Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guerlain L'Homme Ideal review

Where is the magnificience of Homme and Intense?

Guerlain L'Homme Ideal
When there is something about Guerlain I approach it with utmost care because of my affection towards the house and I always expect their maximum in every creation. Well, we need to admit it, since LVMH took over the charge, some of their fragrances became very mainstream. Is that the case with this one?

L'Homme Ideal is Guerlain's newest masculine that was placed on market month and a half ago, but only on the French market to start with. Let me remind you of the Homme's timeline with a little story. One month ago I organized a perfume exposition and conference on the theme; "Perfume throughout history. Perfume as a culture. Perfume in the future" and my guests were Jan Ewoud Vos from Puredistance and the Madame Syvlaine Delacourte, creative director and development director of Guerlain Paris. It was a massive honor to have them as my guests on the perfume event. Later on, I spoke with Mdm. Delacourte about Guerlain Homme. Before Homme was launched, she was having a vacation on Cuba and she was drinking Mojito cocktail on the sandy beach. While she was drinking the cocktail, she realised that Mojito accord doesn't exist in perfumery yet and that it should be transformed into a perfume. Guerlain Homme came out in 2008 and it brought Mojito freshness and it became my favorite perfume. After several Homme releases, it was time for a new perfume.

Mdm. Delacourte was in charge of this one as well and it is important to say that this is supposed to be completely new perfume, not connected to Homme line. During the lunch we were having, I told to her "this is not so good" and "comparing to Homme, this is just a shadow". Luckily, there were no consequences. She explained to me that this is a new type of scent Gurlain is introducing and that is completely true - you didn't have the opportunity to smell something like this within the Guerlain range. There is no freshness since it is not connected to Homme range but there is no originality Homme had. L'Homme ideal is the perfume of bubbly sweetness and unmature woody notes. However, ingredients are of high quality and they are projecting good scent but that is just not that. Blackcurrant sweetness with almonds is not something of Guerlain's calibre. There is no beautiful vetiver but rather imitation of leather mixed with aromatic flowers. Furthemore, with its smell, resembles 1 Million by Paco Rabanne. I see L'Homme Ideal as the direct competitor 1 Million. The targeted group and perfume characteristics are the same and they belong to the same type. There is no wonder that LVMH group wants to challenge Antonio Puig's winner 1 Million because in the last 5 years it is the most sold masculine perfume with the income of 33$ millions! That is not all, 1 Million is the most sold perfume on the French market, on the home ground of Guerlain. I despise 1 Million but one thing I admit - it changed the way how modern generation of young men smell like. Unfortunately, L'Homme Ideal is on the same direction as Paco Rabanne, sweet woods and lots of aromatic notes, not good enough for Guerlain.   

Juraj, BL'eauOG
Impression: Poor
Type: Aromatic - woody
Main notes: Almonds, leather, cedar wood
Note: Perfume for young generations that like 1 Million

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Amouage Journey Man review

In the world of hasish and spices...


Amouage Journey Man

Recent releases by Amouage raised lots of comments and dust. Last year's Fate duo was really nice intro to this year's Journey Man and Woman. While I was reading reviews of my fellow colleagues and listening to the comments of my friends and perfume afficionados, I started to think about Amouage Journey Man. Is its popularity justified? While I was reading the text of a very good writer, Mark Behnke, the writer of Colognoisseur, in his review I found something I didn't know about this perfume and it is better to quote it than to tell the story by myself. It is a short inspiration of Mr. Chong, the creative mind behind the Amouage. "Mr. Chong was inspired by Shanghai Deco and Chinese film noir. The common thread to both of these is a weaving of distinctly western elements into an eastern undertaking. During the 1920’s and 30’s there were many striking examples of art deco buildings erected in Shanghai. This is the theme of Journey Woman and Man the meshing of distinct western influences like noir and deco with a Chinese aesthetic to create something wholly unique. The perfumers Mr. Chong chose to help him bring this to life are Alberto Morillas and Pierre Negrin." (Mark Behnke, Colognoisseur )

What Mark said and by which Mr. Chong was influenced, has massive history. Shanghai became the most 'westernized' city in China and it was under the influence of Europeans and Americans. European architects were in charge of the constructions, but history is not in the spotlight here. Amouage Journey has the same inspiration as Chanel's Coromandel and I need to say that Chanel's interpretation of art deco in the Far East is a bit more original and authentic. For the harbour of Shanghai, cardamon was of extreme importance and it has a really nice note in this perfume - it gives the sweetness all the time but especially in dry down. Journey Man is composition around warm woods, spices and one note in particular nobody is talking about. I think that even Bob Marley wouldn't be ashamed of the notes in opening and heart of the perfume - it is hasish. It is the one you can find in peculiar smell of L'Interdit Parfum. I saw that there is no fragrance writer mentioning it, only in the form of tobacco, but this is much more than tobacco. Don't get me wrong, it is very beautiful and sophisticated because beneath are lingering warm woods, geraniol, cardamon and sweet spices forming a hasish-spicy bomb, a bit sour and wooden. Something similar you can find in Nasomatto Black Afghano, in the term of atmosphere, only more hard-core. Later on, Journey Man becomes softer, sweet spicy and warm woody. It is a mixture of sandalwood (Pashimiol by Givaudan maybe?) cypriol, very beautiful tonka been and leather. All together combine the warm, animal and sensual feeling the oud provides like in LM Parfums Black Oud.

Journey Man has depth and woodiness to provide a good quality feeling but because of the whole Amouage line, I would say - skip it because there are more beter Amouages and you can find the same theme better made. However, it is a good perfume with gentleman's attitude. 

Juraj, BL'eauOG

Impression: Good - mediocre
Type: Oriental (woody)
Main notes: Tobacco - hasish, cardamon, tonka, geraniol, warm woods
Note: Hasish in the opening, oud-ish feeling in the dry down 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Comme des Garcons Wonderoud review

Getting oud, sandalwood and vetiver together

Maybe a different oud-based scent? This is one of the latest additions to the family of ouds in perfumery range. Comme des Garcons is always so energic with their creations, just like the 2Cellos on their performances (especially live shows). Wonderwood was a deal breaker for me because I think it was released in the dawn of "woody mania" and it contains a significant amount of synthetic oud. Wonderoud is oud-y interpretation of Wonderwood. Oud became so massive mega-hit that there are no words to describe its popularity. It is as popular as were pin-up girls in the golden era in Hollywood, every perfume brand now prostitutes it. Don't be mistaken, most of them are using synthetic oud oils because in reality that wood needs a special treatment and it is endangered because of smuglers who sell it on black market. Comme des Garcons states that they used natural oud oil obtained from the sustainable sources. Following their logic of how they create fashion and scents in general, I would say that they are brave.

Mainstream line indeed starts to be mainstream. As I said, Wonderoud follows the logic of Wonderwood which is really good perfume. Wonderoud is its variation concentred around oud with few other materials. Opening is a bit edgy and sharp with very dry notes like the ones you can find in a dry red wine until it becomes just a bit softer. The main notes throughout this composition are cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, oud and patchouly. There is nothing inside one lover of dry woody perfumes will not love. Let me just say that there is new kind of sandalwood invented by Givaudan, called Pashimiol. The composition of perfumer Antoine Maisondieu is centered around beautiful dry woods and earthy-mineral tones. There is one very subtle and impeccable note - that is Haitian vetiver. It is very, very beautiful in this composition because it gives mineral tones that resemble the earthy and very natural feeling. Patchouli is in there all the time giving its herbal and green smell. Of course, beyond all of the notes is very warm and animal oud scent. 

I am sure in one thing - if this composition was released earlier, before market started to bomb us with ouds every now and then, we would have appreciated Wonderoud a lot. The composition is similar to already known oud scents and the only difference between them and this one is that Wonderoud has slightly more natural smell, it is more deep, more intoxicating. Even though you will not smell anything new, I recommend to every oud afficionado to try it because it may substitute or upgrade something within your private collection. There is also one more thing, its power is not spreading around without control. It is soft on the skin and it is present in the air as much as it is necessary. Give it a try, especially if you do not have oud yet in your collection.

Juraj, BL'eauOG

Impression: Ordinary and usual
Main notes: Sandalwood, oud, patchouli, vetiver
Note: Very beautiful vetiver in the dry down  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Kreativna direktorica Guerlaina u Zagrebu!

Kako se parfemsko događanje u Zagrebu približava, vrijeme je da Vam otkrijem svoju prvu gošću, ni manje ni više, nego kreativnu direktoricu Guerlain Paris već punih 25 godina...
Kreativna direktorica Guerlaina, Madame Sylvaine Delacourte
Nadolazeći parfemski događaj koji sam organizrao je ujedno i moj najveći uspjeh do sada. 21.6. će u 12h, u prostorijama Francuskog Instituta okupiti nekoliko uzvanika iz parfemskog svijeta, među kojima je najvažnije ime zasigurno ono od Madame Sylvaine Delacourte. Sylvaine je kreativna direktorica Guerlaina punih 25 godina te je u Guerlainu započela svoju karijeru za vrijeme dinastije Jean Paul Guerlaina, ujedno i zadnjeg Guerlaina prije preuzimanja od strane LVMH korporacije. Madame Delacurte je ujedno i jedina žena koja je sudjelovala u procesu stvaranja parfema unutar Guerlaina ikada, a njezine kreacije su L'Instant, Insolence, Habit Rouge Eau de Parfum te posebna ekskluzivna linija parfema koja se ne može naći van Francuske - l'Art et la Matière. 
Tokom karijere je surađivala s raznim parfumerima - Francis Kurkdjian (Gaultier Le Male), Maurice Roucel (Musc Ravageur) te Thierry Wasser (in-house Guerlain parfumer). Najvažnija osoba joj je u karijeri bila posljednja iz Guerlainova loze - Jean Paul Guerlain koji ju je izučio tajnama parfumerije i u čije su vrijeme zajedno izbacili remek-djela parfemske industrije (Samsara). Za ovu priliku, Guerlain je ustupio ekskluzivan video materijal koji prikazuje proces stvaranja parfema koji je često nedostupan široj javnosti.

Nadam se da Vam se sviđa moj prvi gost na parfemskoj konferenciji. Njen dolazak mi je velika čast i iznimno sam zahvalan na tome. Također, uz Delacourte, možete očekivati još dvoje posebnih gostiju na događanju! Važno je napomenuti kako će ulaz biti limitiran te je nužno da se javite na donji email!

Organizator i Vaš,

Juraj Sotošek Rihtarec

Francuski Institut
21.6.2014. u 12h
Preradovićeva 5
10 000 Zagreb


Friday, June 6, 2014

Parfem kroz povijest i kulturu - Zagreb 21/06/2014

Dragi čitaoci, prijatelji, poznanici, kolege, neopisivmo mi je zadovoljstvo da Vam predstavim svoj mali projekt u Zagrebu, 21/06/2014...
Zagreb 21/06/2014
Dragi moji čitaoci,
Prilično sam sretan dok ovo pišem jer to znači da sam finalizirao svoj projekt koji sam pripremao oko 2 mjeseca. Imam zadovoljstvo da Vam tokom jednog događanja predstavim 3 različita aspekta parfema; povijest - kako je nastao parfem, kako su tekli prvi počeci od kožarske galanterije koja se impregnirala mirisom pa do nastanka pravog parfema u tom smislu riječi, kultura - kako se parfem uzdignuo na razinu kulture i kako ga civilizacijski shvaćamo te na kraju, budućnost - kako će parfem izgledati u budućnosti.
Za sada Vam mogu reći da mi je gošća jedna od najmoćnijih žena unutar parfemskog svijeta, a radi za LVMH korporaciju već punih 25 godina. Također, ona je sudjelovala u reformulacijama najznačajnijih parfema koje mi pamtimo. Uz to, bit će prezentirana parfemksa kolekcija koja se ne može naći van Pariza, a Guerlain je ustupio ekskluzivni video materijal koji prikazuje proces nastanka parfema. Tu su još 2 posebna gosta koji će uveličati ovo parfemsko događanje svojom prisutnošću. Vrlo uskoro Vam otkrivam tko su gosti i koja parfemska kolekcija dolazi u Zagreb!
Juraj, BL'eauOG

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rules of a gentleman - Henry Newman

How to be a gentleman?
How to be a gentleman? There are books written in order to give the answer – guides, through blogs and popular magazines. Is there universal unification of rules or standards the one should obey in order to become one? That is why I am leaving you to read the untouched writing by Henry Newman, a scholar who did couple of writings about philosophy and education. In his writings about the University, he gave a speech how the one should follow the most virtuous path in life. I found his words very comprehensive, complex and accurate. Those are the reasons I will not change what he wrote about the manners.
Soon enough, I will make my own scented guide for the ultimate “gentleman perfumes” and therefore, I am leaving you with this introduction paper into the topic to enjoy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

LM Parfums Ultimate Seduction - the cult of beauty and seduction

The cult of beauty used gold resins to anoint body
Laurent Mazzone Parfums Ultimate Seduction
They started humble but Laurent Mazzone Parfums developed into big and leading niche perfume brand. They are spoiling us each year, better to say, each season with something new. The newest edition is extract of perfume - Ultimate Seduction. The perfume that is very modern and very "different" than the rest of the LM perfume line. Yet, Ultimate Seduction has the opulence and the heart traditional to that house.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nouveau parfum de LM Parfums - Ultimate Seduction, le printemps est pour une séduction

Le printemps est pour une séduction
LM Parfums Ultimate Seduction
LM Parfums a fait une surprise pour le printemps 2014. La dernière année la surprise a été Chemise Blanche, un parfum très lumineux avec des notes d’iris, de blanches fleurs et du musc sublime. Ce printemps, la surprise est Ultimate Seduction ! Un parfum très intrigant et avec l’atmosphère noir. Le fondateur de brand LM est Laurent Mazzone qui est déterminé de faire un nouveau Extrait de Parfum. Extraits des Parfums de LM ont 20% des huiles essentiels et ils sont très fort et opulent. Par exemple, Hard Leather (Extrait de Parfum) a le sillage très fort. Cette fois, l’inspiration d’Ultimate Seduction est de la folie,  de l’obsession, de la passion, de la séduction et des émotions qui sont relient avec la passion. Il sera présenté à la fin d’avril ! Nous l’attendons Laurent !
LM Parfums made a surprise for the spring 2014. The last year’s surprise was Chemise Blanche, very luminous perfume with the notes of iris, white flowers and sublime musk. This spring, the surprise is Ultimate Seduction! For now, it is very intriguing perfume with the noir atmosphere. The founder of the brand LM is Laurent Mazzone who is determined to do the new Extrait de Parfum. Extraits of Parfums of LM are around 20% of essential oils and they are very strong and opulent. For example, Hard Leather (Extrait de Parfume) has enormous sillage. This time, the inspiration for Ultimate Seduction was insanity, obsession, passion and all the emotions connected to the passion. It will be presented by the end of April.
Juraj, BL'eauOG

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ramón Monegal: Dubai Next To Me - review of Monegal's bespoke perfume

Welcome to the voyage to Arabia
Ramón Monegal Dubai Next To Me

Ramón Monegal line is consisted of many wonderful perfumes, but there is none similar to this one. This is completely new scent creation within Monegal line of perfumes and the perfume brings oriental atmosphere. It is the opportunity to smell extremely natural saffron note which is one of the most expensive essence material. It also has the sweetness traditional to oriental perfumes making it opulent and a bit decadent.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New perfume by Parfumerie Générale Grand Siècle Intense 7.1

Grand Siècle Intense with 20% of powdery freshness
Grand Siècle Intense 7.1
As being a declared fan of Pierre Guillaume, I watch closely what he does. This time he announced hesperidic/aromatic/woody/ambery/powdery perfume with 20% of essentials. He interprets bitter hesperidic accord from the Cologne Grand Siècle to the more concentrated version. It means that the perfume will be more opulent but maybe even more powdery. EDP structure offers wide range of maneuvers and usually those kinds of perfumes are more "rounded" as a whole. The perfume attracted me because it can be considered as a part of new aesthetic movement which started with Dior and their powdery accord. Probably unconsciously iris/hesperidic/powdery accord started to emerge since early 2000s as dominant aesthetics. Knowing Pierre this will be a brilliant vision - hopefully. After all, the picture represents king's Louis XIV Sun. Only the perfect perfumes were the part of his "perfumed court". "In the top notes, the citrus mosaic is dominated by the essence of bitter orange and lemon tree leaves, boosted with aromatic cypress and mint for added strength and diffusiveness. Tobacco absolute and new mown hay subtly warm the heart of the fragrance, bolstered by woody base notes of patchouli and vetiver, slightly tinged with honey and oak moss." There is no fresh perfume within PG line that is consisted of 20%, only Hyperessence Matale has 30% and those 30% are mostly green tones. We will see how he will pull out citrus/powdery fresh tones, simply can't wait!

Citrusy notes: Bergamot Bitter, Orange, Lemon leaves
Aromatic notes: Mint, Cypress
Woody notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss absolute
Ambery tones: Tobacco absolute, Hay cutting,
Powdery: Honey
Juraj, BL'eauOG