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…

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Bogue Profumo Maai ~ fragrance review

Bogue Maai brand image 1

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize perfume sometimes. In my cinema of perfume, Bogue Profumo Maai is the blue blood, pants-wearing contessa who bursts into the drawing room after a day in the stables — having parsed her time between the horses and the groom — and fires her gaze over the room. She tells one guest to sit up straighter. To another guest, she sneers, “You again.” Then she leans into a vase of tuberose and orange blossoms, and her expression transforms from harridan to angel.

Antonio Gardoni, the founder of Bogue, created Maai, and it was released in 2014…

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Hiram Green Shangri La ~ fragrance review

Hiram Green Shangri La

I’ve never believed in Santa Claus, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster or Shangri La. If Shangri La is hidden somewhere “out there,” it’s now probably suffering from drought or too much rain, and hotter-than-usual temperatures. I see the appeal of a hidden paradise, an exotic, clean, beautiful, calm retreat. But if all that were true…Shangri La would be a people-free zone. And in Hiram Green’s newest perfume, Shangri La,1 people seem absent; only plants and animals thrive and produce aromas.

Shangri La opens with strongly acidic citrus: green in tone; the perfume becomes tarter still with almost-ripe peach…

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Grossmith London Floral Veil & Golden Chypre ~ fragrance reviews

Grossmith Floral Veil & Golden Chypre

Years ago after a friend and I listened to Sarah Vaughan sing her heart-wrenching interpretation of “It Never Entered My Mind,” he turned to me and said, “Well, that song’s been done now. No one else could sing it better.” His comment ran through my mind as I sampled Grossmith Floral Veil and Golden Chypre. Have the ultimate basic floral and floral chypre already been made? There certainly are plenty on the market. Do the Grossmith fragrances have anything new to add — especially at their price?

Floral Veil and Golden Chypre are part of Grossmith’s Black Label Collection. (The collection also includes Amelia and Saffron Rose. Amelia has a dominant woody-musky accord that gives me a headache, and Saffron Rose deserves a true rose lover, so I’m leaving those to other reviewers.) Like the other Grossmith fragrances I’ve tried, Floral Veil and Golden Chypre smell rich, condensed, and expensive, and they last forever on skin. They are Eaux de Parfum, but I can’t imagine Extrait smelling any more luxurious. But are they interesting and compelling…

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Amouage Interlude Woman & Interlude Man ~ fragrance review

Amouage Interlude

Some of the more recent Amouage fragrances for women — Memoir, Epic, and to some extent Lyric — are built like battleships. They’re weighty and loaded with moving parts. Amouage Interlude joins the fleet. The trick in this type of fragrance is that as its intricate machinery clicks and whirrs through its gears, dozens of potentially disparate notes need to engage and dissipate in combinations that evolve artfully.

In my opinion, Interlude Woman grinds its gears before it hits cruising speed, while Interlude Man with its simpler, more familiar construction, sails full steam ahead. (You’ll be glad to know this concludes the painful simile part of the review.)

Amouage defines Interlude Woman as a floral chypre…

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