Jacques Cavallier: 13 posts

Yves Saint Laurent M7 and M7 Oud Absolu : Fragrance Review



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

I now know that the worst thing after a perfume reformulation is a relaunch. You mourn your long lost favorite, stock up on bottles and brace yourself for the day when a spray releases nothing but a few scented puffs of air. Then you learn that the brand valiantly decides to reissue the fragrance and your hopes are resuscitated once again. You seek out a sample, eagerly apply the liquid to your skin and—it is not the same! That is exactly what I experienced with M7 Oud Absolu, a relaunch of the marvelous and polarizing Yves Saint Laurent fragrance M7.

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Yves Saint Laurent Cinema : Perfume Review



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

Sometimes I like to revisit fragrances a few years after their initial launch. My tastes might change in the meantime, but also the landscape of the market itself is likely to be different enough that what seemed disappointing earlier, turns out to be a pleasant discovery. This is exactly what happened with Yves Saint Laurent Cinéma. When I first smelled it in 2004, this amber laced mimosa seemed lost in the sea of other floral orientals—Giorgio Armani Sensi (2002), Cacharel Amor Amor (2003), Burberry Brit (2003,) Dolce & Gabbana Sicily (2003,) Christian Dior Pure Poison (2004,) to name a few prominent launches. Today, its warmth and softness stand out as particularly sophisticated next to the sugary gourmand blends currently popular. While it may sound like a backhanded compliment, Cinéma is a well-made, polished blend that deserves a second chance.

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Lancome Poeme : Perfume Review and In Search of Dark Orange Blossoms


Poeme Bal

Poême : Missing the Poetry

When I first smelled Lancôme Poême six years ago during the time of its launch, it struck me as unbearably shrill and synthetic. It is a testament to the cheapening of fragrance formulas over time that when I smell it today, it actually seems to contain more naturals than most of the current big prestige launches. Of course, the quality of the materials is only one aspect of a well-made perfume; the balance between different parts of the fragrance is what determines how it behave and whether it ultimately pleases its wearer. Poême is an example of an interesting oriental orange blossom idea that is executed in a heavy-handed manner. It is like a nicely cut dress made out of a cheap fabric—appealing idea, but ultimately very unpleasant to wear.

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Yves Saint Laurent Nu : Fragrance Review



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

Is the fragrance market the best arbiter of what is good? In the case of Nu, my answer is an emphatic no! This Yves Saint Laurent fragrance created in 2001 by Jacques Cavallier under the creative direction of Tom Ford explores such dusky and moody territory that it could never have been a commercial success. Yet, for those of us who love to stray over to the dark side, Nu offers a fascinating experience—a combination of opulent incense notes, spicy carnation, creamy sandalwood and the fiery flourish of dark spices. Although the name and the imagery suggest a sensual, femme fatale fragrance, I find Nu polished and elegant, with just enough smoldering allure to keep things interesting.

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Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather : Fragrance Review

Tuscan leather

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

There is something so deliciously seductive and appealing about the scent of leather, whether it is the scent of a new car, an old vintage purse, a pair of new shoes still wrapped in crinkly paper, or equestrian gear. Whether rendered as animalic and sweet or smoky and phenolic in fragrances, leather notes can give a remarkable complexity to even the simplest accords. Tuscan Leather, a fragrance created for Tom Ford Private Blend collection by perfumers Harry Frémont and Jacques Cavallier is one of my favorite recent discoveries. It is not a particularly complex fragrance; in fact, it is almost a single accord. Nevertheless, it features the leather note so well and with such elegance, that whenever I am in the mood for a dark, smoky scent, it is the perfume I choose.

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Latest Comments

  • Priscilla Scofield in Recommend Me a Perfume : October 2023: I have been wearing Mediterraneo by the Carthusian perfume company in Capri. It smells like a mixture of sunshine, sparkling green tea, lemon leaves and herbs. December 2, 2023 at 5:21pm

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Hello: there is an orange blossom/leather I like very much although it is not talked about much, it’s Arquiste Infanta en flor, perhaps you might like to tryb, it is… December 2, 2023 at 12:19pm

  • A in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Could anyone recommend an orange blossom (more white floral than green) scent for the wintertime? I find myself gravitating to Neroli Oranger by Matiere Premiere, which is so warm and… December 2, 2023 at 5:54am

  • Notturno7 in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Hi Amy, you might like Private Collection by Estée Lauder. I enjoy it and it’s a lovely chypre. Victoria gave it a 5 star review. I found a bottle of… November 30, 2023 at 6:30am

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