As a bit of a perfume purist, I'm always rather sniffy re flankers. Come Summer, come the new legion of wannabes, like new-borns screeching for attention.
A way to market an existing brand and fragrance to an already committed market, the flanker seems to be just that bit too obvious - yelling 'buy me' at a loyal customer base who deserve considerably more respect while simultaneously screwing with what's often an already good fragrance. It's ironic that many such flankers end up diluting both the brand message and the juice.
It's rather lovely, then, to say when someone gets it right. When it's actually a welcome addition and a new slant for the fragrance.
As an avid YSL Paris fan, the big and beautiful original perfume reminds me of stealing into big name dept stores in my lunch hour and spritzing wildly before returning to my Saturday job in 'Chelsea Girl' where I felt I reeked of sophistication while doling out changing room tickets - it was YSL after all. Sofia Grojsman's high-strung overdose of roses and violets seemed to so accurately capture the romance and feel of an arty, distant Paris to an 18 year old.
Smelling the new Paris Premieres Roses is like re-living that experience with the same wondrous rush of wanting to escape to another far more romantic location. Ms Grojsman's re-worked YSL flanker as a Limited Edition version seems to conjur up far more allure than most.
This thirty year anniversary scent seems an even lighter, greener and wetter version of Paris. Dewy fresh, morning-mist tinged Rose de Mai hints of discovering lush foliage in an urban location, spilling its powdery accents on skin while the ethereal violet is still a huge constant but there's also a hint of orange to add a short sharp spritz of freshness.
The dry-down on Paris Premieres Roses is quite simply the best I've experienced in a long time. The fragrance takes on another temperament and while still vivacious, is calm and controlled. The powdered rosy glow meets the warmth of sandalwood and white musk for what is quite a delightful and gorgeous addition to YSL's fold.
I may have to re-think my stance on flanker additions. Paris Premieres Roses 2013 Limited Edition may be the landmark case.
Paris Premieres Roses is available from all good dept stores including Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser priced £29.90 (125ml)