måndag 30 mars 2015

Parfums de Nicolaï - Kiss Me Intense

Picture: The Kiss (1908-1909)
Painting by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)
Wikimedia commons
Kiss Me Intense is a reworked version of Kiss Me Tender Edt which was launched 2010. As usual when it comes to the house of de Nicolaï, Mme de Nicolaï herself is the creater of the fragrance.

Kiss Me Intense starts with a beautiful, warm, lush, sunny and somehow fresh note of heliotrope. It's not overly sweet, it's like it's just picked and some of the juicy green from the steam and leaves are also included. The heliotrophe is sweet and warm,  close to the scent of mimosa but thicker and darker in scent and texture. Almond and anice add gourmand sweetness to the fragrance and the mix smells almost like a soft almondcake. The flowery, gourmand accords are saftely anchored in a soft vanilla base. The fragrance is quite linear and the wearer could enjoy most of the notes  simultaneously. Kiss Me is a very cosy and embracing fragrance, like a smooth cashmerejumper. Somehow Kiss Me reminds me of how I imagine the atmosphere in beginning of the last century, the era of Gustav Klimt, where elegant ladies enjoying pasteries in Wiener cafés.

Picture: Kiss Me Intense in 30 and 100 ml
Photo: PR Parfums de NIcolaï (c)
To me Kiss Me Intense is a bit less pastery and more of the flower than the Edt version. It's a very good, sort of natural smelling gourmand fragrance, not too sweet or cloying, it has an uplifting sparkle to it. The gourmand style combined with the sweet flowernote makes Kiss Me perfect to wear for Easter. The longevity is good, at least for a day and sillage medium. Kiss Me is a fragrance for comforting, casual chic occasions and would also suit for casual Friday in the workplace.

Kiss Me is for those who like gourmands like Etro Heliotrope, Editions Frederic Malle Dries van Noten, By Kilian Intoxicated Carner Barecelona Rima XI and El Born

Rating: 5

Notes :Heliotrope, vanilla, star anise, almond, hay.

måndag 23 mars 2015

Mona di Orio - Nuit Noire (old and new version)

PictureNocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket
Oil on canvas 1875
by James Abbott MacNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Wikimedia commons

Nuit Noire is, just as Lux, reviewd recently, one of the earliest fragrances created by Mona di Orio and has been withdrown from the market for some years. Now it has re-appered in the Signature collection. According to information from the house of Mona di Orio, no changes in the composition either of Lux nor Nuit Noire is done in the reissued fragrances.

Nuit Noire reveals its true self right from the start: Already the introducing accords are dirty, animalic, obscure floral oriental with a wiff from the stable, a mysterious and dangerous magic potion. I detect, or at least imagine I detect, citrus in the new version, which probably faded a bit in my original bottle where the opening is less sparkling, a subdued, dark orangeblossom/tubereuse, spices which are quiet, with a texture and color as darkbrown silkvelvet. There are also notes of ambery leather, a furry animalic, civet styled note combined with a bit sweet and slight animalic almost fuggy musky note, not the vegetal musk or clean musky note which are more common in contemporary perfumes. Expect from the short wiff of citrus in the very beginning there is not much that differs when comparing the old and new version. I precieve the basenotes of the new one as a tad lighter, this is just a nuance and maybe it depends on how much was applied on each wrist from the beginnig and how much is washed off during the day etc.

Picture: Nuit Noire (new bottle)
Photo: PR Parfums Mona di Orio (c)
Nuit Noire is a fragrance in the same vein as Caron Nuit de Noël and  Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles but softer, more polished and not as old fashioned even if retro styled. I can imagine a mature and elegant woman wearing this a very dark night in late autumn. It's intriguing with all facets that appears during the relatively linear dry down. Nuit Noire has close sillage and good longevity, traces are left after 24h. A fragrance for evening/night in autumn /winter or for daytime cold days, adding some everyday drama. A classic in the typical elegant, well made and timeless style of Mona di Orio.

Rating: 5

Notes: Orange blossom, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, cedar, clove. amber, musk, tonka, leather

lördag 21 mars 2015

Scented thoughts - March 2015

Picture: PR Puredistance (c)
Two years ago I regulary posted my general thoughts about fragrances in the "Fragrance(s) of the week". Today I'll start this up again but on a more random basis.

* Kudos to Puredistance, LOWERING their prices, going completely the opposite from the mainsstream movement of niche rising the prices to sometimes outrageous and ridiculous levels. That's what I call customer care. For more information, read here.

* On Twitter I have a SOTD-project going on for about a month. The aim is to find out if there is some pattern in my fragrance wearing. The project is planned to recur a month per each quarter 2015. Until today there is no clue besides when I was a little sick I prefered light Goutals like Les Colognes (Néroli, L'Eau d'Hadrien, Vétiver) and Le Mimosa.

* A general observation linked to what is written about the light Goutals: The longer I'm "in perfume" the more I appreciate the chic, simple, wearable, good quality stuff, frags which are sort of basics in the perfume wardrobe. It doesn't matter if it's niche, mainsteam or in between. Of course it's fun to wear, analyze and review complicated stuff, but for everyday wear I observe an increasing wearing of the basics.

måndag 16 mars 2015

Puredistance - WHITE

Picture: Puredistance WHITE
Photo: PR Puredistance (c)
The idea of the new perfume WHITE  from the house of Puredistance is to create at perfume so Beautiful and positive that it gives the wearer an instant flow of happiness.  IMO Perfumer Antoine Lie and house founder/creative director Jan Ewoud Vos  have indeed succeeded in their mission to fullfill this idea. The process to create WHITE took over one year and probably this is a big part of the sucess, Puredistance never stresses new perfumes into the market, the creators take the time needed. Therefore the Puredistance line is one of the most solid lines in the market, there are no misses (so far) just solid, sophisticated, very high quality perfumes and I'm very fond of them all, can't choose a favorite as each fragrance suits different moods, styling and occassion. See my reviews of Black, Opardu, I, M and Antonia.

WHITE starts bright, transaprent and happy. My instant thought is the image of a daisy, a dried specimen of that little sunny flower was also included with the sample from Puredistance, a very good illustration to this scent. As WHITE dries down, flawless like an exquisite brilliant it becames thicker but never heavy in its texture. An excellent creamy smoothness appears and stays during the rest of the drydown, making WHITE very comforting to wear despite its elegant aura. WHITE is 
seamless blended and it's hard to pick up where on note start dominating and another take a step backwards. The notes are interacting, shaping a flowery veil anchored in a smooth top notch sandalwood, whitout any harsh or sharp edges, it's like the sandalwood is a part of the bouquet. There is a tonality of musk  wafting from the base of WHITE, a white, non-dirty musk which has no traces of  chemical,laundry. Instead it's deepens the accords and gives  bodies to the flowers. The musk also, together with the pleasant sweetness of tonka been and a minimalist patchouli, creates that special tart note which I  appreciate so much in complex floral compositions, in WHITE without the powdery aspect which the tart note also could be combined with. On my skin the tart musky accord especially highlighing the airy rose, pale yellow or pale pink if imagining a color, supported by some dry, slight fizzy, light earthy orris elements but without the orris carrotnote.

Picture: Picture: Puredistance full Collection
spring 2015
Photo: PR Puredistance (c)
WHITE is a sophisticated fragrance, surprisingly easy to wear taken its elegance and the expensive, high quality ingredients in to account. It would the perfect pefume for the bride of the coming swedish royal wedding in June, Sofia read this :-). WHITE is comforting and conveys a  happy mood and sunshine. Even if in style a spring/summer perfume WHITE has enough dept and genuine texture for pleasant  wearing year around. It's as timeless and versatile as for example Chanel No 22. The longevity is very good, 12h+ and a few small spritses from the samples is enough. WHITE is in perfume (extrait) strenght and therefore quite close to the wearer, even if distinct traces are recognizable for people around.

WHITE is so wellcrafted that it makes me considering selling off my less well crafted florals. Even if I like them as such, when compard to a fragrance as WHITE the chemical, harsh and laundry notes of especially some mainstream perfumes becomes quite obvious.

WHITE is for everyone who likes a delicate, flower boquet and will please those who like the  style of fragrances as for example Grossmith Amelia and  Floral Veil or the new Teo Cabanel Lace Garden.

Maybe a bit boring but the fact is that I already know WHITE will be one of my most liked pefumes of 2015. And it definitly has the potential to be THE number one of 2015. Beware Chanel Misia.

Rating: 5

Notes: May rose, tonka absolute, orris root, sandalwood, bergamot, musk, vetiver, patchouli.

torsdag 12 mars 2015

Le Galion - La Rose

Picture: Hever Castle rose garden and fountain, Kent, England
Photo: Graham Bould 2007, Wikipedia commons 
La Rose is another successful flowery re-creation (see the reviews of Tubereuse and Iris in January 2015) performed by Thomas Fontaine. The original is as usual when it comes to Le Galion, a Paul Vacher creation for his own house, a house that has been revived during 2014.

La Rose is a very juicy rose, warm and flowery like the smell of the petals in hot weather, one can imagine contempling in an english rosegarden a very warm summerday. There are no steams or green leaves from the roseplant in the mix. It starts sparkling and flowery, followed by smooth notes of cedarwood, nothing sharp or pencilshaving alike. Despite the cedar, La Rose is warm in texture and apperance, the more it dires down, the more it settles in a very pleasant creaminess. La Rose is also supported by other flowers and just as in Le Galion Iris, the lily is prominent to my nose. There are also a light fruity touch in La Rose. When La Rose has reached the musky, slight woody basenotes, a pleasant boozy notes appeares, the smell is as if whisky has been stored in rosewood barrels.
Picture: Le Galion La Rose
Photo: PR Le Galion (c)
Fragrances with similarities to La Rose when it comes to the woody part are Lalique Perles and Marni Marnidespite those are the complete opposites in their apperance, sharp, icy and cold as the winter. When it comes to the lush flower expression of La Rose, it is in the same style as Tubereuse and Iris, as the three fragrances has a similar background but featuring different flowers.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, violet leaves, rose, ylang-ylang, peach, water notes, lily; cedar, patchouli, vanilla, musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try.

måndag 9 mars 2015

Teo Cabanel - Lace Garden

Picture: Lady in Flower Garden, 1891
Painting by Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
The venerable french perfumehouse Téo Cabanel founded 1893 in Algeria, moved to Paris 1908, has some glorius decades then declined and almost closed down around Y2K. The house was restored by Caroline Ilacqua, a relative to the founder in 2005. Téo Cabanel produces high quality fragrances, most of them in a timeless style with some resembles to the fragrances of Annick Goutal and Parfums de Nicolai. Personally, I (and my nose) think this hidden gem of perfume house is worth much more attention among perfumecritics/ perfumewrites.

Lace Garden is a delicate, white floral bouquet which starts with accords highlighten a transparent tubereuse with its classical white flower supporters; jasmine and orangeblossom. The tubereuse is less prominent and more integrated with the rest of the bouquet than in L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillion  or Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion which ar two classics that comes to my mind, when it comes to the tubereuse part, wearing Lace Garden. A smooth magnolia is contrasting with its pale yellow, slight lime flowery scent. The base is soft and discrete vanillic, balsamic, woody seamless blended and the overall expression, style and scent reminds me of the signaturefragrance of Gianfranco Ferré which bears the same name, of the delicate bouguet Floral Veil from Grossmith and the first fragrance from Parfums de Nicolaï Number One.

Picture: The beautiful bottle of Lace Garden
Photo: PR Téo Cabanel (c)
Lace Garden is fleeting and transaperant, the name is a perfect description of the impression which this lovely, very feminine fragrance conveys. The fragrance feels natural, there are no traces of the artifical notes smell which often are present in contemporary "high-octave" florals. Lace Garden is the perfect spring and summer fragrance but it is also suitable for winter when longing for the warmer months. It's elegant in style and suits well for festive occasions, it's a perfect bridal fragrance IMO. A must try for lovers of delicate white flowers.

Rating: 5

Notes: Ylang-ylang, lemon, tubereuse, jasmin, orangeblossom, magnolia, vanilla, wood, benzoin, powdery notes

måndag 2 mars 2015

Maison Nicolas de Barry - Casanova

Picture: Portrait  of Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)
Drawing by Fransesco Giuseppe Casanova (1727-1802)
Wikimedia commons
Casanova is a sparkling Edt from french nichehouse Maison Nicolas de Barry. The fragrance is composed by the founder of the house himself, Nicolas de Barry.

Casanova starts green, enlighted by citirc notes. There is also a light herbal, almost non-sweet minty touch in the topnotes. Soon a very beautiful, full, not diluted, jasmine appears. It's a jasmine somewhere between the jasmine in Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Jasmine (swe) but without the dirty, horsey nuances and the flowery clean jasmine of for example By Kilian Love and Tears (swe). Some of the greenery of the jasmin seems also to be destilated in Casanova and the jasminenote is seconded by a smooth orangenote which adds a hint of fruit to the composition. The basenotes are light woody and warm with a light amberglow.

Casanova is for jasmine what Eau de Cardinal (reviewed last week) is for orangeblossom, a natural smelling, without any harsh chemical notes and no artificial smelling sweetness. Not anything new, but an easy to wear fragrance. The connection to Casanova is ambiguous, the perfume is nice smelling and in that part seducitive but when it comes to the character Casanova, I think the dirty MPG Jasmine would be a better choice.
Picture: Casanova
Photo: PR Maison Nicolas de Barry (c)

The longevity on skin is about the same, about a day, as for Eau de Cardinal even if the latter is classified as a cologne, but on the other hand I applicated more of Eau Cardinal when I tested it so maybe the longevity is better for Casanova. Casanova is very jobfriendly, couldn't offend anyone with its optimistic spirit and has close silage. A fragrance especially for spring and summer but suits also during the winter when longing for the warm season.

Rating: 4

Notes: Bergamot, lemon, orange, jasmine, sandalwood, amber