New Perfume Review Molton Brown Juniper Jazz- Chilled but Not Frozen

Despite having grown up in Florida I have come to enjoy the bite of winter. There is always a moment as the days become shorter where the air seems pregnant with ice crystals. I’m not talking about snow. There is a climate condition where I can smell the amount of ambient water in the air right on the edge of freezing. Mrs. C laughs at me because I describe this as “chilled but not frozen”. It is a cold with purity. Molton Brown Juniper Jazz also shares that quality.

Nathalie Koobus

According to the press release Juniper Jazz is inspired by the 1920 Galaxy Ball. This was a London Holiday Gala where the décor and fashion was silver while the jazz flowed as freely as the gin. I could describe this based on that because it is a silvery gin-based perfume. Except perfumer Nathalie Koobus also finds a chill to the entire fragrance which is even more appealing.

That comes through a metallic accord which smells the way I think cold metal does. Mint is used to add a bit of frost over the drier coolness. The juniper berry provides the callback to the gin the designers desired. I found it to be an alcoholic iciness to complete the supercooled top accord. Over the top of this a light powdery iris snowfall adds a light coating. It is as if snowflakes of powder drift in lazy swirls over a crystalline icy surface. It goes a bit warmer as sandalwood comes to form the base before a whoosh of white musks bring back the ice.

Juniper Jazz has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Juniper Jazz is a cool perfume in every meaning of that adjective. The frozen effect that winds through this is really compelling. It’s because Mme Koobus is able to impart her own interpretation of chilled but not frozen.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Molton Brown.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Tadashi Shoji Eau de Rose- Establishing Flow

The last time I attended the entire New York Fashion Week there was a designer who left an impression, Tadashi Shoji. What had so impressed me was he had lived up to the concept so many fashion designers aspire to. When you hear anyone in fashion talk they will enthuse about the “flow” within their collection. What made me laugh at that is so few of them achieve that. It is so infrequent, that it captures my full attention when it happens. When I was sitting in the audience for the Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 show I saw “flow”. The designs formed a coherent whole while building upon each design that came before. Fabric and detail moved sinuously around the models. Ever since Mr. Shoji has been all about this ability to create that effect year after year. When I was contacted by the team behind the new Tadashi Shoji Eau de Rose I wondered if “flow” could be translated to fragrance.

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2017

Mr. Shoji assembled an experienced team for his first fragrance. Help with creative direction came from Ruth Sutcliffe and John Bonifacio who worked with two perfumers; Jacques Chabert and Nathalie Koobus.

Tadashi Shoji

I must say I was a bit underwhelmed while waiting for my sample to arrive because here was another rose perfume headed my way. What made me enjoy Eau de Rose was that this creative team somehow lost the memo that spring rose perfumes must be dewy debutante-like rose. Eau de Rose is a different take finding that debutante grown up with some more experience. Another thing about the mediocre spring rose fragrances is they leave out all the other scents of spring. Eau de Rose begins with rhubarb one of the earliest harvests in a spring garden before opening with that debutante rose but maturing it with rose absolute to create something different than the other spring roses.

Ruth Sutcliffe

Eau de Rose is all about the rhubarb in the early moments. The perfumers make a choice to accentuate the raw earthy quality of the rhubarb by allowing the sulphurous nature of grapefruit and blackcurrant bud to provide the turned earth component. This is the early harvest of the raised bed garden next to the rose bush. The heart is that innocent debutante rose playing with her usual sisters of jasmine and muguet. If it had stayed like this I would have yawned but this is where the flow comes in. The perfumers use osmanthus to begin the transition from fresh dewy rose into a mature experienced version. The rose absolute used in the base accord is rich with a spicy heart to it. This allows for swirls of incense along with earthy patchouli to bring Eau de Rose full circle back to the early moments.

Eau de Rose has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Eau de Rose succeeds where so many others fall apart because the creative team could establish the same kind of flow in the perfume that is evident in Mr. Shoji’s fashion designs.

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

Mark Behnke