Ralf Schwieger: 12 posts

Charenton Macerations Christopher Street : Perfume Review

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The first thing I noticed about Charenton Macerations Christopher Street was that it was a proper, old-school chypre (a perfume based on an intricate combination of citrusy, floral and mossy notes).  At  long last, I should add. It was composed by Ralf Schwieger, author of Lipstick Rose for Frédéric Malle and lately several fragrances for Atelier Cologne and Etat Libre d’Orange.

water

Charenton Macerations is a new indie brand created by fragrance consultant Douglas Bender, and Christopher Street is the debut perfume from this indie outfit. The notes of Christopher Street are supposed to give an olfactory picture of this New York neighborhood, and to that end one might want to read the brief as given on the Charenton Macerations Web site. Early on, Bender wished to “…combine classical floral elements with more subversive tones of metals, smoke, watered down alcohol, wet woods, clove, burnt coffee, and dark tea” that would represent, well, a lot of things having to do with the history of Christopher Street and its casts of characters.

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Etat Libre d’Orange The Afternoon of a Faun : Perfume Review

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By a coincidence, the first time I wore The Afternoon of a Faun, the latest perfume from Etat Libre d’Orange, was to a ballet performance. I applied it earlier in the day and by the time I sat in the darkened theater it already melted into my skin. My companion leaned in and whispered, “I love the smell of theater, the mix of wood and floor polish… Oh, wait! It’s you!” And she was right, Faun smells like worn wood, or something antique and patina covered.

Created by , the same perfumer who authored the brilliant Fils de Dieu, The Afternoon of a Faun is inspired by the ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes. It was first performed in 1912, with Nijinsky dancing the main role. Set to the score by Claude Debussy, L’après-midi d’un faune told the story of a faun who meets and teases a group of nymphs. The erotic subtext of the plot and the archaically styled dance ran so counter to classical dance that it caused a scandal, and Nijinsky could barely escape the angry fans.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu : 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.

He brings the sunshine. That’s how Etat Libre d’Orange describes its latest fragrance Fils de Dieu, du Riz et des Agrumes. “Son of God, rice and citrus” was brought into this world by perfumer Ralf Schwieger, who took the idea of a classical oriental and made it new and memorable. What drew me to Fils de Dieu from the first inhale was how well it played on the contrasts: the effervescence of citrus cologne and the plush richness of vanilla, the spring-like brightness of green leaves and the sultry darkness of musk, the clarity and the complexity.

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Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue : Perfume Review

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Ambren

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

I admit it. I am a perfume Casanova. The moment I meet Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue, I immediately go through my roster of amber favorites. I have to make sure that we have not met before. The classical amber accord based around labdanum is an ever popular fragrance style. It is sweet and warm. It is redolent of vanilla, the perfume note equivalent of an easy tune. Add some incense or dark woods, and the amber becomes sexy and dark. The problem is that after a while this theme gets repetitive, unless a composition offers some new and original twist.

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Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee : Perfume Review

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Vanilleinsensee

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

I love the playfulness of Vanille Insensée, which cannot decide whether it wants to be a vanilla or an amber, and while oscillating between luscious sweetness and dark richness, it manages to beguile with its complex, nuanced character. The contrasted nature of this fragrance created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger for Atelier Cologne not only makes it exciting to wear, but also gives it a beautiful signature.

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