Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
When I first sprayed Le Labo’s latest, I immediately went on Twitter and posted the word, “Wow,” thereby breaking my personal rule about jumping to conclusions. This was India in a bottle, I thought, a warm, opulent presentation of the part-woody, part-smoky and part-milky aspects that make up the unmistakable scent of sandalwood. I closed my eyes and found myself back amongst the colourful stalls in Colaba, with their glittering plastic bangles and iridescent fabrics. As the fragrance developed, the effect became even more evocative. The peppery edge of cypriol appeared, followed by the dryness of cedar, the animalic smoothness of castoreum and perhaps a hint of cardamom for contrast. Now I was on a noisy train, somewhere between Jaipur and Jodhpur, looking through an open window, watching the desert radiate its yellow heat back to the empty skies above.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It's a known fact that the fragrance industry generates the majority of its profits from purchases made by women. But men are buyers too, with the need to have their toiletries appeal to them, and the right to choose them on their own, instead of always being presented with them as gifts. Men are now the latest victims of the advertising world's constant evolution, falling prey to ill-judged campaigns that recycle the same tired ideas over and over: the rich young stud who's stellar in business and a tiger in bed (or vice versa, take your pick). Older women are victims of a different kind of approach, one that pushes them to the fringe of olfactory acceptance and stigmatizes them as "smelling of old ladies".
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Some of you may remember that a few months ago I wrote about being interviewed for a three-part BBC documentary about perfume, directed by Ian Denyer. Well, I'm pleased to report that episode 1 should be broadcast on BBC Four in the last week of June; I'll post further details as soon as I get them. The bad news is that my contribution has ended up on the cutting room, but never mind. From what I've heard, the three films will provide an incredible peek into the workings of the perfume industry and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Amouage perfumes don't exactly keep themselves to themselves. Bold and emphatic, they tend to conquer every lily-livered weakling in their path, showing no mercy and taking no prisoners. But Honour Man comes as a complete surprise: despite the presence of several warrior-class materials on its notes list, it is astonishingly and uncharacteristically
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I'm sure you all know the saying "When you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours". Does that also apply to perfume? I set Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue free more than 15 years ago, and just a few weeks ago, I heard its wings gently beating on my bedroom window once again. I have welcomed it back into my life in a way I never thought I would again, and all it took was a sample vial I'd forgotten I had.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Review: Aqua Allegoria Jasminora from Guerlain (2011) and Aqua Fahrenheit from Christian Dior (2011)
I’m often asked if price is a good indicator of the quality of a perfume. When I’m told that I must restrict my answer to one word, I always say, “No.” After all, there are plenty of expensive duds on the market as well as several clever, affordable gems. That’s why I tend to look forward to each year’s new Aqua Allegoria. Designed to be refreshing, undemanding edt’s, they present the perfumer with a particularly compelling challenge: they need to stand alone as legitimate fragrances, they need to uphold the prestige of one of the most revered houses of all time and they need to convince buyers that it is possible to spend under £40 for a bottle of respectable juice. On balance, Jasminora fulfils these requirements pretty well.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Okay, like last Tuesday’s post, this one isn’t by a guest either, but it does hand the microphone to someone other than myself, which means it’s very much in keeping with the spirit of bringing new voices to Persolaise.com during May and June. In the first of what will hopefully turn out to be a semi-regular series of concise, rapid-fire interviews with industry figures, I’m very pleased to present this brief insight into the mind of Etienne De Swardt, the founder and creative director of Etat Libre D’Orange, unquestionably one of the most irreverent and facetious perfume houses currently in operation.
Friday, June 3, 2011
I think my brain’s vocab centre has had a slight melt-down. I need a synonym for ‘fuzzy’, but none of the ones I’ve come up with so far capture the exact type of ‘fuzziness’ I’d like to convey. ‘Fluffy’, ‘velvety’ and ‘fleecy’ come close, but the first one’s too silly, the second one’s too soft and the third one’s too ovine. The combined talents of Roget and Thesaurus.com haven’t been a great help either. ‘Plumose’ is linked with feathers, which isn’t what I’m after. ‘Velutinous’ relates to soft, fine hairs, which also isn’t right. ‘Tomentous’ (superb word!) refers to the matted, woolly down on stems and leaves, which raises unwanted botanical connotations. And ‘pubescent’ is, on this occasion, just plain wrong.