Friday, 30 December 2011

The Best Perfumes Of 2011 & Thoughts On Independence

Although I sometimes complain about a lack of interesting perfume releases, I must admit that I found it difficult to whittle today’s list down to ten. Looking back over my notes of the last twelve months, I realise that several worthwhile creations have hit the shelves, some of which (fingers crossed) may still be around in fifteen or twenty years’ time. Like all the best fragrances, those on my list are marked by decisiveness: they showcase the perfumer’s central idea in no uncertain terms, allowing very little (if anything) to shake them off the path they intend to follow. As far as their specific olfactory profiles are concerned, many of them are heavy, diffusive, woody and resinous. This may, of course, be little more than a reflection of my own tastes, but I’d argue that it’s indicative of serious perfumers' desires to separate themselves from the safe, wishy-washy personalities of most offerings.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Persolaise Does Broadway

How did Day 1 of Christmas 2011 go for you? Did Santa bring you lots of fragrant goodies? Our get-together was a great success, even if its conclusion did come straight out of left field. One member of the family decided to type the words 'Disney Karaoke' into YouTube's search box and then... well, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you what happened next. Two hours later, we were still making the walls shake to the sound of our increasingly hoarse voices. The only moment of (relative) silence came when everyone was struck dumb with astonishment and turned to gawp at yours truly as I launched into a word-perfect rendition of Prince Ali.

Don't forget that today is only Day 4 of the yuletide season and that we're supposed to keep the celebrations going until Twelfth Night. So as you reach for another mince pie, please make a mental note to come back here on the 30th for my list of the best fragrances of the year.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Wishes 2011

I'd like to wish all my readers and supporters who celebrate the yuletide season a peaceful, memorable and fragrant Christmas. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the festivities. Enjoy the company of family and friends. Oh, and enjoy hunting for perfume bottles beneath the tree.

I'll be back on the 30th with my list of the Top 10 perfumes of 2011.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Break 2011

I'm just checking in today to say that posts will be a bit thin on the ground for the next two weeks as our focus at Maison Persolaise turns from work to family (and a brief hop across the Channel). I hope you all enjoy the hectic, messy madness that comes with preparing turkeys, mince pies and royal icing.

Have fun!


PS Advance warning: I'll be posting my list of the best perfumes of 2011 on the 30th.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Persolaise Review: Patchouli Impérial from Christian Dior and Sharif from Profumo Italia (2011)

[Review of Patchouli Impérial based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Christian Dior in 2011; review of Sharif based on a sample provided by Profumo Italia in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Andy Tauer recently wrote on his blog about a distillation of patchouli oil which is particularly rich in patchoulol. The substance is, in his words, a “Fifth Avenue patchouli”, an elegant, refined material that seems to project sophistication with every moment of its development. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ingredient – or something very similar to it – is the star player in Dior’s new addition to the Collection Privée, Francois Demachy's Patchouli Impérial.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ormonde Jayne Winner + Back To Grasse

After a weekend spent decorating the house (under the watchful eye of Madame Persolaise, who has had to stay in bed for the last few days thanks to a nasty viral infection) I can confidently announce that we are ready for Yuletide 2011. The gentleman you see in the photo above has taken up residence in his usual spot beneath some fairy lights. He's been part of our decorations for several years now, and although all of us find his face quite frightening, we can't bear not to bring him out year after year.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mona Di Orio (1969-2011)

Photo: Les Senteurs

I’m sure most of you have heard the sad news that Mona Di Orio unexpectedly passed away on Friday. Several blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have featured tributes to the French perfumer, who was one of the last people to have been trained by the great master of 20th century fragrance construction, Edmond Roudnitska.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Persolaise Christmas 2011 Recommendations + Ormonde Jayne Give-Away

My love of list-making isn’t often reflected on my blog – mainly because I rarely seem to have the time to indulge in this most boyish of activities – but Advent is a time of year when everyone gives in to geekery and publishes endless charts of favourites. Fingers crossed, I should be able to post my personal rundown of the best fragrances of 2011 before the year is out, but today, I’d like to direct my thoughts to the empty space beneath the Christmas tree and provide you with a few ideas for last-minute yuletide gifts. So without further ado…

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tauer Winner + Friday Give-Away Teaser...

Well, well, well. Who would've thought that a relatively simple question about the highs and lows of 2011 would've generated so many touching responses? (If you're not sure what I'm referring to, please take a look at the comments on my previous post.) Thank you very much indeed for entering the Tauer draw and for sharing so many personal details about your lives. It's heart-warming to be reminded that although we're all separated by culture and geography, most of us have the same hopes, fears, joys and worries.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

End Of Movember + 24 Hour Tauer Advent Give-Away

I know the world of retail has wanted us to believe that it's been Christmas since the end of September, but for those of us who don't shy away from the religious aspect of the celebrations, the countdown to the festive season didn't actually begin until a week ago, when the church calendar marked the first Sunday of Advent. Now's the proper time to begin reflecting on the year that's been... whilst finding creative ways of justifying the consumption of mince pies. (Speaking of which, has anyone tried Waitrose's puff pastry variety? Dangerously impressive!)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Paris-London from Guerlain & Apuldre from Molton Brown (2011)

[Review of Paris-London based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Guerlain in 2011; review of Apuldre based on a sample of eau de parfum obtained in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

Geographical locations are obvious sources of inspiration for fragrances because, unlike films, novels, photographs and sculptures, they come ready-made with their own smells. Of course, these odours are usually free to be experienced and absorbed by anybody, which means that the perfumer has to work doubly hard to convince the wearer that his or her formula is a faithful representation of the place in question. Perhaps this explains why so many space-specific fragrances are disappointing: they set themselves a near-impossible task and end up presenting what feels like a tourist’s point-of-view, as opposed to a local’s inside knowledge.


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