Predicting trends is a dubious business: as long as you do it often enough, a few of your pronouncements will inevitably turn out to be correct. That's one of the main reasons I tend to avoid the practice. But the other day, when I heard yet another person utter a prophecy which I've heard several times in the last few weeks, I began to wonder if this particular piece of prescience might be more than empty PR talk. Here it is: apparently, this winter, we're going to be treated to an 80s, 'powerhouse perfume' revival.
This may come as a surprise to those of you who are only just catching up with the 'light, airy, ethereal rose' trend, but there you go. It seems that in the run-up to Christmas, the emphasis is going to be on shoulder pads, Joan Collins and take-no-prisoners sillage. Time will tell if this does, indeed, turn out to be the case, but I certainly wouldn't be disappointed of the mainstream aesthetic became a bit larger and a lot bolder. There are a few signs which would suggest that maybe this prediction is more than mere wishful thinking. Apparently, consumer interest in pale, wan compositions is dwindling and sales of louder classics are increasing.
I'm not sure how accurate a barometer the niche world is, but things do seem to be hotting up there. L'Artisan Parfumeur have seen fit to create a mini-collection - authored by Bertrand Duchaufour - which they've given a decidedly non-bashful name: Explosions D'Émotions. Duchaufour's Vaara for Penhaligon's (originally a private commission for the Maharajah of Jodhpur) is unlikely to be a wallflower. And the latest offerings from Le Labo - Lys 41 and Ylang 49 - are notable for their ample proportions (reviews of these two will probably appear here in the next few weeks, but for now I will just say that you ought to seek them out, especially the latter, which convincingly channels both Opium and Aromatics Elixir). So... is it time to dig out that vintage bottle of Poison and search for the Dynasty theme tune on YouTube?