Olivia Giacobetti: 18 posts

L’Artisan Mandarine Tout Simplement : Perfume Reviews

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Mandarin_orange

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

The mandarin peel unravels in a loose curl, revealing translucent fleshy segments. The newest fragrance from L’Artisan, Mandarine tout simplement (2006) is an uncomplicated vignette based around the sweet citrus. If I close my eyes and inhale the scent emanating from my wrist, the image of glossy orange spheres is so vivid that my mouth begins to water. The sweet and tart facets are wonderfully balanced, with the composition eschewing the acidic bite that characterizes many citrus fragrances.

Nevertheless, this poem is far too succinct, because after bursting into a mouthwatering firework of citrus, Mandarine tout simplement slowly begins to soften into a somewhat watery floral. It is still quite pretty, especially since the pairing of sweet citrus and floral accents reminds me of a similar accord in En Passant. And then it simply vanishes, as one might expect from a light summery citrus—a teasing glimpse of thirst quenching fruit. …

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L’Artisan Premier Figuier and Premier Figuier Extreme : Perfume Reviews

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Green_figs

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

Although the fashion for fig notes in perfumery has resulted in a diverse range of fragrances, from the green and dry Diptyque Philosykos to the sweet and candied Parfums Delrae Bois de Paradis, Premier Figuier (1994) is the composition that started the trend. Created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti for L’Artisan Parfumeur, Premier Figuier folds the green pepperiness of galbanum around the ivy note in order to create its signature fig accord.

Giacobetti’s rendition of the green notes is quite impressive, because while conjuring the intoxicating smell of sticky green buds, her orchestration does not have a raspy, aggressive element that characterizes many verdant compositions. The milky note reminiscent of broken dandelion stems foils the arrangement, providing an interesting floral counterpoint that harmonizes the green and woody accords of Premier Figuier. …

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IUNX L’Ether : Perfume Review

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Eishi2

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

Update 9/5/2011: The IUNX line was reintroduced to the market, and the fragrances are currently available at the store next to the entrance of Hotel Costes in Paris.

Ether, the substance that according to Greek doctrines was the celestial essence breathed by the gods and which was considered to be “less than the vehicle of visible light” by the ancient phisophers, cannot be a more appropriate name for a IUNX creation by Olivia Giacobetti, whose fragrances are marked by weightlessness and radiance.

If L’Ether cannot be called “the divine celestial fire”—the Greek word aither is derived from the root aith-, meaning “burn”—it is only because its beauty is available to mere mortals. In many ways, L’Ether is the example of compositions Giacobetti excels in—sheer luminosity modulated by the mysterious smokiness of incense. The effect is at once delicate and powerful. It is most closely related to Costes and Passage d’Enfer through the transparent incense that fills its base. …

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Lubin Idole de Lubin : Perfume Review

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Idole_de_lubin

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

Idole de Lubin… “He embraced her nervously, not daring to ask the question that hovered upon his lips. She had placed a large package on the stand in the center of the room. Opening it she took out a tablet of soap, a bottle of Lubin’s extract, a sponge, a box of hairpins, a button- hook, and curling-tongs…” Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami (1885).

The names like Lubin, L.T. Piver, Sauzé, Gelle Frères, Millot, Rigaud, Houbigant, and Roger & Gallet may not readily evoke the images of the grand perfume houses, yet until the 20th century, these firms were on par with houses like Guerlain and Coty in contributing to the “Golden Age of Perfumery.” Pierre-François Lubin established his firm under Napoleon in 1798 and eventually became Pauline Bonaparte Princess Borghèse’s appointed perfumer. Over the course of its history, the house created about 466 fragrances. However, its glory seemed to have vanished with the hats and gloves. In this light, it is fascinating to experience Idole de Lubin, created by Olivia Giacobetti. Inspired by the maritime spice routes and voyages to the far away lands, Idole takes the name of Lubin’s fragrance from the early 1960s. However, I should clarify that it is a completely different fragrance, rather than a remake of the vintage one. Could it be the sign of Lubin’s revival? …

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L’Artisan Safran Troublant, Piment Brulant, Poivre Piquant : Perfume Review

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Chagall_the_lovers_vision

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

Saffron, black pepper and chili pepper are the spices that inspired three fragrances by L’Artisan Parfumeur for its Les Epices de la Passion set, which debuted in 2002. Created by Olivia Giacobetti and Bertrand Duchaufour, the fragrances posses a subtle touch, playing up the facets of spices against creamy notes. The compositions are not what I would call passionate and voluptuous, as they are rendered rather sheer and charming. The spices whisper and shimmer, rather than bite. Their rough edges are smoothed by the sweet and floral notes, with the peppery burn of Poivre Piquant loosing itself in creamy sandalwood, and a medicinal element of saffron in Safran Troublant in rose.

Safran Troublant created by Olivia Giacobetti has an abstract edible quality of a vivid saffron note folded into a rose soufflé. …

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