Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity ~ fragrance review

Dior Lanvin Balmain

Poor Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity has had a bit of a bum rap. It was launched at the same time as the fabulous The Afternoon of a Faun, which probably stole a bit of its thunder. Plus, Dangerous Complicity’s PR pap didn’t do it much of a favor by leaning heavily on unisex sensuality, inscrutable references to the Garden of Eden, a billing as a skin scent. As a result, the fragrance seems to have sunk into a hole.

To me, Dangerous Complicity is none of that. Instead, it’s an ultra-girly, elegant fragrance that broadcasts champagne, silk charmeuse and wrist corsages. But, when it wears down, it throws off all its retro associations for a comforting — or boring, depending on where you’re coming from — dry down of amber, cashmeran and wood…

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Etat Libre d’Orange La Fin du Monde ~ fragrance review

Etat Libre d'Orange La Fin du Monde

Go Out With A Bang. Or not. Before smelling Etat Libre d’Orange’s new La Fin du Monde* fragrance, I imagined many ways to approach the ‘end of the world’ in perfume — the possibilities! —what FUN! Having worn La Fin du Monde for two days (not scary, not inspiring, and definitely not fun), I’ll save any talk of earth’s annihilation for a future review of a worthy scent.

When first applied to skin, La Fin du Monde presents a sweet, earthy/food-y spice mix of carrot seeds and light cumin, with some pepper in the periphery…

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Best Men’s Fragrances of 2011-2012-2013 (Better Late Than Never)

Self Portrait, Dick Ket

Did I really skip 2011 and 2012 when it came to writing my annual best-of-men’s-perfumes post? (Wow…and the world kept turning — imagine that!) I’m two years behind so today I’ll catch up by picking my favorite men’s fragrances from 2011, 2012 and 2013 (you can see my picks for 2009 and 2010 here). Some of these perfumes are unisex, but with a masculine edge (to my nose anyway). Though I missed my fair share of fragrance releases, I’ve still smelled tons of perfume product in the last three years. I don’t feel that a masterpiece escaped my attention.

Every year, I tend to write about men’s fragrances that I either “love” or “hate” (using those verbs with feather-weight intent since I don’t cry over favorite perfumes gone missing or reformulated, and I don’t gnaw on my fingers when I encounter awful perfumes). I’m still, I believe, a Perfumista, but I’ve put perfume in its proper place…

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Perfume in Paris

Teatro siciliano, Italian embassy in Paris

What would a trip to Paris be without perfume? While I’ve been in Paris, I’ve spent time with Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, who kindly wrangled me a few perfume-related press invitations. In this post, I’ll give you an overview of a few of these doings, with real reviews to come over the next few weeks.

Jean Patou: To launch Jean Patou Joy Forever, Patou set up one-on-one meetings for journalists with a company vice president and Patou’s new nose. Denyse and I went to Patou’s tiny storefront on the rue de Castiglione and were ushered upstairs to a reception room just big enough to hold a desk and a table with tea and plates of jasmine and rose macarons from Pierre Hermé.

Big changes are happening at Patou. First, Procter & Gamble sold the brand to a family-owned company in 2011. The new company brought in a new perfumer, Thomas Fontaine, who orchestrated the re-releases of Chaldée, Eau de Patou and Patou Pour Homme…

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