Posts Tagged ‘Guerlain’

A Scent by Issey Miyake Review

September 20, 2009

A Scent by Issey Miyake is the latest feminine launch from Issey Miyake, whose last main successful fragrance launched 17 years ago. Over on the ‘A Scent’ website, you can watch a video interview with Daphné Bugey, who mentions that she chose to use a ‘forgotten’ ingredient, that has been extracted with a new modern technique.

a scentA Scent opens with a light citrus note, possibly from the listed Verbena, and a whole lot of green. Green has been a theme of this years feminine launches, with Cristalle Eau Verte and Versace Versense, as well as Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, and Bvlgari Green Jade all spearheading the trend throughout the year.
Galbanum quickly takes the lead and heads centre stage. This Galbanum is dry, soft, slightly moss like and grassy. The inclusion of Galbanum in a fragrance is very interesting as it seemed to have fallen out of favour with the perfume buying public, and although mentioned in many notes pyramids recently it hasn’t really been as potent as here. Good examples of Galbanum in fragrance are Chanel’s No19, Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit and Estée Lauder’s Private Collection.
Although not particularly harsh, it is softened by light floral accents, with super clean Jasmine beside the Galbanum. There isn’t much of a drydown to speak of, but the fragrance is transparent throughout and not as thick as many green scents have been. A Scent is very different to what the perfume market is used to (fruity-floral) and has been very polarising with customers. Maybe Issey Miyake will be at the front of the new trend in fragrance, as he was with L’Eau D’Issey.

Top: Verbena, Fresh Notes
Middle: Galbanum, Hyacinth
Base: Jasmine, Woods

Guerlain Cologne du 68 Review

June 20, 2009

Cologne du 68 was launched in 2006, it takes it’s name from 68 Champs-Elysées, Guerlain’s Paris address. Taking inspiration from the address, perfumer Sophia Labbé decided to base it around 68 different notes. It could be a confused mess, but thankfully it is a masterful composition that suggests hints of several Guerlain creations. It became widely available last year at Guerlain counters.

Cologne du 6868 opens with a lush citrus mixture, Tangerine and Clementine are the standouts, with Lemon. It is powdery, mossy, reminiscent of Praline, and simultaneously warm and cold. 68 is inviting and intoxicating, and makes you want to keep sniffing to see where it goes – which is every which way. Most important to note about 68 is that it is powdery. If you are not a fan of powder, it is probably not for you.
Sweet and (shock) powdery Heliotrope, Violet, Berries and Iris (a cold Iris, like Dior Homme) remind of L’Heure Bleue, as well as the more recent My Insolence and the hints of spice create a sweetness that is familiar to me from Kenzo Power. The Vanilla that Guerlain became famous for is present for most of the duration of the fragrance. Sometimes, there is a green, watery vegetable like note, which reminds me of cutting peppers/Capsicum. On other occasions, there is a prominent Tonka with Violet, Iris and a truffle or mushroom note, surrounded by lightly Anisic Almond Blossom, as well as Neroli.
Cologne du 68 doesn’t settle anywhere too long, except it’s Praline centric drydown, which is supported by the light resins. Yet it remains lightly powdery at all times.
It’s ideal as a summer cologne if you are looking for something with more depth than a traditional Eau de Cologne, like the classic 4711.

Notes (taken from the bottle): Bergamot, Green Tangerine, Lemon, Clementine, Cedrat, Orange, Blood Orange, Lime, Grapefruit Leaf, Basil, Fennel, Star Anise, Lavender, Bay Laurel, Cypress, Elemi, Thyme, Myrtle, Bigarade Petitgrain, Tangerine Petitgrain, Lemon Tree Petitgrain, Pear, Violet Leaf, Ivy Leaf, Gentian, Sap, Blackcurrant, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Hazelnut Leaf, Cyclamen, Cardamom, Coriander, Black Pepper, Pink Peppercorn, Nutmeg, Ginger, Frangipani, Magnolia Flower, Orange Blossom, Peony, Rose, Carnation, Ylang-Ylang, Lychee, Fig, Blackberry, Immortelle, Mastic, Opoponax, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Cistus Labdanum, Heliotrope, Iris, Tonka, Sage, Musk, Patchouli, Agarwood, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vegetal musk, Praline, Myrrh, Lichen

Diesel Only The Brave Review

May 25, 2009

Only The Brave is Diesel’s newest offering, and is their second main Masculine release. The fragrance was developed by 3 perfumers at IFF – Aliénor Massenet, Pierre Wargnye, and Olivier Polge. Polge is adept at making scents that smell better on skin than they do on card – Only The Brave needs to be tested on the skin.

onlythebraveThe opening is fresh: Lemon, sea breeze and Calone. Lasts for roughly 20 seconds and instantly forgettable. Which is good, because it isn’t remotely related to the rest of the fragrance. On a card, the top note remains for an age – and smells like any generic aquatic. On skin, it comes to life.
The heart is the most impressive part of the fragrance. The “freshness” recedes into a sweet and powdery Chocolate and Praline, with hints of Ambrette. It reminds me of Dior Homme Intense, from the Chocolate, and Paco Rabanne Ultrared, with it’s Icing Sugar and Orange notes, all underneath a light ozone-like note. Almost like a combination of Allure Homme Sport and Ultrared. A slightly smoky note hangs around, at the ‘edges’ of the fragrance, and eventually decides that it won’t come onto the stage, so that the momentary hairspray Violet note from Kenzo Power can appear.
The ‘drydown’, if you can call it that, is the combination of sweetness, Vanilla, Icing Sugar coated Amber notes with a hint of Patchouli, and feels somewhat similar to Guerlain’s L’Instant pour Homme.
Even though it’s a case of “smelled it all before”, it’s still quite a novel combination and is easily wearable for summer.

Top: Lemon, Mandarin
Middle: Cedar, Coriander, Violet
Base: Amber, Styrax, Labdanum

Cristalle Eau Verte Review

May 13, 2009

Cristalle Eau Verte is Chanel’s latest offering, and is a modernized update of the 1974 classic created by Henri Robert. It is designed as a luminously fresh fragrance, and is meant to evoke “the exhilaration of refreshing summer rain at the close of a gorgeous sunny day”. I’m not sure that it smells particularly of rain or summery. Many other reviews have cited that it doesn’t seem at all related to the original fragrance – and I can only agree. The EdT is very mossy. The EdP is thick and heady. Eau Verte is light and breezy.

cristallThe opening is a bright, bitter and sweet Lime, much like Guerlain Homme, with a shot of Anise, which is present for mere seconds and creates a more bitter tone for the duration. Up top is also a high dose of Citronella, which adds to the freshness. It feels incredibly green, and the Lime plays on this.
In my opinion, it is somewhat similar to Chance Eau Fraiche, and is also similar in style to the recent J’Adore L’eau, with it’s combination of creamy Magnolia and citrus notes, and Versace’s Versense, which feels green and has a potent Citronella note too.
The heart hides a light white-floral mixture of Jasmine, which has a little bit of skank, and is hard to smell behind the verdant greenery. There is also some kind of effect that reminds me of the darkness in Gucci by Gucci.
The drydown is a skin-soft, very light and creamy Jasmine, lacking any punch or much of a trail, but it’s very pleasant and it seems like Chanel are onto a winner. The scent is completely genderless, and unless you are put off by floral notes it is completely wearable by a guy.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot
Middle: Magnolia, Neroli
Base: Jasmine, Musky-Iris Accord

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme Review

April 1, 2009

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Eau Extreme is the Eau de Parfum concentration of L’Instant Pour Homme, a review of which can be found here.

linstantexExtreme opens with a bright, loud boozy Anise and Chocolate accord – it could well be a chocolote liquer. The opening is quite brash and unashamed, hangs about for a while, and is very similar in style to Dior Homme Intense.
The dusty note from L’Instant and the classic Guerlain fragrances is abundant in the heart, as is a dirty Jasmine flower with Chocolate smeared on the petals.
Like L’Instant, it reminds me of Midnight Poison Elixir, but without the burned smoky caramel but instead a Chocolate fountain, into which the other ingredients have been dipped. There is an animalic note from the sweaty Patchouli and Ambrette combination, making it much darker than L’Instant. Perhaps A*Men would smell like Extreme if it didn’t have as much Tar and Coffee. Extreme is a much more delicious take on L’Instant.

Top: Citrus Crystals, Star Anise, Elemi
Middle: Neroli, Patchouli Flowers, Jasmine
Base: Cedar, Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa, Patchouli, Hibiscus Seeds

L’Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Review

March 23, 2009

L’Instant launched in 2004, a year after the feminine. It has been better received than Guerlain’s newest men’s offering, Homme. Directed by Sylvaine Delacourte – Guerlain’s Artistic Director, who claims to draw inspiration from her travels, such as her Mojito in Cuba for Homme, L’Instant was inspired by a Moroccan Pastilla. If it tastes as good as L’Instant smells, I’m off to Morocco.

linstantOpens with a sweet, sweaty, Cumin-like note with Patchouli in the background. It’s green for a few moments, until citrus appears, Lemon and Bergamot with a sprinkling of Guerlain’s famous Vanilla dust – demonstrated best in Habit Rouge and Shalimar. The citrus note is shortlived, and the Patchouli re-emerges with the sweet dust coating the leaves.
As it unfolds, it feels remarkably similar to Dior’s Midnight Poison Elixir, with it’s “foody” associations, and Prada Amber (the feminine) with it’s warm Ambery Patchouli. A smoky note hangs around for most of the heart.
A boozy feeling note appears as it heads toward the drydown, with the intoxicating Patchouli still ever-potent. It dries to a warm, musky and dirty Jasmine with Ambrette, which is sweet and animal smelling – and almost brings sweaty armpits to mind. It’s even related to Comme des Garcons 8 88 in the drydown.
L’Instant won me over from a sample, and I quickly bought a bottle.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Badian Crystal, Pepper, Elemi
Middle: Jasmine Petals, Mysore Sandalwood, Lapsang Tea, Bitter Cocoa Bean
Base: Hibiscus Seeds, Patchouli

Guerlain Homme Review

March 12, 2009

Guerlain Homme has gotten a lot of stick from the Perfumista community. It’s not “Guerlain” enough for them. For the mainstream consumer, it’s too different. So who exactly is it aimed at? I guess, since it became one of my favourites from the first sniff at the pre-release training for it last year, it’s aimed at me. Instead of being based on a normal ‘top-to-bottom’ development, it’s a trio of accords, Mojito, Fresh Floral and Green Woody, that interact and come in and out of play. All of which I was lucky enough to smell separately – I can’t describe the beauty of the Fresh Floral accord, but I would wear that alone.

guerlainhommeThe atomizer lets out a shiny, bright Mojito. Sugar and Lime with Mint and Rum. This is very realisitc, quite sweet, and not at all like toothpaste or alcohol like you might expect.
A light herbal floral accord is underneath the Mojito. Citrus shines through, the mixture of Bergamot and Lime, with a light tea note and Mint and Geranium creating a strange olfactory effect.
The soft woods in the drydown are given a tart edge from the Rhubarb. The Mint returns with the green floral heart in on and off puffs, like a plug in room deodoriser, and the Lime persists all the way to the drydown.

Top: Bergamot, Lime, Key Lime, Pelargonium
Middle: Green Tea, Mint Leaves, Geranium, Rhubarb
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Rum, Sugar Cane

Guerlain Vetiver Review

March 9, 2009

Guerlain’s Vetiver was originally created in 1959, and was relaunched in 2000. This review is of the relaunched (and apparently reformulated) version. There is a great deal of fuss created over the ‘vintage’ scent, but as I’ve never smelled it and love the current version, I don’t think I’m missing out. Vetiver is a staple to many men’s wardrobe, and is used by many women too.

vetiverVetiver is tough, bitter, astringent and woodsy through a floral and citrus opening. Clean and green, with a slightly soapy feeling, but at the same time earthy and dirty.
The soap feeling is gentlemanly, and not girly, as in it’s not related to an aldehydic scented soap like No 5, I think it’s the combination of Neroli and Vetiver that create this image of ‘man soap’ – the same effect is present in Zara’s much less complex Vetiver.
The heart has a spicy edge which is similar to Yatagan, but this is softened by the green feeling which is maintained throughout the life of the fragrance. The Cedar and Sandalwood create warm and comforting feeling.
It dries down to an earthy, dirty, Hay-like Tobacco and Vetiver base, which is slightly honeyed but not at all sweet, and the Pepper note creates a spiciness. The Nutmeg is present, but only just, the grassy Vetiver note is what is meant to shine throughout the fragrance and Jean-Paul Guerlain did a fantastic job keeping the focus on it.

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
Middle: Vetiver, Cedar, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandalwood
Base: Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Tonka Bean, Capsicum

3 Recent Feminines – Mini Reviews

January 22, 2009

Last week saw the first new releases of the year in my store. I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the new feminines. None-the-less, I felt the need to sniff them!

brithfBritney Spears Hidden Fantasy: The flanker resembles the original in this case. It’s essentially Fantasy with the rough cotton candy note removed. A relatively polite fruity-floral of no discernable interest, aside from the fruits are more tropical smelling than sugary. Drydown is creamy and woodsy, with a fruit cocktail dessert – straight from the tin.
Top: Grapefruit Tree Blossom, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Verbena
Middle: Sambac Jasmine, Star Gazer Lillies, Clove
Base: Vanilla Bean, Amber, Jacaranda Wood, Fluid Sandalwood Accord

kyliecKylie Minogue Couture: Kylie’s releases have mostly sugary sweet messes – Showtime was a strawberry jam oddball and the less said about Sweet Darling the better. This is probably her most grown-up release so far, that said, why is someone who isn’t really a fashion designer using Couture for a name? For a brief moment in the top-notes, it smells like a slightly sweet Flower by Kenzo. Then a strange citrus note takes us into distinct “Kylie territory” – sugary floral. However this is much lighter than the other fragrances bearing her name – think icing sugar not cane sugar. Reminds me of a sweet I ate as a child, but can’t really remember what it was or when. Into the heart it feels like Insolence would smell if it had taken sleeping pills, a quiet (but louder than the rest of the fragrance) Violet-Berry-Vanilla-Musk accord. Dries into a Vanilla-Musk-Woody scent.
Top: Amarena Cherry, Lemon Flower, Violet
Middle: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Passionflower
Base: Musk, Vanilla Sorbet, White Cedarwood

lopLacoste Love of Pink: Last years Touch of Pink flanker (Dream) smelled of cherry drop sweets. This years limited edition flanker has a very short-lived fruity topnote, which turns into a cheap-smelling sugary Musk really quickly and stays there. Wish it smelled as good as the ad looks, rather than frosted and fuzzy like the bottle.
Top: Blood Orange, Passion fruit, Citron
Middle: Pink Magnolia, Quince Blossom, Stephanotis
Base: White cedar, Musk, Vanilla

“Best of ’08” Infusion d’Homme Review

January 7, 2009

I think Prada’s newest offerings are both wonderful scents. I fell in love with Infusion d’Iris at first sniff. A sweet, soft, green floral scent. It makes me think of pressed Orange Flowers. I don’t feel that the feminine is particularly girly, and I wore it, most men probably could. As soon as I heard there was going to be a masculine, I was intrigued. I first smelled Infusion d’Homme in a duty free store at Heathrow and was annoyed with myself all the way to Hong Kong for not buying a bottle. I was fascinated by the sensation I got when I smelled it. I tried it again in Hong Kong, and was convinced I’d be buying a bottle, but instead I went to eat some noodles and continued my journey to Australia. I eventually bought a bottle when I got back home to England a few weeks later, along with the shower gel.

dhommeThe opening is Aldehydic, slightly sparkling and similar to Chanel No5, but also dry. And not just dry in the crisp sense. Dry in the sense that it induces dryness at the back of the throat, parching and arid. I’d never experienced this from a fragrance before d’Homme.  The Neroli is the main player in the top notes, and the Iris isn’t really the main feature. After about 20 minutes, the sweet citric Mandarin note appears. I find this unusual in that citrus notes are usually there right away in the first spray and then disappear.
This turns into soap. Old fashioned soap, like my Nan used to keep in her bathroom. This is incredibly comforting, and I guess because of the memories of my grandparents. It also reminds me of Estee Lauder’s White Linen, crisp and like fresh laundry. Floral notes intermingle in the background, especially the Iris, which gives a light powdery quality to the heart. It feels very elegant to wear.
I would call the drydown of this fragrance a light Vetiver. Similar to Guerlain’s classic, but cleaner. The Guerlain is earthy and d’Homme is not. It doesn’t always appear to be around, but it drifts in and out of perception all day if using the bath products as well. If not, it doesn’t last particularly well.

Infusion d’Homme is a clean woody floral scent of beauty. I can see this becoming a classic fragrance over the next few years, I can see myself getting lynched for this, but to me it’s a modern Eau Sauvage.
Top: Mandarin Orange, Neroli, Aldehydes
Middle: Iris, Galbanum, Cedar, Vetiver
Base: Benzoin, Frankincense