Can Perfumes Have Textures?
Fragrance

Can Perfumes Have Textures?

When speaking about perfume, we often use words borrowed from other senses. To me, an important sense to invoke in our understanding of perfume is touch. Obviously, smells don’t have physical textures or temperatures. But thinking about the tactile qualities of a perfume can be a gateway to their emotional heart.

When speaking about perfume, we often use words borrowed from other senses. Ingredients become “notes”, like ones you might play on a piano (which is why a perfumer’s desk is referred to as an “organ”). A fragrance can be too “light” for us, and while it’s sometimes unclear whether we’re describing physical weight or colour, our noses can’t truly perceive either. Scent is steeped in sensory metaphor.

To me, an important sense to invoke in our understanding of perfume is touch. Obviously, smells don’t have physical textures or temperatures. But thinking about the tactile qualities of a perfume can be a gateway to their emotional heart. 

Perfumers thinking texturally has led to breakthroughs in the world of fragrance. It often requires a metaphoric leap in the mind of each nose; if one forgets about what an ingredient actually is, what might it make you think of? Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena uses a signature green tea effect to create a luminous quality, like transparent flowing water, which made hits of fragrances like Bvlgari’s Thé Vert and Hermes’ Un Jardin en Méditerranée (you can sample his work at Etiket in Dia Woman and L’Eau D’Ambre Extrême). Similarly, Olivia Giacobetti pioneered the use of fig and other fresh effects to make fragrances that seem airy and subtly cool to the touch, as she does in Premier Figuier and Passage D’Enfer

On the other side of the spectrum, perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s work often feels fuzzy and thick because of her trademark “hug me accord”: an abstract blend of synthetic jasmine, violet, musk and cedar molecules which makes her fragrances seem cozy and warm (like in Lancome’s classic Tresor). And Andy Tauer has created a rabid cult following with his unapologetic waves of hot spice, which add a dry crackling heat to scents like L’Air du Désert Marocain and Cologne du Maghreb. Composed with care, a perfume can imply closeness or distance; glass, cloth, paper, powder or liquid; warm or cool; movement or stillness. 

The fragrances of Maison Crivelli make brilliant use of texture, and they do so in a modern way. Many of them have what I call a “holographic” texture: lifelike, shimmery, and light-reflecting. Creating fragrances with this effect allows the rich amber notes of Lys Sølaberg to feel approachable and relaxed. It allows bold ingredients like woods and spices to seem almost weightless in Santal Volcanique and Bois Datchaï. And it gives rose, which can smell surprisingly thick, even jammy in isolation, a new, breezy lifein Rose Saltifolia, as if the scent were dancing across your perception on a seaside summer wind.

Maison Crivelli fragrances also use textural elements to evoke extremes of temperature, which form surprising contrasts with classic ingredients. A sparkling, icy freshness makes the lavender, juniper and musk in Absinthe Boréale seem enrobed in a delicate frost. The juicy heat of chili and the earthy depth of vetiver makes the orange and bergamot inside Citrus Batikanga sizzle in the bustling heat of a tropical market. 

If all this sounds a bit far-fetched, like those sommeliers who tell you you must be able to taste butter in your chardonnay, don’t worry. The ultimate truism of fragrance is that all scent is subjective. But asking yourself which textures, colours or temperatures you sense when you smell a perfume, regardless of what you come up with, can help make sense of a fragrance’s energy, which will, in turn, hint at what it might feel like to wear it. For example, while everybody’s skin is different, a cool, airy or watery fragrance might leave a more casual impression on your skin than something dark, syrupy, sandy or hot. 

Finally, looking for textures is a way to rediscover ingredients or scent families you thought you knew. If you love earthy and smoky notes, but you can’t imagine wearing them to the office, you could step away from the hottest, driest Tauer scents, for example, and towards a more liquid and transparent scent like Smoke Show. If light floral perfumes often feel aggressive and headache-inducing, but you love the scent of real flowers, you could try finding scents that are less cool, bright and sharp and more velvety and warm. And if you thought you hated powdery fragrances because they always feel too “classic”, meet Crivelli’s Papyrus Moléculaire or Iris Malikhan, which both take the concept of powder in richer, darker, edgier, and more contemporary directions. 

David, Director of Fragrance at Etiket

Is Fragrance Giftable?
Fragrance

Is Fragrance Really Giftable?

As the holiday season rolls around, we’re often asked about the best way to select a fragrance as a gift. Here are some steps to help you achieve a fragrance gifting triumph.

As the holiday season rolls around, we’re often asked about the best way to select a fragrance as a gift. Many people like the idea of gifting fragrance, especially for a loved one who’s often within smelling distance. But the wide variety of fragrances available and the personal nature of scent make it a particular challenge, especially if you’re not a diehard fragrance lover yourself. However, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get them a fragrance they’ll love! In a perfect world, you could just buy them another bottle of their favourite, in which case, you’ll be done before you know it. Assuming that’s not an option, here are some steps to help you achieve a fragrance gifting triumph.

1. Don’t think so much about ”notes” or ingredients; think about personality

Perfumes are often described by what fragrance “families” they belong to. Are they sweet? Floral? Woody? Animalic? And while knowing your recipient’s taste in ingredients can help, often fragrances can vary just as much within families as between them. Instead, we suggest thinking first about the personality or style of the person you’re buying for. Are they bold? Reserved? Dramatic? Fun? Distinctions like fancy or casual, and for work or for play, can often help narrow the field better than deciding between cedar and vanilla.

To this end, we’ve compiled a Fragrance Gift Guide with nine categories of fragrance lovers (or the fragrance curious). Look for ones that feel like they describe your recipient’s disposition, taste in clothes, or the way they greet the world.

2. Stick to the safe bets (and beware some tricky ingredients)

There are two reasons that ingredients do matter a little for gift giving: skin chemistry and scent associations. Scent is closely tied to memory, which can make the exact same smell feel different to different people. Additionally, perfume changes subtly once it hits skin, making it harder to estimate how certain perfumes will smell on any particular person. To maximize your chances of success, we recommend sticking to more versatile scents with crowd-pleasing ingredients and styles.

Try: Escentric Molecules

This brand is a hit for a reason. Without getting too technical, many of their most-loved perfumes aren’t really “perfumes” in the sense that vanilla isn’t really a cake. Instead, their line of “Molecule” scents (numbered 01-05) are suspensions of a single versatile base note in alcohol. Translation? They’re the frame, not the painting. This means that they adapt to anyone’s skin and amplify the best qualities of their natural scent. The result is a wear-it-anywhere automatic jaw dropper that can also layer beautifully with any other scents in their collection.

Try: Malin + Goetz

These fun, modern fragrances are a nice bridge between “nice smell” and “proper perfume” (and we mean that in the best way possible). They’re inspired by easily-identifiable smells, and evoke them in an accessible way. They’re already well loved for their addictive body products, and their packaging is effortlessly chic. And worst comes to worst, buying someone a fragrance named “Cannabis” is sure to at least make them smile (but it would also smell great on almost anyone anyway).

Be careful with: buying something ”fresh”

“Fresh” is a concept in perfume that’s become such a cliché it hardly means anything. If they’ve told you they like “fresh” fragrances, or you have a memory of them smelling “clean”, this could be helpful, or could be a trap. Because of the way scent is tied to memory, “fresh” could mean anything from citrus to mint, light flowers to aquatic, and even white musk. Try to narrow your search by thinking of their personality, or if “fresh” is all you have to go on, consider any Heeley fragrance with a white label.

Be careful with: Floral for the sake of floral

Flowers are foundational to the history of perfume. They also could be the most polarizing ingredient of them all. Not only can people have strong reactions to heavily floral scents, but the way that flowers show up in a composition ranges from “shrieking” to “invisible”. This doesn’t mean you should stay away from any fragrance which lists flowers among the notes; most will have some somewhere. However, if a fragrance is described as both rich/intense and predominantly floral, you might want to get them to try a sample first (unless you or they are experienced fragrance buyers).

One exception to this rule is if you know they have a favourite flower. If so, find a fragrance that doesn’t just include it, but is overwhelmingly and exclusively inspired by it. Lilac lovers will likely love A Lilac a Day, orange blossom enthusiasts will likely swoon over Histoire d’Orangers, and if they grow real roses in their garden, Lustre should remind them of home. 

3. Smell for yourself, and even get a second opinion

It will not surprise you to hear that smells cannot be fully experienced through the internet (at least not yet). While many of our clients have learned enough about their personal taste to shop our fragrance selection online, buying a fragrance gift can put many of us back at square one. An excellent way to complete your holiday shopping would be to visit our Montréal boutique and sniff a shortlist of options. If this is a possibility for you, the same advice from #1 applies; when smelling each fragrance, try to think of the person’s energy, personality and style more than decide whether they’d like the actual ingredients.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to live nearby, we also offer the option to purchase samples online of almost any fragrance we sell. If you plan ahead, investing a small amount in an assortment of samples can help you seal the deal, or even sneak an option onto the skin of the actual person you’re buying for. And if the element of surprise is too important to give up, bring the samples around to someone who knows your recipient just as well (or even better) than you do. When seeking a second opinion, the question we’d recommend asking isn’t “would they like this?” as much as “do you think this smells like them?” Lastly, if you’re their significant other, remember to consider what scents you’d enjoy smelling on them as well!

4. Don’t forget the home!

If you’re still not ready to make a judgement call on a fragrance for skin, try a fragrance for space! Any room is enlivened by the invisible colour of a home fraIf you’re still too scared to make a judgement call about a fragrance for skin, try a fragrance for space! Any room is enlivened by the invisible colour of a home fragrance, and we carry a beautiful array of scents in various formats. Home scents are the perfect gifting sweet spot: something almost everybody loves, but many people often don’t buy for themselves.  

The range of diffusers from Culti Milano have been extremely popular, as well as their car sachets – a unique gift for anybody who drives to work. Local Montréal brands Les Citadines and T. Lees create artisanal, elevated scents for every taste, and Arquiste’s candles are vibrant, transportive and unique. Finally, for the ultimate luxury experience, the world-renowned house of Fornasetti makes candles which rise to the level of art objects – taking home scent from invisible accent to dazzling decor.

Finally, gifting fragrance with Etiket has one distinct advantage – free samples! Like most retailers, we can’t accept returns of used fragrance, even if it’s only been sprayed once. However, Etiket offers complimentary fragrance samples with every purchase. Simply request a sample of the scents you’re buying and we’ll happily include them so your recipient can try the sample on before they open the full-sized bottle. If it turns out it’s not for them, they can easily return the unused fragrance and get something for themselves. This also means that every bottle of fragrance you buy for someone else lets you try some free samples for yourself, and if that isn’t a reason to be generous, I don’t know what is!

Image source: @penhaligons_london

Fragrances by Gallivant
Fragrance

GALLIVANT Perfumes: Where are you going next?

Meet GALLIVANT, the modern indie fragrance house founded by Nick Steward, former Creative Director of ...

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Fragrances by GallivantMeet GALLIVANT, the modern indie fragrance house founded by Nick Steward, GALLIVANT's Nick Stewardformer Creative Director of L’ Artisan Parfumeur. GALLIVANT is all about the belief in getting out into the world and discovering more. In feet-on-the-ground exploration. The freedom to wander and travel. These unique fragrances capture the vibe of the brand’s favourite destinations. Cool, creative cities. Unisex eau de parfums for urban explorers who like to travel light.

Always easy, always streamlined, these scents also come packaged in 30ml ‘nomad’ bottles to help you on your journey. Designed in London, handmade by artisans in France and England.

Where are you going next?

London
GALLIVANT LONDONLondon, is a floral leather fragrance. With a watery green head, of cucumber and violet leaves. A floral heart, with Rose de Mai Absolute, rose oil and orris root. And basenotes of leather, sandalwood, patchouli and cedarwood.

Tel Aviv
GALLIVANT TEL AVIVTel Aviv is a bright, sunny, floral fruity fragrance. A fresh, fruity head, and notes of clementine, bergamot, and blackcurrant bud. A floral heart with jasmine sambac absolute, Comoros’ ylang ylang, rose oil and freesia. And a warm, musky base with sandalwood, musks, Deer’s Tongue absolute (liatrix) and benzoin.

Istanbul
GALLIVANT ISTANBULIstanbul is an ambery, woody, spicy fragrance. A fresh aromatic head, with notes of bergamot, cardamom, red thyme. A woody, aromatic heart, with lavender absolute, Egyptian geranium essence, patchouli heart and sweet myrrh (opoponax) essence. And basenotes of sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, amber and musks.

Brooklyn

GALLIVANT BROOKLYN   Brooklyn is a musky citrus fragrance. A fresh, spicy, fizzy head, with notes of bergamot, squeezed lemon and orange juice. Incense, cardamom, ozonic notes. A floral heart, with magnolia and orris root. And a base of white woods, benzoin, amber and musks.

Shop GALLIVANT here

Au Coeur Du Desert Unisex fragrance by Tauer Perfumes

Review: Au Coeur du Désert from Andy Tauer

We are always excited when a new fragrance comes out from Tauer Perfumes. Andy has ...

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We are always excited when a new fragrance comes out from Tauer Perfumes. Andy has never disappointed us yet and it was no different with Au Coeur du Désert. This fragrance is a new Extrait de Parfum ‘interpretation’ of Andy’s 2010 scent, L’ air du Désert Marocain. What does that mean? On a simple level, if you love L’ Air du Désert Marocain then you will love this scent. Au Coeur Du Desert Unisex fragrance by Tauer Perfumes
What is the difference then?
First, this is a 20% fragrance concentration. This woody, oriental draws on similar notes and the feeling is similar, but there is something richer about this fragrance that cannot be simply attributed to the higher fragrance concentration.
Tauer Perfumes say it like this,

If perfumery is art, AU COEUR DU DÉSERT is a statue carved out of sun
beaten timber, softened with a gloss of aged patchouli, and a
patina of ambergris, coming to life with a balsamic glow.

We agree but perhaps if we don’t get quite so poetic we could say this is simply the next level for Andy in this range of his fragrances. We definitely know it is a Tauer perfume: Complex, sophisticated and challenging. Don’t even think that you know what this smells like by spraying it on a blotter, like all Tauer fragrances this must be sprayed on the skin to be experienced. The dry down is not the same as that first spray and that is part of the magic. From the cedar wood, to the amber and leather and then on to the patchouli, ambergris and sandalwood, there is no mistaking this for anything but a Tauer perfume.
Does it take us to the heart of the desert?
We aren’t sure if we love this one more than the original, and think in the end it is l’Air du Désert Morocain that is still our favourite. But if you are a Tauer fan you must add this to your collection.

Discover the fragrance: Au Coeur de Désert
Discover all Tauer fragrances: Tauer Perfumes

Perfume Review: Tauer Perfumes PHI Une rose de Kandahar

  Although launched in 2013, Tauer Perfumes PHI-une rose de Kandahar is a new addition ...

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Photo from dailymail.co.uk

 

Although launched in 2013, Tauer Perfumes PHI-une rose de Kandahar is a new addition to our Tauer collection. The reason is because the rose oil used in this fragrance comes from Afghanistan’s rose region, Nangarhar and is in limited production, making this Tauer fragrance a rare gem and not guaranteed to be available all the time. Luckily we recently received a few bottles and the sample orders for this one have been flying out the door!

Like most Tauer fragrances, this one is unlike anything else you have ever smelled before. If you love rose perfumes, you are in for a real treat because it doesn’t get any better than this! A blend of sweet rose and fruit with a lavish side of tobacco. PHI-une rose de Kandahar is soft, velvety and very well-balanced. There is absolutely no trace of powdery ‘old lady’ rose here. On the contrary, this is a modern and very easy to wear fragrance. At first whiff I can smell true rose, hinted with dried apricots, almond (which smells more like marzipan) and fresh bergamot. As it begins to settle, I can smell spicy tobacco, creamy tonka, vanilla, and refreshing notes of grassy vetiver. Throughout all this, the rose notes remains true and strong to the end, continuously complimented by its surrounding notes. In the drydown we are left with a warm suede-like musk. Super sexy with excellent sillage.

In general, the night was stormy and lasted until the morning). Viagra at https://mckesson.uk/viagra/ is really a great drug! I can’t say anything about the side effects. It’s very individual and depends on the general state of health. You can try it a few times and get both pleasure and joy straight out. Personally, I’ll continue to take it.

With temperatures continuing to drop, I think PHI-une rose de Kandahar makes for the perfect season to wear this masterpiece! Wear it any time of day, but I think it will shine bright in the evening hours.

Natalie Cola,
The Etiket Insider Beauty Editor

 

kandahar

Olfactive Family: Floral

HEAD NOTES: Phi starts with a rich fruity line of apricot. An all natural apricot extract with its surprising richness enchants and blends into a cinnamon line and hints of bitter almond, softened by bergamot essential oil.

HEART NOTES: These spices lead over to voluptuous roses in the fragrance heart: Extremely rare rose essential oil with its unique scent of spices, plums and flower petals blends into rose absolute from Bulgaria and hints of Bourbon geranium. The rose petals melt on the skin into a dark tobacco fond, built around an amazing absolute of dried tobacco leaves.

BASE NOTES: The animalic, leathery and woody tobacco opens the ground for a generously dosed layer of patchouli in the base of Phi. Here, woody and gourmand notes melt into hints of animalic lines. Vetiver, vanilla and tonka add richness and brilliance. A generous dose of exclusive musk and amber gris round the body of the fragrance and encircle the roses.

Availability: In-store and online.

If you like Tauer Perfumes PHI-un rose de Kandahar, you may also like Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme and Amouage Lyric Man and Woman.

CLICK HERE for more details about our Fragrance Sample Program!

Perfume Review: Monsillage Vol 870 YUL-CDG EDT

A new fragrance line has arrived at Etiket and we could not be more excited! ...

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A new fragrance line has arrived at Etiket and we could not be more excited! Perhaps it’s because this is a brand made in our own city of Montreal! Monsillage takes a personal approach to perfume, associating past memories of travel, characters and real-life stories experienced by perfumer and creator Isabelle Michaude. When I first sampled the line, I was immediately drawn to Vol 870 YUL- CDG, for many reasons. One, I love anything to do with travel, planes, airports etc,.  Also, I have traveled this route a few times and have fond memories of my time spent in The City Of Light – sights, smells, food… Reminiscing about past travel can easily transport me back to some of the most inspiring moments of my life and scent memories are certainly no exception! Even just a hint of a scent can strike a chord with a memory or place.

Now, on to the juice – a one way ticket to Paris!

What’s interesting about Monsillage fragrances is that they all smell very different from sniffer stick to the skin. I would urge you to try samples, take them home and wear them to get the most accurate scent. When I first smelled Vol 870 YUL-CDG on paper, I wasn’t moved… on my skin however, I am head over heels in love… take off! Soft, feminine and so unique with opening notes of ylang-ylang and balsam fir that’s slightly sweet, with hints of woods, fruit and musk. As this fragrance comes to “a landing”,  it becomes a lovely warm, musky skin scent with very good longevity and sillage. Perfectly balanced and very easy to wear any time of year.

Natalie Cola,
The Etiket Insider Beauty Editor

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Monsillage Vol 870 YUL-CDG EDT

Main Notes: Ylang-ylang, balsam fir, cedar, leather, apricot, musk

Olfactive Family: Woody Aromatic

Availability: In-store and online.

If you like Monsillage Vol 870 YUL-CDG EDT, you may also like: Dame Perfumery Cassis, Rose & Sandalwood and Amouage Reflection Woman.

Discover these fragrances and many more! At Etiket we offer samples of all fragrances that we carry including complimentary shipping to anywhere in Canada!

CLICK HERE for more details about our Fragrance Sample Program!

The Etiket Questionnaire: Jeffrey Dame – Founder & Perfumer, Dame Perfumery

Jeffrey Dame, the founder and creator of Dame Perfumery is a thirty-five year veteran of ...

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Jeffrey Dame, the founder and creator of Dame Perfumery is a thirty-five year veteran of luxury fragrances, and has travelled to all corners of the world in a lifetime of perfumery. He started his perfumery career in the buying office at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas and spent a few decades in New York and Paris working in fragrance for Estee Lauder, Parfums Caron Paris and with the American fashion designers Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Geoffrey Beene, Vicky Tiel, Todd Oldham and Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis. Jeffrey Dame is a notable creative personality within global niche perfumery today.

Jeffrey_Dame-and-Cullen-Scent-Bar-LA-1000_large

Jeffrey’s son, Cullen Dame is passionate about all things fragrance and fashion. As a student at Arizona State University studying Graphic Design and Digital Culture, he keeps his father pointed in the right direction – both olfactively and in design – and reminds him that sometimes it is best to mix things up a bit and dislocate from the past. Together they have curated this gorgeous modern American perfume line, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

dame-perfumery-logo

Get to know the man behind Dame Perfumery...

A good day starts with…  peace.

I feel great when…  make people smile.

I never leave the house without… Nikon.

The next guilty pleasure purchase is… Copa mundial cleats.

The place I always come back to is… tomorrow.

My personal style can be described as… informal and gregarious.

The scent I most identify with is… the desert after a heavy storm.

When I travel, I always make sure that I…  bring as close to nothing as possible. 

When I want to relax, I need… to play soccer.

When I have a bad day I always… just ride it through. 

I find inspiration… people.

My go-to gift is… perfume of course. 

I would never want to miss out on… Neil Young live in concert.

In my fridge, I always have…  Chile Pepper Hot Sauce. 

On my night table I keep…  to much hardware.

My perfect weekend is…  without electronics. 

My most inspiring travel moment was when… my first trip to Paris in 1984.

The inspiration behind Dame Perfumery is… modern american perfumery.

If I had to lose one of my five senses it would be… I can’t even think about this. 

The one question I want to be asked in interviews is…  who’s Jeff?

Discover Dame Perfumery at Etiket!

CLICK HERE for more details about our Fragrance Sample Program!

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Inscrivez-vous à l'infolettre d'Etiket et obtenez 10% sur votre premier achat sur Etiket.ca.