Not so long ago I was writing about influential perfumes and one of the two names which landed on the top of the pile was Narciso For Her. The whole floral woody musk genre probably dates back to that perfume. Anyway, the musk and flowers and a little bit of wood recipe has proven so popular that nowadays several releases a year fall into the fuzzily soft fabric (or fabric softener) of the fwm. Everyone likes this plush toy formula, well everyone who does not require a little backbone in a perfume. Put it this way, floral woody musks are proof that in the perfume world the invertebrates can survive and thrive- even proliferate.
Of course the Narciso people could not let a success like Narciso For her go without progeny. There have been several scents by now, all in the beautifully designed minimalist bottles that the brand is justly famous for, modern, streamlined and an ornament to any vanity though the contents are Fluff. Continue reading
Grinling Gibbons Carving
Some years ago sandalwood was nowhere to be found. The white sandalwood that I remembered from my childhood was produced by too few trees in India, and as a result, Indian authorities shut down production for some time.
In the interim, you got imitations of sandalwood, Mcqueen’s Kingdom for instance, a fragrance that was a flop with the market, but not at all bad as a sandalwood mock-up. Worse, far worse, to my mind was what happened to perfumes that were constructed around sandalwood. Bois des Isles one year smelled of Santalum spicatum though really the scent was thrown off by this kind of substitution, but what was a fashion house to do? There was no Santalum album to be had. Chanel merely made the best of a bad business. Continue reading
People remember the late Edmond Roudnitska for different reasons. Myself I remember his book about perfume, the first serious one I ever read on the subject. In it he made a plea for perfume to be considered an art form, maybe not a major art, but an art all the same. I’m not sure what I made of that at the time I read the book in the nineties, but I am sure that a number of Roudnitska compositions struck me as being quite artful. Continue reading