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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 Encens Mythique d'Orient

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

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

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

Sammarco Perfumes Bond-T

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

From strangely compelling to the very thing I crave:


Le Parfum de Thérèse

 

Three years ago, if you had asked me what I thought of Le Parfum de Thérèse, I would have pulled a face and said, “Miracle Whip salad dressing and basil.”  I had no idea why so many perfume bloggers revered it; to my nose, it had the tangy, sweet and sour, oily-watery smell of that condiment, which is the most awful substitute for mayonnaise I can think of, yet enduringly popular in the United States. (My late mother-in-law and beloved grandmother were both devoted Miracle Whip fans, so I do feel a twinge of guilt about dissing it, which might account for why I have avoided writing about Le Parfum de Therese for so long.)

 

If you can imagine Miracle Whip spread on leaves of freshly picked basil, pungently herbal, but also with basil’s lightly spicy, cinnamon-like edge to it, you sort of get the idea of how Le Parfum de Thérèse registered to my newbie-perfumista nose. It reminded me of a strange woman I knew—a young woman, very pretty, very thin, who kept iguanas as pets in a big spare bedroom of her house, and who seemed intent on adopting their diet. She loved Miracle Whip, too—or maybe it was mayonnaise; she spread it between two leaves of Romaine lettuce and called it her “sandwich,” though that’s all it consisted of—no bread, no anything else. “More like a salad,” I said to her once, but she insisted that since she never ate more than one or two of these filling numbers at any given meal (in other words, just a few leaves of lettuce rather than an entire bowful of greens) she viewed them as sandwiches.

 

Consequently, I began thinking of Le Parfum de Thérèse as Le Parfum de K. (iguana girl), and I suppose that's the other reason I have resisted writing this journal post. It seems almost sacrilegious to write down these crazy thoughts in regard to a perfume that was created, with great reverence, by one of the world’s most talented perfumers, as a gift to his wife. Edmond Roudnitska, the genius “nose” whose creations included the original Rochas Femme (1944), as well as Diorissimo (1956) and Diorella (1972) for the Christian Dior company, formulated the fragrance for his wife, Thérèse Roudnitska, in the 1950s. The scent was hers, and hers alone, to wear until the year 2000, when Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle acquired the rights to produce it commercially.

 

Yet, sacrilegious as it seems, those were my initial impressions when I first smelled Le Parfum de Thérèse back in 2006, and I think it would be a disservice to my readers—particularly those who might be new to the perfume scene—if I didn’t report on them honestly. I really didn’t “get” Le Parfum de Thérèse back then, but I decided to hang on to my little 10-ml bottle because of the comments of another perfume blogger, who basically said of this scent, “Don’t give up!  Keep trying!  You’ll ‘get it’ one day.”  She wasn’t speaking directly to me, she was commenting in general at the site of a blog I was reading, but I took her to words to heart. I’m not sure why, as I was pretty certain at the time that one’s tastes were one’s tastes: if not exactly carved in stone, not easily altered, either. Yet perhaps because Le Parfum de Thérèse was so very odd to my nose—the associations that sprang to mind so weird—my interest was piqued, and I did want to keep revisiting it. Even when I thought I didn’t like it, there was something about it that I found as compelling as a siren song.

 

To truly revisit something, you have to go through a process where you forget about it, too. With Le Parfum de Thérèse, I tucked my bottle away for four and five months at a time before bringing it out again, and in the meanwhile, I kept sniffing everything else that came down the pike—loads of samples—and expanding my wardrobe. Breathing in and out new scents, doing it consistently, is not unlike breathing in and out new words: before long, you acquire a new vocabulary, perhaps even a whole new language. Perhaps not surprisingly, one’s tastes do evolve and change in the process of all that learning. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with two scents in particular that opened the door to my loving Le Parfum de Thérèse: the almost overripe, fruity-chypre scent of Amouage Jubilation 25, with its piquant lemon-tarragon top notes; and the spiced plums, leather and polished-wood smell of Guerlain Parure.  Both scents have elements that I recognize in Le Parfum de Thérèse, and somehow they helped me to reframe the way I smelled the fragrance. Or maybe, like new words, I simply liked the way those elements tasted, the more I breathed them in, until they became the very things I started to crave in fragrance.

 

I still perceive Le Parfum de Thérèse as being composed of tangy, sweet and sour, oily-watery smells, with a spicy-herbal undercurrent. And my earlier associations still roll around in my head—I can’t completely dismiss them, and I wouldn’t want to—only now they mix with newer associations:  Le Parfum de Thérèse now smells to me like the residue of a fruit and herb garden on a woman’s leather glove (as if the mistress of the garden decided that a leather glove would be better than a garden glove to cut fruits and leaves from their prickly vines), deposited onto the counter of a sunny kitchen, where the pretty iguana girl is whipping up a batch of fresh mayonnaise.

 

______________
 

Le Parfum de Thérèse, from Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, has notes of tangerine, melon, rose, plum, cedar, vetiver and leather. It can be purchased from the Editions de Parfums website, or from Barneys.com, where a 50 ml bottle is currently priced at $150.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 7/3/2009.


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