It’s sprung… will you leap forward? The Perfumed Dandy’s Fragrant Forum 

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It’s coming… it’s in the trees…

It’s here!

Darlings, whatever calenders and climatologists may say Spring is certainly in the air in The Dandy’s corner of the globe.

These snaps, taken this very day in The Regent’s Park, speak for themselves do they not?

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So my question this week is simple…

Will the change in season herald an alteration in your scent habits?

Will the perfume you wear bend like a reed in the wind to reflect the changes in the weather?

Or do you stick with your faithful fragrant friends all year round regardless?

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I’m beside myself to discover whether you are part time amours to your favourite aromas or permanent pals with your favourite perfumes.

On which topic, The Dandy‘s aware that he’s not been around as much as he would have liked of late…

Even gentlemen of a leisurely persuasion on occasion have calls made on their time, but this week I will return with a flurry of ‘Guilt-Free Guilty Pleasures’ to burst those abstinent Lent bubbles!

Beware. Fragrant fandangos ahoy!

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Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Celebrating International Women’s Day: Ten Inspirational Women and their Good Scents

One year on and these women are still inspirational… like so many millions of others around the world.

The Perfumed Dandy.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II born 1926

Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Sovereign for more than 61 years.
Head of the Commonwealth of Nations of 54 sovereign states and more than two billion citizens.
Mother, grandmother, great grandmother.
The most painted and photographed person in history.
A symbol of constancy in a world of perpetual flux.

“During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy…”
Pope Bedict XVI, 2012

From her choice of fragrances we can perhaps conclude Her Majesty is something of a perfumista…

Fleurissimo by Creed

Muguet du Bonheur by Caron

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Perfumed pages… Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli and Penhaligon’s The Dandy Celebrates World Book Day

“It was a rich, warm night, at the beginning of August, when a gentleman enveloped in a cloak, for he was in evening dress, emerged from a club-house at the top of St. James’ Street, and descended that celebrated eminence. He had not proceeded more than half way down the street when, encountering a friend, he stopped with some abruptness. “I have been looking for you everywhere,” he said. “‘Tis as warm as noon. Let us cross the street and get into St. James’ Place. That is always my idea of solitude.”

Velvet-jacketed and heavily scented, rarely without an outlandish hat of some description, sporting be-jewelled rings worn over white silk gloves, a well know author of romantic fiction, Benjamin Disraeli was hardly the archetypical Imperial British Prime Minister, even before the matter of his Jewish descent is taken into account.

Yet this striking, dandy-like figure, whose first fiction, Vivian Grey, would inspire the eponymous hero of Oscar Wilde‘s only novel, was Queen Victoria‘s favourite and ‘Dizzy‘ as he was widely known would lead his country not once but twice and be engaged in political battle at the highest level with his nemesis Gladstone over decades.

“Without tact you can learn nothing. Tact teaches you when to be silent. Inquirers who are always inquiring never learn anything.”

Endymion was Disraeli’s final work to be published in his lifetime, the last he finished.

It is a nostalgic fantasia on his own youth. A roman a clef with more than slightly camp overtones.

An assortment of improbable romances and intricate political intrigues, that ultimately ends up a heap of sentimentality rather than making anything approaching narrative sense.

For all that, taken on its own terms, it is a thoroughly enjoyable romp, a joyful, colourful whirl.

A glimpse into the late Georgian world, a world of possibilities, where a young man with hunger and ambition could change almost anything, including himself, in order to get ahead.

“I do not think you are capricious, and yet the world sometimes says you are.”

Penhaligon’s may have had Keats or classical myth more in mind when they created their antique anachronism of the same name in 2003, yet it is Disraeli’s Endymion to which their aroma owes most.

From it’s colourful burst of citrus to it’s front parlour full of lavender at the start.

Through the soft leather of the ‘nice’ gentleman’s gloves at it’s heart to the complexion-enhancing patent powder of the dry down, this is an arch nineteenth fey fellow’s fragrance.

It is an Aubrey Beardsley sort of scent.

“My idea of an agreeable person.. Is a person who agrees with me.”

Just as Disraeli was a Wildean sort of politician.

Apply the perfume without moderation and frequently to achieve full effect.

Peruse the book in short bursts while sipping sweet tea dressed in a purple smoking jacket.

Happy Reading.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Perfumed pages… The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald is Estee Lauder’s Azuree The Dandy Celebrates World Book Day

“She was beautiful – but especially she was without mercy.”

Fitzgerald’s second novel is a typically decadent tale of a jazz age tycoon-to-be and his destructive marriage to a distant but beautiful wife… and the bottle.

It is a fable of art deco lines and loose morals, gorgeous gowns and haunted pasts.

At turns angular and alcoholic, sad, stylish and nihilistic.

At every point as exquisite in its execution as it is painful in it exposition.

“unloved women have no biographies– they have histories”

Bernand Chant’s masterpiece, Azuree for Estee Lauder, is a perfume of machine-made muscularity beneath a bias cut silk dress.

It is in essence a tension between chemically enhanced leathers high on moderne aromatics balanced, just, with soaring, stomach-dropping florals capable of creating Coney Island style thrills.

A match if not as turbulent as that conjured by Scott then every bit as diverting and almost as dangerous.

“I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world.”

The personalities in Fitzgerald’s semi-autobiographical work are, for all that they are consumed both by their pasts and the potential of their futures, suffused with a sense of the ephemeral.

One has a constant aching feeling throughout this fiction that these are characters on the brink of extinction.

Not simply as individuals on account of their wanton and helpless behaviour, but as a class or type of people they seem doomed.

They are socio-cultural dinosaurs waiting for the comet of the Wall Street Crash to collide with their world. Though they could have been as conscious as what was about to befall them as a brontosaurus was of his fate.

Fragrance then, especially Azuree: as vertiginous and apparently, though illusorily, permanent as the skyscrapers emerging in the twenties as the new form of the epoch, is the perfect metaphor for these temporary people.

It soars, commands, dazzles, defies all logic and experience before it expires.

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“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go”

No more word’s from The Dandy then, though there’s a full review of Azuree in the archive.

Happy Reading.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Of delirious days and daffodils……… The Perfumed Dandy’s Fragrant Forum 

Well, stap me vitals!

Please do excuse The Dandy‘s absence these last few days.

This week has not so much flown by, as passed in a near psychedelic whirl.

Several cities, the first hints of spring, much art, meeting up with old friends and new and then a certain Saint’s Day…

Indeed, yesterday, the 1st of March, was St David’s Day.

And St David is, bien sur, the patron saint of the land of The Dandy’s fathers… Wales.

Cue much eating of lamb, communal singing, wearing (and consuming) of leeks and… acres of daffodils.

Everywhere.

To assist with this sacred celebration and welcome The Dandy back to the fold could you assist with this week’s forum…

Do you have a favourite narcissus or yellow floral fragrance?

Which saffron coloured scent takes your fancy and why?

Can’t wait to hear your recommendations and be bathed in the aroma of my national flower for a little longer.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Guess what I found….? The Perfumed Dandy’s Mystery Scent Today

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How could one ignore the perfect clamour for this perfume?

A fragrance with so many fans proud to proclaim it as their guilty pleasure!

I’m expecting mile high clouds of powder emanating from a source as viscous, luxurious and intoxicating as the cream whose name it bears.

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For, as if by some strange scented serendipity, a small antique quantity of a certain olfactory commodity contained in an embossed box has fallen into my hands…

Today I try vintage Chantilly by Houbigant.

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Following its selection by your good selves (well, sort of, I felt you demanded I should try it though there was no formal poll!)

The Perfumed Dandy will now take a few days to deliberate and cogitate the merits and mischiefs of this fragrance fair or foul and will, in due course, provide his report on relations with the new discovery by means of a scented letter.

Another opportunity to place a new perfume on The Dandy‘s skin will arise with the next instalment of The Perfumed Dandy’s Hit Parade.

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In the meantime if you would like to thrust forward a fragrance for future fame on The Hit Parade simply visit ‘Suggest and old scent or recommend a new one’ and leave your suggestion there.

Have an especially fragrant day.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Confessions of a Seattle summer working girl… Fantasy by Britney Spears The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

Apologies to Seattle and everyone who selected this as a guilty scented secret, but I couldn’t resist revisiting the world of Britney one more time… Yours ever, The Perfumed Dandy

The Perfumed Dandy.

It was supposed to be fun.

It was just for the summer.

They promised sun, sea, sand and…., well if not exactly that then young men.

And what was got?The worst gig in history.

Now, first things first, the sun doesn’t always shine in Seattle, in fact, even in Summer, the sun doesn’t shine that much at all in Seattle.

There’s plenty of sea in Seattle. Oh yes, sea, sea, sea, but no sun and no sand and no one you’d want to … well, no eligible young men.

There is a seafront though.Sorry, waterfront.

By which is meant miles of concrete slab with semi converted fishing piers, punctuated with half hearted attractions and populated by bored tourists and grungy locals.

There are though fish: fish to fish in the sea, fish to watch in an aquarium and fish to eat in fish and chip shops.

There’s a…

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It’s better the devil you know………… The Perfumed Dandy’s Fragrant Forum

My Dearest Darling Demons

We all have them… don’t we?

Vices, proclivities, indulgences, foibles, weaknesses, blind spots… sins!

Well, this weekend The Dandy is not concerned with crimes of the flesh, moral omissions or crimes commissioned. 

I want to know your deepest darkest dirty fragrant fancies!

What are your perfumed guilty pleasures?

Are there any scents in your collection you’re ashamed of?

Any fragrances you prefer not to shout from the rooftops you adore?

Aromas you wear only when alone?

Come now, you’re with friends… you can tell us…

With thanks to Iscent for this dastardly idea.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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There’ll be bluebirds over… Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

A frightful busy week for The Dandy I’m afraid. Saw a picture of David Niven today at the National Theatre and suddenly I thought of Caron’s masterpiece. Yours ever, The Perfumed Dandy

The Perfumed Dandy.

His hair has the silver white hue of the chalk cliffs he walks each morning.

Following his path implacably, without regard to the weather, his eyes are fixed in the middle distance looking out towards where the sea is, though he does not see it.

In the warmer months he appears a little happier, it’s hard to tell: his face changes so little with the seasons.

Arrested in an air of benign, bemused detachment it is the visage of a kindly if disinterest god.

Only his body gives away that things are better in summer, he holds himself more upright and alert, his whole being seeming relieved not to have to fight against the wind and rain that will battle him all winter.

From your window you have watched him steer this same course for years and as the years have passed you have seen him grow more fragile, his…

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Vintage magnetism… L’Aimant by Coty A Found Review and New Perspective From An Old Friend

Glorious Blooms

During the recent festival of roses, while flicking through the archive, I found one scent was missing…

That grand dame of cost effective aldehydes Coty’s L’Aimant.

Whilst I mentioned it in my “Baker’s Dozen: 13 Roses for Anyone Feeling Unlucky in Love”, The Dandy could find no evidence of a full review of the fragrance, though I knew in my heart of hearts I’d penned one!

Then I recalled… it was over at my dear friend Michael Lanier‘s website Scents Memory that this little tale had been told, in the days before The Dandy has a place to call his own.

The Dandy's Place, honest.

The Dandy’s Place, honest.

To see this little antique curiosity click just here or on that lovely flacon above and you will be transported.

Well it just so happens, as this recollection dawned upon your forgetful correspondent, that a certain M. Lanier was posting a review of… guess what?

That’s right… Coty’s L’Aimant! And it’s over on his fabulous new invention: a YouTube channel if you please!

To see our gallant friend in all his finery and very fine form giving his all on this fragrance simply click right here, while admiring that fabulous moving picture poster just below.

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And while we’re being all film star about things, you can also read an interview with Lanier here on The Dandy.

It’s another of our most popular and favourite posts don’t you know!?!

Talking of favourite things, our “gal pal” Iscent, mistress of the splendid scented emporium I Scent You A Day is just such an individual.

She is the Scheherazade of olfactory review, on a journey of 1001 nights in the fragrant world.

And also rather a fan of L’Aimant too, even daring to compare it with another iconic perfume in this charming list of “Smellalikees”.

Well there we have it, The Dandy…  feels he’s done his bit to set the record straight on a neglected, near forgotten ‘drugstore’ gem… one last tip try wearing this rose in creme perfume form and shimmered in powder for ultimate big screen effect.

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Oh, and do take a moment to drop in on those dear friends if you get the chance.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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