Monday, April 24, 2017

Heads Up: Persolaise On Facebook Live Friday 28th April 2017 & In The First Issue Of Tauer Magazine

image: Andy Tauer

The realm of scent is probably the most enigmatic territory in which the Ape and the Angel meet: it somehow manages to be both entirely primal and entirely cerebral. It is a field of creation in which precision, technology and abstract intellect are employed to elicit inexplicable emotions, to grasp at desires, to cast light on shadows of memories.

A few weeks ago, the Zurich-based perfumer Andy Tauer launched the first issue of what he hopes will be a regular customer magazine in which he'll publish thoughts and views on the world of scent-creation. I was very fortunate to be asked to contribute an article to the debut edition, a few lines of which you can read above. The entire magazine is now available online to all, so if you'd like to read it, please click here. I do urge you to take a look at it, not just because I'd love it if you read my piece, but also because of Tauer's own account of a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, which sparked a particularly interesting upcoming release.

Whilst I'm in self-promotion mode, I'd also like to say - with a massive gulp of trepidation - that I'm planning to broadcast a Facebook Live video on this Friday, 28th April 2017, at around 12:00 pm UK time. Of course, the entire scheme could be derailed by dodgy technology, or a nasty cold or a whole host of other, unexpected developments. But all being well, I shall be in front of my camera on Friday, for the first episode of a new venture I'm calling Love At First Scent. The video will be broadcast through my Persolaise Perfumes page, so if you don't already know where it is, please click here. I do hope you'll be able to join me on Friday!

Persolaise

Friday, April 21, 2017

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter: January to March 2017 [part 1]


Here's a new Twitter mini-review round-up, this time covering the first three months of 2017.

Colonia Quercia from Acqua Di Parma (2016)*
Brave trying to do a mossy note. Linked with fruit-citrus aspects, it works well. Rather burly & saturnine.

Blossom Love from Amouage (2017)*
Hard-headed florals & mosses. Tough to find the love here. An unyielding quality at odds with the idea of blossoms.

Lilac Love from Amouage (2016)*
Confident retro chypre, with greens, lilacs, rose, patchouli & cacao. Maybe touch too loud, but likeable nonetheless.

Roaring Radcliff from Penhaligon's (Daphné Bugey; 2016)*
Promising, dry, earthy tobacco, linked with rose and cool spices. A pleasing combo, but fades too quickly.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents - Eau Des Merveilles Bleue from Hermès (Christine Nagel; 2017)


Another Sixty Second Scents video review for you: Christine Nagel's Eau Des Merveilles Bleue for Hermès... complete with painful French pronunciation.

To view the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Finally, to everyone celebrating Easter this weekend: may your feasting know no limits! Chocolate. Cakes. Sweets. Enjoy them all!

Persolaise

Friday, April 7, 2017

Persolaise Review: Pour Homme Parfum from Bottega Veneta (Daniela Andrier & Antoine Maisondieu; 2017)


I can't help but envy Italian men their sense of style. Yes, I know I'm making a generalisation as broad as the shoulders of Michelangelo's David, but spend a few minutes sipping an espresso in Verona and you start to believe that every single guy in the country is born reading a good grooming manual. Those bright red moccasins. The silk pocket square. A tangle of leather bracelets. Precision-cut facial hair. The pale yellow Lacoste jumper draped over a polo shirt. It's all so deliciously sprezzatura. This very particular masculine aesthetic - part nonchalant bear, part predatory tiger - has in recent years found expression in Daniela Andrier and Antoine Maisondieu's Pour Homme scents from Bottega Veneta. And although the initial version veered just a tiny bit too close to cardboard-cutout territory, its flankers have been more impressive, leaning away from the pseudo-citrus notes towards the leathers and the spices. That trend continues in this new 'Parfum' iteration (despite its name, it's an eau de parfum) which sees the tannery-centred base notes cling even closer to the wearer's skin. The trademark pine inflection is still present, but in this case, the sun has long set behind the trees, forcing one's gaze to pick out details in the dark: the undergrowth, the dying embers, the resinous vegetation releasing its scent into the sky. The effect is convincingly nocturnal, yet resolutely modern and urban... proving that even when he's shed the day clothes and slipped into his sleeping gear, our Italian gent never sacrifices the need for a high-quality fabric and some fine stitching

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Bottega Veneta in 2017.]

Persolaise

Friday, March 31, 2017

Persolaise Review: Superstitious from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle & Alber Elbaz (Dominique Ropion; 2017)


Frederic Malle isn't letting go of his broad brush. In recent years, the perfumes emerging under his label (both pre and post-Lauder acquisition) have become more voluminous and more robust, to the extent that it's now hard to imagine him giving us something displaying the delicacy of, say, En Passant or L'Eau D'Hiver. Indeed his latest - Superstitious, composed by Dominique Ropion, as part of a collaboration between Malle and Alber Elbaz - could well be his largest yet. And yes, I know I make this claim about a collection which includes the likes of Carnal Flower and Portrait Of A Lady. But there's no denying the scale of this thing, because that is its chief strength and, arguably, its most problematic feature.

Monday, March 20, 2017

She's More Than Mum - Perfume Choices For Mother's Day 2017


It's all too easy to forget that before she had you, your mum had a life of her own. You may have grown used to seeing her just as the person who taught you how to tie your shoelaces, nagged you to tidy your room and gave you an endless hug when you had your heart broken. But there was a time when she had an identity that wasn't connected to yours in any way. She was a princess when she wanted to be, or an adventurer, or a dreamer, a planner, a party-animal, a culture-vulture, or a lover. All those facets of her personality are still in there, although they might not have many chances to show themselves these days. Perhaps they need a bit of a perfumed prompt to bring them out of hiding. After all, there's nothing better than fragrance to help us showcase different aspects of ourselves. So yes, although Mother's Day is the one day of the year when you thank your mum for being your mum, maybe the best way you can do that is to help her find those parts of herself she's long forgotten. Here are some scented recommendations to help you out, all of which have been released within the last 3 years, just to help you stay up-to-date.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Persolaise Review: Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme (Alberto Morillas; 2017)


Woah! Don't ever let me say that mainstream masculine scents can't be surprising any more. After years of fobbing us off with various editions of the amoeboid dross that is Guilty, Gucci's fragrance output seems to have had a sudden awakening recalling the heyday of the Tom Ford era. What's even more unexpected is that they've slotted it under the Guilty banner and simply called it Guilty Absolute Pour Homme. But make no mistake, this stuff warrants a name of its own. Like some rocket-fuelled thruster burning a swathe through a cypress forest, it burns with patchouli-heavy, petrol-soaked leather notes so incendiary, they must have caused the marketing bods at Gucci to weep into their velvet loafers. How did this whip-smacking beauty get past them? Who knows? But apparently, the newish director of the fashion line, Alessandro Michele, deserves some of the praise. According to the official press notes, he collaborated with Alberto Morillas to bring this unexpected composition to life, providing just the reminder the mainstream needs that no amount of focus group testing will ever replace lucid, artistic vision. Okay, maybe the flames in Absolute don't project far enough - a concession to the pleas of the loafer weepers? - but that's a small price to pay for a startling, impressively linear, long-lasting piece of work that throws down the gauntlet to all other comparable brands. I just hope it delivers the goods at the till, so that Michele is allowed to have his way with the rest of the collection.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Gucci in 2017.]

Persolaise

Friday, March 10, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents - Blackpepper from Comme Des Garçons (Antoine Maisondieu; 2016) + Persolaise Turns Seven!


On the eve of the 7th anniversary of this blog (doesn't seem possible!) here's my next Sixty Second Scents video review. This one is of a perfume which I first brought to your attention several months ago: the rascally Blackpepper from Comme Des Garçons, composed by Antoine Maisondieu.

To watch the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Finally, I can't let the anniversary go by without saying a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's supported my writing over the last seven years, especially family, friends and all of you: the best readers in the blogosphere!

Persolaise

Monday, March 6, 2017

NEWS: Major Perfumery Exhibition At Somerset House, London, 21 June - 17 September 2017


This year's perfume calendar just became much more exciting: Somerset House have announced an exhibition they're calling 'Perfume - A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent'. In itself, this would have been welcome news. But what makes it even more attention-worthy is the fact that the exhibition has been co-curated by none other than our own Lizzie Ostrom, aka Odette Toilette, author of A Century Of Scents.

More details will be revealed in the coming weeks, but we can already tell from what's been posted on the Somerset House website (click here) that this is going to be much more than a simplistic, superficial commercially-driven gallery of pleasant smells. Crucially, it's going to focus on the role of the perfumer: some of the names posted on the site include Daniela Andrier, Antoine Lie and Lyn Harris.

The exhibition will take place from 21st June to 17th September and tickets are already on sale. All being well, I shall attend it myself (at least once!) and I suspect I'll write about it. Can't wait!

Persolaise

Friday, March 3, 2017

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter: October to December 2016 [part 2]


Here's part 2 of my latest round-up of Twitter mini-reviews. For part 1, please click here.

Eau Des Delices from Jardins Retrouvé (Yuri Gursatz; 2016)*
Classic cologne, with bright mandarine, bergamot and lemon notes. Simple. Wearable. Forgettable.

Jasmin Kama from Rania J (Rania Jouaneh; 2013)**
Heavy, mothball indoles over sticky musky-vanilla base. Jasmine as confection. I'll go straight for the cheese course.

Ambre Loup from Rania J (Rania Jouaneh; 2012)**
Mono-dimensional labdanum overdose, with suggestion of woods and spices. Rapidly loses any heat it may possess at start.

T Habanero from Rania J (Rania Jouaneh; 2014)**
Opens as wonderfully brash 80s man concoction - tobacco, nutmeg & strong woods. Grows too quiet, but remains charming.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents - Outrageous from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle (Sophia Grojsman; 2007/2017


Here's another Sixty Second Scents video review for you: Sophia Grojsman's Outrageous for Frederic Malle, which has just come out of its exclusivity to Barneys and joined the brand's regular line-up.

To watch the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Persolaise

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Persolaise On Feelunique - Sensual Perfumes


I suspect the folks at Feelunique were enjoying a spot of the ol' tongue-in-cheekery when they called my latest piece 'The Sexiest Scents Ever'. Or maybe they weren't! Either way, the article focuses on sensual perfumes, so if you'd like to read it, please click here.

Persolaise

Friday, February 17, 2017

Persolaise Review: Bois Marocain from Tom Ford (2009/2016)


The soundbites
If Bois Marocain were a colour, it would be a rich, iridescent mustard, somewhere between yellow and brown.
If it were an item of food, it would be a lemon smoked in a cedar cabinet.
If it were a sculpture, it would be this piece of work by Jaehyo Lee.

The review
Now that Tom Ford has brought Bois Marocain out of retirement for a limited time, I've found myself wondering why some fragrances are on what we might call the 'discontinuation cusp'. I'm sure the main reason is clear to everyone: the scents that get killed off are the ones that don't sell. But - the motivation for brands to make profits notwithstanding - there may be other factors too, related to the cost and availability of raw materials, or the need to stop a collection from growing too large, or the difficulty of reformulating a composition in response to anti-allergen recommendations. However, if we just focus on the cash question for a moment, I think it's worth trying to speculate why some perfumes sell sufficiently poorly to be taken off the shelves, but are not quite unpopular enough to be relegated to the great vat in the sky forever. In other words, what was it about Bois Marocain that didn't resonate with the great buying public in 2009?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

National Fragrance Day 2017 - Share Your #ScentMemories


Dior Fahrenheit reminds me of my Dad on family summer holidays. Of nights together for family meals, enjoying the warm summers without a care in the world and my brothers trying to wear the same scent as my Dad. When I smell the fragrance now it always takes me back to very fond summer fun.
Karyn MacEwan – Travel Retail Manager Aspects Beauty Company

The lines above are taken from ScentMemories.org, a site set up by Fragrance Foundation UK to gather the olfactory recollections of as many people as possible. In the run-up to this year's National Fragrance Day - 21st March - the folks behind the site are trying to encourage more scentusiasts to submit their own stories. So if you fancy being included in the collection, drop them a line. You'll find all the details you need on their site.

Persolaise

Friday, February 10, 2017

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter: October to December 2016 [part 1]


Here's a round-up of some of my Twitter mini-reviews from October-December 2016. Part 2 will be posted soon.

Carrot Blossom & Fennel from Jo Malone (Anne Flipo; 2016)*
More like sugary, soapy clover to me. Not what I'd reach for if I wanted sharp, anisic herbs. Innocuous.

Lavender & Coriander from Jo Malone (Anne Flipo; 2016)*
Ill-at-ease, surprisingly grating barbershop fougère, heavy on coarse lavender. Little coriander in sight.

Orris & Sandalwood from Jo Malone (Pierre Negrin; 2016)*
Synthetic sandalwoods can be vile, but here, the link with iris achieves a pleasing - if forgettable - effect.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents - Hot Cologne from Mugler (Jean-Christophe Hérault; 2016)



Here's my YouTube review of the latest addition to Mugler's Les Exceptions range, Hot Cologne, by Jean-Christophe Hérault.

To view the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Persolaise

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