Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best perfumes 2011

The probability of launching good new perfumes is opposite the rate of perfumes produced. And beware, I am an optimist, always hoping for new or old perfumes which will enchant me. But it seems the keenness of creating new scents is bigger than the ambition to create good ones, so in the end we all get what we ask for, new no matter if bad. So I watch with patience what's going on just hoping that by some accident I will get something good. Take 2010. Only two perfumes to remember and these ones are exclusives: Boxeusse of Serge Lutens and Mitzah of Dior. Go to Paris to get them.

2011, in the middle of crisis and big changes, confusion and despair, brought some wonderful surprises. And these are mainstreams. I was so shocked that I tried and tried them not believing my luck.

Bottega Venetta, Bottega Venetta . A beautiful bag dream. Since Weil in twenties, bringing perfumes to be worn with their expensive furs, the perfume world did not encounter such an experience. They didn't want only to cash in on the name but enhance the beauty. Soft perfumed leather, elegant and unique.

Tom Ford, Violet Blonde. I still can't figure out why this reminds me so much of last years Pradas. But while all Pradas end up by being too subtle and whispering, Violet Blonde is a full bodied creature, big character, powdery floral with a twist and days after spraying it on the scarf you will get some luxurious feeling.

Cartier, Baiser Vole. To me the Cartier perfumes are a very special story, something I can't really figure out. Most of them are quite anti-mainstream. Bit dirty, weird. Cartier de Lune from the last year is the only one I found boring and uninspiring. The new Baiser Vole comes back to the Cartier style, it's weird and special. I get some fish dirty feeling at the beginning to end up with a most wonderful combination of strong stylised flowers on a base of amber and musk.

Guerlain, Shalimar Parfum Initial. It reminds us why Jacques Guerlain perfumes are timeless. It's not about trying hard to be unique and special. It's about smelling good and smelling of perfume, a combination which is not the sum of the parts but something else. Shalimar Parfum Initial is made to surprise anytime when you wear it. Chic and noble.

There are also some good intentions in Prada Candy or Oscar Esprit d'Oscar. Or some new beauties in the niche line, with Serge Lutens De Profundis, Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee, Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri or Tauer Zeta but my personal choice for a niche masterpiece of 2011 is

Parfums MDCI, La Belle Helene. If a sweet eatable thing could be made in a sexy luxurious perfume, that would be. I appreciated Traversee du Bosphor, but La Belle Helene transcends the story of fruits and flowers and brings a scent composition made in heaven. Wearing it made me feel as a woman who could live in any given time in history and seduce with her perfume. A perfume which lets transpire the feeling of real skin you want to touch.

 And now I can't wait to be mean and have a list of the worst supposed good perfumes of 2011.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

About perfume bottles, with sadness

It took me really long to understand what Serge Lutens meant, that perfumes should be worn as jewellery. I think I knew it but just the other day, watching perfume bottles, I finally got it.
If you asked me I wouldn't care less about bottles. I care only about the scent inside and I would throw any bottle once the perfume inside is finished. An empty bottle doesn't say anything to me. Still, more and more I am struck by the cheapness of perfume bottles, mostly about the plastic caps and other plastic decoration. Again, if you asked me, a good perfume  is the most precious thing in the world. Wearing a good perfume is like I wear a billion dollar thing on me. No matter how easy is to get that perfume. There is a big effort in offering exclusive scents, numbered bottles, extremely expensive ones, seasonal ones, hard to get ones and you would think that that makes them precious. But that doesn't have anything to do with how exceptional and gorgeous and really precious a scent is. The beauty of a perfume itself makes it precious and I know some which are so breathtaking and still you can buy them quite easy. The fact that some other million people wear them doesn't make them less precious. It's like you would say that a Picasso seen by all people in the world would become less valuable. A piece of art, the beauty, does not wear off by being used by senses.
So whenever I wear some masterpiece of a perfume I feel, as Serge Lutens put it, like wearing the most unique and beautiful jewellery. Still, somehow I realized that it makes me sad that I have to take off some cheap kitschy plastic cap, golden or silvery ones, flowery or baroque. I don't need crystal bottles extremely expensive, I like glass bottles but why not use some other material for caps, may be wood, light metal or also glass, something that would be pleasant to touch? And give up the other silly decorations? There are so much money to spend on marketing, advertising etc. Why not a nice solution which would make the experience of putting a perfume on a little bit more special?

Note: While writing last times I realized how sophisticated blogging became, lots of time to find the right picture, download it, looking for copyright etc. And I decided that probably I'm not really a blogger just like to write time to time about perfumes and others.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shalimar Parfum Initial - perfume review

Oh, Shalimar.
The story goes that Thierry Wasser has a niece and the niece asked him to make something with Shalimar that it appeals to young generation. Mind you, that's the NIECE of THIERRY WASSER: That means she just has to reach her hand she will get whatever she wants from Guerlain. And there are some new girly ones, made for market, and there are the exclusives ones. But, no, she is a naughty niece and she wants Shalimar for her taste. That could sound ridiculous and this is what many made of it.

For my side I rather see uncle Thierry talking with his niece for the thousand time about the beauty of Shalimar. Yes, there are so many other Guerlains so many perfumes in the world but there is this only one, the PERFUME, and how she could understand this. It's the huge luck and at the same time the curse of Thierry Wasser to be the in-house perfumer at Guerlain. He is expected everyday to live up to the Guerlain heritage and LVHM expects him to sell well. And he adores Shalimar and has talks about its beauty with his niece. May be she loves Shalimar, too, but she tells him that her friends just don't get it and what could be done with it. Natalia Vodianova is not always enough to sell the perfume.
I think it is a beautiful story, a story of how art enters the lives of all who get around, in-house perfumers and nieces and what they made out of it. There is me and many other thousand who love Shalimar and there is a huge majority who just doesn't get it. Poor them. Thierry Wasser is really really sad about it. So he creates Shalimar Parfum Initial.

First, what is with this name? Let me know when you find out because my only idea, from what I read from others, would be a parallel with Chanel Eau Premiere. Silly, isn't it? The initial was almost 90 years ago. Never mind, I don't care about names.

I tried Shalimar Parfum Initial quite late, few months after appearing. I am from that crowd 'don't mess with my Shalimar'. Despite reading some perplexed good reviews I couldn't go past my prejudices and, of course, the pink juice (hey, I just saw yesterday a dead gorgeous pink dress from the last Chanel show in India, how I want that). When finally I tried it, with my mind full of good reviews but also horrified reviewers, I was ready for everything. My nose is a tyrant who stopped me from liking thousands of perfumes I would have put all my money on. My nose brought me to the situation that I didn't write anything on my blog for long because I assumed becoming a weirdo, I just can't wear anything anymore except two perfumes (almost 100 years old) and one of them in combination with a bit of a third one. While I try and try, buy big quantities of samples of everything. I like many of them but can't wear them. So on with my nose in the blotter it was pleasant and I dared to put it on my wrist. And let it there. And liked it again after a while. Now I am at the end of almost ten days of trying it on my skin and fabrics. I fought for and against all this time. It's morning and I didn't make it yet to the shop to put it on again so I went on and smelled it on the pullover from yesterday.

That's a scent that you want to smell of, a beautiful woman who just left her clothes down to go for a bath (see Natalia Vodianova, but why she stays like that, it's kind of unnatural and rather calls for care and warm clothes). Powdery and fruity in a subtle plastic way at the beginning, reminiscent of some girly perfumes but with a Shalimar background. All the way it can bring other perfumes into mind, may be a bit of Angel, may be a bit of Coco Mademoiselle or Dior Homme, but Shalimar is always there in the background. I hate patchouli and the mention of it made me suspicious from the beginning but here is in a luminous way, which is strange combined with tonka. And there is still the smokiness of Shalimar, a bit of incense and mostly I perfectly like the musk which is left at the end together with the vanilla.

I'm decidedly not good at describing notes and I don't care too much about it, actually. For me it's important the overall feeling, who is this girl who wears Parfum Initial (oh, no, it's not Natalia Vodianova, sorry). She is young, gothic, she will wear Parfum Initial to go to library and all day long. But at the party she will wear Bvlgary Black. She is intelligent but just a bit weird as she pleases, her gothic clothes are just washed and smell of clean. And she likes this Shalimar Parfum Initial which leaves a sexy trail and the librarian comes closer to her. Yes, how peredepierre noticed, there is a little dirty hint in it and she likes that.

I didn't read anywhere how the niece of Thierry Wasser felt in the end about Parfum Initial, I would be curious to find out. But I would be really really happy if the girls will buy this, no matter if based on the pink colour of juice and sexy add. The world will smell better. On the other hand, I like it so much that I might wear it a lot these months and I don't want to be just one of the girls there (mostly, I'm not a girl anymore).

For my part, Thierry Wasser did for mass market what they didn't manage to do for their exclusive Guerlain part. In a way is a step further Angelique Noire and Tonka Imperiale. I like both very much but I'm not in love with them. While Shalimar Parfum Initial is a strange cat I can't resist.

Reviews of Shalimar Parfum Initial:

I also always like to check the reviews of a perfume on makeupalley.com, fragrantica.com and basenotes.com.    

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chanel 5, Chanel and Joy, Patou

Two perfumes: Chanel 5 and Joy. Two women: the lover and the wife.

Myths surround perfumes. The recent comments of a friend prompted me to think about it. For long and before learning a bit more about perfumes I knew that Marilyn Monroe was wearing in bed these few drops of Chanel 5. And that Jackie Kennedy wore Joy, said to be the most expensive perfume in the world at that time. How much it's true it doesn't really matter, the myths have their beauty.
Taking that I didn't know too much about perfumes, years ago I was a bit puzzled about the story. For me Chanel 5 was the classic type, conservative, going with white pearls necklace and formal attires. I could see the thousand and millions of old men reaching for Chanel 5 in the airports dutyfree shops to bring them exactly to their wives. Joy, on the other hand, sounded more sophisticated and the fact that it contained the tones of jasmine and roses sounded like the one going for total seduction. Once again, I didn't know too much about perfumes. And on my mind it should have been the other way around, Marilyn wearing Joy and Mrs Kennedy wearing Chanel 5. So I took it as a strange part of the story, which made it even more interesting.
Let's make it clear. Marilyn didn't wear only Chanel 5 and Jackie Kennedy not only Joy. It seems both of them wore both. See here . But with saying so Marilyn Monroe made for Chanel 5 more than any advertisement ever and generations of men will be dreaming that image. And Mrs Kennedy did for Joy enormous, somebody on makeupalley.com said half of the women on Wall Street smell of Joy.
Once I was able to understand a perfume, I tried both of them again. And as I already mentioned, in fact Chanel 5 makes me always blush. That's the smell of a mistress, of an available woman, it's not only about love, it's about carnal love, it says 'I want you and you want me'. It's more then seductiveness. By the way, that's a very expensive woman. It will take you all your money and your heart, too. The genius of Coco Chanel was to chose exactly this perfume, she got it. The women will want to smell like it and the men will get crazy about it. Recently I saw a poll about the most effective perfume for a first date, that's Chanel 5.
Joy, on the other hand, though an explosion of lush flowers, has a background coldness. It has something restrained in it, like a lady who will always wear gloves to shake your hand. If you want more, you will have to marry her and make her a lady. It will also take all your money but she doesn't care about you heart or she is too well educated to show it. Joy has warmth, but the warmth of a beautiful statue in sun.
In a way I am disappointed that the myth stands the reality. Marilyn is to wear Chanel 5 and Mrs Kennedy to wear Joy. Which woman are you, the Chanel 5 or Joy?

Personally I am neither. I just love both of them. They are timeless perfumes, they are as classic as actual. Anybody any age could wear them and they will make you smell like they are suppose to, attractive and expensive.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perfume Shopping in Paris

  • A wonderful friend, a best one, sent me to Paris for a romantic weekend, four days in fact, the most special birthday gift I have ever received.
  • It'l all about anticipation: I dreamt of all wonderful perfume places I'm going to visit.
  • graindemusc has the best on-line guide for checking perfume shops in Paris
  • I found myself staying in a wonderful hotel and shockingly few steps from Palais Royal. Serge Lutens was all mine. On Rue de Richelieu where I stayed I had also few other wonderful things, like Patricia de Nicolai few meters away. And it was walking distance to all best places on Right Bank. And I checked all of them. As well the Left Bank.
  • It was like the project of my life, searching all over, running from a place to other. Being over excited in the Guerlain shop.
  • It is so, perfume should mean glamour to me. No field trips, nature, passion whatsoever. And on my mind it was the right place to look for it. Reality is cruel, in the end it is all about marketing, cost cutting, efficieny and LVHM. Most glamorous part are the bodyguards, their smile, attitude and earphones, at the entrance of the shops.
  • Gallerie Lafayette: I would never ever wear a Dior, Prada, D&G & co when bought fighting other thousands people looking for a bargain, in a bazar atmosphere, not being sure in which counter I ended up. It made me sick.  Everything looked cheap and vulgar.
  • What I found in Paris: Sous le Vent. what a wonder. And nothing else from Guerlain, nothing. (but Ode, which I smelled in one of the warm boxes.)
  • What else I found: Mitzah Dior, Mitzah is soooooooooo good. It was too overpowering in the first few minutes but after a while it was heaven. I don't care it is original or not, it is just so wonderful. I still have it on the sleeve of my jacket, I hate myself I didn't buy it.
  • What else still: Boxeusse. Feels in line with old Serge Lutens, but so attractive and sexy.  
  • Dissapointed over a purchase, very expensive one. I will never wear it. Actually I never found anything which I would wear from that niche company. Too sad.
  • I find it great to look for perfumes in Paris, the staff is very nice.
  • In the end, I would have liked to find some flea markets to check for some old perfumes. But probably they are only for connaisseurs.
  • My man wondered discretly about the romantic part of our Paris trip.
And here is my beautiful friend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Moulin Rouge, Histoires de Parfums: my best perfume 2010

I am not a person of details, I do not care about details. I tend to think rather in big pictures. Also in perfumery I think often in philosophical, social, cultural or human terms. That's my blog all about. I don't write reviews because practically I am unable to do it. Or I have too many doubts about my own opinions and preferences. But in the end nothing is more refreshing than to write a review. To concentrate on the beauty of a single creation.

I already disclosed my passion for Histoires de Parfums scents. There is no one to not like or to be indifferent, I am excited about all of them. They smell just good on me. Still, it took me a while to try the last ones, the Tuberose Trilogy and Moulin Rouge. I am not the first to notice that they received bit if not at all attention (that's strange altogether).
If I could put in words what I like so much about Histoires des Parfums is that they have a great base. That's something which makes for me one of the big differences in perfumes. The base, the last word, the thing which stays with you hours after the first encounter. That's the art of big perfumers, to give you something which you can love to the end. That's for me the difference between Jacques Guerlain and Jean Paul Guerlain and why I don't believe in a universal Guerlinade base. There is nothing like that after Jacques Guerlain creations no matter the efforts.

Somehow Histoires de Parfums took pride in that. The base. I'm writing this 6 hours after I applied Moulin Rouge on my wrist and the typing movements bring around clouds of a wonderful smell, something you want to smell like whenever, early in the morning, after many hours of a party, while working at your office. A wonderful smell. Probably it is the talent of a chef Gérald Ghislain that he did that and he knew how to do it. I am not a gourmand. But I rather prefer eat seldom and when I do it eat something really good, which leaves a great taste long after was eaten.

Moulin Rouge opens sexy but not loud. There are the fruits (plumes and peaches in a lost lush way, reminds me of Femme Rochas) and some bubble gum accent. After a while it smells like a one million dollar bucks baby, that rose which I wanted to be L'Arte di Gucci for me. It was not because it's too much 80', too straight in your face. But Moulin Rouge is. A dark and powdery rose. It still keeps some from fruits and brings additionally a bit of almonds and iris. And it ends up forever with a musky vanilic base, not even one artificial tone, which still keeps some rose and fruits in it.

For me, Moulin Rouge is the perfume of 2010. There is nothing more attractive than it, I make no efforts to like it completely. I don't need to explain it to myself too much. It just comes compelling and I feel wonderful with it.

My only story about Moulin Rouge: I was young, my first year as a student, in a pub with my then boyfriend we met a middle aged man, an university professor. He was slightly drunk and he told us the story of him and Anca, the girl he was in love with years before, at Moulin Rouge. They went to Paris and to Moulin Rouge and there were all these beautiful shining women, not only on the stage but all over. There were so many beautiful women in one place. But he was in love with Anca and in fact he didn't really watch all these beauties. He didn't have too many memories of them. Because he was in love with Anca. Paris and Moulin Rouge were all about Anca.

Recently I ordered in same pack samples of Moulin Rouge, Traversee du Bosphor, Rubj and Bois Blonde. All of them stunning but I'm in love with Moulin Rouge. No discussion, a matter of taste.

I still didn't try the Tuberose Trilogy. Tuberoses is not my stuff (as rose never was) so I can wait. But who knows what Histoires de Parfums has to offer me there.