perfumesilove

Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove perfumesIlove@gmail.com

Hipsters

At times I regret my resolve to only say good things or nothing about niche houses, because some of the sample collections I got were really egregious. Contrary to expectations, the main problem with niche perfumery is not lack of skill, but all-out cynicism. There seem to be plenty of slick new outfits out there, typically well-funded and based in fashion-conscious places, that decided that an arty look, pretentious patter, affable, skinny […]

Continue Reading →

In Milan today

Allegedly a national holiday, but the shopping must go on. Photo taken at the entrance of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, with my back to the old Bar Zucca, now renamed Camparino, where they serve the only cocktail that improves on a Negroni, the Lavorato Secco. I seem to remember it involved Rabarbaro Zucca, Cordial Campari and a mysterious herb liqueur only found there. Niche liqueur! I felt I needed one […]

Continue Reading →

Anatole Lebreton

One of the joys of reviewing niche fragrances is encountering brands that have recently appeared and/or I have never heard of, which means I have exactly zero expectations. Anatole Lebreton sent me small sprays of his four fragrances, with a nice letter and a leaflet more suggestive of a yoga retreat than a niche perfumery firm, a million miles away from the luxury-goods ambiance of most of the industry. I smelled all […]

Continue Reading →

Tabac Grande (Sultan Pasha Attars)****

When I lived in North Carolina I used to go at weekends to a spectacular grocery called Fowler’s, now sadly closed, smack in the centre of tobacco-town Durham. The place had the peculiar, eerie quiet of US downtowns outside working hours. Dotted all around were windowless buildings full of tobacco to the eaves. The rich, complicated smell of cured tobacco was everywhere, as always poised midway between delicious and poisonous. […]

Continue Reading →

Institut Très Bien

I was delighted to see the ITB stand at Esxence, because I feared that they had gone out of business, and their old range of Colognes was great. I was also fond of the name which roughly translates as “Institute Well Done”, Très Bien being (if you’re lucky) written in red ink by a teacher in the margin of a French schoolbook with its weird musical-stave ruling. I imagine the citrus Cologne constraint […]

Continue Reading →

Masque Milano

As I said in a previous post, I chanced into the Masque Milano stand at Esxence and was sat down and given a glass of bubbly and a very cogent explanation of their recent work. It was immediately obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the fragrance art direction. Thought is not a sufficient condition to make great perfumes, but it is necessary, and in very short supply […]

Continue Reading →

Green Water (Jacques Fath) ****

While at Esxence, I walked past the Jacques Fath stand without stopping when,  out of the corner of my eye, I saw the name Green Water which I remembered from years ago as a complete joke. I was wrong: this was not the dismal earlier reissue, but an entirely different new thing done for Fath by independent perfumer Cécile Zarokian, together with three other fragrances. Her name seemed to be […]

Continue Reading →