måndag 27 februari 2012

Serge Lutens – Chypre Rouge

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Chypre Rouge created by Christopher Sheldrake 2006 is a contemporary interpretation on the classical, dark-fruity chypre theme. The fragrance starts unconventional with a topnotes loaded with cranberrynote followed by delicate notes of incense and a note similar to cumin over a base of mossy notes and some traces of incense. The dimmed incense is the note that is still there in the end of the dry down of Chypre Rouge. There is strangely also a note that reminds me of a crisp lily in the mix. I do not find Chypre Rouge particulary sweet, a common objection in reviews of the fragrance. 

Chypre Rouge is in similar style with Rochas Femme, which contains much more cumin and Annick Goutals Mon Parfum Cheri par Camille which instead is patchouli dominated but those fragrances are more distinct in appearance. Compared to them Chypre Rouge seems a little weak, with it’s lower projection and as the scent seems to fall apart fairly quickly. But Chypre Rouge  is a good alternative to the wearer who want to make a soft and smooth but in the same time uncommon olfactory statement. It’s an office friendly scent that don’t interfere with anybody (almost). Best suited to wear during the colder months.

Rating: 3

Notes: Caraway, pine tree needles, honey, beewax, jasmine, amber, patchouli, oakmoss, musk, vanilla

torsdag 23 februari 2012

Royal happiness

Picture: H.R.H Crownprincess Victoria and H.R.H Prince Daniel
Photo and Copyright: Kungahuset.se  (Royal Court)
Today is a day of joy and happiness here in Sweden. Our beloved Crown Princess Couple HRH Crownprincess Victoria and HRH Prince Daniel became parents to a little princess, the futhure heir of the throne. I had already put Burberry Body on when Mr Parfumista called and told me that Prince Daniel *)  hade something to announce at 7.00 am. If I had known I would have applied something more royal to celebrate the little Princess but I think Body is quite ok as it reminds me of pink roses in a smooth and fluffy creaminess. This happening made me recapitulate which fragrances I have worn the other special days of this nice couple:
The  engagement day February 24, 2009: Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, if I had known that morning what happy news that would be delivered I would definitly chosen something else. But on the other hand, that was the first time something really happy occured when wearing L'HB, two times when I have worn it (and I don't wear it often) sad things had happen.
The wedding day June 19, 2010: As the event was well-known (to say at least :-) in advance I could prepare for a royal spritz with Montales Highness Rose.
Now we (the royalists at least) are looking forward to the baptism of the little one later this spring. And of course I'm planning to report about this event from the same olfactory perspective :-)
*) The Prince Daniel story is the Cinderella-story of the 2000s: A young energetic man raised in a middle class family in a small municipality, moves to the capital of Sweden, get educated to be a Personal Trainer, starts an exclusive gym, becomes the PT of the Crownprincess, the business grows to a several gyms, the couple have to hide from the press and in the same time try to convince the King about their love and Daniels suitability as the consort to the future queen. After eight years, 2009, they finally got the permission to marry and where engaged. But at that time Daniel was seriously ill as he from his youth had an nonfunctional kidney and the other one was deteriorated. Luckily Daniels father Olle donated a kidney and everything went well. The wedding 2010 was like a fairytale and Daniel became HRH Prince Daniel. Today he is performing very well in this very special role. Almost all (at least the roylistic) women in Sweden loves Prince D as he seems to be the most perfect, caring, secure in himself, natural, polite, chivalrous guy one can image.  

Montale - Dark Purple

Picture: Still-Life with Bouquet of Flowers and Plums,
Painting by Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750)
Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Wikimedia commons

Montales Dark Purple created by Pierre Montale 2011 is somehow, even if it's not a dark, fruity chypre but instead a floral oriental, Montales answer to Annick Goutals Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille. Dark Purple starts in the typical bold Montale style and also remains bold during the rather linear dry down. The fragrance starts peppery, with some similarities to Dark Oud even if oud ist not mentioned among the ingredients of Dark Purple it's probably there. Then a dark plummy note glimpse, but the plum is not as deep, compex and wellrounded as in Mon Parfum Cheri..., in Dark Purple the plum is more flat and one dimensional. Dark Purple also contains a good dose of green and sparkling geranium paired with rose, to my nose a bit similar to the geranium hefty Oud Flowers. The patchouli in Dark Purple is not as predominant as in Mon Parfum Cheri...and it's of the contemporary, clean, stripped type and not the deep, dirty vintagelike patch in Mon Parfum Cheri...The rose together with geranium and musk, with an unobtrusive impact of plum, is what remains as the dominating accord as Dark Purple settles in the basenotes. In this stage Dark Purple is also reminiscent with Montales Roses Musk and this stage lasts and lasts as the truestyled Montale this fragance is.

Dark Purple is a perfume true to the Montale style and is a good choice for the colder seasons. But as it's similar to many other Montales there is no need for this if one's parfumewardrobe already contains some of the heftier ones. But for a perfumerbuyer just entering the world of Montale, Dark Purple is a good alternative in the heavier group especially to the wearer that don't like oud as a predominant note.

Rating: 4

Notes: Orange, plum, geranium, patchouli, rose, red berries, teak wood, amber, musk

måndag 20 februari 2012

By Kilian - Ambre Oud

Picture: Resiny wood. Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

By Kilian latest creation in the Arabian Nights collection Ambre Oud is a well-mannered amber composed by the (almost) housenose Calice Becker.

In the topnotes Ambre Oud starts as a relatively clean amber, followed by some traces of a light powderness. As the scent drys down it becomes a little darker and also sweeter as ther is a obvious note of a fine vanilla (like vanilla pods) in the base. The vanilla reminds me of the vanilla note in Havana Vanille by L'Artisan Parfumeur. There are also woody notes in Ambre Oud but not much oud, to my nose anyway. Maybe Ambre Oud is build among the same idea as the earlier release Incense Oud, a parfume without oud that are intended to get the olfactory image of oud. But Ambre Oud doesen't even give me that oud image as Incense Oud does.

To me Ambre Oud is a good but not groundbreaking amberperfume, wearable for most occasions during the colder months. A good choice among others for customers who are searching for an elegant basic amberperfume without oddities. It's an alternative to the likes of Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan or Ormonde Jaynes Tolu. Ambre Oud never gets as dry, fluffy and (gun)powdery as Mona di Orios Les Nombres d'Or Ambre nor dark, dusky and slight dirty as L'Ombre Fauve by Pafumerie Générale, my two favorite ambers.  

Rating: 4 +

First I rated this 3+ because I don't think it's original enough even if well balanced and of good quality. That rating made Mr Parfumista upset as he thinks Ambre Oud is a very good fragrance and deserves a rating at least as 4 or actually higher. As he is very picky about fragrances I had to reconsider my earlier rating and raise it a step. Mr Parfumistas own rating of Ambre Oud ís at least 4+. 

Notes: Amber, benzoin, vanille, cedar, laurel.

lördag 18 februari 2012

Top winterfragrances 2012

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

In the wake of the publication of the top-ten winterfragrances in all major perfumeblogs earlier this week: Here comes my humble list.

To get canditates to the list I just followed up the most used perfumes from Januari 1 until February 17. As I only have been using samples until now this year (and will for the rest of this month), the selection has been a bit limited.

Passage d'Enfer (L'Artisan Parfumeur): This lovely airy incense-lily has a relaxing effect to me. Need that in the job-overload that has been the normal state the latest months.

Baiser Volé (Cartier): My new lily favorite, crispy-clean-soft. Delightful.

Jardin Blanc (MPG): A heady white floral bouquet with hints of dirtiness lurking in the base.

Antonia (Puredistance): Flowery, green, lush, ultra-elegant bouquet. Stunning beautiful.

Kiki Edp (Vero Profumo): This "Angel Lavandula" is such a interesting blend with the odd combination of notes: Lavendel, passionflower and patchouli.

Soie Rouge (MPG): The best carnation to me so far. On the other hand, I'm no carnation lover, but this one is quite nice.

L'Eau Guerriere (PG): Bark from some exotic tree mixed with hints of green herbals and the cold leather of Helmut Langs Cuiron.

Amoureuse (DelRae Roth): Lovely, dark, dirty, deep, floral accompanied with cardamom.

Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection (ELd'O): Soapy red rosewater with peppery notes and traces of patchoulli.

Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille Edt (Annick Goutal): This dark, dusty, plummy patch is both a distinct and elegant fragrance. A real gem.

An intresting observation is that there is no obvious oriental listed. And that inspite of the fact that there has been cold wintertempratures during almost the whole observation period. This oriental-phenomena I have experienced some winters ago. Am I not an oriental person at heart? (Shudder), even if I love many orientals I sometimes find it difficult to start wearing them, have somehow to get into the "orienal-theme-mood" before I can fully appreciate them.

fredag 17 februari 2012

Erik Kormann – Eau de Fröliche

Photo: Parfumista (c)

Eau de Fröliche by the Berliner soaptrader Erik Kormann is a sweet and happy little perfume, just as it’s name reveals. Little in the meaning that it conveys the feeling of the image of the little quite Pug that is featured on the bottle.  The name perfectly matches this blend.

Eau de Fröliche is perfume that could be classified as a light gourmand. It starts with notes of a bath foam that contains sweet, but not too sweet, berry notes. Despite this, Eau de Fröliche never develops to be cloying, it avoids cross the border of smelling, too sweet, berry and chemical as for exemple Vichy Tiel’s Sirène, a fragrance that come to my mind when testing Eau de Fröliche. According to the description of Eau de Fröliche there is inscense in the brew, but I can only smell diminutive traces of it, probably because I know it’s there.

Eau de Fröliche is a straight forward composition, pretty linear and by no means a complicated blend, wearable during daytime for most occasions. It’s the a typical NICE and non-offensive fragrance that doesn’t make a statement, it’s just comfortably there. Taken in consideration that there is something that reminds me of a more tuned down and polished  LUSH-product I think the price 65 EUR/50 ml is a little too high. This compared with the fact that you can receive a quality blend as for example a 100 ml Mona di Orio to the price of 125 EUR.

Rating: 2+

Notes: Raspberry, fruity notes, cardamom, frankincense, iris, tonka bean, tolu balsam, vanilla, patchouli, rosewood

onsdag 15 februari 2012

DoubleYou - Norvége

Picture: Lodalen, a valley in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway
Photo: Aqwis (cc), some rights reserved, Wikimedia commons.

Norvége is the other of the two first fragrances from the Norwegian perfumehouse DoubleYou which I briefly descriped in the previous post. founded by Catherine Rösseland 2010. Norvège is inspired of Norway and Catherines origin on her mothers side. Norvége is intended to be worn separate or layered with Zanzibar (previous post). Just as Zanzibar, Norvége is created in colaboration with perfumer Barnabe Fillion. The fragrances are said to contain only natural ingredients, but I think that the most accurate description is that they contain a large proportion naturals.

Norvége opens up with notes reminding me of a citrusy, not to sweet, icy lemonade sipped in a sunny summerday. The lemony note remains during the whole drydown of Norvége and are accompanied by herbs, light flowers and some vanilla. Norvége has much less of the, for natural perfumes, typical dense, slight sour note, even if there are whiffs from it now and then. Even if Norvége doesn't give me the impression of the beautiful scenerys in our neighboring country, it's a nice and at the same time unusual fragrance for daytime that fits best for casual wearing. The longevity is very good to be a natural perfume, Norvége is still on my skin twelve hours from application. Norvége is a unusual perfume but it partly reminds me of Maître Perfumeur et Gantiers Eau de Camélia Chinois but the latter is less sweet and airier in it's impression than Norvége.

To sum up I think that the DoubleYou fragrances is interesting to try especially for fans of natural perfumes.
The two perfumes I tested is quite as good as most of them with Norvége in the better half of the league.

Rating: 3

Notes: Grass, coriander, magnolia, vanilla, thyme, lavendel, opoponax, lemon, dry wood, amber, sandalwood

måndag 13 februari 2012

DoubleYou - Zanzibar

Picture: Cloves, important commodity of Zanzibar,
 Photo by ? (cc), Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved

Zanzibar is one of the two first fragrances from the Norwegian perfumehouse DoubleYou  founded by Catherine Rösseland 2010. Carherine has her roots in both Norway and in Western Africa as her father derived from Tanzania. Zanzibar mirrors that part of Catherines heritage as the other fragrance, Norvège is inspired of Norway and Catherines origin on her mothers side. Zanzibar and Norvège is intended to be worn separate or layered. The fragrances are created in colaboration with the perfumer Barnabe Fillion and they are said to contain only natural ingredients. The latter I doubt as there is very unusual that a fragrance contains 100 % naturals.The notelist below also supports my argument, since when is "leather" a natural? But there are undoubtly a high precentage of naturals in the blends as:

Sampling Zanzibar I was immediately aware of the clear presence of nautrals by the, to natural perfumes, typical slight sour, compact note. This note is present during the whole dry down but it's in no way repellent, on the contrary it fits the concept. Zanzibar is a warm and spicy perfume, to my nose the clove plays a central role, it reminds me of the smell of the Maja soaps from the house of Myrurgia. In the topnotes of Zanzibar I also smell something reminiscent of the smell of the traditional swedish dish boiled crawfish in dill broth.

As a natural perfume, Zanzibar reminds me of some of the perfumes of Liz Zorn that I have sampled. The typical natural note is present in both lines and overall they convays a similar expression. As I'm not so versed in natural perfumes my references are limited when trying to compare Zanzibar to other perfumes in this genere. But as I like some of Liz Zorns offerings as Grand Canyon and Oud Laquer, which dosen't have that typical smell of  naturalperfume. That is also the case with my favourite natural perfumeline La via del Profumo with for instance Mecca Balsam. Compared to that beautiful oriental natural fragrance Zanzibar, even if unusual, has some to catch up. I think that my rating is influnced by the fact that I'm not so used to natural perfumes. I think that someone more in to this genre will appreciate this blend much more than I'm.

Rating: 2+

Notes: Geranium, clove, leather, oak, siam- and cedar wood, rose, cardamom,  black currantbuds, ginger, cinnamon, sandalwood

torsdag 9 februari 2012

Hassler Roma - Amorvero

Photo: Dinner at The Hassler´,
(c) Hotel Hassler, Roma

Amorvero is created by the italian nose Lorenzo Dante Ferro to catch the aura and the spirit of the posh, five star Hotel Hassler Roma, with traditions back in the nintheen century.

The discrete charm of Amorvero is perfectly catching the spirit of an establishment as Hotel Hassler. Amorvero opens as a classical oriental with bergamot and citrusy notes followed by distinctive ambery- floral elements. Something reminds me of the smell of understated, luxary soap that are present in first class hotels like Hassler. Despite the soapy association Amorvero isn't particulary soapy in it's drydown. The scent is somehow fleeting in it's texture. I'm trying the EDT version and as I understand, the EDP and perfume versions have more body and are more close to the skin. To me Amorvero EDT is a wearable daytime oriental that also can be worn in summerevenings without the risk of become cloying. Perfect for a romantic candellight dinner a warm summerevening in the eternal city.

There is something in the spirit of Amorvero that reminds me of Guerlains Vol de Nuit EDT, in some of the latest, but not the latest, formulation. As VdN is sharper and has more of a aldehydic irisy feeling, Amorvero smells more of ambery-wrapped white flowers and is softer, warmer, rounder and more sweet in it's character. The ackords of white flowers and oriental notes seems to be seamless and the blend is very well rendered. The sample of Amorvero EDT comes from Fragrance & Art

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, citrus, mandarine, jasmine, tuberose, rose, sandalwood, vanilla, amber

måndag 6 februari 2012

Gianluca Bulega - Amami per Sempere

Picture: Teatro alla Scala by night.
Photo by: o2ma (cc), Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved

To me Amami per Sempere from italian fashiondesigner Gianluca Bulega is just a slight smoother and timid version of Krizias discontinued Teatro alla Scala but la Scala is more distinct in it's apperance.

Amami per Sempere starts with sparkling citrusy notes, followed by a heart of a floral oriental carachter. The basenotes are warm, a nice vanilla accompanied by sandalwood and darker traces of patchouli. Thera are also a part of the base that reminds me of  Estee Lauders Youth Dew. ApS is a warm and creamy scent that suits many occasions. The longevity is outstanding, I can smell the basenotes on my wrist 24 h after application and at this stage there are some liqueury notes comming through.

ApS is a nice scent but on the other hand it's also totaly forgettable and without it's own carachter. The only thing I remember after wearing this is it's similarities with Teatro alla Scala. This annoys me during the whole wearing of ApS, to the high price it commands it shouldn't be a weak copy of the bold Teatro alla Scala. Due to it's similarities to Teatro alla Scala, Amami per Sempere qualify to it's rating, it smells good. Taken the high price in account (almost EUR 200 on sale) and the annoying fact that it is almost a copy of old alla Scala it probably deserves a lower rating. All this matters weighted against each other ends up in:

Rating: 3

Notes: Bergamot, lemon, iris, rose, jasmine, narcissus, white flowers, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla 

fredag 3 februari 2012

Unsorted perfume thoughts February 2012

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Unsorted thoughts in my perfumeoriented mind:

- What a relief that January is over. I had promised myself only testing/using samples and I always keep promises :-) I have so longed for using my bottles that have waiting for me. Now I'm free to wear them even if testing from samples will be the main activity in February as well. And as today I'm still sampling... Maybe 2012 will be the year draining the samples...
- I think the lesson above is very enlighting: It  it makes me really appreciate my collection. But on the other hand; sampling also raises new temptations and thats one of the trills in testing perfume.
- The other day I passed through the perfumesection at the local department store and in passing sprayed the latest Versace Yellow Diamond: Citrusy-fruity-chemichal hell, I immadiately had to find a paperbin to throw the horrible scent strip away. I liked the first one Crystal Noir quite well, is neutral to Bright Crystal. How could this disaster happen?
-Two - three weeks ago, winter has finally caught us up in this nordic outpost. Strangly enough I don't yearn for my oriental lieblings. Instead I'm mostly stucked in heavy florals and Vero Kerns Kiki Edp which is just beautiful.
- Looking into my tweets there are much MPG testing the latest month. This house is a growing liking to me. Even if I have appreciated some of it's fragrances for many years I now have started to appreciate the different themes of the house. Earlier I was much more simplistic.
- A few days ago I've re-tested By Kilians clean and realistic jasmine Love and Tears, Surrender. It's just as beautiful as when i tried it last spring/summer. If not better as it lasts very well, without falling apart, more than twelve hours in the cold weather (- 10 C).  Love it!
- Yesterday I was wearing Teo Cabanels Alahine, a sweet, almost licqouary floral oriental that developes excellent in the cold (-15 C) snowy, weather. Maybe I turn into the orientals at last.

onsdag 1 februari 2012

Isabey - L'Ambre de Carthage

Picture: Ruins of the Punic Quarter on the Byrsa hill, Carthage.
Photo: BishkekRocks, (cc) Wikimedia Commons.

From the description of L'Ambre de Carthage, it seems that the 2011 introduced fragrance  is a reworking of a Isabey oriental from 1924. The fragrance is intended to be "pour homme" but to me L'AdC is totally unisex.

When first applied L'AdC somehow reminds me of Dune by Dior. Later in the drydown there is also similarities with Scent Intense by Costume National but L'AdC is more ambery and has no special characteristics as SI:s the- and hibiscusnotes. L'AdC to me is a typical, contemporary, resiny amber, with some incense and I also think I can sniff my good friend mr Ambrox in the mixture. Nice blend but very conventional. Nothing like my favourite ambers, the two opposite interpretations of  amber: The dark, dirty, animalic  L'Ombre Fauve from Parfumerie Generale or the sparkling, crackling dry, gunpowdery Les Nombres d'Or Ambre from Mona di Orio.

L'AdC is a well-behaved and well balanced blend of good quality. It is wearable in various situations during the cold season and for evenings during the summer. L'AdC has a good sillage and the longivety is at least twelve hours. But despite all it's merits, L'AdC doesn't move me at all. Sample from good ol' Aus Liebe zum Duft

Rating: 3

Notes: Bergamot, labdanum, osmanthus, jasmin, amber, olibanum, sandalwood, patchouli