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Mûre et Musc EdT 50 ml.

The first truly “niche” fragrance I owned was from L’Artisan Parfumeur, the Paris perfume house created in 1978 by Jean Laporte.

I bought it in Bendel’s in NYC where I’d discovered the L’Artisan counter on the second floor. I’d never heard of the brand and since I was the only body in sight as well as a sucker for a sales pitch, I was given the full script by the Sales Assistant.  I sniffed six or seven of her personal favourites, then told her the kinds of scent I wore and liked, at which point she grabbed my hand (she was French) and passionately implored: 

“Try something new, get outside the box, expand your horizons, madame!” 

“She’s got a point,” said a quiet voice to my right. My best friend and future perfume partner had found me finally, and was silently sniffing the testers.

“I’ll take Timbuktu”, I said decisively, and since that day more than ten years ago, Gwen and I have slowly built our collections and added forty-two L’Artisan scents to the Decant Store. 

However, I have to admit that we’ve missed one, one very important fragrance in the L’Artisan pantheon, the  fragrance that established Pierre Laporte as a visionary perfumer and L’Artisan Parfumeur as the innovative brand in modern perfumery. The fragrance is Mûre et Musc, which set the perfume world buzzing with its innovative fusion of tart sweet wild blackberries with the warm fruity facets of the new synthetic “white musks”. The result was a fresh and playful but subtle and sexy scent that could be worn easily by women and men, and which, after its 1978 launch, immediately became a best-seller. Over forty years later, it still is. 

Watch “Mûre et Musc: Forty Years of an Icon”on the L’AP site – the story is told by Master Perfumer, Jean Claude Ellena, who worked closely with Laporte on the development of the new accord and the final fragrance. 

Mûre et Musc EdT is fresh, light and soft, typical of the fragrances from the late 1970’s. It’s one of those scents that can seem to fade quickly or disappear, but then has deceptive strength, returning unexpectedly in lovely sheer wafts. It’s somewhat dependent of skin chemistry, or what I think, more correctly, is nose chemistry - if you’re anosmic to musks you’ll miss some of it’s magic. I find it superb in hot weather, unobtrusive but always interesting with the tart blackberry, subtly sexy from the musks with their soft sweat-on-warm skin notes. 

The listed notes are citrus, blackberries, and musks, but of course there is much more going on. Jean Claude Ellena mentions citrus – bergamot and lemon, and herbs – tarragon and lavender. “As blackberry extract does not exist in perfumery, the inspired alchemist created it blending a molecule often found in flavoured foods, reminiscent of the coveting warmth of cooked raspberries, with a blackurrant note. The illusion is perfect: one can almost see, smell and touch 'blackberry'. “  But it’s not the big blackberries in fruit salad or blackberry jam, the note is the scent of small wild blackberry fruits on the stem, warmed by summer heat, scented with stems and dust and leaves and grass and earth underfoot. The aromatic citrus and herbs notes prevent re et Musc from being cloying or jammy, and oak moss in the base fills in green woody facets, keeping the sensation fresh and unfussy.  

Mûre et Musc is superbly uncomplicated, but beautifully refined in its simplicity. The citrus and blackberry accord fades through the long dry-down but never completely disappears, the musks are clean-sexy rather than funky, which give the scent a modern sophistication. 

If you are a perfume lover, this elegant musk should definitely be on your Try-Me list.

After all, there’s nothing else like it, it’s a classic, a game-changer, and still a best-seller. Plus it smells great. Doesn’t get better than that. 

Mûre et Musc is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

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Pair of lemons

Lemons are the fruit of the lemon tree, or Citrus limon, a flowering plant in the Rutaceae family. No one really knows where they originated, but they showed up in Europe through Italy in ancient Roman times. By 1150, lemon trees were found throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region and later made their way across the Atlantic to the Americas via Christopher Columbus.

Essential oil of lemon is made from cold-pressed lemon peel, so its scent remains truer to the scent of the fruit and peel, and delivers a note that is bright, light, refreshing, sparkling and cheerful. It is the sunshine note in fragrances. 

Here are four of our favourite lemon scents, which can be worn and enjoyed by everyone. 

Notes Series #26 – LEMON

Four 1ml. decants for $18.00, regular $23.00. 

Fleurs de Citronnier by Serge Lutens translates into 'lemon blossoms,' the main attraction in this eau de parfum, which opens a note of bitter, citrusy, green citronnier petitgrain – the kind made from the leaves of lemon trees. Soon, the lemon blossom appears, its delicate beauty is transparent but tenacious. Citrusy neroli bolsters the lemon blossom with its green and orange facets. Soon they are joined by a lush, indolic note of tuberose; its' sensuality countering the purity of the lemon blossoms. Delicate, floral and fresh, every note shines without any of them outshining the lemon blossom. Regular $6.00

Lemon by Mary Greenwell bursts open with the freshest just-squeezed juice from the sweetest, plumpest, biggest, most perfect lemons, amped up by mounds of their brilliant yellow zest, plus more citrus notes of lime, bergamot, mandarin and bitter orange. Never too sweet or too sharp or too loud, the divine fresh scent gathers steam and goes green and floral in the heart. Herbs and white florals keep the lemon aroma sparkling, and the mix is intoxicating. Lemon smells like the best sunny summer day you can imagine. Regular $5.00

Tabac Citron by Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co. was inspired by the French countryside.It’s fresh and snappy in the first whiffs, with an almost bitter edge, the combination of oily lemon zest and herbal lavender making an arresting accord.But the soft smoky-sweet scent of fresh-picked tobacco leaves drying in the summer sun immediately starts to soften this unusual opening and Tabac Citron soon dries down into a pale vegetal creamy sweetness like new hay, edged with soft lemon, spiced rose and sandalwood notes, which make it so gorgeous and so niche. Regular $7.00

Un Zest de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine opens with a bright sparkling note of lemon, fortified with a green note from bergamot and sweetened with orange peel. I smell dried fruit, candied citrus rind to my nose, which gives it a lovely depth.  At the heart, a lush, velvety rose note comes forward and while the effervescence of the opening fades, the lemon never really does – it stays delicate and soft playing off the rose, now bolstered by jasmine, each complementing the other beautifully. The perfect fragrance for a summer’s day. Regular $5.00

Note Series #26 – LEMON is listed in our Decant Store. Four 1ml. decants for $18.00. regular $23.00.

Image - Wikimedia Commons


Welcome to

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

We’ve tested and tried hundreds of samples over the years, and when we deemed a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let others buy and try samples from our collections and experience the fragrant beauty we write about.


We blog

We blog once a week and post a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent critics, so these aren't negative reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

Or we post conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention recently. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to explore new territory by trying 3 or 4 fragrances in a special pack at a special discount price.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants - .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retail store or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
We hope you enjoy, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.

It’s just us.