The Elements of Scent-Lavender

lavenderLavender is always such a popular type of scent. Aromatic and fresh it’s surprisingly versatile and can go from sweet and unctuous to sharp and modern with very little trouble.

Lavender’s name comes from the Latin word for washing, and scenting your sheets with it was thought to give a good night’s sleep (still true today). There are a lot of different lavenders, the one prized for perfumery is probably the type which smells strongly of vanilla (coumarin) and if you find a source of that, hang on to them…it is precious stuff. On the other end of the spectrum, lavender can be volatile and smell like paint remover because some forms of lavender are just that: paint solvents. It’s a common practice to use lavender in fine art to thin paint, and that sort of lavender is called spike lavender.

Lavender is one scent which just never seems to grow old in the imagination of the public. It has not suffered the same fate as rose (“Ew, old lady”) and general florals (which seem to be on everyone’s avoid list except iconoclasts). Magically lavender is more associated with “natural” scents, “clean” scents (but it still avoids being classified as ‘sexlessly clean’), and “healthy” fragrances. I have no idea of how it has done that, but it is quite a feat for a unique smell.

Discover Possets and take a look at our listing for lavender scents, we are very good at them. Take a tour of each of the scent families and it’s just fun going through the list of perfumes on offer.

The Elements of Scent-Fruity

fruityFruity scents are sometimes problematic.We are so familiar with them that they have to be exact before we will call them “good”. Apple can be a problem because if too strong, it can be interpreted as turpentine-ish. Banana can easily head into the “nail polish remover” category, and lemon has been saddled with the undesirable comparison to furniture polish. Knowing how to handle any of the above does separate out the real perfumers from the juvenile ones. There are ways to come up with divine lemon, you just have to know how.

Fruit scents pair wonderfully well with quite a few traditional perfume ingredients.Grapefruit smells wonderful next to sandalwood, banana is exultant when sandalwood is its partner (it’s the volatile part of both which is the reactor), and grape can become so much more than grape when it’s with some kinds of musk.

Fruit has always been a big favorite especially in French perfumes (!). Yes, the French love to exploit plum and you can love it in Femme by Rochas, or love it in Or Noir by Pascal Moribito. Those are two grand scents which elevate plum to celestial heights  and make it dive to the sexist of all places.

American perfumes didn’t really get excited about fruit accompaniments until the turn of the millennium.  In 2000 apple became all the rage. There were straight up apple blends, apple with musk, apple with other fruits, apple with everything. Apple was flying off the shelves, and perfume lovers reveled in it. From there, the other fruits have come tumbling in. I have detected pineapple in places you would not suspect, cherry as a bass note, and orange reveling in patchouli. Fruit is a standard category now, and seems to be beloved by scent lovers everywhere. One surprising thing: the French seem to just LOVE red fruit fragrances.

Hop over to Possets and take a look at our listing for fruit scents, we are very good at them. Don’t stop there, there are representatives from each of the scent families and it’s just fun going through the list of perfumes on offer.

The Elements of Scent-Foody/Gourmandy

foodyThe “foody” category of fragrances has always been with us, but until around the 1990s, its components were not very true to the things they were trying to recreate. The fragrance world did have a vanilla blockbuster in Shalimar but nothing of that caliber had hit the perfume scene until Thierry Meugler’s Angel, the it seemed as if the world exploded. Angel was supposed to have been a chocolate fragrance, but it certainly is perfumy and not like sniffing a chocolate bar. It was decried as being juvenile, too sweet, unsophisticated, twee but the sales were staggering and so the critics had to slink off and a new scent category was born.

Overnight, perfume houses sprung up and made a name for themselves by sporting perfumes which smelled just like: baking cookies, tomato leaves, peanut butter cups, bubble gum, sticky toffee pudding. and more. For a while in the early 2000s if it didn’t smell of something edible it was classified as “old lady” and was deemed a dud. That was truly turning the world upside down.

Now venerable houses like Dior, once so icily disdainful of “gourmandy” perfumes, rushed to bring out their versions of Miss Dior with a big splash of strawberry/sugary ingredient applied. There was a riptide of all sorts of bath and body products which followed suit, some of them very lovely. This was a brave new world, and new combinations sprouted up everywhere. The public was now living in the Golden Age of New Perfume, and our tastes would never be the same again.

Nowadays, there is no foody perfume you have to go without. Licorice, raspberry, bacon (!), honey, all are available to the hungry nose.

Hop over to Possets and take a look at our listing for foodies, we are very good at them. Don’t stop there, there are representatives from each of the scent families and it’s just fun going through the list of perfumes on offer.

Another Day At The Office…

Yes, we start with excellent ingredients, but we have had more than just a bit of experience, and it shows. Come on over for a visit and take a look for yourself. There is a “scent by note” link you can click on the left hand side of the screen and bring up all our delightful blends. I think you will be pleased. Http://