While we all know that Luca Turin has been working on a new Guide about old and new fragrances, about to be out next year, it is good to find out that he is meanwhile really, really working it, amassing some 1400 bottles in the process sent to him by the companies (well, he had half of them before, as he tells us in confidence) and really bending over those fumes to appreciate the intricacies and nuances.
I do hope the end result will be worthy of every perfumista's wet dream.
In the meantime, he confirms what lots of plainsfolk have been discussing about the eau de parfum formulation of Chanel no.5, that is perhaps *cough, cough* a little heavy-handed? "An eighties lapse of judgment" is how he puts it. I guess this puts a negative spin on poor Jacques Polge, the in house perfumer ever since that period. But it is indeed no secret that as far as no.5 is concerned the parfum/extrait is the way to go, all the way, baby! This is due to it being the only form in which the precious, very expensive jasmine and Rose de Mai (rosa centifolia)from Grasse, perfume capital of France, is still used. However to come to Polge's defence, the eau de parfum is not that bad either. In fact every permutation of No.5 is precious and worth sampling, so trust your own judgement when testing.
As to Guerlain, of course the collection is much more expansive with the unavoidable misses and commercial flops around the way, often no fault of the perfume itself (Fleur de Feu?), but we can clearly discern that Luca is still predisposed favourably towards our beloved Guerlain which is as good a thing as any.
The following is eminently interesting for those who follow the naturals vs. synthetics debate and sheds a light on why a fragrance that does contain natural extracts and essences is a wondrous thing indeed:
Guerlain, like food firms, should put dates on bottles. I had often heard, and never believed, that fragrances made with naturals change a lot in the first six months, as wine does. The family resemblance of fresh Guerlains is even stronger than usual, as if the Guerlinade base that is common to all of them was the first to fade. Some are so rich and complex that we decided to let them sit in a dark room for a few months, till they calm down and pull themselves together.
You can read the whole article in english here.
After all this, what more can I say? À nôtre santé!
Painting Distillatio by Janvander Straet(1523-1605)courtesy of allposters.com