Tuesday, 20 March 2018

6 Perfume Styles Everyone Should Own - Persolaise On Feelunique

In my latest article for Feelunique, I provide a few recommendations for ensuring that your perfume wardrobe contains at least one example of each of the main scent styles.To see which fragrances made the final cut, please click here.


Friday, 16 March 2018

Persolaise Review: 50 ml D’Ambiguité from Marlou (2017)

I do love a perfume name that makes me laugh. In much the same way that Etat Libre D’Orange’s Rien always elicits a chuckle - because, in fact, it contains the very opposite of nothing - last year’s offering from Marlou brought several wry smiles to my face as I was getting to know it. The reason? Well, as you’re drawn deeper and deeper into its bed of sweat-soaked coupling, you realise there’s hardly anything ambiguous about it at all. From the very second it decides to aim its crosshairs on your virtue, the assault of leathery musks, smoky, bonfire woods and cumin-heavy spices makes it clear that it has no intention of leaving you without satisfying its appetite. And truth be told, you’re quite happy to let yourself be taken, because the rising temperature of the haze in which you find yourself is ample evidence that this seducer’s bedside manner is as impressive as its initial greeting. In other words, it can walk the walk as well as it can talk the talk... although perhaps ‘walk’ isn’t quite the right verb in this context.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Persolaise Turns 8 + Love At First Scent & #Smellfie

Exactly eight years ago today, I published my very first post here on Persolaise.com, so I wanted to mark the occasion by saying a larger-than-Karl-Lagerfeld's-ego thank you to each and every single one of YOU. If it hadn't been for your support, your encouragement and your ceaseless ability to bring a smile to my face - be it here, or on Facebook or Insta or Twitter or YouTube or wherever - this blog would have died a quiet little death long before now. So...


Your comments and feedback and interaction mean more to me than you can imagine.

Right, that's quite enough gushing from me. Time to change the subject.

The fates permitting, I hope to broadcast the next episode of Love At First Scent on Facebook Live this Friday, 16th March, at 6:00 pm UK time (2:00 pm New York time). Please do try to tune in, not least because I've received a sample of the brand new Frederic Malle - Music For A While - and I'm going to do my very best - arrrrggggh! - not to smell it until Friday!

And finally, a word about the spectacle below. The somewhat dubious image is my attempt to join in this year's #smellfie campaign, as organised by The Perfume Society. The aim is just to have a bit of fun and celebrate our mutual love of all things perfume-y, so to take part, post a picture of yourself - and a perfume you love (in my case, one of my favourite leathers ever, the impassioned Lonestar Memories from Tauer) - on Instagram or Twitter and be sure to tag it with #smellfie and the relevant Perfume Society handle on whichever platform you're using (on Twitter, they're @Perfume_Society and on Insta they're @theperfumesociety).

Have fun!


Friday, 9 March 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: October to December 2017 [part 2]

Here's part 2 of my latest round-up of mini-reviews. For part 1, please click here.


Un Air De Bretagne from L’Artisan Parfumeur (Juliette Karagueuzoglou; 2017)*
I remain a huge fan of the brand, but sadly, this isn’t one of their finer moments. Like most scents trying to play the marine card, it fails. Yes, the citruses and the cedary woods attempt to make the calone aquatics appear more realistic, but they can’t quite conceal that this is a coast whose soul was concocted in a test tube rather than captured along a cliff edge. I’ll stick with my crepe and Calvados.

Synthetic Series: Tar from Comme Des Garçons (Nathalie Feisthauer; 2004)**
A perfume peeled off a steaming motorway, wafting petrol fumes and the gorgeous glue of brand new Nikes. Superb work by Nathalie Feisthauer.

Paithani from Penhaligon’s (Alex Lee; 2017)*
Putting aside its somewhat heavy-handed, synth-wood base, it’s an Indian feast, complete with cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and a generous dose of sugary condensed milk.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Blanc from Bulgari (2003; Jacques Cavallier)**
A truly convincing tea note (for once!) infused with orange blossom and musk. It always makes me think of a breeze blowing through an open window in a tiny, white-walled Spanish villa.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Persolaise Review: Cardamusc from Hermès (Christine Nagel; 2018)

I have spent a disgraceful amount of time trying to write this particular piece, as I have never been in the position of composing anything quite like it. One false start after another has led to rambling, overlong descriptions, which have then meandered into interminable passages of self-indulgence, all of which ended up getting killed by the Delete key. So, I shall now try to switch off the left side of my brain, tune into any stream-of-consciousness wavelengths I can locate within my addled cranium and rattle off no more than a handful of paragraphs (after all, your time is precious and I hate to overstay my welcome) on what is an especially exciting release for me. Why exciting? Because not only does Cardamusc come from one of my favourite brands – which would have been sufficient cause for celebration in itself – but its creation was, in a small way, influenced and affected by none other than me. Curious? Read on…

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Once Upon A Scent - Persolaise On Romantic Perfumes In ParfumPlus

My latest article in the Middle East's ParfumPlus magazine turns to the not-unfamiliar connection between perfume and romance. To read it, please click on this link which will take you to a flip-book edition of the entire issue.


Friday, 23 February 2018

"Your Claims Have To Be Honest" - An Interview With Rodrigo Flores-Roux

With no fewer than 12 Fragrance Foundation Awards under his belt - the first one being for Clinique's Happy - Rodrigo Flores-Roux is unquestionably one of the most successful and acclaimed perfumers working today. He's composed scents for countless high street names. He's used his talents in the somewhat more adventurous world of independent perfumery. And he holds a senior position at the fragrance production company he's called home for many years: Givaudan. In other words, there isn't much he hasn't achieved.

Since the start of the century, he's become associated with the fragrance division of the John Varvatos fashion brand - he has put together all of its scents - and it was in this capacity that he flew into London to discuss his latest piece of work, Artisan Pure. Like all the other entries in the Artisan range, it emphasises the lighter, more citrus-based elements of its construction, so I started my conversation with Flores-Roux by asking how Pure differs from the rest of the collection.

Rodrigo Flores-Roux: This is the fourth chapter of the Artisan story. We worked around the colour white, the texture of cotton, the texture of linen. Sandblasted glass. Glass that had been eroded by the sea and the sand. That kind of thing. And purity. The starting point was precisely an image that I have from my adolescence. We were invited somewhere by a colleague of my Dad. He was part of this very aristocratic family from Veracruz, from the coast of the Gulf Of Mexico. And that area is a very important part of coffee cultivation. We went to their hacienda, which is a coffee plantation. A very elegant, old, beautiful place. And I have a dear memory from there. The room that I was staying in with my brother overlooked a little courtyard which had potted citrus trees. Outside were the groves of coffee trees. The flower of the coffee tree is extremely fragrant. And the fields were in full bloom. So it was just like a cascade of perfume coming into the bedroom. From one side, the scent of the citrus trees, and then this very perfumed atmosphere of the coffee tree blossom.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: October to December 2017 [part 1]

It's mini time again: another round-up of my reviews from Twitter and Instagram. To read the others in the series, please click here.

La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto from Guerlain (Thierry Wasser; 2017)*
Another well-written chapter in the little black dress story, this time topping the rosy cherry with a hint of dry, bitter leather.

Olim from Trudon (Lyn Harris; 2017)*
Before fougères became rough and uncouth, they smelt a little bit like this. Delicate anisic spices and lavender. Almost creamy benzoin and myrrh base. The power of lowering one’s voice.

Mortel from Trudon (Yann Vasnier: 2017)*
Incense has the ability to be the most enveloping, the most meditative of perfumery notes. But sometimes it can be rendered chilly and reedy. Mortel falls into latter camp. Strange, geranium-like brightness doesn’t help.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 12 On YouTube

The 12th episode of Love At First Scent was broadcast on Facebook Live on Sunday and you can now catch it on YouTube. As always, you can watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered

Feather Supreme from Jusbox (at the start of the video)
Yael from Sammarco (at the 15:00 minute mark)
Russian Tea from Masque Milano (at the 25:00 minute mark)
The Tycoon from St Giles (at the 54:00 minute mark)
Amsterdam from Gallivant (at the 1:02:00 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Poison esprit de parfum from Christian Dior (at the 37:30 minute mark)

There were also brief mentions of:
Declaration parfum from Cartier
The Writer from St Giles
The Actress from St Giles

The original video is still on Facebook. Click here to watch it.


Friday, 9 February 2018

Persolaise Review: Dryad from Papillon (Liz Moores; 2017)

It’s so wonderful to behold a perfumer maturing right under your nose. With her debut trio, Papillon’s Liz Moores proved that hers is a considerable talent, even though at least two of her compositions justifiably attracted the view that independent perfumery’s rough-edged statements can be overly reactionary. But then there was Angélique, Moores’ unassuming, subtle homage to 70s styles: a quiet harbinger of great things to come. And sure enough, we now have Dryad, an aptly-named, pastoral dreamscape lifted by plush, velvety mosses and mimosa-narcissus florals. Yes, it projects a retro sensibility - almost impossible to avoid when you use galbanum-style greens - but it does so without cliches or nostalgia. This is a fully-fledged scent in its own right, confident in its own identity to the extent that it doesn’t feel the need to set itself against mainstream peers. In other words, I’d say it is Moores’ most complete and most rounded composition to date, a timeless vision of young bodies - skins gleaming with a thin sheen of perspiration - lying on dry grass, looking straight up at the sky, whispering tales of summer longings. A sylvan delight.

[Review based on a samole of eau de parfum obtained by the author in 2017.]

PS Please don't forget that the next episode of Love At First Scent will be broadcast this Sunday; more details at this link.


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Next Episode Of Love At First Scent On Facebook Live This Sunday

Here's a brief announcement that the next episode of my Facebook Live series, Love At First Scent, will be broadcast on Sunday 11th February at 3:00 pm UK time (10:00 am New York time). To watch it, please click on this link to the Persolaise Perfumes Facebook page.

I haven't yet decided what I might sniff in this particular instalment, but there are quite a few goodies I could choose, including new releases from Gallivant, Sammarco and St Giles (a brand that's just about to launch at Selfridges) as well as a new flanker to a bestselling modern classic (see the picture above for a clue).

I hope you'll be able to tune in.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Cinema Scent On BBC Radio 4 Film Programme: Black Narcissus (dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger; 1947)

Cinema Scent is back on BBC Radio 4's Film Programme tomorrow (Thursday 1st Feb) at 4 pm (UK time) and in this episode, the movie I've chosen takes us to a convent high on a wind-swept mountain top: Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus from 1947, named after the Caron fragrance which also inspired one of the best perfume blogs out there. So, wrap up warm, adjust your wimples and start climbing...

To listen to the episode as it's being broadcast, please click here. As per usual, I'll update this post with a link to the podcast as soon as it's available. Here's a link to the streaming/downloadable version; my bit comes up at around 23 minutes.

To read the Cinema Scent reviews published on this blog, please click here.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Who Am I Today? - Persolaise On Feelunique

image: Feelunique

The mood-shifting - or should that be 'mood-reflecting? - power of perfume is the subject of my first article of the year for Feelunique. Please click here to read it... especially if you can't quite make up your mind about whether you're feeling assertive, energetic or pensive today.


Friday, 19 January 2018

Persolaise Review: L'Oudh from Tauer Perfumes (Andy Tauer; 2017)

One of the statements made most often in assessments of the success of Apple is that, in terms of coming up with a certain product or idea, the company was rarely first. Instead, its creative forces looked at what everyone else was doing and then found a way to do it better. That’s precisely what came to my mind as I started wearing Andy Tauer’s L’Oudh. The Swiss perfumer is late to the agarwood party. As you’ll all be aware, it is now far easier to count how many brands don’t feature an oud scent in their portfolio than it is to list those which do. (And the former are constantly growing smaller in number; keep your nostrils flared for imminent news of another house that’s decided to succumb to that Middle Eastern allure.) However, Tauer has never bothered much with trends, which means he’s in an excellent position to consider the oud phenomenon at his own pace and formulate a very personal response to it.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 11 On YouTube

This year's first episode of Love At First Scent was broadcast on Facebook Live on Friday and it has now been uploaded to YouTube. As ever, you can watch it above or by clicking here. In this instalment I covered

Candy Sugar Pop from Prada (at the start of the video)
Vanille Fatale from Tom Ford Private Blend (at the 13:30 minute mark)
Vio Volta from DS & Durga (at the 25:00 minute mark)
Villa M from Paul Schutze (at the 41:00 minute mark)
Ummagumma from Bruno Fazzolari (at the 53:30 minute mark)

As per usual, the original video is still on Facebook. Click here to watch it.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Persolaise Interviews Christopher Chong In The Latest Nez + Next Facebook Live This Friday

"I don't think any of my perfumes are strange, maybe because I live with them every single second of my life. It's like having a child. Even if your child is a little bit odd, you don't see it. They seem normal to you. I have heard a lot of people telling me that my perfumes are not that easy to understand. But that is what I want to do. At least I have the guts to push the olfactive palette, like people used to do in the last century. And I want the customers to work hard with me and take the time to understand the journey."
I'm genuinely proud to announce that the latest issue of Nez magazine, available in both French and English, features a piece I wrote about Amouage's Creative Director, Christopher Chong. Needless to say, it also contains several other articles worthy of your time, so if you'd like to find out how you can get your hands on a copy, please click here.

Don't forget that I'm hoping to broadcast the eleventh episode of Love At First Scent on Facebook Live (click here) on Friday 12th January at 2:30 pm UK time (9:30 am New York time). I plan to start with the new Private Blend from Tom FordVanille Fatale. Please try to tune in.


Monday, 8 January 2018

Vanilla Perfume Recommendations - Persolaise On Feelunique + Next Love At First Scent On Friday 12th January

image: Feelunique

In my new article for Feelunique, I've turned to one of the oldest - and, arguably, one of the most divisive - perfumery ingredients: vanilla. To see which sticky delights made it into the piece, please click here.

The fates permitting, the eleventh episode of Love At First Scent - this year's first - will be broadcast on Facebook Live (click here) on Friday 12th January at 2:30 pm UK time (9:30 am New York time). In response to my followers on Instagram, I've decided to open the episode with the latest Private Blend from Tom Ford: Vanille Fatale. I'm getting nervous already...



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