Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Persolaise On Feelunique - Sensual Perfumes


I suspect the folks at Feelunique were enjoying a spot of the ol' tongue-in-cheekery when they called my latest piece 'The Sexiest Scents Ever'. Or maybe they weren't! Either way, the article focuses on sensual perfumes, so if you'd like to read it, please click here.

Persolaise

Friday, February 17, 2017

Persolaise Review: Bois Marocain from Tom Ford (2009/2016)


The soundbites
If Bois Marocain were a colour, it would be a rich, iridescent mustard, somewhere between yellow and brown.
If it were an item of food, it would be a lemon smoked in a cedar cabinet.
If it were a sculpture, it would be this piece of work by Jaehyo Lee.

The review
Now that Tom Ford has brought Bois Marocain out of retirement for a limited time, I've found myself wondering why some fragrances are on what we might call the 'discontinuation cusp'. I'm sure the main reason is clear to everyone: the scents that get killed off are the ones that don't sell. But - the motivation for brands to make profits notwithstanding - there may be other factors too, related to the cost and availability of raw materials, or the need to stop a collection from growing too large, or the difficulty of reformulating a composition in response to anti-allergen recommendations. However, if we just focus on the cash question for a moment, I think it's worth trying to speculate why some perfumes sell sufficiently poorly to be taken off the shelves, but are not quite unpopular enough to be relegated to the great vat in the sky forever. In other words, what was it about Bois Marocain that didn't resonate with the great buying public in 2009?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

National Fragrance Day 2017 - Share Your #ScentMemories


Dior Fahrenheit reminds me of my Dad on family summer holidays. Of nights together for family meals, enjoying the warm summers without a care in the world and my brothers trying to wear the same scent as my Dad. When I smell the fragrance now it always takes me back to very fond summer fun.
Karyn MacEwan – Travel Retail Manager Aspects Beauty Company

The lines above are taken from ScentMemories.org, a site set up by Fragrance Foundation UK to gather the olfactory recollections of as many people as possible. In the run-up to this year's National Fragrance Day - 21st March - the folks behind the site are trying to encourage more scentusiasts to submit their own stories. So if you fancy being included in the collection, drop them a line. You'll find all the details you need on their site.

Persolaise

Friday, February 10, 2017

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter: October to December 2016 [part 1]


Here's a round-up of some of my Twitter mini-reviews from October-December 2016. Part 2 will be posted soon.

Carrot Blossom & Fennel from Jo Malone (Anne Flipo; 2016)*
More like sugary, soapy clover to me. Not what I'd reach for if I wanted sharp, anisic herbs. Innocuous.

Lavender & Coriander from Jo Malone (Anne Flipo; 2016)*
Ill-at-ease, surprisingly grating barbershop fougère, heavy on coarse lavender. Little coriander in sight.

Orris & Sandalwood from Jo Malone (Pierre Negrin; 2016)*
Synthetic sandalwoods can be vile, but here, the link with iris achieves a pleasing - if forgettable - effect.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents - Hot Cologne from Mugler (Jean-Christophe Hérault; 2016)



Here's my YouTube review of the latest addition to Mugler's Les Exceptions range, Hot Cologne, by Jean-Christophe Hérault.

To view the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Persolaise

Monday, January 30, 2017

Persolaise Shortlisted For 5 2016/17 UK Jasmine Awards


I am excited to announce that when the nominees for this year's Fragrance Foundation UK Jasmine Awards were revealed a few hours ago, my name popped up 5 times. Actually, allow me to correct that. I'm not just excited: I'm over the jasmine-scented moon.

I've been shortlisted across 4 different categories: 'Soundbite - News Press' (for my Sunday Times Style article on 70s-inspired scents), 'Soundbite - Magazine' (for my Grazia piece on sexy perfumes), 'Independent - Literary' (for my Scented Letter article on the use of bases in perfumery) and 'Independent - Soundbite' (for two posts right here on Persolaise.com: one on Galop D'Hermès and the other on the best perfumes from Etat Libre D'Orange). Click on the links to find out more about the pieces.

Heartfelt congratulations to all the other nominees, especially those I'm fortunate to call friends. Many thanks to the judges and to Fragrance Foundation UK. To see all the nominees, please click here.

The winners will be announced on 15th March 2017.

Persolaise

Persolaise On Feelunique - When Is A Perfume Not A Perfume?


I've just had another piece published on Feelunique - this time about alternative forms of perfume - so please click here if you'd like to read it.

Thanks!

Persolaise

Friday, January 27, 2017

Persolaise Review: Falling, Across Sands, Dancing On The Moon & Soul Of The Forest from Maison Margiela (2016)


After allowing the range to remain fairly static for a while, the creative forces at Maison Margiela have taken an unexpected conceptual leap with their Replica scents: they've expanded it with what they're calling "reproductions of familiar fantasies". In other words, they've decided to abandon reality. The entire point of the Replicas was to capture real, specific moments in real, specific places, so it's difficult not to view this new quartet as a dilution of what was a pretty healthy collection. And sure enough, the old adage about truth being stranger than fiction applies well here - especially if we take 'stranger' to mean 'more interesting' - because none of these releases displays the intriguing subtleties of the best of the pre-existing Replicas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Future Perfume Classics On Fashionbeans

image: Fashionbeans

A couple of weeks ago, the award-winning journalist, Lee Kynaston, published a piece on Fashionbeans about modern masculine fragrances that stand a chance of becoming the classics of the future. To see which scents were chosen by his panel of experts - one of whom was yours truly - please click here.

Persolaise 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents: Ombré Leather 16 from Tom Ford (2016)


Something a little bit different for you today: a 60-second, YouTube review. I hope you enjoy it.

If you'd like to watch it on the YouTube site, please click here.

Persolaise

Friday, January 13, 2017

Persolaise Review: The Night 'الليل' from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle (Dominique Ropion; 2014)


The soundbites
If The Night were a colour, it would be a bronze burnished to the point that it starts looking crimson.
If it were a piece of music, it would be Al Awela Fel Gharam by Umm Kulthum.
If it were a place, it would be the Deira-side of the abra crossing alongside Dubai Creek, circa 1986.

The review
About two weeks ago, when I posted my list of the best perfumes of 2016, I hinted at the sense of frustration that's experienced when you don't manage to wear and test a praiseworthy scent close to its original release date. Given the number of new fragrances churned out each year, this is becoming an increasing problem and, as Luca Turin said, "from the standpoint of somebody who's interested in fragrance" the current state of affairs is "the stuff of nightmares". The predicament probably has no solution. Unless your name is Michael Edwards, it simply isn't possible to smell - let alone evaluate - all new fragrances. But that doesn't make the annoyance any easier to bear when you do come across a gem which should have received all the kudos and adoration that are bestowed on the contents of people's 'best of' lists. These are the thoughts that were high on my mind when I finally got to spend some quality time with Dominique Ropion's The Night for Frederic Malle.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Superfood Scents - Persolaise In The Sunday Times Style

image: Sunday Times Style

A little while ago, I made a brief mention of the fact that gourmand scents seem to be going through a calorie-conscious phase. I'm now thrilled to be able to let you know that an article I've written on the subject has been published in today's edition of The Sunday Times Style magazine. If you're based in the UK, please do buy a copy. You can also click on this link to read an online version, but please be aware that only registered users are allowed to read full articles on The Times' site.

Persolaise

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Best Perfumes Of 2016... In 60 Seconds


Something a little bit different for you today: a video version of my list of the best perfumes of 2016. Fear not, it's only 60 seconds long... although it does feature some rather mangled French.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. And that you'll come back next week for the first review of the year.

Persolaise

PS To watch the video directly on YouTube, please click here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best Perfumes Of 2016 - Greens, Dry Petals & Disco Balls



Rightly or wrongly, it looks as though 2016 is going to be marked as a particularly horribilis annus by the gods of record-keeping. Certainly, in political terms, events in the UK, USA, Italy, Poland and a few other countries suggested that the forces of liberalism are being drowned out by a growing tide of conservatism. This isn't the time for delving into such topics, but it is interesting to consider what sort of impact these global developments have had on the perfume world, which is, after all, vitally concerned about whether people feel able to spend their hard-earned pennies.

In the territory of independent scents, the reaction appears to have been a retreat. True, several new indie brands launched this year, and many of them - together with their more established counterparts - gave us some commendable scents. But overall, the so-called niche side of the industry has come across as extremely fearful and reluctant to push the envelope in the very ways which caught scentusiasts' attention in the first place.

In an astonishing twist, mainstream brands seem to have gone the other way, displaying more bravery than I'd imagined possible in the current climate. Don't get me wrong: big-name perfume houses still gave us plenty of soul-destroying duds. But maybe because a few of them were willing to splash out on bigger budgets and explore more interesting ideas, a lot of their wares weren't the instantly-forgettable, cardboard-cutout nonentities to which we're treated far too often.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Wishes 2016


Oh look, SOMEHOW all the Christmas cooking responsibilities have fallen to me and Madame Persolaise AGAIN. Mind you, I quite enjoy the whole thing... except for the supermarket shopping. That is an experience right up there with root canals and PPI calls in the annals of first-world problems. So, whilst things are still relatively calm, I thought I'd take a moment to wish you and yours lots of laughter, wonderful food and plenty of relaxation for the festive season. Enjoy every minute of it!

And please do come back on the 30th for my rundown of the best perfumes of 2016.

Happy Christmas!

Persolaise 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Persolaise Review: Kimonanthe from Diptyque (Fabrice Pellegrin; 2016)


The soundbites
If Kimonanthe were an item of food, it would be marmalade shot through with slivers of charcoal.
If it were a painting, it would be Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow On White And Red) by Mark Rothko.
If it were a person, it would be the linguistics professor who never quite seems to inhabit the same planet as everyone else.

The review
Isn't it wonderful to come across a perfume that you can't immediately work out? Like a painting that seems unfathomable at first glance (Ad Reinhardt's Abstract Painting No. 5) or a film that doesn't reveal its riches until a second viewing (Sokurov's Russian Ark), a difficult fragrance is a rare gift: a compelling conundrum that tugs at your attention in sly, subtle ways. This unknowable quality is precisely what makes Fabrice Pellegrin's Kimonanthe (part of Diptyque's boutique-only Collection 34) such an attention-worthy release.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Persolaise's Scents For Winter 2016 In Parfum Plus


Please click here to read my latest piece for ParfumPlus magazine, in which I run through my scented recommendations for winter 2016*. If you flick through to the next page of the article, you should also find an Arabic translation.

Persolaise

* The article is an edited version of a post that first appeared here on Persolaise.com; click on this link to read it.

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