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Last Dance: Arquiste’s Ella (2016)

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If you want me to pay attention to a new perfume release, all you need to do is tell me that it is a revival of the chypres of the 1970’s. Ella, a 2016 release from Arquisite designed by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, stakes a forceful claim to this legacy: according to its creators, its sources of inspiration are said to be Armando’s Le Club, Acapulco, Mexico, in December 1978, on a “a sultry night of disco, plunging necklines and champagne-soaked skin.”

Heart of Glass

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I set off to college in 1979 without a single bottle of perfume, if my memory doesn't deceive me. I wish I had known about Jean-Louis Scherrer's first perfume then. I am convinced that my years of youthful exploration and occasional indiscretion would have been even more fun if I had been wearing this perfume. I make up for it by wearing it as often as I can now.

Serge Lutens Baptême du Feu: Dry Ice and Freshly-Fired Guns

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It’s the final moments before the band appears on stage. I’m right at the front and I can feel the tension in the air as the crowd pulsates restlessly behind me. We’ve all been waiting too long and now it feels like something is about to happen. I taste metal in my mouth. The air crackles with the peppery smell of dry ice. Through it all, I can smell the aftershave of the man next to me and I wonder if he’s wearing Insensé, because it’s sharp but also floral. I don’t know whether I feel threatened or excited. KEEP ON READING

Mon Dieu, Monsieur! A new Frédéric Malle Experience

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Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Monsieur. A fragrance like composed for Jean Paul Belmondo himself.

Mon Dieu, mon Dieu – this release is a shocker! While I am writing this, I feel like Belmondo in the photo above. I am enjoying the new Frédéric Malle release “Monsieur.” Mon Dieu indeed – this is one of the rare, almost groundbreaking perfume experiences we all are living for (more or less). The first spray leaves you puzzled, enough so that you want to sit down and take a deep breath. This is exactly what “Monsieur” reminds me of: the movie “Breathless” by Jean Luc Goddard from 1960. “Monsieur” is film noir personified – virile elegance, with a touch of masculine drama, heck – this is the utterly French…. Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo) and his love for american idols and the hipness they radiate. This is the irrational, wild passion of an elegant slickster in love with Patricia, a young and vivid American girl. Crisp ties and classic thick suits are popping up in my mind, smelling this fragrance. Oh wait – please let me apologize, I’ve been taken on a flight of fancy. Yes, the fragrance – I guess it’s time to talk a bit about it: KEEP ON READING

Ubar by Amouage: Some Other Woman’s Skin

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ubar_womanUbar by Amouage is a shimmering floral mélange so massively radiant that its heat signature can probably be picked up from outer space. Like its progenitors in the grand old French perfumery tradition, Chanel No. 5, Joy, and Arpege, the floral accords are so complex and blended to the point of abstraction that it becomes a guessing game as to what flowers exactly you are smelling. It just smells like a thousand different flowers (all of them hellishly expensive) gave up their life for a greater cause. KEEP ON READING

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