Monday, 20 November 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017

Persolaise Review: Roland Mouret - Une Amourette from Etat Libre D'Orange (Daniela Andrier; 2017)


Three aspects of the new Une Amourette - an Etat Libre D'Orange collaboration with fashion designer Roland Mouret - are worthy of attention. The first is that it marks a welcome instance of a Daniela Andrier perfume that isn’t green or centred around iris. Sure, an objective glance through her portfolio reveals that she is more than capable of working with a range of materials; after all, she’s made or co-made scents as diverse as Prada’s Candy, Gucci’s much-missed Envy For Men and Bottega Veneta’s Pour Homme. But there’s no doubt that in recent years, she’s developed a reputation for being the Iris Lady, throwing the plant’s rooty personality into a large number of her compositions, not least the Olfactories range for Prada, Miu Miu’s debut scent and Margiela’s Untitled. Thankfully, Une Amourette shows her at her innovative best, trying out new ideas, refusing to rest on her laurels.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Unisex Perfumes - Double Dose Of Persolaise On BBC Radio


The subject of unisex perfumes has obviously been high on the minds of some BBC Radio producers, because two of them asked me to appear on their programmes to chat about the topic. If you'd like to hear what I had to say, then please click on this link to the Malcolm Boyden show on BBC Hereford & Worcester (my segment is at about the 38 minute mark) and on this link to the Danny Kelly programme on BBC West Midlands (fast forward to about 2 hr and 9 minutes). Those links will be active only for a few days, I believe, so don't hang about. And if you're based outside the UK, I'm afraid the links probably won't work for you. Sorry!

Persolaise

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Best Evening Perfumes - Persolaise On Feelunique

image: Feelunique

Bow ties, sparkling dresses and impossible heels are all over the shops again, which must mean it's party season. So for my latest piece for Feelunique, I've turned my attention to perfumes that create a bold, nocturnal impact. To read it, please click here.

Persolaise

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Cinema Scent On BBC Radio 4 Film Programme: The Graduate (dir. Mike Nichols; 1967)


Regular readers will know that in recent weeks, I've started writing about the relatively unexplored space where the worlds of scent and cinema meet. Well, I am thrilled to announce that my little project has made its way onto my favourite weekly dose of movie musings: Francine Stock's Film Programme on BBC Radio 4. So, put on a wetsuit, jump into a red sports car and tune in today at 4 pm (UK time) to hear me talking about one of the most beloved films of the 60s: The Graduate.

To listen online as the programme is being broadcast, please click here.

As soon as the podcast of the episode is available, I'll post a link to it here. Here we go... You should be able to listen to the episode by clicking on this link; on the same page, you'll also find a 'Podcast' link with various options for Apple, Android et al. I hope you'll listen to the entire episode, but if you're interested only in my bit, fast forward to the 24 minute mark.

To read all the Cinema Scent pieces I've written so far, please click here.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 8 On YouTube


Episode 8 of Love At First Scent - featuring my suitably Halloween-esque orange shirt - is now on YouTube; please watch it by clicking above or by going directly to the YouTube site (click here). In this edition I covered

Illusion Captive from Lalique (at the start of the video)
Viking from Creed (at the 15 minute mark)
Warszawa from Puredistance (at the 33 minute mark)
Le Frenchy from Guerlain (at the 43 minute mark)
Oud from Spirit Of Dubai (at the 50 minute mark)

As always, the original video is still on Facebook. Click here to check it out.

I know I usually let the videos speak for themselves, as it were, but I would particularly like to draw your attention to the Puredistance; a new composition from Antoine Lie, it completely took me surprise and I can't wait to revisit it. As for the Creed... well... see for yourselves...

Persolaise

Friday, 3 November 2017

Searching For The Silver Lining: The Best Modern Perfumes For Young Women


A little while ago, I published a post bemoaning the fact that many new perfume releases aimed at young women don’t treat their target audience with the intelligence they deserve. They tend to be dull, safe and patronising. But I didn’t want to leave the subject on a negative note. Surely, I told myself, even though there is a great deal of dross being heaped onto the market, there must be a few modern compositions that manage to capture some facets of 21st century femininity without resorting to cliches.

As you can imagine, that immediately prompted me to set myself a challenge: if those perfumes are out there, THEN FIND THEM! So, here is my attempt to meet that challenge.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Best Rose Perfumes - Persolaise On Feelunique + Next Episode Of Love At First Scent On Facebook Live

image: Feelunique

A rose is a rose is a rose... but when it's a perfume, it can also be so much more, a delicious phenomenon I explore in my latest article for Feelunique; please click here to read it.

If all goes according to plan, I hope to bring you the next episode of my Facebook Live series - Love At First Scent - this Thursday, 2nd November, at 6:00 pm UK time (2:00 pm New York time) on my Facebook page. To watch the other instalments, please click here. It'll probably be the last episode I'm able to broadcast for several weeks as this is the season when various other commitments take over and I have much less free time than I'd like. If only we had more hours in the day...

Hope to see you on Thursday!

Persolaise

Friday, 27 October 2017

Cinema Scent: Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle; 1996)


The layer of scent that is forever hovering a few inches above the surface of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting (still his best work, arguably) is almost unremittingly scatological. Based on the Irvine Welsh novel and telling the story of a group of addicts stumbling through Edinburgh's drug scene, the film is populated by people who look as though they eat, sleep and get high in the same clothes all the time. It's not surprising that their surroundings - those relentless stretches of peeling wallpaper, the depressing pavements - seem to absorb the odour of sweat, alcohol and cigarettes. Even the colours appear to project a smell: the stench of the interior of Mother Superior’s flat is somehow made more despairing, more piercing, through the use of that deep indigo for the walls.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Perfume Gifting Guide - Persolaise Video On Feelunique's YouTube Channel


A little while ago I had the honour of being invited into Feelunique's London studio to record some videos for their YouTube channel. The first result of our efforts is now online, so I'd be extremely grateful if you could spare a few moments to watch it... and maybe even give a 'thumbs up' and leave a comment. The topic of this particular instalment is the tricky issue of choosing a perfume for someone when you don't know exactly what they like.

If you'd prefer to watch the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

Persolaise

Friday, 20 October 2017

Persolaise Review: Noir Anthracite from Tom Ford (2017)


My teachers were right: perspective is everything. When you get close to Noir Anthracite (a flanker which, despite its name, shares few features with the original Noir from 2012) your experience is promising. Moonlit minerals. Brooding gunpowder. Sparks lining the edges of polished flint. Maybe some flames too, but no towering ostentations. This isn't a raging bonfire, which is apt, given that the Oracle (ie Wikipedia) tells us anthracite “burns with little flame and smoke”. However, things change when you take a step back. Instead of forming an attractive sillage when they coalesce, all those elements turn into a wall of brash, typically 70s-inflected, Tom Ford patchouli, with an off-putting wood facet and a dubiously aggressive attitude. Ford makes no apologies about his love for older scent codes - and so he shouldn’t, as they’ve often led him to gorgeous creations - but here, the time warp idea reminds you that the decade of flares and disco balls was also the era of bigotry towards women and mass social disillusionment. In other words, it’s just a bit too chest-wig-heavy. When not one, but three people come up to you, pull a face and say, “You smell like my dad,” you know the retro vibe has probably been overplayed. Apply with caution. Or maybe only when you’re going to be within stroking distance of everyone around.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Tom Ford in 2017.]

Persolaise

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 7 Now On YouTube


Episode 7 of Love At First Scent is now on YouTube; please watch it by clicking above or by going directly to the YouTube site (click here). In this edition I covered

Velvet Haze from Byredo (at the start of the video)
Paithani from Penhaligon's (at the 17:00 minute mark)
Un Dimanche A La Campagne from Guerlain (at approx. 36:00 mins)
Strength from Ermenegildo Zegna's Elements Of Man range (at approx. 45:00 mins)

The original video - which attracted a great deal of interaction from the people who watched it live - is still on Facebook. Click here to check it out.

Persolaise

Friday, 13 October 2017

Cinema Scent: Blade Runner 2049 (dir. Denis Villeneuve; 2017)


Despite the dubious gender politics, the self-important pace and the portentous hamminess of Jared Leto, it would be churlish to deny that Blade Runner 2049 provides much to enjoy and admire. There are a few genuinely eyebrow-raising surprises in the plot, which sees yet another bedraggled policeman hunting an important replicant. The sound design almost radiates out of the screen like a three-dimensional entity. And the various nods and winks to the original possess a power that goes beyond that of mere nostalgia. So yes, even though I'm not sure it's a sequel we needed, I would urge all fans of the Ridley Scott version to watch it.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Next Episode Of Love At First Scent On Friday 13th October 2017


The trouble with live video broadcasts is that you have to fit them into a specific, audience-friendly, day-time slot in your schedule because they're... errmm... live. But despite the odds, the stars have suddenly aligned and it looks like this Friday afternoon will work for my next one. So, all being well, episode 7 of Love At First Scent will be transmitted via my Facebook page on 13th October at 3:30 pm (UK time). On my list of things to sniff will be the unopened sample of the new Byredo above, together with a few goodies from Penhaligon's, Puredistance and Guerlain.

I do hope you'll be able to tune in!

Persolaise

Friday, 6 October 2017

Maiden Call: Thoughts On Chanel Gabrielle, Twilly D'Hermès, Mugler Aura & Gucci Bloom


It’s been brewing for a little while. A mention here. A business report there. But one recent event has turned up the heat and brought the mixture to a boil. And now there’s no avoiding it: the perfume industry is desperate for the cash of young women. Trouble is, desperation is often served with fear.

I’m sure you’ve worked out which event I’m referring to: Chanel’s launch of Gabrielle, their first stand-alone, mainstream, feminine scent for over a decade. It arrives roughly at the same time as Twilly D’Hermès and Gucci Bloom, and not long after Dior’s Poison Girl and Mugler’s Aura. Look a little bit further back and you’ll also find Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse (whose flankers just keep coming) as well as Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire. All of them - with their marketing, their design and their smells - are clamouring for the attention of females below the age of 30.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 6 On YouTube


Episode 6 of my Love At First Scent series is now on YouTube; watch it by clicking above or going to the YouTube site (please click here). In this edition I covered

Un Air De Bretagne from L'Artisan Parfumeur
(at around the 3:00 minute mark)
Note Di Colonia IV from Acqua Di Parma (at approx 13:00 mins)
Hemlock and Wolfsbane from Parfums Quartana's Les Potions Fatales collection (at approx 23:00 and 34:00 mins respectively)
Tender from Miller Harris (at approx 45:00 mins)


The original video is still on Facebook (click here), so please head over there if you'd like to see the comments that were left during the broadcast.

Persolaise

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Feeling Your Fragrance: Persolaise In The Scented Letter + Facebook Live On Friday


Spend just a few minutes going through some of the world’s most-respected perfume sites, and you’re bound to see countless references to everything from vinyl to velvet. For instance, Neil Chapman, Jasmine Award winning writer of the Black Narcissus blog, believes that "many perfumes are redolent of textures and fabric: both grace the skin and the body, and they complement and amplify each other to beautiful effect."
I'm excited to let you know that the cover story of the latest issue of The Scented Letter was written by yours truly: it focuses on the subject of how and why some fragrances and ingredients remind us of certain fabrics. Naturally, it features references to lots of fascinating perfumes, but as ever, I won't say what they are here, because the magazine is available only to members of The Perfume Society. To sign up - and gain access to previous editions of the magazine - please click here.

Oh, and before I go, a quick reminder about the next episode of Love At First Scent, my Facebook Live event: it'll be on my Facebook page (click here) on Friday 29th September, at 3:30 pm UK time. I hope you'll be able to tune in!

Persolaise

Friday, 22 September 2017

Persolaise Review: Nuit De Bakélite from Naomi Goodsir (Isabelle Doyen; 2017)


Tuberose is going through something of a mini revival. If the press notes are to be believed, it forms a significant part of Chanel's new Gabrielle (consider me unconvinced on that specific point, although overall, the scent is pleasant enough), it makes a curious companion with ginger in Twilly D'Hermès (about which I shall try to write more soon) and it tries to restore a brand's beleaguered fragrance reputation in Gucci's Bloom (their first half-decent feminine for ages). That's all well and good. In fact, it's almost a cause for excitement. But then along comes something from the less fearful, more free-minded independent sector, and suddenly the mainstream contenders fade into the background. Cue: Isabelle Doyen's Nuit De Bakélite for Naomi Goodsir, the brand's fifth addition to a consistently solid collection.

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