Sophia Grojsman: 6 posts

An American perfumer of Belorussian descent who introduced an innovative monolithic style of fragrance composition. Her fragrances allow a wearer to experience all of their facets at once, and while the accents change as the perfume develops on skin, the essential character remains the same. Her signature note is a rose. Please also see Interview with Sophia Grojsman.

A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn : Perfume Review

Patricia on rebellious (or not so rebellious) roses.

I approached Rose Rebelle Respawn by A Lab on Fire with some trepidation, since its older sister, perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s 100% Love by S-Perfume, was the only perfume to date that made me gasp for air. I wondered how the masterful Grojsman, creator of many of my favorites including Yves Saint Laurent Paris, a beautiful violet rose that I wore throughout the 80s, Boucheron Jaipur, Bvlgari Pour Femme, Estée Lauder White Linen, and Prescriptives Calyx could have created this monster? 100% Love is deeply polarizing, with many fans and many detractors. Its supporters praised its originality, while its naysayers found it unwearable.  If I tell you that I referred to it as 100% Nasty in my perfume notes, you’ll guess in which camp I belonged.


But I needn’t have worried about Rose Rebelle Respawn. Although it contains many of the same notes as 100% Love, such as rose, cacao, and musks, it handles these elements in a completely different way. Where 100% Love has a sour, fermented note, Rose Rebelle eschews it in favor of softness and warmth. It’s blended with a lighter touch and from top to bottom it’s a cozy, powdery confection.

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Estee Lauder White Linen : Fragrance Review


In 1978, Estée Lauder launched White Linen as a part of a trio called “New Romantics.”  The New Romantics also included Celadon (a green floral) and Pavilion (a white floral).  The three New Romantics scents were pioneers in the concept of fragrance layering.  The ad copy promised “three incredibly pretty fragrances designed to interact with each other.  Wear one.  Wear two.  Wear all three together.”

Celadon and Pavilion have been mostly lost to time, but Sophia Grojsman’s White Linen was an immediate blockbuster that is still in the Lauder line-up three decades later.  To me White Linen smelled like nothing else out there while bearing a stylistic resemblance to Chanel No 22 (immense use of aldehydes over abstract white floral heart).  It smelled nothing like the big Orientals that had just taken hold, and if it were meant to be worn concurrently with Celadon and Pavilion the result would have been explosive (think about combining Pleasures and Beautiful). On its own, White Linen had a massive and imaginative signature.  To combine it with another scent of equal power would be unthinkable—in today’s terms.  In the late 1970s, perfume was still constructed and worn boldly.

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Yves Saint Laurent Paris : Perfume Review


There’s a twenty-year-old ad for Yves Saint Laurent Paris that says everything you need to know about this iconic fragrance.  In the ad, the model Lucie de la Falaise leans against a wall while holding a huge bouquet of light-pink roses.  Everything but the model’s face and the bottle of perfume is in gauzy soft focus, including in the background the Eiffel Tower.  De la Falaise looks otherworldly in this city of muted pinks and greens, serene, elegant, and very, very French.  Surely the City of Light is scented exactly like this, is it not?  Isn’t Paris a veritable rose macaroon, tinted pink as Yves Saint Laurent’s fantasy fragrance is?

Paris is an ebullient and romantic daydream of a scent that interlocks a fruity, jammy, and abstract rose with violets that smell the way candied violets look.  One spray and (nearly) all is revealed. This is not a perfume of special effects but one that opens big, stays big, and gives you a bit of sandalwood as a basenote souvenir.

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Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse / Champagne : Perfume Review



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

Yvresse attests to the fact that it is possible to capture the sensation of champagne bubbles bursting on the lips, while the warmth of the golden liquid relaxes the limbs and melts away worries. From the effervescent top accord to the crystal bottle designed by Joël Desgrippes to resemble a champagne cork, the elements of Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse (formerly known as Champagne) coalesce into a vision of sparkly, exuberant liquid.

Created by Sophia Grojsman in 1993, Yvresse prompts me to recall Napoleon Bonaparte’s “I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate . . . and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself”: Yvresse is a fragrance that I wear when I want to feel elegant and glamorous, but also when tenderness and comfort are what I seek. …

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Sophia Grojsman : Perfumer Interview

To say that Sophia Grojsman is responsible for a revolution in perfumery is an understatement. Her unique vision ushered in a new style of fragrances that broke with the traditional classical forms. Indeed, she is a Picasso of perfumery, with her fragrances unfolding into visions that were as progressive as they were breathtaking. Just like Cubism fragmented three-dimensional forms, intertwining the elements in such a way as to present multiple views of the same subject, Sophia Grojsman’s fragrances changed one’s perspective by allowing the base notes to be visible from the top.
sophia grojsmanAt the time, when fragrances were created using several hundred components, she started composing scents, the main accord of which weaved only four to seven ingredients. And in those few masterfully selected strokes she was able to conjure images and sensations that were previously rarely experienced. From Yves Saint Laurent Paris to S-Perfume 100% Love, Sophia Grojsman’s creations are marked by a sensual silkiness recalling flower petals and a luscious softness that does not compromise the strong and confident character of her fragrances. After all, they are created by a woman whose strength and dedication to her work are not in conflict with her warmth and generosity.

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