Category: sweet

Guerlain Mon Guerlain, 2017

Perfumer Thierry Wasser. So, what is the recipe for a big-budget, got-to-be-successful, no-room-for-error, if-you-build-it-they-will-come perfume? To judge by Guerlain’s approach: Mix equal parts imitation, predictability and risk aversion in a large bowl. Bake in a lukewarm focus-group until stale. Sprinkle with olfactory least common denominators. Serve in a bottle replete with historical Awethenticity™. Buon appetitio. Am I cynical? Clearly, but…

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…

Bond no 9 Chez Bond, 2003

(Perfumer not identified.)  How does the expression go?  First impressions are lasting impressions?  Something like that. In 2003 Bond’s launch strategy included a few easy, recognizable perfumes.  Perfumes Bond gambled on tapping into a built-in audience appeal.  Previously, the niche perfume tactic was to launch with one or two perfumes and build a line over time, but Bond were one…

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. …

Indult Reve en Cuir, 2008

Image lifted from Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. Some notes are easier than others.  Not to create, but to accept at face value. Vanilla is one.  People recognize ‘vanilla’, whether it’s a vanilla bean, veratraldehyde or ethyl vanillin.   Leather requires a little more work. ‘Leather’ is more a range of olfactory tones than a specific note that can be emulated. It…

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial, 2011

Perfumer Thierry Wasser Guerlain are getting smarter about their ‘younger’ entries into what is essentially a house composed of classics.  I’m not saying that the young Insolence buyer will necessarily move onto L’Heuere Bleue in later years, but there is a conceptual continuity between the two fragrances.  With both Insolence and Shalimar Parfum Initial, Guerlain is giving those new to…

digging (into) vintage: Rochas Globe, 1991

Perfumer: Nicolas Mamounas?  Jean-Claude Ellena? Globe is one of the lost boys from the 90s. Guerlain Heritage (the only one of the bunch still in production), Jacomo Anthracite, Givenchy Insensé, Paco Rabanne Ténéné.  Diverse trends led to the perfumes of the 90s.  The fougères from the 70s, the power frags from the 80s, the remapping of the terrain by Davidoff…