Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pop Songs of Fragrance and Symphonies of Perfume ...

The orchestra of the perfume world used to be ‘au  naturel’ ... then Coco Chanel came along introducing in 1921, what would become the world’s most famous perfume, even today, Chanel No5.
No 5 CHANEL, Paris
Eau de Parfum
in iconic bottle

Perfumes are a mixture of fragrant essential oils used to give the human body a pleasant scent – and have been known to exist since the earliest of human civilisations.  Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds, such as vanilla or coumarin (that newly-mown hay ‘sweet scent’).

Chanel No 5, firstly, was a landmark in fragrance chemistry – as it finally made a synthetic ingredient acceptable, although most of its components were still derived from natural products. 

Secondly, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel launched her perfume to complement her collection of clothes, whose themes were elegance and mystery.

"Coco before Chanel" is a
2009 French film about the
early life of the famed
designer Coco Chanel
So now-a-days those wonderful perfumes you may be receiving/giving at Christmas are just chemicals with attractive aromas - ?

The melodies of the fabric softener and the air freshener are the pop songs of fragrance chemistry, whereas the symphonies of perfume are a much richer harmony, among which there may even be a few discordant notes, deliberately introduced to contrast with the harmonic ones.

Le Grand Nez’ (the big nose) Monsieur Ernst Beaux composed Chanel No 5 – he chose an oil derived from the flowers of the Philippino ylang-ylang tree, as the middle note of the perfume; the purely artificial fragrance material, called 2-methylundecanal, for the top note.

Ylang-Ylang blossoms
The top note is the most volatile part of the perfume and the one we detect first, the middle notes take a little longer to register, and are often derived from flowers that give off a heavy, almost overpowering aroma, such as jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, lilac, carnation, rose and ylang-ylang.

The base notes of a perfume are the least volatile – we may not even notice them to begin with – and yet they are the most tantalising and the most erotic.  The base note is there to stir emotions and suggest experiences, such as the mysterious East, a wood at night ....   Base notes also serve an important chemical function in ‘fixing’ the top and middle notes by slowing their evaporation over the lifetime of a perfume.

Drawing of Vanilla from the Florentine Codex  (ca 1580)
and description of its use and properties - written in
Nahuati language (see a previous post)
The secret of Chanel No 5 is not only its chemical components but also the proportions in which these are blended.  Before modern methods of analysis came into use the original formula of Le Grand Nez was a trade secret, however today we know the secrets ...

Neroli Orange
Neroli Oil is one of the minor top notes, while ylang-ylang is the major middle note – I seem to have heard of Neroli Oil recently – see my previous post on ScentingYour Gloves. 

The basic ingredients and methods
of making perfumes are described
by Pliny the Elder, in his
Naturalis Historiae


But what a way we’ve come ... only about 130 years ago we were still using essential oils within 40 years or so - chemical compounds were becoming acceptable ... and now we have 'Scratch ‘N Sniff” – which that clever young man, Lenny, suggested in my Neroli Oil post.

How do these youngsters ‘beam’ these things up ... amazing it’s come true – Lenny!!

My flat has been scented with Christmas cake spice for the last week or so – not from any introduction I’ve made to my kitchen or sitting room ... just that wonderful pervasive aroma of Yuletide spices ... mmmmm  - delicious ....

Can the Plum Pudding mix be down to a few sheets of newspaper?  Well now to try ...  from a Saturday’s Times pull-out title “12 easy treats for children to make:  The first EVER recipe pullout that smells!!” – scented paper ... rub and sniff .....

Knickerbocker Glory – smells (chemically!) fruity ....
Banoffee Pancakes
Mars Bar Cakes
Fast berry Ice Cream
Banana Split
Mini Gingerbread Cakes
Iced Biscuits
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Oreo Choc-Fudge Sundae
Marble Loaf Cake
Icy Lemon Meringue Pie
Orange Cake

Mincemeat .... mmmmmm!
Not sure about the 'Scratch 'N Sniff' ... but something is wafting around that’s rather pleasant and Mince Piey .... and I knew you’d want to know which recipes were given ...

I pass my judgement on the scented paper ‘Scratch ‘N Sniff’ ... but the Mincemeat aroma is rather delicious ....

So Lenny – your prediction was very accurate – any other predictions you’d care to let us know about ... 

Finally ... Marilyn is back in town... over at Talli’s masquerading as Willow Watts within Talli’s new book “Watching Willow Watts” ... launched in paperback today – Go TalliGo ...

The screen icon Marilyn Monroe was once asked what she wore in bed, and then scandalised many by replying “Only Chanel No 5” – a curvaceous, sensuous woman’s perfume that’s for sure ... personally I use Lanvin – and have done ever since (ever since!) a friend’s  mother brought me a bottle back from Antigua ... I bet June and Judy never thought I’d never change .. it just immediately suited me and still does.

Congratulations to all of you who have finished NaNoWriMo ...  now – Good Luck with the Christmas countdown ... no time to rest on your laurels ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letter Inspirational Stories

74 comments:

  1. Hilary, thank you so much for the shout-out! Turns out it's very a propos to your post. :) Ah, Chanel No 5 . . . it's iconic now.

    And clever Lenny to have thought of scratch 'n' sniff. When I was in primary school, I had a severe obsession with those stickers. They were very en vogue.

    Look at me! Your post has made me go all French!

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  2. Hi Talli .. pleasure - good luck with the book and promotion et al ..

    French - I guess you're getting into gear to go home ... and practising a few words ...

    oh gosh - now you remind me my goddaughter/s had those 'smelly pencils' .. I'd forgotten all about them.

    Lenny - though is one bright kid .. and such a breath of sunshine ..

    Lovely to see you - cheers Hilary

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  3. Congrats to Talli, I really liked Willow Watts!

    Interesting facts about perfume. I remember when we'd all titter about the strange things that made up famous perfumes. Urine. Animal hides. Who knows if that's true, probably not, but I don't imagine anything outside a chemist's lab is used in today's perfumes.

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  4. Being late as always, I've just soaked my fruits for my "Christmas to be eaten by Easter and so will be a sort of Simnel Cake by then" Cake in lots of orange juice and Drambuie. I am in heaven!

    Scratch n sniff paper reminds me of when I used to buy Cosmo - it'll be fat with freebie smelly sachets of lotion and what have you and the mag will always be a very interesting mixture of aromas!
    Take care
    x

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  5. A great post to read Hilary, most informative. Just realised how close Christmas is.

    Yvonne.

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  6. You're making me feel hungry with all that talk of Christmas cakes, plum puddings and mince pies. I love those fruity, spicy sweet things. Think I'd better get baking and fill the kitchen with the scent of cinnamon.

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  7. Interesting comparison between perfume and music. I guess when it comes to scents I'm a pop music fan. I find a lot of perfumes to be stifling and overwhelming to me. My preferences are the scents like spices and vanilla.

    I've always told my wife that I'd rather she smell like some kind of nice sweet smelling food than something that burns my nose and makes me gasp for breath. Give me cinnamon any day.

    I love the aromas of scented candles and air fresheners.


    Lee
    Nicole from Madlab Post offers blogging tips at
    Tossing It Out

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  8. Hilary,

    I enjoyed learning about Chanel No.5. It brings back memories as my mom loved that perfume. It was regular gift from my dad to her.

    It was also interesting the harmony of the scents that go into a perfume. Didn't know that and it was interesting to learn this!

    It's hard to believe the holidays are on us so soon. I agree about all the wonderful aromas that come with the season. I love the smell of gingerbread men cooking in the oven or maybe sugar cookies. YUM!

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  9. Chanel No.5 - the scent my children associate with me though I wear other perfumes, too.
    Very interesting to learn about the chemistry of perfumes, some of which I knew, but mostly didn't
    Why and how did we lose the ability to recognise and enjoy the natural odours of bodies? Granted, some are much less attractive than others.-)

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  10. I had to look up "Knickerbocker Glory". What a fun name. And who knew perfumes had top notes and middle notes! :)

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  11. My two favorite perfumes have always been Chanel No. 5 and Evening in Paris. (remember that one?) Nowadays, I rarely wear any scent at all. There are too many artificial smells in our environment now ... everything seems to come with a chemically-induced aroma. And since so many people are overly sensitive or allergic to smells, I leave the perfume at home. (Besides, who better to wear it for than my own hubby?)

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  12. I love the music/perfume comparison. Wow. What I didn't know about perfumes!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

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  13. @ Karen .. so right congrats to Talli!

    You put down the things I selectively omitted!! Yes they're true and the rest ...??

    Chemicals rule as far as perfume is concerned ... sad to say - still some smell wonderful ... and it's so interesting how they react so differently on each person.

    @ Old Kitty - oh goody .. I'll be up in the Spring for a Simnel feast - love those cakes. Cakes with orange and Drambuie - sounds very good.

    Of course I've forgotten all those scented papers in magazines .. thanks for reminding me

    @ Yvonne .. yes Christmas is a-coming and I hope the goose is getting fat ...

    @ Patsy .. I do too .. the cake mix, plum pudding mix and mincemeat is just delicious .. and doesn't need to be cooked! Ok .. how did the baking go?

    Thanks Karen, Old Kitty, Yvonne and Patsy - great comments .. Hilary

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  14. @ Lee - yes some perfumes are positively overpowering aren't they ... I just like my Lanvin.

    Great you want your wife to smell of baking sweet spiced food .. and cinnamon and ginger .. good mixes.

    Personally I hate false smells ... of the pop variety!

    @ Sara .. how lovely to see - and I bet those memories are sweet of happy parents .. with your Mother and her private Chanel No 5 smell.

    There's so much to perfume - I couldn't do it justice .. but it tied in with the Scented Gloves post and Neroli Oil and with everyone's comments will be more comprehensive.

    Gingerbread men .. they do smell wonderful baking .. Christmas spice cookies ..

    @ Janice .. shows us how much Chanel No 5 is revered even now .. and families associate us with our one main perfume ..

    I think we were just dirty with industrial grime through the centuries .. and those natural odours were smothered with other 'nasties' .. when fresh water came in .. we probably wanted the flower oils to give us that extra ..

    I think I prefer us as we are today .. cleaner - though some fragrances are horrible smelling!

    Cheers Lee, Sara and Janice .. good additional snippets - thank you - Hilary

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  15. @ Holly - I thought Knickerbocker Glory was American .. and everyone would know it!! Good iced dessert .. with long tall spoons for little people eating one!

    Perfume is musical .. surprise there.

    @ Susan - I don't remember Evening in Paris .. but I'm very unknowledgeable in that direction .. I try and remember to put some on when I go out .. not always though.

    I agree the artificial smells are often very unpleasant .. and they are as you say everywhere. I hadn't realised so many people are so sensitive or allergic to smells .. and exactly who better to wear your perfume for than your hubby - good mix with his engine oil?!

    @ Ann - there was so much more information available .. but I thought I'd post now .. and it tied in with Lenny and Talli ...

    Thanks Holly, Susan and Ann .. great seeing you all here .. cheers for now - Hilary

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  16. I like the way the top, middle and base notes of a perfume give the scent a musical connection. It seems the perfume notes really correlate with the musical in regards to detection, volatility ...

    However, as much as I can always listen to music, I'm not a perfume person and really always purchase items unscented!

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  17. hi miss hilary! wow! i learn so much at you blog. now i could know lots about perfume. i didnt dream up that scratch an sniff. its been round more long than me. its pretty neat. smells give me some nice memories of my mom like one perfume called windsong and apple pie and cinnamon rolls cooking get me thinking bout her and smiling. those kids treats sound pretty yummy. ill have a peanutbutter cupcakes please.:) hooray for miss talli! shes just soooo nice and way cool.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  18. Fascinating stuff. I alway thought perfumes were invented during the no-bath era. The only thing I know for sure is when I walk thru that part of the store, my eyes water and my nose runs.

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  19. Very interesting, Hilary. It's amazing to me that the blending of chemicals can produce so many different flavors of scents. It also should be mentioned that what is an aroma to one could in fact be an odor to another.

    I love light perfumy scents. Nothing heavy for me.

    Teresa

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  20. Hi Joanne - I struggle here too - lack of musicality and differentiate scents .. but can see the links and with maths .. so many disciplines tie back to the brain.

    Music - I know is a passion of yours along with Latte ... but when good Latte scents the house, who needs perfume. I too buy unscented items if I can get them.

    @ Lenny .. once our wonderful commenters reminded me of smells being incorporated into card, or pencils, gel pens etc .. I realised your Scratch 'N Sniff wasn't so revolutionary!

    Windsong - that's a lovely name for a perfume .. with such special memories for you of your Mom .. it's good that you remember the cooking of apple pie and cinnamon rolls .. those wafts of delights reminding you again of your Mom .. special times. And yes - us kids do love our tums .. yummy food.

    Oh Peanut butter cupcakes .. ok - shouldn't be a problem! Isn't Miss Marilyn Talli cool .. and so clever with her books .. You are such a support to us all ...

    @ Joylene - thanks .. I guess they were to a point .. pomanders, essences were needed more then .. more people, more dirt in the Middle Ages ..

    Sometimes I'm irritated by the pongs that shops create .. and just leave - thankfully don't seem to suffer from watery eyes or runny nose.

    @ Teresa .. it is extraordinary that so much can be created with chemicals .. especially all those floral scents you mention.

    As you say .. some aromas repel some, as well as suit others .. 'funny' our personal reactions to things .. which we forget and assume everyone will love them too.

    Light perfumy scents sound lovely - nothing cloying ...

    Thanks Joanne, Lenny, Joylene and Teresa .. great additions to the post and reminding me of other aspects - thanks so much .. cheers Hilary

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  21. We recently visited a perfume factory outside of Cannes on the way to St. Paul. I was hoping to find a great deal on Chanel No 5 there, but they only had unknown names that were supposedly being picked up by designers. When you mentioned "the nose," it reminded me that the tour guide said it takes 10 years to become a nose there. Thanks for another great post Hilary!

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  22. That was very interesting Hilary. I enjoy learning new info; its kinda a hobby of mine.

    ........dhole

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  23. Scratch and sniff...good idea!

    Congratulations to Talli.

    Mmm, those Christmas smells will be arriving in my house next week. The Cypriots do not have much in the stores until now. I am preparing fresh figs and plums ready for my pud! My mince pie fruits are soaking in Cyprus brandy. I picked them in the summer and dried them in the sun ready for my big bake off. My village friends had never eaten them before, now I give them as gifts. It is the real old-fashioned way of giving.

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  24. I love how scent is so tied to memory. Just a whiff of certain fragrance and I'm transported...

    Really neat post, Hilary!

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  25. Chanel No5 used to be my favourite perfume and I wore it all the time. I rarely wear perfume these days ... winters here so I expect I smell of wet, muddy dogs. :)

    Congratulations to Talli. I love her writing!

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  26. Hi Julie .. I presume you mean in the US of A .. a perfume factory - gosh a little overperfuming? Pity about not getting a deal on Chanel no5 ... I imagine an interesting tour though.

    I mentioned 'a new Grand Nez' in my previous post .. I think you must be born a natural to those finesses of aromas ... to achieve those heights of professionalism.

    Someone today mentioned a book called 'Parfum' or Perfume .. about an alchemist/odd ball character who had the ability to devise and mix scents - apparently the book was full of wonderful descriptions of oils etc.

    @ Donna - glad you enjoyed the post - and I 'do learning' here .. so please come back!

    @ Glynis - it is a good idea, but I think it's been around a while and I'd forgotten about it. Absolutely congratulations to Talli.

    Christmas smells - oooh I might be popping over to Cyprus then! Would love to have that experience of picking, drying and making my own pud, cake and mince-pies with my own fruits - sounds too wonderful!

    Won't that be lovely to give your local village friends gifts of your dried fruits .. amazing they haven't done this themselves ... excellent idea Glynis.

    @ Talon - many thanks .. yes we can be so easily drafted away - lovely though. Glad you're back ...

    @ Shirley - oh well there's no distinction between wet muddy dogs or perfume ... dogs come first ..

    Thanks - we're expecting winter tomorrow ... and Talli has so much on .. but what an achievement.

    Lovely to see you all .. Julie, Donna, Glynis, Talon and Shirley .. cheers Hilary

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  27. Hi Hilary, it's good to be back with internet and catch up a bit. I love a good perfume and remember when I was about 18 on a camping tour into central Australia one lady shared with me her belief that it's important to buy the best you can afford. and wear it without exception, even in the desert. I wonder what it is that makes my nose cringe with some perfumes. Enjoy your Christmas preparations. Sue

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  28. Not much for perfumes. Although I do support one Talli Rolland!

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  29. My vote is with your kitchen scents as the very best scents of all. Certainly not the fake apple scent the laundry place used one time, so that I had to re-wash all my towels and sheets. (That'll teach me to send things out for cleaning instead of doing it myself . . . or at least one might think that!)

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  30. I like natural food smells and kitchen delights...but I get oh so sick from all the scents surrounding us. People's laundry soap and dryer sheets are just an instant headache for me. It is the primary reason I gave up attending church - seriously and people wear too much

    Then all the laundry product smells, and gasoline, and pollution, and shampoo and, and...

    truly I am better off just staying at home with my fancy air filter.

    I do not walk the Lake much any more because too much car pollution/exhaust...

    The natural world has so many smells already and they give us important messages, but then we can always find more ways to spend money.

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  31. Very interesting read. I don't know the smell of chanel 5. My favourite is opium from yves saint laurent, although it is getting far too expensive. I love the smell of cakes and look forwards to christmas

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  32. @ Sue .. good to see you back .. though I'd rather stay out camping in the bush! Yes lots of advice early on .. buy the best - but just sometimes those scents don't suit us. Can't remember wearing perfume in the Bush in Africa!

    @ Alex .. I wonder would perfume feature in space - guess not. Promoting Talli - that's easy, as you say.

    @ Susan .. kitchen smells and aromas wafting around are just lovely. Re-washing laundry .. I can believe that .. frustrating, but those "appley" false scents aren't very nice ...

    @ Patricia .. your challenges with scents and false fragrances must be very difficult - but you've probably chosen the best route .. stay at home as much a possible and relish nature at its best and enjoy the fruits of your own kitchen.

    Some peoples' fragrance is totally repelling and overpowering .. I quite agree.

    @ Marja - I think you've got the right idea! But things in general are becoming expensive, sadly. Baking and Christmas smells are so pervadingly wonderful ..

    Let me be transported to kitchen delights .. of a coffee! cheers Sue, Alex, Susan, Patricia and Marja ... thanks so much for the comments - Hilary

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  33. Great post Hilary, interesting facts about perfume. I learn so much at you blog. :) :)

    Have a great weekend ahead
    Hugs
    Marinela

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  34. Hi, Hilary. I'm still waiting for Watching Willow Watts to come out in paperback in the US!

    My mother associates Chanel no. 5 with glamor. She will wear it only on special occasions. It was never my kind of scent, but I know it was revolutionary for its time. I like spicier scents. I used to wear Shalimar, but now I wear newer fragrances with many of the same notes.

    Happy weekend!

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  35. I remember taking a tour in France and them speaking about how the English stole their perfume. :) I'm afraid I have issues with most perfume. I miss the days where you dab it on your neck and wrists instead of bathing in it.

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  36. Now I know why I love Chanel No 5 so much. Hilary you are a wonder with all the research you do. But you love it, don't you? So do I.

    Denise

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  37. So informative, I had no idea. My favorite it Shalimar. But for the house I like cinnamon. No matter the time of year.

    Thank you for all you kind thoughts.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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  38. @ Marinela .. thanks so much and really glad to hear you enjoy the learning - you too have a great weekend.

    @ Theresa ... can't see Talli lagging on that one - patience is a virtue!

    It's great that your mother appreciates her perfume so much .. like you I'm not that keen on it .. but once I'd found one that everyone commented on (nicely!) .. then I stuck with it. Shalimar sounds a lovely name .. you're good that you experiment with your fragrances .. I'd be lost!

    @ Ciara - I wonder what else we stole from the French! or them from us - 'le sandwich'?!

    You're right about people spraying themselves in the stuff - usually the pongier kind. A gentle touch of the good stuff stays a long time ..

    @ L'Aussie - well that's good and excellent that you love Chanel No5 .. amazing how it's lasted the test of time.

    Denise - you're so right - I love picking up some info, then wanting to know more and then posting here - so yes I do love it!! Just delighted so many others do too .. thank you.

    @ Nancy .. great to see you - and interesting your favourite, Shalimar, is the same as Theresa's!

    Cinnamon has a special fragrance and one we associate so much with the home - apple pies, cinnamon bread, scented teas ... and can be used for savoury dishes too ..

    I just hope you start feeling better soon ..

    Thanks so much for your comments - Marinela, Theresa, Ciara, Denise and Nancy ..

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  39. Such an informative post, Ms. Hilary. For the past several years, I've taken to using just the essential oils or blends of them instead of synthetic perfumes. The scent is still powerful, and there's the added advantage of the oils' therapeutic qualities. There is some evidence now pointing to synthetic fragrances, prevalent in so many products we use on a daily basis, as being at least partially responsible for a dramatic increase in allergies and autoimmune diseases. The body treats the synthetic stuff as a foreign invader, and a cascade of immune responses occurs.

    I do love this time of year for its rich scents of exotic spices with cinnamon, clove, and ginger among my favorites. I hope your holiday season is a sweet one.

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  40. I get a chuckle out of celebrities who come out with expensive perfumes bearing their names, only to find them in Big Lots or other discount stores a short time later.

    I marvel that some of these perfumes cost hundreds of dollars. II still have a half gallon of High Karate left over from high school. Just kidding about that. last one.

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  41. Hi W2W .. great comment - yes essential oils are so much better for us .. the therapists who visit my mother often let her have a whiff of real rose oil .. and she does love it. I try and have fresh flowers in her room every day .. but I can't always get the scented ones.

    You're right about the allergy aspects - who knows what we're doing to our bodies .. or what will be found out and established as the years go by - as detrimental to our health.

    Christmas aromas are gorgeous aren't they ..

    @ Stephen .. celebrities all seem to jump on the same bandwagon - but who can blame them --- the populace goes out and buys .. or waits to get them cheap ....

    High Karate - must be worth a fortune by now .. especially with all the added sweat over the years .... see what it's worth on ebay?! Fun thought ..

    Cheers W2W and Stephen - informative comments thank you .. Hilary

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  42. Hi Hilary,

    Neroli and YlangYlang are two of my favourite essential oils. YlangYlang is a "complete" oil in that it has top, middle and base notes, but still blends well.

    x Linda

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  43. Hi Linda .. nice to meet you .. well you've added some professional knowledge here - thank you!

    I just find it so interesting that these oils have travelled so far ..

    All the best and hope your Kindle tangles get sorted out soon .. Hilary

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  44. I always learn so much when I visit here! Perfumes as melodies. What a concept. And leave it to Lenny to bring a bigger smile to things, Roland

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  45. Hi Roland .. come over more often if you can take time out from your blood runs .. or Meliori!

    Lenny has a wonderful take on life - you're so right .. his pearls of wisdom are really the breath of life - he is one amazing kid ..

    Thanks Roland - very precise words .. I loved that phrase too .. 'perfumes as melodies' .. so good to see you - Hilary

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  46. Too bad your blog is not scratch and sniff! :) Thanks for all this wonderful info, Hilary. I wrote an article on the history of makeup for a magazine some years ago, but did not delve into fragrances. It is an interesting topic!

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Karen

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  47. You're right -- no time to rest on our laurels. I'm feeling that one right now!

    *deep breath*

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  48. Thanks for sharing the interesting information about perfume, Hilary. I love to smell good perfume, but unfortunately it has turned on me and I've developed a sensitivity to it that knocks me out when someone comes near with a strong scent. The delicious smells of foods, as opposed to the chemical smells of perfumes, are quite agreeable to me and greatly enjoyed!

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  49. @ Karen - gosh Karen .. that would be a little worrying! Coffee and Wine fragrances I think .. with some Christmas spice at the moment!

    The history of make-up would be an interesting topic .. and can understand you swerving past fragrances - it's a huge topic.

    @ Amy - as you have young children, with all their involvement .. there certainly isn't time to rest on your laurels - as you say *deep breath* .. enjoy the time - they'll bring it so much to life for you both.

    @ Connie - your story is quite 'frightening' isn't it to find strong perfume knocks you out .. because people tend to over do it.

    Glad at least you can enjoy the aromas of the kitchen - they're usually pretty good and mouth wateringly enticing.

    Thanks Karen, Amy and Connie - have lovely weekends .. cheers Hilary

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  50. I love chanel 5. Since each person has a different body chemistry, perfume doesn't smell the same on each person. But I am so happy this one likes me. lol

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  51. Hilary, thank you for dropping by. It was great reading about fragrance although I don't use one myself. That mincemeat aroma is just hard to imagine for me. :)

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  52. @ A Lady's Life - I'm just amazed how many still love Chanel No 5 .. Coco and her Le Grand Nez certainly knew what they were doing .. and you're right body chemistry does affect each person .. it's great you found one that suits you so well.

    @ BK - men and fragrance?! Not surprising really that you don't use one.

    Mincemeat .. did you realise it is a variety of dried fruits, soaked in some alcohol and spices, sometimes with sugar and some fat .. it just has that Christmassy aroma ..

    Not Minced Meat - as in savoury food!

    Cheers to you both - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

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  53. Hilary: I love the positivity of your blog. Thank you.

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  54. Thank you JJ .. have a good week ahead .. Hilary

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  55. A very fragrant post, Hilary. Sadly I can only tolerate natural scents. Perfumes, strong deodorants and joss sticks are amongst those scents that make me dizzy and nauseous!

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  56. Hi Madeleine .. thanks - yes some/many perfumes, deodorants, laundry fabrics and joss sticks are all a bit much .. and I too need to do a fast exit. I don't think I suffer like you .. but enough is enough! Good to see you and enjoy the rest of the weekend .. Cheers Hilary

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  57. Hi Hilary,

    Wow! Lot of interesting info on perfumes! Thanks.

    And Talli was featured on my blog as well as she had the awesome print release of her WATCHING WILLOW WATTS!

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  58. Love this post! I seriously am amazed at all the stuff you write about. I love the smell of the Ilang-Ilang blossom. Back home in the Philippines, we string ylang ylang leaves along with sampaguita flowers to make a necklace. vendors sell these fragrant necklaces on the streets.
    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  59. Hooray! I'm back, Hilary! The new computer is up and running.

    I'm an Estee Lauder, "Beautiful," fan. :)

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  60. @ Nutschell .. I just love my mix and match about things that interest me - or lead me to other thoughts: my abilities are light-weight ...

    I admire you for all the investigating and studying you do - while writing .. and studying and ... !!! - so much you're an inspiration to all of us. I must look up sampaguita flowers .. lovely ..

    @ Blonde Duck .. yea - Christmas excitement and build up .. it's great isn't it ...

    @ Susan - that's wonderful news - so pleased the computer is up and about and working! .. Estee Lauder - I bought some make up about 35 years about and got a free gift with it .. the perfume got 'busted' .. and I was overloaded - hated it ever since .. and I was so chuffed with all my purchases .. !! Not their fault - but put me off ..

    Cheers to you all - Nutschell, Blonde Duck and Susan .. thanks so much for visiting .. Hilary

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  61. You know - I don't know that I've ever known the aroma of chanel no 5 -- next time I'm in a dept store, I'm going to make sure I remedy that! Of course, maybe i have and just do not remember.

    Love your blog and all its wonders.

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  62. I've just been catching up with your very informative blogs. Love what you say about perfume, and the different musical notes that make up the symphony. I'd never realised so much went into it - a bit like a good wine, with its succession of flavours. Thank you Hilary.

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  63. @ Kat - now that you mention it .. perhaps I should do the same - not sure I know what Chanel No 5 smells like ..

    Many thanks re the blog & its wonders! Great to know ..

    @ Juliet - thank you so much too re the blog .. delighted to hear.

    Perfume and wine .. both need Le Grand Nez (plurals!) .. letting the flavours come out ...

    Lovely seeing you both here Kat and Juliet - have good weeks - Hilary

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  64. No time to rest...isn't that the truth! Interesting history on perfume.

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  65. Hi Nisa .. good to see you - glad you enjoyed the post and brief history .. thanks - Hilary

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  66. Absolutely love the perfume/music combination! What an interesting post. I learned something, namely that I was totally ignorant about perfume!

    You've also got me smelling yummy Christmas smells even though I am at work and nowhere near any spices. Great post, Hilary! :)

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  67. Hi Julie .. it always amazes me how everything seems to be tied together .. as well as our English language with its descriptive words ...

    That smell is just lovely .. glad you have the opportunity to experience Christmas spices while you're at work - good one!

    Cheers and thanks so much .. Hilary

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  68. As always, an exhaustive and very interesting piece of research into all things fragrant.

    I use little scented tea lights as well as spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and cloved mandarins to add a little festive spirit to the house.

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  69. Hi Friko .. thanks for coming by - I love your idea of tea lights surrounded by spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloved mandarins .. the Christmas smell with pine needles is very festive ..

    I hope you're feeling better .. cheers Hilary

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  70. Great history of perfume. I didn't know all that. My husband often gives me perfume for Christmas. Most of the time, I like what he chooses, even when it's not what I would have chosen

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  71. Hi Helen .. glad you enjoyed it - that's lovely your hubby chooses for you ... and that you mostly enjoy them.

    Thanks for posting about the article I sent you on Libraries .. food for thought re books, ebooks etc ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  72. I miss wearing perfume...it's practically banned in our part of the world. Only fresh air and fresh subtle soap for our nostrils. Allergies seem to dictate the products of our ablutions.

    I'd love some Neroli Oil. Yes, I must find some.

    Good for Marilyn. Great answer!

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  73. Hi Amy - really?! No scents .. mind you Nature calls then .. flowers: roses, honeysuckle, lavender .. and pine ... then the herbs ..

    Neroli Oil does sound rather delicious doesn't it ..

    I've just seen the trailer for the Marilyn movie (new) and she says "Lavender" (not Chanel no 5) ... for us here in England - the London suburb Mitcham was renowned for its lavender fields .. now it's full of houses!

    Thanks Amy - good to see you .. cheers Hilary

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