måndag 29 juli 2013

5 top green summer fragrances

Picture: Crowded on the waterway to Stockholm in July
Photo: Parfumista (c) 
As I wrote in a post recently, I'm perfumwise, in tune with the season this summer i.e I don't long for the darker and heavier fragrances of autumn/winter which is quite common for me. This summer is green in different interpretations to me and even if I don't have time to wear all the fragrances mentioned, there is always some new samples in waiting for test, I sniff them regulary and ensure that the rest of the family wears some of them.

Coton Egyptien (Phaedon): Finally, thanks to Mr Parfumista and the kids who used up my sample, I get this elegant, casual, galbanum light, freshly ironed, high quality crisp cottonfabric fragrance. There is no detergent vibes in this as in for example Serge Lutens L'Eau Serge which is a perfume in a similar style but with a chemical (in a positive way) apperance. The Phaedon line is re-packing in new bottles and it seems as Coton Egyptien is discontinued as it doesn't appear among the re-bottled fragrances. At present Fragrance & Art sells the Phaedons in the old bottles, among them Coton Egyptien, to a reduced price.

Vent Vert (Pierre Balmain): The soapy, slight salty, light musky notes combined with galbanum of the current version reminds me of the archipelago, more particulary the wood-fired sauna with the following bath in the cold seawater. My appreciation of the current version is growing, I like it as much as the older, sharper, more elegant version.

Cologne Friction (Parfums de Nicolaï): This gentle, crisp, grassy cologne is like sunwarmed grass added with a light accord of the non-cocnut classical austrian sunscreen Snikk. I think Cologne Friction is on my top summer fragrances list almost every year, it is so relaxing and versatile. Unfortunately it seems as it's discontinued when looking at the new Parfums de Nicolaï website.

Vetiver (Guerlain): Mr Parfumista wears both one of the later Edt versions and a vintage Edc. Both are great (even) for summer. The Edt version (with better longevity) is a bit soapy, with a lighter touch of vetiver, in the Edc the vetiver is more concentrated, smells almost as, but not as strong, the pure vetivernote in LesNez Turtle Vetiver.

Cristalle Eau Verte (Chanel): Another underappreciated Chanel IMO. This slight flowery, herbal, watery-green fragrance reminds me of a chilly and refreshing vermuthdrink loaded with icecubes a hot summerday. Perfect casual chic for work during the summer.

lördag 27 juli 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (30) 2013 - About Mitsi

Picture: Autumn Red peach
Photo: Jack Dykinga, USDA, Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this week I performed a side by side comparasion between the current version of Mitsouko Edp and an earlier version about 10 years old (golden box with yellow fields). The overall impression is similar but I perceive the current version as brighter and thinner in texture, the peachnote is also a tad less ripe. There is also a note close to light vetiver in the base, probably some mossubstitute as I recognize this note from some contemporary chypres and such as Grossmith Golden Chypre. The older version is deeper, darker, moistier and mossier and the impression is more "old-styled". The peachnote is more ripe and light spicy, the base is darker and mossier.  The longevity is about the same for both versions.

I like both versions and just as with the Edt I think that the modern version is more wearable as it is better suited to the tastes of the 2010s, despite retro in style compared to most of the current fragranceofferings. The older version is more oldstyled and reserved for the days when the retromood appears. Overall the new version is a wellcrafted fragrance more intriguing and special even than most of todays niche-offerings.

torsdag 25 juli 2013

Boucheron - Jaïpur Bracelet

Picture: Jaïpur Bracelet
Photo: PR Boucheron (c)
The jewellery house Boucheron has been in the fragrancemarket since 1989 when the iconic floral-oriental Boucheron pour Femme was released. Even if this first release still is the jewel of the crown, the 2012
Jaïpur Bracelet, flanker of another classic from the house Jaïpur, is a very pleasant finding. Jaïpur Bracelet is created by Carlos Benaim. An earlier and now discontinued flanker to Jaïpur is Jaïpur Saphire

Jaïpur Bracelet starts with a green, slight herbal, flowery accord accentuated with orange-citirc notes which when interacting creates an almost berry tune to the fragrance which in turn softens the sharpness and warms up the coldness of the crispy flowers; Lily of the valley, hyacint, iris and carnation. If this fragrance had a color it would be medium, velvety pink, a bit darker than the color of the Jaïpur Bracelet box and bottle. From top to base Jaïpur Bracelet reminds me of a less sweeter version of the first Lalique fragrance with the same name. The Lalique contains berry and fruity notes but also vanilla and some white flowers and as a 1990 release it is bolder and with a bigger silage even if Jaïpur Bracelet has a not contemptible silage to be created as late as 2012. Instead of vanilla, sandalwood and musk as in Lalique, Jaïpur Bracelet ends up in the wellbalanced woody-musky base of cashmerean. Another fragence that reminds me of Jaïpur Bracelet is the big, bold and sparkling Dior Pure Poison (one of the three cretors of this is Carlos Benaim) but compared to Pure Poison, Jaïpur Bracelet is almost low-key.

Jaïpur Bracelet is the ultimate comfort scent, a real wristsniffer, an uncomplicated but well composed fragrance that brightens up the most gloomy day. As Jaïpur Braclet is not too sweet and with an excellent longevity, 24h+, it's perfect to wear in warm and sunny summerdays.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Basil, violet leaves, lemon verbena, bitter orange, petitgrain, hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley, carnation, iris, cypress, cashmeran

måndag 22 juli 2013

Teo Cabanel - Méloé

Picture:Hay Harvest at Éragny by Camille Pissarro 1901,
Wikimedia commons, (cc) some rights reserved (PD-1923)

Méloé is created by perfumer Jean-Francois Latty for the perfumehouse Téo Cabanel. This house were originally started in Algiers in 1893 but moved to Paris 1908. The house were re-started 2005 and have launched several new fragrances since then, most famous is the floral-oriental Alahine.

Méloé start with sparkeling citrus-/mandarinenotes, offsetted by a slight bitter (in a good way), powdery bergamotnote. There is also a touch of herbal and spicy notes, nutmeg is appears clearly to me and also a touch of basil. Méloé is fresh but not in a chemical or sweet way and the florals seems equally balanced with herbs and spice and the fragrance feels somehow natural and wellblended. There is also an almost watery-floral touch to Méloé, like in Oscar de la Renta Live in Love and By Kilian Water Calligraphy, but in Méloé the watery impression is much more subdued, even if still there, than in the two related fragrances. In the basenotes there is a white musk supported by mossy and woody notes, which deepens the fragrance in a bit darker nuances of green. All together, Méloé to me is a sort of aromatic-floral, not fruity-floral as I have read somewhere. 

Picture: Méloé in its stylish bottle.
Photo: PR Parfums Téo Cabanel
Méloé is an upliftining, surprisingly longlasting fragrance.The blend is specified as an Eau Légére, which is supposed to be lighter than an Edt, but I can smell whiffs of it after almost 24h on skin and on fabric some days after the day I was wearing it. Méloé is suitable for daytime wear, especially for spring and summer, but also, as lighter fragrances lasts better in autumn/winter, for days when longing for something lighter during the darker and colder.

Even if Méloé bears similarities with other fragrances in the light, refreshing, floral genre it has its own identity, the green herbal tinge and slight bitter (in a positive way) note.

Even if not similar fragrances but similar in expression, those who enjoy De Bachmakov (also herbal notes) from The Different Company, Dior Escale à Pondichéry (the flower and spice) and Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte (the green, slight bitter flowers) also could like Méloé.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, mandarin, lemon, lavender, basil, neroli, orange blossom, jasmine, nutmeg, musk, moss, amber, woody notes

lördag 20 juli 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (29) 2013 - Green &herbal

Here we are in the middle of the summer.Almost every year I have started long for the dark orientals of the autumn & winter by now but this year I'm more in tune whith the season and like to wear herbal and green perfumes such as:
 My SOTD Reverie au Jardin a bit neglected and forgotten Tauer.Green incense  lavandel herbal dry beauty, the always so wearable Cologne Friction from Parfums Nicolai, the salty, musky galbanum of Balmain Vent Vert (I appreciate the new version more and more) and the cotton clean galbanum of Coton Egyptien from Phaedon. Overall I like the unsweet and natural in style fragrances at the moment but theses preferences will probably change soon...

torsdag 18 juli 2013

M.Micallef -Art Collection Rouge No 2

Picture: The beautiful bottle of Rouge No  2
Photo: PR M.Micallef (c), all rights reserved
Rouge No 2 in the M.Micallef Art Collection 2013 is a just as comfortable, delicious sibling to Rouge No 1. Just as the latter, Rouge No 2 is created by the Micallef housenose Jean-Claude Astier and the red stunning bottle, a variation of Rouge No 1 by Martine Micallef herself.

Rouge No 2 just as Rouge No 1 starts sweet and delicious but to my nose No 2 is less soft fruity-vanillic and  lend more to green, tangy black currant notes but with a fudgy gourmand edge. In the middlenotes a whiff of a note (not mentioned among the ingredients) that smells almost as soft non-sweet coconut occurs but the mainplayers are violet and orchid underscored with jasmine, making a more serious impression than the louder middlenotes of No 1. There is something in this stage that reminds me of a clean and proper version of ELDO Putain des Palaces. Unlike the latter, there are no dirty or dangerous notes lurking beneath and the violet-orchid combo is not lipstick-y nor powdery. Even the animalic note that appears (castoreum), is somehow clean as a brand new luxuary fur coat. Beside the animalic note also the rest of the base of Rouge No 2 is darker, with resins and less vanilla than No 1. Another fragrance that Rouge No 2 reminds me of is Poudre de Riz by Huitème Art.

Overall my impression is that Rouge No 2 are darker and the more serious, intorvert sibling of the Rouges. Rouge No 1 has a happier, easy to go and more extrovert character than No 2. Both fragrances will suit for the occasions when one have to take care of oneself and to be wrapped in Rouge No 2 is just as comfortable as to be surrounded by No 1. Just as the charcters of the fragrances, No 2 is preferred for philosophical and No 1 for more outreach activities. Rouge No 2 could be worn year around expect in sunny summerheat but is on the other hand, perfect for dark late summer evenings. Sillage is medium and longevity is for 24h. A wellblended fragrance of high quality. Rouge No 2 is just as good as No 1 but my favorite is No 1 as i find it more original and intriguing, Rouge 2 doesn't stand out from the crowd as much as No 1. I think they complement each other in a good way. Both Rouge No 1 and No 2 are well worth trying for those in search for a just enough sweet, olfactory delight of high quality. These fragrances have nothing in common with the shrill fruity-florals which could be found among some mainstream offerings.

Rating: 4

Notes: Citruses, black currant, nutmeg; jasmine, violet, orchid, vanilla, labdanum, amber, castoreum

måndag 15 juli 2013

M.Micallef - Art Collection Rouge No 1

Picture: The beautiful Rouge No 1 bottle,
created by Martine Micallef herself.
Photo:PR by Parfums M.Micallef (c)
Rouge No 1 is the first part of the summer 2013 limited edition Collection Rouge from the house of the artful and beautiful bottles and perfume M.Micallef. It's a highend fruity floral, created by the M.Micallef houseperfumer Jean-Claude Astier. The red bottles of the two Rouges are stunning to say the least.

Rouge No 1 starts soft vanillic-fruity with an accord that smells almost as smoothed red berries in creme but this is probably the peach interacting with the other notes in this very pleasant gourmand symphony. There is also a contrasting pleasant note of "dry dust on a lighted bulb" which is present in for example Mona di Orio Carnation and makes the opening quite interesting. Particulary in this stage, Rouge No 1 has similarities with the delicious creamy-berry-fruity Jeunesse from Robert Piguet which is a bit more edgy in style. In the next stage Rouge No 1 becomes more floral as also the wellbalanced white musk in the basenotes which gives a certain contrasting dept in this almost edible, yummy blend. The intresting and well balanced "dustnote"weakens during the dry down but a hint is still there in the base, something that I appreciate of course as I usually like  a"weird" twist in a fragrance.

Rouge No 1 is quite linear and confidently recognizable, with its returning but gradually evolving accords, during the dry down. Despite edible as a pastry, Rouge No 1 is not dense and thick or too sweet and therefore also suitable for summer. It blooms beautiful in warm weather, the musk anchors the other ingredients and ensures a good longevity for 12h+.  The overall impression is a fragrance constructed with high quakity ingredients with notes that are arranged in a wellbalanced harmony. Rouge No 1 is a true wrist sniffer,very comfortable and easy to wear.

Rouge No 1 could be interesting to those who like M.Micallef Ylang in Gold as they are close in style and also, there are similarities in the context (expect the patchouli) of Miss Dior Le Parfum and also the, IMO underestimated comfortscent, Chanel Coco Noir.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Peach, mandarine, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, vanilla, musk, benzoin

lördag 13 juli 2013

Fragrances of the week (28) 2013: Oliver & Co - Impression of the line

Picture: Oliver & Co Discoveryset
Photo: PR Oliver & Co, (c) all rights reserved
The Oliver & Co line definitly has its own natural smelling aromatic fresh style. Overall I find the unisex fragrances from the Oliver & Co house to be just a little bit more masculine than feminine in style (to use the stereotypes) probably because the absense of sweetness which I find carcteristic for the Olvier & Co fragrances as also the aromatic texture they all, more or less, have in common. Anyway, I think both genders should test these original creations.

All the fragrances are strong but refreshing and also long lasting which is not a common feature when it comes to fragrances with a high content of naturals. Those who like fragrances in the style of Commes des Garcons Incenseserie would probably appreciate the Olvier & Co line as they conveys the same impression but without incense as the line features other ingredients. My personal favorites are Mousse and Resina followed by La Colonia.

From Oliver & Co:s website there is possible to order a priceworthy discoveryset  which I think will last very long as each vial is 10 ml and as my 2 ml vials still lasts very well after assiduous testing.

torsdag 11 juli 2013

Oliver & Co - Resina

Picture: Resin from pine
Photo: Meanos (cc) Wikimedia Commons,
some rights reserved
Resina is a natural smelling balsamic, spicy aromatic blend from spanish nichehouse Oliver & Co and as all the fragrances created by the owner of the house; Oliver Valverde.

Resina starts with the balsamic wowen plasternote that I like so much and which is distinct during the whole dry down in Comme des Garcons Jaisalmer but in Resina it soon withdraws from the centerstage as also a almost medical aromatic blast. Then a phase with balsamic, light spicy, unsweet caramellic and light woody notes appears, the ingredients seems almost seamless blended and the fragrances is soft and less aromatic. In this stage Resina gives me the impression of a non-sweet version of Prada Candy (swe) with a note that is very close to sandalwood (but as this ingredient is not listed it has to the skillful blending that creates this effect) instead of the sweet powdery benzoin in Candy. The overall impression of Resina is a natural smelling, warm and comforting fragrance with interesting twists from the spices and resins.

Even if wearable year around Resina IMO is the most cold season friendly fragrance from Oliver & Co. Its non-swetness makes it also possible to wear during the summer even if the warmest days should be avoided.
Longevity is great, 24h and sillage is medium. Beside Mousse, Resina until now is my favorite Olvier & Co fragrance. But who knows, further testings might change this order :-)

Rating. 4+

Notes: Tolu balsam, elemi, myrrh, labdanum, opoponax, jasmine sambac, incense, benzoin, coffee, flame tree, mace, rooibos tea, tonka bean, star anise

måndag 8 juli 2013

Oliver & Co - M.O.U.S.S.E and M.O.U.S.S.E II

PictureGewürznelkenbaum, Köhler
 Medizinal -Planzen, Franz Eugen Köhler (1897),
Wikimedia Commons
Mousse and Mousse II are slight different takes on a original fresh spicy clovetheme. Both are created by spanish indieperfumer Oliver Valverde who uses a high precentage of naturals in his, despite this, strong and lasting fragrances.

Moussse: Starts with a distinct scent of airy clove which is unsweet and natural in its interpretation. It's clean but without any detergentnotes despite its consistent supporting musky theme. Even if the clove is airy and transparent in texture, this fragrance is very strong and demands a light application. As Mousse dries down the clove is tamed by a soft sandalwood which perfectly balances the fragrance. In this stage there is a hint of the scent from a soft high quality carnation soap. To summarize Mousse it's the perfect spicy counterpart to Comme des Garcons excellent incense-pine creation Kyoto  

As Mousse is a non sweet and fresh clove it's wearable also during the summer and the musky spicy clove blooms in warm weather. Mousse is also right to wear during the rest of the year, a versatile sort of timeless ( even if contemporary I can easily image a king of the baroque-era wearing this) unisex fragrance, despite IMO, just as Kyoto, Mousse is leaning to the masculine side. Sillage and longevity (24h+) are great.

Mousse II: This is an even more airy, almost ozonic take on the original Mousse. The clove is lighter and the whole scent is brighter and the fizzy fresh notes of mint and cardamom is added. There are also a strike of the crisp green lily of the valley accord from La Colonia. Overall Mousse II is more playful, brighter, lighter not as distinctive/sharp as the original Mousse and therefore easier to wear. It's also a more feminine unisex fragrance than the original Mousse. Sillage is good and longevity for a day. Etros transparant carnation with clove, Dianthus comes to my mind when wearing Mousse II even if Dianthus is more concentrated of the carnation than its clove notes

Even if Mousse is more masculine I prefer it as it is much more original and also genuinely highlights the clove. There is no attempts to quiet down the powerful clove as I perceive as an intention in the flanker Mousse II. But Mousse II is definitly a good choice for those who prefer a more blended and tuned down perfume featuring clove.

Rating: Mousse 5, Mousse II  3+

Notes Mousse: Lime, aldehydes, clove, lavander, oakmoss, sandalwood, musk
Notes Mousse II: Lime, aldehydes, clove, lavander, cardamom, mint, lily of the valley, sandalwood, ambergris, musk

torsdag 4 juli 2013

Olvier & Co - Vetiverus

Picture: Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) Essential Oil
Photo: Itineranttrader, Wikimedia Commons
Vetiverus is also a part of the illustrated series from spanish perfumehouse Oliver & Co. My impressions comes from Mr Parfumistas testings of Vetiverus.

Vetiverus starts bold, almost medical smelling with notes that feels very natural, like in some creations from La Via del Profumo like for example Tabac. There are also an almost mossy impresson in the start. The start of Vetiverus is masculine IMO. As Vetiverus dries down, the intial harshness softens significantly and the compositon changes to a pleasent, dark green, soapy blend. In this stage Vetiverus is unisex but overall Vetiverus leans towards the masculine and that is probably the reason why Mr Parfumista like Vetiverus better than I do. Vetiverus smells very good on him and he has even consumed the sample, something which is not usual when it comes to this picky nose.

Vetiverus, just as La Colonia, is interesting in its development and in the same time easy to wear and officefriendly (expect the intial accord). Longevity is great (24h+) and sillage is medium+.

Those who like different interpretations of vetiver should definitly try Vetiverus, it has traces from both the more sharp herbal part of them (for example the LesNez Vetiver serie) as from the soapy ones as Guerlain Vetiver and Mona di Orio Vétyver.

Rating: 4

Notes: Labdanum, styrax, vetiver, ambergris, osmanthus flower, orange peel, patchouly, musk, coriander seed, clove bud

måndag 1 juli 2013

Oliver & Co - La Colonia

Picture: La Colonia by Oliver & Co
Photo: PR Oliver & Co
La Colonia from spanish nichehouse Oliver & Co founded by Oliver Valverde who also creates the parfumes, is not a cologne IMO even if it intermediates some elements of cologne freshness. Instead La Colonia performs as an Edt with good sillage and longevity, features that is rare when it comes to light fragrances these days.La Colonia is a part of the illustrated series where an illustration of Pablo Perez Sanmartin capturing the essence of each fragrance is included.

La Colonia starts with a acquatic-citirc accord and the opening is was I like the least with this fragrance, the initial stage feels too undescript "usual-light-perfum-y".Fortunately, this stage doesen't  last long at all, after a few minutes some fersh green, herbal slight spicy notes apperas with dill as the prodominant player to me. The dill in this creation is well blanced, dill I suspect can be too sharp and overwhelming but in La Colonia it's a good contrast to the flowers and soft woody notes. Another composition where dill is used in a pleasant way is Eau de Lalique. In the dry down of La Colonia there is also a fizzy green note playing in harmony with the crisp Lily of the Valley. I suspect this note is green pepper.

La Colonia is a fragrance with interesting twists but in the same time easy to wear, fresh without any detergentnotes and very officefriendly. Perfect for summer or anytime of the year when longing for warm summerdays.

Those who are fond of fragrances in the chilly, fresh, dark green style of Patricia de Nicolaï Week End à Deauville and Andy Tauer Carillon pour une Ange will probably appreciate La Colonia.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, ozone, dill, jasmine, green pepper, lily of the valley, sandal- and cedarwood

La Colonia and the other intriguing Oliver & Co fragrances is possible to order (free shipping around the world) from the Oliver & Co website