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Nose-to-Nose: Sniffing out news with Esther

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New in niche
There’s nothing more fun than “new” multiplied by “free,” and that’s the double whammy luxury niche house By Kilian is offering to Facebookers who join the company’s Kilian Club on Facebook. Those who register by April 1 will receive two free samples from the line’s new Asian Tales series: Calligraphy, whose notes include grapefruit zest, cherry blossom, water lily, magnolia, jasmine sambac, cardamom and vetiver, and Bamboo Harmony, whose notes include bergamot, neroli, orange bigarade, white tea leaves, mimosa, spice, essence of mate, fig leaves and oak moss. Both are by perfumer Calice Becker. (For more details on the new scents, take a look at this note on Perfume Shrine.) To sign up for the Kilian Club, go to the By Kilian company page on Facebook  and click on the link for the Kilian Club on the left hand side of the page. I signed up last fall, when the company offered free samples to the first few hundred people to sign up. The promotion worked so well, they extended the offer of samples to all who joined. Members who signed up before January 15 will also receive a sample of Amber Oud. The huge response—they have almost 13,000 “likes”—has meant slow delivery for some samples, but judging by the chatter on various forum pages, it seems most folks who signed on have received their sets.

Vintage appeal
They don’t make ‘em like they used to: that’s the constant refrain when it comes to vintage perfumes. So it was a nice change to see Donna on Perfume Smellin’ Things say this about Cabochard: “despite the obvious reformulation it was still recognizable as one of the iconic leather chypres of all time.” I haven’t sniffed the vintage version (I’m keeping my eyes open for it, though!) but the current one, as Donna says, is still a stunner. The notes—citrus, iris, tobacco, patchouli, pungent herbals and leather—are delicious. Developed by nose Bernard Chant and launched in 1959, it’s been described as “a rounder version of Bandit.” (Chant is also the nose behind Aromatics Elixir, which Gwen and Kay have on offer here on While Luca Turin doesn’t have much nice to say about the current version of Cabochard—he says it has been “chewed down to a frazzle by accountant moths”—I’d suggest you let your nose be your guide. (See Deals, deals, deals for details on where to find this one at bargain prices.)

Deals, deals, deals
Tempted by Cabochard? The non-vintage version is a steal on  and 3.3 ounces of the EDP for under $30, and 1.7 ounces of the EDT for under $20.

If you love By Kilian, then you love perfumer Calice Becker, the nose behind By Kilian’s A Taste of Heaven, Back to Black: Aphrodisiac, Beyond Love, Liaison Dangereuse, Love, Love and Tears, Prelude to Love, Pure Oud, Rose Oud, Sweet Redemption, and the two new offerings, Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony. She’s also behind the much-loved and very well priced Cuir de Lancôme , Estee Lauder’s Beyond Paradise, Marc Jacobs Lola, Donna Karan Gold and many more. Read more about Becker in this interview on Ça Fleure Bon. And check out decants of Donna Karan Gold and By Kilian’s Beyond Love here on 

Makes me want to try it
You had me at “leathery fruity floral.” One of my favourite lines, Les Parfums de Rosine,  has launched Glam Rose, with notes including peppercorn, ambrette, blackcurrent leaves, rose, violet, jasmine, lychee, cedar, buckskin, raspberry and musk and described as the aforementioned leathery fruity floral on Now Smell This.  Yup, another lemming is born. And check out some of the other Rosine scents with these decants from Gwen and Kay.

Just because
Do designers create their own scents? Are the notes listed on the bottle the ingredients inside? Can women wear men’s scents and vice versa? Those are three of the myths writer Denise Hamilton tackles in her article on perfume myths.  Hamilton’s love of perfumes runs deep: she’s also written a well-received mystery novel with a fragrant plot line, called Damage Control.