August 2011: 22 posts

Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmin Rouge : Fragrance Review



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

A few years ago, Jasmin Rouge would have had me rushing immediately to the perfume store. The idea of a jasmine laced with spices and enrobed in ambers and woods would have been so appealing that I doubt I would have followed the sensible rule of never buying blindly. Yet, today Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge arrives at a moment when there are already several excellent jasmine dominated compositions on the market so it has plenty of competition. It is an elegant composition, but given its luxurious pricing, I would prefer more surprise and character.

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Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille : Perfume Review



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

Full-bodied, voluptuous fragrances are as rare today as curvy models on a catwalk. I find it less and less frequent to experience what French perfumers call “gras,” or fat, denoting a certain unctuous richness that characterized fragrances of the past. Although this quality is not always welcome, the multitude of crisp and fresh new launches leaves me craving something with more substance. So once I smelled Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille, I felt like a dieter who has been allowed a slice of chocolate cake.

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10 Perfumes I Should Love … But Do Not

Heart Valentine

Recently as I was reading Self-Styled Siren’s fantastic post about Ten Movies Siren Should Love But Does Not, I got to thinking about fragrances that by all accounts should be among my favorites yet fail to move me. These are not the acrylic florals, the vulgar lollipops or the boring copycats. Most of the fragrances on my list are nicely done and distinctive enough to be memorable. For different reasons, they just do not appeal to me.


Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum

I will not exaggerate if I say that Rahat Loukoum is my least favorite out of the entire collection. I would rather wear L’Eau than this blend of musk, heliotropine and vanilla. A high quality composition that smells like a cheap Duane Reade candle.

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Elie Saab Le Parfum : Fragrance Review



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

Once upon a time, the woods were for men and the flowers were for women. Coco Chanel and her perfumer Ernest Beaux rebelled against these stereotypes by creating Bois des Iles, a dark woody composition that was as elegant as it was shocking. The new generation of feminine woody fragrances, from Estee Lauder Sensuous to Bulgari Jasmin Noir, layers the woods so heavily with the floral notes that the character becomes blurred.  Unfortunately, most fragrances in that family are what I label as “acrylic florals”—possessing in equal measure the strident sharpness of woods and the neon brightness of modern floral notes. Elie Saab Le Parfum is the latest example of this genre, a cross between Sensuous and Narciso Rodriguez for Her.

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Olfactory Desserts : On Gourmand Fragrances


Perfumes enchant us when they create an illusion of transporting us to a place, real or imaginary. Yet, while traveling spatially and temporally is an important part of fragrance’s allure, there are times when teasing the senses and creating certain impressions is what perfume does best. Given the strong link between olfactory and gustatory perceptions, one would not be surprised to discover the smells of food appearing in fragrances. The gourmand trend initiated by Thierry Mugler Angel is certainly not novel–in 1956 Edmond Roudnitska created Diorissimo to counter the contemporary preference for the heavy, sweet notes. Nevertheless, Angel opened up new vistas and expanded the concept of gourmand. The exploration I offer below takes a somewhat different approach in trying to illustrate the more abstract gourmand ideas in fragrance. …

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