Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Making of a Perfume

The newest Yves Saint Laurent perfume, Elle, got a sweeping advertising campaign replete with a little clip of the Making Of. Perfume Shrine brings it to you for your witty commentary.
Jacques Cavallier (the one in the dark clothing) and Olivier Cresp talk about the creation of their latest feminine fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. Please note that this seems to be an official demonstration clip!

(uploaded by elleYSL)

It is rather interesting that those two esteemed noses go on and on about femininity with a masculine touch (emblematic of Yves Saint Laurent modes), originality and vision: to me Elle had none of those aspects to any great degree, I confess.
It is also rather odd that they hold the jars of different raw materials (plants and flowers) for the camera, demonstrating their inclusion in the composition. There is a subtle illusion here, as if the materials are actually ingrained in the juice, which is not always the case as we well know. Of course the official formula never makes it out to the public and so any insider info I might be divulging to you from time to time is just that: insider info.
But holding up tubes of aromachemicals detracts from the "dream" of fragrance being all about exoticism and naturalness, I gather. (Even if Cavallier and Cresp would wanted to, I doubt the marketing executives would let them do that!)

For some reason the patchouli used in the majority of recent feminine releases does not smell especially natural to me: it lacks the mellowness and dirtiness of natural, aged, good quality patchouli which I have in my little inventory at home and Elle is no exception. Instead it is clean, hinting at shadowy, but not quite. Pleasant no doubt, but has overcome its welcome becoming ubiquitous.

Here is the accompanying commercial for Elle, with canadian supermodel Coco Rocha.(Now there's a name!) She's much younger than appearing to be in this, but the styling of Le Smoking eternel is smashing I have to admit.

(uploaded by laurentCM)

But to tell you the truth, I had the most fun while reading this story by blogger Kristopher Dukes. It's a classic!! Seriously, go read it!

Please check back later for another surprise post on perception.


  1. Did you think the fragrance was particularly sexy? I didn't find it so.

    I'll have to re-spritz it when I'm somewhere where they might have it.

  2. Karin,

    I didn't think it was particularly anything. That was the main problem for me :(
    Although pleasant enough, it just doesn't cut it: from YSL and Cavallier & Cresp I expect much more!

  3. This one and the new Gucci scent have left me cold, what once was new and groundbreaking with the clean patchouli note (Narcisco edt), now as you say has "overstayed its welcome". I always find it interesting when scent is so unlike the advertising information (okay so this is 90% of the time).

  4. Jen,

    I couldn't agree more! Those new patchouli "chypres" were fine when they first came onto the scene of over-done fruity florals, but now they tend to be everywhere risking becoming themselves an ubiquity.

  5. Joan17:49

    Chandler Burr found it "inexplicable on the richter scale of disasters, called it "fake pale saccarine fruit" and gave it 1 star only for being unoffensive. He went on the say that he thought perhaps the YSL's accountants demanded the costs be kept very low for the compounds. You can read the whole article on the Nov. 29th 2007 Scent Notes- New York Times. Loved the Kristopher Dukes story btw.

  6. You know, Joan, for all the critique that Chandler has been receiving, it transpired clearly that he doesn't run ad copy! To his credit, assuredly!
    Thanks for directing me to the exact article, will go look it up.

    I knew the Kristopher Dukes story was worth mentioning ;-)

  7. i found Elle very "meh" on me. like many synthetic patches, it disappeared into my skin and just left this odd semi-plastic floral scent. i felt like Britney Spears. *sigh*

    btw, link added. :)

  8. You're very welcome here Risa!
    Thank you. I see many people share my view on this fragrance.


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