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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther


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New in niche

By Kilian will launch the latest in their Asian tales collection in April: Flower of Immortality by nose Calice Becker. According to Now Smell This, notes include white peach, carrot, iris, blackcurrant buds, rose, tonka bean and vanilla. The earlier fragrances in the line—Water Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony—were criticized by some as “not Asian enough” (see Kevin’s review, also on Now Smell This), but I thought they were lovely and very wearable—though of course, since they’re By Kilian, they’re only wearable if you have a fat wallet! Interested in trying one of By Kilian's scents? Gwen and Kaye have Beyond Love on offer.

Vintage appeal

Well, my long-searched for Jil Sander 79 Woman (which I wrote about in my last post) arrived last week, and it is lovely! Fragrantica  lists the notes as aldehydes and cranberry up top; iris, may rose and jasmine in the middle; and musk, caramel, woodsy notes, vetiver and suede in the basenotes. My nose gets sweet aldehydes up top, and the rose and florals with the suede, musk and vetiver holding down the fort. As blind buys go, it was a super-success. 

Deals, deals, deals

One of the ‘fumes mentioned in the vintage perfume article below (see “Makes me want to try it”) is Bal a Versailles. I’ve tried the vintage version (my sister shared some of hers with me), but haven’t tried the current one. Apparently it was a ‘fume favoured by Michael Jackson (which may or may not make one more interested in trying it). Gwen and Kay have it listed - click here to order a decant. And it’s super-affordable at online sellers: under $35 for 100 ml of the eau de toilette. Check and

Nosing around

Calice Becker (the nose behind the new and many past By Kilian frags) has an impressive CV, including Estee Lauder’s notable Beyond Paradise, the spectacular (and affordable) Cuir de Lancome, Marc Jacobs Lola (and a couple of Lola flankers) and many more. Check out this short interview clip with Becker on what inspires her in creating fragrance. Gwen and Kaye have Cuir de Lancome on offer--it's one of my favourite leathers (and a bargain one too!).

Makes me want to try it

As I was nosing around looking for articles about vintage perfumes, I happened across this article from a couple of years ago: On the Scent—A Certain Vintage, wherein writer Elissa Gabbert describes some of her favourite vintage scents. I’ve sniffed a number of the ones she mentions, but now am intrigued to sniff out L’Arte di Gucci, one I haven’t sampled. Gabbert describes it as “a rich, dirty rose, bright red and fruity at first, with booze and honey facets, some minty geranium and a bit of aldehydic fizz for interest, drying down to a musky, patchouli-dark base.” Sounds right up my alley! 

Just because

From my point of view, the only good thing about February is its brevity. And when I need a little help getting through its 28 days, I turn to poetry for a little help—specifically the Poetry Foundation. You’ll find interview, articles and of course lots and lots of poetry—even some inspired by perfume. It’s here that I read of an intriguing British event called Penning Perfumes. Check it out here.