jerome epinette: 8 posts

Byredo La Tulipe : Perfume Review


Niche perfumery is a handy term to encompass brands with limited distribution, but when it comes to quality or originality, it means absolutely nothing. Twenty years ago niche houses comprised just a handful of visionaries who wanted to do perfumery according to their own ideas rather than conventional marketing, but today it’s hard to argue that niche means better.


What it does mean without fail is more expensive. Take Byredo La Tulipe for example. For $220, you get 100ml of perfume that smells disconcertingly like Febreeze. I’m not intending it as an off-the cuff remark. The original Febreeze scent is sophisticated floral with soft rose and lily of the valley notes. La Tulipe has more sparkle and layers, but at the heart of it is a simple fresh floral. It’s pretty enough, but I would rather enjoy something like this at Febreeze’s price (under $10).

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Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme : Perfume Review


I find endlessly fascinating the “stories” created around perfumes; the one concocted for Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme is briefer than many but is still dramatic:  “She turned the dial until the safe opened, revealing the diamond. She had stolen jewels before, but none compared with this one. She left a single rose and the scent of her perfume in its place for him to find. In a moment she’d be halfway around the world and he would be in pursuit. The chase began again…”


More useful for someone wondering whether he or she might enjoy the fragrance is a sentence about “a breathtaking seductress caught in a stolen affair between light and dark.”  Forget the seductress and go right to the light and dark part.  This isn’t fiction.  Rose Anonyme contains mostly dark elements that can easily topple a less carefully considered fragrance. But it’s so smoothly blended that the perfume feels like something that one slides into rather than something one sprays on.

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Atelier Cologne Vetiver Fatal : Perfume Review


When I first smelled the Atelier Cologne fragrances Rose Anonyme and Vetiver Fatal, I immediately fell for the sheer, smoky roses and left the vetiver to languish on my desk. Perhaps that day I craved more flamboyance and more glamour which Rose Anonyme amply delivered. But a week or so later, I absentmindedly dabbed Vetiver Fatal on my wrist–there was no other perfume around–and curled up with War and Peace. Well before Natasha Rostova appeared on the scene, I abandoned the book and sat with my wrist glued to my nose. The scent on my skin was bright but moody, rustic but sophisticated. It smelled of sliced oranges, damp earth and fallen leaves–a little vignette of late summer.

At first, Vetiver Fatal makes me think of green tangerines, complete with their leathery leaves–verdant, zesty and tart enough to make my mouth water. The vetiver takes form stealthily, until you distinctly smell its characteristic scent of earth covered roots and milky hazelnuts. Perfumer Jerome Epinette makes a seemingly simple choice by pairing vetiver with citrus (vetiver oil naturally has a  grapefruit-like accent in its top notes), but the harmony and the addition of other elements makes Vetiver Fatal stand out.

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