Bad Perfumes fall into two categories. The superficial, tacky confections of the high street and b-list celebrity “designers”; and the insipid, listless, watery spritzes of the “recessionista” parfumeur – which, once sprayed, vanish like a fart on the breeze. Rarely (if ever) does a fragrance manage to fall into both categories. Until there was Remix.
In what can only be described as an acrobatic display of awfulness, Emporio Armani She Remix successfully straddles both camps – managing to be at the one time, both utterly offensive and entirely devoid of any discernible scent in one graceless swoop. The talent, one can presume, must be in the timing. A quick hit of cheap, fruity, sweets and then…gone.
On balance, I think the longevity issue pisses me off more than the sub-standard scent. Emporio Armani was conceived as the affordable alternative to Giorgio…you don’t go to McDonald’s expecting Cordon Bleu (unless you happen to be my ex-history teacher Miss P, who was actually overheard ordering “a scone and a nice cup of tea” at the drive thru. But that’s an aside.) But you do expect something; Some degree of satisfaction, some semblance of a fair exchange for the old dollar. Very few things hack me off more than a perfume which won’t stay put. It’s like buying a DVD boxset and only being allowed to watch the first disk. And Emporio Armani does it time and time again. I’ve worn Emporio Armani She. I’ve worn Emporio Armani She Night. I’ve worn Emporio Armani She White. And now I’m wearing Emporio Armani She Remix. That’s a a hundred odd quid I’ve spent on air and water. I could have bought a bottle of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille with that money and still had a tenner left over to see StreetDance the movie. In 3-D. With the proper glasses. I could have even had a bag of Haribo. Or maybe a McDonald’s scone and a nice cup of tea at the drive-thru. What a colossal waste of a life.
It must be that Megan Fox. And the nice tin bottles. Bewitching bastards, both.
Until next time noses
Today, as well you know, is Day 21 of the Heapnose perfume diary, penned by Heapnose, for the exclusive use of the popular website http://www.heapnose.com, devised, written and edited by Heapnose. Day 21 finds your humble blogger in the throes of the summer fragrance season, suitably beguiled by popular spring/summer releases, from, amongst others Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, and…Jennifer Aniston, and finding herself as ever, swayed by a more classic pallet, a reputable parfumeur, and an impressive track record of not being shit . Swayed too, by the fact that I received your Cinema (Eau D’Ete) for nothing, from an employee of the sister of an online fragrance distributor. (Yes, Yves, they’re giving away your scents. Never fear, it’s probably just a blip. We’re all feeling the effects of the recession.)
Might I be so bold as to presume therefore, that in light of the inclement economic climate, some cutting of the proverbial corners has occured chez vous? How else to explain the advent of Cinema (Eau D’Ete) by Yves Saint Laurent a scent which is, to all intents and purposes an exact replica of Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent, but is one part fragrance to three parts water?
I have traditionally enjoyed Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent – a scent which, i am reliably informed has since been discontinued . Tom Ford’s fusion of floral and oriental offset by a powdery base is a commendable melange, and one which a trail of disciples have failed to emulate with any degree of success (Klein – you dick). Although, in truth, Tom Ford could happily fuse axel grease with sheep shit and I would gladly snap up his fragrant offering. That guy is smoking hot.
Yves, I get it, I really do. It’s been a tough year for all of us. But when a High Street store can cobble together a longer lasting summer replica of your own fragrance (“Theatre!”) and (“Summer Theatre”) than you yourself can muster, I fear you’re in trouble my friend. Which is why I’ve banished you to the bedroom. I’ll stick with you Yves, we’ll ride out the storm together, but only between the sheets. You’re a great combatant to the dreaded “fake tan on pyjamas” problem, and a nifty little distraction from my partner’s “summer feet” but we will never go on a date, I’m not going to introduce you to my girlfriends, and you will never meet my mother.
Come on Yves, I mean, you must have seen this coming. I dragged you along to church last week, but let’s face it, you weren’t really “there”. And I think we both knew that I was taking someone else to the Baftas…someone who could stick with me all night, fill a gap in conversation, and stay for breakfast the morning after.
Sorry Yves, that’s what you get for being cheap. It’s a valuable lesson.
Luv and Hugs
Day 20 of the Heapnose Perfume Diary. Today I’m wearing Acqua di Gioia by Armani.
In 1996 Giorgio Armani released what would arguably become his most famous fragrances – Acqua Di Gio for him and Acqua Di Gio for her. The former fast became, and remains still the world’s top selling men’s fragrance, adorning the artfully whiskered jaw lines of unimaginative plebs the world over. The latter, facing stiff competition from the nineties trinity of Klein, Hilfiger and Lauren, failed to set the ladies alight, and quietly faded into obscurity: Last seen at the Duty Free Counter in Luton Airport – the elephant graveyard of the perfume world.
14 years later, Giorgio remains determined to right this perfume wrong…to give us girls our aquatic fragrance back. Hell, we got the right to vote, to go to University, to demand equal pay, to wear trousers, and according to one Heapnose reader, to cook in bigger ovens: We’ve surely earned the right to smell good as we smash through those glass ceilings. And so Armani gives us “Acqua di Gioia” a fragrance which “…celebrates woman and nature”.
Inspired by a Mojito (good start) the fragrance is underpinned by the feeling of female independence – hence the deliberate absence of a man in the (concededly beautiful) ad campaign. The pro-girl power message is blurred somewhat however by the 19 year old supermodel who writhes on beaches, frolicks with horses (plural), and drinks from fresh water pools in a leafy jungle. Now admittedly I’m no trail blazer, but none of the above bear any sort of correlation with my plans for the long weekend. Woman and nature might be better represented by a pallid 26year old, sans makeup, shuffling sluggishly around Roath Park Lake, rueing the previous night’s 11th mojito, spurred forth only by the promise of an M&S Hoi Sin Duck Wrap and an evening of searching Richard Armitage on YouTube. Still.
Idole D’Armani – the last Giorgio release reviewed by your faithful nose, was elevated above High Street status by its impressive longevity, even in the face of a self loathing biscuit binge. Acqua Di Gioia fails to live up to any such standards of longevity – expect a couple of hours from this, at best. However, given the onset of summer, and the subsequent need for something a bit lighter, for once, I’m not holding that against our friend G. On a humid day in the office, or a hot day in the city, when fragrance is forced to co-exist with the twin scepters of summer; man-feet and man-pits – a refreshing fragrance, is, well, refreshing. It’s not insipid either. For all the talk of aquatics, there’s a warm, brown sugar base to this one that gives it a bit more gusto. Pat Heap really likes it, and aided by my recent acquisition (appropriation) of (someone else’s) desk fan (aka the fragrance fairy) the smell has been much commented on by office visitors. It’s not a classic – and if Giorgio was aiming as such then it falls short of the mark. But as a summer handbag mainstay, it’s great. Don’t expect the earth, and don’t pay full price for it – and you won’t be disappointed.
Available from July
Day 19 of the Heapnose Perfume Diary. Today I’m wearing Joy by Jean Patou.
Armani announced this month the intended release of their newest fragrance “Acqua Di Gioia” – Quite literally a perfume designed to capture the essence of Joy.
Given, however, my recent and palpable absence of “Joy”, I find myself simply unable to summon the good cheer necessary to review such an inoffensive perfume – and have opted instead to launch a vitriolic and unprovoked attack on Jean Patou, for his horse-piss excuse of a perfume, also, and misleadingly entitled “Joy”.
What a bloody awful perfume this is. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself apologising for the smell, before visitors even crossed the threshold. The most constructive response came from my office companion, a long-time sufferer of my fragrant whims who suggested I “Go away and euthanize (my)self.” Nobody likes it. Nobody at all – although someone in the office does own it – a result of a Christmas re-gifting by a (now more) distant (than ever) cousin
Launched in 1930, just after the stock market crashed, and shortly before the USA settled into a state of great depression, (I”m saying nothing) “Joy” was, famously the most expensive perfume in the world. Now it’s not even the most expensive perfume in Duty Free at Luton
Favoured only by nostalgic perfume critics and women in their 80s, It smells like a combination of drains, cat pee and my Great Aunt Emily. When I smell it I’m reminded that my boyfriend is 3000 miles away, my best friend is moving to Paris, Richard Armitage will probably never love me, I’m unlikely to find fame as a horse whisperer, the Tories are in power and the comfort eating is beginning to show. Short of being holed up under a wrestler’s armpit, immediately after he consumed a chicken korma and performed a large and satisfying pooh, I simply cannot imagine a fragrance which I could like less.
Next time more Joy I promise. But for now, more cake.
Day 18 of the Heapnose Perfume Diary. Today I’m wearing eaudemoiselle by Givenchy.
There are some French things that I really like (Fries, Kissing, Cuisine). And some French things that I really dislike (Toilets, Toll Roads). There are very few French things which actually bore me. Until I encountered Givenchy’s latest insipid release.
I can clearly recall motoring through France on balmy summer days, and being forced to urinate behind strategically placed bushes in order to avoid the dreaded “hole in the floor” toilets which so terrified me in my formative years. But never, while popping a squat kerbside on a busy French Autroute; never while sporting Pat Heap’s trademark “plonker” t-shirt (designed for the young female traveller with less than perfect aim); never while hovering nervously behind a well placed Camion, praying for a brisk flow; Nay never did I lament what a terrific bore all this was. Undignified, perhaps. Deeply unpleasant, definitely. But never dull.
In that sense, Givenchy has succeeded where the great French Nation has failed. In creating a fragrance so profoundly dull that I can hardly drag my fingers across the keyboard long enough to review it. Yes it has notes of mandarin, Italian winter lemon and cedar wood. Yes there’s a cheeky tonka bean in there somewhere. But it doesn’t do anything – it doesn’t break new ground, it doesn’t inspire fragrant debate in the office, it doesn’t even kill bugs. It’s the rich tea biscuit, the John Travolta thriller, the Pantene shampoo and the Coldplay album of fragrances. It does the job, but if there’s anything more exciting in the offing, you’d bin it in a heartbeat.
Steer clear noses, this aint worth a whiff. Crap name too.
Love x Heapnose x
Day 17 of the Heapnose Perfume Diary. Today I’m wearing Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga.
It being Spring, there being little hope of a (British) summer and my being temporarily sans voiture , I’ve decided to invest in a bicycle. Well, I’ve decided to think about investing in a bicycle. Well, i might get a bike.
But before any formal semblance of a plan can be permitted to take shape, I must first identify a Spring fragrance which can withstand the rigours of a twenty minute cycle to and from the office each day. Anticipating (somewhat ambitiously) that my morning ride will take me o’er both moor and mountain, my new Spring fragrance will need to prove its endurance in the face of inclement weather, hostile terrain and the possibility of navigating an underpass. A tall order indeed.
The first of the fragrant candidates is Balenciaga’s 2010 Spring release – Balenciaga Paris.
I’ve always wanted a Balenciaga purse. I’ve never really thought much about a Balenciaga fragrance, but then they offered a free purse with purchase. Canny. As I forked out the last of my hard earned sheckles, somewhere a Balenciaga marketing executive laughed at the moon.
Parfumeurs on the whole believe that as soon as summer hits, we women will either want to smell of citrus fruits or the sea. Conversely Balenciaga demonstrates some seasonal balls with its metallic overtones – I like it. It reminds me of the Balenciaga gladiators that I’ve always wanted – (Hear that marketing execs? Size 5). A tough edge is definitely to be admired in a Spring fragrance – and the unusual choice of Charlotte Gainsbourg as the “face” only adds to this. She’s definitely a lady who’d do a few rounds in the ring with Hilary Swank, then enjoy a packet of pork scratchings and a cheeky fag behind the Dog and Duck.
It also has some great violet notes, and a lingering powdery base which may well remind you of kissing a whiskered maiden aunt, or, perhaps more encouragingly, of the chalky childhood sweets of yester-year.
I debuted this fragrance on my friend Claire’s hen night. Did I prove irresistible to all those who crossed my path? No. Might this be because I spent the evening zombie walking through the club Thriller style? Possibly. Did it last? Yes, all evening – which, given that a Cardiff nightclub on a Saturday night roughly resembles Beirut, is no mean feat. Will it last on a cycle ride over boardwalk and quagmire alike? Possibly not. Do I encounter either boardwalk or quagmire on my journey to work? Well, no, but there is that nasty underpass, and a few large puddles filled with brackish water.
Hell, I know it’s contrary to the spirit of longevity, but I can always re-apply when I get to work. Particularly since the perfume also came with an additional handbag sized bottle. It’s as if those marketing execs are inside my mind.
Yep, I’m definitely going to persevere with this one throughout Spring. It’s cool, it’s edgy, and moves seamlessly from day to night - which, as the evenings grow ever longer, and I move seamlessly from desk to bar, is pretty damn handy.
x Heapnose x
Dear Monsieur Cartier
I am writing to you from the popular fragrance blog http://www.heapnose.com to thank you for the latest addition to your fragrance collection – Cartier Eau De Cartier Essence D’Orange by Cartier.
I fully realise that you sir no longer head up the Cartier brand, since selling it to that wily Swiss corporation. However given that the fragrance features your family name (in fact, features it more than once, and on some bottles more than twice) I felt it only fitting that any criticism, positive or otherwise be addressed directly to you.
Monsieur Cartier. Your website assures me that Cartier Eau De Cartier Essence D’Orange by Cartier “…draws its brightness from a vibrant and luminous citrus cocktail (orange, bergamot), a delicate floral heart (violet flowers, acacia) and trails with sensual woody amber notes (cedarwood, patchouli)”
Monsieur Cartier, one can only be grateful for the descriptive power of the written word since I can happily assure you that Eau De Cartier Essence D’Orange by Cartier smells of absolutely nothing. Monsieur Cartier I am nothing if not a liberal user of perfume. I spray generously. In many circles I am considered a bio-hazard. Eyes have been known to water in my presence, allergies are wont to present themselves as I enter a room, a building, and once even a city. Monsieur Cartier, I am convinced that if there were a fragrance to be found somewhere within Cartier Eau De Cartier Essence D’Orange by Cartier, I would have found it. Alas no.
My office contemporaries stopped dead in their tracks today, day no. 16 of the Heapnose perfume diary.
“What? No perfume today Heapnose?” enquired my executive producer as he braved the office atmosphere, asthma pump at the ready.
For the first time in over a month, my nearest neighbour was actually able to taste his lunch. The room was teeming with visitors, buzzing with the news that the smog over the second floor had finally cleared. Office doors were opened, industrial fans were turned off. Somebody even baked a cake. Jonesy penned a brief but moving poem; “A Holiday for the Senses: The Day the Mushroom Cloud Left” by HC Jones.
Monsieur Cartier, I can but thank you. Thank you for giving Iestyn his taste buds back. Thank your for bringing friends, old and new to the second floor office. Thank you for inspiring Jonesy to verse. Thank you for freeing us all from the captivity of our asthma inhalers – Thank you Monsieur Cartier for one glorious perfume-free day. It was, quite simply, the best 35 pounds I have ever spent.
With all good wishes from myself and everyone here with me today.