Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jour de Fete 2014 re-issue: review & comparison with the original from 2004

Remember when we announced that Jour de fete by L'Artisan Parfumeur, discontinued for quite a while and lamented by perfume lovers, was re-issued this year by the niche brand in an answer to pleas by fans requesting it back?

Well, here you are. I have tested the new version and have compared with the older one, composed by Olivia Giacobetti. You can read my thoughts by following this link over to Fragrantica with beautiful illustration. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Blog Sale

Some special, hard to find scents for everyone on this spot today, bought from reputable sellers in the past. Please email me using Contact for further details and be quick!

  • Caron En Avion extrait de parfum (vintage)
  • Caron Nocturnes eau de toilette 10ml fabulous silver atomizer
  • Creed Angelique Encens: 3 Decants gone, 5 Samples left
  • Creed Spring Flower 10ml decant roll on (unused)
  • Dior Hypnotic Poison eau de parfum 30ml decant spray (1990s version)
  • Guerlain Parure eau de toilette (vintage)
  • Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal decant spray
  • Ramon Monegal Cuirelle official travel spray 15ml
  • Ramon Monegal Kiss my Name official travel spray 15ml
  • Rochas Femme eau de toilette (1980s)
  • Serge Lutens Cedre official travel spray 15ml full
  • Serge Lutens Chene decant
  • Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 decant spray 15ml
  • Xerjoff Casamorati 1888 Regio travel spray, full

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tauer Perfumes Eau d'Epices: fragrance review

Eau d'Épices is an interesting study in how to make a non-typical "oriental" or "woody" spice which would float rather than sink. Does it succeed? You'll be the judge as this month sees the reissue of Eau d'Épices. Eau d'Épices has been in the works since at least 2007, you see, when the first samples were given to a coterie of Tauer fans. The official launch happened in 2010 and then the scent was discontinued, to be reissued now.

via pinterest

Those who remember the soap Mandarins Ambrés that Tauer issued during the countdown to Christmas will recall the chord of labdanum-laced tartness that remained on the skin for a long time. The cleverness lies in that this classically oriental chord is buttressed in the fragrance Eau d'Épices by an allusion to soap which brings us full circle to the creative process chez Tauer: the core of this "spice water" is made of orange blossom absolute which via its cleaner facets and the indirect use of orange blossom (as well as its greener, fresher analogue, neroli) in time-honored Eaux de Cologne brings to mind the sense of freshness and purity via association.

Tauer loves his orange blossom (and if you're following his line you know that) and this is a natural essence he obtains alongside the Egyptian jasmine material he uses. Some tart notes emerge in the evaporation, a feeling of bitter-fresh grapefruit (not listed) or something like lemony verbena or lemongrass (also non listed), but the overall feeling of this core is buttery to me and this increases as the fragrance prolongs its visit.

But that is not all. There are two other dominant forces in Eau d'Épices.

One is the evident one: the "indian basket of spices" as Andy puts it —which would make phobics of impolite bodily smells scour the list for cumin, the essence which is routinely blamed for a sweat and body odor note; let me here take the opportunity to clear this fear, this perfume won't produce questions about your state of cleanliness. It is a full on spice-fest at the start (lots of IFRA-defiant cinnamon, orange blossom complementing coriander, clove and clove), but that evolves very soon and I can see how the expectation of a typical spicy oriental would let fans of the genre conditioned to expect Caron's Poivre or Coco by Chanel somewhat down. Eau d'Épices, aka "Spice Water," doesn't distance itself from the tradition of "cologne," something meant to be splashed to impart a sense of exhilaration but done in a new way, a way of spices instead of herbs.

The other undercurrent (and it is a very prominent one) is the incense-y chord that Tauer loves so much. It's an interlay of resinous-smelling/amber notes of which ambreine and ambroxan are constants. Maybe it's the hippyish vibe, maybe it's the traveling bug, these notes bring on a sense of far away lands, away from our modernized antiseptic environments.

Eau d'Épices: back on the Tauer website. As love it or hate it as spices themselves.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia: new fragrance

Magnolia is shaping up to be a major, recurrent theme in niche releases lately and one of the first officially "niche" brands, the one who introduced the notion of "perfume authors", namely Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle is issuing their own version: Eau de Magnolia, as depicted below.
After all, we at Perfume Shrine had announced it as a rumour 4 years ago!! (yes, really!)

via Ccercle/twitter

The task has been undertaken by acclaimed perfumer Carlos Benaim who knows how to construct a floral of this waxy and yet also lemony fresh blossom, fluffy and substantial at the same time. The effect can be nothing short of radiant! Up till now, Benaim's skills had been utilized in the Editions de Parfums line for the Home scents (for which he composed Cafe Society, Rosa Rugosa, Rubrum Lily, Jurassic Flower and Saint de Saints), but now a major new release of fine fragrance is trusted upon his shoulders for Eau de Magnolia.

Eau de Magnolia by Editions de Parfums: soon at a Malle boutique or counter near you.

Regulatory Developments in the Front of Perfumery Restrictions & IFRA: Doom or Boom?

The front of perfumery restrictions on raw materials is a potential minefield for both the perfume lover and the conscientious journalist, as chronicling all steps of the way can so easily be tinged with either scientific falsities, emotional panic or a sensationalist approach meant to benefit only the one doing the sensational shout out. But beyond that, little had been done to pay it forward and actually do something about it. Up until now. A group of dedicated perfume lovers contributing to the respected Parfumo.net platform where they gather to discuss their favorite hobby has come up with an official petition to address to the decision makers in Brussels so as to stop the paranoia and reconsider some options beyond banning this or that on the basis of its potential allergenic or rather sensitizing effect on 1% of the population. One of the arguments that is presented (and it's one taking into consideration) is that because of that small potential irritation the whole of humanity will be left with no cultural imprint of the perfumery of the last 130 years or so. Preserving perfume's identity is a cultural (as in "patrimonial heritage" for many European countries and industries) and on a higher plane also a political issue (cosmetics & perfumes are the third largest exporter of the French industry), not merely a social or health-focused one.

You can find the petition Save Perfume's Soul on this link (in English) and you're encouraged to join us into spreading the word about options for a better solution to the problem of reactive ingredients in perfumes for sensitive individuals, such as extensive obligatory labeling.

And if you think that this is merely unicorn hunting and only a plea of hardcore aficionados, you will be psyched to hear that at the instigation of the French Federation of Beauty Companies the French and European cosmetics industry was concerned enough with the regulatory changes that could compromise their field that on April 7th they held a round table discussion about the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety guidelines with many interesting results, so read on and take courage.

According to reportage by the Luxury Society: "Michèle Elbaz, Delegate Director Regulation and Safety at Chanel, has reviewed the perfume substances whose legal status is under review whether in application of the Cosmetics Regulation or in application of REACH.

Some of these substances correspond to series for which the European Commission questioned the Scientific Committee [2] some years ago and which are still under discussion, waiting for regulatory measures (Tagetes minuta, patula; Methyl -N -methyl anthranilate; Vetiveryl acetate; Acetaldehyde).

Some substances also fall under the scope of Article 15 of the Regulation on cosmetic products, which prohibits the use of CMR substances classified in category 1A (known CMR effect on humans), 1B (Suspected CMR effect on humans) or 2 (suspected CMR effect, but the available information is insufficient).

Furthermore, some substances are also impacted by some additional REACH procedures besides registration, namely Substance Evaluation and Harmonized Classification and Labelling. This is the case, for example, of BMHCA, Furfuryl alcohol, Citral and Citronellal. “However, this does not necessarily mean that these substances are about to be prohibited or restricted,” said Michèle Elbaz. Indeed, the deadline of their assessment may be delayed, depending on priorities, or they may be removed from the list if their REACH dossier has been fulfilled."

Furthermore, public consultation has been requested on the issue of perfume allergens by the European Commission who has published its proposed measures and is awaiting feedback from the concerned parties (manufacturers of cosmetics products, producers of fragrances and consumers associations)  till May 14th. This is a complex issue with the International Fragrance Association informing and influencing the Commission's proposal. Therefore as Vincent Gallon states, "Taking the consultations into account, the proposed changes to the Cosmetics Regulation in the form of an implementing act will be subject to a vote by the Member States in the standing Committee on Cosmetics. Once the measures are approved by the Member States, the European Parliament and the Council will have three months to exercise their right of scrutiny. If the proposal is not opposed the formal adoption of those changes is expected at the end of 2014/beginning 2015."

According to Luxury Society, Cosmetics Europe is proposing "a series of solutions which, while being very pragmatic, will ensure that consumers be properly informed,”  as per Florian Schellauf.
In particular, "Cosmetics Europe suggests that companies may choose to label the list of allergens on the package or to provide this information electronically. A logo (left) could inform concerned consumers that the information they need is available online.
“The general revolution of providing information in electronic format has progressed in such a manner that a majority of consumers today prefer this way of receiving information. Accessing information electronically has become a fact of life and an integral part of society”, said Florian Schellauf.

Cosmetics Europe also supports a change in the INCI nomenclature, in order to allow abbreviations. The European Association also requested a transition period of at least 6 years for products already placed on the market.

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