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Gwen: Can you believe that the Holiday Season is here already? Wasn’t it summer just a blink ago?

Kay: Yeah, we have to go to a party this Sunday, a house-warming a week from today, we have two birthday celebrations this month and our anniversary! And more invitations are rolling in.

Gwen: Tell me about it! What with weddings, babies, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, vow renewals – yes, there are parties for this now – retirements, and “I-just-feel-like-celebrating-so-come-on-over” spontaneous gatherings, there’s a lot of getting-together going on all year round! 

Kay: It’s exhausting! And then there’s always the problem of what to wear! Everything I own is black or grey and boring. So what the heck am I gonna wear? And don’t tell me to look in my closet again because there’s nothing there.

Gwen: Don’t worry about that…just wear a spectacular fragrance!

Kay: Just wear a fragrance????

Gwen: I mean, do your basic black and switch it up for each event with a spectacular fragrance. People won’t even notice what you’re wearing when they discover how darn good you smell.

Kay: Hmmm, great idea, pal. Some of my new frags from 2018 would definitely make me smell way better than “darn good”.

Gwen: You’ll smell spectacular, you’ll have charisma, you’ll have   “Party Style”….

Kay: I’ll be styling! I’m gonna spritz up. It’s party time!

Gwen: Hey! I think our readers would like in on this styling, too. Let’s do Decant Packs.

Kay: I’ve got the women covered.

Gwen: And I have the most perfect, the most excellent, scents for men!

Kay: “Party Style” Women, “Party Style” Men. Smell spectacular and everyone will say how great you look! Great little gifts, too!

Gwen: Laissez les bons temps rouler, cherie!

“Party Style” Women

1 ml. decants  of three spectacular “party” fragrances for $12.00, regular $15.00

NARCISO EdP – creamy and musky and seductive

In its perfectly elegant white-cube glass bottle with the nude-colour square cap, Narciso EdP is a truly beautiful radiant floral that makes me feel effortlessly alluring every time I wear it. Musky florals, rose, gardenia are deepened by vetiver, woods and more creamy musks so that Narciso Edp simply glows.  Turin and Sanchez label it Five Star, and it’s a Five Star in my book, too.

Nerotic - hypnotic and sensual and erotic

From hard-edged and dense tart citrus and red fruit notes to spice and herbs to an ambered heart with warm woods through to darkly erotic leathery and smoky notes, Nerotic is unpredictable, unsettling, provocative, hypnotic. It’s also sensual yet sophisticated, a brilliant illustration of perfumer Cécile Zarokian’s lush aesthetic style. Great on guys, too, if you dare to share.

Slowdive - earthy and honeyed and exotic

Tobacco and white flowers and honeyed resins and beeswax, this Hiram Green fragrance teases my nose and brain and wins my heart every time I wear it. It’s the most unique interpretation of honey that I’ve experienced in a fragrance. In hot weather it makes the summer air almost palpable, languid and intoxicating; in cold weather the earthy resins make Slowdive exotic and seductive.

 

“Party Style” Men

1 ml. decants  of three excellent “party” fragrances for $12.00, regular $15.00.

Dirty English – deep and dark and delicious

It opens spicy and warm from exotic peppered mandarin and cardamom – kind of like a wink that says ‘follow me’ to its pungent piney, woody, irresistible heart. Dirty English has resinous, animalic swagger that makes it the centre of attention at any party.

Camel - resinous and spicy and woody

When you want to be an exotic party-animal, reach for a sprtitz of Camel. Dried fruits, frankincense, rose, myrrh, civet – this is the smell of a caravan traveling through the Arab desert. The smell of pack animals, the marketplace, exotic treasure now being moved across the desert, all mingle together in the desert air. It’s the smell of adventure – and that is never seasonal.

New York – elegant and warm and woody

This is a gentleman’s scent for those celebrations where your inner  party animal is on a leash and let style, elegance and sophistication be seductive. New York is one of the world's great scents. Created by Patricia de Nicolai, it is classic elegance in a modern perfume. A warm, spicy start to a woody heart with a vanilla, leather and amber base, New York is one smooth operator.

 

“Party Style” Women Decant Pack is listed in our Decant Store.

Three 1 ml. decants of spectacular “party” fragrances for $12.00, regular $15.00

“Party style” Men Decant Pack is listed in our Decant Store.

Three 1 ml. decants of excellent “party” fragrances for $12.00, regular $15.00.

Image: Christmas Party by John, Nov. 21, 2016, hdmpro.com

 

 

I was having coffee with a friend a week or so ago and we got on to the topic of Meghan Markle (we love her) and the Royals (we love them too) and just how much celebrity gossip/news there is in general (we don’t love it). “I mean, who cares if some Netflix star had a facelift, or if they’ve been to rehab eight times or if they’ve starved themselves for a role or what sex toys Gwyneth Paltrow sells on goop?” she said.

We chewed on that for a while, then moved on to talk about books, films and new recipes we’ve discovered, then we said our goodbyes and promised to meet up for coffee again soon.

Later, at home, I found myself grazing the goop website. C’mon…you’d do the same. Goop (usually written as ‘goop’) is the lifestyle brand launched by Paltrow in September 2008 out of her kitchen. It’s her take on beauty, food, travel, style, wellness and work and has new age advice on topics “earthing”. I quickly realized that a lot of what I saw on goop wasn’t for me, except for a Moroccan turkey meatball recipe and this: Edition 03 – Incense EdP. It turns out Paltrow is a fan of fragrance.

“I am such a fragrance girl,” Paltrow said in an interview. “I love [fragrance] so much, and I think it’s so transportive and powerful and it can take you back in time, it can take you forward in time to dreams of your life, and I just think it’s amazing.” Hmmm. I think I’m beginning to like her.

But how does someone reconcile a love for the ‘all-natural’ with a love for perfume, which is, well, let’s face it, not exactly ‘healthy’?
Paltrow managed do it by teaming up with organic perfumer Douglas Little, founder of Heretic Parfums and nose behind my beloved Dirty Ginger, to create four all-natural, luxe perfumes for goop. Edition 03 – Incense, launched in 2016, is the third fragrance in the series, which is based on the seasons.

It opens with the heady scent of green frankincense from Oman. The green colour gives the resin fresh aspects of lime and menthol, making the opening airy and woody and deep. It’s the smell of mysticism and spirituality and the backdrop to what comes next. Juniper tiptoes forward, herbaceous and camphoraceous, it heightens the freshness of the green resin. Spicy, earthy, black pepper is the perfect foil for the juniper. But this isn’t the only yin-yang pairing. There’s aromatic cardamom, sweet and spicy, with a woody, balsamic undertone that’s bolstered by cedar. It feels good to fill my lungs with it. Labdanum lurks here too, rich and complex.

But this story is all about incense and there’s plenty of it wafting throughout the fragrance making Edition 03 – Incense a smoky, resinous siren call. I cannot get enough of that green frankincense.Every time I catch a whiff of it, I am impressed with the balancing act Douglas Little has pulled off. The notes don’t disappear into each other nor do they fight each other, rather they gently tug and tussle while keeping their own identity. Masterful.

They next time we meet up for coffee, I’ll have something to report on goop, a decant of Edition 03 – Incense and a Moroccan turkey meatball recipe to share with my friend. I’m looking forward to it already.

Edition 03 – Incense is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.
 

Image - Wikimedia Commons - Incense Burner - Seoul, Korea, National Museum

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.

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.

WHAT WE DO

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 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.