Have You Read Any Good Perfumes Lately?

Bookshelf from nextimpact.com

Bookshelf from nextimpact.com

Perfumers don’t compose perfumes, instead they “write” them.  It’s an interesting choice of verb.  If you are one of those people who regard perfume as rather like cooking, then this idea will probably not appeal to you, but it is part of the industry, especially in France where fairly or unfairly, the metaphor for “cooking” in perfumery also exists but in a pejorative sense.  A chemical brew is known as a “soup” and these comprise the majority of releases on the  mass market.  Something may be cooking or stewing at the big oil production houses , but  isn’t being conceptualized, most product has no discernible plot beyond, “Make the sale!”

However perfumers themselves who are concerned with more than the fiendish difficulties of scenting detergent or soap, have a little more leeway, and for them the idea of ideas becomes feasible, even defensible. You get Frederic Malle’s “Editions” de Parfums, for all the world like Hachette or Gallimard. Continue reading

Forgotten Fougeres

In the beginning was Fougere Royale.

That’s fougere pre-history to you and me.  We live in CW era, to be specific, the post Cool Water era.  Cool Water was such a tsunami in the world of fougeres (the fragrance based on the fantasy fern accord of lavender and coumarin) that nothing has been the same ever since it crested.  We can’t really  recall a time when fougeres weren’t classified as masculines.  I mean, Cool Water was certainly aimed at men, rather like a cool water canon, and hit them, square in the wallet, with the first dihydro-myrcenol powered aromatic fougere in 1988.  The result was that fougeres, which already appeared to be a masculine preserve, effectively became a masculine perfume cliche. Continue reading