Saturday, 26 March 2016

Best Wishes For Easter 2016

To all of you celebrating the imminent conclusion of Lent: a very happy Easter. Forget about guilt, enjoy the feasting and permit yourselves to indulge in excess!

My warmest wishes,


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Persolaise Review: Bottega Veneta Pour Homme Essence Aromatique (Amandine Marie; 2016)

Where's the line between old-school masculines which are too... well... old-school and those which don't feel out of place in a contemporary setting? Is it somewhere near notions of transparency: do we now read 'opaque' as 'dated'? Or is it connected with legibility: do we require modern creations to present their constituents in lucid, easily-comprehensible layers? Wherever the boundary lies, I'd say Amandine Marie has found it in this latest addition to the solid Bottega Veneta range. A flanker of sorts to 2013's Pour Homme, this Essence Aromatique takes a simple accord - patchouli and pine - bolsters it with a thigh-slapping, vetivert-heavy leather, and then lightens it with a dew-laden, woodland breeze to create an endearing 'nouveau cologne'. It's diffusive and long-lasting, but it's also as weightless as a sliver of lemon zest floating on the surface of Lake Como. By the way, in case you didn't know, 2 years ago, BV also gave us an Essence Aromatique rendition of their signature women's perfume. A subtle 'skin scent', it places citrus and floral notes beneath a layer of gauze through which you can just discern the shape of full lips and alabaster cheekbones. Well worth checking out.

[Review based on a sample of eau de cologne provided by Bottega Veneta in 2016.]


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Persolaise Wins 4th Jasmine Award + Final Reminder About Aerin Event

Yesterday, I had the tremendous and unexpected honour of winning a Jasmine Award - my fourth! - for an article I wrote for the Perfume Society's Scented Letter about my favourite incense perfumes. I can't link to it here because you have to be a member of the Society to be able to read it, but for an appetite-whetting snippet, please click here. I'd like to thank the Jasmine judges for selecting my piece, the folks at the Society for publishing it and the people at Fragrance Foundation UK for putting together another memorable awards ceremony.

I'd also like to point out that my win was one of several endorsements of the talents of those involved with the Perfume Society. Kim Parker's victorious piece for Red Magazine was about the Society's popular 'smell training' sessions. Jo Fairley - who is, of course, one of the co-founders of the Society - won an award for a piece she wrote for the Telegraph. And Suzy Nightingale - a senior writer at the Society - won the literary award for an article about synaesthesia. Congrats to them all, as well as to the other winners!

On a different note, I'd like to remind you that your time is almost up if you'd like to buy a ticket for my Aerin event at Selfridges London on Monday evening. Please come along if you can! It's going to be great fun. For full details, click here.


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

"Treading In Funny Territory" - Rodrigo Flores-Roux At The Launch Of John Varvatos Dark Rebel

I haven't had many opportunities to meet Givaudan's Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Neroli Portofino, Anima Dulcis, Oeillet Bengale, amongst several others), but each time our paths have crossed, I've bemoaned the fact that he doesn't fly over from the States very often. Not only is he an entertaining character, but he's able to engage in discussions about perfume with equal measures of concrete detail and more abstract, conceptual input. He's also adept at being reflective about his own work, an attribute not frequently found in scent-creators. So when I interviewed him at the London launch of Dark Rebel from John Varvatos (the brand whose entire fragrance range has been created by the Mexican perfumer) I knew he wouldn't mind becoming quite technical with his descriptions of his newest baby.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Persolaise Review: Opus X from Amouage (Pierre Negrin & Annick Menardo; 2016)

If the number of comments a perfume receives is a direct measure of the distinctiveness of its personality, then Amouage's Opus X (composed by Pierre Negrin and none other than Annick Menardo) is an early contender for Most Striking Fragrance of 2016. When I took it out for its test drive, the observations that were thrown my way ranged from "Have you hidden an old lady in your office?" to "It's like a bouquet of carnations!" and "You mean you actually chose to smell of wood polish?" and, most telling of all, a low, skin-tingling, "Mmmmmmmm." In other words, with his latest release, Creative Director Christopher Chong has shown no sign of diluting the bold, polarising aesthetic which he's made the key feature of his Library Collection. In Opus X, the material he passes through his weirdness-loving sensibility is rose, a substance he tackled years ago in the well-regarded Lyric. The latter doesn't lack drama, but Opus X is like her mad sister, leonine, fiery and lethally unpredictable. Yes, the furniture polish aspect of its construction is troublesome - there are times it pushes the whole too close to the realms of the overly synthetic - but it's also the very thing which gives it an edge. In combination with pepper, an animalic amber and a disturbing paint/plastic accord (reportedly designed to evoke the varnish on a violin) it creates a memorable experience that is forever hovering somewhere between a howl and a caress.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Amouage in 2016.]


Persolaise Turns 6

If there's anything the passage of the last 12 months has taught me, it's that... well... nothing moves as relentlessly as time. However, today, I'd like to take just a few minutes out of the hectic whirlwind around me to mark the fact that is now 6 years old. I know I've said this several times in the past, but it remains true: I would never have carried on publishing these posts for as long as I have if it hadn't been for the support and encouragement of my readers. So I'd like to shout out a massive THANK YOU to each and every single one of you. You make it all worthwhile!

My regular Friday review will be published later today. And please don't forget that I'm giving a talk at Selfridges London on the evening of 21st March. For more details, please click here.


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Persolaise & Aerin At Selfridges On 21st March

It's the eve of the 6th anniversary of my blog, which makes me doubly excited to announce that I'll be talking about my passion for perfume, my scented writing and, most importantly, the Aerin fragrance collection at Selfridges London on National Fragrance Day, Monday 21st March. If you happen to be free on that evening, please call the number below to book your ticket. I hope you can make it. It would be great to see you there!

The official info for the event is as follows:

Love fragrance? We invite you to celebrate National Fragrance Day in Selfridges Oxford Street, London, on Monday 21st March and discover the world of AERIN Beauty.

AERIN Beauty, in partnership with Dariush Alavi, acclaimed writer, perfume critic and editor of the award-winning, will be hosting this event in ‘The Corner Restaurant & Champagne Bar on 2’, Second Floor, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

The evening will offer an exploration of fragrance and provide insight into the inspiration behind the AERIN Beauty collection. You will have the opportunity to receive a personalised consultation and speak with our fragrance experts.

Enjoy refreshments and canapés throughout the evening and receive a goodie bag on departure from the event.

Book your place by calling the Selfridges team on 0207 318 3702.

£20 booking fee applies, redeemable against purchase.

We look forward to welcoming you,

The Selfridges Team.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Best Perfumes Of 2015 In ParfumPlus

The latest edition of the Middle East's ParfumPlus magazine features my run-down of the best perfumes of last year. If you'd like to read it, please click here. For an Arabic translation of the piece, please click here.



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