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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther


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New in niche

There’s a bit of a rose theme in today’s post, and I’m starting it off with a new perfume from Robert Piguet (the house behind Fracas and Bandit). This one is called Rose Perfection, was developed by nose Aurelien Guichard and is exclusive to Harvey Nichols in the UK. I’m a fan of the Piguet scents, so am going to have to figure out a way to get my hands (wrists?) on a sample.

Guichard is also the nose behind two fantastic niche scents: Bond no. 9 Chinatown and Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, both of which Gwen and Kay have on offer. 

Vintage appeal

The definition of vintage is slippery—is a scent launched 10 years ago, but since reformulated “vintage” in its original incarnation? I’d land in the “yes” camp on that one. Is a scent that’s been around for 30+ years “vintage”? Maybe—especially if you can get your hands on an early version to see how it has changed. 

I don’t have a “vintage” sample of Guerlain’s Nahema to try, but I do have a more recent bottle. It’s one of those perfumes that I just didn’t get when I first bought it blind, based on Luca Turin’s enthusiastic five-star review in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. He described its opening as “an explosion played in reverse” and says that Guerlain’s “greatest rose” may, in fact, contain no rose at all. On the first few tries, I just didn’t get it—my nose was confused by the opening rush that didn’t smell rosy to me at all. But then, later, after smelling many other perfumes, I came back to it—and was amazed. 

This has happened to me more than once—a scent I didn’t understand makes sense to me only after I’ve sampled more widely, educated my nose. It is surprising to me still, though, because we expect scent to be a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” experience. In fact, I’m discovering, it’s much more complex than that—some scents you need to enjoy with your brain as well as your nose, and both brain and nose can be educated by sniffing more stuff. 

Read more about Nahema on Perfume Shrine. 

Deals, deals, deals

I love “shopping” in my perfume cupboard—by which I mean, poking around and finding a bottle I’ve neglected or forgotten about. This week, that bottle was Cabaret by Gres. It is a divine rose scent, one given four stars by Luca Turin in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. Composed by Michel Almairac, it’s also a great buy—you can typically find a bottle for under $30, and the shower gel (which is also lovely) for under $20. Interested in reading a review? Check out Kevin’s take on Now Smell This.

Nosing around

Michel Almairac, the nose behind Cabaret, is also the man behind a number of other phenomenal scents, including Bottega Veneta EDP and Eau Legere, a number of Bond no. 9 scents, Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile, Chopard Casmir, Gucci Rush and L’Artisan Voleur de Roses. Find out more about him in this piece by perfume blogger Katie Puckrik

Interested in sampling Almairac’s creations? Gwen and Kay have Casmir, Bottega Veneta, Gucci Rush, Voleur de Roses and Venezia  on offer.

Makes me want to try it

One of the best round-ups of rose scents, “The Ultimate Rose Perfume” by Suzanna on Bois de Jasmin is a sure-fire lemming producer. Take a read and I’m sure you’ll come up with at least a few rose scents to add to your must-try list!

Just because

And to wrap up with the Rose theme, sort of: Check out this haunting video from musician Rose Cousins. (Fan of Grey’s Anatomy? The song may sound familiar, as it was used in the show.)