Cartier Eau de Cartier Vetiver Bleu ~ fragrance review

Eau de Cartier series

Eau de Cartier Vétiver Bleu is the latest of Cartier’s flankers to 2001’s Eau de Cartier. The original Eau de Cartier is a perfectly serviceable, well-made cologne (from perfumer Christine Nagel, by the way), the sort that everyone needs at least one of. I was tempted to buy it more than once, years ago, but eventually filled the category with other basic colognes I liked better (Eau de Guerlain, for instance). Cartier has done any number of likewise well-made flankers for Eau de Cartier, and I’ve been tempted by some of those as well, especially the recent Eau de Cartier Zeste de Soleil. If they did a coffret of 15 ml bottles of all of them, I would not be able to resist, but so far, no coffret.

The series is marketed as unisex, but the individual scents tend to skew one direction or the other…

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I Profumi di Firenze Plenilunio ~ perfume review

Bavarian cream with strawberries

I’ve been experiencing spring fever lately, so it seemed like a good time to pull a sample of some fun-and-fruity fragrance from my sample basket. I ended up with Plenilunio, a recent release from Italian niche line i Profumi di Firenze. Plenilunio’s concept of “a voluptuous bouquet of summer strawberries” with “an enchanting kiss of silver moon beams on the skin” seems appropriate for the season.

In addition to strawberry, Plenilunio features notes of mandarin, white musk, amber and soft woods. What you read is what you get, which is fine, actually; lately we’ve seen way too many poetic lists of fantasy notes (“‘angel mousse’ and ‘gardenia spasms,'” as Angela sort-of jokes) dressing up the thinnest and most prosaic of fragrances…

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Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire ~ fragrance review

Serge Lutens L'Incendiaire brand visual

“The fire is not within the perfume but within me. I want to ignite the smoldering embers of the perfume world, to put the fire back in perfume!” — Serge Lutens, on his fragrance L’Incendiaire1, the first release in his “luxury” Section d’Or collection

Many creative directors wax rhapsodic (and incoherently) about their perfume lines and themselves. Just this week Roja Dove claimed he introduced OUD to the niche fragrance world in 2011…over a decade after he was beat to the punch by many others (niche, and non-niche). I smiled when I read this bit of hyperbole on the Serge Lutens webpage: “Section d’Or is infinite. Serge Lutens takes infinity to a new level.” Only Lutens can bottle, nay, expand infinity! Read his “writings” if you don’t believe me — read too much, and you’ll want to head beyond infinity yourself for some brain-rest…

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How to Choose a Signature Fragrance, Part One

Carrere Signature

When people learn that I write about perfume, I can usually count on two questions: “What’s your favorite perfume?” and “Can you recommend a fragrance for me? I want a signature scent.” Forget about naming a favorite perfume. That’s a moving target. But for everyone who’s asked me to recommend a fragrance, this post is for you.

Before heading off to a boutique to find a signature scent, it’s helpful to know a few things about perfume. To me, it’s most important to understand that perfume is an art, like music or painting. Just as you probably winced the first time you heard opera and puzzled at your first Jackson Pollack, there’s a good chance you won’t initially appreciate all of a fragrance’s subtleties. When a perfumista friend raves about Guerlain Mitsouko, all you might smell is “grandma” — or worse, “rotting grandma.” That’s okay. Part of the fun of finding perfume you love is exploring a whole new art form…

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Vilhelm Parfumerie Opus Kore, Room Service, & Morning Chess ~ fragrance review

Vilhelm Parfumerie Opus Kore & Morning Chess

Vilhelm Parfumerie is a new fragrance line developed by founder (and former-model-turned-designer) Jan Ahlgren in collaboration with perfumer Jérôme Epinette. I know, I know — another week, another niche perfume collection. It’s the new normal, and all I can do is try to keep up. I’ve tried three of Vilhelm’s eight fragrances, aiming for the ones that sounded most suitable for spring and summer, and here are some short reviews…

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