I spent Saturday in exotic company, my three companions were the Guerlains Rose Nacre du Desert, Songe d’un Bois d’Ete, and Encens Mythique. They were startling to encounter because they all do what Guerlians used to do, namely last, have a sillage, and project an air of luxury. A few posters on line have called this series Guerlain doing Montale, but I bet these three were Guerlain doing Amouage, and possibly doing Amouage better than Amouage does itself. Continue reading
For all the complaining that perfume consumers do about the industry these days, one thing is inescapably true: there’s more variety. Once upon a distant time, Perfumer’s Workshop produced Tea Rose and Houbigant sold A Rose is a Rose.
That was about it in 1976. Now you have entire lines devoted to the flower in all its variations. Les Parfums de Rosine is one such house, and besides its twenty or so perfumes, there’s a slew of mainstream releases popular with the public such as Stella, or Valentino’s Rockin’ Rose.
One day in 1977, a company called Jean Couturier released a floral chypre called Coriandre. Named after the coriander in the head note (which in the US is often called cilantro) the heart note was ROSE and was probably boosted by some new materials (the damascones and damascenones alpha and beta with which perfumers still work to this day) that altered and enlarged the perception of rose. The synthetics blew up the note like Pop art for the nose. All of a sudden rose took on the proportions of a Roy Lichtenstein comic strip.
Needless to say, it was a monster success. There was practically nowhere you couldn’t smell Coriandre in the late seventies.