Guerlain Santal Royal

Source: q80ean.com

Source: q80ean.com

It takes some effort to get a One-Star “Avoid” rating from Luca Turin, but Guerlain has managed it with its new Santal Royal. I don’t always agree with the famous perfume critic and I don’t think Santal Royal is the worst thing I’ve ever smelt, even from Guerlain (L’Homme Ideal holds that dubious distinction), but he’s right: Santal Royal isn’t good. It is especially disappointing coming from a once-great house, perhaps the greatest that ever was.

In essence, Santal Royal is another sub-par, extremely commercial creation from Guerlain without any distinctiveness or originality, and with absolutely nothing remotely reminiscent of sandalwood. What it does have, however, is a strong resemblance to a heavily aromachemical Montale fragrance or to any number of basic, cheap, Middle Eastern fragrances centered on a generic, overly sweet, wholly synthetic, fruity rose-oud combination. Actually, I’ve smelt better perfumes from Montale, which is saying something given my general view of that house.

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Olivier Durbano Prométhée & Lapis Philosophorum

"Prometheus Carrying Fire" by Jan Cossiers, 1600-71. Source: allposters.com

“Prometheus Carrying Fire” by Jan Cossiers, 1600-71. Source: allposters.com

Prometheus rising, bringing fire to man, and The Philosopher’s Stone, transforming metals to gold and offering the chance at immortality — those are two of the great myths of history, now embodied in fragrances centered on dark earth notes with incense. How could I possibly resist? If there is anything I love more than perfume, it’s history, so I was instantly intrigued when I came across Lapis Philosophorum and Prométhée (hereinafter just “Promethee”).

They are two fragrances from Olivier Durbano, a Parisian jeweller who specializes in expensive creations using semi-precious stones. Apparently, from what I’ve read, his jewellery is a big hit with the French “glitterati,” as one person put it. Yet, he also has a perfume line, roughly 10 fragrances in total, most of them inspired by a different semi-precious stone. His latest two, however, are drawn from mythology, but all of them are his own creation and made without the assistance of a perfume “nose.” I’ll look at each one in turn.

Photo via the Olivier Durbano website.

Photo via the Olivier Durbano website.

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Serge Lutens La Religieuse

“Snow” is a word that comes up quite a bit in Serge Lutens‘ descriptions for La Religieuse, his latest release that debuted in Paris at the start of February and one that is officially characterized as a jasmine fragrance. I think the word “snow” is absolutely accurate in describing the opening of the scent with its icy and “crystalline” aesthetic, but La Religieuse was hardly the jasmine soliflore that I expected. It was nothing like A La Nuit, Sarrasins, or any other jasmine soliflore that I’ve tried for that matter. Frankly, if I smelt it blindly, the word “jasmine” would be at the very end of my list of descriptors. Instead, the name “De Profundis” would come up within minutes, which might make some of you very happy indeed.

Source:  wallpapers at hdw.eweb4.com

Source: wallpapers at hdw.eweb4.com

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État Libre d’Orange True Lust Rayon Violet De Ses Yeux

État Libre d’Orange True Lust Rayon Violet De Ses Yeux must surely be in the running for one of the longest perfume titles around. I think it is also one of the most gobbledygook names with its mix of Franglais that essentially translates to the meaningless mish-mash of “True Lust [The] Violet Ray of Her Eyes.”

Source: Etat Libre website.

Source: Etat Libre website.

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