Yann Vasnier: 16 posts

Blending History and Architecture : Arquiste Parfumeur

I first came across Arquiste Parfumeur when I was looking for an original gourmand fragrance. Most of the dessert-inspired blends crossing my path were of the cotton candy and crème brûlée variety, and I wanted bitter chocolate. “Why not try Anima Dulcis?” suggested a friend, and gave me a small sample of cognac-colored liquid. It turned out to be the treat I was craving—dark, smoky, spicy, and properly indulgent.

Arquiste Parfumeur is a niche line conceived by architect Carlos Huber in 2012. In his original métier Huber specialized in the historical preservation of buildings, and his proclivities are obvious in the way he interprets history through scents. In Fleur de Louis, a graceful blend of jasmine, orange blossom and iris, he paints a picture of the engagement between Louis XIV and Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain. The citrusy L’Etrog promises to show me the 12th century Calabria, while my favorite Anima Dulcis is a glimpse of the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria in Mexico. Helping to realize Huber’s vision are perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier. Flores-Roux and Vasnier teamed up on Anima Dulcis and L’Etrog, while Fleur de Louis is a solo project by Flores-Roux, a perfumer who shares Mexican origins with Arquiste’s founder.

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Carine Roitfeld Parfums George : Perfume Review

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In a memorable scene in Joris-Karl Huysman’s novel Against Nature, his character Des Esseintes is so inspired by reading Dickens that he decides to visit London. Yet, having traveled only as far as grey and rainy Paris, he feels that he has experienced London’s atmosphere enough in his imagination and abandons the whole idea. No doubt, Des Esseintes would have been sympathetic to the efforts of perfumers who attempt to satisfy the wanderlust of armchair travelers. One such venture is Carine Roitfeld Parfums, created by the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. The line includes seven unisex fragrances, Aurélien, George, Kar-Wai, Lawrence, Orson, Sebastian and Vladimir, inspired by travel and by fictional lovers.

My ideal lover is George. He is elegant, suave, and soft-spoken, yet whatever he says keeps my interest piqued. (He has certainly read Huysmans, although decadence is not his favorite art current; he is more into realism.) I travel to Tokyo with George, where we stroll through autumnal temple gardens, take baths with iris petals and visit painting exhibits in those typically Japanese galleries filled with silence, soft light and a whiff of wood polish. With George on my arm, everything smells of violet leaves, moss and crushed green leaves. He doesn’t smoke, but the leather jacket that he wears so well is redolent of ashes and fine tobacco.

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Parfums DelRae Wit : Fragrance Review

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Patricia discovers a new love in Wit.

Daphne, a spring plant that smells like candied citrus rind and jasmine, is the inspiration for  Wit, the latest creation by Parfums DelRae. Parfums DelRae is a niche fragrance brand based in San Francisco and Paris and comprised of nine fragrances known for their creativity, complexity, and high quality. I own two others: Début, a fresh, green lily-of-the- valley, and Coup de Foudre, an effervescent rose.

wit

Wit by perfumer Yann Vasnier, is easily my favorite release of 2014. I haven’t felt as excited about a floral perfume since L’Artisan Parfumeur introduced Séville à l’Aube in 2012. Although different in composition, they share the same lush, falling-into-a-pile-of-petals feeling. I wore Séville à l’Aube for a month straight after it came out, and I can easily imagine doing the same with Wit.

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Arquiste Parfumeur Anima Dulcis : Perfume Review

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A piece of dark chocolate is my idea of a perfect dessert. It is bitter and creamy, sweet and nutty, tender and animalic. Chocolate has such a kaleidoscopic range of flavors and aromas that it would seemingly be perfect as a perfume note. Yet, instead of conveying luscious darkness, most chocolate fragrances go no further than the creamy cocoa impression suggested by vanilla and milky notes.

Still Life with Sweets and Pottery

 

As beautiful as true dark chocolate can be, it is extremely challenging to work into a composition. The very qualities that chocolate lovers crave—bitterness and richness—can register more like a gamey stew than a mouthwatering confection. Enter Arquiste Parfumeur Anima Dulcis, a fragrance that does not shy away from bringing out the animalic facets of bitter chocolate, while remaining harmonious and tempting. It is an oriental composition that hints at gourmand, but ends up in an unexpected chocolate incense territory.

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Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Palm : Perfume Review

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Tf

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

Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Palm was first presented at Tom Ford’s LA boutique last February. This year it finally went into wider distribution. Created by perfumer Yann Vasnier, Lavender Palm reinterprets the main fougère element, lavender. It frames the note with bergamot, lemon, lime blossom, clary sage, frankincense and woods. It is an elegant fragrance built on a rich aromatic accord.

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