dior: 5 posts

The Olfactory Equivalent of a Souffle

Over dinner recently at Le Soufflé, a Paris restaurant specializing in the famed French dish, my friend asked me if there are any fragrances that suggest the same lightness and sensuality as this airy confection. The question took me by surprise, but I liked the idea of finding a floral scent that felt weightless without being fleeting. This was no simple task because the floral family is vast, ranging from fresh blends based on orange blossom and lily of the valley to smoldering potions of tuberose and jasmine.


In my recent FT column, The Olfactory Equivalent of a Soufflé, I take up the challenge and select three perfumes that capture the airy and decadent qualities of a soufflé.

The first fragrance I selected was Cartier’s Baiser Volé, a composition of white blossoms glazed with vanilla. Its green, sparkling opening includes rose, gardenia and white Casablanca lilies, while the sweetness is tempered by the cool touch of woods, subsiding in the drydown to musk and cedar. Despite its caressing, velvety impression, Baiser Volé retains its effervescent personality from the first to the last accord. To continue reading, please click here.

Image via FT

7 Rare Vintage Perfumes : The Perfume and Wine Class

As preparation for the Art of Perfume and Wine class that I’m teaching in April in France (more details here), I thought I would write about 7 vintage perfumes that have been influential for the evolution of perfumery and that we will smell in their original versions. There will be over 50 different perfumes in this course, but these 7 are among the most essential to learn.

Guerlain L’Heure Bleue 1912

Many perfumers will name Guerlain as the most influential perfume house, especially in its period when Jacques Guerlain was the head creator. L’Heure Bleue is a textbook example of a classic as well as of a symphonic perfume.

We will, of course, smell other Guerlain classics, from Après L’Ondée and Mitsouko to Chamade and Chant d’Arômes.

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Sunscreens : An Update

This is the second installment to my original overview of (mostly unscented) sunscreens. I have so much to say about Asian sunscreens that I shall keep them for a separate post, but today I will cover a number of selections from American and European brands. Unlike the first selection, this group includes products I disliked or found lacking in one aspect or another. Many of them have received glowing reviews from leading skincare bloggers and dermatologists, but since skincare is never made to suit everyone, I thought that another perspective would help those looking for the best sun protection.

sunscreens

First, I should mention what I look for in a sunscreen. My skin is combination and a sunscreen shouldn’t irritate it. It should also leave a satiny, non-oily finish. It should be lightly moisturizing. It should allow for layering–I reapply sunscreen at least twice a day. I also prefer my sunscreen unscented. Finally, and this is the most important part, it should have full spectrum protection, UVB and UVA. I don’t have preference over the sunscreen being chemical or physical, but a mix tends to have the best results in terms of finish and protection. This is my ideal type, if you will, and yes, such a sunscreen exists (many of them were described in the first article.)

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Christian Dior Sauvage : Perfume Review

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Replace Alain Delon with Johnny Depp, add a generous dose of Bleu de Chanel in the mix, shorten the name–and voilà, a new bestseller in the making. Although this kind of launch often strikes me as lazy, its make a lot of marketing sense. Sauvage banks on the impressive heritage accrued by its predecessor Eau Sauvage, and what it lacks in originality it makes up with presence. If you complain that perfumes don’t last on you, then look no further. Sauvage will not leave you alone.

dior sauvage

On the other hand, those who would like complexity and interesting stories should take to other pastures. Sauvage offers neither. It’s fresh, bright and radiant, with a pearly toothed Colgate commercial in a perfume bottle. I predict that we will smell many similar fresh-enough-to-disinfect accords in other fragrances in the coming months.

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Miss Dior Exhibit in Paris and New Face of Chanel

Christian Dior will celebrate Miss Dior perfume with an exhibition at Paris’s Grand Palais next month. Miss Dior was originally created in 1947, and it’s a green mossy blend that inspired many other perfumes in the same bold, distinctive style. Today, if you want to smell it at Dior, you need to ask for Miss Dior Eau de Toilette Originale. The fragrance currently bearing the name of Miss Dior and fronted by Natalie Portman was created in 2005 and launched as Miss Dior Chérie. It’s a fruity-floral gourmand.

miss-dior-2013-natalie-portman

It’s not clear which of these perfumes the exhibit is going to celebrate, but according to WWD, it features large-scale artworks by 15 female artists, rare photographs and a selection of outfits including the dresses that Raf Simons designed for Portman to wear in the Miss Dior campaigns.

The Miss Dior exhibition will run at the Grand Palais in Paris from November 13 to 25 (free to public).

Meanwhile at Chanel, Marilyn Monroe is the new face of Chanel No.5. New print and television campaigns will feature the celebrated actress who once proclaimed that she wears nothing but  Chanel No.5 to bed. Since I found the ad with Brad Pitt to be confusing, to put it mildly, I can’t wait to see the new ads.

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • John in Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2020: You might try Valentino Uomo… The cacao-leather-lipstick idea made famous by Dior Homme, with an added dose of hazelnut cream and coffee. Technically masculine but v. unisex IMO. April 2, 2020 at 4:24pm

  • John in Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2020: I would second Burning Leaves from CB… Also Caron Yatagan (a masterfully blended mix of bitter, bright, herbal and burning notes that takes some getting used to, but also keeps… April 2, 2020 at 4:14pm

  • Olena in Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2020: Thank you so much again, Sebastian. Yes, I suspected too that this unpopularity may be due to some technical difficulties. I’ve read in one review once that phlox can be… April 2, 2020 at 3:40pm

  • limegreen in Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2020: Second Victoria’s recommendation! Bond no. 9 New Haarlem done by Maurice Roucel This is strong coffee with sweetness, syrupy sweetness (but not quite Turkish coffee) Le Lebo has/had a bath… April 2, 2020 at 12:06pm

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