Friday, October 27, 2006

Perfume houses T

Tann Rokka
Upscale London lifestyles & furnishings boutique with two fragrances, Kisu (2001) and Aki (2005).

Where to buy: aedes, luckyscent.

Tauer Perfumes
Zurich-based independent niche house established in 2005 by Andy Tauer, a self-taught perfumer with a chemistry background. Two fragrances were introduced in 2005, Le Maroc pour elle and L'air du Desert Marocain.

Recent releases include Lonestar Memories, Orris (both 2006), Reverie au jardin (2007), Incense extreme (2008), Incense rose (2008), Vetiver Dance (2008).

Where to buy: in the US at aedes or luckyscent, in Germany at first-in-fragrance, or directly from Tauer (see link below).

Ted Lapidus
French design house established in 1951 by Ted Lapidus, who is sometimes credited with having established the "unisex look" and popularizing safari jackets. As of early 2008, the artistic director at Lapidus was Olivier Bespiannetto.

Fragrances include Creation (1984), Fantasme (1992), Ted (1999), Lapidus Woman (2001), TL Pour Elle, TL Pour Lui (2003), ExciTED (2005), Silk Way (2005), Altamir (2008).

Teo Cabanel
Small perfumery established in Algiers in the late 1890s, and later moved to Paris; later still, the company folded. In 2005, it was reestablished with the launch of two perfumes: Oha & Julia.

Recent releases include Alahine (2007), Concretes de Parfum (2008).

Where to buy: miomia or theposhpeasant, Henri Bendel in New York City, or try first-in-fragrance (Germany) or Fortnum & Mason (UK).

Fragrances and bath & body products, including the popular Pikake and Rain scents.

The Art of Shaving
Men's grooming line established by Eric Malka and Myriam Zaoui Malka in 1997. Their first fragrance, Sandalwood, was introduced in 2004.

Recent introductions include Lemon Eau de Toilette (2006).

Where to buy: at The Art of Shaving boutiques or selected department stores (Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Barneys, Saks).

The Body Shop
UK-based skincare, cosmetics & fragrance line founded by Anita Roddick (now deceased) in 1976; there are now over 2000 stores worldwide. The company made a name for itself with its naturally based products and socially and environmentally progressive policies, including its stance against animal testing and commitment to reduce its environmental impact and foster community trade. After L'Oreal purchased the company in early 2006, many commentators were skeptical about how these ethical standards would be maintained under the new corporate leadership.

Recent fragrance releases include Rougeberry (2007), Zestini (2007), White Musk for Men (2007), Apple Blossom (2007), Aqua Lily (2008), Japanese Cherry Blossom (2008), White Musk Blush (2008), White Musk Intrigue (2008).

The Different Company
Niche perfume house founded in 2000 by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, designer Thierry Baschmakov and luxury consultant Luc Gabriel. The first four fragrances, Bois d'Iris, Divine Bergamote, Osmanthus and Rose Poivree, were all created by Ellena; the bottles by Baschmakov.

After Ellena became house nose at Hermès, his daughter Celine Ellena took over as perfumer. Subsequent releases include Jasmin de Nuit (2005), Sel de Vetiver (2006), Un parfum d'ailleurs et fleurs, Un parfum des sens et bois and Un parfum de charme et feuilles (2006), Sublime Balkiss (2008).

Where to buy: beautyhabit, luckyscent, or Takashimaya in New York.

The People of the Labyrinths
Dutch fashion house established in 1984 by Hans Demoed and Geert de Rooij. The cult favorite Luctor et Emergo launched in 1998, (see also review for the Luctor et Emergo Enriched Body Cream) and was followed by A.MAZE in 2007.

Where to buy: aedes, apothia, beautyhabit, lacremebeauty, luckyscent.

The Pink Room
Perfume line established by Sarah Barton-King, owner of the by-appointment-only design studio of the same name. Fragrances were introduced in 1999 with The Pink Room Parfum no. 1.

Recent fragrances include Pour Toi (2008).

Where to buy: in the US at luckyscent.

Thierry Mugler
French fashion designer who established his own brand in 1974, and was later remembered as "the daddy of Eighties power dressing" (The Independent, 2/13/2003). The couture line was discontinued in 2003, and Mugler is now best known for his fragrance house, which is owned by Clarins.

Mugler's first fragrance release, the now iconic Angel, was launched in 1992. Subsequent releases include A*Men (1997), Angel Innocent (1998), Thierry Mugler Cologne (2001), B*Men (2004).

The Angel Garden of Stars is a quartet of floral variations on the original Angel fragrance. A trio, Peony Angel, Lily Angel and Violet Angel, debuted in 2005; Rose Angel followed in 2006.

Other recent releases include Alien (2005), the Le Parfum Coffret (2006), Innocent Secret (2006), Eau de Star & Ice*Men (2007), Angel La Part des Anges (2007), Miroir Miroir (2007), Innocent Illusion (2007), A*Men Pure Coffee (2008), Innocent Rock (2008), Alien Eau Luminescente (2008).

Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.

Bath, body & home fragrance line founded by Leslie Ross in the 1980s. See review for Apricot Quince Dishwashing Liquid & All Purpose Cleaning Spray and Azur Home Fragrance Mist.

Recent fragrance releases include Kimono Rose (2006), Azur (2007), Wild Ginger (2007), Red Cherie (2008).

Tipton Charles
New York-based apothecary line founded in 1994 and specializing in bath & body products, candles & fragrances.

Where to buy: hamptonct or directly from the Tipton Charles website.

Sportswear and ready-to-wear line established in 1994 and best known for their feminine dresses.

Tocca Beauty debuted in 1997. The first fragrance, Touch, was introduced as a solid perfume in 1997 and as an Eau de Toilette in 1998. The brand subsequently turned their focus to bath & body and home fragrance products. In 2006, Touch was relaunched as an Eau de Parfum along with two new scents, Florence and Stella.
Recent fragrance releases include Cleopatra (2007), Brigitte (2008).

Where to buy: beautyhabit, eluxury, luckyscent, sephora.

Tom Ford
American fashion designer. Gucci brought Ford on as a designer in the early 1990s and he eventually became Creative Director; after Gucci bought Yves Saint Laurent, Ford took over the direction of that line as well. He is widely credited with revitalizing both lines (Gucci was said to be nearly bankrupt before Ford joined the house), and in the process, he became one of the most influential designers of the time. He stepped down in 2004.

In 2005, Estee Lauder announced that Tom Ford had signed on to create new products under the Estee Lauder brand, and to launch his own Tom Ford beauty brand in late 2006. Tom Ford Black Orchid (2006) was the first fragrance under the Tom Ford label.

Tom Ford Private Blend, a collection of 12 fragrances, launched in 2007 in limited distribution. See review for Purple Patchouli. The collection can be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Tom Ford boutiques. It can be purchased online (or at selected locations) from Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

Other recent releases: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (2007), Tom Ford For Men (2007), Tom Ford For Men Extreme (2007), White Patchouli (2008).

Where to buy: selected department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Saks.

Tommi Sooni
Australian niche line established by Steven Broadhurst.

Fragrances were introduced in 2008 with Tarantella.

Tommy Bahama
Line of upscale resort-casual wear established in 1992. Fragrances were introduced in 2005 with Tommy Bahama scents for men & women, followed by Tommy Bahama Very Cool for men & women in 2006.

Recent releases include Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts (2007), Tommy Bahama Set Sail South Seas (2008).

Where to buy: at department stores and online fragrance discounters.

Website: Tommy Bahama (no fragrance information)

Tommy Hilfiger
American fashion designer who debuted his first collection for men in 1985. Hilfiger is known for his "urban casual" styles and the ubiquitous red, white and blue logo.

Fragrances were introduced in 1995 with Tommy for men. Tommy Girl followed in 1996. Both of the original scents are now released in yearly summer versions. Other fragrances include Freedom for men & women (1999).

True Star was introduced in 2004 and fronted by singer Beyonce Knowles; it was followed by True Star Men, fronted by Enrique Iglesias, in 2005.

Recent releases include True Star Gold (2005), Tommy 10 and Tommy Girl 10 (2006), Tommy Summer & Tommy Girl Summer (2007), Dreaming (2008), Tommy Summer & Tommy Girl Summer 2008 (2008), Hilfiger by Tommy Hilfiger (2008).

Fragrances are created under arrangements with Estee Lauder.

Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.

Spanish jewelry and accessories house established in the 1920s. They are very well known in Spain, less so in the United States. Their trademark is a little bear charm.

Recent releases include Tous Touch (2006), Tous Baby (2007).

Beauty line of Tova Borgnine, wife of actor Ernest Borgnine. The line is currently owned by the television shopping channel QVC.

Fragrances were introduced with Tova (now Tova Signature) in 1982. Subsequent releases include Tova Nights (1997), Tova Body, Mind & Spirit (1992), Tova Nirvana (2002), Tova Free Spirit (2003), Tova Love Everlasting.

Recent releases include Tova Signature Summer (2008).

Where to buy: through QVC.

Trish McEvoy
Former makeup artist who started her own color cosmetics and skincare line in the late 1970s. The company is still privately held. There are 10 numbered fragrances, including the popular no. 9, Blackberry & Vanilla Musk (2000), and a signature scent, Trish, which launched in 2002.

Where to buy: selected department stores, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

Italian company founded in 1911 by glove-maker Dante Trussardi; the company still produces leather goods, but also luxury goods & ready-to-wear fashions. Fragrances include Action for women (1990), Python for men (2001), Trussardi Skin (2002), Trussardi Jeans (2003), Trussardi Jeans Men (2004).

Recent introductions include Trussardi Bianco & Trussardi Inside for men and women (2006), Trussari Inside Delight (2008), Essenza del Tempo (2008).

Tsi La
Company founded by Annie Morton and Natalie Szapowalo (creators of Millefiore Natural Perfumery), and specializing in natural skincare and perfumes.

Fragrances were introduced in 2007 with Fiori d'Arancio, Ilang Ilang, Saqui, Kesu, Fleur Sauvage & Kizes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Perfume houses U-Z

Ulric de Varens
French mass market perfume house established in 1982. There are three lines: Parfums Ulric de Varens, Lily Prune (see review for Lily Prune Sublime Vanilla) and Jacques Saint Prez.

Ulrich Lang
Niche house established in New York in 2002 by Ulrich Lang, a former L'Oreal executive. Two fragrances, Anvers (2003) and Anvers 2 (2007).

Where to buy: at aedes, luckyscent, miomia and selected Barneys stores.

Fragrances by pop singer Usher Raymond, produced in collaboration with Liz Claiborne (and now Elizabeth Arden, who has taken over the Clairborne licenses).

Fragrances were introduced in 2007 with Usher She & Usher He.

Recent releases include UR For Women & UR For Men (2008).

Italian fashion design house established by Valentino Garavani in 1959. The house is known for its elegant, very feminine designs. Valentino has announced that he plans to retire in early 2008; Alessandra Facchinetti is slated to take over as Creative Director.

Fragrances include Vendetta & Vendetta Pour Homme (1991), Very Valentino (1997), Very Valentino Homme (1999), Valentino Gold (2002).

Recent introductions include Valentino V (2005), Valentino V Absolu (2005), Valentino V Ete (2006), Valentino V Pour Homme (2006), Rock 'n Rose (2006), Rock 'n Rose Couture (2007), Rock 'n Rose Pret A Porter (2008).

The Valentino fragrance business has been under Procter & Gamble since 2005.

Van Cleef & Arpels
French jewelry & luxury goods house established in Paris in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and Charles & Julien Arpels.

Fragrances were introduced in 1976 with First. Subsequent launches include Gem (1987), Van Cleef (1993), Birmane (1999), Zanzibar (2001), Murmure (2002), First Love (2006), First Summer 2007 (2007), First Premier Bouquet (2008), Feerie (2008).

Vera Wang
Vera Wang was a fashion editor at Vogue, then worked for Ralph Lauren before launching her own bridal boutique in 1990. While still best known for her bridal gowns, Wang has since expanded into evening wear and accessories.

Fragrances were introduced in 2002 with Vera Wang for women; subsequent releases include Vera Wang for men (2004) and Sheer Veil (2005).

Recent launches include Vera Wang Princess (2006), Truly Pink (2007), Bouquet (2008), Flower Princess (2008), Look (2008).

Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.

Vero Profumo
Swiss niche line established in 2007 by perfumer Vero Kern. The intial offerings include three fragrances: Kiki, Onda & Rubj.

Italian fashion design house founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. Versace was known for his bright colors and sexy styles; Vogue notes that his "raunchy, barely-there dresses and reveal-all attitude to the female body gained him a reputation for having been inspired by the dress sense of prostitutes". Since his death in 1997, the house has been under the design control of his sister, Donatella Versace.

Fragrances were introduced in 1982 with Gianni Versace. Subsequent scents include Versus for men (1990), Blonde (1995), The Dreamer (1996), Versace Man (2003) and Glam (2003).

Recent fragrance introductions include Crystal Noir (2004), Versace Man Eau Fraiche (2005), Bright Crystal (2005), Versace by Versace (2007), Versace Pour Homme (2008).

Where to buy: at department stores and online fragrance discounters.

French fashion line established in 1984. Their debut fragrance, Vertigo, launched in 2005.

Recent fragrance releases include Hypnotica (2006).

Where to buy: ulta, Nordstrom.

Vicky Tiel
Designer Vicky Tiel was born in the United States, and established her fashion label in Paris in 1968.

Fragrances were introduced in 1990 with Vicky Tiel Originale. Other fragrances include Sirene (1994), Ulysse (1998), Venus (1998) and Ethere (1999).

Recent releases include Sensuel, Couture & Destiny (2007).

Where to buy: in the US, at fragrance discounters.

Victoria's Secret
Lingerie house established in 1977 by Roy Raymond and acquired by The Limited in 1982.

The stores (and website) carry a range of fragrances under the store's own label in addition to other brands (including Michael Kors, Thierry Mugler, Anna Sui, Jennifer Lopez).

Victoria's Secret brand fragrances include Dream Angels, Pink, Very Sexy for him & her, and Breathless.

Recent releases include Pink Beach (2007), Very Sexy Now (2007), Pink Splash trio (2007), Supermodel (2007), More Pink Please (2008), Isle of Pink (2008), Very Sexy Now 2008 (2008), Dream Angels Heavenly Kiss (2008), Back to Pink (2008), Very Sexy Dare (2008).

Where to buy: at the boutiques or through the website (see below).

Viktor & Rolf
Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren debuted their first collection in Paris in 1993, and have since become known for their conceptual approach to fashion and for their wildly inventive catwalk shows.

Their first fragrance release, Le Parfum, came in 1997 and was as avant-garde as their fashion: the "scent" was in a bottle that could not be opened or smelled (and the limited edition run of 250 bottles sold out). The next fragrance release was considerably more mainstream; the relatively conventional perfume Flowerbomb launched in 2005. Antidote for men followed in 2006. Both fragrances were created under arrangements with L'Oreal.

Recent releases include Flowerbomb Eau de Toilette (2007), Flowerbomb Extreme 2007.

Where to buy: department stores (Saks, Nordstrom) or online fragrance discounters.

Vivienne Westwood
British fashion designer who helped to establish the classic punk style of the 1970s, and is still known for her quirky, eccentric designs.

Her first fragrance, Boudoir, launched in 1998. Subsequent scents include Libertine (2000) and Anglomania (2004).

Recent fragrance releases include Boudoir Sin Garden (2007), Let It Rock (2007).

Fragrances are produced under arrangements with Coty.

Los Angeles based home & personal fragrance line established in 1999 by Traci Hinkley and Troy Arntsen. The line of Eau de Parfum includes Jasmine Brown Sugar, Linden Blonde Tabac and Cocoa Tamarind; there are also a number of combination room/body sprays in the Basic Black, Basic Creme and Japonica lines.

Recent fragrance releases include Josephine & Fragaria (2006), the Victoria Collection (2007), Malayan Coco & Fleur de Cafe (2007), the Opulence Collection (2008).

Where to buy: b-glowing, lacremebeauty, your-cosmetics, zanadia.

Washington Tremlett
Originally a London-based tailor & shirtmaker, reportedly established in 1870 but no longer operating as a separate business entity. The Washington Tremlett name was at one time owned by Kilgour and used for their Savile Row custom shirtmaking business, but I am not sure who owns it now or if the fragrances are in any way related to the original company.

Fragrances include Black Tie, My Fair Lady and Royals Heroes.

Recent releases include MPH / Miles Per Hour (2008).

Where to buy: in the US at luckyscent, in Germany at first-in-fragrance.

Uk-based line of gifts & toiletries founded in 2004 by illustrator Scott Wotherspoon and cosmetics expert Elisabeth Henrikse. Four Eaux de Parfum, Muskmallow, Periwinkle, Scented Tea Leaf and Chestnut & Vetiver, are repackaged every year in limited edition bottles created in collaboration with artists.

Recent releases include Fig & Mace (2007).

Worth Paris
French fashion house established in 1858 by English-born Charles Frederick Worth, now frequently referred to as "the father of haute couture". The house was subsequently run by Worth's descendants until it was sold in 1953 to Paquin. You can read a brief history of the house at metmuseum.

Perfumes were introduced in 1924 with Dans La Nuit (reformulated and relaunched 1985). The best known Worth fragrance was 1932's Je Reviens.

In 2003, the Worth perfume line was resurrected by Mounir Moufarrige, who relaunched Je Reviens in 2004 as Je Reviens Couture. He also established a couture lingerie line inspired by Worth, Courtworth.

Recent releases include Courtesan (2005).

Where to buy: in the UK, at Harrods. In the US, at fragrance discounters.

Yardley was established in the 18th century as a soap manufacturer in England. Over the years they expanded into other luxury toiletries, and they are still best known for their English Lavender fragrance range. They have been owned by several parent companies over their long history; most recently, UK-based Lornamead purchased Yardley from Procter & Gamble.

Recent releases include Lavender Spa (2007).

San Francisco-based independent niche house of botanical perfumer Yosh Han. In addition to the fragrances marketed under her own brand name, Yosh has designed scents for Minnie Wilde (Minnie Wilde Magic) and Temper Chocolates (Temperare 01, 02 & 03).

Recent releases include Winter Rose & Phenomenon (2006), Kismet (2007).

Where to buy: b-glowing, lacremebeauty, luckyscent, or in Canada, theperfumeshoppe.

Yves Rocher
French cosmetics firm specializing in reasonably priced, botanically-based products including skin care and fragrance. Note that new fragrances from Yves Rocher generally launch first in France, and only come to the US months later.

Recent fragrances include Pur Desir de Mimosa (2005), Voile d'Ambre & Ming Shu Fleur de L'Aube (2005), Hoggar (2005), Altika (2006), Rose Absolue (2006), Comme une Evidence Eau de Toilette (2007), Plaisirs Nature Strawberry Nectar (2007), Iris Noir (2007), Green Apple / Pomme (2007), Neonatura Souffle (Breath in US) (2007), Naturelle, Comme une Evidence Le Parfum, Comme une Evidence Homme (2008), Tendre Jasmin (2008).

Where to buy: at Yves Rocher boutiques or via the website (see below).

Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent went to work for Christian Dior in 1954. After Dior's death, he became the Haute Couture designer for the house. He founded his own line in 1962. His fashion innovations are too numerous to list here, but he popularized tuxedos and stylish pantsuits for women, peasant blouses and safari jackets; Vogue has called him "arguably the industry's greatest designer". He retired from ready-to-wear in 1999 when the Yves Saint Laurent label was sold to Gucci, and retired from haute couture in 2002. Saint Laurent passed away in 2008.

The YSL fragrance line has been prolific. Their first fragrance was Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964). The best known fragrances are probably Rive Gauche (1971), the now iconic Opium (1977) and Paris (1983). Other releases include Kouros (1981), Jazz (1988), Champagne (1993, famously renamed Yvresse after the label lost a lawsuit filed by the French wine industry), In Love Again (1998), Nu (2001), M7 (2002), Cinema (2004).

Recent limited edition fragrances include Paris Eau de Printemps (2002), Paris Premieres Roses (2003), Opium Fleur de Shanghai (2005), Baby Doll Candy Pink (2005), In Love Again Fleur de la Passion (2005), Paris Roses des Vergers (2006), In Love Again Jasmin Etoile (2006), Cinema Festival d'Ete (2006), Opium Eau d'Orient Fleur Impériale for women & Opium Eau d'Orient pour Homme (2006), Kouros Eau d'Ete (2006), YSL Love Sprays (2007), Opium Orchidee de Chine Eau d'Orient & Opium Pour Homme Eau d'Orient (2007), Paris Jardins Romantiques, L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent Eau d’Été, Kouros Tattoo Collector, Cinéma Festival d'Été (2007), Paris Nuit de Fete (2007), Paris Pont des Amours (2008), Opium Poesie de Chine Eaux d'Orient (2008), L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent Eau d’Été 2008 (2008), Elle Yves Saint Laurent Summer Fragrance 2008 (2008), Cinéma Scénario d’été (2008), Baby Doll Magic (2008), Elle Intense (2008).

Recent mainstream fragrances include L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent (2006), YSL Young Sexy Lovely (2006), Elle Yves Saint Laurent (2007).

Where to buy: department stores and online fragrance discounters.

Fragrance & body care company. Fragrances include Ore, Earth, Petal & Oolong.

Where to buy: beautycafe.

Men's skin care & grooming company, established in 1995. Two fragrances: Zirh Eau de Toilette (2001) and Corduroy (2005).

New releases include Zirh Ikon (2008).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Perfume lexicon

I already publish a perfume glossary, but among the many things on my (out of control) to do list is a lexicon of the slang terms used on the various perfume blogs and forums (or fora, for those of you anxious to preserve the Latin plural form). Here is a start, and I'm hoping that anything I've missed will get added in the future.

Decant worthy: a fragrance that is worth having in some small amount, but that you don't love enough to justify buying a full bottle. See also: how to decant perfume.

Evil Fragrance Twin (EFT): someone who loves all the perfumes you hate, and vice versa. EFTs can be useful — you follow them around and try whatever they can't stand.

Floralated: I'm cheating here as this is not a widely used term. Floralcy is ad-copy-speak for "smells of flowers", as in "a burst of floralcy", and it is a useful term as many fragrances do, in fact, smell of flowers without smelling like any flower in particular. So we need a generic term, but floralcy sounds too much like what it is: ad-copy-speak. I once used florified, March at Perfume Posse suggests the more elegant floralated. If you've a better idea, do comment.

Full bottle worthy (FBW): a fragrance so wonderful you need the full size.

Lemming: lemmings are small rodents, said to look like fat furry hamsters. They are believed to blindly follow their crowd, even to the point of throwing themselves off a cliff if everyone else is doing it. This behavioral pattern is mythical, but the word is used on many fragrance forums and blogs to describe the feeling of intense longing generated by reading posts about a product or fragrance; in more simple terms, it just means to want a perfume. Sometimes converted to the verb form, "to lemm".

Perfumanity: the community of perfumistas (see below); in other words, the portion of humanity that cares seriously about perfume. I believe this was coined by Marina at Perfume Smellin' Things.

Perfumista: someone who cares seriously about fragrance. Some use it as a feminine term, with either perfumeo or perfumisto as the masculine, others (like me) use it as a neuter term. See: Becoming a perfumista.

Pinkified, Pinkification: when fragrances are lightened, sweetened, and fruited-up to make them more girly, as is often done for flankers.

Scrubber: a fragrance so bad it must be removed from skin, the sooner the better.

Skanky: a fragrance with animalic or other "sexy" notes. Skanky has pejorative connotations in "regular" slang, but among many perfumistas, it is meant as a compliment. The use of the term to apply to perfume was popularized by March at Perfume Posse.

WIFFY: this is a term coined by Sara at MakeupAlley. It has never caught on (so I'm cheating again), but it should. It stands (vaguely) for "worth the f-ing freight from France", in other words, a perfume so wonderful you'd pay to have it shipped from Paris.


EO: Essential oil.

Holy Grail (HG): just as the quest for the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend is thought to symbolize man's quest for perfection and wholeness, so in perfume terms, a Holy Grail is a perfume so perfect that it precludes the need to continue searching for new fragrances. It is often used to characterize a favorite scent in a specific category, as in "I've found my HG citrus" or "Iris Silver Mist is my HG iris".

LE: Limited Edition.

SOTD: commonly used on fragrance forums for "Scent of the Day" threads, where you simply post what fragrance you're wearing that day. SOTE is "Scent of the Evening".

Commonly used brand abbreviations:
AdP: Acqua di Parma

AG: Annick Goutal

CBIHP: CB I Hate Perfume

CdG: Comme des Garçons

EL: Estee Lauder

FM: Frederic Malle

LAP: L'Artisan Parfumeur

LV: Lorenzo Villoresi

MPG: Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

OJ: Ormonde Jayne

PdN: Parfums de Nicolaï

PG: Parfumerie Generale

POTL: The Peoples of the Labyrinths (usually refers to their scent Luctor et Emergo)

SJP: Sarah Jessica Parker

SL: Serge Lutens

SMN: Santa Maria Novella

TDC: The Different Company

Friday, October 13, 2006

Perfume glossary

This glossary defines some commonly used terms in the world of perfume and fragrance.

Abelmosk: also known as Musk Mallow, and cultivated for its seeds, which are usually referred to as ambrette.

Absinthea: strong herbal liqueur distilled with herbs like anise, licorice, hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm, angelica and wormwood.

Absolute: also known as an essence, this is the material extracted from a plant or flower using one of various solvents.

Accord: perfume accords are a balanced blend of three or four notes which lose their individual identity to create a completely new, unified odor impression.

Agar wood: from the Aquilaria tree, and also called Oud or Aloes wood. The tree, when attacked by a common fungus, produces an aromatic resin that has long been used in the Middle East as a source of incense and perfume. Now considered endangered in the wild due to overharvesting.

Amber: in perfumery, this refers to accords developed using plant compounds (such as labdanum) or synthetics, and referred to as amber because they were originally meant to mimic the smell of ambergris

Ambergris: a sperm whale secretion. Sperm whales produce it to protect their stomachs from the beaks of the cuttlefish they swallow. Ambergris was traditionally used as a fixative, but in modern perfumery, ambergris is usually of synthetic origin (including the synthetic compounds ambrox, ambroxan, amberlyn). Ambergris is described as having a sweet, woody odor.

Ambrette: the oil obtained from these seeds has a musk-like odor and is frequently used as a substitute for true musk.

Animalic: refers to animal-derived ingredients such as civet, ambergris, musk, and castoreum. These are usually replaced by synthetics in modern perfumery. In large amounts, many of these notes are unpleasant, but in smaller amounts they provide depth and a sensual feel to a fragrance.

Anise: an annual herb of the parsley family, grown for its fruits (aniseed), which have a strong, licorice-like flavor.

Anosmia: the inability to smell odors. Many people have selective anosmias, for instance, the inability to smell certain synthethic musks.

Attar: Attar is the English form of itr, the Arabic word for fragrance or perfume. A traditional attar is made from the distilled essence of floral or other fragrance materials in a base of sandalwood oil.

Baies de Genièvre: French for juniper berry

Baies Rose: pink peppercorns, from the tree schinus molle, also known as the Peruvian or California pepper tree. These are actually dried berries and not "true" peppercorns, and you will sometimes see them listed as "pink berries".

Balsam of Peru: a tree resin from Central America, so named because it was historically shipped from Peru. Balsam of Tolu is from a closely related species of tree grown farther south; both resins are said to smell like vanilla and cinnamon.

Benzoin: a balsamic resin from the Styrax tree.

Bergamot: the tangy oil expressed from the nearly ripe, nonedible bergamot orange (a variety of bitter orange). The oranges are grown mostly in Italy and are also used to flavor Earl Grey tea.

Bigarade: a variety of bitter orange, also known as Seville orange. The zest is used to make the bigarade note used in perfumery.

Calone: an aroma chemical that adds a "sea breeze" or marine note, and first used in large quantities in Aramis New West (1988).

Cannelle: French for cinnamon.

Carambole: starfruit.

Cashmeran: an aroma chemical with a spicy, musky, floral odor. Meant to add a powdery, velvet nuance that invokes the smell or feel of cashmere.

Cassie: floral note from acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia), a member of the mimosa family.

Cassis: black currant, or a liqueur made from black currant.

Castoreum: a secretion from the Castor beaver, or a synthetic substitute. Used to impart a leathery aroma to a fragrance.

Cedrat: French term for citron.

Champaca: a flowering tree of the magnolia family, originally found in India, also called the "Joy Perfume tree" as it was one of the main floral ingredients in that perfume. Traditionally used in Indian incense as well.

Chevrefeuille: French for honeysuckle.

Choya Nakh: a smoky aroma made from roasted seashells.

Chypre: pronounced "sheepra", French for "Cyprus" and first used by François Coty to describe the aromas he found on the island of Cyprus. He created a woodsy, mossy, citrusy perfume named Chypre (launched by Coty in 1917). Classic chypre fragrances generally had sparkling citrus and floral notes over a dark, earthy base of oakmoss, patchouli, woods and labdanum. See also the explanation of "fragrance families" in the FAQ.

Citron: a citrus fruit tree (citrus medica), sometimes referred to as a cedrat lemon. It is not a true lemon, although it is related to both lemons and limes. The peel is the source of the note citron which is used in perfumery; the leaves and twigs are used to distill cedrat petitgrain.

Civet: the African civet cat looks like a fox, and is related to the mongoose. Civet musk is produced by a gland at the base of the cat's tail. Pure civet is said to have a strong, disagreeable odor, but in small quantities to add depth and warmth to a fragrance. In addition, civet acts as an excellent fixative. Most modern fragrances use synthetic substitutes.

Clary sage: an herb of the salvia family; the essential oil is described as smelling sweet to bittersweet, with nuances of amber, hay and tobacco.

Clou de girofle: French for clove.

Coffret: a gift box or set. A coffret might include several fragrances, or a fragrance and matching body products.

Copahu (balm): also called Copaiba balsam; an oil obtained from trees of family Copaifera, which grow wild in South America. Described as having a mild, sweet, balsamic peppery smell.

Coumarin: a compound that smells like vanilla. Usually derived from the tonka bean (see Tonka bean), but also found in lavender, sweetgrass and other plants. Coumarin is banned as a food additive in the United States due to toxicity issues, but is used to produce anti-coagulant medicines, rat poison, and as a valuable component of incense and perfumes.

Cuir: French for leather.

Cypriol: an essential oil derived from the roots of Cyperus scariosus, aka Indian papyrus, aka nagarmotha grass. The term cypriol is sometimes used interchangeably with papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) in lists of perfume notes.

Davana: oil derived from artemisia pallens, described as having a sweet, fruity odor.

Elemi: a gum resin which introduces a light, fresh, balsamic-spicy, citrus-like scent.

Epices: French for spices.

Factice: a perfume bottle made for commercial display only — the contents are not actually perfume.

Flanker: a fragrance that capitalizes on the success of a master brand. For instance, J Lo Glow was followed by the flanker scents Miami Glow and Love at First Glow. Many flankers are released as limited editions. Some flanker scents are variations on the original fragrance (i.e. they might share certain notes), others share nothing more than the name.

Fougère: one of the fragrance families (see the explanation of "fragrance families" in the FAQ); this one named after the French word for fern. Fougères center on an herbaceous accord that might include notes like lavender, coumarin, oakmoss, woods, and bergamot.

Frangipani: a tropical flower, also known as West Indian Jasmine (although botanically speaking it is not a member of the jasmine family) and plumeria, and is frequently used to make leis.

Frankincense: a gum resin from a tree (genus Boswellia) found in Arabia and Eastern Africa. It is harvested by making an incision in the bark; the milky juice leaks out and is left to harden over a period of months before it is collected. Also called Olibanum.

Galbanum: a gum resin that imparts a "green" smell.

Gourmand: in perfumery, describes fragrances which evoke food smells, such as chocolate, honey, or fruits.

Guaiac (or Gaiac) Wood: the oil is steam distilled from a South American tree that produces the hardest, densest wood known. Also known as ironwood, lignum vitae.

Headspace technology: a method of "capturing" the odor of a substance using an apparatus resembling a bell-jar. This has allowed perfumers to mimic the notes of flowers, plants, and foods which do not lend themselves otherwise to extraction. The different fragrance & flavor companies have their own fragrance capture systems based on headspace technology, including ScentTrek (Givaudan), "Jungle Essence" (Mane), NaturePrint (Firmenich).

Hedione: an aroma chemical said to have a soft but radiant jasmine aroma, and also appreciated for its diffusive effect.

Heliotrope: botanically speaking, this refers to more than one type of flower, but in perfumery, it refers to a flowers of the family heliotropium, which are said to have a strong, sweet vanilla-like fragrance with undertones of almond.

Hesperidia: a general term for citrus oils.

Immortelle: aka everlasting flower aka strawflower; the latin name is helichrysum. Has a greenish, herbaceous, almost bitter smell.

Indole: a chemical compound which smells floral at low concentrations, fecal at high concentrations. Used widely in perfumery, also found naturally in some floral notes, such as jasmine, tuberose and orange blossom.

Iso E Super: an aroma chemical; described by International Flavors & Fragrances as "Smooth, woody, amber note with a 'velvet' like sensation. Superb floralizer. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances."

Kalamanzi: also called calamansi, acid orange or Panama orange. A citrus fruit, with a sour flavor said to resemble a cross between mandarin and lime.

Karo Karounde: (sometimes karo karunde) a flowering shrub from Africa. The scent, which is apparently very potent in the wild, has been described as somewhat similar to jasmine, but woodier, spicier and more herbal. Found in L'Artisan Timbuktu, Etro Shaal Nur and Comme des Garcons Sequoia.

Khus: also khus khus. An Indian term for vetiver, or the oil derived from vetiver roots.

Labdanum: an aromatic gum that originates from the rockrose bush (genus Cistus). The sweet woody odor is said to mimic ambergris, and can also be used to impart a leather note.

Licorice: a shrub native to Europe and Asia. The roots are used for candy and flavoring, and are said to be 50 times sweeter than sugar. Almost all licorice candy sold in the United States, however, is flavored with anethole, which is derived from anise.

Linden: also called lime-blossom, but this is from the flower of the Linden (Tilia) tree, not the citrus tree that produces limes. French name is Tilleul.

Mastic: aka lentisc, a plant resin from a small shrubby tree (Pistacia lentiscus), the collected raw resin crystals are called "mastic tears" or "chios tears". Mastic is used as a seasoning in Turkey and Egypt and is known for its medicinal properties. It is used in perfume, varnish, and as a liqueur flavoring.

Monoi: the word means "scented oil"; in modern perfumery, this most always refers to tiare (gardenia) petals macerated in coconut oil. Sometimes called Monoi de Tahiti.

Muguet: French for Lily of the Valley. The Italian term is "Mughetto".

Myrrh: a gum resin produced from a bush found in Arabia and Eastern Africa.

Nag Champa: the name of a perfume oil originally made in the Hindu and Buddhist monasteries of India and Nepal and used to perfume incense. Traditionally made from a sandalwood base, to which are added a variety of flower oils, including that from the flower of the Champaca tree.

Neroli: an oil prepared from the blossoms of either the sweet or bitter orange tree. Italian term for neroli is zagara.

Nose: a "nose", or nez in French, is a person who mixes fragrance components to make perfume; another commonly used term is perfumer, or in French, parfumeur createur. There is a picture of a nose at her perfume organ on the parfumsraffy site.

Oakmoss: derived from a lichen (evernia prunastri) that grows on Oak trees.

Opoponax: also known as "sweet myrrh" and "bisabol myrrh". Has a sweet, balsam-like, lavender-like fragrance when used as incense. King Solomon supposedly regarded opoponax as one of the "noblest" of all incense gums.

Orris: derived from the rhizome of the Iris plant.

Osmanthus: a flowering tree native to China, valued for its delicate fruity apricot aroma. Known as the Tea Olive in the southern United States.

Oud: Sometimes spelled oudh. The Arabic word for wood, in perfumery usually refers to wood from the Agar tree (see).

Ozonic: used to describe aroma chemicals that are meant to mimic the smell of fresh air. Frequently described as the smell of air right after a thunderstorm.

Pamplemousse: French for grapefruit.

Patchouli: a bushy shrub originally from Malaysia and India. Supposedly the leaves were folded into the cashmere shawls shipped from India to England during Victorian times in order to protect the fabric from moths; eventually, the scent became a badge of authenticity and customers refused to buy unscented shawls. Patchouli has a musty-sweet, spicy aroma.

Petitgrain: oil distilled from leaves and twigs of a citrus tree, usually the bitter orange tree.

Pikaki: a form of jasmine (jasminum sambac) grown in Hawaii and used for making leis. Also known as Arabian jasmine, and widely used to make jasmine tea.

Pivoine: French for peony.

Rose de Mai: rose absolute made from the centifolia rose.

Sandalwood: an oil extracted from the heartwood of the Sandal tree, originally found in India. One of the oldest known perfumery ingredients, the powdered wood is also used to make incense.

Sillage: the trail of scent left behind by a perfume. Fragrances with minimal sillage are often said to "stay close to the skin".

Soliflore: a fragrance which focuses on a single flower.

Tagetes: Marigold.

Tiare: a variety of Gardenia.

Tilleul: French for Linden.

Tolu: also known as Balsam of Tolu. A tree resin from South America, which when dried is said to have a strong aroma with elements of vanilla & cinnamon. Also used in cough syrups. Balsam of Peru is from a closely related species of tree.

Tonka Bean: a thumb-size pod from a plant native to Brazil, said to smell of vanilla with strong hints of cinnamon, cloves and almonds. Cheaper than vanilla pods, and sometimes used as a vanilla substitute outside of the United States.

Vanilla: vanilla is derived from the seed pod of the vanilla orchid, a flowering vine which is native to Mexico (although most of the vanilla available today comes from Madagascar). The vanilla orchid flower itself is scentless. True vanilla requires extensive hand-processing, and is therefore expensive.

Vetiver: a grass with heavy, fibrous roots, which are used to distill an oil with the scent of moist earth with woody undertones. The grass is also grown in many countries as a means of erosion control. There is a picture of the root system being harvested in the review of Hermès Vetiver Tonka.

Wormwood: diverse family of plants, so named because at one time they were used to prepare worming medicine. The latin name is artemisia, and in perfumery, wormwood and/or artemisia often refers specifically to artemisia absinthium, one of the key ingredients of Absinthe.

Yuzu: a citrus fruit grown in Japan. It looks like a small grapefruit; the flavor has been described as a cross between grapefruit and mandarin orange.

Ylang Ylang: the Malayan term for Cananga odorata, an Asian evergreen tree. Translates to "flower of flowers".