The Coolest Herb

Mint. In the Antiquity, your freshening smell was appreciated in funerals for covering the smell of decay and to prepare the kykeon, a psychoactive beverage drunk at secret religious rites, the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the same mythology, Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, Queen of the Underworld, metamorphosed you, beautiful naiad Minthe, into a bush…

Ambergris

Ambergris. Like a bottle at sea, you carry a fragrant message to the World. Born in the entrails of a cachalot, you started your journey within the most noisome wastes of the animal. Your waxy nature allows you to float and your odyssey can last for decades before you eventually wash up on shore. Lucky are…

Lily of the Valley

 Lily of the Valley. There is always a wild side to an innocent face, and your cute white bells hide a poisonous nature. You are celebrated since the antiquity where you symbolized Mary’s tears and were in the lyrics of the Song of Songs of Salomon. In the language of the flowers, you are the symbol…

Spring and Summer Reading

Reading books in the shadow of flowering trees; what a beautiful moment of life! I have been inspired by many books on perfumery since I started Scent & Flavor and would like to share with you this short review. I hope that some of these books will find a space on your bookshelf or your Kindle…

Primordial Magnolia

Primordial Magnolia. You are one of the first to announce Spring when other flowers are still lolling in the comfort of their bud. Your magnificence is on par with the magic of your fragrance. In spite of being one of the most ancient flowers known on our planet Earth, your beauty is still unaltered after almost one…

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…

Oakmoss

Oakmoss, or evernia prunastri, is a type lichen. Lichens are often called mosses or tree mosses, but they should not be confused with real mosses which are small flowerless green plants, growing in low carpets on wet soil. Lichens are neither fungi nor plants. They are strange organisms, an association between a fungus and an alga, where both parties cooperate for survival…

Perfume Hunting in Tokyo

Japan is famous for its great food, natural hot springs, and so many other quality stuff that make a visit to this country a real pleasure. But what about the ones like us who can’t help looking for new fragrances in the midst of a shopping afternoon? Knowing that the Japanese are very considerate people who…

Fougère

Fougère. How could an inodorous plant like the fern become the symbol of one of the most appreciated fragrance family?  Geo F. Trumper, a discreet men’s grooming house in London, is supposedly the first to have created an imaginary accord for the fern in 1877. Paul Parquet, one of the greatest perfumer of his time and…

Smoke on the Water

Smoke and perfume might seem, for some, to be at the opposite end of the olfactory spectrum. Smoke is, however, the most ancient mean of delivering aromas in the air. The origin of the word perfume comes from the old italian word parfumare meaning “to smoke through”. The fragrant smoke of the incense rising up to heaven is…