fredag 29 mars 2013

Maria Candida Gentile - Exultat

Picture: Panoramique de Sienne, Italie
Photo: Jean-Christophe Benoist (cc), Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved

This time I don't have to be wordy as usual. especially when it come to perfums that I highly appreciate or sometimes even love. Exultat by independent perfumer Maria Candida Gentile, whose somehow ethereal perfumline has moved me, is the inverse version of Sideris reviewed in May 2012. Where Sideris is manily warm but with cooler elements (the medivial stonechurch at the townsquare in the mediterrian heat of the summer) Exultat is the same square and church but in the winter. Where Sideris performs some obscure, almost decaying sweet elements, the impression of Exultat is cleaner, cooler and much drier. Exultat emphasize the dry, woody aspects of incense at some stage the wood in Exultat smells as it's just sawn. A light supporting violetnote is also distinguish Exultat from Sideris and there is also an obvious note of vetiver in the woody base that contributes to the green, woody, dryness of Exultat. To me Exultat from the later part of the middlenotes and further during the dry down could count as an vetiver fragrance. It's a really green and brisk vetiver, not smoky or plate-powderish in character. On the masculine - feminine spectra (if someone cares), Exultat is the masculine and Sideris the feminine one, even if they both are unisex. Personally I prefer Sideris a little over Exultat as I find it a bit more interesting with it's "obscure notes" lurking in the backgrund, but both are excellent, inspiring fragrances, far away from the mainstream boredom. As the perfumer was inspired by a certain stonechurch when created Exultat, this is a perfect fragrance for celebrating the Good Friday.

Rating: 4+

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

Picture: Exultat by Maria Candida Gentile
Photo: From promotion Maria Candida Gentile (c)

onsdag 27 mars 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week(s) (13-14) 2013 - Easterfrags

Picture: Madonna mit dem Kaninchen,
oil on canvas ca 1530 by Titian (
Tiziano Vecelli)
Easter is somehow a fragrance feast to me. Probably not only because of the scents connected to it from bulbflowers and sweets, as also the sacral connection. Probably the mainreason is that Easter offers two extra holidays and therefore the opportunity to dive deeper in the fragrance hobby :-) than during regular weekends. Different years I'm into different fragrancethemes during the Easter, which theme I think has to do with when Easter occours. Late Easter = the green floral bulb theme is tempting, an early Easter = the gourmand or the incense theme. This year I think the gourmands will win, it is still cold winter and recently I have been drawn to sweet and comforting fragrances. From this gourmand view I think the following will suit well for Easter:
Picture: L'Heure de Nuit
Photo: PR Guerlain (c) all rights reserved
L'Heure de Nuit (Guerlain): The house of Guerlain celebration of the hundred years anniversery of  classic (to say at least) L'Heure Bleue. A contemporary interpretation that captures the classic in a edible way. The classic iris-helitrophe-neroli accord is lands in an almost mashmallow and amaretto like accord.
Picture: Tonka Imperiale
Photo: PR Guerlain (c) all rights reserved
Tonka Imperiale (Guerlain): Almost too sweet, like a powdery almond cake. Delicious and creates the olfactive image of visiting an elegant confectioners. 
Picture: White Aoud
Photo: PR Montale (c), all rights reserved
White Aoud (Montale): Here the mashmallow note is present again, but combined with oud, saffron and cardamom in a well balanced creamy mix. soft as white angora but in the same time distinctive, it is Montale after all.
Picture: Loukhoum
Photo: PR Ava Luxe (c) all rights reserved
Loukhoum (Ava Luxe): Just enough but not too sweet to be a Loukhoum. Powdery notes, almond and honey moistened with rosewater, this is a delicious.
Picture: Angel
Photo: PR Thierry Mugler (c) all  rights reserved
Angel (Thierry Mugler): Last but not least maybe the most obvious choice in this Easter gourmand parade: Angel and sweets :-). The notes of dark chocolate, caramel, fruits, tonka and patchouli is still iconic and sadly, as I have understand it, severely threatened by the coming regulations later this year.

Happy Easter to all Perfumelovers!

måndag 25 mars 2013

Oriza L.Legrand - Relique D'Amour

Picture: Relique D'Amour
PR-picture from Oriza  L.Legrand (c)
Relique D'Amour from the venerable  ricepowderhouse Oriza L.Legrand founded 1720 is said to be inspired from the old chapel of a cisterian abbey. Moss on cold stonewalls, waxed wood of altar and pews, incense and myrrh in the air. Fresh lilies on the altar and the smell of fresh green-woody, herbal notes from the outside.

Relique D'Amour starts with the intriguing smell of the paper in old, antique, dry but in the same time a bit damp and dusty books. It's the best interpretation of that smell that I have smelled so far. The opening is therefore close to an other old book opneing, the opening of the floral oriental Trouble (swe) by Boucheron even if the opening of Trouble is a tad sweeter. As I have understand it, papernotes almost always smells more or less of vanilla as vanillic notes are a natural part of wood, which is used to create the papersmell. In old books this vanillic notes thus are radiating slowly from the paper.

As the development of Relique D'Amour goes further a clear note of a grand, white lily appears. Here Relique D'Amour in its appearance reminds me of a bolder version of  L'Artisan Passage d'Enfer, despite much lighter on the incensenote. When drying down further, Relique D'Amour continuing to smell like a less sweet Trouble accompanied with some notes of the forest like a smell of confier and wood. The fragrance never gets sharp as it is embedded in a powdery texture, something that seems to be a common denominator to the Oriza L.Legrand fragrances I have smelled so far and an obvious reflection of the history of the parfumehouse.

Relique D'Amour is as timeless as the olfactory image from the old chapel above. The fragrance conveys the feeling that it could have been created an worn in any century just as Sideris and Exultat from Maria Candida Gentile.

Relique D'Amour is comfortable and pleasant to wear, suitable for the coming Easter with its lily, light vanillic sweetness and of course incense. The incensenote is subdued and not as dominating as in Passage d'Enfer or even Rêve d'Ossian also from Oriza (reviewed last week). Sillage is medium and longevity is 12h+.

Rating: 4

Notes:Herbs, pine, powdery notes, white lily, pepper, oak, incense, myrrh, elemi, musk, moss, waxed wood, woody notes, pepper

Thanks to Fragrances & Art for the sample to test.

lördag 23 mars 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (12) 2013

Picture: Hermès Elixir des Merveilles
Photo: PR Hermès (c) all rights reserved
Havn't anything perfume-wise to say this week except that my craving for orange and orangeblossom  in the sunny but very cold weather is evident. Robert Piguet Blossom and L'Artisan Seville à l'Aube are my choices. As is it very cold for the season I'm still remains in the oriental wardrobe with frags as Parfum d'Empires  Ambre Russe and Hermès  L'Ambre des Merveilles and Elixir des Merveilles, where the latter is the perfect  formula for the situation as it combines orange and oriental notes.

torsdag 21 mars 2013

Oriza L.Legrand - Rêve d'Ossian

Picture:Rêve d'Ossian (Ossians dream)
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, oil on canvas 1813
Wikimedia commons
Rêve d'Ossian from the old, established 1720 as a producer of hair and whig-powder, Oriza L.Legrand, is a woody oriental with major elements of incense. The house Oriza L.Legrand is conncting to its heritage with newly created fragrances with inspiration from the past. When it comes to Rêve d'Ossian the inspiration is to quote themarketing buzz: "Ossianizm is a romantic poetry style in Europe in the XIX centurary. Ossian is the narrator and purported author of a cycle of celtic and epic poems. Ossian was influent of the developement of the romantic movement of the XVIIIth and the XIXth century. The poems achieved international success (Napoleon Bonaparte was a great fan) and many writers, paniters and artists were influenced by the works, including Ingres, Schubert and Oriza L.Legrand Parfumes. The work also had a timly resonance for those swept away by the romantic movement and the teory of the "noble savage".

How does this romantic perfume that make us dream like Ossian smell? It depends on in which phase as Rêve d'Ossian has different guises in different stages of its dry down. Rêve d'Ossian starts as a fragrance where incense is the prominent but not totally dominant note as in most "straight forward" incensefragrances. The incense is embedded with sweet, woody and tart notes which creates an intriguing and wellbalanced composition. As Rd'O developes the incense emerges back and forward, in different strenghts and positions versus the other woody and resin notes. Even if not mentioned among the notes, to my nose vanilla or a note akin to vanilla is present in the blend. But on the other hand, vanillic notes could also be present as some vanilic substanses are extracted from wood. When Rd'O is resting in the basenotes for many hours, the sweet, woody notes at least are overcoming the incense. Especially in this stage Rd'O reminds me of a gentler and smoother version of Diors Dolce Vita, the 1990s formulation, but Dolce Vita has sharper, cedarwood notes. Also in some earlier stages when sweeter notes are interacting with the woods and incense, the latter not appearant in Dolce Vita, Dolce Vita comes to my mind. There is also a conncetion to Shiseido Feminte du Bois just as in the case of Dolce Vita. Also the beautiful, wellbalanced incensefragrances from Maria Candida Gentile Sideris and Exultat comes to my mind.These fragrances highlighting, just as Rd'O, the incense as a protagonist, but not as a note that overwhelms the other.

Rêve d'Ossian is a beautiful, a bit sweet, woody, incense perfume, the perfect comfortblanket for chilly days. A very interesting and versatile fragrance that enjoys the wearer during the whole dry down. Longevity is very good and the sillage is close to the wearer. In some stages a bit too close but strangly enough, it recovers in strange in a later phase and this "phenomen" is appearing several times during the dry down.

Rating:  5

Notes: Incense, Aldehydes, Maritime Pine, Cinnamon, Benzoin, Elemi, Tonka Bean, Guaiac Wood, Opoponax, Balsamic notes, Sandalwood, Leather, Labdanum, Amber, Musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample used to test this beautiful fragrance. F&A has, among others, a exquisite selection of some unusual, quality fragrances.

Rêve d'Ossian Oriza L.Legrand
Photo from Fragrance & Art 

måndag 18 mars 2013

Robert Piguet - Jeunesse

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Jeunesse is the most stirking of the Pacific Collection trio. Jeunesse is, just as the name indicates, a  young, sparkling and happy fragrance. And of course, as the sterotype of young girls perfumes of today, it's a pink, fruity-berry floral. The perfumer of Jeunesse is Aurelien Guichard, the housenose of Parfums Robert Piguet.

Jeunesse starts sparkling berry-fruity, after a while some slight creamy notes also appears.There something in the texture of the fragrance that intermediate the impression of meringues. If Jeunesse has a color, it is definitly intensive, medium, pink or cerise. The fruity notes are an interpaly between raspberry, blackberry and I also smell a fresh almost peachy note, even if not mentioned among the notes. Maybe it's the pomegranate. Even if wearing Jeunesse is like swimming in a fruity/berry meringuie dessert it's not overhelming sweet, this is prevented by the interplay between the contrasting sweet and sour fruity notes. When it comes to the flowery notes they are the second players in this fragrance, in Jeunesse the fruits and berries are the stars of the show. Jeunesse is based on a white pleasent musk, not the laudery  version. which has taken over many muskbased fragrances the latest year. As Jeunesse mingles in the basenotes, the fragrance deepens and get a bit darker and there is a note similar to mango appearing. In this stage Jeunesse reminds me of a lighter version of Jo Loves....A shot of oud over mango but without the oud.

Usually I don't have opinons about which ages a fragrance fits for but when it comes to Jeunesse it is indeed very young, at least in the top and middlenotes. This should of course not prevent anybody to wear it when longing for a sparkling, juicy, happy and uncomplicated fragrance and in the basenotes, Jeunesse is age-neutral. The sillage of Jeunesse is quite impressie to be a "regulated" 2012 composition and the longevity is very good about 24 h. Finally, Jeunesse as a concept reminds me of Baby Doll Paris by Yves Saint Laurent where Jeunesse is a creamy and Baby Doll a sharper interpretation of the pink fruity theme.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Blackberry, raspberry, pomegranate, different florals, musk

lördag 16 mars 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (11) 2013

Picture: Good old Mitsi
Photo: One of the myriads of  the PR pictures of this classic .
This week I have been terribly cold and just smell fragments of the frags I'm wearing. Beside my Frederic Malle testing activity, my belated Guerlain obsession is growing. I really appreciate to wear (even if they don't suit me perfectly) the classics like Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue in different strenghts and longing for apring and Apres l'Ondee. Even in the current or almost current versions, this frags are by far more original than most of the niche launched today. And also like several of the current Guerlains, for example Cuir Beluga is caring with its smooth, suedelike texture, which is excellent when having a bad cold. I also have to admit that I like Shalimar Initial with its elegant iris-patchouli accord and Shalimar Initial L'Eau, an interersting bergamot and iris combination, perfect for spring.

To further enhance this Guerlaineuphoria I just have to hang around at Monsieur Guerlains blog drooling over these beauties

torsdag 14 mars 2013

Robert Piguet - Chai

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)

Chai is a green fragrance accentuated by  flowery notes grounded in subtle and smooth, lingering teanotes. Chai is a part of the Robert Piguet Pacific Collection which is created by Aurelien Guichard.

Chai starts with a burst of the same fresh teanote that is the maintheme of the classic Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert. The fresh teanote quickly enters to the background but emphasizes the sparkling green freshness of the scent of just cutted  greenery and a gentle touch of white flowers, probably orangeblossom. A touch of a subdued citrusnote is also present. As Chai reaches the basenotes a wellbalanced smoky teannote joins the light teanote and the pronounced notes of greenery. A waxy note smoothens and warms the texture of Chai. Teafragrances are often cold and bright but Chai is warm and gentle in it's apperance. The smoky note is gentle, it's not the sharp smokiness of Lapsang souchong but a smooth smokiness. The smoky note reminds me somehow of a light version of the pleasant almost cigarette smoky note of my favourite Carner Barcelona, D600 . This smoky note is also present in another favourite, Annick Goutals herbal, smoky Nuit Etoilee. Finally there is (of course) also similarities to the smoky teanotes of L'Artisan Parfumeurs masterpiece Tea for Two but the smoky notes are subdued in Chai compared to Tea for two.

Chai is the perfect daytime spring and summerfragrance, also wearable in the colder month when longing for the summer. This green fragrance is suitable both for work and casual and even if bright and light in texture, Chai is sort of compact and not att all fleeting in its structure. The sillage is medium and the longevity for at least 12h.

Chai is suitable for wearers who likes the two perfumestyles indicated above: "Pure" tea fragrances and fragrances grounded with transparent, fresh lighten cigarette smoky notes. Other tea fragrances that comes to my mind when testing out Chai are Dior Escale à Pondichery (bergamot, jasmin, spices, black tea) and ByKilian Bamboo Harmony (bergamot, neroli, spices, tea).

To me Chai is the star of the Pacific Collection. An uplifting, comfortable fragrance, just in time with the color of 2013: Green.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot leaves, white tea, (white flowers), beewax, mate tea

måndag 11 mars 2013

Robert Piguet - Blossom

Picture:Closeup of mandarin tree  in the Berkeley Botanical Garden
Photo by Allen Timothy Chang (cc) Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
Another Piguet to like! The fragrances of the house of Piguet seems to be the perfect match for my skinchemistry. Blossom, created by the Piguet housenose Auerlien Guichard, is a part of the Pacific Collection, which is intended the Asian market, but seems to be avaible also in other markets around the globe. The Pacific Collection consists of three fragrances inspired by symbolic plants of China—Blossom, Chai and Jeunesse.

Blossom starts with a delicious, almost natural smell of mandarin. After a while notes of orangeblossom appears and the dry down is dominated by the interaction of those in addition with juicy, green leaves of the orangetree. All these different shades of orange is anchored in a pleasant, not detergent smelling, white musk. Blossom  gives me the imagination of strolling around a sunny day in a mandarin grove in a garden of The Secret City during the Chinese Empire.

Picture: Blossom from the Robert Piguet Pacific Collection
Photo: PR Parfums Robert Piguet (c)
Blossom is a wellbalanced, straight forward "orangefruits" composition which is comfortable to wear year around, especially in the late winter when the sun is warming the snowy fields as a forerunner of the comeing spring. The mandarin note which is the special in this blend is as mentioned above, fresh and natural smelling, not the darker, spicy almost marmelade mandarinnotes of Serge Lutens Mandarin-Mandarine which is more complex and more of a glowing autumn perfume, compared to Blossom. Longevity of Blossom is about a day, sillage is close, this is the perfect inoffensive, happy, officescent that anybody could feel comfortable with.

Those who pronounced orangeblossom perfumes such as Ramon Monegal  Entre Naranjos Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM pour Femme, Elie Saab Le Parfum, L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville à l'Aube and Oscar de la Renta Granada will certainly enjoy Blossom

Rating: 4 (Feb 2013) 5 (April 2013)

Update april 2013: The more I test this fragrance the more I like it. Uplifting, happy and a real pleasure to wear. Also comfortables as a " go-to-sleep" frag, calming despite its uplifting character. 

Notes: Neroli, mandarin, orangeblossom, orangeleaves, musc

lördag 9 mars 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (10) 2013

Picture:Lilac Syringa Vulgaris in bloom
Photo: Author Marisa deMeglio from NYC, USA
(cc) Wikimedia Commons
This late winterweek, even if chilly, is showing signs of the coming spring. The light is here, the sun is warm in the middle of the day and the snow is melting. Inspired of that I have enjoyed my lighter Frederic Malle samples: L'Eau d'Hiver, what could be more appropriate than a fragrance inspired of melting snow, Angeliques sous la Pluie, I like the hay-ish note and the herbalflower touch and my favorite among the three En Passant, the most true lilac scent I have tested so far, even truer than the beautiful After My Own Heart by Ineke.

These three light Malles are well constructed and very easy to wear. Nothing extreme but timeless and minimalistic, the archetypes of spring staplefragrances.

torsdag 7 mars 2013

Mona di Orio - Eau Absolue

Picture: Eau Absolue by Mona di Orio
Photo: PR Parfums Mona di Orio, all rights reserved  (c)
Eau Absolue is a fragrance blended from one of the perfumeformulas which the great perfumer Mona di Orio left behind. As I have understand, many of the formulas were finished or almost finished even if we of course couldn't know if Mona would have done further improvements if she had to live.Eau Absolue, which is said to be finished already before last year realease Les Nombres d'Or Rose Etoile de Hollande is inspired of the Mediterrian landscape and I think that the composition has captured that olfactory image perfectly well.

Eau de Absolue starts with an intriguing accord that reminds me of the bombastic opening barnyard accord of Homme de Grès but dimmed to a tenth in strength. This accord in Eau Absolue is also rounded and finetuned compared to the though and rough notes in the opening of Homme de Grès. In Eau Absolue soon a note that creates a texture close to smooth suede appears, this texture is also present in Mona di Orio Lux despite these two fragrances smells different. This suedenote tempers the herbal/spicy, citrus notes of the fragrance and seems to create more body and dept than in a regular cologne. Eau Absolue is a Edp version of a colognestyled fragrance. When Eau Absolue calms down, the pleasant barnyardaccord gives way to a balanced green slight herbal, fresh spicy accord where the note of bayleaf is in the center. The bayleaf is crisp and the fresh leathernote that bayleaves sometimes induce is clearly present and creates a wellbalanced contrast. This stage is like citrus and greenery are wrapped in smooth leather. In the basenotes the green, citrus and bayleaf-leathery impression remains, warmed up and deepened by musk and labdanum. In the base I also smell similarities with Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Vétyver especially a certain pleasant tartness from that fragrance. The longer I wear Eau Absolue, the more of LNd'OV I smell.

Overall Eau Absolue is an elegant, casual fragrance which is also very appropriate for officewear. It's werable year around even if spring and summer comes first in mind. Longevity on my skin is about a day which is quite good when it comes to citrus/aromatic fragrances. Eau Absolue is less citrusy and more smooth, herbal green than most offerings in this genre. Despite this, this fine, wellcarfted, highquality fragrance somehow feels as I have smelled it before, probably because of the similarities to LNd'O Vétyver which I experience in the basenotes. This slightly affects the rating of the fragrance.

Those who likes Eau de Rochas, Eau de Sisley 3, Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien and Hermès Eau de Cologne Orange Verte will probably also appreciate Eau Absolue.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, clementine, petitgrain, citron, Litsea Cubeba, geranium, vetiver,
bay leaf, pink peppercorn, cedarwood, musk, cistus labdanum

Thanks to Parfums Mona di Orio for a sample to try.

måndag 4 mars 2013

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle - Dries van Noten

Picture: Caffè latte as being served in Oslo
Photo by Jazzbobrown (cc), Wikimedia commons

The Belgian fashiondesigner Dries van Noten has released the first fragrance of the house (bearing the houses name) in collaboration with wellknown nichehouse Editions de Parfumes Frederic Malle. This instead of taking the "regular" massmarket channel as most fashionhouses when release their fragrances. The perfumer of Dries van Noten is Bruno Jovanovic.

Dries van Noten smells like almost unsweet pastry, the sweetness is at least subdued.The whole impression of the perfume is like sitting in a café a grey, snowy and chilly day (exactly the weather when I write this review :-) consuming a croissant together with a giant latte. As Dries van Noten dries :-) down the croissant-note becomes apparent. The texture of DvN is somehow like the feeling of smooth, lightcolored suede, even if there is no suedenote recognizable in the blend. There is also a beautiful, smooth sandalwood in DvN, the finest I have smelled in a contemporary fragrance for a long time. As I understand it there is some "substitute"  for Santal from Mysore that has been introduced to the market latly. Probably this has been used instead of the rougher australian sandalwood that is common in woody perfumes released in the latest years.  In the basenotes there are smooth, powdery and a bit sweet woody notes, also almond is detectable as later also a clean, a bit almost sweet herbal note. To my nose DvN is sweeter in the basenotes than in it's earlier stages.

Overall a pleasant and very comfortable fragrance in the transparant gourmand style of Carner Barcelona Rima XI. I like the latter equal to Dries van Noten Rima XI is, even if also transparant and smooth in texture, more pronounced in its gourmand style, more distinctive with its smooth spices and maybe more intriguing as composition. On the other hand Dries van Noten is almost seamless in its development so very delicious and cosy and I think it appeals to a broader group of perfumewearers, it could also have been released as an "highend mainstream". Dries van Noten is very officefriendly, a fragrance that gives the wearer compliments. Perfect for the colder months. I have read complaints about the longevity of DvN but this is not a problem for me, I can smell sufficient traces of it almost 24h after applying it. Sillage is medium in its earlier accords, then close.

Those who likes fragrances in the style of Carner Barcelona Tardes, Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal, Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau and  Etro Heliotrophe (mini review in swedish) could also appreciate Dries van Noten.

Update late April 2013: The more I wear/test/sniff DvN the more I like its subtle and comforting character and the fact that its longevity is great despite its transparency. The sandalwood note is smooth and has no harsh edges which is sometime the case with the australian sandalwood used as a substitute to the Mysore in many fragrances during the latest years. Overall DvN is a very wearable fragrance. 

Rating: 4, Update April 2013: 5

Notes: Citron, sandalwood, guaiac wood, cashmeran, tonka bean, vanilla, saffron, jasmine, musk

Thanks to Alla Violetta for a sample to review.

lördag 2 mars 2013

Fragrance of the week (9) 2013

Is the reworked Habanita Edp from Molinard. Vetiver, geranium and tobacconotes, dark flowers over the deep mossy, ambery, patchouli base. True to the Edt version but smoother and somehow more contemporary in style even if the vintage 1920s Flappers impression is still there. And the retrostyled bottle is just gorgeous.....

Picture: Molinard Habanita Edp
Photo: PR  Molinard (c)