Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Auburn Pentachord, Verdant Pentachord & White Pentachord from Tauer Perfumes (2011)


One of the reasons I'm an admirer of the music of Björk is that it combines the finest elements of classicism with a reckless love of everything that modernity has to offer. And it struck me the other day that this may also be why I'm a fan of Andy Tauer's perfumery: his most ravishing scents draw inspiration from old school excellence whilst pushing the craft forward into the future.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

London Perfume Shopping Guide (Updated 13th July 2014)


ON 8th FEBRUARY 2012
THIS POST WON THE 2011 JASMINE AWARD
FOR 'BEST WEBSITE FEATURE ON FRAGRANCE'

During my last visit to Paris, the three most useful things I had in my bag were a notebook, a pen and a printout of the two-part perfume shopping guide from Grain De Musc. When I got back home, I resolved to create a similar guide for London, in the hope that visitors to the city would find it as helpful as I found Denyse Beaulieu's in France. Now, several months later, I'm finally in a position to publish it here on my blog.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ciao For Now - Summer Break 2011


It's hard to believe, but almost twelve months ago to the day, I published a post saying that Madame Persolaise and I were busy packing for our summer holiday. Well, that's exactly what we're doing today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Reviews: Fareb, Sucre D'Ebène, Manguier Métisse, Ambre Céruléen & Naïviris from Huitième Art (2010)


The unifying concept behind Pierre Guillaume's Huitième Art certainly seems promising on paper. "What would Chanel N° 5 be without its aldehydes," asks the range's dedicated website, "L'Eau Sauvage without Hédione, Angel without Ethyl Maltol, Fahrenheit without Iso E Super, New West Aramis without Calone." Taking his cue from the singular importance of these chemicals, Guillaume has decided to create a collection of eight eaux de parfums each of which is centred around "an all-new 'plant capture', an original plant-inspired accord or natural organic ingredient." The five I've sampled do, indeed, display the sort of Lutensian, base-like quality you'd expect from a scent designed to showcase a specific material, but the more obvious olfactory link between them is Guillaume's trademark gourmand sensibility. He may be scouring the earth for inspirational fauna, but on the evidence of these releases, he still likes nothing better than feasting on the wares of a sweet shop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Lynx Effect - Episode 3 Of The BBC's Perfume Documentary


If divisiveness is a measure of the quality of a piece of work, then Ian Denyer’s final entry in his Perfume documentary is probably the best of the series. Whilst presenting the story of the revived Grossmith’s initial forays into the glittering shopping malls of the Middle East, it charts the development of a new Axe (aka Lynx) body spray for the Brazilian market and touches on the extent to which perceptions of scents are affected by cultural conditioning. In other words, after tackling ideas of tradition in episode 1 and exploring perfumery as a form of self-expression in episode 2, it broadens the scope of its central topic and questions viewers’ definitions of it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is That CK One Summer On Your Dressing Table?


For the last few days, the atmosphere at Maison Persolaise has been filled not with the scents of lilial, isobutyl quinoline and phenyl ethyl alcohol, but melting chocolate, hot butter and vanilla. Yes, I've been avoiding my lab and spending time in the kitchen baking cookies. Sometimes I just need to indulge in activities that produce near-instant results. At least that's what I tell myself as I feast on the calories.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Snub Or To Scathe?


You know you're exhausted when you place an order for what you think is a new raw material only to discover that you've already got it in your lab. In this case it's cedryl methyl ether - aka Cedramber - a dry, spiky, vaguely vegetal substance. I saw it listed on the site of one of my suppliers, looked up its odour profile on the net and decided it would be worth buying for one of my current fragrance experiments.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mona Di Orio Draw Winner + Impossible Potion - Episode 2 Of The BBC's Perfume Documentary


Despite the best efforts of an eccentric, pipe-smoking, kilt-wearing American, the trans-Atlantic battle in the second episode of BBC Four's Perfume documentary is again won by France. In this instalment, director Ian Denyer abandons the marketeers and turns his attention to the people without whom the fragrance industry wouldn't exist: the perfumers. Through a succession of contrasting interview snippets with the near-legendary Jean-Claude Ellena, Christopher Brosius (of CB I Hate Perfume) and a few students at the Givaudan school, Denyer successfully conveys the unknowability of what makes 'noses' tick, if you'll pardon the muddled metaphors. Ellena tries to compare his work to painting, but the analogy only takes him so far. Trainer Jean Guichard claims he can teach technique, but not talent. And Brosius subverts all the established conventions by creating and selling 'real world' accords called 'cucumber sandwich', 'doll's head' and 'roast beef'.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: 02 Owari from Odin (2009)


You know the onomatopoeic 'sound effect' captions used in comic books? Well, Owari opens with a KA-POW, BANG, SHAZZAM! The top notes leap off the skin in a burst of yellow, green, pink and orange. There's fizzing grapefruit, zesty lime, tart apple and cheeky mandarin, shimmering before you like a near-palpable vision of fruity enticement that dares you not to start licking your lips. It's a cologne-like opening unlike any I've smelt for months, so optimistic, so life-embracing, so downright happy, it could probably put a smile on the face of every super villain from Doctor Doom to The Joker. Okay, he already has a pretty broad smile on his face, but you know what I mean.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Persolaise Inhales Again


I don't want to speak too soon, but I think it's safe to say that the Invasion Of The Day Job (Summer 2011) is just about over. If you experience a momentary gale force wind in your corner of the world, that'll be me breathing a sigh of relief.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wake Up And Smell The PR - Episode 1 Of The BBC's Perfume Documentary


Irony is alive and well... at least in the world of TV documentaries. After months of anticipation, those of us based in the UK finally got to watch part 1 of Perfume on BBC Four, and despite a few shaky moments, the hour-long comparison of Guerlain with Tommy Hilfiger was worth the wait.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sample Give-Away + Review: Vanille from Mona Di Orio (2011)


A perfume should be able to speak for itself. But on some occasions, hearing its creator explain the logic behind its formulation adds considerable depth to how the scent is appreciated. Mona Di Orio's Vanille - one of four new additions to the Nombre D'Or line - is a case in point.

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