torsdag 26 februari 2015

Maison Nicolas de Barry - Eau du Cardinal

Picture: Cardinal de Richelieu (1585-1642)
Painting by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674),
Wikimedia commons
Eau du Cardinal is a creation based on neroli from the house Nicolas de Barry. Nicolas has composed the fragrance and according to productinformation "Nicolas de Barry became perfumer of the Church Princes and wanted to recreate a fresh and delicate Eau de Cologne, paying tribute to the great Cardinals of France." .

Eau du Cardinal starts smooth citrusy, with the neroli and probably also orangeblossom, even if not mentioned in the notelist. A smooth and not harsh at all woody accord appears after a while to balance the citric-flowery notes, which also feels very natural, and it add a ticker texture almot dry to the fragrance, quite different to the usual, fleeting colognes.The sandalwood-neroli combinaton is very pleasant and there is also something almost soapy (probably musk) to Eau du Cardinal despite it never reach into the soapy territory, just touches it. The frankincense in the basenotes doesn't stand out as a singular note, it's so well blended with the woods.
Picture: Eau du Cardinal
Photo: Maison Nicolas de Barry (c)

Eau du Cardinal is a minimalist, unisexfragrance, composed of fine ingredients. It lasts very well to be a Cologne, it is also mentioned as an Edt and I think thats the correct concentration even if one has to applicate it liberally. As it's denser and ticker in texture than a real cologne Eau du Cardinal is suitable to wear year around for daytime. It adds sun an warmth a cold, grey winterday and don't disappears too soon as most colognes during the summerheat.

When wearing Eau du Cardinal I'm reminded of Parfums MDCI Nuit de Andalouse and there is also something from Annick Goutal Néroli. Eau du Cardinal is well worth trying for those who likes well made orangeblossom/neroli dominated fragrances as for example L'Artisan Seville à l'Aube and Oscar de la Renta Granada.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, lemon, neroli, teakwood, sandalwood, frankincense

måndag 23 februari 2015

Maison Nicolas de Barry - Eau de Vizir

Picture: Die Kinder des Vicomte d'Andrezel,
 französischer Botschafter an der Hohen Pforte,
werden dem Großwesir Ibrahim Pasha vorgestellt, 10. Oktober 1724
Oil on canvas by Jean Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737)
Wikimedia commons
Eau de Vizir is a masculine, very original creation from the house Nicolas de Barry who has composed the fragrance, maybe in collaboration with Eddy Blanchet as some of the other fragrances.

Eau de Vizir starts with an aromatic, citric-herbal blast, it's strong and cold in apperance. Early a very sort of clean, dry, smoky vetivernote appears and it is present in full or as whispers during the rest of the fragrance. As it continues, herbs, especially basil, green notes and fresh bitter notes appears, the fennel is sort of natural fresh and uplifting. In texture and impression Eau de Vizir is cold as original Marni, but without the rosy elements. There is also a slight mentholic touch in some stages and somehow By Kilian Smoke for the Soul comes to my mind as also the classic Azzaro Acteur with its moisty forest floor accords. The aromatic-herbal accords are founded in a musky, woody accord in which the smoky vetiver also are clearly present, a base which emphasizes the fresh coolness of the scent.
Picture: Eau de Vizir
Photo: PR Maison Nicolas de Barry (c)
Eau de Vizir is a good fragrance for regular daytime wearing. It's definitly masculine, suitable year around and would be perfect in early spring with the slight chilly air and wet soil. The longevity is very good, a little goes for about a day. Maybe Eau de Vizir is another addition to the reported upcoming, mostly non-sweet, woody-tarry-aromatic trend.

Rating: 3

Notes: Lemon, bergamot, orange, basil, vetiver, fennel, sandalwood, musk

måndag 16 februari 2015

Parfums de Nicolaï - Cuir Cuba Intense

Picture: Native American Tobaccoo flower and buds
Photo: William Rafti of the William Rafti Institute (c)
Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
 Cuir Cuba Intense is a recent creation from one of the perfumer I appreciate the most, Patricia de Nicolaï. OK, she's a Guerlain offspring so she has perfume in her blood so to say, but the heritage in it self doesn't form a talented perfumer. Patricia is not just talented (there are many talented) she also has the education, training and long experience that in the long run discerns a master parfumer form the good perfumers and the up coming stars. Patricia creates very wearable perfumes which are distinctive and intriguing but in the same time  commercially viable. Cuir Cuba Intense is another example of such a fragrance from the house of de Nicolaï.

Cuir Cuba Intense starts fresh sparkling with  warm citrus and fresh tobacco leaves balanced with some smooth, darker almost gourmand notes of licorice and anise. I can imagine just harvested tobaccoleaves that dries in the sun. Soon a bright and intensive, magnolia note appears and gives tha fragrance a warm, flowery, uplifitng expression. The magnolia is not the shrill and almost disruptive magnolia of  Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia, the magnolia in Cuir Cuba Intense is sort of domesticated and it's better balanced with other notes. Cuir Cuba Intense is sunny, warm and a happy perfume. After a while smooth spicy elements are showing up, a bit peppery and deepening the warmth and pleasing nature of the fragrance. The cumin is skillfully handled, it doesn't stand out as a separate note, I suppose it just adds some of the strength to the spicy mix. As Cuir Cuba Intense reaches the basenotes it becomes darker and a slight gourmand, spicy cake, aspect of the fragrance appears and is offsetted by a light, animalic touch which create an intriguing inteaction. The patchouli, which smells what I percieve as the smell of natural patchouli leaves are blended with the fresh tobbacco in a extraordinary beautiful way, the best balanced rendition of the combo I have sniffed so far. In the basenotes Cuir Cuba Intense reminds me of another enjoyable recent release, Huitième Art Liqueur Charnelle but without the booze of the latter. The leather in Cuir Cuba Intense is not obvious to me, but tobbacco fragrances are often also referred to as leather/tobbacco. The fragrance is also not the heavy mens club, club chair tobbacco as for example By Kilian Back to Black, which I also like much, Cuba Intense is playing in its own league with the brilliant idea combining the fresh tobbacco with the magnolia.

Picture: Cuir Cuba Intense in the 100 ml bottle
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Cuir Cuba Intense is just that, very intense with a strenght that makes four spritzes on the verge to too much. A small 30 ml bottle will last for ages. The longevity is very good, I can smell it  light but unfragmented on skin after 24h. It's the perfect perfume to brighten up in winter but as a work of such an experienced perfumer, I could imagine it will show other aspects when tested in summer. Cuir Cuba Intense is unisex, leaning a bit to the feminine side when it comes to my nose.

Rating: 5

Notes: Lemon, star anise, licorice, mint, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang, magnolia, coriander, cumin, patchouli, cedar, tobacco, hay, liatris, civet

måndag 9 februari 2015

Mona di Orio - Lux (old and new version)

Picture: Still-life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose,
Painting 1633 by Francisco de Zurbáran (1598-1664)
Wikimedia commons
Mona di Orio is one of my most favorite perfumers as I love, like and wear (or Mr Parfumista) all her fragrances except Check, check mate wich I have not smell, I think it was a special edition for a fashion designer Jan Taminiau. Lux is one of the first fragrances released from Mona, and it was withdrawn from the market for some years, now re-apperaring in the Signature Collection. In the review I'll compare the juice from my old original Lux bottle with the current from a  sample which I kindly received from Parfums Mona di Orio

Picture: Lux (old version)
Photo: PR Mona di Orio (c)
The old Lux starts lemony, round and fullbodied whith some almost candided sweetness. It has a slight candided sweetness and in its texture its like dark yellow/grey silk velvet, soft and subdued. It's not the bright shining lemon, it's more of a pickled lemon or unsweet on the verge to bitter marmalade. The new Lux starts less lemony, with slight sparkling, light peppery and Woody green notes which brigthen up the lemon a bit compared to the old version. Maybe the difference comes from my perfume has matured over the years but I don't think so as I remember that special lemony, subdued, vevlvet feeling from before. Maybe regulations has changed the concentation of the ingredients, in the topnotes my old brew feels thicker and the newer more transparent. As Lux dries down, the initial special lemony accord remains and the two Lux versions get closer to each other, the slight difference is that I smell more prominent contrasting, almost animalic notes in the old one. They are also present in the new one but I percieve the vetiver stronger in the new version. The vetiver is also more present in the current version when it comes to the balsamic, musky base of Lux. There is more contrasts in the basenotes of the new one thanks to the more prominent vetiver, the old one is more musky with traces of something almost dirty and the impression is slight retro. The basenoteaccord in the new one has better tenacity and longevity than the old version, it's like they are improved a bit. To summerize: I like the topnotes best in the old version, the basenotes best in the new and the middle section is equal liking.

Picture: Lux (new version)
Photo: PR Mona di Orio (c)
Both versions are intriguing and beautiful, the differences I discribe is of minor impact, taken as a whole it doesn't matter which version to own. Lux is a typical Mona di Orio fragrance, it's elegant, mysterious, understated and lingering like a second skin for a day. It's a fragrance that never becomes boring, it intrigues the wearer during the whole dry down. A timless fragrance which in style somehow resembles a nighttime version of Dior Diorella.


Notes: Petitgrain, litchi, lemon, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, labdanum, benzoin, amber, musk, vanilla

måndag 2 februari 2015

Huitème Art - Liqueur Charnelle

Picture: Liqueur Charnelle
Photo: PR Huiteme Art (c)
Liqueur Charnelle is a woody aromatic fragrance with a gourmand touch created by Pierre Guillaume for one of his lines, Huitème Art.

Liqueur Charnelle starts with boozy notes accompanied with the for dark gourmand fragrances, typical dark, accord of dried fruits. There is also an interplay with not too sweet gourmand notes, like hard candy or delicate cakes. An offsetting, fresh, woody note, like just carved juniperwood also appears and creates a special touch in the top.  After a while woody peppernotes in a distinct dose appears and are the leading accord in the fragrance during almost the rest of its drydown. Liqueur Charnelle acts quite linear during the dry down, with the light pastery accord, supported with some booze as the offsetting notes to the woody pepper. In the basenotes, the pepper steps back and the dark, dried fruits preserved in cognac appears forward just as an accord which highlights balsamic and tobacconotes joins the composition. And the beautiful fresh juniperwood from the topnotes appears and is the note which remains in the very late dry down. To me the basenotes are the most pleasant part of Liqueur Charnelle.

Liqueur Charnelle is definitly a fragrance for late autumn and winter, I think it could be overwhelming in warmer weather. It has an impressive sillage and is strong, very light application is necessary. Liqueur Charnelle is partyly similar to a bunch of woody/spicy/aromatic/gourmand fragrances on the market as for exemple when it comes to the spicy, gourmand part: Editions Parfums de Frederic Malle Dries van Noten, Carner Barcelona Rima XI and to some extent  El Born. That despite all the three mentioned are smoother and cozier, more of "sitting in a café sipping latte", than Liqueur Charnelle which is more extroverted with its woody peppery accords, similar to some recent more masculine woody fragrances. Those fragrances often containing oud, mentioned or not, and when testing Liqueur Charnelle when it comes to its woody part, I come to think of recent releases such as the HA of 2013  Monsieur , Parfums MDCI Cuir Garamante , Puredistance Black (here also the boozy aspects), Robert Piguet Bois Noir (the woody pepper) just as in Montale Dark Oud.

Liquer Charnelle has traces from many fragrances but also an own personality, it's a good fragrance, nice to wear if lightly applied. When I tested Liqueur Charnelle the first time, Mr Parfumista liked it better than me, but after I have worn the sample a few times and found the right, light dose to apply I like it as much. Liqueur Charnelle is something as strange as an aggressive comfortfragrance.

Rating: 5

Notes: Cognac, dried fruits, linden blossom, grapes, caramel, vanilla, black pepper, pink pepper, elemi, amber, raspberry, coumarin, tobacco

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test.