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L’Ether de Iunx – Smelling scents in Paris (Monday, June 6th New Fragrance Listing)

There was an interesting story in the Globe & Mail last Saturday in which by Amy Verner talks about the various ways French niche perfumers have for letting you experience their frags.

I’ve done the perfume route in Paris and like Amy tried the “gauze stuffed in a cup (at L’Artisan Parfumeur”), the scent funnels used by Histoires de Parfums and scented Dixie cups from Comme des Garçons. Every time I come back from Paris, my suitcase has scented feathers, fans and ribbons in it. Immigration must  think I’m with the ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ road show.

The weirdest sniffing experience I ever had in Paris was at JAR. I had gone into the store to catch a whiff of Bolt of Lightening. Here chamois cloths were doused with their various scents, and each one was covered with a cloche. The SA lifted the cloche, (not me, I’m not authorized to lift a cloche) and held it to my face – I inhaled. Meh. They feel the chamois is closer to skin than paper and give a better sense of how the frag will smell on you. I find the sticking your whole face in a cloche thing a bit unsanitary, but then, I’m very careful about where I stick my face.

By far the most effective off skin scent experience is at IUNX – Olivia Gicoabetti’s small perfume shop just outside Hotel Costes. Here plexiglass tubes stick out of the wall. They have motion sensors attached to the bottom, when you move in to sniff, the sensors trip a small fan that send the scent up to your waiting nose. Sexy - very, very sexy.

So, do any of these thinking-outside-the-blotter sniffing experiences really get me to buy perfume? Well, yes and no. I tend to sample frags before I buy, so I know what I want and what I am looking for. And, I rarely if ever buy something I haven’t tried on my skin because scent needs body heat in order to bloom. Still, some frags haunt you, and you do remember the whole sniffing experience. That’s why I asked a friend to bring me back L’Ether de IUNX from Paris. She had to bring it back because there is nowhere else in the world you can buy it – no other shops, no online, no discount online.

IUNX is an outstanding line – there isn’t a dog among ‘em. I just love some of them more than others and for me the pick of the litter is L’Ether de IUNX.

It opens with myrrh and bezoin, which gives it a light camphor note. Soon, it gets woody, very gently woody from maplewood, sandalwood and rose wood, all of these warmed by saffron. The effect is a gorgeous rose/incense frag with a hint of bitterness from the myrrh, that on me, doesn’t really have defined stages. While it has presence, it is more like a vapour than a perfume.

Put it on the back of your neck on a warm day and then feel the love when people get close to you.

L’Ether de IUNX is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5,00 for 1 ml.