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Maison Francis Kurkdijan

Histoires de Parfums Irrévérent and Outrecuidant

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Irrévérent and Outrecuidant are two of three new releases by the French brand, Histoires de Parfums (the other one is Prolixe, which was unavailable when I was buying samples). I’m always interested in sampling the new releases from Histoires de Parfums, as it was one of the first niche houses I loved, but in the last few years, I just haven’t been able to keep up. Luckily, while browsing a French site, I spotted samples of the newest Histoires de Parfums fragrances and just jumped on it. And I’m glad I did, because both are pretty darned great. KEEP ON READING

Sweet Fougere: Creed’s Aberdeen Lavander

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When one thinks of a fougere, one tends to think of the 80’s. Brash, serious, and distant, a fougere is often associated with conservatism and unrestrained masculinity. But the oriental fougere is sometimes different. Playing with the contrast between common fougere elements (often lavender) and sweeter notes (vanilla comes to mind), the oriental fougere smells warm and inviting while retaining many of the characteristics of the fougere.

Enter Aberdeen Lavander. Aberdeen Lavander is different from anything that Creed has done previously or after. I’m not sure what this has to do with Aberdeen, but the lavender element is front and center. There is no cheap lavandin here, nor is there a boring, sheer green lavender element. What is obvious upon first sniff is that the lavender smells complex, deep, vibrantly purple, and unmistakably herbaceous. It is most similar to the lavender in the brilliant Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake, but where that one cuts the purple lavender with a green mint element, Creed uses artemisia and rosemary. KEEP ON READING

Oh, oh, OH! the cologne (Oh my!)

in Reviews by

Home Decor

You may have read recently that Maison Francis Kurkdjian has been bought by LVMH, joining a stable that includes Dior, Guerlain and Acqua de Parma. This sent me to my stash to wear some of the fabulous fragrances Francis has created, and when I went back to re-test one particular fragrance, it blew me away all over again. It is the antithesis of all the fresh, topnote-laden sparkling Eaux de Cologne I’ve written about in the past. There is not an iota of citrus zest or herbal zing here: this is a cologne that growls, purrs and slinkily winds itself around your legs. KEEP ON READING

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

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