Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow ~ fragrance review

Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow artwork

Just when I thought this season’s wave of rose-inspired perfumes had tapered off, one more has come my way, and it’s a very unusual example: Asphalt Rainbow, the second release from Brooklyn-based independent perfume brand Charenton Macerations. This fragrance was developed by perfumer Cecile Hua, and its notes include rose, spray paint (aerosols), galbanum, lily of the valley, lychee, ylang ylang, saffron, magnolia, leather, cistus, asphalt, “detritus,” patchouli, wood and amber.

Asphalt Rainbow is described as “an olfactive love letter to the street: a roughed up rose that’s been hyper-colored, torn apart and twisted on its head, then nailed to the wall for your sniffing pleasure.” It’s actually discussed at much greater length on the Charenton Macerations website, in various posts that occasionally read like an M.F.A. thesis; once you sift through the verbiage, you can take away the idea that Asphalt Rainbow is designed as a homage to graffiti and street art of all kinds, an olfactory tribute to an art form that’s vibrant and temporary and rebellious…

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Le Soft Perfume Parisian Rhapsody, Striptease Flowers & Rock ~ perfume reviews

Le Soft Perfume solid fragrances

Remember Crazylibellule and the Poppies? Six or seven years ago, I was obsessed with their solid perfume sticks and I owned a few: Après-Midi en Douce, Rose à Saïgon, Joséphine Jonquille, Amoureuse. . . I was very sorry when the brand apparently closed its doors circa 2010, and I was happy to learn last year that Crazylibellule’s founder, Isabelle Masson, had returned with a line called Sabé Masson Le Soft Perfume.

Le Soft Perfume’s twist-up perfume sticks are now available in the United States, and I’ve finally started testing them. I’m trying sample amounts of their solid scent in tiny plastic pots, but from what I can tell in photographs, the packaging for this new collection is as cute as ever…

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Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraiche ~ fragrance review

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraîche Ma Robe Pétales

This spring, Guerlain has launched La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraîche, a new flanker to the 2012 version of La Petite Robe Noire (which I deeply disliked). La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraîche is subtitled “Ma Robe Pétales” and follows 2014’s La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum Couture (which bothered me somewhat less than its predecessor). (Don’t even ask me about the 2009 or 2011 versions; I have no memory of either one!)

The facts: La Petite Robe Noire Eau Fraîche was developed by perfumer Thierry Wasser. It’s described as a fresh green floral with notes of bergamot, mandarin, rose, freesia, jasmine, pistachio, almond, tonka bean, white musk and patchouli. Its juice is tinted green, and its bottle is the classic Guerlain silhouette tarted up with yet another little-black-dress illustration…

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Frapin Nevermore ~ fragrance review

Poe's grave and Frapin Nevermore

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before…

In late 2014, niche line Frapin launched Nevermore, a new fragrance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” I love any reference to Poe, and Frapin’s characterization of Nevermore as a “spicy woody metallic rose” appealed to me, so I looked forward to trying it and writing about it here.

Nevermore was developed for Frapin by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel, and its composition includes notes of black pepper, nutmeg, floralozone and aldehydes; rose oxide, rose de mai, rose damascena and “bonded wine”; saffron, Atlas cedar and amber wood. Its concept is inspired by the legendary “Poe toaster,” a mysterious figure who for several decades visited Poe’s Baltimore resting place annually on the writer’s birthday (January 19) and left a bottle of Cognac and three roses…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Oeillet Sauvage ~ fragrance review


If you’re perfume-obsessed, it’s always a crushing blow when one of your favorite scents is discontinued. Once gone, a fragrance almost never returns; today I’m happy to be able to discuss one of the rare exceptions to that rule. If you’ve been keeping track of this sort of thing (as I have!), you may have recently been cheered to learn that L’Artisan Parfumeur was reissuing several fragrances that had been discontinued, including Tea for Two, L’Eau de Caporal and Oeillet Sauvage. (Bois Farine has also become easier to find than it was at this time last year, thank goodness.)

Oeillet Sauvage was developed by perfumer Anne Flipo and originally launched in 2000. Its current press release describes it as a “spicy and vibrant fragrance – an ode to carnations in bloom in the wild” that captures the flower’s “exuberance” and “sensuality.” Oeillet Sauvage’s composition includes notes of pepper, pink peppercorn, carnation, rose, ylang-ylang, white lily, wallflower, vanilla, cedar and musk…

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