Friday, 31 July 2015

Persolaise Review: Chance Eau Vive from Chanel (Olivier Polge; 2015)

Olivier Polge's profile at Chanel continues to rise. A few months ago, the guardians of the double-C logo released his first sole-authored creation, Misia, but that was part of the Exclusifs range, which meant it wasn't granted a wide release. Now, his work has been allowed to enter the main collection, albeit in the form of a flanker: the third follow up to Chance, one of the house's bestsellers in North America. Perhaps the next creation we receive from him will be a fully-fledged, all-new feminine scent (isn't it high time the brand gave us one?) but until then, we have to make do with the flanker, sub-titled Eau Vive.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Persolaise Review: Jean Patou Collection Héritage

You may remember that last year, I was bowled over by Thomas Fontaine's reworking of the 1927 Jean Patou scent Chaldée, originally composed by Henri Alméras. The release of the reformulation marked the debut of the 'Collection Héritage', an attempt by the Patou brand to revisit and, if possible, recreate various highlights from their perfume archive. The Collection now comprises no fewer than nine fragrances. As they're all worthy of attention and as I'm in something of a completist mood, I've decided I ought to address the fact that many of them have been rather conspicuous by their absence here on this blog.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Persolaise In The Observer

If you're a reader of the UK's Observer newspaper, you may have noticed that yours truly was quoted in a perfume-related article published on 12th July 2015. The piece, by Rebecca Ratcliffe, connects the growing popularity of 'independent' perfume brands with the falling sales of celebrity scents. It's an angle which came as a complete surprise when I perused my copy of the paper: the likes of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Beyonce et al weren't mentioned a single time when Ms Ratcliffe interviewed me. Personally, I'm not sure there is a strong correlation to be made between the performance of celebrity fragrances and those that don't fall under the 'mass distribution' banner. However, I suppose The Observer is entitled to present the current state of perfume retail in any manner it sees fit... and anyway, I'm all for mainstream publications raising the profile of 'niche' scent-making. If you'd like to read the article, please click here.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Persolaise Review: Aquilaria from Nancy Meiland (Nancy Meiland; 2014)

An oud by any other name... would smell more oud-y?? When I saw that one of the scents released by the new, UK brand Nancy Meiland - founded by the eponymous, self-taught perfumer - is called Aquilaria, I let out a groan of dismay. It's depressing enough that we've got a torrent of 'oud' perfumes, I thought. If we're now going to be treated - and I use the word sardonically - to a swathe of creations featuring oh-so-terribly-clever twists on the word 'oud', then perhaps we ought to save ourselves years of agony and jump off the top floor of Harrods right now.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Persolaise Review: Panorama from Olfactive Studio (Clément Gavarry; 2015)

Edmond Roudnitska's words about the way in which a great perfume ought to begin have been widely documented. Years ago, he wrote that a scent should elicit a 'shock' from the wearer as soon as it starts, to jolt him or her out of comfortable familiarity. This shudder of surprise is, according to him, a prerequisite of originality and creative achievement. Although his statement has been quoted extensively, the effect of the experience to which it refers hasn't been dampened. And thank goodness! Because when we come across those rare fragrances which genuinely cause us to gasp with astonishment, the sensation is extraordinary, precious and almost impossible to describe with words.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

My Favourite Incense Perfumes In The Scented Letter + Brief Word On Olivier Polge Interview

I am genuinely excited to announce that the latest edition of The Scented Letter - the Perfume Society's Jasmine-award winning magazine - features a piece I wrote about my all-time favourite incense perfumes. As the publication is available only to fully paid-up subscribers of the Society, it would be unfair for me to list the perfumes I've included in my piece here on this blog. However, those of you who aren't already members may enjoy having your appetites whetted by these teasers...

Monday, 13 July 2015

Super Scent - The Very Best Of Estée Lauder

As promised on Friday, here comes the first instalment of Super Scent, a series in which the Candy Perfume Boy and I will compile lists - independently of each other - of what we consider to be the best perfumes from a certain brand. The focus of this debut edition is that behemoth of American scent creation: Estée Lauder.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Super Scent Comes To Persolaise & Candy Perfume Boy

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I'm fond of lists. You may also know that this passion for ordering things and presenting them in a numbered sequence isn't peculiar to it's a phenomemon that is rife throughout the entire blogosphere. So, in order to indulge this craving for compilation - and, hopefully, give all of you dear readers something interesting to read as you sip your skinny lattes - the one and only Candy Perfume Boy and I have decided to start a very special, semi-regular series on our websites. We're calling it Super Scent.

In each instalment, we're going to present a run-down of what we, individually, consider to be the very best perfumes from a specific, pre-selected brand. Our lists will be based on the latest formulations of the brand's current fragrance line-up. The twist is that we're not going to tell each other which perfumes we're going to put on our list. The revelation will be as much of a surprise to us as it will to you... and it'll hopefully lead to a lively discussion.

Our first Super Scent posts will appear on our respective blogs on Monday 13th July at 12:30 pm UK time. You'll have to wait until then to find out which brand we've decided to target first... but I will say that it is a MASSIVE global player, which means that nearly all of you will have strong opinions about what should and shouldn't have made it onto our lists.

Be sure to come back on Monday!


PS If you've visited my blog today hoping to find my usual Friday review, then I ought to tell you that it was published on Wednesday; please scroll down to find it.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Persolaise Review: L'Eau Corail from Nicolaï (Patricia De Nicolaï; 2015)

Trust Patricia De Nicolaï to prove that 'fruity' doesn't always have to mean 'loopy'. Had it been put together by a high street brand, her new Eau Corail would almost certainly have ended up as an embarrassing cocktail of cloying, synthetic-smelling stupidity. But in her skilful hands, it becomes one of those rare things: an uplifting, hyper-realist scent that doesn't rely on citrus cliches to create an impression of freshness. As though setting herself a challenge, Nicolaï has chosen to focus on what is one of the most poorly-rendered fruits in olfactory creation: mango. By surrounding it with melon notes, peach facets and suggestions of mandarin and grapefruit, she has presented it in all its fleshy, green, sweet-and-sour totality, together with an extra dimension of oozing syrup. It may not be as effervescent as a classical cologne, but it makes up for any lack in zing by exuding an air of innate chic, like the multi-generational residents of an Italian seaside town out for their evening promenade. One of the most charming examples of figurative perfumery I've tried this year, Eau Corail sees Nicolaï achieving the near-impossible: convincing us that 'fruity' can, in fact, be on a par with 'classy'. Bravo!

[Review based on a sample of 'eau fraiche' provided by Nicolaï in 2015.]


Monday, 6 July 2015

The Opposite Of Everyone Else - An Interview With Robert Gerstner Of Aedes De Venustas

Maybe it’s the rosé, but when I meet Robert Gerstner at a noisy bar at London’s St Pancras Station, he starts chatting away as though we’ve known each other for ages. The words tumble out of his mouth. His hands flit through the air, punctuating all that he says. His facial expressions span an impressive range, from ‘arched-eyebrows appalled’ to ‘pursed-lips conspiratorial’. And when he wants to lavish anything with particularly high praise - like the rosé, for instance - he looks towards the ceiling and declares that it is “faaaaabulous.”


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