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OUD fragrances "for dummies"

...It's definitely clear what you mean - certainly ^now^ it is. I also know what you mean about ^seizing upon^ the funky aspect of a perfume or perfume-constituent and going overboard swinging the weight about it (two rather quaint English turns of phrase there that don't really fit together all that well!). In my review of ~Ceylon~ I speak of the "fabulous olfactory landscape" or something like that. This is no hyperbole. I find that the funkiness of oud is not merely an element in an °itemised list° of elements constituting the aroma, but that it is ^transfigured^ from skatile to sublime by virtue of its subsisting in that landscape. Each element of the aroma is °recast° or °reinterpreted° by the presence of all the others.Someone a while ago asked me to describe the smell of oud, and after some thought I said "imagine the smell of a freshly-sawn piece of wood - that, but in some sense °exalted° or °sublimated° in such a way that it is more like an animalic, such as musk or ambergris, or whatever". I haven't been able to think of a description that seems to me better without using ^very^ many more words. I've thought of another excellent oud-containing fragrance; and I think this one deliberately brings out the skankier aspects of it, which is ~Hard Leather~ by Laurent Mazzone.... about half an hour later ... I knew there was one I particularly wanted to mention; and I didn't realise there was oud in this until well-after I'd acquired it, and when I found out I was aghast, but then when I tried it anew I °got° how it is that the oud-note fits in, and how ingenious a composition it is: and that fragrance is the eponymous Bond N°9 fragrance - the one often called ~Signature~, in a gold-coloured-stuff-coated bottle with the Bond N°9 logo done in ^absences^ of the coating. What is so remarkable to my mind about this fragrance is that, whereas oud is a heavy & opaque note, this fragrance is rather æry & transparent, & yet the oud somehow actually ^helps^ it to be that!
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OUD fragrances "for dummies"

...I'm not sure you can so lightly dismiss someone to whom the aroma of oud is evocative of that of a stable. (Notice I do not simply say "smells like": I am not merely being a °Thorhalla Wordy° saying this - I am making a bona-fide point about olfactory correspondences.) I know someone who would not let me go near her when I was wearing Xerjoff's ~Ceylon~ recently (which cannot be placed on your scale, in my opinion, being way beyond the upper-end of it!). At first I thought her distress was hyperbolic and a theatrical demonstration, but it quickly transpired that she was in earnest. This lady seems to have an extraordinary olfactory faculty, and in company is ^always^ the first to notice my perfumes, but generally not really liking them much. I myself do perceive the farmyardiness of some kinds of oud; but this is not a deprecation of it, as I was raised in a country area, and the reflex elicited of me by the said farmyardiness is the association with the idea of an essentially wholesome place. (I very recently conversed with a lifelong city-dweller who has ^literally^ never seen a cow!!)I also am not sure what you mean by ^how^ to use it, except insofar as you might possibly mean the kind of practice & philosophy I describe in my blog (which I will not even attempt to summarise here): but I think the ~why~ part is a valent line of enquiry, especially in view of the extraordinarity of the effect it has on some people, of which I have just presented an instance; and of the the distinction of the effect it has on a greater number. Though only one person on the occasion I relate reacted so paroxysmally, there were many whose curiosity was very strongly piqued by it. I think such motive as one might frame for wearing such a 'fume as ~Ceylon~ ^had better^ accomodate the possibility of creating such a stir!Some other ^surpassingly^ excellent oud fragrances ... Boadicea the Victorious - ~Almas~ ~Green Sapphire~Bond N°9 - ~Dubai Ruby~ Frederic Malle - ~The Night~ (or ~Al Laylah~ if you prefer).Seriously good ones ... Christian Dior - ~Leather Oud~Thameen - ~Carven Oud~L'Ancôme - ~L'Autre Oud~.
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Why do perfumers use these days such heavy bottles?

...To my mind, the thicker the glass the better - obviously up to a reasonable point! Perfume is costly, sometimes uw drop the bottle or it gets hitten with something - the logic couldn't be simpler. See my review of ~Lua~ by Xerjoff. Not one single one of my 'fume bottles would I say is of too-thick glass. Perhaps Gucci's ~Because it's You~ is just about right ... or maybe even that could do with being just a tad thicker!On the other hand, there is the solution favoured by Montale & Hervé Gambs: use ^metal^ flaca!
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   18.04.2018 | Miscellaneous

How do you feel about the oud trend?

...On the decline is it? Better keep my eyes open for oudy 'fumes at down-cutten prices!
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   13.04.2018 | Miscellaneous

What are some best vintage perfumes for women?

...On a website like this, there is often a great deal of debate about assigning perfume to gender. Some people say there is no right way to assign perfume to gender, others say there is; and sometimes the debate can get ^very^ heated! I personally think there are no 'for men' or 'for women' perfumes; but far be it from me to start yelling at someone who thinks there are! Unless they start ^strongly^ telling me that I ought not to wear some perfume or other. So I am, in a way, about the worst person to ask whether these perfumes are for women. But I think someone who ^does^ care about that would probably say that in that list you ask about some are ^definitely^ for women; that some of them a man could possibly wear; and that some are pretty much equally balanced between being a man's & being a woman's perfume. Some might even say that some of them are actually properly a man's perfume, and that they have been wrongly listed as woman's perfume. This kind of thing is quite normal if you have ^any^ long list of perfumes.But it can be a touchy subject, this, 'man's' perfume versus 'woman's' perfume!
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Noble Fig - Ferrari

Some thoughts on fig leaf

...I like fig-leaf: I find it a very attractive & distinguished note, with its tobaccoleafiness but sweeter. Instances of it that I would adduce are ~Rosabotanica~ by Balenciaga, ~Sine Die~ by Laurent Mazzone, & ~Noble Fig~ by Ferrari. In all three of these it was actually primarily the fig-leaf note that inclined me towards the whichever 'fume in the first place, before I had learned that it ^was^ that.
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On Neapolitan Perfume - Layering

...I've always considered layering to be very much a °hodon anathematomenon° (one is not really supposed to say 'black art' anymore ... whoops! just said it! Actually, I do think it were best to phase it out, but its substitute may need to be a bit shorter!). If the proportions are as critical as some say, then obviously they will be upset by layering if there is any overlap of ingredients at all. Still, I know a lot of people do it, and report excellent results. In fact, I have myself °serendipitously° discovered what seem viable possibilities through applying a new 'fume before the old has completely worn off. I'll try to recall some.An observation I have made is that if one put one perfume on one part of one's body and another on another, the two will remain mostly unmixed & perceived as separate fragrances serially. This is consistent with the observation that if someone is smoking (^very much^ a hodon anathematomenon these days!) in a room in which a joss-stick is burning, the two streams of smoke - easy to distinguish, being different colours - remain clearly separate. This is helpful when I wish to use a relatively purse-friendly EDT as an aftershave, and some purse-slaughtering gorgeoso 'fume as my main 'fume - basically one ^can^ with pretty much ^nil^ interference of the two.
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Osmanthus - Subtle Note Par-Excellence

...My attention has been recently twoken by the idea of osmanthus in perfume. From what I can gather, and from my (very limited) experience of 'fumes broaching it as a note, it seems to be a ^subtle^ note par-excellence. Does it have an aroma similar to that of a freshly-opened packet of Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea? That seems to me to be the element that °osmanthusy° 'fumes have in common.One of my earliest very-striking olfactory memories is that of opening a packet of loose-leaf Indian tea (not necessarily Ceylon Orange Pekoe) at my grandmother's house. The experience was so acute, it left the memory of the room I was in at the time and its details - lighting, etc - indelibly y-stampen on my memory. Also the amusement of my mother & grandmother: "... it's ^tea^! It's what we put in the pot when we have a cup of ^tea^!". I thereafter thought tea was pretty cool! (& haven't stopped thinking it!)Also - not wishing to open too many threads in a short space - when is ~iris~ actually ~orris~? I thought I had an accurate conception of an ~irisy~ 'fume - quite sharp & astringent & °sneezy° or °tickling of the respiratory tract° - and also a reasonably adequate conception of an ~orrisy~ one - more subtle, softer, gentler, creamy°. But I keep seeing, in notes-lists of 'fumes that I have lodged in my scheme as orrisy 'fumes, iris only, or at least primarily. I know sometimes ~orris~ gets roughly comprised under ~iris~, but I don't know for certain that I haven't just gotten it wrong. I don't have ready access to elementary perfumery substances, unfortunately.Hey, pœps! look at this quote fræ ~nstperfume.com~."I think of osmanthus as the scent of happiness. It smells of warm, ripe apricots, good black tea (maybe a Ceylon, with its floral notes and natural sweetness) and soft leather. "You probably won't believe now that I've only just read that.
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Roja Dove - Haute Luxe

...I think this is a candidate for ~Most Expensive Perfume~ isn't it? That is, most expensive ^in production^ one, as opposed to finite-batch ones such as Thameen's ~Palace Oud~. And also, most expensive ^perfume^!! Yes! ^PERFUME^!! Has anyone noticed that in lists of most expensive perfumes they will ^just not quit^ listing those that are dispensed in diamond-encrusted bottles, & suchlike. "Excuse me, I asked for the most expensive ^perfume^, not ^package comprising a bunch of diamonds & gold + a bit of perfume^!". Can those who compile such lists just not get that logic through their skulls!? But I ^think^ this might possibly be the most expensive in-production perfume per-se, {even taking due account of the fact that it is pure perfume oil rather than EDP.} ... by the demiurges - just checked at Harrods - it ^is^ £2500 for the EDP afterall! And one might reply to my argument above that this one has gold flakes in it. But firstly, gold flakes can be ^extremely^ thin, and there is a shower-gel by Moulton Brown with gold flakes in it that is ^not particularly^ expensive; but the essential point of them in this 'fume is, so I read somewhere, the irony that the gold is actually ^less^ costly (per unit weight) than any of the true perfumery ingredients in it!Or isn't there one called 'Royal imperial Majesty' ir something like that, by Clive Christian ... but is that an °in-production° one? No! no! wait wait! Here we go again: "... a necklace of diamonds finishes the presentation." (it just mentions °in passing° on the CC website)! At the end of the day I think it ^is^ probably this one.
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Weekly Scent Discussion# 23: Lavender. Oh, How I love thee

...I recommend ~Intenso~ by Dolce & Gabbana as an excellent lavender-heavy fragrance. I was ^extremely^ impressed by it when I tried it, having grabbed it opportunistically - one of those direct hits! On a technical note, I was fascinated to read recently how the aroma of lavender is dependent on ~isolavandulal~ in small quantities - a substance that alone smells offensively as rancid sweat, but without which the smell of lavender is bland & unsanguine (or whatever). I am perpetually fascinated by this whole matter of °pleasant° aromata depending on being °thrilled° by some skanky component. All the very best perfumes are envelope-pushers in this respect, IMO.
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Vétiver de Frédéric - Frédéric Haldimann

So many great vetivers...

...Don't think anyone's mentioned Tom Ford's ~Grey Vetiver~. At least then I can get to be the first! Venturing to get this, despite its not seeming particularly good on cardboard in shop, I've actually found it phænomenal, wearing it. Venturing a bit upmarket, I also strongly recommend ~Zizan~ by Ormonde Jayne. This choice of mine was the polar opposite of it, in that having decided to get one of the (IMO thoroughly excellent) OJ fragrances, I eventually decided, after borderline-forensic deliberation, to go for it. A strange thing about this fragrance is that, although it is lovely, it is ^not^ well-inegrated: to my mind it is like a dry-stone-wall in a sheep-farming region - but a dry-stone-wall made of pices of flawless stone. And I do quite like dry-stone walls! Somehow, it gets away with not being well-integrated. Another used the figure of a °rugby-match° of notes; but unlike me, that reviewer did not like it on the whole. And venturing ^a lot^ downmarket, there is ~Zidan~ by Al Rehab. No! I am ^not^ joking! This is ^^most phænomblial^^ value-for-minlet! This is one of those that pitch me into a crisis about having ever bought any high-end or even normally-priced 'fume atall! However, when I go back to them, it does become clear. But the diminishing-returns curve ^is very^ steep! Funny how a 'fume with vetiver in becomes a ^vetiver^ perfume so readily, maugre its being a subtle note. You don't particularly get ^ylang-ylang^ perfumes, or ^bergamot^ perfumes; and these notes are not subtle! But beheld fræ another angle, it's not ^very^ surprising. Vetiver is an outstanding example, perhaps even the prototype, of the paradox of a note that ^almost^ doesn't smell of anything , and is yet wondrously distinctive & compelling.
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   06.04.2018 | Miscellaneous

Weekly Scent Discussion #6: Labels of Men vs Woman and you

...My rule could not be simpler: ^anyone^ can wear ^any^ perfume.
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Weekly Scent Discussion #14: Strange notes, just a gimick?

...There are a few perfumes that have a °salt° note in: Calvin Klein's ~Reveal~ (both the °man° and °woman° versions), Bvlgari's ~Aqua Divina~, and, by far the preëminent example, Armani's ~Bleu Turquoise~. This last one is one ^seriously gorgeous^ 'fume to my perception; and it is partly by virtue of the °salt° note, which is a stroke of genius; and it was also by way of this 'fume that I was introduced to this weird note. I was sceptical; but immediately upon intraspiring of it I went "it really does smell of salt!". But then salt doesn't smell of anything; & yet, it ^is^ somehow the smell of salt! It just ^does^ smell of salt! It is indeed very weird; and I do find it very attractive as an aroma. The ~Bleu Turquoise~ is high-end - £240 per standard flacon (100ml - I call that a 'standard flacon' anyway); but one way or another I would advise trying it in this one first, as it is extremely prominent in it, & ought therefore to be an introduction to it that will leave uw in no doubt that uw have smelten it. Uw ought then be able to recognise it easily in those other 'fumes mentioned - & yet others not mentioned -, in which it is used more subtilely.... updating, sometime later ...How cold I forget ~Arethusa~ by Tiziana Terenzi!? This is an adorable showcasing of the salt note.Another forgetting! but asto the note this time. How could I forget the so-called °caviar° note in Diesel's ~Bad Intense~?! I love that 'fume precisely for its utter brazen vulgarity! Don't really know how that °caviar° note wreaketh (or indeed reeketh!) in it: but for one thing I would ^not^ say it smells of fish; & for another that it is one truly thundrous & radical 'fume!
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Aromatics Black Cherry - Clinique

Clinique's Aromatics Black Cherry

...You are not dreaming: it does exist & is sold at Selfridges - or at least at the Manchester branch. Take no notice of the reply above - it's fibrillating gorgeous! I made a special excursion specifically to get it. Speaking more fairly, I can understand someone not liking it. But if, as I do, you like the dark heavy sultry recipes, such as one would expect a black-cherry 'fume to be, uw probably will like it - or even love it as I do! I find that it partakes considerably of that excruciating naughty-earthiness of the original - some of the other flankers not doing atall really - & yet is enough of a departure fræ it to be a 'fume in its own right.
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Some Thoughts On Classic Fougère - A Matter Of Gender

...Am I using the word ~fougère~ correctly? My understanding has been hitherto that it denotes the having strong °broken-stem° type notes in - reminiscent of walking through wet woodland or of beating down an obstruction of overgrowth: examples being the new flanker of ~Bloom~ - ~acqua di Fiori~ - by Gucci, or ~Bracken~by Amouage - the latter being so self-referentially: bracken ≈ fern = fougère. To my mind, the application of aftershave is purley practical: the antiseptication of the myriad microlesions caused by shaving. And I would advise anyone who has shaved their legs or chest or whatever to do so! The °clean° pain of alcohol or iodine or peroxide on wound is °nothing° compared to the °dirty° pain of infection, such as toothache, or, taking an extreme - & indeed deadly - example, generalised pertonitis. I'm sure most of us have experienced the relief that is afforded when tincture of iodine is applied where a splinter has lodged under the skin & caused an infected spot - small though-be-it! The intense stinging & burning is bliss against what is cured by it - like the Archangel Michael has touched it with the tip of his sword! No! Application of aftershave is to my mind purely practical: there is no masochism-significance atall in it!
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   19.03.2018 | Miscellaneous

Tragedy. When perfumes turn

...Triffid raises whether the air in a spray bottle that enters to fill the space vacated by the liquid is significantly deleterious to the 'fume. I doubt it, as I doubt that even if ^all^ the oxygen in 50ml of air were to oxidize fragrance molecules in 50 ml of 'fume, it would do more than a negligible damage - or even 90 to 10 - or perhaps even 95 to 5. Perhaps not but when there is literally a trace in the bottom will the oxidation be significant; especially as, if uw were to analyse the air in a bottle of 'fume, it would probably transpire that it had nearly the full complement of oxygen (@bout 20.95%), wherefore that only a small fraction of it had been spent oxidising fragrance molecules. This is what I like about spray dispensers - only the minimum quantity of air required to fill the volume vacated by the 'fume enters the bottle. (If uw are still concerned, uw could enforce a discipline of only ever spraying it from beneath an argon-arc welding hood so that only argon enter (please abide my little sarcasm - it is not meant maliciously!).) This is as opposed to bottles with a stopper that is removed whenever uw broach it, so that a fresh draught of air enters each time, and a large proportion if the air, or perhaps nearly all of it, is replaced.Actually, now that I consider it more carefully, this last argument about stoppered bottles is inconsistent with my adduction that only a small fraction of the oxygen in a spray-bottle is used up. Still, I have always had an ¯eingefühl¯ that spray bottles are greatly superior to stoppered ones in this regard. Maybe my argument is misproportioned as a whole. Actually, I'm beginning to see now that it's quite a complicated question: because if only a small fraction of the oxygen is used up, there will not be much difference between a spray bottle & a stoppered by reason that the fresh draught of air entering the stoppered bottle will be little different from the (slightly) oxygen-depleted air that was in it before its being opened; whereas if a significant fraction of the oxygen is consumed oxidising fragrance molecules, there will be a significant reduction of pressure in the spray-bottle, and the volume of air entering when the valve is depressed will greatly exceed the volume of liquid that departs. Oh no! It's really furunculating complicated! Well, thank-uw for prompting me to consider the matter more thoroughly anyway!But, also, this whole argument concerns oxidation only; and I think there is ^no possible doubt^ that spray bottles are superior apropos the matter of evaporation.Maybe I ought to consider the welding-hood trick for real!
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   19.03.2018 | Miscellaneous

Ultra-Expensive Perfumes

...This was originally part of my review of ~Lily~ by Roja Dove. I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Roja Dove 'fumes, but the trend has been towards my mellowing greatly anent them. ===============Wearing a perfume epitomises the principle of °simply doing° without °seeking result° expounded in the ~Bhagavad Gita~ & practised in Zen Buddhism. The best way to wear a perfume is to just put the thing on & then immediately forget it, and to just let it come to you in its own time. This is particularly true of 'fumes like these Roja Dove ones. At the risk of seeming a bit stuck up & elitist - but, simply, they ^are^ advanced perfume wearers' perfumes! I recently read about someone who financially self-evisceratingly bought ~Haute Luxe~ (a ^far^ more costly Roja Dove 'fume than this one), went about angling for compliments, and was ^absolutely devastated^ when someone said "it's alright, I suppose". The perception of a perfume is so very delicate & fickle a process that even the perception that someone ^wants^ or ^expects^ you to like it can radically change what you perceive. If only he could have restrained himself: at some point in time some little tentacle of 'fume would have extended itself unto someone, caught them at unawares, and perhaps they would have said "whence that ^awsome divine^ aroma!? Heaven, perchance?". I resolutely ^never^ angle for compliments, or in ^any way^ prompt anyone to perceive my perfume. Sometimes I get them, and they are invariably weighty ones. Sometimes I can even see in advance that they have just caught an unexpected whiff of something that greatly pleases them. On a molecular level, perfume is ^colossaly^ profligate - an obvious parallel is, well, it's fairly obvious really - I'm talking about insemination. Or any kind of semination, for that matter. What proportion of perfume molecules actually reach their mark? Last night I ^did^ get ^a^ compliment. It's not surprising really, coz I was veritably honking of the stuff. It's seriously powerful stuff, if you can just ^let^ it be! And one might bear in mind that the spray mechanism tends to be ^particularly^ well-made on Roja Dove perfume bottles, and doesn't dispense a large amount per spritz. I'm wondering what to put on now, coz I'm going to the Sunday afternoon concert at the Whitworth Art Gallery; and, you know, I think I'd better use it again, as I'm still honking of it. What a remarkable transformation! I've gone from being cross at it for seeming to be rather a damp squib to being cross at it for not letting me try a different 'fume the folliwing day by virtue of its being too puissant!Even before I'd begun to °get° these Roja Dove 'fumes, I always did perceive that there is a certain °solidity° to, & stamp of quality on, them. It's a bit like, say, you're traversing some swampy land, & the creeks have foot-bridges across them: and one creaks a little as you walk across; the next maybe sways a little; and then you come to one that walking across is like walking on solid ground - it doesn't creak or sway or anything. Many people say that when they try them, they simply are not ^awsome^ as a 'fume in that price-backett °ought° to be; and I agree that's true in a sense: but imagine you have heard Beethovens violin concerto, and you are totally °blown away° by the sheer sublimity of the melody & lyricism of it, as well you might be; and then someone tells you that Beethoven's late string quartets are the consummation of his genius, as indeed they are. If you go to them expecting what the violin concerto delivers, but yet more so, you will be profoundly disappointed! The late quartets evolve music into a different direction: melody and lyricism are consummated in the violin concerto, and there is nowhere further for them to go; but the late quartets are explorations of the uttermost potential in melody & harmony, unconstrained by preconceptions of patent beauty or, what is °gorgeous°. And I think Roja Dove's perfumes are parallel to that, in that they do not ~seek after~ being ~yet more gorgeous~, but rather explore uttermost potential in ^olfactory^ melody & harmony in a way similar to that in which Beethoven's late string quartets explore that in ^musical^ melody & harmony. And I think that is why people are often bitterly disappointed when they try a Roja Dove perfume (& they often are, as a trawling of reviews will reveal). They expect a yet sweeter & more mellifluous olfactory °singing° than that they had thitherto heard - but that is just not the direction in which these perfumes take it.===============I try not to be stuck-up about the price of a perfume. Some people say a good perfume is worth every penny. I do not concur - it feels far to much like playing into the hands of the perfume manufacturers to say that. I say, rather, they know what good thing they are onto with their economies of scale, and their vast webs of connections with suppliers of raw materials (if you go to Laos, or wherever, & say "I'm A. Tad-Brisk, & I'd like to buy some oud oil please" you'll more likely than not get a bucket of tar with maybe a few drops of oud oil in if the dealer feels a little pity for you; but if you go saying you're an executive of Prada or Yves Saint Laurent ... (but even then ... !)), and their lavishly equipped research facilities at which they can explore the 'tree' of blends in an orderly way, and extend its ramifications almost indefinitely without it tumbling into a chaos of unwashed vessels (just try doing _that_ in your kitchen!) -- and strike a VERY _VERY_ hard bargain!! Still, when I am exploring the purse-friendlier offerings I think "there's no boot in those high-end ones, really ..."; but when I then go over and try something like Eclix, by Tiziana Terenzi, I then think " ... oh! but yes there is!". The upshot is that I do have a certain number of high end perfumes; and I would _not_ swap them for their equivalent in medium price-range ones! No way, José!! But are the one's I've mentioned, apart fræ ~Haute Luxe~, which I don't have & probably never will (I think if I were ever spending minlet on 'fume that kind of profligately I would probably get ~Nebulous~ by Boadicea the Victorious, or some of Ensar Oud's Japanese Zen Temple sinking-grade oud incense), actually what uw mean by ^ultra^ expensive? I think not! but that the ones just-mentioned in parenthesis are. And if they aren't, then what is?!?
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   18.03.2018 | Miscellaneous

Shelf-life of Perfumes

...Chanel N°5 fræ the late 70s or early 80s ~hinting~ at its finite life? Sounds like pretty good news to me! Not so pleased to hear about the ones that didn't fare so well; but are these amongst those you got from other persons & are therefore of unknown curriculum vitæ? And then there are a couple of others that are fine or pristine. The emerging picture is not ^alarming^, by a long way! But hopefully I can gather a fair bit more evidence yet. I know the exposition on thermodynamic equilibrium is a bit technical; but the distinction between something being heated in an unbalanced way (eg intensely at one part), and merely ^being^ at a higher temperature ^is^ a very important one. It's actually ^quite strongly^ analogous to the distinction between something receiving hammer blows, as opposed to it simply having a weight resting on it (respectively) - obviously the former is the more damaging in either case. The reason for putting a thermometer in the shade is of-a-piece with this; putting it in direct sunlight is rather like trying to measure the strength of a hammer-blow with a balance. I'll leave-off these technical expositions now: but the point here is that the ~violence~ of the manner of heating is, at least within plausible bounds, more important than the final temperature attained. Definitey - do NOT leave a bottle of perfume on the top of a radiator or immediately in front of an incandescant heater!! I forgot to mention in the ~stem~ or ~head~ of this thread that ~humidity~ is often cited as a deleterious agency; but I don't see how it can affect 'fume in a spray-bottle.
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<mark>QuercusAlbus</mark>QuercusAlbus   17.03.2018 | Miscellaneous

Shelf-life of Perfumes

...I would like to start a seriously frank discussion on a subject that might be seriously scary to persons with large collections. My collection is now large enough for it to be seriously scary to me, so I am not here aloof scaring other people! I will start be saying that on the whole the results are quite reassuring: my testing of my oldest 'fumes, the high prices often commanded by pre-reformulation specimens, and reports from persons who have one way or another gotten hold of some old bottle or other. I do know that hard & fast good-storage rules are to keep it away from ultra-violet light, & any other ionising radiation (such as one's nuclear pile (doesn't everyone have one?)), and unheated in a way that, to speak technically puts it out of thermodynamic equilibrium. By this I mean that if you put it, say, on a hot surface, heat is being applied at one part, so that there is an 'enginry of heating' through the body of the stuff - and that would be _bad_; whereas if it is in a room of which the temperature gradually rises, the stuff is in a static condition, but its temperature just happens to be higher at a later time - and that is not so bad. (This is why some foodstuffs are baked in the oven - so that they become hot without departing much from thermodynamic equilibrium. We all know that you cannot bake bread by putting dough on a hotplate - you'll just get a mess. By the same token, non-equilibrium heating is _very bad_ for a perfume, whereas equilibrium heating is not so bad - but probably still a little bit bad at least.) So _don't_ put your perfume next to an intense localised heat-source!! Anyway, I am _very_ keen to learn of the experiences of others at assaying of old specimens of perfume; I do not say 'glad' - I might well not be! - but please do lay it on anyway!
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Oud ~ in search of the real deal

...I have written a couple of reviews recently in which I have been scathing of the mythology accredited to oud. I think this mythology is becoming perilous, in that there is a regular traffic of claims & counter-claims as to what contains real oud & what doesn't, & the virtues of real oud relative to the synthetic. I have been brought to a state of vexation by this; and rather than burst forth sarcastically in a review, perhaps I can attain unto some kind of assuagement in this place. I have recently learned that Tom Ford's Oud Wood (Eau de Parfum)Oud Wood Eau de Parfum contains synthetic oud, and also that Kilian's oudy 'fumes do so. In a department store recently I broached the matter of the provenance of oud to one of the apothecaries on duty, and was told very authoritatively that a certain 'fume she would show me presently does ^very certainly^ contain real oud, only to learn from the data-sheet, that she herself showed me (!), that it is in fact synthetic oud that this 'fume contains. (However, I will ^not^ stoop to despising retail staff, unless they make a deliberate concerted attempt to deceive me; & this instance was merely one of being somewhat careless in reading the data-sheet.) The 'fume was Mizensir's Perfect OudPerfect Oud. It is clear that it is becoming immensely difficult to find definitive expositions à la oud. This is only to be expected given the crisis that the traffic in oud is in, and the extreme preciosity of this substance. It is fortunate that I am not distraught by the knowledge of the syntheticity of the 'oud' in 'fumes that I possess - see my review of "Collection Extraordinaire - Precious Oud" by Van Cleef & Arpels in which I set out my philosophy at the matter. So, I would greatly enjoy a ^very^ frank discussion of the matter, in which I would urge such participants as there might be to set aside to the maximum possible any such wishful thinking as wherewithal they might be beset concerning perfumes that they possess or are very fond of. An interesting source of teaching bearing upon all this is the ~Ensar Oud~ website: it does have, to my mind anyway, a solid ring of honesty about it; ^but^! it ^is^ a selling site, which is, I think, to be kept forwardly in mind. Specific 'fumes about which I would be particularly glad to have some kind of assurance (or mis-surance, if so it must be!) about are the Xerjoff ~Oud Stars~ 'fumes, [email protected]'s "The Night", Laurent Mazzone's Hard LeatherHard Leather, the various oudy 'fumes by Boadicea the Victorious, Terry de Gunzburg's "Terryfic Oud" line, & the Bond Nº9 oudy 'fumes. All these are quite to really-quite high end, & at least the higher-end ones really ought, to my mind, to contain real oud. Also, I found it fascinating to read, on the aforementioned ~Ensar Oud~ website, how a high grade oud is traceable to a particular known piece of infected agarwood; and how the very highest grades of infected wood are so replete with the oil that they actually sink in water! whence 'sinking-grade'. It would explain (I hope!) how it is that Thameen brought out strictly 100 bottles only, ever, of their Palace OudPalace Oud, which retailed for £2750 per 30ml bottle. This traceability to a particular piece is also true of the higher grades of ambergris, so I have read.
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