7 Minutes of Beauty & Positivity (+Katherine Hepburn’s Chocolate Brownies)

2017 hasn’t been the best year. Every morning, I brace myself upon waking up as I open my news feed or social media, mentally preparing myself for what terrible news inevitably lies ahead. Terrorist bombings, mass shooting, catastrophic natural disaster following upon natural disaster, heightened political tensions (including crazy dictators threatening nuclear confrontation), domestic strife, and so, so much anger, vitriol, and toxicity, seemingly everywhere you look, often against one’s own fellow citizens. No country is immune.

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Friday, Hurricanes & The August Grab-Bag (+Update)

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been trying my best to work on a profile on Ensar Oud combined with reviews of three of his sandalwood oils, but I keep getting distracted by events.

Photo: NASA

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Grab Bag Round-Up: January to June 2016

It’s been more than a year since I did one of my monthly “grab bag” posts, inspired by the “Currently” series of posts that my friend, The Non-Blonde, does summarizing various personal things in her life from books, music, television shows, cooking, to other things. I don’t know why I stopped doing mine, but the hot, lazy days of summer and the long 4th of July holiday weekend in the U.S. seem like a good time to start again. There may not be a lot of interesting newspaper articles on the state of the fragrance industry for me to share with you as I did before, and all of it is a departure from my usual focus so it may not bear any interest for some of you but, sometimes, one just wants to hang out with friends (as so many of you have become), relax, and chat.

As some of you know, perfume actually ranks rather low on my list of passions and I’m far more interested in things like history, German shepherds, gastronomy, photography, or even television, for that matter. So, I’ll tell you what’s interested or amused me over the last six months, and then I hope you will then tell me your news.

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Let’s Play Questions #10: Notes, Love & Hate – 2016 version

Source: imgkid.com

Source: imgkid.com

Welcome to 2016, everyone! Instead of delving straight into reviews, I thought it might be a useful exercise to start the year by thinking about specific notes, taking stock of how we feel about the raw materials in perfumery and, more importantly, the extent to which our tastes may have developed or changed. Last year, in Questions #9, I asked you to think in detail about note categories, with love, hate, and grey zones. Whether you’re new to niche perfumery or a veteran, I think such analysis helps you to look at perfumery with a more critical eye, to really think about what you’re smelling, and to pinpoint your tastes with greater precision.

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