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!

mercoledì 19 agosto 2015

"FRACAS" vs. "Fracas": side-by-side.

I love Fracas. It's one of the strongest, heaviest, most intense female scents, and it brings me back to my childhood.
"Fracas de Robert Piguet" is, since 1948, the epitome of tuberose. 
Actually, Fracas is the benchmark for all tuberose-based scents, yesterday and today.
You could read volumes about this perfume, searching on the net, so I'll not waste many words about it, because a lot of perfume experts have written very interesting reviews examining Fracas. You will find a list of interesting reviews at the end of this article. 
One of the most intriguing aspects about Fracas is its recent story: it was produced by historical "Robert Piguet Parfums" until the end of Seventies. Then, during 1985, a few Piguet scents (Fracas, Bandit...) were reformulated, produced and distributed under "Alfin Fragrances Inc.", a well-known american luxury firm, under its Swiss division "Orinter".
Two different bottles were produced by "Alfin/Orinter" : a transparent bottle (1985-1990) and an opaque black one (1990-1995).

"Alfin/Orinter" stopped Fracas production in 1995, and sold Robert Piguet Parfums to "Fashion Fragrances &Cosmetics Ltd". It took a certain amount of time to completely re-orchestrate the scent, and finally to relaunch it, in 1998, with the prestigious label of the "original Fracas formula, certified by Givaudan". Apparently, this new, certified scent underwent at least a couple of reformulations after year 2007, due to IFRA restrictions.
Searching all over the net, you will find a general consensus about the "rogue", "poor quality", "watered down", "deprecable" version produced by "Alfin/Orinter" (1985-1995), opposed to the new, back-to-original, magnificent, and "certified by Givaudan" version produced since 1998 (and -even more- to the legendary 1950s-1960s historical version).
Is it true? Did 1980s Fracas perform really so bad, compared to the new one? It's almost impossible to say, since "Alfin/Orinter" bottles from the 1980s are very, very rare, and almost impossible to find, so it's very difficult to perform a side-by-side comparison. 
Until now....
Well, I was incredibly lucky, because our beloved Gianni from Milan remembered to have an old Fracas tester, in the transparent bottle (the first one, produced during 1985-1990), stored in one of his basements. He generously borrowed it to me, to perform a side-by side comparison with a modern version produced by "Fashion Fragrances&Cosmetics Ltd" (actually, this "new" bottle is a year 2009 one).
In my opinion, this is the first time that someone put two different Fracas bottles side-by-side for testing. Let's go and see the results!

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