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After Shave

Many of us, especially men, who have little experience with perfume, are likely to have encountered eau de cologne, often called “after shave.”  Eau de cologne is used in a different way than perfume and is meant as a refreshing encounter with some persistence,...

Oriental perfumes: The Mellis Accord

In perfumery, the word “oriental” denotes a rich, dense and complex perfume. Shalimar is probably the best-known example.  According to J.S. Jellinek, in Perfumery: Practice and Principles, oriental perfumes can be divided into those such as Obsession and...

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...