It's a bit of a strange time for me, perfume-wise, at the start of 2011. It's that time of year when there aren't all that many new perfume releases, and if like me, the thrill of the chase can be as satisfying as the kill, metaphorically, then January can be rather dull. Not that I'm saying that all I want in my perfume life is the instant hit and the never ending search for new releases, but that is an exciting part of being a perfume nut.
Of course I say there aren't many new releases, but there are actually, if one browses enough websites, of which Now Smell This is to my mind the best at keeping up with this sort of thing. I guess it's just a case that not many of these are heading to my shores right now.
Anyway, I've been spending a few days trying out some of my older samples, or in some cases some of my more boring samples. A case in point is Aventus, by Creed. It's not a bad perfume by any means, but it just smells to me a bit too much like "Been there, done that". At a price, I might add. If this were priced at say £50, I would probably say this is a refined, classy-smelling perfume. At double that price, I'm thinking it should be a lot better. I don't want to pay triple figure prices for perfumes that smell like everything that's come before, no matter how gentlemanly, refined and classy they might be. Aventus is inoffensive, and to my mind the most generically staid Creed to date, and perfect for the upper end of the mainstream market. I know I sound snobbish, but to reiterate, at those price points there should be more innovation in my opinion.
One of my older samples is Cartier's Declaration. Actually, I was recently given a 15ml mini of Declaration when I purchased something else, which is quite a good deal. I really like Declaration, which I know some find challenging due to its very generous cumin note. This fragrance is anything but simplistic, and a great example of Jean Claude Elena's work just before he started going wholeheartedly down the minimalist, sheer route. In fact, anyone familiar with his work for Hermes and Frederic Malle should smell Declaration because even then you can sense the direction he was heading in. I read somewhere that Declaration is Elena's ode to Eau d'Hermes (created by Edmond Roudnitska), which itself is a fairly robust fragrance, although I have not tried it. Speaking of which, I have yet to track down either Eau d'Hermes or Bel Ami in this country. If any of you know where to find these, I should be grateful for the tip off. I don't intend to write about Declaration in detail now, but it is a wonderful spicy/woody perfume, very distinctive and loaded with Cumin. I love it. At the risk of sounding a bit provocative, if I had to choose between Aventus and Declaration, both of which are aimed at men generally, I know which I would choose.