Parfums DelRae Wit ~ perfume review & quick poll

Antonio del Pollaiolo Apollo and Daphne

When DelRae asked me to work on her new fragrance, ‘Wit’, I was charmed and very interested. First, with such a fresh, bright, fun and clever name for the perfume. Secondly, a fragrance centered around Daphne, a beautiful flower never really explored before in fragrance, and finally the story of Daphne, a mythical character full of intrigue, imagination and love.

That’s perfumer Yann Vasnier, talking about the latest from niche line Parfums DelRae. I was likewise charmed and very interested when I heard about Wit, not least because Parfums DelRae is not exactly prolific: they’ve done nine fragrances since they debuted in 2000. In comparison to some niche brands, that’s not even a snail’s pace.

But they’ve all been worth waiting for,1 and there aren’t many brands that warrant such praise. Wit, the fourth Yann Vasnier fragrance for the brand, joined my buy list almost as soon as I had it on skin, and yes, it stayed on my list even after several wearings…

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5 Perfumes for: Nerds

classic nerd glasses

In a recent post at Perfume Posse, Musette described her adolescent self as “Geek before Geek was cool”. During a week when I watched The Social Network and contemplated buying a Gregory Brothers / Auto-Tune the News t-shirt, her description was just another sign that we have lived to see the day my mother was always promising me would come: nerds have inherited the earth. We’ve come a long way since the 1980s and nerdom has evolved: gone are the high pants and the pocket protectors (as well as most of the pens), nerds of every gender and race are acknowledged, and globalization and the internet have opened up new, niche fields of nerd inquiry. No longer restricted to math, science, computing and Star Trek conventions, nerds are becoming foodies and bespectacled mixologists, pop musicians, graphic novelists and film bloggers, beekeepers, adventure travelers, market watchers, reality television competitors and whistle-blowing website activists. Nerds have money. They own the best home theatre equipment and make the coolest Halloween costumes. They know the only coffee place in town with a Clover. And, increasingly, some of them are smelling really good.

Perfume is a great hobby for geeks and systems wonks. It can involve hours and days and weeks of research into a secretive, trend-driven and detail-oriented industry. You end up collecting bottles and vials, ordering or swapping rarities through the mail and building storage units or furniture to organize your collection. You exhibit a lot of mavenish behavior, like checking currency conversion websites multiple times a day. Almost every perfumista of long-standing I know keeps a spreadsheet or electronic notepad full of data on sample testing count, fragrance notes, prices, perfumer names or vintage scent markers…

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Parfums DelRae Panache ~ fragrance review

Cyrano de Bergerac

Just as everyone’s clothing wardrobe benefits from a few low-key, comfortable items to pull on without thinking, perfume wardrobes need the same.

It is present, yet close to the skin — me, but better. I almost feel it rather than smell it.

But if you want a perfume to rest lightly around you, like a second skin…you could do a lot worse.

Those lines were pulled from Angela’s review of Mythique, by Parfums DelRae. Now let’s say that all sounds awfully good to you, but Mythique wasn’t exactly the second skin you were after (as was the case with me: I thought Mythique was lovely, but it did not move me). You’ve got your second chance with Panache, the brand’s latest release. It’s named for a line from Edmond Rostand’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac:

One thing is left, that, void of stain or smutch, I bear away despite you … My panache.

Panache is meant to be a unisex fragrance “centered around” vetiver. I don’t think your average vetiver fiend will find it passes muster as a vetiver scent, and by the same token, if you hate vetiver you needn’t necessarily cross Panache off your list…

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