Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The 100th post - revisiting my favourite articles at Odiferess

Crikey, this is my 100th article for Odiferess!

To mark the occasion, here is a round up of my favourite posts over the last 5 years. They are articles that fizzed out of me faster than my typing speed, those which are an utter joy to write. I like to think that they are somewhat 'different' from what visitors expect to read and that they offer an insight into my often bizarre thought process! 
I hope you enjoy revisiting them.

On Witches:
It seems fitting to include my review of Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne, it is Halloween after all. Highlights include references to my Grandmother's dubious home remedies and getting ferns in your knickers.
click here to read

On Music:
A celebration of exuberant women in music, inspired initially by the technicolour wonder that is Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire. What perfume would suit these musical marvels?
click here to read

On a truly saucy scent:
When Anubis by Papillon Perfumery brought to mind salty pirates, Captain Nolan and the power of female sensuality.
click here to read

On an under appreciated Guerlain:
Why is Idylle not hallowed in the Guerlain hall of fame? Here I speak of my love for the scent and swoon at Thierry Wasser. 
click here to read

On heartbreak:
A personal story of love and loss inspired by Jul et Mad - Terrasse a St Germain. 
click here to read

On the great outdoors:
A picturesque post where a walk in the Yorkshire Moors became an ode to the chilly aldehydes of Clinique - Wrappings
click here to read

On the significance of a Royal Warrant:
A rather slapstick look at branding within the British Perfume Industry featuring discussions about the Queen's fear of warts and why Fergie was the only Royal I'd invite to the pub. 
click here to read

On proper perfume:
The most recent post, on how I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Warszawa by Pure Distance. This posts discusses the concept that we might all be 'a bit too expert' and ponders the days before the online fragrance community existed.

click here to read

On the cats of perfume land:
How I fell in love with a furry little fella called Joseph and a photographic peep at the feline companions of my fellow perfume writers. 

click here to read

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Puredistance WARSZAWA - a PROPER perfume

I love proper perfume.

Puredistance have released one. It’s called WARSZAWA.

Andy Warhol illustrates some proper perfume

‘Proper’ perfume is grown up. It’s sits on your dressing table and simmers until you are sufficiently dressed up to reach for it’s seductive bottle. It doesn’t travel to work with you, or the supermarket, or similar non-event. It’s an uncommon wonder. It’s got a personality more colossal than your own. You can only wear it when you feel emotionally abundant and dressed to kill. 

Fitting really, as WARSZAWA was inspired by good old fashioned glamour. 

“Puredistance WARSZAWA transports you to a dreamy world of old-time chic. 
Inspired by the class and elegance of Polish women and the rich history of the city of Warsaw, WARSZAWA evokes the chic of the golden days of Fashion and Perfume.” 
WARSZAWA sleeps in a bed of emerald satin
Perfume used to be a curious phenomena. We didn’t know what was in it. Although our noses could detect familiar notes such as culinary spices or garden flowers, we had no idea how the perfumer conjured the mysterious juice. The perfume lover probably new nothing of the nitro musks, aldehydes and other bonkers sci-fi ingredients that helped to create the allure. Nowadays we consult Fragrantica’s (excellent) ingredient database and compare fragrances with similar notes. We avidly read note lists supplied by the perfume houses and actively seek out a perfect interpretation of our favourite. They make it even easier by naming their wares with the notes e.g. Tobacco Vanille, Patchouli Imperial etc. We swop tips and decants with our online friends and gain access to luxury goods that we would not normally be able to afford. 
In some ways this is helpful as it allows us to find fragrances that might suit us more easily. It adds knowledge to our hobby and the research and subsequent hunting offers quite a thrill. We’ve become experts. 
But sometimes I don’t want to be an expert. I don’t want to own thirty bottles of well researched fragrant wardrobe. I want to relish and adore one bottle of precious perfume and not have a clue what sorcery has created it. I want to have saved up for it patiently and bought it full price from a beautiful shop in Paris. I want some proper perfume. 
WARSZAWA is not a note list. It’s a grand composition, symphonic, multi-faceted. You can’t smell a dominant feature ingredient, simply a gargantuan perfume. It’s overwhelming, aspirational and bloody gorgeous!
With this in mind, here is an alternative note list for WARSZAWA. It contains:

Your first ever clubbing outfit, the heady perfume that your mum wore when you were six, the weekend break in Venice when it was minus 2 degrees and all the palazzos sparkled with frost, the sensual (real) fur coat that you bought from a charity shop in Leeds and felt (sort of) OK about because you hadn’t directly contributed to the fur trade, shopping before the internet existed, the jewel hued antique glass Christmas tree baubles from your childhood that reflected fragments of magical light when you spun them, whopping shoulder pads in a 1980s edition of ‘Le Smoking’, red vinyl lipstick, Bryan Ferry’s tight trousers, a pool party attended by Grace Coddington in the 1970s, backcombed hair, violet cream chocolates from Charbonnel et Walker (bought in Bond Street, not the food discount section at TK Maxx), your first trip to London and the moment that you bought your first pair of ‘knickers with intention’.
YSL rocks red lipstick and cabin crew glamour in the 1980s
It’s nostalgic, it’s awe inspiring and it’s insanely glamourous. Odd to think that it's author is the controversial genius - Antoine Lie, creator of the infamous Sécrétions Magnifiques. Has the nose behind the strangest perfume of all time created the most glamourous?
In recent years, I’ve wandered around Selfridges feeling bored. I am throughly fed up with over-priced, over hyped-nonsense, constant replications of a jaded theme, bottles of bandwagon bollocks applauded for being ‘niche’.
In WARSZAWA I feel like I’ve discovered perfume again. I am no longer a 44 year old perfume ‘expert’. I’m 17 year old me, buying my first ever bottle of Shalimar and inhaling possibility.

It feels wonderful.