Parfums Dusita Le Sillage Blanc, 2016

(photo, Rare Historical Photos) Parfums Dusita launched in 2015 with three perfumes and went straight for the heart of classic French perfumery. Two of the original three extraits took on traditional genres, the fougère (Issara) and the mixed-white floral (Mélodie de l’Amour). The third (Oudh Infini) renovated the woody floral with a contemporary oud note. With Le Sillage Blanc, perfumer Pissara Umavijani takes a crack…

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Guerlain Néroli Outrenoir, 2016

(Image by William Claxton. John Coltrane in front of a Pierre Soulages painting at the Guggenheim Museum in 1960.) Perfumer Thierry Wasser. Hermès and Guerlain have both introduced new neroli perfumes into their line-ups this year. Hermès’s golden neroli Cologne (Eau de Néroli Doré) suited a summer launch and brought to mind sun, tanned skin and escapism. Guerlain skipped the gold and went for the…

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Hiram Green Perfumes Dilettante, 2016

(image source unknown) I’m late to the table with the Hiram Green line but I’m catching up in ‘binge watching’ style. I’m trying the four perfumes Green released over a four years span for his eponymous line, but I’m working in reverse, starting with 2016’s Dilettante. I wrote to Green with some questions about his work and his responses give insight into his methods and…

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Zoologist Perfumes Beaver(s)

(image warmuseum.ca) 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 accomplish specific goals…

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Papillon Artisan Perfumes Tobacco Rose, 2014

(Image, Silva-Thins ad, 1980s.) Perfumer, Liz Moores. Rose’s complex olfactory make-up gives it flexibility but expectation can get in the way of an easy range of motion. The person looking for a sunshiny soliflor won’t necessarily dig an earthy rose/patchouli or a mossy rose chypre. And there are assumptions to navigate. Dewy roses imply innocence and boozy roses seduce. A garden rose is Elizabeth Bennet…

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Bruno Fazzolari Monserrat, 2013

(Doris Day,  source unknown) Monserrat is an easy wear, but not an easy read. It is unashamedly a fruity-floral, particularly in the topnotes, which have a sunshiny, Doris Day vibe. Of course this is where a chill strikes me. Doris Days always scared the shit out of me. That blond, chirpy, starched-crinoline celluloid image was unnervingly untroubled. It’s as if she cast no shadow. Fazzolari…

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iris

(image, illustratedetymology.com) Papillon Artisan Perfumes Angélique. Perfumer Liz Moores, 2013 Naomi Goodsir Iris Cendré. Perfume Julien Rasquinet, 2015 Masque Milano l’Attesa. Perfumer Luca Maffei, 2016 Iris was a key part of the grand ‘orchestral’ perfumes that are now considered dated if not antiquated. Old-school Guerlains like Mitsouko and l’Heure Bleue nested orris root and iris aromachemicals in complex structures. Modern iris perfumes perfumes highlight the…

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Parfums Dusita Issara and Mélodie de l’Amour, 2015

(image, Riccardo Sabatini) Perfumer Pissara Umavijani. Buyers often identify how much they’ll spend on a perfume and then cross-shop everything in that range. Here is where Parfums Dusita finds itself at an interesting crossroads. It is the most expensive artisanal line of perfume. Cost-wise, Dusita is in the Dove, 777, Xerjoff neighborhood With its high price-tag (approx $325-450 per 50 ml bottle of extrait) Parfums…

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Why Mainstream Perfumery?

(Image, The Secret Lives of Stepford Wives) Mainstream perfume—how and why? How? Know your enemy. Why? It has a great track record. It’s become the norm to name the perfumer, and I’m all for the practice. Until not long ago, the perfumer was in the closet. Today the perfumer might compose the formula for the perfume that winds up in the bottle, but there is…

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M. Micallef Royal Vintage, 2013

  (Image source American Psycho.) Perfumer Jean-Claude Astier. The ’80s were the decade of the ten-octave woody delinquent that came to be known as the Power Frag, as in power fragrance. As in power tie, power lunch, power suit. The 1980s were the 1970s with more volume, more cocaine, higher aspirations and not even a vestige of conscience. Chanel Antaeus, Puig Quorum, Krizia Uomo, Calvin…

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Why niche?

    (Photo Victoria Beckham, source unknown.) Why niche? For ease of discussion, I’d say plug in your own definition of niche to whatever you read here. Myself, I think the Independent Film model, or moving quickly and unabashedly from the fringe to the mainstream, is applicable to niche perfume. Studios gobbled up any production company that was trying something new. Soon every studio was cranking…

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Why vintage?

(image suzanne-vintage.com) I have two reasons for delving into vintage perfumery. First, excellence. Second, it’s ripe for excavation. ** In perfume, the word vintage is a little like the word niche. It means different things to different people and tends to cause confusion in a discussion. Here are few definitions, all of which I’ll accept: Perfumes no longer produced. Early versions of extant perfumes that that…

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