Here comes another round-up of my mini-reviews, which for the first time features thoughts I've posted on Instagram. That's why some of these are less mini than others, in case you were wondering. And of course, Twitter now allows more characters than it used to, so I expect the next instalment of these reviews will have its mini-ness diminished even further.
Wow! from Joop! (Christophe Raynaud; 2017)*
Petrol, patchouli & pine, with shades of burnt medicine cabinet. Very 'whisky-on-ice boardroom'. Preening musks in the base.
Lui from Guerlain (Thierry Wasser & Delphine Jelk; 2017)*
Low-on-clove, claw-less carnation, wrapped in sweet, creamy benzoin. Baby-soft at its core, therefore both safe and likeable.
VE Velvet from Uèr Mì (Jean Jacques; 2014)*
Pretty straightforward vetivert, after cologne-like opening of citrus and rosemary. More earthy and rooty than velvety.
XX Latex from Uèr Mì (Antoine Lie; 2014)*
Knock-your-head-back glue notes with weird florals produce glossy, stretchy, spicy, kinky, crimson gorgeousness. A triumph.
Tears Of Eros from Paul Schütze (2016)*
Undergrowthy, sappy, peppery ivy/hyacinth shifts to curious, hard incense/vetivert. Stony. Tears of a statue?
Behind The Rain from Paul Schütze (2016)*
Green twigs snapping next to roses & violet leaves. Vetivert-laced bonfire at end. Large, despite demure name.
Cirebon Paul Schütze (2016)*
Tart, viney citrus (orange or grapefruit?) ends with Schütze's much loved vetivert again. Metallic edges. Unexciting.
I See The Clouds Go By from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Grapefruit/blackcurrant opening leads to quiet cherry/plum blossoms and musks. Clear. Gentle. Mono-faceted.
Cricket Song from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Sticky, headache-inducing magnolia accord surrounded by cloying fog of musks. Good name, as it’s extremely annoying.
First Dream Of The Year from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Sharp, almost saline citruses + thin orange blossom turn into abrasive woods. Wake up before it ends.
I Am Coming Home from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Timid, pale spices (ginger & cardamom supposedly) over that pale muskiness that passes for tea. A cold arrival.
The Moon And I from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Fascinating, spot-on matcha accord, as earthy, bitter & leafy as it is serene. If only it stuck around bit longer.
One Umbrella For Two from Floraïku (Alienor Massenet; 2017)*
Werther’s Originals snogging Haribo in a sickly embrace. Hiding somewhere: a woody base. I’d rather get wet.
Scandal from Jean-Paul Gaultier (Daphne Bugey; 2017)*
Superbly cute bottle - shame the scent is yet another sickly sugar bomb. I guess the only scandalous thing about it is that the lady at the top of the bottle guzzled so many caramel puddings, she toppled over and fell into the pink juice.
Chergui from Serge Lutens (Christopher Sheldrake; 2005)**
I am in no ways a country boy, but every now and then, I do give in to the attractions of the great outdoors, many of which are bottled in the optimistic Chergui. Tobacco, hay and honey. All that's missing is freshly-ground coffee brewing on a cast-iron stove.
Allure Sensuelle eau de parfum from Chanel (Jacques Polge; 2005)**
Madame Persolaise and I rediscovered this oft-overlooked member of the Chanel line-up this summer. Yes, it's a variant of Dune, but it gives the dry-marine-floral-oriental structure a very Chanel twist with some prim fruit notes and an haute couture seriousness. One of those seductive blends you can imagine yourself falling into endlessly.
Acqua Di Iris from Ermenegildo Zegna (2017)*
An intriguing curio. It's ostensibly an iris 'cologne' and sure enough, it opens with a dry, rooty burst of the stuff. But then it quickly moves onto a woody, labdanum base that starts veering too close to 'generic man' territory. It's almost as though the makers weren't quite brave enough to stick to the iris idea all the way. If they had, this would have been a fascinating companion piece to Dior Homme, which also features iris, of course, but in a much more gourmand setting. As it stands, it's a somewhat reluctant non-conformist.
* sample provided by the brand
** sample obtained by the author