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.


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