Keats said it best about autumn being the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. His point is perfectly valid but modern fruities don’t seem to satisfy me, they are too flat and there is nothing fruitful or fecund about them. it’s difficult to fake that in a retort. Take Ralph Lauren’s Tender Romance. It’s rather pretty, quite modern. and on the whole banal I’m afraid. What I seem to want is dried fruit, and raisins, and liquor the sort of thing that Frapin did rather well, only I like my perfume very classical and that means complex.
This takes me right back to the basics: Jean Patou. The very best of all the fruit perfumes I ever came across was the vintage Que Sais Je? from 1925. I even include By Killian’s Back to Black in this blanket statement, although that is a good version of the contemporary fruit infused perfume. Continue reading
Cumin in the garden
Every perfume enthusiast has them, scents that really ruin a fragrance. Sometimes it’s the dreaded melon note, other times it’s the oceanic note ( no less a perfumer than Jacques Polge has kept that out of Chanel perfumes. He says it never actually smells like the seaside.)* Others can’t bear the animalics, the stinky civet or sweaty palmed musk notes, and then there are people who really detest woods like cedar or vetiver.
One of my worst aversions and for years was cumin. I thought it smelled like sweat, and not clean sweat either, but coming off a three day bender sweat, the sort you whiffed inadvertently on the New York Subway, usually on the local No 1, generally below 14th street. When I ran across perfumes simply crammed with cumin- like Alexander McQueen’s Kingdom- I would practically hold my nose. I knew it was interesting and had something to say for itself but that cumin! The stuff just knocked you sideways. It was Eau de Grit. Continue reading
New York at Christmas from Essential NY
People who follow the goings on at Guerlain may have noticed the discontinuation of their Voyage Olfactif Series, the one that included Tokyo, Moscow, London, New York and Shanghai. Presumably they did not sell too well and that probably explains their demise. I did like the idea which seemed to be a light edt concentration very wearable in daytime. They had a clever concept too which was to combine a distinctive smell of each city with an indigenous food fragrance. Tokyo- which I own- smells of cherry blossoms and green tea with a little cypress wood thrown in- no wasabi here. London smells of hard candies and rhubarb, Moscow is sweet with plums and jasmine. One of the series was Christmas themed though:New York. Continue reading