Tag Archives: Olivier Cresp

Avon Today Tomorrow Always My Everything for Her: By Olivier Cresp 2017

tta my everything bottle

There are some  fragrance fans who would never consider celebrity scents or Avon perfumes.  There are some who say that in fragrance you get what you pay for.  I dispute that. I’ve smelled amzing, cheap scents and unpleasant expensive ones.  In fact, if this were an episode of Newsnight, I’d be on the panel, looking sternly over the top of my glasses and arguing the case that inexpensive fragrance can be good, great even.

I would present the case for Avon Today, Tomorrow, Always, My Everything for Her.  I would make allowances for the name that is, admittedly a bit of a mouthful, and I would point out that the nose behind this inexpensive beauty is none other than living legend Olivier Cresp, who co created the iconic and perennial Angel for Thierry Mugler.

First of all, it’s OK if we abbreviate, so let’s call this TTA My Everything.  There’s a For Him too, but we’re talking about the  For Her version, if labels matter (another Newsnight topic?).

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There are only three notes: bergamot, rose and crowd-pleasing praline.  Personally, praline isn’t my cup of Typhoo, but only a fool ignores public demand.  Praline is one of the main notes in Lancôme La Vie est Belle, which has been scenting the streets of Britain since it came out way back in 2012.  The fragrance buying public have gone mad for gourmands in the last five years and whilst I’m more of a mossy chypre kind of woman, I can understand the buzz.

TTA My Everything opens with powerful bergamot and rose. The bergamot makes the rose smell sharper and mingles with it until you think you’re smelling a lime coloured rose or a rose-coloured lime. They blend seamlessly, giving this a delicate opening that gets stronger the longer you wear it.

Thorntons
Thorntons

The praline comes in gradually, and despite being one third of the notes, it doesn’t overtake or dominate. In fact I would say this is a rose citrus with warm sweet edging. It really reminded me of Nina Ricci Nina which combines apples and praline, so if you like that you might like this too.  I love the different rose nuances in My Everything.  It seems to come and go in waves.  In fact, if you’ve ever tried the aforementioned La Vie est  Belle and found it too sweet and wished the floral notes were stronger, then this would suit you down to your boots.

Avon Today Tomorrow Always My Everything For Her is coming soon. I was lucky enough to get a sample from my lovely Avon Lady, so watch this space for when it comes out.  Opinions are my own.

Stockists

This will be available  soon from your Avon brochure or from Avon UK. The current prices of other fragrances in TTA range is £14 for 50ml EDP, so I imagine this would be in that price bracket too. Owning an Olivier Cresp for £14? Yes, indeed.

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Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom

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I came across this sample of Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom in my Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box and, with it being a Penhaligon’s, I couldn’t resist. Equinox Bloom was created by Olivier Cresp, the legendary nose whose perfume heritage cannot be matched: he was raised among fields of petals and blooms in Grasse, no less.

Equinox Bloom was inspired by a combination of flowers and a London breakfast of honey and marmalade. M. Cresp has never shied from using gourmand notes: he co-created  iconic game changer Angel for Thierry Mugler.

Equinox Bloom opens with a blast of orange blossom and neroli. Neroli is also made of orange blossom but is distilled differently and is therefore often listed as a separate note.  In Equinox Bloom, the two together give the orangey floral note double the impact.

Fragrantica
Fragrantica

There is a sweetness that comes out almost immediately. I would have said honey, but it is in fact brown sugar.  Now I’m usually sniffy ( pun intended) about gourmands, but this makes a refreshing change. What I like about this is that there is no vanilla in it.  The brown sugar provides a warm toasty sweetness without making this generic: the over-use of vanilla turns me off these days.  There’s some nice waxy frangipani in there too, which always reminds me of almonds, and a dose of very heady jasmine sambac, which has been enjoying a great deal of popularity of late.  However its strength never overpowers the orange flower.

together give the orangey floral note double the impact. There is a sweetness that comes out almost immediately. I would have said honey, but it is in fact brown sugar. Now I’m usually sniffy ( pun intended) about gourmands, but this makes a refreshing change.  What I like about this is that there is no vanilla in it.

equinox graphicThe base is rounded off with a little Ambroxan ( a sort of Ambergris stand in with similar scent qualities), the brown sugar again (which never really goes away) and resin-y benzoin.

Equinox Blooms starts off as a light as a fairy’s wing, before getting headier and headier with creamy white flowers and then meting into a warm golden scent that has a hint of oranges and frangipani.

The sweetness adds to the flowers, rather than takes over, and the overall effect is longlasting and addictive. If I’m honest, there is tiny bit of celery in the ending, which never hurt  Caron Yatagan…

The light airiness of the white petals in Equinox Bloom reminded me of the opening gambit in Annick Goutal Matin D’Orage, so if you like that you’ll probably like this too.

Stockists

You can buy Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom from Penhaligon’s instore and online. You can buy The Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box from their website here.

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Cacharel Noa: Good Morning Starshine

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 Cacharel Noa is a like a caring beatific Guardian, dressed all in white, that nudges you awake on a cool summer morning, as the birds sing, and even offers you a strong coffee.

 Cacharel Noa was created in 1998 by Olivier Cresp. Yes, him. The one who thought Chocolate and Patchouli was a good idea when he made Angel for Thierry Mugler. He must be pretty good at this perfume lark though, because despite my deep loathing of Angel, it has been a bestseller for 22 years. No mean feat in the fickle world of fragrance.

In Noa then, he has made something that I find far more palatable. It has to be said however, that the opening is very reminiscent of Elnett hairspray. I have no objection to this at all since I think Elnett smells wonderful and would happily buy it if they made it into an EDT.

After the Beauty Salon opening number, Noa  becomes an ethereal mixture of  clean baby wet wipes, freshly washed hair, gentle Peony petals, clean skin just after a shower and a big pile of freshly laundered white sheets. And a cup of coffee.

Yes somewhere around the floaty middle notes full of wispy clouds and angels is a dark note of coffee beans. At first this is a little ambiguous. When I first smelled it, it was harsh against its feather pillow backdrop and I mistook it for spice or cumin. However, the coffee blooms and fades rather nicely, preventing Noa from becoming too insipid. It’s a bold choice for sure, but it doesn’t take anything away from its gentleness.

So pretty and inoffensive is Noa that I can well imagine it as a work perfume in any nurturing or calming environment. It is a clean, white scent that I am happy to add to my wardrobe for the days when I don’t want the edgy Orientals, or the prickly Chypres or the heavy Patchoulis (a day like that is rare with me, however).

Often, the Superdrug chain has a sale and recently, all 30ml Cacharels were just £10. That’s LouLou,  AmorAmor,  Noa,  Anais Anais and Eden (aka the strange new girl who eats her own hair and won’t play with the others).  I always find something agreeable in the Cacharel range. It’s affordable quality if you don’t mind smelling like lots of other people, and I don’t! And beautiful LouLou so reminds me of my happy student days…

In true Colombo style, I can’t help saying “just one more thing”…the bottle that Noa comes in is very beautiful, but alarmingly small! It’s not much bigger than a golf ball, but I can assure you that there is indeed 30ml in there, even it did take me a magnifying glass to read the little sticker on the bottom.

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Thierry Mugler Angel: The Marmite of Perfumes

angel naomi Non UK readers may be unaware that Marmite spread has a love/hate ad campaign. There’s no middle ground. You either love Marmite or you hate it. Thierry Mugler Angel is the same.  Angel’s critics are as vehement as its fans.  In the perfume industry however, it is regarded as a masterpiece.  Even hard to please Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez gave it five stars in Perfumes The Guide.

In 2007, Angel was the recipient of the FiFi Hall of Fame Award, an accolade not given lightly. Sales show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Its creator, Olivier Cresp, will be remembered more for Angel than he will for the rest of his illustrious back catalogue, which is outstanding even without the success of Angel.

angel jerry

 

So why the hate? Well, it’s strong. It’s uncompromising. It doesn’t disappear after ten minutes and it has sillage that could floor a man at twenty paces. It is a Gourmand Patchouli of all things i.e spiky but chocolately. Caramel and Vanilla with prickles. Gourmand smells alongside Patchouli confuse my palate and make me feel like I am eating perfume or snorting food. Sensory confusion is not my thing. (I will  make an exception for Coromandel, see my earlier review)

So why the love? See above: strong, uncompromising, doesn’t disappear after ten minutes… Some people say that Angel trod the path for the popularity of Gourmands. In fact, Fragrantica lists no fewer than 24 notes for Angel, including Bergamot, Peach, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Melon, Roses and Blackberries- not one of which I angel flashcould detect.

When I first tried it shortly after its debut in 1992 (in the Harrods Perfume Hall no less, get me!), the displays were huge. It was the Next Big Thing. Jerry Hall, model du jour in ’92, made it her signature scent and mentioned it in all her interviews.  Everybody wanted it. Every magazine carried the ads for it.

I tried it on my wrist and walked away to consider it. What did I get? Chocolate and… Talc? Cologne? In hindsight I know it was Patchouli but did not identify it back then as a 22 year old.

I tried again a few months later: Chocolate and Caramel. I tried again no less than twenty years later. It still made me smell as if I had just finished my shift on the production line in a Thornton’s Chocolate Factory.  Big thumbs down.  And yet I regularly walk through clouds of this in pubs, on High Streets and in restaurants. I can recognise it from a mile off. Millions of women love Angel, but I’m not one of them. My husband, on smelling this, grimaced and said “Eurgh, that’s what the train smells like in the morning”.

There comes a time in life when you realise that you are outnumbered by the number of people who disagree with you and so it may well be you who is in the wrong.  However, in fragrance, as I have said before, there is no right or wrong, only your response. So my response is not wrong- I cannot bear this!  The vast cohorts of Angel fans tells me that others see this rather differently.  Its success, and the admiration of its peers, tell me that its apologists are not wrong either.   As for me: well, I don’t “get” Angel.  It’s as if the joke’s on me

angel smallIf you love this, good luck to you. If you don’t, that’s OK too.  However, I have yet to meet anyone who stands in the No Mans Land between the two camps and just says “it’s not bad, I wear it sometimes, it’s OK”.  And that, my fragrant friends, is why I call it Marmite. I would never, ever spend money on a bottle of  Thierry Mugler Angel.  And for every woman like me, there is another who swears by it and who would never, ever let herself run out of it.

EDIT: Since writing this I have become secretly obsessed with Angel and wear little samples of it around the house.  We’re definitely on flirtation terms now.  Never say never.

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Champs Elysees: Guerlain, how could you?

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Luca Turin hates Guerlain Champs Elysees. HATES IT. However, I don’t always agree with him so I went ahead anyway. I mean it’s Guerlain so it can’t be bad , right? (apart from La Petite Robe Noire, which smells of cherries and Caramac, but that’s for another day). It can’t be awful if it’s Guerlain, can it?

Well it is. If you told me some famous popsy invented this on the back of an album tour on a limited budget for maximum publicity, I’d believe you. In a blind test, if you asked me which is the Guerlain, I would dismiss this with an instant snort and say “well it’s definitely not THAT one, no way is that a Guerlain”. And I’d be sadly mistaken.

It almost goes without saying that Guerlain has made some true greats that have stood the test of time and succeeded through generations, passing the torch of good taste from woman to woman down the decades. Take Jicky for example, rumoured to be a favourite of Jackie Onassis and created in 1889, or the perennial L’Heure Bleu, created in 1920 and still going strong, or the heavenly Apres L’Ondee, still beautiful after 106 years.

And then there’s Champs Elysees. Created in 1996 and a melting pot, it would seem, of every note they could manage outside the oriental bracket. Can I just ask: why  the melon note? Why? Why have they put melon in there with lilac and peaches and lily of the valley and almonds and anything else they could find lying round the house or garden that day?

This is not to be mistaken for the original Champs Elysees created by Jacques Guerlain in 1904. The only similarity is the name. The modern version was created by Olivier Cresp, who has a lot to answer for , since he is also guilty of creating Angel. (Don’t get me started on Angel, that Marmite of perfumes that divides so vigorously).

If you want Guerlain at its best, get the early ones. A hundred years of women can’t be wrong.

Champs Elysees? turn left and avoid. Much too busy.