New Perfume Launches: 96 posts

Reviews of new fragrance launches

Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi : Perfume Review

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Mandarins smell unlike any other citrus fruit. Cradled inside their zesty, bright aroma is a sweet orange blossom, and this nuance gives mandarin essence complexity and richness. (For fragrance nerds: this orange blossom note is given by methyl anthranilate, an aromatic compound also present in Concord grapes and wild strawberries.) Because of its sweetness and juicy effect, minus the strident sharpness, mandarin is used in many fragrances as a top note. It’s inviting and refreshing, and it works in many different contexts.

tom ford mandarino

By contrast, mandarin based colognes are less common, with bergamot, orange, and lemon forming the trifecta of favorite cologne citrus. Mandarin can be used generously, but I have often craved more than most colognes offer. And here comes Mandarino di Amalfi by Tom Ford.

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Viktor & Rolf Bonbon : Perfume Review

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I divide the contemporary fragrance world into the children of Thierry Mugler Angel and the children of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue? Well, the Angel clan can welcome a new sibling, Viktor & Rolf Bonbon. A textbook gourmand, Bonbon is exclusively for the lovers of sweet. If you like your cotton candy with a dose of peach syrup, then you’re in  for a treat. If not, then you can count on a headache.

bonbon

When Angel was launched in 1993, its caramel and vanilla overdose was so novel that it at once attracted and repelled. “It’s not a perfume, it’s a flavor blend,” said some perfumers. “Unsophisticated, vulgar, crude,” said others. But after a slow start, Angel proved that it had much more than sweetness and that it could create a new family of perfumes. Today, over-the-top vanilla and caramel are nothing new, and as Bonbon demonstrates, they make a commercial, easy to like scent. We’ve been well-trained by Angel.

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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.

caudalie

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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Parfums DelRae Wit : Fragrance Review

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Patricia discovers a new love in Wit.

Daphne, a spring plant that smells like candied citrus rind and jasmine, is the inspiration for  Wit, the latest creation by Parfums DelRae. Parfums DelRae is a niche fragrance brand based in San Francisco and Paris and comprised of nine fragrances known for their creativity, complexity, and high quality. I own two others: Début, a fresh, green lily-of-the- valley, and Coup de Foudre, an effervescent rose.

wit

Wit by perfumer Yann Vasnier, is easily my favorite release of 2014. I haven’t felt as excited about a floral perfume since L’Artisan Parfumeur introduced Séville à l’Aube in 2012. Although different in composition, they share the same lush, falling-into-a-pile-of-petals feeling. I wore Séville à l’Aube for a month straight after it came out, and I can easily imagine doing the same with Wit.

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Jo Malone Rain and Angelica : Perfume Review

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The smell of sun-dried linens is one of those scents that invariably make me feel like all is well in the world. At the root of it is a childhood recollection of my grandmother’s linens (the memory conveniently blots out the less romantic realities of doing laundry by hand in a house with no running water). The aroma of starched fabric heated in the sun is so comforting that I look to the perfume bottle to satisfy this craving. An unexpected addition to my “sun and summer” fragrances has become Jo Malone Rain and Angelica, a recent debut from the brand specializing in simple, easy-to-wear scents.

jo-malone-rain-angelica

There is no reason to expect that something called Rain and Angelica (an unsubtle nod to Frédéric Malle ‘s rain drenched angelicas, Angéliques Sous la Pluie) would smell of sun warmed sheets or even anything summery. When I checked the list of notes well after trying and wearing the perfume for several days, I was surprised to find little resemblance between the cold, aquatic elements on paper and the warm, soft perfume on my skin.

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