L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis ~ fragrance review & very quick comfort scent poll

Bûche fumée praliné et noisettes de Philippe Conticini

Noir Exquis is the latest Bertrand Duchaufour production from L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s another gourmand, and was “inspired by an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie” — it promises all sorts of delicious things, from glazed chestnuts to coffee to maple syrup.

And the start is delicious: a bright citrus top note disappears almost as soon as it arrives, then it’s a lovely swirl of sugared chestnuts with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee bean, with mild fruity undertones. It’s rich and warming, and perfect for the October chill…

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Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme brand image

Every once in a while it’s nice to throw restraint to the wind. This is why molten chocolate desserts, lipstick like red patent leather, and Douglas Sirk movies exist. To me, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, with its over-the-top nutty sweetness, fits this category.

Noir Pour Femme’s notes include mandarin, bitter orange, ginger, rose absolute, jasmine accord, orange blossom, Indian kulfi accord, Madagascar vanilla, amber, Australian sandalwood, and lentisque resinoid. (Indian kulfi is a rich, dairy-based frozen dessert; lentisque is an evergreen shrub; and a resinoid is the extract of a shrub.) Perfumer Sonia Constant developed it…

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Kerosene Unknown Pleasures ~ fragrance review

Side street, Manchester

The Michigan-based indie fragrance line Kerosene released Unknown Pleasures in 2013. I first read about this fragrance with mixed emotions. The notes sounded appealing — Earl Grey tea, lemon, bergamot, honeycomb, tonka bean, caramel, vanilla and waffle cone. On the other hand — could it really be an homage to an iconic album by British post-punk group Joy Division? Yes, apparently: Kerosene’s product description continues, “You’re walking down a cold street in Manchester, listening to Joy Division, sipping on a warm cup of London Fog…”

For two years I’ve postponed trying this fragrance, partly because Kerosene isn’t widely available, and partly because I’m always hesitant to try anything inspired by a favorite work of art. Unknown Pleasures was integral to my college years and twenties, playing on steady rotation in my various dorm rooms and apartments (all decorated with a large poster of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis). I love everything the band recorded…

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5 perfumes: gourmand oddities


Way back in 2008, Erin wrote a post called 5 Perfumes for: Gourmand Deniers. Her selection emphasized gourmands for people who are wary of gourmands; in her words, gourmands “that camouflage their intentions”. Like Erin, I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of sweet, dessert-based gourmands, although as time goes on I find more and more exceptions to the rule. Today, however, I’m thinking about an entirely different kind of gourmand. Here are five fragrances that smell like food without calling to mind the conventional offerings on a dessert tray.

Lush The Voice of Reason: If Dinner by Bobo were still on the market (and if it is, do comment), it would surely take top honors in any list of gourmand oddities, but as a reasonably meaty substitute I offer The Voice of Reason, which I described in my review as “rather alarmingly meaty”…

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