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Wild Gardener

  1. Notes from the Osmothèque : Speed dating Roudnitska

    Going to an Osmothèque conference is like speed dating an oeuvre, you get a few minutes with a smelling strip before the next one comes along and the flow can go on for an hour or more. You can only get the most general idea of a perfume at the time, but at the end of the evening the smelling strips are all lined up in their paper sleeves ready to take away and work on later. The perfumes are all reconstructions, and as the Osmothèque doesn't give out vials it's impossible to try them on skin. A ...

    Updated 16th June 2019 at 08:17 AM by Wild Gardener

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  2. Notes from the Osmothèque : Jean Carles, the Man and his Method

    Jean Carles is popularly remembered as the Beethoven of Perfume, famously composing Ma Griffe using only his olfactive memory after he had lost his sense of smell. But there was more to this gifted perfumer than the tragedy that overtook him in later life. He was an amateur musician, a talented linguist who spoke six languages, a lover of Great Gatsby style cars and a conjuror who owned more than 120 books on stage magic.

    Behind the showman there was of course a more serious side. ...

    Updated 30th April 2019 at 09:20 AM by Wild Gardener

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  3. Dzongkha

    In two of Roudnitska's late masterpieces, Diorella and Le parfum de Thérèse, the dominant motif - or the goal of his perfumery explorations was the famous over-ripe melon accord. And by the time he came to compose Dzongkha, Bertrand Duchaufour seemed to have already arrived at the rotting heart of Roudnitska's olfactosphere and established it as his Base Camp.

    Dzongkha accepts the premise, or the promise, of rotten fruit, but then, like all great students, Duchaufour does his damnest ...
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  4. Beauty and the Brut

    There's nothing special about the Great Smell of Brut; it was just a good fougère, nice - but nothing revolutionary. What made Brut great, and a big success, was something more subtle - attitude.

    It's a sweet and pleasant little thing that never - at any time - resembles the brute it purports to be. The balance of sweet, green and anisic is alright, but that doesn't explain the phenomenal success that Brut enjoyed in the 1970's when - for a generation - it became the male scent de ...

    Updated 14th February 2019 at 07:25 PM by Wild Gardener

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  5. Who wants to be Boss?

    Sometimes life proceeds through conflict. According to the philosopher Hegel this happens when a force reacts with its opposite and out of the resulting conflict something better is created. To put it in his terminology, thesis plus antithesis leads to synthesis on a higher level.

    A good example comes from a period exactly one hundred years ago when two of the greatest perfumers were at the height of their powers. When Jacques Guerlain smelt his rival's ground breaking Chypre he didn't ...

    Updated 12th January 2019 at 06:41 AM by Wild Gardener

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