The very term "fruitchouli" was coined by
Personally I would differentiate between the archetypal Angel and its clones/upstarts/homages (Angel Innocent, CK Euphoria, Coco Mademoiselle, Lolita Lempicka, Flowerbomb, Prada, Cacharel Liberté, Miracle Forever, Hypnôse and Hypnôse Senses, Nuits de Noho, Coromandel, New Haarlem...) and some other popular fragrances with patchouli, a family inaugurated by Narciso For Her (namely Lovely, Midnight Poison, YSL Elle, Gucci by Gucci, Chypre Fatal, Citizen Queen, Lady Vengeance, Perles de Lalique, Agent Provocateur...).
I would classify the former into gourmand orientals ~they're generally quite sweet and the fruitiness is more distinct, often underlined with vanilla/caramel/marshmallow/foody notes etc. The latter I would classify into floral woodies/"nouveau chypres" (technically the "new pink chypre" genre IS a floral woody; patchouli & vetiver base is considered a woody base). Michael Edwards classifies them in a seperate family within chypres (mossy woods) as well.
Making a conscious effort to sample and think about several new releases lately, I found myself bored beyond belief at the sameness encountered and my reluctancy to even bother putting a few words together for the benefit of the casual reader searching for opinions on the latest; such was the disappointment and ennui. From the uniform look, uniform style of the new Anthology line by Dolce & Gabbana to the inoffesive lappings of sweet nothings of Ricci Ricci (pity, the bottle is fabulous!) to the vinyl and "flat" rosechouli of the new Parisienne, all the way through the generic Idole d'Armani, I didn't feel myself moved beyond a cursory spray or two. When you have dedicated a personal site to fragrances and are writing on them professionally as well, this does forebode very gravely...
It's not the lack of artistry or technique in the execution of an idea, as some releases are competent. It's the idea itself that has become mundane, tired, overdone, vulgar; even though it seemed like a nice concept all those years ago! Like waking up in some Heaven where all the girls and boys look like Grace Kelly and David Beckham with a perpetual smile on their faces and delicious macrobiotic 4-course food is served at 12 sharp by white-gloved valets. After a while you just long to bring a scruffy Johny Depp and his Nabisco saltine crackers in bed, don't you!
Perhaps the most brilliant suggestion and new term/classification proposed comes from Perfume of Life's long-time member Mando who exclaims humorously (and expectantly): "I think the next wave should be "bootichouli" - chypres heavy with civet accents". If Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez have bootylicious down pat and Kim Kardashian is famous for her derrière as well, then let's all pray that "bootichouli" can be the new trend in fragrances. Why not? It does present some technical problems, as civet is not exactly the most easy or ethical essence to harvest, but in an age where everything can be replicated in the lab using nano-technology-this and infra-technology-that, the illusion becomes much more of a reality (And there is already synthetic civetone). But that's besides the point really: The point is enough is enough! There is a ripe audience for a skanky new genre and we're cornering an increasing share of the market. Please hear us roar!
Art: Baloon Dog by Jeff Koons via flavorpill and
photo by Jemima Stelhi via files.list.co.uk