Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash ~ fragrance review

peach and patchouli

Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats. The Fruitchouli match is ready to begin. On the right we have peach and apricot in their full jammy splendor. On the left is patchouli, with an assist from amber. With power players like this, who will win? And will anyone be able to sit through the entire competition without a clothespin for her nose?

“Fruitchouli” is the clever name for a genre of fragrances with — you guessed it — prominent fruit and patchouli notes, such as Calvin Klein Euphoria. The term is usually bestowed disparagingly. (If you know who coined fruitchouli, please leave a comment! It’s become such a part of the perfumista vocabulary that I can’t pin down where it originated, but I’d love to give proper credit.)

Andy Tauer had the guts to make fruitchouli his own by creating Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Jo Malone Orris & Sandalwood ~ fragrance review

Jo Malone Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense

On learning that the Jo Malone line now includes Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense, my thoughts went something like this:

Orris & Sandalwood? I love both those notes. This might be amazing!

Of course, it’s Jo Malone. Does that mean it’s simply a literal translation of the two notes?

And if it were, is that so bad?

There was only one way to get to the bottom of it, and that was to sample.

Perfumer Pierre Negrin developed Orris & Sandalwood. The Jo Malone site lists its notes simply as orris, sandalwood and amber. It doesn’t take a genius to add jasmine and vanilla to that list — and black pepper. Lots of it. Frankly, I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it Pepper & Orris and get it over with…

Read the rest of this article »

L de Lubin, vintage and new ~ fragrance review

L de Lubin

I never thought much one way or another about the designer Halston, until I started researching him for a mystery novel. I’d remembered Halston’s dresses as tubes hanging on 28AA women with glossy lipstick who partied at Studio 54 in the late 1970s. Then I learned that those simple tubes were masterpieces of Halston’s “spiral cut,” in which he took an extra wide length of fabric — so wide he first used upholstery fabric, then commissioned his own fabric runs in Italy — and fashioned them meticulously to hang on the bias with a long, spiral seam. In the late 1960s, he even worked with legendary couturier Charles James and hung his fabric diagonally to relax before cutting it, just as Vionnet did.

Halston’s monastic simplicity? Genius and craft are what made those dresses look so effortless. The best light chypres of the 1970s stir the same magic for me…

Read the rest of this article »

Eris Parfums Ma Bete, Belle de Jour & Night Flower ~ fragrance review

Eris Parfums Belle de Jour, Night Flower and Ma Bête

Barbara Herman named her new perfume house Eris Parfums after the Greek goddess of war and strife. Herman draws our attention away from war and toward a story where Eris, banned from a party, tosses in a golden apple with the words on it, “Who’s the fairest”? As Herman says, “I love the idea of a party-crashing, trouble-making Greek goddess who inspires creativity and subversion!”

When asked about influences for Eris Parfums, she references the “emotional effect vintage animalic fragrances like Robert Piguet’s Baghari, Lanvin’s Rumeur and Chanel’s Cuir de Russie” had on her. “It was the voluptuous, sensuous, 3D and emotional aspect of these fragrances that compelled me,” she says. “They smelled good but their impact went beyond that. It was that extra impact of animalics I wanted to return to perfume.”

Perfumer Antoine Lie developed Eris Parfums’s first three fragrances…

Read the rest of this article »

5 Perfumes: Dressing Table Fragrances

Carole Lombard at her dressing table

Sometimes I want a glamorous perfume. I don’t mean a blatantly sexy fragrance, but one that oozes retro allure. Imagine Carole Lombard, swathed in silk charmeuse, warm from the bath, with bowls of roses in every room. That kind of perfume. I think of these fragrances as “dressing table” perfumes. They’re resolutely feminine and are usually dosed with rose, violet, iris, and powder. The best of them carry an animalic purr. They’d be right at home perched on a vintage dressing table with a postcard from a lover in Paris clipped to the mirror.

Here are five of my favorite dressing table perfumes. With each perfume, I add a dressing table accessory that suits it. In the comments, please share your favorite dressing table perfumes…

Read the rest of this article »