Let’s take a look at IFRA/EU restrictions on oakmoss, the future of chypres, the reasons why fragrance houses are eschewing chypres, fractional distillation to remove IFRA-forbidden allergens, the use of seaweed to supplement or create an oakmoss base, the type of oakmoss that suppliers make available to perfume houses, and how the fear of still more restrictions in the future is impacting the types of scents that perfume houses are making. A fascinating, highly informative discussion of these issues took place last night on Twitter with several experts chiming in to explain what is going on behind the scenes and its significance. I learnt a considerable amount, particularly regarding the type of oakmoss currently on the market, and I’d like to share that with you here.
Jean-Paul Guerlain, the patriarch and former nose of the legendary Guerlain family, is allegedly the victim of elder abuse at the hands of his son and guardian, Stéphane Guerlain. An article yesterday, January 15th, detailed a host of allegations against Stéphane who will be appearing in court. Charges include terribly dilapidated living conditions, bare financial support, loss of income, and both violence and death threats against Jean-Paul’s girlfriend who he’s wanted to marry for years. (Stéphane Guerlain put a stop to that, allegedly. He’s also brought counter-accusations against her which several courts have dismissed.)
The outpouring of support after yesterday’s post on Leonard Payne’s admitted theft of 190 pages of my work has meant more than I can properly express. I don’t think I can thank you all enough or properly. Whether you commented here, on FB, on Twitter, or by email, your words felt like a soothing balm or a hug. I was particularly touched by an email from Belgium where the person found me because of Tom Ford (and his Bitter Peach) but stayed for Apollo and my writing. Thank you — to each and every one of you.
Many of you have suggested I sue the not-so-good Reverend. I wanted to address that point tonight in an update that also includes new things that I’ve learned about Mr. Payne.
As many of you are undoubtedly aware by now, major changes are sweeping over Serge Lutens. They extend beyond changes to the mere look of bottles or their pricing and entail a whole reshuffling and revamping of the many lines or collections within the brand, thereby signifying a new marketing and business approach by Shiseido which took over the full management of the Serge Lutens brand a year ago. Many of you have already read the news of the specific changes elsewhere, but not everyone follows the same perfume sites or groups, so I thought it was worth a post here on Kafkaesque so that everyone had the chance to buy any old favourites whilst they could before the higher prices kick in.
At the end of this article, I’ll share some thoughts about the possible larger meaning of all this, why I think Shiseido differs from other companies (like L’Oreal or LVHM) that have taken control of perfume houses, why the nature of Shiseido’s relationship with Lutens might be cause for cautious optimism, and, finally, which Lutens fragrances have, in my opinion, have already undergone reformulation prior to the new bottling.