torsdag 31 december 2015

Best of 2015

Picture: Lily of the valley
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Last day of 2015 and I don't feel entitled to write this post as I havn't tested a fraction of the many fragrances released this year. I'm also aware of some samples *) of untested 2015s from which I know there will be some I'll like very much.

Regardless my limited testing of 2015 releases, this post optimally should be written in March/April 2016 to catch up, there was a battle between flowers. The winner is Puredistance White with Téo Cabanel Lace Garden as a close contender. White is not only a beautiful, well crafted, high quality fragrance, it's also a very happy fragrance, versatile, elegant and in the same time comforting, easy to wear. A staple for everyday life, as a concept reminding of the also very versatile Jour d'Hermès. Lace Garden is the white floral going contemporary, also happy and elegant, easy to wear but less formal, more casual than White.

Honorable mentions to the lovely, lush, fruity, airy floral Cio Cio San  from Parfums MDCI and in the same vein but a bit spicier; Neela Vermiere Creations Pichola, the creamy non oud - oud 1001 Ouds from Annick Goutal, the spectacular, almost gormand, citric, furry lavender Shermine from Huitème Art and last but not least the cosy, fluffy, lily of the valley vanilla Eau d'Italie Morn to Dusk.

Among designerfragrances releases Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu is the winner in my book. I also like Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Edt and Gucci Bamboo. Havn't smelled the praised Alaïa from Alaïa nor Equipage Geranium by Hermès.

A house I started to explore in 2015 was the (relatively) priceworthy, quality nichehouse Perris Monte Carlo. Their Edp:s are great and now I have just started to explore their wonderful Extraits, released in 2015. So Perris is my house of the year, even if in the fragrance business for decades.

*) Still untested 2015's which I suspect I'll like much are: Cuir L'Aigle Russe from Oriza L.Legrand, UNUM Rosa Nigra and Jehanne Rigaud Imperial Poudré. And I definitly must get my nose on Parfums MDCI Les Indes Galantes a late 2015 release.

måndag 28 december 2015

Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Short impressions

Stéphane Humbert Lucas the perfumer of many of the Nez a Nez and SoOud fragranes also has his own line named Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777. The "7:s" comes from his lucky number. The perfumes are oriental in style, high class ingredients are used and it seems that the market of the Middle East is the main target. Below my impressions from testing some samples of the earlier releases from the line.

Picture: Khôl de Bahreïn
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Khôhl de Bahreïn: Dominated by a dry, gunpowder note in the same style (but darker) as the same note in Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Ambre. The cumminlike note in the top is dry, smooth and very well balanced against a very dark mystic violet. The dark, powdery violet theme reminds me of a drier version of Terry de Gunzburg  Ombre Mercure
Picture: Oumma
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Oumma: The smell of the finsest and softest  first class leather gloves, infused with very smooth and discrete roses and balsamic notes. The woody notes are almost creamy, even the oud is smooth, there are no sharp edges at all. Pure class and sophistication which has to be be experienced. But unfortunately, the perfection of Oumma is also reflected in the price: EUR 395 for 50 ml, sigh :-(

Picture: Rose de Petra
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Rose de Petra: A soft, high quality, dark, soft spicy rose. It somehow resembles Histoires de Parfums 1876 Mata Hari but in a darker, more oriental way. It's also more quiet in apperance and lacks the slight gourmand "cakenote" that is present in Mata Hari. Unfortunately RdP has too short longevity, it doesn't last as long as required form my high standards (and the price), ie for a day.
Picture: Black Gemstone
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Black Gemstone: Wearing this I come to think of MDCI Cuir Garamante drier and Puredistance Black which is sweeter and more feminine. Black Gemstone is one of the woody-boozy-leathery fragrances with a dark depth. A good fragrance but personally I prefer Black, Black Gemstone is more masculine.

Picture: Soleil de Jeddah
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)  
Soleil de Jeddah:  A strange fragrance, starts interesting with yellow flowers as mimosa and chamomille but when developed to the middle notes, a leathery, smoky, tarry, burned meat accord a la Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Cuir appears but not as skillfull handled as in Cuir. Until today, what I have sniffed from this accord/note it is successful interpreted just in MdO Cuir. In Soleil de Jeddah the unbalanced sweet flowers and the burned meat/leather simply is too much.

To sum up my impressions of the Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777-line so far: An interesting line well worth testing even if uneven in how they fits me. Some mixes very well with my skinchemistry and lasts for at least a day, other is just "meh" and too short longevity and the Jeddah is a small disaster on my skin.

torsdag 24 december 2015

The scent for Christmas Eve 2015

Picture: It's almost the same temprature (+6 C)
this Christmas Eve as Midsummer Eve 2015 (+10 C).
Therefore this lush summer rose is illustrating this post.
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Once again time for the regular Christmas Eve post:. Scent of Christmas Eve 2015 is a stunning rose - Rose de Taif Extrait by Perris Monte Carlo. This is a high quality fragrance as also the Rose de Taif Edp.

Suits this green, warm Christmas Eve with some sun outside. This beautiful rose is enlightened by subtle spices and a smooth rubbery note from the roseoil. It's just delightful, a sort of thicker and stronger variation of the Edp version. Wearing it feels like rolling around in fresh, just harvested, medium pink rosepetals a warm and sunny day

Mr Parfumistas SOTD is Santos de Cartier vintage version, suits well with its spicy, leathery accords.     Last year, also a green Christmas, he wore the same fragrance. Wearing this classic is a recurring habit for Mr Parfumista for Christmas Eves as it has happened for several times.
Below is the updated list of the fragrances I've worn the last twelve Christmas Eves:

2014: Impossible Iris Ramòn Monegal (an elegant, contempory iris with a delicious rasperrynote)
2013: Quintaesensia Ramòn Monegal, (a special retro styled blend, furry, ambery, herbal/spicy)
2012: Nothing, knocked down by the worst flu in ten years+.
2011: Betrothal, Grossmith (classic, light and exquisite florals)
2010: Cuir Mauresque, Serge Lutens (saddle leather, orangeblossom, jasmine, spices)
2009: Tribute Attar, Amouage (dark leather, smoke, oud, excellent spices)
2008: Incense rosé, Andy Tauer (rose, mandarine, cardamom, myrrh cedar, incense)
2007: Ambre Russe, Parfum d'Empires (boozy amber, the, wood, oriental)
2006: Jil Sander 4, Jil Sander (dark, overripe fruits, white almost withering flowers, oriental spices)
2005: Nuit de Noël, Caron (dusky, retro flowers, moss and a furry note)
2004: Cabochard,  Parfums Grès (leathery chypre, harsh green notes and retro flowers)
2003: Fracas Robert Piguet (the ultimate classic grand tubereuse)

I wish all of you a Great Christmas! As I'm very curious to know what you are wearing for Christmas, feel free to leave a comment.

måndag 21 december 2015

Perris Monte Carlo - Essence de Patchouli

Picture: Moon over the Mediterranean sea  (Greece)
Photo: Mr Parfumista
Essence de Patchouli is the first patchouli fragrance in the Perris Monte Carlo line. Essence de Patchouli is one of the five first fragrances which were released in 2012, the other four starters are Bois d'Oud (reviewed a few weeks ago), Oud Imperial, Ambre Gris and Musk Extrême. In 2014 a second patchouli fragrance was released, Patchouli Nosy Be which I have not smelled when writing this review but plan to test and review the coming winter. Update March 2016 - review of Patchouli Nosy Be.

Essence de Patchouli starts with a very dark, balck or dark purple if imagine a color, velvety patchouli which is silky in texture. There are also some offsetting almost "ugly" notes that could be associated with mosquito repellent but in a non sharp, again velvety texture. The repellent accord steps backward as Essence de Patchouli dries down but is present in the background to prevent the fragrance to be too polite. The patchouli in this fragrance is not of the ambery type nor the herbal, which are the two cathegories that constitutes 90% of all patchfrags. The patchouli of Essence de Patchouli is instead as the patchouli leaves have been pickled in a musky, dark flowery a tad sweet souse. As Essence de Patchouli dries further down, the dark iris/rose combo becomes more apparent even if they are intergrated to such extent that they are hard to separate from each other. The sliky, light powdery patchouli impression prevail and the powdery note reminds me slightly of the cocapowdernote of Mon Patchouly from Ramon Monegal which is also a patchouli fragrance which is not ambery nor herbal but almost gourmand, which Essence de Patchouli is not. As with some other Perris Fragrances, Essence de Patchouli is grounded in a beautiful, either not chemical nor animalic smelling musk. The musk creates an intense, long-lived fragrance and it pronounces and highlights the other ingredients. Woody notes warmed up with a light touch of resin deepens the fragrance.

Essence de Patchouli mediates the picture and feeling of dining outside on a terrace by the sea a warm mediterranean summereveing with the dark velvettextured sky dark lighted by the silver full moon.
In darkness, texture, mood and apperance Essence de Patchouli reminds me of a forgotten gem which is based on a completely different note (incense) Juozas Statkevicius/Josef Statkus from the designer of the same name.
Picture: Essence de Patchouli
Photo: PR Perris Monte Carlo (c)
Essence de Patchouli is appropriate to wear in most seasons, in summer one has to be extra careful when applying, a little goes ong and too much could be totally overwhelming especially when warm weather outside. To me Essence de Patchouli is a feminine creation even if it definitly could be worn by brave men. The silage is moderate to big and longevity for 24h.

Essence de Patchouli is another winner from Perris Monte Carlo, it's not happen often that the releases from house have a hit rate like this house when it comes to fragrances that I think is memorable and longing to wear even after the tests for the review is over.

Those who like Sergel Lutens Borneo 1834, Chanel Coromandel  and Prada Intense will probably also appreciate Essence de Patchouli even if the former three are more gourmand and the latter more floral in style.

Rating: 5

Notes: Rose, geranium, iris, cedar, guaiac wood, patchouli, musk, labdanum, coumarin

måndag 14 december 2015


Picture: A swedish fir in the middle of the long, cold winter
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
LAVS is the first fragrance from the House of UNUM. The house started as an atellier for constructing, maintaining and taking care of  liturgical vestments. The Vatican is an important cuetomer and LAVS has a fascinating backgrund. It started as a roomfragrance which is used in the atelliers and also to scent the robes and vestments when packaged for delivery. The wearer of LAVS in other words has the same olfactory aura around as the Pope himself, at least when he wears his UNUM vestments :-) . The creative director and spirit of UNUM is Filippo Sorcinelli which has many artistic skills, for example he is an a church organist and also expriments with painting. His businesspartner Marcello is a tailor who seeks perfection in the creative process creating the UNUM coustumes. More about the backgorund and inspiration of UNUM look here.
The perfumer is a person very close to UNUM’S world who prefers remain hidden, he translates in fragrances the emotions and the ideas of the creative director.

LAVS opens spectacular with an accord containing fresh and brisk birchtar, a very thick and dense, almost honeyed incense and a rubbery note close to fresh, new, tires. There is also a light, smokey note, like smoke from a campfire made of dry pinewood a cold winterdaym with high, dry air in the coniferous forest. The impression is somehow clean, outdoorsy despite the thick notes. After a while a fresh (fresh seems to be the common factor here) and soft leathernote appears followed by a metallic note that bridges over to the middlenotes. In the middle- and basenotes, LAVS calms down and connects to the ordinary incensetrack, most close to Comme des Garcons Avignon and Montale Full Incense, minus the aldehydes of the latter, but also with traces form other Commes des Garcons incenses such as the cold pine in Kyoto and the note similar to a textile band-aid from Jaisalmer. The putty, almost powdery texture in the basenotes reminds me also of Making of Cannes Rocher Princier.

Picture: The stylish bottle of LAVS
Photo: PR UNUM (c)
Not as churchy as Avignon, LAVS has more of a cold, outdoorsy aura. My sons reaction was "It smells like Finland" probably the birchtar, the smokey, sauna like notes as also the cold, airy vibes of LAVS evokes the association of our beautiful neighboring country. Robert Piguet Oud also has this cold outdoorsy feeling and even if not containing oud, LAVS has a similarity to RP Oud in its texture and expression.

LAVS is unisex, appropriate for all seasons expect in the warm days in the summer. Longevity is for more than a day, sillage is medium in the first stage, then close to skin, LAVS after all is in perfume strength.

LAVS starts incredible, the first on third is the most interesting incensefragrance I've tried so far, (and I have tested many :-). From the middlenotes to the base, LAVS to some extent "dissapoints" in the way that it doesn't live up to the extraordinary first part. But LAVS anyway, even if the originality has disappered, is a very good high quality incensefragrance also in the later stages. As I'm sick and tired of fragrances that starts exciting and then morphs into something common that I've smelled so many times before, LAVS shouldn't deserve  the highest rating. But in this case the first part is so spectacular and the rest just as good as for example Avignon (which is a favorite of mine) and therefore LAVS gets

Rating: 5

Notes: Jasmine, cardamon, black pepper, elemi, coriander, clovs, labdanum, opoponax, palisander, amber, oakmoss, tonka been

torsdag 10 december 2015

Fragrances for Christmas 2015 2(2) - Nichefragrances

In the second post about fragrances which could attract especially in Christmastime some appropriate gems from the niche segment will be commented.
Picture: Un Crime Exotique
Photo: PR Parfumerie Générale (c)
Un Crime Exotique (Parfumerie Générale): This is similar to the traditional sweet mulled wine called Glögg which swedes are drinking the in Advent and during the Christmas holiday. Un Crime Exotique is not as sweet as Glögg, the fragrance smells like Glögg mixed with an refreshing the like for example Oolong.
Picture: Loretta
Photo: PR Tableau de Parfums (c)
Loretta (Tableau de Parfums): A dark fruity, spicy, slight dirty, animalic tuberose which compared to for example Marc Jacobs Decadence really is decadent. A fragrance in the classic dark, style of Rochas Femme. One of Andy Tauers best fragrances IMO.

Picture: Mon Numero 10
Photo: PR L'Artisan Parfumeur (c)
Mon Numero 10 (L'Artisan Parfumeur): This one is a sort of merged fragrance with traces from Christmas appropriate classics as Fendi (original), Coco (Chanel) and also Un Crime Exotique (above) + some incense. Embracing and comforting to wear in cold and grey weather.

Picture: M.O.U.S.S.E
Photo: PR Oliver & Co (c)
M.O.U.S.S.E (Oliver & Co): This is the most similar fragrance to mimic real clove that I've tested so far. A sort of fresh, airy but in the same time intense, almost cold, spicy fragrance. Some incense also seems to be involved in a supporting role.

Picture: Wazamba (new bottle)
Photo: PR Parfum d'Empire (c)
Wazamba (Parfum d'Empire): A warm, a bit sweet and spicy incense, not the traditional cold, midnight mass churchy type as Comme des Garcons Avignon which is also a beautiful fragrance suitable for Christmas.

måndag 7 december 2015

Fragrances for Christmas 2015 1(2) - Designerfragrances/classics

Christmas is upcoming, in a few weeks it's here. Up here in the north the temprature is mild for the season about 6-8 C, and the residues of two storms namend "Gorm" and "Helga" makes it windy outside. Maybe because of this my inspiration is not on top when it comes to Christmasoriented fragrances, anyway here is an attempt when it comes to the designerfragrance/classic category ie the ones that are fairly available in departmentstores, parfumeries and on line. In the next post (on Thursday) there will be some suitable fragrances from the nichesector.
Picture: Burberry London Men
Photo: PR Burberry (c)
Burberry London Men: This is an underappreciated dark gem, with a subdued dark, velvety red sparkle. Highlights warm tobacco and boozy, woody, slight spicy and leathery notes. Very comforting like sipping brandy by the fireplace one of the Christmas evenings. If released today Burberry London probably would appear in niche.
Picture: Opium
Photo: PR Yves Saint Laurent (c)
Opium (Yves Saint Laurent): I like both the vintage and the current very much. The current version is more woody and with less carnation and I think its a good reworking of the original. Warm, thick, woody, spicy and dark flowery Opium is a winner for cold and grey days and dark evenings.
Picture: Decadance
Photo: PR Marc Jacobs (c)
Decadance (Marc Jacobs): This plummy, ambery dark woody floral fragrance is to me somehow the 2010s decade interpretation of 1985 Dior Poison. Thirty years later, Decadance intermediate the same feeling in a contemporary setting.

Picture: Dioressence
Photo: PR Christian Dior (c)
Dioressence (Christian Dior): Like sparkling rosewood with green and spicy elements, especially cinnamon over a base with both balsamic and mossy elements. A classic especially suitable for daytime during Christmas.
Picture: Chanel No 19 Edp
Photo: PR Chanel (c)
No 19 EDP (Chanel): The Edp version of the green, galbanumladen Edt higlights more of the flowery elements. There is a cool, fresh mix of itis and rose resembling a crispy hyacinth  over a green mossy light leathery base. Refreshing stuff relatively the heavy scents of Christmas.

måndag 30 november 2015

By Kilian - Voulez-vous coucher avec Moi ?

Picture: Volez-vous coucher avec Moi? - The Perfume
Photo: PR By Kilian (c)
Voulez-vous coucher avec Moi? (VvcaM?) the latest By Kilian for the new sub line (A Night) In the Garden of Good and Evil, "which draws inspiration from dark nights and exciting game of seduction".The fragrance is created by perfumer Alberto Morillas and described as a gardenia centered perfume over a smooth sandalwood.

VvcaM? starts light flowery, and is a bit tart. The flowers are white with shades of purple, the petals are cold and crispy. The first fragrance I come to think of when testing VvcaM? is Lanvin Eclat d'Arpege even if that one has a lilac themre. A light, smooth, woody accord balances the flower and as also a discrete almost fluffy vanilla. The vanilla is the earlier stages is of the down light, angelic kind as in Eau d'Italie Morn to Dusk but not at all as present as in the latter. In the basenotes the vanilla is combined with cedarwood.and I can trace similarities with the base of Chanel Allure Edp. These darker nuances creates dept and character to the fragrance. VvcaM? is not especially sweet and it's also not powdery. It's a fine, clean (but not at all chemical clean) unobtrusive floral which, has little in common with the daring name of the creation. Maybe Kilian follows in the fotsteps of the latest Serge Lutens fragrances with challening namnes which are more or less the opposite to the real impression from the fragrance. Speaking of Lutens, VvcaM? has similarities to Serge Lutens La Religieuse in its smooth, dark, discrete, flowery image.
Picture: Volez-vous coucher avec Moi? - The clutch
Photo: PR By Kilian (c)
VvcaM? is quite linear even if it gets darker and even if not exactly warm it's absolutely no longer cold in the basenotes. It's a very pleasant, sort of calming fragrance to wear, nothing loud, shrilly or extreme. The more I wear VvcaM?, the more I like it. Just as with La Religiuese this is a fragrance which doesn't unfolds directly, one has to be patient to tune in with this one. A contemporary, floral classic which IMO is very feminine in style.

VvcaM? despite its elegant aura, is easy and comforting to wear. It could be worn anytime of the year and for most occassions except for exercise and similar activites. Sillage is close and longevity almost for a day.

Those who appreciate Puredistance Opardu, even if that one is a bit powdery and with a lilac note, as also Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse with its almost shadowy impression with tart and moisty notes

Rating: 4

Notes: Neroli, gardenia, tuberose, ylang ylang, petalia, rose, sandalwood, cedarwood,  vanilla

måndag 23 november 2015

Jul et Mad - Les White - Nin-Shar, Néa & Garuda

Les White is a separate collection of three oriental inspiered Extraits de parfum from Jul et Mad. Nin-Shar is created by Sidonie Lancesseur, Néa and Garuda by Luca Maffei. 
Picture: Nin-Shar
Photo: PR Jul et Mad (c)
Nin-Shar starts fruity-rosy with boozy elements. Soon woody, balsamic, incense notes joins where a wellbalanced oud and most of all, a distinct note of nagarmotha is present. As the boozy note steps back, the rose becomes sweeter and jammy. The nagarmotha accord softens in the basenote but taken as a whole, this together with the fruity, later jammy rose is the lasting impression of Nin-Shar. To me Nin-Shar is very close to a sweeter, fruitier version of the beautiful L'eau de Mumtaz i Mahal by Maison Nicolas de Barry which I personally slightly prefer. Nin-Shar is reported to be the bestseller in the trio.

Picture: Néa
Photo: PR Jul et Mad (c)
Néa Oriental-fruity-gourmand, the fruit in the heavy oriental style with  boozy dates, ripe peach, mango but also berries. Green notes balances the fruit as also a beautiful rose. The basenotes with resins, balsamic notes and musk creates a dept to the perfume. Even if intense with many powerful ingredients I percieve Néa as a perfume in the higher ocataves in the notescale. Néa is not at all cloying or heavy to wear, it is sparkling in some passages of its development, sometimes some green fizz break through with a note that smells something that I can imagine fresh harvested cardamom smells like. There is nothing chemical or sickenly sweet to Néa. it's a delicious pleasure to wear, comforting and relaxing. For those who likes the style of Eau d'Italie Graine de Joie and By Kilian Playing with the Devil.

Picture: Garuda
Photo: PR Jul et Mad (c)
Garuda Light fruity/nutty accentuated of a light smokey oud-wood with some behaved barnyard elements glimpsing through. The oudy - woody note is high and bright in the octaves compared with for example Perris Monte Carlo Bois d'Oud and Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud. This accord gets more woody in general and less oudy as Garuda developes. There are also a herbal. minty element that sparkels and adds almost a freshenss to the fragrance. I suspect there is also sandalwood involved, probably the warm, nutty elements comes from there. In the basenotes there is also a tangy, floral alomst mossy quality which has a resemblance to a green classical chypre accord but with a soapy twist. Garuda with its compexity and different faces is my favorite from the line.

Les White
are perfect fragrances for the colder months, they envelope the wearer in warmth and smells delightful. Their style is ornamental, warm, golden and all will fit perfectly for the coming Christmas and New Years Holidays. All three fragrances are of very good quality, with close to medium sillage and good longevity. To my nose predominantly feminine in style.

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the samples to test

måndag 16 november 2015

Perris Monte Carlo - Rose de Taif

Picture: Rosa Damascena
Photo/author: Kurt Stüber (cc)
Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
Rose de Taif is a classical, intense and beautiful taif rose blend created by the obviously rising star perfumer Luca Maffei for the perfumehouse Perris Monte Carlo. Taif roses are above all damascena roses of different types which are cultivated in the city of Taif in Saudi Arabia, the favorable climate and special soil produces some of the most exclusive roses and thereof also roseoils in the world.

Rose de Taif starts bold with tart, almost medical and very natural smelling rosenotes. The medical smell is not of the oudy character, there is no oud in this creation, but instead of an sort of old fashioned, acied and light spicy character. This vintage feeling reminds me of the cold, anticeptic, light spicy rose of the very beautiful rose of Parfum d'Empire Eau Suave. Just as Eau Suave I imagine the rose in Rose de Taif as velvety pink in color. Where Eau Suave has some fruity elements and coriander Rose de Taif is just soft spicy and there is a clear note of nutmeg coming through.

As Rose de Taif dries down, the tart rose becomes more prominent. The rose smells dry but not dried as in potpourri, it has some light sweetness but absolutely not in the jammy or cosmetic styled way. There is very little of the greenery (leaves and steam) from the rose, Rose de Taif is predominantly about the rose petals even if somehow from the deeper layers of the fragrance, a whisper from the rubbery note of roseoil appears. Also compared to another beautiful blend of taif roses Montale Taif Roses Rose de Taif is about the rose petals wheras Taif Roses also includes the greenery and therefore becomes more sharp and rough in it's appearance. In the basenotes a pleasant musk grounds the whole fragance but there are also light woody elements in the base as also a note or combination of notes that reminds me slight of dark but not smokey tea. Probably the tea impression comes from the rosenote as tea-ish nuances is a part of the great register of roseoil. Even if Rose de Taif darkens a bit in the base, the fragrance is still bright and bold in character.
Picture: The intriguing bottle of Rose de Taif
Photo: PR Perris Monte Carlo (c)
Rose de Taif is a classical and strong taif rose blend with many intriguing layers under what in the first impression could appear as a simple rose blend. For me as a roselover, Rose de Taif is one of the absolute best, if not the best tested so far, in the cathegory of natural smelling rosefragrances. It's a real pleasure to wear, suitable for year around, it has a distinct but not obtrusive smell as it attracts compliments. The longevity is great, about 24 hours and it lingers on cloth for days. Unisex IMO even if lending slight to the feminine side. Soon an extrait version of Rose de Taif will be released and concluded from the quality of the Edp version described in this review, the extrait will probably be magnificent.

Rose de Taif could be appreciated by those who likes the lovely blend of different rose types by Annick Goutal, the natural smelling Rose Absolue where Rose Absolue is even more rosesoliflore, without the spicy additions.

Rating: 5

Notes: Nutmeg, lemon, geranium, taif rose, damask rose, musk

måndag 9 november 2015

Perris Monte Carlo - Bois d'Oud

Picture: Uttewalde Grund
Painting ca 1825 by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Wikimedia Commons
Bois d'Oud is a fragrance in the Perris Monte Carlo oud duo, to me it's the more feminine one whereas Oud Imperial is definitly the masculine alternative.

Bois d'Oud starts powerful with a woody, light oudy accord underscored with smokey notes accentuated by a light note almost close to grilled meat or burned leather. This meat/leather note but more distinct is present in Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Cuir and to a lesser extent in Amouage Interlude Man where it's matched with a tangy almost rhubarbnote. Further on flowery elements steps forward, the flowers are interwoven with woody elements in an intricate pattern which gives an impression similar to flowery oud, I think it's the cambodian variety. In this stage I recognize the oudy, flowery style of Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud which smells more "vintage/perfumery" (in a positive way). As Bois d'Oud dries further down, the fragrance becomes more woody-spicy and Montale Amber & Spices comes to my mind, later on another Montale shows up the flower-sandalwood Sandalsliver which is brighter, sweeter and is playing in the higher octaves of the notescale. In the basenotes Bois d'Oud reminds me much of a darker, less sweet and more balsamic Sandalsliver with sudden whirls of the smokey notes.

Picture: Bois d'Oud
Photo: PR Perris Monte Carlo (c)
Bois d'Oud as a fragrance captures the mystical, dark, forest atmosphere in the Caspar David Friedrich painting above. It's appropriate for dusky autumn and winterdays but it's also developing very well when tested in summertempratures. Bois d'Oud is a strong fragrance, a little will go for long. Longevity is for 24h and sillage is medium or more. Its intensity makes it suitable for a night out. If worn in the office, gently application is recommended.

Rating: 5

Notes: Peach, plum, jasmine, rose, iris, orange blossom, oud, cedar, blackwood, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, labdanum, musk

måndag 2 november 2015

Brecourt - Les éphémères - Poivre Bengale

Picture: Capturing the spirit of
Poivre Bengale
Photo: PR Brecourt (c)
Brecourt is a small nichehouse founded by IPSICA pefumer Emilie Bouge in 2010. Besides the regular line, Brecourt some years ago introduced  "Les éphémères" a collection which presents exclusive natural ingredients and highlights them in fragrances dedicated to each ingredient. Poivre Bengale is the second fragrance in the Les éphémères collection.

Poivre Bengale starts peppery, a very nautral, freshly grounded pepper. The pepper is Bengal pepper which I have learnt is not rounded, instead it's oblong. This was the pepper which was first introduced in Europe during the Antiquity and it's sweeter than the usual pepper. Soon also fizzy nuances of ginger appears as also nutmeg and Poivre Bengale reminds me of another spicy favorite of mine, Montale Amber & Spices (swe) where Poivre Bengale is less sweet (despite the description of the character of the pepper above) and doesn't contain any rosy elements. The smooth sandalwood is also a note that is clearly present and common for both fragrances. Overall Amber & Spices is more "spicy gourmand" to my nose than Povre Bengale. When reaching the middlenotes, the fizzy ginger element is withdrawn and a pleasant, very well balanced clove note appears, clove in some fragrances tend to take over, which is not the case here. The spicy notes are interacting with the woody base, where the sandalwood gives it a warm impression. In the basenotes an almost leathery note contribute with a dark and just slight moisty dept. There is also something that reminds me of a very light mintnote in the second part of the fragrance, probably it appears in the combination of some of the other notes. Taken as a whole Poivre Bengale is very dry, warm and in the same time clean and, I know it sounds strange, refreshing fragrance. Wearing Poivre Bengale in sunny, dry and warm weather (ca +25 C) gives that strange clean, refreshing, effect, probably due to the lack of sweetness and the well composed dryness. Another fragrance that appears on the olfactory radar when enjoying Poivre Bengale is Lorenzo Villoresi Piper Nigrum which is airier, sort of thinner in apperance, also presents herbal and green elements and has a tangy aura, almost similar to turpentine. Edition Frederic Malle Noir Epices is also coming to my mind when wearing Poivre Bengale, where Noir Epices just as Amber & Spices, is a bit sweeter and is including some flowery elements. Also some elements from Lubin Idole Edp are present.
Picture: Poivre Bengale
Photo: PR Brecourt (c)
As mentioned above, Poivre Bengale is fab in warm weather and here is a spicy fragrance that works for all seasons, which is not common. Sillage is medium + and longevity very good, traces are left 24h after application. Poivre Bengale is unisex, leaning slight to the masculine side.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bengal pepper, ginger, clove buds absolute, nutmeg, sandalwood, leather, cashmere woods, ambergris

Thanks to ParfumMaria for the sample to try

söndag 1 november 2015

Blog anniversary 9 years today

Picture: Autumn roses
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Time flies, it doesn't feel that long since I wrote the last anniversary post, that for the eight years anniversary of the blog.

At the moment I crave some wonderful fragrances from the house of Perris Monte Carlo, reviews will start soon and are planned to be running during the winter. I have also some intriguing samples waiting for test from one of the very best online nicheperfumeshops Fragrance & Art which carries some unusual fragrancelines. Also a sample of the new By Kilian is on its way from Paris.

When it comes to the fragrances worn during weekdays i.e when not much testing going on I can't see any particular trend. It's everything from the heavy YSL Opium to the light Annick Goutal Les Colognes Eau d'Hadrien, maybe this broad variety mirrors the relatively mild weather this autumn, with only a few colder days until now.

And now, lets go for the decade :-)

måndag 26 oktober 2015

Brecourt - Les éphémères - Rosa Gallica

Picture: Rosa Gallica (Romania)
Photo: From Wikimedia, user Bogdan, (cc),
some rights reserved 
Rosa Gallica is the first creation in the special collection "Les éphémères" from niche house Brecourt. The fragrances are created by perfumer and housefounder Emilie Bouge. The story behind Les éphémères is according to information from Brecourt as follows: "Each perfume in the "Les Éphémères" collection directs its focus on a rare and precious raw material. Often it involves completely forgotten substances that can only be produced in very small quantities or are too unstable to be noted on the list of popular fragrances.Whoever manufactures a fragrance under such conditions cannot guarantee that the fine raw material in the center of the composition will be available again in the required quantity or quality in the following year. No one can predict whether a perfume can ever be reproduced as the perfect equivalent to the "first edition." Therein lies the volatile nature of these creations: they are impermanent, not reproducible, available only for a short time and in limited quantities ... "éphémère". " The Rosa Gallica is a very old type of rose, known from 1100 BC and imported to Europe by the crusaders in the middleage.

Picture: Rosa Gallica
Photo: PR Brecourt (c)

The perfume Rosa Gallica starts with the for "single" roseperfumes typical, a bit oily, rubbernote, this time i percieve it as been located in the pink octaves of the note scale. The opening accord with the roseoilrubber reminds me of the opening of Annick Goutal Rose Absolue. Soon Rosa Gallica transforms to a darker (still pink), sweeter, balsamic, almost jammy rose with peppery-light spicy accents, probably the myrrh-incense combo. Here Rosa Gallica resembles another beutiful rose fragrance, this time of the oriental type: Aramis Calligraphy Rose. The roses are a bit more prominent in Rosa Gallica whereas Calligraphy Rose has a wider range of notes, also spices and herbal notes. After this stage, Rosa Gallica lightens a bit in the imagined pink nuance and the peppery note intensifies on a musky background, here I recognize a bold, oriental rosy favorite of mine: Montale Roses Musk  Either of these fragrances are containing oud according to their notelists but I think there is some involved as both has some of the woody peppery note that is involved in many oud fragrances. For a short while I percieve Rosa Gallica sweeter again, with an almost vanillic touch and Mancera Roses Vanille shows up. In the basenotes, Rosa Gallica turns back to the Aramis Calligraphy Rose phase again, but more rosy and pink than the latter when comparing the basenotes.
Picture: Rosa Gallica
Photo: PR Brecourt (c)
As indicated above, Rosa Gallica has similarities with a bunch of distinctive oriental rose fragrances, Therefore it's not particularly original or innovatory but it smells really good and is a pleasure to wear. Rosa Gallica is classified as unisex, to me it leans to the feminine side on the scale. Longevity is great about 24h and sillage is big but not overwhelming. Rosa Gallica was not at all what I've expected, when reading of the background and looking at the picture of this ancient rose. I thought it would be a relatively light but tenable natural, clean smelling pink rose in the style of Annick Goutal Rose Absolue or Rose Splendide (swe), which was the case only in the very first accord.

Rating: 5

NotesBaie rose, incense, gallican rose, myrrh, cashmere woods, ebony, ambergris

Thanks to ParfumMaria for the sample to try

måndag 19 oktober 2015

Olivier Durbano - Prométhée

Picture: The legend of Prométhée
Photo: PR Olivier Durbano (c)
Prométhée is the 2014 addition to the Olivier Durbano collection. With Prométhée Olivier, according to what is written around the background to the fragrace, want to enter a new path for his fragrances. Many of the earlier ones are focused around different incense themes, with Prométhée he wants to do something new.

Prométhée starts with a masculine colognenote dominated by the characteristic citrus note of a classical cologne. This stage lasts only for a short while, soon step by step peppery, herbal and soft spicy notes appears. Then a slight animalic note appears, giving the herbal notes a rounder and softer shape. In this stage, Prométhée reminds me of Miller Harris L'Air de Rien  but less sweet and musky than the latter.
This stage is followed by a quirky passage that lasts for a while. A metallic note appears and something starts to grow until it smells almost like fresh blood. This is a bit upsetting and disturbing for ones peace of mind but it doesn't smells bad at all. I get a similar, but lighter painted, metallic-bloody experience in Parfumerie Générale Harmatan Noir. As the metallic-bloody accord steps back,  Prométhée gets spicier and darker, with resins smoothening the dominating herbal theme. An effect that reminds me of the smell of mulled wine appears and Prométhée is from now a fragrance that triggers a contemplating mood. Later a tart and dry earthy-vegetal accord appears, reminding me of the smell of crispy autumn leaves on the frosty ground a cold late autumnday. There is also a hint of pink pepper present but it doesn't dominate, just adds some sparkle. Vetiver also brighten the base with a woody, green slight citric element. The herbal aspect of Prométhée reminds me of Parfum d'Empire Corsica Furiosa even if that one evokes the image of a hot mediterrian summerday with burned herbal/grassy notes but also greener, lighter, playing in the higher octaves of the notescale. 
Picture: Prométhée
Photo: PR Olivier Durbano (c)
Present over the dry down from the middle to the end of Prométhée there is a cold, rounded accord whith a mineral wibe, I think it's a interpretation of myrrh. This cold stone accord are present in many of the earlier Durbanos and it has a similar apperance as in Prométhée in one of my favorites from the house, Lapis Philosophorum. To me Prométhée is not a depature from the Olivier Durbano style, it's still the same but this time without a dominating incense. Promethèe is a difficult and demanding fragrance which highlights different aspects in different wearings. Therefore it's intriguing and challenging to wear in the same way as Lapis Philosophorum.

Promethée to me is the perfect autumn fragrance, it captures the mood and colors of late autumn. It could be worn both for work and casual but one have to be careful when applying, this is strong stuff. Sillage is medium and longevity for more than a day. It's a unisexfragrance leaning slight to the masculine side.

Rating: 4

Notes: Fennel, pink pepper, nutmeg, myrtle, labdanum, lily, narcissus, sage, styrax, incense, ambergris, cedar, musk, vetiver

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try 

måndag 12 oktober 2015

Franck Boclet - Patchouli

Picture: Empress Josephine in a
patchouliscented kashmere shawldress
Painting by painting by Antoine-Jean Gros (1809)
Picture from pintertest, referred to 
Patchouli is a fragrance from the perfumline of the fashionhouse Franck Boclet. Patchouli is created by perfumer Melaine Leroux.

Patchouli starts with an old book musty patchuli but the old book note is not as strong or sharp as in Les Nereides Patchouli Antique. Soon the old book impression lightens up and a dark chocolate and spices are added, with the moisty impression prevails. After a while the chocolate and spices transforms to a beautiful, clean not by any means muddled tobbacco note. Tobbacco is not mentioned among the notes but somehow the fresh tobbacco smell is present. This clean almost sparkling and natural smelling tobbacco is the leading part for quite a while, the tobbacco reminds me of the beautiful Parfums de Nicolaï Cuir Cuba Intense. Then the patch, this time cleaner and earthier, once again takes the centerplace. The pathouli is now paired with a very pleasant, smooth, moisty, creamy, slight musky note, which rounds the edges off. As Patchouli dries further down, the spicy accord appears again as also the tobbacco glimpses now and then. The basenotes are woody with ambery, vanillic touches, the patchouli still present but appears lighter and cleaner almost as it now has transformed for a mission where it has to offset the other sweeter and heavier basenotes.
Picture: Franck Boclet Patchouli
Photo: PR Franck Boclet (c)

Having a soft spot for patchoulifragrances, Franck Boclet Patchouli IMO is a very good and multifaceted representant of the genre. As much is going on, with contrasting elements interacting in different ways during the different phases of the dry down, Patchouli is particulary intriguing when taken in consideration that it's presented as a solinote perfume (which it of course is not).

Patchouli is a warm, comforting and relaxing patchouli, perfect for autumn and winter. It's projects close to medium depending on dosage. It's unisex in character and could be worn for work or casual. Very good longevity, it lasts unfragmented for more than a day.

Those who likes patchouli fragrances as Chanel Coromandel, Oriza L. Legrand Horizon and Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly will probably like Franck Boclet Patchouli too.

Rating: 5

Notes: Patchouli, cedar- and sandalwood, amber, benzoin, tonka been, vanilla, musk

Thanks to Fragrance and Art for the sample to test

måndag 5 oktober 2015

Five fab frags for fall 2015

Already in the middle of the autumn, which are probably the best days when it comes to wearing perfume over the whole year. Crisp and chilly days are contrasted with almost summery tempratures, the last traces of the summer. This encourages the use of fragrances representing quite different perfumestyles. Below some favorites for the mid season, excluding the ones I have tried and/or reviewed during the latest weeks.
Picture: Perle de Mousse
Photo: Parfums Ann Gerard (c)
Perle de Mousse (Ann Gerard): Many describes this as a springscent, probably because the Lily of the vally note which is one of the protagonists together with ivy and galbanum. To me it's autumn as I precieve it as golden, glowing, tart and dusky as the moisty forestfloor.
Picture: Eau Soleil
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Eau sOleil (Parfums de Nicolaï): From the 2013 Nicolaï summercollection of lighter and easy to wear fragrances. To me this warm and golden nerolifragrance where the citric notes are skillfully balanced with herbal notes is like a sunny day in the autumn, a warming sun with some crisp chilliness in the shadow.
Picture: La Religieuse
Photo: PR Serge Lutens (c)
La Religieuse (Serge Lutens): This subdued, slight soapy and animalic jasmine havn't many fans when reading comments and reviews. To me it's sort of contemplating and serene reminding me somehow of an everyday variation emerged from one of my most favorite SL:s ever, De Profundis.

Picture: Gucci by Gucci Edp
Photo: PR Gucci (c)
Gucci by Gucci (Gucci): I very much appreciate this contemporary chypre both in the darker fruitier Edp version as also in the more flowery Edt. It's dark, stripped patchouli with  its earthy freshness adds a contrasting dept to both versions. A modern classic.

Picture: Colonia Oud
Photo: PR Acqua di Parma (c)
Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud (Acqua di Parma): The top and middlenotes of this are fabulous, a flowery oud which reminds me of the slight flowery cambodian oud. In the basenotes it's more of a standard peppery woody (porbably cedar) oud but some of the flowery woody accord glimpses now and then.

Which are your mid-fall favorites?

måndag 28 september 2015

Parfums de Nicolaï - Ambre Cashmere Intense

Picture: Autumn oakleaves
Photo: Parfumista (c)
Ambre Cashmere Intense is the latest addition to the perfumeline of Parfums de Nicolaï, the reaible, quality niche house founded by the Guerlain descendant, perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï . The house celebrated a quarter of a century last year.

Ambre Cashmere starts with a beautiful, sparkling accord dominated by a full and round lemony note cleverly mixed with pepper. The pepper is not at all dominating, which unfortunately is very common with this note. Instead of beeing overdosed the pepper adds sparkle and contributes to a dry and warm impression. The lemony note has some green accents which adds an very elegant texture to the fragrance.I recognize this accord from other Nicolaïs as for example L'Eau Chic and Vanille Tonka, it's seems to be something like a signature for the casual chic style of Nicolai. When Ambre Cashmere reaches the middlenotes, a slight buttery note with a floral touch appears. Despite the buttery texture there is something almost ozonic, fizzy appearing for a while. A beautiful, dry vanilla which feels unprocessed and natural appears, there is not the candy sweetness nor the woody old-book smelling vanilla version. The vanilla in the basenotes is balanced with smooth, rounded resins, a powdery tonkabeen with a touch of patchouli which together with a light musk adds dept and longevity to the scent. Ambre Cashmere is intresting also in the basenotes, the fragrance is shifting in its performance, for example suddenly the base becomes a tad spicy, an almost cinnbar like note which I recognize from (but here it appears in a lighter form) the very special, most unusual patchouli secnt I have sniffed so far, Patchouli Homme which I think is renamed to Patchouli Intense. Further in the drydown the spicy patch gets cleaner, earthier but still discrete and supporting, not at all dominating.
Picture: Ambre Cashmere Intense
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Ambre Cashmere is a light, soft and uplifting amberperfume. The amber is not dominating as the name implies, the amber is discretly present, surrounding the fragrance and creating a soft, golden aura around the wearer. When it comes to the overall gentle apperance and texture of the fragrance, the "Intense" part of its namn it hard to understand. Ambre Cashmere is a perfect perfume in the first beautiful part of the autumn with the golden sunlight and the leaves shifting in orange and yellow. Something with Ambre Cashmere reminds me of Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Ambre even if not smelling the same, the MdO Ambre is more distinct with a dry gunpowdernote. Anyway both fragrances are light ambers in the higher octaves of the notescale, powdery and cashmerelike in texture. Wearing these fragrances is like to be wrapped in a featherlight cashmereshawl.

Ambre Cashmere is a discrete fragrance with close sillage but  clearly present to the wearer and to those who are in 1-2 meters distance. A wearable and elegant fragrance, even if classified as unisex it's IMO leaning to the feminine side. Longevity is good, last unfragmented for a day and when it comes to this aspect of the perfume, it deserves the epithet "Intense". Even if not the most exciting or innovative perfume, Ambre Cashemere is very well made, elegant, relaxing to wear and as always with Nicolaï. perfectly blended and balanced.

Raring: 4

Notes: Black pepper, mandarine, citron, orrisrooth, violet, cloves, vanilla, labdanum, benzoin, tonka been, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, musk

måndag 21 september 2015

Parfume d'Empire - Musk Tonkin

Picture: Marlene Dietrich, a worthy wearer of Musk Tonkin
Image source:
Musk Tonkin from Parfume d'Empire was first introduced as a limited parfume edition in 2012. In 2014 an Edp version was launched. Musk Tonkin is created by P d'E founder, perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato. The review will cover both the perfume and the Edp versions.

The concept behind Musk Tonkin is an attempt to recreate the smell of the real animalic musk tonkin  which is derived from the musk deer, using vegetal and syntetical musk replacement.

From the beginning until the end Musk Tonkin is vintage in style, as a 1930s diva in a  biascutted velvety evening gown and a grand furstole. The fragrance starts  dark, heavy, musky flowery, the parfume rounder, smoother and more close to the skin. The Edp is lighter, playing in the higher octaves with some almost citric/fruity notes wich gives the fragrance an  almost sparkling radiance in the first accords. The perfume version goes straight to be a skinscent, and even if close, it's a skinscent with quite a detectable sillage. As the topnotes have vanished, the Edp approach to the parfume and becomes quite similar even if I can discern some minor differences, the parfume is still a notch more dark flowery, a bit more velvety and smooth, the Edp still a bit brighter and sharper. In the middlenotes both versions becomes more musky and also a bit spicy, cumin is defenitely involved but in smaller potions than in Parfums d'Empire Aziyade. Indolic, white flowers interacts with the prominent vegetal musky note, a vegetal musk that reminds me of amberette seeds, hay and almost powdery, light touched barnyard notes. This musky setting, and the image the fragrance creates overall, reminds me to some extent to Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin.  Maybe the flower in Musk Tonkin is tubereuse as I'm reminded of Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse when it comes to the integrated, heavy, seamless, indolic flower, musky accord. Musk Tonkin is quite linear in its development, even if  the musk is slightly more prominent in the basenotes, it's still balanced and is not taking over the composition completely. If I would describe Musk Tonkin in one sentence it's: A vegetal musk soliflore.
Picture: Musk Tonkin
Photo by: PR Parfum  d'Empire (c)
Musk Tonkin is sometimes described as an animalic, dirty musk. As I havn't smelled real musk tonkin  can't judge  if this vegetal musky smell is also close to the animalic version. As I remember Serge Lutens Muscs Koublaï Khan it's not as musty, less flowery and with more traces of cumin than Musk Tonkin. It's also more animalic even if a discrete interpretation. For those searching for a hardcore, dirty musk, Les Neréidés Fleur Poudreé de Musc could be recommended, Musk Tonkin and its siblings stand out as shy violets compared to this one.
Musk Tonkin is best for the colder month, especially it's good for cold evenings. Sillage is close and longevity great, for 24h at least. Unisex, leaning to the feminine side.

Those who likes fragrances as Mona di Orio Nuit de Noire and Maison Francis Kurkdijan Absolue Pour Le Soir will probably also like Musk Tonkin.

Rating: 5

Notes: Musk

Thans to Fragrance & Art for the sample of Musk Tonkin Edp to test, the parfume  comes from my own sample