Eiderdown Press
Musings about Perfume and Life
O Tannenbaum joint blog project
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
Click on Links to Previous Posts, below

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 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

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

O Tannenbaum! A Celebration of Perfumes Highlighting Woody Notes

(Joint Blogging Project)


When JoanElaine asked me if I’d like to participate in the O’ Tannenbaum project—in which we were asked to review three woody fragrances as a way of celebrating Christmas—I quite merrily said yes, more excited about creating a symbolic tree than putting up a real one. In fact, I rarely do put one up: my favorite way of decorating is to go out into the woods and gather white pine boughs, which I arrange in antique whiskey crocks, accenting them with a few small colored balls, using the remaining sprigs to line my drysink and a few other odd things that are made more pretty by the white pine’s long, soft needles. Always a bit of sap leaks from the branches, and I have to carefully scrape if off of the wood of the drysink or the bottom of a decorative bowl, but it never seems to damage anything, and the scent is irresistible. I once made the mistake of sharing photos of my decorations with someone who said my arrangement in the whiskey crock resembled Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, and though he didn’t mean it as a compliment, it made me love it all the more. I often feel like Charlie Brown at Christmas—one part of me a bit isolated and withdrawn because it is such a prefabricated holiday, an agreement to jump through so many hoops. But the other side of me likes its quiet rituals, the glow of Christmas lights against the dark winter night, and knowing that my nieces will be here Christmas night, their laughter ringing in my kitchen, one of them pressing up against me at the stove, asking me how much flour to mix with water when making gravy, the other helping me at the end of the meal, when it’s that magical time to transform confectionery sugar, vanilla and heavy cream into homemade whipped cream for the pies. They are grown-up now (both of them in college) but for a few hours they will be all ears and eyes, reveling in simple transformations, allowing me to remember those fleetingly precious moments when they were little girls and I was able to stand at the center of their world.

Christmas at its best involves traditions that connect us to our pasts, to the people and places who were once the focus of our worlds and helped shape us; quiet pauses that ground us in the present, allowing us to retreat from the forward hustle-and-bustle of life to appreciate those who share our lives now; and goodwill prayers, hopes and deeds that have the intent of expanding and bettering our worlds in the future. If I were Charlie Brown’s friend Linus (and I am rarely as good as he, but what the heck), this is what I would remind him that Christmas is all about—and then I’d spray three fragrances on his little tree as a way of anchoring these thoughts. And while these fragrances might not add up to the picture of the perfect Christmas tree—one that smells of pine pitch and hot Christmas lights and icy tinsel—my hope is that they might form a blanket of comfort, hope and cheer that props up a flimsy, leaning trunk, making it tall and steady enough to whisper confidently in one’s ear, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.”

Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois. This creation of California-based, indie perfumer Laurie Erickson marries aldehydes to sandalwood in such a way that perfume lovers often find comparisons in it to some of their favorite Chanel fragrances (particularly Chanel Bois des Îles). Yet make no mistake about it, Erickson’s unique, outdoorsy signature is on this perfume, and her use of labdanum and vetiver in Champagne de Bois have a way of combining with the sandalwood to make me think of bayberries. All together, the sparkly waxiness of the aldehydes, the light spiciness of clove, the creamy sweetness of sandalwood, and the woody-balsamic character of the labdanum and vetiver conspire to produce the scent of a pure bayberry candle—the kind my grandmother used to burn when we went to her house for Christmas. She also kept a pewter candelabra that held nine slender bayberry candles on her baby-grand piano, and when she died it was passed down to me; I still have one of its original candles remaining. Champagne de Bois is my scent of Christmases past; it fills me with reverence and, at the same time, makes me feel much like a candle: glowing and festive in a Pagan kind of way (which my grandmother would have approved of).

Donna Karan Black Cashmere. I’ve never been able to describe this fragrance to my satisfaction, but its combination of exotic wood, Ethiopian incense and inky saffron is both resolute and stilling. In its opening stages of wear, I always think I detect something that smells a bit like dark Jamaican rum, and the way it combines with the spices and the hint of vanilla in Black Cashmere’s amber base, I can almost imagine myself sitting down to a glass of eggnog, albeit one more heavily spiked with rum than cream. (Or to be exact: eggnog the way the late, great jazz musician Charles Mingus used to make it. “Mingus’s holiday eggnog was a concoction so delicious and mind-blowing, you would do anything to make sure that you saw him at Christmas,” Janet Coleman wrote in her book about the man.) The mind-blowing part of Black Cashmere, however, is not its sock-it-to-ya top-notes stage: it’s what happens some ten minutes later when the wood and incense develop. The incense of Black Cashmere is not like the incense of Catholic churches: it is a drier, quieter, Zen-like take on incense that has a calming influence on the fragrance and an expansive effect on the mind—and when I’m in that state of mind, I’m not lost to nostalgia, I’m not thinking of the future, I am grounded in the here and now. Black Cashmere is the fragrance I’ll wear on Christmas Day this year because it is a beautiful reminder that life is lived in the present—and in the physical presence of others (which, in this age of the Internet, is something I tend to forget).

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan. Oud is the Arabic word for wood—and Oud Caravan is very much an Arabian style of perfume, making it an odd choice for inclusion in an essay about woody fragrances and Christmas. In truth, I don’t detect much that is woody in this, the first version of Oud Caravan (a fragrance that is a work-in-progress; you can read about it here). It’s actually more of a leathery oud fragrance, with attendant whiffs of scent elements that recall dried animal-dung, smoke of the kind that issues from low-banked fires, and something medicinally green that is barely there—a phantom element. Oud Caravan is my one small link to a world I know little of: a world I like to dream about precisely because it is so different from my own. It’s true that people are the same no matter where you go, but it’s the cultural differences that make our global society vibrant and interesting. I’m the kind of person who would like to see our cultural differences respected and allowed to flourish and evolve with the culture itself. So while Oud Caravan might seem to make a rather retro statement—a scent that speaks romantically of Arabia’s past—for me it represents a fragrant wish for the future: of a day when goods and services cross borders (bringing prosperity to a wider number of people) but governments don’t. That’s the kind of caravan I will dream about now and in Christmases ahead.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year, here’s wishing you one that is peaceful and joyous. And for more offerings from the O’Tannenbaum joint blogging project, please visit my fellow bloggers, below. (A big thank you to JoanElaine and Krista for inviting me to participate!)

· All I am - A Redhead

· Another Perfume Blog

· Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies

· Beauty on the Outside

· Daly Beauty

· EauMG

· Eyeliner on a Cat

· Fragrant Reviews

· Muse in Wooden Shoes

· Olfactoria's Travels

· Parfumieren

· Redolent of Spices

· Scent of the Day

· The Candy Perfume Boy

· Undina's Looking Glass

Image: Charles Schultz's cartoon panel from the American tv classis, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 12/21/2011.


All I Am - A Redhead

A Perfume Blog (Blacknall Allen)

Another Perfume Blog (Natalie)


Ars Aromatica

Australian Perfume Junkies

Beauty on the Outside
 

Bloody Frida

Bois de Jasmin

Bonkers About Perfume

Ca Fleure Bon

ChickenFreak's Obsessions

EauMG

Eyeliner on a Cat

Fragrance Bouquet

From Top to Bottom - Perfume Patter

Giovanni Sammarco (artisanal perfumer) blog

Grain de Musc

I Smell Therefore I Am

Kafkaesque

Katie Puckrik Smells

Memory of Scent

Muse in Wooden Shoes 

Nathan Branch

Natural Perfumery by Salaam

Notes on Shoes, Cake & Perfume

Notes From Josephine

Notes From the Ledge

Now Smell This

Oh, True Apothecary! 

Olfactarama 

Olfactoria's Travels 

Parfumistans blogg

PereDePierre 

Perfume Posse

Perfume Shrine

Perfume-Smellin' Things

Purple Paper Planes

Redolent of Spices

Riktig Parfym: Ramblings of a Fragrant Fanatic

Scented Salamander

Scents of Place

Scents of Self

Smelly Blog

Sorcery of Scent 

Sweet Diva

The Alembicated Genie 

The Candy Perfume Boy 

The Fragrant Man

The French Exit


The Non-Blonde 

The Perfume Magpie

The Scented Hound
 

The Sounds of Scent

The Vintage Perfume Vault
 

This Blog Really Stinks 

Undina's Looking Glass 

WAFT by Carol 

Yesterday's Perfume

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