Friday, August 31, 2012

Persolaise Review: SE1 + N6 + W1X + EC2 from Bex London (2012)


I don't envy anyone trying to start a niche perfume brand today. In an environment where over 1000 fragrances are released every year, standing out from the crowd is virtually impossible unless you have a truly original scent or substantial amounts of cash to spend on publicity. Needless to say, many new brands have neither, and their products dwindle away into obscurity.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Home


Normal service is on the verge of being resumed. I hope you've all been well during my blogging break and that you've enjoyed the reviews that popped up during my absence. September is just a few days away, which means it's time for loins to be girded once again, although I mustn't allow this to detract from the joys of the holidays: it's been wonderful to have an opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months and consider the possibilities that the future might bring.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Persolaise Review: Eau Sauvage parfum + Addict Eau Sensuelle from Christian Dior (2012) + Premiere from Gucci (2012) + Eau Dynamisante from Clarins (1987/2012)


Most of Dior's recent alterations to their main fragrance range (fiddling around with the names of the various Miss Diors, tinkering with the Addicts etc) have been baffling, to say the least. But I confess even I experienced a moment of excitement when I heard that one of their new ideas was an extrait formulation of Edmond Roudnitska's iconic Eau Sauvage. As is well known, the fragrance had already been the subject of several updates over the decades, but this sounded like a much more serious proposition than a mere flanker. After all, it isn't every day that a major brand decides to release a parfum for men, let alone a parfum based on one of the most successful masculines of all time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When Does A Negative Become A Positive?


Every now and then, the question of the value of negative reviews raises its head, which is why a recent article by the restaurant critic Jay Rayner grabbed my attention. I'm not sure its contents chime with my own thoughts on the subject, but paragraphs such as the one below certainly made for an interesting read:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Persolaise Review: Mukhalat Malaki from Swiss Arabian + Perfume Calligraphy from Aramis + Encounter from Calvin Klein (2012)


It's always round about this time of year (can't think why) that I tend to be asked what makes so-called Arabic-style perfumes smell so... Arabic. If I were a chemist or the owner of a gas chromatograph (neither of which I am) I'd probably be able to provide a technical answer outlining the main constituents of such scents, but I'm not sure that would be terribly helpful in any practical sense. Alternatively, I could pass around certain raw materials for sniffing, but then that would be like trying to explain the taste and texture of a cake by showing someone an egg, some flour and a knob of butter. So I think I'll just try to be concise and restrict myself to a two-word response: Mukhalat Malaki, the signature scent from Swiss Arabian.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Persolaise Review: Notes + Bois Noir + Casbah + Mademoiselle + Oud from Robert Piguet (2012)


Fashion Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd - the company that currently owns the licence for Robert Piguet Parfums - was always going to face a tricky, 'turning the corner' moment at some stage of its growth. Its re-working of classic scents such as Bandit, Fracas and Calypso has largely been met with approval from critics and consumers, but a brand can't rest on past successes for ever. FFC took its first steps towards the future in 2011 by carrying out a canny interim move: it used the Piguet brand as a vehicle for designer Douglas Hannant's perfume. But now, the firm is venturing into wholly uncharted territory by issuing no fewer than five 'nouvelle collection' scents, all of which have reportedly been put together by Givaudan's Aurelien Guichard, who was also responsible for the re-creation of some of the classic fragrances.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Persolaise Review: La Petite Robe Noire + Déserts D'Orient from Guerlain (2012)


Some people complain that Guerlain is consciously trying to attract younger customers. I'm not sure why that's a strategy to be deplored. Surely the under-25s deserve to have their tastes catered for as much as anyone else, and I'd certainly prefer to see them reaching for Shalimar Parfum Initial or an Aqua Allegoria rather than, say, the new JLS perfume or the Big Pony women's quartet from Ralph Lauren (smell them if you dare... but don't say I didn't warn you). I also wouldn't mind if they went for the new version of La Petite Robe Noire, which they are reportedly doing in their droves in France.

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