Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Case for a Good Drag of Smoke: Korres Premium II L'Eau de Parfum

Poor Jon Hamm had to smoke 74 herbal cigarettes in the pilot of Mad Men alone, such is our modern shunning of smoking, even more so on screen, where it's strictly seen as "period work." And yet ... You can do lots of things with a cigarette on hand: gain time, use that sharp intake of smoke as a decisive battle cry, fill that hanging silence of exhaling with something to look into, occupy your hands, offer to light a damsel-in-distress's own cigarette ... smoking has its own language and codes.

Which nicely brings me to our matter at hand. A gorgeous tobacco fragrance for men. Those old-cut ones, like Richard Widmark. Widmark looked quite a bit like my own grandfather, who wore Tabac Original by Mauer & Wirtz; there's poetic justice in the lives of perfumephiles, you see.


Thus goes my review of the Premium II L'Eau de Parfum by Greek brand Korres. Issued in late 2014 and among the very good surprises of the beginning of this year, I realize that it's not exactly summer material (though you could wear it, why not), more of a flannel suit and fedora hat affair, yet it beckoned last week when the heatwave made everything smell so very intensely that I was sure I was either smelling fragrances from three blocks away or experiencing a case of phantosmia (sensing phantom smells). Please find my full review of this beautiful tobacco and woods cologne on this link. As always you're welcome to comment either here or there or both.


  1. Anonymous16:24

    I love tobacco in fragrances! And I had a huge poster of Clint Eastwood, cheroot dangling dangerously, on my wall throughout my entire teen years. He is still a favorite of mine all these years later:)

    1. He was a real dish and he continues to be a very handsome man.
      I suppose he's responsible for both our love of tobacco scent to some degree, then! :-D

  2. leathermountain03:06

    When I quit smoking I had to seek out alternative ways of doing all those things you mention, and more. Now that it has been so long, I can also sometimes enjoy the smell again, even or maybe especially in ashtray scents like Jasmin et Cigarette. A nice tobacco and woods scent is more reminiscent of stuff I never smoked like pipes and cigars, always a delight for the nose.

    1. Yes, the ashtray note is very prominent in Jasmine et Cigarette and yet it\s totally alluring. It's a strange combination that works. Personally I much prefer cigar and pipe tobacco over plain cigarette (this is probably why I never evolved into a smoker; these are not things one lights up by habit but for pleasure, at least IMHO) . As you so succinctly put it, a delight for the nose. Still the ashtray note is a common note in some vintages which makes sense in an odd sort of way, doesn't it? I mean, people smoked a lot back then and they used perfume that would cut through the smoke (so the two should be complementary).

  3. Miss Heliotrope08:07

    I also like Jasmin et Cigarette, and am curious about the scent, finding the tobacco/smoke aspect harsh in a twisty interesting way. At the same time, I am a non smoker who finds cigarette smoke (& other tobacco smoke) all wrong -

    1. No doubt it's a bad habit (and to many people a disgusting habit. i.e. my S.O who hates cigarette smoke). But WE DO LIKE Jasmine & Cigarette, don't we, so someone did they job well I suppose. What is it that compels us to embrace scents in our perfume hobby that we otherwise shun in daily life? That IS the question.

    2. Miss Heliotrope02:48

      Perhaps the opportunity to examine them without the health worries (the number of people I see outside the cancer hospital I go to, in gowns, drips plugged into arms, cigarette in hand/mouth...) - smoke & its varieties of scents depending on what you burn, have been part of human existence for ever. We've used scented smoke to communicate with gods, to cleanse our homes & selves, and in today's more sterile existence, the scent of wood smoke is one of the few older, natural smells many people have in their homes.

      As you noted in your article, cigarette smoke does have a certain coolness still attached, despite the terrible side effects. To be able to play with aspects of the scent through perfume is helpful.

      (An aside on smoky smells - it is possible to purchase an incense with a peat smoke smell - sold by Ardbeg whisky distillery - which is rather different & intriguing).

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