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Pair of lemons

Lemons are the fruit of the lemon tree, or Citrus limon, a flowering plant in the Rutaceae family. No one really knows where they originated, but they showed up in Europe through Italy in ancient Roman times. By 1150, lemon trees were found throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region and later made their way across the Atlantic to the Americas via Christopher Columbus.

Essential oil of lemon is made from cold-pressed lemon peel, so its scent remains truer to the scent of the fruit and peel, and delivers a note that is bright, light, refreshing, sparkling and cheerful. It is the sunshine note in fragrances. 

Here are four of our favourite lemon scents, which can be worn and enjoyed by everyone. 

Notes Series #26 – LEMON

Four 1ml. decants for $18.00, regular $23.00. 

Fleurs de Citronnier by Serge Lutens translates into 'lemon blossoms,' the main attraction in this eau de parfum, which opens a note of bitter, citrusy, green citronnier petitgrain – the kind made from the leaves of lemon trees. Soon, the lemon blossom appears, its delicate beauty is transparent but tenacious. Citrusy neroli bolsters the lemon blossom with its green and orange facets. Soon they are joined by a lush, indolic note of tuberose; its' sensuality countering the purity of the lemon blossoms. Delicate, floral and fresh, every note shines without any of them outshining the lemon blossom. Regular $6.00

Lemon by Mary Greenwell bursts open with the freshest just-squeezed juice from the sweetest, plumpest, biggest, most perfect lemons, amped up by mounds of their brilliant yellow zest, plus more citrus notes of lime, bergamot, mandarin and bitter orange. Never too sweet or too sharp or too loud, the divine fresh scent gathers steam and goes green and floral in the heart. Herbs and white florals keep the lemon aroma sparkling, and the mix is intoxicating. Lemon smells like the best sunny summer day you can imagine. Regular $5.00

Tabac Citron by Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co. was inspired by the French countryside.It’s fresh and snappy in the first whiffs, with an almost bitter edge, the combination of oily lemon zest and herbal lavender making an arresting accord.But the soft smoky-sweet scent of fresh-picked tobacco leaves drying in the summer sun immediately starts to soften this unusual opening and Tabac Citron soon dries down into a pale vegetal creamy sweetness like new hay, edged with soft lemon, spiced rose and sandalwood notes, which make it so gorgeous and so niche. Regular $7.00

Un Zest de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine opens with a bright sparkling note of lemon, fortified with a green note from bergamot and sweetened with orange peel. I smell dried fruit, candied citrus rind to my nose, which gives it a lovely depth.  At the heart, a lush, velvety rose note comes forward and while the effervescence of the opening fades, the lemon never really does – it stays delicate and soft playing off the rose, now bolstered by jasmine, each complementing the other beautifully. The perfect fragrance for a summer’s day. Regular $5.00

Note Series #26 – LEMON is listed in our Decant Store. Four 1ml. decants for $18.00. regular $23.00.

Image - Wikimedia Commons

 

Dogon cliff dwellings, Bandiagara escarpment, Mali

"Travel memories, like treasure troves of the mind, require very little to seep back into our lives; a rhythm, a colour, a smell, a taste, an emotion… I can see myself standing there, browsing the outdoor market at the base of the Cliff, admiring the beauty of the women wearing the striped indigo loincloths that tell of their marital status. I can taste the tart yet sweet red hibiscus flower beverage. I can smell the captive humidity of the arid soil, the exotic wood carvings of a sculpture, the stretched leather of a djembe drum… such are the olfactive memories that embody Pays Dogon: textured, raw and authentic."

This is presented by perfumer Isabelle Michaud, founder of niche line Monsillage, as the inspiration for her fragrance, Pays Dogon. It's a pretty enticing description of a memory, and I knew I wanted to smell that perfume before I reached the end of the paragraph.

I've always been drawn to fragrances inspired by travel, and those created by Ms. Michaud are among the best. All nine fragrances currently in the line are full bottle worthy. I'm not the only one who feels that way. In the six years since Monsillage was launched in 2014, two of the fragrances in the line have won Art and Olfactive awards. One of them is Pays Dogon.

The description of Pays Dogon attracted me in part because I know so little about the place. Some research was required.

Wikipedia says this: Dogon country (French: Pays Dogon) is a region of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger populated mainly by the Dogon people, a diverse ethnic group in West Africa with diverse languages.

There was more, but I lost interest when it got to the annual rainfall section. But my interest in Pays Dogon never waned. Finally, I blind bought a bottle (I know, I know…..) and low and behold; there was a surprise in it – something called a Perfume Tale:

"In Mali, amidst the vast Sahelian plains, lies an impressive escarpment named the Cliff of Bandiagara which extends for 90 miles. This surprising geological formation creates a microclimate where humidity and aridity coexist, allowing lush vegetation spurts in a quasi desert setting. The area surrounding the Cliff is called Dogon Country and is inhabited by the Dogon people who took refuge there many centuries ago. They built their traditional dwellings directly onto the rocky slope, making it an architectural gem and an unforgettable sight. The isolation and rough terrain of the area allowed the Dogons to keep their independence and preserve their unique ancestral traditions based on animist beliefs, which celebrate the sacredness of the soul".

Now that I had the complete picture of Dogon Country, all that was left for me was to smell Pays Dogon...

It opens with a note of green, something Ms. Michaud calls 'green oasis'. It's the lush vegetation mentioned in the Perfume Tale. A bracing note of black pepper adds a gentle warmth and earthiness to the oasis. Ginger adds a fresh and spiciness. As the top notes fade, I smell the soft floral note of hibiscus. So soft, it feels like it is being carried along on a breeze blowing over a woody, earthy base of Guaiac wood, earthy, woody, cypriol; aromatic, balsamy sandalwood, rich, dark patchouli and green, earthy Javanese vetiver. That's a lot of woodiness and earthiness, and a note of sweet date rounds it all out beautifully.

Pays Dogon dries down to a soft, woody skin scent that smells like you've been to place far away and exotic, off the beaten track yet familiar. I'm going to be buying and wearing a lot of Pays Dogon. And, I know my husband will too!

Pays Dogon is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

 

Welcome to perfumeniche.com

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

We’ve tested and tried hundreds of samples over the years, and when we deemed a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let others buy and try samples from our collections and experience the fragrant beauty we write about.

WHAT WE DO

We blog

We blog once a week and post a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent critics, so these aren't negative reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

Or we post conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention recently. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to explore new territory by trying 3 or 4 fragrances in a special pack at a special discount price.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants - .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retail store or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
 
We hope you enjoy perfumeniche.com, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.

It’s just us.