Monthly Archives: April 2013

Fields of Fragrance The Perfumed Dandy’s Outside Spring Scents Part II

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Dear Friends

As some of you may have seen, The Dandy had a dashed lovely day out in the Park on Sunday, well The Gardens to be precise and Kensington Gardens at that.

Thank you all to those of you who suggested some scents that might go with my humble snaps.

Perhaps the wisest proposal was that such sublime scenes of nature required no man made smell to assist them. Too true.

However, The Dandy was ever one to throw caution to the wind and so this week I am presenting some 25 scents to go with those same scenes and today we have the second batch…

1. Swan

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No other perfume will do for a swan!

The grandiose crystal bird bottle of years past may be gone but Gloria Vanderbilt’s Vanderbilt itself is still gliding by, transformed today into a ubiquitous drugstore tuberose cheapie.

For The Dandy no perfume, not Coco nor all the great florientals, so fully sums up a certain quality of the 1980s as does this sweet white floral aldehydic powerhouse.

Like the bird itself it can be beautiful at a distance but beware for up close and a little too personal (and frankly sprayed too vigorously) this scent can inflict a serious wounding.

You know, Vanderbilt really is not that bad, quite good really, and aldehyes in their abstract expansiveness has something of Spring air about them.

Being honest though, it is and always was all about that bottle.

2. Green Grass

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In one of those totally chance encounters The Dandy came across this one whilst buying a bouquet for a friend.

Exquisite British florist Jane Packer has produced a small range of Eau de Parfums including this Green Orchid, Vetiver and Lemongrass.

The strange thing is for the life of me I can’t find any of those individual notes in this fascinating fragrance.

Instead, it entrances with an overall effect that is a magnificent meditation dewy morning grass in early spring.

Moist, alive and utterly green I fallen head over heals for this perfume as a way to start my scented day.

3. Folly

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The slightly out of focus structure in bath sandstone in this shot is a folly.

A building with no other purpose but to look beautiful and to be beautiful in.

Follies speak of another age, of endless time and money for a fortunate few. Of elegance and elongated rituals.

Guerlain’s Eau de Cologne Imperiale too is an important part of history, perfume history that is.

Created by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, founder of the house, for France’s Empress Eugenie in 1853, it would earn him the honour of becoming royal perfumer and secure the fortunes of the company forever.

But this is no relic, Imperiale’s ethereal citrus accord swoops high above the wearer and is bound to elicit swoons in all admirers.

Critics rightly claim its charms are passing, but that is to miss the point: this cologne is an essential element of a fashion of living.

It is a refreshment, best taken before the serious perfume business of the day is applied, and The Dandy for one can think of no better accompaniment to his levee.

I will say no more for now as there will soon be words a plenty on this perfume…

4. Tea House

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Beyond the luscious green leaf that looks almost good enough to eat, or at least brew, lies an handsome structure that was once a tea house.

Today this little red brick and Portland stone piece of Victorian fancy is home to London’s Serpentine Gallery, a small contemporary art space whose enormous reputation belies its diminutive size.

Perhaps it’s the colour of the brick, perhaps the building’s past use or maybe just the thought of a tea made with that leaf, but Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Rouge springs to mind.

Some people may associate a warming cup of char with winter, but what could be more refreshing come Spring than a sprightly cuppa after a brisk stroll along around the park?

Indeed there is a bracing edge to this revitalising and restorative perfume, a certain peppery punch and citrus zing before it yields to the delicious spicy fig and walnut of the heart.

The choice of the slightly racy roiboos for the tea note itself is inspired and lends a pzazz to an accord that can sometimes be pedestrian.

The last sharp breezes of the early morning before the suns heat sets in.

5. Conifer

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It doesn’t look like a conifer does it?

But rest assured when you get up close this tree’s all needles and not leafs and has been green all the winter through.

Evergreen it may be, but this great plant is not immune to the season’s changes and now the warmer weather is here the sap is rising!!

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet starts as a delicious sherbert lemon of a scent all springtime zing and effervescence, then develops complexity and becomes a splendid peppery pine tree in a lavender field all without ever losing that lovely urgency and energy.

This is a perfume to give your day a distinct dose of purpose and pace and definitely one for everyone no matter what the marketing department might say.

So, there we have the second five fragrances to follow on from my weekend photographs.

Fifteen more to come ‘twixt now and Friday!!

If you’d like to take a peek, why not spend a moment perusing the complete album of The Perfumed Dandy’s Sunday In The Park.

Any additional suggestions as to scents would be gratefully received.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Gem Emerald… Norell by Norell The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter 

She had turned him down the first three times he’d asked for her hand in marriage.

Indeed she often wondered why she changed her mind the fourth time he popped the question.

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Perhaps it was the bright sunshine that day, the sharp smell of freshly turned soil or the sparkling scent and sight of the hyacinths newly released from their nursery beds into the park proper.

Whatever it was that made her make it, it was a decision she refused to regret.

She’d known the proposal was coming around again: he’d asked before the previous Summer, then again at harvest festival and most recently on New Year’s Day.

There’d been a surprise when St Valentine’s had been and gone without any mention of them marrying and then she realised that he restricted himself to one request per season.

So, when he arrived that morning for a walk across to Kensington Gardens to ‘make the most of the first proper day of Spring’, she knew.

He was dressed even more smartly than was normal for him. He had a bright red carnation in his buttonhole, his skin shone from polishing and he smelt splendidly of his best lavender and mandarin cologne.

He was from glossy well combed hair to shining shoes every bit the contemporary approximation of the 1920s gentleman that he secretly wanted to be.

The Park felt much bigger that day than it had been all winter.

In the newly revived light of late April it seemed to be twice the size it was in February when they had scuttled to the Serpentine to watch the foolhardy folks skating as they sat huddled in the comfort of the tea pavilion.

The horizon now was further away and the manicured ‘wild meadows’ stretched out like a lifetime in front of them.

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They paused beneath a great conifer that had deceived as deciduous tree from a distance. The striking almost acid aroma of the needles pricked at their noses and he looked a little puzzled, as if the chalky green smell of the sap had unsettled him.

Then she knew that was the moment.

“Would you…”

Before he could complete the question she heard herself responding

Yes… but I won’t be giving up work. It is 1968, even though your family may carry on as though it’s still before the war. The Summer of love has been and gone and besides I am not a school teacher as they all think I am, though there would be nothing wrong with that, I am a professional sports coach and one day women’s tennis will be quite as important and lucrative as men’s.”

“You accept?”

“Conditionally.”

He kissed her still uncertain as to whether he might have been more careful what he’d wished for.

In the embrace she located a spicier undertone, there was coriander and cardamom in his saliva and his nervous sweat was salty with something of the sea and at the same time anointing oil about it.

She disentangled herself and held him at arms length, examining his face intently.

“You do know what you letting yourself in for, don’t you?”

He burst out laughing, then she did the same, then suddenly stopped.

“And I want an emerald engagement ring, I don’t care that everyone else has diamonds. Mine must be brightest green.”

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Having taken the precaution of not buying a ring for this very eventuality he was able to laugh with a genuine nonchalance.

They walked back to town in silence save for when he stole a bunch of daffodils from the banks of them which lined way and presented them to her with a flourish.

She called him a thief, and knew he had in fact stolen at least a part of her heart.

She had his completely.


Vintage Norell by Norell Corporation is a brilliant bright green emerald of a scent standing proud from the shoddy crystals, cut price cut glass and paste of so much of modern perfumery.

Like a true precious stone its sparkle deceives with apparent simplicity only to be revealed as a complex construction of a genuine master, or indeed mistress’s, art.

Its myriad facets all gleam with a lustre born of careful consideration, expert blending and pitch perfect polish.

From the moment of its entry with an unmatched high accord of citrus, lavender and galbanum as clear as a soprano’s top ‘c’, one is left in no doubt that this will be an unforgettable performance.

What follows is an immense floral choral heart, led by a blue hyacinth that is joined in time in a duet by a wonderfully green carnation.

A clutch of South Asian spice: cardamom, coriander and cinnamon add texture while vetiver, oakmoss and narcissus give the whole piece and earthy and robust structure.

This is no blow away scent, feeling never less than sturdy in all its built to last elegant magnificence.

Standing like a Crystal Palace worthy of Oz, this is a vast and awesomely beautiful fragrance that can and should be appreciated for miles around.

Norell is a heart stopper.

As soon as a certain gentleman is able to acquire a sizeable quantity of this he is sure it will become something of a somedays signature.

Why all women don’t do the same is quite beyond him.

Please note dear friends that The Dandy tried Norell as manufactured by the Norell Corporation.

There have been several versions since, each less good and then more bad than the last.

Do take care when selecting jewels.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Fields of Fragrance The Perfumed Dandy’s Outside Spring Scents Part I

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Dear Friends

As some of you may have seen, The Dandy had a dashed lovely day out in the Park yesterday, well The Gardens to be precise and Kensington Gardens at that.

Thank you all to those of you who suggested some scents that might go with my humble snaps.

Perhaps the wisest proposal was that such sublime scenes of nature required no man made smell to assist them. Too true.

However, The Dandy was ever one to throw caution to the wind and so this week he presents some 25 scents to go with those same scenes…

1. Daffodils

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Certain folks may be beginning to believe that one has an unhealthy obsession with Yardley, the English purveyors of faux soliflores such as the nearly disappeared Narcissus.

So be it, but when a rich, earthy, vibrant and very realistic scent such as this is available at such a good price I will continue to crow about it with glee.

To be true, this is a humble daffodil and no neo-classical narcissus: a bright bold, orange-hearted and handsome thing.

But my way of thinking this fragrance is made all the better for that!

2. Fountains

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Water perfumes are so often so desperately dull, speaking nothing of the sensational fun of the stuff itself.

One only has to ponder those endless lines of blue aquatics (especially those targeted at the gents) to become overcome with a sense of ennui.

And yet, when The Dandy, thinks of water and fountains in particular three things take his fancy: the Louis and their Versailles, the far from boring Borgias and their Villa d’Este and the British and their Gin and its Tonic.

So there’s my excuse for setting out a case for this decadent spritz of misspent summer afternoons in spray form.

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling is a quinine soaked cocktail of a scent that is guaranteed to intoxicate with its irrepressibly mischievious insousiance.

3. Statue

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Perhaps a little the worse for wear on account of that Sling, The Dandy can’t help but imagine that this young thing is trying to catch a few rays to eradicate that “pale and interesting look” she’s sporting.

“Heresy!” I hear you cry to describe a sculpture such… well here’s another: not a serious scent at all but a “beauty product”.

Whilst obviously not a patch on its magnificent namesake, Guerlain’s Terracotta Sous le Vent is about as fabulously fragrant as a moisturising mist might ever hope to be.

The weather may not yet be warm enough to prends un bain de soleil, but if you feel like a glow all year round you could do worse than this perfumed water variously described as having a note of tiare flower, orange blossom and jasmine.

Light, airy and aerating this is an energising floral fillip for anyone struggling to shift change of season sluggishness and swing into Spring.

4. Tulips and Hyacinths

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A tough assignment this, for as many of you have pointed out a true hyacinth aroma is hard to find.

Tougher still is the tulip, though one of The Dandy‘s very most favoured flowers on account of its shapely appearance, it has a scent that is evasive to the point of non existent, though a few perfumers have attempted to capture the concept at least.

So what to do by way of solution? Why a bouquet of course!!

Whilst Floris Edwardian Bouquet may lead with jasmine, hyacinth is high in the mix and there’s even a little oakmoss to add a brisk and breezy edge.

All in all this wonderfully composed water is an elegantly restrained exercise in self-effacing English luxury, and a worthy addition to any Spring wardrobe.

5. Green Leaves

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“Why!?!” I hear you exclaim, “Norell by Norell could quite easily have been your hyacinth dear Dandy“.

And so it could… but for all its top note florals, almost no scent is as gregariously green as the original Norell.

To The Dandy, it is a sparking emerald among the jewels of perfumery.

However, I will not wax too lyrical at this time about the virtues of this galbanum-laden gem, for there is more to come very soon on this same scent…

So a first five fragrances to follow on from those photographs.

Twenty more to come ‘twixt now and Friday!!

If you’d like to take a peek, why not spend a moment perusing the complete album of The Perfumed Dandy’s Sunday In The Park.

Any additional suggestions would be gratefully received.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Sunday in the Park with… The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Snaps

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Dearest Friends

So many of you wrote in to The Perfumed Dandy last week with a liking for my humble images of a weekend away, that I thought I would share my pictures of today’s perambulations around Fair London Town.

This morning the sun shone brightly and so so The Dandy did what dandies do and made for a promenade in the Park…

But which Park might this be?

And which fragrances would go best with which photographs?

All will be revealed over the course of the week ahead… but in the meantime The Dandy would love to hear your splendid suggestions!

1. Green Leaves

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2. Daffodils

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3. Fountains

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4. Statue

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5. Tulips and Hyacinths
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6. Swan

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7. Green Grass

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8. Folly

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9. Conifer

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10. Tea House

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11. Trunk and Tree

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12. Blossom and Children

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13. Orangery

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14. Palm

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15. Rosebuds

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16. White Narcissus

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17. Electric Green

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18. Topiary

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19. Round Pond

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20. More Leaves

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21. Memorial

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22. Magnolias

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23. Moss Bridge and Water

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24. Exotic Flowers

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25. Hollow and Water

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My Goodness, didn’t The Dandy get awfully snap happy?

So now he has to come up with 25 scents, five each day ‘twixt now and Friday, to go with those scenes…

Lordy! Any help by way of suggestions would be most appreciated dear brethren.

Until we meet again do enjoy whatever remains of the weekend.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Bees for beginners… Sensuous by Estee Lauder The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter 

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She woke slumped upon the floor in her spare room, surrounded by leaves and lengths of paper, some floral scented some still smelling of wood pulp and printer ink.

It was Saturday and she at once sensed that the weather was much colder.

Outside, the early Summer had evaporated and though the sunshine persisted, the warmth that she had in such a short time become accustomed to had deserted her.

She could, of course, as was her custom, seek solace from loneliness in work.

Make the journey back to her wood panelled rooms overlooking the magnolia grandiflora at the gates to Gray’s Inn and find company in legal cases filled with people and their problematic lives.

Practicing family law part time and at weekends, she found she need never truly be alone.

Walking past the bowler hatted beadle at the entrance to the Inn a doubt like a tick twisted at the corner of her right eye: was this the right thing to do? To run away from her woes at home and seek shelter in lives on paper more troubled than her own?

She pushed against the heavy door to chambers, it gave its usual resistance and then gave way begrudgingly, as if it admitted her against its better judgment.

She was met with an overpowering almost sickly smell of lilies.

The vast flower arrangement in reception had turned slightly stale after week of greeting unhappy clients cheerily.

The smell, though not entirely unpleasant, at this moment literally repulsed her, pushed her from the room with a force that felt physical.

She closed the door quickly, putting herself on the outside and lent breathing deeply, as though from a struggle, against the oak aperture to prevent it so she thought from opening of its own accord or the aroma escaping.

She looked around, there was no one.

Regaining a degree of composure, she drifted across the courtyard to the gardens they all knew as ‘The Walks’.

She fully expected the great wrought iron gates to be closed against her as they always were, excepting weekday lunchtimes when they were opened to allow solicitors and their sandwiches to litter the vast lawns.

Yet when she touched the turned metal to get a feel for its cold resistance, she found that they were, in fact, unlocked and for a reason she could not place felt a surge of exhilaration, liberation even run through her.

Without hesitation she squeezed open a small gap and snuck herself through.

To avoid discovery she veered away from the avenue of plane trees and limes that made up the ceremonial centrepiece of the park.

As she did she noted the soft arboreal smell that the day, now warming, was bringing forth.

At first she thought the buzz was in her head.

She had suffered migraines lately and fretted for a moment that this might be their latest manifestation.

Soon she realised that the sound was real and came from without herself.

It was coming from the side of Verulam Buildings, the vast block of Georgian domestic architecture that closed off this little world from the busy streets beyond.

She walked towards the noise, not really knowing why, a lawyer’s inquisitiveness, perhaps.

She was startled, when a tall figure dressed entirely in white with what appeared to be a black hood on stepped out from the shade.

Her earlier excitement morphed quickly into mild panic. She turned and was about to run.

“Watch out!” it was a man’s voice, well spoken, sonorous, resonant.

“They’re pretty mad and might sting. I’ve been interfering with them you see.”

He laughed, and backing off hastily she joined him in his chuckle: he was a bee keeper.

Through his guffaws he held aloft a honeycomb with gleeful gusto as if to prove the point.

This boy like pride and the intoxicating sweet animal smell of the nectar had her in paroxysms.

So much so that she barely noticed him replace the slide into the hive and walk over to her.

Close up, with the netting removed to reveal a tanned, asymmetrical but not unattractive face, he smelt not only of the bees and their secretions but of his own sweat.

To go with the sweetness there was a salty, not entirely clean scent about him.

It was, she thought, an honest smell, bought with physical labour and passion.

“Are you the volunteer?” he asked with a smile.

She knew much depended on her answer, and the mistakes that she had made before came instantly to mind.

“Yes. Yes, I am…. I’m the volunteer.”

“What brings you to bees?”

She thought briefly but deeply and then settled with a profound certainty on her answer.

“I admire their industriousness.”

Estee Lauder’s Sensuous is a fragrance of great but delayed gratification.

At first this aroma can seem like a sugary floral synthetic aimed cynically at a sweet toothed teen market.

There is much more and of worth to be found here.

At its core this is a decidedly, deliciously unwholesome honey more sexual than simply sensuous in its animal intensity.

Things, though, do not start off so well.

The opening is a rather obvious concoction of magnolia, jasmine and mainly lily into a sad generic floral accord, which with the first clean notes of natural sugar can be cloying.

This effect, however, passes quickly with the introduction of ylang ylang and an off-beat sandalwood and amber that sees the composition gain both complexity and depth.

There is an exotic almost hothouse feel to this element of the fragrance, reminiscent of botanical gardens and indoor palms.

This too develops as the rich honeycomb core, tempered not only with the salt of the amber but also a little black pepper, comes very much to the fore.

It is an intense and prolonged note, persisting well into drydown that succeeds magnificently in conveying a sense of bees the beast as well as their sweet secretions.

Sensuous is ultimately a heady, sweaty, swept of one’s feet sort of a perfume, that admirably escapes the realms of cheap romantic fiction by means of its visceral, animal honesty.

Men and women both make wonderful apiarists.

Now, far be it for The Dandy to direct your reading, dear friends, but today’s reflections may make a little more sense in the context of this week’s reviews of Tresor by Lancome and Stella by Stella McCartney… just a thought.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

 

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Dried roses for remembrance… Stella by Stella McCartney The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

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All afternoon she had been unable to get last August off her mind.

She had a case in hand, a complex contract-heavy one at that, but couldn’t afford it the attention it demanded.

The sensation of one spoonful of unsweet jam had brought back last summer and she felt the need to be at home with her memories.

Setting out for the journey, walking through the courtyard near the chapel, she noticed this year’s first buds.

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In a matter of just a few weeks the roses would be in bloom again.

On The Tube, the change in weather had caught some people off guard and they laboured sweatily under winter coats.

She, forever with a change of clothes in the office, on account of the hours she worked, was light and airy in linen.

She wore too a spritz of the citrus cologne he always had with him, but knew it would not be around for long, that its scent would disappear as quickly as he had done from her life.

Turning the key in the lock of the front door they had painted crimson together, she knew there was only one place in the house she wanted to be.

Entering, her home seemed to give a warm and gentle sigh to acknowledge her return.

She sweeps through the silent, slightly sweet almost salty air and to the dressing room that was to be her luxury upstairs.

The majority of the rose petals they harvested were used to make a tincture, but some they kept behind.

A bunch, all dried out, stands in a white vase on a travelling chest of drawers beneath an old poster for a French hat maker.

They smell mainly of softly perfumed dust, the residues of the scented candles and incense sticks that she burns.

She opens the top drawer and an entirely different aroma emerges.

Roses. The varieties ‘Guinée’ and ‘Handel’, she recalls.

They placed petals between plain lining paper and allowed them to dry out in situ. A sweetly smelling reminder of their summer, that would they hoped imprint itself on her all year long through the scent it lent her clothes.

But after the rupture, the plan had come to nothing, the only thing she had ever kept here were the photocopies.

You see, they took only digital photographs and when the disk corrupted, nothing, nothing from that time could be salvaged save for the few images she had already printed off.

Though digitally perfect, she noticed soon enough they were fading prematurely.

That he was too quickly becoming a part of her history.

So she tried to save what she could and copied the fading colour photos over and over, shoring what she could of the past against future storms.

And here she is now, in a Tempest of remembrance.

Surrounded by gusts of fallen rose petals and sheaves of paper destined, like her memories, to desiccate.

Stella by Stella McCartney is a strangely comforting contradiction of the antique and contemporary in fragrance.

In essence this is a classic rose perfume, captured with all the digital perfection that modern technique can muster.

But then something else happens, the scent seems intentionally decayed and aged into a sepia photograph of the flower, rescued from a dusty hiding place.

Before this, the opening is a momentary mandarin that yields almost before it has began to the floral core.

True, that rose heart does have a hint of what others have described as a ‘pot pouri’ presence, perhaps on the account of a rather large part of it that is peony.

This is no dewy, fresh, straight from the garden stem, the sensation is more restrained and if not melancholic then reflective.

The amber lends the structure a somewhat fixed and linear quality, like memories laid down to be remembered.

After that first unsettling ageing, little changes, as though a certain amount of dilapidation and no more will be tolerated.

Stella is a perfume that may deceive and be dismissed as being overly simplistic.

Yet the charm here lies in the intelligence and thought with which a simple concept is handled with a little complexity.

This is a slight, elegant, floral momento of the recent past.

The rose is perhaps the easiest of all flowers for gentleman of distinction to wear, this example is no exception.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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In a real jam… Tresor by Lancome The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

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A spell of unseasonally warm weather has caused confusion for plants and flowers.

Looking from her lawyer’s window at the Inn of Court, she can see the The Walks with formal borders and faux fruit trees in full blossom.

Yet, on the lawns and in the beds, narcissi still hang on, not willing yet to yield their Spring to this silly three day Summer. In between, impatient tulips are already ready to take their neatly sculpted turn in the newly warm sun.

A few lilies of the valley, made to look accidental despite the care taken by the head gardener over their cultivation, lurk in an otherwise gloomy corner: all delicate and dainty in their counterfeit innocence.

The sun catches a slight fracture in the glass and concentrates in an unbearably bright line on the blank white page before her.

She turns wincing from it and finds herself unable to think. She wants to be somewhere, more precisely sometime else.

Exactly, she wants to be in last Summer.

A headline on a page towards the back of her discarded newspaper tells how a similar heat wave in the Eastern Mediterranean is adding to financial woes with cultivatory chaos.

Trees are maturing early and there are fears of a premature crop, of a glut of soft fruit: figs, nectarines, peaches and apricots. Just like last year, when through lack of demand prices plummeted and plums and gages remained on trees to rot.

She remembers how plentiful and cheap everything was, and how they shopped the markets together, struggling home with heavy bags to share their plunder with sash windows wide open and Sarah Vaughn on the stereo.

But even they, in their lovers’ hunger, could not eat everything.

She remembers that with what was left over they had made sugar free jam, and then recalls that one jar remains.

A gift for colleagues it has been shunted to the back of a cupboard in the communal staff kitchen. It takes only a moment to hunt it down.

It s in her hands now, and with the care an archaeologist reserves for the opening of an ancient cask, she prepares to open it.

The metal lid loosens and swivels and the vessel gives up a sigh.

Instantly she knows that the scent is no longer of Summer.

There is a strange note, almost like a melon or pear above the peach she had expected.

It is the pineapple that she added to give the thing some ping. It has matured into a solid autumnal tone.

She takes a teaspoon and carves herself out a mouthful of the dense matter.

Only when she places it in her mouth, when the sugary stuff touches her spit, can the apricots, which in their abundance made up the majority of the supply, be tasted. They are honeyed with age now, round and fat and confident on the tongue.

Then: the rosewater.

They had taken pounds of petals from the old bushes in Field Court and macerated them in vodka to make what the book told them was a tincture.

They had drunk some, and worn some as scent and put the rest in the jam.

One spoonful was quite enough to bring it all back.

Enough to remind her that since then a winter had passed and that, following one sharp shock, she too had passed from the May to the September of her life.

Tresor by Lancome may not be quite precious enough to live up to the promise of its name, but it is an elegant and adult scent that rewards the attention afforded it.

It is a perfume that puts pay to the notion that all fruits notes must be sugary sweet nothings: this is a complex composition imbued with a strong sense of recollection.

It is often said that this is a Summer smell, I would contend that it has much more of Autumn about it, of a drawing in of the harvest and taking stock.

Everything starts with a large fruit note that succeeds in neither being too cloying nor sweet nor, indeed, fresh.

This is a preserved fruit fragrance and for all that is undeniably peachy, there is element, perhaps in the interplay with a muguet that is definitely discernible, that creates the impression of cantaloupe melon or very ripe conference pear.

Beyond this is copious apricot, though created once again in a confit form. Indeed there is alcoholic element to this central section that makes one think of fruits floating in formidably strong Mittel-Eurpoean liqueurs, like specimens in formaldehyde.

Even the rose which forms the fragrance’s other main theme seems suspended in a very fine fruit jelly.

Gradually first the rose and then the apricot dissipate and, the floral scented jam all consumed we are left with a dry down that is a little disappointing in its vanilla and sandalwood predictability.

In the final account, Tresor is an excellent confiture.

An olfactory aide memoire for soft fruit and velvet roses.

Yet as with all preserves, it calls to mind the past and leaves one longing for the real thing that it can never quite be.

A gentleman is as likely to take jam on his bread as a lady.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Scenes from Spring The Perfumed Dandy’s Matching Scents

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Dear Chums

The Perfumed Dandy is now back in Old London Town after his briefest of trips to The Coast.

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions as to which perfumes might go best with the places and personae pictured below.

For better or worse, with some tiny explanations, I humbly present my own picks…

Wild grass

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There are so many wonderful hay and grass scents, but vetiver remains The Dandy‘s favourite.

Guerlain’s Pour Elle was always his most precious lawn aroma, but is now sadly gone.

Chanel’s Sycomore with its hint of pipe tobacco, herbs and a subtle twist of April violets is the next best thing to perfect.

It hints at long blades with a long history.

Wild horses (well ponies really)

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From humble starts come great beasts.

These ponies may never grow up to be horses higher than men, but the elusive wild foals hiding just out of shot might.

When they do, racing across the sands they will give off that muscular and visceral scent that animals do.

La Nuit by Paco Rabanne will never be to everyone’s taste, but this big bold animalic with a rose heart has a irresistible sweet manure accord that makes it a true olfactory thoroughbred.

Mosses and lichens

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A wildly diverse and rugged oakmoss scent that can appear scary, even foreboding, at first.

Getting to know this rocky and rugged fragrance undoubtedly reaps rewards.

The view from atop a cloud of Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir is rather grand.

Stone walls and sky

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Even on the hottest Summer’s days, let alone in weak April sunshine, stone walls stay cold to the touch.

What better note could there be to replicate that natural froideur than the chalky chill of galbanum.

Nowhere is that cool resin rendered so beautifully as in Guerlain’s Chamade, a masterful composition often thought to difficult to play regularly.

A pilot’s cottage

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As beautiful as this tiny island is, one imagines that nights for the pilots and light keepers who served their shifts in this small cottage must have been long and often lonely.

Perhaps, The Dandy thinks, they comforted themselves with the finest sweet tobacco scented with cloves, smoked through cedar pipes.

Illuminum’s Wild Tobacco as a photo realistic impression of the smell their gold leaf at the moment before it is ignition.

A monument

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Something to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Britain’s longest serving Sovereign.

Jicky of course was just a child at this time, but Victoria turned like, as so many heads of state still do, to Creed and their Fleur de Bulgarie, an intense rose perfume that she had been wearing since they developed it for her in 1845.

A metal sculpture

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Metallic notes in perfumery are an odd sort of thing, or so The Dandy finds.

In fact to my nose many herbs have a shine about them as sharp as polished steel. Rosemary has this, but particularly and peculiarly petitgrain.

So this might be an oddly personal choice but Bensimon’s Eau de Cologne 1993 seems to me to combine a high metallic timbre with an acute slightly salty amber and a host of resinous undertones against patchouli and leather.

An idiosyncratic scent that speaks as much of forge as sea shore.

The light house

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Life in a lighthouse one imagines must be a pretty stark and startling affair.

The lashing waves, the wind, the pressure, especially before electricity, of keeping that paraffin powered lamp alight and the constant painting to ensure that the tower is a shining beacon of white.

What better perfume than the equally as arresting M/Mink by Byredo?

The opening note may strictly speaking be printer’s ink rather than paint but the effect is somewhat similar.

Below as well as something of the sea itself, there is a deeply animalic bees’ honey that verges on the petrochemical and yet the whole affair is, at least once one becomes accustomed, a great deal more homely than could ever have been expected.

The sea shore

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The water looks just so inviting doesn’t it?

Well, I’m afraid not to the touch, not yet anyway… a month or two later in the year on a similarly sunny day and The Dandy might well have been tempted to take a dip.

And it’s that smell, the soft scent of skin after sea water swimming that Hermes Eau de Merveilles captures perfectly.

This is a quiet, personal and up close perfume, but absolutely none the worse, in fact all the better for it.

A pine forest

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So far as pine forests are concerned, particularly those on the coast and subject to bracing sea air, only one perfume will do…

Estee Lauder’s Alliage is a green dream.

It is a conjured up summer’s day called forth by a determined sense of will.

And it is the scent The Perfumed Dandy found himself wearing most often while he was away. Genius.

If you’d like to read more, there’s a slightly off the wall review of this aroma on the site already.

So there we have it.

I do hope you like the seaside scents… and if you have other thoughts, do keep them coming in.

Here’s to another splendidly smelly week.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy

The Perfumed Dandy

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A Sense of Spring… The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Selection

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Dearest Alls

As some of you may have gathered, The Perfumed Dandy has taken his leave from The Big City for a little weekending away beside the sea.

However, he has not taken his leave of his friends!!!

On my wanderings yesterday I chanced to take a few photographs, some of which I share here with you today.

Perhaps you could suggest some perfumes that might go with these splendidly sunny Springtime images?

The Perfumed Dandy will post his own suggestions before the holiday is out…

It would be such fun to compare notes!!

Wild grass

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Wild horses (well ponies really)

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Mosses and lichens

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Stone walls and sky

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A pilot’s cottage

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A monument

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A metal sculpture

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The light house

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The sea shore

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A pine forest

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One does hope you like the snaps and they inspire you to suggest some scents…

Merry weekending!!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy

The Perfumed Dandy

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Sent from above… Do Son by Diptyque The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

Some people simply don’t walk, they glide.
Floating around on their own fragrant cloud.
She is one of them.
Impossible to date, she was young once, but isn’t old now.
She used to dance for a living, they say.
Today she can still turn out both feet to a perfect point, but has no call to do so except yoga classes.
She was an artists’ model, her muse, his lover. Now she paints.
She still looks good in the nude.

Some people just won’t argue, they have an inner poise.
Smiling through conflict with wide open eyes.
She is one of them.
Impervious to labels, she wears floral kaftans, but isn’t remotely new age.
She may have been Buddhist, might still believe.
In the afternoon she lights tapers that give off a Papal-white smoke and the smell of flowers.
She was presented with bouquets back then, roses and irises. Mostly tuberoses.
She cultivates oranges now.

Some people aren’t solely clean, they glow from within.

Radiating fraternity, their spirits are free.

She is one of them.

Do Son by Diptyque is a scent that seems to operate on a separate and altogether higher plain.

Somehow it is set apart from the fray of normal fragrances, unwilling to compete on other perfumes’ terms.

It is sweet, floral, resinous and linear but in a way that defies the other aromas that normally accept these adjectives.

It starts almost as it ends, with a digitally clear tuberose levitating above orange flower, all the time being held aloft by an improbably clean benzoin.

In the depths of the floral heart there are tea roses and a buttery iris that adds a creamy complexion.

Much further in and towards the end there is a little musk.

None of which does justice to the piece as a whole.

This is a work of elusive, yet embracing and ethereal excellence.

Being above the cut and thrust of normal things Do Son will not concern itself overly with petty questions of gender.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

 

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