Dave Apel: 4 posts

Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia : Fragrance Review

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Tom_ford_velvet_gardenia

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

Have you ever noticed how faces are much easier to recognize in exaggerated caricatures than in photographs? For this same reason Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia might offer the truest gardenia one can find in perfume form. Certainly, there are plenty of fragrances that incorporate beautiful gardenia accords (Hermès Calèche, Dior Diorama, Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia), but to smell Velvet Gardenia is to experience a flower magnified by several degrees—smooth, waxy petals, green leaves and woody stems, animalic, dark roots. Its scent is creamy and intoxicating, smoldering and airy, floral and balsamic. What seems at first like an improbable juxtaposition of effects soon unfolds into a complex gardenia story. …

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Tom Ford Black Orchid : Fragrance Review

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Tom_ford_black_orchid_1

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

The promise of beguiling black orchid scent, the suggestion of classical glamour, the retro advertisement reminiscent of George Hurrell’s famous shot of Veronica Lake–and Tom Ford’s solo debut, Black Orchid became my most anticipated 2006 launch. When I finally held the gorgeous black glass bottle in my hand and sprayed the perfume on my skin, I envisioned something along the lines of Rochas Femme, the radiant sweetness wrapped into the rich animalic warmth. …

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Sean John Unforgivable : Perfume Review

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Unforgivable

The debut of Sean John Unforgivable, the fragrance from a man known by a variety of nicknames including P. Diddy is a new chapter in the celebrity fragrance trend. Indeed, given the success of Sean Combs’ clothing label, which set the example for other celebrities to follow, it is surprising the fragrance was not released sooner. While my relationship with P. Diddy (or rather with his music) has been problematic, due to the fact my neighbors’ predilection for listening to it at very high volume effectively ensured that I developed none, Mr. Combs’ new fragrance is a completely different story. Created by Dave Apel, Unforgivable is an elegant composition, subtle and sophisticated.

The hesperidic accord has a vivid character conjuring a vision of tangerines and oranges left in the sun. The warmth permeating the fruit underscored by the freshness of the fleshy pulp is laced with the ozonic notes, which persist throughout the composition. Nevertheless, the ozonic element is not the typical sharp and synthetic zing that one tends to associate with the marine themed fragrances. Instead, it lends a bright, cool leitmotif to the sparkling citrus, the warm fruity richness and the green herbs. Apel rendered the sea breeze accord as bound by a sweet warm element, which gives a nice balance to the composition. …

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Bond No 9 Bleecker Street : Perfume Review

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Magnolia_cupcake

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

In honor of the new Bleecker Street boutique about to open in September of 2005, Bond no. 9 is releasing a new fragrance named after the new location. Created by Dave Apel of Givaudan, it is going to feature notes of violet leaf, black currant, jasmine, cedarwood, cinnamon, oakmoss, suede, patchouli, amber and vanilla. As Laurice Rahmé, founder and owner of Bond No. 9 stated in W magazine, “When I went to visit Magnolia, the kids who served cupcakes asked me, “When are you going to make a perfume that smells like cake. So, I asked Dave Apel, the perfumer, if he thought we could make a sensual perfume that reminded us of cupcakes. We worked with vanilla note and other dessert notes, like cinnamon.” Bleecker Street is “the first gourmand fragrance that’s also woodsy and oriental, which is very untraditional.”

Bleecker Street has a subtle gourmand feel, with a delicious green blackcurrant note providing a juicy touch. The drydown is an oriental base of amber and sandalwood laced with green thyme and cinnamon. The patchouli note is rendered as rather subtle, but very appealing. Considering that I enjoy Nuits de Noho with its voluptuous patchouli note, I like the subtle patchouli of Bleecker Street. While not exactly reminding me of Magnolia cupcakes, the dry down seems to have an edible quality that makes it a fall release to be anticipated. I am tempted to buy Bleecker Street for the bottle alone, which is truly a pièce de résistance—signature Bond no. 9 bottle ornamented with a starburst pattern of gold, green and purple, recalling peacock feathers.

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