Category: 2014

Imaginary Authors Violet Trilogy

Perfumer Josh Meyer. Imaginary Authors’s stories read like the back covers of pulp stories that just might actually have been published. Setting is paramount and the stories live in a tarnished-golden post-WW II arcadia where privilege and ennui are counter-balanced. They play with the fantasies of looking to the past. They offer an era of end-stage bucolic dreams, planes, fast…

Zoologist Perfumes Beaver(s)

Zoologist Perfumes recently reformulated Beaver, one of the trio of perfumes that launched the brand. How they went about it is both novel and unexpected. The chief reasons for reformulation are cost savings and restrictions on materials. Changes to perfume formulae are most often done covertly and then denied by the perfume industry. Beaver makes the case that changing a perfume to…

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat 540, 2014

Kurkdjian excels at creating well turned-out perfumes. Smooth, seamless perfumes with lovely olfactory shapes and pleasant profiles. Of course, he also makes Cologne and Absolue pour le Soir, two of the dirtiest roses available, so he’s not limited to olfactory pleasantry. Still, most of the Maison Francis Kurkdjian perfumes have a mannered quality. Where various perfume lines promise Arabian fantasy or…

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,…

LM Parfums Hard Leather

Perfumer not cited at LM Parfums website. The trend toward dense, smoky-woody perfumes is not particularly new. Nasomatto Black Afgano was an early example and many perfumes followed its blueprint closely.  The trend has been given new life by the abundance of synth-oud accords. Hard Leather smells like a hopped-up version of the oud accords I’ve smelled many recent perfumes.…

Fruity-floral flankers: Hermès Rose Amazone (2014)

Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. Rose Amazone shows how well Jean-Claude Ellena’s trademarked transparency/minimalism fits into mainstream taste.  Not a dig, just an observation. It makes sense, too. Many ongoing trends in perfumery stem his more mainstream perfumes: Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, Cartier Déclaration, Hermès Terre d’Hermès and Kelly Calèche.  He’s one of the most influential  perfumers of his time…

The non-flanker: Bruno Fazzolari Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes

(Sculpture by Marta Klonowska, after Portrait of a Young Young Girl by Charles Dagar) The distinction between a flanker and a variation-on-a-theme might seem trivial at a glance, but it is significant.  They are both versions of existing perfumes, but their intentions and outcomes are quite different.  A flanker is a spin-off of an existing perfume. It is a creature of…