måndag 30 juni 2014

Eau d'Italie - Graine de Joie

Picture: HRH Prince Carl Philip and his fiancee Sofia Hellqvist
on their engagementday June 27th, 2014.
Photo: Expressen Sven Lindvall (c)
Graine de Joie from italian nichehouse Eau d'Italie is a red berry boost raised to ten. Graine de Joie is created by Daphne Bugey. The fragrance is said to be inspired by the idea of love and according to the marketing blurb "we have decided to celebrate love, and to create a fragrance that conjures up the irresistible light-headedness of when you fall in love." Graine de Joie would have been the olfactory background for the great royal news of last Friday: The handsome HRH Prince Carl Philips engagement with his charity working, from a small village, middle class background, girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist. Another Cinderella story following the one of HRH Prince Daniel. The color and expression of Graine de Joie is exactly the red color of Sofias elegant dress.

Graine de Joie starts very uplifting with ripe redberries and pomegranate, red, lush and mouthwatering delicious. The berry-pomegranate combo goes through the whole fragrance supported by a fizzy freesia who is contrasting and lighten up the fragrance. There are also a contrasting, tart note, maybe some redcurrant leaves is added to the mix or the note just picturing the tartness present in the berries themselves. Not unexpected, the berry-bowl is grounded in a well balanced musky, light woody base.

Picture: The sunny spirit of Graine de Joie
Photo: PR Eau d'Italie (c)
Beside the royal engagement, Graine de Joie gives me the image of a bowl with ripe red berries and fruits avaible when relaxing in a sunny mediterrian garden in the peak of the summer.Graine de Joie is a perfect fragrance for the season, something that departs from the usual fresh aquatics or citrus scents. The fragrance is much richer than the usual sommerfragrances and despite its full blown berry sweetness, it doesn't becames sickly sweet or smells chemical. It's an uncomplicated happy and easy to wear fragrance, appropriate both for work or casual wearing. Graine de Joie is a good composition in the floral-fruity genre. I find it more ordinary in style than the intriguing and demanding earlier Eau d'Italie compositions such as the burnt, spicy, woody Bois d'Ombrie, the green, rough, woody Sienne l'Hiver, the dramatic rose Pasteum Rose and the special cologne styled first fragrance Eau d'Italie which I personally prefer.

When it comes to similar fragrances, first of all Robert Piguet Jeunesse comes to my mind, though that one has more dept and contrasting non-berry/fruity notes. Also the fragrances in By Kilians subline In the Garden of Good and Evil are in the same style, reviews of In the City of Sin, Good Girl Gone Bad, Forbidden Games and Playing with The Devil.

Rating: 4

Notes: Red berries, red currant, pomegranate, freesia, flowers, praline, musk,cedar

onsdag 25 juni 2014

Parfums de Nicolaï - Musc Monoï

Picture: Musc Monoï
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
In the current tidewave of new nichehouses with strange or copy-cat fragrances, I'm even more grteful for the old, stable houses in this genre. The 25 years jubilee Parfums de Nicolaï is a true mainstay, creating high quality, elegant and in the same time effortless fragrances which also often are innovative even if the PdN house doesn't make any fuss about it. Such a fragrance is the latest release, Musc Monoï,as usual created by Patricia herself.

Musc Monoï is said to be inspired by summer, beach and the suntan oil Ambre Solarie and as I havn't tried the oil, I can't refer to if Musc Monoï is close to it or not. But when I refer to suntan oils in general, Musc Monoï is not smelling as the regular, coconut, big tiare overdosed ones. Musc Monoï in comparison is restraind and casual chic in the same time it's warm and highlights the sweet ylang-ylang backed up with a deeper jasmine and is brightend of the flowery-lemony qualities of magnolia in a beautiful way. There is also something aldehydic in its style, like a carefree, tropical island Chanel No 5 Eau Premièrè. It could also be a bohemic-chic cousin (draped in a 140x140 Hermès parero) to the classic aldehyde Hermès Calèche personality.Probably it's the warmth, the yellowness and carefree apperance of both fragrances that gives me these assosciations
Picture: Hermès "Jungle Love",
cashmere and silk  (140x140)
Photo: PR Hermès (c)
After the flowery beginning, Musc Monoï reach a more musky stage which deepens the apperance of the flowers. I can smell a salty quality as also some stripped down, dry coconut and the same with the, in general almost narcotic, tiareflower. It's like a minimalistic, domesticated accord of the nut/tiare and here I for the first time can smell some light traces of a sunscreen of my childhood, Snik an old austrian classic (mostly worn during the winterholidays in the swedish mountains), sadly I havn't seen in the shops in this millennium. As Musc Monoï dries down further, a slight juicy, but not fruity, quality shows up. Probably this is the dreaded note of calone, handled in the right, cautious way. The musk in Musc Monoï is not dominating as a note, to my nose it's more of a carrier of the floral and light salty notes and the musk is probably the component that lends the good longevity to Musc Monoï, it lasts for almost a day, off beach.

When it comes to the salty notes, such sometimes could be almost intrusive, I'm thinking of Laboratorio Olfattive Salina which I think is a ok smelling fragrance but it has to be handled carefully as it has a grand sillage and longevity for days. Salty notes lightly done like in Musc Monoï or Parfumerie Générales perfect summerfragrance Bois Naufrage doesn't require such considerations when applying and is therefore relaxing and uncomplicated.

Musc Monoï is easy to like but not at all simple. It's definitly a charming campanion for summer and it could easily also be worn in the tiresome summerdays in the office.Musc Monoï is avaible in the (new) Nicolaï standardbottles 30 & 100 ml from the PdN website.

Rating: 4+

Notes: Neroli, lemon, petitgrain,  ylang-ylang, jasmine, coconut, calone, magnolia, ylang-ylang, sandalwood musk

Thanks to Parfums de Nicolï for the sample to test 

lördag 21 juni 2014

Midsummer (and some concerns about Caron)

Picture: Midsummerflower
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
So here we are, already the magic summersolstice with the shortest night of the year i.e not dark at all, just more or less light outside. But when it comes to the temprature one could suspect it's the wintersolstice we are celebrating. Yesterday was the coldest Midsummereve in decades and perfumewise I felt to put on some spicy-woody YSL Opium instead of something traditional midsummer flowery or green grassy. It all came to a compromise, I chose a flower but not at light pretty summerflowery one.

Instead I went for a classical, dramatic, elegant and restrained soliflore, Caron Tubéreuse which has intrigued me lately, inspired from the great review on Suzannes Perfume Journal as well as a post on The Scented Salamander and the fact that I suspect (don't know from any official source) that Tubereuse is discontinued. At least as a fragrance widly avaible in a bottle and not only as an urn/fountain-extrait. Can't find it on the Caron website which is also the case with for example Bellodgia (there is a new release called Più Bellodgia) and I suppose the old, cranation dominated one is replaced with a new interpretation of the fragrance as last years regulations hardly affected the substances which creates the smell of carantion.

Definitly Caron Tubereuse should have more attention. It's not the bombastic, flowery, tuberose as Robert Piguet Fracas, nor the green, crisp, leafy, sunny tuberose as Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. Caron Tubereuse starts with a honeyed nectarnote like in Annick Goutal Tubereuse but not rounded and warm in texture as the latter. Caron Tubereuse on the contrary is cold, slight bitter-green and strangly enough at first dry but later dark-green slight mossy, a bit moisty in texture. It's a dark and restraind fragrance and even if not smelling close, I think Caron Tubereuse expressing a similar mood as Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Tubéreuse which is a lighter in texture tuberose compared to the Caron.