Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Persolaise's Osmothèque Reviews + Andy Tauer's Advent Give-Away


*** To skip to the Tauer Perfumes Advent Draw,
please scroll to the bottom of this post. ***

I've decided that we need to build a nuclear bunker around the whole of Versailles. One of these days, our appetite for destruction may get the better of us and we might reduce our planet to a gallery of empty shopping malls and a mountain of paper coffee cups. So we need to be prepared. Because if a few human beings survive the apocalypse, they'll have to be made aware of the glories that came before them. And that's why Versailles needs to be protected.

Many of you will know what I'm driving at here. In October, I finally got a chance to visit the Osmothèque and since then, I've been trying to think of ways to introduce the uninitiated to its wonders and convince the entire world of its importance. In a nutshell: the Osmothèque is a perfume museum unlike any other*. It is unimpressive in terms of size - it occupies a couple of rooms in a corner of ISIPCA, a short distance from central Versailles - but it is monumental in terms of significance. Within its serene confines, inside large canisters sealed with a layer of argon gas, some of the undisputed masterpieces of perfumery lie in patient slumber. They are preserved in the form in which they were originally made... or, at least, a form that's as close as we can now get to the original. These aren't mere decants from 'vintage' bottles unearthed at antique fairs or culled from personal collections (although such items are held at the Osmothèque too). They are new recreations based on old formulae. They are the products of painstaking research, enviable talent and, crucially, the permission to use materials which are now outlawed in commercial perfumery, not least animal musks and raw bergamot. In other words, they are History, as important to our collective heritage as anything stored at the Tate Modern or the Louvre. And they need to be granted greater prominence.

In the coming weeks, I'm going to do what I can to try to persuade anyone kind enough to visit this site that the work carried out by the Osmothèque is worthy of the most serious support and esteem. I'll do that mainly by posting reviews of the gems I smelt during my all-too-brief visit. But I also hope to publish a couple of more general articles about the place. And I'll attempt to direct your attention to other corners of the web which have taken the time to publicise the Osmothèque's operations. For instance, Victoria Frolova of Bois De Jasmin recently announced her highly commendable decision to publish a selection of articles from the Osmothèque's archives, focussing mainly on those penned by perfumers. The first of these appeared on Monday, and I would urge you to click here and read it.

To get the ball rolling on my own series of Osmothèque Reviews, I'm starting on Friday with the creation which marked the birth of modern perfumery: Paul Parquet's Fougère Royale for Houbigant. But first, a few lines of small print, which apply not just to this review but to all subsequent reviews of the Osmothèque's treasures.


  • It's important to note that the perfumes cannot be tried on skin. The so-called Osmo-curator - in my case, the endlessly accommodating Yves Tanguy - dips a couple of blotters into a small bottle, which is quickly stoppered and put away.
  • The blotter is then stored in a narrow glassine envelope; any of you who have used such envelopes will know that they help the blotter retain its scent for an extremely long time. Indeed, as I type these words, nearly all my blotters are still distinctly scented, even though many weeks have passed since they were first dipped.
  • Smelling the perfumes is a decidedly 'shared' experience; for better or worse, you can't lock yourself away in a cell as you sniff these beauties. Therefore, the smelling process is punctuated by comments, interjections and discussions, all of which doubtless have a bearing on how one ends up assessing the perfume.
  • It isn't correct to declare that the formulations preserved by the Osmothèque smell 100% like the originals of the perfumes. Despite the best efforts of the parties involved, it isn't always possible to source the very same raw materials that were used, say, 80, 90 or 100 years ago. And even if such materials could be found, there's no guarantee that, today, they would smell just like they did decades ago. As you know, Mother Nature is fickle and she can cause a crop of a fragrant plant grown in the same way in the same place to smell markedly different from one season to the next. That said, those whose views are worth considering in such matters are happy to claim that the reproductions contained within the Osmothèque are as reliable and accurate as can be expected.


A final thought. If there was one word for which I kept reaching whilst smelling the perfumes, it was 'smoother'. They all possessed a quality which was more polished, rounder and more multi-dimensional than most of what we're offered by brands these days. This realisation reminded me of an analogy once used by a knowledgeable friend to explain the effects of reformulation. I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially what he said is that smelling the original version of a classic scent is not unlike seeing the original version of a classic painting. Remind yourself of the first time you viewed a masterpiece hanging in a gallery. Take Van Gogh's Sunflowers, for instance. Upon the canvas touched by the master, it is nothing less than stunning. Its colours are almost too vivid to be real. Its textures beckon you closer. Its lines and curves flow with an energy which defies their stillness. You look at Sunflowers and you understand why Van Gogh is considered to be one of the most important painters of all time.

Sadly, some people may not be able to see the real canvas. They may have to make do with a reproduction created by another, less talented painter. Or perhaps some people have to settle for a high-quality print. Others may only ever have the opportunity to see a photo on the page of a small book. Perhaps some individuals may only ever experience the painting in the form of a pale postcard. Finally, a few may have to content themselves with a colour photocopy churned out by a machine running out of toner. All of these different versions would be instantly recognisable as Van Gogh's Sunflowers... but it goes without saying that none of them would be an apt substitute for the original canvas.

Smelling those blotters at the Osmothèque was like feasting on one incomparable canvas after another, whereas walking into the fragrance section of a department store is like being crushed under the weight of fading, nondescript photocopies. And that's why it's so vital for the Osmothèque's work to be more widely publicised.



One man who always respects and values the lessons taught by classical perfumery is Andy Tauer, so it's fitting that I hand over my blog to him today and host one of his annual Advent give-aways. The prize is one of Andy's brand new Explorer Sets, consisting of three 15 ml spray vials to be chosen by the winner. 45 ml of Tauer heaven! To enter this draw, please read the terms and conditions below and then leave a comment which answers the following question: In what way was the past better than the present? Please don't feel the need to write long essays. Just a few words will suffice, as long as they're related to the question in some way.

Many thanks to Andy for providing the prize for this draw and including me in his Advent celebrations again this year.

Good luck to you all!

Persolaise

Terms & Conditions

i) the draw will be closed at 6 am (UK time) on Thursday 5th December; ii) the winner will be selected at random; iii) the winner will be announced on Persolaise.com on Thursday 5th December; iv) if the winner has not made contact with Persolaise.com by Sunday 8th December, an alternative winner may be selected; v) the winner's address will be shared only with Tauer Perfumes, who will post the prize to the winner; vi) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; vii) by entering this competition, you indicate that you are able to receive alcohol-based perfume products in your country of residence; viii) Persolaise.com takes no responsibility for the contents of the perfume, particularly as regards potential allergens and/or harmful components; ix) if the prize is lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be posted; x) relatives of anyone associated with Persolaise.com are not permitted to enter.

* For more information, read this recently updated article on Wikipedia.


242 comments:

  1. Higher quality ingredients for perfumes were more plentiful - and no EU laws!!

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  2. My grandmother, who lived in Germany before WW1 told me that life was just more beautiful before that war, the air smelled better, fruit tastier..

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  3. Communication was personal and less likely to be misconstrued like today's shorthand style of communicating: person to person, voice to voice, pen to paper.

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  4. I could write a book on this! People were more respectful, patriotic, hardworking, wrote actual letters, interacted socially in person more, more self-sufficient rather than entitled suckling on the government, more willing to help others without asking for anything in return. I'll leave it at that. :)

    (ps - next time you make pear jam, try pear with brown sugar and cardamom. It's amazing!)

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  5. Important buildings were made with far more effort, soul and beauty than in the present day. They were pieces of art in their own right.

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  6. Wow! Osmotheque sounds amazing. I look forward to reading you reviews of these recreated treasures!
    P.S. Please enter me in the drawing!

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  7. Where has the romance in the world gone?

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  8. Haha, Laurel's is a great response! Mine is regarding the food. I know my grandmother knew how to prepare fantastic dishes, and at least where I grew up, fruits and vegetables were more flavorful due to the fact that they were usually locally grown and seasonal rather than flash frozen for shipping.

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  9. Thankyou for the descrption about Osmotheque..... I plan a trip to France in 2 months and hope to visit it.

    FOr Andy Tauer's draw, the economy certainly provided many more jobs in the past...I wish to return to a time wheere the jobs did nt so outnumber the size of the work force.

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  10. The past of, say, 300 years ago, for well-off people, was perhaps better in that there were less things to fill one's time, so more attention was paid, more leisurely thinking was done. But all that changes for a past longer past, where one had to forage for food, or a past of any time where one was not well-off.

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  11. The past of, say, 300 years ago, for well-off people, was perhaps better in that there were less things to fill one's time, so more attention was paid, more leisurely thinking was done. But all that changes for a past longer past, where one had to forage for food, or a past of any time where one was not well-off.

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  12. No worries, no dreams, no ambition.

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  13. Take me back to the 70's and I shall reward you with wisdom.

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  14. All that you cared as a parent was, 'how much open space was there for your children to go out and play'. Now it is, 'how many GB of space is left for them to store their computer games! Sad...

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  15. Greetings from Denmark. Kind regards, Annette

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  16. I think that the past was better in some ways because many things were more simple. The post-modern society has become absurdly complicated. Still, I also think that we have improved in many other things and I wouldn't want to go back. Carpe diem.

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  17. We can't bring back the past, but at least we have wonderful memories of it! So many things were better, especially perfumes! The old saying is true.."They just don't make them like they used to"! That goes for most things these days.

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  18. Quality of clothing. Even going back to the 60s, the clothes my mother sewed for me were fantastic qualilty. And very funky!

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  19. I don't feel the past is "better", for instance we did have some ingredients that were used in perfumes that gave a different fragrance than the substitutes today.We now now that these ingredients may cause harm to ourselves and the environment and certainly the phasing out of animal based ingredients that cause harm to animals is only to be applauded. The "better" thing about the past is that we can learn from it to make a better present and future.

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  20. The past is always better than the present, if you're sad person. And everyone feels sadness sometimes.
    Thanks for the draw.

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  21. healthy food, clean air, tranquility....

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  22. Oakmoss ;)
    or possibly the natural human tendency to remember the good and forget (some of) the bad.

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  23. Because my grandmother was still with us.

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  24. The past was only better because we can frame it the way we want to in our memories. At the time, it was simply the present! Thanks for the drawing.
    R_UN

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  25. I see you are really touched and inspired after smelling those treasures ;)

    A tricky question, Persolaise... Mostly we tend to see the best parts of the past forgetting that it can't be taken out the whole context (where also the worse parts are hiding). I do appreciate the high standards of perfumery in general from the past, but I am asking myself how affordable those luxury products would be. I think it was a very exciting and amazing time when chemistry started to make its entry within the perfumery - each time a new discovery, but I think that now there are much more novel raw materials as well... Tricky, tricky question ;)

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  26. A more distant past might be been better because it allowed us to be more naive and, perhaps to dream a bit more. The arts, like perfumery, help us to dream of pasts, presents and futures today.

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  27. Who says it was better it was just different. Zed.

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  28. Oh, perfume wise - I miss the complexity, the roundness, the verticality (shining tops notes plunging into dark, smooth, impossibly sensual drydowns) of the masterpieces of yore...
    Life wise: no cell phones - a reason alone to turn back the clock!

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  29. Innovation, a staple of classic perfumery, is rarely seen in today's market.

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  30. I don't think the past is necessarily better than the present.

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  31. I miss too many scents that were much better before reformulation - Miss Dior. Diorissimo, Secre du Venus, many many to list. Many thanks
    Alica - alicacleis61 at gmail dot com

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  32. The Osmothèque sounds incredible! I felt exactly as you describe when I got to see one of Van Gogh's Starry Nights in person for the first time. I had always thought the painting was pretty but to see the real thing in person - it was only then I understood why it was a masterpiece. Going to have to put the Osmothèque on my wishlist of places to visit. (Versailles was already up there.)

    & yay Tauer Advent! Ah... about the past - I think one way it was better is the diversity of plants and animals that doesn't exist anymore today. The world was more beautiful, then, for it.

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  33. Hi, in the past perfumers could use many more ingredients than today, thus allowing us to savor more creations (OH, yes, and everthing was less crowded back then :-)

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  34. We were better off, when we were worse off!

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  35. I'm trying for that philosophy that the present moment is always the best - so I can't really answer this, lol!

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  36. In many ways the past is definitely not better than now. Saying that, I cannot but wonder that surely mankind was less hasty and most people would have had more time to consider and "see" other people. Progress is not always a blessing.

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  37. colder winters and hotter summers

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  38. In the past, people took more time to listen to another, the pace of life was more conducive to true communication.

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  39. I was much younger

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  40. The past of childhood........a much sunnier, happier, carefree world..........oh & time passed so much slower too (how did that work!)

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  41. Great post on Osmotheque. Look forward to reading about what you smelled.

    As for the Advent draw question:
    Besides what I would call "richer" perfumes, what was better in the past was seasonality, especially in the realm of food. Although I don't buy them it still seems unnatural to me to see, for example, fresh strawberries and tomatoes year-round. Of course, they are unnatural in that they are both hard, red, tasteless things rather than the juicy, luscious, much-anticipated seasonal treats that could only be experienced later in the year through canning, preserving and drying to keep giving you a hint of the fresh experience as you waited for the next year. Also the childhood Christmas holiday treats of mandarin oranges and eggnog appearing in October (along with the excessively early flogging of all Christmas items) seems to diminish the specialness of a holiday. My personal rule is neither will be consumed before December!
    Thanks to you and Andy for this draw opportunity.

    -- Lindaloo

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  42. I do not believe that the past was better than the present, nor vice versa; everything is a balance of circumstances. The past is, however, a far better manufacturer of nostalgia than the present, and that nostalgia is an endless source of inspiration for all art great and small - certainly for perfumery.

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  43. In the past, cars were more durable :-)

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  44. Courting. Just reading an Austen novel makes me feel nostalgic.

    Quimerula.

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  45. The past is where all memory dwells.

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  46. In perfumary I think that in the past it was more an art than a commerce.

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  47. I wish I could sleep over in the Osmotheque someday...
    Thank you for the generous giveway! It made me meditate on melancholy.
    There was no social media in the past, and there were more tea parties for socializing! Pitty... but we have to move on, right?

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  48. In the 70's people believed that the future would be wonderful.

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  49. I have never thought the past was better as a whole but there are certain aspects of the past that were indeed much better than they are today.
    Thank you!
    Vlada

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  50. the past is better than the present because there's a certain nostalgia attached to it, but most importantly, because i cannot relive it. i miss my childhood and my youth. and that is the past.

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  51. I guess, it was half better, half worse, as always :) Less stress from too much information, more traditional values... and the same - less information, too much control of tradition...
    The balance is always more or less the same.

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  52. In the past everything felt fresh and new

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  53. The past is better only in the sense that it has been fully experienced and incorporated into the present. But the present is all we have.

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  54. No facebook and twitter.

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  55. It was no better. it was just different - a different mixture of good and bad things. The world is as it is, and I think the main good in it is that it exists. Being is good enough.

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  56. Nous etions plus grands lorsque nous etions petits...

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  57. The 20th century was better than the 21st because my beloved Dad was with us.

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  58. Handmade everything, especially food.

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  59. My tomorrow is my yesterday... my past, is it better, depends which perfume I'm wearing :-)

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  60. past was better , hmm, in a way less distractions and slower life !
    edith

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  61. I think modern technologies that have provided convenience have also added a harried aspect to our daily lives. I miss writing letters and driving from place to place in solemnity.

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  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  64. It was better because of that "nostalgie heureuse" mechanism in my head.

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  65. In the past, the present was something to look forward to, with the myriad possibilities still on the table. Luckily, "the past" keeps expanding with each passing second.

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  66. everything seemed simpler and less anxiety inducing without a laptop and iphone.

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  67. The past was more innocent - I think people tend to be more cynical and jaded nowadays (my daughter will probably think the same in 20 years' time).

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  68. How is the past better than the future? We didn't know then what we know now and ignorance really was bliss. Oh, and it was possible to live a full life without being tethered to a cell phone.

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  69. Three generations of my family used to sit together on the front porch and just talk...

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  70. I think in the past, very generally speaking, (and referring to in the context of the 20th centruy mainly) people were more optimistic and believed in progress and the future.

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  71. In the past, there were fewer televisions and cell phones in restaurants. People could talk to each other.

    Ms. Pineapple

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  72. Nice idea I hope to win for all participant and me

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  73. Anticipation--not everything was "instantly gratified" I think it makes for a more interesting world. Thanks for hosting today's Advent Calendar and thanks to Andy for his wonder scents and generous spirit.

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  74. Well, less communication stress, surely, without mobile phones and social networks to check all the time - and better air/less pollution!

    Viveka

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  75. Remember, but let it go.

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  76. Architecture was so much more beautiful - built with quality materials, and built to last. So little of that around now, and it's a shame!

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  77. In the past, there weren't so many banned ingredients that couldn't be used in creating perfumes.

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  78. I'm looking forward to more Osmotheque articles. How fortunate you are to experience it!

    I often feel nostalgic for the past and days gone by, but I think it's important (for one's sanity) to believe that "these are the good old days" - to live in and appreciate the moment.

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  79. What a generous giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity! Paper books are being replaced by E-books... makes me sad sometimes (but we still have a choice). But on the other hand, stone books had been replaced once :)))

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  80. Nostalgia gives a shine to the past, making it seem more desirable than the present. Any moment that we are living life to the fullest is the best moment of all! What I do miss is about the past is communication via written letter being more exciting because it was something that one had to have patience to appreciate, making it more highly anticipated.

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  81. I enjoyed the post above very much. Good work to undertake, especially in Versailles. What I notice most is lack of courtesy now. There are so many factors involved but we must try to appreciate the NOW!

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  82. The past was better because I was younger and had more energy and better health!

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  83. Oakmoss in perfume. Thanks. Dagney Betty

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  84. So, i think the past is mostly certain (counter to the future) and gave us some additional knowledge in the present, so we could build a better future. Hopefully :)

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  85. Life was slower and there was more contemplation.

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  86. I think time was percieved as longer, the pace was slower, we could take our time to enjoy things at their full, we weren't running so fast to achieve...what

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  87. We have to know the past to make the future better :) Both the fragrances and the history (of world and the personal too) :)

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  88. There was more time just to 'be'

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  89. People had more time for each other. KT

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  90. WIth the technical progress the world has changed a lot.But the modern mass market is producing lesser quality fragrances even with the wider choise of extracts and aroma chemicals.The main difference is in the limitation of the mind and the lost need of higher standards,high quality products.There are not many barnds offering true value for the money they charge.
    Thanks to Andy his perfumes are real inspiration!

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  91. I'm afraid I like the present better, it is where I live.

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  92. What's the difference yesterday or today. Life is good.

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  93. Craftsmanship. There was an art to everything constructed, from buildings to paper to fashion to machinery. Things were created to fulfill a desire or a need, not just a profit.
    Lynley

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  94. It is quite unfortunate that many perfume ingredients are now outlawed! Thanks for the draw :)

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  95. Greetings from Orlando Florida, where we have a warn December of 80 degrees.

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  96. The past was better as I didn't have to worry about many things back then, plus a life was better before the economic crisic hit the world...

    Thanks to you and Andy for the draw

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  97. I think if you go far back enough there was less pollution, better fish and fruit. Probably people had better-fitting clothes if they had enough money to buy fabric and make some new for themselves. And much more interaction with animals and connection with the rhythms of nature.
    Of course disease and crushing poverty and oppression would make me reluctant to get in a time machine any time soon....

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  98. Life was simpler then , more genuine and deep, there was an appreciation for true natural beauty .
    Thank you for hosting the draw , I enjoyed your article about Osmotheque !

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  99. I had less fine lines around my eyes.

    -- Dominika

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  100. I do in fact miss the past. People were more friendly and didn't always look down as they texted each other. Doors were left unlocked and neighbors chatted.

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  101. Time seemed to pass more in the rhythms of the natural world, the seasons, the weather. Life seemed less forced and governed by technology.

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  102. i had more precious time. thanks for the draw andy !

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  103. Yes, less fine lines, time is an engraver. Thanks you for the post!

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  104. The air was cleaner, the perfumes more complex, The past can be as ugly as the present, so I can't say our time is worse than any other time.

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  105. There seemed to be more pride in craftsmanship...AnnieA

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  106. I was much younger )))

    Anna

    anna_k67@yahoo.com

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  107. The people who were still alive in my past. I lost my last grandparent this year, and it's hard, not only because I miss him, but also the link to a different time.

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  108. The best thing about the past was that we were young

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  109. The past is beautiful because we think we can know it.

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  110. My dream is to visit Osmotheque someday. I visited Paris when I was much younger and not into perfume and feel I really missed out!

    I think the past was better in that we were more connected personally than we are now. Social media and email make it easier to keep in touch but how real is that connection?

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  111. In my mind, the thing that makes the past clearly better was that people used to know how to work hard for a living. Today, at least in my culture, many people expect to be given something for nothing but this type of thinking was unheard of before the last few decades.

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  112. Osmotheque sounds amazing! Didn't know such a thing existed!

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  113. I think in the present with the internet some behaviors have been normalized that were not so in the past. I think human relations have also suffered thanks to technology. That being said, I'm thankful for technology today, especially in the health field! Thank you for the draw!

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  114. I miss not being bombarded with technology!

    Genny W

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  115. In the past I could look at what seemed endless possibilities, now I'm facing roads that are blocked forever.
    Annemarie

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  116. Perfumes were mostly natural in the past. Today buying perfumes means buying cheap synthetics.

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  117. No cell phones to interrupt family gatherings! That was better in the past.

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  118. I miss the days when people where more kind and considerate. When neighbors genuinely care for one another. Christmas should not be celebrated only in December, but in kind acts and deeds all year long.

    Andy, thank you for being such a kind soul and offering this wonderful advent event. I would love to be a winner, but simply being a part of this, I feel that I have already won. Happy holidays to you.

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  119. LL_CoolHay@twitter.comDecember 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Things were made to be beautiful & to last! I work in a charity shop & I love getting in old treasures because they are aesthetically gorgeous & often in lovely condition. Meanwhile the more modern things are already starting to show wear!

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  120. The past was better as I was full of dreams. Nothing seemed impossible. The world was magical and full of hope. I believed in fairies and Father Christmas. Now I am less romantic, a little more jaded, but no less happy. The world still looks good to me.

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  121. in the past, perfumers took time to create an idea and then translate into a perfume..he didnt know anything what clients want ..instead he hoped he would show them what they want..now 1000 perfumes are created in the time frame it would take just to develop an idea in older times

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  122. I think the pace was slower and it was commonly believed that quality takes time to develop/produce. The phrase that usually comes to my mind when smelling vintage is "perfectly melded". Thanks for the draw.

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  123. It only seems that past was better... Humanity never changes

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  124. There was a personal human interaction that seems to be quickly disappearing these days.

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    1. (above) that was from me! - Chris V.

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  125. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana

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  126. Remember the big struggle in the 1960's for guys to be allowed to wear their hair long? What happened to that?

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  127. People were not looking for an instant satisfaction, but were more willing to invest on long-term plans, acquisitions and achievements. Having only a few good-quality items was preferred over having multiple cheap items that fall apart the moment the one-year guarantee ends:(

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  128. I think it'd be the overall quality of life. Nowadays, time flies so fast, with less real-life communication or emotions.

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  129. In the past, people depended upon each other much more directly and interacted as a community - none of the bombardment of all the electronic media we have today! For me, the epitome of relaxation is curling up with a good book (while deliciously scented, of course!)

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  130. Great post on Osmotheque, I am looking forward to fragrance reviews.

    I miss the times when there were less products and quality was higher, in perfume world and otherwise. Speaking of perfumes, major houses had one or two releases a year which were highly anticipated. The creations were more elaborate and thoughtfully developed, not to mention the quality of ingredients. They also didn't cost an arm and a leg. And I miss real oakmoss in perfumes!

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  131. my parents and grandparents were alive and prayer was allowed in school.

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  132. A slower, simpler style of life.

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  133. We thought our children and grandchildren would inherit a better world/society/way of life than we have, that they would progress. Instead we have ruined their environment, poluted their oceans, and melted their glaciers. Sad!

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  134. It was less polluted in the past, so getting pure material for perfume was much less complicated. Also, one could use animal materials, like natural musk, which will never be perfectly substituted by synthetics.

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  135. They made some great perfumes in the past (and - excuse the pun - some stinkers too, no doubt), but I'm not sure that the past was better than the present.

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  136. Phew, isn't it just our memory fooling us? Nostalgia? I don't think that the past was any better than today. Every era has its own struggle I guess. Anyway considering perfumery there were no EU and IFRA regulations and no constant reformulations to press a juice from 3 Euro to 2,50 production costs and still sell it for 100. And not everyone wanted to smell like coming out of the shower all the time. On the other hand we have beautiful new synthetics and can create perfumes that smell like nothing we have ever smelled in this world. If only more houses would dare more!!!

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  137. Fashion was better in the past than today: my grandmother would not leave the house without hose, a dress and a nice bag and high heeled shoes. Perfume and maquillage was also used every day.

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  138. Thanks so much for another great Advent draw !

    I think things were simpler and kinder in the past. I was born in the 50's and I remember the 60's, 70's and even the 80's as being slower, safer with less anger. It seems as though there is so much rage around the world. People used to demonstrate, now they destroy. It scares me, sometimes.

    I miss some of the now banned/protected fragrance elements too ! Now, perfumers either use substitutes or synthetics. It's a shame, but times change and even fragrance composition must change with it.

    Time marches on...

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  139. I think there was more elegance in the past. Which frgarance was it-maybe Soir de Paris-that came in large boxes for the rich, and a tiny size for the average person? So everyone could have a bit of good quality scent. Quality was paramount, because who would want to smell of cheap scent?
    Merry Christmas!
    Carole

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  140. Firstly, thanks Andy for this advent draw and to Persolaise for hosting it!

    In what way was the past better than the present? I suppose the simple fact that some of my beloved fragrances were available then but are no longer available today. Also, perhaps, the thought that perfume launches were less commercially-driven then as compared to today (although some would dispute it!).

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  141. Time past is in time present and times present in time future, ... uunless death or dementia overtakes us , then it's time travel in another dimension. Enterthedragonvalley@Googlemail.com

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  142. My life felt more balanced in the past.

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  143. Much about the past was better, but much also was worse. No doubt perfumers could use a much wider range of materials untroubled by ethical restrictions (endangered species, for example) or by silly bureaucratic ones (most of the IFRA restrictions). On the other hand, there were fewer people buying perfume, so some of this freedom to create was tied closely to the smallness of the market.

    I suspect, though I can't know for sure, that the market was less driven by celebrities and advertising, allowing for a greater emphasis on quality. The fact that brands use perfume as something they can sell at an accessible cost (the only Dior items in my wardrobe are perfumes...) probably has an impact too.

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  144. In the past (as in, three weeks ago or so) I didn't yet have to worry about final exams. Sorry, that's all I can think about right now. My first college final exams- wish me luck!

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  145. My life felt more balanced in the past.

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  146. The non existence of mobile phones and people permanently glued to theirs. People were also a lot more respectful.

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  147. In the past women wore dresses, makeup, and perfume that today would be deemed too formal or overdone. I suppose there's something to be said for the ability to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt in public, but I wish it wasn't so taboo to wear a beautiful silk dress to the grocery store.

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  148. The past, like the present, was rife with brutality. But it was slower, more embodied, and with greater continuity with age-old rituals and traditions.

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  149. A perfume was made for a century and not for the transitory hype.

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  150. Better music, better TV-shows, better video games. Also, I was younger. Thank you for hosting the draw!

    Kay

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  151. D as Daisy: is a common name for the Asteraceae or Compositae, a widespread flowering plant. The botanical name of this flower is derived from the genus Aster, meaning "star" in Greek. The name obviously refers to the appearance of the flower. The name daisy is derived from Old English, meaning "day's eye". The English name refers to the property of the flower to open its petals at dawn and close them at dusk.

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  152. Thank you very much for hosting the draw!

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  153. It seems that more thought was placed into everyday objects "way back when." Look at the automobiles from the 20's up into the 70's. One could get a car with razzmatazz and a unique look. Nowadays, unless you are willing to spend 100,000 upwards, you can only get a bland car with no real design features to speak of.

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  154. The past was better than the present for me because my mother was still alive. I miss her very much.
    Thanks for the draw!

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  155. Quieter ;)

    Love the article. I have read a bit on Osmothèque and it's one of my "definitely want to visit" places. Thank you!!

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  156. The past was better because my parents and grandparents were still alive.

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  157. People were there who are now gone

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  158. Perhaps people were kinder and gentler or maybe not. We just hear all the insanity instantly now.

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  159. Attempting a post #3 must be lost in space!

    The past is often glorified by existing only in our minds when in reality is must be the same as the present, since the present continuously becomes the past, no?

    Scent is a powerful catalyst for remembering the past in snapshot mode for me. It retrieves precise time-place-emotional memories from the past, intensified.

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  160. There were really good complex and sophisticated perfumes with some awesome materials which are banned now.

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  161. The past was better because it felt safer. I remember playing outside in the summer until it got dark which was past 10 at the height of summer! My mum wouldn't dream of letting my brother stay out that late now, which is a shame. To be honest, nowadays kids prefer staying in to play on their games consoles rather than go out to play, get dirty and just have some real fun:-)

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  162. Less multitasking!

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  163. Everything was slower. It took longer to create - longer to produce , longer to arrive in shops. There was more time to appreciate fewer, better perfumes.

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  164. I think a slower pace with fewer screens taking up our attention. Less breadth, more depth, in our explorations of ideas and the world.

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  165. in the past .... interactions were more real :)

    ultraviolettt

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  166. I believe in the past everything was more real: our food, our jobs, our books, our people...

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  167. I think every age has its good and its bad sides but how wonderful perfumes must have been without so many restrictions.
    Thanks for the draw,
    Jane Elisabeth

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  168. Fewer screens and less demand to multi-task -- so better quality interactions.

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  169. my mum was with me...
    moringa

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  170. As a physicist with a spiritual leaning I may question whether time is just an illusion, no beginning and no end, but as an artist, too, I feel our past offers us a rich context and narrative. It provides us with a background from which to learn as well as offering us a tempting ceiling to break to create the next new. It offers us a chance to continually renew.

    So what was better in this past?
    I find my answer in my Grandmother’s words: “In order to grow, one must first have good roots.”

    THE PAST OFFERS US OUR FUTURE.

    Her “good roots” also extended to her perfume collection. She had exquisite taste in scents and I feel honoured to have inherited a piece of her perfect olfactory past.

    Sky

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  171. The grass was greener
    The light was brighter

    (c) Pink Floyd :)

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  172. Everyone was just not in so much of a hurry to get so many things done.

    Enjoyed the Osmotheque article and looking forward to coming articles on this subject.

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  173. Those glassine envelopes really work! I had a friend that attended one of Particia de Nicolaï's travelling presentations with Osmothèque scents, and he allowed me to smell the blotters a week afterward and they were still quite distinct and heavenly. I am particularly looking forward to your review (hopefully!) of Rosine Le Fruit Défendu, by Henri Alméras, who did, of course, Joy, and one of my personal top-three, Patou Moment Supreme. What a stunner that Rosine is!

    Other than as regards perfume, furniture production and some heirloom species of produce, I must say I have a tendency to get quite grumpy about people who romaticize the past. Nostalgia can be very selective blindness, in my view. I love it when people say that respect and courtesy were more common in the past -- well, sure, if you weren't black, brown, Irish, gay, poor, part of the wrong religion, mentally ill or simply a free thinker! Give me today, any day.

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  174. People were closer to one another,they were more romantic and sentimental,love and friendship and honour and dignity were words that held more weight.Life had more charm,a slower pace.

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  175. In the past , perfumes were made from natural ingredients

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  176. Here in the U.S. anyway we moved at a slower, more thoughtful pace and enjoyed simple things.

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  177. Things were simpler in my day. The world scares me as it is now. Peace and love should be the mantra.

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  178. Before mobile phones and ipods, people had more time to talk to oneanother.

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  179. The past was better because the world was less crowded and more open. Open fields and roads existed to give the world just a hint more mystery and interest as to what was beyond the horizon.

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  180. If we made a scent according to old recipes, the smell wouldn`t be such as before. Because the modern plants consist lots of chemicals, that have been accumulated during decades.

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  181. Past was better because if you wanted to interact you actually met other human beings instead of your computer screen, mobile phone, google glass. Better quality of life and value of money.

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  182. Past was better as they were almost no restrictions and there was an abundance of natural ingredients - less demand as well!!
    Thank you for hosting the giveaway!
    MariaA

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  183. One word: CIVET!!!

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  184. I Tell myself people didnt live with the stress levels of today,
    Please enter Me to the draw ! Thanks :)

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  185. The past always has a stronger color, taste and smell than the present.

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  186. The environment wasn't quite such a mess as it is today.

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  187. In what way was the past better than the present? Hmm...maybe more of a sense of pride in how one looked, when women wouldn't dream of leaving the house without the basics like stockings and lipstick, hair done just so, and wearing hats and gloves. As opposed to today, when pajama pants paired with tank tops and Uggs are considered appropriate for any occasion. And don't get me started on the guys...

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  188. There is an attraction to a simpler less hectic time.

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  189. As a child of the 70's one thing I do think that kids of today miss out on is the freedom to explore the local environment from a young age alone and with their friends without the constant presence of an adult. Also the ability to create their own fun without having to resort to computer games, iPhones, x-boxes etc etc etc

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  190. Past was better, as kids we used to play soccer outside on the streets, now kids just play it in their video games, we ride bikes, we run we jump, we were so happy, now technology has ruined part of the joys of being a kid.

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  191. Quality, simplicity, glamour, and oakmoss.

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