Perfumed Letters

Reading the scent trail of fragrance and words

The Name of the Scent (Quote of the Week)


Ellena bottles from my collection; early spring bouquet from my friend’s garden

“Le nom est un son qui doit accrocher tous vos sens, il est le premier contact avec le parfum / The name is a sound that must capture/hook all your senses; it is the first contact with the perfume.” 

     – Jean-Claude Ellena. Journal d’un parfumeur (2011), p. 40.

Perfume names indeed capture my attention–from the understated N˚ 5 , to the whimsical Love’s True Bluish Light (yes, I’m still a Blondie fan). The meeting of words and fragrance draws me to perfume.  Hence the name of my blog. What do perfume names mean to you?

UPDATE: Francis Kurkdjian comments on “the impact of the name” in painting and in perfume (along with other perfume topics) in his recent with interview with Persolaise.


6 thoughts on “The Name of the Scent (Quote of the Week)

  1. Names mean a lot to me.

    I know that should I have smelled some perfume and absolutely loved it I would have overcome my disliking its name (in most but not all cases). But if I do not like the name I'm much less inclined to even try it.

    I do not want even to try many of Etat Libre d'Orange's perfumes because I think those names are more tasteless than playful and I won't be caught dead wearing Fat Electritian or Hotel Slut – no matter how great those might smell.

  2. Hi, Undina! Your comment has me imagining a very awkward dialogue.
    A: You smell great! What are you wearing?
    B: Hotel Slut!

    Oh, dear…

    I'm drawn to names, too. “Antimatière” (LesNez) is one of all all time favorite perfume names.

  3. BTW, please tell me those bottles don't alway live on that mantelpiece.

  4. No, I 'm very careful about perfume storage. And even in their cool, dark cupboard, the bottles aren't normally organized by nose. I just took them out to get their picture taken–an alternative to the photo of the book cover that I nearly posted. What you cannot see in the photo is that the l'Eau d'Hiver is entirely used up. I can't part with the bit of scent that lingers just yet.

  5. I should post a disclaimer: No perfumes were harmed in the staging of this photo. 🙂

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