Category: 2009

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumière Noire, 2009

Maison Francis Kurkdjian provides a number of entry points to the brand. It offers traditional products (perfume, papier d’Armenie, candles, body creams) and less expected ones (fabric softener, soap bubbles.) There is a deliberateness to much of the line that challenges the trend-chasing and slot-filling approach of many brands. His vision of a contemporary sensibility derives from an understanding of…

Hermès Eaux de Cologne

  (Image “Megumi” by Loretta Lux.) Jean-Claude Ellena’s work for Hermès is sorted into lines. They are as much clusters of flankers as sub-brands. They provide as many doors into the world of Hermès as possible and serve to inculcate the buyer to the taste and values of Hermès’s style of luxury. Sophisticated? Cynical? Both, really. I avoid writing about perfume as a matter…

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, 2009

  (image source unknown) Perfumer Christopher Sheldrake I’m from a small town in Connecticut. Not, Suburban-New-York-Connecticut. New-England-Connecticut. In my 1960s-1970s, the New England countryside was a place of wonder and democracy. The woods were a frame of mind as much as they were a location. Though I never thought of anything local as particularly exotic, pine was the scent of local…

Hermès Terre d’Hermès, 2009

  (image, Al Pacino from The Devil’s Advocate) Perfumer JeanClaude Ellena I first tried Terre d’Hermès in the eau de toilette concentration. It is radiant in the contemporary manner, not forceful, but persistent. The eau de toilette’s slightly sour edge gives the impression of two voices singing together, one sharp and one flat. The notes don’t balance each other and…

Heeley Ophelia, 2009

Perfumer James Heeley Ophelia captures a very particular time of year, the cusp of spring and summer.  It’s green like spring, so fresh it’s a bit bitter.  But it’s also lush and distracting the way a summer flower should be.  The initial notes of muguet and jasmine are underlined by the watery crispness these early flowers of the season have. …

Maison Francis Kurkdijan Cologne pour le Soir, 2009

(image, Le Male Frida Kahlo by Debora Pota) Perfumer Francis Kurkdijan Traditional Eaux de Cologne are designed to take advantage of the volitile qualities of citrus materials. The basic structure of composition is concise and most Colognes smell alike. Cologne is associated with its characteristic smells: hesperidic notes (citrus fruit, leaves, woods) herbs, florals, musk. Kurkdijan reinvents the Cologne by throwing…

Amouage Epic Man, 2009

Perfumer Randa Hammami. Any meal with more than two courses isn’t about satisfying hunger, it’s about having an experience. I, an American, am fond of the three-course meal, experience-lite. I see the value in a multi-course meal, but I won’t go so far as to have a ten-course Titanic dinner, or a twenty one-course Versailles bacchanalia. To my mind, a…