September 2010: 8 posts

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise : Perfume Review

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Heure exquise

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

The allure of the Annick Goutal house lies in the sheer diversity of genres within its portfolio, from bold Sables to delicate Duel, from vivacious Grand Amour to demure Le Chèvrefeuille, from femme fatale Passion to puerile Petite CherieHeure Exquise is one of the most classical compositions from the house, a soft floral orchestration dominated by iris.

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Chanel Egoiste and Egoiste Platinum : Fragrance Review

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Why is the idea of smelling “as if you’ve just come out of the shower” so alluring? If American women want to smell “sexy clean” (a very common client request!), American men are not far behind. The idea of a clean, “just out of the shower” sensation is the reason that the masculine fragrance market, both in the US and in Europe, is dominated by fresh, marine, citrusy blends. No wonder, Dior Homme with its lush iris note was such an avant-garde launch in 2005! Despite the generally conservative masculine market, some masculine scents reveal facets and combinations that are truly inspiring. One such fragrance is Chanel Égoïste, which was created by Chanel in-house perfumer Jacques Polge in 1990.

chanel-egoiste

Égoïste is based on the classical orchestration of woody and oriental accords. It is said to be derived from a limited edition called Bois Noir, which was introduced by Chanel briefly in 1987. Although the fragrance is inspired by a classical theme, Polge rendered it in a novel manner. The bright herbal accord of thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage is set against sweet plums and candied apricots, which in turn are supported by a dramatic woody backdrop. A prominent vetiver note lends a certain bitter chocolate effect, which heightens the baroque richness of the composition. The contrast among these accords produces a multilayered effect, which lasts from the top to the drydown.

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Linari Acqua Santa : Fragrance Review

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Acqua_santa

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

Linari is a relatively new niche fragrance house founded by a German industrial engineer Rainer Diersche. It promises luxury, it is inspired by Tuscany–who isn’t inspired by it, one begs the question!–and it works with some of the best noses. My first encounter with Linari portfolio, which already includes Notte Bianca, Angelo Di Fiume, Vista Sul Mare and Eleganza Luminosa, has been Acqua Santa. Created by Maurice Roucel, it is described as “clean and innocent like crystal-clear holy water.”

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Tom Ford Private Blend Champaca Absolute : Perfume Review

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Champaca absolute

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

One of the most gorgeous raw materials I have come across is magnolia absolute by Laboratoire Monique Rémy. It is a beautifully contrasted note: its herbal top reminiscent of lavender and spicy green leaves gives way to a surprisingly luscious core of jasmine and apricot. Magnolia absolute is such a striking, dramatic note that it works well as part of a rich oriental blend a la Guerlain L’Instant, as well as in light florals and even colognes like Eau d’Italie Magnolia Romana. While I still have not found a well-crafted magnolia soliflore, there are a few fragrances that use it to a memorable effect. One such example is Champaca Absolute from Tom Ford Private Blend collection.

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Prada Infusion d’Homme : Fragrance Review

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Prada infusion homme

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

“Exquisitely elegant” was the first impression that formed in my mind as I smelled Prada Infusion d’Homme. It also struck me right away as a masculine fragrance that eschews the conventions of masculine perfumery: dihydromyrcenol (a citrus-lavender aroma material that is commonly used in masculine scents) is not noticeable, citrus is dealt with a light hand, florals are magnified. Created by talented perfumer Daniela Roche-Andrier, who is a nose behind many of Prada’s fragrances, Infusion d’Homme translates Prada aesthetic at its best—subtle, sophisticated, understated, yet somehow dramatic nonetheless.

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