Saturday, 29 June 2013

Les Senteurs

Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time will know of my attempts to bring attention to, and give praise to local or not so local perfume stores that carry good lines and more importantly, offer good service and knowledge.

Les Senteurs is such a store, and while I haven't had the opportunity to visit for some time, I presume is still the case. What does disappoint me about Les Senteurs is that I received an email from them a few months ago stating that they no longer offer free samples in store. For a long time they have charged for posting samples, and I had no problem with that, particularly as they are very generous samples. However, I don't personally think it is right that potential customers should be charged for wanting to sample in store what is very often highly price perfumes. I realise that there is the potential issue of people who visit the store purely to score free samples, and I'd be lying if I said I had never done that myself, but still.

I was interested to note that Les Senteurs is also selling their remaining Annick Goutal stock at up to 50% off, being end of line. A quick look at their website shows that Annick Goutal is no longer listed, hence my presumption. This makes me slightly sad, for I recall Les Senteurs  making quite a big deal about how when they opened as the only niche perfume shop in London in the eighties, they were the first to stock and promote Annick Goutal. I realise that this perfume house is no longer that niche, but neither is Serge Lutens or Creed for example, both both are still stocked. I'm certain Les Senteurs has its reasons for discontinuing the line, but still, I am slightly sad about that, particularly in light of what was stated above.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Scent of the day - Amouage Dia Man

I have a bottle of Dia Man in my possession, lucky person that I am. I don't wear this perfume as often as I should. Each time I wear Dia, I feel good. Smart, yet not too smart. Relaxed, but poised. It is a great and sophisticated day time fragrance. 

With Amouage, you usually get great quality ingredients, and Dia is no different. I'm a great fan of Amouage's older perfumes in particular and wearing Dia today reminded me about all that is good about Amouage and why I fell in love with the house in the first place.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The week that was

Hello, fellow perfume lovers. It was a busy week for me, one in which I wore perfume, but none particularly stood out, possibly because I was too distracted by other matters to focus fully on the fumes.

I am excited because my sister is coming to stay with us for three weeks. She is flying in on Sunday, and I haven't seen her for two years. It's easy to take family for granted sometimes, but in my case, the fact that I only get to see some of my family so infrequently helps me to appreciate what and who I have got, most of the time.

So on the perfume front I tried two Miller Harris perfumes new to Fenwick in Tunbridge Wells, Fleurs de Sel and Terre d'Iris, and new to me too. I found both of them interesting enough that I want to try them again when I am more focused. Fleurs de Sel in particular struck me as being unusual, in a good way. Herbal, slightly leathery, with a hint of moss, suffused with a hint of salty, slightly humid air. I also wore Kingston Ferry, by Olympic Orchids, which I've written about before, I think. Like most of the other perfumes I've tried by this house, it too is somewhat unusual and certainly like nothing else I've tried elsewhere.

The week after next I have a holiday coming out, which will be spent with my sister and my family. Nothing major planned, but will aim to relax and spend time with loved ones.

Have a good weekend, friends in fumes, and let me know what you've been doing this week, if you have the time or inclination. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Father's day musings

I hope all you fathers out there had a fantastic father's day yesterday, and were spoilt by your loved ones. And if you are not a father, I hope you were able to convey to your own father how special he is, or if departed, how special he was.

I appreciate also that not all of us have had the greatest relationships with our fathers. If that is the case, my sympathy to you. I was fortunate enough to have (and still do) a very good relationship with my own father. For me, the sad thing is I live more than 10,000 miles away from him now, on the other side of the world. I won't go into the feelings of guilt that this invokes.

While I am thinking of father's day, I feel I ought to express how wonderful it feels to me to be a father to my own two beautiful girls. I don't want to go all soppy, but truly, it is a very privileged position I find myself in. I was walking around today, thinking about this, and realised that there was never a truer saying than 'money cannot buy you love'. My own daughters are living proof of this. I would exchange (if I had it) all the money, status and material possessions I own to see their unbridled joy as they run to hug me, and say "I love you daddy!"

My perfume on father's day was Serge Lutens' Cedre. Cedar, tuberose, musk, amber and cinnamon. A manly fragrance with a feminine touch. Dare I say it.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Civil Wars - Tiny Desk concert

I listen to and watch quite a few music videos on Youtube these days. It's not good for my bandwidth and internet charges, but I like it anyway...

A really good source of unusual 'concerts' are the NPR Tiny Desk videos, which are recorded and filmed in the NPR radio station's studio. I've stumbled across many excellent performances here, including Laura Marling, Lisa Hannigan, Adele, Steve Earle, The National, The Decemberists, Martha and Rufus Wainright, Lyle Lovett and most recently, a great one by The Civil Wars.

As I liked it so much, I've included the video here:

Friday, 14 June 2013

SOTD - Olympic Orchids Gujarat

Olympic Orchids do some very interesting perfumes. Today I wore Gujarat, which as the name implies, is inspired by India. 

Olympic Orchids describe Gujarat thus: "Like a full-scale Bollywood extravaganza, Gujarat is made with just about every spice you can name and some you probably never even heard of, softened and sweetened with exotic tropical flowers, supported on a base of smoky woods, resins, and balms, and garnished with a dash of chili and a twist of lime. Don’t worry - it doesn’t smell like curry. Gujarat is like nothing you’ve ever smelled before. You may love it, you may hate it, but either way you’ll have a unique and exotic perfume experience."

What I like about this house and Ellen Covey, is that they freely admit you may love it or hate it, a bit like Marmite (perhaps only a Brit will appreciate that). I don't know what Gujarat actually contains, but on my skin it smells like a supercharged marmalade being made, using the most intense Seville Orange rinds imaginable. This bitter orange smell, sweet yet bitter, fragrant, complex, is complemented by an undertone of spices and wood, yet at no time can I pin down what they are. 

I have to admit that while I like Gujarat, I don't think I could wear it every day. It is very intense, but equally, I have never smelt another perfume remotely like it, which speaks volumes, at least to me.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Scent of the day - Andy Tauer Incense Extreme

Those of you who've read my blog over the years will possibly know that I am a big fan of much of Andy Tauer's earlier work, and Incense Extreme is a case in point.

It was a sad occasion today as I finally finished my sample, which I've had for what must be over four years now. I bought it as part of a sample pack directly from Andy Tauer and the size is very generous. I know it may seem slightly silly to be attached to a small sample of perfume, rather than a full bottle, for example, but I've worn its contents on a few occasions over the years, each time feeling uplifted by what is a beautiful perfume. 

One is almost tempted to say: "they don't make 'em like they used to"....


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin

I've had a sample of La Fille de Berlin lying around for some time, which I've tried on and off, in addition to the occasional wearing after a visit to a department store. I just haven't felt particularly compelled to write about it. bearing in mind that I haven't been doing much writing anyway, to be fair.

Don't get me wrong. I actually like La Fille de Berlin - it is well made, as is always the case with Serge Lutens, but it doesn't excite me. Part of the problem, for want of a better word, is that I am already familiar with Lutens' other rose fragrances, namely Rose de Nuit and Sa Majeste La Rose, and both of those strike me as more interesting, at least to my nose. In my opinion, La Fille de Berlin falls somewhere between these two, almost a hybrid. Rose de Nuit is a darker rose, with woodier notes, a slightly polished feel in the sense of polished wood, and complex. Sa Majeste La Rose is bright, sunny and exuberant, like a pure distillation of some heady rose flower, and not for the faint hearted. La Fille de Berlin, however, is more subdued, a bit more restrained, perhaps a result of the use of violet and pepper notes, yet is still recognisably rosy. 

Perhaps this post is damning La Fille de Berlin with faint praise. I hope not, because I certainly don't want to do that. I guess what I am trying to say is that I just prefer the more extremes explored by the two other Lutens rose fragrances. I must admit that La Fille de Berlin would be better suited to everyday wear compared to the others.

Friday, 7 June 2013

What I am...

Listening to:

I have just bought the new album by Laura Marling, Once I Was An Eagle. This brilliant English singer-songwriter is only 23 years old and this is her fourth album release in as many years. Some people have called her the English Joni Mitchell, and while that may be flattering, it also doesn't do her total justice, as she is very much her own artist. She is about as non-mainstream as you get, so you aren't likely to find her in the top twenty, but give me Laura any day over Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, Beyonce and the like...

I'm also revisiting Neil Young, one of my favourite artists, after having read his great autobiography. More about that later.


Lots of stuff. I really enjoyed seeing Watchmen, which is based on the Marvel comic/graphic novel series. The film is a very realistic cinematic take on the comics, and very noir, but brilliantly done.

I've also been following a very good TV show hosted by Elvis Costello, who interviews and plays with (in some instances) some well known musicians, such as Rufus Wainright, Lou Reed and even Bill Clinton, who is somewhat of a music aficionado.


As mentioned above, Neil Young's autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, is a good read. Like Neil himself, the book is long, rambling, hippie, meandering, odd, eccentric, and in places downright genius.

Game of Thrones. Yes, I am soldiering on. Will it ever end....

There is a lot more than this, but I'd be interested in finding out what you are up to. Any recommendations?


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