Thursday, 31 July 2014

Œillet Bengale Review

With carnation perfumes generally being regarded as a bit passé, and IFRA regulations on (Iso/) Eugenol re-casting yesterday’s classics as silent killers, modern carnation fragrances require quite some creativity to work.
The ‘œillet’ in Œillet Bengale is unmistakably present, though the requisite herbal/green complex of salicylates used to create the note is pushed in the direction of lily and paired with rose, giving a verdant, fresh-spicy-floral scent in the top and heart. Unfortunately, I do detect some hot pleather whiffs of Safraleine escaping at this point, though thankfully these are checked in the base where the vanillic shade of Methyl Diantilis (largely doing the job of Iso Eugenol) is picked up and woven into a nice, balsamic, musky blend.

Nose: Rodrigo Flores-Roux
House: Aedes de Venustas
Release date: 2014
Notes (per Fragrantica): turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, saffron, rose, white pepper, strawberry, floral notes, vanilla, tolu balsam, benzoin and labdanum. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Menthe Fraîche Review

Menthe Fraîche  goes where few fine fragrance have dared, extrapolating the various facets of peppermint oil to create a kind of mint ‘soliflore’.
Opening on a mentholated note that envelops a fresh, Hedione-citrus accord, the perfume quickly develops a strong green character redolent of crushed leaves (so possibly including Stemone / Stearyl Acetate / Cis-3-Hexenol) with an ozonic accent and a somewhat agrestic heart. The whole is underscored by a refined cedar which, to my nose, carries the merest suspicion of spice.
Longevity is on the weak side.

Nose: David Maruitte
House: James Heeley
Release date: 2006
Notes (per Fragrantica): mint leaf, Sicilian bergamot, lotus, mate, white cedar.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Uomo (Valentino) Review

Valentino’s Uomo sees Olivier Polge revisiting to his 2005 hit Dior Homme, injecting greater contrast into its basic orris/lavender/cocoa theme.
Side-by-side, Uomo’s top smells altogether the more fresh, bergamot here being paired with grapefruit (Methyl Pamplemousse) in a fairly standard green-citrus accord. A dash of cologney Dihydromyrcenol meanwhile, provides a bridge to the familiar smelling heart of lavender and powdery iris that’s fitted over a woody-amber frame.
The most notable difference between two fragrances however, concerns Uomo’s pronounced sweetness, the gourmand envelope being pushed well beyond that explored in the Dior with a liberal dose of Ethyl Maltol. If the cavity-inducing caramel coating rather does away with the original’s understated elegance, it also serves to better mask the Iso E Super content which was laid a tad too bare the first time around.

Nose: Olivier Polge
House: Valentino
Release date: 2014
Notes (per Fragrantica): bergamot, myrtle, roasted coffee, gianduja cream, cedar, leather.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Moment Suprême (vintage extrait) Review

With a (presumably) attenuated citrus accord betraying its age, this vintage sample of Moment Suprême extrait effectively cuts straight to the perfume’s intensely soapy heart of lavender and rose. For a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it period, Patou’s familiar ambery-peach note is clearly detectable in the top, though the fruit quickly sinks into a coumarinic herbal fond (constituted in part by Givaudan’s old Melittis base) that’s shaded with plenty of clovey eugenol.

Nose: Henri Almeras
House: Jean Patou
Release date: 1929
Notes (per Fragrantica): bergamot, geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose, clove, amber.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Invictus Review

Driving Invictus on is a massive, dry woody-amber accord headed by the appropriately named Amber Xtreme. This is overlaid with a familiar smelling fruity-green complex of damascones/dynascone, here sweetened with Ethyl Maltol, as well as a rather simple smelling ozonic-marine accord.
In essence, the perfume a mashup of the three big trends in men’s perfumery since the late '80s, namely: the synthetic-woody; the Cool Water fougère; and the aquatic.

Noses: Veronique Nyberg, Anne Flipo, Olivier Polge and Dominique Ropion.
House: Paco Rabanne
Release date: 2013
Notes (per Fragrantica): grapefruit, marine accord,bay leaf, Hedione jasmine, guaiac wood, patchouli, oak moss, ambergris.