Monday, July 24, 2017

More Updates On The London Perfume Shopping Guide

image: Jovoy

Just in case some of you aren't aware - or you need a reminder - I ought to mention that one of this site's most popular posts is my guide to London's perfume shopping scene. If you're planning on visiting the city this summer, you should find that almost all the info in the guide is correct, as I update it quite regularly. 

One of the latest additions to my listing is the new Jovoy boutique on Conduit Street (above) where you'll find Neela Vermeire Creations, Aedes De Venustas and Evody, amongst many others. Well worth checking out.

To read the guide, please click here.

Happy shopping!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Persolaise Review: Concrete from Comme Des Garçons (2017)

Consider me won over. When I first began to explore Comme Des Garçons’ new Concrete - housed in a suitably industrial-looking, scratch-prone version of the familiar pebble bottle - I couldn't help feeling a tiny bit let down. Its opening excited me: a grey, humid, liquid-splattered-on-powder evocation of the ubiquitous building material. And its sweet facet provided a welcome contrast, like berries squashed against granite. But then it all seemed to turn rather pedestrian. Was the promising start leading to nothing more than a tame vanilla? Was the sandalwood mentioned in the press notes going to appear as a mere suggestion of synthetic dryness? Was the triumph of last year’s Blackpepper not to be repeated?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Keep It In The Family - Persolaise On Feelunique

image: Feelunique

For my latest Feelunique article, I've presented a very simple guide to some of the main fragrance families (ie chypre, oriental, leather et al). If you'd like to read it - and to see which scent recommendations I've made for each of the families - please click here.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Persolaise Love At First Scent Episode 4 On YouTube

Those of you who missed Episode 4 of my Facebook Live Love At First Scent series may be interested to know that it's now on YouTube; watch it by clicking above or going to the YouTube site (please click here). In this instalment I sniffed

Terroni from Orto Parisi
Girl Of Now from Elie Saab
Live'n'Loud and Feel'n'Chill from Jusbox
Cristal Sensuel from Lalique

I also took a few moments to touch on Histoire D'Orangers from L'Artisan Parfumeur (full review coming soon) as well as the Figment duo from Amouage.

The original video is still on Facebook (click here), which is where you'll find the comments left by viewers during the live stream.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Point At Which They Meet: Nicolas Chabot On Æther

You talk with buyers in London, they say, 'Okay, if you want to get into our stores, you need to use oud, you need to concentrate at 30%, you need to do this and that.' And I think, 'If you want to do that, do it yourself.' That's always the difference between business and creativity. At what point do they meet? At what point do you make something which you can sell, but which brings something new to the market?

A few months ago, I met up with Nicolas Chabot to discuss the London launch of his all-synthetic Æther brand. To read a record of our chat - which included his thoughts on each of the scents in his collection - click here.


Monday, July 10, 2017

What Does Unisex Mean Anyway? - Persolaise & The Perfume Pros On YouTube

For the third and final video I made with the Perfume Pros, I was asked to consider the question of why some perfumes might lend themselves more to the 'unisex' label than others. I hope you enjoy the discussion.

If you'd prefer to watch it on the YouTube site, please click here.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Non-Perfume Post: Dariush Alavi On BBC Radio 4 Film Programme

I hope you won't mind my stepping away from the world of perfume for a moment to bring you some news about another creative field that is dear to my heart.

Those of you who take an interest in the world of cinema may already be regular listeners of BBC Radio 4’s Film Programme presented by Francine Stock… and if you're not, you really ought to be. Since the start of this year, the programme has been running through an alternative, anti-usual-suspects A-Z of best directors and as it approached the letter K, its makers did me the tremendous honour of inviting me into the studio to say a few words about my all-time favourite. To find out who that is, you'll have to listen to the podcast (click here). If you don't have time for the entire episode, fast forward to around the 6-minute mark. I should also mention that my appearance is in 'unmasked' mode - not as Persolaise but as Dariush Alavi - which seems appropriate for an instalment focussing on the new Spider-Man movie.

Scented service will resume with the next post.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents: L'Eau from Tauer Perfumes (Andy Tauer; 2017) + Love At First Scent Is Back On Friday!

My latest Sixty Second Scents review is on a new release from Andy Tauer: a modern cologne called L'Eau. To watch it on the YouTube site, please click here.


This Friday, 8th July, at 2:30 pm (UK time) please tune in to my Facebook page (click here) for Episode 4 of Love At First Scent, my series of live broadcasts in which I smell new releases for the first time on camera and try to put my initial impressions into words for you. To see the previous episodes, please click here.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stepping Over To The Other Side - Chandler Burr On You Or Someone Like You

A double-whammy for you today, you lucky, lucky people. Over on Basenotes (click here), you can read my interview with Etienne De Swardt of Etat Libre D'Orange, conducted at the London launch of the new You Or Someone Like You. And below, you'll find highlights of a recent correspondence with one of the scent's co-creators, none other than Chandler Burr, author of The Emperor Of Scent as well a novel called You Or Someone Like You, on which this new fragrance is based.

Quick tip: I'd say you ought to read the Basenotes piece before you read this one. And for my review of You Or Someone Like You, please click here.



Persolaise: As someone whose role in the perfumery industry has been that of critic and commentator, what was it like stepping behind the scenes to develop a perfume? Did you gain new insights into the creation process? Did you find yourself developing a greater (or lesser!?) appreciation of some aspects of the system?

Chandler Burr: Absolutely I have a greater appreciation for what Helen Murphy, Karyn Khoury, and other creative directors do. It was interesting and perhaps slightly surreal to actually be doing what for over a decade I've watched, documented -- for The New Yorker inside Hermès and for the New York Times with Sarah Jessica Parker most extensively -- for over a decade. It was pretty nerve wracking at the time. "This mod or that one? What do I choose? Wait, why the f*** can't I even smell the difference? Calm down, just smell them tomorrow. Ah, now the difference is clear -- but still, which one should I choose?" I ask Caroline Sabas, the perfumer, to try two things; she and I then both agree they don't work. She gives me an "OK, genius, what do you want to do now?" look. But when it works, it's just awesome.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Is It For Girls Or For Boys? - Persolaise Is Back With The Perfume Pros

Here comes the second of the videos I made with the Perfume Pros, and this time, they had something rather devious up their sleeves... but I'll let them explain in their own words, so hit Play and enjoy. If you'd rather watch the video on the YouTube site, please click here.

And if you'd like a link to the first video, here it is.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Persolaise Review: Ylang Ylang from E Coudray (2016) + Initial Thoughts On The Perfume Exhibition At Somerset House

Usually, by the time I get around to writing about a limited edition release, it's as hard to find as a shred of maturity in a Quentin Tarantino movie. So for all I know, Coudray's glorious Ylang Ylang is now conspicuous by its absence in perfumeries and is doing the rounds of the auction sites and the scent-swap communities. Nevertheless, I must bring it to your attention. A re-working of the brand's own Fetiche from 1978, it's the sort of composition that reduces cynical critics to gibbering wrecks and renders us speechless. "Perfumery must look to the future," we tend to say, "there's no point dwelling on the past, we can't keep expecting old brands to produce the sort of thing they made decades ago." But then along comes a retro beauty like this one, and we're forced to scuttle into a corner like toddlers, waiting to be served a portion of our own high-and-mighty words.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Zest Of Life - Persolaise On Colognes In The Scented Letter

The latest issue of The Scented Letter - the award-winning magazine of The Perfume Society - contains a piece by yours truly on the current revival of the eau de cologne. With contributions from Christine Nagel, Andy Tauer and Roja Dove, the piece aims to explain why this centuries-old composition is enjoying a resurgence in popularity at this moment in time.

As The Scented Letter is available only to members of The Perfume Society, I can't reveal much more about the article, except to say that it also includes a run-down of a few of my favourite colognes, some of which I've described as follows:

Coiled springs of energy waiting to be unleashed, like scented sprinters soaring towards the finish line.
A feast of citrus blossoms, filled with the hopes, dreams and passions of honeymoon vows.
Clocks slow down. Pulses relax. The globe slips into a siesta gear. And the jolly grapefruit just keeps grinning.

If that's enough to whet your appetite and you aren't already a member of the Society, please click here.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Persolaise Sixty Second Scents: You Or Someone Like You from Etat Libre D'Orange (Caroline Sabas; 2017)

The people at Etat Libre D'Orange have just released another one of their collaboration scents - this time created together with Chandler Burr - and here's my Sixty Second Scents review of it. To watch it on the YouTube site, please click here.

By the way, stay tuned for extended interviews with both Burr and Etienne De Swardt of ELDO.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Knowing How To Seduce - Interview With Nathalie Feisthauer On Basenotes

image: Basenotes

At the recent London launch of Aedes De VenustasPelargonium, I managed to interview its creator, Nathalie Feisthauer (Eau Des Merveilles, Honour Man, Putain Des Palaces). Our lively conversation - which covered all sorts of topics from Sophia Grojsman's seduction strategies to the composition of Merveilles - is featured in my latest piece for Basenotes. Please click here to read it.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Father's Day Inspiration - Persolaise Joins The Perfume Pros On YouTube

A short while ago, I was honoured to be invited by the Perfume Pros to join them for a series of videos on their YouTube channel about masculine perfumery. The first of our efforts has now been published, so I'd be delighted if you could take the time to watch it.

If you'd prefer to view it on the YouTube site, please click here.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter: January to March 2017 [part 2]

Part 2 of my January to March 2017 Twitter mini-review round-up. For part 1, please click here.

Myrrh & Tonka from Jo Malone (Mathilde Bijaoui; 2016)*
Latter comes across as a fuzzy lavender; the former as brown, orange-y baked apples. A shoulder shrug in a bottle.

Baiser Fou from Cartier (Mathilde Laurent; 2017)*
Strange berries and forest fruit over bitter-honey florals and stinging citruses. Whiff of lipstick. Crimson-hued.

Arbolé Arbolé from Hiram Green (Hiram Green; 2016)**
Is it soapy leaves or sweet bubbles floating on a lily pond? Chestnuts? 80s deodorant? It's fun trying to decide.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Is There Too Much Perfume - Persolaise In Issue 2 of Tauer Mag

image: Tauer Mag

Thanks to my age and background, I have strong memories of 1980s Communist Poland. During those constraining times, if you wanted to buy a car - assuming you had enough money and you'd somehow managed to get yourself on the 18+ month waiting list - the choice was simple. You went for a Fiat 126p, the tinny, two-door, 1970s-born successor to the Fiat 500, with the 'p' at the end of the model number indicating that it was built east of the Iron Curtain. Or you could have a 125p, which gave you two, whole, additional doors. Or, if you were being really reckless with the family fortune, you could order a Polonez, the hatchback which once earned a spot on Jeremy Clarkson's list of the worst vehicles ever. And that was pretty much it. One out of three. Don‘t like any of them? Catch the bus.

I'm delighted to announce that the latest issue of Tauer Mag from Andy Tauer features another contribution from yours truly: a piece considering the question of whether we have too much perfume. The magazine also contains an interview with Lizzie Ostrom about her work on the upcoming perfume exhibition at Somerset House, as well as an account of one of Andy's trips to the US. It's available only in print form; please click here for more info.



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