Boy Chanel ~ fragrance review & a quick Chanel poll

Arthur Capel

Boy Chanel joins the Les Exclusifs collection at Chanel this year, bringing the collection to 16.1 It’s the second Exclusif from house perfumer Olivier Polge (the first being Misia), and was inspired by Arthur “Boy” Capel. Boy Capel, an English polo player and businessman, would likely be forgotten today but for his 9-year affair with Coco Chanel — he is often cited as the true love of her life.1 That, of course, lends him massive potential as “another link in the grand construct of the Chanel story”.2 I don’t know exactly how many products he has accrued at this point, but his namesake lipstick (in the Rouge Coco Shine line) came out in 2011, and his namesake handbag, Le Boy Chanel, debuted in 2012 (and was called an “instant classic”). Now, he has a fragrance.

It’s a unisex, with the usual hedging about unisex…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois vintage & new ~ fragrance review

Shiseido Féminité du Bois brand image, doubled

Just as Picasso had his Blue period, Serge Lutens had his “Bois” period, and Féminité du Bois was its foundation. Féminité du Bois established a new “flavor” in women’s perfume: sharp cedar counterbalanced with fruit and spice.

Like the gastronomic rediscovery that salty and sweet go well together (hello salted caramel and bacon chocolate), Féminité du Bois’s honey- and spice-dipped shaved cedar feels intuitively right. Serge certainly thought so. He followed it up with a raft of Bois fragrances…

Read the rest of this article »

Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire ~ fragrance review

Serge Lutens L'Incendiaire brand visual

“The fire is not within the perfume but within me. I want to ignite the smoldering embers of the perfume world, to put the fire back in perfume!” — Serge Lutens, on his fragrance L’Incendiaire1, the first release in his “luxury” Section d’Or collection

Many creative directors wax rhapsodic (and incoherently) about their perfume lines and themselves. Just this week Roja Dove claimed he introduced OUD to the niche fragrance world in 2011…over a decade after he was beat to the punch by many others (niche, and non-niche). I smiled when I read this bit of hyperbole on the Serge Lutens webpage: “Section d’Or is infinite. Serge Lutens takes infinity to a new level.” Only Lutens can bottle, nay, expand infinity! Read his “writings” if you don’t believe me — read too much, and you’ll want to head beyond infinity yourself for some brain-rest…

Read the rest of this article »

Serge Lutens La Religieuse ~ perfume review

Serge Lutens La Religieuse brand graphic

Deliver us from Good!
Jasmine petals are as white as snow.
Black is my religion.1

I will say this for Serge Lutens, he continues to tempt me. And if you find elaborate but cryptic back story appealing, he is obviously your man.2 But it’s been some time since I’ve parted with my money for a new Serge Lutens fragrance, and my piggy bank is safe from La Religieuse.

La Religieuse, if you have been paying attention, is billed as the brand’s latest take on jasmine, following A La Nuit (“This jasmine has only one thought in its head: paint the town white!”) and Sarrasins (“I took white jasmine and contrived to make it as black as a panther, as black as night, which is embodied in this fragrance.”).3 The name has obvious religious connotations, but also calls up the pastry, shown just below in a (likewise enticing) violet version from Ladurée. Add to this the few notes mentioned in the press besides jasmine — musk, civet and incense — and yes, you could say I was interested…

Read the rest of this article »