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"Still Life with Three Castles Tobacco" by William Michael Harnett, 1880,

Brooklyn Musuem - Wikipedia

My grandfather was a gentle, kind and patient man who loved his grandchildren. My memories of him are deeply entwined with my childhood. He taught us how to whistle, how to tell time and how to plant peonies. He gave us horseback rides, hid candy in his pockets for us to find and had a different voice for every character in the books he read to us. But what I remember most vividly about him, was the rich, sweet smell of his pipe tobacco.

People don’t smoke pipes much anymore – probably for a good reason – and it’s been years since I smelled it, but when I caught that first whiff of Tobacco EDP by Franck Boclet, I was surprised at how it brought sweet, loving memories of my Papa to life.

Franck Boclet is a Paris- born Fashion designer who started his career in textile engineering before developing his own bold, ‘punk-chic’ signature style for men’s clothing. This led to a successful career designing collections for couture houses like Kenzo Homme, Courreges and Ungaro. In 2011, he launched his own line, for men and women, called Claw. In 2013, he teamed up nose Melanie Leroux (Mona di Orio Myrrh Casati) and launched a fragrance line. Each fragrance is named for one key ingredient in the composition and so Tobacco was launched in 2014. I am so taken with this fragrance that it will be difficult for me to find a better tobacco-based scent.

It opens with a note of bright, spicy ginger surrounding a note of rich warm tobacco. I smell plum here too – fruity, sweet and lush – and a door to my childhood blows open. But Tobacco is more than just a trip down memory lane, this EDP comes alive on skin and doesn’t need to rely on sentimental childhood memories to make me love it – it stands on its own a gorgeous fragrance. As it blooms, clove comes forward and extnends the spiciness of the opening deeper into the fragrance. Tonka bean, adds aromatic coumarin, the smell of hay to the heart making it beautifully aromatic. Cedar gives it a woody backbone that is extended to the base with vetiver. Benzoin, with its amber aspects, and vanilla are at the base too, sweetening up the woods just so.

The drydown is rich, warm, sensual and intimate. The thing I most love about this EDP is that the tobacco is prominent, and on me stays right through to the drydown and the sweetness in held back, which makes it smell more like true pipe tobacco.

As I write this, there is an urgency to tell you about Tobacco and how much I love it, how I enjoy wearing it, how I relive the excitement of that first whiff each time I do. And I realize how eager I am to share it.

But those sweet memories of my Papa that the fragrance evokes, well, those are just for me.

Tobacco is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.
 

Designer Kenzo Takada, June 17, 2008 by Michell Zappa, Wikimedia Commons

I got up this morning and checked the news while I drank my coffee, and immediately felt anxious. 2017 has been a rough year for the world. A new crisis or scandal or disaster from somewhere unfolds every week, and it’s a hard slog to sort through the daily media download, and make sense of it all. It’s frustrating and upsetting. Civility has gone out the door, everyone’s skin seems a little thinner. It’s time to click the off button, step back, and take a break. It’s perfume time!

When the paperback edition of the “fragrance encyclopedia” Perfumes the A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez came out almost 10 years ago, Gwen and I made it our mission to experience every fragrance in the book’s 5-star Masterpiece category. I think we’ve finally achieved that goal, and had a ton of fun in the process!

One of the last in the 5-star Masterpiece list was the 1989 Kenzo fragrance, Ça Sent Beau, which translates as That Smells Beautiful (p.163), which they describe as a Tangerine Fougère, and also list as one of the 10 Best Fougères (p.576). The bottle was a little hard to track down because you won’t find it at retail counters but I finally found it online.

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Japanese designer Kenzo Takada was a  revolutionary Paris designer, whose big geometric shapes in dark colours and natural fabrics evoked Japanese minimalism, ancient and futuristic cultures, and were otherworldly and totally unique. The Kenzo perfume line that grew out of his fashion brand followed his design aesthetic to a T. We’ve listed the wonderful spicy brews, Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant with its unusual clove and plum accord, and Kenzo Jungle pour Homme, with its smooth citrus-nutmeg heart.

Kenzo Ça Sent Beau was the first of the Kenzo fragrances, created by nose Françoise Caron in 1987 and released for women as simply Kenzo, which was quickly discontinued, re-formulated, renamed, then released in 1989 as the more unisex Ça Sent Beau. Built around citrus, spice, and powdery woody musk notes, Ça Sent Beau has the Kenzo stamp, a singular elegant quality that sets it apart, and creates the “Aha!” moment. Tania Sanchez says in The Guide that it is “…trim, chic, and reminds you of nothing on earth…”. I agree.

The citrus opening of bergamot and mandarin orange is sunny and juicy and soon becomes a delicious nectar as floral and fruit notes are revealed in the heart. Imagine a white bouquet of gardenia, tuberose, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, sprinkled with drops of peach and plum and sweet mandarin juices, dusted with fresh grated nutmeg and coriander. The indolic floral notes are sweetly lush, warmed by the aromatic spice and fruit notes, full to the brim with a sensual opulence, but every note in perfect balance. The effect is mouthwatering.

And the dry-down has a surprise. Creamy and powdery wood notes, moss, vanilla, musks, and then iris, the pivotal note which creates the “Kenzo effect”.  By including iris in the base, the classic perfume note praised for its damp earthy character, Kenzo Ça Sent Beau becomes like “nothing on earth”.  The scent takes on an airy, green quality, opening up the dry-down and sending spent notes into the stratosphere, while the woods and musks remain behind, blending elegantly with the scent of warm skin.

Floral, fruity, spicy, and earthy, Kenzo Ça Sent Beau smells beautiful, for sure.

I’m just sorry I waited so long to confirm this fact.

Kenzo Ça Sent Beau is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

 

 

Welcome to perfumeniche.com

 

"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.

Over the past few years, we’ve tried hundreds of samples, and when we deem 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.

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 other perfumistas buy and try samples from our collections, and share their experiences with us, too, through Comments.
 
WHAT WE DO
 
We blog
We blog once a week and post an story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent experts, so these aren't critical 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 "Nose-to-Nose", our conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention over the past week. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to buy our selection of 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 – retailer 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 perfumeniche.com, 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.