Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Scents For Millennials: Persolaise In Harper's Bazaar India

Illustration: Bonzer Muivah for Harper's Bazaar India
I'm excited to announce that the 10th anniversary issue of Harper's Bazaar India features an article by yours truly on the subject of perfumes for millennials. To read a tablet version, please search for 'Harper's Bazaar India' on your device.

Persolaise

Friday, 12 October 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent: Layers 01 from Experimental Perfume Club (Emmanuelle Moeglin; 2018)


My latest Love At First Scent video (live streamed on Facebook on 5th October 2018) is a review of the Layers 01 scents from Experimental Perfume Club: they can be purchased individually or as a set which contains an empty bottle in which you can create your own combination of them. To find out more, watch the video above, or click here to watch it on YouTube.

Persolaise 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Journey In A Bottle - Persolaise In Business Traveller


I'm delighted to announce that my latest piece for Business Traveller - focussing on scents inspired by journeys and exciting destinations - has just been published. It's available in both the magazine's digital and print editions; for more details, please click here.

Persolaise

Friday, 5 October 2018

Persolaise Review: Papyrus Oud from Parle Moi De Parfum (Michel Almairac; 2018)


It’s not often in perfumery that you’re given an opportunity to witness a scent-maker revisiting and honing a particular idea. Two examples that come to mind are Edmond Roudnitska following a train of olfactory thought through Femme, Diorella and Parfum De Therese, and Jean-Claude Ellena refining his various tea compositions. Now we have the case of Michel Almairac and his Gucci Pour Homme from 2003. A justly-adored beauty when it was released, it presented an almost heart-breaking, geometrically-impeccable balance between the fleshy delights of amber, the Sahara dryness of cedar, the facetiousness of pink pepper and the meditative wisdom of incense. Like Eau Sauvage and Habit Rouge, it was one of those conclusive, line-in-the-sand statements on masculinity, bridging the gap between the overtly macho releases of the 80s and the more emotionally literate works that followed. In their infinite wisdom, Gucci discontinued the scent, but a few years ago, Almairac returned to the same structure when asked to create Bentley For Men Absolute. The core accords were immediately recognisable, but they had been darkened by heavier woods. And in 2018, for his own Parle Moi De Parfum brand - co-created with his sons - Almairac presents Papyrus Oud: the same, perfect core, now given a very subtly Middle Eastern twist. In fact, so gentle is the oud note, I wonder if it should’ve been mentioned in the name at all, as it will no doubt lead some to expect a different sort of scent. But never mind. The master has refined one of his finest works, and we’re all the richer for it.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Parle Moi De Parfum in 2018.]

Persolaise

Friday, 28 September 2018

Persolaise Review: The Tycoon, The Stylist, The Actress, The Writer & The Mechanic from St Giles (Bertrand Duchaufour; 2017)


Ascribing a personality to a perfume has long been a trick used by the likes of yours truly to get past the challenge of conveying olfactory sensations in words. No 5 is the impeccable, pouting, Gallic femme. Nahema is the tempestuous princess. Angel is the less-ditzy-than-she-makes-out twentysomething. So when a new brand turns the game into its modus operandi, you can’t help but see the move as a cheeky invitation to test its premise. Do its fragrances really match up to the characters on their packaging?

Friday, 21 September 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 20 Now On YouTube


Episode 20 of Love At First Scent - streamed on Friday 7th September 2018 on Facebook Live - is now available on YouTube; watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered

Musc Noble from Guerlain (at the start of the video)
Le Participe Passé from Serge Lutens (at the 14:00 minute mark)
Terre D’Hermès Eau Intense Vetiver from Hermès (at the 25:00 minute mark)
Trente-Quatre Boulevard Saint Germain edp from Diptyque (at the 54:00 minute mark)

there was also a mention of
Papyrus Oud from Parle Moi De Parfum (at the 52:00 minute mark)

and the classic scent was
Miss Dior from Christian Dior (at the 39:00 minute mark)

Persolaise

Friday, 14 September 2018

Persolaise Review: Joy from Christian Dior (Francois Demachy; 2018)


Smelling Dior’s new Joy (fear not: the Patou people gave them permission to use the name… and they’re now owned by LVMH) made me think of the phrase that was so often repeated on the news during the recent financial crisis: too big to fail. Except that, in Dior’s case, I wondered if it wouldn’t have been more accurate as ‘too big to risk’. Fragrance brands are not and never have been charities. We know that. And we realise that, much as we’d like to imagine them indulging in free-spirited exercises in innovation and self-expression, they serve the needs of the bottom line and they have no choice but to generate profits. And not just any profits. These need to be sums that, as far as Dior is concerned, have to prop up a globe-spanning operation that employs thousands of bodies and does its bit for one of the most gigantic luxury goods companies the world has ever seen. And here’s something else we all know too: size is scary. So when placed under the pressure of such monolithic proportions, it isn’t all that surprising that Dior and its equivalents play it safe.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 19 Now On YouTube


The 19th episode of Love At First Scent - streamed on Friday 31st August 2018 - is now available on YouTube; watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered

Man Wood Essence from Bulgari (at the start of the video)
Love Tuberose from Amouage (at the 24:00 minute mark) 
Alien, Angel and Aura perfuming pens from Mugler (at the 19:00 minute mark) 
Daria from Sammarco (at the 33:00 minute mark)
Bloom Nettare Di Fiori from Gucci (at the 51:00 minute mark) 

and the classic choice was 
Kouros from Yves Saint Laurent (at the 42:00 minute mark)

Persolaise

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Persolaise On ABC Radio Australia With Michael Pavlich + Next Episode Of Love At First Scent


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Michael Pavlich on his Overnights programme on Australia's ABC Radio. The segment is now available online, so if you'd like to listen to it, please click here. It covers a range of topics, from the history of perfumery to the high price tags of modern scents. And we even had time to take some questions from callers!

--

The next episode of my Love At First Scent series will be on Facebook Live on Friday 7th September at 4:00 pm UK time (11:00 am New York time). I hope you'll be able to tune in.

Persolaise

Friday, 31 August 2018

Persolaise Review: Belgravia Chypre, Marylebone Wood & Kensington Amber from Penhaligon's (2018)


At a time when the number of annual perfume releases continues to hit the 2000+ mark, it is increasingly difficult to work out which compositions influence the aesthetics of future scents. The stats are simply too overwhelming: when you're dealing with so many individual pieces of work - and inordinate pressure to emulate the success of others - many are bound to smell very similar and several will go unsniffed and unmentioned. Therefore, trying to discern the precise - or even the vague - starting point of a penchant for a certain style is challenging, to say the least. But despite this, a few perfumes somehow manage to strike a chord so decisively that their power over everything that comes after them is almost impossible to deny. One such beast is Dominique Ropion’s Portrait Of A Lady for Frederic Malle, which finds its image reflected in the new Belgravia Chypre from Penhaligon’s, much to the vexation of many people, it would seem.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Next Episode Of Love At First Scent On Friday 31st August 2018


Just a few lines from me to say that as summer draws to a close and the leaves on the trees begin to take on an ambery hue, it's time to resume normal services and schedule the next episode of Love At First Scent. So, if you're free on Friday 31st August 2018 at 2:30 pm UK time (9:30 am New York time) then please do join me on the Persolaise Facebook page for the 19th episode of my series of live reviews.

Hope to see you there!

Persolaise

Friday, 24 August 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: April to July 2018 [part 2]


For more mini-reviews, please click here.

Oud extrait de parfum from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (Francis Kurkdjian; 2018)*
When Kurkdjian released his first Oud in 2012, he did what many perfumers claim - but fail - to do: present a genuine bridge between east and west, or in this case, between Europe and Arabia. His composition contained the requisite animalic-medicinal growl of oud, but it also depended on the pulling-power of more occidental citruses, woods and synthetic musks. The result was one of my favourite scents of the 21st century, an olfactory homage to boundary-breaking, in the same way that The English Patient was a literary and cinematic treatise on borders and artificial territories. Now Kurkdjian has released an extrait version. It’s just as wonderful as the first and probably more timely. Do seek them both out if you haven’t already.

Invictus Aqua from Paco Rabanne (Nicolas Beaulieu, Juliette Karagueuzoglou; 2018)*
Somewhere, in a post-apocalyptic landscape, the neo-Neanderthals douse themselves with a desolate concoction of brainless citruses and even more moronic amber-woods, ie this new version of Invictus. Or as I shall call it from now on: Invidious.

Olympéa Aqua edp legere from Paco Rabanne (Loc Dong, Fanny Bal; 2018)*
As far as modern, floral-vanillic-patchouli feminines go, this one isn’t more offensive than any others. In fact, it even hints at the existence of a more sophisticated interior now and then. But it’s hard to get excited about such trend-followers.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Persolaise Review: Imitation Woman (Pierre Negrin) and Imitation Man (Leslie Girard) from Amouage (2018)


I wonder if Christopher Chong - Amouage’s unfailingly flamboyant Creative Director - wanted to call his latest scent duo Nostalgia. If he did, perhaps the more fiscally-minded forces at the brand persuaded him to move away from such a wistful word; after all, scent marketeers try to avoid sorrow as much as movie studios shy away from sad endings. Then again, ‘nostalgia’ wouldn’t have been quite the right label for these intriguing creations anyway, because although many aspects of their personalities are rooted in the past, there is an almost palpable drive in both Imitation Woman and Man to look to the future and to reject simplistic notions that everything was so much better when we were younger.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: April to July 2018 [part 1]


For more mini-reviews, please click here.

Orage from Louis Vuitton (Jacques Cavallier; 2018)*
Fascinating beast. Its studied non-violence makes me think it should’ve been called Apres L’Orage, such is its subtle, whispered handling of citrus, magnolia, iris, patchouli & vetivert. Then a weird, damp quality emerges and you’re delightfully perplexed. 

Sur La Route from Louis Vuitton (Jacques Cavallier; 2018)*
Musky cologne very much in the style of Mugler Cologne, made more interesting by the sweet, powdery, spicy undertones in the base. An amenable travelling companion. 

Au Hasard from Louis Vuitton (Jacques Cavallier; 2018)*
With a brave - almost off-putting - dryness, this tears rose and incense straight off a busy Mumbai street and applies it to a well-textured sandalwood. Both crisp and velvety. Compelling. 

Friday, 3 August 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent: Parle Moi De Parfum Showcase


A few weeks ago, on Instagram Live, I broadcast a brief showcase of Parle Moi De Parfum, a brand founded by legendary perfumer Michel Almairac and his sons. The broadcast has now been uploaded permanently to YouTube, so if you'd like to watch it, please click here.

For more Love At First Scent videos, click here.

Persolaise

Friday, 27 July 2018

Persolaise Review: Bois D'Hadrien from Goutal (Camille Goutal; 2018)


A re-brand is often a cause for concern, but thank goodness that when the Powers That Be at Annick Goutal decided they needed a facelift - different bottles; the ‘Annick’ has been dropped - they evidently thought that the updated look would have to be accompanied by an attention-worthy new scent. It comes in the form of a flanker of sorts to one of their best-known creations, Eau D’Hadrien from 1981. Like its predecessor, Camille Goutal's Bois D’Hadrien is a joyous citrus composition, but whereas the original fizzed with vibrant, lemony energy, this one opts for a greener, leafier, lime-and-verbena effect. As a result, it comes across as the ‘lazy sunset’ counterpart to Eau’s early-morning vitality, and it plays the role well, easing onto the wearer like a sage, silk blouse donned before an evening of relaxed cocktail consumption. There’s a faint suggestion of vanillic orientalism in there too - a nod to Habit Rouge? - and, as the name suggests, a reliance on pebble-smooth woods to boost the citruses and lend weight to the lung-filling pine note. Perhaps it doesn’t last as long as some would like it to, but then neither do holidays. And this olfactory postcard from a sun-filled destination is all the more commendable for its insistence on bidding you farewell long before you’ve grown tired of its presence.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Goutal in 2018.]

Persolaise

Friday, 20 July 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 18 Now On YouTube


Episode 18 of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on YouTube) is now available as a permanent upload, complete with incorrect orientation, thanks to the ol' Tube letting me down; watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered

Hidden On The Rooftops from Miller Harris (at the start of the video)
Grande Bellezza from Folie A Plusieurs (at the 15:00 minute mark)
Velvet Incenso from Dolce & Gabbanna (at the 30:30 minute mark)
Stigmato from Folie A Plusieurs (at the 50:30 minute mark)

and my classic choice was
2 Man from Comme Des Garcons (at the 42:00 minute mark)

Persolaise

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