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Nose-to-nose: Sniffing out news with Esther, December 16, 2015

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New in niche

Our friends at Etat Libre d’Orange have a new fragrance on offer, just in time for Christmas: Hermann a mes cotes me paraissait une ombre. Yes, that’s a mouthful: in fact, it’s a line from a Victor Hugo poem, What Two Horsemen Were Thinking in the Forest, and translates as “by my side, Hermann seemed to me like a shadow.” Notes include blackcurrant buds, black pepper, galbanum, calypsone, geosmin, frankincense, pepperwood, petalia, rose, patchouli and ambroxan.

Interested in exploring the Etat Libre d’Orange line? Check out the list of their fragrances that Gwen and Kay have available.

Vintage appeal

So it’s not truly a vintage fragrance, but it is one that our friends at NowSmellThis described as “perfectly calibrated to evoke the vague outlines of a perfume that might have existed in the early 1920s when Gabrielle Chanel accompanied Misia Sert on her honeymoon in Venice.” It’s Chanel’s 2015 launch Misia, and it’s showing up on a number of “best of” 2015 lists. I haven’t sniffed it yet, but as a lover of vintage perfumes, I’ll definitely be checking it out when I’m within sniffing distance of a shop stocking the Les Exclusifs line.

Deals, deals, deals

Two of my favourite frags are perennial bargains on the online fragrance sites—which also makes them good bets as stocking stuffers, in my mind: Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene (8 ounce EDT often available for under $30) and Ombre Rose by Jean Charles Brosseau (EDT 3.4 ounces generally available for under $40). Gwen and Kay have Grey Flannel listed - read Kay's post here.

Nosing around

Olivier Polge is the nose behind Misia, the son of Chanel perfumer Jacques Polge, and as of 2015, the successor to his father’s title as Chanel’s fragrance creator. Check out this Q&A with him from earlier this year in the New York Times

Interested in Polge’s fragrances? Gwen and Kay have L'Anonyme, Balenciaga Paris, Midnight in Paris and Cuir Beluga on offer.

Makes me want to try it

It’s always fun to check out “best of” lists, and one of the first out of the gate with a Best of 2015 list is the website and fragrance reference site They’ve actually got two lists: one a list of top ten fragrances as rated by readers and one a list of their editors’ top picks. The reader list is, I’m afraid, a bit of a yawn—nothing very unexpected on it. But the editors’ list does mention a few I’ll be searching out: Romanza Victorian Narcissus by Masque Fragranze; Arabesque by The Merchant of Venice (a house I know Gwen adores); Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir; Fleurs et Flammes by Antonia Alessandria; Tiziana Terenzi Ursa; Blackbird Broken Glass; Mendittorosa Sogno Reale; Ineke Idyllwild…and a bunch more. So much fun to read about them!

Interested in Naomi Goodsir frags? Gwen and Kay have Cuir Velours and Bois d'Ascese on offer.

Just because

Santa's four-legged elves are busy....