Scented Best of the Best for 2009

Perfume Shrine: Scented Best of the Best for 2009

*Best Perfumery Trends in 2009:

*Best in Niche:

*Best Mainstream:

*Best Vintage Finds this year & History Write-Ups I enjoyed writing:

*Best Packaging/Advertising:

*Best in Home-Scenting:

*Notable Perfumers for their Excellence in 2009:

*Best Brand Revival:

*Best Hype:

*Best scent-related Realisation:

*Best Admission from within the indust

*And an honorary Worst Piece of News:

*Best Perfume Term Coined this year:

*Best Inexpensive Finds (beauty & scent-

*Best Light Reading:

*Best Gift I Got:

Please visit the following blogs for their 2009 highlights!

Perfume Shrine

Mossy Loomings


Ayala Smelly Blog

Bittergrace Notes


Eiderdown Press Journal


Roxana’s Illuminated Journal

A Rose Beyond the Thames

The Non Blonde

Notes from the Ledge

Under the Cupola

All I am a Redhead

Perfume In Progress

Savvy Thinker

I Smell Therefore I Am


Myrrh of Bible???????

Anthony V. Gaudiano

Myrrh (Strong’s has several words for Myrrh: 3910 - a gum (from its sticky nature) probably ladanum, 4753 - distilling in drops and also as bitter, 4666 - perfumed oil: ointment, 4669 - to tincture with myrrh, i.e. embitter (as a narcotic):-mingle with myrrh.

Myrrh is an aromatic gum resin, generally believed have been obtained from the low-growing thorny shrub or tree known as Commiphora myrrha (Balsamodendron myrrha) or the related variety Commiphora kataf. Both thrive in rocky areas particularly on limestone hills.

The wood and bark of such plants have a strong odor. Although the resin exudes by itself from the stem or the thick and stiff branches of either variety, the flow can be increased by means of incisions.

Initially the clear, white, or yellowish-brown resin is soft and sticky, but upon dripping to the ground to the ground it hardens and turns dark red or black.

It is collected and is marketed as a spice, medicine, or cosmetic (Song of Songs 5; Matt 2:11; Mark 15:23; John 19:39).

In Genesis 37:25 and 43:11 the Hebrew word ‘l4t’ is generally translated as “myrrh.” However, some question whether Commiphora myrrha, now native to Arabia and east Africa, was known in Palestine during the patriarchal period.
A better translation for lot word is considered to be “labdanum,” a gummy resin produced by the small labdanum scrub (Cistus creticus L.), growing abundantly in the rocks and sand in Palestine.

References to myrrh are in Prov. 7:17 - “perfumed my bed with myrrh,[likely as a sprinkled powder]” Song 5:5 - “my hands dripped with myrrh”[perhaps myrrh dissolved in oil or wine], Matt. 2:11 - “gold, frankincense, and myrrh,” Mark 15:23 - “wine mingled with myrrh ...” [indicates the resin is soluble in water and alcohol.


Bible Fragrances - Labdanum

Hebrew:lot, from a semitic root meaning "resinous herb".
Assyrian: ladunu.
Arab: ladhan.
Greek: ledanon.
Latin: ladanum or labdanum.
Genesis 37,25 and 43,11

A highly pungent gum-resin, secreted by the lower part of the leaves of the Cistus Creticus, a small bush with hardy and pink flower, contrasting leaves which thrives in dry, sunny woods in Mediterranean regions.

Herodotus and Pliny report that labdanum was collected by combing the beards of goats, which were impregnated with the substance.

Another technique, in use as late as the 18th century, consisted of brushing young cistus bushes with a kind of whip, consisting of leather thongs which, once covered with resin, were scraped.

The Ishmaelite caravan coming from Gilead to which Joseph was sold, was transporting labdanum (Genesis 37, 25). Subsequently, Jacob ordered his sons to offer labdanum, along with other local products, to their brother, now an Egyptian dignitary.

"And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts and almonds." Genesis 43, 11

Its aroma is pleasant, sweet, herbaceous and balsamic. Its animal-like odor is reminiscent of ambergris and is used in perfumery for its fixative properties.


Myrrh of Bible (labdanum from Cistus Creticus)

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Myrrh \Myrrh\, n. [OE. mirre, OF. mirre, F. myrrhe, L. myrrha, murra, Gr. ?; cf. Ar. murr bitter, also myrrh, Heb. mar bitter.]
A gum resin, usually of a yellowish brown or amber color, of an aromatic odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent taste. It is valued for its odor and for its medicinal properties. It exudes from the bark of a shrub of Abyssinia and Arabia, the Balsamodendron Myrrha. The myrrh of the Bible is supposed to have been partly the gum above named, and partly the exudation of species of Cistus, or rockrose.

False myrrh. See the Note under Bdellium.


CYSTUS052 may be an effective adjuvant in respiratory tract infections


This article aimed to investigate the clinical effect of a Cistus spp. (rock rose) extract (CYSTUS052) in comparison with extract made from Camellia sinensis (green tea) on 300 patients with infections of the upper respiratory tract. It observed a total of 300 patients (277 completers) treated with CYSTUS052 given in lozenges compared with treatment with an extract of C. sinensis. The patients scored the subjective severity of target symptoms using a predefined scale. The score of subjective symptoms decreased over the course of treatment with CYSTUS052, whereas treatment with C. sinensis resulted in a less significant decrease in symptoms.

Kalus U, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H. Effect of CYSTUS052® and green tea on subjective symptoms in patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract



Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA) New York.

November 17, 2009 - February 27, 201

The Onassis Cultural Center will be closed on Friday, December 25th, 2009 and Friday, January 1st, 2010

The Onassis Cultural Center will present an extraordinary group of 15th and 16th century paintings, including early works by El Greco.

Curated for the Onassis Cultural Center by Dr. Anastasia Drandaki, Curator of the Byzantine Collection at the Benaki Museum, Athens, The Origins of El Greco will present 46 exceptional works from public and private collections in Greece, Europe, the United States and Canada, many of which will be traveling to the U.S. for the first time.

According to Dr. Drandaki, “The icon painters in the workshops on Crete in the 15th and 16th centuries were renowned for their skill in painting impeccable panels not only in the traditional Byzantine manner but also in a style inspired by Western models. Although a dialogue with Western painting was not new to Byzantine art, a number of special factors undoubtedly helped to encourage the immersion of Cretan artists in Western iconography and style, especially after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.” The Origins of El Greco will illuminate these fascinating developments as seen in rare panel paintings that span the course of two centuries.


Doménikos Theotokópoulos - El Greco (1541 – April 7, 1614) born in 1541 in northern Crete (labdanum area).



Eau de Parfum

Our aim: to create an elegant perfume of beauty, a modern classic.

Paris was the inspiration for our first perfume but a fragrant garden in Avignon was the revelation. Encircled by a ring of bay laurel trees and brimming with exotic flora native to the Island of Sicily, this beautiful walled garden held the key to Tarantella eau de parfum.

Inspired by the Tommi Sooni vision our “nose” blended and refined in the classic French tradition for over eighteen months until the result was perfected.

From this labour of love emerged a sophisticated and elegant “chypre.”

Tarantella, a rare fragrance with a complex aura and memorable sillage.

Tarantella … it is very good indeed, solid, confident and interesting … very well put together with no breaks and a rich drydown that is faithful to the structure. Would get a solid 4 stars in a new edition of the guide.

Luca Turin, author, “Perfumes the Guide”


True Chypre Perfume (Vrai Chypre).

by Amelia
"My favorite things change frequently but almost all are vintage; I just love old stuff."

Chypre is a formula built around earthy patchouli and loamy, smooth oakmoss plus labdanum. Labdanum is a richly fragrant lichen-like substance that was first combed from the hair of goats who picked it up grazing on the Mediterranean rock-rose shrub. The patchouli is refined and sublime without any of the spikey, sinus penetrating fumes. This base is rounded out by the classic harmony of citrus against a floral. The rose begins dusty pale; the bergamot was shy at first but it bloomed thanks to a muggy evening. The leather has a savory/creamy tang similar to goat's milk and under it all is a surprisingly familiar musky finish. I just wish I could share it with a wider audience.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2010.

The Adoration of the Magi.
El Greco

Myrrh is mentioned in the Bible (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 4:14) and is believed to have been a mixture of myrrh and the oleoresin labdanum. One of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:11) was myrrh. Myrrh gum resin was also used as a stimulant tonic and is even used today as an antiseptic in mouthwashes as well as to treat sore gums and teeth.


Recent studies on the Mediterranean herb Cistus incanus (rock rose) provide some interesting comparisons. Thus a polyphenol-rich Cistus extract showed similar anti-IV activities to those described in this report, suggesting a similar mode of action [18]. The mechanism of Cistus anti-viral activity was not elucidated however, so a comparative study of these two extracts could be useful and provide interesting implications for the design of effective anti-IV compounds.


Perfume Rose : Labdanum

There are many garden smells I love. The evening scent of honeysuckle in June, pure, bright, overwhelming. The evening scent of angels’ trumpets in November (no frost here yet) – heady, intense, overpowering. The fresh loaminess of turned earth. The sweet floral crispness of stored cooking apples, their springlike zing always surprising me. The greenhouse smells of wood and geranium and salvias.

But of all the smells that halt me in my tracks, it’s the scent of cistus or labdanum that halts me most, and then haunts me. I can’t pin it down; it oscillates between categories too much – balsamic, leathery, animalic, resinous, green – for me to move on. Defying categorisation, it’s become one of my favourite perfume ingredients.

I’ve had all sorts of cistus shrubs over the years, most notably Cistus creticus with its shell pink flowers and its reputation as the best source of labdanum, and the variety ‘Sunset’ with brighter flowers, often described as rose pink but tending towards magenta in the best (or, if your tastes are less garish than mine, worst) examples. All of them have sticky leaves, from where the gummy resin is extracted (I’ll leave the details to better people than me – perfumeshrine has explored this with great eloquence). My current favourite cistus I grow is the hybrid x cyprius, whose leaves become lead grey in cold weather, as though metalwork rather than plant. And its aroma is everpresent – in rain, sun, or on still, dull days.

read more in Perfume Rose

Climate Conference in Copenhagen 6. - 18. December 2009


The Adoration of the Magi

Oil on canvas, 232 x 115 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Around 1600 the dominant influence in Toledo was that of El Greco. The link with the master was strongest in the distinguished painter Luis Tristαn, who stressed the Tenebrist aspects of some of El Greco's work. Tristαn's development was interrupted by his premature death, but not before he had completed work of such merit as the altarpiece in Yepes (1616) and that of Santa Clara de Toledo which was finished in 1623.

The Adoration of the Magi probably formed part of an altarpiece in the Jeronymite Convent of the Queen in Toledo, together with an Adoration of the Shepherds (now in Cambridge), Pentecost (now in Bucharest) and Resurrection (lost). It has the same composition as the Yepes altarpiece, however, the faces of the figures are different.

Myrrh is mentioned in the Bible (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 4:14) and is believed to have been a mixture of myrrh and the oleoresin labdanum. One of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:11) was myrrh. Myrrh gum resin was also used as a stimulant tonic and is even used today as an antiseptic in mouthwashes as well as to treat sore gums and teeth.


Phytotherapy in an influenza pandemic.

Phytotherapy in an influenza pandemic.

polyphenol rich extract of the Mediterranean plant Cistus incanus (pink rockrose) has shown potent antiinfluenza virus activity against highly pathogenic forms of H7N7 and H1N1 influenza A viruses both in vitro as well as in a mouse infection model (Droebner 2007, Ehrhardt 2007). Treatment involved local application as an aerosol formulation similar to that of Relenza[R].


Clive Christian: X for Women Pure Perfume-Most Expensive Fragrance.

Chypre Fruity. Modern and mysterious with an attitude that crosses, yet respects, conventional perfumery. Presented in a handmade lead crystal perfume bottle with 24kt gold-plated sterling silver collar. 1 oz.

· Top notes: Ivy, peach, Sicilian mandarin, bergamot

· Heart: Karo karounde, reseda, rose, Egyptian jasmine

· Base: Patchouli, cedarwood, vetyver, labdanum, vanilla


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