Marlou 50 ml d’Ambiguïté (aka Ambilux) +L’Animale Sauvage (Carnicure)

A look at Marlou Parfum‘s 50 ml d’Ambiguïté (now known as Ambilux) and a brief, two-tweet glance at L’Animale Sauvage (now called Carnicure).

There was a lot of hype over both fragrances when they were released. D’Ambiguïté, as I call it, was especially popular and people commonly compared it to Serge Lutens Muscs Khoublai Khan, the great Kouros, and other popular animalic fragrances.

I had a different view of them.

Continue reading

New Launch: Boujee Bougies — Original, Fun, Witty & Creative Niche Candles

Though I rarely post about new releases or new brand launches, I’m going to make an exception this time for Boujee Bougies, a new niche candle brand created by expert niche perfumistas for discerning niche perfumistas. The brains behind it are Nick Gilbert and Pia Long, both longtime stalwarts in the niche perfume world. Thomas Dunckley of The Candy Perfume Boy also played a big role in the writing and support processes behind the scenes.

One of the reasons for my singling out this new company is that I was incredibly impressed by the originality of note lists and I also smiled at the witty, fun, carefree, outgoing and slightly tongue-in-cheek ethos of the brand. Bright, colourful candles come with names like Hellfire or Cuir Culture (pun intended) and their note lists made me sit up and do a double take.

Gilt. Source: Boujee Bougies

Continue reading

Giorgio Beverly Hills Vintage Giorgio For Men: A Bargain Powerhouse

Vintage Giorgio, also known as Giorgio Extraordinary Spray Cologne For Men. Photo: my own.

Rich, bold, powerhouse fragrances for a bargain price, what could be better? There is a definite advantage in going vintage, and Giorgio For Men is a perfect example of why: addictive patchouli is layered with loads of genuine oakmoss, Cuir de Russie-style birch leather, and gales of spices and amber, then lashed with honey, iris-orris butter, sandalwood, citruses, dry cedar, chocolate, vanilla, and silky cream. It’s all presented in a seamless, complex, long-lasting and audaciously intense concoction with parallels to both vintage legends and modern niche, except Giorgio costs a pittance of the price of most fragrances in those categories and it also contains high levels of raw materials now limited or banned in perfumery.

For a mere $30, I purchased a large, 95% full, 120 ml or 4 oz bottle whose scent bore echoes of fragrances which came both long before it and long after it: legends like vintage Givenchy Gentleman and popular modern creations like Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834, Chanel‘s Coromandel, and Guerlain‘s LIDGE. Throughout its long lifespan, Giorgio’s character changed from the ruggedly polished but elegant 1980s alpha male to the unisex, modern, and addictively, delectably cuddly. While there are a handful of small issues with the fragrance, mostly if one sprays a lot of it, they’re minor in the overall scheme of things and the low price makes them easy to ignore. In short, this is a scent well worth looking up.

Vintage Giorgio. Photos and collage: my own.

Continue reading

Unum Opus 1144: Divas & Powerhouse Classics

Source: Pinterest via pinterest.

Source: Pinterest

Fans of floriental powerhouses in the classical tradition, take note, Opus 1144 is one for you to try. It is a bold, complex fragrance with a divaesque character that harkens back to the great Guerlain legends, Shalimar and L’Heure Bleue, in their most concentrated vintage parfum form, as well as to modern creations by Mona di Orio and O’Drui. At its heart, it’s structured much like a millefeuille dessert where tart, lemon curd custard lies sandwiched between layers of dark, smoky styrax and balsamic-coated, musky leather, all dusted with vanillic powder in a haze of jasmine and iris floralcy.

Jean Patou couture, circa 1969. Source: pinterest.

Jean Patou couture, circa 1969. Source: pinterest.

Opus 1144 is many things, sometimes all at once. It is a lilting choral extravaganza where grand, bold opulence and monumental density dip into airiness and delicacy without ever losing strength. It’s a chiaroscuro of light and dark, masculinity and feminine, gourmand and oriental, hard and soft, acrid and sweet, cloying and beautiful — and I’m not completely sure what to make of all that, no matter how many times I wear it. In all honesty, there are many times in the first four hours when Opus 1144 leaves me simultaneously repelled and riveted, drawn in compulsively and with great admiration, but also put off and hesitant. One thing is undeniable: it’s something that any fan of the classics and of powerhouses in the floriental genre should try for themselves.

Continue reading