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Chypre

Pronounced SHEEPra, the word refers to the island of Cypress, known for its oakmoss, but Cypress has little to do with the evolution of the modern chypre. Instead, the classic chypre style was introduced in 1917 by Francois Coty who created a perfume by that name...

Natural Musk

As a small boy, I got scared when my mother went out for dinner or to a party and left me alone with my bullying teenage brothers. This angst is forever coupled by the delicious aroma of her 1940s Vol de Nuit. No sooner would she put it on, getting ready to go out,...

Quandary

When I finished composing Green Iris, I ran over to The Twisted Lily, a perfume boutique just a few blocks from me, to get their opinion. One salesperson exclaimed “Iris!” while another said, “Well, that’s certainly outside the box.” Since, I’ve been thinking about...

Violets

No doubt because of the intense labor needed to accumulate enough violet flowers, violet flower absolute disappeared from the market many years ago. Perfumers use violet leaf absolute instead. While violet leaf has a nice green aspect that fits well with the...

Fixation

For some perfumes, the greatest challenge is getting them to last. Natural floral aromas, especially, evaporate quickly—they last no more than an hour or two on the skin—and need to last longer to be viable.  It has long been the supposition of perfumers, master and...