Nina Ricci L’Extase ~ fragrance review

Nina Ricci L'Extase, brand images

Nina Ricci’s perfume distribution in the US is spotty. You can find the old classic L’Air du Temps at Nordstrom or Macy’s, and Macy’s also has the youth-oriented Nina. That’s about it. Bloomingdales, Saks and Neiman Marcus don’t have anything (although Neiman Marcus has some lovely items from the fashion line at the moment), nor does Sephora. I never saw Ricci Ricci or Mademoiselle Ricci here at all, although admittedly I did not look all that hard.

I was curious about L’Extase, the latest, which is geared older than Nina but younger than L’Air du Temps. +1: it’s a musky floriental from perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. -1: the advertising, with Laetitia Casta, is the usual drearily predictable writhing we’ve already seen a million times over…

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Carven Pour Homme ~ fragrance review

Carven Pour Homme

Carven Pour Homme1 is instantly recognizable as a contemporary men’s fragrance, but it’s much nicer than your average masculine mainstream perfume. Imagine a friend who always dresses like a slob. One day, you see a figure approaching who looks familiar but…different. It’s your friend! But in beautifully tailored clothes, and he’s sporting a great new haircut to boot. Such is the Carven Pour Homme effect.

Carven Pour Homme is a violet leaf scent. We often smell violet leaf in perfumes in loutish guise: loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ordinaire. Carven Pour Homme presents violet leaf made chic…

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Occupy the space

Yes, because you have to occupy the space, the way that music fills a room. This is where I find a very strong relation with music. It’s an argument I have with a friend who is a music composer, when I say I am a perfume composer, he says, ‘Why do you use a word that belongs to music?’ In French, we make the distinction between writing, painting, composing music, but for perfume there is not a proper language. The reason is that it’s only 150 years old, which is nothing compared to visual art or music.

— Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, from The Secret Of Scent: What Does A Nose Know? at Esquire.