Diptyque Eau Plurielle ~ fragrance review

Diptyque Eau Plurielle

Diptyque Eau Plurielle is designed as an all-purpose fragrance. You can spray it on linen, spritz it as an air freshener, and use it as a personal perfume. Need a whiff of rose garden in your stuffy office? Spritz spritz, and your cubicle walls waft June morning at Butchart Gardens. The dog’s bed smells a little feral? Toss it in the washer, anoint with Eau Plurielle, and now Fido could march in the Rose Parade. (Even better, with Eau Plurielle you can be twinsies, scent-wise.) Diptyque complemented Eau Plurielle’s launch with the Rosafolia candle and scented wax oval.

Those of us who love perfume have been making it do double-duty for a long time. I spray Guerlain Eau Impériale on my mattress when I change the sheets. Occasionally I toss a handkerchief dampened with Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia in the dryer with my laundry, and perfume samples often find their way into my handwash…

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Balenciaga Cialenga ~ fragrance review, with an aside on green chypres

Balenciaga Cialenga advert

Beginning in the mid-1960s and hurtling through the next decade, green chypres were all the rage. Every perfume house seemed to have one, starting with Yves Saint Laurent Y (1964), then on to Paco Rabanne Calandre (1969), Chanel No. 19 (1971), Estée Lauder Private Collection (1973),Revlon Charlie (1973), Christian Dior Dior-Dior (1976) and Rochas Mystère (1978). I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Balenciaga’s contribution was the short-lived Cialenga.

Perfumer Jacques Jantzen developed Cialenga, and it launched in 1973. Its notes include citrus, black currant, green notes, iris, jasmine, ylang ylang, clove, rose, lily, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss and Virginia cedar.

The 1970s green chypres ranged from herbal to floral and fruity to dry…

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Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium ~ fragrance review

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

I’m tempted to make this the shortest review ever and simply write, “Interested in Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium? Go buy Chanel Coco Noir or Tom Ford Black Orchid instead.” Black Opium’s vibe is the same as these fragrances, except less sophisticated. Its fruit is similar to Coco Noir’s, except sweeter. Its earthiness hints at Black Orchid’s truffled hazelnut, except muddier. That about wraps it up.

However, I have post to fill. To help you get through it, I’ve bracketed entertaining trivia here and there…

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Dior: The Perfumes by Chandler Burr ~ book review

Dior: The Perfumes by Chandler Burr, cover detail

Whether you will love Dior: The Perfumes depends on more than your enthusiasm for Christian Dior fragrances. First, you’ll need to enjoy Chandler Burr, and I’m not talking about “Burr the saucy perfume critic.” I mean the new Burr, the one who has embraced art criticism as it pertains to fragrance. Next, you’ll need to prepare yourself for some rah-rah Dior pap. Dior, not the book’s publisher, commissioned this book and paid Burr. It shows. But among the hosannas and PR celebrity stills are some interesting stories and gorgeous old photographs.1

Dior: The Perfumes starts with a chapter on Christian Dior’s life as an art dealer, before he became a couturier. The following chapters either feature an essay by Burr on a particular perfume, or on a collection of fragrances, such as Les Escales de Dior. Each chapter is full of photos. (For instance, the essay on Eau Sauvage takes up about a page and a half, while photos fill another nine pages.) Also, inserted toward the beginning of the book is an 18-page spread on Christian Dior and his gardens. At the end of the book is a chronology of Christian Dior fragrances with their release dates.

In each of the essays, Burr compares a fragrance or collection of fragrances to a style or school of art…

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Luxury (and Perfume)

Fabergé Oeuf Tsarskoye Selo Empereur Rosé

If you believe the ads that line magazines this time of year, you think luxury is all about David Yurman necklaces, new Manhattan penthouses, and celebrity-fronted perfume. Someone dressed in Ralph Lauren, waving her Rolex-adorned and Dolce Gabanna-spritzed arm from her new BMW is at the seat of luxury, right?

Not so fast. Although any of those things can be luxurious, often they’re not. I think luxury is eating a perfect poached egg or having a cup of good coffee with an old friend or marveling at the body heat left in your blankets as you make the bed. Luxury is the fragrance that calms or inspires or dares. Real luxury evokes wonder, if you pay attention. It doesn’t have to cost a cent (although in the case of perfume, sadly, it does), and it’s rarely advertised in magazines…

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