of rocks, and night-blooming vines from barren wastes, to plant the breath of twilight and to shop with marigolds.
– Save Me the Waltz
– Zelda Fitzgerald

Jordan River XX


Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013


Guest Post by Jordan River



The fragrance world lost a cherished luminary in 2013. Perfumer and fragrance visionary Sandrine Videault passed away on July 3rd last year. Today we remember not only her amazing fragrances, but her touching, inspiring words.


Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Sandrine Videault for Grandiflora 2013

Sandrine studied perfumery under Edmond Roudnitska. Her final perfume is Magnolia Grandiflora, which she worked on with floral artisan Saskia Havekes. This extraordinary fragrance has been highly anticipated by the fragrance community and was launched this month on Lucky Scent.

Magnolia Grandiflora Bottle Hero

Magnolia Grandiflora
Perfumer: Sandrine Videault
Release Date: August 2013
Classification: Soliflore
EDP 100ml
Recommended Retail Price: $185 AUD / $168 EUR
Pre-orders: fragrance@grandiflora.net

Top citrus, grapefruit, pepper
Heart dry woods, fresh garden accord,
Drydown marine, musk

Grandiflora Arrangements cover


Many flowers today are bred to be beautiful but not necessarily fragrant. Saskia has sources for particularly fragrant flowers which she artfully combines with beautifully bred ones for a scented atmosphere with visual delights. Photographing nature is also a passion. Grandiflora is the name of Saskia’s atelier in Potts Point.

Saskia outside Grandiflora, her atelier in Potts Point, Sydney.

The story of this fragrance begins millions of years ago, before humans or many other creatures we know today existed. The ancient genus Magnolia appeared before bees did, and pollination occurred thanks to the help of beetles. The tree adapted to the strength of its hardworking pollinators, resulting in the longevity of this beautiful, fragrant tree.

The magnolia is a true sight to behold – tall trees mantled with startling blossoms come to life in the springtime, shrouding surrounding areas in a fragrance known to this earth for more than 20 million years. The magnolia’s timber is heavy and robust, and the flower has continued to bloom and burst with lush fragrance across the ages, yet the flowers fade so fast. To hold magnolia’s fragrance is a kind of magical blessing.

Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine Magnolia WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Many of us will remember Sandrine through the tropical intensity of Manoumalia. In the Pacific tourists are often charmed by the scent of the local manoi oils which are used for tanning, moisturising skin and hair as well as for bath and massage oil. Manoi oil is coconut oil usually blended with the Tahitian gardenia known as Tiare but also with frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla, in an enfleurage type process. Coconut oil is the carrier fat for the scent. Unfortunately when these oils leave the tropics the scent changes to ‘off’ or more precisely, indolic at the unpleasant end of the spectrum. The amazingness of Manoumalia is how Sandrine captured the heady lush scent of The Perfume Tree (Fragrea), Tiare, Ylang Ylang, Amber, Vetiver and Sandalwood within a perfume that could then be enjoyed anywhere in the world like an instant tropical holiday. Truly an expression of the art of perfumery.

Her other notable works – Ambre Indien by Esteban, Violeta by Les Néréides, and the recreation of the ancient Egyptian Kyphi live on in the hearts and minds of those of us grieving her passing.

Sandrine lived in New Caledonia and loved working in her creative laboratory in Noumea. In an interview with Perfumes, Trends and Inspirations, she said:

“Avoir son lieu de création près de Dame Nature est un cadeau”
(“Having a place of creation near Mother Nature is a gift”)

In an interview with Perfume Shrine, she said living in New Caledonia connected her with her roots.

“I feel more beaming or blooming and I am more serene. If something is wrong inside of you then you won’t create with harmony. You can not cheat with perfume authoring. States of mind come to light in perfume authoring. Bad moods are forbidden. Moreover, New Caledonia with its nature and ethnic groups is a mine of inspiration for me.”

Sandrine was both a perfume visionary and a woman wise beyond her years. She will be remembered for the scents she created and the words she left behind. May we now cherish the gifts she has left behind, and learn from the lessons she sought to teach.

“The most important lesson…..that we know nothing! So many things left to learn, to discover, to live.”

© AFP Photo/Marc Le Chelard

© AFP Photo/Marc Le Chelard

Farewell Sandrine, you will be missed.

Further Reading
Grain de Musc – Manoumalia
Perfume Shrine – Manoumalia
Perfume Shrine – Interview with Sandrine
The Fragrant Man – Magnolia Grandiflora

In Memory of Sandrine Videault
Grain de Musc
Olfactoria’s Travels
Perfume Shrine – poetry
The Scented Salamander

Grain de Musc – Two Magnolias will blossom in January 2014 at Grandiflora

The Art and Olfaction Awards


Post by Jordan River


Ed: This is a post going out across three blogs today: Olfactoria’s Travels, The Fragrant Man and Australian Perfume Junkies. Special thanks to Jordan River who is the King of Organisation and whose research, inquisitive mind, words and teachings often inspire me.

New Indie and Artisan Awards


The Art and Olfaction Awards

2014 brings us a new award model for independent and artisan perfumers called The Art and Olfaction Awards. These awards have been established to:

celebrate creativity, innovation and excellence in global independent and artisan perfumery.

– The Art and Olfaction Awards

There are only two categories; Indie and Artisan. Perfumers in these categories have until January 24th to submit a sample of their work at a cost of $45 per entry which is limited to two entries of perfumes released in 2013. Submissions are accepted from any country.

The Art and Olfaction Awards are organised by The Insitute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles. I spoke with the founder of the institute, Saskia Wilson-Brown about this new development…

The Art and Olfaction Awards are not intended to compete or replace other awards. I come from a film background, and in the film world people submit to many different festivals or awards. We are applying that model to perfumery, so are not trying to be exclusive or competitive with other awards and events. We’re creating a space devoted to independent and artisan perfumers.

Saskia Wilson-Brown
The Institute of Art and Olfaction

Last year there was a lengthy discussion in the comments on Kafkaesque about the FiFi awards. By Jove there were a lot of opinions everywhere about the FiFi award received by By Kilian. There was even a discussion about setting up another series of awards which was cognisant of the differences between niche, indie and artisan categories within the perfume industry. Thankfully this has now happened.

Definitions of Indie and Artisan for the purposes of these awards are here. The awards cleverly transcend any natural vs synthetic categories and gender perceptions of perfume by defining the entrants by business type rather than by type of perfume.

Judges are not allowed to enter their own work and all perfumes will be blindly judged. The judges this time around for The Art and Olfaction Awards are:

Preliminary Judges
Marcos Lutyens – Artist
Brent Leonesio – Perfumer
James McHugh – Historian
Sherri Sebastian – Perfumer
Ashley Eden Kessler – Perfumer
Daniel Krasofski – Natural Perfumer
Hank Jenkins – The Plant Provocateur
Carlos Alvarez – Scent Bar / LuckyScent.com
Laura Johnson – Scent Bar / LuckyScent.com
Rachel Sondag – Scent Bar / LuckyScent.com
Steven Gontarski Scent Bar / LuckyScent.com
Koan Jeff Baysa – Institute of Art and Olfaction
Yvettra Grantham – Scent Bar / LuckyScent.com

Final Round Judges
Mandy Aftel – Perfumer
Luca Turin – Perfume Critic
Stefan Sagmeister – Designer
Sarah Horowitz-Thran – Perfumer
Christophe Laudamiel – Perfumer

The judges will be looking for an X factor as well as technical skill, first impressions, dry down performance and the ability of the perfume to be memorable.

The awards ceremony will held be in Los Angeles at The Goethe Institut on April 25, 2014.

Submission – Information
The Art and Olfaction Awards – website

The awards are being produced in partnership and with the support of:
Lucky Scent
Goethe Institut
The Standard Hotel
Beski Projekts
Miniature Perfume Shoppe


The Three Kings of Cologne: Christmas Inspired Madness


Guest Post by Jordan River








The Three Queens Kings
Lanier Smith as Jasper
Jordan River as Melchior
Clayton Ilolahia as Balthazar

Three heirless kings with the wealth of bachelors and a taste for adventure are currently on the road to Bethlehem where it is the time of the annual herb harvest.

From the Island of Tonga, the Empire of Hollywood and the green lands of New Zealand, these Magi have gathered in hot pursuit of the brightest star on the horizon. Each has seen a star appear simultaneously in his homeland….



In Tonga there is a hill called Vaus Hill, the highest peak on the land, where for generations a lost tribe of the Hebrews have set a nightly watch on the heavens for a star foretold by the Prophet Balaam of Madian. Just last night the star appeared and preparations were made to leave at once to follow the voyage of the star across the sky as instructed by their ancestors. Time seem to speed up as oceans were crossed; cities and deserts passed by until suddenly the sun-kissed Balthazar, The Magi of Tonga had become lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.



In Hollywood there are so many stars that another one is no cause for contemplation. Jasper however was in mourning for his King with whom he had reigned jointly. This kept him awake every night and all night, as he searched the skies waiting for a new star to appear before the sun came up on the Santa Monica Boulevard. When the star did appear, as he knew it would, he became restless for life. He tore off his black robes of mourning, donned a fine garment, gathered his followers and leapt into the night. For him too, time accelerated and the distance of months was covered in a single night until he became lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.



In New Zealand it was midnight when a chorus of tuis and wood pigeons awoke Melchior from his deep slumber. Attuned to rising daily with bird song he was up and dressed before realizing that this was not sunlight flooding his room. It was starlight beaming down from a radiant star. Vaguely aware of an ancient prophesy about a Star-Child, and now unable to return to sleep he launched his canoe to follow the star beams across the sea. Within moments it seemed he had reached a landmass somewhere in the East. Horses were waiting and they galloped him through the night until he became lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.


This strange mist had hidden all the earth. Slowly it began to dissipate but the star appeared not. Sunlight did reveal The Three Kings to each other and a sign post marked Jerusalem. After exchanging fragrant greetings, the latest samples and some vintage flacons, they realised that they had a common quest and so they continued along the Golgotha Highway to the city, glad to be reassured of their joint destination and to be in the company of fellow travellers.


Time again sped up and another day and night flew by as if they were but hours until at last they came to the gates of Jerusalem where they were greeted by The IFRA President. Did I say greeted? I meant stopped; stopped by the IFRA Synthorian Guard. President Herod had been alerted of a fragrant entourage making waves across the countryside.


Billows of aromatic air and a forward sillage that bespoke real frankincense and natural myrrh had aroused his bureaucratic interest. As he was also finely tuned to economics he could also smell gold. From which lands had these people come? It did not really matter as they were now in his jurisdiction and could be promptly detained on the suspicion of smuggling illegal substances.

There was no traveling that night for The Kings and their followers. They spent the night under guard but not under lock in a wing of the presidential palace. Their goods were confiscated and their saddle bags searched.


Balthazar’s ‘contraband’ was

Man-Myrrh known today as Christian Dior’s, Eau Sauvage Parfum (and not to be confused with Eau Sauvage EDT),


Keiko Mecheri’s Oliban, a sweet frankincense,

(Ed: The story is not finished yet. This is a traveling post and now you must go to the Fragrant Man<<JUMP to find out the ending of this fabulous tale. Believe me, it’s worth it.)


A Series Of Sandalwood Dreams: Jordan River on BaseNotes


Guest Post by Jordan River



On ya APJ,

This is a night flight…

Fasten your web-belts dear readers. Tonight we are journeying across the web for A Series of Sandalwood Dreams. Let’s see if these dreams take us to a heightened sense of reality over the next 8 nights. Will you dream with me?

Perfume Observant readers may be able to sample something very special somewhere along this journey. Tonight we will meet Mr Purna who is so old that he now resides in the Pali Canon. Tomorrow we will visit The Perfumed Chamber, an ancient place shrouded in the mists of time. I have discovered that the remains of this chamber exist today. There will be clues as to how you can find recreations of The Perfumed Chamber in your own city, home town or village. After that we will explore the northern reaches of a continent that broke away from Gondwanaland many eons ago. We will be visiting perfume plantations and a thriving distillery which uses the principles of alchemy and modern science to turn your sandalwood dreams into reality.

We are starting with a mytho-historical story and this story begins over here at Basenotes…

Let’s go web-traveling.


A Series of Sandalwood Dreams
Basenotes – Part 1 – Myths and Legends

Photos Supplied by Jordan River

Cire Trudon Candles!!! For you, for giving, for Christmas!

Guest Post by Jordan River.

On ya APJ,

Scented Candles; let’s talk about them.

Cire Trudon Candles

They do two things. The warmth of a room will release scent from the wax without lighting the candle. This is a beautiful item to have near an armchair. Some people cover their candles with a bell-jar (aka glass cloche / dome) as you often see in retail establishments. This holds all the released scent inside the glass. When you pick up the bell-jar a scent cloud is delivered into your room. I prefer no bell-jar as then the scent has a way of surprising you throughout the day and night.


Lighting the candle will scent a whole room and even a home.

A scented candle must be burnt until the whole surface is liquid to ensure that tunneling does not occur. This can take up to 2 hours before you have a scented room.

Trim that wick before reigniting. This step is important to ensure a clean burn. A long wick will spit soot into your expensive wax and add a slight charred smell. A long wick will also make black smoke appear which is not good for your ceiling. A specially designed wick cutter rather than scissors is your friend here. They cost around $12 to $25. There is no need to leave the candle burning when visitors arrive, unless you want to of course.

You may have noticed that every woman and her cat has a scented candle for sale at various price points and often with disappointing results. The top of the range is Cire Trudon who have been candle-making since the days of le Roi Soleil back in 1643 when Claude Trudon arrived in Paris and became the owner of a store in Rue Saint-Honoré.

Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil

Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil
Versace / Rosenthal
Private Collection: Jordan River

His son Jacques entered the court of Versailles in 1687, as apothecary distiller to Marie-Thérèse, wife of the King.

Image via Cire Trudon

Candle making image via Cire Trudon

By the 18th century, in 1737, the next Trudon descendant Hierosme had purchased the most famous wax factories of the era from the official wax provider to King Louis XV. Trudon grew and began supplying the French court and the most important churches. The Trudon company supplied Versailles until the very end of the monarchy.


The standard Cire Trudon candle size of 270 grams is around $US95 ~ $US120.

While the price point is high, the scented value is completely worth it as long as you are spending within your ability to maintain solvency or even better within your ability to have savings. I like Portia’s advice for Perfumistasset a monthly budget and stick to it.

The trick is to burn these in two-hourly lots to achieve around 55 to 65 hours of scent. The variance between 55 to 65 hours is wind speed; a breeze in your room will make the candle burn faster. Cire Trudon candles are all made in France and reside in hand blown glass vessels. The wax is 100% vegetable-based, the wick is pure cotton; both are biodegradable, allergen free and contain no pesticides.

Let’s have a look at some of the range. Not all of these are necessarily traditional Christmas scents as I know some people have their own holiday and / or family celebrations.



Bethléem, pictured above with the theme and notes, is the latest seasonal candle from Cire Trudon. You may need to zoom in to read the calligraphy.


Photo: Jordan River

My favourite is still Nazareth which despite repeated rumors of discontinuation is now is it’s fifth year.

This is a scent I discovered in 2011 at a perfume masterclass in December. It stayed on my mind. Not realizing it was a seasonal release I couldn’t buy it in March 2012 when it was still blowing through the scentmills of my mind.

In November 2012 I was an hour early for a meeting and wandered into World when they were unpacking their annual supply of this scent. Not one to think twice about analyzing serendipity I knew I was in the right place at the right time.


This Christmas candle, Nazareth, wafts a whisper of frankincense and billows of cinnamon, orange, and clove from a ruby red holder. Bees and other pollinators receive protection from this candle as a percentage of sales goes to Terre d’Abeilles.

Of course there is a lot of fun to be had by going to a shop and experiencing the range of scented candles for yourself.

Down Under Stockists
Melbourne – Peony Haute Parfumerie
107 Auburn Road
+61 (0)3 9882 0662

Sydney – Becker Minty
Shop 7, Ikon Building
Potts Point
+61 (0)2 8356 9999

Mérida $AUD115
Bartolomé $AUD105
Bethléem $AUD125
Nazareth $AUD115
Melchior $AUD125

New ZealandWord Beauty
World Store Locator – Auckland Wellington Christchurch
Mérida $NZ139
Bartolomé $NZ139
Bethléem $NZ159
Nazareth $NZ159
Melchior $NZ159

Cire Trudon
Tips for burning scented candles

Further Reading
Notable Scents – Nazareth
Bois de Jasmin – Mérida
Arquiste – Auckland Action – photo story

Cuir de Gardenia by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Parfumes 2013


Guest Post by Jordan River


On ya APJ,


Portia has lost the plot. Well not exactly; Portia has lost the perfume. (Ed: All is not lost, I have found my package) We will have to wait another week while she rechoreographs her collection, reorientates herself and finally reviews this ‘fume. In the meantime here are some impressions as we await hers. As with all choreography; the show must go on.


A moonless, starless tropical night so dark that you cannot see.

But at least you can smell.

You can even smell a star, but it is not in the sky. It is the star of the island jungle, Tiare, the Tahitian gardenia.

Cuir de Gardenia by Mandy Aftel for Aftelier Parfumes 2013

Cuir de Gardenia Aftelier PerfumesPhoto Stolen Aftelier

Straight to the Heart: tiare (gardenia) absolute, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, benzyl acetate.
Dry Down: castoreum, ethyl phenyl acetate, malto

The Leather Gardenia is dense with this kind of potency. Not sticky but almost. I was talking with young Portia here at APJ about a new perfume which is called Cuir de Gardenia.

Portia, I am blooming! ‘Tis dense, strong and full of ANTIQUE CASTOREUM ABSOLUTE! Opps, sorry for shouting. No time-wasting top notes at all thank you very much. Straight to the gardenia and jasmine heart although you may want to pause there before the terrifying beautiful drydown. Portia this is a strange and secret show, this scent.

Jordan to Portia

Cuir de Gardenia by perfumer alchemist Mandy Aftel does not encourage much writing because once you close your eyes and inhale that is it. I cannot call this a perfume; it is a potion.

Cuir de Gardenia Aftelier Perfumes Calsidyrose  FlickrPhoto Stolen Calsidyrose  Flickr

I think what makes this one so special, even beyond the real Tiare absolute (until now a synthesized aroma in perfumery) is the combination of that with an ingredient that Mandy received from an outgoing perfumer’s estate. Aged ingredients are rarer and rarer as the market for perfume consumption has grown. Some ingredients go off with age and some change and improve as the years go by. Vintage Ouds, Sandalwood, Musk and Castereum all intensify with age. In this perfume, as mentioned above, there is antique castoreum which enriches the already intense smell of Tiare, the Tahitian gardenia. It also provides the smooth leather drydown.

Over at Fragrantica there are some unusual questions by Elena Vosnaki with refreshing replies by Mandy Aftel in an interview called The Viewpoint of the Artisan Businesswoman and Perfumer.

Cuir de Gardenia – notes and Mandy’s thoughts.

Book Update: according to Virginia at Té de Violetas the title of Mandy’s next book is Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent. The book focuses on five epic aromatics: mint, cinnamon, ambergris, jasmine, and frankincense. It explores their powerful connection to history, philosophy, and our most essential human appetites.

Cuir de Gardenia
Aftelier Perfumers
Perfumer: Mandy Aftel
Release Date: November 2013
Solid perfume – 1/4 ounce sterling silver compact $US240
Perfume Oil – 1/4 ml sample $US6

For the Holiday 2013 season, a limited-edition extrait version of Cuir de Gardenia is available in a mini 2 ml bottle $US55

Aftelier Perfumes – website

Further Reading
The Non-Blonde – Cuir de Gardenia – review
The Black Narcissus – Cuir de Gardenia – reaction
Aftelier Perfume – The Secret Accord – Ancient Resins
Olfactoria’s Travels – Tea Time with Mandy Aftel
Té de Violetas – Mandy Aftel interview and Ylang Organic Face Elixir . The English version is below the Spanish version.

Britney Spears #PERFUME

Guest Post by Jordan River

On ya APJs,

Those of you that follow this esteemed website via Twitter may have noticed that your #perfume Twitter feed has been speared and that Britney is marking her territory with perfume. Perfume is the name of her new song. Let’s have a look at some of the lyrics…

While I wait I put on my perfume
I want it all over you…

I hide it well, hope you can’t tell
I hope she smells my perfume

I wanna fill the room, when she’s in it with you
Please don’t forget me…

While I wait I put on my perfume
I want it all over you
I gotta mark my territory

Britney Spears


I hope she smells my perfume…

I hope she smells my perfume…

Scent & Subversion by Barbara Herman: NEW BOOK REVIEW


Guest Post by Jordan River


On ya APJ,

I have just read a book which is hot off the press. Australian Perfume Junkies is mentioned in the book as an indicator that we do not live in scent hostile times.

I am walking along the longest path of the world, searching for the book of my heart.

Vien Tuc
Đà Lạt

Imagine a whole world where everyone smells of CK One. You probably don’t have to imagine; you have probably been there as has Barbara Herman from Yesterday’s Perfume. One day Barbara rebelled against office-friendly scents and went searching for the rude, the loud, the odd, the weird and the impolite. What she mostly found was vintage perfume and then some cutting edge 21st century olfactive artists. This led her on a fragrant journey through the 20th century which became her book Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Fragrance.


Barbara Herman

Scattered pictures
Throughout the book are pictures that have been collected by Barbara over many years and reveal a lot about perfume, society and marketing ‘art’.


This is not a picture book though there are many full colour pictures. Barbara starts off with the thoughts of Aristotle and Plato and continues through Fliess and Freud to Chandler Burr, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.


In Part 1 Barbara courses through the development of ‘Perfume: is it art? I like Barbara’s conclusion that Perfume is a language.


Part 2 is a tour de force of 300+ vintage fragrances, including drugstore, all with back stories that you may have never heard before. I am not a vintage connoisseur so I learnt a lot from this book. If you know your vintage ‘fumes then I imagine you will be delighted with the way they are portrayed in Scents and Subversion.

On Jicky

the personality of a cat… sometimes with perfume more is more.

Barbara Herman
Scent and Subversion

Modern vs Vintage

the difference between modern and vintage perfumery is akin to the difference between polyester and velvet.

Barbara Herman
Scent and Subversion

Part III looks at the future of scent and tells the the story of how the author’s nose lost it’s virginity. Perspective on the work of Étienne de Swardt, Antoine Lie, Christopher Brosius, Sissal Tolaas, Martynka Wawrzyniak, and Christophe Laudamiel make for an interesting read as does the chapter called A Brief History of Animal Notes in Perfume.

This week there have been several collector’s items on The Fragrant Man of which Scents & Subversion would be the most affordable one. I think coffee table for the hardcover and the e-book for bedside reading.

This is a book you could read again and again as your own knowledge grows and as vintage bottles materialize on your own fragrant journey. If you already know everything then here it is all in one place. If you are new to perfume appreciation then a glossary and a guide called Perfume 101: How to become an Informed Perfume Lover, will become your reference points as you begin your own fragrant journey.

On Now Smell This, Aleta describes this book as a “worthy flanker” to Perfumes: The Guide. Yes it is.


In this book you will read about perfume set to music; this book is perfume set to words, erudite words that bespeak a mountain of research. Barbara has walked a long path, searching and researching. This is the book of her heart.

Kindle e-book at Amazon $US9.99
Hardcover Amazon $US24.95

Further Reading
Book Reviews by Dita Von Teese, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Aleta (Now Smell This), Katie Puckrick and Chandler Burr
Yesterday’s Perfume – website
Yesterday’s Perfume – Facebook
Barbara Herman is @parfumaniac on Twitter


ODOU Magazine


Post by Jordan River


ODOU Magazine

Liam Moore’s personal odour has suddenly become very public with the launch of ODOU magazine. ODOU is a printed and digital publication exploring scent, perfume, memory, science, art, design, photography and many more olfactory themes.

The digital edition is available for the princely sum of $US 4.62.

ODOU, the print edition is $US 12.45. This is a special launch price which includes the digital version.

I spent a great weekend absorbing the depth of knowledge and breadth of content in the first edition.

ODOU Magazine
In Liam’s introduction he mentions the following types of people who most of you would be somewhat familiar with…

…I came across a “perfumista” (a person who loves perfume) on Facebook. Through him I would go on to discover the rich and wonderful world of the online perfume-loving community. These were the perfumistas, the nosenerds, the fumeheads, the scent lovers, the collectors, the hoarders, the vintage fans, the celebrity nay-sayers, the natural lovers and synthetic haters, the niche crowd, the decanters, the elitist crowd, the swappers, the die-hard brand lovers and indie supporters. There were blogs to read, forums to discuss on, tweets to catch up with and perfume meet-ups to attend. It is safe to say, this community is one of the geekiest and passionate you’re ever to mix with…

And of course there is a corner on the web that resonates the most about smell – fragrance blogs. These passionate scent lovers from all over the world write their opinions, impressions and reviews, sharing it, just for the sheer love of it and getting into a discussion from comment threads, forums and tweets. Each perfume blogger has their own style too or sense of wit, their personality shines through and it becomes a pleasure to read in all its facets.

The idea of launching a magazine had been mulling around my head for some time. There is a collective voice from these perfumers, bloggers, artists and scent lovers, among which I include myself. Yet I doubt many people have heard us all in one place.

I believe ODOU is one of the first publications of its kind, something dedicated entirely to smell and perfume alone; the very reason I wanted to launch it. I also think that the collective voice is stronger than the singular and gathering a roster of contributors can truly reflect the bigger picture. Perhaps the stories, essays and art within ODOU will ignite a newfound interest in others, conveying the same sense of wonder I have about smell.

Liam Moore
ODOU Magazine

Publisher Liam Moore Photo: Alexia Villard

Publisher Liam Moore
Photo: Alexia Villard

I first came across UK-based Liam when Brie in New York wrote a story called Fantastic Voyage through The Fragrant Stratosphere. ODOU is a great development to come out of the world-wide-webbed perfume community and it is jam-packed with olfactory scribes and perfume whisperers showing the great variety of writing within the perfume-writing genre.


Olfactory Scribe Neil Chapman

The Black Narcissus himself, Neil Chapman leads off with an exposé on Perfume Haters across the world and delves even deeper into Japanese culture than he has ever done before on his own website.


Olfactory Scribe Pia Long

The next piece gets volatile when Pia Long steps up with a very nosy piece about your nose; an exploration of evolution, genetics, cultural conditioning, diet, medication, mood and more. Her conclusion is also the title of her piece which I will not ‘plot’-spoil by naming here. Pia’s words sent me running to my Mum for her food diary while she was pregnant. I had to find out what odorants (as opposed to actual odors) I may have experience while being formed.

Then we have Perfume Poetry

… The lost sun is a warm spell on the skin..

JL Williams.

Poet Alex Musgrave AKA The Silver Fox

Poet Alex Musgrave
AKA The Silver Fox
Photo: Isabel McCabe

Later in the magazine Alex Musgrave, The Silver Fox, at A Scent of Elegance, also waxes lyrically. He thinks that

The abstractions of poetic thought echo the sensation of scent on the skin. Connective synapses of scent and the esoteric reach of olfactory construction echo the erudite build of verse.

Alex Musgrave

According to Alex Musgrave…

There is wing-glitter…

in the poem Cire Perdue,

and there are…

…fumes of burnished shoulder…

in the poem Vanilla.

I am believing him.

Nafia Guljar - Olfactive Infrastructure

Olfactory Scribe Nafia Guljar

I was thrilled to see the next writer, Nafia Guljar who I had happened to interview recently. Her interview on The Fragrant Man had over 1 million views (via the Facebook iteration of The Fragrant Man).

In ODOU Nafia writes an Ode to the Orient. Her nose has a completely different response to Ambre Sultan (Serge Lutens) than what most of us would smell due to her cultural background. Her words explore the Oriental genre of perfume in a Middle Eastern and Western context. This 22-year-old writer and student of Molecular Pathology and Genomics is someone to watch. The future is brighter with articulate young people like her. Nafia has not only smelt the breath of God, she can describe it too. I was not sure about Oud in classic Oriental perfumes however that reference refers to a larger definition which includes the actual Eastern Oriental perfumes rather than Western fancies of what the east would smell like.

Visual Artist Alexia Villard

Visual Artist Alexia Villard

Up next is Alexia Villard smelling some of her friends and family. We find out what they smell like through her photography and words.

Écrite, la merde ne sent pas is the title of the following article. Here I started to become annoyed, mainly because I like to know everything. This is the second time that an untranslated title is used, although later in the magazine Spanish titles are translated. So for your reading pleasure, if you are not a French reader, here are the translations:

The title of the earlier poem Cire Perdue literally means lost wax. This refers to a method of casting where a mold is formed to encase a wax sculpture. The mold is heated so that the wax melts and drains away to be replaced with molten bronze or another metal or sometimes with glass. What it means in this poem can be found within the magazine. Alex Musgrave says he completed this poem when he was preoccupied with the terrible plight of colony collapse affecting the world’s bees. This theme has haunted a number of his poems. You can read more of his thoughts about bees, beeswax and perfume here.

Callum Bolt

Olfactory Scribe Callum Langston-Bolt

I am translating the title Écrite, la merde ne sent pas to mean in this context ‘written words do not smell’. You may like a more literal translation. I will leave that up to you or Google Translate. Callum Langston-Bolt takes us to Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola’s Paris with Thérèse Raquin. I am now searching for an English copy of this 1867 novel which explores olfactory and psychological links as crucial plot thickeners.

Sarah McCartney

Perfumer, Sarah McCartney

The ‘serious literature’ mood is then lightened when Perfumer Sarah McCartney bursts through the pages with Blends for Friends – Making Perfume. This piece tells you how to avoid EU and IFRA perfume ingredient restrictions and is packed full of helpful information including resources and what to buy if you are starting out in this field.

Chemist Rose Gray

Chemist Rose Gray

Chemist Rose Gray articulates the various theories of smell including Vibration Theory, Odotype Theory, Lock and Key Theory and several other historical and current theories. I particularly enjoyed learning about molecular flexibility and unpredictability.

On further investigation of this writer I found that she was part of the Guerrilla Science team responsible for an event called Secret Garden Party where intoxicating chemicals were the canapés (to be sniffed, not ingested). The menu included coumarin, chloroform, ether, sulphurous mercaptans and vanillin.

Segue: Another event by Guerrilla Science was called Sensory Speed Dating where blindfolded people sniffed armpits to find a compatible companion. I like the smell of the human body as well as perfume. What an interesting idea.


Douglas Bender

Perfumer Douglas Bender, Charenton Macerations

Douglas Bender shares his experience of gender labeling in perfume. This article, despite the expletives, inspired an immediate secret scent mission involving The Scented Hound morphing into a Perfume Mule to track Douglas down at Sniffapalooza where Douglas was a guest speaker. Details to follow in due course.


Olfactive Obsessive Nick Gilbert

The voracious, in terms of perfume, Nick Gilbert promotes an alternative descriptor of top note; head note (in reference to falsetto in music). I will perhaps embrace this term in future note breakdowns. Nick also educates us about Theremin which sounds like a category of angelic beings. Another new word, Smound, a portmanteau of smell & sound, as well as Molecular Volatility are expounded on by this prolific writer and Olfactive Obsessive. Compulsive reading.

Adolfo Mandera and Stuart Calvin: I had no idea what was going on here but I did enjoy the stroll.

Amanda Saurin

Wildcraft Distiller Amanda Saurin

Amanda Saurin shares A Distiller’s Tale where you can find out what the perfume ingredient collecting device, a landanistrio, does. I learnt of the perfumer’s fear of having the laborious collection of galbanum resin stolen by ants.

Gemma Bradshaw and Kelly Gordon wonder if there will ever be any ‘new’ classics after taking us on a tour of the historical ones. I am nominating Ambre Sultan and Fate Women in response to this article. What think you?

Perfume Theorist

Perfume Theorist Juraj Sotosek Rihtarec

Perfume Theorist Juraj Sotosek Rihtarec takes us through the current discussion of Perfume as Art through Art as well as enlightening us on the uses of chairs in his country. I think that he has moved this conversation forward with some artistic molecule manoeuvres. As far as facts rather than well argued theories go; I did take exception to Tapputi suddenly becoming Indian. Tapputi was from Mesopotamia (Babylon, modern-day Iraq), not India. However Juraj has since made a case via email that she may well have emigrated from India to somewhere in Mesopotamia. Interesting.

Segue: Tapputi Belatekallim, a female chemist, is sometimes referred to as the world’s first known perfumer because she distilled flower waters and mixed these with an unidentified balsam. Maybe we will find out more about her in the next edition? The Prophet Miriam, sister of Moses also had aromatic results from her chemistry. There is a bath named after her, the bain-Marie which you may have used for cooking although its original purpose was the transmutation of substances. Miriam was an alchemist with occasional perfumed outcomes. I would like to know more about both of these women.

An intimate love story about the smell of a lover by Paul-André St-George is a fitting end to the first edition of ODOU, especially when Paul-André paraphrases a famous French proverb.

I would consider this publication to be an important development in the perfume community. ODOU is highly readable despite its in-depth writing. I learnt a lot. There is always room in my head for well written analysis and educative words. Art, Science, Literature, Photography, Poetry, Theory and Opinion pertaining to Smell and Perfume have been successful sourced, edited and published by Liam Moore. My only question is; when can we expect edition 2? My final statement is; ODOU magazine – required reading for Perfumistas.

ODOU magazine – website

Note for Digital Readers
Pages 2, 56 & 57 are intentionally blank in case you are waiting for words or images to appear. You can read ODOU in your web browser, as a PDF or via the free app called HP MagCloud Reader. The zoom-in function to increase the font size works best on PDF and in the MagCloud Reader.

ODOU – first edition contributors
Adolfo Mandera Diaz – is an environmental and marine scientist
Alex Musgrave – The Silver Fox (A Scent of Elegance)
Alexander Shustov – photographer
Alexia Villard – Photographer and Visual Artist
Amanda Saurin – Well Green Lewes
Callum Langston-Bolt – He knows about scent, film and literature. About Callum
Douglas Bender – Charenton Macerations
Gemma Bradshaw and Kelly Gordon – Pages and Perfume
Jamie Hargis – photography
Janice Cullivan – photography
Joel Barrick – sub-editor
JL Williams – JL Williams Poetry
Juraj Sotosek Rihtarec – Perfume Theorist – BL’eauOG
Liam Moore – Model, Photographer, Writer, Editor, Publisher
Mam Jodh – photography
Nafia Guljar – Confessions of a Creative
Neil Chapman – The Black Narcissus
Nick Gilbert – Perfume Expert
Paul Jarvis – Photographer
Paul-André St-George – a Canadian number Geek in the UK – photographer
Pia Long – Volatile Fiction
Richard Gillin – photography
Rose Gray – Chemist
Rula Sibai – photography
Ryan McGuire – photography
Sarah McCartney – 4160 Tuesdays
Stuart Calvin – Artist

Further Reading
Guerilla Science – Secret Garden Party
Guerilla Science – Sensory Speed Dating
Olfactive Infrastructure – London – Nafia Guljar
The Candy Perfume Boy – Thoughts on ODOU
Bees, Beeswax and Perfume – The Silver Fox – Séville à l’Aube review