Friday, 13 July 2018
Persolaise Review: Les Eaux De Chanel - Paris-Biarritz, Paris-Deauville & Paris-Venise from Chanel (Olivier Polge; 2018)
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Time to dig out your annotated T S Eliot and stick on a bit of Wagner, because my latest contribution to BBC Radio 4's Film Programme, presented by Francine Stock, sinks deep into the murky interior of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. Can you take the horror...?
The episode will be broadcast on Thursday 12th July at 4 pm UK time; you can listen live by clicking on this link. I'll post a link to the podcast version after the live broadcast.
For more Cinema Scent reviews, please click here.
Friday, 6 July 2018
For the latest single-perfume instalment of Love At First Scent (which was actually streamed on Instagram before the one I first mentioned here on Persolaise.com) the focus is on Eau De Citron Noir from Hermès, composed by Christine Nagel. To watch the video on YouTube, please click here.
Tuesday, 3 July 2018
At the end of my last full-length episode of Love At First Scent, I said I didn't think I'd be able to broadcast another one until around the end of June. Little did I know that a sad family event was just around the corner; everything else had to be put on hold. However, the Persolaise show must now go on, so I'm pleased to inform you that I hope to stream the next episode - the seventeenth! - this Friday 6th July on Facebook Live at 4 pm UK time (11 am New York time). As per usual, it'll be uploaded to my YouTube channel as soon as possible after the live stream.
Please do try to tune in!
Oh, and if you're really quick off the mark you might be able to catch my Instagram Live showcase of a brand that's excited me more than just about any other I've encountered this year; I'm planning to broadcast it today at 5 pm UK time. If you miss it, don't worry: it too will find its way to YouTube before long.
Friday, 29 June 2018
Persolaise Review: Orange Mauresque from Chopard (Alberto Morillas; 2018) + Rose Seljuke, Jasmin Moghol & Miel D'Arabie
Friday, 22 June 2018
A slight, wizard-bearded figure in bright red plimsolls and a wrap-around, teal lab coat, he doesn’t immediately come across as the contrarian that his rare, past interviews suggest he is. However, it’s not long before his anarchic streak makes itself known, punctuating his conversation with an energy that’s as vibrant as his blue eyes. He acknowledges that much of his success stems from the hashish-fuelled Black Afgano – a fragrance so popular, there was a time it seemed to disappear from shop shelves mere moments after a new stock delivery – but he doesn’t want to talk about it.I am delighted to let you know that my very first piece for Wallpaper* was published the other day: an interview with Nasomatto's Alessandro Gualtieri, in which he chats about his new release, Nudiflorum, the possibility of shutting down his brand and the importance of a trip to Sharjah. To read it, please click here.
Friday, 15 June 2018
For more mini-reviews, please click here.
I do declare, I think Cartier are on to another winner. This is the new parfum version of the classic Declaration, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Composed by Mathilde Laurent, this incarnation pays respectful homage to the Jean-Claude Ellena original, adding a subtly weightier vanilla base to the familiar heart of cool, woody cardamom. Dashing work.
Honest description. This is the citrusy-fruity-ambery mademoiselle we all know - for better or worse - with her vanilla-patchouli base made funkier and somewhat broader in the hips. The years of avoiding the altar haven’t been too unkind.
1 Million Lucky from Paco Rabanne (2018)*
Hmmm... can’t say I feel I’ve won the lottery with this one. The new Lucky flanker of 1 Million: released to mark the 10th anniversary of the original and the fact that 60 MILLION BOTTLES of it have been produced so far, according to the brand. This version moves away from the smooth smokiness of the first iteration, towards harsher, coarser, faux-fruity-woody notes. The gambler’s let himself go: instead of a lean build and an energetic attitude, we now have a beer belly, an arrogant boorishness and a permanent scowl. Shame.
Friday, 8 June 2018
For this single-perfume edition of Love At First Scent (first streamed on Instagram, hence the portrait orientation... of which I'm not a fan, but most people don't seem bothered by it...) I've turned to the new Alien Man from Mugler, composed by Jean-Christophe Herault. To watch the video on YouTube, please click here.
Friday, 1 June 2018
I always think it’s interesting when a perfumer makes a stronger version of what was originally meant to be a weightless scent. The exercise seems to be something of an olfactory oxymoron, as ill-advised as the efforts of long-suffering gym-goers who want to be both lithe and capable of lifting a Transit van. The example that invariably comes to my mind is Jean-Claude Ellena’s Cologne Bigarade for Malle. In its more fleeting iteration, it is joy itself: a holographic vision of citrus fruit exploding with vitality. But in its Bigarade Concentrée edition, it feels like it’s trying too hard: a soufflé encumbered by an excess of unnecessary ingredients.
Monday, 28 May 2018
I'm delighted to announce that the latest issue of Tauer Mag features an article by yours truly on the sometimes-vexing subject of vintage perfumes. It's available only in print; click here to order it from the Tauer website. You may be interested to know that this issue comes with a sample of Andy Tauer's new limited edition composition: Les Années 25.
It is with equal pleasure that I can say my writing also pops in the June issue of Business Traveller UK. Under the spotlight in this piece: new fragrances for men. You can buy the magazine either as a print edition or a tablet version.
Thursday, 24 May 2018
Here we go again: same voice, same station, same idea. Only this time, something's different. At first, I couldn't figure out what it was, but then it hit me. Right between the eyes, like a Monday morning straight after a Saturday night that made you forget there was ever a Sunday. It's a different movie. An older movie. You might even call it: a darker movie. You say you wonder what I'm talking about? I wonder if you wonder...
Yes indeed, for my latest Cinema Scent segment on Francine Stock's Film Programme on Radio 4, I descended into the treacherous realms of film noir and Billy Wilder's classic Double Indemnity. To listen to the episode, please click here; as ever, I'd recommend playing it all, but if you're pressed for time, I appear at around the 24-minute mark.
To read the Cinema Scent reviews published here on Persolaise.com, click on this link.
Friday, 18 May 2018
One of five new entries in the Hermessence collection composed by Christine Nagel. This one takes a clean, yet very dark, sultry wood note and wraps it around the swaying hips of the velvety-suede texture we last saw in the masterful Cuir D’Ange. Arresting, subtle work and a great addition to the brand.
Cedre Sambac from Hermès (Christine Nagel; 2018)*
Astonishing contrast between the dry tangy feel of cedar and the indolic, floral sweep of jasmine. The spectacle of the two of them running side by side in perfect balance is an absolute joy to behold.
Bohea Bohème from Mona Di Orio (Fredrik Dalman; 2016)*
Tremendous cardamom/eucalyptus opening, with sugary lavender. Like camphoraceous branches swaying along banks of a pink, crystalline river. Grows thinner and can’t help but disappoint towards the end. Well worth checking out for the first two acts.
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Episode 16 of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Sunday on YouTube) is now available as a permanent upload; watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I sniffed
Eternity Air For Men from Calvin Klein (at the start of the video)
Meteorites Le Parfum from Guerlain (at the 18:00 minute mark)
Mon Premier Cristal Hirondelles from Lalique (at the 32:00 minute mark)
Orange Mauresque from Chopard (at the 54:00 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Diorissimo from Christian Dior (at the 39:00 minute mark)
The video has also been uploaded to my Facebook page; please click on this link to watch it there.
Saturday, 12 May 2018
Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 15 Now On YouTube + Episode 16 Will Be Broadcast Sunday 13th May
Episode 15 of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Friday on Facebook) is now available on YouTube; watch it above or by clicking here. In this instalment I covered
Stash from Sarah Jessica Parker SJP (at the start of the video)
Amber Musk and others from Sugandhco (at the 17:30 minute mark)
Acqua Di Neroli from Ermenegildo Zegna (at the 32:30 minute mark)
Miel D'Arabie from Chopard (at the 57:30 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Muscs Koublai Khan from Serge Lutens (at the 47:00 minute mark)
As per usual, the original video remains on Facebook; please click here if you'd like to see it on that platform.
Finally, in a break from the usual pattern, the next episode will be broadcast tomorrow, Sunday 13th May, at 5 pm UK time (12 pm New York time) on YouTube Live. Click here to be taken to my YouTube channel.
Friday, 11 May 2018
As I write this, those of us living in the UK are going through another one of our all-too-rare bursts of a three-day summer (I expect that, as you read this, we’re back in the bowels of an Arctic winter) which means I’m currently counting the number of times people are complaining that it’s too hot, that they just can’t take these temperatures, that they’re having trouble breathing, that people in warmer countries cope only because they have air conditioning, that the garden is desperate for some rain etc etc. You get the idea. And when I permit myself to pass a comment on these endless tirades - which doesn’t happen often, because I’m not the intervening type - I pull what I hope is an annoyingly superior expression on my face, take a sip of my cafe frappé and tell them to just slow down. Take it easy. Cover yourself up with some thin, loose cotton, instead of exposing every inch of your flesh to all and sundry. Remember to breathe. Drink some cold water. And once again: slow down. Move at a more relaxed pace. Allow the heat to take your body’s rhythm down a gear or two.
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
The Moment Of Doubt: An Interview With Christine Nagel Of Hermès + The Next Episode Of Love At First Scent
Towards the end of 2017, the current in-house perfumer at Hermès, Christine Nagel - whose past credits include Eau De Cartier, Archives 69 for Etat Libre D’Orange and more than 70 scents for Jo Malone - popped into London for a Fragrance Foundation event at which she talked about her wide-ranging career. In an interview conducted by Harrods’ Annalise Fard, Nagel began by explaining how a young chemistry student from Switzerland became one of the best known perfumers in the world.
Christine Nagel: By chance! I was studying chemistry, but I stopped my studies because I had a dream to work in research. In front of the university there was a company named Firmenich. I started there in a research lab. I discovered a perfumer. And this perfumer put a perfume on the skin of the receptionist. I saw the pleasure and the emotions this gave, and I thought, ‘Okay, I want to go into perfumery.’ The first response was No. Totally no. Forbidden. Because I’m a woman. Because I don’t come from Grasse. I’m from Geneva. I don’t come from a family of perfumers. And I’ve studied chemistry. And in the past, the best background was considered to be literary studies. But I had a dream. So I found another way to become a perfumer. And this way was so special, but I have to explain something about it.
Friday, 4 May 2018
He may be better known as an incense expert, but Bertrand Duchaufour has also developed something of a specialism for conveying the scents of flowers which we don’t always associate with smells. In his Ostara for Penhaligon’s (discontinued, sadly) he gave life to the pollen-like, sappy-green personality of the daffodil. In L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Traversée Du Bosphore he married the almost dusty sweep of Istanbul’s tulips to iris and Turkish Delight. And in the recent Tender for Miller Harris, he used tulips again to reflect the darkness at the core of F Scott Fitzgerald’s writing. Having said all of that, he is not the creator of the subject of today’s review. But don’t worry: the link with Duchaufour isn’t irrelevant. Because you see, Gallivant’s Amsterdam has been put together by one of the Frenchman’s protégées, Giorgia Navarra, which probably helps explain why its handling of that most recognisable of Dutch icons - the tulip, once more - is one of its most notable features.
Monday, 30 April 2018
The latest episode of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Friday) has now been permanently uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered
Ombre Nomade from Louis Vuitton (at the start of the video)
Aqua Celestia Forte from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (at the 16:00 minute mark)
Champ De Fleurs from L'Artisan Parfumeur (at the 27:30 minute mark)
L'Homme Ideal Intense from Guerlain (at the 1:01:30 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Gold Man from Amouage (at the 42:30 minute mark)
A copy of the video has also been uploaded to Facebook, so if you'd prefer to watch it there, please click here.