Skip to main content

Making decants and working with gems – January 18, 2017

Wikipedia - Five gems of antiquity, Rob Lavinsky, April 2010

We’ve been at this perfume thing a long time now, sniffed a ridiculous number of fragrances, bought and written about hundreds of them, and yet our passion for this art form continues to grow. Our hearts still beat a little faster when we sniff a new scent and realize that it has “it”, that powerful thing that triggers memories and emotions, different for each of us, but which leads into the experience of pure beauty. The perfumer’s art is invisible and miraculous.

For me then, making decant samples is unadulterated pleasure. I look forward to filling orders because every order is different, a surprise, like a box of chocolates.  Classics, best-sellers, new, vintage, mainstream, ultra-niche, award winners, or hidden gems….“Oh, wow, look! they’ve chosen THAT one”. To me, they’re all beautiful which is why I own them, and so I get to experience these fantastic scents again and again, as I fill up the little glass vials, cap them with the stoppers, and stick on the labels.

I get really excited when I see a reader has ordered a fragrance that I think is truly unique but which has never received the widespread focus or praise it deserves. In perfume terms, this is a “forgotten gem”, a “hidden gem”, a scent that was ahead of its time and has survived under the radar. I’m not alone in identifying these special fragrances. Blogs such as ours, and perfume writers and critics have talked about many of these forgotten fragrances, explained their importance in the fragrance continuum, and eloquently described their surprising quality and enduring aesthetic appeal.

Here are a few to explore:

Amaranthine – Penhaligon’s – unwilting beauty

Costes  - Costes – the scent of elegance in Paris

Dirty English – Juicy Couture – Anglomania at its best

Jungle L’Elephant – Kenzo -  perfume gold

Kingdom – Alexander McQueen – an olfactory masterpiece

Madness – Chopard – hidden gem from 2001

Minotaure – Paloma Picasso – David Bowie and thinking of heroes

Miss Me   - Stella Cadente – a shooting star

L’Original  – Andrée Putnum – rediscovered and re-launched in 2015

Silk – Andrea Maack – wearable art

Some of these under-the-radar fragrances are available for not much money from online discounters, so if you want to experience niche or niche-type fragrances try a decant sample from us first, and then order a bottle online knowing you’re going to receive a true gem.  Go ahead - you know you want to....