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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Case for Anosmia

I have been writing about perfume, scents and the sense of smell for a decade, it seems. In all that time, not once have I sat down and thanked my lucky stars that aside from an occasional head cold I haven't experienced a loss of sense that would debilitate my writing, my enjoyment of this hobby and the sensuous appreciation of life that comes with food, with sex, with bonding, with sensuality in general. But some people have. And they have actually done something for Anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell.


Fifth Sense is a charity based in the UK that caters to people affected by smell and taste disorders (taste being directly related to the sense of smell, as the very British word "flavour" suggests). There also nuances, such as "parosmia" (smelling something different than what is in front of you") or "phantosmia" (smelling things that are not even close, literally smelling "ghost" scents, as the word "phantasma" means ghost in Greek). For those using Facebook, the relevant page is this one.

The case is rather a scary one, since it can have not only a debilitating effect on a person, but also one of utter repulsion as the Guardian article by Louise Woollam as told to Eleanor Tucker, the Get Lippie blogger, reveals.

Anosmia Awareness Day may have passed, but the cause has not. If you're willing to donate an amount for the betterment of the lives of those suffering from this oddly "shadowy" condition (shadowy because no one is really vocal about it and victims suffer it without the help of awareness and sensitivity to their plight by other people), you're encouraged to use this link.

What most people don't realize is that anosmia can be treated in many (most?) cases. There is a wealth of medical advice that may be of interest to those suffering on this link.

awareness and sensitivity go a long way....think about it next time you're told by someone anosmic that they can't smell 

And of course the value of smell training cannot be overstressed, even for individuals who have an intact sense of smell. Remember: we process stimuli with the brain. Having the pathways open is one thing, but the analytical ability to diversify, name and correlate the stimuli is the cognitive ability to "smell richly". You might not become a bloodhound, but you'll have a better understanding and appreciation of your surroundings and yourself.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Guerlain & Birchwood Garnering the Interest of Brides-to-Be

Wedding bells are pealing loud and clear for Guerlain this season. Besides the new fragrance La Plus Belle Jour de Ma Vie, the most beautiful day of my life (the eau de parfum concentration of the extrait de parfum edition La Bouquet de la Mariee, i.e. the bride's bouquet, issued this spring) Guerlain is adding a small trousseau for brides-to-be this spring.


In collaboration with beauty subscription service Birchbox and wedding designer Delphine Manivet, the limited edition launches on March 19th 2015, and includes 5 beauty products by Guerlain: the Or serum Essence d'Eclat with golden particles, a foundation, a hand-held mirror, their revamped Kiss Kiss Lipstick and a small size mascara Volume et Courbe. The trousseau also includes an Essie nail polish (Sugar Daddy or Almure shade option), Lov Organic tea, a Davines hair shine spray and Anis de Flavigny fresh breath lozenges aromatized with rose.  This "indispensables" collection comes in a small clutch signed Delphine Manivet, la corbeille de mariee [sic].
The retail price is set at €49.

More information here.

The winners of the draw....

...for the La Via del Profumo/Surrender to Chance perfume decants are: Nofixedstars and Tiffanie. Congratulations! Please email me using Contact with Surrender to Chance in the title of the mail with your shipping data and I will have these out in the mail for you soon. Thanks everyone for the enthusiastic participation and till the next one!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Surrender & Coldwater Canyon by La Via del Profumo: Free Perfume Giveaway

Anyone familiar with the work of Dominique Dubrana (the passport name of perfumer Abdes Salaam) is rejoicing at the news of a new fragrance by him. The two ladies of the tried & tested decanting service Surrender to Chance commissioned two fragrances to him and the results are predictably gorgeous. I had reviewed them both on Fragrantica, where I held a draw for 2 decants provided by Surrender to Chance (the winners are announced at the bottom of the article).


Today it is my honor to hold another draw for another 2 decants, 5ml of each scent that is, prepared again by the ladies of StC, for 2 readers of Perfume Shrine, sent by post by me anywhere in the world.
Please post a comment below, (voicing an opinion, a question or commentary on the blog etc.) and you're eligible. Draw is open till Wednesday midnight and winners will be announced on Thursday.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Olivier Polge: "You Don't Make Beautiful Fragrances with Complicated Ideas"

"Preferences change. In the 1990s, people wanted a very light fragrance. Today that’s not the case.

There are now so many heady scents, like ouds galore. I’ve heard that superstrong scents are meant to please customers in places like the Middle East and Russia. 

That’s a reality: Certain stronger scents do better in the Middle East, and Asian countries like their scents lighter. But I try not to be so opportunistic. I care less about geographic territory than spirit territory. Is this scent in the spirit of Chanel?"

Olivier Polge on the left, at the advertising campaign of Valentino Uomo, via welt.de

The above snippet comes from an interview of perfumer Olivier Polge at Chanel (formerly creator of the gorgeous Dior Homme, Balenciaga Florabotanica, Balenciaga Paris and all its flankers, Guerlain Cuir Beluga, Valentino UomoViktor & Rolf Spicebomb, the newest Mugler Les Exceptions fragrance series and of the perfume best-sellers FlowerbombLancome La Vie Est Belle, and Dior Pure Poison) given to the New York Times and Bee Shapiro.
Please find the interview in its entirety on this link. 

As we had reported before, concerning Olivier Polges' first scent for Chanel, named Misia after Coco Chanel’s friend Misia Sert, which joins the Chanel Les Exclusifs lineup of more-experimental scents midmonth (retailing at $160), the young perfumer is at the helm of the prestigious French house from now on, succeeding his father Jacques Polges. (Who in his turn had succeeded Henri Robert, who followed Ernest Beaux, essentially making Olivier only the 4th ever in-house head perfumer at Chanel).

 Smelling of lipstick, rose and powder, Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia perfume is said to conjure the dressing-room scents of the Ballets Russes.

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