Monday, 1 May 2017


If you don’t recognise the name Dariush Alavi then you might know the man by his pseudonym, Persolaise. He first appeared on March 11th 2010 and since then has challenged, praised and critiqued hundreds of fragrances via his Blog and in many publications. A Jasmine Award Winner, a flamboyant dresser and a mean hand at jam making, I thought it was time to discover Dariush’s own perfume memories during “Stephan’s Six”.

What is the first smell that you can remember?
I've thought for ages about this, and I don't think I can really say... which is odd, given that my memory doesn't often fail me. It would probably be something food-related. Maybe kebabs roasting on an outdoor, charcoal barbecue. The smell of all the spices from the marinade filling the air. Oh, and definitely eucalyptus from the tree growing outside our house in Bandar Abbas. Long-buried recollections that make me feel... hmmm... nostalgic, and aware of the passage of time.

What was the first perfume you remember your mum or dad wearing?
In my mum's case, it would probably be Opium, although I don't think she wore it very often. I associate her more with White Linen and Aromatics Elixir. My dad has been an Aramis man for years, and I think he probably splashed on a bit of Brut too. All of that seems a lifetime away: when we were living in Iran, just after the Islamic Revolution. Another world.

What was the perfume of your twenties?
Well, I've never hidden the fact that I wore CK One to death during my student days. From the moment I started wearing scent I've never been a single-perfume person. So my twenties would also have been perfumed with L'Instant de Guerlain and Fahrenheit and Eternity and Minotaure. All those conjure far too many memories to share here. Happy times. Turbulent times. Ever-changing times.

What was your biggest perfume mistake?
I don't think I can answer this: surely it's for someone else to comment. My wife would probably say I've made lots of mistakes - for instance, she can't stand vetiver-based compositions on me - but I genuinely can't recall an occasion when I've been embarrassed by a perfume choice. I think I've made mistakes in terms of choosing perfumes as gifts for other people. I've been convinced that someone would really love X, Y or Z, only to be proved wrong.

You can only choose one perfume?
The answer to this would change on a daily basis, but today let's say it is Guerlain's Nahema extrait, because it always makes me think of my wife and it is one of the most enticing roses ever poured into a bottle.

What perfume should I try?
Woah! Too many to list. How about... the new Gucci Guilty Absolute for men, because it shows that the mainstream is still capable of springing wonderful surprises on us.

For more details on Dariush and his book, Le Snob: Perfume, you can visit his website at

[Photograph of Dariush courtesy of]


  1. I don't always agree with Mr.Alavi, but his assessments are never less than interesting and he writes and speaks so well. So, thanks Stephan for another good issue.

  2. Hello Rob, I'm glad you enjoyed it. With "Stephan's Six" I just ask the questions and hope that I get good answers. Persolaise is always passionate about what he thinks and writes, just don't ask him about Dior's Sauvage! Best, Stephan