January 2006: 41 posts

Space NK Melodrama : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Melodrama was created by the perfumer Christopher Sheldrake (the nose behind Serge Lutens fragrances) for Space.NK, a perfumery in Covent Garden, London. It is a fragrance that pays homage to the 1920s, although its composition is closer to the aldehydic floral chypre like Millot Crêpe de Chine (1925), Weil Zibeline (1928) and Hermès Calèche (1961), than to the aldehydic floral like Chanel No.5 (1921). It marries the sparkling floral aldehydic canvas with the classical chypre accord, the mossy woodiness of which beautifully complements the sweet floral notes.

Beginning true to its name, Melodrama explodes with a firework of aldehydes that settle into an opaque veil over the top accord. A metallic green notes cuts through the aldehydic whiteness, allowing the floral notes to appear one by one. The sweetness of jasmine rises up to enfold the velvety note of bergamot, its sparkle dimmed in the white floral heart. …

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Fragrance News: Czech & Speake Dark Rose

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Contrary to the rumors, Czech & Speake Dark Rose is not discontinued. The company responds that “we have not taken this decision at all. As far as we are concerned, production will resume as soon as possible. Many thanks for your interest in our products.” Czech & Speake fragrances can be ordered directly from Czech & Speake website. Or contact Habiba (Bibi) Diarra at Tel: +44 208 983 7400/Fax: +44 208 981 7232. Thank you Micki for the information!

Serge Lutens Chergui : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Serge Lutens Chergui stings with hot spices that cover the skin like fine grains of sand, sharp, slightly abrasive and warm. Romantically named after the blood-boiling Moroccan wind that blows in off the desert during the summer, Chergui has the spicy intensity, yet its hot breath is tamed by the sweet and floral elements. Created in 2001 by Christopher Sheldrake, it is an Arabian Nights vignette in a liquid form.

The candied quality melts in the smoke whispers that fill the arrangement, like incense smoke seeping through the carved screens. The floral accord folded into the smoky layers of Chergui lightens density and sweetness, lending a voluptuous silky quality. The fine cured Virginia tobacco notes overlaid on the smoky leathery base give the composition a slightly masculine character, counterbalancing the sweet notes….

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Fragrance News: Chanel Appoints Christopher Sheldrake

Chanel has appointed Christopher Sheldrake as their new director of research and development for fragrances, reporting to perfumer Jacques Polge. Sheldrake was previously employed by Quest International and he is the nose for a majority of fragrances from Serge Lutens line. It is unclear based on the information available whether he will be exclusively retained by Chanel, or whether he will continue working for Serge Lutens as well. From Cosmeticnews.

Fragrance Article: Perfume and Politics, the Story of Coty

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“Two natural endowments are necessary to a fine perfumer—good taste and an olfactory nerve suited to segregating not only kinds of odors but their qualities. Coty’s gift for his career was an olfactory nerve, marvellously talented and acute. Its judgment, incidentally, was once unquestioningly accepted by a rival who was bringing suit. Though he began by exporting essences from the flower fields of Grasse on the Riviera, and can still be recalled later peddling his perfumes to the barbers of Paris, it was by way of his bottles that he really broke into the big perfume business of Europe,” said the fascinating article about François Coty published on May 3rd of 1930. Read the rest from the New Yorker archives. It is fitting to include an article on Coty this week. After all, his first fragrance La Rose Jacqueminot has been a major success.

I shall be back next week with the discussion of Shisiedo Nombre Noir and damascones, the materials that can range from roses to dried figs. Their glow is what illuminates Nombre Noir, gives interesting complexity to Guerlain Nahema and fills the lucid heart of Be Delicious for Men.

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