torsdag 27 september 2012

Maria Candida Gentile - Hanbury

Picture: Giardini Botanici Hanbury - pavilion.
Photo by Daderot, (cc) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved.

This weeks jurney to beautiful Italians Villa-gardens continuies also today. Villa Hanbury is a north italian Villa by the sea with a beautiful garden founded 1867 by the Hanbury family who runned the gardens for many decades but was passed to the University of Genova about thirty years ago. Among the flowers cultivated in the botanic garden, the golden mimosa is a speciality of the Hanbury garden and the flowers are also used to produce essence of mimosa. Mimosa of different types are present in some classical or familiar perfumes as Carons Farnesia, Annick Goutal Le Mimosa (in swedish) and Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie. Mimosa is also the protagonist in Maria Candida Gentiles golden nectar Hanbury, a just beautiful fragrance that, just as intended, immediately transports me to a mediterrian garden in bloom.

Hanbury starts with a golden blast that I precive as produced by medium yellow flowers even if some withe especially the orangeblossom, also have prominent roles. On my skin a delicious orangeblossom is the most prominent note. There is also a winterblowing flower, Calycanthus praecox, in the fragrance, winterblooming flowers is unusual even in northen Italy. I don't know how it smells but I suspect it's one of the very nice notes that radiates from my skin wearing Hanbury. The florals are velvety in its structure and give me the impression of beeing soaked in honey and resting over a slight dry resiny base. Hanbury is a smooth and somehow full perfume and it has a beautiful depth. As the rest of the Maria Candida Gentile line, there a high precentage of naturals in the blend, something that is particulary evident in Hanbury, the flowery impression is very authentic. Compared to another delicious orangeblossom in a similar style, Sweet Redemption (summary in english) by ByKilian, Hanbury is more clean and flowery and SR more of a liquary and sweeter orangeblossom.

Hanbury is a beautiful, wellcrafted and casual- elegant fragrance that could be worn year around but blooms beautiful in warm weather. It's very feminine in style and wraps the wearer in comfort and pleasure. Sillage is close to the skin and longevity is medium almost for a day.

Rating: 4

Notes: Lime, bitter orange, orange, mimosa, white honey,calycanthus, musk, benzoin

måndag 24 september 2012

Vero Profumo - Mito

Picture: Gardens of Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Italy
Photo: mmxbass, Wikimedia commons

Two of my favoriteperfumers lives in Zürich, Andy Tauer and Vero Kern. Maybe it's the fresh air from the alps that have formed their excellent sense of smell which makes them creating beautiful and innovative perfumes. Anyway, this month Vero Kern will launch another gem in her artful parfumeline Vero Profumo - Mito.

Mito is an olfactory interpretation of Veros impressions from the park of Villa d'Este in Tivoli, the flowers, the water in the basains, the moistiness in the shadow, the fresh grass, the sunshine, the architecture and the planning of the park. To me Mito really reflects these impressions of strolling around in a classical park wearing a casul-chic summeroutfit.

Mito starts with a mellow, very warm yellow lemonnote which to me is close to the real fruit. It's lika an explosion of sunshine when the topnotes developes. After a while the flowers skilfully blended with the green sharpness of galbanum shows up. The flowers, especielly the classical galbanum-hyachint duo somehow curbes the sharpness of the galbanum and creates an almost creamy, moisty but in the same time warm texture. Mitos appearence is close to the typical 70s citrus-flowery chypres as Chanel Cristalle Edt and Eau de Rochas, but warmer and more mellow in charachter. The magnolia is also mellow and warm, it's not the somehow stripped down almost cold version as is present in Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte. The jasmine is clean and proper, not an animalic, dirty one. The moisty, dark green moss is present as the perfect setting and the cypress adding some dry woodiness to the blend. A fragrance that comes to my mind during the flowery stages of Mito is Estee Lauders Private Collection Jasmine White Moss which is the same type of  contemporary, green and mellow, whiteflowery chypre. PCJWM to me is a tad sweeter and a bit more flowery in style. Another modern interpretation in this genre is Tiare by Ormonde Jayne.

Mito is an easy to wear fragrance considering it's an Vero Kern perfume. It is not quite as original as Rubj, Onda and Kiki but it's a very wearable fragrance, suitable year around, especially for the colder month, to remember the sunny and warm summer days. As the sillage  is very close there is a risk that the heat of a summerday will be to though to Mito, as with most fragrances heavy on citrus. This minor weakness  is the reason to that Mito doesn't receive the highest rating, but almost:

Rating: 4+

Notes: Citrus, magnolia, champaca, jasmine, galbanum, hyachint, cypress, moss

torsdag 20 september 2012

Ramón Monegal - Mon Cuir

Picture: La Debacle by Theodore Robinson (1892)
Wikimedia commons
Mon Cuir is one of two leather inspired creations in the spanish perfumeline who bears the name of it's founder the very long experienced (over thirty years) perfurmer Ramón Monegal.

Mon Cuir starts with one of the most realistic leather accords that I have experienced in perfume. It's far away from the rough and tough, smoky leather of for example Mona di Orio Cuir but it's also a bit away from the smooth, elegant leather of a a pair of long evening gloves as the light leather in such different frags as the contemporary Hermès Kelly Caleché or the classic Chanel Cuir de Russie. Instead the leather of Mon Cuir is somewhere in between, the opening gives the impression of a well-kept two coloured ( brown and mossy green) weekendbag in leather. Just as the leathery accord mellows into the middlenotes with the traditional orangeblossom accord, a glimpse of an almost minty note appears for a short while. This intermidiates a streak of something chilly in a otherwise warm and comforting fragrance and it reminds me a bit of Parfum d'Empires Cuir Ottoman. This is an example of one of those unexpected moments which are typical for the perfumes of Ramón Monegal. In the rest of the middlestage the flowery-leather accord becomes almost creamy and at the same time cocoapowdery.

Mon Cuir dries down in a tonka been powdery,slight musky, resin base with a light flowery impression still lingering. In the this stage Mon Cuir reminds me of a smoother and gentler version of one of the floral oriental icons of the 80s, the ingenious Joop Femme.

My impression of Mon Cuir is that of a soft and a bit sweet "feminine leather" (for someone who cares about division in gender when it comes to perfume) unobtrusive and "officeproper". Mon Cuir lingering close to the skin but giving away some inscrutable whiffs now and then. Mon Cuir is great for the autumn and winter months but also for chilly summerevenings. And of course for a relaxing weekend at the countryside, with the luggage carried in that perfect leather, weekend bag.

Rating: 4

Notes: Leather, orange blossom, labdanum, musk, sandalwood, patchouli, nutmeg

måndag 17 september 2012

Oscar de la Renta - Live in Love

Picture:Flower of Nelumbo nucifera, bean of India
Photo by T Voelker, (CC) some rights reserved, Wikimedia commons

Live in Love is an elegant, easy to wear, daytime green floral created for Oscar de la Renta by three perfumers in colaboration: Jean-Marc Chaillan, Carlos Benaim and Ann Gottlieb.

Live in love, despite its notes of classic though green notes as bergamott, hyacinth and galbanum, starts as a modern, fresh, clean green floral but without either the detergent note or the "just climbing out from the shower"freshness. The flowers are bright but not weak in appearence and there is also a complementing, subdued fruitiness present. All together this creates a watery impression, as of waterflowers in a pond. There is similarities with ByKilian Water Calligraphy and with the overall impression of Bulgari Omina Coral even if that one is much more fruity and sharp compared to the better balanced Live in Love.

After a while a shining almost incenselike note appears and starts to interact with the wet florals and their supprting slight fruity notes. This incensenote create an interesting contrast to the fruity notes and helps to put them forward. The incense like note I think is a subdued ginger and maybe traces of soft cedarwood (if looking at the notelist anyway).A very successful ginger interpretation as ginger often is too screamy, bubbeling andspritzy, almost as an overdose of  freshly minced white pepper.This interesting and appealing interaction between the "incense" and the fruity-floral notes goes on duirng the middlenotes and as the ginger tunes down the flowery/fruity notes lands in a pleasant woody, musky base.

Live in Love with it's sort of unsweet elegant slight fruity,wet floral, green notes and the classical ingredients (galbanum, hyacinth, bergamot) interpreted in a modern way is the perfect officescent suitable year around but especially for spring, summer and the early autumn. It's present but quite close to the wearer and can't offend (almost) anyone. The longevity is great,it lasts for 24h.

Live in Love is an evidence that good "mainstream"/designerfragrances could be created today also. It's seems that Oscar de la Renta has revived some of it's former glory in perfume especially with the launch of the beautiful aldehydic composition Esprit d'Oscar but also Live in Love is a good example of what could be created if the intention is there. The coming Essential Luxuries seems also very interesting and I hope I get the opportunity to smell them later on.

Live in Love could be appreciated for the fans of the fragrances mentioned above but also for those who like Dior Escale à Pondichery, Gala de Dia (review in swedish) by Loewe and By Kilian Bamboo Harmony.

Rating: 4

Notes: Hyacinth, galbanum, bergamot, lily-of-the-valley, orchid, jasmine, orange flower, rose sandalwood, cedar, woodsy notes, amber, musk

söndag 16 september 2012

My nose is out of order....

Photo: Parfumista (c)

Having a tough cold since Thursday, couldn't smell a note during the whole Friday with Mona di Orio Vétyver which all in a sudden became my SOTD . Thankfully I now seem to recover, could recognize whiffs now and than of the SOYD Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte and most of (I think) the powerful Amouage Lyric Woman of today. It seems as I finally got Lyric, maybe it need to be filtrated thorough a stuffy nose to give me the right impression.

Anyway, let's got to the point with this entry: The cold has compleatly messed up my disiplinated test-and-review schedule. Often I try to have a link between the scents reviewed  the same week. Some common denominator or theme, for examples fragrances from the same house and even better resembling frags from the same house, or frags with the same dominating note or style or frags that somehow causes the same perception, or seasonal frags, or frags or the same perfumer and so one. Last week the common link was elegant, new launches with a retro flair the new ie Ivoire and Opardu. As the cold broke out there where one review of each of three different themes for the coming weeks compleated and as it's impossible to catch up there will be a mixed theme next week. Hopefully there is possible to return to the "theme concept" the week after the coming week.

torsdag 13 september 2012

Puredistance - Opardu

Photo: Opardu by Puredistance, all rights reserved (c)

It's hard to find the right words to describe Opardu, the new creation (will be released in November 2012) by masterperfumer Annie Buzantian for the Austrian/Netherlands nichehouse Puredistance founded by Jan Ewoud Vos. Even if Opardu is classical in it's texture and gives a familiar impression, it's hard to find obvious perfume references. Opardu is one of it's own kind. Opardu is said to be inspired of the vibrant nightlife of Paris in the 1920s. It is classical but not at all dated in style, and it express the feeling of the nostalgic looking back of years gone by.

Opardu starts with soft green floral notes, emphasizing floral. The greenery is more of the violet leaf type, not the rougher (but in a surprisingly gentle way) galbanum that is present in my favourite of this classy line so far, Antonia. Already from the start I percieve the same level of elegance as is present in Antoina, but Antonia is more of a pronounced daytime elegance where Opardu is the contrasting, mysterious and graceful night bird.

The flowery notes confuses me, a note similar to violet is present and something that reminds me of hints of orris but without the famous carrotnote.The mysterious flower is lilac and Opardu in color and texture is just as a bale of exclusive lilac silk velvet. Good lilac scents is not very common, After My Own Heart by Ineke is a well crafted example from the genre but AMOH is fresher and more outdoor in style.

Opardu also presents a pleasent almost slight creamy powdery accord that has some similarities with a subdued lipsticknote. The powder probably emerges from the heliotrophe but I also think aldehydes is included as Opardu (despite differences in flowery notes and scent) has some of the texture and expression of Esprit d'Oscar by Oscar de la Renta but Opardu is more polite and polished in style.

In the basenotes the lilac accompanied by an pleasant slight almondy heliotrophe, supported by a light handed white musk together with a beautiful soft cedarwood that blended with the heliotrophe smells close to sandalwood. Opardu ends as a soft, woody, lilac.

Opardu is an example of a wellcrafted, quality fragrance that unfold it's secrets in different very well blended layers, just as a budding flower.It's a relaxing fragrance that gives a calming almost sad/biitersweet pleasure during the whole drydown. Regarding the vibrant 1920s inspiration of Opardu, my impression is it's a perfume created for the sofisticated nightlife, visiting the Opera and dining at an elegant restaurant instead of dancing wild on a jazz-club. Personally I feel a connction between Opardu and the decade before, the early 1910s and the fashion of Paul Poiret with it's peacock feathers, muted velvet silk, sweeping, comfortable silk dresses with sophisticated oriental patterns, something I think is intermediated by the Puredistance advertesing picture above, just as the original below.

Picture: Poiret model 1914
No known restrictions on publication, Wikimedia commons

Opardu is avaible in perfumeconcentration and therefore it wear close to the skin. The stayingpower is good, Opardu lasts good for a day. To compare, Antonia (also pure perfume) is more radiant and has a 24h+ stayingpower. Opardu is also suitable to wear in daytime and I can image it will be particularly appealing duirng the chilly but bright, early winter-spring days.

I think fans of (among themselves as different scents) Chanel No 5 Parfume, Amouage Gold (in swedish) and Dia, but also Histoire d'Parfums Blanc Violette, and Guerlain L'Heure Bleue will appreciate the beautiful Opardu. And of course; every true admirer of a wellcrafted perfume.

Rating: 5

Notes: Tubereuse, gardenia, rose, lilac, carnation, jasmine, heliotrope, cedarwood, musk

måndag 10 september 2012

Balmain - Ivoire (new)

Picture: Place Vendome, a picture of  the spirit of Ivoire.
Photo by Dimitris Distigues  (CC) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved

The 1980 classic Ivoire de Balmain is re-launched 2012 (this week in Sweden) in a new and very successful interpretation/formulation created by Michel Alamirac and Jacques Flori.

The new interpretation of Ivorie starts much smoother and gentler than the older galbanum-tinged formula with elegant fruity-flowery notes. The pleasant fruitiness has an accompning role inr the middlenotes where elegant flowery interpretations of are mingeled with the traditional galbanum of old Ivoire in a considerably lighter dose. An interesting twist is the addition of some slight peppery notes. It sounds hazardly for such an elgant blend as Ivoire but the pepperiness is so skillfully handled, it's acting in the background as an uplifting note that gives sparkle to Ivoire and I don't percieve the spritzy-sharpness that are present in many peppery creations.  The soapiness of the old Ivoire is tuned down a bit in the earlier stages of the new, this is not strange at all as the galbanum isn't preseant in the early stage. As Ivoire continues to dry down the similarities, among them the lovely sopainess, with the older formula are even more obvious, despite the fact that the soapiness is of a smoother and gentler kind. It intermediates the feeling of wearing a soft, white cashmerejumper, the same feeling as I precieved with the wonderful lilyinterpreation Cartier Baiser Volé. In the elegant base which mediates a vintage sense of mossiness, the new Ivoire has much in common with the old version, to me it's like the more Ivoire dries down, the closer to the old Ivoire it appears. The expression of both the fragrances is the same and I can recognise the same structure and scent but the new Ivoire has a smoother, gentler and fruitier aura as the older is greener, sharper, rougher and more edgy.

The new Ivoire also preserves the same very french elegance as the older version. Ivoire still reminds me of an elegant french lady in a well-cutted, less-is-more, ivory silkdress, dining at a likewise elegant restaurant a bit cool summer evening at a place like Place Vendome. Ivoire creates the same feeling of elegance as Puredistances Antonia even if Antonia is edgier and closer to the original Ivoire whit its charactersitic note of galbanum. The casual-chic daytime alternative to Ivoire, a scent with resembling notes but interpreted in outdoor style is one of my all time favorites Hermès Amazone.

Both versions of Ivoire is definitly worth owning for the lovers of the old Ivoire, they are great complements to each other, where the newer "contemporary" version is a bit easier to wear and I also think it appeals to a wider group of perfumebuyers than the orignal. Besides the fragrances mentioned above I also think that people that enjoys Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens will like Ivoire, both the new and old version, fans of Chanel No 19 Poudre I think will appreciate the new Ivoire.

The longevity of Ivoire is very good, it lasts over a whole day to late in the evening.

Rating: 5

Notes: mandarin, violet, orange, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, black pepper, galbanum, vanilla, vetiver, cedarwood, patchouli

torsdag 6 september 2012

Ramón Monegal - Kiss My Name

Picture: Rose Champagne Bubbles
Photo by Gaetan Lee (CC-BY-2.0; CC-BY-2.5.)
Wikimedia commons some rights reserved

A fizzy, peppery tubereuse-boquet is how I percieve Ramón Monegals tubereusefragrance Kiss My Name. The initial accord reminds med of the light, sight green, tubereuse boquet of Gianfranco Ferre (the fragrance has the same name as the designer himself). But very soon a blast of light, fizzy pepper appears and takes control over the blend. This stage is close to the developement of Lovely Day and just as with that fragrance, reminds me of Un Jardin apres la Mousson by Hermès. The glimpse of something that reminds me of an almost melony note is also present in Kiss My Name as in both of the former fragrances. I don't know from which ingredient the peppery note comes from, probably there is some woody note that is not mentioned among the ingredients that produces it. To me Kiss My Name, just as Gianfranco Ferre is first of all a sort of casual-chic dry, green white flower boquet where tubereuse has a leading but not predominant role. As Kiss My Name dries down the tubereusenote gets clearer. It's a clean and nice tuby-note that never reaches the dangerous dirty, fleshy, almost putty in texture, territory. In the late drydown, Kiss My Name is very close to the fizzy,airy, peppery Un Matin d'Orage by Annick Goutal.

Kiss My Name wears well during a warm summerday and I think it's proper for daytime wear year around. As it is strong in concentration, light application is recommended. A nice, happy and easy to wear fragrance, nothing complicated even if well crafted as the whole Ramón Monegal-line.

Rating: 4
Notes: Tuberose, iris, jasmine, neroli, tolu balsam

måndag 3 september 2012

Ramón Monegal - Lovely Day

Picture: A Lovely summerday
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

To me the somehow dry frutiy-floral of Ramón Monegal  Lovely Day starts like a gentler and less distinctive version of Hermès Un Jardin apres la Mousson. I perceive a melon - peppery ackord that is not as tough and rough as in UJalM. As there is no melon mentioned among the notes I suspect that the black currant gives this effect. There is also no pepper among the ingredients but cedar often gives a peppery effect. Lovely Day developes the light, I image it as white pepper, peppery note continues and the melon-like note seems to go more like black curranrt. As this occurs a flowery element also becomes more evident. The flowers i somehow pink-bubbelgummy-powdery, just as an unchewed pink piece of bubblegum. The sweetness is sort of subdued, it is not sickly sweet and Lovely Day gives me the impression of a grown up almost frutiy floral. After a while in the developement of the middlenotes a coca powdery suede like iris note with light hints of the swedish paperglue "Björnklister" appears.This accord is similar to the irisinterpretation in Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse 1 Capricieuse and traces of the iris from Impossible Iris is also recognisable.  The whole blend is resting on a woody base that is well intergrated in hte blend but becomes increasingly evident as the basenotes develops. Despite just cedarwood is mentioned among the ingredients I also  percieve a woody note similar to a light oud.  The woody base gives a fine contrast and substance to Lovely Day.

Lovely Day is, as the name indicates, a happy fragrance that wears well during a warm summerday, both for office and as with most of the Ramón Monegal fragrances, for elegant casual wear. Despite Lovely Day seems a bit indefinite with its twists of  such different fragrances as Un Jardin apres la Mousson and Tubereuse 1 it's a fragrance that is easy to wear in different situations. The type of fragrance to choose for the days when I haven't got any idea of what to wear.

Rating: 4

Notes: Jasmine, rose, black licorice, iris, cedar, black currant

söndag 2 september 2012

A Coco week

Last Sunday and the workdays Monday to Friday this week have been dedicated to the different Chanel Coco interpretations (some of them anyway, I havn't tested Coco and Coco Mademoiselle in EDT and parfume yet). During the six Coco-days I spent three with Coco Noir, two with Coco Mad and one with Coco.I have enjoyed all the Cocos to the fullest and I have to confess that I, by now at least, like Coco Noir a tiny bit better (just a very tiny little bit) than good ol' Coco. Maybe it just depends on my personal shape of the day that day, but I found Coco a bit too loud in it's orietal spiciness compared with the more subdued Coco Noir. Don't get me wrong, I still love Coco but Coco Noir is favoured these days, maybe it's just the charm of novelty.With Coco and Coco Noir struggeling in the top, Coco Mad, even if I like it much too, comes a step behind, it's somehow sharper and not so seamless blended as the both Coco:s in the top. Anyway Coco Mad is a good, wearable and comfortable fragrance which I will revisit another Coco week. Already looking forward to such a week :-)