Thursday, 24 May 2018

Cinema Scent On BBC Radio 4 Film Programme: Double Indemnity (dir. Billy Wilder; 1944)


Here we go again: same voice, same station, same idea. Only this time, something's different. At first, I couldn't figure out what it was, but then it hit me. Right between the eyes, like a Monday morning straight after a Saturday night that made you forget there was ever a Sunday. It's a different movie. An older movie. You might even call it: a darker movie. You say you wonder what I'm talking about? I wonder if you wonder...

Yes indeed, for my latest Cinema Scent segment on Francine Stock's Film Programme on Radio 4, I descended into the treacherous realms of film noir and Billy Wilder's classic Double Indemnity. To listen to the episode, please click here; as ever, I'd recommend playing it all, but if you're pressed for time, I appear at around the 24-minute mark.

To read the Cinema Scent reviews published here on Persolaise.com, click on this link.

Persolaise

Friday, 18 May 2018

Persolaise Mini-Reviews: January to March 2018 [part 1]


For more mini-reviews, please click here.

Agar Ebene from Hermès (Christine Nagel; 2018)*
One of five new entries in the Hermessence collection composed by Christine Nagel. This one takes a clean, yet very dark, sultry wood note and wraps it around the swaying hips of the velvety-suede texture we last saw in the masterful Cuir D’Ange. Arresting, subtle work and a great addition to the brand.

Cedre Sambac from Hermès (Christine Nagel; 2018)*
Astonishing contrast between the dry tangy feel of cedar and the indolic, floral sweep of jasmine. The spectacle of the two of them running side by side in perfect balance is an absolute joy to behold. 

Bohea Bohème from Mona Di Orio (Fredrik Dalman; 2016)*
Tremendous cardamom/eucalyptus opening, with sugary lavender. Like camphoraceous branches swaying along banks of a pink, crystalline river. Grows thinner and can’t help but disappoint towards the end. Well worth checking out for the first two acts.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 16 Now On YouTube


Episode 16 of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Sunday on YouTube) is now available as a permanent upload; watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I sniffed

Eternity Air For Men from Calvin Klein (at the start of the video)
Meteorites Le Parfum from Guerlain (at the 18:00 minute mark)
Mon Premier Cristal Hirondelles from Lalique (at the 32:00 minute mark)
Orange Mauresque from Chopard (at the 54:00 minute mark)

and my classic choice was
Diorissimo from Christian Dior (at the 39:00 minute mark)

The video has also been uploaded to my Facebook page; please click on this link to watch it there.

Persolaise

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 15 Now On YouTube + Episode 16 Will Be Broadcast Sunday 13th May


Episode 15 of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Friday on Facebook) is now available on YouTube; watch it above or by clicking here. In this instalment I covered

Stash from Sarah Jessica Parker SJP (at the start of the video)
Amber Musk and others from Sugandhco (at the 17:30 minute mark)
Acqua Di Neroli from Ermenegildo Zegna (at the 32:30 minute mark)
Miel D'Arabie from Chopard (at the 57:30 minute mark)

and my classic choice was
Muscs Koublai Khan from Serge Lutens (at the 47:00 minute mark)

As per usual, the original video remains on Facebook; please click here if you'd like to see it on that platform.

Finally, in a break from the usual pattern, the next episode will be broadcast tomorrow, Sunday 13th May, at 5 pm UK time (12 pm New York time) on YouTube Live. Click here to be taken to my YouTube channel.

Persolaise

Friday, 11 May 2018

Persolaise Review: Blu Mediterraneo - Chinotto Di Liguria from Acqua Di Parma (2018)


As I write this, those of us living in the UK are going through another one of our all-too-rare bursts of a three-day summer (I expect that, as you read this, we’re back in the bowels of an Arctic winter) which means I’m currently counting the number of times people are complaining that it’s too hot, that they just can’t take these temperatures, that they’re having trouble breathing, that people in warmer countries cope only because they have air conditioning, that the garden is desperate for some rain etc etc. You get the idea. And when I permit myself to pass a comment on these endless tirades - which doesn’t happen often, because I’m not the intervening type - I pull what I hope is an annoyingly superior expression on my face, take a sip of my cafe frappé and tell them to just slow down. Take it easy. Cover yourself up with some thin, loose cotton, instead of exposing every inch of your flesh to all and sundry. Remember to breathe. Drink some cold water. And once again: slow down. Move at a more relaxed pace. Allow the heat to take your body’s rhythm down a gear or two.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Moment Of Doubt: An Interview With Christine Nagel Of Hermès + The Next Episode Of Love At First Scent


Towards the end of 2017, the current in-house perfumer at Hermès, Christine Nagel - whose past credits include Eau De Cartier, Archives 69 for Etat Libre D’Orange and more than 70 scents for Jo Malone - popped into London for a Fragrance Foundation event at which she talked about her wide-ranging career. In an interview conducted by Harrods’ Annalise Fard, Nagel began by explaining how a young chemistry student from Switzerland became one of the best known perfumers in the world.

Christine Nagel: By chance! I was studying chemistry, but I stopped my studies because I had a dream to work in research. In front of the university there was a company named Firmenich. I started there in a research lab. I discovered a perfumer. And this perfumer put a perfume on the skin of the receptionist. I saw the pleasure and the emotions this gave, and I thought, ‘Okay, I want to go into perfumery.’ The first response was No. Totally no. Forbidden. Because I’m a woman. Because I don’t come from Grasse. I’m from Geneva. I don’t come from a family of perfumers. And I’ve studied chemistry. And in the past, the best background was considered to be literary studies. But I had a dream. So I found another way to become a perfumer. And this way was so special, but I have to explain something about it.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Persolaise Review: Amsterdam from Gallivant (Giorgia Navarra; 2017)


He may be better known as an incense expert, but Bertrand Duchaufour has also developed something of a specialism for conveying the scents of flowers which we don’t always associate with smells. In his Ostara for Penhaligon’s (discontinued, sadly) he gave life to the pollen-like, sappy-green personality of the daffodil. In L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Traversée Du Bosphore he married the almost dusty sweep of Istanbul’s tulips to iris and Turkish Delight. And in the recent Tender for Miller Harris, he used tulips again to reflect the darkness at the core of F Scott Fitzgerald’s writing. Having said all of that, he is not the creator of the subject of today’s review. But don’t worry: the link with Duchaufour isn’t irrelevant. Because you see, Gallivant’s Amsterdam has been put together by one of the Frenchman’s protégées, Giorgia Navarra, which probably helps explain why its handling of that most recognisable of Dutch icons - the tulip, once more - is one of its most notable features.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 14 On YouTube


The latest episode of Love At First Scent (broadcast live on Friday) has now been permanently uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it above or by clicking here. In this edition I covered

Ombre Nomade from Louis Vuitton (at the start of the video)
Aqua Celestia Forte from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (at the 16:00 minute mark)
Champ De Fleurs from L'Artisan Parfumeur (at the 27:30 minute mark)
L'Homme Ideal Intense from Guerlain (at the 1:01:30 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Gold Man from Amouage (at the 42:30 minute mark)

A copy of the video has also been uploaded to Facebook, so if you'd prefer to watch it there, please click here.

Persolaise

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Next Episode Of Love At First Scent On YouTube Live On Friday 27th April 2018


Just a brief post to let you know that I hope to broadcast the next episode of Love At First Scent on Friday, 27th April 2018, at 4 pm UK time (11 am New York time), but this time, the stream will be coming from my YouTube channel, not from Facebook. In the last few weeks, several YouTube users who aren't on Facebook have written to say they'd like to join the live chat during the episodes, so, in the interests of fairness, I've decided to give in to their requests. Of course, the whole thing could go wrong and the technology could let us down and I'll find myself wishing I'd stuck to FB, but fingers crossed, all will be well on the ol' Tube.

Do try to tune in; here's a link to my YouTube channel.

Persolaise

Friday, 20 April 2018

Cinema Scent On BBC Radio 4 Film Programme: Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (dir. Tom Tykwer; 2006)


For the latest instalment of my occasional contributions to Francine Stock's Film Programme on BBC Radio 4, I turned to what is perhaps the most obvious entry in cinema's olfactory canon: Tom Tykwer's 2006 adaptation of Perfume. If you'd like to listen to the episode, please click here; my segment starts at around the 15-minute mark.

To read the Cinema Scent reviews published here on Persolaise.com, click on this link.

Persolaise

Friday, 13 April 2018

Persolaise Review: Yael from Sammarco (Giovanni Sammarco; 2017)


The modern iris perfume is a curious beast: it pops up more frequently than one might expect thanks to the availability of new-fangled and affordable iris ingredients. But it often ends up smelling less than convincing, because those very same materials can’t quite sustain the iris illusion if they’re pushed out into the world without a host of supporting players (cue: so many of the wan Daniela Andrier creations for Prada). In this regard, Giovanni Sammarco’s Yael - the follow-up to last year’s heart-breaking Naias - is most interesting. You can see straight away what he’s tried to do with the central note: make it sharper and fizzier (and therefore more modern?) through the addition of ginger and raspberry facets. And that’s certainly a commendable idea in itself. But towards the end, the lightness begins to grow just a touch wearing and you long for some subtly cashmere-like drydown to add substance to the denouement. Mind you, this isn’t a major complaint. As far as contemporary irises are concerned, Yael is unquestionably better than most: it’s a Frankenstein that’s adroit enough to perform a more-than-passable arabesque. But step closer to the stage and you can easily see the bolts in its neck.

[Review based on a sample provided by Sammarco in 2018.]

Persolaise

Friday, 6 April 2018

Persolaise Review: Good Girl Gone Bad Extreme from Kilian (Alberto Morillas; 2017)


I’m not sure why anyone would like to smell of toffee, but if the idea takes your fancy, I’ve found just the perfume: Kilian’s Good Girl Gone Bad Extreme, an annual limited edition composed by Alberto Morillas. Such is its photorealistic quality - and its diffusiveness - I’m surprised those who wear it don’t attract the attention of every single bee, ant and other sugar-loving creature within a 5-mile radius. But quips aside, smelling this unashamedly calorific confection made me revisit my thoughts on what is still the most maligned fragrance genre amongst scentusiasts: the hyper-sweet gourmand.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

My Very Best Wishes For Easter 2018


To all of you celebrating the end of Lent and the arrival of Easter: sincere wishes of peace and goodwill. Enjoy the feasting and yes, feel free to help yourself to that last piece of Toblerone.

On a more personal note - I know I rarely do this sort of thing, but please allow the self-indulgence for a moment - I'd just like to express heartfelt gratitude for the all the support and encouragement I've received from various people over the last few weeks. You know who you are and your kindness has touched me more than you can imagine. Thank you.

And now... back to the chocolate!

Persolaise

Friday, 23 March 2018

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 13 On YouTube


Episode 13 of Love At First Scent (broadcast one week ago on Facebook Live) is now available on YouTube. You can watch it above or by clicking here. In this instalment I covered

Niral from Neela Vermeire Creations (at the start of the video)
Music For A While from Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle (at the 14:30 minute mark)
Oud extrait de parfum Maison Francis Kurkdjian (at the 29:30 minute mark)
Nar from Jazmin Saraï (at the 55:00 minute mark)
and my classic choice was
Beyond Paradise from Estée Lauder (at the 42:30 minute mark)

There were also brief mentions of:
Cardamusc and Agar Ebene from Hermès (at the 50:00 minute mark)

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

Persolaise

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.

Persolaise

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...

MUCHAS GRACIAS!

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!

Persolaise


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.

Enjoy!

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.

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