torsdag 31 maj 2012

Maria Candida Gentile - Cinabre

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Cinabre is a beautiful, smooth, soapy, spicy rosefragrance, created by Maria Candida Gentile. The rose is preseant from the begnning even if changing it’s performance. Cinabres opening rose is similar to the rosy rose aspects in Annick Goutals Rose Absolue. The typical almost rubbery note that is a sign of natural roseoil is present. But as AG:s RA is all about roses and greenery, the rose in cinabre of course is leaning on cinnabar and other spices. After a while the rose is flowing in an opulent, retro soapiness. From this stage of Cinabre I get the picture of Sophia Loren taking a bath, using a luxary, rosy soap. In this stage the rose has darkened and is probably in the very beginning of decaying. The spicy, soapy, rose is resting on a warm, soft, smooth, almost woody-powdery resiny base. In the middle- and basenotes Cinabre partly reminds me of the beautiful natural perfume Roses des Bois from AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo (La Via del Profumo) another high quality italian perfumehouse.

Cinabre is very feminine in style. It is multifacetted and there is new interesting twists during the whole dry down. It’s an interesting fragrance that involves the wearer. Even if dense and bold and with a good projection the scent doesn’t take over the space. To me Cinabre is officefriendly (but probably not to the average swedish perfumewearer) because to me, wearing parfume, is not just about smelling good. It’s also about to get different impressions and to enjoy art in the everyday, and to me Cinabre is definitly a piece of art.

Rating: 5

Notes: Pepper, ginger, rose, benzoin, opoponax, vanille (and I bet a lot of others)

tisdag 29 maj 2012

Maria Candida Gentile – Sideris

Picture: Piazza del Campo, Siena,
Photo by Ricardo André Frantz (Tetraktys), (cc),
Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved

Sideris by Maria Candida Gentile transports me to a small, Italian town, uncertain what century. Sideris to me is an ongoing exhange between the heat outside on the town square and the coolness in the medival church at the center by the square. But in the cool church there is also an almost sweet warmth, from the myrrh and incense burned as from the wax candles lighted during the mass. There is also some obscure, almost decaying notes lurking in the background, maybe deriving from what’s hiding below the stone floor of the church.

Sideris is all about a warm and fullbodied almost sweet incense. It starts spicy and with sweetness from the myrrh. In this stage, strangely enough I get an impression that is partly similar to Jean Claude Ellenas tropical-night blend Flora Bella from Lalique, probably due to the sweet myrrh and the dark, velvety feeling. As the dry down proceeds, the incense gets more pronounced. The incense and the whole fragrance stays warm, thick and dense during its whole dry down.The color of Sideris to me is dark, velvety blue, as the sky with twinkling stars during a mediterrian night.

Sideris is to me eternal and represent a scent in style that I can image have been used during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sideris also reminds me of the impressions of another eternal scent, Etros Messe de Minuit even if that one is much more flowery, light and transparent in style, it also have some of this both pleasant and unpleasent churchy notes described above.

Sideris warms up a grey and rainy day and as with all MCG I think of Sideris as officefriendly.Unisex in style. Great longevity, at least 24 hours and a distinct but not intruding sillage.

Rating: 5

Notes: Labdanum, saffran, myrrh, pepper, incense, rose, sandalwood, benzoin, woody notes

måndag 28 maj 2012

Maria Candida Gentile – General impressions of the line

Maria Candida Gentile is an Italian perfumer educated in Grasse. After returning to Italy she has started her own perfumehouse that wears her name, Maria Candida Gentile. I think Maria could be proud of lending her name to these beautiful fragrances: This is amazing stuff, significantly different from the usual niche offerings.A “niche-in-niche” line.

The Maria Candida Gentile fragrances are timless in character and they are transporting me to Italy, uncertain what century. The fragrances are what I will percived as very genuine and somehow “rough”, but harmonious, down to earth, they are combining the traditional Italian style*) in a sort of contemporary frame. The MCG line equivalent in french perfumery is the also down to earth, not so polished compared to the french style, Les Nereides even if MCG is more complex, denser and of a higher quality. MCG mixing the high quality ingredienses, the perfumes contains a high precentage of naturals, in a very interesting and suggestive way. These fragrances involve the wearers imagination from the very beginning to the the very end, more than 24 hours later.The MCG fragrances are not easy-going, cosy-comfort scents, they are like living creatures, demanding attention from its wearer. There is something going on the whole time (which on the other hand makes them difficult to review). But all this is exactly what I’m appreciating from a perfume, almost always anyway, sometimes of course I need something nice, polite and easy going.

In the coming entries (starts tomorrow)  I will try to summeraize the spirit of some of the gorgeous MCG:s.

*)In general I percive the italian perfumery as bolder, denser, more adventurous and free in mind and creation than the more contolled, perfected and elegant french perfumery. MCG is an excellent representative of the italian style taken to perfection. The MCG frags are no doubt rare and great artpieces of perfumery.

The MCG fragrances could be bought in 15 ml travelsprays for 25 EUR from her website . The perfumes are concentrated, a few spritzes goes a long way, this is great value for the money. The frags are also avaible in 100 ml from Aus Libe zum Duft.

söndag 27 maj 2012


Picture: Loreen (Lorine) Talhaoui, The new swedish Mega Star.
Photo: Annika Aschberg (c), Picture from the pressection of Loreens official website

Today I’m not referring to the famous CK fragrance Euphoria but to the common state of mind here in Sweden the day after the very talented Loreens Great Victory in the Eurovisioncontest 2012. Euphoria (the song) and the somehow calming appearance of Loreen, also mediated by the great choreography of the number, is really a Eurovision contribution beyond the ordinary. Many, many congratulations to Loreen and best wishes to a very talented artist of whom we will for sure see much more of in the future.

And here's the performance: Link

lördag 26 maj 2012

The Royal Baptism

Picture: The Crown Princess Couple and H.R.H. Princess Estelle with godmothers and godfathers
Photo: Bruno Ehrs, Copyright

(The handsome guy to  the left is H.R.H Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, chosen as the most beautiful male  royal person of all times by a major American magazine, don't remember which one)

As reported in February, our lovely Crownprincess couple, H.R.H Crownprincess Victoria and her amazing husband H.R.H Prince Daniel, became parents to a little princess, Estelle, the  future Queen of Sweden. Estelle was baptised on Tuesday this week in the Chapel of the Royal Castle in Stockholm. The little one also was knighted as knight of the Serafimerorder, the most prominent swedish order, gifted with a cute mini-ribbon in the serafimer light blue. One of Princess Estelles godparents is the stylish Crownprincess Mary of Denmark, a very good choice when it comes to instill the little princess into the world of good style, note Marys artful hatlike creation . I remember some years ago,when Crownprincess Mary, in connection with the baptism of her own daughter, Princess Isabel, was wearing an ensamble created by the lituanian designer Josef Statkus. Coincidentally the Josef Statkus Eau de Parfum is one of my favourite incense perfumes.

Picture: Crownprincess Mary of Denmark with her daugther Princess Isabel,
 wearing a Josef Statkus creation. Source press image, don't know the photographer.

The perfume that I worn during the baptismday? A perfume that not fitting a day like this at all, because this week I have been in a patchouli mood and the SOTD was something as simple as Les Nereides Patchouli Antique, a robust, slight herbal patchouli.

To finalize this royal frenzy I will end this post with a more relaxed picture of the Hereditary Princess Estelle and her parents.

Picture: The Swedish Crown Princesscouple with H.R.H Princess Estelle
Photo: Kate Gabor, Copyright:

fredag 25 maj 2012

Histoires de Parfums - Tubereuse 3 Animale update May 2012

Picture: strawflower, Helichrysum moeserianum.
Photo: Winfried Bruenken (Amrum) (cc) Wikimedia commons,
 some rights reserved.

Tubereuse 3 Animale is the third installment in the Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse triology, created by the HdP house founder the  ISIPCA-graduated Gérald Ghislain and Magali Senequier ( I think). The Tubereuse triology is a suite of different interpretations of tubereuse or more precise, perfumes with tubey as the common denominator but not necessarily tubereuse as the dominant note of the composition.

When I reviewed (in swedish) T 3 Animale almost two years ago I didn't like it at all. I thought it was an overdose of immortelle and too much tobacco and that the whole blend was unbalanced. But today, I
completely change my opinion, nowadays I just love this immortelle, hay, tobacco, slight honeyed tubereuse creation. Starts with a blond tobacconote, followed by a moderate dose of immortelle, not as heavy as in Annick Goutal Sables. As the notes mingles the tuberose quietly appears in to the blend. It's a tubey at the dark side of the spectrum, a tubey with the honeyed smell of the nectar, an interpretation that I have earlier experienced in Annick Goutals soliflore Tubéreuse (review in swedish) and in Mona di Orios Tubéreuse (also in swedish). The special tobacco-tubereuse mix I have earlier experienced in Liz Zorn (Sohivole) Tobacco & Tulle. As T 3 Animale reaches the basenotes there is something familiar with the blend. Mr Parfumista nails it when he states it has a similar vibe as Estee Lauders Spellbound but adapted to the 2010:s (even if created 2009 to be precise) as softer, more muted and without the bombastic sillage of Spellbound.  And as an old fan of Spellbound it is not surprising that I'm now also an admier of T 3 Animale.

Rating: 5

Notes: Neroli, kumquat, mandarine, bergamot, jasmine, tubereuse, plum, grass, hay, immortelle, tobacco, labdanum, wood

onsdag 23 maj 2012

Histoires de Parfums - Tubereuse 2 Virginale

Picture: Prunus Avivum, Vogel-Kirsche im Früling
Photo: Benjamin Gimmel (BenHur), (cc) Wikimedia commons,
some rights reserved

Tubereuse 2 Virginale is the second installment in the Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse triology, created by the HdP house founder the  ISIPCA-graduated Gérald Ghislain and Magali Senequier ( I think). The Tubereuse triology is a suite of different interpretations of tubereuse or more precise, perfumes with tubey as the common denominator but not necessarily tubereuse as the dominant note of the composition.

T 2 Virginale is like it's name indicates a  bright, happy and cheerful white flowery scent with fruity accents. Virginale starts with a fresh, not at all sweet, cloying, cherry note. The note, accented with an almost peppery/insence note, is transparent in style. A hint of the smell of nailpolish whirls thoriug the scent after a while, but not at all in a unpleasent way. Soon thereafter there is also an accord that reminds me of a lip balm of my youth, don't remember it's name. It was american, the container was black with a white cap and the grease was in a pale pink nuance. Later in the middlenotes, bright and quite transparent white flowers intensifies the tubey is there but interwowen with the other white flowers in a boquet. In the background something sweet and almost gourmandy lurks, I almost recognize a tuned down version of the strawberry popcornnote of the original Christine Nagel 2005 composition of Miss Dior Cherie Edp. The basenotes of  T Virginale 2 are slight clean musky but in the right proportion, not the detergent clean musk but a nice white musk. There is also some patchouli in hte base, but in a gentler dose than in MDC Edp.

T 2 Virginale is a nice, inoffensive scent, perfect for officewear in spring and summer but also during the other seasons when longing for summer. Good, wellbalanced and very wearable.

Rating: 3

Notes: Cherry, mandarin, iris, tuberose, tiare flower, frangipani, blond wood, patchouli, vanilla, white musk

måndag 21 maj 2012

Histoires de Parfums - Tubereuse 1 Capricieuse update May 2012

Picture: A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening.
Photo: Medicaster, (cc) Wikmedia commons, some rights reserved.

Tubereuse 1 Capricieuse is the first installment in the Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse triology, created by the HdP house founder the  ISIPCA-graduated Gérald Ghislain and Magali Senequier ( I think). The Tubereuse triology is a suite of different interpretations of tubereuse or more precise, perfumes with tubey as the common denominator but not necessarily tubereuse as the dominant note of the composition.

I have tested and reviewed (in swedish) T 1 Capricieuse almost two years ago. At that time I didn't caught its features and rated it as a slight more than good fragrance but it didn't really moved me at that time. Maybe I rushed through the sample too fast, because now I really like this interesting  iris-suede-coca-tubey blend. T 1 Capricieuse starts as a almost pure iris fragrance with the typical metallic, iris rooty note but without almost any nuances of carrot. The opening notes reminds me of Chanel No 19 Poudré and Heeley Iris de Nuit minus the carrot note. Then a note similar to Björnklister "Bear-glue", a white glue for paper that was common in my childhood, tunes in. Nostalgic-pleasant in some way. After a while the gluenote turns into a suede note dusted with coca powder and a muted tubereuse tunes in very discrete. As the blend dries down the flowery, coca, suede blend somehow intensifies in a beautiful, almost gourmand accord. This stage is very pleasant and the stayingpower is superior, it lasts until the next morning. I suspect that I applicated to little when I condemned the stayingpower two years ago. 

As a whole T 1 Capricieuse reminds me of the iris-suede Mythique by Parfums DelRae but the latter is more graceful, transparent and flowing than the more robust T 1  Capricieuse. Mythique is also an iris-suede without the tubeynote that makes T 1  Capricieuse warmer and with an almost mellow vibe.

T 1 Capricieuse is the perfect officeperfume, wearable year around except the hottest summerdays.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Saffron, bergamott, mandarine, iris, ylang-ylang, tubereuse, cacao, musk, suede

torsdag 17 maj 2012

Parfumerie Generale - Corps et Ames Eau de Toilette Apaisante

Picture: "Springtime" or "Woman Reading" (Camille Monet)
Claude Monet 1872, oil on canvas, Wikimedia Commons

Handsome Pierre Guillaume is a constant threat to my creditcard, it's hardly that I dare to test a new creation from him. The new (or more precisely revived) Corps et Ames Eau de Toilette Apaisante is an excellent example of such a threat from PG: Floral chypre, built upon one of my top favourite PG:s the bold, flowery, light leathery almost minty geranium green chypre Corps et Ames Edp created in 2006. CeA Edt is a lightened up and  brighter interpretation of the loverly CeA theme. In topnotes vebena leafs are dominating giving CeA Edt an almost tea-like impression (but without the harsh qualities of the teanote), There is also citrusy, minty green aspects and as CeA Edt dries down, the rosiness of geranium and a clean wellblended patchouli enters the stage. The darker and denser leathery, imortelle notes of the original is left out in the Edt version that makes the whole blend sparkling as Champagne as the old Edp-version could be compared to a good Chablis. In the basenotes there is some light woody notes and a bright musk that gives this lovely composition a great longevity, it last more than 24h on my skin.

There is similarities in CeA Edt:s style and mediated sensation as in the great Papyrus de Ciane also from PG. Both CeA Edp, CeA Edt and PdC is PG:s elegant, casualstyle frags as opposed to the gourmands that are typical to the PG brand. CeA Edt is perfect for daytime wear and it’s also officefriendly. There is some retro-vibes in the blend that makes me associate to the great 70th classic Eau de Rochas and also with the great green floral chypres of this era. With CeA Edt (and Edp) Pierre has proved there is still  possible to create a beautiful chypre or chypre-like creation despite of the IFRA restrictions.

The tweaking of the facets of an already introduced scent seems to be popular by now. When Pierre Guillaume highlights the lighter and brighter aspects of Corps et Ames, Daniela Andrier does the opposite when highlights the darker, smoother and denser aspects of Prada Infusion d’Iris Edp in the new Absolute version.

CeA Edt is particulary sutiable for spring and summer but would also be a nice reminder of the warmer months during the could season.

Rating: 5 (the same as CeA Edp)

Notes: Geranium leaves, verbena, jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, musk

Thanks to Parfumerie Générale for providing the sample to test.

måndag 14 maj 2012

Histoires de Parfums - 1876 Mata Hari

Photo: Margaretha Geertruida "Grietje" Zelle, known as Mata Hari (1876-1917)
Unidentified photographer, public domain, Wikimedia commons

I have hard to belive that a famous femme fatale as the first world war suspected spy Mata Hari was smelling like a sweet, almost caramelized, rose on a base of cookies. But what do I know? The HdP fragrance 1876 Mata Hari is tribute to or just inspired of Mata (or both). 1876 Mata Hari is as almost all HdP:s created by the HdP founder, perfumer Gérald Ghislain in colloboration with perfumer Magali Senequie.

The pink sweet, rose is present from start to end in 1876. In the topnotes it has a slight transparent vibe and something that is similar to a green tea-note passing by. Then the blend sweetens in the cookie notes. I recoginze these kind of dry buttery notes from the backgroundnotes of perfumes such as Agent Provocateur aldehydic Maitresse and the jasmine/honeysuckle Burberry London for Woman. To me this note is similar to the smell when opening an enclosed cookie jar. There is also the smell of pink rose as in Parfums MDCI Rose de Siwa but the RdS rose is fresh and dewy compared to the gourmand rose in 1876 Mata Hari.  As a whole the Mata Hari blend also reminds me of Andy Tauers Une Rose Vermeille, maybe 1876 Mata Hari was one of the scents that has influented Andy when he created URV? But 1876 Mata Hari is paler and not as distinctint in character as URV and 1876 also lacks the jam and incense notes of URV. As Mata Hari reaches the basenotes the blend is almost creamy and fleeting, supported by a well balanced sandalwood. An gentle and calm earthy note also apperars  among the basenotes and makes the end of Marta Hari less sweet and more serious. Ironically just as the tragic story of her life.

1876 Mata Hari is a nice variation of the sweet-rose theme and it is as well as URV, Rose de Siwa and so on. Which fragrance to choose is of course up to the personal references when it coming to details. Personally I have hard to choose between URV and 1876 Mata Hari as both speeks to me in different ways despite the same theme: URV joyful and happy and 1876 Mata Hari dramatic and mysterious.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, mandarine, litchi, rose, iris, violet, carnation, caraway, cinnamon, vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood.

torsdag 10 maj 2012

MDCI Parfums - Rose de Siwa

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Rose de Siwa is created in 2006 by Francis Kurkdjian for MDCI Parfums. Rose de Siwa is a classical rose fragrance in the light and bright genre. It's a medium pink colored rose underscored with a sweet fruitiness from the litchi. There is also hints of other flowers to smooth out the rose and the whole composition rests on a distinct musky base.

Even if Rose de Siwa clearly is a rosefragrance, the rose is not heavy or predominant at all. It's a well blended fragrance and the notes are floating in a seamless manner. Rose de Siwa is a fragrance in the elegant, classical style, composed of high quality ingredients and there are no traces of detergent, plastic or sharp notes. Rose de Siwa first of all reminds me of the original Paris of YSL, in it's original formulation from the eightis, they have the violets and the pink roses in common. Other clean, bright, pink roses in the same style as Rose de Siwa is Rose Pivone by Parfums de Nicolaï and Quel Amour by Annick Goutal. In both of them the peony is more pronounced than in Rose de Siwa and they are also less sweet and fresher than the latter.

Even if not groundbreaking, Rose de Siwa is an elegant and at the same time versatile daytime fragrance.
As YSL Paris was a favorite of mine in my youth, I also have a ceartian weakness for Rose de Siwa.

Rating: 4

Notes: Litchi, peony, hawthorn, rose, violet, cedar, vetiver, musk

måndag 7 maj 2012

Etat Libre D'Orange - Putain des Palaces

Picture: Au Salon de la rue des Moulins, oil on canvas
painted by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in 1894.
Museum de Toulouse-Lautrec, Wikimedia commons.

The fragance with the controversial name Putain des Palaces was created by Nathalie Feisthauer for the avantagrde perfumehouse Etat Libre D'Orange in 2006. To me PdP is a fragrance that is not created to smell good or to be praised for it's masterful blending. This is one of those perfumes that are primarily created to make an artistic statement and on many wearers it of course also developes to smell good. It seems that PdP fits with my chemistry as the discerning Mr Parfumista comments "Today you also have a frag that smells good and that suits you" when sampling PdP.

The name Putain des Palaces is just right to this skanky, animalic, lipstick-putty, blend. In it's texture and partial in the lipsticknote PdP has similarities with Lipstick Rose from Frederic Malle. The similarities ends there as LR is innocent and pretty and PdP is the quite oppsite character. After applying PdP I can smell a noticeable note of cummin in the topnotes. According to the notelist there is no cummin but ginger, probably this note is the outcome of a handling of ginger that I have not perceived before. I like PdP in the topnotes, the sweaty "cummin" that for a short while mingles with a dirty, furry-animalic note that I recognize from Parfumerie Générales L'Ombre Fauve. As PdP dries down and settles in the middlenotes/beginning of the basenotes, there is a light leather or more like a suede note, a sultry violet-rose, still dirty and with hints of something that I perceive as a chalky note. The lipstick note is also there but the violet and rose dont feel clean and clear as in the luxary lipstick of Lipstick Rose. Despite some creaminess from the lipsticknote, there is a certain sharpness hiding at this stage, an at the same time round note that reminds me of a golden apple on the verge to be overripe. This note, which I belive is suede combined with flowers, I have earlier experienced in Etienne Aigners In Leather for Women and in Ava Luxes Film Noir. As the dry down get further and finally settles in the base, the violet and rose appears to brighten, get less skanky and a note similar to papyrus glimpse in the powdery musky base.

Putain de Palaces is a suggestive, haunting and alluring scent. It is not especially pleasant to wear, you have to be in mood to deal with the tragic reality this fragrance will display. In contrary to what one expects from the perfume of a Putain de Palaces, PdP is lingering close to the skin and has a medium sillage. The longevity is, as in the case with almost all ELDO fragrances I have tried, quite good and it is still there unfragmented late in the evening with traces the day after.

Rating: 5

Notes: Leather, mandarine, ginger, rose, violet, lily of the valley, amber

torsdag 3 maj 2012

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle - Lipstick Rose

Picture: Viola Riviniana and Viola Canina
Nordens flora, picture painted between 1917and 1926 by
swedish botanist Carl Axel Magnus Lidman
Wikimedia commons

Lipstick Rose is created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger for Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle year 2000 and was released with a bunch of other fragrances in the earliest edition of the house.

To me Lipstick Rose smells very innocent, well behaved and girl next door-ish. Even so (of course the girl next door wears a little pink lipstick on special occasions) Lipstick Rose is a appropriate name of this violety, rosy, slight powdery and slight earthy blend. The top- and middlenotes definitely conveys the picture and smell of a lipstick of high quality. There is a creamy and slight powdery note, dominated by violets. The rose is the second player and disappears on my skin as the scent drys down to the basenotes. In the basenotes there is still a trace of the powdery violet but the notes of vetiver and musk anchor it in a slight earthy base. On my skin those notes blended together also create a tealike note.

The powdery note present during the whole dry down reminds me of a polished version of the gunpowdernote that I appreciate in Lorenzo Villoresis Teint de Neige. In it's earlier stages Lipstick Rose is somehow a well-behaved violet-version of the, in comparison, wild and eccentric TdN. But Lipstick Rose don't goes the whole hog as TdN, neither by the gunpowdernot or by the soapiness as the Lipstick Rose powder never passes in to the great soapiness of TdN. Other fragrances that have similarities with LR is Andy Tauers beautiful Une Rose Vermeille a jammy, fruity rose with hints of violets and with the texture of Etat Libre D'Oranges Putain de Palaces. Even as also it's name indicates, this scent with it's dirty animalic heft is the direct opposite to the girl next door-ish Lipstick Rose, but the style,violets and the rose are in common. 

Lipstic Rose is a well executed, almost linear fragrance that is easy to wear for many non-casual occasions in autumn, winter and spring. It's a tad too sweet and powdery to feel appropriate for summerwearing.

Rating: 3

Notes: Rose, violet, musk, vanilla, vetiver, amber

onsdag 2 maj 2012

Reassessements May 2012

Yesterday a lovely, sunny May 1th, we made the first boat trip for this season ( this years boatlaunch was this weekend) together with some friends. Cruising around on the  water in the heart of Stockholm is something I really will recommend. But nevertheless no idleness when it comes to me and fragtesting, during the cruise I have reassessed two fragrances that havn't left my mind since I tested and reviewed them. Havn't left my mind is generally a good sign when it comes to fragrances and proved to be the case concerning both the re-tested fragrances. I smell quite different aspects than when I reviewed Elie Saab Le Parfum back in grey November and Opus VI in March. I have updated the reviews with my new findings.