jeudi 30 août 2012

Lutens, Diptyque, Frapin, ELO, etc… a sneak peek of fall launches (and a draw)



My desk is groaning under bottles and samples. I’m running out of skin real estate. September is around the bend, and with it, a slew of launches, many of which were presented before the summer holidays or even as far back as March at Esxence in Milan; a few others will remain mysteries until mid-September…

Among these, one of the most eagerly expected is Serge Lutens’s gardenia, called Une Voix Noire according to information that’s been circulating for months on the internet. Launched in Paris on September 11th, it is indeed a tribute to Billie Holiday: “Jazz, alcohol, night, and over all this, the troubling smoke of a white line of gardenia”, the invitation reads. Not speculating on a cocaine accord, but hoping the strange fruit will measure up to Tubéreuse Criminelle…

Another gardenia in the pipeline with Boutonnière from Arquiste, in my opinion one of the very best new niche houses, which will be presented in Florence at Pitti Fragranze. According to brand founder Carlos Huber, the initial inspiration for the scent was the wee hours after a night out, but since that turned out to be too feral to his nose, he went back to the early evening…  The historical setting is 1899 at the Paris Opera and in the preview press release, is attributed to “M. de Phocas”, not a perfumer but the name of a jewelry brand for gentlemen created by two young Mexican designers, Alexis Zambrano and Jesus Torres, and named after Monsieur de Phocas, the decadent dandy protagonist of an eponymous novel published by the equally decadent Jean Lorrain in 1901.

In the same, early-20th century decadent register, État Libre d’Orange’s new Afternoon of a Faun by Ralph Schwieger is, obviously, a tribute to Nijinsky, a boozy-mossy immortelle-laced leather with a wine-dark rose. Also in a leathery vein, ELO is also launching Dangerous Complicity, by the young Mane perfumer Violaine Collas, a powdery osmanthus-patchouli suede.

Still in a retro mood? For Speakeasy by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato – the first time the Corsican perfumer signs outside Parfum d’Empire – Frapin slides from cognac to its natural partner, the cigar, in a modern reworking of the “tabac blond” accord, with a splash of mojito for a Papa-does-Havana jaunt. Marc-Antoine will also be presenting a limited-edition extrait for Parfum d’Empire on September 20th in Paris. Can’t speak about it yet, but I’ve had a sniff of some of the final mods, and I’ll vouch that lovers of animal notes will be drooling over this one.

Like Frapin’s Speakeasy, Parfumerie Générale’s Djhenné, N°22 in the line, is based on a cool-warm contrast of lavender/mint and leather accords. Since this was just brought by the mailman, I haven’t had the time to skin-test yet, so more later.

Is tobacco set to become the new patchouli? It’s been starting to crop up more often, and Diptyque’s Volutes by Fabrice Pellegrin of Firmenich (a frequent collaborator of the brand) features one of the most delectable recent versions, with honeyed accents, tarry base notes and the utterly lovely contrast of an iris accord. Based on a childhood memory of Diptyque co-founder Yves Coueslant (like Tam Dao and Do Son), it was inspired by his ship journeys from Marseille to Saigon, and the Egyptian cigarettes smoked by glamorous female passengers…

Green is still trending, with Humiecki & Graef Candour by Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz, a searingly fresh aromatic lavender-sage-cardamom accord that feels like mint though the note isn’t claimed, matched with a “parchment” effect (vanilla and almond milk).

Bertrand Duchaufour has been as busy as ever, with four new fragrances scheduled to be launched in September, one for The Different Company and three for a brand-new micro-niche house created by Paris jeweler Ann Gérard, for whom he composed the limited-edition extrait Pleine Lune in 2010.  A green chypre, a powdery iris leather and a linden-centered floral will be presented on September 20th. Interestingly, these are very different from the work he did for/with Neela Vermeire or with me, proving that Mr. D. can adapt to his various clients/creative partners without foregoing his distinctive style.

The former Yves Saint Laurent makeup artist Terry de Gunzburg has added a fragrance collection to her gorgeous By Terry brand. The scents (gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, almond and violet) still need further testing but initial sniffs weren’t quite up to scratch: the notes tend to break up fairly quickly on blotters.

Last but not least, Cartier’s new mainstream masculine, Déclaration d’un Soir, is by no means a flanker to Jean-Claude Ellena’s Déclaration. This could be “Portrait of a Gentleman”: a big bold macho rose with a generous spray of pepper which I’ll be getting back to ASAP, before Mathilde Laurent presents her next Heure de Parfum, an aromatic blend of garden herbs called L’Heure Vertueuse


So, on to you: which launch are you most eagerly expecting? And what should I review first? 

Drop a comment and I’ll draw a 5 ml spray preview sample of Diptyque Volutes in the eau de toilette version…

Added September 3rd: the draw is now over. Please check my latest post for the winner.

Picture taken by me at the launch of Volutes.

82 commentaires:

  1. The new frapin offer got me interested. i know their previous ones didn't fare so well but this one sounds very interesting. I am a sucker for tobacco and I think I might be having my year of luck after all. I need to save me some money!

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  2. WOW!!! Thanks for the preview, Denyse! I hadn't heard of any of these. I love Mathilde Laurent, so am looking forward to her new creations. The ELd'O Dangerous Complicity sparked my interest when you said, "young Mane perfumer." Always interested to try what the newest perfumers develop. Also looking forward to the reviews of Pitti. :-) Thanks for the draw!

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  3. I'd love to find a new gardenia with a bit of an edge, so both the Lutens and the Arquiste are calling my name, especially the Arquiste. Anima Dulcis was one of my favorite releases last year. I've sniffed both of the new Etat Libres and of the two Dangerous Complicity suits me best. It feels lighthearted but not silly, just the thing for these last warm evenings of summer.

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  4. I am so looking forward to trying the Lutens and Diptyque - this is a very helpful preview!

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  5. Thanks for the preview. I'm looking forward to fall fragrances. Maybe the white musk trend will be over? Your description of the Diptyque has my full attention!

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  6. God, you have an amazing life!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

    The Lutens sounds just beautiful-I am a fan of the lighter SLs, likeNuit de Cellophane. The thought of a Billie Holliday type of gardenia floats my boat.

    I also like tobacco, so the Diptyque sounds good too.

    i hope you are well,

    Carole MacLeod

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  7. Wow! Just when I was planning to stop buying bottles until further notice... Some of them look really promising, I will keep trying not buying but now is going to be really hard!!!

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  8. I'm always looking for beautiful and intriguing gardenia perfumes, so I say go for those first, especially as it's still summer! Thanks in advance for all the hard work and sniffage on our behalf!

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  9. My head is spinning. The Volutes sounds amazing. And the Arquiste - I smelled those at Barney's last time I was in Dallas, and they were fantastic. A gardenia! Be still my heart!

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  10. Thanks for the whirlwind preview, Denyse. Many of these sound very interesting, and my nose did perk up with the mention of tobacco in Volutes. And I'm curious about the Frapin and the limited edition Histoires de Parfums. I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to buy a bottle of Vero's Mito, which is coming out too.

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  11. I am excited to hear about new Arquiste, it is amazing line, just a pity it has so narrow distribution at the moment! But please review new Declaration first- I am so dissapointed in mainstream launches so far, therefore some hope would be helpful! Regards, Ela

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  12. And here I was contemplating how there is no way I need another bottle in my collection (it feels rounded and big enough now I got my hands on Seville) and then you go and post all these wonderful creations to be released.
    Especially the gardenia by SL! Please review that one first! :)

    And then there's the new Frapin - I am always interested in their launches and one done by Mr. Corticchiato?!
    Oh, well, I guess there is always a place for one (or two) more... ;)

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  13. I'm looking forward to trying the new ELd'O perfumes.

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  14. I've just come back from a holiday in Bretagne that made a lot of scent sense, including a visit to the exposition on Perfume at La Roche Jagu- and a few days in Paris, where I managed to have some selected but very gratifying encounters with perfumes- I bought Séville à l'aube, of course!
    Thanks for this preview, many of them sound interesting!

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  15. Thanks for the preview! I'm really looking forward to try Volute, it sounds divine. Also curious about the new perfume from Parfum d'Empire.

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  16. I'm keen to try anything by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, though I'm still saving my pennies for Azemour. Also a fan of tobacco and gardenia and anything by the divine M. Douchfour

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  17. The H&G and the Diptyque fragrances spoke to me :). Thanks for the draw!

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  18. mortified to see that I pressed the button before correcting my spelling of Duchaufour. Not relly an ignoramous and still want to be in the draw!!

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  19. Kostas, I'm also a fan of tobacco notes so I'm happy there's a modest surge in their fashion.

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  20. Karin, it's great to see brands give their chance to younger perfumers. Violaine Collas -- like, for some reason, all the women perfumers at Mane -- is a very attractive lady who's got a thing for leather, in clothing and in notes...

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  21. Kathryn, I fell in love with Anima Dulcis as well. So much in fact that I've been putting off my write-up of my meeting with Carlos Huber until I feel I can measure up to my impressions!

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  22. Fragrantfoodie, I really like the Diptyque, and of course the Lutens has got us all on tenterhooks...

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  23. Melisand, I'm waiting for the fruitchouli wave to be over in the mainstream even more impatiently!

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  24. Carole, apart from the perfume events, my life is pretty studios, but I agree, it's fantastic to be able to get all these sneak previews...

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  25. d3m0lici0n, alas, there's always some reason to add to the collection... If only we were six-armed like Kali!

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  26. Marla, I'll go for the gardenias as soon as they're under my nose, mid-September. Let's hope summer holds out here in Paris, today's looling pretty fall-ish...

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  27. StyleSpy, I love the Arquistes as well. I find three of them (if not four) full bottle worthy.

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  28. Jarvis, mea culpa, forgot to mention Mito. I've had a tiny sample of it for months, and find it very beautiful. Need to add it ASAP to the list of upcoming reviews.

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  29. Ela, most new mainstream products have failed to move me. The Cartier definitely has a lot of character. I really love the edt version of Baiser Volé as well, I find it better than the edp.

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  30. Ines, so happy you thought Séville à l'aube was full bottle worthy...
    The SL gardenia will have to wait until the presentation on Sept. 11 (then of course thorough testing)...

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  31. Cheesegan, as soon as I get larger samples I'll be taking notes, I found them interesting but I only own a couple of drops of each.

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  32. Iodine, it's a pity I won't be able to visit Annick Le Guérer's exhibition, I've heard it's very good. And so glad you bought Séville à l'aube!

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  33. Marte, I don't want to reveal too much about the Parfum d'Empire, waiting for the green light to announce the theme. I haven't even smelled the very last version yet!

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  34. Maureen, Azemour is well worth saving up for. I have a bottle and gave another to my mother, it's one of the loveliest launches of last year. Marc-Antoine's perfumes have true character and emotion, as do Bertrand's.

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  35. Maria Ho, phew, I was wondering why no one had brought up the H&G. It's a fascinating house, truly original.

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  36. Maureen, lots of people misspell "Duchaufour" -- for some reason it's one of those names that just don't compute for non-French speakers. I know how that feels: Beaulieu is tricky to write and pronounce as well.

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  37. Well, as I am currently delving into the wonder of jazz and Billie Holiday in particular, a gardenia is just what I'm looking for! Knowing the difficulty in creating a perfume around it, I'm very excited to see what Lutens can do! And I must admit a yearning to listen to Fine and Mellow while drenched in the soul of a gardenia...And as a fan of animalic notes to the max, that Parfum d'Empire perfume had me perking up my ears big time!

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  38. Jared, how timely then! And since the bell jars are now available at Barney's NY, it'll be so much easier to get them for US aficionados -- no need to beg a friend going to Paris to bring one back!

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  39. Tobacco is one of my favourite real-life smells. My boyfriend rolls his own cigarettes, and I love to sniff his freshly opened pouches of Drum tobacco. I don't have much experience yet with tobacco-themed perfumes, but I've been planning to gather some samples to explore during the fall. The new Diptyque sounds wonderful!

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  40. Cj, I love tobacco notes as well. If you've smelled the limited-edition Narcisse at L'Artisan Parfumeur, you'll have gotten that distinctive "fresh-cigar" note... Volutes is more on the honeyed, pipe-tobacco side though they also did a headspace study of Egyptian cigarettes if I remember correctly.

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  41. Given such a wealth of goodies, this one has definitely piqued my interest:

    "Dangerous Complicity, by the young Mane perfumer Violaine Collas, a powdery osmanthus-patchouli suede".

    So much to look forward to!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

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  42. Anna, as I think I said above, I'm waiting to have more than a couple of drops to give Dangerous Complicity more than a sniff... it's interesting because I got to smell a few mods while it was being developed.

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  43. The only things on your list that I'm NOT particulary interested in are the ones by Duchaufour (sadly, I'm yet to find a Duchaufour-creation that I'd really like and I'm a bit tired of trying...) and By Terry. All of the others I certainly want to try out. I'm looking forward to your piece on Arquiste and the interview with Carlos the most. Prioritizing only one from these upcoming fragrances, I'd say go with Djhenné first!

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  44. A new Humiecki & Graef always has me interested! I hadn't heard about this release, and it sounds great: I really like the idea of a minty lavender with paper/parchment drydown. Les Christophes never bore me, in any case. Looking forward to your review of this one...

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  45. Mikael, there are more than enough interesting fragrances out there not to force yourself to like a particular perfumer's style: I know there a few widely-admired ones I'll never click with! I really must get down and do that Arquiste write-up, and certainly anything Pierre Guillaume does is worth investigating (though he's been so prolific I'll never get round to it)!

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  46. Erin T, Candour was presented at Esxence in Milan but I haven't seen too many mentions either since it's meant to come out this fall... Les Christoph's scents are certainly always intriguing. This one, H&G co-owner Tobias told me, really needs to be tested on skin, not a blotter, and it's pretty powerful so not the stuff you can test on one arm with another scent on the other. I know. I've tried.

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  47. I am also proud owner of Séville à l'aube, got it from Harrods recently. And what do you think about new Huiteme Art's perfume? And more Duchaufour's fragrances?! Can not wait!

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  48. Pete, fantastic, I didn't know Séville à l'aube was sold at Harrod's too... I'm afraid I haven't kept up with the latest 8ème art. Pierre Guillaume just keeps churnin'em out, doesn't he?

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  49. All of these sound intriguing, so I hope you will eventually review them all! However, the Serge Lutens is the one I would like to hear about first. Ariane

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  50. I'm always interested in how gardenia is portrayed, so both the Lutens and the Arquiste covers are on my list. Terrific review!
    TaffyJ

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  51. I love Pd'E Cuir Ottoman, so both of Marc-Antoine Corticchiato's new perfumes are high on my list. Everything by Duchaufour, of course. I also love several Diptyques, I'll sample Volutes, and I agree with you on Arquiste, as well. It's going to be busy fall for the nose! ~~nozknoz

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  52. I'm very excited about these releases. Thanks for the heads up!

    I've been nervous and excited by the Lutens gardenia for some time. ( Nervous, because most gardenias aren't gardenias. ) Why has Serge been so mute so close to release time? Vitriol disappointed me, but Bas de Soie has recently turned into a favorite, so a Lutens floral is still something worth waiting for.

    ( As a complete aside: I'd be curious as to how you feel about Tubereuse Criminelle's export reformulation, as I know you are a long-time lover of this one too. )

    Arquiste I haven't tried at all, nor the Monegals that get so much attention. Sometimes I think "Not enough days; not enough skin!" ( Not enough money is kind of a given... )

    Diptyque seems busy lately, but what I've smelled from them has been quality. I'm overjoyed they've brought back my old favorite, L'Eau Trois.

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  53. Ariane, I'll probably be writing about a couple of others before that since the Lutens will be presented to the press on the 11th...

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  54. TaffyJ, it's so frustrating both the gardenias are on top of many people's lists yet aren't available yet to the press... The Arquiste I'll get to later in September, I hope, after Pitti Fragranze.

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  55. Nozknoz, I'm already panicking a bit when I realize that not only do I have a huge backlog, but that more are sure to come my way!

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  56. Sugandaraja,
    1) I'm very curious too about the gardenia, obviously. As for M. Lutens' silence, well... the PR is no longer in-house, so there may be a different way of proceeding. His former right-hand person for this used to contact me beforehand. Waiting to see how the new agency handles things.

    2)Haven't smelled Tubéreuse Criminelle in the rectangular bottle, so can't say.

    3) Arquiste is really worth trying. Haven't moved on to the Monegals, not sure they're available in Paris and the company hasn't sent me any info, so I'll get in touch with them in Florence at Pitti.

    4) I like the direction Diptyque is taking as well. L'Ombre dans l'eau in the edp is prety spectacular!


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  57. Normally I would say the new Lutens since I am a very big fan of many of SL's perfumes, but I have to say your description of the cognac/cigar/mojito accords of Speakeasy have me very interested. I'm a big fan of tobacco/boozy scents. Your descriptions of all the new scents are fabulous and I've added quite a few of them to me "must try" list, including the new Diptyque.

    Lynne Marie

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  58. Have to say I'm most excited about the Arquiste and Lutens. Gardenia ahoy! Runner up to both the ELOs.

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  59. The Afternoon of a Faun sounds very interesting and the Lutens and Arquiste as well! I also read yesterday that Puredistance is releasing a new scent and as Puredistance I is a favorite I relly look forward to trying it.

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  60. I love the sound of both Djhenné and Volutes.

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  61. A lot of these sound good actually. Is the oud crazy finally over?! I'm a tobacco lover, please enter me in the draw.

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  62. Lynne Marie, I'm glad to have inspired you! I love tobacco/boozy scents as well.

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  63. Susan, gardenia is certainly getting lots of people fired up. I'm still hoarding Tom Ford's discontinued one, but I'd certainly enjoy a less feral version.

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  64. Eva S, I've only got tiny samples of the three Pure Distance scents, I agree they're very good.

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  65. Deb Ulition, haven't teste Djhenné yet, it's next on the "skin" list!

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  66. Elisa, there do seem to be less oud-themed launches. Chopard is doing one by Dominique Ropion, very well-made, but I believe it's just a Middle-East export.

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  67. I am looking forward to all new SL creations. Alica - alica at cleis dot net

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  68. The green chypre for Ann Gérard would be interesting to know more about once it is released

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  69. You may want to start hoarding your bell jar juice for Tubereuse Criminelle. The reformulation is a bit disturbing, I must say.

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  70. Ingeborg, I'll be doing a draw for a sample set, kindly offered by Ann Gérard, so be sure to check in.

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  71. Sugandaraja, I no longer own a bell jar (emptied a couple back in the day), just a decant... I've kind of given up on tracking reformulations, it's hopeless, so I'm getting pretty philosophical about it.

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  72. I'm eagerly waiting for the Lutens. I'm a die hard fan of gardenia, and always in the hunt for a scent that captures this intoxicating, narcoting blossom. My two favorites are TF Velvet gardenia and YR Gardenia, both discontinued of course, because you can bet if it's a Holy Grail of mine IT WILL get discontinued

    I'm already daydreaming at the thought of a literally intoxicating gardenia.

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  73. Yoca, odd, isn't it, that the best gardenias (your faves are mine) have both gotten discontinued. Perhaps it's a very divisive note, with just a few die-hard fans, so not commercially successful? Let's hope the two new ones coming up fulfill our cravings.

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  74. the Lutens, of course
    and Mito...
    thanks for the draw

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  75. Anonymous, it would be better if you signed with a pseudo, less confusing for the draw?

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  76. I'd love to try ELO's Afternoon of a Faun, Frapin's Speakeasy, Parfum d'Empire's animalic creation, PG's Djhenne, Dyptique's Volutes, H&G's Candor, the new chypre by TDC, and and and..... Thanks for the draw!

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  77. D, do you remember Aramis Havana? I'm not sure if it's still around in its original formulation but I remember it was all the rage when it came out with a monster tobacco sillage. It reminded me strongly of the then working tobacco factories of my city. I think I'll seek it out to refresh my memory.

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  78. Kostas, I remember Aramis Havana, but now that you mention it I can't seem to remember seeing the brand at all in French stores.

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  79. Smallbrownhound3 septembre 2012 15:03

    I'm almost quivering with anticipation at the sound of the Etat Faun and the Speakeasy. At first glance they seem to have my name written all over them. Sadly, so very few actually deliver in the flesh on my ridiculously temperamental skin. One of the few fragrances that my skin and my heart agree on is Frapin's Caravelle Epicee, so I'm hoping this bodes well. Chomping at the bit now to find out what you think of them.

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  80. Smallbrownhound, isn't a persnickety skin annoying? I used to live with a redhead who did things to chypres you wouldn't do to a dog (now why would anyone be mean to a dog, I wonder)...

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