I wonder if you wonder.
Walter Neff asks Phyllis Dietrichson "Same chair same perfume same anklet?"
"I wonder if you know what I mean?" responds Phyllis
"I wonder if you wonder," says Walter
It was a hot afternoon and I could still remember the scent of honeysuckle all along that street. How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle.
Double Indemnity 1944 with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson.
Those magical retro vibes.
"My new Rugir de Gardenia has vintage vibes thoroughly modernized, so the scent is in a unique place in 2023 perfumery. I’m 63 years old now and my formative perfumery creation decades were in the 1980’s and 1990’s, so I always laugh at myself a bit when I read comments from perfume devotees discussing “vintage” fragrances from 1988 and I remember attending the scent's launch party. Funny stuff, as by definition it makes me vintage. But forty years in perfumery also allows me to share through perfume creations with my clientele what the possibilities are in a perfume. Often modern perfumes of which I have many on offer at Dame Perfumery are sheer and transparent and one-dimensional simply because this is what the customer of today desires. Here and there discussions appear bemoaning the European IFRA ingredient standards implying that complex perfume formulas can’t be made today because of ingredient restrictions, but this is not really the case. Sophisticated and advanced modern aroma chemicals laid over a bed of naturals can easily achieve those magical retro vibes. The clientele for such a perfume is more limited, but fierce and focused. For those in search of such a scent, I can only suggest my new Rugir de Gardenia."
"Modern perfume creations are more often than not linear in their scent character, by which I mean the top note scent you smell in the first moments after spraying your perfume on remains consistent over the next few hours through the middle notes and down to the dry down; everything constant. My photorealistic SOLIFLORE Gardenia perfume does this, true and focused all the way though. Even the more complex formula for my Carolina Woman Lime, Gardenia & Benzoin Eau de Toilette performs in this manner. There are nuances and facets to experience, but the character is steady throughout. Back in the day though there were perfume formulas with a great deal of movement - what you smell to start changes and moves to different places throughout the day. The character can't be pinned down, the scent is on its own journey and you try and keep up. This is what you will find with my new JD Rugir de Gardenia Noir Femme Eau de Parfum, a vintage vibes retro fabulous shapeshifter which carries you away."
Gardenia of my mind
"White flower aficionados cherish a gardenia note in their perfume for its unique, glowing, full and rounded beauty. So very special. Less known out in the perfume universe is that all gardenia perfumes are creative fantasies from the perfumer's mind. Gardenia in its natural state is one of the few flowers for which fragrant essential oil can not be harvested and extracted from the plant for use in perfumery. Squeeze a rose...perfumed rose oil. Squeeze a gardenia...nada. So then by default all the gardenia notes and full-fledged gardenia perfumes out there in the world created are with the perfumer's imagination using sophisticated aromachemical molecules and extracts of other similar white flowers to re-create the impression of gardenia. Fascinating really, which is why rose perfumes generally exude a specific recognizable character and gardenia perfumes have an olfactive effect which journeys all over the place. Come walk with me, I'll show you, for my gardenia perfumes all follow their own unique paths of beauty."
Such a racket.
"As the new year cascades in with pervasive racket my mind drifts back to 1980 and my time working at the flagship Neiman-Marcus store in downtown Dallas at Main & Ervay Streets. Mr. Stanley Marcus was still a constant presence and he led the debate as to whether the store should allow electronic cash registers in store. At the time the cash wrap stations on each floor had a wooden cash drawer with bills and coins inside to make change. Each sale was hand written in a book with a copy to the customer. The concern was that electronic registers would create a distracting "humm" sound in the air plus all those beeping buttons, printing receipts and the cash drawer banging out...so noisy and vulgar. It was a quiet time, but of course modern registers won the day [and soon after UPC codes - which I'll have you know was the death knell for pure perfume] and the racket began. I'm struck today in 2023 not so much by this tale of progress, but more-so an enviable thought that at one time store management was so intensely focused on the best customer experience that a plugged in machine was not progress, but rather an intruder."
Warm my heart
"There's something very comforting when the color of a perfume closely resembles how the scent actually smells. One look at the bottle on your bureau and you feel intuitively the entire fragrance fragrance experience. This came to mind as I hand-filled bottles of my Duality Woman EdP today. The deep amber color of the fluid and the complementary waves of warm scent floating up into the air are a perfect match. Such symbiosis is not necessary in perfumery, but it is rather nice when it does occur."
Not to be trifled (truffled?) with
"So in addition to my theory of 'Perfume People', there are also those of my customers who are fiercely devoted to chocolate perfume - henceforth noted as 'Chocolate Perfume People' who are not to be trifled (truffled?) with. Their taste in perfume includes special love for the delicious scent of chocolate. My 'Chocolate Perfume People' are already with me. If you're not quite there yet I offer for your consideration my new Chocolate+ Rose EdT as an entree into the world of chocolate. How can you miss with a glorious rose scent and a dollop of chocolate?. Allez, viens!"
Something to be cherished.
"I've spoken of my affinity for perfumed hair oil, the luster it provides and the enchanting trace of scent which surprises for hours on end. Perfumed body cream reaches a similar level of unexpected pleasure, the quiet and ever so personal fragrance sensation upon application and the enjoyment which comes forth, something only you know. Back in the day selecting body cream to complete a perfume experience was second nature. These modern days perfumed body cream usage is relatively rare, but like all rarities it is something to be cherished."
My appetite rises every fall.
"Ahhh, a jacket is needed today...it must be fall. Time to go deep on my cool weather scents so here's to Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, Juste Filthy and Chocolate+ EdP. So I smell well yes, but I also like to read and shop well, and I know my friends at Park Road Books here in Charlotte always take care of me, and indeed they have for my early fall reading list which includes Ian McEwan's new 'Lessons', a mushroom-free re-read of an old favorite from my 1970's hippie days in 'The Teachings of Don Juan' by Carlos Castaneda and my most anticipated new fall book of all Jacques Pepin's latest 'Art of the Chicken'. I am hungry for them all."
There are perfume people.
"One of my special life pleasures is visiting stores for personal appearances and talking with customers one-on-one about their own perfume loves and sharing the perfumes I have on offer for them to explore and enjoy. Over these many years of appearances I've concluded that there are 'Perfume People' - those for whom perfume gives special joy - and then there are those who just do not derive pleasure from scent. It's something in human DNA and I'll guess the split is 50/50. This works fine for me as it means every other person I meet in store is ready to talk perfume, so I am a happy man."