Monday, July 5, 2010
Having been in the perfume business, I’ve done my share of professional sniffing, sat in on fragrance evaluation meetings, and managed consumer sensory panels to determine which samples to present to a client. At FirstNerve my focus is on smell, science and society; and while I write about the industry, analyze traffic on fragrance-oriented web sites, and even discuss the philosophy of perfume reviewing, I’ve never posted a perfume review.
So when the Natural Perfumers Guild approached me to take part in The Mystery of Musk—an internet project to celebrate their fourth anniversary—I hesitated for a moment. There are lots of perfume bloggers covering new launches, especially in the increasingly important niche area; many of them are well-informed and more current with stylistic trends than I am.
Still, the idea of smelling specially-commissioned creations by twelve of the natural perfumers I’ve been reading about for the last couple of years was too good to pass up. I agreed to take part.
For two weeks now I’ve been getting surprises in the mail—padded envelopes and small boxes, each containing a lovingly wrapped and adorned perfume sample. I’m still working my way through them and will be posting my evaluations soon.
Besides me, nine other bloggers are evaluating the submissions. To keep myself unbiased I’ve decided not to read their comments until I’ve posted my own. That doesn’t have to stop you however; here’s the batting order:
Bitter Grace Notes—Maria Browning
Ca Fleure Bon—Michelyn Camen
First Nerve—Avery Gilbert
Grain de Musc—Denyse Beaulieu
I Smell Therefore I Am—Abigail Levin
Indie Perfumes—Lucy Raubertas
Olfactory Rescue Service—Ross Urrere
Perfume Shrine—Elena Vosnaki
The Non Blonde—Gaia Fishler