Maurice Roucel: 15 posts

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras : Fragrance Review

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Chagall

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

Sometimes I read a fragrance description, and even though I know not to attach too much importance to the notes, the idea of a perfume is conjured nevertheless. Would a fragrance called “in your arms” evoke anything but the warmth of a hug? When I first read about Frédéric Malle Dans Tes Bras created by perfumer Maurice Roucel, I imagined sweet violets folded into creamy layers of musk and vanilla—soft, tender and comforting.

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Maurice Roucel Interview : Excerpt from “22 Perfumers” Book

Maurice roucel

Maurice Roucel is a perfumer whose work I admire for its originality, boldness and unapologetic sensuality, which are clear even in his “big brand” creations. He is the author of Hermès 24, Faubourg, Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, among many others. The following is an excerpt from a fantastic book by Clara Molloy called 22 Perfumers: A Creative Process. It features in-depth interviews with 22 perfumers such as Calice Becker, Dominique Ropion, Olivier Polge, Alberto Morillas, Annick Menardo and many others. The book is available in French and English editions and can be found on Clara Molloy’s website.

How did you enter the perfume industry?
At the time, when I started out in 1973, there were only people from Grasse in the perfume industry. I was born in Cherbourg. I arrived in Paris with my parents at the age of 5 and I stayed there. I was passionate about organic chemistry and theoretical physics. In 1973, Henri Robert, the creator of “No 19” by Chanel, hired me to develop a chromatography laboratory. I spent 6 years with Chanel. While I was there, I learned the profession of perfumer by myself; I was self-taught. But I still love organic chemistry, which I find extremely creative! For me, creation is everywhere. Anything can be creative. In my career, I’ve even found myself working on a shampoo. I find it refreshing to have a look elsewhere. There are also surprises in soaps and detergents. Today, it’s clear that in fine perfumery there are more resources, time–sometimes–and a broader scope.

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Guerlain Insolence Eau de Parfum : Fragrance Review

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Insolenceedp

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

When I first smelled Insolence Eau de Toilette, I found it curious–a brash strawberry foiling a sophisticated orange blossom and iris accord. I was torn between hating the nail polish remover sharpness of the fruity top and enjoying the Guerlinade inflected drydown, between finding the fragrance vulgar and strangely appealing simultaneously. Recently, I discovered the Eau de Parfum version, which struck me as so dramatic and memorable that I feel that it deserves a review of its own. It fills in all of the spaces that the EDT left bare and adds more. Admittedly, it is not a refined composition à la Chamade or Après l’Ondée, but it packs so much character that it blows most of other recent launches out of the water.

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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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Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne : 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.

The story of the Helmut Lang fashion house is a testament to the transience of fashion. During the minimalist phase of the mid 1990s, Helmut Lang’s severe, deconstructed pieces were among the most coveted, showered with awards and recognition. Yet, fast forward to 2000, and the future for Helmut Lang no longer looks promising—the house has been sold, the designer is losing more and more of his rights, the popularity of his designs is starting to wane. This same year, the house introduced a line of fragrances, starting with the he/she duo Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum created by perfumer Maurice Roucel and then offering Cuiron composed by Françoise Caron. Even though the line was discontinued shortly after Helmut Lang left his own house, Eau de Cologne and Cuiron have managed to achieved an almost cult status. By smelling them one can understand why. …

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