Category: 2006

Lolita Lempicka L de Lolita, 2006

(image Valeria Lukyanova, source unknown) 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…

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…

le Labo Patchouli 24, 2006

Perfumer Annick Ménardo A review of le Labo Patchouli 24, a salute to Bvlgari Black and, I suppose, a fan letter to Anick Ménardo. If I find a genre of perfume that I like, I embrace it. I stock up. With Patchouli 24, I’ve cornered the market on the smokey-leather-tea-patchouli-resinous-vanilla genre. I already own two others in the category:  Bvlgari…

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…

Lalique Encre Noire pour Elle, 2006

Perfumer Christine Nagel Encre Noire pour Elle plays with the low expectation of floral prettiness, giving you more bleach and backbone than cute smiles. If I were to give it a Sanchez/Turin-style two-word fly-by, it would be moonshine detergent. Categorically it’s a musky, woody floral—an enormous field.  In spite of the common pedigree, though, it’s clever.  As for notes,  the…

Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur, 2006

Pefumer James Heeley. Cuir Pleine Fleur is a dry floral-leather. The high-pitched hiss of a violet leaf note combines with birch, suggesting fresh cut wood more than smokey birch tar.  Cuir Pleine Fleur can be seen as both a woody-floral and a floral-leather, having the formality of the former and the austere luxury of the latter.  It is in the same…

Etat Libre d’Orange Nombril Immense, 2006

Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer. Nombril Immense is a part of the trend of cleaned-up dirty materials. There have traditionally been a set of botanical materials that give gravity and intensity to perfume. They’re not known for their freshness or cleanliness. In fact, they’re generally known for having a ‘dirtiness’ to them. Patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, myrrhe, sandalwood, benzoin. With the ascendence of oud and the increased use of…

Etat Libre d’Orange Vraie Blonde, 2006

(image Amanda Lepore by Terry Richardson) Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu. Etat Libre d’Orange’s schtick is easy to dispense with because it’s so ridiculous.  I love the perfume that ELDO make, and I support the notion that perfumery needs to be shaken up.  The grade-school boyishness, though, is self-defeating.  The first thing I do with a bottle from ELDO is to put…

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…