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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther

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New in niche

It’s almost a niche rite of passage: getting your hands on a Serge Lutens Paris exclusive bell jar, sold at the “purple palace”—the Shiseido Salons du Palais Royal in Paris. That rite has become slightly less daunting: starting this month, you can now also purchase them at Barney’s on Madison Avenue in New York, reports Victoria on Bois de Jasmin. Still, I remain in favour of the excuse to visit Paris ;) Interested in sampling some of the Lutens magic? Gwen and Kay have lots on offer: check out their list! 

Vintage appeal

Okay, the challenging thing about any collection is being tempted to expand it with related gadgets and goo-gaws (how do you spell that??). My latest obsession: vintage purse-sized atomizers. They appear to have been particularly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, with many houses selling customized purse-sized atomizers for their perfumes. As well, non-branded atomizers that you filled with your scent of choice were available for sale (as they still are today). Small. Lovely. And still relatively inexpensive to collect. What’s not to love?

Deals, deals, deals

Gotta love an under $30 ‘fume! And my recent favourite find is Rochas Man, available for about $29 (less any applicable discounts—usually 15%) on Fragrancenet.com. In the Perfume Guide, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez proclaim it a worthy substitute for the long-discontinued and much-missed Yojhi Homme. Elena on Perfume Shrine compares its coffee note to Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem (both created by Maurice Roucel). Want to check it out in decant form first? It’s on offer here, as is New Haarlem.

Nosing around

Maurice Roucel is the man behind dozens of my favourite scents: Bond No. 9 New Haarlem, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and Dans Tes Bras, Lolita Lempicka and Lolita Lempicka Coral Flower, Rochas Tocade, Rochas Man, Missoni and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. What I love about him is that his work on lower-priced products (the Rochas, Missoni and Lempicka scents for example) is every bit as terrific as his higher-priced ones. Check out this excerpt from on interview with him on Bois de Jasmin. And find decants of many of his scents here on Perfumeniche.

Makes me want to try it

The Thierry Mugler fragrances—Alien, Angel, A*men, Womanity—are both loved and loathed: loved for their groundbreaking scents, loathed for their ubiquity (for a while, it seemed you couldn’t walk into a mall, restaurant or club without drawing in a breath of Angel). Now, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Mugler house, the line is launching “leather-fied” versions of those now-classic scents under the banner Les Parfums de Cuir, reports Elena on Perfume Shrine. And since they’re always on trend, note that leather is a big, well, note this fall.

Just because

The ‘fume got a thorough trashing by Kevin on Now Smell This, but that didn’t stop me from checking out the 2-minute mini-movie promoting Encounter, the new men’s fragrance from Calvin Klein, featuring Alexander Skarsgard, aka Eric Northman, the delectible Nordic vampire on True Blood. I’m betting he smells delicious, even if the fragrance doesn’t…