mercoledì 20 gennaio 2016

Scented Interviews: Francesca Faruolo and Smell Festival 2016.

Smell Festival 2016 – illustration by Casajordi

Gabriela Guidetti meets Francesca Faruolo

Today I meet a special friend, Francesca Faruolo. Francesca lives in Bologna, where in 2010 created one of the most artistic event in Italian perfumery universe, the Smell Festival, an international festival dedicated to the culture of smell and to the art of perfume. This olfactive journey has its highlight moment in May and covers the whole year with courses, workshops and events to offer the public a melting pot training of fragrant and sensory experiences.

giovedì 7 gennaio 2016

"Then and Now": Bandit, de Robert Piguet.

If you love "leathery" scents, you should know Bandit
Alongside with Cabochard (Grès), Aramis, Knize Ten, Jolie Madame (Balmain), Cuir de Russie (Chanel), and a few others, Bandit is one of the most famous "leathery" scents ever made.
It's one of  the greatest perfumes (together with Fracas) produced by Robert Piguet, created during the Forties by Germaine Cellier.
There are a lot of articles about Bandit (and about Robert Piguet's perfumes) so if you want read reviews, you will find as usual a lot of references at the end of the article.
A bit of recent History: after many glorious decades, the "Robert Piguet Parfums" brand was sold in 1985 to Alfin Fragrances, then sold again in 1995 to Fashion Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd, which currently own the brand. It took a certain amount of time to completely reformulate and relaunch the scents, in 1998, with the label of the "original formula, certified by Givaudan".
Recently, at the end of 2012, Bandit underwent a reformulation due to IFRA restriction laws.

mercoledì 9 dicembre 2015

CINESCENT, by Gabriela Guidetti: "Opium" VS. "Gilda".

Opium (1977) 
Gilda (1946)

Mundson: "Gilda, are you decent?"
Gilda: "Me? Sure ... I'm decent." 
(from "Gilda", 1946)

When Pierre Dinand, creator of the first bottle of Opium, asked Yves Saint-Laurent his thought about "Orient", he answered: "Flowers of fire". Whether it's a reference to fireworks, born in the Far East, or to the visual effect you get when you close your eyes and press the eyeballs with your fingers, it does not matter, because in those few words Saint-Laurent synthesized the olfactive essence of the masterpiece created in 1977 by Jean-Louis Sieuzac for the Parisian maison.

mercoledì 2 dicembre 2015

BLEU de Chanel: yesterday and today (2010-2015).

I received an incredible amount of requests, asking to sampling different batches of Bleu de Chanel in order to find differences and "reformulations" in these five years. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Bleu. Let me explain the reason: I'm used to Pour Monsieur, Pour Monsieur Concentrèe, Antaeus, Egoiste...and when I sampled Bleu for the first time I remained a bit concerned: I had the impression to have already smelled a few of similar perfumes with fruity/woody notes. 
Bleu de Chanel is the perfect "clean", "inoffensive", "crowd-pleaser" scent. But it lacks very important factors: personality and originality
Antaeus was the Animalic Beast, Egoiste was the Sandalwood King, Pour Monsieur was the Old Gentleman, and Bleu is ...the Harmless One. 

mercoledì 4 novembre 2015

CINESCENT, by Gabriela Guidetti: "Barry Lyndon".

"Barry Lyndon" 
Maria Candida Gentile (2010) 
"Barry Lyndon"
Stanley Kubrick (1975)

“No lad who has liberty for the first time, and twenty guineas in his pocket, is very sad, and Barry rode towards Dublin thinking not so much of the kind mother left alone, and of the home behind him, but of tomorrow, and all the wonders it would bring” from Barry Lyndon (1975)

When a nose creates a perfume, many suggestions inspire it. This may be a memory, an image, a landscape, a person, real or unreal. And in some cases all of these impressions come together in a great character olfactory idea. As with "Barry Lyndon", fragrance created  by Maria Candida Gentile. 

martedì 27 ottobre 2015

AZZARO: Yesterday and Today. ("Azzaro pour homme", 1978)

Azzaro pour Homme is an institution: it's one of the most famous perfumes ever created. In the middle of the 1980s "Azzaro pour Homme" and "Drakkar Noir" by Guy Laroche accounted together for almost 40% of all male perfume sales. During those years, if you wanted to buy a perfume "for men", you had to choose between "Azzaro" and "Drakkar Noir"....

martedì 13 ottobre 2015

How to recognize SERGE LUTENS perfumes.

SERGE LUTENS is one of the most acclaimed "niche" perfume houses, with a cult status, and an huge amount of enthusiastic followers.
During the Nineties (approx. until 1999) all scents "by Serge Lutens" were launched under the Shiseido label ("Les Salons du Palais Royal- Shiseido, Paris"), in the classic "Bell Jar" transparent bottles, with a white-purple label, stored inside a white-purple box. These early bottles are very rare nowadays.

mercoledì 23 settembre 2015

HABANITA de Molinard: yesterday and today. A "side-by-side" review.

"Imagine to walk in an oriental spice bazaar, with a bunch of exotic flowers in your hands, and a leather factory on your left, and a tobacco manufacture on your right....and suddenly a cloud of talc powder comes down to surround you. This is Habanita."
This is a good description of one of the most legendary perfumes in history: Habanita de Molinard.
You will find spices, tobacco, leather, flowers, talc powder, blended all together. It seems Habanita has been fulfilled with almost every ingredient used in perfumery. Actually, according Molinard, Habanita contains more than 600 (!) ingredients.
Apparently, according to tradition, Habanita could stay in the group of those perfumes called "feminine but masculine": Tabac Blond de Caron, Bandit de Robert Piguet, Cabochard by Grès, Jolie Madame by Balmain. But, in my opinion, Habanita is more similar to another lost gem from the past: Tabu by Dana. However, if you know and appreciate any of these perfumes, you will feel comfortable with Habanita.  In addition, sporting a strong tobacco/spice/leather core, Habanita could fit perfectly for men, too. Be careful, Habanita stands on its own feet and it's immediately recognizable. You can't be wrong: when you smell it, you immediately say: this is Habanita. 
As usual, you can read tons of review about Habanita on the web, so we'll leave floor to a few of highly estimated reviewers (listed at the end of this article).
Hanbanita is in production since 1921 and was probably reformulated several times. Good ol' friend Gianni Ambrosio, the now-retired retailer from Milan, generously borrowed me a couple of vintage EdT bottles from his collection, plus the modern EdP version on sale today, for a comparative review. Laura added a small sample of her precious older vintage. So I was able to perform a really comprehensive review. 
How does vintage Habanita de Molinard perform in front of the modern one? Firstly, we have to learn something about different versions, bottles and packages used during last decades. 
So, let's go and see!

mercoledì 16 settembre 2015

YVES SAINT LAURENT "La Collection": a side-by-side comparison.

Since the launch, happened in 2011,  the "Yves Saint Laurent La Collection" (eight historic male and female perfumes) arose an huge amount of debate among perfume lovers.  The bigger complaint were about the "reformulation" of all eight scents made by L'Oreal (owner of YSL brand); then there was a minor complaint about the new "double cube" bottle (an identical one, for all eight scents), and -at last- the biggest cry: the stop of production of previous versions. 
Aesthetical considerations apart, what about these "new" scents? 
Was "reformulation" so drastic? 
Are these "new" perfumes so "awful" (as reported by many during past years), or "acceptable", or even "good ones"?
I was able to obtain all perfumes both in vintage and modern versions, and perfectly stored (especially the vintage ones). 
So, finally I could perform a side-by-side test with the four "new" male scents produced under "La Collection" line: Rive Gauche - JAZZ - YSL pour Homme - M7 Oud Absolu, and I compared with different "vintage" versions, under strict conditions.
How did they perform?
Let's go and discover it!

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