Marie Salamagne: 5 posts

Alaia Paris by Azzedine Alaia : Perfume Review

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Taking Alaïa note by note is complicated, but since Azzedine Alaïa became famous for his unusually structured knitted dresses, perhaps, this is only to be expected. While most fashion designers don’t convey much of their aesthetic in fragrance lines they launch (see Miu Miu), Alaïa is an exception. Fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa wanted to incorporate recollections from his Tunisian childhood but avoid any trite “oriental” references; the idea instead is to convey couture with a personal touch. For me it works.

alaia

Alaïa is a transparent modern floral, with a velvety woody-musky drydown. Alaïa doesn’t shock, but it is different from the legions of fruity bonanzas and cotton candy laced new releases: its combination of abstract flowers and mineral, wet chalk nuances is surprising; its manner of rendering animalic notes is novel, and its gauzy but enveloping sillage is alluring. It’s a promising debut.

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Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom : Perfume Review

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Sometimes you don’t need a grand opera perfume to satisfy your cravings. A simple composition will do. Such is my latest discovery, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom. It makes me think fondly of the early days of the house when Jo Malone offered simple, unaffected but clever compositions like Lime Blossom & Basil and before the marketing teams and accountants took over. Mimosa & Cardamom has a bright, cheerful personality, and it, refreshingly, smells like the brand didn’t skimp on the formula price. It’s a floral cologne with a spicy twist and lots of quirky charm.

mimosacardamom

The promise of mimosa and cardamom is duly fulfilled. The mimosa smells of blanched almonds and cucumber peels, with a characteristic hint of violet, while the cardamom is lemony, metallic and cooling. Both notes are clear and bright. Mimosa is a powdery ingredient, but thanks to a generous dose of spice, cardamom augmented with pepper and citrus, it feels radiant and airy. Its unconventional character also makes flowers acceptable even to the most classically minded men.

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Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica : Perfume Review

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Jo Malone’s image of casual elegance and minimalism have given the brand an edge over other perfume houses vying for over-the-top glamour and in your face luxury. The bottles are simple, the beige packaging has a retro charm, and the collection is presented in such a way as to remove the intimidation factor. You’re encouraged to layer, blend and mix to your heart’s content. The perfumes are usually based around single note ideas like rose, grapefruit, bluebell, or in combinations that are either trendy (oud) or reassuringly comforting (pear & freesia, tea & bergamot.) The only aspect of Jo Malone that’s not understated is the price.

tuberose angelica

Over the past few years, Jo Malone’s retail prices have been on the rise. It mirrors the general trend in the luxury market, but I was nevertheless taken aback when I returned to repurchase a bottle of Orange Blossom cologne. At $115 for a 100ml bottle, it’s no longer an affordable indulgence; this kind of expense needs to be planned in advance. If I wanted to treat myself to the latest launch, Tuberose Angelica, I’d have to spend even more for the same amount, $145.

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Armani Prive Rose d’Arabie : Perfume Review

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Armani-prive-rose-darabie

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

Rose is the most representative fragrance note of Eastern style fragrances as it carries many rich symbolic connotations as revealed by Persian poetry and Sufi writings. In traditional perfumery rose was prized for its ability to withstand the considerable heat of distillation, unlike most other fragrance flowers like jasmine, violet, hyacinth and lily. Even today, the rose fragrance is likely to form an indelible impression when visiting any of the Middle Eastern countries—rosewater is customarily sprinkled on guests upon arrival and departure, rose flavor is as likely to be found in a dish of lamb pilaf as it is in sweet sherbets and pastries, and the scent of rose attar fills the air as people prepare for Friday prayers. Therefore, it is not surprising that the third chapter of the Arabian Tales from Armani Privé La Collection des Mille et une Nuits, Rose d’Arabie, takes the shape of an oriental rose.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Laurier Reglisse and Figue Iris : Perfume Review

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Guerlain_figue_iris_2

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

As much as I love the complex perfumes that are the olfactory equivalents of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, I am always looking forward to Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria collection, which tends to feature much more lighthearted fare. The selection runs the gamut from ingenious Pamplemousse to lovely Herba Fresca to decidedly dull and un-kiwi like Tutti Kiwi. This year’s Laurier Réglisse and Figue Iris caught my eye with their unusual and potentially brilliant pairings—bay leaf and licorice, fig and iris. I felt as curious about experimenting with these ideas in the kitchen as about smelling them on my skin. …

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