Monday, November 15, 2010

Sample Giveaway + Review: Phul-Nana by Grossmith (1891/2009)

I confess I wasn't aware of Grossmith until the firm's recent relaunch. Originally established in 1835, it fell on hard times and was dissolved in the mid-80s, only to be revived last year by Simon Brooke, the great-great grandson of founder John Grossmith. The house has now reissued three classic scents and succeeded in reinventing itself as a major player on the luxury niche scene.

The most enchanting of the new trio is without doubt Phul-Nana (1891/2009), an exquisite study in old-world refinement. With a trajectory that is a joy to behold, it starts with neroli (edgy-sweet citrus), which then attaches itself to geranium (edgy-sweet floral) before linking up to benzoin (edgy-sweet resin). Enriching the background is a wondrous mix of sandalwood, cedar and tonka bean which lends the whole an air of delectable hauteur. Wear it, hold your head high and walk through the world with the certainty that you're as perfectly proportioned as the Discobolus.

Although Hasu-No-Hana (1888/2009) is far better than half the stuff you'd find on an average high street, it does suffer from being too similar to Phul-Nana. Its opening places a stronger emphasis on bitter orange and its heart is more floral, but as it reaches its drydown, you begin to realise that it's trying - and failing - to compete with its more confident cousin. On the other hand, Shem-El-Nessim (1906/2009) has something different to say and manages to impress with its sophisticated cocktail of parched orris and smooth vanilla.

Regrettably - but unsurprisingly - it hasn't been possible for me to compare these re-releases with their Victorian/Edwardian originals, so I'm in no position to comment on their 'historical accuracy'. What I can say is that they evoke the past - is a certain type of sugared powderiness becoming our generation's signifier of bygone years? - whilst remaining wearable in a modern context, and that they certainly whet one's appetite for any other formulae Mr Brooke may be hiding in his family vault.

[Review based on samples of eau de parfum obtained in 2010; fragrances tested on skin.]

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I'm very pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader of Persolaise.com a special set containing samples of each of the three perfumes; the set has been generously provided by Grossmith. If you'd like to enter the draw, please leave a comment which begins with the following words: "One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is..." Comments must be left on this post.

Please note: i) the draw will be open until 10 pm (UK time) on Sunday 21st November; ii) the winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog; iii) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; iv) by entering the draw, you indicate that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume posted from the UK; v) if the samples are lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be sent; vi) the address of the winner will not be kept on record, nor will it be passed to any third parties; vii) Persolaise takes no responsibility for the composition of the scent, as regards potential allergens and/or restricted materials.

Good luck!

Persolaise.

THE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. Please click here to find out who has won.

29 comments:

  1. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is - at least for me so far - Puredistance I.
    I really wonder what do these smell like, and how evocative they are.

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  2. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is - Cabochard by Grès.

    I remember reading about that relaunch, and wondering what they would be like! The names are so evocative, you can't help but wonder!

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  3. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is - Sycomore by Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake for Chanel's "Exclusifs" collection.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been very curious about these! Were they done according to old formulae, or with modern materials that approximate the original ones? I'd love to try them, thanks,
    Marla

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  5. Ines, I haven't tried any of the Puredistance scents. I'll have to add them to my list.

    You're in the draw.

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  6. Laurinha, I agree completely. Sycomore is a personal favourite.

    You're in the draw.

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  7. Tarleisio, Cabochard is a classic.

    As you can tell from my review, I was quite impressed with all three.

    Your name's been added to the list.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Marla, if you don't mind, I'll copy a few lines from the press pack:

    "Grossmith engaged the Grasse firm of Robertet, renowned for its use of the highest quality natural materials, to remaster the original perfumes. ... the family has worked hard to ensure that each scent is as true to the original in every way, whilst being updated for today's woman."

    It would be interesting to discover Grossmith's definition of 'remastering' a perfume...

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  9. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Y by Yves Saint Laurent. It never fails to make me feel elegant even when I may look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

    yours, very curious about these tempting relaunched Grossmith perfumes,

    Anna in Edinburgh

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  10. Yes, "re-mastering" tends to be a controversial word in all the arts! I remember the controversy that broke out when some classic Stones albums were "re-mastered" for CD. Opinion was "mixed" to say the least!
    Now I'll do a proper drawing entry,
    "One of the most elegant perfumes ever made was kyphi/kapet, which was used by the ancient Egyptians as incense, and probably, in cones placed on the head." I hope I remembered the wording!
    -Marla

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  11. Glad to see another relaunched brand from the past! Example of Lubin shows that this is often good idea to follow.

    One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle- scent with sensual, powerful aura and one of the best reincarnations of tuberose flower.

    Please enter me in the draw, best regards, Ela.

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  12. Anna, I'm an admirer of Y too. It's sad to the compare it to the standard of current YSL releases.

    Your name's been added to the draw.

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  13. Marla, I suspect yours may well turn out to be the most original entry! Do you think kyphi was IFRA-compliant?

    You're in the draw too.

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  14. Ela, good choice: Carnal Flower is powerful, heady stuff.

    You're in the draw.

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  15. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Jicky, my first perfume love and still top of the list. I have read the reviews of the Grossmith line and long to smell them.

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  16. Rosiegreen, Jicky is another magical classic... and it's funny to think that a scent with such a high dose of civet is considered by many to be the height of elegance.

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  17. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is, without a doubt, Shalimar by Guerlain. The bottle alone would be enough, and the scent itself manages to be striking, yet restrained.

    I got to sniff Shem-el-Nessim when I visited the Harrods exhibition and I loved it; the Grossmith bottles were also gorgeous.

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  18. Ratfink, I was hoping someone would say Shalimar. It's one of my all-time favourites.

    You're in the draw.

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  19. Le Parfum de Therese because it is simply stunning... how many fruity-florals can you find these days with that kind of grace?

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  20. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Amouage Homage. This creation made me love perfumes with roses. And it is so much more.

    I've never tried the Grossmith perfumes and would love to.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Womo531, thank goodness for Frederic Malle, eh?

    Your name's been added to the list.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Glass Do It, I'm so glad someone's brought Amouage into the conversation.

    You're in the draw too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Edwardian Bouquet by Floris. Granted, there are some very elegant perfumes mentioned here already. I just love the refinement, the 19th c. floral vibe.

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  24. One of the most elegant perfumes Mitsouko, and I would like to have chance

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  25. Pipefan, thanks for adding another Guerlain to the mix.

    Your name's been added to the list.

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  26. Queen Cupcake, I can't pretend to know very much about the Floris range, but I'll keep an eye out for Edwardian Bouquet.

    You're in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  27. One of the most elegant perfumes ever made is Mitsouko. As a guy, I don't really wear it "out" -- at least not yet -- but I bought it so I could have it around.

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  28. Rilo, another vote for Mitsouko, eh? And as for not wearing it outside the protective confines of home: be brave, I say! I've worn it out in the big, bad, judgemental world, and I've lived to tell the tale.

    You're in the draw, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  29. THE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED.

    Thanks to everybody who entered. The winner will be announced soon.

    ReplyDelete

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