I don’t typically post about new or upcoming launches, but the fantastic debut collection from Areej Le Doré, the limited 100-bottle quantities for the trio, and the speed with which they sold out made me decide to make an exception to my usual rule. This is a brand where the particular circumstances make it worth having advance notice to order samples, having some time to spend getting to know the fragrances, and then deciding if one wants a bottle. Plus, I was once chastised for covering a fantastic Areej Le Doré fragrance soon after it sold out, albeit for completely understandable reasons because it’s frustrating to hear about great scents that come in limited quantities, but I’m not going to make that mistake again, so I’m telling all of you about their launch before I write even a word about them in an actual review.
As many of you are undoubtedly aware by now, major changes are sweeping over Serge Lutens. They extend beyond changes to the mere look of bottles or their pricing and entail a whole reshuffling and revamping of the many lines or collections within the brand, thereby signifying a new marketing and business approach by Shiseido which took over the full management of the Serge Lutens brand a year ago. Many of you have already read the news of the specific changes elsewhere, but not everyone follows the same perfume sites or groups, so I thought it was worth a post here on Kafkaesque so that everyone had the chance to buy any old favourites whilst they could before the higher prices kick in.
At the end of this article, I’ll share some thoughts about the possible larger meaning of all this, why I think Shiseido differs from other companies (like L’Oreal or LVHM) that have taken control of perfume houses, why the nature of Shiseido’s relationship with Lutens might be cause for cautious optimism, and, finally, which Lutens fragrances have, in my opinion, have already undergone reformulation prior to the new bottling.
A “dream of white and gold” is the tagline for White, the latest release from the luxury brand, Puredistance. The company makes one of my favorite fragrances, the glorious M, so I always look forward to their releases. I also appreciate that they don’t release an avalanche of fragrances each year, settling instead on one scent that they work hard to perfect, and I greatly admire the luxuriousness elegance of their packaging. There is just something about Puredistance that I really like, even when one of their fragrances leaves me cold, like their Black.
Thankfully, White (or “WHITE” in all-caps as it is officially spelt) isn’t the disappointment of that last scent, though it is no M, or even Opardu with its head-turning opening phase. White is elegantly done, has a gorgeous drydown, clearly uses some very expensive ingredients, and certainly creates the visions of white and gold (or yellow) that were intended. That said, it is also a simple fragrance that is very safe in my opinion and, for much of its opening stage, also excessively commercial in profile as well. Its beauty lies in its drydown, due primarily to the superb quality of the expensive ingredients (real Mysore sandalwood!) that dominate at that point, but the rest of the scent didn’t feel distinctive or special to me. It’s a testament to just how warm, friendly, and nice the people behind Puredistance are that I feel like an utter cad saying that, but I can’t help it.
White was created by Antoine Lie who spent over a year on the scent. At one point, when the outcome didn’t match the vision that Puredistance’s founder, Jan Ewoud Vos had for the scent, everything was scratched and Mr. Lie started all over again. Mr. Vos wanted something pure, sunny, bright and evocative of happiness, and he wouldn’t settle for anything less. The final version is meant to “enhance your mood through intense, but comforting beauty” with “shades of serene white and warm gold” created through “the best and most expensive ingredients in the world.” White will debut at the Milan Esxence show at the end of March, but will be officially released around April 20th. Like its siblings, it is an extrait de parfum, but White exceeds the levels of prior scents by clocking in at a whopping 38% fragrance oil.
Neela Vermeire will be adding a new fragrance to her line this Spring, an eau de parfum called Pichola (pronounced “Pitchola”). It was inspired by Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan, scene of the stunning Lake Palace and location for the James Bond film, “Octopussy.”
Pichola is a floriental (or floral-oriental) created in conjunction with Neela Vermeire’s usual “nose,” Bertrand Duchaufour. The press release provides the following information and perfume notes: