"perfume is the art that makes memory speak" - Francis Kurkdjian


Hermes – Epice Marine

Posted on May 7th, by What Men Should Smell Like in Fresh, G - L. No Comments

Marine is an adjective that found its way into our perfume vocabulary during the early 1990s when it was used to describe the era’s refreshing watery, outdoorsy fragrances such as Cool Water and L’Eau d’Issey. Today the term has the same effect on perfume cognoscenti as throwing garlic onto vampires. Expect facial contortions and hissing noises. Why vampires have this reaction to garlic, I do not know, but the reason why many of today’s perfume obsessed are so adverse to this aquatic genre of perfumery is because most of us are still recovering from the thousands of Dihydromercenol and Calone laden fragrances that were launched over the past 15 years. On a side note, I’m curious to see if in another 15 years time, we will have the same seething reaction towards the popular men’s fragrances of today, which rely heavily on molecules such as Norlimbanol, Karanal and Boisambrene Forte for their woody-amber signature? But back to the marine theme- last year my curiosity was tweaked when Hermes announced the launch of a new fragrance called Epice Marine. Jean-Claude Ellena is one of my favourite perfumers and I had all confidence that the Nose of Hermes would not be presenting … Read More »


Talking Perfume with Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora Fragrance

Posted on March 16th, by What Men Should Smell Like in A Scented Blog, Creation. 4 comments

This week I have been writing about recently launched perfumes, created by Australian perfume house, Grandiflora Fragrance. If you don’t already know something about these perfumes, I recommend reading the posts I published about Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine and Magnolia Grandiflora Michel, before reading this interview with Saskia Havekes, the author and florist behind Sydney’s Grandiflora brand. Last month I visited Saskia at her address in Sydney’s Potts Point, and below is an excerpt of our conversation about her latest adventure into the world of perfumery.

WMSSL: Flowers to perfumes – it seems like a natural transition but really, it’s not that common right? Tell me how this new adventure started?

Saskia Havekes: I have probably only ever bought myself one fragrance, which was Antonia’s Flowers, many years ago. It was before I worked with flowers and I was living in New York. I found a beautiful little store down in the Village and I’ll never forget finding it, smelling it and thinking that it smelled like a flower shop. Antonia Bellanca was a florist and she lived in the Hampton’s. All of that to me at that age just seemed so glamorous and amazing. And it was such a simple bottle. I … Read More »


Grandiflora Fragrances – Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine

Posted on March 14th, by What Men Should Smell Like in Floral, M - R. 8 comments

* over three days, I am publishing posts about the recently launched perfumes by renowned Australian florist and author, Saskia Havekes. Her brand, Grandiflora, is based in Sydney and a couple of weeks ago, I spent time with her, listening to the story of how she created two perfumes, named after the perfumers who created them. Sandrine and Michel were created with great joy and also great sadness; Sandrine’s creator, perfumer Sandrine Videault, passed away in 2013. Yesterday I began publishing my own thoughts on these two new fragrances. My third blog post, which will be published tomorrow, is an interview with a very candid Saskia, who talked with me about her Scent Adventure into the world of perfumery.

Saskia Havekes now adds fragrance creator to her list of accomplishments. The florist and author had an idea to create a fragrance, which paid homage to her favourite flower and namesake of her business, (magnolia) Grandiflora. New to the world of perfumery, she talked about her idea with one of her clients, perfume expert Michael Edwards, who introduced Saskia to Sandrine Videault, a perfumer that studied under master perfumer, Edmond Roudnitska. Sandrine recalled her teacher saying, “a beautiful perfume is one which gives us … Read More »


Grandiflora Fragrances – Magnolia Grandiflora Michel

Posted on March 12th, by What Men Should Smell Like in Floral, M - R. 9 comments

* for the next three days, I’ll be publishing posts about the recently launched perfumes by renowned Australian florist and author, Saskia Havekes. Her brand, Grandiflora, is based in Sydney and a couple of weeks ago, I spent time with her, listening to the story of how she created two perfumes, named after the perfumers who created them. Sandrine and Michel were created with great joy and also great sadness; Sandrine’s creator, perfumer Sandrine Videault, passed away in 2013. Today and tomorrow I’m publishing my own thoughts on these two new fragrances. My third blog post is an interview with a very candid Saskia, who talked with me about her Scent Adventure into the world of perfumery.

It is not every year the world is given the privilege of being able to own a new perfume by Michel Roudnitska. Michel is the son of legendary French perfumer, Edmond Roudnitska, a man responsible for inspiring many of world’s leading contemporary ‘noses’ and the tutor of a chosen few. Although his resume of published perfumes is relatively short, most historians agree that almost all of Edmond Roudnitska’s perfumes are classics and often changed the course of perfume history. As his father did, Michel resides … Read More »


Madurai Malligai by Dr Uma Kannan – a Story of India’s Jasmine Sambac

Posted on March 6th, by What Men Should Smell Like in Perfume Non-Fiction. 4 comments

When I visited India, I expected the smell of sandalwood to be one of the trip’s olfactory highlights. What I didn’t expect was the affection I would develop for India’s native jasmine sambac. Jasmine has always been a favourite flower of mine but I generally prefer the sweet, candied petal odour of jasmine’s grandiflorum variety. I have fond memories of my visit to the jasmine fields surrounding the southern French village of Grasse, where the grandiflorum flowers have been harvested for more than a century.

In comparison to Grasse’s famous jasmine, which graces the likes of Chanel No 5 and Jean Patou’s Joy, India’s jasmine sambac has a greener edge. The absolute extract in my collection of raw materials has a fruitier personality and under GC analysis, I am sure it would reveal higher amounts of cis-3-Hexanol esters that give it its crushed grass notes. Smelling the freshly picked flowers in India, I developed a new appreciation for jasmine sambac and during my time in Madurai, India’s jasmine capital, I became transfixed on the flower that locals affectionately refer to as Madurai malligai. Buying jasmine garlands became a daily ritual in the small South Indian city and I would track the … Read More »




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