torsdag 29 november 2012

Versace - Vanitas Edp

Picture: Woman in a yellow dress, oil by Max Kurzweil,1899
Wikimedia commons
Vanitas Edp just as the Vanitas Edt version reviewd earlier this week, is created by Dora Baghriche-Arnaud for Italian fashionhouse Versace.

Rationelly I should of course have reviewed Versace Vanitas Edp first as it was created 2011 the year before the launching of the Edt. But my rational was the weather: The first week in October when the testing took place, is up here in the North, a period with alternating relatively warm and contrasting chilly days. The more sparkling and lighter, when it comes to the mixing of the ingredients, Vanitas Edt was tested during a relatively warm day and the Vanitas Edp on a slight chilly day.

Vanitas Edp has not, as mentioned above, the uplifting, sparkling effects as the Edt possesses. Vanitas Edp is dimmed compared to the Edt, it’s mellower and the florals, which are yellow also in the Edp, are dense and velvety in texture compared to the almost chiffonlike texture of the Edt. The freesia is one of the leading characters in the Edp but not as dominating as in the Edt. In the later dry down I feel a familiar note that is not menitioned in the notelist but I almost sure it is there. It’s the dark end dense orangeblossom note that is even more apparent in Mona di Orios Jabu. Vanitas Edp, especially in it’s later stages, has a hint of the dark melancholy that is present as a hint in the overall joyful Jabu. Vanitas Edp plays with the same concept a comfortable and pleasant fragrance with a trace of seriousness. I think admiers of the fragrances mentioned in the review of Vanitas Edt will also like the Edp but also these who likes more compact, unobtrusive, velvetlike in texture, elegant florals as for example Boucheron pour Femme. Even if they don’t smell close, the conveys a common style.

Vanitas Edp is a fragrance for the days when you just want’s to be taken care of. It wraps around you as a smooth pashmina, as a true comfort for troublesome days. The sillage is less then the sillage of the Edt, which of course is no surprise as Edt-concentrations is constructed to perform a higher radiance. Longevity is about 12 hours, not quite as long as for the Vanitas Edt.

Even if the both Vanitas versions tested are very good and mirrors two faces of the same theme, I slightly prefers the Edt-version and therefore the Edp has a somewhat lower rating.

Rating: 4

Notes: Lime, freesia, tiareflower, tonkabeen, cedarwood

måndag 26 november 2012

Versace - Vanitas Edt

Picture: Idleness, John William Godward , 1900,
Wikimedia commons

Some days I just want to wear a fragarnce that just smells incredible good and that not distracts with strange twists that urges for a constant analyze. Such a fragrance is Versace Vanitas Edt, created by Dora Baghriche-Arnaud, a fresher interpretation of the Edp which was launched last year.

Vanitas Edt starts with a blast of sparkling yellow and white flowers grounded on an mellow, tropical, almosfruity accord that is not overly sweet and accentuating the flowers and gives them a depth. In the earlier stages of Vanitas Edt there is a bit of, but not fully developed, watery-flowery accord in the lotus flower style, like in Water Calligraphy by ByKilian and Gala de Dia by Loewe. As the fragrance dries down the watery texture gradually softens but doesn’t disappear completely. Also in the base the flowers is the most distinguished notes even if grounded on woody and teanotes according to the notelist.

Vanitas Edt is a sophisticated floral fragance with notes that feels almost fruity in the background. It’s a grown up floral, far away from the sweet, pink, young-girlish style.There is also no shrillness as in some Versace creations, neither it reflects the sometimes almost vulguar noveau riche style of the Versace couture. The almost fruity light sweetness, I think it’s the freesia that dominates the blend, smells almost natural, like mango and papaya, and there is no chemical vibes that could be prominent in some fragrances in this style.

Vanitas Edt is suitable for those who enjoy Amouage Honour Woman, Ormonde Jayne Tiare, Dior Pure Poison and First by Van Cleef & Arpels even if the latter is a grand, soapy 70s aldehydic, the lustre and elegance in apparance is similar.

Vanitas Edt is elegant but also relaxing and comfortable, perfect for daytime wear year around and it really blooms in humid weather which was the curicumstances when I tested it. I also think it would be a terrific fragrance to wear during lazy summerdays and warm summerevenings. Longevity is very good, at least 12h and the sillage is medium.

Rate: 4

Notes: Freesia, rose, osmanthus, tiareflower, cedarwood, black tea

torsdag 22 november 2012

Puredistance - I

Picture: Puredistance I, elegant, white soft flowers.
Puredistance (c), all rights reserved.

The first feminine fragrance, properly named I, from Puredistance, is like a summery of the spirit of the fragrances of the house. Puredistance, with long time experienced perfumer Annie Buzantian as housenose (for the femine offerings anymay), is creating timeless elegant, chic and versatile fragrances which in the same time also feels contemprary. I is said to has first beeing created by the perfumer as a personal fragrance for herself and that it remains as one of her own favourites.

I opends up with watery, almost ozonic, mostly white blossom notes. Mr Parfumista says he is getting the olfactory image of a softer, smoother and much more elegant L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake. Probably this is airy, and elegant fresh as the sea aura that surrounds the tamed and polite white blossoms that creates this impression.

As the development of I continues the blend gets light, fluffy, creamy and smells almost as a really exclusive sunscreen. The creamy white and also yellow flowers are fleeting soft and seemless within each other in the Annie Buzantian typical smooth and delicate way in handling flowers. In this stage Puredistance I reminds me of an elegant and smooth variation of Flora Bella from Lalique. Flora Bella also has this warm, almost tropical flowery quality with the clear air from the sea as a refreshing element. But I is rounder, gentler and much more elegant than the flamboyant Flora Bella. In the basenotes I gets less creamy even if some remians and the flowers appears somehow more distinctive, supported by a well balanced white musk combined with the fresh eartyness of vetiver and a hint of ambery depth. Overall there is something in the aura, texture and radiance of I that reminds me of a flowery counterpart to the beautiful airy, sealike, woody Bois Naufragé by Parfumerie Générale. I feels like the image of a beach on a tropical island with almost snowwhite sand on a sunny day with a totally clear, blue sky. Or the image of an elegant lady dressed in white.

I is a very feminine fragrance that adds pleasure and luxury to everyday. In the same time it is easy to wear and adds comfort and security to the wearer without beeing aggressive as a one of the “powerperfumes”. I have to admit hat it has taken some time for me to “get” I, 1,5 years to be exact (review in swedish from spring 2011 here). Not pleasing directly is often a sign of a complicated quality fragrance with many facets and the following indivdual interpretations of the scent. Even if, or probably because, I is not grundbreaking in style it’s a contemporary classic (despite the slight aquatic vibes that could be associated with the 1990s) that could easily qualify as a signature fragrance for a wearer that perfers a limited numbers of perfumes in her wardrobe. I is suitable for office, receptions but also an example of the perfect bridal perfume. A very versatile fragrance!

As all Puredistance fragrances, I is a perfume extrait and as such offer a discrete but definitly detectable sillage. A discreete trail is, under the right conditions, appearing after the wearer of I has left the room and when smelling this, one wonders from where this beautiful scent comes. The longevity is very good, about 24 h.

Rating: 5

Notes: Tangerine blossom, cassis, neroli bigarade, watery nuances,  
magnolia, rose, jasmine, parmenthia, mimosa, amber, vetiver, white musk.

måndag 19 november 2012

Parfums MDCI - Chypre Palatin

Picture: The bias cut look of Madeleine Vionnet
from the 1930s evokes the spirit
and texture of Chypre Palatin

Chypre Palatin is a beautiful fragrance with a strong retro vibe from the french nichehouse Parfums MDCI. Chypre Palatin is created by the, to said the least, very active perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Chypre Palatin is presented as a masculine fragrance by the perfumehouse but when it comes to my nose, it’s unisex leaning a bit to the feminine side.

Chypre Palatin starts powdery dry, with that almost gunpowdery note that is present in Les Nombres d’Or Ambre by Mona di Orio. A multiple grades stronger interpretation of the gunpowdernote is the classical beginning of Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi. As the dry down continues, some soft, very wellblended flowery notes (particular from bulbous plants) shows up, supported by smooth tonka and different resins that creates a warm and delightful oriental-chypre (more oriental than chypre) fragrance in the style of Dior Dioressence, but smoother and without the rosy effect of Dioressence. But beneath all the wellbalanced pleasure of Chypre Palatin there is a slight, animalic note (probably the costus) lurking that gives this beautiful fragrance an interesting contrast. Also a sublime, dark, plummy, note is present in the later stages of the dry down.Chypre Palatin to me evokes the image of a fragrance from the 1930s worn by an elegant lady also wearing a bias cut dress by Madeleine Vionnet, but Chypre Palatin is interpreted in a contemporary style ie in a smoother and officefriendly shape. The oakmoss is invisable compared to the fragrances of the former era but probably there in the small IFRA restriced dose that is allowed today.

Chypre Palatin is a fragrance in the ongoing trend of retro inspired, elegant, powdery, fragrances that seems to be en vogue at the moment. Other representatives, even if featuring different notes besides the powdery notes, are Puredistance Opardu (lilac), Huiteme Art Poudre de Riz (tobbacco and tropical flowers) and Parfums de Nicolaï Musc Intense (powdery rose).

Chypre Palatin is a pleasant, versatile, elegant and very wearable fragance that could be worn in daytime for office or formal events year around except during warm summerdays. The sillage is very close and the longevity is almost a day. My only objection to this classy blend is that I which it was a bit more radiant, now it is almost a bit weak on my (dry) skin. As a fragrance of high quality, it’s still there, unfragmented at the end of the day. Maybe this is not  an issue for wearers with moistier skin.

Rating: 5

Notes: Lavender, labdanum, hyacinth, galbanum, sage, clementine, aldehydes, iris, jasmine, gardenia, rose, plum, styrax, benzoin, tolu balsam, vanilla, castoreum, leather, costus, oakmoss, immortelle

PS: Parfums MDCI has an affordable sampleset sold from the website that could be highly recommended. For EUR 90 (within Europe) 5x12 ml of their fragrances will be sent by the mail.

torsdag 15 november 2012

Ramón Monegal – White Musk

Picture: Gardenia jasminoides
Photo by Erin Silversmith (cc) Wikimedia Commons,
some rights reserved

If  Musc Intense by Parfums de Nicolaï that I reviewed earlier this week is a subtle, classical musk which evokes associations to the 18th centruary and the powder-pastels of Madame de Pompadour, Barcelonean perfumer, Ramon Monegals White Musk is the opposite. It’s a true contemporary, high quality, imaginative, interpretation of a flowery white musk that certainly stands out even from the white musk niche-crowd. Just as with Musc Intense, the musk in White Musk is not the typical “mainstream white musk” if anyone can’t stand that interpretation of this interesting basenote.

White Musk starts with a intense cascade of gardenina blended with vanilla and the musk accompanying in a moist, creamy way, it’s like the gardenia is cracked and mixed together with cream and vanilla. The opening is an almost gourmand accord also somehow resembeling the smell and also the texture of coconut. This coconutty texture remains during the whole dry down of White Musk.In the middlenotes the gardenia note is becoming increasingly clearer, the sweetness from the vanilla is tuned down and a light, perfectly balanced, resiny peppery note is accompanying in the background, adding an interesting contrast to the creamy flower. The gardenia note is that of a perfectly fresh gardenia, a gardenia that just have entered the full blooming stage, it’s not the gardenia just started to wilting as in Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire. There are also some subdued, green, crispy notes that could be sensed, just like some of the leaves also are crushed down in the blend. Later on the gardenia gets more fragile, almost papery in texture, similar to the gardenia in the beautiful Gardenia by Isabey. All these notes are mingeling with a well balanced white musk that anchors and depening this sensual blend together with dry resinnotes, almost light blond woody in character. Later on in the further development of the basenotes, there is a sort of clear, a bit wet accord, that in smell and texture reminds me of the Helmt Lang cult-frag Cuiron.

White Musk, even if loud, requires lot of space and is not wellmannered as my top Monegal Impossible Iris, is definitly one of my favourites after testing almost all from the wellcrafted and beautiful Ramon Monegal line. I remember this was the one that immadiately caught my attention when I was “screening” all of the Mongeals samples by just sniffing them from the outside. As almost all Monegals, White Musk is a fragrance that involves the wearer during the dry down, there are many interesting twists and nuances to be find during the journey. White Musk almost also rivals my favoritemusk so far: Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Musc but fortunately they are in quite different musk-genres: White Musk is a bold tropical musk when LNd’O Musc is a traditional, elegant, slight flowery, subdued musk.

White Musk is wearable the year around, I can image it will blooms perfectly a warm summer evening as it will warm up a grey and cold winterday. Not suitable for scentofobic offices, its more of a comfort, casual- or a great evening fragrance. White Musk is, like most of the RM:s, a concentrated fragrance and as it’s very intense, (a changes of name with Musc Intense would be appropriate :-) ) it has to be applied sparingly to avoid knockning the ambient. Sillage is huge (if not careful in application) and longevity extraordinary, 24h+.

I don’t find any “alikes” at the moment but I can image that those who likes Montale Intense Tiare and Les Nez Manoumalia will like this unusual, stunning creation.

Rating: 5

Notes: Rose, gardenia, olibanum, vetiver, vanilla, white musk

måndag 12 november 2012

Parfums de Nicolaï – Musc Intense

Picture: Portrait of Madame de Pompdour (1721-1764)
Francois Boucher, 1756
Musc Intense is a sensual flowery, high quality white musk created by the great parfumer Patricia de Nicolaï for her own house, Parfumes de Nicolaï in 2012.

First of all I want to calm those readers down that don’t like the white musk performed in many of the reacent years mainstream offerings. Musc Intense is nothing of that characteristic almost wet slight chemichal note that could be too much in some offerings but that I like in many, if handled with care. Instead Musc Intense is all about a dry, powdery, luxary musk that integrating the flowers and other ingredients in a subtle manner.

Musc Intense starts with a pleasant, very dry almost gun powdery accord. It’s not the distinct wet gunpowder as in Lorenzo Villoresis Teint de Neige neither the less harsh but anyway close opening accord of the beautiful Temps d’Hiver by Antonio Visconti. But Musc Intense has similarities with both this fragrance openings but is lighter and smoother, just like an elegant loose powder on a powder puff. There is a lighter version of the typical gunpowderaccord of the two former ones,  which I think (just speculating I’m no chemist) consists of rose, carnation and maybe the musc or some other ingredient that could show powdery facetts. As Musc Intense reaches its heart, the powdery, subdued, flowery notes slightly reminds me of the beautiful powdery violet of Opardu by Puredistance. Some subdued liquery notes deepening the accord in a finetuned manner.At last, Musc Intense is anchored in a dry, powdery, not especially sweet musk and there is a deep but at the same time light, pink rosenote that emerges on my skin.

Musc Intense is a subtle and elegant fragrance, well blended of high quality ingredients as we are used to when it comes to creations of Patricia de Nicolaï. The only weakness is that it seems like my skin just eats Musc Intense and the scent therefore is faint to me, even if described as sensual and subtle it’s a bit too subtle to me. The longevity is for about a day and the sillage is very close.

To me Musc Intense is a scent as was it created exclusive for Madame de Pompadour.It’s the essence of the rococoera, delicate fabrics, pastels, powder and musk. Musk Intense is a fragrance for those who likes some of the fragrances mentioned above but also my own favorite musk Les Nombres d’Or Musc by Mona di Orio, also a slight flowery musk but more distinct and less powdery. Also Les Nombres d’Or Ambre by Mona di Orio has a similar drieness and some of the gunpowder of the opening.  If you like Les Nereides Musc Samarkand and Annick Goutal Musc Nomade you probably also will like Musc Intense.

Rating: 4

Notes: Liquer, different types of roses and white musks, carnation, violet, jasmine

fredag 9 november 2012

Robert Piguet - Mademoiselle Piguet

Picture: The Reader, oil on canvas by Jean-Honoré Fragonard ca 1770-1772,
captures the warm and comforting spirit of Mademoiselle Piguet
Mademoiselle Piguet is another fragrance in the great Nouvelle Collection from Robert Piguet created by the "house nose" Aurelien Guichard.

Mademoiselle Piguet could be described as beeing vegetal, combined with orangeflowers with a sweet honeyed texture. The vegetal note is not damp and almost on the verge to rottening (but in a positive way)as in some interpretations for example Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle Edp and Annick Goutal Passion, the vegetal note is almost fresh and reminds me of a fresh sugar pea. A similar impression is expressed in a Fragrantica review by clover.chen who refers to processed mung beens in desserts, something that I havn't tasted myself but can image when smelling the greenery of Mademoiselle Piguet. The orangeflower I perceive as very natural and fresh, not chemichal at all. The note has a wonderful honeyed nectar texture and smells just sweet delicious, probably the apricot adds this facet. There is something in the orangeflowernote that reminds me of the same note in Fracas, but in Mademoiselle Piguet it is somehow domesticated.

To me the structure of Mademoiselle Piguet is linear, the notes are preseant at the same time even if the vegetal phase is more apparent in the first part of the dry down of the fragrance and later instead is acting as one of the supporting notes in the background. To me the sweet , honeyed,  Mademoiselle Piguet also seems to be the female counterpart to the (to my nose) much more masculine dry, herbal-orangeblossom NoteS which I reviewed earlier this week, they are fragrances of the opposite side of the interpreation of orangeblossom-scale and are interesting to wear as complementary fragrances for different moods and occasions. As NoteS is more complicated, strict and a excellent choice for daytime professional wear, the Mademoiselle is a fragrance both for evening and comforting daytime wear, versatile enough to warming up during cold winterdays and to bloom beautifully in the summerheat. Mademoiselle Piguet, thanks to the interesting and well harmonised vegetal notes, has its own identity even if partly familiar to other fragrances featuring the orangeblossomnote.The longevity of Mademoiselle Piguet is extraordinary for an orangeblossom scent, I can smell the orangeblossom on my skin more then 30h after application.

I think Mademoiselle Piguet would be appreciated by those who like L’Artisan Seville à l’Aube, Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury and Annick Goutal Tubereuse (even if featuring another white blossom note I think Tubereuse and Mademoiselle Piguet have a similar pleasant, honeyed texture).

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, orangeblossom, almond, apricot, tonka been

tisdag 6 november 2012

Robert Piguet - NoteS

Picture: From the manuscript of Bach's lute suite in G Minor
Wikimedia commons

NoteS is one of the perfumes in the interesting Nouvelle Collection (described here) from the honorable perfumehouse Robert Piguet. NoteS is created by the houseperfumer Aurelien Guichard.

Classified as a unisex fragance, NoteS to my nose is leaning much to the masculine side at least in the top- and middlenotes, but it is definitly wearable for a woman, I got positve remarks at the office wearing this. NoteS starts a bit brisk in the classical bergamot and herbal style. The opening of NoteS smells like a classical quality fougere to me with its clean, herbal accord. Also in the heart the classical refreshing geranium is appearing, gently mixed with some discrete and somehow dry orangeflowery notes. It's interesting how the orangeflowernote (as all flowery notes) could be so differently interpreted in different perfums from dry too very sweet. From the middlenotes there is a balsamic texture in NoteS and this balsamic, smooth feeling is amplified the more the fragrance dries down, even if the herbal element still is there. In the basenotes NoteS gets in the chypre direction with mossy notes strengthened with vetiver and softened and rounded out with dry, powdery tonka. In the base NoteS is clearly unisex and not leaning into any direction as in the top- and middlenotes.

NoteS is a wellcrafted elegant fragrance in the classical style but interpreted in a contemporary, smoother, balsamic way.  There are no harsh edges and the notes are just fleeting into each other in a wellcomposed manner, just like the name of this classy creation indicates. There is no chemical aquatic, no shrill pepper or loud woody notes in this contemporary classic.Wearable year around, very suitable in chilly autumn, escpecially the comforting basenotes. Longevity very good, sillage medium +. Simply yet another sucessful creation from the restored perfumehouse of Robert Piguet. NoteS is a fragrance of growing liking to me, it's a somehow "difficult" fragrance that takes it time to be fully appreciated, something that I really apprecite when it comes to perfume.

A fragrance for those who like (even if not smelling the same the fragrances mediates a similar impression): Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme (more herbal), Rochas Macassar (more flowery and mossy) Givenchy Gentleman (mossy greener, more wet), Maria Candida Gentile Barry Lyndon (lavendel instead of white flowers).

Rating: 4+  (a bit too masculine for me)

Notes: Bergamot, clary sage, geranium, orange flower, vetiver, moss, tonka been

lördag 3 november 2012

Scented thoughts – November 2012

Photo: Mr Parfumista
The late autumn is here, the perfect season for staying inside perfumetesting and writing reviews. As readers of this blog are aware of, sampling, evaluating and writing about perfume is my fulltime sparetime hobby. There is a pleasure to test so many new fragrances either new launches or frags that are not new on the market but are not tested by me before. But sometimes when piles of (to exaggerate a bit) untested intriguing samples demands for attention, I can feel a frustrated of the fact that frags from my regular collection get no skintime. Almost always the crave to test an uncharted fragrances wins over the wish to calm down with a favourite. A positive side of a sampeling is that the more I sample, the more similarities I perceive between fragrances from different houses and within a certain category. The similarities together with the fact that I’m almost always is testing some sample leads to less purchases of full bottles, even if there are still too many, I’m still finding too many fragrances to love from the exercise of sampling.

I the latest months I have felt a growing attraction to some of the fragraces I was into when this blog started six years ago, ie the classics. For exemple I feel an urgent need to test and compare the new reinterpreted Molinard Habanita Edp (if I can get my hands on a sample) to the Habanita Edt I own. I also crave some “old ladies” scents as Lanvin Arpége, Rochas Femme and Madame Rochas and even if my skin doesn’t give them justice, they provide a welcome break from the contemporary scent map.

Writing about the contemporary fragrances there are so many interersting to test (here we are againJ). For the moment I’m excited to test the new Histoires de Parfums L’Olympia Music Hall and Veni, Vidi, Vici from the Edition Rare line and have also re-discovered the beautiful perfumline of Frapin. Late to the party when it comes to MDCI Chypre Palatin a beautiful frag I have smelled on my friend Fragrancefanatic from Riktig Parfym. Which make me think of that Riktig parfym carries a varied selection from the Etat Libre d’Orange-line and I hope that the new releases, The Afternoon of a Faun and Dangerous Complicity soon will be there as I want to put them under my nose asap. 

torsdag 1 november 2012

Parfumistans Blogg turns six years

Picture:Hip, Hip, hurra!
Oil on canvas, Peder Severin Kröyer, 1886
The colony of painters who worked in Skagen, Denmark, have gathered in a garden for a celebration.
Today six years ago this blog was born but under a slight different name Parfumistans Dagbok, The Diary of the Parfumista, it was in Swedish and at that time hosted on the blogservice of one of the Swedish newspapers. After almost a year the diary became Parfumistans Blogg on the website of the leading Swedish fashionemagazine Damernas Värld. But perfume is not that big in Sweden (or maybe beauty editors think it’s not that big because there is definitly a growing interest out there) and after 2,5 years the perfumeblog was cleaned out in favour of conventional beautyblogs and I was continued here on Blogger. What has started as a hobbyproject during marternity leave is today still a hobbyproject occupying most of my spare time when free from the duites of work. Of course I could continue my sampling without reviewing but as I also like to write and had to take notes when sampling anyway, way not do the extra and write for the blog rewarded with an increasing numbers of readers from all over the world. Thank you allSo I will continue to sample and learn (the more I get into perfume, the more I  discover the little I know about this botanical-chemistry-artform) blogging about my passion: Perfume.

Speaking of learning: SOTD celebrating the Parfumistans Blogg anniversary is the pleasant, wellcrafted, classy Puredistance I ,a fragrance that I finally has learned to understand and now truly appreciate.