mercoledì 23 settembre 2015

HABANITA de Molinard: yesterday and today. A "side-by-side" review.

"Imagine to walk in an oriental spice bazaar, with a bunch of exotic flowers in your hands, and a leather factory on your left, and a tobacco manufacture on your right....and suddenly a cloud of talc powder comes down to surround you. This is Habanita."
This is a good description of one of the most legendary perfumes in history: Habanita de Molinard.
You will find spices, tobacco, leather, flowers, talc powder, blended all together. It seems Habanita has been fulfilled with almost every ingredient used in perfumery. Actually, according Molinard, Habanita contains more than 600 (!) ingredients.
Apparently, according to tradition, Habanita could stay in the group of those perfumes called "feminine but masculine": Tabac Blond de Caron, Bandit de Robert Piguet, Cabochard by Grès, Jolie Madame by Balmain. But, in my opinion, Habanita is more similar to another lost gem from the past: Tabu by Dana. However, if you know and appreciate any of these perfumes, you will feel comfortable with Habanita.  In addition, sporting a strong tobacco/spice/leather core, Habanita could fit perfectly for men, too. Be careful, Habanita stands on its own feet and it's immediately recognizable. You can't be wrong: when you smell it, you immediately say: this is Habanita. 
As usual, you can read tons of review about Habanita on the web, so we'll leave floor to a few of highly estimated reviewers (listed at the end of this article).
Hanbanita is in production since 1921 and was probably reformulated several times. Good ol' friend Gianni Ambrosio, the now-retired retailer from Milan, generously borrowed me a couple of vintage EdT bottles from his collection, plus the modern EdP version on sale today, for a comparative review. Laura added a small sample of her precious older vintage. So I was able to perform a really comprehensive review. 
How does vintage Habanita de Molinard perform in front of the modern one? Firstly, we have to learn something about different versions, bottles and packages used during last decades. 
So, let's go and see!

mercoledì 16 settembre 2015

YVES SAINT LAURENT "La Collection": a side-by-side comparison.

Since the launch, happened in 2011,  the "Yves Saint Laurent La Collection" (eight historic male and female perfumes) arose an huge amount of debate among perfume lovers.  The bigger complaint were about the "reformulation" of all eight scents made by L'Oreal (owner of YSL brand); then there was a minor complaint about the new "double cube" bottle (an identical one, for all eight scents), and -at last- the biggest cry: the stop of production of previous versions. 
Aesthetical considerations apart, what about these "new" scents? 
Was "reformulation" so drastic? 
Are these "new" perfumes so "awful" (as reported by many during past years), or "acceptable", or even "good ones"?
I was able to obtain all perfumes both in vintage and modern versions, and perfectly stored (especially the vintage ones). 
So, finally I could perform a side-by-side test with the four "new" male scents produced under "La Collection" line: Rive Gauche - JAZZ - YSL pour Homme - M7 Oud Absolu, and I compared with different "vintage" versions, under strict conditions.
How did they perform?
Let's go and discover it!

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