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Patty White launched Perfume Posse in 2005, and we've been yapping on and on about perfume endlessly since.

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Feb 162012
 
 February 16, 2012  Posted by on February 16, 2012
perfume posse - perfume reviews, perfume blog

Not aliens!!!  I laid down early last night, thinking I’d just rest my eyes or nap for a second.  7 a.m. this morning I woke up thinking, after some panicky dreams where I hadn’t written my blog post occurred,  curaaaap

But we have something to look forward to!  Releasing on March 15 in the U.K. is Denyse’s new book, “Perfume Lover.”  You can order it here.  If you are outside of the U.K., you will have to pay shipping, so be aware of that before you hit the buy button.  I don’t know much about the book at this point, I think I’ll see it early and can talk about it.

 

From the Press Release:

When fragrance writer Denyse Beaulieu was growing up, perfume was forbidden in her house.  This spurred a childhood curiosity that went on to become an intellectual and sensual passion.  It is this passion that she pursued all the way to Paris, entering the secretive and seductive world of the perfume industry. Little did she know that it would lead her to achieve a fragrance lover’s wildest dream…

When Denyse tells a famous perfumer of a sensual night spent with a beautiful young man in Seville under an orange tree in full blossom, the story stirs his imagination and together they create a scent that captures the essence of that night. This is the story of that perfume.

As the unique creative collaboration unfolds, the perfume-in-progress conjures intimate memories, leading Beaulieu to make sense of her life through scents. Throughout, she weaves the evocative history of perfumery into her personal journey, in an intensely passionate voice: the masters and the masterpieces; the myths and the myth-busting, down to the molecular mysteries that weld our flesh to flowers…

The Perfume Lover is an unprecedented account of the creative process that goes into composing a fragrance, and a uniquely candid insider’s view into the world and history of fragrance. Your world will never smell the same.

The scent that Denyse created capturing that night, Séville à l’aube (Seville at Dawn), was made with Parisian parfumerie L’Artisan Parfumeur and will be available in autumn 2012.

 Denyse Beaulieu is a Paris-based fragrance writer and industry consultant. She has learned the principles of perfume composition with the help of some of the profession’s most prestigious noses. Her expertise has been acknowledged by at the London College of Fashion where she teaches an intensive “Understanding Fragrance” course and the Société Française des Parfumeurs where she is lecturer.

So two things.  If you haven’t met Denyse and heard some of her stories, you can’t know how interesting a life she has led.  I’m really looking forward to this. But I sniffed Seville a l’aube when I was in Paris in November just on a touche, but I kept that little touche pressed to my nose the whole time we were having drinks, then carried it back to the hotel with me, just to snuggle up with it.  It is a beautiful scent – warm, inviting, with enough hints of sexuality to make it really interesting.  Now, should I chance upon an early sample, I am willing (omgthishurtstodothis) to share it with at least one blog commenter this morning as my apology for being so darn late (if I get more than a sample, I’ll share with more than one)!  What kind of perfume, if you were to make one, would yours be if you made one that was about your life?  Or is there a perfume out there that already expresses it?

  51 Responses to “Something Really Special ( Patty )”

Comments (51)
  1. I suspected that this was/is the scent that Black-Hearted Patty was speaking of. I too cannot wait to sniff this. It’s such an exciting honor for Denyse, and you lucky girl get to sample it!
    I will have to give more (too much) thought to “The Perfume of My Life”.

  2. This is (one of the many reasons) why I love the Posse! Patty, for sharing despite the pain, you rock and really sum up why perfume people are GREAT.

    The perfume to sum up my life would have to start with accords of fresh-picked NH red apples, cinnamon in the pies and cider my mom would make, woodsmoke in golden autumn late afternoon sunlight, leaves and the smell of my dad after he came in from stacking wood for the fire (a mix of clean clothes, fresh air, and sweat). Then somehow, I would have to incorporate the damp green smell of an English March (when I fell in love with my husband), mixed with coffee (he loves it), cold medieval stone from all the castles and ancient buildings we have visited and then the smell of babies, both the earthy smell of birthing them and the clean musk of them.
    Thank goodness that I would not be responsible for actually creating the scent because I am rubbish at notes and suchlike. For such a memory-laden fragrance I think I would need Christopher Brosius!

  3. Has anyone captured suburbia yet? I have yet to spot the garden hose accord…

    • LOL. I would, however, love to smell a sort of David Lynch- style suburbia rather than the lemon pledge-aquanet- Escape for Women- Hugo for Men- Stepford style that pops into my head!

    • i’d go for Edward Scissorhands’ suburbia. Hairspray, sugared almonds and leather.

      • I had a teenaged girl-crush on my next door neighbor who was the ultimate Breck Girl. I’d never been in a house that smelled like hers – the whole place smelled, permanently, of hairspray. Like a beauty salon – in your house!!! :x

        xo >-)

  4. Well, I would not want to memorialize my life in perfume – too much bad s&!t in the past. I prefer to forget most of my childhood and young adulthood. Starting from now, I would include the scents of my dogs’ and cat’s fur, the natural smells I love best (cold Spring air and earth, evergreen needles, lily of the valley, lilac), and (since I’m a yoga teacher) the basenotes of warm bodies and fresh perspiration.

  5. I LOVE perfume, and the story of Denyse and her memorable night being “captured” by a scent is one of the reasons for my obsession. Scents/perfumes can so perfectly evoke a memory or a feeling — more so than any other sense, for me. I would very much enjoy having the opportunity to smell Denyse’s creation!

    I am fortunate to have wonderful memories of significant moments throughout my life that are “captured” by scents that I wore.
    Courtship/Marriage – Fabergé Tigress
    Early Marriage/Children – Chanel No.22, Estee Lauder Cinnabar, Houbigant Quelques Fleurs, J.C. Brosseau Ombre Rose, Desprez Bal a Versailles
    Middle Years – Givenchy Amarige and Organza, Caron Infini, Chanel Coco
    The Present – 100′s of Fragrances!!!!

    I love how my husband and children identify moments in THEIR lives by how I smelled at the time. Isn’t that fantastic? I think so….

    Thanks for offering the opportunity for a lucky person to sample
    Séville à l’aube

  6. Yay! You’re back!!!

    I’m going to let everybody know to come on over HERE! wow. That perfume sounds….oh dear. It sounds so sensual.

    No draw for me, alas. :-< But it is an exciting debut to anticipate.

    xo >-)

  7. I love Coco. My late hubby always gifted me with perfume for Christmas, but the SA at Macy’s must have been uninformed, for he bought me Coco Mademoiselle. Or maybe he liked it…he said he did. Well I wore it for him and learned to like it…I thought it was kind of fun. He passed away the next July (2004). It took me a couple of years to use it up, but whenever I smell it now, it makes me smile. Coco, however, makes me eyes roll back in my head. Really sexy. How I wish I could be all the time.

    The funny thing is, the same type of thing happened with my boyfriend. I had subtly told him how much I liked Chanel #19, and for our 4 year anniversary of meeting, he gave me Chanel #19 Poudre. Huh….guess subtle just does not compute with guys, must be explicit. It is very nice, especially the initial blast. He seems to like it, and seemed so proud, because apparently he researched it online and thought that the process of how it was made was interesting (he is a biologist), so I did not have the heart to exchange it.

    So there you have it…Coco is how I want to be, but #19 is how I have to be(awake and armed for life).

  8. I would want a perfume that smells of Pacific Northwest coastal forest after a hard rain in summer, haven’t found it yet.

  9. Glad you’re back!
    I don’t know what the perfume of my life would be. My favorites are orange blossom and sandalwood, benzoin, lots and lots of benzoin! But, the smells of my life are different, sadly I don’t live in an orange blossom-and-benzoin scented world! I guess my favorite “real life” smells would be grass after rain, the tops of my childrens’ heads, my husband’s shirts, strong black tea, books, and I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but I love the smell of the leather seats in my car. Not all leather, mind you, my CAR. Embarrasing.

  10. Interesting idea this, I can think of both perfumes that immediately recall a period in my life (Opium the 1980s) or people (my partner of 30 years Knize 10) and what a personal history in smells would include – coffee, dogs, turf fires, traffic smells, canal smells and to celebrate my years in the UK national health service – the residual fragrance of disinfectant!

  11. I would just love the perfect citrus, floral, sea combination!

  12. Oh wow! I am DYING to try this! By the time you have a sample, I’ll be over my morning sickness. It sounds right up my alley. :)

    And the book sounds incredible

  13. Somehow, by some completely magical process, Victoria Gobin-Daude managed to capture my childhood memories of my grandparents’ farm in northern Maine in her bottles of Parisian perfume. The balsam poplar note (Balm of Gilead) in Seve Exquise takes me to a grove of those trees by the edge of their pond. Biche Dans l’Absinthe is the exact smell of following a deer trail through a warm field at the height of summer. I wish someone would reissue these!

    In the meantime, I’m completely enjoying the prolific genius of Bertrand Duchaufour. The perfumes he created based on Neela Vermiere’s memories of Paris and India were sheer genius. I can’t wait to see what he and Denyse Beaulieu have come up with. I suspect it will be quite wonderful.

  14. I keep dreaming of a perfume to capture a special time in my life, when I was able to ride my horse in Golden Gate Park. Plum blossoms, violets, leather, incense, and warm horsey smells. Narcissus and lake smells. Roses, redwoods, cedar, sea breezes. What a time that was. But when I try to capture it, I don’t even come close. Cuir de Lancome captures some of that, and Bottega Veneta helped stir up those memories, so it really tugged at my heartstrings. Ines de la Fressange also. I would be interested to try Denyse’s perfume, and to read about it. Thank you fir your generosity Patty!

  15. My perfume would probably fall into the category of interesting but not wearable, although maybe in the right hand… So here goes- the smell of wet concrete (to remember the time we had a big flood and my brother carried me all the way home from elementary school); nicotine and leather (my mom’s purse- is there a specific smell to Pall Mall cigs?); incense (Mass) and saffron and sandalwood to represent my husband’s skin.

  16. The perfume that would represent my life would have to include Grandma’s face powder (a scent I am still looking for- no matter how much pressed powder I smell, nothing smells quite like Grandma. It was probably her skin & lipstick too) a hint of mildew, since I have often lived in damp countries, sweet/tarts, bong water, Nag Champa, horses, dogs,cats, and just a whiff of the Diaper Genie.

  17. Growing up in Sydney. Lemon-scented eucalyptus, frangipani, magnolia, wet road-tar, sunshine, car exhaust, hints of cat poop, mould and cigarette ash.

  18. Dont know if I would really wear it, but the smell of beer mixed with Mexican food would remind me of my wasted youth in a border town.

  19. I haven’t found the perfume of my life yet. Pacific ocean mixed with the Siuslaw forest and fog.

  20. Oh wow Patty, great post! So vivid.
    I spent a perfect New Year in the Scotish Highlands in 2000, (Y2K!) and have always wished there was a perfume that illustrated that night. Wool and scotch, cold mountain air, wet rocks and by the River Dochart, the old wood buildings, warm skin, spicy and sweet food set out for, “First footings.”

    • Oops that was supposed to read…wet rocks and the old stone bridge by the River Dochart. Sorry.

      • Strange that I read this post and responded and shortly afterward read about Lubin’s new release Itasca. Lake Itasca is the headwaters of the Mississippi river. There’s something mystical about standing there, you can walk across a small rock bridge. The water is gentle, shallow and slow moving. There is history there of the first people and later of Minnesota pioneers. The first time I went there was with my best friend in college, he was killed in a car accident a few years later. I take my children there several times a year. In the winter we all look forward to the weather warming up so we can go back.
        I haven’t smelled the cologne yet. I’m a little afraid to. Just reading that there is a cologne named after that place made me a little emotional. What if they didn’t do it justice? I’m so scent oriented, I don’t want bad cologne to mar the magic.

  21. One time of my life I would love to recapture in scent is when I was showing my dogs in agility in outdoor trials. The smell of the dewy morning as we packed up the car; the aroma of fresh croissants and coffee consumed on the way, with the windows cracked, allowing the warmth of the sunlight to stream through; the snap smell of the damp earth and grass that we usually had to run on, the wafting of the lilac, wildflower and herbal/woody scents of the surrounding greenery as the day wore on, and of course, the fragrance of my beloved (now deceased) dogs, heated up after a good performance. I used to bury my face in their necks and inhale that dense, slightly sweet, furry warmth, while they smiled, celebrating a job well done.

  22. Let’s see. I’d want to have top notes of softly sweet apricot (for the orchard where I grew up), along with a zap of green for the herbs I grow and a dash of spice for all the baking I do. No heavy musk or patch at the base, just some sweet earthy woodsy basenotes to round it all off and represent the way trees smell in the sun – trees from my childhood in the northwest and the trees here in Colorado where we’ve made our lives with our children.

  23. My personal fragrance would blend my most evocative fragrances. Lemon and orange peel, briar rose, grass, salt air, vanilla, hay and sawed wood. With a hint of lavender. Sigh.

  24. A perfume made about my life? Hm. I think it would have to express rural NC + Texas. A little bit cornfield, a little bit Lonestar Memories.

  25. Reading all these posts made me cry. Scent memories are so poignant.

    • Me too! Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type. I was believing that I had no imagination at all as I just couldn’t conjure up a scent of my life when, all of a sudden, memories came flooding back of an early summer night when I was about 8 and my mother hauled me out of bed to go walking in the park – she had just had a huge row with my father and wanted to get out for a while. It was velvety dark and there had just been a shower of rain, but it was warm. Leaves were dripping and the fragrance of rose, honeysuckle, jasmine, wet grass, earth and bark was so thick you almost had to wade through it – also, strangely, it seemed to illuminate the night. I felt like my sesnes were about to explode. It is a bitter/sweet memory: after a few more years and many more rows my parents divorced, but the wonder of that experience almost eclipses the sadness. And my love of perfume grew from then on.

  26. You know, one of those weird Duchaufours like Dzongka or Paestum Rose might do the trick, though it would be ideal if he composed another one after a safari in East or Southern Africa.

    And I already pre-ordered Denyse’s book – shipping be damned! Besides, the UK covers are always better.

  27. What I would like to see a perfumer somehow capture the essance of an early winter morning after a snowstorm but it’s still heavily snowing and portray the deafening silence in a rural area. I kind of enjoyed waiting for the school bus to pick me up during those mornings. And not use citrus notes. I don’t know why citrus notes make me want to barf.

  28. Wow, this really had me thinking. I feel like I’m still too young to be able to think of a perfume that fits my life (I’m in my twenties), but if I had to choose, I suppose it would be one that seamlessly blends my favourite notes – vanilla, almond, heliotrope and sandalwood. And maybe with a hint of smoke.

    Anyway, thanks for your generosity in doing this giveaway. I really want to get a sniff of Séville à l’aube now!

  29. Hmmmm. I’m not sure I can say definitively what I’d like a perfume based on my life to smell like. So many times, the notes don’t smell as good as I think they should. It’s often the wild, crazy blind buy that makes me go YES! and smile. So, maybe I’ll say that whatever the notes of the perfume that smells like my life, they won’t be what I thought they would.

  30. Popping in here to thank Patty and all of you for sharing your scented memories. It’s wonderful that the idea for my book served as a springboard for these evocative comments…

  31. The scent that always makes me happy isa sunny day, wooden docks and fishing boats–my grandfather would walk down the pier with me when I was a kid, checking in with the captains to see what was being caught that day and then we’d have a donut at Dunkins and go back. However, as a perfume I’m sure it would probably only appeal to my cat

    If I was to commission something it would probably be lush, full and sweet since life is good

  32. I hope I’m not to late to comment to be entered in the draw…

    Ugh, this is a really challenging question and one that changes periodically. Right now, I think it would consist of the following notes (yes, they’re weird but meaningful to me):

    cinnamon
    diesel
    Flex shampoo
    tuberose
    orange blossom

  33. Yaay, Patty, you’re back! I can’t wait to read The Perfume Lover.

    The perfume of my life might smell of: queen anne’s lace, lemon rind, nutmeg, chocolate, melted Crayola crayons, acrylic artists paints, burnt metal, cannabis and patchouli.

  34. The scent of the beach at the Outer Banks, NC.
    A Virginia summer night.
    That first morning in really late winter in the south when you walk outside and KNOW that spring has finally won the battle with winter.
    Jasmine carried on the night air in a friend’s garden in Ecuador.
    The scent of ecualyptus from the trees next to my school in Ecuador.
    The scent of a bouquet of roses and stephantois that was an 18th birthday present from an unexpected source.
    Vanilla. Heaps and heaps of vanilla.
    Laundry dried on the line.
    Belgian waffles on a cold winter afternoon on the walking street in Copenhagen.
    The spicy scent of a bundle of oriental lilies that was sent to me by a wholesaler when I was a floral designer out of the blue one day. My husband was in Iraq and I was missing him terribly and the wholesaler sent me the lilies to cheer me up.
    Coffee for the husband.

    This would be one hot mess of a perfume!

  35. Mine would be of fresh valencia orange oil and musk oil. It is the first bottle of perfume I had made when I was a senior in college. I have been able to find the orange oil, but have never been able to find the same exact musk that they put in that bottle. That bottle of perfume set me on the perfume road for life. Whenever I reach back in my mind for the smell of that special perfume, it always brings a smile to my face. I will look forward to the book when it comes out in print. Thanks to everyone for all the glorius memories that you have shared.

  36. Can’t wait to read Denyse’s book, and the parfume sounds amazing! I’d have to go with loads of fragrant herbs, some tomato leaf (I’m the solanace), a few roses, a hint of something warm to evoke my baked goods and bit of tobbaco -I’ve quit, but still like it.

  37. Séville à l’aube sounds like something a whole heap of folks are going to want to smell! I’d like to have a scent that conjurs up the smell of pikake, lush greenery,sun and that smell the air has in places on the equator where the humidity is high and the oxygen content is high! If you know of one someone yell out the name so I can give it a try!
    Thanks for the try at the sample. Glad to see you back.
    :d

  38. Seville a l’Aube actually comes pretty close to the sound of my ideal scent – though I can’t say that it has much connection with my life. The Catholic incense part is fine but there isn’t a lot of orange blossom in London. If you could bottle the scent of the pavement after a rain storm and that odd smell dusk has, that would be me.