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...
In my tireless attempts to record my thoughts on what I consider to be either a) the best, b) the most important or c) the most notable perfume releases, I end up trying a large number of new fragrances. Some of these pass the initial elimination round and qualify for Stage 2 of my selection process (stop laughing, this is a serious business) which essentially means that I try them on my own skin for at least two (and quite often three) days. I also inflict them upon the flesh of Madame P and various other relatives and friends who happen to be in the vicinity of my study on any given day. As you'll appreciate, this means my 'perfume research' must, by necessity, be carried out several weeks before a review actually appears here on Persolaise.com. Normally, this doesn't pose a problem because there's enough temporal slack in the system to allow for a few days of wearing un-reviewable duds. But on this particular occasion, the slack has run out and I find myself with nothing that I consider worthy of your attention.
Having said that, you know what I'm going to do now, don't you? Yes indeed, I am going to name and shame some of the culprits who have failed to push my prose buttons. I realise it may be cruel of me to mention them: after all, many have been produced by companies that don't hide the fact that they are not in the business of making art, which would suggest that it might be unfair to judge them alongside creations with higher ambitions. But this week, the Fragrant Fates appear to have decided that I have no choice but to fill my weekly review spot with names like... oh, let's just pull one out of the hat, shall we? How about CK One Shock For Her? I'd love to hear from someone who actually sees any point in this being released. It initially displays a mint and apple sheesha accord, but then the chemicals take over and reduce the whole to nothingness. The For Him version seems to have been well received by the blogosphere, and whilst I concede that its amber drydown may be pleasant, there's no sense of character or individuality at any stage of its development.
Another newcomer that has found many fans on the net is Mona Di Orio's Oud. Sadly, I can't say I share the excitement. It's mis-named and its central osmanthus accord lacks the refinement and contrasts one would hope to find in a release with such a hefty price tag. I gave it plenty of chances to win me over, but it failed each time. Mind you, it didn't offend me in the same way as Diesel's Loverdose. A noxious, mono-dimensional mess of damp woods, it provided more proof (if more were needed) that smells can truly be depressing. "Have paracetamol handy when wearing," I wrote of it in my notebook. Sage advice.
Francis Kurkdjian's Le Parfum for Elie Saab is rather odd as it's basically a tamer version of his is-it-or-isn't-it discontinued Fleur Du Male for Gaultier. In other words, it's an orange blossom over a lavender-heavy, fougere-like accord... which, yes, does smell as masculine as it sounds. I suppose the gender-bending strategy is interesting, but not interesting enough, if you ask me.
The best of this lot is probably Douglas Hannant from Robert Piguet. After I recovered from the giggles induced by the Harvey Nichols sales assistant demanding that I smell it because "it's by the most stylish man in the whole world," I was overcome by a vision of Joan Collins with large hair and larger shoulder pads, spouting inane dialogue on a glossy American soap opera. Yup, you guessed it: this is an unabashed attempt at an 80s revival scent, complete with tuberose and massive, peachy fruit. It doesn't quite hold its own partly because it's too similar to vintage Poison, and partly because it gives in to the temptation to include a clean facet that smells more 90s than 2010s. Still, some might find it worth trying.
And I'm afraid that's all for today, folks. Fingers crossed, normal service will be resumed next week. Until then, I'd love to know what you thought of any or all of the above. Don't hold back now.
[Samples of some of these scents provided in 2011 by Escentual.com and Mona Di Orio.]