Category: old school

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…

Bruno Fazzolari Au Delà and Seyrig

Image Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Perfumer Bruno Fazzolari. It’s a fine point, but Bruno Fazzolari’s perfumes Au Delà (2013) and Seyrig (2015) don’t imitate perfumes from the past.  Instead, they take their genres apart and discover what makes them tick.  Even though Fazzolari refers Seyrig as “inspired by the aldehydic motifs of the late ’60s and early ’70s perfume” it steers clear…

Why I’m Wearing Cristalle Today

There is a succinctness to Cristalle that appeals to me.  It makes me think about syntax and tense in language.  The past is perfect, the present is subjunctive and the future is conditional. My relationship to time has everything to do with the language I speak, English, which favors an analytical/logical view of dividing time.  Preterite, pluperfect, present, conditional, anterior,…

Bogue Cologne Reloaded, 2013

Image Joel Peter Witkin Cologne Reloaded is made with perfume materials from the 1940s that found their way into the hands of perfumer and architect Antonio Gardoni.  It is derived from a concentrated eau de cologne base called “Colonia della Esperis”.  The base included instructions for reconstitution to various concentrations, each of which Gardoni prepared in his investigation of the…

digging (into) vintage: Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, 1977

  (Left: Oscar de la Renta  early 1970s. Right: Yves Saint Laurent 1974) Perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac made some of the most memorable and influential perfumes of the 1970s-1990s. Yves Saint Laurent’s era-defining Opium (1977) smothered the oriental genre in spice, making the previous big-girls like Shalimar and Youth Dew seem quaint.  In the 1980s Sieuzac skipped the match, but piled…

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…

Chanel Cuir de Russie, 1924 (2007)

(Image lifted from Katerina Plotnikova) Perfumer Ernest Beaux.  1924. Reformulation, Jacques Polge.  2007. Most of what has been written on classical perfumery falls into three categories: the description, the tribute and the complaint, also known as anger passing for nostalgia.   Take Chanel no 5: • The description: Soapy. Bubbly. Old Lady perfume. Flowery.  Feminine.   • The tribute: The…

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,…