Monday, 28 February 2011

Is That A Curry I Smell Before Me?

I managed to find some time this weekend to work on a couple of formulae I'm trying to develop, which means the air in my study is now a bizarre combination of galbanum, fenugreek and turmeric. I've also been smelling a few raw materials which recently arrived in the post, including some jasmine absolutes from different sources. It's amazing how much variation there can be between batches of what's ostensibly the same substance. Amazing, but hardly surprising. After all, within a single supermarket, there can be massive differences between the colours, textures, smells and tastes of, say, all the tomatoes on offer.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Review: Jeux De Peau from Serge Lutens (2011)

First thing's first: contrary to Monsieur Lutens' claims - which are probably meant to be taken with a pinch of baking powder anyway - this perfume doesn't smell of bread. But that doesn't matter for one moment, because Jeux De Peau moves beyond the realm of simplistic olfactory recognition games to deliver one of the first fragrance shocks of 2011.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Pyramid Building 5 - Link To Bois De Jasmin

Some of you may recall the brief series of posts I wrote last year about the usefulness of the traditional olfactory pyramid of top, heart and base notes.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Review: Arsène Lupin Le Dandy & Arsène Lupin Le Voyou (2010) & Idylle Duet (2011) from Guerlain

Regardless of one's views on his family firm's recent output, it would be churlish to deny the importance of the work of Jean-Paul Guerlain. A CV that includes names like Nahema, Habit Rouge, Chamade and Vetiver cannot be dismissed. However, despite his considerable achievements, it looks like his exit won't be marked with anything approaching a bang: his final creations - Arsène Lupin Le Dandy and Arsène Lupin Le Voyou - are unlikely to attain the admiration enjoyed by his enduring classics.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Maack, Jayne & Opus V

If numbers are anything to go by, last night's Andrea Maack event at Les Senteurs was a runaway success. I'd never seen the place so packed before! Now I just need to sit down and write my Basenotes article about it... I won't upload my reviews of Maack's three perfumes until they've had their official UK launch (currently scheduled for May) but I will just say that if you smell Bulgari Black, ELDO's Divin'Enfant* and - believe it or not - Badedas shower gel, you'll have a pretty good idea of what they're like.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Off To Les Senteurs Again

The remains of the old bathroom!
It's almost too hard to believe, but we really have got a brand new, fully functioning bathroom at Maison Persolaise. All hail the Flushing Fairy!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Why Complain?

All being well, fingers crossed, with a bit of luck, as long as the wind's blowing the right way and if everything goes according to plan, by the time I upload my next post, the bathroom at Maison Persolaise should be open for business. I never thought I'd get so excited by the prospect of having a flushing toilet and a functioning shower...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Review: Betrothal from Grossmith (1895/2011) + The Return Of Disqus

The perfume blogosphere appears to be divided on the subject of long-dead fragrances being reissued. Some people believe that ancient ghosts ought to remain buried. Others enjoy what they consider to be a genuine glimpse into the past. My own view is that if you're going to raid an ancestor's book of recipes, you'd better have a strong reason for doing so.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Chanel, Dior & Guerlain At Selfridges

A few mini-news items from a recent dash through the London branch of Selfridges.

The Chanel 'perfume boutique' - a must-see if you haven't yet been - now stocks the smaller, eminently more sensible, 75 ml bottles of Les Exclusifs. Apparently they're priced at £100 each. (Is 'exclusive' still exclusive when you package it in a more affordable format?)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Jasmine Awards 2010 - Winners

Just in case you haven't already seen the news on Basenotes, I thought I'd upload a brief post to let you know that yesterday's winners of the Jasmine Award for Best Website Feature On Fragrance were Avril Groom for The Packaging Is Plain, The Perfume Anything But and Yanar Alkayat for What's Your Perfume Personality. Congratulations to both of them. The judges decided to split the award between two people in order to reflect the variety of perfume-based writing currently appearing on the Net. They also announced that the criteria for the web category will be updated next year.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Off To The Jasmines

Bathroom chaos at Maison Persolaise has entered Week 2. We're steadily getting closer to our goal, but we've got to wait at least another 8 days or so before life can return to normal. The work has filled the house with all sorts of interesting odours, most of them unwelcome. First there was the noxious adhesive I mentioned last week. Then there was the smell of damp earth rising from the bare floor. We've also had the powdery, vaguely milky scent of wet plaster. The dryness of gathering dust. The bright cleanliness of fresh wood. And now the plastic, cloying, irritatingly diffusive stench of an aerosol used to seal the tiles. I suppose it's all good experience for the nose...

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Andrea Maack At Les Senteurs + Full Jasmine Awards Shortlists

The official site of the Jasmine Awards now displays the full rundown of all the nominees in each of the categories. I was very pleased to see a certain Tania Sanchez named under 'Literary Award - Magazines' for a piece published in Psychologies. Who knows, perhaps she'll be at Wednesday's ceremony?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I Need To Report My Bathroom To IFRA

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may be aware that the bathroom at Maison Persolaise is now a disaster area. Well, that's probably a slight exaggeration: the workmen are being quite tidy and trying to keep disruption to a minimum. But a certain amount of mess is unavoidable, as is the fact that we haven't got a bathtub or shower.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Review: Traversée Du Bosphore from L'Artisan Parfumeur (2010)

Some of you may recall that the digestive problems of a certain Icelandic volcano caused me and Madame Persolaise to be stranded in Istanbul last year. Well, apparently the same thing happened to Bertrand Duchaufour. But whilst I returned home with an empty bottle of Antaeus, he got back with another idea for a perfume.


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