Friday, 25 November 2016

Spices, Deserts & Body Heat - Persolaise Perfume Recommendations For Winter 2016

In recent weeks, much of my time has been taken up with writing articles for other platforms, which means that I haven't had many opportunities to share my scented views with all of you here on To try to redress the balance, I've put together a list of some of the new (and new-ish) releases which have caught my attention and which would make worthy additions to your winter wardrobe. I realise I've already reviewed some of them on this blog, but never mind: they deserve the repetition!

Here's the rundown...

Galop D’Hermès from Hermès (Christine Nagel)
Christine Nagel’s take-over as in-house perfumer at Hermès achieves completion with this impeccably balanced juxtaposition of a leather note with rose. Thigh-smacking earthiness on the one hand; eyelash-fluttering coyness on the other. The stirrup-shaped bottle is attention-grabbing too.

Au Coeur Du Désert from Tauer Perfumes (Andy Tauer)
More than a decade ago, Andy Tauer released his classic amber composition, L’Air Du Desert Marocain. With the help of the blogosphere, it became the stuff of modern legend. Now he gives us this extrait-strength version, still swooning beneath the power of labdanum and vanilla, but lighter on the smoky notes. Gorgeous.
In this literally leather-clad flanker to last year’s Dark Rebel, Rodrigo Flores-Roux builds up a subtle base of tanned hide, cocoa and woods underneath herbs, bitter orange and saffron. Perfect fare for those who fancy wearing heavy-hitting materials in a relatively unostentatious way.

Blackpepper from Comme Des Garçons (Antoine Maisondieu)
The trouble with most pepper-based scents has often been that their star material doesn’t stick around long enough for the after-show party. But Blackpepper is a tireless exception, using cedar, musks and new-fangled synthetics to keep the central spice note on the dancefloor all night long. A superb return to form for CdG.

Bond-T from Sammarco (Giovanni Sammarco)
Designed to evoke the atmosphere at a chocolate factory in Pisa, this is a snarl of cocoa, osmanthus and tobacco, whipped into obedience by a black leather belt. A striking, engrossing piece of work from a brand whose wares have piqued my interest.

The 70s perfumery revival comes to the fore in the latest addition to Amouage’s Midnight Flower Collection. A hairy-chested, flare-wearing groover, it combines herbs and a luminous patchouli to Saturday-Night-Feverish effect. Just watch out for those pointy collars.

Les Extraits Verts from Tom Ford
A quartet of compositions, unabashedly inspired by the decade that seems to have been on the minds of several scent-makers: the 70s. One of the most acclaimed masterpieces from that period is, of course, Chanel No. 19 and its studied, galbanum-based formality can be found in Vert Bohème, albeit in a less inscrutable manner. Vert De Fleur pulls of a similar trick, but with magnolia and a room-filling hiss of hyacinth. Vert Des Bois and Vert D'Encens are somewhat freer with their interpretation of the green concept. The latter focuses, as you'd expect, on incense, as well as on the camphoraceous aspects of firm balsam and pine, materials that aren't normally filed under 'green'. The former is essentially a radiant, turn-on-all-the-lights patchouli, made sparky with anisic notes. All four are welcome inclusions to the Private Blend range, as well as a sign that green scents may be back in vogue... again.

L’Envol from Cartier (Mathilde Laurent)
Cartier are calling L’Envol a ‘transparent oriental’ and you can see why. It’s based on strong herbs and patchouli, but it never sinks under its own weight, remaining suitably airborne thanks to perfumer Mathilde Laurent’s expert use of musks and aldehydes. Check out the intriguing, refillable bottle too.

Ella and El from Arquiste (Rodrigo Flores-Roux)
Inspired by the Acapulco of the... wait for it... 1970s, brand founder Carlos Huber and his regular perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux have fashioned a time-capsule of a perfume. With its honeyed chypre structure, Ella almost feels as though it contains aspects of the likes of Aromatics ElixirAliage and Chloe. But retro homage aside, this stuff also has a compelling personality of its own. Its masculine counterpart, El, is just as commendable. A modern-day Kouros with an ego as massive as its tank of testosterone, it pumps up its leather, patchouli, mosses, herbs and civet into a vivid evocation of bygone masculinity. This stuff has no idea what a metrosexual is... and it's all the more compelling for it.

No. 5 body oil from Chanel
Some perfume fans have been using fragrance in oil form for decades, so this latest version of No. 5 won’t come as an innovation to them. Nonetheless, it’s worth recommending. Although considerably quieter in tone than the edt or the edp, it retains that familiar aldehydic-floral signature and gives it a sophisticated, feline glow.

Everyone’s jumping on the oily bandwagon! Since selling his company to Estee Lauder, Malle has released several excellent body products, but this is the finest yet. Emphasising the berry, apricot and cedar facets of Dominique Ropion’s symphonic rose, it’s a seduction ritual in a bottle, with a texture as irresistible as a lick of molten chocolate. The all-black, amphora-like packaging is a triumph of minimalist design.



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