Friday, 29 January 2016

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter - October to December 2015 [part 2]

Here's part 2 of my latest compendium of Twitter mini-reviews. Please note that, this time around, we've got a part 3; it'll be published soon.

Shalimar Cologne from Guerlain (Thierry Wasser; 2015)* 
Legendary animalic amber, freshened up - and made more populist? - with sweet citrus notes. Attractive. Fleeting.

Foudre from Parfumerie Générale (Pierre Guillaume; 2015)*
Fascinating, more-ish blend of green-marine notes & electric, inky metallics. Compelling, sci-fi Dune. Must try!

Amber Empire from Atkinsons (Maurice Roucel; 2015)*
We don't need another amber, but when it balances dryness and sweetness as well as this one, we mustn't complain.

La Vie Est Belle from Lancôme (Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo & Olivier Polge; 2012)*
Sugar sugar sugar. Yes, I suppose there are some florals in there too, but they're drowned in sweetness. Ghastly.

La Vie Est Belle Intense from Lancôme (Dominique Ropion & Anne Flipo; 2015)*
More sugar. Probably based on the premise that if you can't eat the stuff, you should bathe in it.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter - October to December 2015 [part 1]

Here's another digest of my Twitter mini-reviews, spanning the period October to December 2015.

Pallisandre D'Or from Aedes De Venustas (Alberto Morillas; 2015)*
Red rather than gold take on rosewood, with berries, incense & eucalyptus. Not unlike Lauder Pleasures (also by Morillas).

Ambre Cashmere from Nicolaï (Patricia De Nicolaï; 2015)*
As ever with Nicolaï, gorgeous drydown: textured, opulent amber; cocoon-like sandalwood. Well-judged citrus opening.

Eau Mage from Diptyque (Fabrice Pellegrin; 2015 reissue of 2011 original)*
Essay on salty-ambery profile of Ambroxan, with cumin for heat, sage for bitterness and, for originality, no florals.

Ôponé from Diptyque (Olivia Giacobetti; 2015 reissue of 2001 original)*
Flight. Soaring. Height. Speed. Gentle brushes with treetops. Clear-sighted, romantic blend of incense, saffron & rose.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Persolaise Shortlisted For 4 2015/16 UK Jasmine Awards

Please forgive a paragraph of immodest self-promotion. This year's Jasmine Awards shortlists were announced on Friday and I was delighted and honoured to learn that four efforts penned by me have been nominated across four different categories: 'Independent - Literary', 'Independent - Soundbite', 'Digital' and 'Practical Guide' (click on the category names to find out precisely which pieces have been selected). Out of curiosity, I decided to add up the number of my articles which have been shortlisted since I started writing about perfume... and I discovered that the total comes to a gluttonous 14! My cup runneth over. I'd like to extend warm congratulations to all the other shortlisted writers, many of whom are dear friends in the scent-writing community. To see the complete list of nominees, please click here. The winners will be announced on the 16th of March.


Monday, 18 January 2016

Super Scent - The Very Best Of Etat Libre D'Orange

Etienne De Swardt


It doesn't seem possible that Etat Libre D'Orange is only 10 years old. When it blazed its way onto the market in 2006 - in an opening salvo that contained the likes of Sécrétions Magnifiques, Rien, Jasmin & Cigarette, Vraie Blonde and Eloge Du Traitre - it cemented its reputation as a high-quality enfant terrible with such rapidity that it almost feels as though its anarchic swagger has been a part of the perfume scene for decades. It's a credit to the vision of its founder and creative director Etienne De Swardt that so many of his facetious fragrances are now considered classics of modern perfumery.

Several niche brands claim to be edgy, but at its best, ELDO has walked the walk unlike any other. Time and again, it has attached a novel concept, quirky imagery and an oddball name to the skills of fearless perfumers and produced bizarre, compelling works of olfactory art. As a result, it has become one of the most iridescent hues in today's busy perfume rainbow. Below you'll find what I consider to be its five most commendable achievements.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Persolaise Review: Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu from Bulgari (Daniela Andrier; 2015)

What's commendable about Bulgari's tea scents isn't so much that they offer a literal representation of the smell of the drink - which, to varying degrees, they all do - but that they evoke the air of world-shunning refinement - the sense of pausing all activities for a biscuit and a brew - that ought to mark every tea-drinking ritual. Even though, so far, each of the fragrances in the series has brought a slightly different sensibility to the table - the original, trend-setting Vert (1993) is friendly, Blanc (2003) is romantic and Rouge (2005) is energising - they all know the correct way to hold a cup and saucer. I'm pleased to report that the latest colour to be invited to the soirée - Daniela Andrier's Bleu - also performed well at its finishing school. Here, alongside the much-copied green tea accord, lapsang and iris contribute a dry, but not haughty elegance, an unforced murmur of sophistication. The requisite citruses are present, but they never attract undue attention to themselves. And the woods in the base are as cool as they are subtle. The result is the most tranquil member of the set, a quiet, gentle conversationalist, preferring the occasional, sage interjection rather than a steady patter. And even if, towards the end, it starts projecting a thinness that makes you question whether it might have skipped the 'never overstay your welcome' classes at Villa Pierrefeu, it doesn't slips into being offensive. Somewhere, on a plush liner, Mrs Moore is passing a slice of lemon to Professor Godbole, and the scent surrounding them is not unlike that of Thé Bleu.

[Review based on a sample of eau de cologne provided by Bulgari in 2015.]


Super Scent Is Back

After turning our attention to Lauder and Dior, the Candy Perfume Boy, Basenotes and I have decided to give the Super Scent treatment to what might still legitimately be called a niche brand. To find out exactly which one it is, you'll have to come back on Monday 18th January at 12:00 pm UK time. Until then, a quick reminder of the rules of the Super Scent game:

- come up with a list of the best perfumes from a particular brand's current line-up (ie no discontinued scents)
- ensure the list is based on the perfumes' current formulations
- don't share the list with anybody else until it's published

See you on Monday!


PS Do come back in a few hours for today's review post.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

"I Don't Actually Wear Anything" - An Audience With Luca Turin At The Perfume Society [part 2]

No event involving Luca Turin would have been complete without a sniff of some perfume. So once both speaker and audience were warmed up, Jo Fairley of The Perfume Society began spraying blotters with a few, pre-selected scents. Needless to say, they all elicited strong reactions, as you'll discover below. First up was Heeley's Sel Marin...

Friday, 8 January 2016

"Perfume Is Such An Irrelevant Thing" - An Audience With Luca Turin At The Perfume Society [part 1]

I know, I know, it's a new year and I should be looking forward. But living in the past doesn't always have to be a sin, so I'd like to begin my posts for 2016 by turning back to an afternoon in October when Luca Turin - you don't really need me to tell you who he is, do you? - popped into London's Les Senteurs and spent some time chatting to members of The Perfume Society, which had organised the get-together. Various scent-related topics were covered. Several perfumes were sniffed. Controversies were stirred with good humour: at one point, Turin claimed that awarding 5 stars to Secretions Magnifiques in the influential A-Z Guide he wrote with Tania Sanchez may have been "a lapse of judgement"! What follows is a record of his responses to some of the questions posed by the Society's Jo Fairley, as well as members of the audience. Enjoy!

Remind us how you got into writing about perfume. Had you always been interested in it?


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