måndag 20 oktober 2014

Rania J. - T.Habanero

Picture: A close up of an orange Habanero chile pepper
Ryan Bushby (cc) Wikipedia commons,
some rights reserved
T.Habanero is the latest release from perfumer Rania Jounaeh who has created a collection of perfumes containing a high percentage of naturals. See  my reviews from spring this year.

T.Habanero starts with a blast of barnyard, strong, dark, and intensive. The barnyard accord is similar to tha same accord in Rania J. Oud Assam which is the one of Ranias earlier fragrances that most equals T.Habanero. It also have some traces of Rania J.s Ambre LoupAs T.Habanero dries down to its second half, the dirty notes almost disapperars and a distinct but not too strong tobacconote takes the centerplace. There is also a ligtht spicy impression which is rather cold and not warm in its character, probably it's the cardamom contributing to this. The pepper, is despite the name of the fragrance, not a dominating note, it's well integrated in the fragrance.

T.Habanero isn´t something new or especially orginal despite some challenging accords in the first part of the fragrance. Overall it's a nice and comforting perfume, perfect for the cold autumn and winterdays which are approaching. It's a strong fragrance so one has to apply sparingly to avoid overdoing. So handled it could be worn also in the workplace even if the style and character in my opinion is more casual, perfect for a walk in the woods in crispy autumn leaves.

The style is in the contemporary dark-resin-oudy with representatives as for example Puredistance Black, Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante and Stephan Humbert Lucas 777  Black Gemstone. When comparing T.Habanero to Oud Assam, I think the latter is a better and more challenging composition.

Rating: 4

Notes: Cardamom, black pepper, sandalwood, olibanum, myrrh, oud, tobacco

måndag 13 oktober 2014

Parfum d'Empire - Corsica Furiosa

Picture: Emperor Napoleon I (1769-1821),
another corsican furiosa.
Painting by  Paul Delaroche (1797-1856)
The latest addition to the highquality house Parfum d'Empire, Corsica Furiosa is a tribute to the ISCPA-trained perfumer and owner of the house Marie-Antoine Corticchiato native island Corsica. Corisca Furiosa, which features the mediterrian shrub lentisque, is an aromatic-green fragrance in its very own style , one hand dry, herbal, on the other green, leafy, crisp.

Corsica Furiosa starts with an accord which smells of dried herbs and gras over the sunbaked, hot, earth of a mountained, mediterrian island. There is also a note of smoke, as the smoke from a fire far away. A light spicy limenote is also present and is recognizable also in later stages of the fragrance. After a while a natural haynote appears and further in the dry down an almost animalic note, a pleasant furnote, appears. This stage reminds me of something in Musc Tonkin but softer and tuned down. In the basenotes a note clos to crisp, bulbflower leaves appears, probably the tomatoleaves but different handeled than in typical tomatoleave fragrances as Sisley Eau de Campagne and Joop! What about Adam. In this stage a light flowery element which reminds me of daffodil, enlighten this, taken as a whole, austere composition. This flowery note, the green note, the fur note and some of the hay with a slight herbal touch is what remains in the basenotes and lasts until the fragrance has dried down after 8-10 hours. There is also an element in Corsica Furiosa which reminds me of an accord in the base of Olivier Durbano Lapis Philosophorum.

Corsica Furiosa is gentle and close to the skin, it's light, almost as a cologne and could be re-applied during the day without any risk for overdoing it. It's a very casual fragrance but would also perform well in the workplace, especially in the scentfobic office. Corsica Furiosa is most intriguing in its first part, than its plesant and quite ok but with out the sensation of the first one third.

To me Corsica Furiosa is truly unisex but to be honest I think it wears better on me than on Mr Parfumista who tried it at first as I thought it would be more herbal bitter and masculine in style. Other fragrances which comes to my mind when testing Corsica Furiosa is Guerlain Cologne 68 which have some of the burnt, herbal mediterrian notes but is more flowery and sweet. The crispy bulbflower leaf is present in for example Pierre Balmain Vent Vert (older formula) and Oriza L .Legrand Deja le Printemps.

Rating: 4

Notes: Lentisque, hay, grass, lime, honey, moss, labdanum, mint, tomatoleaves, pepper

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test.

måndag 6 oktober 2014

Maison Francis Kurkdjian - Féminin Pluriel

Picture: Portrait of a young lady with a white veil,
oil on painting, unknown french painter ca 1800
Féminin Pluriel is the feminie part of the Pluriel compositions of Maison Francis Kurkdjian, with Francis himself as the nose. The masculine Pluriel will be reviewed in a coming post.

Féminin Pluriel starts with a bright, clean iris where the carrot is present but very well balanced, it never reaches the deep, rough, earthy territories like for example Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Soon bright and almost sparkling violets and roses apperars, I imagine the roses as elegant creme colored ones and the violets in a pale violet nuance. Further in the dry down the flowers mingels in a beautiful, bright and uplifting boquet, subtle, trasparent and very elegant like a creme colored silk chiffon scarf flapping in the wind or the veil of a bride.There is something the overall impression that reminds me of two Jean Patou fragrances: EnJOy and Un Amour de Patou, mostly of the latter. From EnJoy there is something similar from the basic structure, a contemporary chypre with a patchouli-vetiver base. EnJoy is rougher, louder and have some frutiy  notes (which mixed together reminds) me of pineapple, these notes are not present in Le Pluriel. The flowery light rosy bouquet is in the same style as in Un Amour de Patou, even if not smelling the same, they mediates a similar impression. A note that is distinguishable when  I'm wearing Pluriel is the Lily-of-the-Valley, the spontaneus reaction from the kids are "Your smelling like grandma" and as Dior Diorissimo is my mothers it signaturefragrance there must be the LOTV. Even further in the dry down, a very light powdery impression with a glimpse of a soft lipstick note, apperars and when reaching the base, the vetiver steps forward making Pluriel a tad greener. The vetiver is dry and gentle and not of the rougher, masculine kind, the patchouli is in the clean, contemporary style, which is not dominating the base, just adding some slight earthy dept to it. There is also a balsamic quality in the texture, not the smell, of the base, despite all traces of balsams and resins are missing in the composition. This "balsamic"quality is also present but more pronounced, in another MFK favorite, APOM Pour Femme. There is also something common in style, not much in smell, with Jour d'Hermès but the latter is greener, harsher, sharper and more tangy in its scent.

Picture Féminin Pluriel
Photo: PR Maison Fracis Kurkdjian (c)
Féminin Pluriel is a very wearable fragance, both for business and for pleasure including occasions that deamnds an elegant outfit and fragrance. The sillage is medium and the longevity for a day, and when wearing Pluriel one could be sure it's attracting compliments. Pluriel is not as complicated as the earlier MFK fragrances so it will probably reach a greater audience than the more extreme ones.

I was very curious to compare Pluriel PF with an other great Francis Kurkdjian composition of 2014: My Burberry and thought there would be more similarities than it really is. Pluriel is very clean, innocent without any dirty notes, compared to My Burberrys urban garden and asphalt notes, Pluriel is an unspoiled country girl where My Burberry is the casual chic and though city girl. Taken as a whole My Burberry has more interesting twists with the contratsing flowery and urban notes but Pluriel is much more beautiful and elegant. Just as with My Burberry, I find Féminin Pluriel to be one of the best and most wearable fragrances of what I have smelled from the 2014 releases.

Rating: 5

Notes: Iris, violet, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, vetiver, patchouli leaf

måndag 29 september 2014

Frapin - Nevermore

Picture: "Le Corbeau"
  Drawing by Édouard Manet (1832-1883) 
The haunting dark, mysterious Nevermore is the latest release from the vernarable congnachouse of Frapin, a house which also create perfumes, almost always with a boozy touch. Nevermore is inspired of the life, work and mysterious death of the american novelist Edgar Allan Poe especially from the poem "The Raven" and also the suggestive story of the "Poe Toaster". The Poe Toaster is a figure in a dark cloak who appears on the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, put down three roses, toasts in a glass of congac and left the remains in the bottle on the grave. And what could be a better interpretaton of that scene than Nevermore....

Nevermore starts with a honeyed, beewaxnote. Soon an almost metallic spicy pink-purple rosy accord appears, followed by a rosy and winey accord  close to the special winey accord in  Frederic Malle Une Rose but in Nevermore the accord is in a drier interpretation. I percieve Une Rose as sweeter, but to me the closest fragrance to Nevermore. The spicy metallic vibe is probably from the saffron and there is also a slight oudy, impression. As the ingredient is not mentioned Nevermore is probably a representant of the genre "non oudy ouds" ie fragrances which recalls oud in the texture and appearance but featura the oud note, Among the dry spices there is also  something from the dark green bayleave note present from Andy Tauer Une Rose Chypreé. There is also an slight earthy impression and a dark leather note, like the stiff leather in a black leather trenchcoat, glimpses by.
Picture: Nevermore
Photo: Frapin (c)
In the basenotes a distinct but wellbalanced, slight woody powdery like pulverized dry woodshavings of cedar,accord is present. There is also a beautiful and natural smelling rose present, very dark red, almost black and with a touch of decaying notes. In the late basenotes there is like the rose gets lighter and more pink-purple again but still wrapped in the cedar and in a contrasting  warm amnber.

Taken as a whole Nevermore is suggestive and triggers ones imagination which is something I demand from a fragrance to be FBW. It is very longlasting on skin with a strong sillage, this is a fragrance that must be carefully applied. In style it's a quite masculine rose, it developes in a very beautiful way on Mr Parfumista, not that good on me. When worn by Mr Parfumista there is some similarities with another favorite of him, Montale Aoud Saffran even if Nevermore is drier and more cold spicy.

Rating: 5 (on Mr Parfumista) 4 (on me)

Notes: Aldehydes, nutmeg, black pepper, rose, saffron, amber, cedar

måndag 22 september 2014

Jul et Mad - Aqua Sextius

Picture: Fontaine-Albertas in Aix-en-Provence.
Photo: By Oslostudio under CC Attribution-Sharealike license
Wikipedia commons, some rights reserved
Inspired from Aix-en-Provence with its sparkling fountains, the latin name of the city gave name to Aqua Sextius, the founders of perfumehouse Jul et Mad, hired the it-perfumer Cecile Zarkoian to create a fitting blend.

Aqua Sextius starts with a concentrated limenote which reminds me of the classic Rose's limejuice. Soon an aquatic accord somewhere in between Aqua di Gio and Agua de Loewe joins  the lime together with a fresh, green, minty note. Even if not mentioned as a single note, I percieve something close to a soft cardamonnote mingling with the mint through the whole developement of the fragrance. A sort of clean and dry figgy note also appears in the middlenotes together with a slight flowery element. Some fresh, soft, woody notes together with a pleasant, clean musk anchors Aqua Sextius and the notes blends in a comforting and relaxing way.

Aqua Sextius is a perfect fragrance for relaxed casual wear but also easy to wear and not disturbing in the workplace despite its good sillage. The longevity is very good, for over a day even in warm, sunny, summertempratures. The style of Aqua Sextius is appropriate for summer but I also think it's a fragrance which is comfortable to wear in any season. A happy and easy to wear fragrance within the "mainstream niche"cathegory.
Picture: The well matched bottle of Aqua Sextius
Photo: PR Jul et Mad (c)
Those who like fresh fragrances in the style of  Parfumerie Generale Yuzu ab Iratio, Phaedon Cendres de The and Noir Marine will probably also appreciate Aqua Sextius. The fragrances doesn't smell the same but have common accords as for example the fresh cardamom smell in Cendres, the aquatic wood of Noir and the dry but juicy texture of Yuzu.

Rating: 5

Notes: Grapefruit, bergamot, mandarine, orange, the, mimosa, aquatic notes,mint, eucalypthus, white flowers, fig, pine, labdanum, amber, moss, cedar, guaiac wood, musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try

torsdag 18 september 2014

Aedes de Venustas - Oeillet Bengale

Picture: Oeillet Bengale
Photo: PR Aedes de Venustas (c)
The latest release from New York based perfumeshop Aedes de Venustas, Oeillet de Bengale is created by perfumer Rodrigues Flores-Roux, a pefumer who created hidden mainstream gems as Donna Karan Gold  (swe) and also hyped niche fragrances as for example for Arquiste.

Oeillet Bengale starts with a true and soft carnation note followed by a light spicy incense focused note. Soon a beautiful rose appears, the rose is tender and natural smelling. As Oeillet Bengale dries further down, the rose and spices blends in a mix that creates an impression of a soft spicy carnation. Further in the development, the rose steps forward and appears in a different form, now in the form of a retro diva, the rose smells balsamic and a bit oldfashioned, deep and dark but without powdery and soapy nuances and reminds me of the rose-saffron accord in Odori Zafferano but in a smoother version. In the basenotes the balsamic, ambery impression deepens and playing beautifully with the spicy, rose-carnation. Taken as a whole, Oeillet Bengale is linear in style but playing in a higher, flowery register in its first part and on the deeper, darker part of the scale in the second part.

Oeillet Bengale is subtle with an obvious, chic-simple elegance, I can imagine the wearer of Oeillet Bengale in a basic uniform consisting of a black chasmere jumper/cardigan, a black light woolen penskirt, contrasted with different decorative silkscarves or pashminas. In its olfactory character, Oeillet Bengale reminds me of a non powdery Chanel 1932 or a Grossmith like Amelia. When it comes to carnations, the current (or just disontinued) Caron Bellodgia Edt is too watered down and not as balsamic in style, Bellodgia Edt in
the older version is in the traditional eugenol carnation style. Compared to another great carnation release from this year, Oriza L. Legrand Royal Oeillet reviwed earlier this week, Oeillet Bengale is a more of a non descript carnation, the fragrance is in fact a spicy rose underscored by balsamic notes which creates the impression of carnation, whereas Royal Carnation is a very true, classical carnation but in a contemporary interpretation. I have also heard from a reaible source that Oeillet Bengale have many similarities with vintage Yves Saint Laurent Opium Extrait, havn't smell the vintage extrait myself.

Oeillet Bengale is soft, elegant and in the same time comforting. It's sillage is close
but fully detectable for those nearby. Appropriate both for casual and the office especially for the colder months. The stayingpower is good, for over a day. And the bottle, like the other Aedas falcons, just marvellous.

Rating: 5

Notes: Turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamon, clove, saffron, rose, white pepper, strawberry, floral notes, vanilla, tolu balsam, benzoin, labdanum

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

måndag 15 september 2014

Oriza L.Legrand - Royal Oeillet

Picture: Study of Polly Bernard  1885 for
"Carnation, lily, lily, rose"
Painting by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Royal Oeillet is a composition inspired of the rich heritage of the revived french powder and perfumehouse Oriza L.Legrand. The house of Oriza recreates some of the old formulas taken the restrictions of and opportunities in to account and the result is one of the very best nichelines of today. In Royal Oeillet he interpretes the it-note of 2014: Carnation.

Royal Oeillet starts with an traditional, dense carnation note, a full carnation as in Caron Bellodgia pre year 2000. After a while, a contrasting note appears, a glimpse of the, what I call "an old attic" note appears, but much lighter, cleaner and airier than in the "old attic" gold standard L'Ombre Fauve from Parfumerie Générale. The note soon steps back and integrates with the carnationnote. The carnation is dry and papery in structure, I imagine its color as brick red. The clove which is a part of the carnationnote is very balanced and doesn't overpower the composition. Compared to Royal Oeillet, for example M.O.U.S.S.E and M.O.U.S.S.E II from Oliver & Co, spicy clovefragrances and the impression of carantion is subordinated the spices. Royal Oeillet is, despite the light spieces, in a strange way refreshing when worn a warm summerday. It's linear and minimalistic in its apperance but not at all boring. Its a meditative and calming fragrance which triggers the imagination and transports the wearer to the late 19th century and the impressionists era. The atmosphere in John Singer Sargents wonderful painting Carnation, lily, lily rose is similar to the vibes of Royal Oeillet.

Picture: Carnation, lily, lily, rose -
 the finished painting 1885-1886
 John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Compared to the other Oriza L.Legrand carnation, Oeillet Louis XV Royal Oeillet gives the impression to be a soliflore carnation, the Louis is more of an aldehydic boquet with carnation as the leading flower. In the Mâitre Parfumer et Gantier carnation Soie Rouge, where fruit and rose are more predominat an its also less spicer. Haven't tried my sample of Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale yet but I'll compare it with Royal Oeillet when I review it.

Royal Oeillet could be worn in many situations when one need a comforting, elegant and easy to wear fragrance. The fragrance is appropriate year around, but especially for late summer/fall, the sillage is medium and longevity for almost a day.

Rating: 5

Notes: Rose, black pepper, myrrh, geranium, cloves, pink pepper, cedar, bitter orange, violet leaf, sandalwood