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Le Jardin Retrouvé – Cuir de Russie. Le Jardin Retrouvé or “the recovered garden” might well be a new discovery for many niche fragrance followers even though the house has existed since 1975.

Le Jardin Retrouvé – Cuir de Russie

Le Jardin Retrouvé has been very quiet since the brand’s founder, perfumer Yuri Gatsatz, passed away in 2005. The brand was a sleeping beauty until Yuri’s son Michel and his wife, Clara, brought new life into the Parisian fragrance house in 2016. The couple were so determined in their work they even sold the family house to finance the project.

Yuri’s life story is a fascinating tale. Surviving tumultuous years of political revolution and world wars, the young Russian immigrant eventually settled in Paris at the age of 19. Le Jardin Retrouvé was a passion project for Yuri and when he died, his collection consisted of a few dozen fragrances. The fragrance I like the most in the collection is Cuir de Russie. A Treatise on Spice: Spices in Perfumery. The chef protests that he is nothing without his spices.

A Treatise on Spice: Spices in Perfumery

The perfumer protests that he is nothing without the high quality of his raw materials. I protest that spice notes are an indispensable part of the perfumer’s palette, adding not only to the aroma, but to the structure and the effects found within a good fragrance. Cumin in perfumery is a polarising note, in the way it captures a sweaty, human aspect. I for one adore cumin and all of its bodily associations, and the way it delivers a penetrating warmth that saturates the fragrances from top to bottom. Goldfield & Banks – Desert Rosewood. Australia is developing into one of the new frontiers for fine fragrances and Goldfield & Banks is a new brand that is shaping the country’s budding reputation.

Goldfield & Banks – Desert Rosewood

Created, formulated and bottled here in Australia, Goldfield & Banks tells an Australian story through the eyes of French-Belgian entrepreneur Dimitri Weber. Dimitri migrated to Sydney two years ago where he created a collection of four fragrances inspired by Australia’s native flora and distinct landscapes. He describes the collection as being “unravelled nature”. His fragrances are a “botanical dream from downunder”. Dimitri came to Australia with a wealth of industry experience.

Dimitri says, “Where there are beautiful raw materials there are fragrances.” Because Australia has a young history when it comes to making fragrances, it is not uncommon for Australian brands to go to Grasse or Paris to have their fragrances made. Jasmin Angélique by Atelier Cologne. Atelier Cologne’s Jasmin Angélique does a few things right, and then it does quite a few things wrong.

Jasmin Angélique by Atelier Cologne

It is able to showcase the broad range of jasmine, starting with the squeaky volume of the white flower, fixed with petals made of rubber and positioned to demonstrate indoles cut with the clinical disinfectant hum of lemon. It then moves, ever so slowly, into a jasmine with an inflection of clean thin smoke, touched by the oily green of vetiver and a soft, fuzzy suggestion of fatty-waxy aldehydes. Angelica fragments this jasmine – pushing a bitter, herbal green and fusing them together. Meaning in Fragrance: Maduro by Fort & Manlé. There are considerable, crucial moments in perfume writing and consideration that it begins to change and shape the way you think about scent.

Meaning in Fragrance: Maduro by Fort & Manlé

A shift towards the most critical is what has shaped my writing on the blog, and in order to achieve that a breadth of perspective is demanded. Examination is rightly followed by questioning, and it brings me great enjoyment tackling the groundworks of the ethics of a perfume reviewer. Models of communication highlight the relationship between the sender and the receiver. In terms of perfume, the model is of perfumer and reviewer/wearer, respectively. This model at its most simple introduces a rudimentary yet worthwhile question: who creates the meaning? Gris Clair by Serge Lutens. I cannot think of a fragrance that captures solitude and reflection more effectively than Gris Clair, altogether able to find itself quiet yet intense.

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

It is indeed a scent of light grey, but in no way evoking a melancholic mood. Instead, it is the olfactory equivalent of isolated deep thought. The endearing feature of Gris Clair is how it is capable of grey but not of melancholy or nostalgia. This separation of its features intrigues me, because the grey of the lavender and the perfume in itself smoothly shifts into a scent of soft burning – a metallic warmth at its core. This is not at all overt, nor does one effect take primacy over the other. Monthly Musings: Justification, February 2017. A whole mishmash for blog readers in this post!

Monthly Musings: Justification, February 2017

Upon self-reflection, a theme I have picked up on is reflexivity, spurred quite clearly by the comments from others on my blog posts. I make an intense effort to ensure utmost transparency and have quite clearly from time to time dedicated entire Monthly Musings posts to the gruelling task of grappling the slippery concept of justification. Successful or not, as long as I have openly delivered a discourse on the principles in which I stand for by stating them on and on again I have been, in some valid circular way (and as narrow in scope as it may be), justified in every single review of any scented stimuli on this very blog. It is not my task as a serious critic to urge you to buy anything, but like the decanter to the wine, it is my job to express the oratory function of fragrance; to impose well-founded and self-founded values and hold a scent to that very account and see if it makes the cut. These necessary conditions are paramount.

Inexcusable Ropion: Cologne Indélébile from Frederic Malle and Soul by Costume National. No perfumer is without their faults.

Inexcusable Ropion: Cologne Indélébile from Frederic Malle and Soul by Costume National

Cologne Indélébile From Frederic Malle Original Score: 5/5 First Posted July 2, 2015 Maxim: Divorce functionality from critical scent analysis. Fragrance isn’t practical, and judging Cologne Indélébile on that merit was plainly spurious of me. That ought not to be a condition in judging perfume, because when has art ever been functional or practical? It is then only appropriate that my view of Cologne Indélébile trims itself down from the original perfect 5 that I gave it. The Cologne Guide — Gentleman's Gazette. In this guide, we’re going to examine cologne for the distinguished gentleman, what he should seek out, how he should apply it, and our recommended picks. A selection of fine colognes History of Cologne Perfumes have been in existence since ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Although at the time it was a rudimentary concoction, it wasn’t until the Romans and Persians when perfume was essentially viewed as a science of alchemy. Many historians believe that the first perfumier was a chemist named Tapputi, a woman in 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia who concocted potions made from distilled flowers, oil, and other aromatics that she filtered over and over. In fact, archeologists located what is believed to be the world’s oldest surviving vial of perfume dating back more than 4000 years in Pyrgos, Cyprus. Perfumery was introduced to Europe in the medieval period by returning Crusaders who had gleaned insights from Arab perfumers. Monthly Musings: Conditions & Maxims, January 2017.

The 2nd edition of Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible has recently come into my possession.

Monthly Musings: Conditions & Maxims, January 2017

I appreciate and find it totally collectible to obtain as many reference books and encyclopaedias as I can on topics that interest me. Philosophy encyclopaedias are a given, wine books are relatively easy to come by, and texts on fragrance seem to move closer into the realm of the textbook than anything else. What I enjoy about such texts is the ability to draw the perspective of multiple authorities on the same topic. Johnson’s, Robinson’s, and MacNeil’s perspective of Northern Rhône reds expectedly vary. Burr’s, Turin’s, and Olfactics’ perspective of Kouros ought to vary, and I expect they do.

MacNeil’s voice as a writer shines through quite generously and is unlike any other wine reference book I have yet to encounter. Arquiste – Él, Ella and Esencia de el Palacio. The story of Arquiste is one that traverses many continents but the fragrance house’s most intrinsic stories often take place in Mexico, the birthplace of Arquiste’s founder, Carlos Huber.

Arquiste – Él, Ella and Esencia de el Palacio

As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, no matter how far afield life takes you. Having worked almost exclusively with Givaudan perfumer and fellow countryman Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Carlos uses scent as a time capsule that speaks of Mexico’s past, present and even its future. Examples of these stories are Flor y Canto and Anima Dulcis; the wearer is transported to a Baroque convent in Mexico City and they take part in Aztec flower rituals in Tenochtitlan’s ancient temples. Carlos’ background as an architect and historic preservation prevails and Arquiste’s stories describe these historical events in meticulous olfactory detail. 2016 was a busy year for Arquiste.

New to the collection were two fragrances called Él and Ella. “I thought this was an interesting story. Phoenicia by Heeley. Phoenicia smells like an old fragrance situated in an old place, drawing its inspiration from ancient cues and ingredients. It evokes exactly what you’d expect when an ancient coastal Levantine civilisation is involved. Why Are Celebrity Perfumes Still Popular? Back a while ago I really thought the trend for celebrity scents (i.e.scents coat-tailing on the success of a celebrity brand name to which they're designed as an accessory) was dying.

Boy, was I wrong! There are more celebrity scents coming out each season and it stands to reason people must be actually buying all this stuff for the companies to keep churning out more and more. (The latest, Nicole, comes from Nicole Richie who credits her mother's layering of a hundred scented products as its inspiration, which is scary sounding enough). But WHY are they? "Like their wearers, these fragrances are not sophisticated, nor are they complicated. ''Parallel market'' fragrances are flourishing, according to beauty market analyst Jo-Anne Mason.

Perfume Shrine: Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely: fragrance review. Few fragrances boast their very definition in their name, unless they're programmatic, but so few celebrity scents are anyway. Lovely is really lovely and it earns brownie points for being launched by a celebrity that actually gives a darn about fragrance instead of seeing it as a personal brand: the perfume-obsessed Sarah Jessica Parker. Inspired by her love for mixing high-school staple Bonne Belle Skin Musk and an Egyptian-style musk oil bought from street vendors (rumor has it that it's the same that the late Carolyn Bessete Kennedy wore) with a "smoky" incense-patchouli-woods from Japanese avant-garde brand Comme des Garcons (Avignon actually), Jessica Parker didn't really get her way in terms of Lovely imposing a challenging concept in actual market terms.

That's if we are to go by Chandler Burr's account, who chronicled the story of the creation in the book "The Perfect Scent". Department Store Salesmanship: Wanted by Azzaro. I will not hold these words back: I do not like a huge chunk of what is on offer in modern mass-market perfumery. This is reflected clearly in the blog. I do not touch the stuff. The reality is that niche fragrances and the upper-level output of designer fragrances hold the majority of the market today (if you don’t believe me, Michael Edwards will utter near-identical sentiments). Niche is, in fact, mainstream, as niche continues to be the unending future of perfumery (also an Edwards quote). Perfume Shrine: Fendi Theorema: fragrance review. Now that perfumer Christine Nagel is at the helm of Hermès, looking back on her work for various brands reveals her core aesthetics; at once saturated and filled with light, like a Joseph M.W.

CHANEL: Le Baudruchage. Habit Rouge Dress Code by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2015. Dzongkha by L’Artisan Parfumeur. It seems plain to me that certain noses have an aptitude for certain styles and notes. Parle Moi de Parfum, Grasse – Paris, Exploring the Collection. Grasse may be the historical home of French perfumery but this sleepy town in the South of France does not give up its scented stories to everyone. The history of Grasse is told by a handful of perfume museums in the old town but the real work of perfumery takes place in the surrounding countryside, away from the tourists, behind securely gated factories and laboratories owned by the likes of Mane and Robertet.

In addition to the industry having a culture of high secrecy, any real perfume making is an unlikely tourist attraction. Noir Epices for Frederic Malle. Along with Musc Ravageur, Noir Epices structurally may be the greatest creation in the Malle line. Eau d’Italie’s ALTAIA – Exploring the Collection. This spring I was invited to meet storytellers Marina Sersale and Sebastián Alvarez Murena, the founders of Italian niche perfume house Eau d’Italie.

Overview: Le Jardin Retrouvé. Safran Troublant by L’Artisan Parfumeur. The Cologne Guide — Gentleman's Gazette. Mitsouko by Guerlain. It is difficult to discuss chypre perfumes and not mention contrast and tension, and yet the idea of contrast applies in many different ways for Mitsouko. On one hand, Mitsouko has an internal contrast of its notes and its whole structure – the trio of bergamot, labdanum, and oakmoss makes the olfactory pyramid smell like a wonderful sphere: inky and cool oakmoss is washed with the solar quality of bergamot, warmed with the fruity amber tang of labdanum. Top-middle-and-base are not progressively top-down in nature, but every aspect is present at differing levels and proportions at differing stages; volumes change, drama is created, but this always seems to happen in a controlled manner.

On the other hand, there’s a larger logic to Mitsouko. What Men Should Smell Like. Perfume Shrine: L'Artisan Parfumeur Saffran Troublant: fragrance review. Sex and the Sea by + for Francesca Bianchi 2016. The Soliflore: Sa Majesté la Rose by Serge Lutens. DSH Perfumes. Samsara EdP by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1990. Atelier Cologne – Tobacco Nuit. Perfume Shrine: YeYe Parfums Sentiers de Cometes: fragrance review.

What Men Should Smell Like. La Tulipe by Byredo. Monthly Musings: A Grand Narrative? September 2016. Unexpected Iris: Paprika Brasil by Hermès. In Defence of Traditionalism: No. 5 L’Eau by Chanel. Grandiflora Fragrance and Bertrand Duchaufour – Queen of the Night interviews. On Vetiver: Vétiver Extraordinaire for Frederic Malle. Myrrh Casati by Melanie Leroux for Mona di Orio 2014. Noir De Noir by Tom Ford. On Oud: Oud 27 by Le Labo. What Men Should Smell Like. Amouage – Myths Man and Myths Woman. Goddess? My Perfume Pantheon + GIVEAWAY. Strange Fruit: Jubilation 25 by Amouage. Hyper-Natural Scent from Design to Art by Chandler Burr. Monthly Musings: On Approach, July 2016.

Poet’s Jasmine by Ineke Rutland for INeKE 2011. Opus X by Pierre Negrin + Annick Menardo for Amouage 2016. FLANKERS!! Let’s Talk About Flankers. Comme des Garçons by Comme des Garçons. Jo Malone London – Mimosa & Cardamom. CHANEL: The Self-Portrait of a Perfume. Dior Eau Sauvage: Tribute to a Legend: Video. Œillet Sauvage by Anne Flipo for L’Artisan Perfumer 2000. History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places. Perfume Shrine: Lady Gaga Fame: fragrance review. Lady Gaga's Celebrity Perfume: Smelling like an Expensive Hooker. Best in Show: Tropical Island Scents (2016) ~ Best in Show. China White by Nasomatto: Postmodern Chypre.

Ermenegildo Zegna – Mediterranean Neroli. Safari Woman by Dominique Ropion for Ralph Lauren 1990. Rena “Carol” Aulick-Lynn 1949 – 2016. The World of a Japanese Perfumer: Part 1, an Interview with Satori Osawa ~ Interviews. What Men Should Smell Like. Fragrances of the World 2016 Edition and the Oud Phenomenon. Boy EdP by Olivier Polge for CHANEL 2016. Perfume Shrine: Scent of Mummy, the Egyptian kind, that is... On Oud: Grandawood Agarwood. A Comparison – Habit Rouge by Guerlain: Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, Parfum, and Dress Code. Best in Show: Fragrances for a Teenage Guy (2016) ~ Best in Show. Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens. What Men Should Smell Like. 5 Best Mens Colognes and Reviews - Best Cologne for Men. Charogne by Etat Libre d’Orange. Best Green Fragrances for Men. Dzintars by Dzintars 1981: from Latvia with love. Bargain Fragrances: Tuscany by Aramis (1984) ~ Bargain Fragrance Reviews. Capricci by Francis Fabron for Nina Ricci 1960 + GIVEAWAY.

Perfume Shrine: The Scent of Spring : A Collection of Top Spring Perfume Lists, Spring Images & Facts about Spring Fragrances. Poivre 23 (London) by Nathalie Lorson for Le Labo 2008. Guest Post: Portia Turbo on Tauer Perfumes. Aldehydes in Perfumery Mythology. Poivre Piquant by L’Artisan Parfumeur. Cologne? What Does It Mean? Perfume Shrine: New Chanel Eau No.5 Flanker Perfume Later in 2016: Fragrance Rumor. Five Reasons You Don’t Need To Buy Niche. Best in Show: Tobacco Fragrances ~ Best in Show. Plushness and The Synthetic Construction: Cuir Velours by Naomi Goodsir, Cuir Pleine Fleur by Heeley, and Cuir d’Ange by Hermes. La Petite Robe Noire Couture by Guerlain. Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens. Let Nature Find Your Perfume with The Harmonist. Pour Monsieur by Chanel. Esprit du Tigre by Heeley.

Bois Oriental by Serge Lutens. A Saintly Aroma: Scents of Heaven ~ 1001 Past Tales. Turtle Vetiver Front by Isabelle Doyen for Les Nez 2012.