Articles by Author Elena Vosnaki

Elena Vosnaki
Elena Vosnaki is an historian and perfume writer from Greece and a Writer for Fragrantica. She is the founder and editor of Perfume Shrine, one of the most respected independent online publications on perfume, containing fragrance reviews, industry interviews, essays on raw materials and perfume history, a winner and a finalist in numerous blog awards contests. Her writing was recognized at the Fifi Awards for Editorial Excellence in 2009 and she contributes to publications around the world.
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Iris Hand Cream: An Indulgent New Ritual from Frederic Malle and Olivia GiacobettiIris Hand Cream: An Indulgent New Ritual from Frederic Malle and Olivia Giacobetti

Bath & Body 01/18/17 08:52 (6 comments)

  The Medici family used to perfume their gloves with iris concrete.   Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle  honors their history with a new hand cream featuring orris butter, from the dried rhizome of the iris plant, composed by revered perfumer Olivia Giacobetti.  The use of scented oils and pomades to scent leather gloves ripened in Italy and Florence in particular, where the Medici family flourished and patronized the arts. Originally, ... (more)

When the material that has been used to scent gloves since Renaissance is highlighted in a special hand cream, we know F. Malle is onto something.

Best in Show: Tuberose (2017)Best in Show: Tuberose (2017)

Best in Show 01/15/17 11:30 (57 comments)

No note in perfumery is more surprisingly carnal, creamier or contradicting than that of tuberose. The multi-petalled flower is a mix of flower shop freshness and velvety opulence. Which is why it is the perennial polarizing flower note having as many ardent fans as passionate detractors. The Victorians must have been among the latter: they forbade young girls of inhaling the scent of tuberose in the fear they might have a spontaneous orgasm! Roja Dove is right when he says that tuberose is ... (more)

Tuberose as featured in niche, luxe and men's perfumery.

Escentric 04: The Upcoming Player in the Escentric Molecules GameEscentric 04: The Upcoming Player in the Escentric Molecules Game

Niche Perfumery 01/09/17 08:49 (2 comments)

  The Escentric Molecules brand stands as the perfect example of what I call "the sliced bread concept": a simple pioneering idea that sounds like anyone could devise while walking the dog or something, but only one actually did. That one, in the case of purist ingredients sliced out of the lab for the public's awareness, has been none other than German-born perfumer Geza Schoen . The premise is a purist one. The motto of the brand runs thus: "... (more)

When renegade perfumer Geza Schoen ups the ante with a new addition in his Molecules line, there will be a quizzical waiting list to be sure!

Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)Best in Show: Oriflame (2017)

Best in Show 01/08/17 09:41 (26 comments)

Oriflame is one of the world's best-selling beauty brands. Founded in Sweden in 1967 and originally distributed exclusively by direct sales consultants, not unlike the American brand Avon, Oriflame successfuly marketed its innovative Swedish beauty style across Europe, into Asia, down to Africa and across the pond to Latin America. Today, Oriflame offers its products through consultants and via the web in more than 60 countries around the world. Despite its 50 years in busi... (more)

Affordable favorites from the Swedish brand, chosen by Fragrantica editors around the world!

Best in Show: Chanel (2017)Best in Show: Chanel (2017)

Best in Show 01/01/17 11:55 (57 comments)

Chanel. For almost 100 years, these two syllables have conjured sophistication, glamour and simplicity...and perfume. Whether choosing an iconic early aroma of the brand such as Cuir de Russie, a 70s classic like Cristalle, an 80s powerhouse oriental such as Coco, or a new Les Exclusifs such as Jersey, it is easy for everyone to find a Chanel of their own. And many famous names have helped to keep Chanel iconic: Marilyn and her N° 5; Warhol and his pai... (more)

Fragrantica editors celebrate their favorite Chanel fragrances. Leave a comment with your own picks!

My Favorite Perfumes from M.Micallef: 20 Years of Excellence in Fine PerfumeMy Favorite Perfumes from M.Micallef: 20 Years of Excellence in Fine Perfume

Niche Perfumery 12/27/16 10:28 (11 comments)

The world of niche perfumery sometimes resembles a borderless city to me, spreading around in ever expanding homocentric circles, intricate and labyrinthine in themselves, yet penetrable by a disciplined mind. I doubt mine is as disciplined as required, but pinpointing some of the worthier brands is still within my capacities. M.Micallef parfums celebrates 20 years of niche perfumery excellence and counts itself among those brands.    I occasionally hav... (more)

A very personal selection of some of the highlights by M.Micallef. The brand celebrates their 20 year anniversary this year.

A Fragrance for SantaA Fragrance for Santa

Columns 12/25/16 03:01 (34 comments)

Would Santa wear scent? What would it smell like? And if he did, would anybody smell it as he rode through the upper atmosphere? Well, every substance in gas form has a little gravity between molecules, so these molecules will distribute and fill all the space available. This probably means that in a vacuum or in outer space the diffusion of perfume will be much higher. Sadly, no one could notice it because it's actually not possible to inhale or breathe in space. ... (more)

Fragrantica editors choose scents they would gift to Santa. What would your choices be?

Editor's Choice Awards: Thanks from Writer and Editor, Elena VosnakiEditor's Choice Awards: Thanks from Writer and Editor, Elena Vosnaki

Fragrantica 12/19/16 09:24 (13 comments)

  A major part of the Fragrantica experience is coming on-board to see thousands of people, of different cultures and different backgrounds, writing about their experiences with fragrance. It must be worthwhile for the consumer no doubt, the way Trip Advisor reviews are, acting as a stirring guide into new purchases or even just sampling. But as a day-job-writer I can tell you that nothing beats savouring the richness of the text itself. From elaborate to lac... (more)

Congratulations to Le Coeur Gothique, Alex1984 and Perfumeaddict777! Enjoy your gifts!

Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cinnamon (2016)Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cinnamon (2016)

Best in Show 12/18/16 10:13 (46 comments)

In our first two articles celebrating spices in perfumes this holiday season, we explored nutmeg and cloves . In the third and last installment of this series, we set sail again to far off shores to investigate that nearly universal spice cinnamon .   Cinnamon is native to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, and the Malabar Coast of Southern India, where it is found as the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree, or  Cinnamomum verum . A similar plant, Cassia, is often u... (more)

In our third and final exploration of spice-based perfumes, we smell those amazing scents infused with cinnamon.

Best in Show: Fragrance for a Holiday Event (2016)Best in Show: Fragrance for a Holiday Event (2016)

Best in Show 12/11/16 10:04 (28 comments)

December - a time for parties, get-togethers, worship, vacations, family reunions, and even pensive nights in front of a colorfully lit tree. In this week's Best in Show,  our writers consider what they might wear for specific holiday-related occasions. Please join in the discussion and share with us some of your own choices for various December festivities! We look forward to your comments below. L`Erbolario Dolcelisir By:  Marlen Elliot Harriso... (more)

Please join in the discussion and share some of your own choices for various December festivities!

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Michel Almairac (2016)Best in Show: The Fragrances of Michel Almairac (2016)

Best in Show 12/04/16 11:35 (30 comments)

Born in 1953 in Grasse, France, Michel Almairac has become one of the most prolific modern perfumers, developing fragrances for many major brands including Gucci, Chloe, Le Labo, Burberry, Escada, Chopard and Givenchy, to name just a few. Almairac began his training in 1972 at Roure Betrand Dupont (now part of Givaudan) and continued his career working at such famous companies as Creations Aromatiques, Drom, and Takasago. He currently works at Robertet.&... (more)

Fragrantica's editors celebrate Michel Almairac by discussing what they consider to be some of his most important compositions. Which are your favorites?

Christmas Editions by Patricia de Nicolai: Or,  Myrrhe,  Encens Christmas Editions by Patricia de Nicolai: Or, Myrrhe, Encens

Home Scents 12/01/16 08:11 (One comment)

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur is launching a new triad of home scents inspired by the legendary gifts of the Wise Men to Jesus for Christmas: Or (Gold), Myrrhe (Myrrh) and Encens (Incense). These are the perfect scents to accompany lazy afternoons by the fire or to offer as Christmas gifts to your host.   The scents replicate familiar and beloved Christmas-y and winter-y smells.   Or (Gold) : Like oranges studded with cloves decorating Christmas trees, O... (more)

The gifts of the Three Wise Men are translated into scent products with the usual mastery of Patricia de Nicolai.

Fit for an Ageless Renaissance Queen: Eau de La Reine de HongrieFit for an Ageless Renaissance Queen: Eau de La Reine de Hongrie

1001 Past Tales 11/29/16 09:40 (7 comments)

"She had no sooner taken the spindle, which was very sharp, that she became a little dizzy, and, moreover, as the fairy order had ordered it thus, she pierced her hand and fell fainting. The good old woman, very embarrassed, shouted for help: help comes from all sides, one throws water into the princess's face, one loosens her clothes, one strikes her in the hands, one rubs her temples with Water Of the Queen of Hungary; But nothing made her come round."  ... (more)

Can an Eau de Toilette retain youth and beauty enough to make men hanker after you well into your 70s? The Queen of Hungary possessed one such secret recipe, the tale of which we explore in this es...

Best in Show: Caramel Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Caramel Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 11/27/16 09:56 (59 comments)

Ah, autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, a time when gourmand scents seem absolutely perfect; the air is cooling, festive parties are being thrown and many of us turn to our fragrance wardrobes for something perhaps a bit sweeter, warmer and richer. Enter caramel, a confection traditionally made from heating sugar; sometimes butter and cream are also added. This gooey, golden syrup is often drizzled over pastries and ice creams and in its hardened form makes a great cand... (more)

Fragrantica's team of international writers discuss five of their favorite caramel fragrances. What are yours?

L'Eau Couture: Chanel No.5 L'Eau Aims and MissesL'Eau Couture: Chanel No.5 L'Eau Aims and Misses

Columns 11/23/16 10:52 (26 comments)

Which is the most memorable tagline in perfume advertising? "Promise her anything but give her Arpege" fares high up there to be sure, though "You stay dry. She gets wet" for Faberge's Brut is a fierce contestant . Chanel, classy outfit that it is, thought of a really good but tamer one recently upon the launch of their modernized version of the classic No.5, L'Eau. "You know me and you don't". There, in a simple juxtapositi... (more)

A look into how No.5 L'Eau is aimed at a new generation with a revamped story-telling of an old tale. Will it capture its intended audience? We explore its concept, presentation and advertising to ...

Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cloves (2016)Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Cloves (2016)

Best in Show 11/20/16 09:29 (31 comments)

We began our exploration of the spices of the season in our article about nutmeg . We return in our giant ship of the past to the Spice Islands for that elusive flowering bud that emits one of the richest of all spice scents: Cloves. Many do not know that the hard, dark brown spice that grinds down to a coarse and mealy powder is actually the dried bud from a flowering tree,  Syzygium aromaticum . It’s native to the small Moluccas Islands of Indonesia. However, they were... (more)

The closed buds of a rare tree bring forth the warm, spicy promises of the season through the lore of cloves.

Best in Show: The Perfumes of Sonia ConstantBest in Show: The Perfumes of Sonia Constant

Best in Show 11/13/16 06:37 (6 comments)

As writers for Fragrantica, we are fortunate to become familiar with the work of our peers and gain access to information this way. Fellow writer Sergey Borisov  conducted such an intriguing and insightful interview with perfumer Sonia Constant that we knew we’d love to explore her work at greater length. It is with this thought in mind that we present our latest Best in Show highlighting perfumer  Sonia Constant . Looking at the wide breadth of her... (more)

Creator of the immensely popular Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, Sonia Constant is a fascinating force in contemporary perfumery.

Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Nutmeg (2016)Best in Show: Seasonal Spices - Nutmeg (2016)

Best in Show 11/06/16 08:57 (47 comments)

Wars have been fought across thousands of miles in the quest to control spice. But did you know that the great war of the Spice Islands began because of nutmeg? The hunger for this warm, oily, aromatic fruit seed was so intense and so profitable, that the Dutch East India Company knew it was better to fight a war for control of the future than to remain at the whims of traders. Yet we can appreciate the depth of yearning that must have gripped the imagination of Europeans and North Af... (more)

From the War of the Spice Islands to today's Oriental perfumes, nutmeg is the king of the cornucopia.

Autumn Aromas in Kyoto, Krasnodar and AthensAutumn Aromas in Kyoto, Krasnodar and Athens

Columns 11/02/16 11:01 (11 comments)

Inspired by the scentscapes of our favorite environments, Fragrantica's international writers discuss the autumnal aromas that they associate with cities around the globe. What kinds of scents permeate the air in your own hometowns or favorite vacation destinations? Leave us a comment below. Part 1:  Autumn Aromas in Boston, Lisbon, San Diego & Amsterdam   KYOTO Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison: The aromas of Kyoto in autumn are direct... (more)

Colors, tastes and smells of fall.

Cologne Drinks: Ingesting a LegendCologne Drinks: Ingesting a Legend

1001 Past Tales 10/31/16 07:07 (8 comments)

Elvis Costello and the Attractions spat it out plain as day: "And you're drinking down the Eau de Cologne. And you're spitting out the Kodachrome. You better watch your step." So what if you poured that bottle of eau de cologne not onto your freshly-bathed flesh but down your oesophagus and into your stomach? As many Russian testimonies will manifest it could be the recipe for an early death. According to Sarah Boseley and Luke Harding reporting for The Guardian i... (more)

From destitute working-class Russians to well-heeled society ladies in Western Europe Eau de Cologne drinking has actually been a habit with long legs in history. We explore the whys and hows.

Best in Show: Penhaligon's (2016)Best in Show: Penhaligon's (2016)

Best in Show 10/30/16 11:08 (31 comments)

Established in the late 1860s by William Henry Penhaligon, a barber from Cornwall, Penhaligon's is one of England's oldest, continuously operating perfumeries and a rarity in that many of its original fragrances are still on the market today. The company's first perfume, Hammam Bouquet , was launched in 1872, inspired by the aromas of the Turkish Hammam (baths) that neighbored Penhaligon's Jeremyn Street barber shop, a melange of musky rose and woody lavender. B... (more)

Our editors discuss their favorite fragrances from one of England's oldest perfume houses.

Prada La Femme: Creamy Tension for Modern TemptressesPrada La Femme: Creamy Tension for Modern Temptresses

Fragrance Reviews 10/26/16 07:13 (12 comments)

Perfumer Daniela Roche-Andrier  has seemingly effortlessly managed to fuse a distinct olfactory style through the Prada scent collection. It beautifully pitches the traditional expectation of full-bodied luxuria with contemporary sophistication and humor, gaining a dedicated following in its wake, judging by the best-selling status of the Iris and Amber collections respectively.   The beautiful tension between white florals and vetiver is the building block of the... (more)

When flamboyant sensuality and modern sparseness collide the results can be surprisingly appealing.

Best in Show: Chypre Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Chypre Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 10/16/16 10:55 (52 comments)

Some say that the first chypre (French for Cyprus, but in reference to the island, not the tree) began in 1917 with the launch of the famous Chypre de Coty , a pre-oriental blend of sharp citruses laid over oakmoss, patchouli, a floral bouquet, styrax (benzoin), civet and musk. However, one only needs to examine perfume history closely to understand that actually Guerlain with their Chypre de Paris and d'Orsay with their Chypre d'Orsay actually preceded Coty b... (more)

Named for the island of Cyprus and containing bergamot, labdanum and oakmoss, the chypre is discussed in this week's Best in Show. What is your favorite chypre?

Best in Show: My Fragrant Unicorn (2016)Best in Show: My Fragrant Unicorn (2016)

Best in Show 10/09/16 10:23 (65 comments)

There are certain ways in which perfume fanatics resemble kids. Recall how you were searching high and low for that ultra-rare Pokemon card that was missing from your otherwise quite smart album? Recall worrying a loose tooth, tempting you to go over it again and again with your tongue, despite it being a tad painful, wishing it in the palm of your hand already? Or replaying a favorite experience over and over in your head, eager to describe it in great detail, the memory gaining in m... (more)

Inspired by a thread in our Forum, our international team discusses their wishlist fragrances, some remain elusive while others have finally been acquired. What are yours?

B683 by Marc-Antoine Barrois: The Little Prince of PerfumeB683 by Marc-Antoine Barrois: The Little Prince of Perfume

Niche Perfumery 10/08/16 06:40 (One comment)

Would you pick up a bottle of a perfume cryptically named just B683? The question is not that unusual for niche perfume enthusiasts who love to search through what seems like lab coded bottles with mysterious jus hiding inside. It might, however, raise an eyebrow in the mainstream market where designer fragrances bear names with allusions to seduction and beauty. Nevertheless, this is the name that Marc-Antoine Barrois has chosen for his first foray into perfume after establishing himself ... (more)

A code-named perfume that references Le Petit Prince from the French haute-couture designer. His first.

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Annick Menardo (2016)Best in Show: The Fragrances of Annick Menardo (2016)

Best in Show 10/02/16 08:34 (26 comments)

Some might say that it has been challenging for women to forge successful careers in the traditionally male-dominated world of perfumers; a review of famous noses certainly shows a disproportionate number of men to women. But this week's perfumer in the spotlight has crafted a range of iconic fragrances over a career that spans 3 decades and she shows no signs of stopping. Born in Cannes, France, Annick Menardo  originally wanted to be a psychiatrist. L... (more)

From Bvlgari to Biagiotti, this week's perfumer in the spotlight has crafted some of the most successful masterpieces of modern perfumery. What are your favorites?

Best in Show: L'Artisan Parfumeur (2016)Best in Show: L'Artisan Parfumeur (2016)

Best in Show 09/25/16 09:04 (45 comments)

If asked to name the most whimsical fragrance house established in the 20th century, many of us would easily suggest L'Artisan Parfumeur, created in 1978 by the visionary Jean Laporte. The brand website explains that everything began with a banana challenge: L’Artisan Parfumeur was the result of a challenge, a plaisanterie . Due to his training as a chemist, a friend asked Jean Laporte if he could create a banana scent to wear with a costume of the same frui... (more)

Our international writers discuss the whimsy and creativity of one of the world's most popular niche houses.

Olivier Durbano Lapis LazuliOlivier Durbano Lapis Lazuli

New Fragrances 09/16/16 08:49 (3 comments)

Lapis Lazuli , the gorgeous vivid dark blue stone that shines under the glare of the sun, is actually not a crystal, like previous gemstones that have inspired Olivier Durbano , but a rock composed of several minerals which shine with the full splendor of the night-time sky. The line of Parfums de Pierres Poemes, i.e. perfumed poems inspired by gemstones, is enriched with this vivacious new scent that explores all avenues of the symbolism of blue, from spiritua... (more)

The color of the sky and the stone that glows with its vivid blue is transformed into a new niche fragrance by Olivier Durbano.

La Vie Est Belle: Dissecting a Best-SellerLa Vie Est Belle: Dissecting a Best-Seller

Fragrance Reviews 09/13/16 09:54 (50 comments)

Why did The Da Vinci Code and 50 Shades of Grey become such international hits, despite them being contrived in what concerns the former and outrageously badly executed in what concerns the latter? Explaining the mass appeal of Lancome's La Vie Est Belle giga-box-office-buster, and offering reasons behind its smashing success, is no less a feat than scalpelling the surface under those publishing hits. They offer titillation to the public, to be sure; is that what it takes... (more)

What exactly is it that makes this specific Lancome fragrance tick like mad? Why has it met with its audience in this extraordinary way? We investigate the reasons reviewing the scent.

Christian Louboutin Bikini Questa Sera, Tornade Blonde, Trouble in HeavenChristian Louboutin Bikini Questa Sera, Tornade Blonde, Trouble in Heaven

New Fragrances 09/13/16 09:17 (3 comments)

Who hasn't desired or ogled, as applicable, those vicious and gorgeous red-soled Louboutin shoes walking down the catwalk and the red carpet alike? The brand that made us look into luxurious shoes anew ventured into cosmetics with their launch of nail polish and lipstick/gloss (called Loubilaque) in 2014 and they're now extending their adventurous foray into cosmetics and beauty with a trio of perfumes aimed at the luxury seeking customer. The eye-... (more)

Louboutin: Three Perfumes Introduced by the Famous Shoe-Maker Brand

Best in Show: Vetivers for the Vetiver Wary (2016)Best in Show: Vetivers for the Vetiver Wary (2016)

Best in Show 09/11/16 07:15 (41 comments)

Foreward by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Gupta from the Fragrantica VETIVER page: Essence from the Eastern Asian weed grass Vetiveria zizanoid falls under the woods category thanks to its musty, dry, woody scent with bitter chocolate and smoke facets. Very popular in niche perfumery and masculine fragrances, vetiver has a long and rich history. In India it has been used to make blinds necessary to keep out the intense heat. When the blinds are sprinkled with water they emit the vet... (more)

Our international writers discuss their favorite vetiver fragrances for those wanting a lighter touch of the grassy root. What are yours?

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Alberto MorillasBest in Show: The Fragrances of Alberto Morillas

Best in Show 09/04/16 04:20 (56 comments)

Few perfumers can boast as successful a career as Alberto Morillas . Spanning 4 decades of not just successful, but legendary creations, Morillas has given us some of the world's most iconic aromas. His first fragrance was 1981's Must de Cartier, EDT (eventually re-launched as Must II) and his most recent work includes collaborations with Bvlgari, Dali and Ferragamo. A native of Seville, Spain who moved to Switzerland at the age of 10, Morillas was ins... (more)

Our international writers discuss their favorites from the legendary perfumer, Alberto Morillas. What are yours?

Aedes de Venustas Grenadille d'AfriqueAedes de Venustas Grenadille d'Afrique

New Fragrances 09/02/16 12:23 (3 comments)

Grenadille d’Afrique . From crackling sap to balmy resin. Smoky wood to sun-seared stone. Purple dusk to ink black night. Aedes de Venustas  seventh scent explores the age old landscape of Africa in a tribute to ancient ebony.     Aedes de Venustas has been in the niche perfume business for over a decade spoiling perfume lovers everywhere with their eclectic selection and sumptuous presentation. ... (more)

Grenadille d'Afrique marks the 7th fragrance release from the eclectic niche perfume brand connected to the baroque NYC boutique by the same name.

Byredo: What Does the New Unnamed Perfume Smell Like?Byredo: What Does the New Unnamed Perfume Smell Like?

Niche Perfumery 09/01/16 09:18 (21 comments)

A perfume that you can write your own story on. The promise of a tabula rasa; a blank canvas for your own personality. This is what Ben Gorham (founder of Byredo) envisioned for the 10 years anniversary of his commercially successful brand. A nameless fragrance that leaves everyone free to create their own interpretation with no semantic boundaries. A few weeks ago, we announced the perfume in our database and in an article by our Russian Executive Editor Jane Chudakova ... (more)

We now know the olfactory pyramid for the unnamed perfume.

M.Micallef 20 Years: The Anniversary Perfume & Reintroducing Les ExclusifsM.Micallef 20 Years: The Anniversary Perfume & Reintroducing Les Exclusifs

Niche Perfumery 08/30/16 08:59 (2 comments)

The house of M.Micallef has established itself in the conscience of niche perfume buyers all over the world thanks to their meticulous attention to detail and their artisanal adherence to quality and craftsmanship; a trait that is also visible from their very special bottles, which are usually hand decorated by Martine Micallef herself. For its 20th anniversary, the House of M. Micallef has chosen to reintroduce its prestigious “Les Exclusifs” perfume range. The range... (more)

The re-introduction of Les Exclusifs commemorates the 20th anniversary of the prestigious French house and a specially made perfume to mark the occasion, "20 Years", promises to make us all swoon.

Best in Show: Savory Scents of the Garden (2016)Best in Show: Savory Scents of the Garden (2016)

Best in Show 08/28/16 02:39 (16 comments)

We usually find the natural world awakening around us in spring, when buds are first forming on the trees and new shoots of green are pushing their way out of the ground. But there is an entirely new smell to that same plot of earth as summer comes into its final weeks here in the northern hemisphere. Plants have reached their height and many are bearing fruits. Leaves mature, stalks grow heavy from their climb up to the sun. This is the time of early harvest and it’s usually th... (more)

August for many is the beginning of the harvest: These are some late summer perfumes of the savory feast

Homage to Sonia Rykiel: Her Perfumed WorldHomage to Sonia Rykiel: Her Perfumed World

Columns 08/25/16 14:36 (9 comments)

"Perfume follows you. It chases you and lingers behind you. Perfume makes silence talk." Sonia Rykiel   Sonia Flis, as was Sonia Rykiel's real name, has died at the age of 86 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. But her legacy is carried on. Nathalie Rykiel, her daughter, as well as the fashion world, have been given a great example of stylish quirkiness and independent spirit in the face of mass market fashion. Rykiel was unique. S... (more)

The great designer (1930-2016) was a fabulous arbiter of both design and aroma. We discuss our favorites from her brand in reverent homage.

Best in Show: Sporty Scents (2016)Best in Show: Sporty Scents (2016)

Best in Show 08/21/16 02:12 (25 comments)

With more than 11,000 athletes from 207 National Olympic Committees competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, and daily footage of the sports events coming into our homes through our TV-s, many of us have been witnessing the most stunning athletic performances of which founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin could have only dreamed when he conceived his ambitious project in 1894 in Paris. At first thought, one could decide that the world of swimsuits, leotards and running shorts... (more)

With the Olympics coming to an end, Fragrantica writers present their favorite sporty scents!

Two Colognes in the Register of Sunny: Hermès Néroli Doré  & Rhubarb EcarlateTwo Colognes in the Register of Sunny: Hermès Néroli Doré & Rhubarb Ecarlate

Fragrance Reviews 08/18/16 07:42 (8 comments)

Re-arranging the classic cologne formula is a bit of a holy grail for contemporary perfumers; how do you render a recipe that is three centuries old new again? And yet something that stood the test of time for that long surely meets a demand that goes layers deep into the reptilian brain; a hunger for a need we do not register that goes limbidinal and thorny. The need for clarity and easy decisions. The need for refreshing solace from the heat that addresses the reptilian body and renders it... (more)

In the tired old genre of cologne, Hermès presented two different editions in two antithetical styles in 2016, both worth exploring and enjoying.

Best in Show: Gardenia Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Gardenia Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 08/14/16 06:53 (41 comments)

Behold the gardenia, the flower whose very name evokes the garden! This is actually where the name of Chanel's otherwise not faithful, not intending to be faithful,  Gardenia fragrance  derives from, tipping the hat as it does to the deco motifs of its jewelry from the 1920s. And who can blame them? Replicating a flower whose own fragrant oil is not practically cost-effective to extract (though it can be done at painstaking effort) results in a pleiad of fragrances that ... (more)

Our editors set themselves to task trying to pinpoint the best gardenia fragrances. What are your favorites?

$20 Shopping Challenge - Affordable Amber on a Little Budget$20 Shopping Challenge - Affordable Amber on a Little Budget

Fragrance Reviews 08/07/16 07:27 (28 comments)

Amber is probably the quintessential affordable scent option. Stemming as a concept from the French-ification and streamlining of a previously complex medieval Middle-Eastern mix of thick, indigenous resins, it found its way back to the souk again in its simpler format focusing on benzoin obtained from Styrax trees (bottom right), labdanum obtained from rockrose/cistus (bottom center), vanilla (bottom left) and numerous other woody-resinous-beeswax notes. ... (more)

From Jovan to Madini, our editors choose 5 low-cost amber scents. What others might you recommend?

A Perfumer's Secret: A Novel by Adria J.CiminoA Perfumer's Secret: A Novel by Adria J.Cimino

Art Books Events 08/01/16 10:39 (5 comments)

  "I called to tell you that whoever took the formula took it for sentimental reasons."  "What makes you say that?" "Zoe, you've let your heart get in the way of your nose," he said with a hint of a laugh. "The scent is memorable but not in the least marketable in today's world. When your mother created it, yet. Then it could have been quite a success. But so much has changed." Tears of anger and i... (more)

The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of Grasse in France...

Best in Show: Scented Candles (2016)Best in Show: Scented Candles (2016)

Best in Show 07/31/16 09:22 (26 comments)

Think of a product with added scent that instantly gets a bad rep. Did your mind go back to those small, derelict stores filled to the brim with all sorts of thick candles in various dusty shades of mud, smelling of wax and dried-up, musty potpourri? Thought so. Scented candles have missed the mark so many times in the past that they constantly remind people of very artificial scents in just artsy-fancy packaging. But high quality scented candles can both smell good and guarantee a sa... (more)

Our international editors explore some of their favorite fragrant candle brands, from Zara to Etro, Diptyque to Lalique.

Best in Show: Marine Aquatics (2016)Best in Show: Marine Aquatics (2016)

Best in Show 07/24/16 03:46 (55 comments)

Back in the late 80s, a new trend emerged at fragrance counters everywhere. With the excesses of the previous decade leading the way to a new paradigm in fashion, perfumery followed as well. Out were shoulder pads and larger than life scents and in were streamlined designs and fresh aquatic aromas. Undoubtedly, chemistry was also turning a corner with the development and application of aroma materials in intriguing new ways. So successful was the emergence of the m... (more)

Our international editors discuss their favorite marine aquatic fragrances. Tell us yours!

Declaring War on Body Odor: a Brief History of DeodorizationDeclaring War on Body Odor: a Brief History of Deodorization

1001 Past Tales 07/23/16 05:43 (17 comments)

Battling bad smells has been a millenia-long battle for humanity. Fighting body odor specifically has been a battle against our very own human make-up. With the exception of those carrying the gene ABCC11 (which makes for no armpit smell), common amongst the populations of the Far East,  the vast majority of us of European, African, Central Asian and Native American descent have the sort of apocrine glands in the armpit and groin which secrete a sort of sweaty liquid that when mixed wit... (more)

Battling bodily stink has been a long and arduous process in the history of mankind, but never has it been more aggressive than during the 20th century.

Oriental Splendor and Sensuality: Sheiduna by PuredistanceOriental Splendor and Sensuality: Sheiduna by Puredistance

Fragrance Reviews 07/22/16 11:20 (8 comments)

How many times have you gone "ahhhh" smelling a new fragrance thinking it's taking the best of the past into the future? The first oriental fragrance in the Puredistance range has produced just this reaction from me upon first sniff. I was honored to be invited to smell the newest fragrance, Sheiduna , by Mr. Jan E. Vos himself and the meeting is fodder for further discussion on the erstwhile brand and the principles that guide it, but for now I'm going to take advan... (more)

The first oriental fragrance in the hyper-luxurious Puredistance range is steeped in the mystery of the east. We have the exclusive first look!

Best in Show: The Fragrances of Maurice Roucel (2016)Best in Show: The Fragrances of Maurice Roucel (2016)

Best in Show 07/17/16 05:19 (35 comments)

One of perfumery's brightest stars is undoubtedly the legendary  Maurice Roucel , presently of Symrise. Roucel began in 1973 while working at  Chanel  as an apprentice and then went on to work at IFF, Quest, and Dragoco. He is the recipient of various accolades in the fragrance industry including the  Prix François Coty  in 2002, the French and American FiFi, and the French "Oscar des Parfums&qu... (more)

Having created masterpieces for Guerlain, Hermes and Gucci, Maurice Roucel's fragrances rank among our favorites. Which is your favorite?

What If Your Significant Other Dislikes Your Scent?What If Your Significant Other Dislikes Your Scent?

Columns 07/14/16 12:57 (38 comments)

Our relationships with our favorite fragrances can be so strong that the thought of not being able to wear them again is just downright depressing! Likewise, there have been times when fragrances worn by others raise strong associations for us, sometimes for better...sometimes for worse. Ever have the experience where a significant other wore a scent that for one reason or another, you just couldn't stand...causing you to make a face like this? Or maybe you were t... (more)

Fragrantica's international writers weigh in on a challenging issue.

$20 Shopping Challenge - Divine Jasmine on a Little Budget$20 Shopping Challenge - Divine Jasmine on a Little Budget

Fragrance Reviews 07/10/16 10:33 (17 comments)

After our $11 USD vanilla and $12 USD musk shopping challenges, today we profile divine jasmine scents on a little budget of $20 USD or less. The wonders of organic chemistry have provided perfumery with many a delectable effect or "note" and we all owe it a great deal. But when it comes to some of the most classic and previous natural essences, such as jasmine which comes in so many different varieties and aroma profiles, can budgeting tightly around one'... (more)

Eight affordable jasmine fragrances from around the world.

Best in Show: Burning Incense (2016)Best in Show: Burning Incense (2016)

Best in Show 07/03/16 08:34 (26 comments)

Burning incense is probably the oldest communion of spirit chronicled; the volatile substance is pure essence, rising to the skies to mingle with what people from time immemorial consider resides there, as either a benevolent or punitive force, handling their mortal lives. The offering of fragrant essence to a higher power is in essence (no pun intended) a human's point of view exalted to its potential maximum. This smoky tradition subsists n... (more)

Four of our international editors pick their favorite burning incense products from around the world.

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