Fragrant Distractions – Part One


Anna’s lilies

I remember the day I first met Anna.

She was quite lost on The Fragrant Journey. Bewildered by choice but not finding any personal resonance in traditional feminine fragrances; she was experiencing fragrance dissonance. I reached out to her with some suggestions in response to her comments on Ori Fishler’s Private Collection. Let’s catch up with her now.

annamadeit July 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm ·
I really enjoyed this! My knowledge of the world of scents is so limited. When I find one that works well on me, I tend to hang on to it for years, until my body chemistry changes, or I tire of it – whichever comes first. To see a collection like that just amazes me!

Jordan River July 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm ·
It is an amazement. Thank you for wafting on in. What is that vintage scent I smell?

annamadeit July 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm ·
Oh, you know, probably mostly run-of-the-mill stuff to you and others in the business. In high school in the early 80′s, I loved Opium. After that, it was Paloma Picasso. She lasted a long time, but all of a sudden – absolutely not. For a while, I loved Truth Calvin Klein, and was very upset when all of a sudden, I could no longer find it. I like Allure Sensuelle for evenings, but currently don’t really have a fresh daytime equivalent like Truth used to be. I habitually try new scents when I see them, but like somebody commented – skin real estate is limited, and it is a slow process. Still searching for the next one… For as much as I appreciate fragrant flowers – many floral scents and overly sweet, powdery fragrances make me gag. For some reason, my chemistry seems to work better with spicy, musky, citrusy scents. I guess that is what I so enjoyed about your post – the idea of learning a whole new scent vocabulary from your beloved who not only knows you intimately, but also treats fragrances like colors on a palette. So cool…

Jordan River July 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm ·
There are no wrong choices on the fragrant journey but there can be bad ones! It sounds like you want to go somewhere. I say Anima Dulcis from Arquiste for your next exploratory outing and M by Pure Distance and then go from there. Always buy AFTER you have experienced the dry down; so at least a day or a couple of visits later. The initial notes are seductive but fly away quickly often leaving a very different heart and dry down. Rose 31 by Le Labo is spicy and musky and very unique. Atelier’s Orange Sanguine could be your new daytime. Have Big Fun.

annamadeit July 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm ·
Oh how fun! I think you just gave me a reason for some focused exploration! Thank you, Jordan!

Jordan River July 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm ·
Hours of fun and you will never be unhappy again!

annamadeit July 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm ·
Okay – samples ordered! Now, wait… How exciting!


annamadeit August 30, 2013
I am attempting to tune my senses to write a sample review for The Fragrant Man, but it seems a futile endeavor.


Distractions abound, and I’m swimming in the heady scent of lilies wafting through my garden.


This is scent competition – the lilies in my garden were so heavy with blooms that almost all of them collapsed under their own weight. So, I cut them down and brought them inside. The house smells wonderful, but next year, I’ll know to stake them!


Now their perfume hovers over the floorboards – the fragrance is everywhere I go. It is clouding my mind, both inside and out.


The review will have to wait until the flowers are spent, for only then can I focus my spirit on the bottled variety. I am going to smell the lilies today then perfume tomorrow. Watch this space…


Anna will be back tomorrow with the results of her sampling.

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Further Reading
imageAnna previously wrote The Magical Mystery Rose in response to the Mohur review.

17 responses to “Fragrant Distractions – Part One

  1. There’s no shortage of fragrant flowers, but something about liliies just goes straight to your heart and demands an unqualified surrender. They’re my favorite flowers.

    • Speed reader! I won’t moderate you but I will have to fine you 2 Vintage Shalimars. By Vintage I mean 1967 and yes I mean 2 of the 4 you have in your perfume fridge! This is a guest post by Anna although I do start
      the post off. Anyway the lilies are in her garden and their scent is preventing her from writing up her perfume reviews which I hope will be finished tomorrow. My garden is fields of vetiver but now I am thinking lilies would be a great addition.

    • Portia – I bet you can grow them in your part of the world too. They are intoxicating and worth the effort for sure! As is Shalimar, btw – absolutely delicious!

  2. I had lilies like those in my yard but a new bug moved into the neighborhood, the lily leaf beetle, and destroyed my plants. 😦 Hopefully next year I’ll be ready and win the battle.

    • Oh no… I’m so sorry to hear about your lilies. Best of luck with next year’s crop. My mother would walk around with bowls of water and shake anything infested by Japanese beetles. If they fell into the bowl, they would drown. But, if she didn’t get to them first, they would devour everything, the pesky little critters.

      • The lily leaf beetles are red on top and black on the bottom. If they see you coming they jump off and roll over on the dirt so you can’t see them. I’m not kidding. If I try to pick them off I have to be fast or they jump ship and I lose them in the mulch. It’s their larvae that do the real damage. They’re black and slimy and eat all the leaves off the plants. They’re awful.

        • Ugh… they sound like a very awful triple-whammy. I wonder if you could trick them by spreading a lightly colored sheet underneath the lilies. Later, when they don’t suspect anything, they’ll drop onto the sheet instead of the soil, and be very easy to kill. But, I guess that still doesn’t solve the problem of the eggs and the larvae… I feel for you, fellow gardener. 😦

  3. The only way I like lilies is in the garden. In both bouquets and perfumes I can take just a flower or two but not the full-blown bouquet of lilies. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to read the results of the experiment. It’s so fun to help people in finding their new perfume love! I think it was a great idea, Jordan.

    • Undina – they can definitely be overwhelming. By now, they are reduced to a summer memory. I loved the experiment too – it was great fun and bewildering at the same time!

  4. Reblogged this on The Creative Flux and commented:
    A little over a month ago, I met The Fragrant Man via the blogosphere. The world of scents is such a mystery to me, and always has been. I find reading the thoughts and insights of those immersed in the perfume industry to be both intriguing and educational – mostly because their expertise is in a subject to which I have intuitive, spontaneous reactions, yet know so very little about.

    My questions are so many;

    What is it about perfumes that make some people adore what others abhor?

    Why do they smell radically different on different users?

    How is it that your olfactory senses can send you reeling with the powerful memories they provoke?

    And, why do I find it so damn difficult to find a fragrance that truly is trued to my senses, body chemistry, and preferences?

    Why do I even have those preferences in the first place?

    While I still don’t know the answers to those questions – if there even are any answers shorter than a dissertation – I have made a some vital discoveries in the process.

    The realities of niche perfumists mirror those of artisans and sustenance purists the world over. For their rare and exotic ingredients, they battle everything from climate change, species extinctions and the subsequent shortages of materials, to corporate giants strong-arming the competition and pushing often harmful chemical substitutes over naturally harvested essential oils, and then lobbying for legislation that conceals any cause for liability. The despicable tactics of the mono-corporatist giants echo those of Monsanto v/s the smaller, individual organic family farms and co-ops, and the political stranglehold they and many others have on our health, environment.

    I find it endlessly intriguing and encouraging that there are those around the world, who will make it their life’s mission to grow, and sustainably harvest, Mysore Sandalwood trees from root cuttings in a climate zone, Australia which is comparable to that of its origin – India – where the few trees left are now protected. And I’m inspired by the Afghan farmer who recognizes the value of growing and producing roses for top quality rose oil, as opposed to poppies for heroin. The quest for quality and sustainability reigns supreme, and those who value it know it is worth every penny. The stories of fragrances are many, and often tie into – you guessed it – my number one obsession, plants! Funny how everything is connected, isn’t it?

    Long story short – based on some vaguely articulated preferences, Jordan kindly suggested I try four perfumes. The arrival of my samples coincided with the blooming of my oriental lilies, which made thinking in a straight, analytical way even more challenging than usually. Here is the lily post I wrote as the inspiration to write my first fragrance review was smothered by their overwhelming presence.

  5. Pingback: Fragrant Distractions – Part Two | The Fragrant Man·

  6. Pingback: Fragrant Questions | The Fragrant Man·

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