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Nosing Around with Esther - Wednesday October 5th, 2011

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New in niche:

Okay, I try not to be a sucker for the “limited edition”—but New York niche house D.S. & Durga hooked me with the description for their limited edition (just 100 bottles) Staghorn Sumac. Here it is: “Windswept grasslands of the Great Plains. Accords of bison grass, wild lily and staghorn sumac sheathed in prairie earth and air.” Sounds like the scent of a Guy Vanderhaege novel  I. Want. It. Even though it’s $120 US for 37 ml of EDP… Looking for a less pricey option? D.S. & Durga did a line for Anthropologie last year, and I’ve seen bottles still on sale at my local shops, for around $40. Or you can check out a sample of 1538 Rheims available here at

Vintage appeal:

I spent a couple of hours last weekend reorganizing my perfume shelf (yes, my life is that exciting) and pulled forward a vintage bottle of Habanita I picked up last year at Toronto’s Enchante Perfumes. The new version is terrific too (you can sample it here at—and shows up at Winner’s occasionally—but  the older one (I think mine is 1970s or 1980s) is just a little bit richer to my nose. And I love the story behind Habanita: it was introduced in the 1920s and marketed to perfume cigarettes. Read more about the history on Yesterday’s Perfume.

Nosing around:

Last summer, my go-to perfume was Diptyque’s Philosykos—and as I look at what else is in my collection of bottles and samples, I realize that I am a bona fide Olivia Giacobetti groupie. Frederic Malle’s En Passant, Honoré des Prés Vamp a NY, L’Artisand Dzing!, Lubin Idole—each nuanced and gorgeous and as delicious and delicate as a fine pastry. But don’t take my word for it: Gwen and Kay have samples of lots of her best scents.

Makes me want to try it:

Mmmm. Soon hitting the shelves: Chanel’s new release in the Les Exclusifs line, Jersey. The sales team at Holt Renfrew’s Chanel boutique in Toronto told me it’s expected by the end of October. Can’t wait to sniff it!

Deals, deals, deals:

I love when I find an affordable scent by a usually pricey nose. So imagine my delight when I discovered discontinued Rochas Tocadilly on sale at for $19.90US. The scent is by nose Christopher Sheldrake, the man behind many of Serge Lutens’ beauties and now the house perfumer at Chanel. Tocadilly is a lovely wearable acqueous lilac and wisteria scent. Check out this review at Perfume Shrine.

Just because:

Got 17 minutes to spare? Check out the video of this talk by Nicolla Twilley on why we prefer the scents that we do, which I found thanks to a link posted on Now Smell This.