tisdag 31 december 2013

The perfumed year 2013

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Time to summerize some perfume related matters from 2013:

* The year started with the intention to say something perfumewise or perfumerelated each Saturday in the "Fragrance(s) of the week" post. This routine lasted as long as three quaters of the year then it subsided. Writing two posts a week, which usually are reviews, is just enough having a full time job in a complete different business, family etc.

* My Twitter also subsided after almost two years of SOTD tweeting. In the end I almost felt exhausted about this daily compulsion. In 2014 I'll try a middle course, tweeting for a  week now and then.

* During the year I tested, sniffed just for short briefs or evaluated fragrance testings outsourced to Mr Parfumista, a number of ca 135 fragrances. It  means that in about 37% of the days of 2013, some form of perfume evaluating activity took place. Upon this there are of course also fragrances just worn which I have not written about but I have registrated most of them in my "scentmemoey" as references.

*In 2013 there was just one or two fragrance free days and this was when I had a stomach flu. When I'm cold and can't smell anything I put on a light cologne for its ambience. In 2014 the sniffing rate will slow down (I think).

*Days when there are no fragrance assessments on the agenda I relax in comforting fragances as for example the Piguets, the Goutals, the By Kilians or the Hermes Colognes or just appreciate the classics. For example Guerlain Mitsouko is far more interesting than most of the new releases even in its current formula.

*I'll coming back to my perfume testing routines in a post next year, ie how I test and evaluate for a full review.

* In 2013, even if there where many good releases, my nose become a bit jaded. There is nothing wrong with the releases as such, but when sniffing a lot of fragrances, in the end, not many of them stands out. Different  fragrances within a certain category are generally very close in style and smell. When reviewing I try to don't let this affect the assessment as such, I like to compare them with other fragrances captured in the scentmemory.

* 2013 was also the year when the EU restrctions which became effective July 1 would put an end to many of the classics so I've stocked up some during the first half of the year, just to be sure. Today it seems as in reality nothing has happened, but who knows when the old stocks runs out.

* At the moment there are some positive signs about the perfumed future. I read somewhere on Bois de Jasmin that Victoria had smelled a new batch of Mitsouko which was very good and smelled much more like the vintage version. Some newly invented/improved moss substitutes are probably the reason for that. Hopefully this is just the start for new inventions and who knows, in the end and taken as a whole, maybe the restrictions dosen't matter. Maybe something even better comes out of this within a few years.

I wish all readers a Happy New 2014!

lördag 28 december 2013

Best of 2013

Picture: Summer evening in Stockholm Archipelago 2013
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
2013 was another year with a flood of releases, many good and well constructed but too close to other perfumes too really catch my attention. The fragrances of the best of list are such that immidiately caught my attention and a "wow" feeling appeared.

For Her: Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand pour M.Micallef Already during my first wearing of this dark rosy, retro, skanky perfume I knew this would be the perfume of the year to me and it made it to the end.

For Him: Royal Vintage from M.Micallef fresh mangled, exquisite, linen tablecloths worthy a the Royal table. Notes of a just lit cigarette with hints of a minimalistic dry jasmine complements.

For Both: Oumma by Stéphane Lucas Humbert 777 a runner up tested the weekend before Christmas. A fragrance in a class of its own, balsamic resins, rose and a smooth expression of saffron and precious woods.

Close runner up's/ Honorable mentions: Oriza L.Legrand Chypre Mousse, Neela Vermiere Cretations Mohur Extrait, Andy Tauer PHI Rose the Kandahar, Robert Piguet Rose Perfection, Puredistance Black, By Kilian Playing with the Devil, Oliver Durbano Lapis Philosophorum and Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena.

2013 apperantly was a good year for Martine Micallef and her house nose Jean-Claude Astier, releasing special and wearable fragrances that stands out to me and make my jaded nose a bit excitetd. The sampling of Oumma was pure luck, random choosing from a sachet of Aus Liebe zum Duft samples. About all the fragranes which almost made it (I'm also almost sure I've forgot to mention some interesting releases): They are all very good and I or Mr Parfumista are delighted to wear them.

Which fragrance is your best of 2013?

onsdag 25 december 2013

Ramón Monegal - Quintaesencia

Picture: La Rambla, Barcelona
Photo: Flickeruser Oh barcelona.com, (cc)
Wikipedia commons, some rights reserved
Quintaesencia my Christmas Eve perfume is created by spanish perfumer Ramón Monegal for the Christmas and New Years Holidays of 2012. When I tried it at that time it was a very limited almost "secret" editon but it seems as for Christmas 2013, Quintaesencia is prepared for a wider distribution in the regular Ramón Monegal "Inkwell" bottles, don't know in which concentration, My review is describing the initial perfume.

The Quintaesencia perfume is attempted to catch the essence of Ramóns hometown, the beautiful and rich in ancestry, Barcelona. The fragrane is very unique as it uses one of the famous amberbases, created by the house of Myrurgia (Ramón is an descendant of this perfumehouse, the Guerlain of Spain), over fifty years ago. Those amberbases were then bought by Jaques Guerlain to be used in the excellent Guerlain-creations of the time.

Wearing the beautiful blend of Quintaesencia I immediately get the following associations:
1) Quintaesencia captures the spirit of Caron Nuit de Noël, there is a furry, almost oily note, some supporting, very fine and fresh, true smelling  leather and a liquor-orangepeel-herbal-rose touch that intermediate a vintage feeling. I can also smell (what I'm thinking is) some subdued oud in the basenotes. I can imagine an elegant fur, cutted in the 1920s fashion with a wide shawl collar.
2) Quintaesencia is the olfactory image of the Carlos Ruiz Zafón Barcelona novels (The Angels Game, The Shadow of The Wind), it somehow captures the eternal spirit of these stories as also the likewise eternal spirit of "Cathedral of the Sea" (La Catedral del Mar) by Ildefonso Falcones. So Ramóns attempt to catch the city of Barcelona in a perfume is indeed very successful.
Picture: Santa Maria del Mar
Photo: Paolo da Reggio (Paolo Picciati)
Wikipedia Commons
The perfume is like a golden nectar, a bit syrupy in character, dark and velvety. Almost as a smooth oil to treat oneself with during cold winterdays. But Quintaesencia is also lovely to wear during a warm summerevening. The dark, almost oily quality is somehow similar with an attar and attars are generally blooming beautifully under warm weather conditions.

Rating: 5

Notes: I don't know the notes but my nose can imagine the following: Fur, leather, liquor, orangepeel, herbs, dark rose, honey, oud, wood, dark musk

tisdag 24 december 2013

The fragrance of Christmas Eve

Picture: Winterroses. 2013 is a warm winter
without (almost) any snow so far.
Photo: Mr Parfumista
Time for the regular Christmas Eve post:. Scent of Christmas Eve 2013 is the retrostyled, furry, herbal, ambery, beauty Quintaesensia created by Ramòn Monegal. I'll review Quintaesencia tomorrow.
Below is the updated list of the fragrances I've worn the last then Christmas Eves:

2012: Nothing, knocked down by the worst flu in ten years+.
2011: Betrothal, Grossmith (classic, light and exquisite florals)
2010: Cuir Mauresque, Serge Lutens (saddle leather, orangeblossom, jasmine, spices)
2009: Tribute Attar, Amouage (dark leather, smoke, oud, excellent spices)
2008: Incense rosé, Andy Tauer (rose, mandarine, cardamom, myrrh cedar, incense)
2007: Ambre Russe, Parfum d'Empires (boozy amber, the, wood, oriental)
2006: Jil Sander 4, Jil Sander (dark, overripe fruits, white almost withering flowers, oriental spices)
2005: Nuit de Noël, Caron (dusky, retro flowers, moss and a furry note)
2004: Cabochard,  Parfums Grès (leathery chypre, harsh green notes and retro flowers)
2003: Fracas Robert Piguet (the ultimate classic grand tubereuse)

I wish all of you a Great Christmas and as I'm very curious to know what you are wearing for Christmas, feel free to leave a comment.

Edit at Christmas Eve: Mr Parfumistas SOTD is the incredible Chypre Mousse from Oriza L.Legrand. A perfect match to this rainy and green Christmas (green lawns and roses outside).

fredag 20 december 2013

Parfums de Nicolaï - Rose Oud

Picture: Rose Oud
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Rose Oud is the rosy one of the two newly launched perfumes by Parfums de Nicolaï containing the famous oudnote. As always the owner of the house the Guerlain descendant, ISIPCA graduated perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï has created the fragrance.

Rose Oud starts with the most natural smelling raspberry note I've smelled so far. The rose that follows is light, fresh and medium pink in color. The raspberry lends it a jammy but discrete character. In this stage Rose Oud reminds me of another Nicolaï Jardin Secret but Rose Oud is softer. As Rose Oud dries down the rose gets more dominant but it's soft, gentle slight creamy, very comforting, not a power rose. The rose is interacting with to my nose non-descript light florals togehter with a light, refined, woody mix. When Rose Oud reaches the basenotes I can smell a sparkling note similar to geranium that I recognize from Mona di Orio Oud and I think this is the oud probably natural or at least a high precentage of natural, as the syntetic ones smells much stronger, headier, rougher and darker. But I no expert so I'll just guess. To summerize the basenotes, they smell close to, but creamier and lighter, the base of Amber Oud.

Rose Oud is overall a wellcarfted, wearable, "take no risks" fragrance. It is discrete, elegant and proper for daily officewear. It's even lighter in apperance than Amber Oud but has a good longevity on skin, traces are there after 12h+.

Just as Amber Oud, Rose Oud is an un-oudy oud, it's a wellcrafted, discrete, flowery fragrances, where oud is one supporting note among others in the base. Rose Oud had no similarities with By Kilians Rose Oud which is a traditional rose-oud creation with these two notes dominating.

Rating: 4

Notes: Raspberry, artemisia, osmanthus, rose, lily-of-the-valley, oud, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, castoreum, amber

måndag 16 december 2013

Parfums de Nicolaï - Amber Oud

Picture: Amber Oud
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Amber Oud is one of two newly launched perfumes by Parfums de Nicolaï containing the famous oudnote. As always the owner of the house the Guerlain descendant, ISIPCA graduated perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï has created the fragrance.

Amber Oud starts with a light animalic, almost barnyard like accord followed by lavender and herbal notes. Something in the mix, probably the interaction between some of the ingredients, smells almost as dry pineapple with hints of an also dry vanilla note. In this part Amber Oud strangely enough reminds me of an unsweet version of Sonia Rykiel Belle en Rykiel. The lavender cinnamon that is present in Amber Oud also reminds med of another Nicolaï, the bolder Maharadjah. As Amber Oud continues to develope in the heart, light spices and the amber emerges. The amber is of the herbal, not boozy or vanillic, variety, the same style of amber as in Maître Perfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux but softer. Parfums de Nicolaï Amber Oud should therefore not be compared to its namesake ByKilian Ambre Oud as the latter is of the amber-vanillic type. In Nicolaï Amber Oud there are also woody notes supporting the spices and one of them is oud which blends seamless with the other and add some dept to the woody part. This is just like the contribution of the oud in Mona di Orio Oud where the oud is so well integrated that I don't think of it as a oudfragrance, but as as a well balanced fragrance with woody notes. In the basenotes the animalic vibe from the start of Amber Oud returns but in this stage it is smoother, surrounded by balsamic and slight powdery notes, and later on a deeper, darker, slight boozy note which also is present in Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Doré (another fragrane on the amber-oud theme but less herbal despite it's heritage from Ambre Precieux) appears and is present until the last traces of Amber Oud, almost 24 h after application.

Despite Amber Ouds extensive notelist, the fragrance is overall minimalistic in apperance, it is comforting as in the same time casual chic. The fragrance developes step by step in a wellbehaved manner and it is classic in apperance and very wearable. Even if not smelling alike, I  instinctively come to think of Guerlain Heritage but also Habit Rouge when it comes to the well mannered style of Amber Oud. As a wearer, one have to appreciate a developement "in the small" as Amber Oud is all about nuances, there is nothing bold or glaringly with it. Amber Oud is polite and proper in many situations and will not interfere for example in the workplace. Even if unisex I think this one is the most masculine of the two Nicolaï oud-launches.

Amber Oud is a good representative of the "second oud generation" fragrances where oud is one of the interacting and supporting notes and not the dominating note and theme of the fragrance as the "first
oud generation" like the Montales, Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud etc. Amber Oud is a fragrance with oud which I don't think of as an oud, to me it's an aromatic-spicy-balsamic fragrance.

Rating: 5

Notes: Lavender, thyme, sage, artemisia, cinnamon, saffron, oud, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, styrax, musk, castoreum, amber.

torsdag 12 december 2013

Historiae - Mystic Oud

Picture: The awesome bottle of Mystic Oud
Photo: PR Historiae (c)
Mystic Oud is a contrasting fragrance in the up today classical "garden perfume" inspired line of the french niche house Historiae. Orangerie du Roy, Bouquet de Trianon, Hameau de la Reine, Rose de France and Violette Imperiale. As most of the Historiaes Mystic Oud is created by no other than the famous Bertrand Duchaufour.

Mystic Oud starts intriguing with a fruity, boozy note, probably the davana, soon followed by a pink, creamy rose which smells almost like a luxurary face creme. After a while red roses, without the creamy feel, fizzy and a bit tart the same impression as in Annick Goutal Rose Splendide (swe) but not as prounounced, joins the blend and contrasts the comfortable creamy impression. Further on the oud appears but not as the demanding note as in so many oud fragrances. In Mystic Oud it acts more as a dark, woody, contrasting note to the roses and the oud is acting balanced  together with the others in the accord. The boozy note returns darkens and intensifies in the basenotes together with a note of natural honey which lend a slight animalic character to Mystic Oud. The rosy mix is still present in the base, both the creamy pink ones and the tart red ones.

In an early stage of the developement of Mystic Oud I got strong associations to a favorite pink rose of mine, Burberry Body Edp  (swe) but overall Mystic Oud gives a rosier, cleaner and more minimalistic impression compared to Burberry Body which is more of a mixed bouquet but dominated by roses to me.  I think Mystic Oud is a proper name for this rose dominated blend as the oud is (as mentioned above) sort of hidden among the other deeper notes of the fragrance.

A welldone, and even if not the most innovative fragrance ( I find Burberry Body more innovative, maybe because it is IMHO the prototype in this contemporary rosy genre), an intriguing and in the same time comforting  rosefragrance to wear. Sillage is medium and longevity 12h +. The best of all: Mystic Oud is reasonably priced compared to most niche ouds (SEK 830, EUR 93 and USD 124) in Fragrance & Art  webshop. Mystic Oud is quity priceworthy when it comes to quality, there are far more expensive fragrances of lesser or same quality out there.

Those who like rose perfumes and ouds in the style of Ramon Monegal L'Eau de Rose, Robert Piguet Rose Perfection and  Montale Aoud Damascus (swe), I think also  will appreciate Mystic Oud.

Rating: 4

Notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, orange, rose, davana, saffron, rose, peony, geranium, clove, oud, vanilla, benzoin, vetiver, castoreum, amber, patchouli, sandalwood, oak moss

måndag 9 december 2013

By Kilian - Musk Oud

Picture: Autumn dark, pink rose
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Musk Oud is the last episode in By Kilians Arbian Night Collection preceded by Pure Oud 2009, Rose Oud 2010, Incense Oud 2011 and Ambre Oud 2012. Musk Oud is created by Alberto Morillas.

Musk Oud starts with bright, sort of clean light fruity and spicy notes, the impression is a natural freshness. From the beginning a pink, slight musky rose, deepened by a gentle oudnote, is also present. The rose-spice-musk and oud combo is gentle and brings an air of sophisticated comfort. The more Musk Oud dries down, the more the fragrance simplifies when it comes to perceived notes. The oud-rose combo climbes forward and when entering the second half of the dry down, Musk Oud resembles any conventional basic oud-rose combo with one exception: A very light, barely discernible boozy, slight sour, note appears which is somehow a  little annoying to me. When reaching the basenotes, the fragrance is very oud-y.

The overall impression is that of a good, easy to wear, standard rose-oud. The sillage is great and so is the longevity, 24h. Musk Oud is wearable any time of the year. Of the By Kilan offerings of 2013 Flower of Immortality and Playing with the Devil, Musk Oud is the one that impresses me the least. On the other hand, Playing with the Devil is one of the best releases of all 2013 IMO. Absolutely nothing wrong with Musk Oud, but I have smelled the same for almost a decade and has become a bit jaded.

Rating: 3

Notes: Lemon, cardamom, coriander; cypress, rose, geranium, artemisia, rum, incense, agarwood, musk, patchouli.

lördag 7 december 2013

Perfumeshopping for Christmas 2013

Picture: Julbocken (The Yule Goat) 1912
Drawing by John Bauer (1882-1918)
Soon Christmas is here and below are some ideas when it comes to perfumeshopping not just for the holidays but also looking in the long term.
  • First of all I'll recommend the beautiful perfumes I have sniffed and reviewed this year. Remember: All are good regardless rating. The rating reflects my personal impression when testing the fragrance,  my 3 rated could be your 5.
  • For the moment, from the perfumes reviewed 2013, I'm specially craving: Puredistance Black eternal beauty, Robert Piguet Alameda contemporary but in the same time retro, oriental styled chypre, a sophisticated fragrance, the dark and dirty beauty of Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand for M.Micallef and the fascinating, age-, gender- and timeless Orlando from Jardins d'Écrivains.
  • Another perfume grabbing my attention at the moment is Andy Tauers fantastic rosecentered PHI Une Rose de Kandahar which is built around a rare afghan roseoil of very high quality. As the roseoil is avaible just for limited time periods, Rose de Kandahar will also be avaible in limited quantities and periods. Therefore true roselovers should test this beautiful rose now.
  • Samples of Patricia de Nicolaïs Amber Oud and Rose Oud just arrived. Have just sniffing outside the vials but my impression is I'll not be dissapointed, on the  contrary, they smell delicious. Reviews will follow.
  • In the current niche-hype: Don't forget all the good perfumes within "mainstream" such great classics (despite more or less reformulated) as Chanel Coco, YSL Opium, Guerlain Shalimar, Estee Lauder Youth Dew and Thierry Mugler Angel are perfect for warming up in dark and cold winterevenings (and days).
  • Rumors on Basenotes says Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere will be repacked in the squared Coco Mademoiselle bottle and that some minor adjustments will be done in the formula. As tweaking with formulas when changing bottledesign is very common, it could be time to stock up with the current version for frequent users of Eau Premiere.
  • When it comes to repacking: Parfums Annick Goutal has changed the bottle design (don't know about the formulas) during the year and discontinued some gems: Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille which is the best Goutal ever IMO, the perfect springfragrances Eau de Camille, Eau de Ciel and the cosy Le Mimosa. For Goutal fans it's time to stock up as the old (and cheaper) bottles soon are gone.
  • A package of samples is an intriguing Christmas gift to most. Luckily Fragrance & Art and Riktig Parfym could support in such matters.

torsdag 5 december 2013

Coquillete - Tan-Tan

Picture: Sahrawi tribal men performing fantasia at the
Tan-Tan (Moussem) festival, Morocco
Maxim Massalitin (c), Wikimedia commons
some rights reserved
Tan-Tan is the first masculine fragrance (also classified as unisex in some sources) by the nichehouse Coquillete. Tan-Tan is, just like the first edition of four fragrances Sulmona, Sumatera, Moramanga and Herat, inspired of warm, exotic places.

Tan-Tan starts green and balmy with a note reminding of a smooth rhubarb, not as tart and dominant as in for example Aedas by Aedas de Venustas. The tartness is present during the whole drydown and balances the milky, figgy notes as also the pine and artemisia. The figgy notes reminds me of Neela Vermeires green Ashoka even if the latter is warm and foody in texture where Tan-Tan is clean and balmy in comparasion. In the middlenotes Tan-Tan becomes more aromatic/herbal and reminds me of the classic green, moisty chypre Givenchy Gentleman. In the basenotes a oily note appears, creating a chalky-earthy-petroleum impression resembling of a lighter and smoother version of the base of Kerosene Copper Skies. This oily accord is perfectly conterbalancing the creamy figgy note.

Even if Tan-Tan, just as the other Coquillete fragrances, is subtle in its apperance, it's suprisingly distinctive and longlasting. Mr Parfumista who was performing the test thanks to a sample from Fragrance & Art, found Tan-Tan very pleasant and easy to wear while also intriguing waiting for the next step in the development of the perfume. Appropriate to wear daytime the year around, non-offensive but in the same time, interesting officescent.

Rating: 4 (November 2013)

Update February 2014: The more Mr Parfumista tests this, he is now on the 2nd sample, the better this coconutmilky fig-frag is.

Rating. 5 

Notes: Pinetree, bergamot, fruity notes, artemisia, fig, cedar, vetiver, jasmine, patchouli, carnation, coconut milk, fig tree, white musk, ambergris, sandalwood, leather.

måndag 2 december 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - Orlando

Picture: Orlando
Photo: PR Jardins d'Écrivains (c)
Orlando is the latest fragrance in the affordable niche line Jardins d'Érivains where the fragrances are inspired of the world of literature. Orlando is of course inspired from the novel of Virginia Woolf and when testing Orlando the great movie with Tilda Swinton relives.

Orlando starts balsmaic, cool, fizzy-spicy and the balsamic/spicy impression lasts during the whole dry down. Notes appears that reminds me of expensive retro bubblebath + dirt (like in a stable) + the almost plasticlike (vinyl) note that sometimes emerges from shiny new leather is an intriguing accord that conveys an impression of the immortal Orlando, present in so many centuries. This accord is  counterbalanced by the mysterious dark, spicy, balsamic and musky basenotes which creates a sort of timeless impression. Orlando has a dry, powdery-putty-balsamic texture and is comfortable in the same time as it's evocative and fires the imagination as there are new nuances to find at every turn. Orlando is very much it's own fragrance but I find some similarities with another a bit "strange" perfume, Psychotrope from Parfumerie Générale. Psychotrope is flowery where Orlando is spicy but the clean. cold. almost leatherlike note as also the bubblebathy are present in both. The initial spicy, sparkling impression of ginger, also have something in common with Aus Liebe zum Duft No 1 but the gingernote is not as sharp in Orlando as in the latter. As Orlando has developed for some hours in the basenotes, it suddenly becomes stronger in apperance and in this stage, Orlando reminds me of the classic Robert Piguet Bandit.

Orlando, just as its role model is a genuine unisex fragrance despite Mr Parfumista thinks it's leaning more to the masculine side and and I think it's slight more feminine. Orlando is appropriate both for work and casual, it has good stayingpower, about a day at least, and the sillage is medium. Orlando is IMO the most interesting and original fragrance from Jardins d'Écrivains so far.

Rating: 5

Notes: Orange, pink pepper, ginger; amber, patchouli , cloves, guaiac wood, peru balsam, musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test.

torsdag 28 november 2013

Oriza L.Legrand - Jardins D'Armide

Picture: A rose from Armidas garden
Painting by Marie Spartali Stillman (1894)
Wikimedia commons
The original  Jardins D'Armide was released in 1905 and the current version is an interpretation of the original that preserves the old school feeling in a contemporary wearable way. The re-working is performed by Oriza L.Legrand houseperfumer Hugo Lambert. Jardins D'Armide is inspired of the garden in the story of Armida, a sacaran sorceress who during the First Crusade captured the Roman soldier Rinaldo and created an enchanted garden where she held him a lovesick prisoner. 

Jardins D'Armide starts dry powdery with a furry note, but in the same time a bit cold, like the texture and feeling of an orchid. A sweet note, reminding me of candy also appears in a very pleasanst way. The roses are dry, like dried rose petals, and a bit tart. When Jardins D'Armide developes a wellblanced, still cool, slight spicy, flowery heart appears soon followed by supporting sweeter and warmer notes. For a short while a very realsitic almond note glimpses by followed by powdry tonka and a pleasant musky base in which an almost geraniumgreen, tart note are apperant on my skin. The powder of Jardins D'Armide is not dominating, it's not the heavy powdery/soapy aldehydes of for example Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige or Cartier Baiser Volé, the powder is just an accent, not the theme of the whole parfume. Jardins D'Armide is a retro perfume that in apperance somehow reminds me of one of the Grossmiths I think it is Hasu-no-Hana that comes to my mind. Another perfume which is more close in what it smells like is Profumi del Forte Roma Imperiale but without the slight dirty notes which is lurking in the latter.
Picture: Jardins D'Armide -another tempting bottle
from Oriza L.Legrand
Photo: PR Oriza L.Legrand (c)
As all Orizas, a wellblended and balanced perfume, Jardins D'Armide has a distinct sillage and longevity up to 24h even if discrete trails at that stage. A powerfragrance with a demanding appeal, appropriate for most elegant occasions but also in small doses, for officewear.

Rating: 4

Notes: Dry potpourri rose, orange blossom, iris powder, iris, violet, wisteria, carnation, honey, almond, tonka been, musk

Sample avaible at Fragrance & Art

måndag 25 november 2013

Oriza L. Legrand - Horizon

Picture: Louise Brooks, her flapper style
could serve as the role model of a dark, seductive
"Les Années Folles" fragrance  as Horizon.
Photo: Pressphoto from the
George Grantham Bain Collection,
Wikimedia commons
Horizon, is according to information from the house Oriza L.Legrand unaltered since its creation during "Les Années Folles" in 1925. Probably it smells a bit different anyway, as I suspect most ingredienses not smells exactly the same today, the synthetical ones could be (and are certainly) altered in their composition and even the natural ones could be differently threated today compared to over eighty years ago.

Horizon starts very similar to the hard core patchouli Patchouli Antique by Les Nereides and it has also similarities to Bois 1920 Real Patchouly in the first accords but compared to RP Horizon goes on darker, boozier and stronger where RP developes in a more casual lighter, brighter and slight cedarwoody way, even if good as a balmy woody patchouli fragrance, flat if compared to Horizon. Horizion has much more in common with Patchouli Antique and its damp, dusty, dry, leathery patchouli note - just as old antique leather books in an old wooden bookshelf. There is nothing of the contemporary clean patchouli or the loud hippie-patchouli of the 70s. The similarities with Patchouli Antique are evident during the first half of the fragrance even if PA takes a rough and though route and Horizon gets more refined and sofisticated as it developes. Somewhere in the middlenotes, a cocoaonote appears. The note is present in Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 but more prominent in the latter and also in a more powdery way in Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly. As Horizon dries down, wellbalanced, boozy, tobacco, soft leathery notes and something slightly green appears, accompanying the patchouli in a very pleasant way. Horizion doesn't end in the ambery or musky base which are common alternatives for patcoulifragrances.

Picture: Horizon
Photo: PR Oriza L.Legrand (c)
Even if Horizion is the patchouli fragrance in the Oriza collection, it's so wellblended/-balanced and therefore doesn't stand out as a basic patchouli as the patch-offerings of many lines. This fragrance has so many other dimensions and therefore it can't be justified to classify Horizon as "just" a patchouli.

Horizon has a great longevity, smooth but unfragmented trails are present after 24h. The fragrance is, despite its rough opening, elegant and seductive, perfect for autumn and winter evenings (and days) but also for cold and crisp early spring evenings. Even if Horizion has an flappery attitude it is genderless to me i e it doesn't lend over either to the masculine or feminine side.

Update August 2014: Wearing Horizon in hot humid weather (ca 30 Celsius) it is even better than in autumn/winter. The tobacconote is really blooming, very natural in style. Even if Horizon is a warm patchouli with ambery notes, it doesn't smells particulary sweet, and has some almost refreshing herbal notes in the heat.The best and most versatile patchouli I have tested so far.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bitter orange rind, mandarin confit, dried rose, ambered cognac, aromatic tobacco leaves, cocoa, roasted almonds, aged oak, patchouli, benzoin, ambergris, peat, blond tobacco, vanilla, honey, leather

torsdag 21 november 2013

Oriza L. Legrand - Chypre Mousse

Picture: The retro styled Oriza bottles are just awesome -
just as their content
Photo: PR Oriza L. Legrand (c)
One of the far best perfumelines I have discovered the latest years (thanks to P. at Fragrance & Art who has a truly refined taste for perfume) is the venerable french house Oriza L.Legrand. It started to produce powder for the whigs in the 18th century and perfumes later become a part of the business. During the 19th and beginning of the 20th century Oriza provided different royal courts with perfume and soaps. During the later years perfumer Hugo Lambert and his parter Franck Beleiche recreated the house, and have started to reconstructing the fragrances and soaps taking contemporary restrictions in to account. And the result is awesome, se my reviews earlier this year, Rêve d'Ossian, Relique d'Amour, Oeillet Louis XV and Déjà le Printemps.

From the description of Chypre Mousse, re-created by Hugo Lambert: "After the first rainfall in September nature exude scents of humus, peat and wetland. This is the time for a promenade in the woods to enjoy the freshness after the heat of summer." The original version (1914) of Chypre Mousse is said to be launched to the dandies of this world. My impressions are as follows:

Chypre Moussse starts with balmy and brisk green notes, in the first part of the fragrance I perceive more of the forest early in the spring (at least the swedish forest), just when the greenery buds and the moss is light green, young and fresh. The dominating note during the first half of Chypre Mousse is a fresh, natural smelling mint. The minty note is present during the whole dry down, even if it stays in the supporting background in the second half. In the first stages of the fragrance, a retrostyled leathernote is also present, its the dry, antique leather of book-binding. In the early stege the minty and green notes reminds me of Parfumerie Générale PG 11 Harmatan Noir  but without the salty/metallic almost bloody notes which are accompanying the mint in the latter. Chypre Mousse continues green and the green deepens, together with an almost animalic note, a bit in its later stages, and here the early autumn could be recognized. A beautiful note of fern is the protagonist on my skin in this stage. In the later middlenotes and in the base, there is an accord and impression that reminds me of Ava Luxe Chypre Noir if I remember correctly, could be Film Noir but without the cigarette smoke. Something which is striking with Chypre Mousse is the absence of flowers, I can't smell them anywhere. Despite that, Chypre Noir is fresh and balmy as a floral-green fragrance. In it's overall impression, but a tad brighter, Chypre Mousse reminds me of a favorite contemporary chypre, Parfumerie Générale PG 24 Papyrus de Ciane.
Picture: Fresh moss in spring
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
To me Chypre Mousse doesn't reach the dark, velvety, earthy, damp and often dirty depts of the old school chypres. Chypre Mousse to me is more of a ligther and brighter contemporary green/fourgé with some mossy elements which skilfully mixed, creates a retro feeling but in a sort of contemporary frame. An intriguing and fascinating fragrance even if almost linear in my testing.The fragrance is unisex but more masculine than  Déjà le Printemps which is a green, feminine floral fragrance. With Chypre Mousse the dandies and all other men has their own, green Oriza but it has to be clearified that Chypre Mousse (even if better on Mr Parfumista than on me) fits women as good, the fourgé notes are not harsh and masculine in style of traditional fourgé fragrances. Chypre Mousse has good longevity, unfragmented after 12h+, traces after 24h, and good sillage. 

Rating: 5

Notes: Wild mint, clary sage, wild fennel, green shoots, oakmoss, galbanum, angelica, fern, wild clover, mastic, violet leaves, vetiver, pine needles, mushroom, fresh humus, roasted chestnut, leather, labdanum, balms

måndag 18 november 2013

Guerlain Shalimar - comparison between different versions

Picture: Shalimar perfume
Photo: PR Guerlain (c)
Shalimar the greatest, or at least the best known, of the classics of the honorable house of Guerlain is avaible in different concentrations and formulations from different decades. Here are my impressions from a side-by-side test on scentstripes of some Shalimars.

Shalimar EDC current version: The EDC is faint in apperance compared to all the other versions tested. It has not the same dept and emphasizes light lemony and almost smoky, airy woody vanilla notes whereas the darker resins are playing the second role. The composition is more transparent, paler and colognelike than the rounder, fuller and more lemony Eau de Shalimar. Just as the latter, Shalimar EDC is suitable for the warmer months.

Shalimar EDT ca Y2K version: This one is much stronger, deeper and much heavier on the resin, balsamicnotes. The bergamotaccord in the topnote are much more distinctive and dirty than the lemony note of the EDC. This Shalimar EDT is a favorite of mine, on my skin it transforms to the pleasant smell of a clean but wet woolen sock.

Shalimar EDP late 00-version: A rounder, smoother and softer version than the Y2K EDT-version. The radiance is less, it's more powdery in the texture and it's overall a more polite and well behaved Shalimar than the EDT-version. And more wearable as the dirtyness of the bergamot is pared down.

Shalimar EDP 2010 version. Thierry Wasser had to rework Shalimar 2010 probably because of several IFRA-restrictions that became effective this year. This version still has the spirit and aura of Shalimar and it's not so different from the late 00-version but it's sweeter, more vanillic, less resinous and lacks some of  the dept of the earlier version. The most wearable if related to the common perfumetaste of today, very comforting a grey and chilly day.

Overall even if some of the characteristic, dirty, deep, resinous notes have been significantly tuned down, Shalimar is still a great fragrance. It has managed to adapt to new eras and avaible ingredients and is also in its current interpretation much more interesting then most other fragrances, especially mainstream but also the majority of niche.

torsdag 14 november 2013

Van Cleef & Arpèls - Feerie Edt

Picture: April Love
Painting by Arthur Hughes ca 1855
Wikimedia Commons
Today a fragrance on the other side of the violet-scale compared to Mona di Orio Violette Fumée reviewed in the latest entry. Feerie Edt is a follower to the first violet-candy installement of Van Cleef & Arpèls Feerie Edp. Have not tested the Edp so I can't compare the two versions. Feerie Edt is created by Olivier Pescheaux, the first Edp Feerie by Antoine Maisondieu. Just as the Edp, the Edt also has a beautiful cap with a Feerie, here sitting down, flying on the Edp-cap. Also the glasssection of the bottle is a little gem.

Feerie starts fruity and sweet, too sweet to my taste, but on the other hand, my seven years old daughter likes it :-). When the topnotes fades, the whole creation calms down and the violet flower takes the centerstage, supported by its faithful companion: The Rose. The fruitiness is still there but is not as dominating as in the first stage of Feerie, here it's balanced with the flowers and the result is an enjoyable candy-floral which is airy and subtle in structure even if I also can smell some faint, cool, earthy whiffs when reaching the soft musky, woody base. Compared to the sweetness of Violette Fumée, Feerie interprets a sweetness from the violet flower leaves whereas Violette Fumées sweetness seems to appear from the resins in the base. Feerie is an example of a light, cheering and happy fragrance whereas Violette Fumée is a dark, contemplative and introspective fragrance.
Picture: The charming Feerie Edt bottle
Photo: PR Van Cleef & Arpels (c)
Feerie is balmy and chic and suits all seasons exempt from the coldest winter and this fragrance is one of those hidden gems among the "mainstream" offerings.  The sillage is medium as a average, even if the the opening is grand, (applying sparingly is to recommend) and so is also the longevity, traces are still there after 24 h.

Feerie is the perfect fragrance for those who want a fruitier take on light violetscents such as Annick Goutal La Violette and Parfums de Nicolaï Violette in Love. Those who likes Historiae Violette Imperiale will probably also appreciate Feerie.

Rating: 3

Notes: Violet leaves, lemon, grapefruit, violet, rose, jasmin, sandelwood, benzoin, musk

måndag 11 november 2013

Mona di Orio - Les Nombres d'Or Violette Fumèe

Picture: Exquisite Pure New Wool fabrics
for traditional tailoring, PR picture stolen from
 Alfred Brown Worsted Mills UK, (c)
And, I want a suit/some suits in one or some of theese beauties :-)
Violette Fumée is a fragrance created by Mona di Orio specially for her businesspartner Jeroen Oude Sogtoen. Violette Fumée is created to feature the person Jeroen, who he is, his memories from the past and things he likes. Almost two years after the great perfumer Mona di Orio:s untimely death, Jeroen has released his personal fragrance in public and I think we could be grateful he did this move, because Violette Fumèe is a great fragrance, a fragrance I appreciate the more I smell it.

Violette Fumée starts with a slight herbal note, a note of a fresh but in the same time dark lavander supported with some bergamot fizz and green, leafy notes. After a while violets both flowers and the leaves appears. The violets are dark and woody-leafy in style, just as they are popping up under big old threes, deep in the forest, breaking through the carpet of old moldering leaves from last year. The violet flower stays during the whole dry down, in the middlenotes supported by subtle green, woody and rosy notes and in the base resins and woody notes together creates a slight sweet and smoky impression. In the middelnotes I can also recognize the typical "dust on a lighted bulb" note from Monas first fragrance Carnation but more subdued in Violette Fumée. Another characteristic for Violette Fumée is the dry, woolen-fabric quality of the fragrance, Violette Fumée evokes the feeling of visting the tailor who's measuring up an extraordinary wool-fabric for a suit. The tailor association is also strenghted by the fact that I can smell similarities with the most classic tailor fragrance ever: Knize Ten. The dry woolen note and the images of tailormade are similar and to me Violette Fumèe is a contemporary violet - dark herbal take on the classic leather Knize Ten. Another dry-woolen-tailor fragrance which comes to my mind when giving attention to the woolen fabricnote, is Penhaligons Sartorial.

Picture: Violette Fumée in its classical Mona di Orio
Champagne inspired bottle
Photo: PR Parfums Mona di Orio (c)
Violette Fumée is a unisex fragrance which in my opinon is leaning more to the masculine side. Maybe it has to do with skinchemistry but from testings in the House of Parfumista the test results is clear: Mr Parfumista wears this much better than myself which could be disappointing but the good news are: He is wearing Violette Fumée extremly well, just as well as Knize Ten, and indeed, I can live with experiencing this beautiful fragrance by proxy :-)

Rating: 5

Notes: Lavender, bergamot, oak moss, violet flowers, violet leaves, rose, vetiver, clary sage opoponax, myrrh, cashmeran

lördag 9 november 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (45) - Jaded but enchanted

Picture: Fall is almost already over.
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
The more fragrances I sniff and/or test, of course just a dimunitive part of the steadily increasing flood of new launches and new houses, the more jaded.Even if a good fragrance as such, there is not so often a fragrance really moves me, even if I can apprediate its composition and good ingredients etc. I see myself more and more longing for the classics (even if reformulated) both older and contemporary classics. Also old reaible houses which have been around for a while, don't overdo and mess the fragrances up, or is just too much in appearance, gets my appreciation. Such houses as Guerlain, Chanel, Hermès, Annick Goutal, Robert Piguet, Parfums de Nicolaï, Serge Lutens some Diors, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. From newer, but today well established houses, Puredistance, Andy Tauer, Ramon Monegal and By Kilian seldom dissapoint.

To wear the classics, if gentle reformulated with the spirit of the fragrance perserved, is enchanted and never boring. Each fragrance has its own individual profile and it's not one in a dozen (at least) of the similar smelling crowd. When writing this I'm craving classic Guerlains; Shalimar, Liu and Mitsouko,classic Chanels as No 22, Cuir de Russie and the contemporary classic No 5 Eau Premiere and the also contemporary Hermès classic Eau de Merveilles. But honestly I seldom wear them as I'm too curious to resist sampling new frags :-).

torsdag 7 november 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - Wilde

Picture: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) ca 1882
Photo by: Napoleon Sarony (1821-96)
Wikimedia Commons
Wilde, just as George reviewed latly, is inspired of another 19th century cultperson: Oscar Wilde. Wilde is  another wellcrafted creation from the french nichehouse Jardins d'Écrivains, labled as "pour homme" but I think its at least as unisex as George.

Wilde starts with an unusual, slight powdery,tea-infused, bergamot-citric, tart and in the same time smooth and almost creamy accord. As the fragrance dries down, the tea and some dark, slight balsamic herbal-spicy-green notes, which I think is derived from the carnation appears and adds even more dept to the fragrance. The base is wellblended mossy-green-woody whith the notes in  seamless interaction. When Mr Parfumista tested Wilde he also experienced a oat-like note, a softer version of a note present in Essenza di Zegna from Ermenegildo Zegna. On my skin Wilde is more about bergamot, tea and carantion. Another fragrance that Wilde reminds me of is Agua de Loewe by Loewe. That despite the latter is sharper and dominated by citrus/cardamom and the former is smoother, softer, darker and more elegant. The almost creamy smooth and comfortable texture of Wilde also reminds me of Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Santo Domingo but SD is more spicy. In color and texture I can image Wilde as beeing creamy, moisty, mossy green and Santo Domingo as creamy but in the same time dry, terracotta.

Picture: Wilde by Jardins d'Erivains
Photo: PR Jardins d'Erivains (c)
Wilde is intriguing and in the same time pleasant to wear. The sillage is medium and longevity just as with George very good, about 24h. Perfect for spring and summer, a fragrance that will resist warm tempratures without fading away.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, grape, fig, carnation, tea, oakmoss, vetiver

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

måndag 4 november 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - George

Picture: George Sand (1804-1876)
 Portrait by Auguste Charpentier (1838),
Wikimedia Commons
Jardins d'Écrivains is French nichehouse which started with scented candles and bathproducts and lately also added perfumes to their line. Jardins d'Écrivains in its style, is inspired of litterature combined with the interest of gardens. The four perfumes in the line whereof two leaning at the masculine side and therefore (and as "skintime" is rare when it comes to me :-) the testing of these fragrances, George and Wilde is delegated to Mr Parfumista. Below I have summerized his impressions of George while Wilde will follow in the next review.

George is of course inspired of the 19th century cultwoman Aurore Dupin married Dudevant aka George Sand who already have some fragrances named after her: Histoires de Parfums 1804 George Sand and Les Parfums Historique (MPG) Eau de Parfum de George Sand. When applying the reaction was "This smells so similar to something else" and after a short while everything went clear: One of the greatest classic tobacco-leather ever, Knize Ten, but George is smoother and gentler in appearance, adapted to the stripped down  fragranceastetic of the general public of today.  There is also a difference in notes: Where Knize Ten intermediates the scent of the clean woolen cloth of an tailor-made suit and tabacco, George intermediates the scent of fresh,dark, green conifer during a warm and windy summerday and tabacco. The green, coniferaccord is of the same spirit as in Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilèe but deeper and darker and without the smoky note of NE.

George is a year arounder and it's fresher character compared to Knize Ten makes it suitable also for more casual events than the more formal Knize. Mr Parfumista likes George very much but comments: "It's sort of a contemporary Knize but not fully accomplished in the way Knize is".George is classified as unisex but leaning towards the masculine side, for those who cares about such petty details. Sillage is medium and longevity for about 24h.

As the forerunner Knize is the original, George just almost reach the highest rating. If there was no Knize forerunner, George would reach the highest score. George is an exellent alternative for those who thinks Knize Ten is too heavy and oldfashioned, which it's not, as it's timeless, but that's of course just my personal opinion :-). George is also a good example of that very good perfumes could be made today also despite all IFRA-restrictions and it is also, just as the whole Jardins d'Écrivains-line, an axample of that good fragrances could also be reasonable priced SEK 725/USD ca 114/EUR ca 83 for 100 ml.

Rating: 4 or 4+ depending on perspective, with or without comparing to Knize Ten

Notes: Neroli, bergamot, heliotrophe, coffee, tobacco, peru balsam, musk, myrrh

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

fredag 1 november 2013

Seven years of perfumeblogging!

Picture: Maple leaves, end of October 2013.
Photo: Mr Parfumista
Today Parfumistans Blogg is celebrating seven years. Celebrating is of course a slight exaggeration, when becoming of a certain age, one more or less just notice "birthday again" and don't want to realize another year has flying away.

Autumn is IMO the best season for perfume, almost every fragrance family could be considered as some days are warm and in other there are wintertempratures. The latest week has been
predominantly warm but in the same time dark and windy i.e time fore a wide range of fragrances. I suddenly craved Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel despite this one is almost always described as a spring fragrance. To me Eau de Ciel has some floral notes in common with a more proper fragrance for this season, Serge Lutens Miel de Bois, I think it's the linden/hawthorn notes that are the connection. SL Rahat Loukoum was a very positive surprise and if  I havn't got a sample from Fragrantfanatic, I have never got the idea of testing this true comfortscent. Autumn also mean revival of some of my greatest discoveries this year: The perfumes from the incredible house Oriza L. Legrand, the problem is that the four I have tested so far Rêve de Ossian, Relique d'Amour, Oeillet Louis XV and Déjà le Printemps are all so great that I can't decide which one to invest in the day when my samples runs out, which unfortunately will be soon. Which one I like the most changes with each wearing. Now Relique d'Amour, which I liked the least (everything is relative :-) when testing these in the beginning of the year is a runner up with its smooth and refined fir balm and incense notes. And four new fragrances have been/will be launched from this genuine perfumehouse.....will be hard to handle :-)

onsdag 30 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Myrrhe et Delires

Picture:  Commiphora myrrha by Franz Eugen Köhler,
 Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen,1897, Wikipedia commons

Myrrhe & Delires is the latest creation in the Guerlain L'Art et Matiere-line. It's created by the current Guerlaan inhouse perfumer Thierry Wasser.

Myrrhe & Delires starts sort of resinous, fresh and airy. There is also an accord that reminds me of classical, oriental/chypre perfumes fleeting in and out in the basic structure of the perfume during the top and middlenotes. The classical accord reminds me of the typical chic "french" smell of Balenciaga Prelude and also hints of Quadrille from the same house. This typical french-chic note is also present in Balmain Ivoire vintage version even if the latter fragrance is green, aldehydic, flowery, soapy which is not the case with the former fragrances. Quite early in the dry down the to some myrrhe fragrances typical licorie note appears. In M&D this note is light and airy, contrasting to for example Huitieme Art Myrrhiad (in swedish), is dark, dense and mysterious compared to M&D. There is also a streak of the cold, dark, slight smoky accord of Juliette Has A Gun Calamity J. but tuned down and expressed in a softer and smoother way. The rest of the dry down is soft, sweet, resinous and retains the airy interpretation of licorie. To me the opening accords (as with most of the fragrances I have tried from the L'Art et Matiere-line )  are the most interesting part of the fragrance, but the linear dry down that follows later is beautiful, very comforting and easy to wear. To my nose there are some similarities between the composition of the base of Tonka Imperiale and Myrrhe & Delires as also with Cuir Beluga.

As Myrrhe & Delires is'nt overly sweet and almost airy in it's texture, the fragrance is wearable for both day and evning during the whole year, except for the warmest days in the summer. Sillage is close, longevity about 24h.

Those who likes Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe (in swedish) and Mona di Orio Jabu (even if myrrhe in Jabu is just a supporting note) will probably enjoy Myrrhe & Delires too.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot grapefruit, osmanthus, jasmine, rose, violet leaf; patchouli, incense, tonka bean, vanilla, myrrh, licorice

måndag 28 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Tonka Imperiale

Picture: Roman Emperors
Source: http://vaticanarthistoriantours.com

Tonka Imperiale is one of the later creations in the Guerlian exclusiveline L’Art et la Matière. Tonka Imperiale is a true warm and slight, gourmand sweet oriental, created by the Guerlain houseperfumer Thierry Wasser.

Tonka Imperiale starts with a warm, sweet but in the same time light and subtle, a bit powdery accord of tonka been. After a while a very balanced note that reminds me of a rounded cedarwood note appears, maybe it's one of the woody notes or maybe it's the mix of wood, herbs and spices that induces this impression. An almost liquorlike note of tobacco, balanced with light, almost not detectable flowers appears and contrasts after a while with "fresher" colder, balmy notes of incense and fir. As in all of the L’Art et la Matière fragrances I have tried so far, the ingedients are so well balanced, rounded and fine tuned that there is hard to distinugue them separately from each other. Tonka Imperiale is no exception It's a very well crafted fragrance with gourmand undertones. In the basenotes there is a slight powdery caramelnote, similar to the one in Prada Candy (in swedish) but darker, less sweet and a bit stronger. In Tonka Imperiale the tonkabeen is not combined with vanilla which is common, and that probably tempers the sweetness to a pleasant, moderate level. In the texture Tonka Imperiale has similarities with the elegant immortelledominated Guerlain Cuir Beluga, it's like a pushier, more masculine (even if unisex) interpreation of a similar theme. Both are beautiful fragrances but Cuir Beluga to my nose, is a bit more original.

Tonka Imperiale is perfect for autumn, winter and the chilly early spring. Even if moderatly sweet I suspect it could be overhelming in warm summerdays. Tonka Imperiale is a true comfort fragrance, it's not overpowering if applied with care and therefore a perfect officescent that brings comfort also to other than the wearer. Sillage is medium and longevity for 24h.

Those who likes the fragrances mentioned above as also Carner Barcelona Tardes, Parfumerie Generale Tonkamande, Etro Heliotrophe and Parfums Nicolaï Kiss me tender , even if the two latter is more floral, will also like Tonka Imperiale

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, rosemary, jasmine, almond, tonkabeen, tobacco, incense, cedar, pine

torsdag 24 oktober 2013

Guerlain – Cruel Gardenia

Picture: Gardenia flower from the gardens at Monticello
Photo:Querbubbles (cc) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved
Cruel Gardenia is a part of the Guerlain L’Art et la Matiere Collection where Guerlain let mostly “off-house” noses create based on one single note. Cruel Gardenia is composed by perfumer Randa Hammami in 2008.

As written so many times before, there is not possible to extract from the gardenia flower by any technique. Therefore there are many different white flower interpretations pretending to be gardenia. Cruel Gardenia starts with a bouquet of white flowers where quite soon the mushroom note typical for some gardenias shining through very clearly to me. I can’t feel a cheesy note that also is present in some other gardenia, but probably that is just another facet of the fresh, mushroom note. When the mushroom is faded a wonderful, creamy, thick, white floral blend is appearing and is the linear main theme during the whole dry down. There is also an accompanying, fresh fruity almost citrus, slight ozonic like note balancing the creamy white flowers and all this beauty is anchored in a white and clean musky base. The impression of Cruel Gardenia is that of a luxury bodycreme and the style and associations of smelling the scent reminds me very much of the beautiful Puredistance I. I isn’t as thick as Cruel Gardenia, it’s lighter and more ozonic in texture.

Even if Cruel Gardenia is not a groundbreaking composition, it’s an very wearable, utterly elegant comfort scent made of high quality ingredients and seamless blended. The longevity is very good, almost 24h and the sillage is medium.

I think Cruel Gardenia could be appreciated by those who like Cartier Baiser Volé and Ramón Monegal White Musk (Cotton Musk).

Rating: 5

Notes: Neroli, peach, rose, gardenia, ylang-ylang, gardenia, musk, sandalwood, tonka been, vanilla

måndag 21 oktober 2013

Guerlain – Iris Ganache

Picture: Three Godiva truffles
Author: Ginny (cc) Wikimedia commons 

Iris Ganache, created by Thierry Wasser is the irisinterpretation in the Guerlain gourmandepos L’Art et la Matiere. Iris Ganache is the first from the line that has been discontinued but some bottles could still be aviable.

Iris Ganache starts with an elegant, wellcrafted iris, almost compleatly without the carrotnote that is present in the more orris-rooty iris interpretations. The iris is blended with a light,  leathernote, like the image of smooth, white or beige colored leather used in a pair of long, glacé-gloves, matching an elegant ball-gown . When Iris Ganache dries down to the middlenotes it becomes sweeter and a note that reminds me of white chocolade occurs: The flowery iris is still there, and brings a coolness that counterbalances the sweetness in a wellblended manner. This impression lasts during the rest of the drydown where the musk, vanilla and patchouli which the blend contains, isn’t recognizable as separate notes but as a wellblended, smooth and pleasant base for the iris-gourmand accord. Iris Ganache is described as containing powdery notes, but to my nose these notes are subdued and just slightly recognizable, to my nose Iris Ganache has an almost bubble bath-y note in the late drydown. Iris Poudre by Parfums Editions Frederic Malle is much more powdery IMO.

Iris Ganache is comfortable and elegant in the same time. It’s a perfect scent both for dressed up occasions as for work to cheer up and to convey a pleasant olfactory presence. The longevity of Iris Ganache is for more than a day and the sillage is close, this is an elegant and subtle skinscent. 

Those who appreciate iris scents in the style of Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris, Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue, Huiteme Art Naiviris and Xerjoff Irisss will probably also like Iris Ganache.

Rating: 4

Notes: Cinnamon, bergamot, iris, white chocolate, patchouli, cedar, musk, vanilla, amber