Thursday, May 26, 2016

Best-selling Fragrances in France & Worldwide: First Half of 2016

"Familiarity breeds contempt" goes an old saying, but in what has to do with fragrance it looks like what people are choosing to wear (and buy for gifts) depends quite a bit on familiarity, both in terms of known and well-liked accords, as well as compositions which have received positive feedback. This is the real reason behind perfume best-sellers, I'm sure, and this is why I have dedicated a specific corner of the Perfume Shrine project to these best-selling perfumes lists (more of which you can see per country and per year on the right hand column of this blog).

For the first half of 2016 the situation is without great ripples, cementing the thought that the mainstream division is going ahead on what is essentially the cajoling of a sweet tooth and of a steady, somewhat sterile, notion of masculinity. Without further ado, here are the results.

For women:
La Vie Est Belle by Lancome is the top best-selling perfume in Europe, as well as the third best-selling globally, behind Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel and J'Adore by Christian Dior. [Compare and contrast with perfume best-sellers in France for 2015 on this link].

It's interesting to note that according to the social media barometer NetBase the French are especially responsive to the brands of Christian Dior, Adidas and Chanel, so this result accounts for more than bargained for.

For men:
Bleu de Chanel is the best-selling global performer in masculine fragrances, behind Acqua di Gio by Armani (surely a case study for its sheer duration) and One Million by Paco Rabanne. [For French results of previous years, please see this list]

The results are officially based on data publicized by L'Oreal and LVMH, first and second respectively in placement for sheer volume of luxe feminine fragrance products. (L'Oreal still holds the first place in masculine scented products volume globally).

Still the big conglomerate companies are the first to admit that without the spectacular rise in niche fragrances, many of which they're acquiring, the perfume sector would be doomed to a decline that mainstream sales wouldn't quite make up for it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Face of Chanel No.5 Perfume is Lily Rose Depp

The news came from the famous offspring of Johnny Depp and Vanesa Paradis herself, via her Instagram where she was seen kissing off a huge dummy bottle (that's a factice, guys) of Chanel No.5, and the industry's bible, WWD.
History re-writing itself, as Vanessa Paradis, Lily Rose Depp's mother, had been the face of Coco by Chanel perfume two decades ago and counting, trapped within a bird's cage.

pic of Lily Rose Depp from i-D 

Seeing as we had announced the upcoming Chanel No.5 L'Eau fragrance a while ago with the tag line "meant to appeal to millenials" (and the sneaking suspicion its face will be Kristen Stewart who has signed with Chanel already), it seems that Chanel is embracing this demographic tighter than generally anticipated for. But then Chanel did almost the same thing during the early 1980s when Karl Lagerfeld essentially took a dying house and injected it with youth.

The good thing is that with Lily Rose Depp being quite inquisitive about her own sexual direction and open about it, this is a rather good chance for mainstream media and pop culture to delve a little deeper into how we define such fluid terms as femininity. I know it's a little hip, even in academic circles, but all the same it might serve as the nudge that would shift the scales off balance in how we envision fragrance; a gender bender fragrance opportunity in what is ultimately both a means of identity and of a calling card.

Parthian shot: Is it my own perverted mind who sees the bondage link between the two?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Berdoues Cologne Grand Cru "Scorza di Sicilia": fragrance review

Maison Berdoues is well known for their classic violet fragrance, Violettes de Toulouse, as de rigeur retro as a finicky collector would demand of their collection. But modernization, and Scorza di Sicilia is part of that project, is the name of the game for an old company to survive the times. Berdoues have been busy producing a collection of colognes, called grand cru to reflect wine phraseology, in order to catch the attention of the niche buying perfume lovers with an eye to heritage.


There's a dearth of fragrance reviews in the year that has been put between the original release of the grand cru colognes, 2015, and today, so I took it upon myself to write some on them having tested the line in detail recently. And so I'm beginning with Scorza di Sicilia, i.e. Sicilian rind. 

Contrary to the gorgeous sliced citruses painted on the columnar bottles (truly nice in person as well as in the photos) Scorza di Sicilia is not about citrus per se, even though the citrus is perceptible throughout. In fact the scent's character is quite floral indeed, taking lily of the valley as the sharp floral note that assembles the references that an Italian summer fragrance would normally evoke: the sun, the breeze, the lightness, the clarity...We all need a slice of sunshine in our lives, don't we.

Lily of the valley with its sharpness, clean aspect and green underpinning can act as an effortless bond between the bergamot top note (a Calabrian, if not Sicilian, reference) and the grassy-woody coolness of the vetiver of the base. I suspect white musk makes for the same cohesive glue, giving Maison Berdoues Scorza di Sicilia the starched, fresh aura that makes it so very amenable to a hot day somewhere where the houses are white-washed and the roofs tiled rather than thatched.

A note on terminology: Though "cologne" might evoke either short lasting power (and citruses are notorious for that) or a masculine effect I assure you that neither is applicable in this case. It's a rather decent eau de toilette duration scent that could be worn by either men or women in warm weather (I suspect it'd get drowned in the cold).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Viktoria Minya Hedonist Cassis: fragrance review

The fallen berries that get smashed and mushed underfoot reflect something of the realization of so much waste around us that even useful, succulent things fall to their unintentional demise through a drive that obeys cosmic rules; gravity, fall, squish. Hedonist Cassis by young but talented perfumer Viktoria Minya is certainly not wasteful, bring the tang of blackcurrant and grapefruit into the core chord of Hedonist, her original creation, making for an intense experience that recalls gathering berries in the countryside waiting for mr.Fox.

hello mr.fox on flickr, via Pinterest

Viktoria Minya has indulged her original composition with a cluster of variations, each highlighting a separate ingredient, Iris, Rose, and Cassis. The latest, Hedonist Cassis, possibly comes in the most attractive bottle, purple-ish with a touch of the late Prince, if you will.

Berry fragrances probably owe their heritage to the cult best-seller by L'Artisan Parfumeur, the original "berry" which spawned a hundred offspring over the decades since its inception.
The composition here however reminds me much more of the appeal of Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again (a combo of grapefruit and blackcurrant) by perfumer Jean Claude Ellena and doesn't fail to make me smile. The rose note is reminiscent of the chord in L'Ombre dans l'Eau by Diptyque; if like me you tend to shy away from overly prim, Jane Austen roses, and appreciate instead the tang that blackcurrants give to the above mentioned Diptyque fragrance, then Hedonist Cassis is sure to hit you with the epiphany of "oh, there's rose in it". Yes, but oh so delicious.

I am reminded of inconsequential things that have to do with late summer: the droning sound of the bees, the lazy contours of the calamus in the distance, the gentle softening of the sky as dusk sets in lilac hues; refreshing juice full of sour and sweet citruses served on the balcony and the canopy shading the rays while we're reading L'Education Sentimentale, the heroes leaping off the page in their game of social graces, platonic loves and carnal disgraces; freckles slowly forming on a long hellenic nose and lashes prettily faning on a smooth cheek, the comfortable silence of well trodden territory.

Extraordinary lasting power in Heodnist Cassis is an added bonus. For those of you who love a tart synthesis with great balance between sweet and sour and a stonking beat of lasting musky-wood this is your fruity floral pick for summer wear.

Fragrance Notes for Viktoria Minya Hedonist Cassis:
Top notes are black currant, grapefruit and rhubarb;
middle notes are bulgarian rose, grass and cassis;
base notes are cedar and musk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Scent of Spring : A Collection of Top Spring Perfume Lists, Spring Images & Facts about Spring Fragrances

Mar 13, 2015 ... However I have composed a few articles of pertinent nature, which might come useful for those of you in search of new spring fragrances, for a ...
Apr 3, 2014 ... Among fragrance families, only "green" scents are classified through a visual connotation, specifically a color coding. You could argue that ...

Apr 5, 2012 ... Spring Floral Fragrances: Delicate Beauties Yielding Under Your Caress. Legend wants it that the goddess Flora created violets out of the body ...

Jan 25, 2016 ... In an effort of some welcome diversion of spring-time thoughts, before any floral prints ...Spring Floral Fragrances: Delicate Beauties Yielding .
Apr 16, 2010 ... So my personal Top Spring Scents for this spring (fragrances I am wearing with much gusto and utter glee) are: Amaranthine Penhaligon's ...
Jun 26, 2012 ... In perfume terms, that means your signature scent might be a little too .... I wore Une Fleur de Chanel for my spring 2000 wedding, and it fit ...
Apr 22, 2011 ... The awakening of spring, which sheds its pagan archetypes shining upon everything, is walking hand in hand with the tradition of a pious ...
Apr 15, 2011 ... (as reported by Beatrice de Gea in The Wall Street Journal) "When spring arrives, women may want to tone down perfumes so they aren't ...

Mar 4, 2008 ... Where I live spring has already come and it's raining sunray upon ... Under the smart recommendation of Vidabo/Lou from Perfume of Life, I am ...

Mar 15, 2009 ... Spring is univocally here as you can see and my mind wanders on avenues of floral and greenfragrances that like a breath of optimism ...
Apr 1, 2013 ... Interview with Dr. Joachim Mensing, Fragrance Psychologist: How we Choose Fragrance andSpring Perfume Moods. “Fragrance and ...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin