Tag Archives: Blenheim Bouquet

Rose Layering

The layering of fragrances is quite a daring act. I admire anyone that is willing to differentiate themselves in this manner. Harry Sheff, a fellow fragrance enthusiast and new contributing writer for Fragrant Moments, had a chance encounter with layering fragrances recently. He talks about it here in his debut post:


Rose

After wearing a succession of my own colognes and spraying an array of samples on my wrist, my watchband has acquired a bewitchingly complicated fragrance.

I’d heard people talk about layering fragrances before, but I’d never tried it myself—at least not intentionally. So when I realized how great my watchband smelled, I tried to decipher the scent. I don’t quite have it yet, but I tried wearing Costume National’s new men’s scent (reviewed by Barney here recently) over Le Labo’s Rose 31 (which was recommended to me by Barney and reviewed by him.

It’s brilliant. The softness of the Rose 31 (which for those who aren’t familiar with it is deepened by woods, musk and cumin) is deepened even more by Costume National Homme’s sandalwood, cinnamon and cloves. And, conversely, CN Homme’s harsher spiciness is soothed by Rose 31’s floral qualities. This experiment was a great success, I’m guessing, because of Rose 31; I plan on layering this with other fragrances.

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet, a rich evergreen scent, would be a great candidate for layering with Rose 31. This comes to mind because of another pairing my girlfriend discovered with the help of a very smart salesman at CB I Hate Perfume in Brooklyn.

CB sells what seems like hundreds of individual accords, single note scents broken down into 14 categories like spice, flower, sweet, and clean. When the salesman came out from the store’s back room wearing an amazing smelling amber that he got in the mail as a sample from a competitor, he was unwilling (naturally) to tell us what it was.

Instead, he scrambled around the room smelling vials, eventually layering Rose Bulgare and Fir Douglas with an amber. The result was an excellent approximation of the fragrance he was wearing. But even more interesting was the combination of the rose and fir notes. My girlfriend bought them both and wears them together.

As a relative newcomer to the world of fragrances, it’s exciting to reach the level of sophistication (however modest) of mixing existing fragrances together to create new ones. It allows a whole new way to enjoy one’s collection of scents: simultaneously.

-Harry Sheff

Share

Meet Roger Joseph

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Roger at a birthday get together for a friend. As fashionably late as he was, all in attendance greeted him affectionately and I soon learned why, he’s quite the charmer. I caught up to Roger recently at Diner in the meatpacking district where we traded stories about fragrances. I had a hunch he was into them but not to this degree…read on for yourself.

What’s your earliest recollection of fragrance?
The citrusy linger of my Dad’s Blenheim Bouquet (Penthaligon) on the stairwell, as he slipped on his jacket to go out on Saturday evenings. As a kid, I tried to make perfume by soaking handfuls of lilacs from the garden in cold water and then eventually bringing the whole experiment to a slow boil to concentrate the smell. I recall a heady mess on the kitchen counter.

What are some of your favorite fragrances?
Over the years, I find myself coming back to certain disciplines of thought to which I have handily prescribed a scent – Bel Ami by Hermes, Acqua Coloniale by L’Erbolario and Garrigue by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. Thanks to my buddy Antonio, I have a man in Naples who has created something special that I wear sparingly!

There was a time when my go-to scent was Romeo Gigli. In the 80s when severe shoulder-padding adorned even bodysuits from Donna Karan, the designs of Gigli looked artless and yet distinct. Gigli brought the same sense of proportion and colour to the design of his men’s cologne – from the lilac rectangular box with the dark orange label to the citrine green liquid to the bottle itself, which looked like a burgundy domed minaret, with metal coils around its neck. I would stock bottles of it like champagne.

What’s currently in your rotation?
In an effort to simplify my life, I have doubled up on classifications on the domestic front, which means sorting CDs by alphabet and musical genre and arranging the bookshelf by size and jacket cover. In the bathroom, only white packaged products are allowed in the medicine cabinet, and only brown bottled scents are on display, everything else is hidden. Coincidentally, I suppose, I am drawn right now to Flower Power by Comme De Garcons, L’Occitane and Helmut Lang’s Cuiron.

How often do you go out looking for something new? What specifically do you look for?
Not often and little in particular. When a favorite bottle is finished, I’ll replenish it. However, if it’s a new scent to which I’m not keenly attached, I’ll use the opportunity to review a scent I had initially waited to buy or to preview something new.

Have you ever purchased the same fragrance more than once? If so, what was it and what about it made it worthy of a repeat buy?
Several scents, depending on how they reacted to my skin and the responses they elicited. Though I cannot say print or television campaigns inform my choices as much as before, but I remember being repeatedly seduced by the ads for Kouros, Greek god iconography in blue and white, and by the black and white visuals for Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent produced by Jean Baptiste Mondino with a young Naomi Campbell, in silhouette, hair bobbed and playing the part of a scatting chanteuse. Need I say more?

How would you finish this statement, “My most memorable fragrant moment would be…?
I have several: early mornings in general, especially Springtime in the country with the windows open; reading Patrick Susskind’s “Perfume” on the New York subway and noticing a heightened awareness to smells; walking into the Comme Des Garcons perfume shop in Paris for the first time; Fracas by Robert Piguet and the accompanying memories of a prep-school romance to more mature expressions of love and lust, encouraged by Caron’s Yatagan.

Well groomed and versed, that’s Roger Joseph.