Marlene Stang
Marlene Stang: Fragrance Expert

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Marlene Stang is Senior Perfumer at Creative Scentualization, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA. She is a lifelong fragrance aficionado who has apprenticed with renowned Perfumer Sarah Horowitz-Thran, President and Founder of Creative Scentualization, for more than five years. As one who lives and breathes fragrance even in her free time, she intends to leave no stone unturned as she reviews the world’s fragrances for’s readership.

It was a seemingly unfortunate event in Stang’s life that led her to her current position at Creative Scentualization – a bout with breast cancer that necessitated she put her career as a publicist on hold. The pivotal seven months that she spent on disability while undergoing treatment provided her with a chance to identify her lifelong passion for scent as an indication of the path she needed to pursue. A subsequent and very fortuitous meeting between her and Horowitz-Thran led to the aforementioned apprenticeship, during which time Horowitz-Thran has imparted to Stang the skills she now employs as an artisan perfumer. Most notably, Stang is the only individual Horowitz-Thran has ever trained in the Fragrance Journey™, Horowitz-Thran’s trademarked and highly in-depth process for creating custom fragrances. Stang brings her own personal flair to the process and has established a sizable and loyal client base of her own. Currently, Stang has two apprentices that she trains in accordance with Horowitz-Thran’s time honored and industry-wide respected methods.

Stang was promoted to her position as Senior Perfumer at Creative Scentualization in the Summer of 2007 and now oversees the company’s private label fragrance division. Under this tier of the business, Horowitz-Thran has created numerous blockbuster fragrances for the indie market. She and Stang now serve as creative collaborators in this sphere, enjoying the fruits of a dynamic based upon their mutual appreciation of fragrance as both an art form and a vehicle for self-expression.

Visit for more information about Sarah Horowitz-Thran, Creative Scentualization and its various products and services.
  • Best Summer Fragrances
    Ah, the warmer days of summer. Whether you are enjoying them abroad or on your front porch, the languid beauty of this season is the perfect inspiration for exploring fresh, sensual fragrances that are transporting and maybe even a little exotic. Many people find themselves veering toward lighter, sheerer scents as the temperatures rise, although within those parameters, the possibilities are endless. Fans of the "clean" genre might opt for an oceanic scent with aromatic overtones, while lovers of fruity and floral fragrances may choose to explore scents inspired by tropical fruits and blooms. Wearers of oriental fragrances needn’t worry that switching to a lighter fragrance will require them to sacrifice sultriness and warmth, since some of the most exquisite eau de toilettes on the market feature animalic and gourmand notes that speak more of sun-warmed skin than sea air.

    It is very important to note that fragrance can have a photosensitizing effect on the skin, which means that wearing it may make your skin more sensitive to light. It is best to avoid applying scent to areas that will be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, so sunbathers beware (and you shouldn’t be baking anyway!). Each of the selections I’ve made here is truly something of a vacation in a bottle, in my opinion, either by virtue of the notes in its composition or its power to simply suggest summer on the skin. So bon voyage, and may at least one of these fragrances serve as an olfactory counterpart to whatever time you manage to steal away for yourself in the coming months.
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  • Best Unisex Fragrances
    As the last moments of winter give way to the promise of warmer days just ahead, you may soon find yourself in the mood for an altogether sheerer fragrance. A change in temperature can absolutely impact your experience of a scent, and many people find that even the most exquisitely constructed Orientals can turn cloying in the spring and summer. The unisex fragrance category is the perfect realm to explore if you are interested in wearing something lighter and fresher, not to mention sexy since many unisex scents contain a compelling combination of euphoric citrus and animalic notes that leave others wanting more. They are also generally designed to be applied with abandon, so you will often find that many unisex fragrances are sold in quantities of 3.4 ounces or more.

    It is worth mentioning that fragrances in this category can push the envelope at times, particularly by featuring floral notes that one might traditionally think of as being feminine and then juxtaposing those essences against more bracing, earthy notes. And because men’s and women’s individual body chemistries differ quite markedly, it is not uncommon for a somewhat masculine scent to turn “soft” on a woman or a fragrance with feminine qualities to become more masculine when worn by a man. My point in stating this is, as always, to stress the importance of trying a fragrance on before you decide whether or not it will work for you. Note descriptions can only reveal so much, so do read the following reviews on the understanding that exploring this fragrance category requires an open mind!
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  • Best Women's Fragrance - Holiday 2007
    You have only to encounter the plethora of scent strips in any fashion or beauty magazine to gather that the fragrance market is both vast and forever expanding. And while there are those who remain undaunted by this fact because they are loyal to only one fragrance, many more scent seekers are left to ask themselves “where do I begin?!” I would like to begin 2008 with a review of what I feel are the best buys for celebrating the holiday season, whether you intend to do so at a big New Year’s bash or on your sofa.

    Below you will find those fragrances that I feel are the Best of the Best, as well as those that are the Best of the Rest holiday scents for those of you who are on a budget. My aim is to present to you a range of fragrances that traverse genres, running the gamut from warm and sultry to aromatic and unisex. Some of them I select by virtue of their festive qualities, while others I select on the basis of their suitability for colder weather wear. Fragrance is truly about self-expression, so always remember to wear what you love, keeping in mind that your own body chemistry is any fragrance’s final and most important ingredient!
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