Fabrice Pellegrin: 12 posts

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay : Perfume Review

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The latest Jo Malone fragrance—Blackberry & Bay—is categorized by the maker as “fruity,” but on my skin it’s far more interesting than that.  Blackberry & Bay fully succeeds in conjuring a fantasy English countryside and more precisely a rambling walk down a country lane, with healthy flush to the cheeks and solid walking shoes for skirting muddy patches. Somewhere along this dream excursion there is naturally a hedgerow from which appear fat black berries, their juice tart and edging on sour, their leaves green and sharp.  Just when I found a hole in my fragrance wardrobe, just when I lamented finding a fragrance that would uncannily recreate a specific holiday sensation, up pops this beauty from Jo Malone.

blackberry-bay

I will confess that I don’t pay all that much attention to the Jo Malone line.  While I love the Red Roses bath oil, I often find the colognes to have standout notes that don’t do much for me, whether that be the smell of stables in Pomegranate Noir or the strong citronella (mosquito candle) in the aforementioned Red Roses.  I wondered if Blackberry & Bay would not be a sweet and musky thing but hearty and possibly “masculine” thanks to a dose of bay leaves.

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Diptyque Volutes : Perfume Review

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Scarves are my favorite accessories. I love the way the sheer organza feels on my shoulders in the summer. The warm heft of a thick, cable-knit wool feels comforting on blistering cold days in the winter. My work uniform of jeans and black sweater can be easily spiced up with a piece of silk in cobalt blue or the Russian style tasseled square in red.  In an overlap with my sartorial wardrobe, I have a whole category of fragrances I categorize as my “scarf” perfumes. They usually stay close to the skin and have a warm, smoky drydown. To smell them on me, you would have to lean in close, and I love the intimate aura they create.

One such warm and smoky contender has been Diptyque Volutes, which I’ve been testing over the past couple of weeks. Volutes in French means swirls, as in swirls of smoke, and as Volutes unfolds gently on skin and wraps me in its warm embrace, it indeed makes me think of sweet cherry scented tobacco. The story behind Volutes is of the transatlantic journeys one of Diptyque’s original founders, Yves Coueslant, used to make as a child, crossing from Marseille to Saigon and back. The vision of the “elegant ladies leaning on the ship’s rail smoking their Khedive cigarettes” inspired this languid perfume. These ladies must also have worn Shalimar, because this Guerlain classic was my immediate association with Volutes.

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Diptyque Eau Rose : Fragrance Review

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Veratea2

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

Whenever I am given a bouquet of roses, I instinctively lean in to smell them. What a disappointment! Most roses are bred to be completely scentless, and the only fragrance that clings to them is that of green foliage and wrapping paper. Being deprived of perfumed roses, I have a sentimental fondness for tea rose scents that remind me of freshly cut flowers. My most recent contender for a pretty English rose is Diptyque Eau Rose, a composition so uncluttered and straightforward that it manages to succeed where many rich blends fail.

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L’Occitane Green Tea / The Vert : Fragrance Review and More Tea Suggestions

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Greentea

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

The green softness of tea paired with mellow spicy notes gives L’Occitane Green Tea / Thé Vert a very appealing fresh, yet hazy quality. It recalls the pleasantly fuzzy feel of tender buds or perhaps peach skin. Despite a lavish dose of citrusy notes, Green Tea does not really venture into the territory of classical cologne. Instead, it plays up the soft woody notes and crisp floral motifs to create a simple, yet very appealing green tea fragrance.

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Armani Prive Ambre d’Orient : Fragrance Review

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The Arabian Tales still retain perfumery under their spell… L’Artisan Traversée du Bosphore took us on a journey to Ottoman era Istanbul. By Kilian Rose Oud suggested the heavily embroidered silks and glittering gold bangles of an Indian wedding. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady transformed English roses into a Moorish garden. Even ordinarily minimalist Diptyque presented Eau Duelle as a silver foil decorated sweetmeat. Now, we can add three new chapters to the 1001 Nights with a trio from Armani Privé La Collection des Mille et une Nuits: Ambre d’Orient, Oud Royal and Rose d’Arabie.

bangles

Ambre d’Orient was created by Firmenich perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, who is also responsible for the aforementioned Eau Duelle, Thierry Mugler Womanity as well as two terrific (though now discontinued) L’Occitane fragrances, Amber and Cinnamon Orange.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Lydia in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: Maria, I keep coming across references to the Prada Iris in articles and posts. You and the other commenters here who love it have made me realize I need to… April 25, 2017 at 10:03pm

  • Lydia in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: fyi: The MPG I tried was Fleur d’Iris, not Iris Bleu Gris, if anyone’s curious. The Iris Bleu Gris actually sounds quite interesting in reviews, and maybe more iris-y than… April 25, 2017 at 10:00pm

  • Lydia in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: I really enjoyed your article and this post – reading through them is a fascinating scent lesson. Vanilla does add sweetness, and has been used so often to that purpose… April 25, 2017 at 9:57pm

  • Aurora in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: You write about smelling the iris essence so eloquently, Victoria, I have never smelled ISM. My favorite with an iris note of the moment is Yves Rocher En Avril Un… April 25, 2017 at 4:33pm

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