Francois Demachy: 14 posts

Dior Joy : Perfume Review

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Louis Vuitton has done it. It managed to buy a stake in the venerable house of Jean Patou and to add it to its impressive collection of brands. It announced reviving the Jean Patou fashion line and promised many exciting developments. The first one arrived and I’m not holding my breath for the subsequent ones. Dior launched a perfume called Joy. Why let such a brilliant name languish on an old-fashioned perfume when it can grace a modern, pink-tinted juice?

The press release was ecstatic. “Grasse Rose, in both Essence and Absolute form, as well as heady Jasmine, blend with these delectable fruits [bergamot and mandarin] in a vibrant smile. Warm and creamy sandalwood embraces us in softness.” That Dior needs to hire a good copywriter is obvious, but even more so the fact that besides the name, Dior also took the main idea of Jean Patou’s Joy, rose and jasmine. What would be the result, I wondered?

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Christian Dior Sauvage : Perfume Review

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Replace Alain Delon with Johnny Depp, add a generous dose of Bleu de Chanel in the mix, shorten the name–and voilà, a new bestseller in the making. Although this kind of launch often strikes me as lazy, its make a lot of marketing sense. Sauvage banks on the impressive heritage accrued by its predecessor Eau Sauvage, and what it lacks in originality it makes up with presence. If you complain that perfumes don’t last on you, then look no further. Sauvage will not leave you alone.

dior sauvage

On the other hand, those who would like complexity and interesting stories should take to other pastures. Sauvage offers neither. It’s fresh, bright and radiant, with a pearly toothed Colgate commercial in a perfume bottle. I predict that we will smell many similar fresh-enough-to-disinfect accords in other fragrances in the coming months.

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Christian Dior Gris Montaigne : Perfume Review

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“These two hues remain my two favorite colors of choice in couture,” wrote Christian Dior in his Little Dictionary of Fashion. He was talking about grey and pink, the colors that inspired many of his collections and his first boutique on Rue Montaigne in Paris, where the walls, the molds, and even the Louis XVI medallion chairs were tinted soft grey. Gris Montaigne, a new perfume from the Collection Privée, is a romantic tribute to Dior’s favorite shades interpreted by in-house perfumer François Demachy.

dior-gris

I probably wouldn’t describe Gris Montaigne as grey and pink if I were to smell it blindly, but the choice of delicate rose and earthy woods makes for a polished fragrance. It’s noticeable without being loud, but it has enough character to be memorable. Gris Montaigne is a pile of wood shavings drenched in rosewater, with just enough mossy, wet soil notes to keep this pastel number from becoming too prim and proper.

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Christian Dior Miss Dior (Cherie) : Perfume Review

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I was a late convert to Miss Dior Chérie (2005), the Coco Mademoiselle sibling-scent that expanded a green patchouli note with sticky carnival accords like strawberries and caramel popcorn.  Miss Dior Chérie is aimed at the young; I was converted to it by a nineteen-year-old girl who owned her own makeup store.  She considered it the height of elegance and at first I scoffed, and then I tried.  It was too much fun to pass up, with its neon fun-fair atmosphere bopping around underneath the nose in a major chord of teenage pleasure.  Why didn’t they have stuff like this around when I was fourteen?

With the mechanisms of the perfume industry being what they are, Miss Dior Chérie was recently reformulated and renamed  Miss Dior (the “real” Miss Dior is now called Miss Dior Originale).  Sometimes the reformulations means that a “bad” ingredient was removed and replaced by a “good” (and often inferior) one, and other times it means that something that is no longer available is replaced with something that is.  The truth is, perfumes are reformulated all the time for a variety of reasons, and the differences can be subtle or striking.

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle : Perfume and Dry Oil Review

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (2001), currently the USA’s top selling women’s fragrance, has little to do with the 1984 Coco fragrance it allegedly flanks. One isn’t related to the other, except from a marketing standpoint that has Coco Mademoiselle positioned to sell to young women and Coco aimed at an older crowd. Coco Mademoiselle is a patchouli scent that belongs to the species of Thierry Mugler Angel, the groundbreaking 1992 fruit and patchouli techno-gourmand that was responsible for many spin-offs, some of them flops and some of them, like Coco Mademoiselle, bestsellers.

The notes of Coco Mademoiselle–rose, jasmine, patchouli, lychee, orange, grapefruit, vetiver, vanilla, and musk–say absolutely nothing about the scent. It’s not possible to imagine what it smells like from that roster. So many of these notes are rendered completely abstract that what really jumps out is a greenish, herbal patchouli over which have been melted vanilla and the type of fruit syrups used to flavor water.

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