Friday, 28 August 2015

Persolaise Review: Jack from Jack Perfume (Aliénor Massenet; 2014)

According to his exhilarating account of the creation of his first scent (click here to read it), Richard E Grant was advised to aim for a polarising composition. Nothing wishy-washy: people had to either love it or hate it. You can detect the fruits of that suggestion in the finished fragrance. Although Jack opens with a collection of materials familiar from most cologne-like releases (lemon, lime, herbs) it quickly moves into bolder territory: grapefruit*.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Risk And The Reward - Richard E Grant On The Creation Of Jack

In his engrossing online account of the birth of his perfume Jack (I'd urge you to click here and check it out) Richard E Grant describes a creation process rich with twists, dead-ends and unexpected developments. So when his scent was awarded this year's Fragrance Foundation UK prize for Best Independent Perfume, I decided the time had come to reach out to the actor and try to fill some of the gaps in the story. I'm pleased to say he readily entered into the following email correspondence with me...

Persolaise: The story of Jack - as documented on your site - begins with gardenia, but the smell of the flower doesn't seem to have made it into the final perfume. I read that you presented some gardenia to the perfumer at your first meeting. Did she try to incorporate it into the scent? Did it perhaps not work with the other elements? Were you perhaps warned that it's considered to be too old-lady-ish?

Friday, 21 August 2015

Persolaise Review: Ex Nihilo

I'm not sure my attempt at humour was appreciated. A few weeks ago, I was at the Salon De Parfums on the top floor of Harrods, being talked through the wares of the relatively new Ex Nihilo brand. And of course, as any of you who know its Unique Selling Point will guess, I was shown the workings of a large, highly-polished, cylindrical device they call the Osmologue. Essentially, the gizmo allows buyers to create semi-bespoke versions of the brand's scents by adding an extra ingredient from a pre-selected set. The process involves placing the fragrance inside the Osmologue, pressing a couple of buttons and watching whilst a few liquids are squirted into the bottle. As I stood gazing upon this piece of olfactory theatre, I was struck by the thought that the whole thing was rather like buying mix-your-own-colour Dulux paint at B&Q. So I decided to share this profound insight with my hosts. But I don't think they were impressed.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter - April to June 2015 [part 2]

Here's part 2 of my round-up of Twitter mini-reviews, from April to June 2015.

La Panthère Eau Légère from Cartier (Mathilde Laurent; 2015)*
Lighter, more accessible version of the growling gardenia. Might be tamer, but still has claws.

Eau De Cartier - Vetiver Bleu from Cartier (Mathilde Laurent; 2015)*
Exactly what it says: familiar, sheer violet leaf accord, now with clean, liquorice-like vetivert. Neat work.

Myrrh Casati from Mona Di Orio (Melanie Leroux; 2014)**
Compelling blend of mushroomy, medicinal resins with well-rendered, pink, spicy sweetness. Worth seeking out!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter - April to June 2015 [part 1]

Here come more mini-reviews from Twitter, covering the period April to June 2015.

Modern Muse Chic from Estée Lauder (2014)*
Somewhat more intense rendition of original's transparent white florals. Not sure why we need it, really.

L'Ile Au Thé from Annick Goutal (Camille Goutal & Isabelle Doyen; 2015)*
Astonishing start - you can smell the tea AND the tea bag! Violet, lemon & bergamot pop up. Low-key. Charming.

L'Homme Ideal Cologne from Guerlain (Thierry Wasser; 2015)*
Emphasises more mainstream facets of the original (ie 'freshness' & cliched woods). Ideal? No. Cop out? Yes.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Persolaise Review: Opus IX from Amouage (Pierre Negrin & Nathalie Lorson; 2015)

Top marks to Amouage for continuing to embrace the stranger territories of olfactory art. After the somewhat underwhelming Sunshine, Creative Director Christopher Chong has returned to the brand's Library Collection of scents and released Opus IX, a weirdly woody, animalic floral composed by Pierre Negrin and Nathalie Lorson. In much the same manner as that adopted by Opus VIII - in which unforgiving sunlight bounced off the surface of a flinty jasmine - IX makes no attempt to present a naturalistic demeanour. In fact, it makes a virtue of its synthetic composition, putting together a bewildering array of lab-made materials to make a statement that is unabashedly abstract.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Who's Paying For Your Magazine?

In June, Andy Tauer published some thoughts on his blog about the relationship between the media and the perfume world. If any of you are interested in the many ways in which advertising operates, I'd urge you to read his post (please click here) as well as the comments made by his readers. And the next time you spend an evening browsing through your favourite glossy, make sure you do so with open eyes...



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