Piper Nigrum

Piper Nigrum or Black Pepper is native to the South-Western Province of Kerala in India, where it grows wild. The fruits of this flowering vine have been appreciated or even venerated by humans for millenniums. So much that already in the antiquity, the Greeks and the Romans imported black pepper from Egyptian merchants for a fortune….

Sakura

Sakura, sakura,              (Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,) Ya-yo-I-no so-ra-wa,         (In the Spring sky,) Mi-watasu kagiri               (as far as eyes can see) Ka-su-mi-ka ku-mo-ka,    (is it fog or is it a cloud?) Ni-o-i-zo i-zu-ru                …

Mimosa

Mimosa. You are the first flower of the year, announcing Spring, embalming the Mediterranean hills and dotting them with your yellow puff-balls. You perfume the flower shops with your sweet and subtle scent. You look like hundreds of miniature Suns that warm up our hearts when they need it most, worn after a long and dark…

The Fresh

This article is the fourth in our discovery of the fragrance families, according to the classification of Michael Edwards illustrated on the Fragrance Wheel. After the Florals, the Orientals, and the Woods, here come the Fresh. The Fresh fragrance group, as seen by Edwards, is gathering the rather disparate families of the Fruity, the Green, the Aquatic and…

The Woods

This is the third episode in our exploration of the Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards, after the Florals and the Orientals. Edwards sub-divided his wheel into 3 Wood families: the Dry Woods also known as the Leathers, the Mossy Woods commonly called Chypres, and simply the Woods. All fragrances of these families share a strong woody base…

Radiant Aldehydes

Radiant Aldehydes. Your presence in a fragrance is like bottling the sun in the flask. You illuminate the other essences from your bright energy and make them shine.  You are the smell of a citrus orchard in summer, fresh linen, a hot terrace of Andalusia, a dry and stony trail in an olive grove in Tuscany. The…

What a Pitti !

What a Pitti !  The largest fair of the year gathering most of the niche fragrance brands is on going in the beautiful Italian city of Florence this weekend, the “Pitti Fragranze“. I was not disappointed to travel more than 6,000 miles for this unique opportunity to meet with the best of the best, and discover…

The month of Pitti

Fall is at our door in the Northern Hemisphere. Days already became shorter and mornings cooler. Schools suddenly arouse from their estival torpor, farmer’s markets abound with freshly harvested bounties, forests are sprinkled with warmer hues, new fragrances fill the air. For the professionals of perfumery as well as the lovers of this art and industry, like…

Enlightening Lotus

Enlightening Lotus. You are teaching us that our human transformation, from the common world to a higher state of purity and wisdom  is possible. You are deeply rooted in the mud, but your leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers emerge from the pond majestically unstained. Hinduism considers you as a holy flower and the teachings of the Buddha are summarized in…

Mysterious Iso E Super

Iso E Super, or 7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene for you chemists out there, is a widely used aroma chemical patented by the International Fragrances and Flavors. Although you may have never heard of this aroma chemical, it is found in varying concentrations in many iconic fragrances including in Eternity by Calvin Klein, Fahrenheit by Dior, Terre D’Hermes…