christopher sheldrake: 17 posts

Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer : Perfume Review

44444

I don’t know why I expected a perfume called La Vierge de Fer (The Iron Maiden) to be the olfactory equivalent of punk rock*. Serge Lutens is as enigmatic as ever in his description and sources of inspiration. The fragrance was inspired by Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It references a lily, a flower traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary. The website blurb also mentions instruments of torture. Oddly enough, this kind of eclectic mix appeals to me, and I was curious to see what scented shape it would take.

botticelli-madonna

I dabbed the pale, grey tinted liquid on my skin and took a deep breath. I inhaled jasmine; its green twigs, yellow pollen and crinkly petals unfolded one by one as I stood with my nose pressed to the pulse point on my wrist. Every time I’ve worn La Vierge de Fer since then, I’ve noticed other elements–the fizzy, silvery sparkle, the waxy lily petals, the warm musky sweetness, but I still can’t shake off my initial impression of being wrapped in a soft jasmine veil.

Continue reading →

Chanel New In-House Perfumer : Olivier Polge

Chanel recently made an official announcement that Jacques Polge is getting ready to hand over the reigns to a successor. The search led to his son, Olivier Polge, who has been working as a perfumer at International Flavors & Fragrances since 1998 and counts many excellent perfumes in his portfolio, including Balenciaga ParisViktor & Rolf Spicebomb, and Dior Homme. He will replace his father as Creator of Chanel Fragrances.

chanel-perfumers

Jacques Polge will not be leaving Chanel right away, and the plan is to have him train Olivier and integrate him into the team. Since 1978 Jacques Polge has been not only creating Chanel perfumes, but also ensuring their preservation, and he will continue doing so for the time being.

Continue reading →

Christopher Sheldrake’s Favorite Perfumes

Grant Osborne of Basenotes features a terrific interview with Christopher Sheldrake, the nose behind many Serge Lutens fragrances and perfumer and director of research and development at Chanel. The piece first ran a couple of weeks ago, but it’s such a great interview that I couldn’t resist sharing it. If you haven’t read it, please do!

sheldrake-polge

What’s your favourite Chanel? Outside Chanel as well? I love No.5 Eau Premiere. For me it’s probably the most feminine fragrance available on the market today. Very modern, very contemporary. I love No. 22 because that’s something for people who think their fragrance doesn’t last long – it has a fantastic trail, and is a fantastic retro fragrance, very elegant, very feminine. I also love Coco Noir because it’s so soft and sensual and it’s in that beautiful bottle as well. A lot of people, when they see the bottle, they think its going to be very heavy and difficult, but in fact it’s a very easy, very young feminine sensual soft fragrance.”

“And outside Chanel, I love Mitsouko by Guerlain – a classic chypre. I used to wear it myself, although it’s a women’s fragrance, it’s a wonderful smell on women and men. And there’s something in the Amor Amor by Cacharel, something in that accord which I absolutely love. It’s very feminine and gustative – you could eat it – or the person that’s wearing it!” To read the rest, please click here.

Photograph: Christopher Sheldrake (left) and Chanel perfumer Jacques Polge (right).

Serge Lutens Santal Blanc : Perfume Review

44444

It rained the other day. Again. The drops covered the windows, turning the red roofs of the nearby buildings and the delicate church spires into an impressionistic blur. I’ve learned to enjoy the melancholy serenity of a rainy day, but there are times when the grey mist makes me feel listless and depressed. On such days, I throw open my perfume cabinet and reach for scents that remind me of someplace warm and sunny.

santal-blanc

One such perfume is sandalwood. Its creamy sweetness and heavy richness takes me to India, which may be a stereotypical association, except that India, my India, is thoroughly permeated with sandalwood. As a bride, I was rubbed with rosewater and sandalwood paste to make my skin glow. I was fed sandalwood scented milkshakes and fudge. Wherever I went, I smelled sandalwood incense.  No wonder that Serge Lutens Santal Blanc whispers Indian stories to me.

Continue reading →

Chanel 1932 : Perfume Review

33333

Do you know the feeling when you try an outfit and can’t decide whether it suits you or not? You think, “maybe it would be fine if I were to add a different purse or wear my hair up…” Those are the kind of pieces that end up gathering dust in the closet. Perfume is not exactly like clothing, because some fragrances don’t cast their spell on you immediately, but as my recent experience with Chanel 1932 proved, sometimes the first instinct is the correct one.

1932

I admit to having a certain reverence for Chanel. Its perfume collection includes some splendid gems like No 5, Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie, and No 19, and even releases like Allure and Coco Mademoiselle have the kind of attention to quality that one rarely finds at department store counters. For this reason, I wasn’t ready to give up on 1932, a new addition to the Les Exclusifs collection, but when I first tried it on my skin I found it to be pale and limpid.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2020 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy