Friday, March 19, 2010

Comforting Scents for Uncomfortable Times: Joint Project

Many thanks to perfumer Ayala Sender for imagining and organizing this joint blog project for us today.

We all have need of comforting these last few years. We have together floated along in a sea of down economies, war, conflict, job losses, financial woes and the like. Hopefully, like me, you also have a short list of fragrances you find comforting; like curling up with a soft blanket for an afternoon nap.

This winter I’ve worn a lot of comfort scents. But none as much as I’ve worn and loved Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche. Ambre Fetiche is my go-to safe house of incense, resins, woods, smoke and just a touch of sweet amber. I’ve gone as far as adding the shower gel and body lotion to my repertoire and I can’t underscore how wonderful Annick Goutal’s matching body products are (to die for).

Hermes Eau d’Hermes
Eau d’Hermes is a fairly recent find for me, but it scores points for being a softly spicy (cinnamon) scent with cumin and musks that immediately blends into a ‘you but better’ fragrance. Yes, there is cumin here, but I have no troubles with cumin myself. If this cumin is what your body odor smells like than you shouldn’t wear deodorant because it’s a beautiful, sexy scent. Eau d’Hermes is completely unobtrusive, it seems like it’s not there, like it’s vanished, but at points during the day you’ll catch a whiff and realize it’s still there, always at your side. Altruistic and dependable.

Jacques Fath, Fath de Fath, edt

Fath de Fath is one of those rare perfect orientals. I find Fath de Fath to be a softly fruity (these are jammy dried fruits, orange spice, nothing tart or fresh) over a very warm vanillic woody base.

Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum Eau Poudree
Loukhoum Eau Poudree is a fluffy heliotrope-gourmand with no competitors in sight. Even though it’s been described by many (and maybe I’ve written this, too) as a femme fatale retro fragrance I’ve lately found it to remind me of the idea of motherhood. It’s a scent that’s cuddly, gentle and ultra-feminine. The heliotrope is airy and whipped and I imagine clouds of pink rose petals and vanilla almond puffs.

Miller Harris Fleur Oriental
Smedley on Perfume of Life pointed out that Fleur Oriental reminds her of Shalimar and that’s when my love of Fleur Oriental clicked for me. It does remind me of a modern Shalimar. In fact, I find Fleur Oriental to be even better than the current reformulation of Shalimar. I think this is precisely what makes Fleur Oriental a comfort scent for me, it seems so familiar, it doesn’t make me need to think, it’s as if I’ve known it and worn it for many years. Fleur Oriental has the quality of an old friend. A kind, engaging and fun old friend.

Sonoma Scent Studio Fireside

Fireside has the ability to put me in a contemplative mood. When I wear it I smell like a crackling warm fire and can’t help but want to pull out a book and wrap myself in my softest blanket and lose myself on the sofa for a few hours.

Here's the full of participating blogs with links ~

Roxana's Illuminated Journal
BitterGrace Notes
Perfume Shrine
Notes from the Ledge
Scent Hive
The Non Blonde
Perfume in Progress
Katie Puckrik Smells
A Rose Beyond the Thames
All I Am A Redhead
Savvy Thinker

This article's title is an homage to Michelyn Camen's original article of this same name on Sniffapalooza Magazine in 2008, in which Ayala Sender was interviewed by several perfumers to comment on what botanical elements make their perfumes comforting.

Michelyn Camen is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of and the Editor-at- Large for She is a formerly an Editor for Fragrantica, the Fragrance Editor for Uptown Social, a Senior Contributor for Sniffapalooza Magazine, the New in Niche Columnist forBasenotes, the Managing Director for BeautynewsNYC and the former publicist for and Scent Bar, Los Angeles. She has been awarded Brandweek Magazine Marketer of the Year, Ad Age Magazine 100 and is a two time recipient of License Magazine’s 40 under 40 and recipient. She slipped off her corporate power suit to pursue her passion for fragrance.


Ines said...

Wonderful list. :) It made me add new things to the list of perfumes I need to try.
Fath de Fath really sounds wonderful.

ScentScelf said...

Fath de Fath. I've never smelled it...currently, it is "the one that got away." Repeatedly. Either my online auction bidding resolve is to be applauded, or re-evaluated. I can't seem to end up with the magic words "You've Won ____" on my screen.

I have other ambers, so forgot how much I enjoyed sampling the Goutal. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Fireside. :) :) :)

All others duly noted. After all, as comfortable as I am with my known comforts, it's always nice to find a new one, isn't it?

Happy Equinox.

Perfumeshrine said...

Dear Abigail thanks for the lovely choices! I know of the popularity of Ambre Fetiche, but I was overjoyed to see you peg Eau d'Hermes as comforting: I never understand those that find it "too dirty". It's soft, intimate, smooth, to me (and you, obvsiouly!)
And I think SSS in Fireside has created something we cherish as a memory: an outdoors campfire. So I am expressedly intrigued to see you connect it with an inside log-fire. I should retry it with that at the back of my mind! Thank you!

Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you so much for contributing to this comfort project!
I'm surprised to find Eau d'Hermes on someone else's comfort scents list. I don't have a problem with cumin either, it makes me feel like home...
And Fireside is gorgeous. But I think my favourite so far from Laurie's Sonoma Scent Studio is Sienna Musk. It's comforting but also a little quirky and unusual.
Fleur Oriental is very similar to Shalimar but without the rough edges of the leather. It's a lot more powdery and I think rather than vanillin, it's heliotropin that gives it its sweetness.

Smedley said...

It has been wonderful to read all the blogs with the posts of "Comforting Scents". This concept has hit one of the main reasons why I am so utterly captivated by fragrances - they comfort me, they thrill me, they touch a place deep in my soul.
This winter I had a series of very traumatic incidents (a broken leg bone, the death of my mother, and the death of my brother) - and all during this time, my fragrances were a special comfort to my shattered self.
On another note - I was very surprised and pleased to see my name mentioned in your blog. As I've told you before, I greatly appreciate this blog because it is well-written, and I respect the opinions of you and Brian so much. It is a very positive notion to me that you in turn agree with something I've said regarding a scent. Love Fleur Oriental!
Keep writing and sniffing, k?

queen_cupcake said...

Love your list...Fath de Fath has been on my list to try for some time.

Comfort scent for me is anything pleasantly dominated by a good quality sandalwood. And macaroni and cheese...

Dear Smedley, so sorry to hear of your annus horribilus. I send warm wishes and kind, healing thoughts and prayers in your direction.

Comfort is what we can all use right now, it seems. Nothing so comforting as a sympathetic smile...wish it could be bottled.

Katie Puckrik said...

The MK Loukhoums were my gateway drug into By Kilian Back to Black. Wearing any of those confections forces to keep my nose pressed against my own skin at all times. Awkward for conversation.

And count me as another Miller Harris Fleur Oriental devotee, also making that Shalimar connection. I appreciate Ayala's insight into the differences.

Rose said...

fireside sounds wonderful- I haven't tried this but I must- it sounds like the ideal comfort scent