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A Conversation on Arabie
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

A Conversation About Arabie (Or, Where Perfume Lovers Meet...)

Does anyone remember the simple but utterly charming film 84 Charing Cross Road, which came out in 1987 and starred Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft? It was a film in which hardly any action took place because it was a story told in letters: a 20-year correspondence that begins between two strangers—Bancroft’s character, a brash and single New York City writer who has a love for the English classics, and Hopkins’ character, the polite English bookseller who fills her mail-order requests for hard-to find-books during the years 1949-69. I was reminded of this film—specifically, of the delightful flurry of correspondence that occurs between two strangers whose only obvious connection is a passion for English literature—during some recent email exchanges with a number of lovely perfume people, one in particular being a very talented artist and writer named Megan Ruisch. A month and a half ago, I had the pleasure of “meeting” Meg when she wrote to tell me of the “search-engine serendipity” that had brought her to my post on Serge Lutens Arabie:

After recently sampling ARABIE, I was struck by a particular olfactory note that I tentatively identified as black caraway seed, known to botanists as Nigella sativa. I wondered if any other perfume enthusiasts had picked up on this, so I Googled "Serge Lutens Arabie", "black caraway", and "nigella". And so I came to read your witty and insightful essay. I was especially delighted with the passage in which you explained why ARABIE struck you as reminiscent of Russia. In Russia, black caraway (nigella) seeds are called chernushka and are a staple of Russian, Ukrainian, and Eastern European baking. For me, their scent is at once exotic and domestic, enlivening and comforting... a bit like Nigella herself. :)

As soon as I read her note, I ran upstairs and grabbed my decant of Arabie and then went searching through my spice cabinet to see if I had any black caraway seeds, which, alas, I didn’t . So instead I sat at my computer in a cloud of Arabie and wrote her back:

Meg,

Thank you so much for your kind note regarding my Arabie post -- and particularly for letting me know the fascinatingly strange way in which you found it. You spurred me to run upstairs and spritz, so now I'm sitting here sniffing and trying to make out the black caraway. I love the taste of caraway seed in rye bread, and haven't had it in ages (and I think my mom used to put it in coleslaw). I'm not certain I've ever smelled caraway seed, though, so I'm intrigued.

As I sit sniffing, an image of a bowl of candy-coated fennel seeds (Indian mukhwas) is flickering through my mind, which is quite delightful...so, thank you!

A few days later I heard back from her again:

RE: your comment on mukhwas & Arabie: My goodness, are we on the same wavelength! Here's a link to my review page on MUA-- scan down to Arabie (posted on 2/2) and you'll see what I mean. :) If you like Indian food, you'll recognize black caraway as the seeds sprinkled on naan bread. Very different from European caraway, but they both seem to be present in Arabie, and they certainly complement one another. I too keep going back for just one more spritz, it really is addictive....

Cheers,
Meg

By then my interest was really piqued. After all, here we were—total strangers who upon sniffing Arabie had somehow tuned into the same radio station, channeling thoughts of Indian Mukhwas, of all things. I wrote back again:

Oh, I really, really want to read you review of Arabie!! Is it possible for you to copy and paste it into an email for me? Your link to your MUA page didn't show in your email, but even if I did have it, I'm not sure that I would be able to access it because I am not a member of MUA.

Please send it if you can. You've got me into an Arabie frenzy now. I'm thinking I might have to buy a bottle, as my decant is almost drained.

Oh, Perfume Gods, what mania you inspire! I managed to keep myself from clicking the Buy Now button on a bottle of Arabie (or at least so far) but I became a goner for the incredibly articulate, thought-provoking and all-around lovely writing of Megan Ruisch, who now has her own perfume blog—Parfümieren. If you love great writing, please pay it a visit. Her full post on Arabie (as well as a good many other fragrances) can be found there, but in the meantime, here’s a little excerpt from her Arabie post:

“Arabie's first notes of orange peel, caraway, cumin, and anise evoke the aromatic and colorful mixture of roasted seeds, spices, and rock sugar served as a palate cleanser after a satisfying Indian feast. Brief notes of nigella (black caraway) and honey usher in a tranquil, long-lived sandalwood chord that is strongly reminiscent of those slightly cluttered metaphysical shops where boxes of incense are stored on top of silk scarves from Bhutan. Eventually this settles into a drydown of the softest patchouli imaginable, mingled with a powdery vanillic accord which recalls handmade paper so old it crumbles to dust in your hand.

“It is said that the mind is a mansion in which every memory occupies its own room. Often, we happen upon a door whose lock has rusted shut; in such cases, a stray sensation -- a particular slant of light, the touch of a certain fabric, or a perfume -- can act as a skeleton key, freeing what is imprisoned within and facilitating a rush of reconnection.”

I have a feeling that I have been in some of the rooms in Meg’s mansion—and I look forward to exploring there further. Thanks to perfume, and the blogosphere, I can. I hope you will too.

Images: Typewriter keyboard is from inter-actions.biz/blog; mukhwas photo is from foodphotoblog.com.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 3/28/2010.


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Beauty on the Outside
 

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