bertrand duchaufour: 16 posts

Penhaligon’s Ostara : Fragrance Review

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My tastes for white florals are indiscriminate, encompassing everything from vulgar things like Guerlain Mayotte to prim school governess types like Jessica McClintock. But even I can get tired of the genre and retreat to other pastures for a change–dry woods and damp mosses, perhaps. This is what happened for most of last year, when I was so satiated with white florals that I declared a moratorium on new acquisitions. But it’s a testament to Pehnaligon’s Ostara’s loveliness that despite my best intentions, I ended up breaking my resolve.

ostara

Ostara shines brightly to me for its surprising combination of the lush, decadent heft that makes lovers of white florals swoon and the exhilarating springtime freshness. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour built the composition around the theme of narcissus, a flower that on a stem smells honeyed and indolic, but when turned into essence becomes leathery, musky and somber. Ostara melds both facets, but it stays on the sunny side.

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Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola : Fragrance Review

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Elisa on a new perfume from Neela Vermeire Creations.

Neela Vermeire Creations, a small niche line launched in 2012, includes five fragrances so far, all inspired by India and composed by Bertrand Duchaufour. Pichola is the latest release, a white floral inspired by Lake Pichola in the Rajasthan state of India. I’m a white floral lover, and from the great early reviews to the description, the scent sounded enticing: warm, spicy, and complex. But that’s not quite what I experienced.

pichola

Pichola opens with a surprising impression of lemongrass – that distinctive sour/herbal/floral note in Southeast Asian curries. There’s no lemongrass listed in the notes; this uncanny effect must arise from a combination of citrus (bergamot, clementine, and neroli) and spices (cardamom and saffron). At first, it’s intriguing; I’ve never smelled a note like this in perfume before.

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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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L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee : New Fragrance

April 2015 will be coming up roses at L’Artisan Parfumeur. Rose Privée, its new launch, will pay tribute to the roses of Grasse. Rose de mai, or rosa centifolia, is one of the traditional crops in the Grasse region, and even today, the plantations are maintained, albeit in smaller scope.

rose prive

Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour worked with his Grass-based apprentice Stéphanie Bakouche to create the floral harmony of Rose Privée. It’s built around the absolute of rose de mai, with magnolia, basil, lilac, and carnation adding a bright touch. The drydown is accented with patchouli.

In other L’Artisan news, the house was recently acquired by Puig, the parent brand of Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera. The same acquisition has also brought Penhaligon’s into the Puig family.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée will be available starting April 2015 at the brand’s boutiques and department store counters. 50 ml Eau de Parfum/£77; 100ml/£95. Via press release.

Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur : Perfume Review

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Andy on his love of incense.

If there’s one thing I smell to feel better, it’s frankincense. Whether I need a break from typing, am feeling stressed, need to be jolted awake—I often simply reach for my pouch of frankincense tears and take a deep whiff. Even if I rarely find the time to conduct an incense ceremony all my own, just a brief inhale of frankincense has come to feel like a special, private ritual to me. I mention my habit of smelling this special resin because Aedes de Venustas’s Copal Azur, created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, captures every element of frankincense I love, from brisk piquancy all the way down to rich, balsamic sweetness.

copal azur

Soon after Copal Azur melds into the skin, it emanates with the sparkle of citrus zest and spices, calling to mind the act of crushing peppercorns and cardamom pods together in a pestle. As this initial fiery sizzle begins to soften, the frankincense starts to shine through with a nearly pine-like, aromatic freshness. The overall effect is bracing and crisp, uplifting enough to widen one’s eyes for a moment, but devoid of any rough edges.

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