Articles by Author Yi Shang (怡 商)

Yi Shang (怡 商)
Editor, Writer & Translator
Yi Shang, known as Sofia by friends, studied Biochemistry, Humanities & Social Sciences at the postgraduate level (University of Melbourne). Her interest in fragrance began at a young age when she became curious about her mum's perfume while growing up in China. Now residing in Melbourne, she enjoys the lively arts and cultural scene and beautiful beaches. The discovery of Fragrantica has led her on an olfactive journey of discovering what both the Oriental and the Western worlds can offer.
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Interview with Xiujuexi Founder, Christie ShenInterview with Xiujuexi Founder, Christie Shen

Interviews 12/29/16 10:02 (11 comments)

Xiujuexi founder, Christie Shen While American perfumistas have wonderful events like Elements Showcase , and  Sniffapalooza , Italians enjoy  Esxence  and Pitti Fragranze , and the French visit the  TFWA World exhibition and conference… somehow it always feels like there is not much going on for perfume lovers in the Asia-Pacific region. This might have been the case a few years ago, but thanks to Fragrantica I had the chance... (more)

“What sparked our initial desire to host Xiujuexi Perfume Exhibition is that, in China, except for those perfume bays in shopping malls, you don’t have a place for learning about perfume.”

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.

Fragrant First Impressions: Fahrenheit Le Parfum, Penhaligon's Vaara, Chopard Rose Malaki and more!Fragrant First Impressions: Fahrenheit Le Parfum, Penhaligon's Vaara, Chopard Rose Malaki and more!

Fragrance Reviews 12/12/16 08:52 (6 comments)

Welcome to Fragrant First Impressions, our way of sharing our initial encounters with a wide array of fragrances. We may not have significant experience with any of these aromas just yet, but we're excited to present our thoughts to you! One thing we noticed this week is how all three of us were inspired by fellow writers. Tell us in a comment below what fragrances you've been inspired to try after reading Fragrantica reviews or some of your own first impressions of... (more)

John, Sofia & Marlen report on Dior, Scherrer, Reminiscence, Chopard, Monsillage, VC&A, Penhaligon's, and Scents & the City

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: 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.

Perfume Shopping in Melbourne, AustraliaPerfume Shopping in Melbourne, Australia

Columns 10/04/16 09:52 (10 comments)

Despite its drastically changeable weather,  Melbourne has been, for the sixth time in a row, named the world’s most livable city this year. Such ranking is based on crime, weather, education, culture, health, and housing and transport. Therefore, many spoiled Melbournian perfumistas might not completely accept such a title for Melbourne due to our first world problem of, for example, not having been able to find any Tauer perfume here until this year. Fellow contribu... (more)

Fragrantica's Yi Shang takes us on a scented tour through her city: Melbourne, Australia.

Perfume Down Under: An Interview with Samantha Taylor, Fragrance SpecialistPerfume Down Under: An Interview with Samantha Taylor, Fragrance Specialist

Interviews 09/14/16 22:40 (2 comments)

When my interest in perfume bloomed a few years ago, I had heard from a friend over a few cocktails about this amazing lady whose job was to educate people about perfume and help clients creating scent for their businesses. It sounded like a dream job for a perfume lover!  My memory faded after a few more drinks, but fortunately, Marlen ’s This Week in Fragrance article got fragrance specialist Samantha Taylor, from The Powder Room , and I together, chattin... (more)

Discussing the creation of fragrance inspired by gin and to pair with food and wine, Sam and Sofia reveal Australia's fragrant happenings and how Australians can learn more about scent.

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!

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.

Leaving Your Fragrant Comfort Zone - Powdery and White Floral ScentsLeaving Your Fragrant Comfort Zone - Powdery and White Floral Scents

Columns 07/05/16 11:07 (11 comments)

  In life, many of us find we tend to get set in our ways. We keep to a certain work out, we watch certain shows, we cook certain dishes on a regular basis and always the same way, we pick certain restaurants, we walk the dog the same route and we shop in certain stores for clothes in “our” style. One could argue that this is a good thing: over time you may have come to the conclusion that decisions and choices you make have more foundation. You take more ci... (more)

Fragrantica writers try to pull each other out of their fragrant comfort zones by making suggestions to try something unexpected.

Best in Show: Tropical Island Scents (2016)Best in Show: Tropical Island Scents (2016)

Best in Show 06/26/16 09:43 (49 comments)

  Although tropical is far from being a relative term, the evocation of a tropical island ambience rather could be. It all depends on your location, you see. For the Miami Beach native who regularly sips Pina Coladas with their eye lost in the horizon off to Cuba, surely that's not such a distance. But think of the Minnesotan hankering for the sun rays after a heavy winter; oiling up with monoi even as close as Coney Island, NYC, sounds like a tropical paradi... (more)

6 scents to transport you to a sunny isle. What's your pick?

The Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of PerfumeThe Fragrances That Triggered Our Love of Perfume

Columns 06/25/16 08:13 (92 comments)

They say, "Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Actually it's Jean de Boufflers who said it, but we might as well borrow it. Ask any perfume lover and they can pinpoint exactly the moment they fell down the rabbit (or is it rabid?) hole of perfume eros. Remembrance comes without prompting in our case. We can recall who wore it, what we felt, how the weather... (more)

"Pleasure is the flower that passes, remembrance the lasting perfume." Which scents triggered your own perfume fascination?

Best in Show: Best Flanker Fragrances for Warm & Cool Weather (2016)Best in Show: Best Flanker Fragrances for Warm & Cool Weather (2016)

Best in Show 06/19/16 05:23 (42 comments)

With almost half of all annual fragrance launches being "flankers" - i.e. fragrances coat-tailing on the success of an established fragrance, retaining part of the name and the packaging design but introducing a new scent inside - one might wonder just how many of those are worthwhile on their own rights.   Our editors choose the best flanker series within existing perfume successes: one flanker edition among them for summer and one for winter wearing. &nb... (more)

Our editors choose the best flanker series within existing perfume successes: one flanker edition among them for summer and one for winter wearing.

Best in Show: Fragrances for a Teenage Guy (2016)Best in Show: Fragrances for a Teenage Guy (2016)

Best in Show 05/29/16 07:51 (37 comments)

Pity the poor teenager left at loss in a sea of Axe/Lynx and drugstore scents with an aspiration for designer status but no compass to navigate. Teenage years can truly mark us for the rest of our lives and it's therefore important to help that teenage guy find a scent juuuuuust right, so that his confidence is boosted, his aura halo-ed and his budget not greatly suffering so that he can keep on applying with some freedom. In this collective article we picked... (more)

In search of identity, teenage years can be a formative period in our lives. Choosing a suitable fragrance can help this journey along and our editors recommend some apt choices.

Best in Show: Scents for Traveling Situations (2016)Best in Show: Scents for Traveling Situations (2016)

Best in Show 05/15/16 07:34 (42 comments)

The first commercial flight a century ago might have involved only one passenger - Abraham Phell, then mayor of St.Petersburg (Florida) - and just 23 minutes across Tampa Bay, but modern aviation comes with its own burden of crowds, rushing through the checking process and a general sense of lost glamor. Clearly any little bit of help is useful when traveling in situations involving vast amounts of time spent cooped-up. Fragrance is a big comfort for those of us who love it in the first plac... (more)

There are situations in life that demand a subtle rethinking of how you use your fragrance and this is one of them. Our editors pick their top choices, please add your own.

Fleurage: Independent Perfumery Down UnderFleurage: Independent Perfumery Down Under

Interviews 04/26/16 15:54 (11 comments)

Fleurage is a chic independent perfumery tucked away in Williamstown, a charming suburb about 9 km away from the bustle of Melbourne CBD, Australia. Founded by master perfumer Emma Jane Leah and designer Robert G. Luxford in 2008, Fleurage has brought back that old time charm in perfumery since its inception. On top of that, it has been helping people customize their own unique perfumes; I had heard some friends raving about it for years. Recently, I signed myself up and creat... (more)

"Perfume should always be beautiful, it should be functional, it should be individual and it should last."

Best in Show: Our Beloved Guerlain (2016)Best in Show: Our Beloved Guerlain (2016)

Best in Show 04/24/16 04:27 (35 comments)

With 188 years of continuous, unstoppable industry, Guerlain needs no introduction. The most classic of French perfume houses with an encyclopedic database of fragrances , it holds a special place in most everyone's fragrance-loving heart. But apart from the awe inspired by its masterpieces, there are facets in the story of the house and its perfumes which still manage to surprise and to intrigue. Is it the debunking of the love story of Jicky intended for the girl lo... (more)

"With 188 years of continuous, unstoppable industry, Guerlain...holds a special place in most everyone's fragrance-loving heart."

Supermarket/Apothecary Fragrances Around the World: Part I of II (2016)Supermarket/Apothecary Fragrances Around the World: Part I of II (2016)

Fragrances and Cultures 04/16/16 07:23 (14 comments)

The intrepid traveler and perfume lover regularly seeks out new scented experiences while trotting the globe. One of the most exciting adventures can be a stroll through the aisles of a local supermarket or a visit to an off-the-beaten path apothecary to sniff out local, affordable products. Here we present the first of a 2 part feature highlighting affordable, market fragrances from around the world with info about purchasing for your convenience. Today we visit China, Russ... (more)

A look at affordable, local market fragrances in China, Russia, Mexico, Greece and Japan.

Best in Show: Tea Fragrances, Part I of II (2016)Best in Show: Tea Fragrances, Part I of II (2016)

Best in Show 04/10/16 04:57 (21 comments)

  The gentle breeze blew away a couple of leaves from a Camelia sinensis tree into the just boiled water the Chinese emperor Shennong was about to drink, subtly changing its color and flavor. And thus the world's first tea infusion was made. Or so the story goes.   The restorative properties of tea drinking have been recognized around the globe and tea enjoys the status of the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. It... (more)

The first four favorite tea-themed fragrances chosen by Fragrantica's international team of editors.

Best in Show: Cherry Blossom Fragrances (2016)Best in Show: Cherry Blossom Fragrances (2016)

Best in Show 03/07/16 04:02 (15 comments)

“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.” Kobayashi Issa Sakura enthusiasts and plain cherry blossom fans should find their favorite among our editors' selections. Tell us your own favorites in a comment below. SAKURA Parfum SATORI "PARFUM SATORI" is the fragrance brand of Japanese independent perfumer Satori Osawa. Marlen Harrison : I've smelled... (more)

Our editor's discuss their favorite fragrances inspired by the cherry blossom.

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

Best in Show 02/03/16 12:36 (57 comments)

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, five Fragrantica writers from around the globe enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their favorite chocolate-themed aromas. A wide array of scents including niche, designer and mass market offerings from past and present were noted as Best in Show: Chocolate Fragrances (2016). Vote for the nomination that you most enjoy by visiting our Best in Show Discussion Forum, Chocolate thread HERE . Don't see your own... (more)

Vote for the nomination that you most enjoy. Don't see your own favorite listed? Tell us about it in a comment.

Chinese Language And Scents: Seeing Is DeceivingChinese Language And Scents: Seeing Is Deceiving

Fragrances and Cultures 01/17/16 22:10 (17 comments)

Plato’s ‘The Allegory of The Cave’ illustrated how knowledge obtained through the senses can be defective. When trapped in a metaphorical cave facing in only one direction, people saw shadows of objects that passed behind them instead of the true forms of the object. Those who escape can inquire into the true nature of whatever was seen. However, imagining there are indeed certain groups of people for whom shadows are the only sensible version in their world makes one wo... (more)

"If a word without perceived notions or language existed, what would a perfume’s true form be like?"

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