Saturday, 24 December 2016

Cierge de Lune Review

The name Cierge de Lune, lit. ‘moon’s candle’ is a calque on Latin Selenicereus, a genus of night-blooming cactus whose species include the spectacular grandiflorus. A vine-like climber native to Mexico, central America and the Antilles, this ‘Queen of the Night’ is famed as much for its brilliant white flowers that are rayed with golden petals as the warm, rich, moth-attracting scent it emits. 
An analysis of the plant’s perfume was undertaken by Headspace guru Roman Kaiser, together with Lars Tollsten and the results published in an article entitled ‘An Introduction to the Scent of Cacti’ (Fragrance and Flavour Journal, 1995, vol.10 pp.153-164). According to the authors, the smell of Selenicereus grandiflorus is dominated by vanilla and cocoa notes, arising predominantly from vanillin (0.2%) and a series of isovalerates, in particular benzyl isovalerate (55%). Ionones (alpha=0.3%; beta=0.1%; dihydro-beta =0.4%), together with high amounts of farnesal (23%) and farnesol meanwhile, contribute important floral and fruity notes. 
Needless to say, Fabrice Pellegrin’s composition is not intended to be a reconstruction of the Headspace, but a free interpretation. For this, he has integrated the vanillic theme into something approaching Grojsman’s accord of Hedione, Iso E Super, ionones and clean musks to produce a monolithic, powdery-sweet ‘hug me’ effect. The fruitiness detected in the plant’s odour is here perhaps interpreted through a cherry/heliotrope note while the woody notes are elaborated with Ambrox(an) etc. 
It’s something different for Aedes’ line, but not as interesting as the others. 

Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin
House: Aedes de Venustas
Release date: 2016
Notes (per Fragrantica): musk, powdery notes, madagascar vanilla, ylang-ylang, black and pink pepper, hedione, suede, incense, amber, ambroxan.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Tom of Finland Review

An homage to the Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen famed for his homoerotic depictions of butch men clad in fetishwear, Tom of Finland is billed as ‘the true erotic power of flesh and a leather jacket’. 
Given the description, the scent is surprisingly tame, a classic citrus+vetiver pairing doing well to cover some of the less-attractive, hot pleather characteristics of Safraleine. With additional woodsy and green notes, the composition is more apt to suggest a northern European forest than anything especially human, unless the muscular, monster-cock jerking subjects of ‘Tom’s’ drawings are to be imagined as having a sweet, tonka-vanilla-oriental odour captured by the perfume’s drydown. 

Nose: Antoine Lie
House: Etat Libre d’Orange
Release date: 2007
Notes (per Fragrantica): aldehyde, lemon, birch leaves, pine, pepper, cyprus, galbanum, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean, iris, vetiver, pyrogenated styrax, suede, musk, grey amber. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Archives 69 Review

Named after ELd’O’s Paris address, Archives 69 is a very imaginative take on the ‘fruitchouli’ genre and was composed by Christine Nagel while she still worked at Mane. 
The basic theme has a sweet, over-ripe fruit character and a cool, medicinal vibe of camphorous, salicylatey and slightly phenolic notes together with incense. Spices meanwhile, bring a warming contrast and since this is a Nagel perfume, it is no surprise to find the accent firmly on pink pepper (cf. e.g. Lalique White where she used a massive 4%) with clove/eugenol just about perceptible. 
As odd as it sounds, but still wearable (just). 

Nose: Christine Nagel
House: Etat Libre d’Orange
Release date: 2011
Notes (per Fragrantica): mandarine, baie rose CO2, orchid and prune Jungle Essences, incense, camphor, benzoin, patchouli, musk.