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.