Summer Fragrances Reviews: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense, CK All, Mugler Alien Eau Sublime, Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo Casual Life

Summer Fragrances - Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme

Things are getting hot here in Johannesburg, with the mercury starting to push the upper 20s and early 30s. Hot and bothered, I will add. I remain a goth at heart, so I can do without the relentless heat. On the plus side, the heat is the perfect excuse to indulge in a selection of new summer fragrances.

Summer Fragrances - Mugler Alien Eau Sublime

I am very flexi in my approach to the fragrances I use during different seasons. But I do enjoy the cologne/aquatic/citrus/fruity/floral spectrums more in summer. They go well with Johannesburg’s summer heat. The best summer fragrances are often an olfactory ticket to somewhere exotic/ glamorous/ unconnected. This is vital when I am spending way too much time banging away at the keyboard.

CITRUS CHOICE: L’Artisan Parfumeur Au Bord de L’Eau is an ideal summer scent.

So how do some of the newer summer fragrances feature on the Fragroom-o-meter?

ELIE SAAB RESORT COLLECTION LIMITED EDITION EDT

The smell of an exclusive villa vacation. Notes of red mandarin, frangipani, pomegranate nectar, jasmine sambac, orange blossom and patchouli waft through the air. Well done, Francis Kurkdjian! Elie Saab Resort Collection Limited Edition EDT, R1 110 for 50ml and R1 535 for 90ml.

Summer Fragrances - Elie Saab Resort Collection Limited Edition

CK ALL EDT

What a happy fragrance! Created by master perfumers Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont, it features citrus, jasmine, freesia, lily, musk and amber notes. This EDT speaks to me: “Spray often, you grumpy bastard!” cK All EDT, R605 for 50ml, R875 for 100ml and R1 230 for 200ml.

Summer Fragrances - CK All

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO UOMO CASUAL LIFE EDT

A cool cucumber opening (the listed notes say otherwise). Then there’s coffee, ambroxan and musk notes on the menu. Not as special as the tiramisu treat Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo, but still a reasonable casuale option. Salvatore Ferragamo Casual Life EDT, R1 000 for 50ml and R1 380 for 100ml.

Summer Fragrances - Salvatore Ferragamo Casual Life

MUGLER ALIEN EAU SUBLIME EDT

Mugler’s original creator, Dominique Ropion, brings a new sunnier dimension to this flanker. Jasmine, tiare flower, lemon, orange blossom and cashmeran take prominence. Typically Mugler, it’s bold and unapologetically maximalist. Mugler Alien Eau Sublime EDT, R855 for 100ml.

Summer Fragrances - Mugler Alien Eau Sublime

ISSEY MIYAKE L’EAU MAJEURE D’ISSEY EDT

Imagine a wind-swept walk on a deserted beach littered with driftwood. That’s the feeling I get from this one. Must be the aquatic, sea salt, grapefruit, bergamot, woody and cashmeran notes. A sombre scent. In a good way. Issey Miyake L’Eau Majeure d’Issey EDT, R965 for 50ml and R1 175 for 100ml.

Summer Fragrances - Issey Miyake L’Eau Majeure d’Issey

COACH FOR MEN EDT

The first time I have tried a Coach fragrance. Featuring nashi pear, bergamot, cardamom, vetiver, suede, geranium and coriander notes, this versatile, easy-going fragrance is what I could call “nice”. Nothing wrong with that. Coach For Men EDT, R695 for 60ml and R995 for 100ml.

Summer Fragrances - Coach For Men

DOLCE & GABBANA LIGHT BLUE EAU INTENSE POUR HOMME

I didn’t detect much at first, but like waves on a Capri beach, the compliments came rolling in (stay with me). The more I wear it, the more I love Alberto Morillas’ cocktail of sea water, mandarin, frozen grapefruit, juniper, amberwood and musk notes. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme, R 655 for 50ml, R1 330 for 100ml and R1 925 for 200ml.

Summer Fragrances - Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme

LACOSTE L’HOMME EDT

A stand-out rhubarb opening to this woody spicy spent that also features ginger, black pepper, dry amber and musk notes. It brings much-needed elegance to my typically interchangeable PJs/tracksuit gym ensemble. Lacoste L’Homme EDT, R950 for 50ml, R1260.00 for 100ml and R1 320 for 150ml.

L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR AU BORD DE L’EAU EDC

Taking inspiration from the Renoir masterpiece of the same name, Fabrice Pellegrin’s creation is the olfactory equivalent of an Impressionist palette of citrus-aromatic notes. Simplicity at its best, it features nuances of bergamot, lemon, violet, orange blossom, musk and rosemary. On my skin, I need to apply it fairly regularly. But when a fragrance is this good, I do so with absolute pleasure. L’Artisan Parfumeur Au Bord de L’Eau, R2 120 for 100ml, www.skins.co.za

 

Alberto Morillas: A Lifetime Of Creativity

Fragroom Interview - Alberto Morillas

I usually go easy on the hyperbole. But I reckon it’s safe to say that Alberto Morillas is one of the hardest-working and most revered noses in the perfume biz. In his 45 years as a nose, the Spaniard has created many of the most successful fragrances of the last few decades.

Fragroom Interview - Alberto Morillas

LIVING LEGEND: There’s a good chance you’ve owned at least one Alberto Morillas fragrance. Pic courtesy of Firmenich.

How’s this for a roll call of achievement…. Panthere de Cartier (1986). Estee Lauder Pleasures (1995). Tommy Hilfiger Tommy (1995). Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio (1996). Lanvin L’Homme (1997). Kenzo Flower (2000). Mugler Cologne (2001). YSL M7 (2002). Marc Jacobs Daisy (2007). Versace Pour Homme (2008). Bulgari Man (2010). No wonder, Alberto Morillas was recognised by the Fragrance Foundation with the Perfumer of the Year Lifetime Achievement award in 2013.

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - CH 212 Men Aqua Limited Edition

PROLIFIC CREATOR: CH 212 Men Aqua Limited Edition, one of Alberto Morillas’ 2017 fragrances.

My first Alberto Morillas creation was the vanilla-laden Givenchy Pi (1998). To this day, it’s one of my favourite fragrances. Driven by his love for his work, Alberto Morillas continues to be a prolific creator. This year alone I have come across several of his creations. These include cK All, CH 212 Men Aqua, Bulgari Goldea The Roman Night, Gucci Bloom and D&G Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme, among others.

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - Gucci Guilty Absolute

LEATHER REPORT: Alberto Morillas created the superb Gucci Guilty Absolute.

The master perfumer has not lost his touch. His unusual treatment of leather for Gucci Guilty Absolute proves that he has also not the ability to surprise and confound.

Alberto Morillas is the nose behind Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Summer 2017 and Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Summer 2017. When they were recently launched in South Africa, I thought I would try again to get an interview with Alberto Morillas. I was thrilled when the South African distributor got the go-ahead to send him some questions by email. I asked him about his fragrances for Issey Miyake, his creative process and what excites him most about modern perfumery. This is what he had to say….

It’s not the first time you have created an Issey Miyake fragrance. What attracted you most to this particular project?

In 2007 Issey Miyake first invited me to bring my own vision to the iconic signature I admired from my dear friend Jacques Cavallier [who created the original L’Eau d’Issey and L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme]. This was for the limited edition Une Goutte sur un Petal. At that time I could impart a fresh new vegetal touch as delicate as a dewy drop on a fresh petal.

Each time I work on a new L’Eau d’Issey fragrance I pay homage to the Japanese designer and his amazing work. More specifically on this project, I translated his unique vision into a pure, modern freshness for the summer editions.

Alberto Morillas and Issey Miyake Fragrances

PAYING HOMAGE: Visionary designer Issey Miyake.

How do you bring something new to L’Eau d’Issey while staying true to such a modern classic?

Both the masculine and the feminine Eau d’Issey personalities remain so distinctive I can play with new modern freshness by inviting novel ingredients into the composition, while staying true to their unique signatures. Pineapple and kiwi bring the new exotic twist to the masculine scent. Summer is also played by exotic fruits for the feminine version. I introduced a new invigorating brightness throughout the colourful cocktail of dragon fruit, mango and guava.

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2017 Pour Homme

NOVEL NOTE: The pineapple note in Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Summer 2017 Pour Homme adds an exotic new twist.

Were there any challenges when creating these new Issey Miyake fragrances?

Since 1997 Issey Miyake first innovated on the market by offering summer fragrances as new fresh interpretations of the Eaux d’Issey Miyake. Always providing an abundance of joy, the seasonal creations have been regularly renewed and are supported by different original graphics and concepts. As a Mediterranean man I like to explore new sophisticated fresh universes inspired by my vivid summer memories. I am very attached, for example, to the citruses, sea notes and sunny flowers I married in these two opuses with joyful exotic fruits.

“As a Mediterranean man I like to explore new sophisticated fresh universes inspired by my vivid summer memories.”

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Summer 2017

What’s always the most important element in your creative process?

Looking for inspiration and new ideas when I work on a new perfume project is the most exciting part of my job. Behind every fragrance is a unique story emerging from a lot of sources, but above all from a direct dialogue with the people. As a perfumer, my inspiration comes from meeting with the brand. Their words are very important. Proximity makes all the difference when creating a perfume.

I confess I can hardly stop working and almost all my formulas are written by hand. My handwriting is my emotion. When I write the formula, I can smell the perfume. Like a craftsman, I have an indestructible passion for creation. All my fragrances come from this devotion to creation and have consumed all my days and nights for the past 45 years. I can easily imagine the fragrance without smelling it. For me, perfumery is an emotion. The technique is intellectual, but every perfume has to have a soul, a story and be an emotion.

Fragroom Interview - Alberto Morillas

WINNING FORMULA: Alberto Morillas says almost all his fragrance formulas are written by hand.

How long on average does it take you to create a fragrance?

It really depends on projects. Some only last a few months and others may continue for a few years.

“Creation is all about intuitive inspirations. Fragrances call for our deepest instincts and emotions.”

How important is intuition when creating a fragrance?

Creation is all about intuitive inspirations. Perfumers create abstract pieces from moments, emotions, sensations, people, places. Fragrances call for our deepest instincts and emotions.

With over four decades in the fragrance business, what advice would you give to aspiring perfumers?

If you want to become a perfumer, it is very important to be passionate, sensitive, enthusiastic, determined and extremely conscientious. You need an inquiring mind and a creative streak. You should be able to marvel at things as you did as a child. And of course, you should love the job of creating perfumes.

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme Summer 2017

What trend in modern perfumery excites you the most?

Fragrance is the mirror of society; it has evolved a lot throughout the years. Today we have entered a time of high perfumery. Traditional perfumery codes are more and more revisited with a modern twist. But there’s also a strong focus on high-quality, statutory ingredients, texture and sophistication.

Alberto Morillas Fragrances - Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2017

Do you do anything to protect your gift of smell?

I don’t even think about it.

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Summer 2017 EDT, R995 for 100ml.  Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Summer 2017, R965 for 125ml.