måndag 29 juni 2015

Arquiste - Quick Impressions 3(3)

My final entry regarding my quick impressions of the Arquiste line.
Picture: Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-2837)
AuthorV.A.Tropinin (cc) Wikimedia commons
Aleksandr: Inspired by Aleksandr Pushkins last duel in St.Petersburg  January 1837 Aleksandr highlights fresh green notes in a cold context, notes as fir,neroli, violet leaves and leather. The fragrance is elegant and subtle but to md the mixed ingredients almost smells like a smooth anise over soft suede and a fine vanillanote. An easy to wear everyday scent, classified as masculine but could also be worn by women IMO. Sillage is close and longevity for almost a day.

Picture: Still life with lemons, oranges and rose, 1633
Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)
Wikimedia commons
L'Etrog: Inspired by Medieval Calabria, October 1175, where a family gathers to celebrate a good harvest. Starts with a sunny, yellow true smelling lemon, followed by a light, fresh in the same time a bit dark, ripe, fruity sweet note which ends up in a scent similar to fresh tobacco. Then L'Etrog softens in the lemony impression and get green and woodier during the drydown. A pleasant lemony, green-leafy-woody scent but unfortunately with a bad stayingpower. 

Overall the fragrances in the Arquiste line are well made and very wearable.My favorites are 1) Fleur de Louis, 2) Infanta en Flor followed by 3)Flor y Canto, 4) Anima Dulcis, 5) L'Etrog, 6) Aleksandr.
The fragrances are composed by perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier who in a earlier colaboration has created (with Calice Becker) the much underappreciated Donna Karan GoldTaken as a whole, the Arquistes have almost something of a polite and dimmed down Parfume Generale style, which make them wearable to a wider audience than the more distinctive Parfumerie Generale line. The latter is also more affordable than the Arquistes. Arquiste (samples and bottles) are aviable on Aus Liebe zum Duft

torsdag 25 juni 2015

Arquiste - Quick Impressions 2(3)

Picture:  Infanta Maria Teresa is handed over
for the wedding with Louis XIV on  l'Île des Faisans in 1659
Painting by 
The Arquiste quick impression session continues, in this entry with a complementing duo inspired of the marriage between Louis XIV the "Sun King" and his first wife Maria Teresa of Spain.

Infanta en Flor: The Infanta starts surprisingly a bit dirty, orangeblossom supported by a barnyardnote. But soon the Infanta smells freshly baded, the fragrances turns to a soapy, transparent, bubblebath orangeblossomsmell, the same bubblebath effect as the tubereuse in Flor y Canto but in Infanta en Flor the effect lasts during the whole dry down. Even if the bubblebath effect is evident, the orangeblossom deepens and get denser in the later part of Infanta en Flor and the dirty notes thankfully also returns.

Fleur de Louis: Sharper and more masculine in style than the Infanta, there is deeper, greener and woody notes accompaniying the orangeflower and iris in Louis. There is a wiff of conifers and the note of cedarwood is evident but it's not sharp or peppery at all. It is of a smooth, balsamic varity that induces the wowen patch smell that I like in fragrances as Comme de Garcons Jaisalmer and Musst de Cartier Edt vintage version.

Both Infanta en Flor and Fleur de Louis have medium sillage and longevity for about 24h. These two I like best of the Arquistes I have tried and of the two I find Fleur de Louis to be the most original.

måndag 22 juni 2015

Arquiste - Quick Impressions 1(3)

Picture: Mendoza Codex depicting the mexican coat of arms16th century, Wikimedia Commons
The samples I ordered of some fragrances from the (at least five years ago) hyped Arquiste-line has somehow been forgotten. I start with some quick impressions of two fragrances inspired of Mexico, the homecountry of Carlos Huber the founder of the house of Arquiste.

Anima Dulcis: Inspired of the scent of exotic spices which floats throughout the halls of the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria, Mexico City in November 1695, where a group of nuns prepares a Baroque recipe of Cocoa infused with an assortment of chiliesStarts with an intersting, dirty, animalc blast of cumminlike notes over butterscotch follwed by a gentler soft, woody peppery phase in the style of Yves Saint Laurent Nu Edp and also with elements from Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere. Then it softens into a dark, almost slight minty, choco and nice vanilla with some polite notes of fiery pepper popping up from time to time. The longer in the dry down, the more the vanilla appears. An easy to wear contemporary gourmand-oriental with close sillage and longevity for about 24 h..

Flor y Canto: Inspired of the flowers offered on the temple altars of the Aztecs in August 1400 in Tenochtitlan, Flor y Canto starts heavy with the almost burnt butterscotch accord present. The butterscotch is blended with a tubereuse which is bubblebath-soapy at first but than deepens into a creamier one, in texture just as mediumpink velvet. As a tuberoselover this butterscotch-tuby version attracts me into half of its dry down but then it strangly weekens, blends with a lighter mangnolia note and after that does not regain the dense, velvety, buttery tubey from the heart. The silage is close and the longevity, just as when it comes to Anima Dulcis for about 24h. Even if the scent weakens, it's very pleasant to wear and it growes with each wearing. Wearing Flor y Canto is also a great way  to receive compliments.

måndag 15 juni 2015

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Mon Numéro 9

Picture: Citrus x limon,
Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen (1897)
Wikimedia commons
Mon Numéro 9 is a contempoary styled but in the same time classic cologne in one of the sub-lines of L'Artisan, the numbered Collection. See also my earlier review of the directe opposite to Mon Numéro 9, the boozy oriental Mon Numéro 10.  Both No 9 and No 10 are composed of superperfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, nowadays active in most wellestablished, older nichhouses and of courese also in some newcomers as BD seems to be a safe bet.

Mon Numéro 9 starts with a smooth, juicy and round lemon over green notes, on a light flowery carpet. The lemon is not sharp like the smell of chemical detergent which sometimes is present when lemon is dominating nor harsh-herbal as in some old styled mens colognes. The lemon-green-flowery accords are grounded in and contrasted by a typical contemporary vetiver, patchouli, woody, musky base. The musk is quite present but is not taking over the composition but assure that the longevity is very good for a citrus cologne. As described above, Mon Numéro No 9 goes on until it last traces fades away about twelve hours after application.

Mon Numéro 9 is a perfect, safe officefragence, fresh without the ordinary annoying, chemical freshness. Even if colognes traditionally are imagined as summerfragrances I think No 9 has enough body and tenacity to be worn also to bring some sunshine into autumn and winter. An versatile and well made fragrance even if nothing new in style.

Mon Numéro 9 reminds me to some extent of Sisleys Eau de Sisley 3 despite the latter is more uncommon and a bit more interesting as it also features a fizzy gingernote. Also Parfums de Nicolaï Cedrat Intense comes to my mind even if that one is heavier on the woody/patchouli notes.

Rating: 4

Notes: Citron, lime, petitgrain, lavender, coriander, rhubarb, cyclamen, shiso, rose, myrrh, vetiver, musk, patchouli, amber, wood

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try.

måndag 8 juni 2015

Aedes de Venustas - Copal Azur

Picture: Views of the South Seas, a set of four,
HMS Resolution and Discovery in Tahiti
Watercolour by James Cleveley (1747-1786),
Wikipedia commons
New York based perfumstore and also perfume house Aedes de Venustas has, like so many others, also accelerated their launch rate the latest year. Copal Azur realeased in late 2014 is their second latest one. Copal Azur is composed by Bertrand Duchaufour.

Copal Azur starts with an accord dominated by a sort of smooth, rounded but in the same time distinct incensenote. The incense is not as heavy or sharp as in the traditional church insence personified by the classic  Commes des Garcons Avignon. Further on an accompanyng accord appears. This accord reminds me of a something woody, coconutty in a airy, humid, salty surrunding, there is also a slight woody-green note present. I get an image of a palm-tree situated on a beach, the weather is becoming worse, grey skies are appearing over the sea and the wind is increasing and with flurries. From the still sunwarmed palm-tree trunk, one can smell the tree resin, balsamic-woody with hints of coconut. As Copal Azur dries down further down, the resin qualities strengthens as also the spicy ones and in the same time the fragrance also becomes  ambery sweet. Maybe, at least when it comes to my nose, a bit too sweet when compared to the intitial airy-incense phase of the fragrance. Even if a different incensesmell, the airy pine-incense Oriza L.Legrand Relique D'Amour comes to my mind as it's also the airy incense concept but sutiated in the North whereas Copal Azur is the airy incense of the shores in the countries around the equator.
Recently I watched a documentary on television about Captain James Cook and I can imagine the smell of Copal Azur when the ship anchored by the islands in the South Pacific.
Picture: The beautiful Copal Azur bottle.
Photo: PR Aedes de Venustas (c)
Copal Azur is refreshing and pleasant to wear especially in spring and summer but could also be suitable in autumn and winter when in the right mood for this type of high and airy incense. It's a daytime fragrance, perfect for both work and casual. Silllage is medium and longevity for a day. Copal Azur is totally unisex.

Those who likes different kinds of airy incense fragrances as for example the dry, woody, high Incense Extreme by Andy Tauer, the light slight flowery incense Encens d'Ange by Autour de Parfums as well as the airy-aldehydic "Chanelesque" incense of Montale Full Incense could also like Copal Azur.

Rating: 4

Notes: Incense, salt, ozonic notes, patchouli, cardamom, tonkabeen, amber, myrrh

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to try

torsdag 4 juni 2015

Maria Candida Gentile - The Flight of the Bumblebee 2(2) - Leucò, Kitrea and Syconium

Picture:  A sweet bumblebee (bombus pratorum)
is flying in for nectar
Photo: Bernie, Wikimedia commons
Today review of the last one in this delicate, contemporary styled Maria Candida Gentile trio.


Syconium starts with a sweet fignote over a background almost similar to a not too sweet cookie, probably the sandalwood. As Syconium dries further down, it becomes pleasantly, creamy, milky and reminds like that in the rest of its development even if the sandalwood gets even more prominent and is dominating  in the basenotes. In the basenotes there some vibes from the sandalwood which reminds me of  Editions Frederic Malle Dries van Noten. In the late phase of the basenotes, an moisty, dark, earthy accord appears, taking over  from the dry  and warm sandalwood. As a whole, there are no harsh edges in Syconium and it's not the figgy-woody-fresh type as for example Diptyque  Philosykos, Syconium is more of a gourmand fig as for example the much more spicy, and more complicated in construction, Neela Vermiere Creation Ashoka. Both has the gourmand fig concept in common, wheras Ashoka is the main course and Syconium the dessert. As with the other members of the Bumblebee trio, the longevity of Syconium is very good, at least a day. Sillage is medium and the fragrance even if ecpecially suitable for warm, casual summerdays, also fits as a reminder of warmer days, year around. Syconium is also office approved, with its happy and warm character it will not offend anyone.

Rating: 4

Notes: Honey, milk, fig, sandalwood

Picture: Plate 38, Moses Harris:
An exposition of English insects (1782) 
Moses Harris (1731-1785)
The Flight of the Bumblebee trio is light, easy to wear fragrances, which would please most people. There is nothing of the challenge and sometimes even quirky twists, of the first six MCG fragrance. But sometime one just want something good smelling, non-deamnding and very wearable. For that purpose The Flight of the Bumblebee trio is a splendid alternative, especially for spring and summer. As the trio is avaible also in 15 ml á SEK 288/EUR 30,55 they are excellent choices as a signatures for Summer 2015. 

Thanks to Fragrance & Art of the samples to test

måndag 1 juni 2015

Maria Candida Gentile - The Flight of the Bumblebee 1 (2) - Leucò, Kitrea and Syconium

Picture: The fresh Bumblebee Collection
Photo: PR Maria Candida Gentile (c)
Italian perfumer Maria Candida Gentile "Flight of the Bumblebee" trio, inspired from the beautiful music piece of Nikolaj Andreyevich Rimskij-Korsakov, uses honey as the common theme of the three fragrances. The fragrances are light and natural, ar also inspired from the beauty and simplicity of mother nature. All three parfumes are Edp:s and has a very good longevity but in the same time feels light and transparent in texture.

Leucò: Dominated by light spices, woody and white flowery elemtents over a musky base. It's fleeting without sharp edges. The honey is not dominating, it's a supporting note adding some warmth to the composition. In other words, there is nothing of the challening honey of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois. The more Leucò dries down, the more present is the tubereuse and the light peppery,woody slight musky basenotes, which even if smooth, take some of the natural impression away but this is not at all disturbing. Probably thanks to a skillful handling of the woody musky elements (the latter not mentioned in the notelist), the longevity is tremendous for such a light and transparent fragrance, on a scarf it could be recognized, unfragmented a week after testing. As Leucò is strong but has a light texture, one have to be careful and apply sparingly.

Rating: 4

Notes: Honey, cistus, lily, tubereuse, benzoin, pepper, frankincense

Picture: Porträt des Komponisten Nikolaj Andrejewitsch
Painting by 
Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865-1911)
Kitrea: Kitrea is the most unusual in the trio. Starts light fruity-citrusy with mixed with salty seanotes which are very refreshing. There is a pleasant hint of woody sweetness in the salt, probably the effect of the grey amber which I suppose is the same as (syntetic) ambregris. Kitrea with its seaside, salty vibes reminds me of another MCG gem, the woody-aquatic  Finisterre but Kitera is a sweeter fragrance whit is natural feeling sweetness of honey and fresh fruits. The fresh fruits is nothing like the standard ultra sweet muddled accords of  many fruity-floral fragrances, the fruitiness of Kitrea is transparent, natural and cold-clear. Another salty fragrance which Kitrea reminds me of is Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina.  Just as Leucò,  Kitrea albeit citrusy, is strong in concentration but has a light texture. Therefore  one have to be careful when applying as a little goes for a day.

Rating: 5

Notes: Honey, lemon, bergamot, fresh fruit, grey amber

Thanks to Fragrance & Art of the samples to test