May 2011: 25 posts

Maison Martin Margiela Untitled : Fragrance Review



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

In ballet, the dancer’s foot has the same delicacy and sensitivity that in other art forms is reserved for the hands. The light touch of a ballerina’s satin wrapped toes can express a wide range of emotions, and this effect, underscored by a remarkably steely strength, gives classical dance its unique flavor. When I first discovered Maison Martin Margiela’s debut fragrance, Untitled, its graceful treatment of woods and incense made me immediately draw the dance analogy. While traditionally one envisions these notes as dark and opulent counterpoints to the more evanescent floral and green touches, in Untitled the roles are reversed.

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Wish Lists : Perfume, Food and More


I love making lists, from compilations of things to do to shopping notes. In this spirit, a few questions about your wish lists. Feel free to answer one or all of them.

1. What is on your fragrance wish list?
2. What is your favorite dessert?
3. Do you have any goals/wishes for this summer, things that you definitely want to accomplish?

Mine are:

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FiFi Awards 2011 Winners and Favorite 2010 Fragrance Poll


The Fragrance Foundation held its annual FiFi Awards (the Oscar’s of the fragrance industry) on Wednesday, May 25 in New York. As always, it was an evening charged with much excitement and anticipation. One of my favorite moments during the ceremony was when actress Halle Berry acknowledged Givaudan perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux in contributing to her winning fragrance, Halle Berry Pure Orchid. She thanked him profusely and then pulled him onstage to enjoy a round of applause. It is not something that celebrities nor brands do that often so it was wonderful to see.

So, as we prepare to enjoy a long Memorial Day weekend, a poll!
What would you nominate as your top favorite fragrances from last year?

I listed mine in the Best of 2010 post, and I was pleased to see that Martin Margiela Untitled scored a win, while Frédéric Malle’s splendid Portrait of a Lady made it into finals.

All The 2011 FiFi® Winners


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L’Artisan Parfumeur Iris Pallida : Perfume Review


Irispallida Irisroot

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

A complex raw material such as the root of an iris plant can be a perfume in itself. Although iris as a perfumery note is liable to be classified as floral, the scent of orris butter, as the thick, creamy essence is called, is closer to that of green vegetables, wet roots and damp soil. L’Artisan Parfumeur first released Iris Pallida as a limited edition in 2007, and this year, the fragrance has once again been relaunched. Composed around a fine grade of orris butter, it is meant to pay a tribute to the beauty of this raw material.

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Guerlain Insolence Eau de Parfum : Fragrance Review



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

When I first smelled Insolence Eau de Toilette, I found it curious–a brash strawberry foiling a sophisticated orange blossom and iris accord. I was torn between hating the nail polish remover sharpness of the fruity top and enjoying the Guerlinade inflected drydown, between finding the fragrance vulgar and strangely appealing simultaneously. Recently, I discovered the Eau de Parfum version, which struck me as so dramatic and memorable that I feel that it deserves a review of its own. It fills in all of the spaces that the EDT left bare and adds more. Admittedly, it is not a refined composition à la Chamade or Après l’Ondée, but it packs so much character that it blows most of other recent launches out of the water.

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