comme des garcons: 13 posts

Comme des Garcons Rose Red Series : Perfume Review

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Red_rose

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

I love rose. I am drawn to its ravishing beauty that beguiles and fascinates me. My love causes me to seek out rose in as many forms as possible, from rose absolutes and attars to fragrances containing rose notes. Comme des Garçons Rose with its modest ornamentations is what I return to after wearing darker and richer rose fragrances, from Guerlain Nahema to Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose. It is like a Persian rose sherbet, a refreshing drink, the taste of which lingers pleasantly on the lips.

Rose was created by Yann Vasnier (see an interview) in 2001, in collaboration with Françoise Caron. The initial notes spill into a shower of rose petals, caressing my skin and dazzling me with their opulence. Laced with chili pepper, rose casts an iridescent glow, ranging from rich crimson to pale pink. There I stand in the middle of my grandparent’s rose garden in Poltava, Ukraine, intoxicated by the blossoms releasing their aroma under the hot midday sun. As the composition dries down, lush red petals become layered with crushed raspberries, faintly sweet, warm, and delicate.

Comme des Garcons Avignon Incense Series : Perfume Review

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Cistercian_abbeyComme des Garçons Incense Series introduced in 2002 explore incense scents from different parts of the world from Zagorsk, Russia to KyotoJapan. Avignon calls to mind exploring religious architecture, which has always been a favorite pursuit: wandering through the abbey of St. Denis just outside Paris on a hot summer day; studying Magna Carta at Salisbury Catherdral; exploring the altar of Santo Stefano in Bologna on a damp December evening and really wishing to be home drinking tea under a warm blanket. The resinous and rich scent of incense accompanies each one of these recollections and is to be found in Avignon.

The fragrance opens up with a surge of myrrh and frankincense–dark, balsamic, somber, with an underlying resinous sweetness. I can almost hear the Gregorian chant as the balsamic smoke swirls out of the resinous accord. After the fragrance dries down it becomes much softer with the bitter sweet notes of chamomile dispersing the darkness of incense. It still remains a rich fragrance with smoky, warm notes swirling over the resinous base. The dry down is reminiscent not of a cathedral during the High Mass, but of a ruined Cistercian monastery–the rich incense scent still clinging to the stones but softened by the breeze carrying the herbal scents from the surrounding countryside.

Photo: David Heald, Nave Looking West, Longpont (Cistercian abbey).

Comme des Garcons Carnation : Fragrance Review

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Carnation_cdg

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

The fragrance attempts to capture the spicy bite of carnation and its sweetness by combining red pepper, cloves and rose, a fairly traditional ensemble. Unlike most carnation fragrances, Comme des Garçons Carnation lacks the characteristic powderiness, instead being heavy on a honeyed spicy chord, which takes the carnation warmth a notch too high. In fact, it is not too far from sweeping into the rose sweetness, without characteristic bite the carnation offers. Thus, if someone is looking for a true dianthus peppery warmth, Carnation is too sweet and too heavy on rose to be a decent representation.

Unlike many other floral notes, carnation lends strength and warmth to oriental and floral compositions without either compromising the delicacy of floral accords or rendering them too sentimental. Given the high cost of carnation absolute, I know of very few fragrances (JAR Golconda being among them) that employ the natural essence. Far more common are the carnation aromachemicals like eugenol, isoeugenol and eugenyl, among which eugenol and isoeugenol are considered to be allergenic.

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