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April Aromatics Nectar of Love
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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 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


Perfume and a Movie:


April Aromatics Nectar of Love and Shall We Dance?


When faced with a sampler set of perfumes, nine of them beautifully lined up in a row, how does one choose which one to partake of first? Especially when more than a few of them have intriguing names: Calling All Angels, Liquid Dreams, Unter den Linden ("Under the Lindens"), Rosenlust, and Jasmina. I could go onthere are nine perfumes in allbut there was one name that was simply irresistible. Nectar of Love. As soon as I read it, I knew I'd be starting there, and I was not disappointed. Nectar of Love is the kind of perfume that is worthy of thoughtful consideration, not only because it's as sensual as its name, but because it's so unusual. You can look at its list of notes and think you know what to expect, but as is often the case with perfume, they form a whole that is unexpected and difficult to describe. Still, it's worth the attempt, and I'm going to make the attempt a little more entertaining by pairing this perfume with a moviethe marvelous Japanese film, Shall We Dance?

Directed by Masayuki Suo and released in 1996, Shall We Dance? presents an unconventional love story rather than the kind of romantic fluff its Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-inspired title might suggest. Shohei Sugiyama is an accountant in a Tokyo firm, a man who is dutiful and successful and, accordingly, works the Japanese businessman's long hours. He rises early and eats his breakfast alone; at night he returns on the late train to his home in the suburbs and, consequently, spends little time with his wife and teenage daughter. His time apart from them is accepted and understood; his wife is proud of him and appreciative of the sacrifices he makes on their behalf. Lately, though, she is concerned that his life has become too serious. She doesn't air this concern to her husband but confides in her daughter, saying she wishes he would get out and enjoy himself more. It is a wish that takes root: One night while returning home, Sugiyama looks out the train window and sees a beautiful young woman standing in the open window of a building, her expression a mirror of the way he is feeling inside, melancholy and aloof. Outside her window is an advertisement for a dance studio, and the next time his train passes by, he glances up and sees her giving ballroom dancing lessons to a gentleman. When he goes to the studio to have a better look, he ends up enrolling in a class which, to his disappointment, is being taught by a short and cheerful, middle-aged woman rather than the willowy beauty whose face lured him there.

At first, Sugiyama’s only interest in dancing is the opportunity it affords him to gaze at this exquisite creature, Mai, who runs the studio and gives private lessons to those who can fork over a princely sum. In time, the enthusiasm of his teacher and classmates win him over, and after putting true effort into learning the footwork, he grows to love dancing. However, due to the extreme modesty of the society he lives in (the film's opening titles explain that ballroom dancing is viewed "with great suspicion" in Japan, much the way public displays of affection are frowned upon), and perhaps because he has emotionally distanced himself from his family, Sugiyama keeps his lessons a secret. When his wife notices a change in his demeanorsees him coming to life again while spending even more hours away from homeshe begins to suffer the pains of being truly left behind. Fortunately, this film doesn't leave her there. What I love about Shall We Dance? is that it has an ending in which one can glimpse a new beginning.

Sugiyama eventually gets a sip of the nectar of love he went in search of; not the full fix he craves. In his caseas is often the casethat’s a good thing. The nectar of love (and by that I mean the early, infatuated state of love that is as powerful as any drug) isn't life sustaining over the long haul, but its addictive siren-song isn't necessarily a bad thing either. While it stirs us to reach for things we can't have and causes us to suffer a bit, the act of reaching often opens our eyes and brings other (perhaps more precious) things into our grasp. True, it doesn't always work out that way, but I would like to think that the craving for love is different from other cravings.

That predilection explains why I'm drawn to perfumes with names like Nectar of Love. If you're going to be a cheerleader for love, you need to surround yourself with the things that remind you of it, and this perfume truly does. Nectar of Love is an organic, botanical fragrance from Berlin-based perfumer Tanja Bochnig, whose perfume house is called April Aromatics. Ms. Bochnig describes it as "an exotic tapestry of fruit nectars and extracts of white Tuberose flowers, night-blooming Jasmine, Bulgarian Rose, Neroli from Tunisia, and many others, woven on a bed of sandalwood."

Nectar of Love opens in a way that many natural perfumes do: a bit spiky and medicinal when it first hits the skin. I know that bergamot figures among its top notes, but I get a hit of what smells like Clary Sage oil, too. This medicinal start to the fragrance calms within the space of five minutes, so should not give a perfume lover pause. Wearing it, and thinking about the movie, I get a picture of the beautiful and rather haughty Mai, and am reminded that the objects of our affections are seldom easy creatures. We hold them aloft by placing them on a pedestal or they hold us at bay for reasons of their own. Love is a thing to be won: when we get it too easily, we don't trust it. In the same regard, I like that Nectar of Love opens with a cool aloofness.

Naturally, though, a perfume so-named has to seduce. It has to bloom into something beautiful that titillates the senses, and Nectar of Love does—just not in the way I expected. I can’t pick out the tuberose in Nectar of Love, and the rose, while more identifiable, is not a forward rose note either. One of the first smells that develops after the top notes fade is a whiff of chocolate—and while I can’t say whether it’s a note of my imagination or whether there’s some patchouli (which can have a cocoa-like facet) in the composition, it is definitely there for me and it sticks around, marrying itself to the florals that warm their way into the mix next. Admittedly, I can’t pick apart these florals (except for a dirty bit of jasmine) and why would I want to? For much of its long wear, Nectar of Love smells like a warm liqueur made of dark chocolate and flowers and a trace of rum-like vanilla that grows more detectable as the scent dries down. It’s not a sweet perfume, despite the gourmand terms I describe it in, and neither is it creamy, but the word “edible” is the first thing that springs to mind when I think about it. Or maybe I should say “drinkable” since that is more in keeping with both the name and the deep, dark, liqueur-like smell of it.

Most of all, though, Nectar of Love smells exotic, in the true, dictionary-sense of the word: “foreign; not native; introduced from abroad....” It’s a fragrance I can’t put my finger on, can’t really figure out, and yet it's alluring as all get-out. There is enough of the familiar about it to draw one in and make you think you understand it, and enough of the mysterious about it to make you doubt yourself. And the combination of the two is intoxicating and exciting, like love that is new; like love that makes you see yourself in a new light and has you shining your shoes, learning some new steps, and getting up on your toes to try and claim it.




April Aromatics Nectar of Love eau de parfum has notes of bergamot, neroli, rose otto, jasmine sambac, tuberose, ylang-ylang, Indian sandalwood and bourbon vanilla. It can be purchased from the April Aromatics website, where a 30-ml bottle is 189 euros.

Photo of actors Kōji Yakusho & Tamiyo Kusakari in the 1996 film Shall We Dance? is from www.cinema,de.
Photo of Nectar of Love bottle is from the April Aromatics website (see link, above).


Posted by Suzanne Keller, 12/4/2012.


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