Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Office Party To End All… Black Afgano by Nasomatto The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days Before Christmas Part IV

That Deborah had a decidedly disreputable air no one would deny.

But bring the whole department down?

Few if any of her fellow colleagues would have foreseen such a fate for the team.

That was because they could not decipher the expert tactician within.

For beneath blue hair, layers of tie die and not often washed crushed velvet a genius military general’s mind lay.

She bided time, allowed everyone to think better of her, chide themselves, indeed, for having judged the music festival looks and hippie head shop trademark smell.

For having done her wrong.

In fact she was exactly what they had first suspected her to be.

Except sharper and with malicious purpose.

When the time came to make arrangements for a Christmas office party, lured into a false sense of security, they all acquiesced to Debbie’s ‘kind offer’ to sort out catering.

The mushroom vol au vents were more gritty than creamy, slightly bitter, in truth, they all agreed. But the pastry was light and had a nutty flavour that some vaguely recognised from ‘university’.

The sandwiches were fine, except eyebrows raised at chocolate hazelnut spread between electric white sliced bread by way of a desert.

A few people thought that maybe, amongst the thick savoury dips, the pates and soft cheeses a vegetable or two might have been nice. Or salad even?

The mince pies though were divine, so spicy, sickly sweet, yet peppery almost meaty even.

And the brownies?!? What a novelty. So ‘unctuous’. Is that the word?

Well ‘pleasing’, and so sooo-oooo moreish.

In fact after the first round of brownies all objections to the spread were dead and every offering seemed too-too appealing.

Perhaps it was the bourbon punch, an interesting but ‘fatal’ concoction, that a young man from engineering joked could probably strip rust from metal.

Whatever.

“Chill out!” the chief financial officer exclaimed, at which point you catch a sly smile creep cross Deborah’s face and are seized by dread.

Then Alan from management accounts starts neighing like a horse and trotting round the room at speed.

‘He’ll take the Kentucky Derby’ he squeals repeatedly until red in the face, providing his own a commentary to a one man race.

Miriam from sales is on the floor now searching for a coloured contact lens she is convinced has dropped out of Kevin from fulfilment’s eye. What other reason could there be for his irises being different colours, and come to think of it sizes?

John, reliable John from facilities, is asking Tina from payroll if he can Squeeze her tities’, meanwhile she seems quite happy with the prospect of a little three way slap and tickle sat in the lap William from electricals.

Quiet Andrew from design is on an urgent mission. Dissecting crackers and extracting paper crowns he is adorning them with glitter and making ‘queens’ of all around.

Simon from legal, is beside himself.

They kiss. Then more.

An assistant CEO demands ‘Get a room’.

From somewhere ‘The Boss’ appears, a vision in Sylvia, his secretary. sorry, ‘Executive Assistant’s’ ballet class gear.

She screams.

Not at the sight but a sudden memory.

“The Shareholders’ Visit”.

A gasp.

Silence.

Deborah cackles.

A door opens.

Five grey suited men appear.

A flash from Debbie’s camera.

Then she disappears.

Black Afgano by Nasomatto is an addictive, narcotic slice-of-the-low-life perfume.

A scent to make the seamy side seem irresistible, sexual, bordering on the sublime.

Hashish, best incense and honeyed oud attar hijack blue velvet pipe tobacco smoke and tie it with a deep green silk ribbon to a coffee tree.

This is a private joke of a fragrance.

A funny knowing face shared between two students with parents visiting their digs.

Druggy, decadent, and ever so delirious this will drag a polite party down in just the right kind of way.

Beware though, they will be consequences before Christmas.

Mind how you go, bro’

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Tea Shop Time of Year… Must de Cartier by Cartier The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days before Christmas Part III 

In electric December twilight beneath thousands of Paris’s lamps the lovers’ locks on the Pont des Arts shimmer and gleam.

A hardware hoard of brass and steel is transformed by romance and the season’s illuminations into a sea of gold and silver: a jewelled arc across the river.

A block or two removed from the Seine, just far enough for peace from the avid advent bustle of tourists on the Pont Neuf, upstream of the dock for the bateaux mouches carrying their endless tide of visitors through the City of Lights, the petite maison du the on Rue du Pont de Lodi, nestles in its quiet street.

Behind the imperial purple door, bearing a fresh wreath for Christmas, new owners are fashioning what they fancy is a fragment of the Far East on the fringes of the fifth arrondisment.

They have added orange blossom oolong tea to the carte of regular tisanes.

Its sweet, floral citrus reaches up a welcome upon your entry.

You settle into newly lowered-chairs. Their dusty, musky, furniture polished faux second empire frames strewn with raw silk cushions and lit by reproduction Tiffany lamps and chintz-shaded 40 watt bulbs.

You look up at the once-low counter and peering beyond spot an unknown object: alongside the old steaming urns and a bedsit stove topped with milk pans, there is an oil burner.

A porcelain contraption that gives no heat, and exists solely for scent.

You imagine, for you cannot see, a small slurp of viscous liquid hanging in a china crater above the solitary night light that seeks to slowly diminish it and diffuse the aroma into the air.

A pool of ever-reducing resinous residue.

A slick of fragrance added after fragrance until no note is left distinguishable from the whole warm and comforting confusion.

There is vanilla certainly, and amber, some sandalwood and something, well, distinctly animal.

Though on reflection, that might be the ancient cat adopted by the ancien regime that has outstayed the old owners and sits perched atop the out of tune upright piano.

A bunch of haphazard flowers are squeezed onto the instrument too, and seem to shade our feline friend like a tiny floral palm tree – a few roses amongst carnations and the very odd orchid – on his Parisian indoor desert island.

You come to order and think to try the oolong tea, then, discovering that deserts have similarly gone East, resist and instead hold onto the past with a generous boule of hot chocolate, which serves to warm your hands and heart.

The chocolat chaud goes down easily, especially when the waitress offers to add a Cointreau as a token of their affection for returning customers and to mark the time of year.

With satisfaction you find the only tampering inflicted on the peach flan to make it oriental has been a heavy pinch of cinnamon added to the custard supporting the fruit.

Who can argue with such an addition so close to the Noel?

The cat, Albert, jumps onto the stained piano keys, his paws yielding a major chord as he pauses before making his way over to you and placing himself aloofly in your lap.

His manner says ‘I’m doing you a favour’ a moment later his rough tongue licks the excess spiced crème anglaise from your fingers as his powder puff body quivers with a purr.

The maison du the on the Rue du Pont de Lodi is not quite what it was.

Christmas even here these days comes a little bit made in China.

Even so, dimly lit and quiet, with its slightly narcotic smell it is a haven this hallowed season from which to watch the festive world go by.

The quietest and in some ways most reserved of the balmy orientals of the 1970s and 80s, Must de Cartier is unlikely ever to offend.

It is an exercise in good manners.

Where others scream and seek to shock or pass themselves off as the real Far Eastern deal, Must seems happy with itself, comfortable with the notion that it is an allusion to the orient and not the actual thing.

After a surprisingly bright opening orange and bergamot flourish, aided by aldehydes, the perfume settles down into familiar territory of amber, sandalwood and vanilla, with a distinctly resinous quality to the heart, though the galbanum here is decidedly not green.

Equally, though there is musk, those fearing powder should be calm as it is kept at bay with some fine handbag leather and civet.

Finally, floral notes are distinctly muted in a drydown that sees this become as much a next to the skin scent as something so spicy can become.

Some will undoubtedly find the fragrance too sweet and muddled, but the drydown is so subtle that any over sugaring and note mixing mellow gently into a pleasant ambient perfume.

Must de Cartier is every inch a comfortable, if eccentric, teashop sort of scent.

A subtle choice for a special occasion or spoiling yourself because you can.

As I alluded to yesterday, I find both Musts de Cartier interchangeable and their designations as homme and non-homme quite superfluous.

Who doesn’t like hanging out in slightly off the wall tea houses?

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Santa’s Silver Fox… Must de Cartier Pour Homme by Cartier The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days Before Christmas Part II

Arthur was widowed young.

So he learnt, unlike most men of his generation.

Unlike most men.

And account of the fact that he liked cakes.

To bake.

He also, a rare disposition in widowers so he found, liked people.

Young, old, good and bad humoured, pleasant looking and plain and of every colour and creed.

And in their multitudes.

Arthur like to surround himself with other souls.

He was talked of in hallowed terms ‘pillar of the community’, ‘salt of the earth’.

But his current best friend, a spirited boy of six, some seventy two year his junior, would correct this second epithet.

“Arthur’s not the salt of the earth. He’s it’s sugar.”

On account, the precocious infant would explain to anyone who asked of their being nothing bitter, rancorous or un-likeable about his pal.

The week before Christmas finds Arthur in a halo of strong plain and self-raising flour beaming like a gastronomic angel amongst celestial clouds of icing sugar.

He will make…

Decorated gingerbread men by the dozen.

Scores of mince pies scented with coriander, a memory of childhood and the Raj.

Multiple dense fruit cakes, fed with Cointreau and full of candied orange peel.

Apple and cinnamon crumbles so that some as old but not as able as him can have hot puddings.

Sixty egg custard tarts with too much vanilla essence, because he likes them that way.

And biscuit upon iced biscuit, by the bagful, to decorate any tree that will have them.

Arthur’s industry though is strictly a morning thing for, following a light lunch and good soak, he emerges from home immaculate in bright tweeds topped with silver Brylcreemed and combed through hair.

On brown brogue shod feet or a rickety burgundy bicycle with capacious basket he begins the real work and joy of his day:

Distribution.

A lifetime working logistics has prepared him for the intensity of this sincere high speed socialising.

He visits, calls with, meets, drops in on and takes out daily more people than many other commune with in a month.

Yet each one he succeeds in making feel special.

He has a talent for remembering.

Knows when a granddaughter has been unwell, a sister divorced, a nephew has lost work or an ageing mother moved into a nursing home and for asking after them with genuine care and an absence of the arrogant desire to advise.

He recalls birthdays and anniversaries, school sports day triumphs, examinations passed, homes moved into and new jobs found.

And of course he does make the best sweets, puddings, biscuits, cookies, crumbles and cakes.

So when, sartorially elegant and scented of a polite vetiver he’s worn since the sixties, he calls at this time of the year he is more the especially welcome.

For “Arthur is the sugar of the earth.”

Must de Cartier Pour Homme is a generous, friendly, frightfully likeable fragrance.

Its mixture of sweet, vibrant and absolutely un-sickly spices is a seasonal tonic to be truly savoured.

If contemporary gourmands are industrial, sucrose-driven production units of confectionery perfume, this is the aroma of fine home baking with organic Demerara and good doses of citrus fruits to cut through anything that might possible cloy.

It is the smell of an expertly made pre-Christmas Monday.

Oranges and tangy, rather than sharp, lemons combine with a carnation that is more white pepper than petal and a good pinch of coriander at the top.

The spiciness then mellows and sweetens, though, despite a strong cinnamon note and because of the zing of a prominent ginger, the composition retains it fizz.

The dry down is gentle, though quirky, the olfactory equivalent of a polka dot bow tie on a smartly dressed man. A pleasant sandalwood, vanilla and tonka bean accord is given some verve by a refreshing vetiver that, coupled with the residual aromatics, lift the whole experience.

As a masterclass in subtly idiosyncratic composition and irrepressibly optimistic perfume making this is hard to beat.

It’s also a sure fire festive fillip for those in need of a touch of seasonal spirit.

Oh, as if it needed saying, this is absolutely appropriate for women and men alike. In fact, the ‘Pour Homme’ here feels like an afterthought.

‘Le Must de Cartier II’ would have sufficed.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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What to get for…? Liu by Guerlain The Perfumed Dandy’s 12 Days Before Christmas Part I

Born wealthy and gasp-inducingly beautiful she is, naturally, a difficult woman to buy a gift for.

From a distance, at a champagne reception gleefully devouring mini crème brulee canapes, she might be mistaken for a cousin, maybe two.

She shares their sparkling eyes and effervescent conversation, stage whispered between slightly parted pearlescent teeth.

But beneath the fizzing small talk and latest fashions she runs to greater depths.

She is less likely to cut a dash on the social pages, has no ambition be a couturier’s muse.

At the opera she doesn’t take a box, but can be found on the balcony amongst her musicologist friends.

She is happiest here, analysing the soprano’s coloratura technique, dissecting the dense prose of a nouveau roman or hunting down meaning in a vast abstract expressionist blur.

On a personal level some, most people, find her spikey.

Her razor sharp mind, mildly acid tongue and brutal directness is not to metropolitan high society’s taste.

She lacks manners they say, missing that what she has in quantities is grace.

Presents though, are a problem.

She is a likely as not to dismiss a diamond ring as ‘porn star bling’, return or send to charity unwanted silk scarves, the marks she says of ‘grand bourgeois conformity’.

The thought, you see, as always, is the thing.

So from six weeks out you begin to worry, with a fortnight to go you find yourself approaching mild panic.

For she’s not too grand or contemporary or unconventional to accept a token of affection at this time of year.

She expects it, sets up an annual ritual of exchange, makes of it a tournament of the interpersonal talents.

Who knows the other best? Who can read the other’s desires perhaps better than they can read their own?

Who loves who most?

It is a high takes game. She knows it, thrills in it.

If you had the money some Van Gogh irises would do, except you haven’t and she’s already set to inherit two.

A first edition of someone French and middle century would suit, but she’d end up donating it to a public library so it could go on show or better still be auctioned to buy hundreds of books more decidedly lower brow.

Jewellery? No.

Why buy her dresses when she’s happy in her relatives worn once cast offs?

A holiday?

She once asked “why would anyone want to take a break from their life if they actually enjoyed it?”

Then, some lucky Friday, a memory comes clattering like a subway train into your suburban station mind.

A smell.

The smell.

The scent of her mother.

She came from the same country as all those testing books, translated everything silently, internally to the language of Collete, Robbe-Grillet and Duras.

She had the aroma of a woman who had grown up in perfume.

Layer upon layer of fragrant complexity.

Depths exceeded only by her personality.

Why had she to die so soon?

Salt and pepper haired in an immaculately laundered white cotton shirt, tailored indigo jeans and burgundy patent brogues the parfumeur is not what you expected.

He has the air of a contemporary artist scrubbed up for a private view.

Earnest and almost scientific he approaches her apartment with an attitude composed of reverence and exacting curiosity in equal part.

He notices the roses left to dry in a baccarat vase on a book shelf, the well-used kitchen its refrigerator full of fresh herbs, rosemary to the fore.

He draws a finger across an antique amber dish and inhales the dust that collects there.

“Are there photographs?” he asks, innocent of the inevitable torture of the words.

If you had thought, for just one moment you could have found back copies of fashionable magazines of a few decades ago, scanned images of her radiant face peering out from gallery shows and gala nights.

You didn’t think.

The thought is everything.

It’s thought that counts.

Of course you know where the private family shots are. In a side drawer in the bureau in the bedroom.

Such an intrusion.

In the balance you weigh whether such an attack might be borne, the heavy price for a truly personal perfume.

The tiny key turns stiffly in the centuries old lock.

You hand him the bundle tied with a crimson ribbon.

The artist’s eyes follow every contour of her face, the cut of each dress, the angle of her smile, the curls of her hair.

Nothing betrays his thoughts, no flicker, grimace or raised brow.

Finally, after what feels like a feature film’s worth of time, he lifts the photographs to his nose and then returns them.

In turn you replace them, still unsure of your Faustian pact.

“It will take a month” he says unemotionally.

“But that leaves no time for me to try it before.”

“A month.”

In the end you elect for a plain flacon.

The Lalique bottle would have been too much.

Besides what a shame if she decided to smash such a thing of beauty.

So here it is, a simple glass cylinder in an unremarkable black box.

After making love, an uncommonly quiet city in the background, and a breakfast of scrambled eggs on buttered brioche toast, the moment arrives.

Your two hands outstretched like a Japanese assistant proffering an exquisite purchase, she accepts the package.

She opens the box.

Unscrews the cap.

Sprays the scent first into the air then onto her wrist.

Silence hisses.

A tear wells in her left eye.

“Maman”

She slaps your face, right side, hard.

For the first time you catch a little of the scent.

Perfection.

A pause.

“I forgive you.” She says.

Then…

“I saw. You left the ribbon untied.”

Liu by Guerlain is an elegant, unshowy aristocrat of a perfume.

It is a scent in possession of a certain near perfection born of impeccable breeding.

An apocryphal story has it that Jacques Guerlain and Ernest Beaux set each other a friendly rivals’ challenge. The man from Chanel would create an ape of Shalimar, while Jacques would formulate a fragrance to match the formidable No. 5.


Only the winning perfume would be available for public consumption.

Liu triumphed.

Whether this tale has any foundation in actual fact is largely irrelevant, it is, aesthetically speaking, the truth.

While it would be fantastically simplistic to describe this composition as a straightforward cross between Chanel No. 5 and the original Shalimar, there are undoubtedly strong elements of both in its lineage.

The opening is all aldehydes of the sparkling Champagne (no Prosecco please) variety. It is an expression of such opulence and self-confidence that even the familiarity of nearly ninety years leaves the pleasure of it undiminished.

What follows though is surprising, not the customary floral explosion or even a civet-driven walk on the animalic wild side. Instead, though not the full accord, we are presented a pared down version of the house’s eponymous luxuriantly enveloping vanilla signature: what I might call a ‘Guerlainette’.

The interplay between fizzing modernity and plush comfort is quite entrancing and would be enough to sustain most scents, for Liu though, it is merely a stage.

Next, the florals arrive: desiccated rose petals, dusted with iris and darkened with oakmosss (really, the last of these notes is not listed but there’s at least an allusion to it there).

Then an herbal twist, rosemary is prominent, but I sense too a bouquet garni that includes other savoury elements made slightly indistinct by a composition as fantastically complicated as Duchess’s family tree.

Then the ‘Guerlainette’ returns, then the initial fizz bursts forth again.

The impression of each of these many twists and turns is entrancing, but taken individually these moments, though awe-inspiring, do not encompass the majesty of the work of art as a whole.

The individual parts of Liu are superior to most modern perfumes, yet they are but movements in a symphony of scent.

Acts in an olfactory opera

43b41-london_royaloperahouse

This is a perfume to give to a woman, or a man, who has everything.

Happy first day before Christmas.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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A Very Special Gift… The Perfumed Dandy’s Twelve Days Before Christmas

My Dear Seasonal Elves

As The Dandy mentioned just yesterday, I am rather fond, perhaps too fond in fact, of all things festive.

Well, as part of my ‘spreading the joy‘ at this special time of year, I have decided to distribute a dozen tantalizing trinkets, brilliant baubles if you like, ahead of The Big Day.

So, every afternoon or evening (The Dandy doesn’t function especially well, particularly in the present circumstances, until after lunch) I shall be posting a choice perfumed piece on some of the very finest fragrances.

Six have have been chosen by you, five by me and an unspeakably appropriate one returns from the archives.

All selected on the basis of their suitability for the current celebrations!

Some might be suitable as gift selections, others as little (or quite large) personal treats if you find yourself so inclined after the ardours of preparation.

All of which takes us up to the Eve itself.

On which matter, don’t forget that you get to choose what The Dandy will be wearing on 25th itself.

Just visit The Perfumed Dandy’s Yuletide Hit Parade to cast your astonishingly generous twelve votes!

Now, who can name all of those reindeer?

Prancer, dancer, vixen, blixen…. oh heavens I was never much good at that memorising thing!

Better still, I wonder if you can guess which perfumed delights might be in store…

… he knows, but he’s not telling!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Which ‘ladies’ scent’ will this gent wear come Christmas? The Perfumed Dandy’s Yuletide Hit Parade

Dearest Festive Fairies and Fellows

The Dandy adores Christmas.

I’m sorry, but I do, and over the next week or two I shall be devoting these pages to my own particular form of celebration… details of which to follow anon.

Apologies to the ‘bah humbugs’ among you, but The Dandy says ‘bah humbug’ to your ‘bah humbug’ and that’s enough humbugs to fill a sweet shop with. Now, to kick things off… A Very Special and Seasonal Hit Parade.

I have selected twelve perfumes, one for each day of Christmas, that have never made it to the top of our little chart (though they may appear on it currently).

You, my Santa’s elves, have between now and The Big Day to decide which scent will next my skin come 25th December 2013. So, all you have to do is pick from the sumptuous list below and cast your…

… wait for it…

… 12 Special Time of Year Votes for your favourite or favourites. Here goes, the big list…

French Can Can by Caron

Yresse (formerly known as Champagne) by Yves Saint Laurent

Phul-Nana by Grossmith

Visa by Robert Piguet

Joy by Jean Patou

Rouge (formerly known as Parfum d’Hermes) by Hermes

Diorling by Dior

Tom Ford Black Orchid by Estee Lauder

Chantilly by Houbigant

Louve by Serge Lutens

Parure by Guerlain

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

Well, twelve festive belles there if I may say so. Now The Dandy’s Noel aroma is in your hands… … do spread a little cheer in this direction!

Yours ever festively

The Perfumed Dandy. The Perfumed Dandy

Post Script

Don’t forget that’s 12 votes each, to be dispensed and dispersed as you see fit… use them wisely.

Voting closes at a moment before midnight GMT on Christmas Eve, the winner will be announced when The Dandy’s done opening presents!

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The Ever Present Refreshment… Omnia by Bulgari The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

“We never go anywhere without tea!”

Saying so she smiles widely from beneath a mop of sandy-coloured cork screw curls and a knitted Peruvian hat complete with incongruous Fairisle design.

“It’s chai really” he chimes, equally tanned and attractive in an un-scrubbed sort of a way, all blonde surfer hair under similar Andean headgear.

She begins to unscrew the lid of a fantastically patterned aluminium flask.

First steam emerges, then a smell which quickly fills the frosty railway carriage.

Sweet tea and South Asian spices in equal and syrupy measure.

Treacle ginger, desert-ready cardamom, apple-friendly cinnamon and a nutmeg that is just a little like fresh sweat.

A wooden tray, fragrant too, earthy and peppery, soon holds a small profusion of brightly painted metal cups, shimmering with images of purple saffron flowers and ripe mandarin oranges.

She grasps it with a steady hand, while he, in a confident well-practised gesture fills each receptacle with a long pour from a great height, cooling the milky liquid as it passes through the icy air, all the time creating more voluminous sugary vapour clouds.

They offer round the just-so portions to disinterested commuters on their way from home counties homes to city jobs in investment banking and contract law.

A few accept with nervous smiles.

Just as many refuse, suspicious and disdainful, unhappy that their train has been transformed into a humid sub-Continental tea room.

Our couple are unfazed by this froideur and left with half a dozen or so unclaimed gifts sigh collectively “Ah well, more for those who do!”

Sipping on your own measure of the heady brew, you wonder as to their relationship: so close and efficiently affectionate it seems too squeaky clean to be sexual.

Perhaps they are siblings, or six form soul-mates recently returned from a pre-university around the world adventure.

Yes, you decide, that must be it.

“It reminds us of India” she says breathing in the scent theatrically.

“Well, not strictly true…” he corrects her.

“… it inspires us on to India” he declares a tad grandly, supported by enthusiastic nods from his companion.

“It’s our dream to travel across the country by train….”

“… living only on tea and from tiffin boxes.” She says finishing his sentence.

They exchange more smiles, more flirtatious this time, and you realise this is a relationship on the cusp of more than merely geographical exploration.

With this realisation a certain cynicism within you, like uncomfortable trapped wind, shifts, and you find their hope brings temporary relief to your own sorry position.

The journey is nearing its short end. As the locomotive slows they speedily gather together their equipment.

With regret you return your emptied cup, the 8.52 comes to a shuddering halt.

In a moment the automated doors will open and the odour of happy anticipation that has enveloped you this last half hour will evaporate.

On the platform they wave goodbye cheerily, two tie-dyed points of brilliance, buoys on a sea of grey serge and suiting.

They slip away on a tide of busy in-a-hurry people and eventually disappear from sight.

Lifting a bag over your shoulder the cuff of your shirt brushes against your face.

It’s damp. You’ve spilt a little of the tea there where it is leaving a light coloured stain against the white cotton.

 Sniffing the cloth, the now almond-like ambrosial scent returns, and with it something of their sunny disposition.

Perhaps optimism is an option after all.

Head down you set off for the tube.

Perhaps.


No house is more committed to keeping tea in perfumery than Bulgari and Omnia is an Indian chai take on the universal refreshment.

Sweeter and a deal spicier than their other offerings this is a rather innocent and irrepressibly optimistic scent.

There are no velvet folds of complexity or furrowed brows so far as this perfume is concerned: it is a brilliant-eyed and bossily upbeat affair.

Whilst the instantly recognisable black leaf and milky sugar water note dominates, ginger plays a prominent role adding energy and vigour.

Other spices bring a degree of depth without ever allowing anything to get too serious: cardamom is sweet and desert-like, cinnamon pure apple pie.

Only the nutmeg, with a more human, physical edge that emerges in the heart, is able to convey a degree of maturity.

Whilst there is an undeniable white chocolate note, it alludes more to that confectionery’s almond and vanilla qualities than actual cocoa, especially when matched with guaiac, sandalwood and tonka bean in the base.

Omia is a pleasantly uncomplicated and insistently cheerful scent.

By no means great art, it has a charm akin to a well-crafted and humorous short story.

It will bring a smile, but probably does not bear detailed intellectual interrogation.

Have fun.

Oh, and of course, boys and girls will find delight in this undemanding aroma.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Prometheus Unbound… The Perfumed Dandy Speaks Again!

Dearest Friends

Oh Happy Day!!!

As I have bemoaned before on these very pages, The Dandy has been in a state of enforced seclusion, nay, near silence, for a number of weeks, as the wonders of WordPress have prevented me from commenting not only on the blogs of others, but also responding to the kind words that you have left here.

The gag (elegant though it was) has now gone!

As quickly and inexplicably as it came it has disappeared… perhaps it was my leaving it in peace awhile to take a holiday.

Like the invisible worm that arrives in the howling storm of the night, it has now departed having only rested in my crimson bed of joy a short while.

You will, therefore, find The Dandy most of the rest of today at his writing desk.

And whilst I apologise in advance for not being able to comment on all your wonderful work that I have been admiring from an apparent far these last weeks, I will try at least to respond to everything that has been sent me here.

I crave indulgence though, for it may take a little time!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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My family and other funny things… Tribal Black Tea by Illuminum The Perfumed Dandy’s Returning Sunday Scent

Dearhearts

Travels and travails all done with, The Dandy has returned in time for an abbreviated Christmas Season.

One thing this time the yuletide inevitably brings with it are the visits to family members unseen or heard of for much of the rest of the year.

It is just such a figure – only part imaginary – that Illuminum’s Tribal Black Tea brings to mind.

This is an eccentric uncle of a scent.

A paisley smoking jacket and silk slippers sort of gent. Waxed moustache and silver slicked back hair.

He sits in a study lined with shelves of obscure, no doubt out of date books of ethnography and anthropology.

A map here and there of Africa, a tribal mask, a spear or other ‘souvenir’ of his former days ‘in the field’.

He knows he is a relic, an antique, a species on the brink of extinction and he revels in his own exotic curiosity.

The best, in fact the only time to call is tea.

He has a silver samovar: since there are no servants any more it waits on him instead, providing spicy, juicy liquid as required to retain an adequate degree of lubrication.

As the brew is never fresh, he forever adulterates the restorative beverage with a quartered lemon here, a pod or two of cardamom there and the odd pinch of nutmeg that has the smack of snuff.

There is fruitcake, though no one knows from where it comes, and fresh cut flowers too: perhaps, after all, there is a ‘woman that does’ that pops in now and then.

For half, maybe a whole hour, he is replete with anecdotes, some old, some borrowed, a few blue.

Then the eyes glaze, he is apt to forget the beginning of the story he has started and, just maybe, your name.

As the time for his nap comes he fades and folds elegantly into an old chesterfield armchair.

The visit over, you let yourself out with the feeling that you’re glad you came but not exactly sure why.

He is a sweet, gentle enigma, a scented riddle of a man.

An eccentric. And how the British love such things.

Until tomorrow.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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