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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther

New in niche
I love reading someone’s exploration of a new line, and so I’ve been gobbling up Victoria’s posts on about the new Spanish niche collection Scent on Canvas. The line includes 5 fragrances: Rose Opéra (bergamot, berrie, jasmine, rose, saffron, cardamom, pink pepper, cedar, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, inccense), Noir de Mars (oud, gaiacwood, sandalwood, balsam, leather, myrrh, amyris, amber), Ocre Doré (galbanum, dried tea leaves, mate, white truffle, oakmoss, guaicwood, cedar, patchouli, labdanum gum), Brun Sicilien (white flowers, jasmine, mandarin, gaucho leather, cardamom, black pepper, suede, amber,  birch, patchouli, Madagascar vanilla), and Blanc de Paris (green mandarin, bergamot, white flowers, rose, iris, white musk, sandalwood, benzoin). Best of all: the company sells a generous set of samples for 10 euros at I ordered a set and they were in my mailbox within 10 days. While all of the frags are lovely, Ocre Doré and Brun Sicilien have particularly caught my attention, though I’m sure I’ll be resampling the others as well.
PLUS: Check out this article on Eight & Bob, JFK’s personal fragrance which is being made available again as we approach the 50th anniversary of his assassination. If you’re interested in sampling the scent, Gwen and Kay have Eight & Bob decants on offer. 
Vintage appeal
Sampling Brun Sicilien by Scent on Canvas got me thinking about my favourite leather scents. Chanel’s Cuir de Russie is near the top of the list, but I think my all-time favourite must be vintage Cabochard by Gres. I found a purse-sized dabber online last year with a dated label inside marked 20 Oct 1967. I dole the dabs out, doing my best to stretch the scent’s lifespan. It is a leathery, racy delight. I also have a modern bottle of the fragrance, and while it is a shadow of its former self, it’s still not bad for what has become a bargain-priced scent. Still, I’m always reminded of Luca Turin’s evaluation of the reformulation: he compared it to seeing Peter O’Toole on the London Underground a decade ago. “Despite the white suit and the cigarette holder, nobody seemed to recognize him. This Cabochard is much the same: ravaged by years of abuse, gaunt, bleary-eyed, prematurely aged, heartbreaking…” Yes, but every once in a while, you catch a glimpse of what was. 
Interested in other leather scents? Gwen and Kay have many on offer, including Heeley’s Cuir Pleine Fleur, Naomi Goodsir’s Cuir Velours, Raomon Monegal’s Mon Cuir, Bottega Veneta, Cuir de Lancome and many others (just type ‘leather’ in the search bar for more).
Deals, deals, deals
Lush: I have a love-hate relationship with the place. When they first opened in North America, I loved their funky marketing and slabs o’ soap. But before long, I began to loathe walking past their shop—the air for a block in either direction was ripe with that familiar Lush scent, and it got to the point that walking past provoked an instant headache. And then they launched their Gorilla Perfume line and I was in love again. What I especially like is the handy, purse-sized—and often priced at under $20, wallet-friendly—sprayers. I fell in love with Breath of God, and now have a crush on 25:43, a citrusy floral that features ylang ylang, lemongrass, vanilla, tonka and lime. 
Interested in sampling Breath of God? Gwen and Kay have it on offer. Or you can just follow your nose to your local Lush outlet…
Nosing around
The Gorilla Perfume line is the creation of father and son team Mark and Simon Constantine. Check out this interview with them. 
Makes me want to try it
Actually, this week, this item should be renamed “Makes me want to be there.” Harrod’s in London, UK, has announced a program of in-store talks, masterclasses and one-on-one consultations called Meet the Perfumers, taking place from August 22 to September 19. Featured perfumers include Guerlain’s Thierry Wasser, Ormonde Jayne founder Linda Pilkington, and Christine Nagel. Find out more on Basenotes.
Just because
I remember discovering cartoonist Lynda Barry in my twenties, and being dazzled by her honest, crazy, provocative illustrated stories. Recently I stumbled on a video in which she discusses her love of poetry. I love how she compares haiku to a scent that prompts a memory. It’s terrific—and made me want to memorize more poems! (The Poetry Foundation site is amazing!)