måndag 30 september 2013

Frapin - Paradis Perdu

Photo: View of the World's Fair, Paris, France,
engraving 1889, Wikimedia Commons
Paradis Perdu the latest fragrance from the also in perfumery so successful venerable house of brandy, Frapin, is created by perfumer Amélie Bourgeois.Paradis Perdu is inspired of the temporary iron and glass palaces of the Paris World Fair 1889. The pavilions, showing their iron lacework foundations, celebrated the rise of industry and the "Art Nouveau". The Eiffel Tower was completed to the fair and its entrance arch. From this time the house of Frapin has an unique storehouse created by the master of ironconstructions, Gustave Eiffel.

Paradis Perdu opens with green, juicy notes, like long blades of grass swaying in the wind an early, warm and sunny autumnday. A distinguishable and natural grapefruitnote are present during the the first part of Paradis Perdu, a non-catpie sulfatic grapefruitnote, something that I have positivly experienced in some fragances lately. Maybe there has been some developement of the grapefruitformula lately as the grapefruit is much more pleasing today than some years ago. Later on Paradis Perdu highlights dry hayish notes, contrased with fuller notes of slightly fermented grapes, after all, Frapin is a cognacmanufactur. In this stage the overall impression of Paradis Perdu is similar to Jour d'Hermès. An almost fizzy galbanum and a bright vetiver are also evident. The best part of Paradis Perdu in my opinion is the contrasting, dark, smoky, tarry woody, mossy, resinbase with some traces of wine, a base that reminds me of a much less bomastic and smoother version of the base of Copper Skies by Kerosene. In the base, darker and lighter passages interactes, the lighter ones, dominated by a fresh vetiver. Reaching the basenotes, is like  experience the chilly and crisp autumnevening just when the sun has went down.

To me Paradis Perdu the first 2/3 are light considering it's a Frapin fragrance. The basenotes are deeper, fuller and more Frapin-styled. Paradis Perdu perfectly pictures an early autumn day, from the crisp sunny beginning, over the warmer, sunnier, fuller and sweeter middle of the day to the chilly and fast darkening evening. Two days after my full wearing day of Paradis Perdu I put on the same jacket as I worn the testingday and smelled something very familiar: Ivoire from Pierre Balmain. On fabric Paradis Perdu has transformed to a more homogeneous fragrance than I experienced it on skin.

Picture: Paradis Perdu
Photo: PR Frapin

Sillage is close and longevity 12h+. Perfect for autumn but will also be good for spring, especially the earlier stages of Paradis Perdu. Paradis Perdu catches (like some other perfumes* the latest year) parts from different parfumes/parfumstyles and could therefore please a wide range of perfumelikings.

Rating: 4

NotesBergamot, grapefruit, citron, mandarin, basil, spinach, vine, ravensara, galbanum, elemi, paradisamide, vetiver, hay, cedarwood, rosewood, labdanum, precious woods, moss, musk

*) Kerosene Copper Skies was the first fragrance obvious with this concept (to my nose), Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena is another one.

torsdag 26 september 2013

Parfums de Nicolaï - Eau sOleil

Picture: Eau sOleil
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Eau sOleil is the latest addition to the successful Parfums de Nicolaï Eau Fraiche-line in which one light and casual fragrance is released each summer. Eau sOleil, created by Patricia de Nicolaï as always, is featuring neroli.

Eau sOleil opens with a mellow nerolinote, creamy, on the verge to powdery, in texture. The image it evokes is dark , just like the background of the picture above. The neroli is contrasted by a mix of fresh citrusnotes and fresh note of thyme and the bitter herbal note from wormwood. As the citrusnotes decline, Eau sOleil gets more flowery, with the orangeblossom still dominating. The creaminess is present during the whole dry down of the fragrance and it lends Eau sOleil a smooth and pleasant expression. The blend is anchored in patchouli and musk which gives Eau sOleil an excellent longevity for a fragrance categoreized as an Eau Fraiche. The musky base is also present in the rework of the classic Annick Goutal soliflore Néroli, Les Colognes Néroli, but cleaner in this lighter and more straightforward neroli interpretation.In the basenotes, Eau sOleil is almost retro in style and it reminds me of the beautiful La Dame aux Camélias from Jardins d'Ecrivains. The neroli interpretation also has resemblance with the Patricia de Nicolaï classic Cologne Sologne but that one is simpler in construction and more of an old school cologne IMO.

Eau sOleil is not the bright, spakling, fizzy soliflore "Eau de Neroli", Eau sOleil is a deeper and a bit more complicated fragrance with its contrasting herbal and creamy notes. To me it's a orange/herbal dominated standard Edt not a lighter/brighter Eau Fraiche and I think one should take that into consideration when judging Eau sOleil. I have read some reviews which are slightly dissapointed on Eau sOleil, among other complaining about the restrained neroli in the dry down. Probably the reviewers expect a sparkling colognestyled fragrance and therefore doesn't judge Eau sOleil on its own merits. To me, Eau sOleil is the best and most intriguing fragrance in the Patricia de Nicolaï Eau Fraiche-line so far.

As almost always with Patricias creations, a well blended and casual chic fragrance. Very versatile and appropriate for daytime wearing year around. Longevity for 12 h+ with medium sillage. Those who likes Prada Infusion Fleur d'Oranger will probably also appreciate Eau sOleil.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Lemon, mandarin, bergamot, petitgrain, herbal thyme, wormwood, jasmine, ylang-ylang, neroli, patchouli, musk

Thanks to Parfums de Nicolaï for the sample to test

måndag 23 september 2013

By Kilian - Playing With The Devil

Picture: Quite contrary to the Devil: Kilian Hennessy himself,
as handsome as this fragrance is beautiful :-)
Photo: PR By Kilian (c) 
Playing With The Devil is the fourth installation in the By Kilian sub-line In The Garden of Good and Evil. As almost all By Kilians, PWTD is created by Calice Becker, a true champion when it comes to handle flowers in a delicate way. The first three fragrances of this sub-line, even if good, was a bit too similar and I find it difficult to distinguish them from each other. Playing With The Devil on the other hand, stands out from the crowd and is just stunning.

Playing With The Devil starts with the most natural smelling orange, in this case, Blood Orange I have smelled so far. The beautiful orangenote is underscored by darker fruity notes as a perfectly matched balckcurrant note and  round, delicious notes of peach and litchi. The peach is the same peachnote as in Flower of Immortality  from this spring, but slightly darker and fuller. The notes are nor sharp or synthetic smelling at all..

As PWTD dries down, flowery notes mingles with the fruit and in this stage PWTD becomes slight sopay on my skin and oddly, a chalky note that I also recognize in Vanille Tonka by Parfums de Nicolaï appears for a while but in a smoother interpretation. The flowers are accompanied by very smooth rendered versions of hot spices; pimento and pepper. This is very skillful performed, there is no traces of the typical peppernote that is common in current perfumery. In the basenotes, the fruity impression is still present, but darker and with an almost tobacco leaves/liqueur twist. This is probably the effect of fruit blended with resins, sweet tonka and delicate woody/patchouli notes. The base is lasting for hours and the fragrance is still unfragmented after more than 12h and distinct traces are still there after 24h.

Playing With The Devil is both elegant and comforting. It's very well blended, using high quality ingredients. It has nothing to to with the usual fruity floral offerings. It's just gorgeous!

Those who like wellcrafted fruity interpretations as Missoni by Missoni, Jeunesse by Robert Piguet, Bonbay Bling by Neela Vermeire Creations and Manguier Metisse by Huitieme Art will certainly appreciate PWTD:

Rating: 5

Notes: Blood Orange, black currant, peaches, litchi, pimento, rose, jasmine, pepper, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, tonka been, benzoin, vanilla

torsdag 19 september 2013

Neela Vermeire Creations - Mohur Extrait

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Mohur Extrait (or Espirit de Parfum) is the perfumeversion of Mohur in Edp which was one of the first three Neela Vermeire Creations in early 2012. The Extrait will, just as Ashoka, be launched soon.

I find the Mohur Extrait deeper and darker than the Mohur Edp. Mohur Edp is a bright medium pink rose to me, smooth, almost creamy, spicy and with some fizzy green notes. There is also a leathernote that reminds me slightly of tobbacco. The Extrait gives me the image of heavy silkvelvet in the color of dark purple with golden stiches and loads of roses in the same color, all surrounded by a smooth almost creamy saffron and other delicate spiced stored in smooth leather pouches. The leathernote in Extrait is darker and deeper than in the Edp.The woody notes of oud and sandalwood is gentle and not at all overpowering.  I can also smell a note or part of an accord that reminds me of Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille (swe). Probably this is an effect of iris and violet interacting, underscored by dark deep notes, in Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille. patchouli and in Mohur Extrait oud. The Extrait has a retro vibe even if not as evident as in Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille. 

Picture: The matching bottle to the Mohur Extrait
Photo: PR Neela Vermeire Creations (c)
The Extrait, as the perfumestrength in general, is close to the skin wheras the Edp has more radiance. Longevity is good  about 12h in warm weather and as also the Edp, Mohur really blooms when the skin gets warmed. I think both are as good, they complement each other, one for the day and on for the night.  the Extrait is a perfect calming fragrance to sleep in, as it is also for festive evening occasions.  Mohur Extrait just as Mohur Edp is a must try for lovers of intricate oriental rosefragrances such as Guerlain Rose Nacree du Desert d'Orient.

Rating: 5 

Notes: Cardamom, coriander, ambrette, carrot seeds, pepper, elemi, iris, jasmine, rose, violet, almond, leather;sandalwood, amber, woody notes, patchouli, oud, benzoin, vanilla, tonka bean

The Neela Vermeire Creations are avaible here

måndag 16 september 2013

Neela Vermeire Creations - Ashoka

Picture: Ashoka in its sylish, Indian inspired bottle
Photo: PR Neela Vermeire Creations (c) 
Ashoka is the latest of  Neela Vermeires Creations and it will be released later this week. Thanks to Neela I've got the opportunity to test a sample of this intriguing fragrance in advance. Ashoka, as also the first three fragrances in the Neela Vermeire line, is created by the top perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. The inspiration to the perfume comes from an Indian Emperor Ashoka (304-232 BC) a qruel conquer who transformed to a relativley nice guy when he found Buddha.

Ashoka starts intriguing, there is a note that reminds me of lemon balm, which is not mentioned among the ingredients and there is also something thats reminds me of sandalwood. The fragrance has a slight spicy, green, almost foody character, much like green currypaste smoothed by coconut milk. This early stage of Ashoka reminds me of the context of (even if not smelling close) the gourmand (= Asian food, not sweeties) Etat Libre d'Orange Fils de Dieu du riz et des Agrumes, but Ashoka is more distinct in style. After a while notes of figs, both leaf and fruit, enters. The fignotes are so well blended that they don't stand out separately, they contributes with their different ascpects of green, the smooth, milky fruit and the fizzy green of the leaves. Watery and a tad powdery floral notes adding additional dimensions to the the milky fig greenery and the mix is somehow calming and comforting. It's like resting in the shadow at the side of a pond in an oriental garden a very hot day. When Ashoka is settled in the base, the green balsam fir and the incense is dominating and in this phase Ashoka reminds me of Andy Tauers Reverie au Jardin but smoother and milkier in texture.

My overall impression of Ashoka is an oriental styled interpretation of Un Reverie au Jardin, green notes, incense and balsam fir is mutual and take central roles in both fragrances. When I wear Ashoka I think of it as an warm Un Reverie au Jardin.  Ashoka is spicier, smoother and warmer where Un Reverie au Jardin is dewy, balmy and aromatic with its lavander. Even if providing a mutual impression in style, the differences are are sufficient, Ashoka and Un Reverie au Jardin are sort of Yin & Yang, which complement each other in an excellent way.

Ashoka is a high quality fragrance in which naturals are predominant. Fig, insence and fir balm in a smooth, green context is dominating according to my nose. Ashoka is intriguing and there is always something going on during the whole dry down. The longevity is good 12h+ and the radiance is a bit louder  than most of the first Neela Vermeire trio Mohur, Bombay Bling and Trayee. According to my nose, even if  unisex, Ashoka is the most masculine from the Neela Vermeire Creations so far. Probably thats the reason, even if a very well done fragrance, why Ashoka doesn't click with my chemistry as well as the first three creations and the retro beauty Mohur Extrait which will be reviewed later this week. Ashoka is a must try for admirers of the Neela Vermeire Creations and for fine fragrances in general.

Rating: 4

Notes: Fig leaf, leather, white and pink lotus, mimose, fig tree, osmanthus, rose, water hyacinth, vetiver, styrax, incense, sandalwood, myrrh, tonka bean, balsam fir

Ashoka and the other Neela Vermeire Creations could be bought directly from Neelas E-Boutique
I can recommend the discoveryset.

lördag 14 september 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (37) 2013 - Impression of Autour d'Parfum

Picture: Ambre Mystère Autour d'Parfum
Photo: PR Autour d'Parfums
To my nose the fragrances of Autour d'Parfum are good and affordable, robust perfumes that highlights some basic ingredients in perfumery. These fragrances are perfect as a base for the woody-oriental/ oriental section when start building a perfumewaredrobe.  Other robust, priceworthy basic fragrances is Les Nereides with a good Patchouli Patchouli Antique and good musks as Musc Samarkand and Musc de Java. Also the "solinotes" perfumes of Molinard is good as fore example Molinard Ambre, Vanille, and Patchouli.

torsdag 12 september 2013

Autour d'Parfums - Ambre Mystère

Picture: Padparadscha
Photo: List of birthstones.com (c)
The ambre of the Autour d'Parfums line Ambre Mystère is in the sweet, vanillic and pleasable category. It starts with a sweet ambery, almost burnt, caramelized accord in stye of the sweet ambre of Molinard Ambre (swe) but  lighter and with less dept in the caramelized notes. Ambre Mystère continues quite linear with its sweet ambery, balsamic and vanillic notes. Wearing Ambre Mystère I immadiately got the image of a beutiful Padparadscha, the orange and pink colored gemstone in the saphire (corundum) family.

It's easy to wear amber that suits perfect during the colder months but also in summer evenings. The sillage is close and longevity for about a day. It's officefriendly and would not offend even in close sourroundings.

Rating: 3

Notes: Amber, perubalsam, tolubalsam, labdanum, vanilla, patchouli, vetiver

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

måndag 9 september 2013

Autour d'Parfums - Poudre d'Iris

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Poudre d'Iris is the iris interpretation in the affordable fragranceline from Autour d'Parfums which contains good and priceworthy "down to earth" basic fragrances in the same way as fore example the houses of  Les Nereides and Molinard.

Poudre d'Iris starts like a bit sweeter but in the same time thinner version of the neroli/orangeblossom dominated accord of Prada Infusion d'Iris Edp. After the initial phase, Pd'I becomes sort of wet powdery, like putty in  texture, and a note of almondblossom, with the characteristic (good) smell of the classic swedish paperglue, Carlssons klister, appears. This white glue also has this sort of texture as Pd'I reminds me of. The iris is note the rooty, carrotlike, harsh type, it's velvet flowery, as I image iris would smell if the flower had a scent. In the basenotes Pd'I is almost powdery, edible, gourmand and here it reminds me a bit of Guerlain Tonka Imperiale but softer and less sweet. There is also something with the irismix in Pd'I that reminds me of a quite different fragrance, the classical  80s light spicy floral Turbulences by Revillon

To me Pd'I induces the image of a sheer but in the same time heavy, light purple silkchiffon veil embrodied with gold and amethysts, the exquisite veil of a grand odalisque. Pd'I is very wearable and even if a tad sweeter, just as officefriendly Infusion d'Iris. Longevity is for more than 12h and sillage is close.

Rating: 4

Notes: Neroli, angelica, iris powder, almond blossom, heliotrophe, white musk, almond, sandalwood

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

söndag 8 september 2013

Fragrances of the week (36) 2013 - Fragrant thoughts

Picture: Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodphur,
the Maharaja resides in a part of it
Photo: Ss2107 (cc) Wikimedia Commons
Penhaglion's Vaara has received mixed reviews and some reviewers seems to be quite reserved when having an opinion about it, emphasize that it's a well made fragrance but on the other hand to mainstream-ordinary and not enough indian in style. Despite the doubts of others: I really like Vaara, it's a sort of airy and balmy oriental-floral, with a light rose-saffron combination which is pleasant and very wearable. I also don't find Vaara especially ordinary as the note of quince gives the fragrane an own character. Coriander also gives a sort of fresh, oriental vibe. I can imagine a scent like this wafting through a Maharajas palace and as the perfume is a tribute to the granddaugther of the Maharaja of  Marwar Jodphur, named Vaara, I find the creation credible. On the other hand, I havn't visited a Palace of a Maharaja so of course I don't know, just speculating.

Talking of Orientals: When I visited one of the major departmentstores the other day, some stylish spanishspeaking touristing ladies in their (I guess) sixties, passes by me. And what a wonderful scent trail they wafted: Deep and full spicy orientals, far away from the pale, fresh, meeky fragrances the swedish women wears, if not wearing shrill and overly sweet fruitchoulis of course. These ladies wore distinct, classy perfumes and I have to confess that I turned around and went after them for a short while just to inhale. This experience made me crave for wearing YSL Opium.

Last but definitly not least: One of the most intriguing releases this autumn is IMO Puredistance Black. For this fragrance no notes or fragrancefamily is disclosed, Puredistance just want us to enjoy and relax without so much analysis. As I love the Puredistance fragrances I really looking forward to test this and try to do at least some analysis, an interesting challenge.

fredag 6 september 2013

Autour du Parfums - Encens d'Ange

Picture: Two Winged Putti (ca 1748-50)
Drawing of Francois Boucher (1703-1770)
Encens d'Ange is a perfect name for this light incese fragrance from Autour du Parfums a line that I have to say is quite affordable, ca EUR 43 for 50 ml.

I also have to confess that I'm not so fond of the opening accord of Encens d'Ange as it somehow reminds me of ELDO Jasmine et Cigarettes but without the cigarette butt note of the latter but with the same almost wast flowery note as JeC. And that even if there are no flowery notes mentioned in the notelist. But topnotes are there to fade and after a while Encense d'Ange becomes deeper with confier and incense notes. The incense is still light and the green softwood/fir needle lends some a sort of forest freshness to the composition. There is also a well balanced note of pencilshavings typical for cedarwood somewhere in the middle of the fragrance. As Encens d'Ange deepens in the basenotes, there are plesant notes of resins amplified by a discrete musk which together creates a sort of pleasant moisty, earthy note with almost a touch of fresh tabacco.

 Encens d'Ange in its somehow fresh lightness, is a perfect incense fragrance for summer, it blooms used during a warm and a bit humid summerday. It's appropriate to wear both for work and casual. The longevity is very good, for at least a day and the sillage is medium.

Those who like uplifting incenses as L'Artisan Parfumeur Passage d'Enfer and Dzongkha, Serge Lutens L'Eau Froide and Andy Tauer Incense Extreme will probably also appreciate Encens d'Ange. That even if the exemplified fragrances are more distinctive in charchter and Encens d'Ange smoother and easier to wear.

Rating: 4

Notes: Mandarin, bergamot, incense, perubalm, tolubalm, firbalm, benzoin, cedarwood, musk, cistus labdanum

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample of Encens d'Ange.

onsdag 4 september 2013

Mission completed!

An adventurous colluege and me couldn't resist (despite all negative sayings that it's not possible to see the President) going to this institution not far away from our office where Barck Obama made one of his visits. Here he is, in the Beast, photographed by my colleague (all credits to her for the picture:-), we saw him waving when passing the crowd.
It will be fun reporting in the office tomorrow - We did it !!!

SOTD: I dug up my sample of Tommy Girl from Tommy Hilfiger, I'm a little weak for this sort of honest, american applepie, american dream, styled scent, Calice Becker did a good job here, as almost always. And Barack Obama is indeed the image of the american dream, the regular guy who through hard work reached the highest position in the world. Mr Parfumista also chosed american but a more sofisticated style: DK Man in its original 90s version.

tisdag 3 september 2013

Welcome Mr President!

Picture: President Barack Obama
Official photo from whitehouse.gov
Tomorrow, the most important visit in the history of Stockholm (so far) will happen: The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama will visit our capital for one days. Stockholm is under surveillance and there will be a gigant traffic jam as early as hours before Air Force One is approaching Arlanda Airport. The President will visit an institution a few hundred  meters from my office and today we have debating  whether or not we have a chance to see a glimpse of him if going there. Unfortunately it's just to realise it's better watching the webcast but it's so irritaing having the most powerful man in the world as near as tomorrow and not beeing able to see him :-(

To celebrate this great event tomorrow there will of course be an american SOTD, something from Estee Lauder, Donna Karan or why not my favorite american Amoureuse from Parfums DelRae.

måndag 2 september 2013

Autour du Parfum - Patchouli Tonka

Photo: Patchouli Tonka
Photo: Promotion Autour du Parfum
Autour du Parfum is a fragranceline founded by Eline Pajot who had worked for many years with developement and marketing in the parfume and cosmetic industry. There are four fragrances in her Private Collection, which all seems to searching back to the origin of perfumery, straightforward, wellcrafted singlenotesperfumes.

Patchouli Tonka is such a straightforward patchoulifragrance which creates that genuine impression. Patchouli Tonka starts similar to Les Nereides Patchouli Antique. It's a dark, woody, earthy patchouli, rough and tough (but not as rough as Patchouly Indonesia from Farmacia SS Annunziata dal 1561), not the polite by amber sweetened patchouli. As Patchouli Tonka dries down, the patchouli softens and gets smoother, even if the woody, by this stage, slight earthy, impression remains. Probably there is the soft, sweetness of the tonka and some light almost herbal-minty vanilla in the base that balances the raw, erthy notes to a pleasent, velvety, dark impression.

Patchouli Tonka is a perfect casual fragrance year around and perfect for the late summer/early autumn strolling around searching for mushrooms in the forest. It's also comfortable to wear at work. Sillage is medium and longevity for about a day.

For those who are searching for a straightforward patchoulifragrance in the woody, almost herbal. not ambery, end of the spectra like Molinard Patchouli and Etro Patchouly, Patchouli Tonka is a very good and also quite affordable choice SEK 370 (ca USD 58 and EUR 44).

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, orange, geranium, patchouli, sandalwood, cedar, tonka been, vanilla

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample of Patchouli Tonka.