Sunday, 31 March 2013

Warmest Wishes For Easter 2013

A very happy Easter to all of you who celebrate the occasion. Enjoy the feasting... and the chance to wear a suitably paschal perfume. I'm trying to decide between Andy Tauer's Incense Extrême (like sitting next to the censer at mass), Serge Lutens' La Myrrhe (rich, Biblical resins lifted to the heavens by aldehydes) and Arquiste's Anima Dulcis (nuns, spices... and chocolate!). Whatever I choose, I certainly don't want to be in wallflower mode today.

Have a wonderful Easter,


Thursday, 28 March 2013

FiFi UK 2013 Best Perfume Commercial Nominees

As we're approaching the Easter weekend - a time when I hope we'll all be able to slow down and rest - I thought I'd indulge in a post that's relatively light on text. So here are this year's FiFi UK nominees for Best New Female Commercial and Best New Male Commercial. Ladies first...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Persolaise Review: Entre Naranjos from Ramon Monegal (Ramon Monegal; 2012)

I seem to be somewhat out of step with my colleagues in the critical community, as I've found myself unmoved by most of Ramon Monegal's eponymous scents. However, I'd like to give a thumbs up to Entre Naranjos. It's not often we see a perfume based on a petitgrain note - maybe it's considered too heavy and metallic to take pride of place in a citrus composition - but I've long admired its twilit seriousness. Perhaps because it's extracted from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree, it manages to convey both the optimistic vim of the fruit and the deep earthiness of the soil from which they have sprung. Whatever the source of its appeal, there's little doubting its impact and Monegal has employed it here to admirable effect. From its unassuming, cologne-like opening, to the sophisticated intonations of its drydown, it presents multiple facets of its source material, coming across as a duskier, more Mediterranean Habit Rouge, with less sweetness, a heavier reliance on musks, and a top button undone to reveal a coating of dark chest hair. But don't worry: it's not too dangerous.

Other scents in the Ramon Monegal range may be reviewed here in the next few weeks.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Ramon Monegal in 2012.]


Monday, 25 March 2013

First Shortlists For 2013 FiFi UK Awards

The first few shortlists for this year's FiFi UK Awards have been announced and, as ever, they make for interesting reading. I'm always fascinated to discover which scents the industry chooses to single out over others. Cast your eyes over the following (the links are to my own reviews, where applicable):

Friday, 22 March 2013

Persolaise Review: Oxygen, Carbon & Hydrogen from nu_be (Antoine Lie, Françoise Caron; 2012)

Pick a concept for a new perfume brand. What hasn't been done yet? Scents inspired by famous authors? That idea's taken. Fragrances linked to blood groups? That one's gone too. How about the Periodic Table? Guess what, someone's beaten you to it: the Italian brand nu_be emerged last year with a quintet of compositions focussing on different elements. As far as overarching themes go, this one is nowhere near as silly as others - indeed, there's something appealing about the idea of fragrances reflecting the basic building blocks of the universe - but of course, even the most carefully crafted aesthetic strategy can collapse into nonsense if it isn't backed up by a strong product.

Tauer Perfumes Noontide Petals Winner

Heartfelt thanks to everybody who entered last week's 3rd Blog Anniversary draw for a sample of Noontide Petals, amongst other goodies. According to the Powers That Be at, the winner is


Congrats to you... and commiserations to everyone else. Taffy, please send an email to persolaise at gmail dot com so that we can discuss the other contents of your secret prize package...


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Le Snob: Perfume On Volatile Fiction

Pia Long, editor and author of the new Volatile Fiction blog, recently posted a wonderful review of my book, in which she described it as "the equivalent of taking a knowledgeable friend out with you to explore perfumes". Many thanks to her for taking the time to mention my work. To read the rest of her review, please click here.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Persolaise Review: Hellstone + The Bug from Gorilla Perfume (Simon & Mark Constantine; 2012)

Hellstone neatly sums up both what's right and wrong with Gorilla's Volume 2 scents. On the one hand, it features an excellent accord: vetivert, cumin and opoponax brought together by jojoba oil (rather than alcohol) to create a suitably incendiary landscape, in which fire and smoke mingle with sin and sweat. But on the other hand, it offers little beyond this accord. Without the support of contrasting elements to help its wicked character stand out, the central idea plays itself out fairly quickly and ends up stopping short of its intended destination. In another words, it's not quite as hellish as it should've been. But then, Purgatory-stone wouldn't have made such a catchy name.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A New Face For L'Artisan Parfumeur

Image: L'Artisan Parfumeur

Those of you who pay attention to such matters may have noticed that the publicity campaign for L'Artisan Parfumeur's upcoming Caligna (see above) marks a shift in strategy for the venerable house. At the scent's London launch, Marketing Communications Assistant Justine Lacaille stated that the brand is "starting a new chapter in its history [by] moving away from illustrations (see below) and using photography as a way to express the spirit of the fragrance. Photography is now more relevant and more contemporary. The brand needs to evolve."

Monday, 18 March 2013

Oh, To Be In Milan - Esxence 2013

One day, I'm sure I'll make the journey across to Milan for the city's annual Esxence perfume exhibition. But right now, all I can do is pore over this list of the participating brands... and drool. Therein lies danger; Hamlet talked about an appetite growing "by what it fed on". I'll be longing for Florence next...


PS Please don't forget that you've got until Thursday night (UK time) to enter this draw for a sample of Andy Tauer's Noontide Petals, amongst other secret prizes.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Win A Sample Of Andy Tauer's Noontide Petals + Perfumes To Enhance Your Mood

You wouldn't know it from the thin veil of ice that's covering Maison Persolaise as I type these words, but spring is just around the corner... which means it's time for another joint list. Olfactoria is our subject-selector this time and she's set us the task of presenting our favourite mood-enhancing perfumes. So without further preamble - except for a mention of a superb give-away at the bottom of the post - here we go...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Persolaise Review: Dries Van Noten from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle (Bruno Jovanovic; 2013)

After the phenomenal, double-whammy success of Géranium Pour Monsieur and Portrait Of A Lady, Frederic Malle had to consider his next move carefully. The latter scent in particular - a monumental rose floating on storm-clouds of incense - earned so much admiration from critics and customers that expectations  for the brand's next release were almost unreasonably high. Well, the next release has now appeared and, as has been widely reported, it marks something of a sideways move. Rather than being another entry in the main portfolio, the latest creation marks the first of a series of collaborations with artists in different fields, in this case, the Belgian fashion designer, Dries Van Noten.

Monday, 11 March 2013 Is Three Years Old

One cause for celebration leads to another: today is my blog's third anniversary! I'll mark the occasion properly on Friday (there'll be a special post as well as a give-away; you have been warned!) but for now, I'll just say that, as ever, I wouldn't be able to indulge in my scented musings if it weren't for all of you, my readers. Your support, kindness and generosity of spirit keep me going, even when the demands of the Day Job and the twists of what we fondly call 'normal life' threaten to derail everything. Thanks very much, everybody! And, as always, a very special thank you to Madame Persolaise. Here's to the next year!


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Persolaise Wins Second Jasmine Award

Richard E Grant dropped the F-bomb. Air kisses were executed with a level of skill normally reserved for Olympic sports. And I finally got to meet Bois De Jasmin's charming Victoria Frolova, whose iris scent enveloped her petite frame with the same elegance she displays in her writing. In other words, this morning's Jasmine Awards ceremony was an event to remember... not least because I was fortunate enough to win, much to my amazement.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Piccadilly Smells Of Jasmine...

First thing tomorrow morning, I'll be off to BAFTA HQ to attend this year's Jasmine Awards ceremony. Good luck to all the finalists and may the best articles win! Speaking of which, please click on this link if you'd like to read the shortlisted pieces. All being well, I'll post the result for the digital category here on Thursday evening. Now, only two questions remain: 1) which perfume should I wear and 2) will Richard E Grant sign my copy of his brilliant film diairies?

Ciao for now,


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Persolaise Review: Euphoria + Devil's Nightcap from Gorilla Perfume (Simon & Mark Constantine; 2012)

If you had to make a list of perfumery ingredients which convey intense excitement, what would be on it? Sparkling citrus oils? Fizzy aldehydes? Sensuous vanilla? How about clary sage? Evidently, Simon and Mark Constantine feel this sweaty, highly aromatic material is exhilarating, because they've placed it at the centre of Euphoria. That's fine as far as it goes - it's always interesting to learn about other people's olfactory reference points - but unfortunately the combination of the sage with other herbs, a few camphoraceous elements (possibly eucalyptus) and the hay/tobacco vibe of coumarin (perhaps from tonka bean absolute) doesn't quite hold together and leads to a very simplistic drydown.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Persolaise In Parfum Plus, The Middle East's New Perfume Magazine

ParfumPlus, a brand new perfume magazine, has been launched in the Middle East, and I'm pleased to announce that its debut issue contains an article by yours truly (regular readers may recognise it as an edited version of a post that appeared here a few weeks ago). If you'd like to view an electronic, flipbook edition of issue #1, please click on this link. The editorial team are particularly excited by this venture because they reckon it is the only current, mainstream, consumer print publication devoted solely to the subject of fine fragrance. They may well be right. I'm not sure I can think of any other perfume-only magazines. Can you?


Friday, 1 March 2013

Persolaise Review: 1932 from Chanel (Jacques Polge; 2013)

I've finally understood my problem with 1932: its conclusion doesn't live up to the promise shown by its opening. That's hardly a profound insight - and I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I didn't hit upon it the very first time I tried the scent - but I think it highlights the deceptiveness of this new addition to Chanel's Exclusif range.


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