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Gwen's blog

Eau Noire – verdant and warm and sensual

This morning I did something I hadn’t done in a long time. I pulled out my bottle of Eau Noire from the French design house Dior. The second that deep, green juice hit my skin and wafted up to my nose, I realized how much I had missed its beauty.

Rose Tonnerre – roses and gardens and truffles

The previous owner of our house was a very talented and dedicated gardener. We took possession of the house, along with it’s gorgeous garden, and moved into it in mid-June. After all the Sturm und Drang of moving day, my husband and I opened a bottle of good wine, took it out to the back deck, clinked glasses and welcomed ourselves to the neighbourhood.

Sleight of Fern – verdant and voluptuous and sophisticated


Photo: perfumeniche

A trip to Tuscany in September with dear friends. We're lucky with the weather. We've escaped the heat of late summer, and the predicted rain never came. Our luck holds when we move on to Florence and then Venice, our city time contrasting with our week spent in the Tuscan countryside.

Intrigant Patchouli 08 – seductive and elegant and made to be worn

Throughout the years that I’ve been writing about perfume, I’ve noticed that patchouli is one of those a love it or hate notes. I happen to love it. I love its rich, earthy, smoky, sweet, spicy balsamy, woody scent. And with so many fabulous aspects, a good perfumer can really get creative with it. I am reminded of this every time I wear Intrigant Patchouli 08 from French indie line Pierre Guillaume Paris.

Aventus For Her – fruity and floral and confident

Photo: courtesy of CREED

Fragrances can often trigger memories. Sometimes these associations are deliberate, like when you choose a scent for your wedding, and some are unintentional, like the year my husband bought me Aventus for Her for Christmas.

1740 – dark and earthy and animalic

Have you ever heard of Donatien-Alphonse François? Me neither until I smelled 1740 from French indie house Histoire de Parfums. Fragrances in the Histoire de Parfums line are named for a year associated with a famous person or event, and 1740 was the year Donatien Alphonse François, also known as the Marquis de Sade, was born.

Jour de Fête – a little bitter and a little sweet and very evocative

Photo -Wikipedia - Jordan Almonds by Alex Kaspernicius, Feb. 2006

I grew up in the Italian area of downtown Toronto, so most of my childhood friends were Italian. We walked to school together, did homework together and hung out after school together. One of our schoolyard rituals was sharing treats we brought home with each other at recess.

Black – rubber and wood and leather

Photo: perfumeniche

Perfumes have always been in my life, but when I discovered niche scents in the early 2000s, everything changed, and perfumes became a part of my life. Now, I not only wear perfumes, but I also collect them and write about them.

Eau de Claudie – fresh and spicy and woody

The warm weather seems to be here to stay, so it's time to bring out the colognes. That's how I rediscovered Eau de Claudie from French design house Claudie Pierlot.
Years ago, while in Paris, I came across Claudie Pierlot's clothing shop. This French stylist was known for creating clothes for the real women of Paris, and over time, the brand became known for its feminine yet urban vibe.

Basilica – herbal and incense-y and woody

I’ve been writing about fragrances for over a decade now, and I’ve seen fragrance trends come and go and come back again and one category that has remained popular over time is church scents - those evocative fragrances that conjure up the bells, the garments, the cold stone, the chanting and the smells associated with worship. It’s not surprising since church scents are incense-based, because incense has been used for centuries in religious worship, ceremony, and meditation in religions around the world.

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