The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

Hermès

Cuir d’Ange

The latest addition to the Hermessences range, created by in-house perfumer Jean-Louis Ellena for Hermès and launched in 2014, Cuir d’Ange is, as its name suggests, a rather ethereal take on the smell of new leather – appropriately enough for a company that started out making riding tackle.

Inspired by a phrase in Jean le Bleu, a 1932 novel by Jean Giono – a kind of French Thomas Hardy – Ellena explains that, for…

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Francis Kurkdjian

Absolue Pour le Matin

I’ve been trying to like the perfumes of Francis Kurkdjian for some time, but try as I might they let me down. I’d have given up months ago except for the fact that I admire everything about them – their names, their bottles, their packaging, their design – apart from one inconvenient (and for a perfume, rather crucial) thing: the way they actually smell.

I feel particularly bad about this because the guys at Maison Francis Kurkdjian have very kindly given me four of his men’s perfumes: Lumière Noire, Absolue Pour le Matin…

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Frederic Malle

Cologne Bigarade

Every morning for my breakfast I have tea, toast and home-made marmalade. It’s one of my favourite things, and I love the bittersweet smell of Seville oranges, which only appear in the shops for a couple of weeks around this time of the year.

In fact as I sit here writing this post in late January, Roy is busy cooking marmalade next door, and the powerful odour of bitter orange (known as bigarade in French) is suffusing the house from kitchen to attic…

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