måndag 28 juli 2014

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle - Eau de Magnolia

Picture: Magnolia × wieseneri 
Photo: WibblyWibby (cc) Wikipedia commons,
some rights reserved
Almost everything is already said about the beautiful latest Malle release, Eau de Magnolia a creation of Carlos Beniam and I has little to add to the praise. Eau de Magnolia is inspired from a draft to an airy magnoliaperfume, created by the great Edomond Roudnitska. But in those days, we are talkning the late 19th century, the technology in pefumery (for example head-space), didn't left the same opportunities as today and Roudnitska had to set his magnolia idea aside.

To me Eau de Magnolia is quite linear but with some characteristics in different parts. It's starts crispy-airy, a bit chilly and I instantly think of the Roudnitska masterpiece Dior Diorissimo. Further in the drydown Eau de Magnolia becomes a bit warmer and turns from the initial cripsy white impression to a pale, yellow note with a light honeyed almost beerlike (malt) note. The light airy flowers are still there but the fragrance becomes sort of deeper in texture. Eau de Magnolia is more about at white and pale crispy flowers bouquet than of a soliflore of the "note de jour"; magnolia. There is also an almost bitter, dense citrusnote discretly following through the top and middleaccords, probably the bergamot. In the later stages I smell a wellbalanced vetiver and some moisty mossy notes. There is also the high, bright, airy, chemical note, typical for contemporary fragrances, present in both niche and mainstream releases. Besides Diorissimo fragrances such as Elie Saab L'Eau de Couture (even if emphasising other flowers and sweeter, the texture is similar fresh, airy and a bit chemical) and Serge Lutens La Vierge de Fer (even if this one is more formal and has an almost metallic vibe).

Picture: Eau de Magnolia
Photo: PR Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (c)
Eau de Magnolia is a very feminine fragrance and it makes me think of cool, blonde, natural beauties such as Ingrid Bergman or a bit more styled ones as Grace Kelly/Princess Grace. The fragrance is very versatile, easy to like (I guess it will be a bestseller, a new Carnal Flower) and could be worn for any daytime occasion. Longevity is good for such a light fragrance, for more than a day liberally applied. Eau de Magnolia is relaxing, undemanding and just beautiful, something to wear when you not need to be challenged from your fragrance, just smell good. The unchallening nature of Eau de Magnolia is also the only drawback with the fragrance, just smelling divine is sometimes a bit booring.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, magnolia, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, moss, amber

måndag 21 juli 2014

Annick Goutal - Un Matin d'Orage EDP

Picture: Gardenia flower from the gardens at Monticello
Photo: Queerbubbles (cc) Wikipedia Commons, 
some rights reserved
Un Matin d'Orage EDP is a reinterpretation of the 2009 Un Matin d'Orage EDT (swe) by Annick Goutal. As with most current Goutals, the perfumer is Isabelle Doyen together with the late Annicks daughter, Camille Goutal.

Un Matin d'Orage EDP is a character of it's own, it's an ozonic, crispy white flowerfragrance, gardenia, tubereuse and magnolia are the mainplayers. This is not the usual interpretation of the theme  the flowers, are somehow paper-dry in their structure but in the same time they express an ozonic, slight moisty character, like the texture and light vanillic smell of old books. Un Matin d'Orage EDP is quite linear even if the flowers is dominating in the beginning and are balanced in a smooth woody-light vanillic accord, probably the sandalwood, in the base.

The main difference compared to the EDT to my nose is that the EDP is more flowery and a tad sweeter from the warm woody vanillic note. The EDT on the other hand is more radiant, bubbly, fizzy and it's maincharacteristic is a peppery note that follows through the whole dry down. If applying the EDT to liberal, the peppery note takes over and sort of unbalances the fragrance. Overall the EDT is woody in character, with support of the gardenia/tubereuse, where the EDP emphasises the flowers and the pleasant sweetness described above, the pepper playing just a discrete, supporting role.

Picture: Un Matin d'Orage EDT & EDP
Photo: PR Annick Goutal (c)
When comparing the concentrations, the EDP is a safer fragrance, closer to skin, more wellbehaved and easier to wear than the more radiant EDT and I suspect the EDP will be the best selling (and a bestseller!) concentration of the two. The EDT is more of a complicated, dominating and challenging personality which has to be handled with care. The lastingpower is for more than a day for both Un Matin d'Orage concentrations and both are perfect for summerdays, both for casual and for work.

Rating: 5 (EDP), 4 (EDT)

Notes: Tubereuse, magnolia, vanilla, myrrh, guaiac wood (and I suspect that many of the notes from the EDT version is still present as for example gardenia and a small dose of the fizzy, peppery ginger.

måndag 14 juli 2014

Eau d'Italie - Un Bateau pour Capri

Picture: Overlooking Capri harbor from
the rotunda in Villa San Michele
Photo: Morn the Gorn (cc) Wikipedia Commons.,
some rights reserved
Un Bateau pour Capri is an Eau d'Italie fragrance inspired from the neighbourhood of Positano, the beautiful Island Capri. The fragrance is composed by Jacques Cavallier. When it comes to Capri I remember, many years ago, I almost missed the boat from Capri, strolling around in Villa San Michele, built around the turn of the century 1900, for the highsociety physican and philantrophe Axel Munthe, (sometimes called "the swedish Rasputin" as the gossip said he almost spellbound the swedish Queen consort Victoria at the time. Anyway, they were friends and had some Capri-projects about taking care of animals together.) When I was aware of that the bus had left for the harbour, I had the great luck to find a cab up there on the mountin and after a fast ride I caught the ferry and could re-join to our group just in the last minute. Now, over to the Capri inspired fragrance: Un Bateau pour Capri.

Un Bateau pour Capri starts with an aldehydic, fruity, fizz with an almost hairspray like tonality. There is also a cold, watery flowercomponent supporting, probably the peony brightened up with the freesia. Soon also a tart note appears, creating a contrasting, sort of deep freshness of the fragrance. The tart accord is following through the whole fragrance and deepens when it mingles with the woody-musky base. This tart fruity/woody aldehydic note is prounonced and what makes UBpC characteristic. The note is almost off-putting but in the same time somehow pleasant and this is what makes UBpC interesting. In the drydown, UBpC is much more floral, a dark, dense, rose-jasmine accord and despite a distinct cedarnote, the fragrance is very feminine in its expression. The rose-cedar accord remins me of my favorite Eau d'Italie fragrance so far, Pasteum Rose, which is morse unisex in style than UBpC. The aldehydic fizz is present even in the base but in dark and slight soapy way. When wearing Un Bateau pour Capri, besides Pasteum Rose, two fragrances especially  comes to my mind: Esprit d'Oscar by Oscar de la Renta for the aldehydes in the first stages of the perfume and Perles de Lalique for the cedar-rose combo, even if the cedarnote is much more prominent in the latter.
Picture: Map of Capri. Uses terrain data from SRTM3
Author: modified by Morn the Gorn (cc)
 Wikipedia Commons, some rights reserved
Despite the aldehydes and the darkness of Un Bateau pour Capri, the fragrance is refreshing worn a warm summerday, maybe in the restful shadows from the threes in the garden of Villa San Michele. If Un Bateau pour Capri had a color it would be dark blue shifting in purple as the Mediterrean sky at
dusk. Un Bateau pour Capri is casual chic in style, appropriate for a holiday on Capri and the Amalficoast. Sillage and longevity are both outstanding for this fragrance, it lasts for more than 24 hours. UBpC is also approved by Mr Parfumista who complemented it in different phases of the dry down, such statement is quite rare taking in account the many fragrances I test.

Rating: 5

Notes: Peony, freesia, peach, rose, jasmine, heliotrophe, musc, wood, cedar

måndag 7 juli 2014


Picture Peonia Suffruticosa
Photo: Aberlin (cc) Wikipedia commons,
some rights reserved
Now it's the time when the wonderful., lush peonies starting to bloom and as a Perfumista I start longing for wearing the note. Peony is not a common soliflore in the world of fragrance and when it appears as the leading part it's almost always (just as most soliflores) backed up with another floral note, most common is rose. Below some peonies I've tested and like very much:
Picture: Vert Pivoine
Photo: PR Histoires de Parfums (c)
Vert Pivoine (Histoires de Parfums): Starts fizzy, dry, green and almost light peppery. Dries down to a lush, fullblown, almost in the first phase of withering, musky peony, supported by a rose and a contrasting  tart wellbalanced, berrynote. There is also an earthy note in the late drydown. Smells very good and feminine.
Picture: Peoneve
Photo: PR Penhaligon's (c)
Peoneve (Penhaligons): Another great smelling, feminine, lush peony, also supported by rose but the blend smells like lily of the valley is the second player. It's the lush peony contrasted with the green tangy, almost poisonous tartness of the LOTV.
Picture: Rose Pivoine
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Rose Pivoine (Parfums de Nicolaï): Here the rose and peony are acting on more equal themes, the peony doesn't take over the composition. The chamomille freshens and cooling the mix and the fruits smoothen the edges of the protagonists. A lighter and airier composition than the previous two.

Picture: Quel Amour
Photo: PR Annick Goutal (c)
Quel Amour! (Annick Goutal): Uplifting, sparkling, bubbly, slight green, peony/rose smoothed by peach and berries There is also a something contrasting, tart in the fragrance which creates a fresh and almost chilly feeling. Quel Amour is happiness in a bottle. The same lighter style as Rose Pivoine.

måndag 30 juni 2014

Eau d'Italie - Graine de Joie

Picture: HRH Prince Carl Philip and his fiancee Sofia Hellqvist
on their engagementday June 27th, 2014.
Photo: Expressen Sven Lindvall (c)
Graine de Joie from italian nichehouse Eau d'Italie is a red berry boost raised to ten. Graine de Joie is created by Daphne Bugey. The fragrance is said to be inspired by the idea of love and according to the marketing blurb "we have decided to celebrate love, and to create a fragrance that conjures up the irresistible light-headedness of when you fall in love." Graine de Joie would have been the olfactory background for the great royal news of last Friday: The handsome HRH Prince Carl Philips engagement with his charity working, from a small village, middle class background, girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist. Another Cinderella story following the one of HRH Prince Daniel. The color and expression of Graine de Joie is exactly the red color of Sofias elegant dress.

Graine de Joie starts very uplifting with ripe redberries and pomegranate, red, lush and mouthwatering delicious. The berry-pomegranate combo goes through the whole fragrance supported by a fizzy freesia who is contrasting and lighten up the fragrance. There are also a contrasting, tart note, maybe some redcurrant leaves is added to the mix or the note just picturing the tartness present in the berries themselves. Not unexpected, the berry-bowl is grounded in a well balanced musky, light woody base.

Picture: The sunny spirit of Graine de Joie
Photo: PR Eau d'Italie (c)
Beside the royal engagement, Graine de Joie gives me the image of a bowl with ripe red berries and fruits avaible when relaxing in a sunny mediterrian garden in the peak of the summer.Graine de Joie is a perfect fragrance for the season, something that departs from the usual fresh aquatics or citrus scents. The fragrance is much richer than the usual sommerfragrances and despite its full blown berry sweetness, it doesn't becames sickly sweet or smells chemical. It's an uncomplicated happy and easy to wear fragrance, appropriate both for work or casual wearing. Graine de Joie is a good composition in the floral-fruity genre. I find it more ordinary in style than the intriguing and demanding earlier Eau d'Italie compositions such as the burnt, spicy, woody Bois d'Ombrie, the green, rough, woody Sienne l'Hiver, the dramatic rose Pasteum Rose and the special cologne styled first fragrance Eau d'Italie which I personally prefer.

When it comes to similar fragrances, first of all Robert Piguet Jeunesse comes to my mind, though that one has more dept and contrasting non-berry/fruity notes. Also the fragrances in By Kilians subline In the Garden of Good and Evil are in the same style, reviews of In the City of Sin, Good Girl Gone Bad, Forbidden Games and Playing with The Devil.

Rating: 3+

Notes: Red berries, red currant, pomegranate, freesia, flowers, praline, musk,cedar

onsdag 25 juni 2014

Parfums de Nicolaï - Musc Monoï

Picture: Musc Monoï
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
In the current tidewave of new nichehouses with strange or copy-cat fragrances, I'm even more grteful for the old, stable houses in this genre. The 25 years jubilee Parfums de Nicolaï is a true mainstay, creating high quality, elegant and in the same time effortless fragrances which also often are innovative even if the PdN house doesn't make any fuss about it. Such a fragrance is the latest release, Musc Monoï,as usual created by Patricia herself.

Musc Monoï is said to be inspired by summer, beach and the suntan oil Ambre Solarie and as I havn't tried the oil, I can't refer to if Musc Monoï is close to it or not. But when I refer to suntan oils in general, Musc Monoï is not smelling as the regular, coconut, big tiare overdosed ones. Musc Monoï in comparison is restraind and casual chic in the same time it's warm and highlights the sweet ylang-ylang backed up with a deeper jasmine and is brightend of the flowery-lemony qualities of magnolia in a beautiful way. There is also something aldehydic in its style, like a carefree, tropical island Chanel No 5 Eau Premièrè. It could also be a bohemic-chic cousin (draped in a 140x140 Hermès parero) to the classic aldehyde Hermès Calèche personality.Probably it's the warmth, the yellowness and carefree apperance of both fragrances that gives me these assosciations
Picture: Hermès "Jungle Love",
cashmere and silk  (140x140)
Photo: PR Hermès (c)
After the flowery beginning, Musc Monoï reach a more musky stage which deepens the apperance of the flowers. I can smell a salty quality as also some stripped down, dry coconut and the same with the, in general almost narcotic, tiareflower. It's like a minimalistic, domesticated accord of the nut/tiare and here I for the first time can smell some light traces of a sunscreen of my childhood, Snik an old austrian classic (mostly worn during the winterholidays in the swedish mountains), sadly I havn't seen in the shops in this millennium. As Musc Monoï dries down further, a slight juicy, but not fruity, quality shows up. Probably this is the dreaded note of calone, handled in the right, cautious way. The musk in Musc Monoï is not dominating as a note, to my nose it's more of a carrier of the floral and light salty notes and the musk is probably the component that lends the good longevity to Musc Monoï, it lasts for almost a day, off beach.

When it comes to the salty notes, such sometimes could be almost intrusive, I'm thinking of Laboratorio Olfattive Salina which I think is a ok smelling fragrance but it has to be handled carefully as it has a grand sillage and longevity for days. Salty notes lightly done like in Musc Monoï or Parfumerie Générales perfect summerfragrance Bois Naufrage doesn't require such considerations when applying and is therefore relaxing and uncomplicated.

Musc Monoï is easy to like but not at all simple. It's definitly a charming campanion for summer and it could easily also be worn in the tiresome summerdays in the office.Musc Monoï is avaible in the (new) Nicolaï standardbottles 30 & 100 ml from the PdN website.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Neroli, lemon, petitgrain,  ylang-ylang, jasmine, coconut, calone, magnolia, ylang-ylang, sandalwood musk

Thanks to Parfums de Nicolï for the sample to test 

lördag 21 juni 2014

Midsummer (and some concerns about Caron)

Picture: Midsummerflower
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
So here we are, already the magic summersolstice with the shortest night of the year i.e not dark at all, just more or less light outside. But when it comes to the temprature one could suspect it's the wintersolstice we are celebrating. Yesterday was the coldest Midsummereve in decades and perfumewise I felt to put on some spicy-woody YSL Opium instead of something traditional midsummer flowery or green grassy. It all came to a compromise, I chose a flower but not at light pretty summerflowery one.

Instead I went for a classical, dramatic, elegant and restrained soliflore, Caron Tubéreuse which has intrigued me lately, inspired from the great review on Suzannes Perfume Journal as well as a post on The Scented Salamander and the fact that I suspect (don't know from any official source) that Tubereuse is discontinued. At least as a fragrance widly avaible in a bottle and not only as an urn/fountain-extrait. Can't find it on the Caron website which is also the case with for example Bellodgia (there is a new release called Più Bellodgia) and I suppose the old, cranation dominated one is replaced with a new interpretation of the fragrance as last years regulations hardly affected the substances which creates the smell of carantion.

Definitly Caron Tubereuse should have more attention. It's not the bombastic, flowery, tuberose as Robert Piguet Fracas, nor the green, crisp, leafy, sunny tuberose as Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. Caron Tubereuse starts with a honeyed nectarnote like in Annick Goutal Tubereuse but not rounded and warm in texture as the latter. Caron Tubereuse on the contrary is cold, slight bitter-green and strangly enough at first dry but later dark-green slight mossy, a bit moisty in texture. It's a dark and restraind fragrance and even if not smelling close, I think Caron Tubereuse expressing a similar mood as Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Tubéreuse which is a lighter in texture tuberose compared to the Caron.