Category: fucking huge

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady, 2010

Perfumer Dominique Ropion. The rose and patchouli pairing is such a good fit that it seems like proof of fate. It’s been the basis for a range of leathery, ambery, woody and mossy perfumes spanning woody-floral, chypre and oriental genres. The Malle PR boasts that Ropion used surpassing doses of rose essence and patchouli coeur, a fractionated patchouli. Fractionated naturals…

Papillon Artisan Perfumes Salome, 2015

(Image source unknown.) Perfumer Liz Moores. Twenty years ago, with a few exceptions, perfume producers didn’t publicly identify the perfumer. Ten years ago some perfumers were becoming rock stars.  The relationship between the perfumer and the audience is changing and the role of the perfumer is being redefined. Social media has been seen as the marketing tool of the independent perfumer. It’s…

digging (into) vintage: Cacharel Loulou, 1987

(Image Mervyn Gorman autochrome, 1913) Perfumer Jean Guichard. I recently found a vintage bottle of  Cacharel Loulou, a spiced floriental in the vein of Coty l’Origan (1905) and Guerlain l’Heure Bleue (1912).  The three could be seen as variations on a theme, and, though l’Heure Bleue is the most iconic of the three, it wasn’t the first.  It took l’Origan’s style…

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture, 2014

Image by Elena Montemurro.  Perfumer Thierry Wasser. Guerlain have long followed the rule that it’s better to be good than to be first.  Or at least it’s better to be the last one standing.  Coty Chypre created the genre that defined perfumery in the 20th century.  Mitsouko copied the formula, improved it and is now the standard-bearer.   Shalimar came…

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, 2000

  Perfumer Maurice Roucel. Wearing L de Lolita could well be a Catholic-school lesson on the sin of gluttony and the threats of eternal hell.  The anticipation draws you close, the titilation makes you give in, the satisfaction is the pleasure you’ve been denied.  Then you continue to eat, unable to control yourself, long past the point of nausea and revulsion.…

Chanel Coromandel, 2007

  Perfumer Jacques Polges. A house like Chanel has to play a few different angles at once if they want to sell their products.  With Cormandel they tie together a few different narratives that target a number of key demographics simultaneously. It’s an odd dance that Coromandel performs seamlessly.  Coromandel is a Hippy Patchouli and it’s an Old Lady Perfume. …

Vero Profumo Onda Extrait, 2007

Image: Pounce by Thomas Allen. Perfumer Vero Kern, 2007. Aesthetics might be shared but beauty is experienced personally.  Discussions of aesthetics often lead to unanswerable questions on the nature of attraction, absolutes and subjectivity. Onda’s contribution to the debate is to show where the discussion takes place. Wearing Onda shows you that beauty is experienced at the limits.  Simple ease…

Bernard Chant and the Cabochard Family Tree

Images lifted from Thomas Allen. The start:  Grès Cabochard, 1959. Expectation works against Grès Cabochard, poor dear.  Many compare it in its current form to a vintage model.  I’ve never smelled vintage Cabochard, so that expectation isn’t an issue. Cabochard is the reference leather chypre of the mid-20th century.  It was popular, critically acclaimed and directly influenced the decades of…

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir, 2013

(Image lifted from Helmut Newton) Perfumer Hugh Spencer. Parfums Retro Grand Cuir is framed for you before you even try it.  Putting the expectation right out front is an interesting strategy.  The name tells you it will be a backward-looking, stonking leather perfume.  While the name is not an outright fiction, it’s a ruse.  Grand Cuir is a leather perfume,…