Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It's That Time Again...

Prufrock said he measured out his life with coffee spoons and I think I'm beginning to do the same with mine, except I've swapped cutlery for capital letters. Not too long ago, I was stressing about the Top Secret Writing Project. Now I'm on the verge of embarking upon the Invasion Of The Day Job 2012. And in a few weeks, Madame Persolaise and I will be off on this year's Summer Get-Away. Time certainly doesn't hang about, not even for people with Big Life Decisions to make (there I go again).

Friday, 25 May 2012

Penhaligon's Twitter Give-Away + Persolaise Review: Oud Ispahan from Christian Dior (2012) + Wood Mystique from Estée Lauder (2011)

It wasn't too long ago that I was lamenting the inexorable rise in the number of oud-based releases. Although many people are willing to concede that some of these fragrances are worthy of attention and praise, most patient scentusiasts are now ready for perfumery to abandon its favourite fungal infection (be it natural or synthetic) and move on to something else. In fact, some brands are winning brownie points precisely because they've chosen not to follow this particular trend (think: Hermès, Lutens and Chanel), a decision about which they’ve probably got a right to feel more than a little smug, in light of a recent announcement from Persil. When a smell is poured into a fabric conditioner, you know it's probably gone past the point of no return from cliche country.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Magnificently Sweaty: Persolaise In Metro

Those of you who are enjoying the sunshine in the surroundings of England's flag-festooned capital may want to pick up a copy of Metro, which features an article by Ross McGuinness on the subject of body odour notes in perfumery. One of the pundits quoted in the piece is yours truly. Alternatively, you can click here to read the online version, or, if you've got an iPad, you could download a free copy through the Newsstand app. The item marks a welcome change from the usual fragrance-related stories in mainstream media, and it manages to cover a surprising amount of ground, from Penhaligon's Amaranthine to experiments in people's responses to the smells of hormones. It's well worth reading... but don't blame me if it makes you crave a long, cool shower on this muggy day!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Crisis? What Crisis? Just Hand Out The Awards

The UK FiFis came and went in a fizz of pink champagne and several semi-embarrassed murmurs of "Who's Kim Kardashian?" Personally, I was disappointed that nobody informed me that Ms Kardashian's date for the evening - a gentleman who looked remarkably like Kanye West - was Kanye West. Had I known his true identity - not that he was hiding it! - I would've taken the opportunity to tell him how much I enjoy his music (I still say Love Lockdown is one of the most powerful tracks of recent years) but I rarely read gossip mags, so I was utterly unaware of the fact that Kim and Kanye are currently canoodling.

Monday, 21 May 2012

What Do Arab Women Carry In Their Handbags? - An Interview With The Chairman Of Fragrance Foundation Arabia

During my recent trip to Dubai, I had the pleasure of meeting Shahzad Haider, the Chairman of Fragrance Foundation Arabia. He took some time out from preparing for the second Middle East Fragrance Summit to tell me about his work for the Foundation and the current state of the perfume industry in what has long been a fragrance-loving part of the world. To find out what he had to say, please click here.

And for a brief round-up of Thursday night's FiFi UK awards ceremony, please read my guest post for the FiFi USA blog.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Persolaise Review: Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia from Guerlain + Nuit Étoilée from Annick Goutal (2012)

Since he took up his post as in-house nose at Guerlain, the quality of Thierry Wasser's creations for the house has been variable. Idylle continues to attract derision from fans of the brand, as does the recent Shalimar Parfum Initial (although both of them have performed respectably over the counter). On the other hand, he's also given us the excellent Guerlain Homme L'Eau Boisée as well as a pleasant riff on Habit Rouge dubbed L'Eau (not yet released in the UK). It's almost as though he works best when he isn't under pressure to deliver The Next Important Launch. I'm sure the aforementioned Homme flanker is expected to make a return on investment, but it's probably a much lower-risk release than, say, the Shalimar, and perhaps this relative freedom from fiscal imperatives translates into creative liberation for Wasser.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

My Baby's Called Le Snob - More Details About My Perfume Book

Okay folks, here's the announcement I've been dying to make. The book on which I've been working (aka the Top Secret Writing Project) is Le Snob: Perfume and it's due to be published by Hardie Grant in October; click on its title if you'd like to pre-order a copy... or two...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

FiFi UK 2012 - Hall Of Fame

Yesterday I showcased the finalists in this year's FiFi UK Best Fragrance Commercial categories, so today I thought I'd publish the shortlist for the Hall Of Fame. The twenty fragrances below have been nominated by the FiFi committee as being worthy of special recognition for their importance to the industry and the art of perfumery. I'm told the winner will be determined by a poll that will take place during Thursday's event, but until then, I thought it might be interesting to find out which of these, if any, holds an important place in your hearts.

Monday, 14 May 2012

FiFi UK 2012 - Best Fragrance Advertisements

The FiFi UK awards ceremony will take place on Thursday (expect live tweets and Facebook updates!) which means this is an excellent time to have a closer look at the adverts shortlisted in the Best Fragrance Commercial categories.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Persolaise Review: Precious One from Precious + Idole eau de parfum from Lubin + Flora By Gucci Gracious Tuberose from Gucci (2011)

Somewhere, tucked away in an inconspicuous building not far from the City of London, is a perfumer who delights in reminding us what fragrance used to be like. And she should know: if Angela Flanders reads this blog she probably won't mind my saying that she no longer falls into the 'spring chicken' category. But then age is a state of mind, right? And the hearts of Flanders' best perfumes beat with more energy than the combined vital signs of the sheep-like, pre-25 fashionistas queuing for Marni's H&M collection.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Houston, I Think We Have A Training Issue

One of the joys of going perfume shopping is that you never know quite what you're going to get from an encounter with a Sales Assistant. The other day I was at a nearby branch of John Lewis and I went up to the Yves Saint Laurent counter, hoping to try the new Opium Vapeurs De Parfum.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Persolaise Review: Reckless from Roja Parfums (2011) + Yellow Diamond from Versace (2012)

It’s all very well encouraging fragrance houses to propel the art of perfumery towards the future, but sometimes, it’s beneficial to look back to the past. Most other art forms - literature, movie-making, painting - offer plenty of opportunities for a re-appraisal of what’s come before. After all, it isn’t difficult to hunt down old books or films. But perfume is a slightly different matter. As is well known, fragrances that bear the names of creations from bygone years may not smell remotely like their originals. And the contents of a ‘vintage’ bottle may not offer an accurate representation of what the perfume was like when it was first created.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Garbage Niche And Terrific Commercial - An Interview With Chandler Burr

There's a new kid on the social networking block... and it wants your money. It's called OpenSky and as 1.5 million people have reportedly signed up to its services, I assume that some of you have already heard of it. Essentially, it functions like a cyberspace equivalent of a personal shopping adviser: you open an account, enter some information about tastes and areas of interest, and then you wait for various industry experts (or 'curators') to present you with an array of products which, they feel, are worthy of your cash.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Angry With Blogger Again + Miniature Bottle Competition Winner

Well, well, well. Who'd have thought that seven little bottles would've attracted so many emails to my Inbox? I had a feeling last week's competition would grab the interest of quite a few puzzle-loving readers out there, but I honestly didn't expect to receive as many entries as I did. What's more, many of you scored 100% (I'd obviously made the test far too easy) which meant that, in the end, I had to turn to Random.org to pick the overall winner.


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