Perfume Like Champagne

fizzy champagne

At midnight tonight, many of us will toast the New Year with a glass of Champagne. Fizzy wine goes so well with New Year’s Eve’s party dresses, flashy jewelry, and dance music. Well, so does fizzy perfume.

Here are some of my picks for Champagne-like fragrances:

Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse: There’s a reason Yvresse was named Champagne before the Champagne lobby sued Yves Saint Laurent to change it. This pale, fruity chypre smells like a spill of off-dry Champagne the morning after the party. For me, wine can recall perfume, and the combination of moss and dry peach or apricot often reminds me of white wine. (Rose, violet, and sandalwood, on the other hand, remind me of Cabernet Franc. Leather chypres smell like good Temperanillo. Gosh, I’m getting thirsty.) Yvresse was well named…

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Olfactive Studio Still Life ~ fragrance review

Frédéric Lebain photograph

As you may have gathered from some of my past posts, I get touchy when arbitrary (or inaccurate) analogies are drawn between perfume and the visual arts. However, Olfactive Studio’s collaboration between photographers and perfumers is specific and yet open-ended enough to leave breathing room for everyone involved. Each fragrance is inspired by a photograph and is given a term from the photographic arts. Lately I’ve been sampling Still Life, which was prompted by a photograph by Frédéric Lebain (above, cropped).

Lebain’s still-life photograph shows an arrangement of three photographic prints of mirrored disco balls surrounded by a dusting of confetti. It contains images-within-an-image, and it could be a self-referential meditation on photography’s two-dimensional representations of a three-dimensional world; it’s playful and cerebral at the same time. Still Life, the fragrance, was developed by perfumer Dora Arnaud. It’s a woody citrus with notes of yuzu, elemi, pink pepper, black pepper, Sichuan pepper, star anise, galbanum, dark rum, cedarwood and ambrox…

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Perfume: the best of 2012

Some years seem better for niche, others for mainstream. Writing this post and looking over the 2012 releases confirmed my suspicion that this was not a stellar year (in my humble opinion, obviously) on either side, despite the usual avalanche of product. Or maybe it is just getting harder and harder to pick out the gems? Another possibility is that I didn’t chose the right things to smell — as always, I didn’t manage to test everything.

My choices for the year are just below. Scroll down to see what Angela, Erin, Jessica and Kevin thought was noteworthy in 2012, or click over to Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Perfume Posse or Perfume Smellin’ Things. And of course, do add your own thoughts in the comments.

My favorite niche fragrances of 2012: L’Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’Aube, with nods to Diptyque Volutes and Parfums de Nicolaï L’Eau à la Folie

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