Friday, 14 December 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: August to September 2018 [part 2]

For more mini-reviews, please click here.

Mr Burberry Indigo from Burberry (Francis Kurkdjian; 2018)*
When you’ve spent 10 days crawling through a desert, even the muddiest water is refreshing. Enter: Mr Burberry Indigo - a modest oasis in an endless Sahara of masculine perfumery. Understated, cucumber-saline opening. The minty-lime-leafy air of Fahrenheit 32. A (relatively!) well-judged base of ambery woods and mosses. Nothing we haven’t seen before. But asking for originality in mainstream scent creation for men feels like utter lunacy at the moment, when you can rarely even find pleasantness. Drink the water wherever you find it.

Luna Rossa Black from Prada (Daniela Andrier; 2018)*
When you’re a person of the male persuasion and you don’t have access to a wide range of fragrance releases - or your budget is a touch on the restrictive side - you take your scented blessings where you can find them. Cue: the new Black version of Prada Luna Rossa. Let me be clear: this is yet another variant of the citrus-woody-amber theme that has become more ubiquitous than pouts in selfies and threatens to plunge the whole of masculine perfumery into the corner of hell reserved for those tree-shaped air fresheners so beloved by car wash companies. That said, it tries to inject some vitality into the genre in the form of a liquorice note - perhaps achieved by a combo of angelica and tonka bean - which lends proceedings a suitably saturnine air of darkness. It’s an idea reminiscent of the now discontinued Kokorico from Jean-Paul Gaultier (2011), a scent whose influence I’ve detected in a few recent releases, as it happens. I daren’t allow myself to see this as a sign that brands have finally decided to shake things up a little on the boys’ side of the shop floor. But we live in hope.

Eau De Givenchy from Givenchy (Francois Demachy; 2018)*
The kind of optimistic, orange-blossom-and-neroli cologne that makes you think maybe global warming isn’t such a terrible thing. Endless summer everywhere and people easing themselves into permanent smiles. Lovely work.

Cheeky Smile from Jusbox (Dominique Moellhausen; 2018)*
If by ‘cheeky smile’ they mean the expression on the face of Chucky from Child’s Play, then fine: they’ve chosen a great name. A frightening torrent of abrasive, woody synthetics and sledgehammer musks. This brand normally does much better.

Homme from Lolita Lempicka (2018)**
The excellent, anisic, sweet-liquorice accord of the original Au Masculin made spicier and boozier. A rare example of a contemporary, mainstream masculine that displays both testosterone and brains. Is that why it doesn’t have wide distribution?

Hypnotizing Fire from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Sweet leathers and sugary fires form a mysterious core to an incense composition with a vaguely floral drydown. Shades of YSL Body Kouros.

Golden Wood from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Intriguing marriage of honey, Tiger Balm and mimosa, with spices and a green, aldehydic fizz. Glows with an almost gourmand-like allure. One of the brand’s less predictable offerings.

Matrix Metal from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Intriguing showcase for a Givaudan captive (or accord) I’ve encountered a few times without being told what it is — metallic-semen-violet incense with floral aspects. Aldehydes thrown in as well. Super-synthetic, and in this case all the better for it.

Velvet Fire from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Not sure where the fire is to be found, but as a peppery lavender, this is not devoid of interest.

Magnetic Wood from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
A well-constructed mimosa, with the requisite creamy, fizzy, buttery facets. Don’t know what’s particularly magnetic about it, though. But then feng shui isn’t my forte.

Desired Earth from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Abrasive violet leaf paired with overpowering juniper-pine elements. Undesired drydown.

Guiding Water from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Impressively inoffensive marine note supported by well-judged dose of wood notes. For once, an aqua by which I wouldn’t mind being guided.

Royal Earth from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Convincing iris, with sweeping, No 5-style aldehydes and a burst of pepper, just to keep things interesting. Pleasant, soapy drydown.

Metal Flower from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
Musky rose, topped and tailed by aldehydes and patchouli. As familiar as it sounds.

Sacred Water from The Harmonist (Guillaume Flavigny; 2015)*
A paltry, unsatisfying incense, making excessive use of thin ‘mineralic’ synthetics. I can’t imagine any divinities drinking this.


* sample provided by the brand
** sample obtained by the author


  1. Carolyn Middleton14 December 2018 at 14:21

    "Metallic-semen-violet" - you've outdone yourself this time, Persolaise!

  2. I've seen the Harmonist on youtube before and thought they were gimicky/ sketchy. Seems like they mostly pass your seal of approval ��

    1. Well... I wouldn't say I've given them the most enthusiastic endorsement...


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