Yerbamate: 4 posts

Cartier L’Envol : Perfume Review

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Despite dire prognoses that perfumery is dying and that “there is nothing good anymore”, this year brought a number of fragrances I was happy to discover, namely, Azzedine Alaia, Galop d’Hermès and L‘Envol de Cartier. I point out these three perfumes in particular, because I not only liked them, I wore them so much that they now can be called staples. That all three are easily available from the department store is a bonus point. I’ve reviewed Alaia and Galop here, while my discussion of L’Envol de Cartier appears in my FT column, Fragrance Inspired by Flight.

cartier-envol

“The idea of a fragrance inspired by flight has two iconic precedents, both from the 1930s. Caron’s marvellous orange chypre En Avion was dedicated to the first women pilots such as Hélène Boucher and Amelia Earhart, while Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit paid homage to the writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. These are fitting associations because flight is key to understanding fragrance – perfume takes off in the air the moment the liquid touches the skin. Perfumers control the effects of their compositions by using materials of different volatilities – citrus and green notes soar in an instant; musks and woods are slower to become airborne.

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Parfum d’Empire Azemour Les Orangers : Perfume Review

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When we were talking about cravings for salty perfumes last week, I began to compile a list of such fragrances.  On the face of it, a salty perfume seems like a strange idea, because salt doesn’t have a strong smell. At most I notice  the tangy iodine whiff from granulated table salt like Morton’s or the slightly marine sweetness whenever I open my jar of fleur de sel — thin, crunchy flakes gathered from the top of salt dunes.  But think of what you experience when a salt crystal melts on your tongue—a rush of sweetness that’s followed by a mild saline bitterness. That’s how I imagine salty scents.

A great illustration for this salty impression is Parfum d’Empire Azemour les Orangers. Created by perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the founder of the Parfum d’Empire line, it’s an homage to his parent’s orange grove in Morocco.  When I first tried Azemour, I was instantly smitten with its green richness, effervescent citrus notes and moss and musk drydown.

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Cartier IV L’Heure Fougueuse : Perfume Review

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Heures-de-parfumles

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

While I have not been particularly taken by Les Heures de Parfum overall, my resolve melted when I tried IV L’Heure Fougueuse. Unlike with other fragrances from the collection, I did not have to go back and forth for days, trying to decide how I really felt and why they disappointed or pleased; the moment I applied L’Heure Fougueuse on my skin, I immediately fell under its spell. A few jasmine petals among the green tendrils, a hint of tobacco smoke, an illusion of warm, salty skin… What do they evoke? Perhaps, the scents of leather gloves, which still hold the perfume of its wearer, of a vintage purse, or of an old book with dried flowers between its pages. At any rate, when a perfume allows me to indulge in fantasies, it wins a place in my heart.

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Annick Goutal Duel : Fragrance Review

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Vrubel_white_iris

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

Hazy and gentle, Annick Goutal Duel seems inappropriately named, as more than anything it calls to mind opponents who would rather exchange polite remarks than gunshots. It has a certain subtlety that delicately hints at its more forceful aspects, wrapping them in sweetness of violet. On the one hand, it may register as too subtle, yet, on another, it has the same charm as the pastels. Thus, whenever Annick Goutal fragrances are compared to the watercolors, I always think of Duel as a good example of such an analogy.

Created by Isabelle Doyen in collaboration with Camille Goutal, Annick Goutal’s daughter, Duel is a fragrance with a romantic air. Its violet tinged coolness of iris paired with crisp greenness of maté conjures a vision of the Belle Époque salon set with preparations for tea.  …

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