Friday, 27 December 2013

Best Perfumes Of 2013

Don't look now, folks, but I think we've made it to the end of another December. Rose-tinted nostalgia goggles aside, it's probably fair to say that 2013 has been as interesting and eventful as most other years: new perfumers were welcomed into the fold at Hermès and Chanel; oud refused to go quietly; the Gatsby fashion revival fell flat on its inebriated face (thank goodness!); Nicki Minaj made a convincing bid for Most Hideous Perfume Bottle Of All Time; and, rather encouragingly, the issue of anti-allergen legislation seemed to quieten down a little bit.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Wishes 2013

I can't believe a year has gone by past since I last wished all of you a Merry Christmas. It's a cliche, but I honestly don't know where the time's gone. Something to ponder as I reach for another mince pie...

I'll be back on Friday with my list of the best perfumes of 2013, but until then, I'd like to wish you and yours a peaceful, happy and memorable Christmas. Have fun, relax, make merry... and don't be stingy with the brandy butter!


Friday, 20 December 2013

Persolaise Review: Oumma from 777 (Stéphane Humbert-Lucas; 2013)

If you're going to do something that's been done before, you'd better do it well. And if the thing you're going to do is artistically suspect and quite possibly mercenary, then you'd better do it damn well. I'd suggest this applies to almost all forms of creative self-expression. Take the world of film, for instance. Hollywood blockbusters tend to be showered with derision by high-minded critics... unless they're slick, watertight, Spielberg-style affairs, in which case they're lavished with praise of the 'not all commercial cinema is rubbish' variety. With high-quality, technical wizardry on their side, such films seem to quash any voices of dissent.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Keeping It Moody - Karl Bradl And Bertrand Duchaufour At London's Aedes De Venustas Launch

image: Aedes De Venustas

Mood boards, rare irises and the conservativeness of the French market all came up when I met Karl Bradl and Bertrand Duchaufour in London recently to talk about the launch of various products under the Aedes De Venustas banner. To read my Basenotes article about our encounter, please click here.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Twenty Blotters For... Neela Vermeire

Pick a blotter... read the question... give a short, snappy answer!

Although her eponymous brand has been around for a relatively brief time, Neela Vermeire has already managed to convince scent lovers worldwide of her commitment to high-quality perfumery. Her four compositions, Trayee, Mohur, Bombay Bling and Ashoka (all put together by Bertrand Duchaufour) speak volumes about her passion for fragrance and her love of rich, textured raw materials. I was fortunate enough to have a brief meeting with her in Paris a little while ago, during which I asked if she'd mind being accosted by my Twenty Blotters. I'm pleased to report that she said Yes...

Friday, 13 December 2013

Persolaise Review: Monsieur from Huitième Art (Pierre Guillaume; 2013)

Monsieur makes me angry. Sure, it displays the high levels of technical competence that we've now come to expect from Pierre Guillaume - it's diffusive, long-lasting and generally cohesive - but it's intensely irksome. For one thing, it appears to ignore the central premise of the Huitième Art range. Unless I'm mistaken, Guillaume wanted the scents in this particular brand to showcase important aromachemicals in compositions that would adopt abstract approaches to the presentation of abstract concepts. But that's not my main problem with it; I can forgive PG if he feels he'd like to branch out from his initial manifesto. My real gripe is that Monsieur feels like a betrayal. Of all the perfumery genres Guillaume could have chosen to accompany this scent's name, he went for the most cliched. With its citrus, dense woods, vetivert, patchouli and musks, this stuff is a stereotype from start to finish, keeping to dull convention at every stage of its development, not least when it reaches the drydown that borrows heavily from YSL's Rive Gauche Pour Homme. From a mainstream brand, this would have been par for the course. But from someone in Guillaume's position, it just isn't good enough. At a time when even a brand as ubiquitous and high-street-friendly as Zara sees fit to stock its menswear department with an evening jacket entirely covered in black sequins, Guillaume should have had the courage to present his Monsieur as anything other than a cocktail of woodiness. A cause for polite outrage, if ever there was one.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Bloom in 2013. For another review of Monsieur, please visit Candy Perfume Boy.]


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

"This Is The Moment To Do It" - Madalina Stoica On The Fairy Tale Beginnings Of Jul Et Mad

The story behind the creation of Jul Et Mad has 'PR gold' written all over it in letters so shiny, it's difficult to stop the cynic in you from questioning its truthfulness. But on the grounds that fact is stranger than fiction, it must be completely genuine. Its decisive moment took place when co-founder Madalina Stoica took a trip to... where else... Paris.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Home Scents For Christmas 2013 - From Diptyque's Mechanical Air To Kurkdjian's Supernatural Jasmine

You can keep your boughs of holly and your clove-encrusted oranges. If there's one thing that's enjoyable about the yuletide season, it's the opportunity to scent your home with olfactory creations that are as complex and evocative as those in our favourite perfumes. Fragrance brands are well aware of this, which is why the run-up to December invariably sees the release of several different forms of parfums d'ambiance.

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Osmothèque Reviews: Fougère Royale from Houbigant (Paul Parquet; 1882/1884?)

*** For background information on my Osmothèque Reviews,
please click here ***

Oh, what a monster we've created! Mention the word 'fougère' nowadays to a knowledgeable perfume lover, and you're unlikely to evoke an image of softness; the likes of Cool Water and Géranium Pour Monsieur notwithstanding, the genre is currently seen as occupying the rougher, more abrasive end of the scent spectrum. And yet the very first example of the type is a vision of tenderness, generosity and decorum.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tauer Advent 2013 - Explorer Set Winner

Thanks very much indeed to all of you who entered yesterday's Tauer Perfumes draw. I enjoyed reading all your entries. Sadly, there can be only one winner, and on this occasion the lucky person is

Forrest Aubel

Congratulations to you! Please send your postal details to persolaise at gmail dot com so that I can forward them to Tauer Perfumes. And please do remember to let me know which scents you'd like in your Explorer Set. Note that not all the perfumes in the Tauer range are available in the 15 ml size; for more info, please click here.

Commiserations to everyone else... but don't despair! You still have many more chances to win a Tauer prize; click here to find out how.

Finally, my thanks again to Andy for inviting me to join his programme of Advent give-aways.


PS Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the first of my Osmothèque Reviews.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Persolaise's Osmothèque Reviews + Andy Tauer's Advent Give-Away

*** To skip to the Tauer Perfumes Advent Draw,
please scroll to the bottom of this post. ***

I've decided that we need to build a nuclear bunker around the whole of Versailles. One of these days, our appetite for destruction may get the better of us and we might reduce our planet to a gallery of empty shopping malls and a mountain of paper coffee cups. So we need to be prepared. Because if a few human beings survive the apocalypse, they'll have to be made aware of the glories that came before them. And that's why Versailles needs to be protected.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Persolaise Gets Angry In ParfumPlus

I'm pleased to announce that the latest issue of Dubai-based ParfumPlus magazine features a piece by yours truly. Some of you may recognise the article: it was first published here on a little while ago. Please click here to be re-directed to a 'flipbook' version of it. Do take the time to check out the Bertrand Duchaufour interview too; it features some excellent photo portraits of him.


PS Please be sure to come back on Wednesday for a very exciting, one-day-only give-away!


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