“On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave…
On this day of Canadian Thanksgiving, we contemplate this perfumed world and all that we have to be thankful for. A simple list turns into an olfactory alphabet. Just for fun…
A is for Armani, and Arden—not to mention all of the pioneering and headstrong women that have made the world of fragrance a better place and who we are thankful for. And A is also for Anais Anais, Azzaro and the newly minted Arquiste as well.
B is for Byredo, a new fragrance house and its passionate creator—for Byredo’s Mister Marvelous, Bal d’Afrique, Oud Immortel, Rose Noir…
C is for Chanel. As in the one and only Gabrielle who had the chutzpah to walk a new path, whether with jersey or roses. But C is also for Coty, who gave us that original Chypre, and who keeps revving the fragrance engine with new celebrity scent creations.
D is for Donna Karan and her love of luxury and black; for her Cashmere Mist, her Black Cashmere and her quintessential Manhattan-mixed-with-Zen perspective.
E is for Elizabeth Taylor: her violet eyes and White Diamonds that kickstarted the taste for celebrity scents.
F is for Lady Gaga’s Fame. We nod to the performer with her first-ever-black perfume and her push-the-envelope and make-the-world-think attitude.
G is for Guerlain, the grand perfumery founded in 1828, which has given us Jicky and Shalimar, Vol de Nuit and Vetiver. We could go on.
H is for Happy by Clinique. We acknowledge not just because of this spritz’s upbeat citrusy-floral character—a winner since launching in 1997—but because it recognizes the happiness-giving potential of perfume. Thank you.
I is for Issey Miyake, whose minimalist L’Eau d’Issey broke the mould in 1992; its water-as-inspiration perfectly matched the pared-down zeitgeist of the ’90s.
J is for Joy, that unapologetically plush and lush, jasmine-and-rose recipe whipped up by Jean Patou in the wake of the market Crash of 1929, that remains a classic.
K is for Klein as in Calvin of course and the portfolio of perfumes his brand has put forth, from the in-your-face Obsession and Grunge-loving ckOne, to the fragrance-as-sensual-escape scents Eternity and Escape and Encounter. And everything in between, before and since.
L is for Lauder as in Estée, who built a beauty empire. Thank you for Youth Dew, Pleasures, Knowing, Dazzling and Cinnabar.
M is for Thierry Mugler and his Angel invention; for his breaking of traditions. For his provoking. For his knowing that not everyone will get it. For his understanding that a fragrance can smell good enough to eat. And M is also for Marc Jacobs, he of the Daisy and Lola and Bang blockbusters.
N is for Number 4711, as in the original Cologne created in 1792 with its fruit, citrus and wood-and-musk base; and for the whole, wonderful notion that scent should not be worn because it’s for a man or a woman but because it speaks to your soul.
O is for Opium, that spicy and unapologetically forceful oriental crafted by Yves Saint Laurent in 1977. Thank you.
P is for Paris. Everything Paris.
Q is for the (potential) future queen of England, Kate Middleton and her love of the heady-scented gardenia flower.
R is for the rose, a bloom that has inspired thousands.
S is for Shiseido, but also for Serge Lutens, for Stella McCartney and Sarah Jessica Parker and for Canada’s Susanne Lang.
T is for Tom Ford and his ever-growing assortment of covetable scents, from Black Orchid and White Patchouli to his new visions in black. Beautiful.
U is for unforgettable, the ability for a fragrance to etch a moment into your memory forever, like no other sense can.
V is for Varvatos and Valentino, Vera Wang and Viktor+Rolf, Van Cleef & Arpels and for Bottega Veneta. So many Vs, so many great fragrances to be thankful for.
W is for the house of Worth and of the ages-old Parisian houses where fragrance is the raison d’etre.
X is for X-rated and all the tabloid-provoking world of past-the-B-list celebrities who introduce fragrances too. They keep perfumery barreling forward, and make us appreciate the good stuff.
Y is for Yves Saint Laurent and his multi-sensorial vision of beauty.
And Z. Z is for Ermenegildo Zegna and for the many Zegna scents—Intenso, Extreme, Forte, Colonia—that help make the cashmere-and-kid-leather-clad man so very well dressed.