Category: Maurice Roucel

Lilies and Valleys

Time hasn’t been kind to lily-of-the-valley perfumes. Stylistically they’ve fallen out of vogue. They are considered quaint and proper, two descriptors nobody with a ‘social presence’ would ever want applied to her. Add to that the conditioned olfactory association with toilet cleanser and it’s no wonder muguet perfumes aren’t trending. Another culprit is the often-overstated limitation on perfume materials, one…

Editions Parfums de Frédéric Malle Dans tes Bras, 2008

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle launched in 2000 with a rock-star lineup of perfumers, including Maurice Roucel, who composed the culty Musc Ravageur for the brand. Art direction and commissioning independent perfumers was nothing new in 2000. In fact, it was the founding model of niche perfumery. Early examples Diptyques (1961), l’Artisan Parfumeurs (1976), Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier (1988) were…

Lolita Lempicka L de Lolita, 2006

Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur is the classic ‘whole lotta everything’ perfume. It’s an Aromatic Fougiental with gourmand tendencies. It doesn’t blend categories. It lumps them all together in the same bottle. Keeping the different genres at arms length from each other is a remarkable technical accomplishment. Unfortunately, it also leaves Musc Ravageur open to love/hate criticism. Fougère fans will find…

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.…

le Labo Labdanum 18, 2006

Perfumer Maurice Roucel Cistus labdanum is a classic amber material.  It’s THE classic amber, in fact. It has many facets and can be used to tease perfumes into an endless number of shapes.  I had hoped that le Labo’s spartan approach would lead to interesting results.  Unfortunately, Labdanum 18 emphasizes almost exclusively the cloying angles of the material.  It starts…

Guerlain Insolence Eau de Parfum, 2008

  (image, Melancholia) Perfumers Maurice Roucel and Sylvaine Delacourte I’ve read that Insolence is Maurice Roucel’s rif on Après l’Ondée (1906) but I take Luca Turin’s point that Insolence is more akin to l’Heure Bleue (1912). It’s as if l’Heure Bleue is being quoted or at least closely paraphrased. Insolence EDT 2006  is an accomplished, tightly-constructed perfume with surface similarities…

digging (into) vintage: K de Krizia, 1980

  Perfumer Maurice Roucel Discovering a chypre from the early 1980s that you’ve never tried is dicey. While it’s new to me, it’s by no means a new perfume, and has lived, loved and likely been reformulated a number of times, probably  fatally. Hand a new fumie a current bottle of Diorella, she’ll sniff and then look at you and…

Nautica Voyage, 2006

  Perfumer Maurice Roucel I don’t understand how fragrances are “aquatic”.  Do they bear any more relationship to water than any other particular style fragrance style?  I suspect it’s the triple whammy of conditioning: 1) The aromachemicals that comprise the category have been used in so many masculine shower, shave, and grooming products that men have been conditioned to affiliate…