Diptyque – Olene

source: one-small-world.com

Olene is a jasmine bomb, with a sillage so nuclear that it would melt the olfactory glands of jasmine-phobes within 10 metres of its wearer. It doesn’t apologise for straight up punching you in the face with indolic fervour, nor does it care that you’re probably being smothered by a million tiny white flowers waving their petals like protesters would at a riotous revolution. As Tania Sanchez described, it is “death by Jasmine”.

Thankfully, I like heady jasmine fragrances.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Bottega Veneta – Knot

source: thechroniclesofher.com

The bottle of Bottega Veneta‘s Knot is drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, that’s the highest praise that I can accord to it, since the juice is, by all accounts, utterly yawn-inducing.

Continue reading

Serge Lutens – Fourreau Noir

source: sergelutens.com

source: sugarbombbakeryblog

If one were to sum up Fourreau Noir in brief, it would be this: Lutens takes lavender and gives it his signature oriental treatment. It dispels lavender’s common associations with ‘grannies’ (hopefully that’s not what you lot think) and fusty scented drawers, and instead marries its herbal elements with a very edible tonka bean that is delectably creamy, and dare I say… fluffy. Throw some musk into the mix and we get a perfume that is thoroughly warming through and through. This lends it a quality that can best be described as the olfactory equivalent of a mink stole – not that I have worn one, nor ever intend to wear an animal – a furry coat for the coldest of winters.

source: citysafe.org

But then midway through, the edibility gives way to the strangest olfactory flash mob – a turpentine note emerges, which I suspect to be the result of an interaction between the medicinal aspects of tonka bean and the herbal aspects of lavender, and the composition veers towards a woody dry down, which is pleasant enough. Once the surprise of the turpentine wears off, the mild shock on one’s face is replaced by the widest of grins that can only be an indication of the adrenaline stemming from a sensational roller coaster ride. I tend to have a hate-hate relationship with lavender, so it definitely is high praise when I say that this is my favourite lavender fragrance and that I actually love it. Sadly, as with most brands, prices have been inflating year-on-year, so all I can say is try it while you can still afford to.

~ The Smelly Vagabond

Phaedon – L’Eau de Phaedon

source: nstperfume.com

source: nstperfume.com

FLORAL WOODY MUSK

An allergen-free, fresh, suave cologne for the whole family. The floral opening blends white neroli and jasmine with fruity notes of yellow mandarin. Aloe vera and agave leaves add an aquatic, vegetal softness to the fragrance, which evolves towards a soft, comfortable woody musky base, for a “cocoon” effect.

I’ll give Phaedon credit for accurate ad copy (well, I don’t have the tools to check for allergens, but I’ll let you know if I do develop a rash) – L’Eau de Phaedon is what the ad copy says it is. That said, if I had to sum it up in one phrase, it would have to be “cotten/linen-esque room spray”. L’Eau de Phaedon is boring. I don’t see how it can offend anyone, unless you’re the sort who’s offended by boring things.

Continue reading

Serge Lutens – Louve

We’ve all heard or read the story of Little Red Riding Hood sometime in our childhood. Girl wearing a red hood meets a big bad wolf in the woods, who eats up her grandmother so that he can dress up as her grandmother in order to eat the girl subsequently.

I’ve never liked Little Red Riding Hood as a character. She’s always struck me as a whiny, bratty girl who disobeys her mother and goes traipsing into the woods. What’s more, she wears a hood that’s BRIGHT RED in colour, completely oblivious to the attention she is bound to attract on top of the fact that she’s a young girl walking ALONE in the woods.

Continue reading

Phaedon – Coton Egyptien

source: fragrantica.com

Cotton

I spent days trying to write
the perfect letter for you.

I wrote and scratched out
words. I crumpled paper
until my floor started to think
it was a cotton field,
and I thought of inviting you
to come pick through it,

to see if you could find
the softness I was trying
to tell you about

but I was too afraid
your fingers would wear raw
on the bolls, that you would grow
tired of stooping
to pick up the things I’d grown
in my head

so I put an empty envelope
in your mailbox, and wrote

Love me, please,

on the outside,
instead.

– Gabriel Gadfly

“I wrote and scratched out words”

I’ve been wondering for some time what to write about Coton Egyptien by Phaedon. Did I love Coton Egyptien? Well, yes and no.

Coton Egyptien opens with the sheerest, most delicate galbanum and freshly cut grass. It is to perfumer Pierre Guillaume‘s credit that he has managed to achieve such a soft, gentle opening using a note that usually comes across as sharp and spiky. Does it smell like cotton sheets? Perhaps not exactly, but Coton Egyptien conjures images of clean white sheets hung to dry in an open field.

“I thought of inviting you to come pick through it”

Coton Egyptien‘s beautiful opening doesn’t last for long, unfortunately. As it progresses into its heart, clean florals take over. The orange blossom, lily of the valley and jasmine blend together in a mildly sweet blend that is difficult to describe in any way other than “pleasant”. It’s not particularly interesting, but then again, neither are cotton sheets.

“you would grow tired”

As we reach the drydown, Coton Egyptien becomes a sheer (I seem to be describing the whole development of Coton Egyptien as sheer! Well it’s true!) white musk that’s rather non-descript. Although this makes it remain true to its theme of sheets, it comes across less as luxurious egyptian cotton than it does the cheap sheets one can get from IKEA.

“Love me, please, on the outside, instead.”

Ultimately, Coton Egyptien works best for me in its opening movement. Even then, the rest of the fragrance makes sense in that they are all related to the idea of ‘cotton’. Do I love it? Perhaps not entirely, but I’ll wear it on a warm spring day when anything else would be too heavy.

[Review based on my own bottle, purchased from Bloom Perfumery, London. Coton Egyptien has unfortunately been discontinued. It is being replaced by Lentisque, a reformulation of Coton Egyptien that smells more floral but does away with the lovely galbanum opening.]

~ The Smelly Vagabond