Aramis by Aramis ~ fragrance review & A Rant in Defense of the Aging and Old

Aramis advert

I’ve been meaning to review Aramis1 for years (it’s a classic, and I’ve never tried it!) Reading two articles back to back last week, randomly, led me to the perfume counter for a fresh Aramis sample…and this review. These articles have apt connections to the “old-man” perfume that is Aramis (it was first released in 1964 and is regularly disparaged by men, and women, on perfume forums as being “old” fashioned and, thus, un-wearable today).

First up was an interview with Frances McDormand, talking about aging in The New York Times:

We are on red alert when it comes to how we are perceiving ourselves as a species. There’s no desire to be an adult…

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Aerin Iris Meadow & Waterlily Sun ~ brief, only slightly cranky perfume reviews

Aerin Iris Meadow

I wasn’t sure what to expect when the Aerin fragrance brand launched in 2013, but after smelling the first five, I got the general drift. The latest two, Iris Meadow and Waterlily Sun, are in the same easygoing light floral mold as Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Gardenia Rattan (the other two, Amber Musk and Evening Rose, had a little more heft). None of them are the perfumista-bait some of us had hoped for, but they’re wearable enough, and I’ve come to think of the Aerin brand as a sort of mashup between the (early) Jo Malone brand and the (later) Guerlain Aqua Allegoria range: (ostensibly) material-driven, clean, youthful and easy to wear. The bonus factor, I suppose, is the casual-luxe “Aerin lifestyle”, which seems to be the key selling point of the advertising

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B Balenciaga ~ perfume review

B Balenciaga adverts

Since we last heard from Balenciaga, fragrance-wise, Nicolas Ghesquière has left the brand.1 Alexander Wang reportedly started working on the new B Balenciaga as soon as he became the house designer in late 2012 (Rosabotanica came out in the interim, but was apparently outside of Mr. Wang’s purview). Wang said he wanted his fragrance to be timeless, and he picked lily of the valley because it wasn’t overpowering, and an edamame accord because he likes green notes.2

The opening is bright and citrusy, and it is green, but it’s a very soft, dewy and pale sort of green (it reminded me a bit of the Martin Margiela Untitled scent) with plenty of violet leaf (which reminds me of too many fragrances to list). On paper, the green opening lasts for ages…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Scent of Hope ~ fragrance review, with an aside on Jacques Fath Iris Gris

Iris

I can’t think of another fragrance that matches the mystique of Jacques Fath Iris Gris. Sure, perfume lovers scramble for vintage Mitsouko and study its qualities by the batch number, but Mitsouko is still on the market, and vintage bottles are relatively easy to find. Jacques Fath, perhaps Dior’s closest competition in the New Look years, died in 1954 at the stupidly young age of 42, and Iris Gris — even the name is mysterious and moody — disappeared soon after. Scent of Hope is a recreation of Iris Gris that indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz originally made for a private client.

Perfumer Vincent Roubert developed Iris Gris in 1946, just as France was shaking free of World War II.1 Thanks to Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, I’ve been lucky enough to smell a sample strip dipped in a bottle she bought unopened. I was surprised at how clean it smelled, and how rich the iris was, but of course that bottle was at least 60 years old. I cherish the amber-stained but now-scentless strip as a talisman. But how would Iris Gris smell fresh…

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The swapmeet, episode 5

Chrysanthemum

The swapmeet (episode 5) is open for business. PLEASE read the instructions! For people who would like to chat in addition to, or instead of, swapping, there will be a poll along shortly.

Don’t know what swapping is, or you know but you’ve never tried it? See here. You can also take a look at the feedback from episode 1, episode 2, episode 3 or episode 4.

Please, do not participate if you do not have time to mail your items within the next two weeks! Next swapmeet will be coming up in March…

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