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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther

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New in niche

Last spring, I stumbled upon a lovely box of four small soaps at my local Winners. Originally priced at $80, they’d been knocked down to $15. The scents were delicious: perfectly crafted so that they left just enough gorgeous fragrance on your hands to know you’d used them but not so much that you smelled like a dryer sheet. I’d never heard of the company that made them, Nest, but went online and found out that they were primarily a candle company based in the US. Now, the company has launched its first perfumes, and based on the quality of the soaps, I’m eager to try them. According to Now Smell This, the ‘fumes are Amazon Lily and Passiflora, both created by Christopher Laudamiel, and Midnight Fleure by Jerome Epinette. 

Vintage appeal

I was poking around on Ebay, typing in the words “vintage” and then major frag house names—Guerlain, Chanel, Givenchy, Rochas—just to see what would pop up, and was stunned to see relatively recent bottles of one Guerlain fragrance at auction prices in the high three figures (and tipping close to four figures). The scent was Parure, one I’d vaguely heard of but wasn’t familiar with. A quick Google search turned up this article on Perfume Shrine, which describes the scent (launched in the mid 1970s) as a “more wearable, more festive Mitsouko.” Okay, I can see the appeal…but I’m not sure I’m ready to shell out 10 $100 bills in order to sniff it! Guess it will have to go on my “when I win the lottery” list… (Interested in trying Mitsouko? Gwen and Kay have it on offer.)

Deals, deals, deals

For perfumistas in Montréal, the beauty department at Ogilvy department store is a source of many perfume finds. This Thursday, September 20, is Ogilvy Beauty Day, and to celebrate, L’Artisan is offering a 15% reduction on L’Artisan’s Aedes de Venustas and Fou d’Absinthe lines (on purchases of $125 or more, delivery included). Call Ogilvy's at 514-842-7711 and ask for the L'Artisan counter. Check out Kay’s description of Aedes and Gwen’s description of Fou d’Absinthe for details on the ‘fumes.

Nosing around

Perfumer Christopher Brosius, originator of the Demeter line and now the creator behind the CB I Hate Perfume line, is one of the most original perfumers around, creating scent memories or portraits that are unlike anything else. Two of my faves? Black March and Eternal Return. Hear Brosious discuss his approach to perfume on Vimeo (and a hat tip to the Candy Perfume Boy blog for pointing the video out). And if you’re interested, Kay and Gwen have Black March and Violet Empire on offer. 

Makes me want to try it

They’re some of the most successful fragrances of the least two decades: Thierry Mugler’s Angel, Alien, A*Men and Womanity. This fall, the line is launching limited edition leather versions of all four. Nothing like a little leather to heat up the fall…I’ll definitely be heading to the fragrance counter to give ‘em a sniff (though apparently the Womanity leather version is available only in Europe).  Interested in reviews of the scents? Take a look at

Just because

One of the things that I love about exploring perfume is that the more I know, the braver I get in my perfume choices, the more comfortable I get in expressing myself with fragrance rather than just wearing something that others will think is blandly nice. When I spotted the book Advanced Style —based on the blog by the same name—it immediately struck me that simply looking at the photos of these mature women and their bold fashion choices was inspiring me to be braver with fashion too. Check out the blog and the book too. Every image made me happy—and braver!