New Perfume Launches: 115 posts

Reviews of new fragrance launches

Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire : Fragrance Review

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It’s hard not to take a second look when a maestro of exclusive perfumery offers you something even more exceptional. When Serge Lutens presented L’Incendiaire last year, it promised ultra rarity (Paris only and maybe some distant Middle Eastern outpost), luxury and drama. How can it be anything but intriguing? I eagerly extended my wrist to be anointed with the precious potion.

Lincendiaire

My first impression was that L’Incendiaire should make any Serge Lutens’s fan feel giddy. It has enough incense to perfume all the souks of Arabia. Its amber and musk accords are prodigious. It takes dark to another level. It smolders. It heaves. But nothing about it made me want to swoon (much less part with the $600 that buys you 50ml of this fantasy). L’Incendiaire is beautiful, but it’s about as nuanced as a three hour Bollywood drama. At some point, you crave a break.

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Hermes Le Jardin de Monsieur Li : Perfume Review

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The connection between eyes and nose can play funny tricks. The first time I smelled Hermès’s Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, the most recent release in its ethereal Le Jardin series, I thought that it was “dewy, refined and intriguingly minimalist.” When a couple of weeks later I revisited it during a blind smelling exercise, I was no longer thrilled. “Well, this thing is somewhat dull,” I thought to myself, and I was a little surprised to discover the name of the perfume I was sniffing. Surely, I couldn’t have come to such different conclusions about the same perfume?

hermes le jardin

Hermès is one of the renowned brands on the market, and its fragrances have quality, style and elegance. Simply holding the heavy glass bottle in my hand, I already expect that it will contain all of the above. Unfortunately, selecting perfume based on such preconceived notions will lead to a wardrobe full of expensive designer brands and little to thrill you. The only criterion that matters for finding the right fragrance is whether it gives you a jolt of pleasure. For all of its appealing traits, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li leaves me indifferent.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee : Perfume Review

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Is it possible to have too many rose perfumes? Not really, if you ask me. On the other hand, it’s entirely within reason to limit one’s wardrobe to the best of the best, especially since we’re spoiled for choice. Unfortunately, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Rose Privée doesn’t make the cut. While made from quality materials, it has neither an interesting character nor does it offer anything you can’t find elsewhere (and for significantly less money).

rose prive

On the rose spectrum, Rose Privée is on the light and sparkling end, although it has some dark touches. From the moment you apply it, you notice fruity notes—sweet raspberry, tart pomegranate peel and other juicy, bright effects. Rose essence naturally shares many elements with the aromas of berries, so the fruity nuance is a pleasant, harmonious touch. A green, spicy note underneath the pink froth should be a great contrast, but instead, it turns bitter and musty, a flower on the edge of withering.

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Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or : Perfume Review

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Aedes de Venustas is a niche’s niche. A brand developed by Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner, the owners of the eponymous New York artisanal perfume boutique. In collaboration with several renowned perfumers, they’ve released Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum, Copal Azur, Iris Nazarena, and Oeillet Bengale, all four standing out in the crowded niche field. The fifth launch, Palissandre d’Or, likewise has much to recommend itself.

aedes

The concept is a new take on woods. Palisander, rosewood, is a precious variety, with a bright, crisp aroma that doesn’t resemble a wood as much as a flower. At the same time, it has sharpness and vigor, ideal qualities to weave into woody and oriental perfumes. Rosewood, on its own, is not a common theme, however, so Aedes’s decision to let it strike out solo is brave. Even more so is the request to perfumer Alberto Morillas to make it new and modern.

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Serge Lutens La Religieuse : Fragrance Review

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“Whatever you do, just don’t be boring,” used to say my longtime ballet teacher. In her class, being off music and being boring were the worst crimes, because while everything else–a wrong arm position, an awkward turn or a weak jump–could be corrected through careful guidance, not listening to the music and not caring to excite the viewer spoke of more serious flaws. My teacher’s admonition flashed in my mind when I first smelled Serge Lutens La Religieuse.

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La Religieuse belongs to the collection of understated compositions from the master-duo, Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake. It’s in the same polished and well-mannered corner as Nuit de Cellophane, Un Lys and Sa Majesté la Rose. If you want a pleasant fragrance that doesn’t try too hard, the type of perfume that sales associates call an “office scent”, it’s a good choice. If you want a soft, fluffy jasmine, La Religieuse will also hit the spot. But if you come to Serge Lutens to be thrilled and surprised, then you might want to pick another magic carpet ride.

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  • Elisa P in Recommend Me a Perfume : June: Also Etat Libre d’Orange Like This has a curry, ginger thing going on. The curry comes from the immortelle. It didn’t work for me but has many fans. Also Olympic… July 1, 2015 at 10:22pm

  • Elisa P in Recommend Me a Perfume : June: L’Erbolario Meharees (spicy oriental) is a great winter scent. Some of the (reformulated ) classics can be had for under $50 at online discounters. July 1, 2015 at 10:15pm

  • Katherine in Recommend Me a Perfume : June: Nina, Thanks for all your recommendations. I’ll be putting that on my list. (And don’t ask me why this yearning for curry/cumin scents… I have no idea where it’s coming… July 1, 2015 at 10:12pm

  • elisa p in Recommend Me a Perfume : June: Gosh, we’re pretty lucky here in NYC! Also, MIN NY will give you 1-2 free samples to try but you have to ask. They didn’t offer. July 1, 2015 at 9:54pm

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