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Message in a Bottle: Luca Turin Reviews the Latest Moschino, Tom Ford, and Canoe Goods Perfumes


ingredients: bergamot, juniper, cedarwood

I remember a conversation years ago with my perfumer-chemist colleague Roger Duprey in which I described a molecule as a “boring ten-carbon alcohol,” to which he replied in a tone of righteous indignation: “There is no such thing as a boring ten-carbon alcohol!” He was right, of course, and perfumery is still charting a course through this vast territory, one alcohol at a time, as production chemists achieve the low prices required by today’s market. Many of them have a not-quite-citrus feel to them which is ideal when the client says, “Eau Sauvage, but different” or “Fresh, but not Cologne.”

The two reference fragrances in this style are Cacharel Pour L’Homme [1981] and Cool Water [Davidoff, 1988], the latter launching into the world of fine fragrance a material nobody had paid much attention to—dihydromyrcenol. The difficulty with this kind of fragrance is that it smells functional, particularly in the drydown: as the composition loses parts by evaporation, it comes to resemble cheaper and cheaper versions of itself. Moschino Toy is a fine example of this unfortunate effect: it starts out in a beguiling dry, fizzy euphoria which augurs well. Fifteen minutes later, it’s a hotel shampoo.

citrus juniper


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