onsdag 30 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Myrrhe et Delires

Picture:  Commiphora myrrha by Franz Eugen Köhler,
 Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen,1897, Wikipedia commons

Myrrhe & Delires is the latest creation in the Guerlain L'Art et Matiere-line. It's created by the current Guerlaan inhouse perfumer Thierry Wasser.

Myrrhe & Delires starts sort of resinous, fresh and airy. There is also an accord that reminds me of classical, oriental/chypre perfumes fleeting in and out in the basic structure of the perfume during the top and middlenotes. The classical accord reminds me of the typical chic "french" smell of Balenciaga Prelude and also hints of Quadrille from the same house. This typical french-chic note is also present in Balmain Ivoire vintage version even if the latter fragrance is green, aldehydic, flowery, soapy which is not the case with the former fragrances. Quite early in the dry down the to some myrrhe fragrances typical licorie note appears. In M&D this note is light and airy, contrasting to for example Huitieme Art Myrrhiad (in swedish), is dark, dense and mysterious compared to M&D. There is also a streak of the cold, dark, slight smoky accord of Juliette Has A Gun Calamity J. but tuned down and expressed in a softer and smoother way. The rest of the dry down is soft, sweet, resinous and retains the airy interpretation of licorie. To me the opening accords (as with most of the fragrances I have tried from the L'Art et Matiere-line )  are the most interesting part of the fragrance, but the linear dry down that follows later is beautiful, very comforting and easy to wear. To my nose there are some similarities between the composition of the base of Tonka Imperiale and Myrrhe & Delires as also with Cuir Beluga.

As Myrrhe & Delires is'nt overly sweet and almost airy in it's texture, the fragrance is wearable for both day and evning during the whole year, except for the warmest days in the summer. Sillage is close, longevity about 24h.

Those who likes Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe (in swedish) and Mona di Orio Jabu (even if myrrhe in Jabu is just a supporting note) will probably enjoy Myrrhe & Delires too.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot grapefruit, osmanthus, jasmine, rose, violet leaf; patchouli, incense, tonka bean, vanilla, myrrh, licorice

måndag 28 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Tonka Imperiale

Picture: Roman Emperors
Source: http://vaticanarthistoriantours.com

Tonka Imperiale is one of the later creations in the Guerlian exclusiveline L’Art et la Matière. Tonka Imperiale is a true warm and slight, gourmand sweet oriental, created by the Guerlain houseperfumer Thierry Wasser.

Tonka Imperiale starts with a warm, sweet but in the same time light and subtle, a bit powdery accord of tonka been. After a while a very balanced note that reminds me of a rounded cedarwood note appears, maybe it's one of the woody notes or maybe it's the mix of wood, herbs and spices that induces this impression. An almost liquorlike note of tobacco, balanced with light, almost not detectable flowers appears and contrasts after a while with "fresher" colder, balmy notes of incense and fir. As in all of the L’Art et la Matière fragrances I have tried so far, the ingedients are so well balanced, rounded and fine tuned that there is hard to distinugue them separately from each other. Tonka Imperiale is no exception It's a very well crafted fragrance with gourmand undertones. In the basenotes there is a slight powdery caramelnote, similar to the one in Prada Candy (in swedish) but darker, less sweet and a bit stronger. In Tonka Imperiale the tonkabeen is not combined with vanilla which is common, and that probably tempers the sweetness to a pleasant, moderate level. In the texture Tonka Imperiale has similarities with the elegant immortelledominated Guerlain Cuir Beluga, it's like a pushier, more masculine (even if unisex) interpreation of a similar theme. Both are beautiful fragrances but Cuir Beluga to my nose, is a bit more original.

Tonka Imperiale is perfect for autumn, winter and the chilly early spring. Even if moderatly sweet I suspect it could be overhelming in warm summerdays. Tonka Imperiale is a true comfort fragrance, it's not overpowering if applied with care and therefore a perfect officescent that brings comfort also to other than the wearer. Sillage is medium and longevity for 24h.

Those who likes the fragrances mentioned above as also Carner Barcelona Tardes, Parfumerie Generale Tonkamande, Etro Heliotrophe and Parfums Nicolaï Kiss me tender , even if the two latter is more floral, will also like Tonka Imperiale

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, rosemary, jasmine, almond, tonkabeen, tobacco, incense, cedar, pine

torsdag 24 oktober 2013

Guerlain – Cruel Gardenia

Picture: Gardenia flower from the gardens at Monticello
Photo:Querbubbles (cc) Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved
Cruel Gardenia is a part of the Guerlain L’Art et la Matiere Collection where Guerlain let mostly “off-house” noses create based on one single note. Cruel Gardenia is composed by perfumer Randa Hammami in 2008.

As written so many times before, there is not possible to extract from the gardenia flower by any technique. Therefore there are many different white flower interpretations pretending to be gardenia. Cruel Gardenia starts with a bouquet of white flowers where quite soon the mushroom note typical for some gardenias shining through very clearly to me. I can’t feel a cheesy note that also is present in some other gardenia, but probably that is just another facet of the fresh, mushroom note. When the mushroom is faded a wonderful, creamy, thick, white floral blend is appearing and is the linear main theme during the whole dry down. There is also an accompanying, fresh fruity almost citrus, slight ozonic like note balancing the creamy white flowers and all this beauty is anchored in a white and clean musky base. The impression of Cruel Gardenia is that of a luxury bodycreme and the style and associations of smelling the scent reminds me very much of the beautiful Puredistance I. I isn’t as thick as Cruel Gardenia, it’s lighter and more ozonic in texture.

Even if Cruel Gardenia is not a groundbreaking composition, it’s an very wearable, utterly elegant comfort scent made of high quality ingredients and seamless blended. The longevity is very good, almost 24h and the sillage is medium.

I think Cruel Gardenia could be appreciated by those who like Cartier Baiser Volé and Ramón Monegal White Musk (Cotton Musk).

Rating: 5

Notes: Neroli, peach, rose, gardenia, ylang-ylang, gardenia, musk, sandalwood, tonka been, vanilla

måndag 21 oktober 2013

Guerlain – Iris Ganache

Picture: Three Godiva truffles
Author: Ginny (cc) Wikimedia commons 

Iris Ganache, created by Thierry Wasser is the irisinterpretation in the Guerlain gourmandepos L’Art et la Matiere. Iris Ganache is the first from the line that has been discontinued but some bottles could still be aviable.

Iris Ganache starts with an elegant, wellcrafted iris, almost compleatly without the carrotnote that is present in the more orris-rooty iris interpretations. The iris is blended with a light,  leathernote, like the image of smooth, white or beige colored leather used in a pair of long, glacé-gloves, matching an elegant ball-gown . When Iris Ganache dries down to the middlenotes it becomes sweeter and a note that reminds me of white chocolade occurs: The flowery iris is still there, and brings a coolness that counterbalances the sweetness in a wellblended manner. This impression lasts during the rest of the drydown where the musk, vanilla and patchouli which the blend contains, isn’t recognizable as separate notes but as a wellblended, smooth and pleasant base for the iris-gourmand accord. Iris Ganache is described as containing powdery notes, but to my nose these notes are subdued and just slightly recognizable, to my nose Iris Ganache has an almost bubble bath-y note in the late drydown. Iris Poudre by Parfums Editions Frederic Malle is much more powdery IMO.

Iris Ganache is comfortable and elegant in the same time. It’s a perfect scent both for dressed up occasions as for work to cheer up and to convey a pleasant olfactory presence. The longevity of Iris Ganache is for more than a day and the sillage is close, this is an elegant and subtle skinscent. 

Those who appreciate iris scents in the style of Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris, Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue, Huiteme Art Naiviris and Xerjoff Irisss will probably also like Iris Ganache.

Rating: 4

Notes: Cinnamon, bergamot, iris, white chocolate, patchouli, cedar, musk, vanilla, amber 

fredag 18 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Bois d'Armenie

Picture: Haghartsin monastery, Armenia
Photo:Fhen (cc) Wikimedia Commons some rights reserved
Bois d'Armenie  by Annick Menardo is the fourth installment in the Guerlain L'Art et Matiere line. It's the most subtle and gentle true woody oriental fragrances I have tested so far. To me Bois d'Armenie is totally unisex even if marked as male in some descriptions.

Bois d'Armenie starts soft spicy woody with some very smooth incense and a note that reminds me of nectar. The nectarnote later on becomes sort of a soft note of honey that glimpses by. Maybe I'm anosmiac to something in Bois d'Armenie because during the drydown I percieve the same linear, smooth, a bit sweet, spicy, gentle, light woody scent and it's faint to me. Cosy and nice, well blended of good ingredients, but no challenges or excitement. A safe fragrance for everyday wear except for the warm summerdays. The least appealing fragrance to me in the L'Art et Matiere line, even if good quality there is not much going on in this according to my nose.

Rating: 3

Notes: Iris, pink pepper, incense,coriander, benzoin, guaiac wood, patchouli, white musk, copahu balm

tisdag 15 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Cuir Beluga

Picture: Beluga whale, 
Photo: Attribution premier.gov.ru.
(cc) Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved 

Cuir Beluga, created  2005 by Olivier  Polge as one of the first three fragrances for the Guerlain exclusive Les Art et  la Matière line, is the most elegant and polite immortelle dominated fragrance I have tried so far.

Cuir Beluga is an almost linear, gourmand moderatly sweet, composition. A soft and gentle immortelle is the maincharacter complemented with warm  and moderate sweet supporting notes as heliotrophe, vanilla and amber. There is also a slight herbal touch in some stages of Cuir Beluga. The leather, reflected in the name, is a soft, utterly discrete suedenote that unfurls gradually and is most present in the baseaccord. The immortelle of Cuir Beluga is perfectly rounded, smooth and almost on the edge to powdery, it has no rough edges and lacks the syrupy note and loud charachter as the reference imortelle of all times: Annick Goutals predecessor Sables. Also the immortelle in Histoires de Parfumes Tubereuse 3 Animale is rough, tough and loud compared to how the note is presented in Cuir Beluga.The immortelle in Cuir Beluga is complemented with a discrete honey-like note that gives me associations to Serge Lutens tobacco fragrance Fumerie Turque. A more masculine and less subtle (even if also subtle) is Guerlain Tonka Imperiale.  The texture and imaged color of Cuir Beluga is soft suede white, just as the sweet Beluga whale on the picture above. Somewhere (I think it was on Basenotes) I have read that the Beluga in the name of the fragrance refers to this soft whale living in the cold arctic waters and not the russian caviar. Just like the beluga whale is a revelation of smooth comfort in such a harsh environment, Cuir Beluga is a true comfortscent during a cold winterday.

The overall impression of Cuir Beluga is that of an elegant and well balanced skinscent, it's there to comfort the wearer and those who comes close. The sillages is close and the longevity is for almost 24h. At first, Cuir Beluga was a fragrance of growing liking to me. It's a scent that I start to crave after a few days after my latest wearing. Once when I woke up in the middle of the night I could smell a beautiful, soft and calming scent from my pillow, suddenly I realised it was Cuir Beluga. Since that moment this fragrance finally has made me surrender and it's my absolute favorite in the LAelM-line.

Rating: 5

Notes: Aldehydes, mandarine, immortelle, heliotrophe, patchouli, suede, amber, vanilla

lördag 12 oktober 2013

Puredistance - Black

Picture: Odette and Odile
Photo: City Ballet of San Diego (c)
A short break in the ongoing Guerlain-cavalcade as I feel I have to share my impressions of a new beautiful perfume: Puredistance Black is created by Antoine Lie for the top notch niche house Puredistance and will be released in November/December 2013. In the marketing blurb Puredistance ask us just to relax, enjoy and not analyze. Therefore the notelist is not disclosed which of course even more triggers a true parfumista to analyze what could be in that little sample vial.

It would be intriguing to know the notes and I hope Puredistance will disclose the notelist later on. I'm no "notepicker" but I think at least I smell as follows: To my nose Puredistance Black starts with a fine incense and some gentle spices, followed by a dark, ripe plummy note underscored with the woody notes of old oak cognacbarrels and a subtle oud. As the composition proceeds, it suddenly becomes colder and greener, I can smell what I think is pine balm, some traces of an almost fizzy geranium and some velvety, dark in the same time contemporary but clean patchouli over warm resins. On my skin Black goes from warm and dark notes to colder, greener even if still dark, dark like muffled mossgreen velvet worn in a cold, starry winter night.Further on in the second part of Black, the boozy, woody cognac notes appears again togehter with the dark plum, the fragrance gets warm, cozy and comforting in the later stages of the base. I pleasant, subtle smoky note (no harsh edges) also appears in the late dry down and together with the other notes, stays close to the skin for the rest of the dry down.

The vision of Puredistance Black is to be the dark and more masculine equivalent to the bright and light feminine I.  IMO this vision has been fullfilled, this is like Odile and Odette, resembling each other, beautiful and graceful, but in the same so time different in character. Both Black and I are subtle and refined fragrances, Black dark and mysterious, I bright and shining. Black also deliver on the promise to slowly unfold its layers and this proecess is continuing during the whole extended drydown, longevity is minimum 24h for me, when showering of the pefume after one days, it's still unfragmented and full in its texture..

Even if not particularly original as a composition, Puredistance Black is (as always with Puredistance) a very well made and wearable fragrance, of high quality ingredients and with good sillage and longevity. It's interesting to wear and a fragrance which wins in the long run. Black is definitly unisex even if lending slightly to the masculine side. The first part of the fragrance is more feminine than the second, Black becomes more masculine when the (which I guess is) pine and geranium notes appears. In it's third stage, where the warmer notes are re-appearing Black becomes more feminine again.  When it comes to resembling fragrances I think the first part contains elements from and reminds me in style of Serge Lutens Boxeuses (swe) (but without the leather and less sweet) and Annick Goutal  Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille (swe) but drier in texture than the latter. In the cooler part of the drydown I find traces of Robert Puguet Oud but Black is more gentle and quiet in style. Another fragrance which comes to my mind when wearing Puredistance Black is Donna Karan Black Cashmere and the great Le Parfum Couture Denis Durand for M.Micallef but clean, polished and well behaved in character compared to the dangerous latter.

Rating: 5

Notes: Not disclosed but woody oriental - see my guesses above.

torsdag 10 oktober 2013

Guerlain - Rose Barbare

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Rose Barbare is created 2005 by Francis Kurkdjian for the Guerlain L'Arte et la Matiere line. Rose Barbare were one of the first three released fragrances of the line, the other was Cuir Beluga and Angelique Noir all created by different for the occasion specially, by Guerlain invited perfumers. As an admirer of complex roseperfumes, Rose Barbare is the fragrance I most appreciate in the L'Arte et la Matiere line. Rose Barbare is a gourmand rose, just as all the fragrances of the L'Arte et la Matiere line is oriented towards the gourmand theme.

Rose Barbare opens with an accord of a creamy and intense pink rose accentuated with greenery. After a while the fragrance deepens in darker notes of patchouli and wood. In this stage with the dark and deep notes, Rose Barbare shows similarities with another Francis Kurkdjian composition, Lady Vengeance from Juliette Has A Gun. The creamy, honyed accord in Rose Barbare, remains and soften the composition during the whole dry down. The concept with the flower embedded in a smooth creamy texture is also used in Cruel Gardenia in the same perfumeline.  There is also an almost vintage touch of Rose Barbare, passages during the development that reminds me of a classy, vintage perfume.

Rose Barbare is an elegant perfume. Just as its siblings in the L'Arte et la Matiere line Rose Barbare is very comfortable, interesting and absolute beautiful. In the same time it's uncomplicated and easy to wear and I suspect that this is a bestseller. Combing those factors is a true work of art and creates a classic. Rose Barbare is a perfect companion for festive events but also to brighten up a gloomy day. Sillage is medium and longevity 24h+.

Rose Barbare would be appreciated by those who like rose scents in the range from  moderate to dark. For example Rose de Nuit and Sa Majeste la Rose by Serge Lutens, Une Rose by Parfums Edition Frederic Malle, Eau Suave by Parfume d'Empires and Roses Musk by Montale.

Rating: 5

Notes: Aldehydes, rose, honey, fenugreek, patchouli, wood

måndag 7 oktober 2013

Guerlain – Angelique Noir

Angelique Noir is one of the first fragrances of the Guerlain L’Art et la Matiere Collection. Angelique Noir is created by perfumer Daniela Andrier in 2005.

Angelique Noir starts with a sweet almost almondcake, counterbalanced by a dry fresh hay like note, like newly mown hay. In the background a deep, dark flower is lurking together with a contrasting, almost crispy, flowery note, similar to the note of freesia. The dark, flowery mix is very sweet but not cloying at all. Angelique Noir is very thick in texture, like a viscous, dark liquid or a black, heavy, velvet robe. Indeed, this could be a dark, fallen angel. The angelica note seems to be very concentrated compared with for example the transparent angelicanote in Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Musc where it seems to be used more as a sweet, herbal-spicy, flower accent. A fine vanilla note is counterbalancing the dark, slight herbal-spicy flowery notes and the gourmand accord created seems almost edible.

Angelique Noir is a fragrance of it’s own, there are not many of it’s like. It’s a sweet but balanced with dry notes, floral gourmand oriental and as the skilful composes fragrances Angelique Noir is, it’s never being cloying in spite of it’s dark sweetness.

Angelique Noir is an elegant comfort scent, perfect for the cold and dark autumn and winter. Sillage is medium and longevity about 24h.

As I can remember, I haven’t tried any fragrance that is close to Angelique Noir so far. Even if not smelling the same fragrances in the same spirit as Angelique Noir are:  Dior Addict (old version), Tom Ford Black Orchid, and Guerlain Insolence Edp but also fragrances in the, form the former fragrances different style, as Parfumerie Générale Drama Nuui and The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit.

Rating: 5

Notes: Angelica, red berries, pear, caraway, jasmine, vanilla, cedar

söndag 6 oktober 2013

Read this

Picture: Patricia de Nicolaï - a true Master Parfumer
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolï (c)
Speaking of Guerlain, there is a very interesting interview on Fragrantica with the Guerlain descendant and true pillar of good and timeless perfumery; Patricia de Nicolï. I really  like her down to earth and
straightforward opinions about the current trends in perfumery.

Unfortunately, one can read between the lines, that future increases in prices are possible as the brand will start with marketing activities and has/will straighten up the bottledesign from their IMO old charming bottles with non-conform labels. So probably all the complainers about the "ugly bottles" finally reached their goal: Raised prices for the last affordable niche line.

fredag 4 oktober 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (40-43) 2013

Picture: The first three fragrances of  L'Art et la Matiere line,
promotionpicture from Guerlain (c) Guerlain
Or to be correct, fragrances of the following weeks: I will be publishing my impressions in reviews of the Guerlains from the L'Art et la Matiere line (less Spiritueuse Double Vanille but that one wasn't originally belonging to the line) which I appreciate very much. The fragrances are delicious and gourmand in style, great perfumes for the coming dark and cold months. The "event" is starting on Monday with the mysterious Black Angel....

torsdag 3 oktober 2013

Iris Nazarena & Iris Silver Mist - Short impressions

Picture: Iris Nazarena by Aedes de Venustas
Photo: PR Aedes de Venustas (c)
Short impressions from two days in a row wearing of the 2013 Iris Nazarena from Aedes de Venustas created by Ralf Schwieger and the classic Iris Silver Mist from Serge Lutens created by Maurice Roucel in 1994.

My first impression of Iris Nazarena was "not original enough" for its price probably because I recognized other perfumes in each stage of IN. The carrot and earthy opening similar to ISM and Heeley Iris de Nuit but a more intense and longer lasting carrotaccord, the next more flowery part of IN that partly reminds me of Hermès Hiris with some spicy traces. The base with the typical current tart, putty but in the same time almost slight powdery musky accord with light traces of incense, an accord present in the bases of for example Les Exclusives Chanel 1932, Grossmith Amelia, Puredistance Opardu, Oriza L Legrand Oeillet Louis XV and Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin. But the sum of its parts puts this fragrance in a higher dimension, it is very pleasant and intriguing, I think the "recognizing other beautiful perfumes"effect during the drydown, contributes to this overall impression. This effect is also something I perceive in Kerosene Copper Skies even if this is a different fragrance. IN is concentrated and longlasting.
Picture: Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens
Photo: PR Serge Lutens (c)
When it comes to Iris Silver Mist the whole composition feels smoother, earthier, watery, like damp soil. The carrotopening is shorter and not as intense as in IN and the iris lends more to violet and leafy notes. The base is woody-musky. ISM is more harmonious, the different parts are seamless woven together, the composition is introvert, calming and meditative whereas IN is extrovert, louder with more radiance.

For lovers of  rooty irises, Iris Nazarena is well worth testing as well as the reference fragrance for this style Iris Silver Mist.