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A Conversation on 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 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

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 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 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 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

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

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

DREAMING OF HORSES and WEARING VINTAGE CALECHE
and BAL A VERSAILLES

 

I have been dreaming about horses a lot lately. I think it has to do with the fact that I’ve adopted this winter-loving mindset, and one of the things I loved about winter when I was growing up was the winter trail ride. My father adored horses, and at one point we had twelve of them. On weekends, he and my mother would invite groups of their friends, usually two or three other couples, to come riding with us. We usually went on a Sunday, from late morning into afternoon, riding through the fields and over the ridge tops, across acres and acres of land that seemed unending. When I say it was a special time, I am not merely waxing nostalgic: the land was different then, because it was an era when small farms flourished. Some of the farms and forestland that we rode on back then still exist today, but many of these properties have been subdivided and now have houses on them, if not housing developments. When I was growing up, the farmers whose lands adjoined ours knew us and granted us standing permission to ride there. Today a person would have to seek out a daunting number of permissions to crisscross the fields that once led to the mountain trails, if indeed those trails still exist.

 

The weekly trail rides started when I was around twelve, and I didn’t enjoy them at first. I wanted to be a horse lover, but anyone could see I was a scaredy-cat around them—and the horses that had been assigned to me, in those days when my father was trying to figure out which one to pair me with, knew and took advantage of this. A couple of them bucked and threw me off, another bit me, and one (this time a neighbor’s horse, not ours) kicked me in the ribs so hard it completely knocked the wind out of me and left me writhing on the ground, gasping for air. All of this was quite an embarrassment, because one of my father’s dreams was for my sisters and me to become accomplished riders. He enrolled us in 4-H horse club and hired a succession of people to give us riding lessons geared towards the show ring. This thrilled my sisters, both of whom were younger than me and already on their way to becoming expert horsewomen, but I would have gladly given up on the whole thing if I wasn’t so intent on pleasing my father. Luckily, I didn’t have to: my father realized that, in my case, the best thing was simply to get me to a place where I could feel comfortable around a horse, period. He ended up buying me an old, sway-backed mare named Nellie. She was the most gentle, grandmotherly horse you can imagine, and though she looked as haggard and forlorn as Eeyore when she arrived at our farm that winter, by the time spring rolled around, she had a filled-out frame and a sorrel coat that gleamed like a copper penny from all the brushings I gave her. Nellie appreciated any and all affection that came her way, and she was perfect for a novice rider because she wasn’t as high strung as most horses and didn’t spook easily. She wasn’t a show horse, but I showed her at several of the 4-H round-ups anyway, and I think she liked the attention of being on parade at those events.

 

Nellie lived for more years than we could have ever imagined—her last year was the one after I graduated from college. When I dream of horses, she is the one I am riding, though the other horses are there on the trail with us. My mom’s spirited pinto gelding, Sugar Boy, and my dad’s pretty Quarter Horse, Lunacita, and my sisters’ horses, too, which change from dream to dream, just as they did in real life. By their very presence, they increased the beauty of the land we lived on, which was something I realized even as I despaired of ever finding one I could get along with. But the gift I received through Nellie was an expansion of that beauty, because, while it would be stretching the truth to say that riding allowed me to see the land as another creature might see it, it was the closest I will ever come to such an experience. And it was profound. A landscape that is beautiful on its own seems even more so when viewed on horseback, if only because you are viewing it from a different vantage point, and traversing it at a different speed. I vividly remember what it was like to enter forests when I was sitting high up in the saddle, at eye-level with the biggest branches of the pine trees, spying abandoned bird nests and feeling the wind stir the needles. And then cantering across a winter field, with the snow rustling up like sea spray, an exhilarating curtain of cold powder that rose and fell in our wake.

 

So, what does any of this have to do with perfume?  Nothing, really, except to say that I think these dreams of horses and winter landscapes have (temporarily) curbed my appetite for big floral fragrances. This past week, I cannot get enough of:

 

Hermes Calèche, vintage, pure parfum (gifted to me from my perfume-fairy godmother, Melissa.)  On my skin, this gorgeous chypre scent is a sophisticated mélange of silken woods and plush moss, with a touch of florals that I would be hard-pressed to name if I didn’t have a list in front of me. The florals in this vintage Calèche don’t register as flowery notes; instead, they seem to function as the olfactory equivalent of a silk lining: they provide a softness that keeps the scent’s green and leathery facets in check, so that the fragrance can entertain those qualities in a soft and supple way. This is a kidskin glove of a fragrance—an incredibly smooth and refined blend of masculine and feminine elements. I get a rich dose of vetiver from Calèche, which is a note that I once thought of as so…not me. Of course, that was before I tried Vero Profumo Onda, the perfume that first won me over to the note. Onda immediately came to mind when I was wearing this vintage Calèche, because, though they are two very different scents (Onda is audaciously risqué, while Calèche is not), both have a vetiver richness that is as inviting as a thick carpet. Maybe it’s the perfume version of catnip: it makes me want to roll around on the ground, with my nose pressed to my wrist.

 

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles, edt concentration.  I hadn’t reached for this much in the past six months, and this week it was like falling in love all over again. It’s such a leatherfest on me: chaps and saddles and a hint of lathered horsehair. Oh, I’ve smelled riper versions of Bal a Versailles—a sample of pure parfum that smelled so provocatively of horse dung, leather and sweat, one couldn’t help being overtaken by clichéd Lady Chatterley-type fantasies. And, unfortunately, I’ve smelled tamer versions, too (a mini-bottle of, supposedly, pure parfum that was one of the first fragrances I bought after discovering the blogs, and my first lesson in buying only from a trusted, reputable etailer: the juice in this mini smells more resinous and ambery than anything else…like a G-rated version of Bal.)   But the bottle of eau de toilette I have now?  It’s a fantasy I can only describe by saying, imagine the movie The Electric Horseman, made into a perfume: the collision of a sexy Robert Redford-esque cowboy, a Jane Fonda-esque beauty (who is maybe a bit foolish, but mostly too eager and self-involved to really see the cowboy at first), a magnificent horse that binds the two of them together, and a western landscape that is too stunning for words.

Images: photo, top, is from Grace's Horses website at www.punfox.com; photo below is of Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in a scene from the 1979 film, The Electric Horseman.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 1/12/2009.

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