October 2007: 7 posts

Top Ten Fall Fragrances 2007

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I already began to crave fall, my favorite season, in August. By the time November rolled around—delivering little, if any fall, my longing for the autumnal rites became quite intense. I wanted to see the city filled with the chilly golden light, to wear my new red satin trench, to be delighted by the ochre maple leaves scattered on the wet sidewalk, to read Nabokov’s Speak, Memory in front of the fireplace (is there a better book suited for such a setting?)… If I could not have my autumn, I would have to conjure it. The list below (in no particular order) includes some of my favorite scents that usually bring on the autumnal mood. If you have any of your own favorites, please share them with me. …

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Jean Claude Ellena Interview in LA Times

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“I have no interest in trying to reproduce nature … I want to transform it, create olfactory illusions. Perfume isn’t only about the scent of flowers. I can add molecules to make a fragrance harsh, soft, dry, fresh, bubbly, light, cool and warm,” says perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena in the LA Times article Perfume’s Master of Minimalism. The article notes various inspirations for some of Ellena’s famous creations, such as a glass of champagne served on a platter lined with fig leaves (Jardin en Mediterranée) or floral tonalities of Hermès leather (Kelly Calèche). The piece also quotes Jean Kerléo, the former head perfumer for Jean Patou and the founding president of the Osmothèque. Highly recommended reading!

Photo of Jean-Claude Ellena from Wikipedia.

Prada Infusion d’Iris : 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.

“They were black when she was in shadow and dark blue in full daylight.” I smell Infusion d’Iris, the latest fragrance from Prada, and Gustav Flaubert’s description of Emma Bovary’s eyes floats up in mind. Is it because I just finished re-reading Madame Bovary and the phrase is still fresh in my memory? Or is it because I find that Infusion d’Iris exhibits the marked diversity of nuances, much like the eyes of beautiful Emma? …

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Brin de Reglisse : New Hermessence Fragrance

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Hermessence range is soon to be joined by Brin de Réglisse. It is a 7th fragrance in the line, which already includes Rose Ikebana, Poivre Samarcande, Ambre Narguilé, Osmanthe Yunnan, and Paprika Brasil. While the name means “a blade of licorice” (as in “a blade of grass”, a small quantity), the composition was inspired by lavender. In the interview the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena gave to L’Express, he described how he wanted his lavender to be intense and dry, like the lavender one smells in the South of France, when the strong cold wind (mistral) blows through the area in June. His idea was to streamline lavender and render it as a “clean line.” As he concludes, “Nothing is more complex than simplicity.” Thanks to Paola for the link.

Photo from Moosey’s Country Garden, a beautiful website about gardening.

Hermes Caleche Fleurs de Mediterranee : Perfume News

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Neiman Marcus is now featuring the limited edition fragrance by Hermès, Calèche Fleurs de Méditerranée. Originally created in 2003 by Jean-Claude Ellena, Calèche Fleurs de Méditerranée is inspired by the Mediterranean gardens and their scents–rose, jasmine, mimosa. The fragrance, airy and luminous, is based on the notes of Moroccan mimosa, Turkish rosa damascena, Egyptian jasmine, with the additional notes of beeswax and heliotrope. It is very much in the elegant and streamlined Ellena style. Only 2500 bottles of Soie de Parfum will be available exclusively at Neiman Marcus.

Moreover, Parfum-Echecs reports that Un Brin de Réglisse, a composition based on the notes of licorice, will join the Hermessence range, which already includes Rose Ikebana, Poivre Samarcande, Ambre Narguilé, Osmanthe Yunnan, and Paprika Brasil.

Photo from Osmoz.

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