Olivier Cresp: 11 posts

Cacharel Anais Anais Premier Delice : Perfume Review

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No perfume families are as vast as the fruity-floral and gourmand families. It seems that you can get any dessert in perfume form, from crème brûlée to cupcakes. There are also many fragrances that smell like clones of each other, which is why after you smell one too many variations of Angel, you start giving up on the whole lot. On the other hand, if you want lighthearted and fun, then nothing can beat a well-crafted gourmand blend. From time to time, I canvas perfume store shelves for such contenders, and my latest search turned up Cacharel’s Anais Anais Premier Délice.

cacharel

Premier Délice is one of several variations on the classical green floral Anais Anais, but it’s the first major departure from the original. Instead of accenting the floral notes, perfumers Olivier Cresp and Dora Baghriche took a different route. They’ve laced it with chocolate! If you’re familiar with the original, you’re probably skeptical right now, but if you like gourmand and fruity notes you’ll like Premier Délice. It is moderately sweet on the contemporary gourmand spectrum, and it has some interesting elements.

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Moschino Couture! : Fragrance Review

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Elisa on another perfume that’s lighthearted, easy to wear and interesting.

There are certain perfume brands that fly under the radar. They are neither so mainstream that you see testers on every department store counter (Estée Lauder, Gucci, and the like), nor do they qualify as “niche” or earn the cult status of pricey brands like Serge Lutens and Amouage. These perfumes – I’m thinking of brands like Paco Rabanne and Cacharel – are found at mall perfume kiosks and online discounters, usually for under $50 a bottle. If you know about one of these scents, you probably either bought it at a drugstore as a teenager, heard of it through word of mouth, or discovered it via pure happenstance.

Moschino_Couture

This last method of discovery was the case for me with Moschino Couture!, launched in 2004. (The exclamation mark is part of the name, but I’ll drop it from here on out.) Early on in my perfume-buying days, I had an insatiable hunger for new fragrances, but not a lot of money to spend, and I frequently blind-bought bottles when they could be had for just a few times the cost of a sample ($4 for 2 ml or $20 for 50 ml … this seemed like easy math to me). I bought Couture on a whim because I was ordering a bottle of Moschino Funny! and the site had great deals on both.

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Olfactive Studio Flashback : Perfume Review

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Olfactive Studio Flashback, a salty vetiver and rhubarb blend, is one of those rare fragrances that not only smell good but feel poignant. Olfactive Studio’s concept marries fragrances with visuals, and in the image that accompanies Flashback, a frame from a video shot by Laurent Segretier of his long-distance girlfriend, you see very few details–the delicate tilt of a girl’s head and a thick fringe framing the face. This photograph was the brief to perfumer Olivier Cresp, who tapped into his childhood memories to create Flashback. For my part, when I smell Flashback, I’m reminded of collecting shells along the beach and helping my grandmother make rhubarb jelly.

Laurent Segretier

While childhood memories are often saccharine, there is nothing cloying or precious about Flashback. When I was collecting notes for my article about salty perfumes, it quickly turned out to be one of the best recent examples of salty vetivers. It’s also polished and elegant, suited for both men and women.

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Valentino Valentina : Perfume Review

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Why do you wear perfume? If I were to judge by fragrance marketing, all of us wear perfume to make the opposite sex fall down in a dazed stupor at our feet.  Now, the good thing about Valentina, the latest perfume from Valentino, is that it avoids the tired clichés; it presents a young woman who plays by her own rules instead of following the conventions. I must have watched the TV ad with its terrific Via Con Me soundtrack by Paolo Conte at least a dozen times before I finally smelled the fragrance.

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Thierry Mugler Angel : Perfume Review and Fragrance Poll

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Angel

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

I generally try to steer clear of too much hyperbole, but in the case of Angel, every hyperbole describes it perfectly. The most polarizing, the most memorable, the most dramatic, the most grotesque… Angel, created for Thierry Mugler in 1992, is one of the great perfume success stories of the last two decades. Its introduction on the market is also an interesting case study into what it takes to make a classic: quality juice, a strong character, a memorable signature and also time. Today, most brands go for the quick sell, releasing fragrances that are bland and derivative; the new launches are rarely given time to take hold in the market place. Angel was not a runaway success; it took three years of constant support from Thierry Mugler and its parent company, Clarins, for this fragrance to start topping the best seller lists. And the rest is history!

What follows is not so much my standard perfume review, but rather an exploration of how this fragrancew came about and what makes it unusual. In the end, I share some of my favorites among Angel offspring, including some fragrance that I find fantastic but that fared quite badly on the market. I also would love to hear your thoughts on Angel, positive and negative.

Angel: New Gourmand Fragrance Genre

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