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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Remember how for Christmas I suggested that you think twice before sedating someone with your lilies and patchoulis… Well, tonight I tell you the opposite.

Tonight is the night for the tux, the feelings, the love, the impossible heels and that perfume you love but feel often is “too much”. It is perfect tonight. Go for the oriental, animalistic, hedonistic, go full spectra.

All alone and no party to go to? No, not true… The party is where you are. The stars in the sky are for you. The champagne sparkles wherever you drink it. And in the company of one’s dreams one is never alone.

All party and nowhere to hide? Enjoy. Dazzle. Share your sparkle with others and see the sparkle in them.

Happy New Year! Let’s make it a really really good one.

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I can’t get this out of my head so I have to share it with you because someone just made me think of this again. The last week I have been doing research on Jacques Polge and reading quotes. Polge often speaks about the invisible poetic language of perfume, the poetry, the language… you can see examples in my post from yesterday on Chanel.

His words give me this echo in my head…  I keep hearing two male voices at the same time, intertwined. It sounds like madness, but it is not, it’s beautiful.

This autumn we were so proud in Sweden to see Tomas Tranströmer receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. One of his most famous creations is called “Från mars -79”. I am unsure of whether the translation can give you all the feelings and whispered meanings of the original in Swedish but it is good enough. You will understand. I have read this poem a hundred times this autumn. It makes me feel like I have a cathedral inside.

Just in case I will give you two translations, I found them through an excellent article (unfortunately in Swedish but check out this one in English on the same topic if this interest you) on the difficult task of translating Tranströmer.

Robin Fulton’s translation:

Weary of all who come with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer in the snow.
Language but no words.


Robert Robinson’s:

Sick of those who come with words, words but no language,
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
Wilderness has no words. The unwritten pages
stretch out in all directions.
I come across this line of deer-slots in the snow: a language,
language without words.

The Swedish original version.

Trött på alla som kommer med ord, ord, ord men inget språk
for jag till den snötäckta ön.
Det vilda har inga ord.
De oskrivna sidorna breder ut sig åt alla håll!
Jag stöter på spåren av rådjursklövar i snön. 

Språk men inga ord.

Being a copywriter, I am painfully and imperatively aware of the fragility, precision, essence, mysteries….of words. I live them, breathe them, analyze them apart like an engineer or chemist. I search for them, claim them, fight with them. And I am constantly aware of this: words are only one of many languages that we perceive with and communicate with. I am fascinated by people who master other languages in a way that actually makes the superimposition of words unnecessary.

In Stockholm there is a place for yoga called Yogayama. If
you ever come here, and are a yogi, I recommend you drop in for a class or just
stop by for lunch upstairs. In the winter there is an open fire and the whole
place smells of beautiful soothing incense and chai. During a recent visit I
lingered for a while around the shelves with candles, incense and fragrances. I
discovered a brand called Jimmy Boyd (sounds like a friend of the Rat Pack
rather than a nose doesn’t he?). Unpretentious clear bottles of soft
breezy fragrances that made me think of washed bed linen swaying on a cord to dry in the sun. I left with a ”water”, Limón y rosa. On the bottle it is
written, ”Produced with love”. I like that… The fragrance is an
aromatherapeutical mix of citrus and rose that can be used for the body or
spaces.

This fragrance really stands out in my collection
which, as you might suspect by now, has several orientals and very few florals or citrus fragrances. The
closest, and actually very close, is my summer favorite Escale a Portofino. In
fact, this breezy thing feels like a virgin version of that one.
My agua fresca de limón y rosa soothes me, and I find it an
excellent option for times when I don’t feel like making an advanced perfume
choice or in a situation where a heavy scent is not appropriate. This fills a
void for me as I have been inclined to go all or nothing and felt an emptiness
of the olfactory soul on the days when it was nothing. I have used Rain from Demeter on such days, but we suddenly started to disagree.
But back to Jimmy Boyd. His real name is James Joseph Boyd
(and now he starts to sound like a writer friend of Henry James, doesn’t he?)
and he was born in Barcelona. His career as a perfumer started with studies in
Grasse under the tutorship of Marcel Carles. (Bonus fact: Marcel Carles’ father
was a mentor to Jacques Polge). I look forward to getting to know the nose of
Mr Boyd better.

In Stockholm there is a place for yoga called Yogayama. If you ever come here and are a yogi I recommend you drop in for a class or just stop by for lunch upstairs. In the winter there is an open fire and the whole place smells of beautiful soothing incense and chai. During a recent visit I lingered for a while around the shelves with candles, incense and fragrances. I discovered a brand called Jimmy Boyd (sounds like a friend of the Rat Pack rather than a nose doesn’t he?). Very inpretentious clear bottles of soft breezy fragrances that made me think of washed bed linen swaying on a cord in the sand to dry. I left with a ”water”, Limón y rosa. On the bottle it is written, ”Produced with love”. I like that. The fragrance is an aromatherapeutical mix of citrus and rose that can be used for the body or spaces.

This fragrance really stands out in my perfume collection which as you might suspect by now has very florals or citrus fragrances. The closest, and actually very close, is my summer favorite Escale a Portofino. In fact, this breezy thing feels like a virgin version of that one.

My agua fresca de limón y rosa soothes me, and I find it an excellent option for times when I don’t feel like making an advanced perfume choice or in a situation where a heavy scent is not appropriate. This fills a void for me as I have been inclined to go all or nothing and felt an emptiness of the olfactory soul on the days when it was nothing.

But back to Jimmy Boyd. His real name is James Joseph Boyd (and now he starts to sound like a writer friend of Henry James, doesn’t he?) and he was born in Barcelona. His career as a perfumer started with studies in Grasse under the tutorship of Marcel Carles. (Bonus fact: Marcel Carles’ father was a mentor to Jacques Polge). I look forward to getting to know the nose of Mr Boyd better.

http://www.perfumesjimmyboyd.com/

You can see just looking at the word that it has to be something a bit nasty, can’t you? It sounds like a place on the human body that is geographically located in an angle that only very close allies ever visit. 
As we know, the poetic world of perfume would not be so seductive and mysterious without the mysteries and oddities. Just like a perfume wouldn’t. Perfumes that are just easy and sweet are… boring. Just like people who are just easy and sweet can be. And then we have those who use perfumes like Mandy Afteliers Secret Garden (also has natural civet as Mandy Aftelier is known for her use of natural ingredients), Cuir de Russie and Antaeus (of course…) from Chanel or Labdanum 18 from le Labo. 

Castoreum, comes from the castor sacs of a mature North American or European beaver. Both males and females have castor sacs located in cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. Together with the urine, it helps the animal to scent mark and mate. The secretion has a bitter and strong-smelling odor (as if you expected it to smell like roses…). To create the castoreum resinoid that is used for perfumes it is dried, ground and put into alcohol. The dried sacs are generally aged for two or more years for the harshness to go away. The scent it then gets is compared to dried leather.

Castoreum is not only used in fragrances but also in food. You can find it in alcoholic and other beverages, baked things, frozen dairy and ice cream, chewing gum, candy, meat products and gelatin. In Scandinavia it used to flavor a schnapps called Bäverhojt. A few months ago some people went rather ballistic when Jamie Oliver brought up castoreum at David Letterman. Interesting, since quite a lot of parents feed their kids artificial crap without any moral dilemmas. The vanilla ice cream and ”beaver glands ” appear around 2:30.