måndag 29 april 2013

Kerosense - Unknown Pleasures

Picture: Strand (beach) at Skagen (ca 1900)
Painting by  Peder Severin Kröyer, Wikimedia commons
Unknown Pleasures is one of the latest fragrance from the indieperfumer John Pegg, creating frags for his own brand Kerosene. Before John started to create pefumes, he worked in the Detroit automobileindustry which have inspired to the unique, by John himself, handlacquered bottles.

Unknown Pleasures starts with an accord very close to a waffle cone filled with lemon sorbet paired with vanilla icecream. Just in the beginning a citrus, slight woody classical cologne note appears creating an almost necessary contrast to the sweetness, probably this is the Earl Grey tea note mentioned in the notelist. After a while the teanote steps back and is not recognizable as a separate note but it's present as a part of the blend. When drying down to the base, the lemonsorbet-vanilla ice creme-waffle cone impression persist and the fragrance is becoming just slightly powdery. In the whole drydown but particulary in the basenotes, I can smell a sort of almost refreshing, green coconutty note which seems to be present to a greater or lesser extent in most Kerosene fragrances, probably a part of the "Kerosenade" base. This particular green coconutty accord is also present in another favourite of mine: Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland which Unknown Pleasures reminds me a bit of in the basenotes.
Picture: Unknown Pleasures
Photo: PR Kerosene (c) all rights reserved

Unknown Pleasures is not the elegant, complicated and serious fragrance. Instead it is friendly, funny, sunny, warm and happy just like the pleasant feeling of eating icecream a warm and sunny summerday during the holiday. The fragrance is a great gourmand, truly delicious and it's the perfect replacement for a dessert and could therefore act as a substitute for a diet product :-). Unknown Pleaures, just as its name indicates, brings pure joy and comfort. The sillage is medium and longevity for more than a day. IMHO Unknown Pleasures is the second best fragrance of the Kerosene-line so far, and the best for me. The number one Kerosene over all is still (not for wearing myself but its suits great for Mr Parfumista) the multifaceted, boozy, dark and rough Copper Skies.

I think those who like vanillic gourmands in general and fragrances in the style of Estee Lauder Bronze Godess/Azureé Soleil would also like Unknown Pleasures.

Rating: 5

Notes: Earl Grey tea, lemon, honey, bergamot, tonka, caramel, vanilla, waffle cone

Thanks to  Fragrancefanatic at Riktig Parfym for the sample to test.

lördag 27 april 2013

Fragrance of the week (17) 2013 - philosophical thoughts about Opium

Picture: New Opium Edp
Photo: PR Yves Saint Laurent (c)
This week has been a week in Guerlain, except Tuesday when I wore Yves Saint Laurent Opium Edp in the current version.To me it was a pleasant experience despite all complaints I have read in different blogs and forums. Yes, of course it isn't the same as earlier formulas, compared to my Y2K Opium Edt formula the new Opium is woodier, darker, less spicy-floral and for a short while it has a slight artifical vibe. But most important is that the special Opium style and aura is still there, I don't think it has lost its soul which is what is important to me. It's just an Opium adapted to a new decade, just as much older classics as Guerlain Shalimar and Chanel No 5 have done multiple times. Of course a fragrance could not smell as before as the circumstances are changing over the years and maybe also it should not as it's, at least from a Parfumista viewpoint, interesting to investigate the development of a certain fragrance between different decades and formulas. This exercise is almost as exploring different but similar in style fragrances.

torsdag 25 april 2013

Grossmith - Floral Veil

Picture: Queen Victoria in her weddingdress 1847
Painting by Franz Xavier Winterhalter (1805-1873)
Floral Veil is one of the four classy fragrances released in the Grossmith Black Label Collection so far. Floral Veil is created by another perfumer than the other three: Jean-Marie Santantonio.

Floral Veil starts with an accord somehow familiar to me, I recognize the scent from some fragrance in the past but haven't sorted out yet which on it could be. There are light and transparent green and citrus-fruity notes, not sweet but refreshing. The delicate flowers joins soon, they are smooth, transparent and seemless blended, the only flower that is detectable as an own note to me is the airy tubereuse, a tubereuse without is regular companion the orangeblossom. The beautiful sheer florals are supported by light, green and fresh notes, the geranium for instance doesn't reach its typical tarty green stage, it's subdued and just there to create an natural, green freshness.The musk is the note in the foreground in the basenotes but it's so well blended with warm amber and silky cashemrean woody notes that I don't think of it as a separate note. One fragrance that comes to my mind when testing Floral Veil is the first Gianfranco Ferré, named Gianfranco Ferré, from the 80s. As a fragrance from that bombastic decade it is of course much stronger and the tubereuse has much more body, even if light for that era. In comparisation Floral Veil is like a translucent fairy.

Floral Veil is really a perfect name for this creation. When wearing the fragrance, I almost feel the smoothness of a chiffong veil in weightless slik and I can image a young, romantic bride wearing this. Floral Veil is also the perfect first fragrane for a young girl, even if the creation is timeless and also could be worn with grace by a 90+ old lady also. Floral Veil is all about understated class and elegance, just perfect which on the other hand in the long run could be a bit dull, but that is certainly no problem for me as I almost never wears the same frag two days in a row. Floral Veil is the fragrance to reach for situations when the wearer needs confidence but when it's not when it is not appropriate to stand out from the context for example when  giving a presentation at the boardmeeting.

Rating: 4

Notes: Citruses, green notes, lemon, black currant, geranium, rose, ylang-ylang, tubereuse, vanilla orchid, musk, cashmeran (wood), amber

Thanks to Fragrances & Art for the sample to test.

måndag 22 april 2013

Grossmith - Amelia

Picture: European peony, Paeonia lactiflora
Photo by Frances2000, Wikipedia Commons
Amelia, a part of the Grossmith Black Label Collection released in late 2012, is created in honour of the daughter of the founder of the house (originally established in 1835), Amelia. The fragrance is created by Trevor Nicholl.

Amelia starts with an accord reminding of an upscale version of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and Narciso Rodriguez For Her Edt. Amelia than proceed less musky and sweet than the two other mentioned, there are offsetting neroli, white flowery and green notes detectable which balances the fragrance in a delicate way. I also smell a small fraction of that special tart note which is present in many 2012 cretations, probably compliant with the coming regulations. I like this kind of dry tartness combined in one note, the tart note is more clearly presant in for example Chanel 1932. 
The star of the flowery accord is a fresh and dewy peony, a peony that manage to maintain this impression during the whole dry down and doesn't get sour and dull. The base is musky with a counterbalancing typical contemporary chypre accord containing patchouli and vetiver. In the latest stages of the development of the base, the notes seems similar to the baseaccod in Golden Chypre which was reviewed last week. As in all Black Label creation tested so far the notes are well balanced and seamlessy mixed.

Amelia is a perfect fragrance for spring. It is clean without any laudery- or ozonic notes. It fits into most environments and couldn't offend anyone, hence it's the perfect, feminine scent for work. To be a tribute to a woman of the 19th centurary, Amelia feels a bit too contemporary in style. Maybe it is also a bit too perfect, there are absolutely no dangers lurking in the background as in for example the NR For Her Edt mentioned above. Amelia wears close to the skin and the longevity is for a day. The quality is top-notch as with Grossmiths in general.

Those who like fragrances in the classical style of Annick Goutal Quel Amour and Parfums de Nicolaï Rose Pivoine will probably appreciate this modern, musky interpretation of the peony-theme.

Rating: 4

Notes: Neroli, osmanthus, rose, jasmine, peony, amber, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cashmere musks

Thanks to Fragrances & Art for the sample to test.

lördag 20 april 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (16) 2013 - Perfumed thoughts...

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Spring ha finally arrived but the mood for springfragrances has not yet appeared even if I tried with the soooo spring-/summerlike Eau de Ciel by Annick Goutal earlier this week. Overall I still want heavier and darker stuff such as my new lemming Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand for M.Micallef. I'm glad to have, even if late, tested something from the house of M.Micallef. It has not gotten around to testing them earlier, maybe because there is such a large range of perfumes that I havn't know where to start. My first experience is so promising that I'll definitly test more from M.Micallef.

Another just great one which is very suitable for the season even if floriental in style is Saffron Rose from Grossmith. Definitly the best one I have tried from the house so far, but I'll have of course not tried them all.

Fearing the coming regulations and realizing I have not much of  Guerlain Shalimar I just had to order some more this week. Despite reformulated several times during the decades, I like the formulas now avaible and I dare not take the risk not having enough of this classic if it will be deeply affected from the coming regulations.

torsdag 18 april 2013

Grossmith - Saffron Rose

Picture: Roses in a vase,
 painting by Auguste Renoir
I knew instantly when I splashed on Saffron Rose from the small vial that I would just love this stunning oriental styled rosecomposition. And Saffron Rose are just not about flattering topnotes, it is quality all the way out. Saffron Rose, created by Trevor Nicholl is a part of  the Grossmith Black Label Collection.

Saffron Roses starts with a beautiful, very clean, natural smelling pink, a bit oldfashioned, tearose. It is accuented with smooth, spicy notes of saffron and cinnamon, handled in a manner that creates a smooth, slight creamy impression of soft leather. The creamyness is in the same time dry in its texture and this accord creates a sort of chalky impression. As Saffron Rose progress in its dry down the scent is deepen in a melange of very well balanced darker resin and woody notes such as oud and myrrh. The notes are accompanying and the oud doesn't take over the composition as in most oud-rose fragrances. When Saffron Rose reaches the basenotes an almost animalc quality appears but in a subtle way. During the rest of the dry down Saffron Rose highlights the classical rose which interacting perfectly with the darker, soft spicy and woody-resin notes.

Saffron Rose wears close to the skin, the longevity is about 24h. It's a creation of understaded elegance, not as dominating and rough as many Montale rose-oud creations, Saffron Rose is more finetuned and it is a real pleasure to wear, as also the Montales depending on the mood.

Those who (like me) likes Montale Taif Rose, Highness Rose, Aoud Queen Roses, Aoud Roses Petals, Histoires de Parfum Rosam and Annick Goutal Rose Absolue I suspect also will like Saffron Rose.

Rating: 5

Notes: Rose, saffron, cinnamon, myrrh, oud, tobacco, wood, labdanum, castoreum, sandalwood, amber, guaiac wood

Thanks to Fragrances & Art for the sample to test.

måndag 15 april 2013

Grossmith - Golden Chypre

Picture: Golden Chypre,
a part of the Black  Label  Collection
Photo: PR Grossmith
Golden Chypre is one of the four initial releases in the new Black Label line from the venerable British house of Grossmith. Earlier Grossmith (among others) has released contemporary interpretations of the old classics of the house, such beautiful frags as Shem-el-Nessim Phul-Nana, Hasu-no-Hana and Betrothal. Golden Chypre is created by Trevor Nicholl.

Golden Chypre starts spicy airy with a clearly detectable but still transparant cardamom sourronded by smooth spicies and a sparkling citrusnote. The citrusnote could still be recognized when Golden Chypre reaches its middlenotes where light flowery notes appears perfectyl blended with discrete notes of patchouli and vetiver. The patchouli, which is a bearing note in most contemporary so called chypres is not as emphasized as in most of those creations, it's so wellbalanced that it is difficult to discern as a separate note. All this is is resting on an elegant, smooth musky base blended with wood and resins.

Golden Chypre is a wellbehaved fragrance which is a pleasure to wear with its high quality ingredients and its wellbalanced structure. It's not a exciting and challenging fragrance but it creates confidece to the wearer in its less-is-more styled elegance. Perfect for the office and for lunching at an elegant restaurant especially in spring and summer. Sillage is close and longevity is for about 24h.

Golden Chypre is an example that well made fragrances are still possible to create even with the though restrictions coming. A common feature for many of the fragrances created the latest year, just as Golden Chypre, is their fleeting characters which I assume is the result of cutting down the quantity used of many ingredients or having to avoid others.

Those who like fragrances in the elegant style of Chanel No 22, Chanel 1932, Puredistance Opardu and Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin will probably also appreciate Grossmith Golden Chypre.

Rating: 4

Notes: Cardamom, nutmeg, orange, bergamot, rose, geranium, heliotrophe, vetiver, patchouli, amber, musk, labdanum, wood

Thanks to Fragrances & Art  for the sample to test.

lördag 13 april 2013

Fragrance of the week (15) 2013 - Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand for M. Micallef

Picture: Marlene Dietrich as Lola Lola in Der Blaue Engel (1930)
directed by Josef von Sternberg: 
Thanks to a generous sample from Fragrantfanatic I now have, to say at least, a new lemming: Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand for M. Micallef. This frag is a incredible, dark, animalic, almost deep cosmetic smelling purple rose (even if the rose is subdued) topped by something similar to the note of bayleaves. Elegant, with some subtle dirtyness, a fragrance that perfectly would fit Marlene Dietrich portraying Lola Lola in Der Blaue Engel. To my nose Parfume Couture is like a mix of Andy Tauers Une Rose Chypré and Montale Aoud Ambre. So beware lovers of dark and dirty frags!

Rating: 5

Notes: Cinnamon, tangerine,rose, orange blossom, honey, sandalwood, patchouly, amber, white musk

torsdag 11 april 2013

Springfragrances 2013

Picture: Violets
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
The winter has been staying for an exceptional long time this year so the real inspiration of wearing springfragrances has not really appeared. Instead I have been much into fragrances which are suitable year around and  with a renewed appreciation of some of the great classics, particulary the Guerlains. Regardless of this, but of course also with some inspiration from it, here comes a list of fragrances inspiring me this spring:

Rose Splendide (Annick Goutal): The tough, rough and wild pink rose, just as a not trimmed rosebush. Rose Splendide smells as the flowers, leaves and steams are all crushed and extracted into the fragrance.

La Violette (Annick Goutal): This leafy,crispy green perfectly just a bit candided sweet violet is not of the lipsticky-powdery cosmetic styled type. This is the small violet struggeling in the old grass just before the new fresh and green appears.

Violette in Love (Parfums de Nicolaï): Also a non-cosmetic violet, this time supported by citrus, peppery and slight berry notes. In the same style as AG La Violette but different when it comes to the details. Pretty, feminine and chic.

Vie de Chateau (Parfums de Nicolaï): This citrus-topped, hay-ish, slight leathery chypre is the  quintessential of casual chic. Like a stroll on the fields a sunny, day in the late spring/early summer.

I think that Annick Goutal and Parfums de Nicolaï are my ulitmate houses when it comes to springfragrances. Both have several light, sparkling, natural fresh fragrances which are very suitable for spring. And when spring approaches, the craving of fragrances from these houses arises.

As I have been in some sort of Guerlain obsession the latest months there is of course some gems from this house in different facets of blue.

Apres l'Ondee (Guerlain): More iris than violet, some soft spices warms it up a bit but in hte same time there is a moisty cleanness as the smell of earth, grass and fragile springflowers just after a rain.

L'Heure Bleue (Guerlain): After decades of testing, I finally get this more complicated follower to Apres l'Ondee (or have become totally exhausted and have capitulated :-) and also have been almost addicted. I often long for wearing L'Heure Bleue.

Last but not least, the house with the always so wearable, casual chic classics, Hermès.

Amazone (Hermès): My all time favourite fresh flowery fragrance. I have so much appreciated the fresh leaves and bulb- and other crisp flowers of the wild but chic Amazone since we met for the first time twenty years ago. A signature of younger days.

Jour d'Hermès (Hermès): Hermès latest will probably be a floral classic. This green floral is, to my nose, a paler and more polite variation of the extroverted great narcissus, mossy, green Le Temps d'une Fête from (here is the fabulous Patricia again:) Parfums de Nicolaï.

måndag 8 april 2013

Pierre Balmain - Vent Vert (new vs older)

Picture: Vent Vert
PR  Poster (c) Pierre Balmain, all rights reserved
The first green fragrance (at least famous one) for woman Vent Vert originally created by one of the pioneer female noses, Germaine Cellier for Pierre Balmain 1947, is the epitome of spring and early summer. Leafy and grassy notes supported by the scent of bulbflowers creates a sunny and warm green fragrance, just as the feeling of the summer breeze a warm day at the countryside in the early summer. As all great classics, Vent Vert is reformulated severel times. The first major change was in 1990 conducted by another great female perfumer, Calice Becker. After that it has been some changes in the early 2000:s and most reacent, some years ago when Balmain repackaged in the current cube scaped bottles with the golfball cap, the current version was introduced.

Picture: Germaine Cellier (1909-1976),
photo found at Basenotes

Picture: Calice Becker,
photo found at Fragrantica
Vent Vert starts with the sharp and a bit bitter green note of galbanum. In the older version the bitterness and greenness is much more pronounced and much more is going on. In the new version the galbanum is tuned down and a lemon note is evident. As Vent Vert dries down, in the new version, galbanum just wispers soft in the background when clearly preasent in the older version even if it takes a step back here also. In the new version an indistinct, a bit too sweet, floral heart appears and as it dries further down, it goes more and more soapy in character. The soapiness, even if a bit sweet, is fresh in the same time, image the smell of washing off in the sea after enjoying a woodheated sauna in the archipelago. The older Vent Vert on the other hand, is continuing in its characteristic manner, in the middle crispy flowers combined with a delicate spicyness takes the centerstage, underscored by the galbanum. Also when reaching the basenotes the older version has more character, more dept with its mossy and woody notes blended with some warm notes of amber and resins. The current version anchors in a bright and light woodiness which counterplays the sweet soapiness.

Picture: Le Mors à la Conétable
Photo: PR Hermès (c) all rights reserved
To summon up: The new Vent Vert is a bit tame, onedimensional and without dept compared with the older version. The older version is rougher, sharper and distinct in its grassy galbanum and leafy greeness balanced with the scent of the crispy flowers. The older version is the elegant, Hermèsscarf wearing, casual chic lady whereas the current version is classicalstyled, sporty teenager in a navy-striped  woolen Busnel sweater, jeans and Docksides. Even if i personally prefers the older version, I really think the new version should be considered by those who want's a new green scent for the coming, warmer season. The new Vent Vert is  better then most of the mainstream, floral stuff.

Picture: Docksides (R)
Photo: PR Sebago (c) all rights reserved
Vent Vert older version will attract those who like fragrances as Chanel No 19 especially in Edt, Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, Van Cleef & Arpèls First and Puredistance Antonia. I think the new Vent Vert will be appreciated by those who like Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte.

Rating: New 4 and older 4+

New version: Galbanum, lemon, lavander, basil, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, sandal- and cedarwood, moss.
Older version: Lime, orangeblossom, green notes, asafoetida, peach, basil, lemon, bergamot, neroli, violet, freesia, jasmine, hiacynth, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose, galbanum, marigold, spicy notes, iris, sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss, sage, vetiver, styrax, cedar

fredag 5 april 2013

Chanel Les Exclusifs – Gardenia

Picture: Gardenia thunbergia,
Source:Compton Herbarium, Kirstenbosch
Picture by 
Edith Struben, c 1915
Gardenia is another of the reinterpreted/reformulated Ernst Beaux classics from the 1920s in the Les Exclusifs Collection. The first version of gardenia was created in 1925. The Exclusives version is an Edt like all fragrances in the collection.

Gardenia starts with a blast of the smell of an elegant bath foam, a real bubbly bath. To me Gardenia smells transparent, in between light and dark pink, as a pink a bit viscous liquid. The bubble bath and pink liquid associations leads me to think of the transparent but viscous, pink, bubble bath tubereuse Michelle from Balenciaga but Michelle is stronger and bolder in it’s expression where Gardenia is more polite and unobtrusive. Gardenia, like all gardenia fragrances, is not the scent of gardenia as it can’t be extracted, but a interpretation of the perfumers, and probably also Coco’s, vision of her favourite flower. As the pink texture described, Gardenia to me is most about a delicate, medium sweet tubereuse, some other white flowers, some smooth fruit, some greenery and a contrasting, just a bit dirty, almost dry-furry note among the musky basenotes. 

Gardenia is a discrete, elegant, timeless Chanel fragrance, wearable in most situations, the year around. Blooms in summerheat and gives glimpses of a warmer season when worn during the colder months. Gardenia stays close to the skin and lasts for more than 12h.

Those who enjoy abstract, colder, tubereuse fragrances as  Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Tubereuse  and L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse will probably like Chanel Gardenia.

Rating: 4

Notes: Orangeblossom, green notes, tubereuse, jasmine, gardenia, fruits, coconut, sandalwood, musk, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla

tisdag 2 april 2013

Chanel Les Exclusifs - Chanel No 22

Picture: Greta Garbo in a publicity still for Wild Orchids (1929)
by Ruth Harriet Louise for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, (this
work is in the public domain) Wikimedia commons
A softer, more flowery version of the icecold, aldehydic, marbel beauty Chanel No 5 that was released 1921, a year before Chanel No 22. Both these classics were created of Ernest Beaux (as usual when it comes to the oldest Chanels). The No 22 I have tested is the Edt-version from the Les Exclusifs Collection and it’s of course just in the case with No 5 reformulated since 1922.

No 22 starts with an elegant, subdued white floral but sparkling aldehydic accord, reminiscent of No 5 but softer and somehow less aggressive even if a huge dose of delicate aldehydes. After a while the dry, gunpowder note that I appreciate so much in different strengths and interpretations, comes through. It’s a smooth and finetuned version of the gunpowder of Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige, Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Ambre and Antonio Visconti Temps d’Hiver. The white flowers, with a note of tubereuse with a light and pleasant almost nailpolishnote coming forward, is still there and now and then a slight tart, orange-citrusy note glimpses by. When No 22 settles down in a slight powdery, soft incense base where a light, fresh vetivernote, balanced some sweetness, is clearly present. In the later stages of the basenotes, the smooth incense becomes clearer as also the dry, almost transparent vanillanote.   

Chanel No 22 is a seamless blend with a timeless, sophisticated, elegance, a fragrance for a timeless beauty like Greta Garbo. It’s a fragrance which makes most of the contemporary perfume selection to appear as rude and loud. Even the elegant Chanel No 5 seems a bit unpolished compared to the most refined No 22. It’s like No 5 could be imaged as the pushy, extrovert older sister and No 22 as the quiet, intellectual and refined little sister. Chanel No 22 has an almost regal aura and I can see it be worn by a royalty by some reception. It’s a real pleasure to wear and a fragrance that makes me think of cleaning out considerably in my fragrance collection. Sillage is close and longevity almost for 24h.

Those who like interpretations of aldehydic, powdery, elegant fragrances as for example Puredistance Opardu, MDCI Chypre Palatin, Montale Powder Flowers and Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar will probably also like Chanel No 22.

Rating: 5 

Notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, tubereuse, ylang-ylang, rose, iris, vetiver, vanilla, incense