About Me

I’m Claire – just your average, run-of-the-mill Irish lass looking for a way to pare everything back so that I can get to the best things in life. Coco Chanel said that before leaving the house in the morning you should look in the mirror and take one thing off. Less is more. So this blog is an exploration of the quiet luxury of that one perfect thing – a fragrance, a pencil skirt, a book, a meal – the thing you absolutely can’t do without. But to get to that, we have to pare back the ephemera. Join me for a while. I’m here rummaging through the rubbish pile of my life to see what stays and what goes. Taking one thing off at a time until I get to the essential.

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Pat Pollard
Pat Pollard
5 years ago

Very enjoyable.

Steven
Steven
5 years ago

Thank you Claire. Until I came across this page, I didn’t realize that my entire life has been about paring everything back to get to the essential. Coco Chanel sure seems like someone with many useful insights. As you requested I’ll be joining you for a while as you share your experiences during this journey. And while I’m quite certain I’ll never have a favorite pencil skirt, I’m sure there’s much else I can benefit from. Indeed, I’m already planning to sample Jicky EDP based on your review. And, who knows, perhaps I can even broaden your horizons by sharing my love for whiskey and java infused cigars 😉

Steven

Mohammad
5 years ago

Hi Claire ,

I love your blog and I’m so happy to follow you , thank you so much for the nice reviews.

Mohammad

Anna
Anna
4 years ago

Hello Claire, glad to have found your blog. You are a wonderful writer with very insightful descriptions and just the right amount of irreverence. My kind of person.

I am going to seek out the Hermes Eau de Merveilles based on your recommendation. I love salt fragrances and one of my favourites is L’Artisan Navigateur which takes me back to sea growing up in Vancouver.

Jeff
Jeff
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna

Ah, you'll love Silence The Sea by Strangelove NYC. Claire has an excellent review about that fragrance as well.
You can surely smell the salt.

Cath
Cath
4 years ago

I’ve been wanting to smell this perfume for a while, even thought about buying a (pricey) sample, but your description just saved me some money. Thank you Claire.

Holly
Holly
4 years ago

Hi Claire! I just discovered your lovely blog, and am looking forward to rummaging through the archives and all posts to come.

susan
susan
4 years ago

thanks

Katherine
Katherine
4 years ago

Hi Claire, I’m delighted to have found your blog through an article on Basenotes. You have long been my absolute favourite reviewer there both because I love your writing and your taste in perfumes. Looking forward to many hours of perusing this! Thank you and wishing you a beautiful 2017 from NZ. X

MrsDalloway
MrsDalloway
4 years ago

Great blog – looking forward to reading more.

Mark Vaughn
Mark Vaughn
3 years ago

Claire, keep up the brilliant writing! You have a wonderful gift.

Kate
Kate
3 years ago

I was just reading about Ancient Resins Body Oil & Hair Elixir and thought I'd write in to see if you have a sample you'd sell or swap : ) Love your blog!

Summer
Summer
3 years ago

Your writing style is delicious. So refreshing. I followed your Basenotes Gourmand Coquin review to this blog. Thank you for sharing the morsels of your opinions. I look forward to vicariously discovering new fragrances in the same way one would follow a delightful path through the unexplored wood.

Joeri
Joeri
3 years ago

Dear Claire, I adore your reviews, here and elsewhere. You have helped me to discover many great gems. Thanks for making us part of your passions!

purecaramel
purecaramel
3 years ago

Dear Claire,
Your reviews seem to wack me across the noggin, like a snort of Jasmine Absolute, lifting my spirit, on these gray, rainy, November days.

Clarissochka
Clarissochka
3 years ago

Claire I just discovered your blog and love your reviews. I have read a couple of your articles on basenotes. It is great to get more of your reviews and perspective.

Clarissochka
Clarissochka
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Thank you for the nice note Claire. I loved your review of Under My Skin – this is the house I have heard of and am looking forward to trying it once I clear my sample backlog. You are right – we have very similar tastes, but your nose is way way more nuanced then my would ever be.

purecaramel
purecaramel
3 years ago

Thank-you for this "Piece" (JSP) annnnnd ,all the Acknowledgement Editorial Notes.
Your "Piece" carries all the ClaireV, haunting brushstrokes, that provide a "real"ly superior impression of these scents.
This site, continues to be, a "Quiet Library" for Reference.

purecaramel
purecaramel
3 years ago

I love that you qualify,

"I can’t adequately describe just how smoothly and quietly all this is brought about"

Then, offer in "Belle Rives" a startlingly brilliant and definitive sketch of what you see and feel.

MrsDalloway
MrsDalloway
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire

It is a terrific review and I'm glad you liked this one. I think it's beautiful too but it's not attracted much attention to date.

Diane St. Clair
3 years ago

Hi Claire–
Wondering if you would be willing to try my new perfume brand, St Clair Scents and if I could send you samples?
Thanks,
Diane

Louise
Louise
3 years ago

Hello Clare

I'm writing here as I can work out how to leave a comment on the individual articles 🙂
I just wanted to let you know how relieved I was to read your responses to the January Scent Project perfumes. They are the most brilliant and honest reviews I have come across.
I wanted to love these perfumes and although it's not the strangeness that I struggle with ( I love the smells themselves actually, and appreciate them very much as works of art), I do find the presence of these perfume right in my face and headache inducing, and there is a massive chemical effervescence and sweetness in them that makes them unwearable for me. I've been discombobulated by the contrast between the other reviews I've been reading and what I've actually been experiencing when smelling them. Perhaps I'm kind of allergic to something in them and just have not come across that particular component before ( although I did have a similar experience with Frederic Malle Carnal Flower).
I'm enjoying your article very much and appreciate your take on life and perfume.
Is there a way to subscribe by email (can't work that out either 😉
Thanks again

Louise.

Hélène
Hélène
3 years ago

Hello,
I landed on some of your reviews while looking for information about leather scents and have become absorbed in your prose. You are such a talented and evocative writer. Like with complex fragrance, the reader is transported to different capsules of life, past and present, here and there. Une invitation au voyage as Baudelaire would say.
I have been wondering if there are any perfumes that you could think of that conjure the rich smell of peat.
Thanks again for your delightful words and richness of thought.
Hélène

epapsiou
epapsiou
3 years ago

I loved the article on demographics and I think I am a part of the dying old-guard. I came to fragrance world in 2015 but gravitated towards old guard instantly. Have seen it shrinking. Oh well.
Just don't stop writing. This is among your best. Right up there with musk one and ambergris one and .. .. well they are all great

Heather D'Angelo
Heather D'Angelo
2 years ago

I just saw your dazzling review of my fragrance, Moena 12|69. Thank you for lending your poetry to describing it; it made me so happy to read it. I think you're a wonderful writer about perfume and I would love to work with you in the future if you're available! I wish I had been able to describe my perfume as beautifully as you did in my marketing materials. 🙂

Tim Sullivan
Tim Sullivan
2 years ago

You're an amazing writer, and I appreciate your selfless devotion to fragrance reviewing which can often feel like toiling away in obscurity. You have a knack for impressionistic descriptions, which I try to emulate in my own writing. I'm definitely a fan and thanks for your hard work!

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
2 years ago

Hi Claire, just discovered your blog. I'm sooooo totally with you on your view about Indie & Artisanal perfumery. What a a joy and a relief!

Heathhaze
Heathhaze
2 years ago

When is your guide to Attars coming out?

Leslie
Leslie
2 years ago

Claire,

I love your writing, your choice of words, and your thoughts. Please keep posting. There's something really special about how you express your thoughts and opinions, and your knowledge of fragrance.

I don't do this a lot….post my thoughts. I just want to express my desire to read more from you.

Thank you,

Leslie

Karen Timson
2 years ago

Claire,
You have just given me so much courage as newly launched 'indie artisan perfumer, thank you for such words of wisdom and insight. I have spent the last 18 months training under the expert and watchful eye of one of only a handful of England's truly independent perfumers where I have studied, created, failed and rejoiced and finally brought my signature collection to the market a whole 12 days ago! I have had a sales in my first week that have been generated from loyal and avid followers and friends, but now the real challenge starts! I'm talking……..!

Daveed Keith
Daveed Keith
2 years ago

Hey thank you for your article The Top Ten Male Designer Fragrances Every Beginner Should Sample. I have been looking for a scent since they took Hugo Boss Elements off the market and it always seemed an utterly haphazard process, until i found you. Smart woman. Eloquent writer. I smelled Azzaro Pour Homme on me for the first time tonight and wanted to take myself home it was so good. Thank you for your humor, and for your olfactory sage (come on, that's good).

Cheers! 🙂

Michael Glover
2 years ago

Hello Claire,
I just want to get in touch with you to say how enjoyable your writing is. If only the wine world had writing as good as yours. Unfortunately, like perfume I guess, everyone has an opinion but few can actually communicate, inform and enthuse the reader. I have always thought the role of a (wine-perfume) writer was to actually educate and empower the reader to go on their own journey rather than just dish out a score / number. The tricky bit is how to deal the blows to a less than ideal product…surely the answer is the cultivation of an ever more educated and demanding consumer?
I stumbled upon your writing in Basenotes whilst looking for a review of Andy Tauer's L'Air du desert Marocain. Your review was genuinely critical in that it was based on a degree of informed objectivity…but your writing style is brilliant…it is informed, accessible, clever, personal…blah blah blah..I just wanted to say well done and to tell you to start focusing on WINE! Ha!!! We need you.
Kind regards
Michael Glover

Michael Glover
2 years ago

Claire!
Where are you??
MG

Geoffrey Rickly
Geoffrey Rickly
1 year ago

Hey Claire. I joined basenotes because of your writing. Then you stopped posting. I came here to read your writing and it seems like you’ve slowed down. Whatever you’re doing now, I hope you’re writing. You have a wonderful conversational, personal, poetic voice and I buy half of what you love just on your description. ❤️✌?

raihan kamal
raihan kamal
1 year ago

Hi mam

I read your article about musk. I live in USA and would like to start making my own perfume.
I found this website who says they legally obtain musk.
http://Sibermusk.com

I was wondering if you have any idea about them or anyone I can buy from.
Raihan

cc
cc
11 months ago

Hi Claire, I want to thank you for this blog. I have enjoyed it so much. Your reviews are spot on. It is so fun to get samples and smell along with your articles. I have been pouring over older posts and it is a treasure trove! Was there a rumor you are writing a book about perfume?

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