Monthly Archives: December 2010

Items 11 to 20 of 22 total

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  • Day 14 of the advent calendar

    Hello from Zurich, Switzerland, a sort of little big city in the heart of Europe. EUROPE, with its EURO crisis, where it is quite chilly below zero Celsius and where with dropping temperatures the EURO versus the Swiss Franc is dropping on a daily basis, too. After yesterday's prize that goes to Canada, here is another chance to win a Cologne du Maghreb, where ever you live. I loved yesterday's geography comments; great to see where everybody comes from. Just leave a comment below to win: any comment is in. Maybe, because I am a very curious person. What's your favorite perfume note? I feel mine is orange blossom.

    Coming back to the EURO, mentioned beforehand. This IS an issue the longer the more. We (me and the W.-factor who is my partner and my book keeper) are all getting deeply worried about it. About its going down in value (the same is true for the $ US), which translates into a reduced trust in this currency in comparison to the Swiss Francs. And it is a sign that the EURO crisis is far from over. Being an outsider, it may be a bit easier to face a potential failure of the common currency. And it has a very direct influence on my products as it influences a lot of decisions that we need to take: Pricing, sourcing, outsourcing,...

    Thus, you see: When not thinking roses, there is a lot to consider on the side and suddenly you realize that you think EURO and exchange rates and discuss concepts such as currency hedging. Weird. I prefer thinking roses.

    Today's picture on the side:  a fir twig, scanned, found in the wood yesterday afternoon, when I was out for a 30 min walk, enjoying the last sun beams.

    fir twig


  • Day 13 of the advent calendar

    Greetings to you all and a great start into your new week. This is day 13 of the advent calendar, where you have a chance every day to win a cologne that I made for this occasion and because I like to do it. And we are past the middle of our countdown. From now on it will go fast...

    To enter the draw: Just leave a comment. Maybe, because I am very curious person, if you could tell us where you are commenting from? Like "greetings from Dallas"...

    After yesterday's jogging, the Sunday ritual over 15 miles, with lots of fresh air and energy, I fiddled a bit with bases I am working on. A base is a mixture of ingredients that you may use in the construction of a perfume. Industry provides perfumers with a lot of bases: You want a rose? Just order it from xyz.  As I mentioned in one of the open letters: I prefer to make all my bases myself. --Mandy Aftel and me share our thoughts and visions and approaches in an open letter series, hosted by Nathan Branch on his blog; lately we worked on a linden blossom extract and now we engaged into working with fire tree essential oil. Click here for the OPEN LETTER series on his blog.--

    I find the creative process of coming up with simple bases challenging and rewarding.Thus, I fiddled with a new chord of rose, green and very airy. Initially, this particular rose chord was planned for a rose soap, but later I realized that it might come handy in other compositions, too. It consists of 12 ingredients. Usually, I start making bases, when I have a problem within a note or a chord in a composition: The base helps to isolate the trouble maker and actually it is fun, too.  It helps you to understand. Sometimes.

    Today's extra picture: A rose, scanned. Unfortunately without almost any scent.

    rose scanned


  • Day 12 of the advent calendar

    Fragrant greetings on day 12 of the advent calendar! Thank you for leaving a "hello" or any comment in the comments section below to enter the draw of today: Your prize is the Cologne du Maghreb that you will not find anywhere else.

    Actually, yesterday, during the scent apero in Zurich, you could find 4 flacons of the cologne, sitting there together with 10 flacons of diluted citrus oils and orange blossom extracts. I used the cologne as an example to show what you can do with citrus essential oils (among other things). A few asked when and if this cologne will be available for money, with a price tag, in a shop. Well, for the time being, it will not be available. having introduced 4 scents this year, I feel it is enough with new scents for now.

    And, without teasing you:  I like the idea that there are things money cannot buy.  This is luxury. Actually, thinking about it, there is so much you cannot buy in life. And this is good. Enjoy your Sunday!

    lemon and cake


  • and there

    and today, you might want to look there for the advent calendar post.


  • look there

    Are you looking for today's chance to win a cologne in the advent calendar? Well, it is not here. But maybe you want to look there.

    Enjoy a fragrant Friday!

  • Day 9 of the advent calendar

    This is day 9 of the advent calendar and soon, soon we are in the middle of our countdown to X-mas. Another countdown comes soon to an end: The scent gathering on Saturday in Zurich, called "scent apéro", because I provide scents to sniff and together with Pascal food and drinks.  This year's theme is CITRUS, in all its variations, from lemon peel oil to bergamot and orange blossoms, and I will do the dilutions to spray them and sniff them today for use on Saturday.

    Pascal is the shop owner of the book shop in Zurich (click here for the home page with a nice picture of me, Pascal, and Beatrice who makes dream curries and more. I am the guy on the right side) where everything started. It was he who proposed to make a fragrance for his shop, the fragrance was the le Maroc our elle, and when we started this venture, the Le Maroc was sitting on his shelves in an really, really unpretentious flacon. That was about 6 years ago. Then, we started dreaming of selling 100 flacons. In a sense, we are still dreaming today.

    Of course, I will also show the Cologne du Maghreb (as it is about 95% citrus, as you would expect, building on a lovely contrast between lemon with bergamot and rosmary and lavender) during the scent apero, but it will not be for sales. This gathering is sort of non commercial and we do not use it to sell my products. A fact that some find strange. For me it is important: Some things in life should be for free. Like the scent apero in December.

    Today, you have another chance to win a Cologne du Maghreb, by just saying hello and leaving a comment in the comment section. I will pick you with and send you an e-mail.  And you will find your name here, on the list of winners. And one last word, although I cannot answer or comment back to you: I am really trying to read all of your comments and send you all a  BIG thank you.

  • Day 8 of the advent calendar

    This is day of our advent calendar and your next chance to win a Cologne du Maghreb by leaving a comment (any comment will work).

    Before we dig into my trip to Paris and perfumery and a serious post: The solution to yesterday's conundrum. A. Of course :-) Although, trust me, it was cold in Paris and a soup would have been a good idea. Sephora sees me rarely these days, and only for a short time to affirm my expectations.

    On another side note: Here's a thought on heavy carrot doses in perfumery...

    But let's go back to Paris: Paris was great as always and as the weather was sort of nasty we had the perfect excuse to go and hunt the "magasines" for all sorts of stuff, like jogging shoes, shirts and other stuff. Actually, one of the best places to go shopping for food is the "Grand épicerie du Bon Marchée". Wow. And wow! I enjoy this place so much.

    So we went shopping and skipped most of the sightseeing as we come to Paris somewhat regularly. What we did not shop in the Magasines, however, and this is the sad part of being in Paris: Perfume.  Of all the major metropolitan cities in Europe, Paris has the smallest VARIETY of brands. There are a few niche brands in the magasines, but a lot of the international and FRENCH variety of small brands is missing. A sad, sad story also for a lot of small French houses.

    And , to make things worse, there is no niche shop like you find it in other European cities.

    There are a few boutiques, and I recommend visiting those. Like Les Parfums de Rosine, or Serge Lutens temple right next to it in the Garden of the Palais Royal.

    There are probably several reasons why this is like it is. The magasines completely dominate their shop in a shop market ecology and the conditions for sales under their roof are miserable to say the least. No room for experiments there. Then there is Sephora (and others)  that seems to  leave unfertile land for small brands in its neighborhood. Maybe there is just no need for niche in Paris? Although the super friendly lady at Les Parfums de Rosines told me how often she hear clients wishing for more variety.

    Thus, coming back to the magasines: It was actually quite  odd how some of the larger brands presented themselves. Not much chic left.  Even good old French brands. A lady was standing there in Printemps, praising some absolutes that went into something and flowers and more and all via microphone and loud while a guy was spraying down whatever came close to him on two legs. It felt like in an amusement park, equally artificial and strange, as I feel that perfumes need silence and some sort of tranquility.

    Thus, we decided to visit Les Parfums de Rosines, where you are treated like a prince, and Serge Lutens oasis of peace, in dim light, 100% elegant and chic, very French and reminding us what perfume and Paris is all about.

    I love Paris.

    Thus, any comment is good enough to enter today's draw.

  • Day 7 of the advent calendar

    Fragrant greeting to you all from Zurich again. I thank you all for your lovely comments and sharing your memories yesterday. I know what I will do over the holidays: Take a time-out and write a thesis on Santa's appearance all over the world.

    I have just picked the winner of yesterday. As always with I read the number of comments, get a random number on and then I check the MySQL database for the corresponding comment entry. Sometimes, they are odd, however, these random numbers ...

    Today, we continue with the advent calendar, with the prize being the Cologne du Maghreb, shipped to you, wherever you live. I have a heavy loaded day today with lots of small issues needing my attention. Hence, I skip my story telling on Paris and perfumery in Paris to tomorrow. And I leave you with a little challenge today. All answers are entering the draw. If picks you and your answer is correct, I will add a scented soap, called Mandarines Ambrées, reserved for friends and family, to the Cologne du Maghreb.  If your answer is not correct and if picks you, then you get the cologne...

    Thus, the question: I was shopping yesterday in Paris and visited:

    a) Les Parfums de Rosine boutique in the Palais Royal

    b) a carrot soup factory outlet

    c) Sephora, followed by Marionaud

  • day 6 of the advent calendar

    this is day 6 of our advent calendar and it is the "Santa Claus Day". The prize today: Again a Cologne du Maghreb, if you have been a nice boy or girl the last year. I will pick the winner using from the comments.

    When I was a boy many years ago, Santa would visit us, at home, with his "Schmutzli", all dressed up with huge beard and red coat. Me and my brother were always a bit scared when we heard him walking up the old chairs to the third floor and once up there, he would open up his large book to check whether I was a nice boy and wether there were occasions I haven't behaved properly in the last year.  He come for several years, until one day my brother asked the Santa why he has the same shoes like our neighbor, and then he stopped coming to visit us.

    Back then, Santa did not show up in November, but only this December 6 and you would not see Santa afterwards for a full year.


    We have definitely lost something there. In a sense, Santa has become a commodity these days, hoping around the Christmas trees while "Dreaming of a white Christmas" is around every corner. But maybe it is not that  important after all.  The children of today may look back in 30 years and have their own warm memories of Santa...

    Thus, thank you for your comment that allows me to pick you for the prize. Any comment is welcome, but maybe you have avSanta memory to share. I wish you all a lovely Santa day.

  • Day 3 of the advent calendar

    First, I want to thank you all who shared your love for animals with all of us! What  a treat to read all these comments. Merci. (thank you for bringing up Capybaras... love them too, Roberto) And YES, Charmaine,I hope so much that there will be a little bit more peace in 2011. I guess we need to send a little prayer at some point.

    And second, we continue with the draw. The prize is the same like yesterday (The Cologne du Maghreb,  made for this occasion, all natural and 50 ml of it) and your comment, short or long, is sufficient to enter the draw. I will fly to Paris today. It is a short trip and I aim at taking a deep, deep breath before the end of this very busy year, and inhale French chic and eat great food. Actually,  I fly to Paris because there was this super extra great offer by Swiss, and I could not resist. And, as I started talking about cities and as we all have our loves and hates there. What's your favorite city?

    Mine is...hmm... LA in spring.

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