Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Perfumes: The Guide

On a Sunday in December of 2008 I read a newspaper article that mentioned perfume and patchouli. It featured Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez,  authors of the book Perfumes: The Guide. Fascinated, I borrowed a copy of the book from the library and soon bought my own copy. This was buried treasure. I had always loved things that smelled good and the good old hippie scents of patchouli and musk. But here was a new world of complex fragrances that my nose and brain wanted to experience. Things like woods, spices, animals, Morocco, the orient, incense, amber, the list went on. The book covers over 1500 perfumes. I was in a new world. Over the years I have collected some of the most amazing fragrances. Every day I revel in their beauty. I spray, smell, and my mind gives praise to God for the wonders he has made and the gift of scent.

Scent gets locked in our brain. What memories does it bring back for you. I remember the hand lotion of my first girlfriend. I remember the perfume of another girl; it was her mother's, Estee Lauder 'something', an amazing scent that will forever have no name. I remember when I had a janitorial business and went to empty a trash can and smelled something beautiful. I soon found out it came from a perfume sample. It was Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. It seemed like a huge purchase but I bought it for my wife. She wasn't smitten but I was. Then there is the after shave that my dad wore, Mennen Skin Bracer. I still have some that was his and he has been gone for over 12 years. One sniff of that and a flood of memories return.

My perfume shelf - click to enlarge.
Perfume is a very personal choice. We all like different things. There is also a very big difference between a bottle that costs $10 and one that costs $300. I have favorites from both categories and many from in between. This I will say about the more expensive perfumes: there is a reason. Another thing, you will not understand a perfume by smelling the cap or spraying it on. A quality perfume will smell one way when sprayed, will smell different an hour or two later and still different six hours later. That's part of the amazing science.

My favorite perfume maker is Andy Tauer who lives in Switzerland. I have fourteen of his perfumes. L'Air du Desert Marocain was the first perfume I ever bought and remains one of my favorites. Look him up and you will see a glimpse of the other world I speak of. Here is his site: Tauer Perfumes

If you would like to learn more about perfume, this book is a great place to start.
Perfumes: The Guide

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