torsdag 30 april 2015

Maison Nicolas de Barry - Louis XV

Picture: Louis XV  (1710-1774)
Painting from 1730
  by Hyacinthe Riguad (1679-1743)
Wikipedia commons
Louis XV is the masculine counterpart to Madame de Pompadour also from Maison Nicolas de Barry reviewed earlier this week. Louis XV is created by Nicolas de Barry and Eddie Blanchet and part to the line inspired of historic royalties.

Louis XV starts with a sunny blast of sweet honeyed orangeblossom contrasted with the green and a tad bitter facetts of neroli. The opening is golden, as the rays of the sunset. As the fragrance developes, a classic bouquet of  flowers emerges and acts as a solid backgrund to the orange maintheme. The texture of the fragrance is as a smooth, silky golden velvet, suitable for a royal robe, worthy Louis XV himself. From the bouquet there are certain crispy green notes fleeting around in the blend, more or less noticeable as the flowery theme varies. Overall the composition has a citric tingeThe base is warm ambery, slight musky with just a small touch of soap. Louis XV is far from as ambery as Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV is a varitaion of the usual orange-/neroli theme and a much more straight forward white floral.

Louis XV is a very good orangeblossom interpretation, there is no harsh edges or artificial feeling. It's round and warm, very flowery, without the cologne texture common among many orangeblossom fragrances and also not as soapy as many of them. Louis XV to me is unisex and could be worn in most ordianry occasions, this is a fragrancs that adds everyday comfort and casual elegance. It also draws compliments. The sillage of Louis XV is medium and longevity not as great as the Madame P, Louis on my skin lasts for a day reapplied. This is strange as Annick Goutal Les Colognes Nèroli lasts for about a day without reapplication.

Picture: Louis XV
Photo: PR Maison Nicolas de Barry (c)
Fragrances that Louis XV reminds me of are Historiae Orangerie du Roy which is fresher and more colognestyled, Annick Goutal Neroli, which is thinner and less flowery, as well as it has some similarties with the more masculine, woody neroli Eau de Cardinal also from Maison Nicolas de Barry.

Rating: 4

Notes: Neroli, orange, roses, jasmine, violet, gardenia, hyacinth, daffodil, tubereuse, amber

Thanks to Fragrance & Art  for the sample to test

måndag 27 april 2015

Maison Nicolas de Barry - Madame de Pompadour

Picture: Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764)
portrayed as a turkish lady, 1747
Painting  by Charles André van Loo (1705-1765)
Madame de Pompadour is a creation from Maison Nicolas de Barry, a house which creates fragrances inspired from the history. The fragrances is created by Nicolas de Barry and Eddie Blanchet.

Madame de Pompadour starts with a burst of florals under command of the regal iris, the flowery version, not the carrot root note. Soon the rest of the boquet takes over, different flowers are fleeting in and out from the centerplace. On my skin the bulbflowers daffodil and hyacinth are particularly present, supported by a beautiful tuberose. The amber blends very well with the flowers and creates a special glow to the perfume. Also the amber and iris particulary seems to connect during the dry down, plush, velvety aura. The base are ambery-musky with the flowers still very clear present and a touch of a contrasting slight earthy/dirty smell. There is also a touch of the special textile band-aid note present in vintage Musst de Cartier Edt.

Summarized: Madame de Pompadour is a beautiful floral-oriental bouquet, interacting with a glowing, ambery base creating a warm, rounded boquet. Even if classic in structure and ingredients Madame de Pompadour doesn't smell dated neither dense or loud. One could imagine that a fragrance inspired by Madame de Pompadour would be lighter, pink much more fluffy, powdery and painted in lighter pastel colors as fashionable in the Rococoera. But the reality beyond the pastels was, as we all know, strong odeurs, attempted to be hidden by perfumes. In the perfume there is a hint of a dirty note in the base, so subtle on almost not recoginze it at first. It's not at all like in the barnyardnotes fragrances.

Picture: The Mme de Pompadour flacon
Photo: PR Maison Nicolas de Barry 
Madame de Pompadour is suitable for all seasons but just for evening in the summer. It's very elegant and maybe too much for most offiicies even if a pleasure to smell and wear. Sillage is medium and longevity for at least a day.

Wearing Madame de Pompadour I somehow get to think of (even if not smelling the same) classic Creed flower boquets as Irisia, Fantasia de Fleurs and Tubereuse Indiana. Madame de Pompadour is for everyone who enjoy a wellmade, grand, timeless floral boquet.

Rating: 5

Notes: Iris, roses, jasmine, gardenia, violets, hyacinth, daffodil, tubereuse, amber

Thanks for Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

måndag 20 april 2015

Ramon Monegal - Hand in Hand

Picture: Skiers
Painting by Frits Thaulow (1847-1906)

Hand in Hand is an oud-oriental  inspired perfume from the Barcelona based perfumehouse Ramon Monegal. As usual the very experienced perfumer, the house of Myrurgia offspring, Ramon Monegal. As Myrurgia is mentioned as the Guerlain of Spain, Ramon could be likened to a spanish version of Patricia de Nicolaï. Both well educated and experienced in perfume/perfume business, running own perfume houses, independent from the old family houses which since long been sold to some of the big ones.

Hand in Hand starts cold, with a woody smell of juniper bush and pine in winter. After a while a smoky accord appears, it's the fresh, dry smell from dry wood, lighted to a campfire a cold and sunny winterday in the forest. This is not the rough,  masculine, meaty, smoky accord as in the campfiresmoke in Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Cuir, the smoke in Hand in Hand is more refined. After a while a hint of leather ant a peppery note also shines through. The dark rose is  discrerte in the first stages of Hand in Hand. Over all the first part of Hand in Hand (even if not smelling the same) reminds me of the first part of Robert Piguet Oud, which also contains the cold, pine note. These two fragrances could be described as the ouds of the North, they are very suitable to the Scandinavian landscape and colder tempratures. Hand in Hand also has some kinship to Frapin Nevermore, as an unsweet, dry relative to that dark, dramatic, boozy, intriguing one. In the second part Hand in Hand becomes more spicy, a spicy mix which togheter with a musky base brings forward the rose a bit more, even if the rosy note not is as dominating as in most rose-oud combos. The rosy note is as integrated with the other notes. In the later stages of Hand in Hand I find similarites with the dark, purple, rose from Parfumerie Générale Isparta.
Picture: Hand in Hand in it's inkwell bottle
Photo: PR Ramon Monegal (c)
The cold, confier and smoke accords  is the first part of Hand in Hand I find the most interesting, the second part is more familiar for this style of fragrance. Hand in Hand could be worn year around at any occasion where a more intense pefume could be accepted. The fragrance is very concentrated, and just as with Isparta, it's hard to avoid overapplying. Less is more is definitly what is applicable in this case. Sillage is great and longevity for 24h+. Hand in Hand is unisex, leaning to the feminine side according to my nose.

Rating: 4

Notes: Rose, oud, spices, musk

måndag 13 april 2015

Le Galion - Sortilège

Picture: Le Galion Sortilège
Photo: PR Le Galion (c)
Sortilège is like all the other re-released Le Galions a reinterpreation/ reconstruction of the Paul Vacher fragrances, created for his house, Le Galion during the 1930s to 1970s. The reworking of the fragrances is performed by perfumer Thomas Fontaine.

Sortilège starts with subdued, soft, very aldehydic flowers, a non perfumista would probably belive that the topnotes are off. The impression is very vintage, in a soft, non-screachy way, a wonderful opening to my nose. There is also a light, smooth spicy (cinnamon) impression, contrasting the soft flowers. As Sortilège reaches its heart flowers are still embedded in an aura of aldehydics but much softer and not as outstanding as in the initial blast. The flowers are warm, soft yellow, like the golden nectar, seamless mixed in a fleeting during a balsamic, warm, woody slight ambery base which becomes excellent creamy in texture after some hours.

Sortilège is a fragrance for elegant occasions year around. The sillage is medium and longevity for at least a day. Of course it could be worn also for work, this is a perfume that boosts ones confidence.

Picture: Le Galion Sortilège
Photo: PR Le Galion (c)
Sortilège, first created in 1965, havn't smelled the vintage, traditionally was one of the topsellers from Le Galion and I'll not be surprised if the modern interpretation will follow the original. It's a beautiful, retro styled fragrance, interpreted in a contemporary but in the same time timeless style. It's very elegant, sort of french in style, there are similarities in style, with the aldehydes in Hermès Calèche. Somehow I also associate to Parfums de Nicolaï  Le Temps d'une Fête even if the latter is a green floral fragrance, rougher and outdoorsy compared to the artistic bound floral bouquet in the salon, Sortilège. Also the beautiful Antonia from Puredistance comes to my mind when testing Sortilège. It could also be compared as the feminine counterpart to Le Galion Special for Gentlemen the same elegant timeless, retro style. To me Sortilège together with Special and Iris is the best fragrances from what I have tested from Le Galion.

Rating: 5

Notes: Lily-of-the-valley, lilac, ylang-ylang, aldehydes, jasmine, narcissus, rose, iris, mimosa, sandalwood, vetiver, labdanum, musk, amber 

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test

torsdag 9 april 2015

Le Galion - Snob

Picture: Tagetes, probably T. patula, on Gotland, Sweden
Photo: A friend of author Per Enström, user Plkr (cc)
Wikimedia commons, some rights reserved
Snob is another of the reworked and re-released fragrances from classical french perfumehouse Le Galion. The reworkings are performed by Thomas Fontaine, the originals were created by Paul Vacher.

Snob starts with sparkling, almost metallic, cold flowery, crisp fruity notes with a touch of saffron. As Snob dries further down, medium bright rosy note appears, if I imagine a color, it's creamy white. The rose is backed up with classical white flowers. Soon the note that seems to be the twist of this fragrance shows up; the tangy, sour and almost citric note of tagets, a great contrast to the rest of this well behaved floral mix. The tagets makes me think of Montale Aoud Red Flowers a darker and denser, more distinkt floral-woody-oriental fragrance featuring the not so common flower (in perfume); tagetes.
The flowery, sparkling coolness remains during the whole drydown of Snob. The base is bright as rest of the fragrance, woody-musky without powdery notes.

Picture: Le Galion Snob
Photo: PR Le Galion (c)
Snob is a good fragrance for spring and summer, an elegant, but not snobbish, officescent with a twist in the overall floral harmony. Longevity is good, about a day, sillage is descent. Those who likes a bright, wellmade  floral boquet in a timeless style like for example Jean Patou Joy would probably appreciate to test Snob as also the other florals from Le Galion, all well made in a opulent and timeless style. Which one to prefer is in the end up to the personal floral taste.

Rating: 3

Notes: Mandarin, bergamot, saffron, apple, rose, jasmine, orange blossom, iris, tagetes, sandalwood, cedarwood, musk

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try.

måndag 6 april 2015

Le Galion - 222

Picture: The light leather 222
Photo: PR Le Galion (c)
Le Galion 222 is another reissue/reconstruction of an old fragrance from the house of Le Galion. Thomas Fontaine has reworked the old formula of Paul Vacher.

222 starts with a accord  similar to cardamon (not mentioned in the notelist) and leather, first the spicy note appears, than the leather intensifies. In this stege 222 reminds me of the cardamon infused trio Veni, Vidi, Vici by Histoire de Parfum.The leather is a natural smelling, medium strenght leather, like the leather in a pair of gloves, not the rough leather of a black bikers jacket nor the smooth leather inside a fine handbag. The leathery/spicy accord is balanced with a cold, slight nondescript  flowery accord and the fragrance as a whole is cold in texture. The base is sort of clean, contemporary mossy/woody with the leather still apperant. In the basenotes 222 reminds me of a smoother and weaker Helmut Lang Cuiron (vintage version).

222 is a gentle leather, suitable for most daytime occasion, for most season exept the warmest summerdays. Those who like light leathers like Hermès Kelly Caleche, Cuir de Lancome etc, could also appreciate 222.

Rating: 3

Notes: Violet, myrrh, styrax, lavender, geranium, coumarin, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, leather

torsdag 2 april 2015

Easterfrags 2015

Picture: The Peter the Great Egg, 1903
Photo: Uploaded from Dutch and UK Wikipedia,
no rights reserved for the file
Easter is more of a "fragranceholiday" than Christamas to me. In Christmas there are so many other competing smells as from the Christmastree, Glögg (swedish mulled wine), saffron bread, red cabbage, mustard etc. Easter is expressed in  three distinct fragrancegroups to me: The foody - gourmand fragrances, the crispy - green fragrances,  especially the ones containing bulb flowers or cold iris and the churchy- incense or precious resinfragrances. Below some reaible ones from each category:

The foody
Kiss Me Intense (Parfums de Nicolaï): Pastry and sweet floral high-level gourmand pleasure.
Cuir Garamanate (Parfums MDCI): Some dark, boozy almost liqurie notes hides in this powerful woody blend.
Nevermore (Frapin): Now we're entering the dark, boozy territory, mysterious and dark as Good Friday itself.

The crispy
No 19 Edp (Chanel): Contains more flowery notes than the Edt, beautiful iris, rose, galbanum accord.
Amazone (Hermès): Crispy, cold, green bouquet with bulbflowers with some amplifying fruity notes. An old time favorite, very casual chic.
Antonia (Puredistance): Green leaves and stems in a beautiful sunny, floral composition. Timeless, casual chic, perfect for the Easter lunch.

The churchy
Pink Quartz (Olivier Durbano): A pink mineral rose with myrrh, incenses and precious spices. Cold as the marble of the cathedral, contrasted with the warmth and smell of the incense burned inside.
Relique D'Amour (Oriza L.Legrand): The small medival chapel with a Madonnasculpture who has listened to centuries of prayers.
Passage d'Enfer (L'Artisan Parfumeur): Incense in the air, lillies on the altar and a ray of light shining through the gotic windows of the cathedral.

Wish you a Happy Fragrant Easter!