New Perfume Review Maison d’Etto Macanudo- This Is Not a Cigar

When I receive new perfumes I often get images in my mind from the names. I think that is normal. It can be fun to be surprised once I spritz some onto a strip to find something completely different. This was what happened when I received my sample set of the new brand Maison d’Etto. I was attracted to the brand because of young perfumer Mackenzie Reilly. Naturally when I saw the name of the perfume she contributed to the collection, Maison d’Etto Macanudo, I thought tobacco perfume is on its way. This is not a cigar fragrance this is inspired by something else.

Brianna Lipovsky

The inspiration for Maison d’Etto comes from its founder Brianna Lipovsky. Ms. Lipovsky is an equestrian who has also worked in the beauty business. After being around those who make perfume as part of her job, she had always had the idea to combine her love of horses with a perfume collection. Late last year she would complete her vision releasing five perfumes inspired by five horses she has known throughout her life. The consistent aesthetic through all five is being on horseback. Each perfume finds a different way to interpret the vitality of a horse in motion.

Mackenzie Reilly

One of the things which causes Macanudo to stand out from the rest of the collection is its exuberance. I have never ridden a horse except when guided by someone experienced. I do have friends who are riders. I have observed a joyful grin on their faces when they are with their horse in a full-tilt gallop. There seems to be this thrill to be together as they fly through the world. I have no way of knowing this but as a guess I am thinking Macanudo was a horse Ms. Lipovsky rode as a youth. Macanudo has the feel of a teenager riding through the world without a care.

Ms. Reilly assays this by what is being churned up by the horse’s hooves; grass and earth. It is where Macanudo begins with the smell of grass and soil. Ms. Reilly uses that as the race-course through which Macanudo travels. First it races past some tart citrus groves of grapefruit as the sunlight glistens off the mane. It makes a turn through a field of narcissus and hay. Here the deeply redolent flower finds a warmer partner in the hay-like coumarin. Finally it comes to rest at the barn as vetiver captures the scent of the grass and the wood of the clapboard on the barn. Sandalwood deepens the woodiness along with just enough musk to remind you of the horse you’ve been riding.

Macanudo has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

I tip my hat to Ms. Lipovsky for realizing what she wanted. The entire Maison d’Etto collection is like choosing which horse you want to take for a ride today. I know I will choose Macanudo just for the thrill of throwing my head back with joy.  

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample set I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review House of Cherry Bomb Iris Oud- Harmony in Contrast

It is the nature of the endeavor when two creative minds create as one, I want to try and figure out who did what. I remember doing this when two of my favorite horror authors, Stephen King and Peter Straub, wrote “The Talisman” in 1984. It is a fool’s errand. It sets one off in a direction of searching for trees instead of seeing the glory of the forest. If two collaborators truly succeed there will be something different than from either one alone. It is how I have finally begun to experience the perfumes made by independent perfumers Alexis Karl and Maria McElroy for their shared brand House of Cherry Bomb.

Maria McElroy (l.) and Alexis Karl

Both women working together has such distinct aesthetics when making their own perfumes it always makes me smile to find a third different one while working together. It is particularly true in the Atelier Perfume collection. The previous six releases are each memorable combinations of titular notes; Tobacco Cognac and Cardamom Rose are my favorites. They have now added a seventh to the group; House of Cherry Bomb Iris Oud.

Iris and oud are two of the most variable perfume ingredients you can use. Iris can have the delicate powdery face or the doughy rooty version. Oud covers the gamut from exotic to barnyard. In many ways a combination of both seems like a perfume Tinder date destined to go bad. Except in the hands of smart perfumers who look for the opportunities for harmony in contrast. Then you get a perfume like Iris Oud.

The perfume opens with iris showing off its powdery nature. Violet is used to keep it from becoming too much a powderpuff. A smart use of jasmine turns the powder towards the rootier quality. Then the oud arrives. This isn’t just pure oud; it is an accord which contains oud. The distinction is the perfumers can tame the more obstreperous qualities to create the effect they want. In this case they use a selection of darker materials to provide guardrails, so the oud comes off as a fascinating visitor. This ends on a honeycomb of beeswax adding subtle animalic sweetness. There is also an array of balsamic notes to create an enveloping warmth for the iris and oud accord.

Iris Oud has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Ms. Karl and Ms. McElroy have once again found a new synergy in their creativity. It allows them to find the same in two ingredients like iris and oud.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by House of Cherry Bomb.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Arquiste Misfit- Modern Bohemians

As so many things are in the jargon of perfume “independent perfume” is an inexact phrase. There is a baseline agreement, that is probably shared by most who view that, as fragrance that does not want to be influenced by the mainstream. To a deeper degree I think it also must indicate a specific mindset. You can be “independent” because you refuse to go with the flow. What I think is the best practitioners are those who lead with their heart before the head ever becomes involved. At its best is when that passion is shared by congruent visions as has been the case with creative director Carlos Huber and perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. They have produced 19 of the 22 releases for Sr. Huber’s brand Arquiste since the first collection in 2011. These perfumes have always been about their shared heritage along with a unique perspective; their latest is Arquiste Misfit.

Carlos Huber

I have known both men for almost ten years now. I have mentioned this in previous reviews, but I will repeat it again. When I first moved to the Washington DC area Srs. Huber and Flores-Roux were invited by the Mexican Embassy to make a presentation of the new, at the time, Arquiste perfume collection. To see these sons of Mexico in the presence of the dignitaries that were there that night was a joy to behold. Their smiles showed their pride. In these early days of the brand I remember one quote from that night every time I receive a new Arquiste, “I like to put a little bit of Mexico in every perfume I make.” It has served them well.

Rodrigo Flores-Roux

Misfit has as its brief the typical historical timeframe of September 1877 in Marseille, France. Sr. Huber chose this date because it was after the exotic patchouli-scented Kashmiri shawls had fallen out of favor with the well-to-do. At this time they had fallen to the shoulders of the misfits; the bohemians and prostitutes. The scent of patchouli would become associated with those. Ninety-ish years later it would also find its way to the bohemian misfits of the 1960’s as patchouli would become the scent of the flower children. Patchouli would continue to have poor public relations for many years with many mainstream perfumes shying away from using a lot of it for fear of being seen as a “head shop” fragrance.

As we turned the corner into a new century patchouli became rehabilitated through science and creativity. The first came about as the chemists at the large perfume oil producers began experimenting with different ways of distilling the essential oil. They would find that you could collect fractions of the whole which would give you very different scent profiles. Patchouli was one of the ingredients which benefited the most from this. Perfumers could now tune a patchouli effect to any profile they chose. The creativity came about because those who wear independent perfumes are their own kind of misfit choosing to wear what they like without following the crowd. For Misfit Srs. Huber and Flores-Roux combine three fractionated sources of patchouli to stitch together a modern Kashmiri shawl of the way patchouli smells now.

The other well-known scent of the free spirits of the late 19th century was lavender. That is where Misfit begins. It is made into a fascinating accord as Sr. Flores-Roux coats this flower in seeds. The rooty sweetness of carrot seeds primarily. The botanical musk of ambrette seeds is matched with the less musky herbal quality of angelica seed. It tilts the lavender towards a more herbal presence just in time for the first piece of patchouli to arrive. Akigalawood is a biological degradation of patchouli. What remains is a spicy woody version. As it appears in Misfit a Bulgarian rose rises to meet it. It is a modern re-telling of rose and patchouli. It gets more contemporary as two fractions of patchouli are combined in the base. Sr. Flores-Roux embraces all the problematic history of this ingredient by combining two of the earthier versions. It makes for an interesting contrast to the Akigalawood where all of that is missing. To offset the earthiness, tonka bean provides a toasted quality while tolu balsam picks up on the woody aspect of the Akigalawood which elongates it into the base. This is where Misfit transforms into a Kashmiri shawl for 2019. It has a contemporary feel without losing that earthy patchouli quality.

Misfit has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

If you’re looking for that bit of Mexico in Misfit I imagine it comes from all of the different botanical seeds in the top accord. If you wear independent perfumes you probably like living life at a different rhythm than those around you. If you are that person Arquiste Misfit is there to give you one option to be your own modern bohemian.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Imaginary Authors Telegrama- Modern Clubman

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When I was a young boy my hair was styled into a crew cut. I never remember dreading my trips to the barber. When the day would come around for my father and I to head out I enjoyed the entire experience. This was another place where the smell appealed to me. One of the reasons I enjoy lavender perfumes as much as I do is probably because I associate it with these walks to get my hair cut. There was also another scent in the air on those days, the talcum powder used to brush off my neck and face to remove the stray hairs. To this day when my barber brushes me off with the talc infused brush it is a sensory end to the monthly ritual. When there are perfumes which assay the barbershop, they too often leave that talc part of the experience out. Imaginary Authors Telegrama puts it back in.

Josh Meyer

The talc I have most smelled throughout my life is the one from Clubman. It is a sturdy scented powder ideal for a place frequented by men. Josh Meyer the independent perfumer behind Imaginary Authors wanted to create a version of talc in Telegrama which was inspired by those vintage aftershaves. What makes Telegama so interesting is when talc is used in other fragrances it has a delicacy to it. It is used as a gauzy veil. The one Mr. Meyer uses wears flannel and perhaps chops down trees. At the very least it stands with arms crossed across its chest with confidence. This is no filmy powder, man. What comes after is the creation of a modern barbershop with flat screen tvs and comfortable leather barber chairs surrounded by polished wood paneling.

Telegrama opens with the classic duet of talc and lavender. The talc has such an early presence it pushes the lavender to the background for a few minutes. The lavender finds a balance soon after. A clever filament of black pepper gives a sense of the heat of the electric razors humming. The polished woods are represented by teak and amyris. The slightly lemony quality of amyris makes me think they use citrus scented wood polish. As I settle back in the chair a fresh apron is snapped over my head as I am surrounded by a set of linen musks.

Telegrama has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Mr. Meyer has created a modern version of that old Clubman Talc. It is another example of how the imagination of the best independent perfumers take something ubiquitously mundane and turn it into something completely engaging.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Imaginary Authors.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes MaccaBees (Holiday No. 19)- Hanukkah Contemplations

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There are only a tiny few perfumers who have earned enough trust with me to hold a spot during the final weeks of December. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is one of them. One reason I will always do it is she has been producing a Holiday perfume for nineteen years. Ms. Hurwitz has found the scent of the season in so many ways she has very often provided new perspective to a part of them for me. That is true of her non-Holiday perfumes, too. They provide the kind of insight that can only come from an independent mindset. For this year she looks at the origins of the most famous symbol of Hanukkah in DSH Perfumes MaccaBees (Holiday No. 19).

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

If there is one thing people who aren’t Jewish know about Hanukkah it is the menorah with its candles burning bright. Half of my family by choice is Jewish. Their actual families always welcomed me; along with my irritating questions. I always liked when Hanukkah was early because it felt like I could enjoy both parts of the Judeo-Christian Holiday Season with my best friends. The years when it is together, like this one, I felt like I missed out on something. Not really it was just more intense. I always enjoyed watching the beeswax candles burn when they got low. Casting warm flame colored light upon the metal of the menorah. There was a comfort to it all. That is the type of perfume MaccaBees is; a contemplative comfort fragrance.

The name comes from the 200 BC revolt led by Judah Maccabee against the Romans in Judea. The new rulers had seized the temple; turning it into one dedicated to the Roman gods. The Maccabees revolted taking back the temple. During the rededication the menorah only had enough oil to burn for one night but instead burned for eight nights in total. This is the foundational event for Hanukkah and the menorah as its symbol.

Ms. Hurwitz has worked previously on making perfumes based on ancient Egyptian formulas. There is a touch of that here as she relies on some of those traditional fragrant oils from the time period. The name with the capitalized “B” in the middle is to clue you in there is some honey trapped in those beeswax candles. It flows together into a classic Holiday perfume.

It is the candles we start with. The beeswax is given a gentle coating of honey. The overall effect is more candle than honeycomb. Ms. Hurwitz finds a lovely replacement for a sweet viscous liquid as she uses the maple syrup quality of immortelle. Immortelle is a much easier sweetness to control. It also carries a slightly smoky quality which captures the swirls coming off the flame tip as they rise away. This is all built upon a foundation of resins. Myrrh, oppoponax, frankincense, and oud. This forms that warmly contemplative accord to finish things.

MaccaBees has 10-12 hour longevity and is a skin scent as an oil.

Ms. Hurwitz was reminding us of her past eighteen Holiday scents on her Facebook page. As I looked back, I realized MaccaBees might be the most traditional of them all. There is everything right in finding a perfume which makes remembering the reasons why we celebrate.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review April Aromatics Vetiver Coeur- Vetiver Harmonies

There are perfume ingredients which seemingly find their way into a high percentage of all fragrance products. Everyone is familiar with them, the typical florals, the classic woods, and the juicy fruits. If I had them laying out on a table in their natural form, you would probably easily identify all of them. There is one ubiquitous perfume component I bet most have little idea what it looks like; vetiver. It is used so often because it is so versatile. Its profile varies dependent on the region of the world it is grown in. Perfumers can choose the kind they want for the corresponding effect it will have. This is where independent perfumer Tanja Bochnig began her latest perfume April Aromatics Vetiver Coeur.

This is vetiver

Fr. Bochnig is one of the early independent perfumers who has grown into being among the best. Over the last four years her perfumes have shown the imprint of an author who knows her subject well. One of the things which has helped define the overall April Aromatics aesthetic is Fr. Bochnig’s experience as a licensed yoga teacher. It informs her use of specific ingredients. As it does here. Vetiver has been one of those oils which has been purported to impart an inner harmony. While that is probably true; I imagine some of the smokier versions of vetiver I have smelled would impart panic that something was burning nearby. Fr. Bochnig was looking for the harmonious version. She describes it as a “soft vetiver”. She sourced it from Haiti, one of the largest producers of vetiver in the world. For Vetiver Coeur she places that vetiver at the center of a perfume built upon harmony of composition.

Tanja Bochnig

Her vetiver is apparent right from the start. She has found a source which has removed much of the sharp green vetiver usually displays early on. It does enhance the citrus-y scent vetiver also has. She adds in some other citrus with orange and lemon to form an early sunniness. The green that has been lost is brought back by using coriander and clary sage. Fr. Bochnig can use these as replacements which allow her to fine tune the proper amount of green she wants present. It is evidence of a confident perfumer to be able to provide this kind of shading. The heart is a gorgeous conversation between orange blossom and the vetiver. This is a rich slightly indolic orange blossom which finds the intersection of woody and green to park itself at. On my skin this is where Vetiver Coeur ligers for many hours. It is a harmonious place to be. Eventually the base of authentic Mysore sandalwood, tobacco and orris propose a warmer place for the vetiver to settle upon. Fr. Bochnig uses these ingredients to form a comforting final piece of Vetiver Coeur.

Vetiver Coeur has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Vetiver Coeur is a deeply engaging vetiver perfume. I’m not sure if it affected my inner harmony. It surely affected my appreciation for Fr. Bochnig’s ability as a perfumer to find the right vetiver harmonies in a perfume.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by April Aromatics.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Zoologist Bee- The Best Buzz

This time of year is the only time where I feel a little rushed. I am literally down to the last few days left to me on the review calendar before I begin to compile my end-of-year lists. In previous years it is just trying to squeeze in those last perfumes of the year. This year the final six weeks of the year has seen one excellent perfume after another arrive in my mailbox. The final streak of reviews that will be coming are all from independent lines that have conspired to make my life joyously difficult. Whenever it is posited to me that there is nothing new to be seen in perfume, I would happily gather everything I’ll review over these last few days of 2019 as proof that is flat wrong.

Another by-product of the end-of-year thoughts is it forces me to look back to the beginning of the year. To remind myself of the perfumes which came earlier in the year that I want to remember. On the day I did that recently was the first day I was wearing Zoologist Bee. It ended up having an interesting parallel as I was reminded of the perfumer of something earlier in the year while wearing his latest.

Victor Wong

Whenever Victor Wong of Zoologist Perfumes has something new, I am interested. He has become one of the most reliable creative directors in all of perfumery. He has coaxed some of the best work out of the best independent perfumers in the world. One thing he does which almost seems like magic is he imposes a Zoologist style without overwriting the individual perfumer’s creativity. It is one of the major reasons I believe this has been such a broadly appealing collection. When I heard Mr. Wong was adding a perfume called Zoologist Bee I was excited to see what the interpretation of that would be. When Cristiano Canali was named as the perfumer my expectations soared.

Cristiano Canali

Sig. Canali is one of the most talented perfumers currently working. He has only signed three perfumes previously to Bee. Each of them shows a unique ability to capture his keynote and make it the central layer in a perfume which slowly evolves. He has worked with some of the hardest to tame ingredients only to survive brilliantly. In Bee he is taking on another ingredient not known to be easy to work with; honey.

Honey is notorious for its refractory nature and narrow band where it finds some joy as part of a fragrance. One of the smart things Sig. Canali does is to use beeswax as a surrogate for honey. It allows for there to be less of the actual material. It also allows for him to pick up on the animalic worker bee hum underneath the waxy sweetness. By weaving in a selection of florals, resins, musks and sandalwood he once again builds a multi-layered ode to creative perfumery.

Bee opens with the buzz of ginger in contrast to the honey. As I mentioned above this isn’t a honey that tilts towards a urine-like scent profile because the beeswax keeps it more firmly centered in the pleasant sweet spot. The ginger is also given more viscosity as it is called “ginger syrup” in the ingredient list. There isn’t the usual fidgety sibling quality you find with ginger. This is a quieter version made more memorable for not seeking out attention. It goes with the flow of the honey in and out of the waxy hexagons of the hive. Sig. Canali then crafts an accord which forms a floral honey accord to act as a kind of call and response to the top accord. Using heliotrope, orange blossom, mimosa and most importantly broom he finds similar harmonics to the trio of beeswax, honey, and ginger in the top. This is where Sig. Canali keeps impressing me. He finds ways to create echoes of the ingredients of his perfumes which resonate through the entire experience. The base accord than splits things up as benzoin and labdanum capture the sweetness in a resinous embrace. A suite of musks find that worker bee animalic. Sandalwood provides the final woody grounding while being made a bit creamier with a touch of vanilla.

Bee has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

As he has done so often Mr. Wong has found a new high for a perfumer I already thought highly of. He has become the consummate creative director. Sig. Canali has shown me, once again, that he is a singular perfume designer. There is nobody who designs perfumes which smell like his. When you combine two creative minds working at the top of their game there is no surprise that Zoologist Bee has the right buzz.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Zoologist.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Eris Parfums Mxxx.- Genuine Triple-X

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In 1968 when the American movie rating system was introduced there was an adults-only rating, “X”. In those early years it was a badge of honor. It would contain movies as diverse as “Midnight Cowboy”, “A Clockwork Orange”, and “Last Tango in Paris”. All movies which have stood the test of time, created to appeal to adults. For some reason unknown the X-rating was not protected by trademark. It allowed it to be co-opted by the makers of pornography. It first became X but as those movies wanted you to believe they were even more outrageous there was soon “XX” followed soon by “XXX”. I have no idea how we never ended up with “X to the nth power” but they stopped at three. Three “X”’s to mean the most provocative, at least at the beginning. I was thinking about the meaning of triple-X a lot as I wore Eris Parfums Mxxx.

Barbara Herman

Eris Parfums is the brand of Barbara Herman which she began in 2016. Ms. Herman was one of the early perfume bloggers whose specialty was vintage perfumes. As she made the transition to creative director of her own brand the style of those perfumes was something she wanted to show had not gone out of style. They were perfumes for a more discerning customer who, perhaps, appreciated a different fragrance experience. Something not for everyone. Something for an adult lover of fine perfume. Something like the original meaning of the X-rating.

Antoine Lie

The first three Eris Parfums were a trio of past, present, and future interpretations of this concept. A year later in 2017 Ms. Hermann followed up with Mx. It was a perfume which was designed to be gender fluid not “women’s” or “men’s” fragrance just really good fragrance. It has become my favorite of the first four releases. When I was told there was a limited edition coming called Mxxx. I eagerly awaited my sample.

Ms. Herman continues her collaboration with perfumer Antoine Lie whom she has worked with on the previous four Eris Parfums. In the press release the naming of Mxxx. embraced the extra “x”’s they wanted something a little more carnal without crossing the line into garish carnival. To that end they sourced three new ingredients they wanted to add to the existing structure of Mx. The first is an authentic tincture of ambergris. 95% of the time when you see ambergris listed in a perfume it is synthetic. They worked with an oil house in France that created ambergris tinctures from the real stuff. They also added African Stone. This is the excrement of an animal called a Cape Hyrax. I’ve smelled the unadultered stuff; it smells awful. In the hands of a master perfumer like M. Lie it can be something much different. The third is a single source of Trinidad Cacao which is being used for the first time in this perfume. There was cacao in the original this is something else entirely. I think of each of these as an “x” combining to form the “xxx”.

The opening of Mxxx. is the same as the opening of Mx. for a few moments before the first “x” shows up; Africa Stone. M. Lie uses it to provide the beginning of an animalic depth that is waiting to be deepened later. As the underpinning of the saffron, ginger, olibanum top accord from before it gives it all a slinkier feel like going from linen to silk. The depth is greatly increased as the sandalwood and cedar of the original meet this Trinidad Cacao. This version retains the fattiness of the cocoa butter during its extraction. This is a gorgeous chocolate ingredient which has the dustiness of fine cocoa captured in a sweetly oily matrix. I keep thinking of a fondant that flows when I wear this. The original base of Mx. was plenty animalic with birch tar holding down the base accord. For Mxxx. the birch tar is replaced with the ambergris tincture. It gives that rich foundation for the patchouli, vetiver, benzoin, and castoreum to form an opulent throwback finish.

Mxxx. has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage

I’ve probably tortured my analogy enough but Mxxx. captures what I would consider a genuine triple-x effect. It uses unique ingredients which add a sensuality to what was already a great perfume in Mx. For Mxxx. it is an opportunity to embrace a creative team interested in making something for the true perfume aficionado; one “x” at a time.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Eris Parfums.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Diptyque Eau Capitale- The Polite Chypre

As I’ve written about numerous times, the perfume style of chypre is tough to achieve currently. The ingredients which made up the classic chypres which defined it are proscribed. It means a modern chypre must make decisions at what they want to retain over what is difficult to achieve. What seems to be the hardest thing to do is to find the bite lost using the neutered low-atranol oakmoss. There are many good examples but there are many more which fail because they become unbalanced, too much or too little bite, drawing attention to the overall deficiency at the attempt. In more recent times there has been a more pronounced effort to find that velvety texture of the oakmoss, without the bite, in different combinations of materials. I think of these as “polite chypres”; Diptyque Eau Capitale is one of these.

Myriam Badault

Creative director at Diptyque Myriam Badault has been overseeing the brand since 2008. I can make the case that she has been the best creative director Diptyque has ever had. She has had a sharp eye towards the future since her tenure began. It has allowed the brand to stay relevant as it enters its sixth decade of producing fragrance. Over the most recent few years Mme Badault has been working exclusively with two perfumers. For Eau Capitale it is Olivier Pescheux who is collaborating with her.

Olivier Pescheux

Eau Capitale opens on a top accord dominated by the multi-faceted baie rose. It is slightly enhanced by bergamot and pepper, but it is all baie rose in its herbal fruity glory. A full Bulgarian rose meshes with the baie rose to form what is becoming a contemporary classic pairing. It is given a bit of a different spin as ylang-ylang slips through the side door in the heart. Now comes the part where they have to decide what to do to be a chypre. In this case M. Pescheux uses a trio of synthetics in akigalawood, georgywood, and amboxan. This forms a neo-chypre which does retain a bit of the mossy texture without any of the edginess of the vintage type. The spiciness of the akigalawood does its best to provide that but just provides a pleasant spiciness in the end.

Eau Capitale has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

The press materials call Eau Capitale “a lively chypre”. Perhaps so. I prefer thinking of it as polite.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Pierre Guillaume PG 28 Peau D’Ambre- Four Resins

One of my earliest scent memories is of attending Midnight Mass at Christmas as a very young boy. It was my first time to be awake that late. My jaw was hanging open from all the sensory stimuli. My mother wearing her customary Mitsouko was behind me as I peered down the center aisle. The attendants preceded the priest each swinging some silver sphere with smoke coming out. This was transfixing to me. I followed each swing of the censer until they came even, and I smelled the smoke of the incense inside. I almost leaned out to get another sniff of that wonderful smell. Incense is one of my favorite perfume styles and I have always believed it imprinted on my mind that Christmas night past. It is why I enjoy finding new incense focused perfumes like Pierre Guillaume PG 28 Peau D’Ambre.

Pierre Guillaume

Peau D’Ambre is the first new PG releases without a decimal attached to the number in three years. Independent perfumer Pierre Guillaume has been more interested in re-interpreting his earlier perfumes. Peau D’Ambre is inspired by the early perfumers of Corinth in the 6th century BC. M. Guillaume imagines what a boat of Corinthians headed out to deliver their goods might smell like.

It starts with a gorgeously full fir balsam overlaid upon a still water accord. As if the boat is docked waiting to be offloaded. As they hand up the leather gourds of precious materials they mix with the scent of the conifers. A worn leather accord contains frankincense. This is that silvery redolent frankincense I remember from that Midnight Mass. Two more containers of resins join in as opoponax and benzoin complete the delivery. On my skin it forms a resin super accord which seems appropriate for the Holidays as fir and incense meld into one another.

Peau D’Ambre has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

M. Guillaume constructs a compelling resin accord with his four materials. It is just like that first Midnight Mass all I want to do is lean forward to stay within its scent. Now with Peau D’Ambre I can.

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

Mark Behnke