What always strikes me about Bois des Iles is how utterly unique it is and yet how it is completely familiar to me, for Chanel it completely blows off of the idea that all Chanels are some strange alien cool creatures that just reek of cool chicness (which is what you want a lot of the times anyways). For me it is what a fairytale would look like in the hands of Coco Chanel. As for the familiarity of the scent, I can't explain it, it smells of home too me, it smells like it should be every where, but it isn't. It is the scent that makes you question why on earth are there not more scents in its category of aldehydic woods. It glows, it evolves, it is woods, perfect glow of an orange in Autumn twilight, gingerbread in shadows waiting to be eaten.
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image: Lot 153: Illustration of a Fox Hunting Party Traveling Through the Woods by Henry James Soulen
Sometimes all you want is something sweet and embracing but then you have that one other need that is so opposite of the other two, sophisticated, that you are left with a conundrum of what to do, and to top it all off you want it easy. I had seen the recipe for Brown Butter Blondies a few weeks ago and had been agonizing about wanting to make them but could not with a right mind turn the oven on in 100 degree weather to bake a dessert that screamed Autumn to me, so I waited the weather out.
The idea of brown butter in desserts has always intrigued me, the added nuttiness and depth to already delicious butter made brown butter something to fantasize about, so finally the weather changed, and I tried the recipe. The recipe could not be simpler or easier and the results were phenomenal, while sweet the blondies were not overly sweet, the vanilla melded with the molasses of the dark brown sugar to create a heady fragrance, the pecans added there own sweet nuttiness, while the blondies themselves a beautiful caramel color. While children would eat these with joy, I could not help but realize that these are probably far more delightful for adults. As I sat there eating a blondie I realized that it reminded me of a fragrance, Guerlain's Cuir Beluga, while Guerlain may hype up the scent as the most elegant of things, and it is elegant what they fail to add is that Cuir Beluga is also very much a dessert scent, vanilla and amber with just the tiniest touch of leather to keep it from becoming vanilla pudding. The Leather and Brown Butter act out the very same role in these creations they make them adult desserts.
The recipe for Brown Butter Blondies can be found here:
So today is finally feeling like Autumn. I've already made Carrot Ginger soup in celebration of it and later on some Brown Butter Blondies. My scent today is Serge Luten's Daim Blond that doesn't seem to get much love yet in this lovely Autumnal weather is perfect. This lightly spiced suede melts into the skin beautifully and brings a chicness that is unexpected.
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image: Golden Cottonwoods by Christopher Burkett 1993
Sometimes you just have to go girly pretty but why should that disparaged, in age when girly and womanly seem to be oversexed to attract a man's view, it is nice to put on a scent that feels like the purely feminine, celebratory of the feminine aspect at its most girly. In a way it reminds me of the Lolita Gothic trend:
The fragrance while feminine has its own bits of dark angles that makes it such a unique fragrance.
Just wanted to offer two really good articles about the Gothic Lolita trend:
I think I am one of the few that likes this scent/or has positive results from it. For the few first hours it is smoky goodness and then becomes a sweet tart rose. In the other news today is the first day of Autumn and it is supposed to get to 103 here, Magnifique was the only scent that reminded me of of Autumn and I could wear in the heat today. Not much else to say when you are pining away for your Autumn weather.
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image: Still Life with Poppies and Morning Glories by James Aponovich 2007
When I was a kid my Dad smoked cigarettes; to this day the scent of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous. So imagine my surprise when I found out I have a rather growing love for the scent of tobacco. The love for it began with Fifi Chachnil (this still has one of the more delightful unique uses for tobacco out there), I then went on to try and smell it in Chergui (for some reason this smells mainly of sweet honey on me), followed by Fumerie Turque which has a wonderful smokiness going on a hint of tobacco and eventual dry down creamy leather on me. Finally what I consider almost a soliflore for tobacco, Hilde Soliani's Bell'Antonia, tobacco and coffee deliciously blended into something utterly nuzzle worthy. I then received a decant of Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, which starts out with a pungent wet tobacco note laden with cloves and drys down to a delicious honey vanilla cream on me. Yet, it turns out my love for the scent of tobacco really didn't just begin last year, I like to think it might actually be something I have been growing with for a very long time. The beginner scent being Lolita Lempicka, yes thats right there is a tobacco note in there, so lovely and delicate in its use you might pass it by but it is there, then there was the scent that made me cross the gender aisles of perfumery, Guerlain's Vetiver, the tobacco pronounced beautifully in the dry down. Finally about three years ago my love for Must de Cartier which I swear has a tobacco note.
Another realization, I like my tobacco notes combined with sweeter things. My birthday is coming up and I have decided to kill two birds with one stone this year for my birthday fragrance, I want to find a good tobacco scent with vanilla. So I have gathered a list for things I wish to sample:
Sometimes you just forget that Annick Goutal is not all romance and that the house is very much willing to take creative leaps. I always think that a perfume is showing its art when you smell it and image immediately springs to your mind, Musc Nomade did just that. While Musc Nomade's inspiration lies in the Middle East, when I smelled it something very American popped in my head: The South Western Painted Horse. Yet this is not completely anachronistic, in the US the painted horse is a symbol of nomad-ism at its most wild and beautiful. When smelling Musc Nomade, I immediately smelled hay, warm horse breath that had just eaten oats rolled in molasses, the colors of Navajo white and rich chocolate brown.
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image: Horse and Stone Walls by Patricia Turner 2008
I think I may be going backwards with my fragrance love when I was young I adored Paloma Picasso (I suspect because of my association with my mother), I understood chypres to an extent, but then I moved on to sweet gourmands, after that it was orientals and woods but always with a sweet edge, for the most part this year I have been enamoured with the note of tobacco, and now as Autumn arrives I suddenly have my eyes looking towards florals. It has begun with an awakened love for lily which began with Donna Karan's Gold and now with the blazing Serge Luten's Un Lys, sharped edged in exactness of opulent lily. But to be more truthful this new love towards lady-like florals most likely began with Prada's Infusion d'Iris, which I have worn the last two years with a great deal of love, the bottle more than half way gone, which is almost unheard of for a fragrance lover. But lately that iris just hasn't been up to what I have been wanting on a whim I swapped for Ferre by Ferre, another iris of good repute. This is an iris for Autumn (okay the whole year) where as Infusion d'Iris can feel too cool and delicate in cold weather unless you are need a spring pick me up, this one warm and powdery starting with a lovely bright pineapple note and then heads into lovely iris softness.
Well it suddenly feels like Autumn has arrived for the last two days we have had thunder and lightening followed by gentle rain, a crispness in the air has suddenly arrived. I admit I am bit shocked considering on Thursday we were in 100s and now this loveliness, although looking at the weather forecast it is supposed to be short lived and by Thursday we will be back in the 90s. Taking advantage of this lovely little bit of weather before Indian summer comes back with Lolita Lempicka today and a pair of boots. There is something so perfect about this scent in Autumnal weather, the sweetness perfectly accented by violets, anise, vetiver, vanilla, and a dash of tobacco. It is a scent meant for playful enchantment.
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image: The Queen of Hearts by Emma Florence Harrison 1910