Friday, 15 March 2019

Persolaise Review: Perfume - In Search Of Your Signature Scent by Neil Chapman (Hardie Grant; 2019)


Disclosure time. The subject of today’s post is not only a book written by a friend, but a book that includes Persolaise.com in its list of recommended websites and even mentions me - and “the legendary Madame Persolaise”! - in one of its reviews. For the sake of full transparency, I must point this out. That said, I can honestly claim that my admiration of Neil Chapman’s blog - The Black Narcissus - predates our friendship, which is why I feel I can legitimately recommend his wonderful piece of work to you. And putting my principles aside, I’d hate for anyone to miss out on discovering this important addition to the canon of scented writing, because Perfume: In Search Of Your Signature Scent is an utter delight.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Persolaise In Business Traveller + 9th Anniversary Of Blog


I'm pleased to inform you that the March 2019 issue of Business Traveller UK features an article by me on modern oud perfumes. It's available to purchase in both print and tablet formats; for more info, please click here.

I'm very fortunate to be included in Suzy Nightingale's latest piece for The Perfume Society on the subject of which fragrances people would buy if money were no object or if they were on a tight budget. To find out what my choices were, please click here.

A brief heads-up: the next episode of Love At First Scent will probably be broadcast at 6 pm UK time (2 pm New York time; 10 pm Dubai) on Friday 15th March and it will focus on Dior's exclusive range. I say "probably" because Maison Persolaise is currently suffering the consequences of some unexpectedly major repair work, so there's a slight chance I may have to postpone the broadcast. Please stay tuned to my social media channels for updates. I shall try to stream the episode on my YouTube channel this time (to mark the fact that I've just crept over the 1000 subscriber mark!) but if that doesn't work, I'll revert to Facebook. Again: see social media for updates.

Finally... I can't quite believe I'm typing this... but today marks the 9th anniversary of the start of Persolaise.com. A huge vote of thanks to every single one of you for all your comments, your kindness and your words of encouragement over the years. I am deeply grateful to you all. Let's see if we can make it a decade!

Persolaise

Friday, 8 March 2019

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: October to December 2018 [part 2]


A selection of mini-reviews published on social media between October and December 2018. For more, please click here.

Encens Asakusa from L’Orchestre Parfum (Anne-Sophie Behaghel & Amelie Bourgeois; 2017)*
Surprisingly Catholic incense opening - given the Japanese name - with the familiar strains of cedar and flintiness. We’ve had this several times before, perhaps with a less vanillic drydown.

Chanel body massage oils (2018)*
Back in the 90s, when everyone was either wearing or being surrounded by CK One, my favourite body product to accompany the scent was a massage oil. For one thing, the perfume worked beautifully in that particular guise. For another, it allowed you the rare pleasure of applying a fragrance not on yourself, but on someone else, with all the slowness and sensuality this entailed. Over the years, I’ve wished more brands would follow Calvin Klein’s example, but I’ve had to accept that maybe mutual perfuming just didn’t tickle our collective buying fancy. And now, look at what Chanel have gone and done. To tie in with their spa at Paris’ Ritz, they’ve released not one but four massage oils, each one housed in an oversized, 250 ml bottle, all the better to iron out the knots in those aching limbs, my dear. There’s a vanilla, a jasmine, a rose and what they’ve called an Orient. I’ve tried the last two and I can reassuringly claim that they’re as velvety, indulgent and supple as you’d hope, soaking into the skin at a speed that allows for a lengthy, all-encompassing relaxession. Their actual smells tend towards the subtle, but that’s to be expected: these aren’t replacements for the brand’s fine fragrances and I dare say they haven’t been designed to compete with them. The rose is a serenely smiling haze of pinkness, whereas the Orient is a soapy, romantic, incense-inflected vision of a decadent harem, as seen through 19th century, western eyes. They’re both a treat.

Cedarise from Hermetica (2018)*
Superb interplay between cedar and cardamom (with rose, incense and pepper) creates an effervescent, electric, very modern piece of work, a la translucent Mark Buxton compositions. Perhaps drydown is too musk-reliant, but the whole works.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Persolaise Review: Mont De Narcisse (Anne Flipo; 2018) and Bana Banana (Celine Ellena; 2019) from L'Artisan Parfumeur



Since being taken over by Puig, L’Artisan Parfumeur have fared rather well, I’d say. Penhaligon’s - which joined the Puig stable at the same time - still seem uncertain of their identity (although I’m reliably informed their Portraits have been a hit at the tills) but the respectful revamp of L’Artisan’s packaging was generally met with approval. And more importantly, many of their new scents have been given the thumbs up by critics, not least because they respect the brand’s quirky heritage and its idiosyncratic personality. Mont De Narcisse is a case in point. For one thing, it makes a pointed reference to the company’s past: it’s composed by Anne Flipo, who turned her hand to narcissus in the much-missed, limited edition Fleur De Narcisse from 2006. For another, it’s precisely the sort of Gallic, scene-conjuring fragrance L’Artisan have long made their own, from the bittersweet fantasies of Traversée Du Bosphore to the magical, Narnia-like vistas of Bois Farine.

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