torsdag 28 november 2013

Oriza L.Legrand - Jardins D'Armide

Picture: A rose from Armidas garden
Painting by Marie Spartali Stillman (1894)
Wikimedia commons
The original  Jardins D'Armide was released in 1905 and the current version is an interpretation of the original that preserves the old school feeling in a contemporary wearable way. The re-working is performed by Oriza L.Legrand houseperfumer Hugo Lambert. Jardins D'Armide is inspired of the garden in the story of Armida, a sacaran sorceress who during the First Crusade captured the Roman soldier Rinaldo and created an enchanted garden where she held him a lovesick prisoner. 

Jardins D'Armide starts dry powdery with a furry note, but in the same time a bit cold, like the texture and feeling of an orchid. A sweet note, reminding me of candy also appears in a very pleasanst way. The roses are dry, like dried rose petals, and a bit tart. When Jardins D'Armide developes a wellblanced, still cool, slight spicy, flowery heart appears soon followed by supporting sweeter and warmer notes. For a short while a very realsitic almond note glimpses by followed by powdry tonka and a pleasant musky base in which an almost geraniumgreen, tart note are apperant on my skin. The powder of Jardins D'Armide is not dominating, it's not the heavy powdery/soapy aldehydes of for example Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige or Cartier Baiser Volé, the powder is just an accent, not the theme of the whole parfume. Jardins D'Armide is a retro perfume that in apperance somehow reminds me of one of the Grossmiths I think it is Hasu-no-Hana that comes to my mind. Another perfume which is more close in what it smells like is Profumi del Forte Roma Imperiale but without the slight dirty notes which is lurking in the latter.
Picture: Jardins D'Armide -another tempting bottle
from Oriza L.Legrand
Photo: PR Oriza L.Legrand (c)
As all Orizas, a wellblended and balanced perfume, Jardins D'Armide has a distinct sillage and longevity up to 24h even if discrete trails at that stage. A powerfragrance with a demanding appeal, appropriate for most elegant occasions but also in small doses, for officewear.

Rating: 4

Notes: Dry potpourri rose, orange blossom, iris powder, iris, violet, wisteria, carnation, honey, almond, tonka been, musk

Sample avaible at Fragrance & Art

måndag 25 november 2013

Oriza L. Legrand - Horizon

Picture: Louise Brooks, her flapper style
could serve as the role model of a dark, seductive
"Les Années Folles" fragrance  as Horizon.
Photo: Pressphoto from the
George Grantham Bain Collection,
Wikimedia commons
Horizon, is according to information from the house Oriza L.Legrand unaltered since its creation during "Les Années Folles" in 1925. Probably it smells a bit different anyway, as I suspect most ingredienses not smells exactly the same today, the synthetical ones could be (and are certainly) altered in their composition and even the natural ones could be differently threated today compared to over eighty years ago.

Horizon starts very similar to the hard core patchouli Patchouli Antique by Les Nereides and it has also similarities to Bois 1920 Real Patchouly in the first accords but compared to RP Horizon goes on darker, boozier and stronger where RP developes in a more casual lighter, brighter and slight cedarwoody way, even if good as a balmy woody patchouli fragrance, flat if compared to Horizon. Horizion has much more in common with Patchouli Antique and its damp, dusty, dry, leathery patchouli note - just as old antique leather books in an old wooden bookshelf. There is nothing of the contemporary clean patchouli or the loud hippie-patchouli of the 70s. The similarities with Patchouli Antique are evident during the first half of the fragrance even if PA takes a rough and though route and Horizon gets more refined and sofisticated as it developes. Somewhere in the middlenotes, a cocoaonote appears. The note is present in Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 but more prominent in the latter and also in a more powdery way in Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly. As Horizon dries down, wellbalanced, boozy, tobacco, soft leathery notes and something slightly green appears, accompanying the patchouli in a very pleasant way. Horizion doesn't end in the ambery or musky base which are common alternatives for patcoulifragrances.

Picture: Horizon
Photo: PR Oriza L.Legrand (c)
Even if Horizion is the patchouli fragrance in the Oriza collection, it's so wellblended/-balanced and therefore doesn't stand out as a basic patchouli as the patch-offerings of many lines. This fragrance has so many other dimensions and therefore it can't be justified to classify Horizon as "just" a patchouli.

Horizon has a great longevity, smooth but unfragmented trails are present after 24h. The fragrance is, despite its rough opening, elegant and seductive, perfect for autumn and winter evenings (and days) but also for cold and crisp early spring evenings. Even if Horizion has an flappery attitude it is genderless to me i e it doesn't lend over either to the masculine or feminine side.

Update August 2014: Wearing Horizon in hot humid weather (ca 30 Celsius) it is even better than in autumn/winter. The tobacconote is really blooming, very natural in style. Even if Horizon is a warm patchouli with ambery notes, it doesn't smells particulary sweet, and has some almost refreshing herbal notes in the heat.The best and most versatile patchouli I have tested so far.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bitter orange rind, mandarin confit, dried rose, ambered cognac, aromatic tobacco leaves, cocoa, roasted almonds, aged oak, patchouli, benzoin, ambergris, peat, blond tobacco, vanilla, honey, leather

torsdag 21 november 2013

Oriza L. Legrand - Chypre Mousse

Picture: The retro styled Oriza bottles are just awesome -
just as their content
Photo: PR Oriza L. Legrand (c)
One of the far best perfumelines I have discovered the latest years (thanks to P. at Fragrance & Art who has a truly refined taste for perfume) is the venerable french house Oriza L.Legrand. It started to produce powder for the whigs in the 18th century and perfumes later become a part of the business. During the 19th and beginning of the 20th century Oriza provided different royal courts with perfume and soaps. During the later years perfumer Hugo Lambert and his parter Franck Beleiche recreated the house, and have started to reconstructing the fragrances and soaps taking contemporary restrictions in to account. And the result is awesome, se my reviews earlier this year, Rêve d'Ossian, Relique d'Amour, Oeillet Louis XV and Déjà le Printemps.

From the description of Chypre Mousse, re-created by Hugo Lambert: "After the first rainfall in September nature exude scents of humus, peat and wetland. This is the time for a promenade in the woods to enjoy the freshness after the heat of summer." The original version (1914) of Chypre Mousse is said to be launched to the dandies of this world. My impressions are as follows:

Chypre Moussse starts with balmy and brisk green notes, in the first part of the fragrance I perceive more of the forest early in the spring (at least the swedish forest), just when the greenery buds and the moss is light green, young and fresh. The dominating note during the first half of Chypre Mousse is a fresh, natural smelling mint. The minty note is present during the whole dry down, even if it stays in the supporting background in the second half. In the first stages of the fragrance, a retrostyled leathernote is also present, its the dry, antique leather of book-binding. In the early stege the minty and green notes reminds me of Parfumerie Générale PG 11 Harmatan Noir  but without the salty/metallic almost bloody notes which are accompanying the mint in the latter. Chypre Mousse continues green and the green deepens, together with an almost animalic note, a bit in its later stages, and here the early autumn could be recognized. A beautiful note of fern is the protagonist on my skin in this stage. In the later middlenotes and in the base, there is an accord and impression that reminds me of Ava Luxe Chypre Noir if I remember correctly, could be Film Noir but without the cigarette smoke. Something which is striking with Chypre Mousse is the absence of flowers, I can't smell them anywhere. Despite that, Chypre Noir is fresh and balmy as a floral-green fragrance. In it's overall impression, but a tad brighter, Chypre Mousse reminds me of a favorite contemporary chypre, Parfumerie Générale PG 24 Papyrus de Ciane.
Picture: Fresh moss in spring
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
To me Chypre Mousse doesn't reach the dark, velvety, earthy, damp and often dirty depts of the old school chypres. Chypre Mousse to me is more of a ligther and brighter contemporary green/fourgé with some mossy elements which skilfully mixed, creates a retro feeling but in a sort of contemporary frame. An intriguing and fascinating fragrance even if almost linear in my testing.The fragrance is unisex but more masculine than  Déjà le Printemps which is a green, feminine floral fragrance. With Chypre Mousse the dandies and all other men has their own, green Oriza but it has to be clearified that Chypre Mousse (even if better on Mr Parfumista than on me) fits women as good, the fourgé notes are not harsh and masculine in style of traditional fourgé fragrances. Chypre Mousse has good longevity, unfragmented after 12h+, traces after 24h, and good sillage. 

Rating: 5

Notes: Wild mint, clary sage, wild fennel, green shoots, oakmoss, galbanum, angelica, fern, wild clover, mastic, violet leaves, vetiver, pine needles, mushroom, fresh humus, roasted chestnut, leather, labdanum, balms

måndag 18 november 2013

Guerlain Shalimar - comparison between different versions

Picture: Shalimar perfume
Photo: PR Guerlain (c)
Shalimar the greatest, or at least the best known, of the classics of the honorable house of Guerlain is avaible in different concentrations and formulations from different decades. Here are my impressions from a side-by-side test on scentstripes of some Shalimars.

Shalimar EDC current version: The EDC is faint in apperance compared to all the other versions tested. It has not the same dept and emphasizes light lemony and almost smoky, airy woody vanilla notes whereas the darker resins are playing the second role. The composition is more transparent, paler and colognelike than the rounder, fuller and more lemony Eau de Shalimar. Just as the latter, Shalimar EDC is suitable for the warmer months.

Shalimar EDT ca Y2K version: This one is much stronger, deeper and much heavier on the resin, balsamicnotes. The bergamotaccord in the topnote are much more distinctive and dirty than the lemony note of the EDC. This Shalimar EDT is a favorite of mine, on my skin it transforms to the pleasant smell of a clean but wet woolen sock.

Shalimar EDP late 00-version: A rounder, smoother and softer version than the Y2K EDT-version. The radiance is less, it's more powdery in the texture and it's overall a more polite and well behaved Shalimar than the EDT-version. And more wearable as the dirtyness of the bergamot is pared down.

Shalimar EDP 2010 version. Thierry Wasser had to rework Shalimar 2010 probably because of several IFRA-restrictions that became effective this year. This version still has the spirit and aura of Shalimar and it's not so different from the late 00-version but it's sweeter, more vanillic, less resinous and lacks some of  the dept of the earlier version. The most wearable if related to the common perfumetaste of today, very comforting a grey and chilly day.

Overall even if some of the characteristic, dirty, deep, resinous notes have been significantly tuned down, Shalimar is still a great fragrance. It has managed to adapt to new eras and avaible ingredients and is also in its current interpretation much more interesting then most other fragrances, especially mainstream but also the majority of niche.

torsdag 14 november 2013

Van Cleef & Arpèls - Feerie Edt

Picture: April Love
Painting by Arthur Hughes ca 1855
Wikimedia Commons
Today a fragrance on the other side of the violet-scale compared to Mona di Orio Violette Fumée reviewed in the latest entry. Feerie Edt is a follower to the first violet-candy installement of Van Cleef & Arpèls Feerie Edp. Have not tested the Edp so I can't compare the two versions. Feerie Edt is created by Olivier Pescheaux, the first Edp Feerie by Antoine Maisondieu. Just as the Edp, the Edt also has a beautiful cap with a Feerie, here sitting down, flying on the Edp-cap. Also the glasssection of the bottle is a little gem.

Feerie starts fruity and sweet, too sweet to my taste, but on the other hand, my seven years old daughter likes it :-). When the topnotes fades, the whole creation calms down and the violet flower takes the centerstage, supported by its faithful companion: The Rose. The fruitiness is still there but is not as dominating as in the first stage of Feerie, here it's balanced with the flowers and the result is an enjoyable candy-floral which is airy and subtle in structure even if I also can smell some faint, cool, earthy whiffs when reaching the soft musky, woody base. Compared to the sweetness of Violette Fumée, Feerie interprets a sweetness from the violet flower leaves whereas Violette Fumées sweetness seems to appear from the resins in the base. Feerie is an example of a light, cheering and happy fragrance whereas Violette Fumée is a dark, contemplative and introspective fragrance.
Picture: The charming Feerie Edt bottle
Photo: PR Van Cleef & Arpels (c)
Feerie is balmy and chic and suits all seasons exempt from the coldest winter and this fragrance is one of those hidden gems among the "mainstream" offerings.  The sillage is medium as a average, even if the the opening is grand, (applying sparingly is to recommend) and so is also the longevity, traces are still there after 24 h.

Feerie is the perfect fragrance for those who want a fruitier take on light violetscents such as Annick Goutal La Violette and Parfums de Nicolaï Violette in Love. Those who likes Historiae Violette Imperiale will probably also appreciate Feerie.

Rating: 3

Notes: Violet leaves, lemon, grapefruit, violet, rose, jasmin, sandelwood, benzoin, musk

måndag 11 november 2013

Mona di Orio - Les Nombres d'Or Violette Fumèe

Picture: Exquisite Pure New Wool fabrics
for traditional tailoring, PR picture stolen from
 Alfred Brown Worsted Mills UK, (c)
And, I want a suit/some suits in one or some of theese beauties :-)
Violette Fumée is a fragrance created by Mona di Orio specially for her businesspartner Jeroen Oude Sogtoen. Violette Fumée is created to feature the person Jeroen, who he is, his memories from the past and things he likes. Almost two years after the great perfumer Mona di Orio:s untimely death, Jeroen has released his personal fragrance in public and I think we could be grateful he did this move, because Violette Fumèe is a great fragrance, a fragrance I appreciate the more I smell it.

Violette Fumée starts with a slight herbal note, a note of a fresh but in the same time dark lavander supported with some bergamot fizz and green, leafy notes. After a while violets both flowers and the leaves appears. The violets are dark and woody-leafy in style, just as they are popping up under big old threes, deep in the forest, breaking through the carpet of old moldering leaves from last year. The violet flower stays during the whole dry down, in the middlenotes supported by subtle green, woody and rosy notes and in the base resins and woody notes together creates a slight sweet and smoky impression. In the middelnotes I can also recognize the typical "dust on a lighted bulb" note from Monas first fragrance Carnation but more subdued in Violette Fumée. Another characteristic for Violette Fumée is the dry, woolen-fabric quality of the fragrance, Violette Fumée evokes the feeling of visting the tailor who's measuring up an extraordinary wool-fabric for a suit. The tailor association is also strenghted by the fact that I can smell similarities with the most classic tailor fragrance ever: Knize Ten. The dry woolen note and the images of tailormade are similar and to me Violette Fumèe is a contemporary violet - dark herbal take on the classic leather Knize Ten. Another dry-woolen-tailor fragrance which comes to my mind when giving attention to the woolen fabricnote, is Penhaligons Sartorial.

Picture: Violette Fumée in its classical Mona di Orio
Champagne inspired bottle
Photo: PR Parfums Mona di Orio (c)
Violette Fumée is a unisex fragrance which in my opinon is leaning more to the masculine side. Maybe it has to do with skinchemistry but from testings in the House of Parfumista the test results is clear: Mr Parfumista wears this much better than myself which could be disappointing but the good news are: He is wearing Violette Fumée extremly well, just as well as Knize Ten, and indeed, I can live with experiencing this beautiful fragrance by proxy :-)

Rating: 5

Notes: Lavender, bergamot, oak moss, violet flowers, violet leaves, rose, vetiver, clary sage opoponax, myrrh, cashmeran

lördag 9 november 2013

Fragrance(s) of the week (45) - Jaded but enchanted

Picture: Fall is almost already over.
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
The more fragrances I sniff and/or test, of course just a dimunitive part of the steadily increasing flood of new launches and new houses, the more jaded.Even if a good fragrance as such, there is not so often a fragrance really moves me, even if I can apprediate its composition and good ingredients etc. I see myself more and more longing for the classics (even if reformulated) both older and contemporary classics. Also old reaible houses which have been around for a while, don't overdo and mess the fragrances up, or is just too much in appearance, gets my appreciation. Such houses as Guerlain, Chanel, Hermès, Annick Goutal, Robert Piguet, Parfums de Nicolaï, Serge Lutens some Diors, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. From newer, but today well established houses, Puredistance, Andy Tauer, Ramon Monegal and By Kilian seldom dissapoint.

To wear the classics, if gentle reformulated with the spirit of the fragrance perserved, is enchanted and never boring. Each fragrance has its own individual profile and it's not one in a dozen (at least) of the similar smelling crowd. When writing this I'm craving classic Guerlains; Shalimar, Liu and Mitsouko,classic Chanels as No 22, Cuir de Russie and the contemporary classic No 5 Eau Premiere and the also contemporary Hermès classic Eau de Merveilles. But honestly I seldom wear them as I'm too curious to resist sampling new frags :-).

torsdag 7 november 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - Wilde

Picture: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) ca 1882
Photo by: Napoleon Sarony (1821-96)
Wikimedia Commons
Wilde, just as George reviewed latly, is inspired of another 19th century cultperson: Oscar Wilde. Wilde is  another wellcrafted creation from the french nichehouse Jardins d'Écrivains, labled as "pour homme" but I think its at least as unisex as George.

Wilde starts with an unusual, slight powdery,tea-infused, bergamot-citric, tart and in the same time smooth and almost creamy accord. As the fragrance dries down, the tea and some dark, slight balsamic herbal-spicy-green notes, which I think is derived from the carnation appears and adds even more dept to the fragrance. The base is wellblended mossy-green-woody whith the notes in  seamless interaction. When Mr Parfumista tested Wilde he also experienced a oat-like note, a softer version of a note present in Essenza di Zegna from Ermenegildo Zegna. On my skin Wilde is more about bergamot, tea and carantion. Another fragrance that Wilde reminds me of is Agua de Loewe by Loewe. That despite the latter is sharper and dominated by citrus/cardamom and the former is smoother, softer, darker and more elegant. The almost creamy smooth and comfortable texture of Wilde also reminds me of Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Santo Domingo but SD is more spicy. In color and texture I can image Wilde as beeing creamy, moisty, mossy green and Santo Domingo as creamy but in the same time dry, terracotta.

Picture: Wilde by Jardins d'Erivains
Photo: PR Jardins d'Erivains (c)
Wilde is intriguing and in the same time pleasant to wear. The sillage is medium and longevity just as with George very good, about 24h. Perfect for spring and summer, a fragrance that will resist warm tempratures without fading away.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, grape, fig, carnation, tea, oakmoss, vetiver

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

måndag 4 november 2013

Jardins d'Écrivains - George

Picture: George Sand (1804-1876)
 Portrait by Auguste Charpentier (1838),
Wikimedia Commons
Jardins d'Écrivains is French nichehouse which started with scented candles and bathproducts and lately also added perfumes to their line. Jardins d'Écrivains in its style, is inspired of litterature combined with the interest of gardens. The four perfumes in the line whereof two leaning at the masculine side and therefore (and as "skintime" is rare when it comes to me :-) the testing of these fragrances, George and Wilde is delegated to Mr Parfumista. Below I have summerized his impressions of George while Wilde will follow in the next review.

George is of course inspired of the 19th century cultwoman Aurore Dupin married Dudevant aka George Sand who already have some fragrances named after her: Histoires de Parfums 1804 George Sand and Les Parfums Historique (MPG) Eau de Parfum de George Sand. When applying the reaction was "This smells so similar to something else" and after a short while everything went clear: One of the greatest classic tobacco-leather ever, Knize Ten, but George is smoother and gentler in appearance, adapted to the stripped down  fragranceastetic of the general public of today.  There is also a difference in notes: Where Knize Ten intermediates the scent of the clean woolen cloth of an tailor-made suit and tabacco, George intermediates the scent of fresh,dark, green conifer during a warm and windy summerday and tabacco. The green, coniferaccord is of the same spirit as in Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilèe but deeper and darker and without the smoky note of NE.

George is a year arounder and it's fresher character compared to Knize Ten makes it suitable also for more casual events than the more formal Knize. Mr Parfumista likes George very much but comments: "It's sort of a contemporary Knize but not fully accomplished in the way Knize is".George is classified as unisex but leaning towards the masculine side, for those who cares about such petty details. Sillage is medium and longevity for about 24h.

As the forerunner Knize is the original, George just almost reach the highest rating. If there was no Knize forerunner, George would reach the highest score. George is an exellent alternative for those who thinks Knize Ten is too heavy and oldfashioned, which it's not, as it's timeless, but that's of course just my personal opinion :-). George is also a good example of that very good perfumes could be made today also despite all IFRA-restrictions and it is also, just as the whole Jardins d'Écrivains-line, an axample of that good fragrances could also be reasonable priced SEK 725/USD ca 114/EUR ca 83 for 100 ml.

Rating: 4 or 4+ depending on perspective, with or without comparing to Knize Ten

Notes: Neroli, bergamot, heliotrophe, coffee, tobacco, peru balsam, musk, myrrh

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

fredag 1 november 2013

Seven years of perfumeblogging!

Picture: Maple leaves, end of October 2013.
Photo: Mr Parfumista
Today Parfumistans Blogg is celebrating seven years. Celebrating is of course a slight exaggeration, when becoming of a certain age, one more or less just notice "birthday again" and don't want to realize another year has flying away.

Autumn is IMO the best season for perfume, almost every fragrance family could be considered as some days are warm and in other there are wintertempratures. The latest week has been
predominantly warm but in the same time dark and windy i.e time fore a wide range of fragrances. I suddenly craved Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel despite this one is almost always described as a spring fragrance. To me Eau de Ciel has some floral notes in common with a more proper fragrance for this season, Serge Lutens Miel de Bois, I think it's the linden/hawthorn notes that are the connection. SL Rahat Loukoum was a very positive surprise and if  I havn't got a sample from Fragrantfanatic, I have never got the idea of testing this true comfortscent. Autumn also mean revival of some of my greatest discoveries this year: The perfumes from the incredible house Oriza L. Legrand, the problem is that the four I have tested so far Rêve de Ossian, Relique d'Amour, Oeillet Louis XV and Déjà le Printemps are all so great that I can't decide which one to invest in the day when my samples runs out, which unfortunately will be soon. Which one I like the most changes with each wearing. Now Relique d'Amour, which I liked the least (everything is relative :-) when testing these in the beginning of the year is a runner up with its smooth and refined fir balm and incense notes. And four new fragrances have been/will be launched from this genuine perfumehouse.....will be hard to handle :-)