Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Chanel Pour Monsieur

I wore Chanel's Pour Monsieur today, a classic fragrance first released in the 1950s. The perfume is essentially a citrus top with a classic oakmoss and vetiver dry down. It smells good, but I'd hazard a guess that many of today's mainstream target market would find it a bit old fashioned and dated.

There are people who swear that Pour Monsieur has not changed over the years, but I find that incredibly hard to believe considering it is now in its 7th decade of production, and the restrictions on oakmoss. 

I have to admit that to my nose it smells as if Pour Monsieur has changed in the five years since I first tried it. It smells sweeter than it used to. It always had a slight powdery facet to it, but used to smell dryer, I think. Who knows for sure.

To add a twist to today's proceedings, I layered Pour Monsieur with Diptyque's Tam Dao, which is a fairly austere sandalwood fragrance, almost incense-like. I'm not totally sure if this combination worked, but Tam Dao did temper Pour Monsieur's green sweetness, which I enjoyed.

I could be writing total tripe here, but my recent sniffs of Chanel No 19 also seem to reveal that it too smells sweeter than it used to a few years ago. Am I just imagining things? I'd be interested to find out.

Monday, 29 April 2013

What I am...

Listening to:
  • Going back in time and revisiting some blues artists - some include Son House, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker, . What interests me is finding the link to more current artists  and their influence. The Rolling Stones, for example, are steeped in the blues, albeit from a British perspective, and have covered lots of old blues artists. A good example of someone current who is influenced heavily is Jack White.
  • Willy Mason
  • A history of the Blues. Unsurprising, I suppose.
  • Still sort of muddling my way through Game of Thrones
  • Uncut Magazine
  • Very little actually. Haven't really had the time and with the weather improving, who wants to sit indoors glued to television?
  • I have seen a few music documentaries. I can highly recommend Searching for Sugar Man. As a South African myself, I can vouch for that time and atmosphere, although I was a decade later really, but in many ways, the late seventies and early eighties weren't that different, politically or otherwise. 
  • Anything I can get my hands on! Only kidding. Spring in England always seems to re-ignite my taste for a gin and tonic. I like this drink packed with lots of ice and my preference is for lime rather than lemon. 
  • San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa. Fizzy blood orange. Lovely.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Scent of the day - Andy Tauer Orange Star

Just a quick post today, to give some sort of indication that I am still alive in bloggers' world, albeit barely.

I'm still wearing and enjoying perfume on a daily basis, mostly, but just struggling to find time and a bit of motivation to write about it.

Today I wore Andy Tauer's Orange Star for the first time in ages. It's a timely reminder of what a good and original perfumer Andy is. Orange Star is quite a simple perfume in many ways, but it has that knack of making me feel happy and uplifted. It's a genuine mood enhancer, and God knows we all need some of that. It has stellar longevity too - it lasts all day and then some. Some serious fixatives in that base. 

As some other bloggers have pointed out, Andy's direction seems to be lighter and more floral these days, but I do love some of his older creations.

For an earlier post on Orange Star, read here.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Samples and perfume aging

I find the aging of perfume quite interesting. 

I have quite a few samples of perfumes that have  been stored in various boxes for a number of years now. This weekend I dug out a sample of Montale's Black Oud. There was just enough left in the vial to smear on my wrist and what struck me was how much this sample has changed in the four years I've had it. I used to find Black Oud a too-powerful perfume that simply didn't develop on my skin. Once the medicinal top notes faded, all that was left was a very strong oud-rose combination that lasted for hours and hours, with very little change. When I tried it this weekend, the medicinal top notes had gone. I expect it is the age of the sample and the fact that a vial is probably not the best storage medium for a perfume. Instead, Black Oud presented itself in a much more mellow way. For the first time I detected the more woody base notes and patchouli, with the rose (which I used to find a bit shrill) very much a bit player. It's a shame I've finished the sample because it smelt amazing.

As I write this though, I can't help but feel a nagging doubt, that informs me that perhaps it isn't the perfume that has changed much, but rather it is I who has changed. Perhaps my nose is more sophisticated and developed than it was four years ago. Perhaps this time round I was just in a more perceptive mood. Perhaps my skin chemistry is different. Perhaps I have now been exposed to so many more perfumes, styles and in particular, scores of oud and rose combinations, that I can appreciate this more.

The fact is, who really knows. What I do know is that the perfume definitely smelt different to me and I am fairly convinced that the top notes had gone. 

This is not the only perfume I have experienced such a changed perception with. It's happened with quite a few perfumes where I have samples from about four years ago. Another case in point is Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Route de Vetiver, where for some reason the vetiver smells tamer somehow and the fruity top notes more pronounced. In this case I am more inclined to think that this is a change in my ability to detect notes, but I can't be sure.

Are there any perfumes you can think of where over time you have noticed a substantial change (and I'm not talking about reformulations here)?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I'm back - sort of

Hello everyone.

Well, as I mentioned in my last post (back in the mists of time on a blogosphere timeline) I was going to be busy for a week or so. As it turns out, so I was and still am, so not much blogging from me this month.

I was going to post earlier this week, but the horrific and senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon made my blog and thoughts seem trivial by comparison. All I can say is that my sincere sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to all people killed and affected by this tragedy. 

Friday, 5 April 2013

Sundry bits and bobs

Wow, I can't believe another week has flown by and all of a sudden we're more than a quarter of the way through the year!

This week has been a mad rush of work, a bit of holiday, a mixed up routine and in between all that, some haphazard perfume spritzing. From that you might guess that it has been hard for me to find time to write on this blog, hence my first post of April.

This is a bit of a random, whatever-comes-to-mind sort of post, which is just typical of the week that was, I'm afraid. I can hardly remember what I wore. 

I know that today I've worn By Kilian's Amber Oud. I know it was recently shortlisted for a Fifi award(?) - I certainly saw it mentioned on Basenotes somewhere. It seems to be really popular but it doesn't work particularly well on my skin and is a touch too sweet for my liking. Having just typed that, I realise that this statement is slightly contradictory, because I love Back to Black, from the same house, and it is certainly sweet. 

Yesterday I wore Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne. It is fairly simple, in a pared-down sort of way, but smells very good nevertheless. It would work well in warmer weather I think.

That's where things get hazy. I know I tried Serge Lutens' La Fille de Berlin for the first time and that will be the subject of a separate post at some point, I think. My initial impression is that I like it and as many people have mentioned to date, it falls somewhere between the more mysterious and dark Rose de Nuit and the brighter, more in-your-face rosiness of Sa Majeste La Rose. That's all the perfume I can recall this week folks.

It's a busy few days that lie ahead. My wife Wendy has her birthday on Sunday (and is running a half marathon on the same day for good measure) while my younger daughter Daisy turns four on Monday. I'm taking quite a bit of holiday next week and in fact will only be working one and a half days all told! That's something to look forward to, it must be said.

As is fitting for one from England, one must mention the weather of course! It may be the 5th of April already, but blimey, it ain't half cold still! The temperatures this week have been colder than what we would usually expect for December and January. It is beyond a joke now. Roll on spring proper, is all I can say...


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