torsdag 30 januari 2014

Boucheron - Place Vendôme

Picture: Place Vendôme
Photo: PR Boucheron (c)
Place Vendôme is created to capture the spirit of the venerable jewellery house Boucheron, situated at the epicentrum of luxury. Place Vendôme is created as a collaboration between perfumers Olivier Cresp and Nathalie Lorson.

Place Vendôme starts sparkling, citric with traces of fruit and light, white flowers. The initial accord reminds me of a rounded and fruity version of Dior Escale à Pondichéry, without the teanote. As PV dries down the blended flowery impression intensifies and is somehow wrapped in gentle, not too sweet, notes. The flowery notes are light as a veil in texture and impression. The sweetness discrete, the honeynote involved is not of the animalic kind as in Serge Lutens Miel de Bois, this is a stripped down version, with just some elements of the honey extracted. The base is light and woody, with a sweet resin quality and the honeyed florals are still pleasant, deeper in expression as in the middlenotes. On my skin, the base is blooming 12h+ after application, I woke up in the middle of the night wondering "What is smelling so good"? The basenotes is the best part of PV for me.

The impression and expression of Place Vendôme is sort of a mainstream Grossmith Floral Veil. Nondescript light, ariy flowers are fleeting in and out in the accords, just as a fleeting light silk veil. Place Vendôme is also a bit "mainstream" rugged in texture compared to Floral Veil but on the other hand, the fragrances are in different priceranges. Another fragrance that comes to my mind when wearing Place Vendôme is Versace Vanitas, even if Vanitas is cold, a bit watery and crispy in texture, where PV is on the verge to creamy.

Picture: The stylish bottle of Place Vendôme
Photo: PR Boucheron (c)
Place Vendôme is a modern interpreation of the classical Boucheron floral-oriental theme. It's fleeting (as many contemporary fragrances after all the IFRA regulations have been effective) and lighter compared to classic Boucherons but elements of the elegant, a bit sweet, classic Boucheron base could be found also in PV. PV is feminine, elegant and suitable both for office and dressed up occasions. It is utterly well behaved, almost annoying in its perfection and it is hard to catch and analyze. Even if PV has no distinct characteristics it's pleasant and easy to wear. The longevity is very good, traces are left after almost 24h. Altogether a fragrance which fits most women, smells nice, is comforting and doesn't offend anybody.

Rating: 4

Notes: Pink pepper, rose, orangeblossom, mandarine, jasmine, honey, peony, praline, benzoin, cedarwood

måndag 27 januari 2014

Fragrances for cold winter

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
After a green, rainy and green winter (with tempratures about +5-10 C) which spanned over the year end and nine days into January, the regular snowy and cold winter is now here and seems to be permanented. Even if the white snow is beautiful, everyday life gets much more tedious (all the clothes one have to wear, scraping the car windows, slippery outside, shoveling snow etc). But one thing is very positive, at last I really carve the hard core orientals. Here are some favorites at the moment.

Labdanum 18 (Le Labo): Thanks to Sigrun (Riktig Parfym) I got a sample of this and it was instant liking. Dense, warm, like dark brown, viscous, chocolate, even if not smelling of that. To me it smells of resins, a bit powdery, animalic and balsamic. Reminds me of Shalimar but not as complex and darker. Which leads to:

Shalimar (Guerlain): Cold weather is the right condition for this multifacetted beauty. I get less of the lighter notes as bergamot/citric and more of the dark, balmy, resin and animalic ones. "Shallan" is a true follower which could always be trusted.

Ambre Doré (Maître Parfumeur et Gantier): This is a dark, velvety, slight dirty amber with oud deepening the creation and givning it an interesting twist. The oud is very discrete, one doesn't think of it as oud. The dirtyness is also discrete, not as much as in another amber favorite L'Ombre Fauve from Parfumerie Générale.

Rêve d'Ossian (Oriza L.Legrand): Ossians dream has emerged to be my favorite Oriza in very hard competition as they are all so good. Amber, incense, pines, resins and some spieces are creating a comforting, warm and snuggly texture which warming up the coldest of days.

Opium (Yves Saint Laurent): As I'm saving on the little which is left of my vintage version, I'm mostly wearing the current version which I think is a very good woody-spicy oriental on its own merits. Can't understand all the complaints about it.

What is your comfort cold, winter scents?

torsdag 23 januari 2014

Olivier Durbano - Citrine

Picture: Citrin geschliffen 58 Carat
Photo: Wela49 (cc) Wikimedia Commons,
some rights reserved
Citrine is just like Lapis Philosophorum earlier this week a part of the Olivier Durbano line dedicated to semiprecious stones. Citrine to the yellow to brown rare gemstone (most "citrines" are in fact heat treated smoky quartzes or amethysts).

Citrine starts with warm and lemony, accompanied with slight pepper/incense notes. After a while a flowery accord sweetens Citrine and the yellow mimosa shines through as does a balancing note of rosewood. The mimosa is not as distinct as the mimosa in Annick Goutal Le Mimosa and the rosewood is nota as notable as the rosewood in Comme des Garcons Palisander. Resins and slight honeyd waxy notes are lending an unusual sweetness without any vanillic notes and the fragrance is very comforting. In the basenotes the warm and glowing, resin sweetness of myrrh and ambery notes completes Citrine in deeper facets. Traces of the peppery/ginger/elemi accord from the beginning of the fragrance is present in the background as also the soft note of mimosa.

Citirine is a pleasant and thanks to the mimosa unusual resin/incense fragrance. It's soft and discrete, a deliberated fragrance that doesn't intrude to the personal space of others ie a good fragrance for the workplace. With it's sunny apperance it's suitable for summer but also for autumn and winter to remember the warm days. Longevity is for a day.

I think those who like one of my all time incense favorites Comme des Garcons Zagorsk would also appreciate Citrine. Even if Zagorsk is stronger and more distinct with its pine and incense, both fragrancses has a flowery quality but whereas the Zagorsk flower is icy and cold, the yellow mimosa of Citrine is sunny and warm.

Rating: 4

Notes: Citron, orange, elemi, ginger, pink pepper,carrot seed, mimosa, rosewood, linguum vitae (sort of gaiac wood), musk, myrrh, grey amber, beeswax

måndag 20 januari 2014

Olivier Durbano - Lapis Philosophorum

Picture: From the world of alchemistry
Photo: PR Olivier Durbano (c)
Lapis Philosophorum is the 2013 release from Olivier Durbano who is an architect and a jewelry designer, His perfumes are inspired by his collection of semi-precious stones, Bijoux de Pierres Poèmes (Perfumes of Stones Poems).A common trait in his perfumeline is the involvement of different types of incense. Lapis Philosophorum is inspired from how the ancient alchemists was searching for the Philosopher’s stone that would change base metals into pure gold. 

Lapis Philosophorum starts with soft balsamic notes with over a gentle, winey backgrouond, the winey accord is reminiscent of the winey expression in Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Une Rose. After a while a soft note of incense appears, balancing the tangy winey notes in a sort of meditative harmony. The winey soft incense accord stays through the whole dry down of LP and lasts also in  the contrasting base of the fragrance. The base is very original, a clear menthol note which adds an almost sea-salty impression, is blended with warm, balsamic notes of opoponax and myrrh with oakmoss contributing with its mysterious, dark, velvety green dept. There is something with LP in this phase that reminds me of a darker, warmer and  incense infused sibling to the salty, aquatic, herbal  Finisterre by Maria Candida Gentile.In the later stage of the basenotes, LP turns dark blue in its expression as an inky note appears on an almost metallic background. 
Picture: Lapis Philosophorum
Photo: PR Olivier Durbano (c)
Lapis Philosophorum evokes the image of medieval alchemist working in the secret, hidden somewhere in the a dark moisty cave with lichens on the rough and cold walls. The overall impression of Lapis Philosophorum is, despite the odd combination of notes, a well balanced, soft, calming and relaxing fragrance of high quality and with (even to my jaded nose) intriguing twists in each phase of the dry down. This is a fragrance that catches my attention from the first dab to the final notes 12h+ later, something I really appreciate from a perfume.

Rating: 5

Notes: Calamus, juniper, rum, truffle, grapefruit, wine sediment, frankincense, mesquite, ambergris, menthol
opoponax, myrrh, musk, oak moss

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test.

lördag 18 januari 2014

Guilty (perfume) pleasures

Picture: My guilty perfumepleasure -
Jimmy Choo Flash
Photo: PR Jimmy Choo (c)
Sigrun at perfmeblog  "Riktig Parfym" is describing a sort of a guilty perfumepleasure in yesterdays post.
My guilty perfume pleasure is definitely Jimmy Choo Flash. In theory, or at least in the view of perfumesnobbery (which I'm not, I hope, but Mr Parfumista sometimes accuses me to be) I shouldn't like this almost insipid tubereuse/jasmine/orangeblossom with a flashy twist of strawberry (just as Sigruns Miss Dior Cherie - strange, the same berry AND Christine Nagel as creator :-) and catchy, bling-bling box. But somehow I'm attracted to this fragrance, which I find relaxing and comforting, quite contrary to the marketing of the fragrance which mediates images of a glamorous but hectic life in the limelight. But for me strangely, it makes me calming down a stressful day. A hidden gem among "mainstream".

Picture: The official image of Flash
Photo: PR Jimmy Choo (c)

torsdag 16 januari 2014

Fragrant dessert

Picture: Scent stripes
Photo: Parfumista (c)
Sometimes when we had dinner we ends up with a fragrant dessert instead of a conventional dessert loaded with calories. Sometimes there is a theme and sometimes there is just random sampling. We are testing on scentstripes in order to experience the fragrances unaffected. Here is an example from a recent fragrant dessert:

First some theme-oriented scentstrips: The intention was to compare immortelle notes which then devolved to compare immortelle and boozy notes.

Sables (Annick Goutal) The starting point was of ocurse the role model of immortelle, Sables. This rough and salty immortelle is the image of dunes, wooden boats and docks, the soggy and slaty air at seaside.

Cuir Beluga (Guerlain) Refined luxurry immortelle combined with the softest, light suedenote ever. Pure delight!

1740 Marquis de Sade (Histoires de Parfums) The immortelle is here and working together with leathery/balsamic notes makes a true dark, cognac, boozy impression appearing.

Speakeasy (Frapin) Of course 1740 MdS had to be compared with the lighter boozy immortelle Speakeasy. On scentstripe the minty note is very prominent compared to what I percieve when wearing it, worn it's more of leathery-dark rum.

After this immortelle study, we went on for a "similar in style and expression but contemporary vs old school" study when I once again complained about the discontinuing of the great contemporary chypre

Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille (Annick Goutal) testing the less radiant and somehow denser Edp. MPCpC IMO is the best AG so far, dark, deep patchy- plummy, a contemporary Femme Fatal and as such clean compared to its (as I belive) role model:

Femme (Rochas) testing an old Edp of the 1989 version, dark, plummy and spicy, predominantly cummin which lends it just the right slight animalic skanky aura. This is perfume at its best, outdoing most of the current niche offerings.

Talking about current niche offerings, we went further to a great and at the moment hyped one:

Iris Nazarena (Aedes de Venustas) Mr Parfumista has complained this smelling "old man and Brut" on me but I suspecting he's just plotting to take over my sample of it. On the scentstripe the smooth, rooty-iris-carrot note is very pleasant and later on, maybe there is a hint of a refined Fabergé Brut. When Mr Parfumista wears Iris Nazarena the day after it smells like on the scentstripe. Maybe I let him have the sample after all...Unfortunately it seeems to be the same as with Mona di Orio Violette Fumée, I really appreciate the fragrance and want to wear it but Mr Parfumista wears it much better :-(

Finally to the antithesis of niche: My mother had handed over an interesting sample to me:

Oud (Alyssa Ashley) interesting because I'm interested to find out how a "budget-oud" is smelling and the answer is: Faint and fleeting, syntetical, dark woody fragrance with a slight almondy note. This note also appears in expensive nicheofferings but with more dept and accompained with more notes and nuances. In the Alyssa Ashley Oud interpretation it's somehow a flat soli-note. Not a bad perfume but nothing engaging either.

måndag 13 januari 2014

Téo Cabanel - Alahine

Picture: Alahine in its current extravagant bottle.
Photo: PR Téo Cabanel (c)
Alahine is probably the most famous of the Téo Cabanel fragrance and the third one released since the house re-started 2005. Alahine is created by Téo Cabanels in house perfumer, Jean-Francois Latty.

To me Alahine is the image of the floriental fragrance, even if Alahine has a contemporary slight gourmand twist, a strange but sucessfull interaction between pepper and liqueurlike notes. Alahine starts with an instant flowery sweetness of ylang-ylang supported by rose and the classical whites: Jasmine and orangeflower. Those accords are contrasted by fizzy peppery notes and soft notes of pencilshavings (not the sharp varity) also appears. The liqueur note which, just like the notes of pepper and pencil shavings, stays all through the dry down of Alahine. There is a warm and resin-y dept of Alahine which lends the fragrance a velvet soft quality. If Alahine has a color it's definitly red, medium jelly like (a bit transparent) red in the beginning and dark, red, thick, silky velvet in the end. Alahine is very sweet but the woody and peppery notes are contrasting the sweetness in such a well balanced manner and Alahine never gets cloying. When comparing an older sample with recent I don't find any notable differences between the versions. The older version is a bit deeper in character and the newer is just a notch more flowery.

When tested Alahine I come to think of another original red, liqueur, pepper, pencilshaving, floral which preceeded Alahine with six years, Chopard Madness. Madness is loud and sharpedged compared to Alahine but Madness is a forerunner and definitly ahead of its time. Another loud, red and spicy fragrance which comes to my mind when wearing Alahine is Vivenne Westwood Anglomania. Compared to both these red's, Alahine is wellbehaved, elegant and somehow the perfection of the theme. Alahine is a fragrance for autumn and winter, a blanket in grey, cold and rainy weather. Longevity is good, 12h+ and sillage is medium.

To sum up:Alahine IMO still holds its number one position among the Téo Cabanels even if Barkhane is a close runner up.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, orangeblossom, pepper, iris, labdanum, benzoin, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, musk

torsdag 9 januari 2014

Téo Cabanel - Barkhane

Picture: Erg Chebbi, Morocco, Africa
Photo: 84514010 Author Rosino (cc),
Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved
Barkhane inspired of Saharian dunes of transverse form, is the latest release from the house of Téo Cabanel. Barkhane is created by the housenose Jean-Francois Latty.

Barkhane starts dark, boozy and almost edible. The amber is not the sweet vanillic type, nor the typical herbal version, but  traces of spices are evident. A refreshing note of geranium shines through in the early stages of Barkhane and somehow the ease that the geranium provides to the fragrance, remains during the developement of Barkhane. Despite all the heavy ingredients, Barkhane doesn't become dense or cloying and in the later third of the fragrane a dry,on the verge to powdery, paper-like quality appears which is close to a much less sweet version of the papernote in Boucheron Trouble. Probably this comes from the vanilla note as vanillin like notes could be extracted from wood. This dry papernote is interacting beautiful with the dark, underlying, boozy, woody notes. There is also a wellcrafted, dark, minimalistic patchoulinote coming forward in the pleasant base of Barkhane. The spices also comes forward in the later atages of Barkhane, the almost putty, slight metallic curry tree note gives the spicy blend a special touch.

Barkhane is, as all Téo Cabanels tested so far, a well crafted, classic styled (but with a contemporary touch) oriental blend of high quality ingredients, very wearable in many situations. The fragrance is also affordable taken in consideartion the steep increases in the prices of niche. It's a perfect fragrance for winter but as it's note dense or cloying I also think it would be nice to wear in late summerevenings. Longevity is good, about 12h and as the stylish creation it is, the sillage is just right, not at least intruding but not just a skinscent.

Fragrances which comes to my mind when wearing Barkhane is Parfum d'Empire Ambre Russe similar lightness despite the boozy amber, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Doré the dark, mysterious notes and the cult amber Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561 Ambra Nera also dry, dark, almost powdery and with some spices. Also The Different Company Oriental Lounge comes to my mind and probably this comes from the spicy qualities of Barkhane, in particular the curry tree note that both fragrances have in common. I think those who considering the mentioned fragranses should also try Barkhane before the final decision what to buy.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Bergamot, cumin, geranium, curry tree, patchouli, vetiver, oud, labdanum, myrrh, tonka bean, vanilla, musk

måndag 6 januari 2014

Téo Cabanel - Oha

Picture: December roses
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Oha from the venerable house of Téo Cabanel is an old school styled chypre. Oha is created by the house nose or Téo Cabanel, Jean-Francois Latty, a skilful perfumer when it comes to fragrances in the the high quality classic style of Téo Cabanel. I have tested a recent sample and an older one with juice from a bottle of the old design.

Oha starts grandly with a slight powdry and bitter bergamot with contrasting accords of different roses, I can image both pink and red roses. When Oha reaches its middlenotes the roses is still dominating but has deepened and has become darker and tarter. Jasmine and iris is supporting in a robust classic flowery accord with some cool spicyness from the cardamom. There is very little sweetness, if none in Oha, even the musky base is woody and dry powdery, the vanilla and tonka are barely detectable but I suspect these notes prevent Oha from being too austere. Even if lacking oakmoss which seems to have be replaced with musk and woods, Oha is old school chypre-ish in style, something that fails most modern fragrances in this genre.  Ohas lack of sweetness and robust chypre character makes it to an unusual fragrance.

Picture: Oha (in the current bottle)
Photo: Téo Cabanel (c)
Comparing the two samples of Oha, despite just  the older one is more classic, deeper, boozier and less musky powdery with slightly better longevity. The current sample is more musky powdery, a bit sweeter in the roses and reminds me especially in the opening of Narcisco Rodriguez for Her Edt. Oha is said to be an evening scent but I think it's also appropriate for formal daytime wear as it is close to skin. Longevity is good, ca 12h.

Those who like fragrances in the style of Sisley Soir de Lune, Estee Lauder Knowing, the original Agent Provocateur, Niki de Saint Phalle, but also a bit more spicy blends as Chanel Coco, will probably also appreciate Oha.

Rating: 3 +

Notes: Bergamot. tea, rose, jasmine, cardamon, iris, vanilla, tonka been, woods, musk

fredag 3 januari 2014

Huitième Art - Monsieur

Picture: Monsieur in its stylish bottle
Photo: PR Huitième Art (c)
Monsieur is the latest fragrance in Pierre Guillaumes line Huitième Art where each fragrance emphasizes on a special ingredient. In Monsieur different nuances of wood is the star and it's the first fragrance that is classified as masculine in the line, just as the excellent Poudre de Riz from last year was classified as (and really is) feminine. The review is based on comments from and my own impressions from Mr Parfumistas several wearings of a sample from Fragrance & Art.

Monsieur starts strong woody, the fizz of fresh cedar and sandalwood is prominent, underscored with incense. Vetiver and blond woody notes supports interacting with heavier notes as oak and a dry, clean and stripped down, woody patchouli, it's not the typical earthy and herbal "full" patchouli. The over all impression is a dry woody fragrance, linear in its construction as almost everything happens at the same time. When sniffing Monsieur another true woody Pierre Guillaume  fragrance  from the Parfumerie Générale line comes to my mind: L`Eau Guerriere even if that one is in a brighter and lighter context, but not in strength. Another fragrance comparable with Monsieur is Robert Piguet Bois Noir. There also something that resembles parts of Puredistance Black but Monsieur is drier and louder.

Monsieur is a reaible, true woody fragrance intensified with incense which creates a sort of radiating impression. It's in the cathegory "perfect for office" as it's smells appealing and inoffensive. Unfortunately the longevity doesn't match the strong initial impression, Monsieur stays at skin for about 6-8h (on Mr Parfumistas scenteating skin). On the other hand, on a paperstrip or cloth, it stays for days.

Despite not an original and innovating fragrance, it seems as sort of created in a rush and to be honest, not really worthy a nose that have created gems as for example Poudre de Riz,  Cozë and Papyrus de Ciane   Monsieur is a good choice for those in search for a contemporary, basic, woody fragrance.

Rating: 3         (my initial rating was 4 but after some further sniff & consideration I concluded that this is nothing but a good basic woody fragrance ie 3)

Notes: Patchouli, cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, poplar buds, incense, papyrus, oak, oakmoss

onsdag 1 januari 2014

The fragrance of New Years Eve

Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
As the winter here in the north is the warmest in decades and New Years Eve is more like a mid-autumn or mid-spring day in temprature the choice was also unusual for this day. Instead of a dark and heavy scent I chose a light and transparent fragrance, a sample that I unfortunately have forgotten for over six month but was reminded of when reading all the Best of 2013 lists: Marni (by Marni).

Marni definitly should be included in my Best of 2013 list (or maybe the 2012 if the releasedate on Fragrantica is correct), even if I discovered the last day. It's transparent but in the same time it has strength and lasts, it is both cold and warm in character, refreshing but also comforting and calming. A great mainstream fragrance, created by one of my favorite noses, Daniela Andrier which also created the first female classic of this century: Prada Infusion d'Iris.

The warmer spicy-incense part of Marni reminds me of the from the perfumecommunity surprisingly dissesd 2013 release Vaara from Penhaligons, a fragrance which I like very much. The colder aspects reminds me of one of the early "Noveau Chypres" Perles de Lalique, a more intense, deep and in the same time icy cold, rose-woody combo with characteristic pencilshavingnotes. The rose/incense/spices also reminds me of what Caron Parfum Sacre could be if it would appear in an Eau Fraiche variation. Very oddly a light and smoother trace of the "päronsplit"-note (swedish icecream, vanilla icecream covered with pear-ice, popular among children, more about htis see earlier post on Riktig Parfym) in Angelique Noir glimpses by. or maybe it's not that strange, A N is also created by Daniela Andrier.

A very wearable fragrance, easy to wear, comforting and a good officescent. Will be perfect for the coming spring and also for the winter if these tempratures stays.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, spices, rose, cardamon, cinnamon, vetiver, cedarwood, incense, patchouli