Sunday, 28 August 2016

Frangipani Review (EdP)

When Arctander wrote his entry on the Frangipani/Plumeria blossom in 1960, commercial quantities of the flower’s concrete were unavailable. Until this situation was remedied, he lamented, ‘the “Frangipanni” perfume must remain a fantasy type with little, if any, relationship to the fragrance of the beautiful and delightful Plumeria flowers’. 
To judge by Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani, not much changed in the half century that followed for the perfume is an unconvincing portrait of the Plumeria’s scent. Schoen’s composition starts out sharp, waxy green in the direction of Octanal from underneath which develops a lactone heavy, white floral complex rendered sheer with Hedione and supported by light woods and musks. 
Overall too green and not nearly heady enough to transport me back to my days living in the tropics. 

Nose: Geza Schoen
House: Ormonde Jayne
Release date: 2003
Notes (per Fragrantica): lime, linden blossom, magnolia, frangipani, rose, tuberose, water lily, plum, amber, musk, vanilla, cedar. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dr. Vranjes Terra Review

As the global air care market continues to grow (scented candle sales in the UK alone are now said to exceed £90 million p/a), fragrance companies are ever looking for new opportunities to expand their reach. Whilst niche houses such as Diptyque have long offered their customers the opportunity to match their own perfume to their home’s, the recent announcement by Thierry Mugler of a new line of scented candles, including their most iconic perfume Angel, marks a new era. 
At £39 for the 6.4 oz wax version of Angel and Alien and £49 for the others, Mugler have positioned themselves at the lower end of the premium candle market. Yet, for all my admiration for Angel, it would have to be the sole surviving candle in the wake of a power grid collapse for me to put flame to its wick.
Which brings me to Dr. Vranjes’ home fragrance Terra. The company describes Terra’s scent as including notes of ‘Syberian (sic) Pine, green brush musk, Occitan lavender, vanilla, wild mint leaves’. I however, experience the fragrance as a mix of bright, terpy incense with woody, green accents and warm, oriental balsams and vanilla.
Available as a room spray and as a reed-diffuser, the blend works exceptionally well: in its diffuser form, throw is sufficient to comfortably scent an average-sized living room; the evaporation rate is very acceptable: a 250mL bottle lasts me around five months; and the supplied bamboo reeds do not clog with resins. The faceted, clear glass bottle with white labelling meanwhile, makes an elegant addition to the mantelpiece.
Price is also £49.
Sorry, Mugler.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Boy Review

If asked five years ago which perfume line I most admire, I’d have unhesitatingly said Chanel’s Les Exclusifs. In it, classical masterpieces like Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles sat, reformulated but recognisable, alongside creative success stories such as Coromandel. Recent releases however, have given me pause for thought: Jersey, I felt, was too apologetic (and for all the wrong reasons); 1932 too self-referential (as a Chanel perfume). Now with Boy, it seems that the very polished aesthetic Chanel has come to define itself by may well be undermining its potential for future greatness.
As openings go, Boy’s strikes me as actually somewhat unpleasant and includes a mix of fresh, methyl pamplemousse-type grapefruit and waxy, green, lower-numbered aliphatic aldehydes. The latter  help introduce the geranium themed floral heart that complements a classical fougère accord. Rather than being a glossy, bright geranium however, the one offered here comes in a powdery, pastel hue and is supported by a host of musks, sweet heliotrope and vanilla, a little, grainy Evernyl-like oakmoss replacer and light, sandalwood-ish woods. Advertised as an EdP, I found Boy to wear fairly close to the skin and have only average longevity; once the lavender notes faded, it was rather a linear, sweet-powdery-floral affair. 

Nose: Olivier Polge
House: Chanel
Release date: 2016
Notes (per Fragrantica): lavender, lemon, grapefruit, rose, geranium, orange-blossom, sandalwood, heliotrope, vanilla, musk.