Film Noir: 49 posts

Dark and brooding perfume fantasies

Guerlain Rose Nacree du Desert : Perfume Review

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When I first heard about Guerlain Rose Nacrée du Désert, which is part of the Les Déserts d’Orient collection, along with Encens Mythique d’Orient and Songe d’Un Bois d’Été, I was only mildly curious. Had it been a part of the regular collection, I would have been more proactive in seeking out a sample, but Les Déserts d’Orient is sold at only a few boutiques, and I dislike falling in love with something this exclusive. (Can you tell where this is going?)

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To make a long story short, a sample found its way to me thanks to a kind reader, and whenever I have been wearing Rose Nacrée du Désert, I’ve been experiencing minor scented epiphanies. I may be doing something as unglamorous as picking up dry cleaning, when I suddenly catch a whiff of dark roses clinging to my skin. It’s an instant dose of chic, and on most days, I desperately need it.

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Chanel Coco : Perfume Review

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I might as well admit it, I originally disliked Chanel Coco.  I will be up front about that because now I won’t be separated from it. Coco is a good case for retesting a fragrance:  more compliments have come my way with Coco than with any other fragrance. Although created almost 30 years ago in 1984, Coco is far from being dated. It is an outgoing, definite statement scent, not a wallflower. It is a fragrance from the time when women adopted a signature perfume as bold style accessories. Consider Coco an adornment, a piece of jewelry, the finishing touch.

Classic Chanel scents reveal themselves through mists of aldehydes that always to my nose make a Chanel perfume smell high concept.  They are tailored even when they are meant to be sexy, as is the case with Coco.  The top notes are bright and brassy with ripe, fruity aldehydes, mandarin peel, and macerated raisins.  These notes ignite as if flambéed.

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Knize Ten : 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.

Smoky leather and green jasmine… The first time I smelled Coty Chypre I was startled by its wistful aura. For months before Chypre and I finally met I had fantasized about how dramatic and roughhewn it must have been to simultaneously set a new trend and to shock its contemporaries. But as I discovered, Chypre is alluring and harmonious, if not exactly well-behaved. I fell hard for its dark leather accord, which I subsequently spotted in Chanel Cuir de Russie, enjoyed in Robert Piguet Bandit and mourned in the reformulated Parfums Gres Cabochard. Finding Knize Ten is a flashback to the first time I dabbed a few dark drops of Chypre on my wrist and discovered that leather can be devastatingly seductive.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Rien (Nothing) : Perfume Review

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Rien

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

Anyone familiar with the provocative aesthetic of Etat Libre d’Orange will suspect at once that the fragrance named Rien (Nothing) is likely to be a dramatic mélange. The first whiff of the fragrance proves that one’s suspicions are indeed correct—Rien is a blast of civet and leather, with bitter green and earthy iris notes weaving a dark tapestry. Bold, dramatic, overwrought, it hits all of its accords at once. Yet, those who love classical fragrances and leather notes will find Rien thrilling, since it offers a glimpse into the vanishing grand parfum tradition—challenging, complicated, and memorable. Rien has the complexity of Clinique Aromatics Elixir, the intelligence of Chanel No 19, the brashness of Robert Piguet Bandit and the sensuality of Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. It is exciting in its blend of classical themes and modern effects.

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Yves Saint Laurent Nu : Fragrance Review

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Nu

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

Is the fragrance market the best arbiter of what is good? In the case of Nu, my answer is an emphatic no! This Yves Saint Laurent fragrance created in 2001 by Jacques Cavallier under the creative direction of Tom Ford explores such dusky and moody territory that it could never have been a commercial success. Yet, for those of us who love to stray over to the dark side, Nu offers a fascinating experience—a combination of opulent incense notes, spicy carnation, creamy sandalwood and the fiery flourish of dark spices. Although the name and the imagery suggest a sensual, femme fatale fragrance, I find Nu polished and elegant, with just enough smoldering allure to keep things interesting.

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