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Nose-to-Nose – Dirty Pirates and Hidden Treasures – October 8, 2014

Image - Wikipedia - Disney "Pirates of the Caribbean" DVD set

Gwen:    What on earth have you got on your head?

Kay:        A pirate’s hat. I’m testing out hats for my daughter’s Halloween costume. She’s going to a Pirates of the Caribbean party – as a pirate zombie or pirate ghost, or something. Do you think it’s pirate-y enough?

Gwen:      Looks too new, needs some grease and blood and dirt. Hey, speaking of dirty pirates, did you read this article in the October 6th Globe and Mail about the bottles of perfume that were found in an 1864 shipwreck off the coast of Bermuda?

Kay:         You’re kidding. They survived underwater all this time? What did they smell like?

Gwen:       Here, I’ve found the article. I’ll read it to you…

“Presented with the bottles by Bermuda’s Custodian of Historic Wrecks, perfumery owner and former Montrealer Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone detected citrus, decayed rosewood and neroli, which is extracted from bitter orange, amidst the odour of rancid tincture and decomposed animal by-products like ambergris and civet.

…Ramsay-Brackstone admitted that, after 150 years, the perfume’s pong was “horrible … like a dirty pirate’s feet.”

Kay:          Ha! Or a dirty pirate’s hat!

Gwen:       It continues:

"But, she added, “It didn’t matter how it smelled. What really mattered is what you were smelling: 150 years ago. You could smell a ghost.”

Kay:         Wow! Creepy! So what did she do with this funked-up stuff?

Gwen:       Well, like any dedicated perfumer would do, she took this old perfume to Drom Fragrances in New York to determine its “DNA” using gas chromatography, and discovered it contained grapefruit-dominated citrus, rosewood, rose and orange flower. So then she made a new fragrance that re-created this hidden treasure, named it after the shipwreck ship, the Maria Celestica, and it’s being used to promote the 150th anniversary of its sinking. She has 1,864 bottles of this special fragrance for sale through her store/website

Kay:          What a great story. I’d love to sniff it. I wonder how many other hidden perfume treasures there are under the sea.


Image - Maria Celestica bottle in box - Bermuda Perfumery

Gwen:         I bet there’s a lot, and I bet they probably all smell like dirty pirates’ feet! Speaking of smells, what’s that frag you’re wearing – I love it!

Kay:            It’s a little hidden treasure I found on one of my perfume shelves. Messages by Mariella Burani – very under-rated, one of my “finds” on-line. And I found a couple more treasures I forgot I had, too….Sira des Indes by Patou and Bull’s Blood by Imaginary Authors. They’re all such complex and really different smelling frags!

Gwen:         Oooh, those are good ones! My latest find was a bottle of Eau du Fier by Annick Goutal. Long discontinued, I found a bottle in a men’s clothing store! And then there’s LUXE Champaca by Comme des Garçons – I’m putting that one front and centre along with Bulgari Black, another treasure. Kay, I’m going upstairs right now to check out my shelves for other treasures. Hey, you should look in your lingerie drawer too.

Kay:            Why?

Gwen:          There might be hidden treasures in your bra -  unless you have a sunken chest!

Kay:             You know, BFF, that joke hardly made me laugh in Grade Five, but now, coming from you, at this moment...

Gwen:           The old ones are always the best. Little treasures.


Click on the links, and read all about our "hidden treasures" - and there's tons more in our Decant Store.