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Off the grid today - March 7, 2016

Well, I've been bugged. I'm feeling poorly, down for the count, off the grid, so to speak. In short, I've got the flu.

My energies are focused on fighting this thing - ginger tea with lemon and honey is going to be what I'm sniffing all day long.

So no post today, but Kay and I will be back on Wednesday March 9 with our regular Nose-to-Nose conversation.



NANBAN – Spicy and leathery and woody - February 29, 2016

Nanban bottle and box -

Arquiste, the niche fragrance line launched by architect, history buff and designer Carlos Huber, has become one of my go-to lines since it was launched in 2011. The fragrances are gorgeous evocations of a specific time and place in history.

Black by M. Micallef – Floral and fruity and seductive - February 19, 2016

Photo: Courtesy of M. Micallef

Ragù – Spicy, aromatic and woody - February 15, 2016

Photo: Gabriella Chieffo courtesy of Maison Gabriella Chieffo

One of my most exciting fragrance discoveries has been Ragù from Italian niche line Maison Gabriella Chieffo.

Vetyver Incenso – Woody and resinous and elegantly virile - February 8, 2016

Photo courtesy of Farmacia SS Annunziata dal 1561

Just before the holidays, we decided to renovate parts of our house, so for Christmas I was given a copy of the hot new book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo.

Noir de Réminiscence – Woody and balsamic and resinous – February 1, 2016

I have a single girlfriend who has made it very clear to all her friends that she would like to meet the right man. One afternoon, when I dropped round her place to return a book I had borrowed, I noticed a sports station playing on the radio in the background as we chatted.

“Since when did you start following hockey?” I asked.

Venezia Giardini Segreti – jasmine and resin and salty skin - January 25, 2016

My secret garden in Venice. Photo:

Venice is a place of secrets, a result of its geography, I think. Built on 117 small islands, linked by bridges and canals, Venice is a maze of hidden entranceways, narrow corridors and passageways, just big enough for surreptitious meetings and clandestine assignations.

A*Men Pure Havane – Aromatic tobacco and sweet honey and woody, earthy, patchouli - January 18, 2016

Image - Cuban cigar and rum -

When I was a young, callow perfumista, I had a bias against flankers, those siblings of successful scents that often just share a fragrance note or name or packaging of the original fragrance and I dismissed them as money grabs.

L'Original – Woody and aquatic and serenely beautiful - January 11, 2016

Vertical Garden at Pershing Hall photo courtesy of Paris 75007

In 2001 French interior designer Andrée Putman introduced her first fragrance, Préparation Parfumée and my world shifted a little. I have been an admirer of her design work for years.

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