torsdag 29 augusti 2013

Guerlain Chamade - Quick comparison between vintage and current

Picture: Chamade
Photo: PR Guerlain (c) 
A fun activity as a part of the perfumehobby is the side by side comparisations on skin or on scentsstripes. When comparing frags by skintesting I normally compare just two, one on each arm.
On of the most exciting excercises is to compare current and vintageversions of fragrances. Below are my short impressions comparing Guerlains green flowery classic Chamade from 1969, the forerunner to other clsssics as Chanel No19 (1971), Van Cleef & Arpels First (1976) and Annick Goutal L'Heure Exquise (1984).

Left arm Guerlain Chamade Edt vintage don't know exact age probably ca 20y.The topnotes its off and I have read on the Guerlain expert, Mr Guerlains blog ,that Chamade doesn't age well. After the oldsmelling topnotes have evaporated the sharp galbanum, the edgy smell of the bulbflowers and a dry gunpowdernote comes forward. The basenotes are warm and comforting, compared to the cool and balmy base of No 19.

Right arm: Chamade Edp current version some pleasant fruity notes blended among the green crisp bulbflowers and no sharp galbanumnote, it's sort of rounded out for the fruity notes. Overall, the current Edp have not the same dept and strenght as the vintage Edt.The Edp is more pleasant and wearable, probably because of the damaged topnotes in Edt. All together I prefer the Edp for wearing and Edt for testing to investigating the deeper facets of the fragrance.

måndag 26 augusti 2013

Quick impressions - Made in Italy

Picture: The Capitoline she-wolf with the boys Romulus and Remus. 13th century AD with figures of Romulus and Remus added in the 15th century
Museo Nuovo in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome,
Source: Wikipedia Commons
I truly appreciate the dramatic and not always so well-polished italian fragrancestyle. Here are impressions of some nice ones I have sampled:

Rosamunda (Laboratorio Olfattivo): A pink Lady Vengeanance, even if this is a rose/(light)oud mix instead of rose/patchouli in the contemporary style which I appreciate so much. Uplifting and longlasting, perfect for a summerday.

Nirmal (Laboratorio Olfattivo): A Prada Infusion d'Iris follower, lighter, a bit sweeter and maybe a bit meek in comparation with the Prda. Overall a nice iris which is suitable for office, couldn't bother anybody.

Roma Imperiale (Profumi del Forte): This sweet flowery beauty with some wellbalanced almost cookielike notes with some dangerus, on the verge to dirty notes luring behind mus be a Maria Candida Gentile creation. I recognize the latter intriguing notes from creations of her own line.

Versilia Aurum (Profumi del Forte): How could a fragrance with strawberry be so good? Smooth, tender, not too sweet, longlasting and a pleasure to wear. It's like the strawberry blossom has been bottled in a golden nectar.

La Divina Tubereuse (Antonio Visconti): True, fresh and crispy daytime tubereuse growing in the garden.Not the dangereus, carnal nighttime facet of this beautiful flower. One of the very best, if not the best, fresh tubereuses I have tried so far.

Rebel (Antonio Visconti): Elegant and polished patchouli, no dirty hippies which could be indicated by the name. This is the minor rebellion of the well-bred heir.

Piper Nigrum (Lorenzo Villoresi): The ultimate spicy fragrance, it's like true spices are bottled. A bit harsh and strong for me but just perfect for Mr Parfumista after some testing, the first test was not successful..The Villoresi fragrances is not easy, they don't flatter at once, they have to be worn several times to be truly appreciated.

Teint de Neige (Lorenzo Villoresi): I have reviewed TdN earlier but as I like it more and more (it has grown to love) I have to mention this stunning gunpowdery/soapy Villoresi creation where some dirty notes just could be glimpsed under the white cleanness. The model for contemporary, retro, soapy aldehydes

torsdag 22 augusti 2013

Coquillete - Impressions of Herat & Moramanga

Picture: Coquillete minis
Photo: PR Coquillete (c)
My impressions of the fragrances of the Coquillete line is continuing today with short reviews of Herat and Moramanga:

Herat: Sort of well-behaved and fresh ELDO Jasmine & Cigarettes but without the off-putting old-cologne/dirty notes that I percieve from J&C. Herat is cigarettesmoke, jasmine, fresh tobacco-and balsamic notes, the incense and the other fumes are rather quiet to my nose. When Herat dries down it takes an unexpected twist, suddenly it smells like a less distinct and weaker Cuiron  the unfortunately discontinued contemporary Helmut Lang leather. I think Herat is a unisexfragrance but from the four Coquilletes Herat it is the most masculine offering.

Rating: 4

Notes: Tobacco, jasmine, ylang-ylang, amber, cannabis, myrrh, labdanum, incense, moss, vetiver, ambergris

Moramanga: Starts with a beautiful fleshy jasmineaccord which reminds med of the Serge Lutens jasmine classic A la Nuit. As Moramanga dries down other tropical flower appears and underscores the jasmine just as the vanilla/musk and warm resinnotes in the base. If I didn't already owned A la Nuit Moramanga would be a candiate for the lush jasmine in the perfumewardrobe.

Rating: 4

Notes: Jasmine, gardenia, iris, tolu balsam, opoponax, benzoin, tubereuse, ylang-ylang, vanilla, musk

The Coquillete fragrances are all pleasant and easy to wear with good longevity and moderate to medium projection. They are non-offensive and totaly officefriendly. The fragrances are good for summer, these are the type of fragrances that intensifies in warm weather and longevity is good about more or less a day tested in hot weather. The overall impression is that one fragrances is in the same pleasable and wearable track as the By Kilian In The Garden of Good and Evil - line (Sulmona), two gentler, not as edgy, ELD'O-styled releases (Herat, Sumatera) and one in the classic soliflore-genre (Moramanga). The line is well worth trying if searching for a comfortable, not so complicated but in the same time interesting, good smelling fragrance. A set of minibottles of 5 ml each is avaible and provides a good option for extensive testing.

måndag 19 augusti 2013

Coquillete - Impressions of Sulmona & Sumatera

Picture: Sulmona
Photo: PR Coquillete (c)  
Coquillete Paris is a nichebrand started by two perfumeinterested women in creative professions. The fragrances are inspired from their travels among the world and captures the emotions and impressions from these journeys. Coquillete seems to be a  mysterious brand, I havn't found out either who the founders name nor the nose of the four first fragrances of scheduled six. Despite the "Paris" in the name the Coquillete brand seems to be based in Milan.

Sulmona: Sulmona opening like an almondcoockie paired with tropical flowers and then dries down over a vanillic base. A pleasent, warm and non-disturbtive, oriental, floral, vanilla with modest projection and good longevity. Smells straight forward good without any unexpected twists. A fragrance in the tropical vanilla family as for example Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Fleurs de Comores but without the contrasting slight dirty notes of the latter. Despite its sweetness, Sulmona is a good easy to wear fragrance for summer.

Rating: 3

Notes: Vanilla, sugar, bitter almond, orangeblossom,

Sumatera: Sumatera is said to be derived from only fresh patchoulileaves and with no use of dried leaves and this will give it a soft character. If there is the leaves or something else that gives the soft character that I percive I dont know. Sumatera is sort of soft and sweet light herbal combined with a soft cinnamon which to me is the dominating note in this fragrance. Cinnomon often tend to be a bit harsh but this is definitly not the case here. To me Sumatera is like a soft and refreshing cinnamon tea. Intriguing and special.

Rating: 4

Notes: Patchouli, jasmine, different white flowers, cinnamon, black pepper, cedarwood, musk, vanilla, jasmine

My impressions of the other two Coquillete fragrances will be posted in the next entry.

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the samples to test

torsdag 15 augusti 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - Gigi

Picture: Gigi by Jardins d'Écrivans
Photo: PR Jardins d'Écrivains (c) 
Gigi is the other feminine floral in the literature and garden inspired fragranceline of the house of Jardins d'Écrivains. Gigi is inspired of La Belle Époque and Colettes novel Gigi, about a parisian girl groomed to be a courtesan by her grandmother.

Gigi starts with a sunny accord of orangeblossom, tubereuse and jasmin supported by some fresh greenery and a hint of a cocos note often recognized together with tubereuse, I think it's one facet of the flowers scent. Soon also a subdued fruity note appears which deepens the fragrance just a bit, but the transparant sparkling impression is still dominating. Further in the dry down an almost nailpolish like note (but not in the chemical way) appears but in a pleasant way. I think it's the black currant paired with the, in this stage, nondescript white flowers that creates this effect. The base is moderately woody-musky and supports the other notes in a in a harmonious way.

Moderate I think is the right way to describe Gigi. It's a nice and gentle without any strange passages, a typical IFRA/EU compliant floral fragrance of today. Gigi is not in the putty/powdery/soapy floral genre which is typical for the releases of the latest year, Gigi is clean, transparant, white floral. Unfortunately it seems as my skin almost eat Gigi, and even if there is clear traces left after a day of wearing, the fragrance ends up somehow bland for me. Even the other feminine Jardins d'Écrivains the cologne La Dame aux Camélias appears much clearer, is more distinct and creates images to me, than the Edp Gigi. Gigi is very officefriendly and easy to wear.

Those who likes fragrances like Prada Infusion de Tubereuse, the original Gianfranco Ferré (with the same name) and Ramón Monegal  Kiss My Name and Lovely Day, despite the three latter are way more distinctive and have more expressed personalities, I think also could appreciate Gigi.

Rating: 3

Notes: Freshly cut grass, orangeblossom, neroli, tubereuse, jasmin, blackcurrant, sandalwood,white musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample of  Gigi

måndag 12 augusti 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - La Dame aux Camélias

Picture: Marie Duplessis (1824-1847)
Watercolor by Camille Roqueplan (1802-1855)
La Dame aux Camélias from french nichhouse Jardins d'Écrivains is something so unusual as a Cologne de Nuit, a cologne to be used for bedtime pleasures. Of course any type of light fragrance could be used if one have the need to be perfumed round the clock but La Dame aux Camélias seems to be perfectly composed for the purpose as it not has the effervescent and uplifting effect as citrusdominated colognes.

La Dame aux Camélias starts with classic orangeblossom cologne notes blended with green and supported with a very smooth cardamom. The impression is that of  freshly laundered high quality linen sheets but without any contemporary detergent note. After a while an accord of delicate, subtle a bit oldfashioned (in a good way) and chilly flowers joins. The scent is clean but underneeth there is something almost on the verge to dirty, light animalic and maybe it's the indolic facet of orangeblossom that makes itself known combined with the musk and powdery tonka of the base. La Dame aux Camélias is a fragrance that triggers the imagination, I can well imagine that this was the scent of the exclusive linen sheets of the real Dame aux Camélias, the courtesan Marie Duplessis who also was the mistress of Alexandre Dumans the younger and the model for Marguerite Gautier in his novel La Dame aux Camélias (1848).

Beeing a colognestyled fragrance, La Dame aux Camélias should be applied liberally and if so, it lasts for a day, anyway if the weather is rainy and the conditions are humid. La Dame aux Camélias is intruiging and in the same time easy and pleasant to wear, entirely officefriendly. And the genereous 250 ml bottle is so beautiful....
Picture: La Dame aux Camélias
Photo: PR Jardins D'Ecrivains
Those who like fragrances such as Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger, Guerlain L'Heure Bleue Edt and Parfumerie Générale Corps et Ames Eau de Toilette Apaisante will probably also appreciate La Dame aux Camélias.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Verbena, cardamom, orange blossom, violet, rose, camellia, tonka bean, musk, juniper wood

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample of  La Dame aux Camélias

torsdag 8 augusti 2013

Robert Piguet -Alameda

The Femme fatale spirit of Alameda - Salome
oil on canvas by Franx von Stuck 1906
Wikimedia commons
Alameda by Aurlien Guichard is a strange and intriguing fragrance from one of my favorite houses Robert Piguet. Alameda is classified as a floral chypre but it also has traces of animalic, gourmand and aldehydic accords.

Alameda starts in a classic animalic-floral-chypre way but in a contemporary interpretation of the style of for example Estee Lauder Knowing and Montana Parfum d'Peau. The animalic note is relatively clean, it's somehow like the smell of a new fur. But soon the chypre impression is dimmed with an almost gourmand, dry, light spicy, cookie accord. As the fragrance moves further a light powdery-clean-earthy-rosy almost light aldehydicstyled accord appears and this accord intesifies and different twists appears during the dry down. The earthiness of the orris is without the carrots, it's like this note has been removed.  In the basenotes, Alameda ends up in a beautiful animalic chyprebase similar to how I image Montana Parfum d'Peau or La Perla (classic) would  have smelled if these fragrances were created today.

Picture: Alameda by Robert Piguet
Photo: PR Robert Piguet (c)

Alameda is a fragrance which performs with different twists during different wearings. It's a complicated fragrance which take a wearing or two to really appreciate. Just as I want from my perfumes, Alameda is intriguing, the wearer doesn't know what will happen next in the dry down, this perfum is not about just smelling good, it's also about a challenge. To apply Alameda sparingly is a must, the fragrance is concentrated and could be overwhelming if applying too much, my preferred dose is three squirts. Alameda is classified as unisex, to me it's definitly feminine but could, as complex as it is, probably develope in a quite different way, on a man. Can't convince Mr Parfumista to try as he thinks it's a real Femme fatale fragrance.

Alameda is a rich fragrance with great sillage and longevity for 24h+. It's not the fragrances for the scentfobic office but in a fragrancefriendly surrounding, a light dose could be nice preferably during the dark and cold season. For eveing and festive occasions, Alameda is just amazing.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, rose, lily, orris, patchouli, amber, castoreum

måndag 5 augusti 2013

Robert Piguet - Rose Perfection

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Rose Perfection is another new creation by Aurelien Guichard the housenose of the venerable perfumehouse Robert Piguet. Before creating a bunch of new fragrances the latest years, Guichard also has re-interpreted most of the Robert Piguet classics. Rose Perfection was launched as an Harvey Nichols exclusive.

Rose Perfection starts with a quick whiff of the typical green rubberlike not which is typical for natural roseoils. Soon the fragrance transforms in a fizzy very pink velvet rose. It has a natural sweetness and the scent of the pink petals are dominating even if slight offset by just a gentle dose of the green tart smell from the stem, leaves and thorns. In other bright rosefragrances where the tart note is more distinct, the impression of the rose is more of rosewater from a wild rosebush  as for example Annick Goutal Rose Splendide and Lostmarc'h Iroaz. Rose Perfection is far away from this wild roses, Rose Perfection is a highly cultivated rose with an impressing pedigree growing in the symmetrically designed garden of a french renaissance castle. In style and apperance Rose Perfection reminds me of Serge Lutens Sa Majesté la Rose another elegant pink rose primarily focusing on the delicate rosepetals instead of the rose as a whole. The beautiful, perfect, almost airy clean rose of  Rose Perfection is said to be a blend of different matching notes from destilations of different types of roses. A slight musky base supports and highlights the rosy perfection.

Rose Perfection is perfect for summer, capable to manage even a warm day as it has a great longevity (24h) and stays lightly on my skin also after the morningshower. The sillage is medium and it blooms beautiful a summerday. I'm also convinced that Rose Perfection will do well  also during the colder month especially as the rose has a soft, almost velvet character and not the lighter texture of rosewater.

To me Rose Perfection is the rose equivalent to Robert Piguets beautiful  interpretation of orangeblossom Blossom and just as the latter, highly addictive. Both fragrances are bright, happy, sparkling and in the same time comfortable, relaxing and real pleasure to wear. Just perfect!

Rating: 5

Notes: Citrus, rose, floral notes, musk

lördag 3 augusti 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (31-35) 2013 - Worth waiting for....

Picture: Just varnished vintage Grythyttan A2:s  *)
outside the archipelago house, July 2013
Photo: Parfumista (c)
Most of the summer is gone and so is also most of the vacation. But there is still warm and wonderful summer outside and mostly I'm wearing light and easy to wear fragrances.At the moment I'm not especially intrigued of new releases but there are some that triggers my interest from fragrances that will be launched this autumn and I hope I get the opportunity to test at least some of:

Parfums de Nicolaï: At least two oud fragrances aimed to the Middle East market. Oud and the technical skillful Patricia de Nicolaï can't go wrong.

Serge Lutens: As usual the Exclusive of the year from SL is worth waiting for. This years Iron maiden, La Vierge de Fer which is said to be a hard, ironlike lily with incense, seems promising.

Mona di Orio: As Monas perfums are among my most treasured, I'm of course intrigued by the Les Nombres d'Or La Violette Fumee even if I suspect it's leaning more to the masculine side.

Andy Tauer: Seems to experimenting with some exclusive roseextract from Afganisthan in order to release a rose centred perfume before Christmas. Roses from Andy is must haves, as most of the other fragrances also.

ByKilian: The fourth fragrance of In the Garden of Good & Evil collection Playing with the Devil will be launched during the autumn. I hope this one will be dark and dangerous in stye compared to the very wearable, well-behaved and well-crafted first three fragrances of the garden-line.

Robert Piguet: Always awaiting news from one of my all time favorite houses Robert Piguet. Insomnia, judged from the name this seems to be a truly  mysterious fragrance. I'm thankful for the extensive efforts of the Robert Piguet CEO Joe Garces to restore and further develope this fine perfumebrand. Here is an very interesting post from CaFleureBon describing this work.

Neela Vermiere Creations: The new Ashoka by Bertrand Duchaufour seems to be very good according to reports from the lucky ones that have the opportunity to test it. And Mohur Extrait will certainly be something that I like.

Update mid-August: Puredistance Black: A new Puredistance is annoncued for December and this is really something to looking forward to. I love this house, a dark follower to the terrific I, Antonia, M and Opardu is just great. Already planning for a review....

Which new releases are you looking forward to?

*) Grythyttan A2 is one of the most (if not the most) classical swedish garden furniture, the A2 chair and table was designed to the Stockholm exhibition 1930 and are still produced. The set on the picture is from the late 1940s/early 50s and have since then stood the test of the sometimes hard weather of the archipelago with just minor repairs and varnishing.

torsdag 1 augusti 2013

Robert Piguet - Bois Bleu

Picture: Bois Bleu in its stylish, classical
Robert Piguet bottle 
Bois Bleu is created by the (almost) in house perfumer Aurlien Guichard for Robert Piguet and is the latest addition (spring 2013) to the Nouvelle Collection from 2012. Bois Bleu is classified as an unisex woody aromatic fragrance.

Bois Bleu starts with a intriguing blend of citrus and bergamot. The accord is somehow muted, it's note the sparkling, sunny a bit bitter uplifting accord which has evaporated when the topnotes are gone, but a sort of massive, much deeper accord which in texture and apperance, even if not so close in the citric smell, reminds me of the start of Mona di Orios Lux (swe) but more masculine. My first impression is that, just as with the aromatic NoteS of the Nouvelle Collection, Bois Bleu leans to the masculine side on the unisexscale.
But as always with Piguet fragrances, many things are going on and suddenly Bois Bleu becomes less aromatic and more spicy as a delicious note of nutmeg appears and take the centerstage still with the muted citric notes accompanying. The nutmeg is balancing a dry, non-sweet violet which is almost woody in character, Threre is nothing of the sweet, candy like violet or the more green violet with violetleaves which are the most common interpretations. The citric,violet,nutmeg trio is underscored with a wellbalanced woody base of vetiver, sandalwood and cedar where I think the warm and slight sweet character of sandalwood comes very well to its right. Bois Noir is subtle and engage the wearer during the whole dry down. The overall impression remains, despite the warmer, spicier part in the middle, that Bois Bleu is a more masculine in character but women searching for an aromatic fragrance should not hesitate to try it.

Trying Bois Bleu on Mr Parfumista the fragrance appears in a different way. The separate notes are much more distinct and the whole fragrance is brighter and somehow fresher. There is something in the mix and in the general impression of Bois Bleu there that on Mr Parfumista smells like a 2010s styled, refined and dimmed version of the wonderful Zino Davidoff from the 80s but without the distinct patchouli of the latter.
Just as its companions in the Nouvelle Collection, Bois Bleu is a fragrance of its own even if there is something familiar in the overall aura and some traces in common with two other Nouvelles: The nutmeg from Casbah and the sandalwood from Bois Noir. Bois Bleu is more discrete than the powerful Bois Noir, the sillage is medium but the longevity is very good, traces are still there after 24 h.

Rating: 5 (on Mr Parfumista) 4 (on me)

Notes: Bergamot, citruses, nutmeg, violet, sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver