Fleur du Male

Fleur du Mâle had some big boots to fill, released in 2007 it came a whole 12 years after the tour de force that was Le Mâle. Le Mâle is one of the greatest ‘Marmite’ fragrances, it has its lovers and its detractors, but very rarely does it provoke a feeling of indifference and despite whichever camp you find yourself falling into you cannot deny that it is a well made and interesting fragrance.

Gaultier isn’t one to shy away from controversy and Fleur du Mâle, with it’s name that is a play on Baudelaire’s collection of poems ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ (The Flowers of Evil) and overdose of orange blossom doesn’t either. Sure, a masculine floral is nothing new, us boys have been wearing florals for yonks, but the idea is rarer in the mainstream and one so overtly floral (and advertised as such) as Fleur du Mâle was a breath of fresh air.

As you can see from the above advertising image (which I have included for informative purposes only, not because it’s a picture of a VERY attractive man in a bath, honest *cough*) Fleur du Mâle aims to strike a softer chord than the ultra-sexed, ultra-metrosexual image of Le Mâle.

Eat Me

“Pure Fumegasm”

I’ve said before that Thierry Mugler is one brand that always thinks intelligently about their flankers and their latest series of limited editions ‘Le Goût du Parfum’ is absolutely no exception to this rule. 

The concept behind Le Goût du Parfum (The Taste of Fragrance) is simple – take the already bold, and mostly gourmand structures of four Thierry Mugler scents (Angel, Alien, Womanity and A*Men) and add a ‘Taste Enhancer’ to each. Le Goût du Parfum creates “a genuine parallel between Haute Cuisine and Haute Parfumerie.” To achieve this parallel Mugler enlisted leading Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze to create an “entirely Muglerian Meal” based on these four new limited editions.

WARNING: THIS POST WILL MAKE YOU HUNGRY 

Alien

“If you don’t like jasmine then you are probably going to need to put on your Space Suit, a Close Encounter of the Third Kind with this Alien may leave you feeling completely overwhelmed.”

I remember Alien’s release well, in 2005 I had just started my love affair with perfumes and one perfume I had fallen for big time was Angel by Thierry Mugler, so the news of a brand new Mugler release was big news for me. My excitement grew even more when I heard the perfume was to be named ‘Alien’, has there ever been a more perfect name for a fragrance? I think not!

Alien also holds a special resonance with me because it was that year I met my lovely boyfriend (technically he’s my fiancée but I don’t like the word) and Alien was the perfume I wore when we first met. He probably doesn’t remember the perfume that I wore, but I do and that makes it all the more special to me.

On Thursday I will be reviewing the latest incarnation of Alien, ‘Alien Le Goût du Parfum‘ so I feel it’s only fitting to give the original a proper review, after all Alien is one of my all time favourites.

BrilloMon Parfum Chérie par Camille is the latest fragrance release from the luxury french perfume house Annick Goutal. I’ve tried a few of the Goutal scents over the years and whilst I find most of them to be high quality, I am yet to discover the one that gives me the warm and fuzzies and as you can probably tell by the title of this post, Mon Parfum Chérie par Camille fails to impress.

The story behind Mon Parfum Chérie par Camille is as follows:

“As Annick Goutal dedicated the Petite Chérie perfume to her daughter, now it is Camille’s turn to honour the eternal beauty of her mother. It all started with a unique present preciously stored away in their office : a small concrete that the author Colette gave to Annick Goutal. A woody, timeless fragrance that has survived decades with no signs of aging. Camille, obsessed with this unusual fragrance, was drawu back to her childhood memories of Hollywood’s wartime movies. Tempting satin. Delicate lace. Actresses and their gloved hands and ruby lips. And a memory of her mother dressing for an evening out…

A name to remember her by, Mon Parfum Chérie, Par Camille.” [1]

Wardrobe

Last weekend, after much nagging from my long-suffering partner, I decided to have a tidy of my perfume collection and samples box. Now, anyone who knows me well will be fully aware that tidying is not really something I do very often, in fact, it is something that I avoid at all costs.

Anyway, during my tidy up, I totalled up the number of perfume bottles in my collection and I was genuinely shocked when I came to the nice round number of 120. “How can I have so much perfume, I never feel like I have enough choice” I thought, “Do I really need so much?” and “Do I feel like I don’t know what to wear because I have too much choice?”

This led me to think in depth about my collection of fragrances, what would I choose if I were to reduce its size considerably?

It can’t be easy being one of the most famous and well respected fragrance houses in the world, trying to find your place in a noisy market place populated by rapid-fire designer releases, countless ‘niche’ offerings and a constant stream of thoughtless celebuscents. It is a challenge to stand out amongst all of that white noise.

Guerlain is one of the most venerable fragrances in the world and they have the difficult task of striking the balance between being modern and staying relevant whilst protecting their heritage. It can’t be an easy balance to achieve, and I admire Guerlain for their modern take on classic themes.

On many occasions Guerlain has been referred to as the pâtissier of the fragrance world, and they have on numerous occasions reinvented the sweet pastry vibe of L’Heure Bleue (see Insolence) and La Petite Robe Noire feels like it may be the latest reinterpretation of the 1912 classic.

The first La Petitie Robe Noire (The Little Black Dress) was released in 2009 and the word on the street is that it has been a big success for Guerlain. This year Guerlain released a flanker called La Petite Robe Noire 2 (obviously Guerlains creative team were off on the day the fragrance was named), and it is rumoured that Guerlain will be a total of 5 fragrances in the La Petite Robe Noire Collection.

Navigations Through Scent

“A brief history of perfume, told through five distinct fragrances. From lost worlds, along ancient silk and spice routes to a brave new world.” [1]

We’ve seen it many times before, a mainstream house releasing a series of fragrances based around a single concept. Sometimes it works really well (see Guerlain’s L’Art et la Matiére line or Chanel’s Les Exclusifs) and sometimes it fails epically (see Dolce & Gabanna’s Anthology line).

Usually lines launched with multiple fragrances are a bit hit and miss, they tend to have one or two ‘greats’, more than a couple of average ones and a their fair share of clangers. So it is with trepidation that I approach any new ‘collection’.

I am very familiar with Molton Brown’s line of shower gels, hand creams, hand washes and body products (which I think are generally very good btw) but I have to admit that I’m not overly familiar with their stand-alone fragrances, so this collection could go either way for me.

Hurricane Grace

To me, Grace Jones is the Queen/King of androgyny, she tiptoes the line between masculine and feminine so perfectly and either way she is absolutely striking to look at. Like Ms Jones, Nu is androgynous, it is neither wholly masculine, feminine or unisex, it creates its own rules about gender and takes facets from both sexes.

I have no idea which fragrance(s) Ms Jones wears but if I were to pick a perfume just for her, I would pick Nu.

Nu (this review refers to the Eau de Parfum) was released in 2001 and was created by Jacques Cavallier under the art direction of Tom Ford. I mentioned in my review of Gucci Rush that everything Tom Ford did whilst at Gucci, YSL and Lauder was pretty much epic, and I stand by that. With Nu, he and Jacques Cavallier created something unique and way ahead of its time.

Potion

DSquared2 is a brand that is well known for their fashion NOT for their perfumes. I don’t have much experience with the line (I have only tried He Wood and the less said about that the better) but what I do know is that each of their perfumes has an awful clanger of a name, they include; He Wood, She Wood and He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood….

Yes, those truly awful names, and a bad experience with He Wood led me to believe that I wouldn’t like Potion, in fact I was prepared to actively dislike it. So imagine my surprise when a chance encounter with a sample would reveal that this Potion, isn’t half bad at all.