Friday, 30 December 2011

The Best Perfumes Of 2011 & Thoughts On Independence

Although I sometimes complain about a lack of interesting perfume releases, I must admit that I found it difficult to whittle today’s list down to ten. Looking back over my notes of the last twelve months, I realise that several worthwhile creations have hit the shelves, some of which (fingers crossed) may still be around in fifteen or twenty years’ time. Like all the best fragrances, those on my list are marked by decisiveness: they showcase the perfumer’s central idea in no uncertain terms, allowing very little (if anything) to shake them off the path they intend to follow. As far as their specific olfactory profiles are concerned, many of them are heavy, diffusive, woody and resinous. This may, of course, be little more than a reflection of my own tastes, but I’d argue that it’s indicative of serious perfumers' desires to separate themselves from the safe, wishy-washy personalities of most offerings.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Persolaise Does Broadway

How did Day 1 of Christmas 2011 go for you? Did Santa bring you lots of fragrant goodies? Our get-together was a great success, even if its conclusion did come straight out of left field. One member of the family decided to type the words 'Disney Karaoke' into YouTube's search box and then... well, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you what happened next. Two hours later, we were still making the walls shake to the sound of our increasingly hoarse voices. The only moment of (relative) silence came when everyone was struck dumb with astonishment and turned to gawp at yours truly as I launched into a word-perfect rendition of Prince Ali.

Don't forget that today is only Day 4 of the yuletide season and that we're supposed to keep the celebrations going until Twelfth Night. So as you reach for another mince pie, please make a mental note to come back here on the 30th for my list of the best fragrances of the year.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Wishes 2011

I'd like to wish all my readers and supporters who celebrate the yuletide season a peaceful, memorable and fragrant Christmas. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the festivities. Enjoy the company of family and friends. Oh, and enjoy hunting for perfume bottles beneath the tree.

I'll be back on the 30th with my list of the Top 10 perfumes of 2011.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Break 2011

I'm just checking in today to say that posts will be a bit thin on the ground for the next two weeks as our focus at Maison Persolaise turns from work to family (and a brief hop across the Channel). I hope you all enjoy the hectic, messy madness that comes with preparing turkeys, mince pies and royal icing.

Have fun!


PS Advance warning: I'll be posting my list of the best perfumes of 2011 on the 30th.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Persolaise Review: Patchouli Impérial from Christian Dior and Sharif from Profumo Italia (2011)

[Review of Patchouli Impérial based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Christian Dior in 2011; review of Sharif based on a sample provided by Profumo Italia in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Andy Tauer recently wrote on his blog about a distillation of patchouli oil which is particularly rich in patchoulol. The substance is, in his words, a “Fifth Avenue patchouli”, an elegant, refined material that seems to project sophistication with every moment of its development. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ingredient – or something very similar to it – is the star player in Dior’s new addition to the Collection Privée, Francois Demachy's Patchouli Impérial.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ormonde Jayne Winner + Back To Grasse

After a weekend spent decorating the house (under the watchful eye of Madame Persolaise, who has had to stay in bed for the last few days thanks to a nasty viral infection) I can confidently announce that we are ready for Yuletide 2011. The gentleman you see in the photo above has taken up residence in his usual spot beneath some fairy lights. He's been part of our decorations for several years now, and although all of us find his face quite frightening, we can't bear not to bring him out year after year.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mona Di Orio (1969-2011)

Photo: Les Senteurs

I’m sure most of you have heard the sad news that Mona Di Orio unexpectedly passed away on Friday. Several blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have featured tributes to the French perfumer, who was one of the last people to have been trained by the great master of 20th century fragrance construction, Edmond Roudnitska.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Persolaise Christmas 2011 Recommendations + Ormonde Jayne Give-Away

My love of list-making isn’t often reflected on my blog – mainly because I rarely seem to have the time to indulge in this most boyish of activities – but Advent is a time of year when everyone gives in to geekery and publishes endless charts of favourites. Fingers crossed, I should be able to post my personal rundown of the best fragrances of 2011 before the year is out, but today, I’d like to direct my thoughts to the empty space beneath the Christmas tree and provide you with a few ideas for last-minute yuletide gifts. So without further ado…

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tauer Winner + Friday Give-Away Teaser...

Well, well, well. Who would've thought that a relatively simple question about the highs and lows of 2011 would've generated so many touching responses? (If you're not sure what I'm referring to, please take a look at the comments on my previous post.) Thank you very much indeed for entering the Tauer draw and for sharing so many personal details about your lives. It's heart-warming to be reminded that although we're all separated by culture and geography, most of us have the same hopes, fears, joys and worries.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

End Of Movember + 24 Hour Tauer Advent Give-Away

I know the world of retail has wanted us to believe that it's been Christmas since the end of September, but for those of us who don't shy away from the religious aspect of the celebrations, the countdown to the festive season didn't actually begin until a week ago, when the church calendar marked the first Sunday of Advent. Now's the proper time to begin reflecting on the year that's been... whilst finding creative ways of justifying the consumption of mince pies. (Speaking of which, has anyone tried Waitrose's puff pastry variety? Dangerously impressive!)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Paris-London from Guerlain & Apuldre from Molton Brown (2011)

[Review of Paris-London based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Guerlain in 2011; review of Apuldre based on a sample of eau de parfum obtained in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Geographical locations are obvious sources of inspiration for fragrances because, unlike films, novels, photographs and sculptures, they come ready-made with their own smells. Of course, these odours are usually free to be experienced and absorbed by anybody, which means that the perfumer has to work doubly hard to convince the wearer that his or her formula is a faithful representation of the place in question. Perhaps this explains why so many space-specific fragrances are disappointing: they set themselves a near-impossible task and end up presenting what feels like a tourist’s point-of-view, as opposed to a local’s inside knowledge.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Marilyn Monmoe

Day 29: Happy mo, Mr President
I've saved the scariest best for last. Marilyn. Chanel No 5. Prostate cancer research. And a moustache. In other words: a blog post made in heaven.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Bottega Veneta from Bottega Veneta, Esprit d'Oscar from Oscar De La Renta & 1697 from Frapin (2011)

[Reviews based on samples of eau de parfum obtained in 2011*; fragrances tested on skin.]

The first perfume for Bottega Veneta has been made by Michel Almairac. The 2003 version of Gucci Pour Homme was also made by Michel Almairac. As far as I'm concerned, this is reason enough to take the Bottega scent very seriously indeed. His masculine for Gucci remains one of the most refined takes on incense, cedar and amber I have ever encountered. Distinctive and sophisticated, it exudes all the qualities one would hope to find in a brand synonymous with luxury. With BV's eponymous fragrance, he's pulled off a similar trick, albeit in a quieter manner.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Carmo Miranda

Day 23: Mo samba
I must start today's post with an apology. You'll see from the photo above that I didn't go for a pencil thin mo after all. So if you were hoping to see my John Waters impression this morning, I'm very sorry to disappoint you. The fact is that the man to whom I have entrusted my hair for over a decade (Andrew Tosh of Hair @ Andrew Tosh) decided that due to the - ahem - faintness of the colour of my not-so-hairy effort, reducing it to a thin line would effectively cause it to disappear. So in the end, we decided it would be best to stick to a simple trim.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

King Henmo VIII

Day 21: Anti-Catholic mo
Fear not, patient readers: the mask parade will soon be over. Movember is about to enter its final week, which means I haven't got long to go before I can shave off my top lip's hairy friend. However, it also means that if you'd like to make a donation - but haven't managed to yet, for whatever reason - then you need to get your act together. Click here to visit my Mo Bro space where your credit card will be given a warm welcome.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Almo Einstein + Next Year's Perfume Releases

Day 19: Nobel Prize winning mo 
It's Day 19 of Movember and I think the time has come for me to start styling this itchy addition to my face. Question is: what look do I go for? I'm quite tempted by a pencil thin 'tache, but I wonder if it would make me look less like Errol Flynn and more like a spiv. All will be revealed on Wednesday, which is when the good folks at Hair @ Andrew Tosh have agreed to give me a free mo trim.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Taste Of Fragrance: A*Men, Alien, Angel & Womanity from Thierry Mugler (2011)

[Reviews of Womanity, Angel and Alien based on samples of eau de parfum; review of A*Men based on a sample of eau de toilette; all samples provided by Thierry Mugler in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Even though I hardly ever wear any of the brand’s fragrances myself – with the exception of the discontinued B*Men – I’ve got a lot of time for Thierry Mugler. Bearing in mind that it’s a resolutely mainstream house whose wares are available in the most unglamorous perfumeries imaginable, it remains consistently surprising and offers encouraging proof of the fact that it pays to polarise. Its latest attempt to spice up the high street comes in the form of a limited edition quartet entitled The Taste Of Fragrance: explicitly ‘foodie’ versions of four of its most recognisable creations: A*Men, Angel, Alien and Womanity.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Julius Caemo + Jean-François Laporte Obituary

Day 16: Ave mo
Another day, another photo. (And in case you're wondering, yes, I've got plenty more masks.) I think it's safe to say that the 'tache is now in the 'why does my face feel funny?', 'what's this hairy slug under my nose?', 'how much longer till the 1st of December?' phase. It's also remarkably high maintenance which a) reminds me why I got rid of the goatee when I left Uni and b) re-affirms my belief that I really haven't got much free time on my hands. But let's not get back to the topic of ticking clocks.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Queen Mobeth I

Day 14: Shakespeare's favourite mo
As I type these words, it's Day 14 of Movember and my upper lip has got its own winter coat. For those of you who've only just tuned in, I'm taking part in a campaign to raise money for research into prostate and testicular cancer. This involves growing and grooming a moustache, which I have been dutifully doing since the 1st of this month. The alarming mask you see in the picture above is part of an insane attempt to reconcile my desire for internet privacy with a wish to show you the fruits of my hairy endeavours... although there's a part of me that thinks I've been clinging onto the privacy thing long enough now, and that I should unmask myself at the end of the month.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Clint Eastmo + Back On The Topic Of Time

Day 12: Plenty mo
Yes, all right: the picture above is a fake. The handsome moustache I'm sporting in it is part of a set given to me by one of my Movember supporters who obviously felt my follicles needed a bit of help. Here's the real photo:

Friday, 11 November 2011

Amouage Home Scents

[Review based on samples of home scents provided by Amouage in 2011.]

It’s not often that I publish a review of home scents on – keeping up with ‘skin fragrance’ releases is hard enough – but every now and then, it’s worth providing a reminder that there are plenty of candles and room sprays out there whose smells have been created with as much care and precision as can be discerned in the finest perfumes. Amouage’s are a case in point. What’s more, they offer a handy summation of the entire brand’s aesthetics.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Clemopatra + Thierry Wasser Interview

Day 9: Have mo, will seduce Roman emperor

As I type these words, Day 9 is coming to a close and I think it's safe to say that there's mo turning back now. I have a 'tache. It may be quite thin and it may not yet know whether it wants to be a Freddie Mercury or a Clark Gable, but it's a 'tache. Now I just need to put up with it keep growing it and groom it for the next 21 days. Thanks again for all your donations. If you haven't yet visited my Mo Space, please consider doing so and making a contribution. It doesn't matter how much or how little you can spare: every single penny counts.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Dame Edmo

Day 7: Mo down under
Here’s another photographic update for you. (I hope your enjoyment of these is equal to the embarrassment I feel when publishing them.) Feel free to say what everyone else has been saying: “Oooh, I would’ve expected a much more impressive growth by now.” “Haven’t you got any testosterone, then?” “Is that your moustache? Oh, bless.” And if I hear another woman telling me that she could grow one faster herself, I shall nip to the nearest Boots and purchase a tube of Veet.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Shermo Holmes

Day 5: No pipe; a bit more mo
I'm beginning to think the Middle Eastern half of my genes hasn't got an altruistic nature. As I type these words, it's Day 5 of Movember and I honestly believed that, by now, I'd have a more impressive growth with which to impress you, but my upper lip seems to be quite sluggish. Do they do Baby Bio for human skin...?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Santal Blush & Jasmin Rouge from Tom Ford Private Blend (2011) + Jersey Winner

[Reviews based on samples of eau de parfum obtained in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Oh, I do so enjoy a perfume that takes me on an interesting ride (even if it's to a destination that's popped up a lot on For a start, Yann Vasnier's Santal Blush opens with a wholly credible depiction of India - albeit from a tourist's point of view - which is no mean feat, considering that it probably contains a bare minimum of Mysore sandalwood (if any at all). Somehow, by virtue of an intricate cocktail of synthetic substitutes, fenugreek, cardamom and possibly incense, the scent’s opening manages to convey the weighty, milky creaminess that emanates from the hand-carved trinkets which, these days, are kept under lock and key in Mumbai’s souvenir shops.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ziggy Modust + Chanel Reminder

Day 3: Not much mo

Well, well, well, who would've thought that a few days' worth of shaving abstinence would get such a fantastic response? It's only Day 3 of Movember, yet I've already raised more than £150, thanks to the generosity (and promptness!) of several kind people. You will see from the picture above that I have also decided to destroy all my credibility by donning what can only be described as an extremely frightening mask in order to display my follicular progress... which isn't terribly impressive at the moment. Perhaps I need to make an appointment for an upper lip massage, to get the old blood circulation going. And just in case you were thinking that today's photographic display is a one-off: fear not! I have purchased a large set of similar disguises with which to alarm entertain you for the next 27 days. No, no, there's no need to thank me.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ready Steady Mo

Okay, further to my post from Sunday, I've decided I'm going to do this thing: for the next month, I shall attempt to raise funds for research into prostate cancer by embracing the hairy caterpillar beneath my nose and learning to love him... or it... or whatever. So here we go: it's the 1st of November, and as per the rules, my face is currently a clean slate. Yes, that's right, I did say "rules"; this is a serious business:

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Is It Time For Some Mo Love?

I've spent the last few days thinking a great deal about facial hair. Those of you who are aware of the annual Movember campaign will know why. Set up in Australia in 2003 to raise money for research into prostate cancer, it has become one of the world's most high-profile charity movements, attracting not just corporate support, but also the involvement of more than 1 million men and women across the globe. I'm seriously considering taking part this year, which would entail... drum roll please... growing a moustache.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Review: Jersey from Chanel (2011) + Sample Give-Away

[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette obtained in 2011; fragrance tested on skin.]

A curious release, this one. Subjectivity aside, it's a musky lavender in which Jacques Polge has chosen to emphasise the lemony, herbaceous aspects of Provence's ubiquitous sachet-filler whilst placing it on a vanillic, caramelised base. He's injected the requisite 'couture' feel by lifting the mix with a hint of aldehydes and he's maintained a sense of continuity with the other Exclusifs by adding a faint, yet unmistakable iris note. That's all relatively indisputable.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Let's Ban Those Light, Fresh, Aqua Noirs

I appreciate that coming up with a fitting name for a perfume must be almost as difficult as creating the juice itself. Whether we like it or not, a fragrance's monicker becomes an integral part of its identity, a hook upon which the collective consciousness hangs its responses - positive or otherwise - to the perfumer's creative efforts. What was it William once said? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. It sounds convincing, but I'm not sure it's true. Would Poison have sparked the same emotions if it had been called Tuberose Bomb? Would Angel have been a hit if Mugler had plumped for Funfair? I think not, somehow. Labels do matter. Shalimar. Ambre Sultan. CK One. These are classic names that now seem inseparable from their respective perfumes.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Will M7 Live To Be Hairy Again + Thanks For The Social Stuff

Just a brief post from me today to say thanks to everybody who responded to my recent call for views on the subject of social media. In addition to the comments readers left here on the blog, I also received several emails and a few Facebook messages. All were greatly appreciated.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Review: Trayee from Neela Vermeire Créations (2011)

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Neela Vermeire Créations in 2011; fragrance tested on skin.]

It’s a cliché, but like many clichés, it happens to be true: India is a land in which you’re constantly confronted by smells. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that it’s often inspired perfumers to bottle the sensation of being overwhelmed by its spices, woods and flowers. Few have accomplished this task as memorably as Bertrand Duchaufour in Trayee, one of the first releases from the brand new Neela Vermeire Créations line.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Much Too Wild For Goutal

I’m pleased to add another name to my growing roster of Wonderful Sales Assistants In London Perfumeries. Today it’s Eric, the Parisian employee at London’s sole, standalone branch of Annick Goutal.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Review: Mon Parfum Chéri from Annick Goutal, Lumière Noire Pour Femme Elixir and Aqua Universalis Forte Elixir from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2011)

[Review of Mon Parfum Chéri based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by in 2011; reviews of Lumière Noire Pour Femme Elixir and Aqua Universalis Forte Elixir based on samples of extraits provided by Maison Francis Kurkdjian in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

The moment I tried Goutal’s latest, I knew I had to test it on Madame Persolaise. I rushed to our lounge, where she was working her way through the Sunday papers, sprayed some on her arm and said, “Tell me what this reminds you of.”

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

So Tell Me... Do You REALLY Like Tweeting...?

I need to seek your help again. I'm just putting the finishing touches to a presentation I'll soon be delivering at a Fragrance Foundation UK event on the subject of social media, and I'd like to get your views on the subject.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Review: The Disappointments (2011)

Here's something that doesn't happen very often: I don't have a perfume I'd like to review this week. To be more precise, I've got plenty which I could review, but none that I feel inclined to review. Allow me to expand...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I'll Just Put The Kettle On

Sometimes, the most potent scent memories are the ones that come as a complete surprise. Deliberately smelling some vintage Fidji or Aramis in order to conjure a recollection of a fond relative rarely fails to have the desired effect, but a different, perhaps more immediate buzz is created when the past invades our minds without our conscious bidding.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Review: Jardin Du Poete from Eau d'Italie and Bang Bang from Marc Jacobs (2011)

[Review of Bang Bang based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by in 2011; review of Jardin Du Poete based on a sample of eau de toilette obtained in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

The pixies and elves of Marketing Land would have us believe that Bang Bang is for "men who strive for perfection". I could understand if they'd said 'repetition', 'alliteration' or 'exaggeration', but 'perfection'... hardly. They'd also like us to accept that this is a fresher, lighter version of last year's Bang, to which my response would be that they need to unglue themselves from their focus group stats once in a while and actually smell some of the stuff they're pushing. The truth is that Yann Vasnier's Bang Bang is more substantial, weightier and more enjoyable than last year's offering, but it's also somewhat derivative. The pepper opening is intact, but it's been laced with a lactonic, woody, cardamom heart that instantly calls to mind the superior Jungle Pour Homme from Kenzo. It's harmless, cologne-like stuff and I must admit I hope it becomes sufficiently profitable to warrant the creation of another flanker next year, just so I can see whether the pixies and elves decide to call it Bang Bang Bang or come up with some other ingenious use of the word. The mind boggles.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Vintage Sample Winner + Symine Salimpour Interview On Estellana

Oh look, September's nearly over, but good old Blighty's decided to rewind to August for a few days. Time to put the jumpers away again! Yes indeed, it seems we're to be treated to a mini-heatwave this week here on our (not currently) grey little isle. Just wait. Before long everyone will be complaining that it's too hot...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

London Perfume Evening + Give-Away Reminder

I hope you're all having a good weekend, wherever you are. Just two brief items from me today. Firstly, please don't forget that you've got until 10 pm tomorrow night (UK time) to enter my draw for a selection of vintage samples.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Reviews: J'Adore eau de toilette from Christian Dior, Angel eau de toilette from Thierry Mugler and Candy from Prada (2011)

[Review of J'Adore based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by Christian Dior in 2011; review of Angel based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by in 2011; review of Candy based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by in 2011; all fragrances tested on skin.]

Over the last few months, I seem to have typed the words 'unnecessary' on an alarming number of times. I feel the adjective creeping towards the tips of my fingers again whilst I consider what to write about the new eau de toilette of J'Adore. I realise I ought to avoid asking the question 'Do we really need this release?' because I suppose its very existence means that, in some corner of the world, the answer is Yes, otherwise the gods of LVMH wouldn't have bothered creating it. Perhaps somewhere in Brazil or China, there's an army of shoppers overjoyed by the fact that Calice Becker's original floral accord - or what's left of it - has now been squirted by a sweet tangerine, courtesy of Francois Demachy. If so, then all I can say is that I'm very happy for them, because I hate the thought of all those new, elongated bottles going to waste.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Italians Don't Like Shalimar + End Of Summer Give-Away

I need a few lessons in basic Buddhism. One of the main problems with having an extremely busy Day Job and a tendency to go away on long holidays is that it's often difficult to live in the present: I'm either thinking ahead about the million-and-one-things that always need doing, or I'm drifting into nostalgic yearnings for days spent enjoying Nutella beignets on various French beaches. We're often told that an inability to live in the moment is a modern malaise, and I'm certainly not immune to it. Having said all that, today, I'd like to rewind to August again, and, as promised, hold a sample give-away designed to share with you some of the goodies I picked up on my travels.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Review: No. 19 Poudré from Chanel (2011) and Miriam from Tableau De Parfums (2011) + Miriam Winners

There’s a lot of anti-Chanel feeling around at the moment. Before the venerable house had given everyone an opportunity to recover from the various Chance flankers, they released Bleu which – quite rightly – elicited a torrent of opprobrium. So perhaps it was inevitable that some people would see No. 19 Poudré as the last nail in an increasingly embarrassing coffin.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

This Is How It's Done: Tanagra And Bouteille On The Côte d'Azur

Although Madame Persolaise's French is pretty good, she thought it might be useful for us to take a culinary dictionary on our travels this year, just to make the process of scanning menus slightly easier. The slim volume fulfilled its purpose so well, that it made me wonder if someone ought to produce a perfume equivalent... although it would be a shame to lose the fun that comes with resorting to inventive hand gestures and facial expressions. Linguistic assistance notwithstanding, my summer shopping forays in France were an absolute joy, and I'd like to tell you about two places on the Côte d'Azur that are particularly worth a visit.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Review: Kokorico from Jean-Paul Gaultier (2011)

There’s at least one person in the world who thinks Kokorico is a work of genius. A couple of weeks ago, when I picked up the scent’s tester at a branch of Sephora in northern France, a fellow shopper rushed up to me, undid the top buttons of her blouse and invited my nose to get friendly with her cleavage. (All in a day’s work for an intrepid perfume critic.) “Smell it on me,” she said. “it’s magnificent. An incredible creation.” I thanked her for her generosity and proceeded to obey her instructions.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Evelyn Avenue Interview + Miriam Give-Away

Some of you will no doubt be aware that perfumer Andy Tauer has entered into an intriguing collaboration with film-maker Brian Pera (of Evelyn Avenue). Over the course of the next ten years, the latter is going to release a series of movies, each of which will be accompanied by a Tauer scent inspired by the film's central character. In order to celebrate the release of the first film and the first fragrance - both entitled Miriam - a few blogs, including, have been invited to participate in a cross-site presentation of perfume-related interviews and articles.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Give-Away Teaser + Reasons To Be Thankful

We're surrounded by empty suitcases. The washing machine has been whirring away for hours. There's a heap of unopened junk mail in the bin. All this means we're back at Maison Persolaise. Or at least our bodies are. Our souls are still about a thousand miles away, where the air is a blanket of warmth and the sea puts the world's diamonds to shame.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Review: Vitriol d'Oeillet from Serge Lutens (2011)

Uncle Serge and Christopher Sheldrake have been up to their old tricks again. Their latest release could easily be dismissed as an old-fashioned feminine, a woody floral stuck somewhere in the late 70s. With its lipstick reds, hospital greens and spice-rack browns, Vitriol d’Oeillet is akin to the sort of painting you might consider hanging in the waiting area of an efficient office. Although its eponymous carnation is not unappealing, there’s an intimidating, medicinal coldness in its background, not to mention what comes across as an excessive enjoyment of its own grimacing bitterness.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

New Cure For Insomnia: Counting Perfume Releases

It’s the final week of August, the holiday’s nearly over and life will soon have to return to normal at Maison Persolaise. It’s going to take a little while for me to decide which ‘scented summer experiences’ I ought to blog about, but for today, I’ll briefly mention that the main question in my mind whilst I've wandered around perfume shops has centred around the need for the incessant flow of fragrance releases. I think I’ve literally lost count of the number of new scents I’ve tried over the course of the last four weeks: Madly and Flower Tag from Kenzo; Candy from Prada; No 19 Poudré from Chanel; Kokorico from Jean-Paul Gaultier (superb bottle!); Tresor Midnight Rose from Lancôme; Violet Blonde from Tom Ford; CK One Shock (for him and for her) from Calvin Klein… the list goes on. I suppose somewhere there’s a spreadsheet on which this punishing release schedule makes sense. To the average consumer it just results in sensory overload. But then maybe that’s part of the strategy too.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Reviews: Yuzu Man from Caron (2011) & Hiroshima Mon Amour from Nez À Nez (2011)

The spirit of orientalism is alive in the latest masculine from Caron. Yuzu takes its inspiration from the East Asian (predominantly Japanese) fruit of the same name, and as you'd expect, it is a refreshing cocktail of citrus notes. Sadly, it's also quite unremarkable, combining all the usual cliches of barbershop cleanliness (soapy notes, synthetic musks etc) with a pink, syrupy pomegranate note and - as has become common in recent months - a watery lychee accord. It's predictable, it lacks depth and it is quite unworthy of the house that has given us three distinctive, original scents for men: Pour Un Homme, Yatagan and Le 3e Homme.


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