Guerlain L’Homme Ideal ~ fragrance review

Guerlain L'Homme Ideal advert

No harm to the models (a paying gig is a paying gig)…but the print and video ads for the new Guerlain L’Homme Idéal1 are so daft! Believe me girls, there is nothing shocking, surprising, “dirty” or revelatory inside that bottle! (Maybe they’re just happy about the bottle, which everyone in Perfumeland seems to love.)

Guerlain hasn’t released a men’s pillar scent since 2008′s Guerlain Homme; and I just realized the last Guerlain men’s pillar scent I bought (recently) was 1992′s Héritage. Though I appreciate perfumer Thierry Wasser’s reformulations of Guerlain classics (and can’t wait to smell his sought-after Terracotta Le Parfum), I’ve never bought a Wasser perfume creation (which means nothing, except he and I have different styles/tastes)…

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Atkinsons The British Bouquet & The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet ~ fragrance reviews

Atkinsons The Odd Fellow's Bouquet

In the early Spring of 1799, James Atkinson, an enterprising young gentleman from the wilds of Cumberland, set forth by carriage for the glorious city of London. In his suit pocket were recipes for fine scents and toiletries of his own devising. Next to him sat a sizable quantity of rose-scented bear grease balm. Next to the balm sat a growl-y bear. The growl-y bear was thoroughly devoted to James. Within mere days the utterly fantastic balm became indispensable to London’s most uppity crust, who braved the bear at the door of 44 Gerrard Street (“that marvellous perfume shop with the most terrifying bear”) to procure sufficient stock for the Social Season.

After a most delightful hibernation, Atkinsons and its growl-y bear have awoken from their slumber totally refreshed and revived. Drawing on 200 years of English eccentricity, style and impeccable manners, not to mention an incomparable heritage and imperishable commitment to making the highest echelons of society as fragrant and delectable as humanly possible, we are now ready to usher in a new century of perfume snobbery. How? By means of our newest collections, our boldest and most irresistible to date. “True style,” as Beau Brummel once said, “never goes out of fashion. You simply cannot keep a good bear down.1

I can do without snobbery and the highest echelons of society, but I do love an animal story (whether it’s true or not)…

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Crabtree & Evelyn Indian Sandalwood Cologne ~ fragrance review

Ah, the wonderful, long-ago days of fragrance, when perfumers used real Mysore sandalwood (santalum album); now, I only get to smell it in my vintage perfumes — where delicious, irreplaceable Indian sandalwood appears like a ghost, a reminder of a loved one long departed. I probably won’t live to see the return of Mysore sandalwood, if it ever returns — the best sandalwood oil comes from trees fifty years or older. The Indian government’s effort to save surviving, old-growth sandalwood trees is in disarray (with trees, even almost-worthless ‘teenage trees,’ being chopped down all the time on government and private property by thieves who trade in sandalwood oil).

Crabtree & Evelyn says the sandalwood in their Indian Sandalwood Cologne1 (formerly named Sandalwood, and presumably tweaked) is from sustainably harvested sandalwood trees…

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Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia ~ fragrance review


The (elusive) scent of magnolia has received lots of attention this year from perfumers. I’ve already reviewed Grandiflora’s two magnolia offerings by Michel Roudnitska and Sandrine Videault, and now comes Frédéric Malle and perfumer Carlos Benaïm with Eau de Magnolia.1

Benaïm has already created scented products for Malle based on magnolia: the Jurassic Flower candle, room spray and rubber incense. I went to the Frédéric Malle boutique at Barneys to get a whiff of Jurassic Flower but became sidetracked, and nasally exhausted, by the zillion candles that were calling out to me, not only from Malle’s line, but from Cire Trudon, too. Jurassic Flower smelled great, if not very “magnolia-ish…”

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Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo ~ fragrance review

Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo, brand visual

Paris-based niche brand Olfactive Studio just launched Ombre Indigo,1 a shadow fragrance — an evocative and romantic idea.

Ombre Indigo opens with sweet, syrupy (and smoky) petitgrain; notes of saffron, woody vetiver and papyrus waft strongly at first, too. Ombre Indigo’s head notes conjure a dry, summery atmosphere of glare and heat: think Egypt or Morocco, stone or earth buildings baking in the sun, incense burning in the background…on the wind…

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