Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Italian Leather Review

Given Chanel has all but spat on the grave of Henri Robert with its dire reformulations of No.19, and Trussardi’s Trussardi has fared little better, there’s space in the market for a quality, green leather. On paper, Irish Leather by Memo looks as if it could plug that gap but in reality, there’s just too little of the promised hide. 
The perfume’s opening is intriguing: a crunchy-green combo of galbanum and tomato leaf, backed up by some light agrestic notes. There’s a vague impression of something quinoline-vetiver-y, but it hardly registers as leather for me. As the tomato leaf fades, the vanilla heavy Oriental base gains in intensity, as does a pale, dry woodsiness.

Nose: Alienor Massenet
House: Memo
Release date: 2013
Notes (per Fragrantica): tomato leaf, vanilla, leather, labdanum, clary sage, galbanum, orris root, sandalwood, tolu balsam, opoponax,myrrh, benzoin, musk.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Jangala Review

According to the accompanying press, Jangala is intended to ‘evoke the lush vegetation of a tropical forest after rainfall’. Having made several excursions through the Peruvian Amazon, I was somewhat disappointed Jangala failed to capture the cloying, dank loaminess that, at least in my mind, characterises the environment. If I were to attempt to replicate such a scent, I would possibly be looking in the direction of oakmoss, patchouli, earthy pyrazines and cepes absolute for some funky soil impressions, as well geosmin, petrichor and ozonic notes for that rainstorm effect. At the same time however, I recognise that most people (myself included) have no desire to walk around smelling like a pile of decomposing plant matter. It is perhaps just as well then, that Pierre Guillaume did not attempt a Headspace reconstruction. 
Instead, Jangala starts off camphorous and verdant with eucalyptus providing a cool, herbal spin on the ozonic coconut theme of Entre Ciel et Mer and Paris Seychelles. As some ambery sweetness and cardamom begins to emerge, the fruitier green notes assume a remarkable likeness to stewed cooking apple. There’s a a very dry, woodsy note that occasionally emerges too, but it is fleeting and for the very great part remains unobtrusive. 
A surprise gourmand. 

Nose: Pierre Guillaume
House: Pierre Guillaume La Collection Croisière
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): Eucalyptus, cardamom, ginger flower, palisander rosewood, sandalwood, coconut, vetiver. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Paris Seychelles Review

Perhaps the least interesting of the current collection, Paris Seychelles is based around a similar suntan cream accord of lactonic coconut and salicylates as Entre Ciel et Mer, but here marries it to a very clean, frangipani blossom that has additional spicy, lily and woody nuances (coming from Robertet’s lovely Lisylang Heart fractionation). If the Seychelles are represented by this Gauguin-esque portrait of island life, then Paris must be identified with the ozonic/metallic ring that comes off its back. 

Nose: Pierre Guillaume
House: Pierre Guillaume La Collection Croisière
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): white flowers, frangipani, salt, lily, coconut, monoï oil, galbanum, pepper, petitgrain, ginger. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Entre Ciel et Mer Review

Entre Ciel et Mer is perhaps the most convincing olfactory portrait of the seaside I’ve yet come across; a panoramic snapshot of glistening, lotioned bodies arrayed before an expanse of blue-green ocean.
Opening with an ozonic pear note atop a suncream accord smelling of sweet, oily salicylates against a fatty, lactonic green floral background (here including Lyral), the fragrance soon darkens as the mossy marine tones of seaweed extract (Robertet’s new Seaweed Pacific Colourless DM maybe) assume prominence. In contrast to the 90s style aquatics whose heavy reliance on Calone gave them a warm, stagnant rockpool feel, Entre Ciel et Mer seems much cooler and becomes progressively drier as the distilled algae is linked to a herbal complex that in turn connects with a pale, woody-amber (Ambrox type) fond. It’s never rough though, thanks in part to a considerable musk chord that’s, truth be told, just a touch too laundry detergent for my own taste.

Nose: Pierre Guillaume
House: Pierre Guillaume La Collection Croisière
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): water splashed leaves, lavender, pear, white thyme, algae, litchen, ambergris, cedar moss, sandalwood from New Caledonia.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Long Courrier Review

Long Courrier sees Pierre Guillaume back on familiar territory with his signature chocolate orange over pale woods chord (Cadjméré, Daimiris, etc). This time, the gourmand quality is amped up with with plenty of vanillin and contrasted with an aldehydic, ozonic-watery note of trimethyl undecylenic aldehyde. 
The combination of edible and aquatic works to destabalising effect, threatening to push the composition over from novel to gimmick.
Longevity is so-so.

Nose: Pierre Guillaume
House: Pierre Guillaume Croisière Collection
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): salt, orange oil, cacao pod, elemi resin, cedar, vanilla, musk.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Cuir de Nacre Review

The name ‘cuir de nacre’ is actually quite apt for this metallic-grey smelling perfume. Its basic powdery orris with suede accents theme occupies the same sphere as Dior’s Homme (O. Polge, 2005) whose cool colouring was reflected in its silvery packaging. In comparison, the ionones here tend a little more towards raspberry and the suede effect, while still being quite subtle, is somewhat more leatherette. As the composition progresses, it gains in oriental sweetness, revealing a synthy sandalwood fond (smelling a bit Javanol-ey) wrapped in layers of pillowy, powdery musk and ambrette.
Harmonious if wanting for contrast.

Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
House: Ann Gerard
Release date: 2012
Notes (per Fragrantica): aldehydes, angelica root, ambrette absolute, currant bud absolute, iris, leather accord, sandalwood, white musk, styrax.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Rose Cut Review

Rose Cut is one of the more interesting (though by no means groundbreaking) perfumes in the Ann Gerard collection. At its core lies a yeasty Moroccan rose that initially comes off as feeling a little flat, but soon reveals a more pleasant, berried character, hinting at raspberry and cassis. At this stage, Rose Cut somewhat resembles Serge Lutens’ La Fille de Berlin (Christopher Sheldrake, 2013), but has a less pronounced metallic, rose oxide facet and the musks are better concealed. 
Pink pepper and plenty of cinnamon add contrast and link to some clean, ambered patchouli that serves for a chypre base. 

Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
House: Ann Gerard
Release date: 2014
Notes (per Fragrantica):aldehydes, rum, pink pepper, rose, peony, patchouli, vanilla, oakmoss, benzoin. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Perle de Mousse Review

Perle de Mousse is a soapy-aldehydic, green floral centred around galbanum and a watery/metallic lily-of-the-valley (hydroxycitronellal, helional etc) ’perle’ note. The composition is given a nice pear-like twist in the top, but the promised moss (mousse) is unfortunately wanting, leaving the perfume without much heft or character. 

Nose: Bertrand Duchaurfour
House: Ann Gerard
Release date: 2012
Notes (per Fragrantica): aldehydes, pink pepper, bergamote, green mandarin, galbanum, ivy, lily of the valley, Bulgarian roe, cloves, jasmine, geranium, lentic absolute, ambergris, musk, vanilla.