Discount Diamonds: Ungaro III- Polge by the Numbers

There is no greater pleasure than to find a low price perfume by a perfumer who is more known for their higher priced works. During the 1990’s when Jacques Polge was at the height of his creativity for Chanel especially on the masculine side Chanel would allow him to make a perfume for a few other designers. He would make a masculine and feminine for jewelers Tiffany. He would also make two for Ungaro, both masculine. The only one of those still being produced is Ungaro III and it is easily found for around $25.

jacques polge

Jacques Polge

From 1987-1993 M. Polge composed what I consider to be four of the best men’s fragrances ever. Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree, Tiffany for Men, Chanel Egoiste, and Chanel Egoiste Platinum. You won’t find any of those in the discount bin. The reason you will find Ungaro III in the discount bin is because the Ungaro Pour L’Homme and Ungaro II have been discontinued. Leaving this to languish in obscurity.

When M. Polge got around to Ungaro III he was really ready to form a bit of a pastiche of those previous four classic perfumes. There are callbacks to all of them as I suspect M. Polge worked off of some of the discarded mods from the development of the more well-known ones.

ungaro 3

Ungaro III opens with lemon, petitgrain, and lavender. This is like a mix of Pour Monsieur Concentree and Egoiste Platinum. The heart is geranium, clary sage, rose, and clove. Again components of Tiffany for Men and Egoiste are present. The base is sandalwood, vetiver, and oakmoss. The sandalwood is Egoiste and Tiffany. The vetiver is Pour Monsieur and Egoiste Platinum.

Ungaro III has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.

This might sound like perfumery by the numbers and it certainly is. But it is perfumery by numbers by M. Polge. These are pretty damn good numbers to be using. M. Polge was able to take all of the great masculine ideas he had laid out over the last six years and essentially make a greatest hits collection in Ungaro III. If you’ve smelled the four perfumes which make up Ungaro III you won’t find anything new. What you will get for around $25 is one of the greatest perfumers ever combining some of the greatest masculine fragrance trends ever. I’m not sure it gets better for a Discount Diamond than that.

Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Diptyque Florabellio- Island Summer Morning

Through most of the 1980’s I participated in a summer rental on Shelter Island, NY. I was often able to get out to the house before the rest of the roommates and I really enjoyed my Friday mornings. I used to fill a thermos with coffee and bicycle through the fog to this sandy hillock. From there I could watch the ospreys hunt for fish and early in the summer to feed the baby ospreys in the nests. If you had asked me a couple months ago whether there was a scent to that experience I would’ve scoffed at the idea. That is until I received my sample of Diptyque Florabellio.

Florabellio is described as an “olfactory landscape” on the website. This is a very interesting landscape combining three distinct styles of fragrances through the three phases. Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin has fused an aquatic, a fruity floral, and a gourmand into a single perfume. Even when I looked at the notes listed on the press release I expected this to be incongruous at best. What M. Pellegrin has done is to achieve his stated aim of creating a landscape containing focal points which come together to create a whole experience.

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Fabrice Pellegrin

Florabellio opens with the smell of the ocean as carried to you on the breeze. It is light, ozonic, and a touch salty. He takes fennel and lets its herbal nature add a vegetal aspect. This is the smell of sitting on sand dunes surrounded by the grass growing there as the waves crash in the distance. The heart is a wonderfully delicate interpretation of fruity floral as if done in water colors. My biggest quarrel with fruity floral as a genre is it has no subtlety. In the heart of Florabellio M. Pellegrin is using the lightest hand as he combines apple blossom and osmanthus. The apricot and leather beauty of osmanthus is made diaphanous and the apple blossom blows through that opacity with a delicate sigh. If this was all there was to Florabellio it would have been enough. I was worried that the listed notes of coffee and sesame were going to make a change for the worse. With a little more presence than the florals in the heart M. Pellegrin brings the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee forward. The coffee note here captures both the bitterness and the richness of good coffee. The sesame gives it a smoky aspect.  

Florabellio has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.

I feel as if M. Pellegrin has created an olfactory painting of my summer mornings thirty years ago. Every day I wore Florabellio it reminded me strongly of that time. Florabellio can be perhaps too much of a good thing as it does tend to have so much going on some might find it distracting instead of enjoyable. I admire the decision to go for the design that Florabellio exhibits; it sets it apart in a good way.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Diptyque.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Nishane Istanbul Afrika Olifant- The Elephant in the Room

As I’ve explained previously when I get these huge collections from a new brand it has a tendency to just wear me out. One drawback it has is I put off trying all of them because there are just too many. For the new brand Nishane Istanbul I received a set of ten samples from Twisted Lily. As I’ve hit one of the doldrums on the perfume calendar it was time to give them a try. Of the ten I was sent there are two which really stood out and I will review both of them over the next couple of weeks.

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Mert Guzel and Murat Katran

Nishane was founded in September 2012 by Mert Guzel and Murat Katran. Working with perfumer Jorge Lee they have created a collection of sixteen perfumes in less than three years. Many of the fragrances show glimmers of inspiration but they never came together completely for me. The one which stood out as the most unique in the ten I tried was Afrika-Olifant.

It caught my attention because it is almost entirely made up of notes which are usually found as basenotes. As a result it has a flattened development because everything tends to show up quickly. That kind of congestion actually works in Afrika-Olifant’s favor as it made me feel like I was constantly turning in a circle looking for different parts of the perfume.

Jorge Lee

Jorge Lee

The first notes I detected were a mix of incense and amber. The incense has that silvery edge fine incense provides to perfumes. M. Lee then uses myrrh to attenuate that sharpness while retaining the resinous quality. The next set of notes are a trio of animalic ingredients; civet, castoreum, and leather. These are superimposed on top of the resinous top accord. This now makes for an exotic animalic accord as the resins swirl throughout the very feral notes in the heart. Just as you might be getting your bearings a cocktail of four synthetic musks provide a scintillating counterpoint to the naturally animalic. This is where I fell for Afrika-Olifant. The blend of the synthetic musks have a futuristic aspect to them that seems to turn the animalic heart accord into something cyborg-like. As I mentioned none of the notes I have mentioned really recede at all and many hours of wearing Afrika-Olifant is spent with everything on display.

Afrika-Olifant has overnight longevity and average sillage.

The juxtaposition of the real animalic with the synthetic is what makes Afrika-Olifant stand out within the Nishane Istanbul line. It is the only one of the ten I tried to truly take a risk and it has paid off with one of my favorites of the line. Sometimes you just have to confront the elephant in the room which tells you to play it safe. Then you have the freedom to create a perfume like Afrika-Olifant.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.

Mark Behnke

The Sunday Magazine: A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc

My first steps to becoming the wine snob I am today took place in the late 1970’s. In what is a common theme to the genesis of my many obsessions; I did it to impress women. Since I was a college man at this time myself and a couple of other classmates decided we should educate ourselves on wine. There was no organized wine courses back then. Instead we learned one glass at a time from the bartender at the new wine bar in the very upscale mall which had just opened near campus. It was called “The Vines” and it served wine by the glass. This was an oddity at that time. Paul who was manager/bartender/sommelier and anything else which needed doing took pity on the three uninformed waifs who landed on his bar stools. Over the next two years on a near-weekly basis class was in session as we would sit down and drink wine for the next couple of hours. There were so many things I learned but the one lesson which stays with me very strongly nearly forty years later was this one. Great wine does not only come from France and Italy. Back then California wines were still looked down upon. Paul would have none of that. He told us to follow your palate don’t let the country on the label sway your opinion. Let the what is in the bottle do the talking. This has been valuable advice which has served me well in fragrance as well as wine.

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One of the things Paul delighted in doing was giving us two glasses of the same grape varietal. One would be French or Italian. The other would not. He would ask us to tell him which one we liked better. I was always surprised to find that wines from Spain, Australia, California, and South Africa were as good, or better. They all cost significantly less. With the exception of California which has now joined France and Italy as the third premier wine producing region the other countries still produce fantastic wines you can buy for less than $20.

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Adi Badenhorst (Photo: Natural Light Photography)

It has taken nearly twenty years for the post-apartheid South Africa to start significantly exporting wine again. It makes South African wines relative newcomers to American wine shops but these are wineries with more history than many of the California ones. Many of the current crop of South African winemakers remind me of the brash young mavericks who would eventually put California wines on the map. The one who most reminds me of this is Adi Badenhorst.

Adi grew up on a farm in South Africa called Groot Constantia where his grandfather was farm manager. Adi would steal grapes from the vineyard as a child. When he wanted to start his own winery he knew where he wanted it to be. Since 2006 he has been producing wine from the Swartland of South Africa.

The most planted grape varietal in South Africa is Chenin Blanc, also called Steen. Chenin Blanc is the grape behind the great French Vouvray wines. As part of Adi’s second label called Secateurs he is producing one of the great chenin blancs in the entire world. The AA Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc has had one of the greatest runs of quality from the 2012 through the 2014 vintage. All of these bottles can be found for less than $20, usually around $14-16, a bottle. Considering Vouvray is often four or five times that price you see the value here.

These Chenin Blancs are the perfect accompaniment to the chilled seafood which often makes up the summer menus on the beach. Shrimp, oysters, cracked crab, poached salmon, or a tuna steak; it goes with all of them. The reason is the acidity that Chenin Blanc carries naturally. What makes the Secateurs so brilliant is Adi ages his wine in huge concrete vats called kuipe. This adds even more mineral oomph to these wines than comes from aging in wood or steel.

I just had the 2014 vintage and it is the perfect break from Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. The crisp pear flavors and melon sweetness round off to a slightly sweeter buttery finish all with that mineral foundation adding strength and depth.

As I was sipping this a couple weeks ago my mind wandered back to Paul and his kindness in taking us under his wing. I think he would have loved sharing A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc with us.

Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke

L’Artisan Parfumeur 101- Five to Get You Started

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At this point niche perfume has become a fact of life. The discussion has even moved along to whether niche has any meaning anymore. In 1978 the phrase niche perfume didn’t exist. It took the creation of the brand called L’Artisan Parfumeur by perfumer and creative director Jean Laporte to require a way to describe this collection of perfumes that were different. On that day in 1978 when M. Laporte released the initial seven perfumes, perfumery changed. L’Artisan Parfumeur has continued to thrive for the last 37 years. One of the reasons is two of our greatest perfumers, Olivia Giacobetti and Bertrand Duchaufour, produced some of their earliest and best work for the brand. One thing to admire about the brand is it covers the entire spectrum of the fragrance spectrum. There are over 50 fragrances to choose from. To help you here are the five I would start with.

Only three of the original seven releases are still available. Mure et Musc co-signed by Henri Sorsana and Jean Laporte feels as contemporary as it did back in 1978. The herbal citrus open which moves into one of the best fruity floral accords I’ve ever smelled as the perfumers combine jasmine and blackberry. This all rests on a bed of white musk supported by patchouli. Every time I wear this I think to myself this is where niche began.

Olivia Giacobetti would be the perfumer behind most of the releases between1994-2000. Her first release Premier Figuier is what most cite. I actually think her most accessible work for the brand came as she returned in 2001 with Tea for Two. It has Mme Giacobetti’s trademark transparency but the wonderful smoked tea heart makes this a classic. It opens almost boringly with neroli but it quickly heads to the tea room. In the heart smoky tea leaves are crushed with cinnamon, anise, and ginger. This is my favorite tea accord I wear. A honey and vanilla base finishes this version of olfactory tea service. Tea for Two was discontinued for a time but it was brought back in 2014.

Fou-dabsinthe

The other perfume by Mme Giacobetti is 2006’s Fou D’Absinthe. In this perfume she works with a little less opacity. Fou D’Absinthe might be one of her more strongly constructed fragrances. She chooses to take redolent wormwood and make it even greener with blackcurrant buds. The heart is a swirl of spices on top of the absinthe accord. It finishes with a resinous pine accord. When people tell me Mme Giacobetti makes her perfumes too light this is where I send them.

As Mme Giacobetti left Bertrand Duchaufour would take up the reins and be primarily responsible for the next ten years 2000-2010. M. Duchaufour’s collection within L’Artisan is impressive and at the time of this writing my favorite, Vanille Absolument, is discontinued. What is left to bring you into the L’Artisan fold is what might be perhaps M. Duchaufour’s greatest perfume, Timbuktu. M. Duchaufour wanted to capture the smells of the African bazaars. During 2004 he had become a master at working with incense. For Timbuktu he used a smoky incense as his nucleus to build the bazaar milieu around. He would add cardamom and mango to represent the spices and fruit for sale. Patchouli, vetiver, and benzoin provide the sultry warmth of the desert.

My final choice, Caligna signed by Dora Arnaud, shows M. Laporte’s vision is still as vital today as it was in the beginning. Caligna is a completely unique mix of fig, jasmine, and olive wood. Mme Arnaud turns her fig herbal by matching it with sage. This makes the fig greener and less ripe. The heart is dominated by a “jasmine marmalade” accord. This takes jasmine and suffuses it with more sweetness without sacrificing the indolic core. In the base she uses a uniquely sourced olive wood to provide an unusual woody finish.

If you love perfume and particularly the current crop of independent niche perfume brands you owe it to yourself to become familiar with L’Artisan Parfumeur. So much of what I think are the core principles of what niche perfume means to me came from this brand. Try the five suggestions above and find out why I believe this.

Disclosure: this review was based on bottles I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Rania J. Ambre Loup- Spice Market Memories

As I get to the last couple weeks of July the amount of new perfumes I receive slows to a trickle. The deluge of new fall perfumes is just around the corner but I always have a couple weeks which allow me to go back and write about perfumes that keep getting bumped down the priority list. One of those brands is called Rania J.

Rania J.is unsurprisingly the name of the owner and perfumer Rania Jouaneh. She released her first three perfumes in 2012 and has followed up with three other releases. I received all six samples back in the spring. I liked most of them and they have been on “to review” list since then. Now that I have finally had some time there is one which really rose to the top, Ambre Loup.

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Rania Jouaneh

Mme Jouaneh grew up in the Middle East and Africa. She mentions on her website that the aromas of “the spice markets, souks and African bazaars’ made up the scent track of her childhood. Amber Loup is the perfume in the collection which comes closest to that. I am one who likes those fragrances which try to capture this milieu. Mme Jouaneh does a great job at re-creating the smells of her youth in Ambre Loup.

If you’ve ever been to a spice market there is a heady smell where you experience all of the spices in the most wondrous mélange ever. Mme Jouaneh recreates that with the top notes of Ambre Loup. She creates a veritable cloud of spices focused mainly on clove. I feel like I detect traces of at least fivev or six others over the first hour of wearing this. She captures the warmth under the canopies with a heart trio of labdanum, peru balsam, and vanilla. The spices persist into the heart so the picture becomes a little more claustrophobic as there are a lot of powerful notes vying for my attention. Mme Jouaneh keeps the fractious bunch under control creating a really complex accord in the heart. The base almost seems disappointingly straightforward as cedar, guaiac, and a pinch of oud frame this with strong woods.

Ambre Loup has 16-18 hour longevity and above average sillage.

I think Mme Jouaneh has gotten off to a positive start with all of her initial releases. I would encourage readers to sample the line I think she has shown the ability over all six to create the specific mood she was going for. For Ambre Loup that is a day in the spice market.

Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Rania J.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Nomad Two Worlds Raw Spirit Winter Oak- Simplexity

There are times when the summer is at its hottest that I crave a woody perfume. There are never a shortage of this style of perfumes available to sate my desire. What has been amusing this summer is the woody perfume I have been wearing the most has the word winter in its name.

The fragrance brand Nomad Two Worlds is part of the wider initiative founded by photographer Russell Brand. In 2012 the brand introduced me to the indigenous Australian plant known as fire tree in their firs fragrance; Raw Spirit Fire Tree. Mr. James wants Nomad Two Worlds, through art, to find a wider understanding of marginalized and indigenous peoples all over the world. The ambitious plan is to use fragrance as one of the art forms. The Raw Spirit collection is the sixth of a planned ten perfumes. For this one called Raw Spirit Winter Oak it is meant to illuminate the U.S. Native Americans.

Harry Fremont

Harry Fremont

All of the Raw Spirit perfumes have been composed by perfumer Harry Fremont, for Winter Oak he wanted to capture the age and power of the oak while wrapping in the smells of the desert southwest. Winter Oak is, as all of the other Raw Spirit perfumes to date have been, a perfume with simplexity. Always when I wear these perfumes the first time I think they are very straightforward but there is a lilting subtext to all of them that seems to only be apparent to me after I wear them a couple of times.

M. Fremont starts with a spicy green opening of clary sage, geranium, and a very measured amount of pepper. The pepper adds only a modicum of piquancy to the otherwise herbal opening. Clove, olibanum, and mate form the heart notes. The clove presents itself in a more forceful way than the pepper in the top notes. Here the saffron and mate play the supporting roles. Finally in the base we get to that towering oak tree. Oak has a real green character especially when you compare it to cedar. In Winter Oak that green quality is more noticeable because M. Fremont has set your expectations up through the first two phases of development to be attuned towards it. As the oak grows it is supported by even more green from vetiver. After a few hours a very soft suede leather accord rounds out this perfume.

Winter Oak has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Raw Spirit Winter Oak is donating some of the proceeds to The Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks, CA.

I have found Winter Oak to be just the right tonic for my need for summer woods even if the name tells me I should be wearing it in a different season.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Nomad Two Worlds.

Mark Behnke

Under the Radar Thierry Mugler Cologne- The Musks of Summer

If there is one perfume I own which gets the greatest workout in the summer it is Thierry Mugler Cologne. This is one of two or three perfumes which I wear on the most sweltering of days. It is one of the most refreshing perfumes I wear which is why it works so well in the heat.

Thierry Mugler Cologne was the fourth fragrance released by Thierry Mugler. The first three Angel, A*Men, and Innocent could not reliably be described as refreshing. These were perfumes with presence. In 2001 it was very different than its stablemates in the Thierry Mugler collection. It is so different that I think it often gets overlooked. I am guilty of that as I’ve rarely written about Thierry Mugler Cologne as much as I have the other perfumes from the brand. One reason is when I have written about it I have referred to it as the perfume equivalent of your favorite t-shirt and broken-in jeans. There are few fragrances which wear so effortlessly.

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Perfumer Alberto Morillas was in the middle of his use of white musks in the base of numerous perfumes. By the time he got to Thierry Mugler Cologne he had truly become the master of the white musks. What he imposed over the top of the musks in the base was citrus and what he describes as a “sap” accord. It is that accord which makes Thierry Mugler Cologne the outstanding perfume that it is.

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Alberto Morillas

Thierry Mugler Cologne opens on a sort of soap-like feel. The perfume was inspired by a soap M. Mugler remembered from his youth. Petitgrain and orange blossom combine to make it feel like a homemade citrus soap. This is fresh without being boring. The heart note was listed only as “S” when the perfume was released. In later years M. Morillas identified it as a green sap accord. It has a funny quality about it as there are bits and pieces of familiar green notes like vetiver, clary sage, and galbanum. The trick is I don’t think any of those notes are actually present. There are just times I think they might be there and when I focus in looking for them I get lost in the green. It is one reason that this perfume has fascinated me for over ten years now because I think I make it whatever my mood wants it to be. It finishes on a mixture of white musks. By this time M. Morillas could make these ingredients dance to his tune. Here they are those broken in denim jeans just after being ironed.

Thierry Mugler Cologne has 10-12 hour longevity although this is deceptive because you might not detect it after 8 or so hours but other will still smell it on you. It has average sillage.

Sometime the things that fly Under the Radar are the things that have become so normal they don’t feel noteworthy. In the case of Thierry Mugler Cologne it was well past time I took note.

Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary- Per Fumus Populi

Every few months I take a field trip to the mall to do a little research. My method is to find a chair or bench right by where the perfume counter is at in a department store. My local malls offer me multiple opportunities to observe every major chain. What I am looking for is to see what happens when consumers walking through the fragrance department do with the sprayed strip the line representative hands to them. The great majority of them end up in a garbage can as they walk away from the store. Every so often I see the women, or men, tuck the strip away. That always piques my interest. It means that at least on a first impression level the fragrance has made the consumer want to give it a sniff later. Very often these are perfumes that those who like independent and niche perfumes would shun as derivative. When I see a perfume making an impression I want to give it a try and see if I can understand what makes it interesting to the more casual perfume wearer. On my last foray into consumerism the perfume that was not getting thrown into the garbage can was Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary.

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Bruno Jovanovic

Extraordinary was composed by perfumers Bruno Jovanovic and Pascal Gaurin. What is in the bottle is a very straightforward floral oriental. There is truly nothing new to anyone who has lots of fragrances in their collection. It is a simple floral progression into a sweet woody base. Where I think this might be getting a second look by those walking through the fragrance department is the perfumers added a couple of interesting grace notes while also going very sweet in the base for a traditional spring/summer perfume.

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Pascal Gaurin

Extraordinary opens primarily with neroli but there are a couple of interesting underpinnings which keep it from being just neroli. The perfumers use cherry blossom and passionfruit flower to provide subtle fruity facets without really turning it into a fruity floral. I think this is a very smart way of differentiating yourself in the consumer marketplace. Especially in the top notes; as neroli will be easily recognized but those faint fruity qualities? Those are just making the neroli interesting. The heart is a very straight forward peony and rose floral. This is definitely nothing that isn’t in a thousand floral perfumes. The base is where the perfumers decide to also take a slightly different tack. There is a mix of long lasting ambrox and woody synthetics. What is interesting is there is a very healthy dose of vanillin which makes the foundation of Extraordinary almost edge into gourmand territory.

Extraordinary has 6-8 hour longevity and average sillage.

The most surprising thing about Extraordinary is a lack of staying power. With all of the synthetics in the base I expected to have it with me well into the evening if not into the next morning. I don’t have a good explanation for this but I think that might keep Extraordinary from being a runaway hit. Because in the department store world longevity is equated with quality. If it does become a hit I think that the perfumers had a small amount of courage to push some less commercial inspirations into Extraordinary may be the reason it stands out in the glass forest on the department store counter.

Disclosure: This review was based on a carded sample I received at the department store.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Folie a Plusieurs Le Cinema Olfactif Blow-Up- Emotional Ennui

When I was at Esxence I actually met Kaya Sorhaindo for the first time. Kaya had been responsible for the creation of Six Scents Perfumes. I had wondered what he was doing and at a stand just inside the entrance I found the answer. He has started a line of perfume under the brand name Folie a Plusieurs. The first collection is called Le Cinema Olfactif. In this collection he asked perfumer Mark Buxton to interpret a specific moment from five independent films. Each perfume carries a time stamp calling out the isolated moment from each film. My favorite of the debut perfumes was the one based on Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up.

blow up poster

The specific section of Blow-Up interpreted is where the photographer protagonist is looking at an abstract oil painting done by his neighbor who is living with the woman the photographer desires. It is the three conversations he has with this object of desire which lets us know there is still the need for human connection for a man who appears to use his camera as a barrier. While visiting he stares at one of the paintings as the camera stays focused on him. Mr. Buxton described it as, “The oil painting becomes a metaphor for holding onto a small part that is real from the abstract.”

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Mark Buxton

The perfume Mr. Buxton creates captures that mix of outward ennui as inside you fight for real emotional connection. It opens on a swirl of marijuana smoke and the green of the park. They match quite nicely as they give a sign of pleasures illicit and innocent. The heart is where Blow-Up is really interesting as Mr. Buxton chooses to juxtapose the two art forms on display in the movie, photography and oil painting. He has created a very synthetic accord which captures the dark room and the smell of oil paint. These are both odors which carry an acrid edge to them but underneath there is also a subtle sweetness which Mr. Buxton probably makes more apparent than in reality. The final stages of Blow-Up are made up of polished aged wood. This is wood hidden behind a veneer of polish. It, like the photographer, is looking for a way to get out from underneath the shiny surface.

Blow-Up has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

The work done by Mr. Buxton across all five of the Le Cinema Olfactif collection is very good. I will admit my affection for Blow-Up might be because it is also my favorite movie of the initial ones. The very synthetic smelling heart will also not make every perfume lover happy. For me it does capture the mood of the film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. So much so I watched the film again while wearing the perfume one night. I am really looking forward to the coming attractions from Kaya and Mr. Buxton.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Folie a Plusiurs at Esxence 2015.

Mark Behnke