Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best & Worst of 2011 in Perfume & Other Matters of Beauty

It's that time of the year again when we revise what went well and what went terribly wrong in the past 12 months in our small "pocket" of the universe. An Herculean task, nonetheless, so a ruthless elimination by the author and some lenience from you, dear reader, is needed. On the whole, 2011 was a good year for perfume; despite the hundreds of releases, there were interesting and well-executed offerings and perfumers seemed to be riding on top of the doom & gloom of the perfume community's Cassandras.

Personally it was a year of immersing myself into the artistic side of evaluating perfume, with collaborations with top curators, photographers, publishers and other media artists who helped me articulate my innermost thoughts on how perfume shapes our ethos. More on which later on...
But without more ado, here are my thoughts on the past year in hindsight. 

Best Mainstream Perfume Not Catering to Lowest Common Denominator
Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum
It's no wonder I coupled the review with a still from my favourite 2011 film, Drive.  This leathery fragrance is as danger-promising as a pair of gloves by a professional stunt driver, as soft as a genuine smile rising up from a non-tell-tale heart. I love it!

Other notable mainstream fragrances that made the cut are Elie Saab Le Parfum , Tom Ford Violet Blonde and Balenciaga L'Essence (the perfect office scent), plus the scent mentioned just below. 

Best Unadulterated Fragrance Fun
Prada Candy

Best Suave Niche Offering
Tom Ford Private Collection Santal Blush tie with Santal Massoia Hermessence
Both fragrances went for the creaminess of sandalwood, now that Mysore sandalwood is verboten. They both produced something more than what they were aiming for; former via ultra-refined silkiness, latter via coconut-greeness.

Best Hors Categorie
Puredistance M: Is this technically a 2011 release? Its leathery, soft and beguiling, beauty had me confused  (it launched in December 2010). Do you see a pattern here?

Best Masculine
Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Havane

2011 was also a very good year for small artisanal, indie perfumers & entrepreneurs who proved quality and attention to your audience really pays off. I'm referring to Laurie Erickson, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Ineke, Neela Vermeire and the perfumers mentioned below.

Best Surprise Attempt
Tableau de Parfums Miriam
A beautiful old-school feminine aldehydic from the Swiss perfumer who excels in woodies and mandarin-rich orientals in collboration with film director Brian Pera. A credible times-fitting specimen, but also curiously totally modern!

Best Ethereal Floral
Annick Goutal Le Mimosa. (I haven't yet tried Mon Parfum Cheri de Camille, a chypre from the same company, but will do so after all the raves). I also enjoyed Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Jasminora and Cartier Baiser Vole (technically mainstream).

Interesting Project of the Year 
Brave New Scents initiated by Anya McCoy of the Natural Perfumers' Guild (see reviews of JoAnne Bassett Enchant, Anya's Garden Lotus Garden, Lord's Jester Hermes.)

Best All-Naturals Scent
Aftelier Secret Garden

Best Out of Budget Splurge
Armani Prive La Femme Bleue

Best Vintage Discoveries in 2011
Thanks to my collector friends, I experienced the amazingly rare Guerlain Cuir de Russie and the equally introuvable Guerlain Vere Novo. The stuff dreams are made of...

Shock of the Year
The untimely and sudden death of perfumer Mona di Orio due to complications of surgery. We will sorely miss her.

Premonition (or rather certainty) which Became Awful Reality
We had discussed how Amy Winehouse would be an intriguing candidate for a celebrity scent, but she kicked the bucket and died at 27. It's really sad...

Several other people involved in one way or another with fragrance & fashion died this year: Jean-Francois Laporte, Helene Rochas, Elizabeth Taylor, Evelyn Lauder, Loulou de la Falaise...A heavy toll 2011 brought along.

Yawn of the Year re: Fragrance Launches
Madonna issuing her Truth or Dare celebrity scent. Eons too late on the bandwagon, dear Madge.

Atrocities of 2011: There Were Many...
1) The mighty fall of John Galliano: Losing the Dior creative chair and his own label to an (incomprehensible) anti-semetic outburst? You'd think he'd know better than that.
2) In the words of Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas vis a vis the hostile take-over of 20% of his company by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) president Bernard Arnault: "If you want to seduce a beautiful woman, you don't start by raping her from behind." The thriller took the length of 2011 and thankfully is over (as per Le Figaro). Phewwww...
3) Parfums Dior dropping the Chérie from Miss Dior Chérie, and altering the fragrance formula on top of that, thus utterly confusing the consumer into thinking they're buying something else. Sacrilege ~re: the seminal gardenia chypre classic from 1947, now called Miss Dior Original~ to say the least.

Perfume Ad Gone the Way of Je Bore (or Weird Traffic Generator of the Year)
I watched the new commercial film for Dior J'Adore with Charlize Theron. It didn't wow me, even though directed by one of my favourite film directors, and I explained the objective reasons why it's unoriginal and borderline tomb-raiding. It's garnered a heck of a lot of interest for that kind of post, none the less from PR damage control employees. Which makes me think perfume companies are used to getting a priori positive coverage, clearly a delusional expectation. 

Contradiction of the Year
Serge Lutens gave me pause for the first time (yes, I'm even bypassing the L'Eau horror). While his Jeux de Peau (export) is yummily sensuous with the toasted touch of pyrazines, his angular Vitriol d'Oeillet (export) and his dusty-clean yet funereal De Profundis (Paris exclusive) puzzled me. Maybe I will lose myself again to his upcoming release, L'Eau Froide based on cool, icy frankincense. I continue to wear his previous fragrances with the requisite awe and solemnity.

Scent-Related Laugh of 2011
Petite Mort by Marc Atlan tie with Surplus by Jammie Nicholas
When you need to put the pompous word "art" in there to make people sit up and notice, things are not looking good.

Let-Down of 2011
Chanel No.19 Poudre
Lukewarm, spineless, without much character to speak of.

Perfume Post I Promise to Revisit
The Vocabulary of Scent

Best Perfume Sprinkling in Written Material of Another Purpose
Damage Control by Denise Hamilton

Perfume Book to Savour
F.Malle On Perfume Making 

Biography of 2011
Lisa Chaney's Chanel: An Intimate Life (review coming up)

Beauty Trend I Liked
Deeep, creamy, navy blue for nails. I don't know, they just look totally cool. OPI Road House Blues especially.

Beauty Trend I Disliked
"Crackled" nails in shades of puke or asphalt. WHY??

Beauty Staples I Appreciated Even More This Year
Bioderma Sensibio Solution Micellaire
Chanel Vitalumiere satin foundation

Here's to a wonderful, creative, beautiful 2012 for all of you!!
And please share your own top perfume/beauty finds of 2011 in the comments.

Please visit the other participants to this project:

"Best of 201"  image by Roxana of Illuminated Perfume"

Nails pic via London Lacquer. J'Adore collage via , A*Men pic via


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, not least your great category headings! I haven't got to my own list yet, but a number of the ones you mention may well feature, such as Candy, Violet Blonde, Santal Massoia, Elie Saab, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga L'Essence. Oh and La Femme Bleue in the impossibly affordable category. In fact, yours is the list with the most "congruence" with my taste that I have read so far! (Though I liked No 19 Poudre, so we diverge there...)

  2. Vanessa,

    thank you honey for chiming in. I think we share quite a bit of similar tastes on the whole, so no surprises. (The Chanel is rather "nice", but do we really expect nice from the No.19 franchise? is what I'm questioning.)
    Besides these are objectively very good releases, they meet all criteria.

  3. Eliam16:06

    I discovered and smelled a few Guerlain long gone classics this year: Rue de la Paix, Pois de Senteur, Fol Arome, and Djedi (some of these I discovered because of your own blog posts). My favorite two were Rue de la Paix and Djedi. I have a few Coty vintage perfumes coming in the mail but I'm not sure it will get to me before years end (Chypre, Emeraude, and L'Origan).

  4. Thanks for the post and happy new year! Somehow, I do not share your enthusiasm for this year's releases, nothing really moved me - but who knows, perhaps next year I'll smell something fantastic I have missed.

    2011 was however a very good year for finds and purchases. Perhaps the best surprise was a perfectly preserved vintage Diorissimo parfum.


  5. Elena, your list is always fun and informative, as your retrospective look is solid, not trendy. Thanks so much for the nod to the Natural Perfumers Guild's Brave New Scent project. The perfumers loved the challenge of creating with 21st Century aromatics, and the recogntion is appreciated.

  6. Rappleyea17:28

    Another great post, and an interesting list! Thank you. I run way behind in testing, so my favorites of 2011 were from prior years: AG Myhrre Ardente and Mecca Balsam. lol! But in 2011, I really loved SSS Fig Tree, and I'm really looking forward to the new Nostalgie, due out in Jan.

    Thanks, E. for another great year of reviews! All the best to you in the New Year.

  7. Thank you Elena for the including the Brave New Scents project from the Guild...I appreciated your review of Enchant my submission. It was great fun creating a perfume for this project. I look forward to more projects in 2012.

  8. I waffled on giving Chanel its own hall of shame category, between Jersey and that Poudre thing, then decided I had enough of them. The only good thing I have to say about Chanel this year is that at least they *didn't* produce a crackled nail polish.

    Happy New Year, dear Elena. Wishing you all of the very best (and a trip to NYC, because I'm selfish).

  9. E,

    isn't it a sweet agony awaiting for the little treasures to arrive? A step further down the rabbit hole and an exciting prelude the Guerlains were. Djeji is especially unusual in that it's so dry and unconventional by today's standards. You should also try Onda by Vero Profumo if you like the Guerlain.
    Enjoy your treasures and happy new year!

  10. M,

    you certainly did justice to the vintage hunt: Diorissimo is such a fragile creature that it rarely keeps well. So doubly the congratulations are in order. Enjoy! :-)

    As to my enthusiasm, it comes with a smile of sagacity in taking things as they come nowadays, after being completely jaded last year (to the point of not wanting to smell anything new any more).

  11. Anya,

    thanks for thinking of me when organising. It's always an honour.
    The scents I reviewed made an impression and I think they have "legs" so to speak. I took the liberty of also individually linking them beside the general BNS link; looks more proper. ;-)

    Happy new and creative year!

  12. D,

    no worries, one doesn't have to smell everything anyway (Neither did I, but then with over a thousand -yup!- releases this year, is it any wonder? The skin real estate and time isn't enough for even half of that number)
    Love your choices btw! Do try Salaam's Sharif too, I think it's light-hearted enough of an oriental to wear year round.

    Happy 2012!

  13. JAB,

    you're most welcome. It was something that surprised me pleasantly and I loved the parfum bottle presentation! (and your pics)

    Happy and creative 2012!

  14. G,

    haha, about right!! I always found the total awe in front of Chanel rather too impressed for comfort. It's only a brand, after all. (No tomatoes please)

    They have now sadly capitulated to just what everyone else is doing to some considerable degree i.e. endless flankers, lukewarm releases, niche for the sake of niche (and see how they attenuated those great vintages BdI and CdR). If they had produced a crackle, we might as well dismiss them entirely.

    I fervently hope that we can finally schedule a NY trip and meet up. It's been a long time since I last were in the US.

    Happy new year to you, darling!

  15. Anonymous21:33

    I really enjoyed your list, especially the atrocities. :) All the best to you in 2012!

  16. I too loved TF's Santal Blush. It reminds me a bit of Serge's Santal Blanc.

    Thanks for posting such an entertaining list, I always love your year end wrap-ups!


    PS: Poudre is a fave from 2011. Can I hold my skin chemistry accountable for my love of it rather than bad taste? LOL

  17. Thank you so much Elena, what a marvelous honor to have Secret Garden as your Best All-Naturals Scent! Your review was splendid – so remarkably well-thought & written. Your support means so much to me!
    xo Mandy

  18. Eliam23:56


    Yes! The anticipation is agonizing but so worth the wait.

    I just found out that I am getting one of my packages today! Which perfume vials will it contain, I don't know, but I'm oh so excited.

    I agree that Djedi is very dry and unusual but absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of very good Indian vetiver with its deep, earthiness. I love it!

    I actually visit your blog quite often so I guess it's time to actually introduce myself. My full name is Eliam Puente. I've been studying perfumery for about 3 years now with hopes to have my own line in the near future. Thank you for your blog posts. They are very inspiring and informative.

  19. Anonymous02:19


    Thank you so much for this entertaining and informative list! What a fabulous read! :) And thank you for the mention as a stand out in the wold of indie perfumers in 2011; it's really an honor just to be mentioned in your 2011 "Best of's". I look forward to sharing much more with you in 2012! Wishing you great creativity and fragrant blossomings for the New Year~


  20. Hey there! Long time no write. I loved the LVMH quote.

    My daughters are crazy about the crackled nail polish, and I think it's fine... on them. On adults, not so much.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. APB,

    thanks so much!
    The atrocities HAD to be mentioned, there was no other way; they were so eye-sore obvious!!

    I wish the same for you! :-)

  23. Trish,

    it's heartening to see that a sandalwood marvel can be achieved even if the Mysore variety supply is severely depleted. I found Vasnier stroke the perfect balance between refinement and non requisite ornamentation; it's not an easy task to do. You're right that it bears a similarity with SB. They're just so creamy and soft, both of them.

    It's all right to like the Poudre; no brownie points lost. ;-)
    I am probably too strict on it personally, because I absolutely love the EDT and parfum in the regular, old-school No.19.

    Happy new year and thanks for organising this end of year Recap!

  24. Mandy,

    objectively SG was stellar. I had to include it.

    Happy new year!

  25. Eliam,

    it's absolutely lovely to make your acquaintance, thank you! And thank you for the delightful compliment too.

    So a perfumer, eh? An uphill road, but I wish you every success. It's not like the perfume market can't bear another indie brand. In fact, some of the best surprises come from there, so go go go!!

    And please come back and let me know your impressions on the perfumes you will try out. ;-)

  26. Dawn,

    thanks for chiming in. I greatly respect your aesthetic sense and productivity; I have liked many perfumes and I need to get down and write full reviews of them sometime. (*new year's promise*)

    Wishing you a creative, loving and prosperous new year!

  27. Hello darling March!

    Indeed, we have lost touch, I need to amend. This past year has been crazily busy, I guess; it's a wonder how I keep the blog going, I suppose it's a kind of discipline.

    Arnault is making everything in his power to turn luxury the way he views luxury, which IMHO is no luxury at all. I'm glad the Hermes case ended the way it did.

    As to crackled nails, everything looks good and cute on small children, even drool. :D It's us grown ups who need to be attentive to the look we present to the world.

    Happy 2012!! (and off to read you too)

  28. At least if people need to spam with covert ads, just spare me the silly "wow, you have a good post there" text. It insults our readers' intelligence.

  29. Sofi13:41

    Helena thank you for this interesting list!It is both fun and informative!!I think too that Elie Saab, Bottega Veneta and Violet Blonde were really feminine with an air of luxury!I didn't like at all Prada "Candy". I was expecting something more from Prada!What I discovered this year were a few Guerlain and I fell totally in love with Habit Rouge!I have also been fascinated with Bulgari Jasmin Noir, Fleur de Cristal by Lalique, Eau demoiselle by Givenchy and Une rose Chypree by Andy Tauer!Finaly, I'd like to mention that my best discovery of this year was your outstanding, unique blog!It is an honor for me
    to join it!I wish you a happy, prosperous, creative and fragrant year!

  30. Eva H.18:27

    Thanks so much for this post!
    Please don´t ever stop writing this blog.
    I wish you and your family as well as all my fellow readers here a happy new year!!

  31. Eliam22:07


    Thank you for the encouraging words. Perfumery is definitely an uphill road but I think that challenge and thrill is what keeps me going.

    This ended up being a lucky weekend for me as I actually got both packages of vintage goodies plus some absolutes I ordered to play around with (Oakmoss, Labdanum, Benzoin... Chypre anyone?)

    So here are my thoughts on the vintage perfumes I got:

    Chanel No 5: Not much needs to be said about it other that the fact that the vintage parfum is much better than any version they sell today. It's extra powdery, extra floral, extra beautiful.

    Coty Chypre: I was once able to test an Eau de Toilette version of Coty's Chypre and I liked it quite a bit, but the vintage parfum is so much better. It's opens surprisingly soft and sweet where as the Eau de Toilette was more bitter. You definitely do get the bitter mossiness as it dries but it's softly powdered and elegant. I love it! I might actually wear it this evening when I visit friends for a new years party. Unless of course I decide to wear the next contender which is...

    Coty's Emeraude: This perfume is absolutely beautiful and fights Chypre on which one I like most. The first thing that came to mind was Shalimar since it has a striking resemblance to it. It smells like a blend of Benzoin, Peru Balsam, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, and Sandalwood with very little else. Love it!

    Coty's L'Origan: This one would be my least favorite for the same reason Guerlain's Fol Arome is my least favorite from that bunch (Rue de la Paix, Djedi, Pois de Senteur, Fol Arome). There is a fake cherry (slightly cherry flavored cough medicine) note in it that I don't care for very much. I'm not sure if it's the anise or dimethyl anthranilate (I'll actually be getting some methyl anthranilate in next week so I'll have a better idea) but it's the only note I dislike of L'Origan. The rest of it is very nice. Vintage L'Heure Bleue has a similar note but it disappeared sooner and softens up so beautifully that I can still say I love it. L'Origan will have to go to my appreciate and somewhat like category but I can't find myself loving it.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts on these vintages with everyone. Happy New Year to all!

  32. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who the new "J'Adore" commercial comes off not quite right too.

  33. So I should get the Pure Havane thing after all?

  34. Anonymous00:27

    I just want to react on John Galliano. He was beyond drunk when he started to talk stupid. You know that I live in New York, here we have islamophobe politicians like Peter King and Newt Gingrich tell you everyday "these people are terrorists", and noone in the american media challenges them. If you call a dumb italian guy a douchebag or a guido, you'll get away with it, not a big deal but it you critize Israel or anything about it, you'll be instantly labelled an antisemite.
    Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican candidate who's doing pretty well right now and who wants to stop spending money on supporting Israel is being bashed 24/7 by the Wolf Blitzer and Ron Brownstein of CNN!
    Rick Sanchez formerly of CNN who represented the only hispanic journalist in news television, was fired just like that for questioning the power of jewish lobby in american media.
    I'm against all kinds of discriminations but let's be honest, when it comes to pointing the finger to unfortunate incendiary comments, there's a double standard between Jews and the rest of us.


  35. Anonymous01:23

    My best fragrance find Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis; best beauty find cream, mousse eyeshadow/bases which includes MAC, Benefit, Chanel, L'Oreal, MUFE and Armani.
    Happy 2012!!!

  36. Sofi,

    it's a wonderful compliment and I thank you from my heart for it. :-)

    Your choices are in many cases similar to mine, I too love Une Rose Chypree and Jasmin Noir: in fact these are among my most complimented fragrances since I bought them.

    As to Candy, several people dismissed it, you're certainly not alone! Probably because eaxctly we thought of Prada as something not capitualiting to "trend". But I think among the sweet stuff Prada Candy merits praise as it's not simplistic, but refined. It's more a distinction of quality in structuring than on the aesthetic genre per se.

    Happy new year!!

  37. Eva,

    you're most welcome, and wow, what a nice thing to say, I'm blushing!

    I wish you the very same, darling! Happy 2012!

  38. Eliam,

    I trust you will continue on this path then ;-)

    How very lovely that you could share your impressions here and at such length, thank you!

    It is as you say, No.5 had a sheen that was sans pareil in the vintage extrait. As to Coty's Chypre, I always felt that among vintages it is among the easiest to pass off as a modern composition; it's got a timeless appeal. It doesn't seem dated at all. Can't argue with Emeraude, the name alone is such an evocative image; like the deep blue of Shalimar...

    As to L'Origan, perhaps the best "education" is against L'Heure Bleue indeed. Methyl anthranilate has a rather fruity scent, I mostly associate it with grape flavours myself (I know dimethyl anthranilate is the falvour in Kool Aid), so I think the cherry pie note is heliotropin and anise; but that's common in L'Heure Bleue as well, as you note. I think Guerlains as a rule are rounder, curvier, if you wish, which lends them an instanly likeable veneer, even if you come to not love them in the end. They're inherently attuned to their environment, they meld.

  39. No Disassamble,

    I'm ever so glad I'm having people like you actually stating so publicly. At one point I felt a bit attacked by the LVMH employees for not really finding original something which objectively speaking is drawing upon past inspirations.

    Thanks for commenting and happy new year!

  40. L,

    hello there!
    If you have the opportunity, you most definitely should! TM does those infuriating LEs and they generally do very good stuff, which is a lesson in not procastrinating.

    Happy new year! (and more soon!)

  41. Emma,

    first of all, happy new year!

    Secondly, thanks for the comment which goes against the grain; I wouldn't expect any less.
    I too find that sometimes there is an hypersensitivity towards this particular ethnic (or is it religious?) group, but I can't help thinking that it is because: 1) they have been prosecuted for millenia and 2) they hold the positions of power to complain effectively, so why pout and not try to take some positions of power yourself? (by "yourself", I mean other groups).
    To make my position clear I think I define myself as pro-Jewish (I rather like the guys, those I've met myself and heard tales about from my elders), but non Zionist (I think the whole affair of making a state out of nowhere shook the area a lot and created all sort of problems). In that regard, I kinda understand the Palestinians too, you know? There are pros and cons to BOTH sides.

    JG's comment was terrifically stupid, and that's what I'm commenting on mainly (i.e. he should have known better), because he went into a tirade that was sure to get publicized. People record on camera phones almost anything. He most certainly is aware that his every action is criticized anyway,as he's famous. I do believe he was genuinely drunk; though according to Yungian doctrine we don't do something while inebriated we wouldn't do while sober. This gives me some pause for thought...(in vino veritas etc)
    Then again, he also said some other things (about ugliness and fat-ness to those who confronted them) which curiously didn't get quite the same reaction! (surely they're just as rude). I am also reminded of the JPGuerlain incident.
    It's a complicated can of worms; it probably needs intellects greater than mine to crack it. :-)

    Other than that, it does irritate me that sometimes the public tends to favour a PC artist over a "mad" or un-PC artist, even though the former might be numerous scales down in artistic importance to the latter ("we" like Spielberg, "we" bash Woody Allen; in my mind there' no comparison ~to draw just two very American and very Jewish examples).
    I never got why we have to inwardly smile when someone famous we know turns out to be a "good guy" as well; were we planning on marrying them or having them as neighbourghs? So what difference does it make? Artists (and creators in general) should be judged on their artistic merit; not their lives. But that goes the way of a Nitzsche-ian attitude and we go full circle... ;-)

    I'm perfectly willing to believe that what you say about Ron Paul stands on its own two legs. I haven't really followed so I defer to your greater expertise. I don't trust CNN much myself, judging by what they covered on the Serbo-Bosnian conflict 15 years ago (always pro-Bosnian, when I know for a fact that Serbians standing on bridges protesting were ruthlessly bombared; I know this from testimonies of real people, not broadcasted material) and what they covered on Iraq and Afganistan (when we knew different from the European media and had footage of torture) and also what they're covering on the Greek and Euro crisis now (complete distortion and dangerous speculation to back up the banking consortium that gains from all this).
    The bulk of the media is controlled by some power of another, so the only free democracy is the Internet. You have to be a little savvy and not totally stupid to unearth the truth, but the truth can be unearthed all the same. I find that heartening.

  42. Beuatynscience,

    pleased to make your acquaintance and thanks for commenting!

    AU is such a pleasing everyday scent, I'm not surprised. I like very much his Absolue pour le Soir though this one is evenings only and intimate evenings at that ;-)
    As to the eyeshadow bases, I have yet to try anything by MUFA other than their tone correctors. Is there anything that stands out?

    Happy new year to you!!

  43. Elena, I'm getting my paycheck this week and I know a few places that still stock it. Or stocked a few days ago. I'll go for it, then.

  44. L,

    I don't think you will regret it. You deserve this!!


  45. Anonymous05:13

    Elena, I'm glad you mentioned Steven Spielberg. Jewish-born authors and composers such as Philip Roth and Daniel Barenboim have been many times labelled self-loathing jews from what Roth calls a certain self-righteous jewish community (Steven Spielberg himself and also a myriad of jewish journalists and jewish institutions etc) just because they're not "pro-Jewish", they don't have any particular jewish or zionist agenda. As a matter of fact Barenboim claims he's both israeli and palestinian and even worse he's a Wagnerian lover.

    I respect your pro-jewish stance but I am not pro-Jewish, just like I'm not pro-Christian or anything that's religious. Now is being jewish solely religion or like the Nazis claimed a race on its own, which they considered inferior and inbred (although a "pure" Nazi aryan race is also a form of inbreeding, evidently the Nazis didn't think of that).

    I'm with Ron Paul when he says, the US shouldn't take sides in the Middle-East. Under Roman rule, neither Palestinians or Jews were independant, it's up to them to figure it out. The more the US gets involved the more ennemies we get in that region of the world, plus the fact we're super broke right now and we're slipping economically, we cannot afford to support Israel and wage wars with countries just because they're hostile to Israel. The US media is so pro-israel and in cahoot with the military-industrial complex which Einsenhower warned americans against, Israel makes headlines on television news almost every single day occulting other more important problems - after all glaciers are melting all over the planet and there are still thousands of children who starve somewhere in the world but it's Israel you hear about on a daily basis and that's been going on for 40 years!

    I thought of you yesterday because I went to Bloomingdales where I bought a Sonia Rykiel sweater on sale (the sweetest of parisian and jewish designers). Eventually I smelled Tom Ford Santal Blush since you mentioned it, I immediately thought of a sort of etheral Lutens Santal de Mysore.


  46. E,

    to clarify, I'm not pro-any religion/race/ethnicity, I don't judge people by any such "definers", but I simply mean that I find the actual people nice and kind. At least those I've met and talked to myself. (they're quite formidable in business! LOL)
    I don't know; I treat people nicely as a rule and they treat me nicely back. It works. :-)

    Race is such a complicated and silly matter now that all the races in the world are so mingled. Isn't it? Being of the DNA I am, I can't but stop and think just how many generations have perhaps intermingled to produce this particular set? (I am adamant about language continuity through those 4000 years though!)

    As to Daniel Barenhboim I respect him as an artist immensely (I'm a trained classical pianist myself, as you might know, and so I can judge with some objective criteria) . I also respect Wagner as an artist immensely. Their personal beliefs/actions have nothing to do with how I judge their artistic output. (though I can't but admit I feel a tinge of empathy when I hear how DB left poor Jacqueline de Pré ~maybe I'm a little unjust there, as that was probably doomed anyway)

    As to important news not making it to the public on some frequency, obviously there is no immediate pay off in those ;-)
    Obviously when there are lobbies pressing politicians for something, you have specific news cropping up. That's across the board.

    How lovely on the SR sweater! (a signature striped one in multi-colours?) She's so elegant in her playfulness. Enjoy!!
    Isn't Santal Blush most refined? Gld you took my advice to sniff. I too found it has common elements with both Santal Mysore and Santal Blanc. Very nice!

  47. Anonymous00:48

    Yes it was the SR striped sweater in multi-colours on beige background but sadly I realised it was a little short on me so I returned it. I bought a sweater dress by Carven instead, not as glamourous as the SR sweater but I'm tall, those sweater dresses look great on me! Here's the link, the color is more fern and less green than on the photo:,default,pd.html?utm_source=GAN&


  48. Emma,

    the Carven dress look great actually! I especially like the sage colouring, though it's a bit draining on me (I prefer forest, teal, mint or emerald greens on myself); are you olive-skinned? It would look heavenly on youif so.


  49. Anonymous22:46

    Elena, I'm fair skin borderline olive skin, hazel eyes and medium brown hair, I'm a medium to high contrast as well so pastels, pale colors or whites wash me up. I look my best in black and navy blue but it's always nice to add other colors but they must deep enough to support my skin tone and contrast. The dress looks more forest and fougere than it does in the photo, actually I don't understand why it comes off as so grass green. The inside is fleece so it's very warm for harsh NY winters. It's casual look for winter, but with the right makeup, shoes and accessories you can get away with a dressier look at night wearing that Carven sweater dress and you'll look pretty without looking Dolce Versace slutty ;-))

  50. Anonymous19:25

    I found this thread because I was curious to find out what cologne Daniel Barenboim wears. See, I used to work with him and always thought he smelled wonderfully- cigar smoke (he loves them) and a deep, leather based cologne that wafted through the halls at the symphony. I did once inquire of his personal assistant, but got a "forget the name- but I purchase it for him at Bloomingdales". I never found out and have yet to smell it on anyone else. The only other link was a reference to his "awful" cologne on another site. Quite the contrary, I found it intoxicating. Any ideas?

  51. BF,

    thanks for commenting on this most interesting subject and glad you stumbled on the thread here :-)

    I'm afraid I have no idea, though if it's older (and he had the habit a long time ago) it should be some classic: maybe the Original Tabac or some such. If it's newer, then perhaps Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford (does Bloomies stock his Private line? Can't check from where I am, site blocks me) or Gucci II or the great Arsene Lupin (review on these very pages, use the Search) by Guerlain or even Burberry London for Men. Try to get a sniff of those. If it's described as "awful" by some, it means it's butch and probably mossy (which is a good thing in MY books!) so try Santos by Cartier, Aramis by Aramis (Lauder Group) and Givenchy Gentleman as well. ;-)

    Good luck and eager to know if you find out!!

  52. Anonymous17:30

    Thank you, but it must be an older scent, at least 1985 if not much earlier. It's not Aramis. I will have to get ahold of a bottle of Tabac Original and see if this may be it. Thanks, and wish me luck!

  53. *I just love it when people follow up! Thrilled on the response*

    Tabac original by Mauer & Wirtz is from 1955 so good chances there. It's very low profile right now (drugstore fare), but it used to be considered "classier". (It does smell classy at any rate, which is the whole point).

    Givenchy Gentleman (rough, herbal, butch, leathery) is from 1974 and I just recalled that many men in the 1970s had a fondness for the original Van Cleef for men. Might test those as well just to see?

    Best of luck at any rate!!


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