Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Defense of Kiton

In Defense of Kiton: Kiton is a brand that is respected the world over for their suits; they are very pricey - with no expense spared and no detail left unattended. A Kiton suit is truly the Rolls Royce of the men's wardrobe. Public opinion on their fragrance line however, seems to be mixed and generally biased towards dissaproval. People often claim that Kiton fragrances have no soul, and do not live up to the greatness of the menswear.

I think this is a case of misunderstanding, of wrong perspective. Kiton fragrances are meant to complement the line of suits. These suits are for businessmen, and businessmen need a corporate fragrance. As much as a VP may love a loud fragrance like Dior's Eau Noire or Arrogance - he knows he cannot wear it to the boardroom. I am sure anyone can appreciate that when someone's time is spent deciding the fate of millions of dollars, the butterly effect becomes very real. One misjudgement can break a deal and presentation is very important in the business environment; Something so trivial as your choice of fragrance can greatly offend, for the top brass generally have ego sizes to match! For this reason, Kiton has created a line of "corporate fragrances". These are fragrances which are boardroom safe yet unique enough to convey the style and refinement of the wearer. Even Kiton black, which is geared towards evening wear is primarily a corporate scent as it is safe for any evening event in which an executive may have to maintain his corporate persona.

I know we were all expected a groundbreaking incredible niche scent from a house that spends 50 labour hours per suit, however if you look at it from this angle - it all makes sense doesn't it ?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Creed Bois Du Portugal - Fragrance Re-Incarnation

(a very fitting photo of Olivier and Erwin Creed :)

Although I would have loved to talked about [carnations] in this blog post, I am actually going to comment on a few things I have noticed lately regarding the generational re-use of fragrance skeletons. As we all know, Coty's l'Origan DNA can be found in classics such as l'Heure Bleu and Royal English Leather, and that Chypre launched an entire fragrance family. However, it is not always so obvious that these things are happening in modern fragrances as well. I am not talking about the fact that everything "smells the same nowadays", but more the interesting ones that are harder to spot which intrigue me. I was chatting with an SA at a Dior counter just a few months ago and he commented on how DNA will jump from season to season, never has it rung truer to me than in the past week.

Over the past few days I have been toying with reproducing Creed's Bois du Portugal. I have found just how easy it is to tweak it into Guerlain's Heritage (obvious), but more interestingly, a couple small adjustments will bring it quite close to Eau Noire territory! If one looks at the notes it becomes pretty obvious that they are at least, members of the same family. After having experienced the deconstructing of BdP I must say that I would feel comfortable betting that Francis Kurkdjian was explicitly influenced by the Creed in the process of making Dior's Eau Noire and that is it not just a matter of coincidence! I wonder if Bois du Portugal happens to be a fragance that Kurkdjian admires? if I ever get the chance to talk to him, I will remember to ask! Don't misunderstand me , I do not think there is anything wrong with this type of inspiration - afterall - the reason I was playing around with this deconstruction was in fact to eventually tweak it myself!

On a related note, I am interested to find out the connection between Guerlain and Palmolive: The famous Colgate brand soap from 1898 clearly mimcs the fragrance of 1906's Apres l'Ondee. My guess is that since the Guerlain parfum was release after the soap, the soap's fragrance must have been changed to some iteration of the current "Original Scent Palmolive" somewhere after 1906 (instead of when it was actually launched). Is it just a case of copycatting, or cooperation? If anyone knows more about this I would love to hear from you :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Patchouli and Ice Cream

Heres a sketch for a little something I have been playing around with since yesterday. I named it "patchouli and ice cream". It can still use some tinkering - possibly it could be developped into something that could be released commercially, as a "concept" perfume. I like it.

Patchouli Oil
Iso E Super
Ethyl Vanillin
Raspberry Ketone
Aldehyde c-18

"marketing speak" notes would look something like:

top: berry syrup, coconut shavings

middle: vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, crushed cashews, almond slivers, caramel sauce

base: patchouli, sparking woods

Monday, June 8, 2009

Parfum : Yours free with purchase!

I have run into two very interesting perfume presentations this week; both of which were promotional items included free in the purchase of another product or service. The first is a mid 70's Givenchy III parfum mini-flacon from Air Canada.

It is very small, marked as 1/15 oz or 1.9ml - and it came in the outer box as well as a very cute museum display style plastic case. I assume this may have been a promotional gift for first class passengers flying to Paris because it is marked "compliments Air Canada" - as you can see in the photo above.

Only trace amounts of the parfum remain, much of which must have evaporated due to the poor quality seal (this was meant to be used very quickly). The scent however, is still distinctly that of Givenchy III, although it is predominantly the mid/bottom notes which are apparent. This interesting piece was found at a local thrift store and cost me a cool $0.49

The second and very interesting presentation which I have seen this week is a vintage Lanvin Arpege presentation. It may look like the usual suspect upon first glance, as it did to me - However, this is a very rare and consequently valuable special edition which came with the purchase of an American classic car. the individual who has this particular piece in their possession is not sure whether it was a Packard model or a Lincoln, however I will try and dig up more information on this as I can. It is currently on Ebay for $1026 with 5 bids. Updates to follow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Amazing find: 105 year old rose oil

Here is something interesting I have found, an antique item which is located not more than 200 km from where I live. It is an unopened canteen shaped container of rose oil, distilled in 1904 in Bulgaria by a distillery by the name of Guintcho Batchvaroff. The measure by weight is roughly 1.5 kilos. It is truly amazing to find such a specimen ! Probably it was a gift, which was never opened as it was considered too precious - Now it is being offered by the seller on ebay for 245,000 US dollars. I am not sure how one would accuratley price such an antique, so I am interested to follow this see if there are any takers on the auction :)

Unfortunately, during the various political changes in the history of the country of Bulgaria, much of the information regarding these old distilleries was lost. I have not been able to find out anything about the company itself yet.