Nathalie Feisthauer: 4 posts

Comme des Garcons Blue Invasion : Perfume Reviews

Incense, sandalwood and citrus are to niche perfumery what ruffians, loners and chain-smoking philosophers are to French New Wave cinema. Incense, with its dark connotations, can be made either sultry or brooding. Sandalwood is the wood of choice to imply anything mysterious, while citrus is versatile enough to be twisted into anything you wish. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Comme des Garçons the Jean-Luc Godard of the perfume world, and as its three fragrances, Blue Santal, Blue Cedrat and Blue Encens, in the Blue Invasion collection demonstrate, it’s possible to discover something new even in very familiar themes.

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In traditional perfumery blue is the shorthand for masculine, and if you ever see blue juice in the bottle, 99% of the time, you’d be right to expect a men’s cologne. Unless you’re holding a bottle of Thierry Mugler Angel, of course. Comme des Garçons doesn’t quite do the kind of about-face that Angel performs, but all three fragrances are comfortably androgynous.

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Balmain Vent Vert New and Vintage : Perfume Review

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

There are days in the winter when one can smell spring. It comes surreptitiously, even if the ground is still covered with snow and the sun is concealed by thick white clouds. Yet, the fragrance of spring is unmistakable—fresh, wet, and earthy, bearing that violet intensity that marks the desire of living beings to cast off winter’s slumber. Remarkably, this dissonance of spring is captured by perfumer Germaine Cellier in Vent Vert, the perfume created for Pierre Balmain in 1947.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Putain des Palaces : Perfume Review

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

There is a striking dissonance between the vulgarity implied by the name, Putain des Palaces (Hotel Slut), and the elegant character of the fragrance itself. Perhaps it’s just me, but Etat Libre d’Orange names that sound as if they were jotted down by a bunch of teenage boys after a night of drinking do not entice me. On the other hand, they do not repulse me either, as the only thing worth judging the perfume on is its scent. And yet, Putain des Palaces is a beauty, hinting at flowers foiled by soft leathery notes. If Sécrétions Magnifiques is one of the most unusual and innovative compositions from Etat Libre d’Orange and Jasmin et Tabac is the most edgy, Putain des Palaces is undoubtedly the most polished and seductive. …

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Hermes Eau des Merveilles and Parfum des Merveilles : Perfume Review

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

Hermès Eau des Merveilles, created by Ralf Schwieger (the nose behind Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose) and Nathalie Feisthauer for Hermès in 2004, is a fragrance that catches by surprise. From the first accord, it vacillates between reflecting either the translucent amber and delicately sweet tobacco or sweet glow of citrus. Intertwined with the scintillating central accord is lily of the valley. The floral aspect is rather subtle, resembling a crushed flower stem caught in the driftwood on the beach, however it lends an interesting facet.

An inky note appears in the heart of the composition, and although slightly sharp at first, it develops into salty undercurrent, touched by dry peppery warmth.  The base notes glow through the translucent layers, creating a scent of sand and sun warmed skin, which remains rather subtle. The winey veil of ambergris is touched by a lush whisper of hyacinth, which is elusive, yet during certain moments, its sweetness appears suddenly, caressing and seductive, only to fold back into the base accords.

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