Category: smoky

Slumberhouse Sova, 2012

Slumberhouse perfumer Josh Lobb has said that he doesn’t work with topnotes. Most of his perfumes smell layered, as if materials with similar consistencies or densities were creating a ‘wall of scent.’ Materials meet each other head to head on a level playing field. The democracy of materials urges you to find your own understanding of the perfumes without being…

Papillon Artisan Perfumes Anubis, 2014

Perfumer Liz Moores The genre of woody/smoky perfumes is having a moment these days. Unfortunately, many of these perfumes start with a disadvantage. A glut of aromachemicals hastily produced to fill the oud-gap that manufacturers are trying to convince us exists has lead to perfumes overdosed with ear-splitting synth-oud bases.  Characteristics of these perfumes include density, a lack of topnotes,…

Duchaufour’s Duet: l’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu and Dzongkha

Bertrand Duchaufour lead the trend of woody-smoky perfumes in the late 90s and the 00s, particularly with his perfumes for l’Artisan Parfumeur and Comme des Garçons. He became known for the genres that his work redefined: translucent incenses, sheer vetiver, weightless woods. Seen from the present, the significance of Duchaufour’s work is better understood by looking at his style and…

Bruno Fazzolari Lampblack, 2013

Image from Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Perfumer Bruno Fazzolari. There is nothing new in Lampblack. Then again newness is overrated in perfumery. ‘Unconventionality’ is code—camouflage for a lack of nuance and uninventive composition. Niche perfumery is the boy, novelty is the wolf. Better than novelty, Lampblack has a point of view. Consideration and creativity are more valuable than gimmickry, and let’s call…

Vero Profumo Onda Extrait, 2007

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 and comfort might be found without…

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…