Jacques Cavallier: 12 posts

Caudalie Parfum Divin : Perfume Review

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“If you like Huile Divine, you should try Parfum Divin,” said the red lipsticked Caudalie sales associate at the local pharmacy, looking bored as she enumerated its features, carefully folding her manicured fingers one by one–trendy scent, big sillage and the fact that it smells exactly like the dry oil.

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Since Caudalie’s Huile Divine is easily as fragrant and tenacious as any perfume, I didn’t understand why the last point was a draw. Wouldn’t it make sense just to buy the dry oil and have not only the perfume but also a terrific skincare product? But what the beautiful Caudalie rep didn’t mention was that Parfum Divin follows the same idea of Nuxe’s Prodigieux, Le Parfum–take the aroma of the cult favorite dry oil and turn it into perfume.

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Rochas Alchimie : Perfume Review

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The curious part about sampling a lot of fragrances is that contrary to my expectations, my tastes have gotten more eclectic, rather than more constrained. When I started writing articles here at Bois de Jasmin, I had very strong opinions on what I liked—jasmine (hence, the name of my blog!), iris, sandalwood and what I avoided—vanilla, fruit, anise. Well, seven years later, I realize that I like vanilla sweetened perfumes as much as I enjoy heady jasmine and cold iris perfumes. When I first tried Rochas Alchimie a few years ago, I didn’t even give it much chance. It contained every single thing I thought I disliked—rich vanilla, sweet caramel, juicy red berries and a sprinkling of sugared anise seeds. I thought it would be best as a dessert, not as a perfume.

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Giorgio Armani Mania : Long Lost Favorite Perfume

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If you would like to discuss your favorite discontinued perfume, please email me at editor at boisdejasmin dot com

My “Long Lost Favorite” series has received a couple of requests for Giorgio Armani Mania. I am glad it is one of the fragrances you are curious to replace, because it has been among my favorite perfumes.  Armani has several Manias on the market today–Armani Mania Pour Elle, Armani Mania Pour Homme as well as a numerous summer flankers, but none have the sultry character of the 1999 original Mania. Created by Jacques Cavallier, it included notes of bergamot, orange blossom, green notes, clove, nutmeg, saffron, amber, white musk, incense, and vanilla. After the shimmering citrus and cinnamon notes, Mania revealed a velvety heart of incense and amber. Unlike most fragrances that rely on rich woods and amber, Mania was radiant and easy to wear. It felt like a silk wrap, rather than a fur coat. Why on earth did Armani discontinue it?

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Stella McCartney L.I.L.Y. : 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.

Sometimes it seems to me that every floral note needs to be “modern,” because (fill in the blank with your favorite blossom) is “a fusty, old-fashioned flower suitable only for maiden aunts and grandmothers.”  When you get your fusty flower back, it feels like something that has gone through several wash cycles and emerged squeaky clean and limpid.  As I read the aforementioned quote by Stella McCartney about her desire to modernize lily of the valley for her new signature fragrance L.I.L.Y., I wondered what the outcome would be.  My qualm with most modern lily of the valley fragrances is that they smell of laundry products—lily of the valley aroma-materials are popular in functional perfumery—not that they are old-fashioned.

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Yves Saint Laurent M7 and M7 Oud Absolu : Fragrance 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.

I now know that the worst thing after a perfume reformulation is a relaunch. You mourn your long lost favorite, stock up on bottles and brace yourself for the day when a spray releases nothing but a few scented puffs of air. Then you learn that the brand valiantly decides to reissue the fragrance and your hopes are resuscitated once again. You seek out a sample, eagerly apply the liquid to your skin and—it is not the same! That is exactly what I experienced with M7 Oud Absolu, a relaunch of the marvelous and polarizing Yves Saint Laurent fragrance M7.

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