onsdag 31 oktober 2012

Ramón Monegal – Dry Wood

Picture: Satureja Subspicata, Royal Botanic Garden Édinburgh
Photo by Peter Weis, (cc) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved

Dry Wood is a dark green, mossy, herbal, woody fragrance from Ramón Monegal. It’s a very potent creation and just two tiny spritzes are almost too much. But very light applied, Dry Wood offers an unusual experience and even if containing the usual cedary, peppery notes of contemporary woody perfumers gendered at the masculine side, Dry Wood highlights the note in a different way, somehow better blended.

Dry Wood starts with a blast of dark greenery over a woody backgound. Some full and rounded citrusnotes glimmering through and gives the introduction a spakle, just like the ray of light is shining through the treetops in a dense fir and pine forest a sunny autumnday. Dry Wood is really very dry and masculine in it’s charcter but anyway somehow wearable by a woman. In the heartnotes Dry Wood becomes rounder and almost soapy in style, like a green, herbal, mossy soap. When the fragrance dried down a little bit further, a slight almost liqueur-like note appears and lasts for quite a whlie. This is the only hint of something on the edge to sweetness in Dry Wood, the rest is non-sweet. In the basenotes, Dry Wood gets sharper again, woodier, with peppery elements but well embedded in the woody, mossy, herbal, dark green facets. The greeness is like that of the undergrowth in a swedish fir and pineforest during the autumn, moss, coniferus, humic, dry- and moisty grass, heather and hebal plants. An interesting ingredient in Dry Wood is satureja(savory), an herbal plant related to thyme and rosemary, which in Sweden is used to speice aquavit with, I havn’t seen that note used in perfume before, but I can smell some thymerelated notes in the blend.

As mentioned above, Dry Wood has the neutronbomb power in sillage and strength, in the same division as Montale Aoud Musk and Carner Barcelona Cuirs even if it smells differently. I have read opinions that reviwers think Dry Wood is onedimensional, but to my nose it is not, if (now I’m repeating myself again) applied very sparingly. Because a “normal” application of  4-5 spritzes almost ruins Dry Wood, the ingredients gets messy. I experienced this when Mr Parfumista tested Dry Wood, by mistake applying too much. Sillage is huge and the longevity for several days if not taken a sauna to sweat it out.

I think admiers of the bold herbal and mossy fragrances of the 80s and of contemporary fragranceas as Amoauge Opus V and Montale Wild Oud could appreciate Dry Wood. Even if not smelling the same, they conveys the same impression.

Rating: 3+ (a good fragrance but too masculine to me)
Rating: 5*)

*)Update February 2017: Dry Wood is a hidden gem which deserves a better rating. One have to see through the masculine a bit colognelike topnotes and wait for the rest, ie when Dry Wood unfolds in its intriguing dry fresh woody aromatic layers.

Notes: Citron, bay leaf, pepper, moss, sandalwood, cedar, cashmeran, amber, woody notes, satureja

måndag 29 oktober 2012

Frapin - Speakeasy

Picture:This building at 1223 Connecticut Ave, NW, (the MCCXXII Club)
 was known as the Mayflower Club. It was considered the swankiest Prohibition-era speakeasy in DC
Author:dbking, Wikimedia commons (cc) some rights reserved 
Speakeasy was the nickname of more elegant illegal establishments selling alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition era in the United States. What could be more appropriate name for a fragrance from the old congachouse Frapin which since aboust ten years also has perfume as one of its businesslines. Speakeasy is a creation by perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato who usually works for his own perfumehouse Parfum d'Empires.

Speakeasy starts with a clean and pronounced leather accord. The leather smells new and fresh, the image is of light cognaccolored leather of a good quality used in a fine handbag. The leathersmell is very natural to my nose and mot mixed up with so many other notes as it often is. In the opening stages there something similat to the leather in Montale Aoud Leather but the Frapin leather is smoother, better balanced and  lacks the almost aquatic note in the top notes of Aoud Leather. In its texture and appearance, even if different in the leathery smell, Speakeasy reminds me of a masculine Cuir de Lancome. After a whlie a minty note appears and it or something else, adds a metallic vibe to the fragrance which becomes even  more masculine than in the first accords. Here a bold 1989s maco tobacco-leather comes to my mind and will stay there during the whole dry down as the metallic leather will be there more or less also in the coming stages: Gianfranco Ferre Man. Speakeasy is a tuned down, smoother, rounder and contemporary interpretation on a similar theme with GF Man. As Speakeasy reaches the basenotes, suddenly it gets warm and the metallic note steps a bit aside in favor of a round, mouthwatering, boozy, ruhmlike note (which I think is davana) supported by some light tobbacco. A certain tamed sweetness helps to ground the delicious boozy accord, it's almost as a cognac barrel. In this stage there is similarities to the boozy davana of  L'Oiseau de Nuit by Parfumerie Générale but less sweet and subtler in Speakeasy. Somewhere in the middle of the basenotes suddenly a very clean, almost airy immortellenote shows up, it's not the dense syrupy version that sometimes is too dominating in leather/tobacco fragrances. The shift from the clean, light leather over the very masculine metallic stage to the round, delicious ruhm and cognac barrel notes accompanied by fresh tobacco base is very interesting, something happens during the whole dry down. The final accords evokes the picture of well used leather clubchairs in which gentlemen has lighten their cigars and sipped their cognacs for decades.

Even if a bit more on the masculine side in the middlenots of the unisexspectra, I think Speakeasy is genderless and I think it was pleasant to wear on a quite chilly Octoberday. It's a perfect fragrance for autumn- and winterdays as for chilly spring evenings. Sillage is medium and longevity more than 12h.

Rating: 5

Notes: Ruhm, orange, lime, geranium, mint, labdanum, styrax, tobacco, leather, musk, immortelle, tonkabeen

torsdag 25 oktober 2012

Lanvin – Eclat d’Arpege

Picture: Ein Korb mit Flieder,
signiert und datiert Carl Massmann 1896, Öl auf Leinwand,
Wikimedia commons

Eclat d’Arpege created by Karine Dubreuill 2002 for Lanvin, has nothing but the name and the decoration of the bottle in common with the dangerous original (but of course reformulated) Arpége from 1927.

Eclat d’Arpege starts with some light green notes with some citrusy elements, but above all; lilac. The lilac which is not artifcial and cheap as sometimes happens with this note, it’s just like the colour of the fresh light purple lilac. There is a slight metallic vibe, but not the aldehydic type as in for example Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, it’s a more of a metallic facet of the flower. The lilac is’nt powdery as in Puredistances beautiful Opardu, the lilac note is quite clear and crips. It has more in common with another beautiful clear and bright lilac fragrance After my Own Heart by Ineke Rüland.

As Eclat d’Arpege dries down, mellower, fruity notes mixed with some warm flowers and a light tealike note appears. This accord somehow rounding off the metallic edge but the blend still stays flowery cool like a chilly day in the early spring. In the base Eclat d’Arpege is almost all about woody musk, but there is also a faint note of resin, probably the amber listed among the ingredients.  

Eclat d’Arpege is the perfect fragrance for spring, it’s overall chilly, flowery, woody, musky structure perfectly captures that season. One of the better balanced and not overly sweet fruity florals that is relatively easily aviable. It has also survived for ten years on the market, which is a sign for a certain quality. Eclat d’Arpege is somehow ageless in character, it’s a fruity-floral also for grown up’s, not obviously directed to the younger crowd. I don’t get the comparisons with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue as that one is sharper, woodier, less flowery and with a green applenote, according to my nose. Eclat d’Arperge is smoother, more feminine and elegant in style. Eclat d’Arpege is a very wearable fragrance, especially for spring and summer but also for year around for days that demands something uncomplicated, nice smelling and office friendly. Sillage is medium and longevity not as good, less than 12h.

Rating: 3

Notes: Peony, peach blossom, tea, lilac, petit grain, osmanthus, wisteria, cedarwood, musk, amber

måndag 22 oktober 2012

Lanvin – Arpége

Picture: Gedenktafel 10707 Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Zähringerstraße 13,
 Wohnung der Tänzerin Anita Berber
Photo: Wikinaut (cc) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved

Sometimes when testing all these well behaved and well adjusted contemorary niche and designerhouse fragrances I as a contrast just want to smell something wild, old fashioned and provocative to the average perfumeconsumer of today (from my preconception). Than the classical aldehydic bomb Arpége from Lanvin is a fragrance that will fit the bill. Before spritzing I have to prepare Mr Parfumista (it’s usually during weekends I wear severe classics like this) that today I will wearing an “old ladies scent”, I hate this expression but it well illustrates a certain category of mostly classic fragrances from which I like many, that he wil not like the smell etc. If not warned he sometimes I have found that he becomes a bit irritated as he don’t like the smell from Arpége and it’s companions on me anyway, because the comment is always “It not suit you and maybe there is something with the chemistry because it’s ok on the scentstrip”. Maybe the old aldehydes and chypres dosen’t suit me the best but anyway I sometimes long for them and want to smell them as they are interesting and difficult creatures to discover.

Arpége (the latest Edp-formulation in the black bottle) starts with a strong aldehydic blast that almost knocks my nose out. The aldehydes are somehow robust, rough and demanding in Arpége, in Chanel No 5 Edt they are more gracile and even more and also champangeny bubbly in Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere and Esprit d’Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. In the middle the aldehydes withdraws but are defintly still there supporting the dark decadent flowers with an uplifting sparkle. Something almost dark and dense leathery also apperars in the backround in this stage and it’s discreetly present even thereafter.

In the basenotes a dark and wet vetivernote that mediates a dark green almost mossy impression dominating. The vetiver reminds me of the dense and dark accord Encre Noire by Lalique and Route de Vetiver by Maître Parfumerur et Gantier, both gendered as masculine fragrances. As I remember it, the vetiver is more prounanced in this Arpége formulation compared to the one before in the transparent bottle where the mossy, woody notes were much more apparent. But the same expression dark, mossy, woody texture and image of the fragrance is preserved. To me Arpége is feminine but it’s also unisex, the opening aldehydic accord leaning at the feminine side but when reaching the basenotes it’s whichever.

Arpége was created 1927 by the perfumer Andre Fraysse in collobaration with Jeanne Lanvins daughter Margurite as a gift from Jeanne to celebrating the thirtieth birthday of her daughter. But tom me Arpége don’t exactly mirrors the elegant enviorment of the mother and daughter Lanvin rather to me it mirrors the decadant setting of the 1920s legendary cabarets and nightclubs in Berlin. Arpége is THE fragrance for the 1920s wild artist Anita Berber , the predesessor to artists as Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Arpége is an interesting fragrance, a darker, warmer, woodier and rougher than Chanel No 5 It has stood the test of time and reformulations very good. Even if a bit oldfashioned it’s in the same time eternal and a great frag to wear when the urge to wear something different that stands out from the clean, floral, fruity, patchouli, peppery, woody, odors of  contemporary perfumes. Arpége is also resonable priced especially compared to new launches and it definitly provides value for money.

Rating: 4 (on me if positive a 3, but considerating the history and peculiarity of the fragrance, the character the ability to create images and the smell on the sample strip, all together a 4)

Notes:  Bergamot, aldehydes, peach, orangeflower, honeysuckle, orris, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, coriander, sensitive plant, tuberose, violet, geranium, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla,musk

fredag 19 oktober 2012

Robert Piguet – Bois Noir

Photo: Bois Noir de Robert Piguet
All rights reserved (c)
Bois Noir is one of five fragrances in the Nouvelle Collection by Robert Piguet that was introduced in 2012. Bois Noir is created by the “housenose” Aurelien Guichard.

Bois Noir starts almost loud with potent dry but warm woody-peppery notes and I suppose it’s the peppery aspects of the cedarwood as oud is not included in the notelist but there is of course possible there is a pinch of it in the blend. In the topnotes and most of the middlenotes Bois Noir is close to the powerful Cuirs by Carner Barcelona, but Cuirs is rougher, with more distinctive burned, leathery, woody, peppery, spicy notes. Cuirs has almost a hint of the smell of a hot sausage. Other fragrances that comes to my mind is Nasomatto Black Afgano even if that one is sweeter and with a slight, dark herbal touch. Also Montale Dark Oud with peppery oud that is balanced by warm sandalwood, is in the same style.

As Bois Noir drys down it becomes smoother and more balsamic in character. The patchouli is not evident as a distinctive note, it’s just there balancing all the woodiness with it’s earthy backdrop. Resiny and balsamic notes are stepping forward the more Bois Noir dries down. When settling in the base the woody notes is almost balsamic-creamy with a touch of sweetness from (I suppose) the labdanum supported with some delicate musk. This final stage lasts for much longer than 24 hours and it’s one of the most beautiful woody accords that I have experienced in a long time: It’s very addictive.

Bois Noir is a fragrance that is tricky to handle. As it’s very concentrated one has to be very careful when applying (two-three spritzes), if not it could be overhelming and almost headache-inducing. Even if similarities with other fragrances mentioned it’s an interesting fragrance that wins in the long run. It’s important not to dismiss it as another Cuirs or Black Afgano in it’s earlier stages, the following parts are well worth waiting for.Bois Noir is the best interpretation I smelled so far in this woody-peppery-spicy- style. It’s a fragrance with a very strong precense, a real statement, but without taking over the whole space.

To me Bois Noir is totally unisex even if I think that the “average perfume consumer” will say it’s leaning to the masculine side. Bois Noir is the perfect scent for the autumn, the storng, woody, peppery accords in the top and the almost creamy, spicy woodiness in the base perfectly accompanying a walk during a chilly autumnday with colourful rustling leaves around the feet. It’s also a good officescent at least I got compliments wearing it: “A very good smelling frag, it smells like autumn”.

Rating: 5

Notes: Gaiacwood, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, balsam, cistus labdanum absolute

onsdag 17 oktober 2012

Robert Piguet – The house and perfumes

Picture: Nouvelle Collection by Robert Piguet
Photo: Perfumes Robert Piguet (c), all rights reserved

As a long time admier and wearer of Fracas, which is as close to a signature flower scent as I can come, I’m very fond of the house of Robert Piguet with it’s classy fragrances featured in equally sleek, elegant black bottles. To make a long story short, the perfumes was a part of the fashionhouse Robert Piguet with the legendary Bandit and Fracas created by the legandary, one of the first famous female perfumers, Germaine Cellier in the 1940s as also Visa (together with Jean Carles) and Baghari 1950. As the fashion house had to close down in 1951 the perfume brand continued but with changed ownership over the years. In the late 1950s and during the 1960s Calypso, Cravache and Futur were launched. In the late 1990s the perfumes Robert Piguet was acquired by the current owner, Fashion Fragrances & Cosmetics, and the ardous work to restore the Robert Piguet perfumes to it’s former glory began. Judging from the impressions of my nose the strategy of Robert Piguet CEO Joe Garces is utterly successful: First the skillful reinterpretations/recreations of Baghari,Visa, Cravache, Futur and Calypso, where the fragrances are reinterpreted by the house perfumer Aurelian Guichard with respect to the intentions of the originals. I have tested all of them expect the masculine Cravache and I like them all very much, especially Calypso (loveJ) and Baghari. Last year, Perfumes Robert Piguet introduced its first fragrance which is not based on the classics, Douglas Hannant. This contemporary, gardenia, pear, Fracas light inspiered fragrance, was made in collaboration with American haute couture designer Douglas Hannant to create a signature fragrance for the fashionhouse. This year the house of Piguet has continiued to release new fragrances in the expressive, multifacetted, elegant, classical style of the house. The Nouvelle Collection which I have the pleasure to test and review with start on Friday (continued with coming entries during the autumn/winter) have some fragrances inspired of the perfumes of the Middle East. There is also a collection geared to the Asian market, The Pacific Collection being launched in these days. Also an easier to wear Fracas Petit Fracas will be launched  2012.

The perfumehouse Robert Piguet finally seeems to have reached the safe harbor that these beautiful perfumes, the style and the creative spirit of this classical house really deserves.     

måndag 15 oktober 2012

Serge Lutens - Santal Majuscule

Picture: Castel del Monte, Wikimedia commons

Santal Majuscule is created by Christopher Sheldrake (I guess) for Serge Lutens as the third interpretation dedicated to sandalwood from the house of Serge Lutens. First the warm, indian-spicy Santal de Mysore was created in the early 1990s followed by the almost subdued Santal Blanc ten years later.

Santal Majuscule starts with a slight rough, but in the same time almost smooth sandalwoodnote. A gourmand creaminess occours,some subdued roses reminiscent in style of the rose in Pasteum Rose by Eau de Itally. But most the scent of crushed leaves and stems of the roses emphazises, close to the green tangy accord in Rose Splendide by Annick Goutal.

Beyond these individual notes that I seem to distinguish, Santal Majuscule to me is a woodier and slight green version of one of my favourite Lutens the buttery, peach and bread, santal gourmand Jeux de Peau. IMHO I think they are too close to justify buying both of them, even if both are lovely, and Jeux de Peau a bit lovlier :-) . Of the other sandal Lutens Santal Majuscule just as Jeux de Peau are closest to Santal Blanc, even if both Jeux de Peau and Santal Majuscule both are more interesting than Santal Blanc.

Santal Majuscule even if a contemporary sandalwood somehow feels timeless and takes me to journy of time.To me it mediates the picture of medivial monks writing detailed majuscule and miniscule letters. Or a knight returning to his castle, such as above.

Santal Majuscule is the perfect comfortscent for the colder month of the year but I'm convinced it will suits even in summer as the "green crushed leaves and stem" tangy note developes well under warm conditions.Sillage is medium and longevity good, +12h.

Rating: 4

Notes: Sandalwood, rose, cocoa, tonka been

torsdag 11 oktober 2012

Huitième Art - Poudre de Riz

Picture: Pierre Guillaume celebrates ten years as perfumer
with his own house Parfumerie Generale.
Couldn't resist borrowing this picture from Fragrantica
Photo: Fragrantica (c)

I said it before and had to repeat it again: Pierre Guillaume is too tough for my creditcard. This autumn he  seduces me with two beautiful fragrances, the Djhenné as I reviewed earlier this week and now Poudre de Riz, a totally different beast from his “showcasing one special note surrounded by other high quality ingredients collection”; Huitième Art.

Poudre de Riz is instant love, opposed to Djhenne which was growing on me during the testing. Poudre de Riz is a warm and very comforting slight powdery floral woody musky blend with oriental vibes. Poudre de Riz is dominated by tropical flowers blended with coconut and vanilla, which create a warm and very comfortable feeling. To me there is something in the top and middlenotes that smells like blond, fresh tobaccoleaves (even if tobbaco is not mentioned) mingled with vanilla and a dry coconut and later on with a subdued rose-iris accord accompaning in the background. These flowery notes fleets in and out during the rest of the dry down, it creates a depth and a certain elegence to the fragrance. Poudre de Riz gives me retro vibes, I image a fragrance created about hundred years ago, in the era before WWI. In the basnotes, besides the flowery, slight wet musky impression, powdery notes from tonka and benzoin appears. There is also an almost balsamic warmth present. A fragrance that reminds me of Poudre de Riz is Kèora by Jean Couturier with it’s warm, tropical flower blended in vanilla. Also Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Fleur des Comores has something similar in style even if Fleurs de Comores is sweeter, more flowery and a bit dirty compared to Poudre de Riz. There is also a dry vanillanote that is close to L’Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille which also contains the tobacconote. Maybe the note similar to tobacco is a facet of vanilla, I don’t know. In texture and expression there something in Poudre de Riz that reminds me of a clean variation of the slight dirty Etat Libre de Orange Putain des Palaces, maybe the powdery, dense feeling.

Poudre de Riz is first of all the true comfortscent for the colder months. I also think it will fit also for warm summerevenings as the sweetness is subdued and the powdery musk creates an almost cool impression under the right conditions.

Rating: 5

Notes: Tiare, coconut milk, vanilla, rice, maple sap, rice, caramel, iris, sandal- and cedarwood, rose, tonka been, benzoin, tolu balsam

måndag 8 oktober 2012

Parfumerie Générale - Djhenné

Picture: Great Mosque of Djenné
Photo: Andy Gilham (cc) Wikimedia Commons,
some rights reserved

This year the house of Parfumerie Générale, founded by perfumer Pierre Guillaume, celebrating ten successful years with a fragrance that fills the vacant number 22 in the numberd collection, Djhenné. Maybe the number was left to unite the “2:s” of the founding year respective the year of Jubilee.

Djhenné is a town in Mali, famous for the big mosque constructed by clay in 1907. To me, Djhenné the perfume also smells as I can image the smell of the dry, hot, earth blended with some sand from Sahara mingled with spieces, cacao from the market, and some herbal green whiffs from the scores of the river nearby. According to an interview on Fragrantica Pierres inspiraton to Djhenné was “a fresh accord surrounded by hot sand. Oasis, a lazy hot atmosphere, and a little bit of freshness in a hot desert”

Djhenné starts with sparkling, almost spritzy light spicy notes that mingles with an uplifting green light flowery herbal note, probably the mint and flowers combined. The pepper from cedarwood comes forward in a quite early stage and after a while Djhenné reminds me of some sparkling woody-peppery fragrances for example the bolder L`Eau Guerriere which is bright and luminous but at the same time heavy in it’s notes and therefore has to be applied very sparingly. But after this short phase Djhenné turns to a softer, warmer spicy stage supported by some delicate and almost dry and powdery, sweet notes supported by an almost rounded, strawlike note which mingles and balances with a light resin-sweetness. The last accord is probably highlighten the original wheatnote and the myrrh, but a sort of stripped down, light myrrhm not the dark, warm myrrh of Myrrhiad from one of Pierres other perfumelines, Huitieme Art. In the Fragrantica interview the interviewer find similarties with another beautiful PG fragrance, Bois Naufrage. Even if not quite obvious to me, both have the same relaxing aura and Bois Naufrage is the wet woody version and Djhenné the warm, dry and spicy version of the theme

Except the short, cedar-pepper phase, Djhenné is a very relaxing fragrance with a comfortable dry, warm, light flowery, spicy and well balanced sweetness. It’s easy, but in the same time interesting, to wear as it repeatedly unfolds new discrete twists, especially in it’s later stages. The longevity, despite it’s perceived lightness, is 12h+. Djhenné is a fragrance that grows on me from the initial impression of a good but not especially distinctive fragrance, I can’t stop sniffing my wrists in the later stages of this beautiful and a bit mysterious fragrance that induces such exotic images to me, just as Pierres intention.

Djhenné is perfect for daytime wear year around, and as said above, a fragance for calming down .

Rating: 5

Notes: Mint, seringa, lavendel, cedarwood, cacao pod, myrrh, wheat

lördag 6 oktober 2012

Top Fall Fragrances 2012

Picture: Maple leaves
Photo: Mr Parfumista 

As I read the toplists of some of the major perfumeblogs yesterday, I was inspired and couldn’t resist putting together an own list. Autumn to me is the best season for wearing perfume, the darker, warmer, heavier ones is suddenly suitable together with the intense or heavy floral fragrancs from the late summer. Here are some fragrances that I’m longing for at the moment (even if they are rarely worn as I’m in a intensive samplingmood):

Coco Noir (Chanel): Contrary to most of the perfume bloggosphere I was instantly fallen for this elegant, dark, slight spicy, musky, patchouli. Chic and wearble at the same time.

Ambre Gris (Balmain): This sweet and in the same time salty gourmand is like slipping in to a smooth and soft cashmerejumper. Perfect for warming up in grey and rainy days.

Lyric Woman (Amouage): Only recently, after years of recurrant testins, I understood this dark, red, cinnamon spicy, resin and incense grounded beauty. Mysterious and eternal. Maybe I will understand this years dissapointment Interlude Woman in a couple of years too.

Cuirelle (Ramón Monegal): This delicate suede with some boozy undertunes is elegant, smooth and with some interesting twists in it’s dry down..

Belle en Rykiel (Sonia Rykiel): This warm and comforting and in the same time interesting lavendel-coffe and milk – incense over a vanillic base, is a recurring favourite for fall.

Rochas Femme Edp (Rochas): Starts almost like a plummy liquer in the top notes, dark, mellow plums and spices over a woody, chypre base. The Edp is velvety, rounder and closer in sillage compared to the more radiant, sharper, heavy upon cummin Edt which is also good.

Seville à l’Aube (L’Artisan Parfumeur): Not as original or sensational as expected after months of hype in Perfumeland. But it’s a very good and wellcrafted very wearble orangeblossom fragrance, warm and comforting, reminding of warm summer evenings.  

Opardu (Puredistance): This elegant, lilac, powdery, slight musky fragrance, transports me hundered years back in time, to the era just before WWI. True elegance and beauty.

Kiki Edp (Vero Profumo): Intense and original passionflower, lavendel blend over a dark, patchouli base. This is just delicious.

Auburn (Andy Tauer): The intense and warm tobbacoaccord is amazing in Auburn. Auburn is like the essence of autumn, sparkling, maple leaves, high chilly air and an intense blue sky on a sunny autumnday.

Poudre de Riz (Huiteme Art): Elegant interpretation of rose combined with some tropical flowers grounded in a powdery, musk-vanillic base. In texture and expression almost like a clean variation of  ELDO Putain des Palaces.

Which fragrances are your favourites for this Fall?

torsdag 4 oktober 2012

Ramón Monegal - Cuirelle

 The Ramón Monegal testing is continuing....
Photo: Parfumista (c)

Cuirelle is an interesting and beautiful soft suede/leather fragrance from the Barcelonabased parfumer Ramón Monegal whose perfumehouse also bears his name.

As Cuirelle starts it’s a bit sweet and almost fruity with a rounding delicate suede accord. In the topnotes, Cuirelle reminds me of a smoother and less sweet and flowery In Leather Woman by Etienne Aigner (in swedish). As Ramón Monegal has created some fragrances for Etienne Aigner (don’t know if In Leather Woman in on of them) there is maybe a connection between the two fragrances. Another fragrance that comes to my mind in this stage is Ava Luxe Film Noir even if Film Noirs slight fruity suede note is tougher, rougher and more than a bit dirty.

When Cuirelle reaches the middlenotes it takes another direction than In Leather Woman. Where the latter highlighten fruity notes almost like applepie the former transforms to an almost chalky soapy accord, reminiscent to the accord in Vanille Tonka by Parfums de Nicolaï but less green and less distinctive. Later on a slight spicy, warm, honeyd  boozy note appears, similar to the interpretation in Mon Patchouly but without the cocoapowder feeling. In Cuirelle there are some light woody-patchouli notes that accompanying the delicate suedenote that depens as more the fragrance dries down. 

The basenotes is a beautiful accord of gentle and delicate, honeyed, clean leathery booziness with traces of cinnamon. The natural sweetness is just right balanced to create an aura of comfortable smothness. In this stage Cuirelle reminds me of a softer, warmer and sweeter relative to the discontinued contemporary cult leather Cuiron by Helmut Lang. In the base Cuirelle almost has transformed it’s suede to a smooth elegant leathernote, but just almost as the fragrances seems to be fleeting between soft sude and soft leather.

Just as most of the other Monegal perfumes I have tested, Cuirelle takes the wearer on an interesting journey during a day of wearing. Cuirelle is very well balanced, the notes mixes in each other in a very subtle way. It’s also like many of the other from the house of Ramón Monegal a thrilling blend where you can’t predict how the fragrance will end from just smelling the initial topnotes. That’s something that I really appreciate from a fragrance and one of all aspects that makes the perfumehobby so exiting.

Cuirelle is great to wear during the colder months, suitable both for daytime and eveningwear. The sillage is medium and the longevity is at least for 12h.

Rating: 5

Notes: Olibanum, patchouli, honey, cinnamon, vetiver, cedarwood, incense

måndag 1 oktober 2012

Balmain - Ambre Gris

Picture: Balmain Ambre Gris in it's fancy, heavy bottle
Photo: Balmain all right reserved (c)

After wearing Ambre Gris by Pierre Balmain three days running, I still can't figure out among which fragrances to place this interesting creation of Guillaume Flavigny. Even if somehow familiar Ambre Gris is it's own comforting creature and I enjoy it as such.

Ambre Gris starts very sweet, almost to sweet for my liking but in the same time it's a somehow delicious sweet-spicy smell and I can't stop sniffing my wrists. In the earlier stages Ambre Gris is gourmand-oriental in style. When Ambre Gris has dried down for a few hours it becomes drier and shows off a soft, slight flowery side. The imortelle is the flower that is most detectable and I can't say that I detect the tubereuse as a separate note but I think it's so well blended with the immortelle that these two together creates a subdued immortellenote, the imortelle in the "immortellestandard" Sables is relatively loud and sypury, here it's smoother and almost putty in texture. In this stage Ambre Gris reminds me a bit of Histoires d'Parfums Tubereuse 3 Animale but Ambre Gris is smoother, sweeter and subdued compared to T3. The tubereuse is not the loud, fleshy one, it's the putty, subdued style which is also present in Mona di Orios Les Nombres d'Or Tubereuse. When Ambre Gris reaches the basenotes it mediates an almost salty quality that evokes the picture of real ambergris, the drived ashore dried whalevomit that was (and sometimes is) a precious perfumeingredient. The basenotes is pleasant almost slight smoky-woody-musky in character.

Ambre Gris is the ultimate comfortscent for autumn and winter. Even if gourmand, spicy, woody, oriental with distinct, concentrated notes, it's soft and subdued. Ambre Gris has to be applied sparingly because the sweetness may otherwise be overhelming. For each wearing, the more I appreciate Ambre Gris and I think it's well worth tryning when passing NK or Åhlens City (in Sweden). The beautiful  heavy bottle is with the funny golfball or discoball of the top is well worth watching.

Besides the fragrances mentioned above I think admirer of Belle en Rykiel by Sonia Rykiel (louder and more vanillic + incense -lavendel) and Prada Candy (more powdery resins) will appreciate Ambre Gris.

Rating: 4 (but may increase as it seems to be a growing liking)

Notes: Myrrh, cinnamon, pink pepper, immortal flower, benzoin, tuberose, benzoin, ambergris, musk, amber, guaiac wood