Carlos Benaim: 6 posts

Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia : Perfume Review

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Intended or not, Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia is an answer to two challenges: creating a novel cologne and capturing the elusive aroma of magnolia. The first is complicated, because cologne is one of the most popular genres, and recasting it in a new way requires some creativity. The second is due to the magnolia’s character. The scent blends citrus, rose and soft leather, but the main impression you get from smelling the waxy white petals is not of heady, lush perfume, but of exhilarating freshness and fizz. You can almost feel the champagne bubbles bursting before you notice all other facets.

magnolia

Translating this sparkling effect into fragrance is more complicated than it seems in our age of high-tech tools. I smelled through a fair share of magnolia accords at one point to conclude that 90% of them smell either like furniture polish or bear no relation at all to magnolia. Which is why Eau de Magnolia comes as a surprise. It captures the nuances of magnolia, while setting them into a frame of citrus and moss. It makes for a beautiful arrangement.

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Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera : Perfume Review

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Elisa discovers another underrated gem and white floral beauty in Carolina Herrera’s 1988 perfume. But don’t say that you haven’t been warned about its big sillage and quintessential 80s character.

My mother has never worn perfume, so as a young girl I had to look elsewhere for scented role models. One was my grandmother, who introduced me to the wonders of White Linen. Another was my best friend’s mother, a beautiful, petite brunette who always entered the room in a cloud of womanly sillage. Her weapons of choice – I remember seeing the bottles on her vanity – were the original Escada and Carolina Herrera.

carolina herrera

They both seemed impossibly glamorous and “grown up” from that vantage point. But in my first year of full-on, post-rabbit-hole perfume mania, I remember realizing with a jolt that, as an adult woman myself now, I am free to drown myself in Carolina Herrera if I choose to. Not having smelled it in years if not decades, I picked up a small bottle of the EDP at a discount store (in the classic polka-dot box). I got it home, sprayed it on, and smiled in recognition: it hadn’t changed.

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Viktor & Rolf Antidote : Perfume Review

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Victorrolf_antidote_1

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

One cannot fault Viktor & Rolf for lacking creativity when it comes either to their fashion collection or their fragrance packaging. The amethyst tinted Flowerbomb is incased in a faceted grenade shaped bottle, while the new masculine fragrance Antidote is presented in an elegant square flacon; its pale emerald liquid contrasting with the ebony black detail on the bottle and the box. Yet, the fragrance inside Flowerbomb was a let down. Instead of the black Victorian gown of a fragrance that I envisioned, it was an ivory satin dress. Lovely and tasteful, but somehow lacking the edginess of Viktor & Rolf fashion. …

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Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Flowerbomb Extreme : Perfume Reviews

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Victorrolf

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

In contrast to their avant-garde clothing, with Flowerbomb, the Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf opted for a fragrance with wide appeal. The most controversial aspect of Flowerbomb is its bottle designed as a grenade.  Based on the commercial gourmand patchouli accord first introduced by Angel (1993), Flowerbomb (2005) is a mélange of creamy florals resting on a warm base of patchouli and vanilla. Created by Olivier Polge, Carlos Benaïm and Domitille Bertier, Flowerbomb is a smooth composition, polished to remove the hard edges of patchouli with its facets rounded by sweetness. It does not explode as the name would lead one to expect; it flows like spilled honey.

The composition is constructed to allow the accords to undulate gently, revealing one delicate floral note after another. Sheer freesia is folded into the sweetness of jasmine, touched by the subtle anisic notes and layered with creamy vanilla. …

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Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir and Calvin Klein Euphoria : Perfume Reviews

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Pomegranate_2

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

The most autumnal of visions are the pyramids of pomegranates arranged at the markets beginning in September. I would find myself drawn to the stalls filled with red orbs reflecting shimmering light of a chilly golden morning. Each tiny ruby jewel contained within tough leathery skin is an explosion of tart flavor that is reminiscent of grapes crossed with plums. Therefore, the appearance of pomegranate notes in the fall releases is quite appropriate given the autumnal nature of the fruit. The scent of pomegranate is subtle, yet distinct, twisting the green powdery fragrance of its skin around the sweet-tart and winey aroma of the seeds. Two recent releases focus on the pomegranate notes, with Jo Malone offering a dry minimalist variant and Calvin Klein providing a more exotic and creamier arrangement. ….

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