måndag 31 augusti 2015

Carner Barcelona - Palo Santo

Picture: Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens)
Photo by Haplochromis (cc) some rights
reserved, Wikimedia.com 
Palo Santo is the latest creation of Barcelona based perfume house Carner Barcelona. Palo Santo means holy wood, grows in South America, is related to frankincense, myrrh, copal and is burned as incensesticks. Palo Santo in Catalan is also a fruit, persimmons.

I don't know who the perfumer is which has created Palo Santo, anyway the fragrance starts with the comfortable, likable, gourmand, light sweet-spicy accord which characterize the house of Carner. In Palo Santo rum and a sweet, herbal accord, soon complemented with a smoky vetiver opens the fragrance. The opening and to some extent (se below) reminds me of a gentler and smoother version of Parfumerie Générale Querelle. Palo Santo behaves different in the middlenotes in different wearings. The smoky, a bit sweet vetiver is the dominating accord once I wear it, in another wearing the vetiver is gentler and a green, slight herbal, fizzy accord appears and creates an impression of green, burning incense. When Palo Santo reaches the basenotes it becomes sweeter, it's like smoky slight caramelized vetiver. This first stage of the base reminds me of another great Parfumerie Générale creation; Cédre Sandarque but in a lighter and less extreme form. The more Palo Santo dries down in the basenotes, the more vanilla steps forward and it morph to a nice vanilla supported with the smoky vetiver as a contrast.
Picture: Palo Santo
Photo: PR Carner Barcelona (c)
Palo Santo is a good everyday perfume for the colder months, it's a bit too heavy and sweet for summer, except cold, rainy summerevenings. Palo Santo is strong and has to be applied sparingly, if not it becomes almost cloying. The sillage is medium and longevity for more than a day.

As mentioned above, Paolo Santo has a special contemporary gourmand aura typical for the houses fragrances at least from Rima XI and El BornThe sweet, spicy gourmand vibe was not as present in the first three fragrances of the house, D600Tardes and Cuirs. Of the three fragrances of later years, El Born is definitely my favorite not just in smell, I also find it in a better harmony on skin than Palo Santo.

Even if not smelling similar there are some similarities that makes me think that those who like By Kilian Light My Fire  with its sweet vetiver touch also would appreciate Palo Santo.

Rating: 4

Notes: Artemisia, rum, milk, guaiac wood, tonka bean, vetiver, vanilla, sandalwood.

måndag 24 augusti 2015

Eau d'Italie - Acqua Decima

Picture: Acqua Decima, the color of the bottle
describes the juice perfectly.
Photo: PR Eau d'Italie (c)
Acqua Decima is the perfect summerfragrance from Eau d'Italie , dreated by Alberto Morillas. Acqua Decima was launched already 2013 and is the only Ed'I I havn't tested. Until now. The review of the new Morn to Dusk will follow later as vanilla goes well in the autumn.

Acqua Decima is said in the PR to be inspired by the scented notes which could be smelled along The Path of the Gods a mountain walk that links the Amalfi coast with the Bay of Sorrento, through cliffs in the wilderness over a glimmering blue sea. The gold of lemons and mandarins, the warmth of Neroli, the fresh coolness of petitgrain, enlivened by zesty notes of mint leaves.

Acqua Decima starts with a distinctive citrus accord, the mandarine must be the bitter version as there is almost no sweetness in the fragrance, it is of a herbal kind. Soon mint tunes in and takes the centerstage.It's not the chemical thoothpaste mint, this one is fresh and herbal. I can also smell something similar to tomatoleaves and for some moments I smell a modern version of Sisley Eau de Campagne. The herbal, minty accord, is wrapped in the citrusnotes which plays the supporting part after the very first accord.  The fragrance goes on very green, dry and quite linear. The basenotes are light woody green, constituting as the calm background to the sparkling, Sharp, just cutted greenery in the earlier stages. Overall Acqua Decima is edgy and contemporary in style, a member of the new colognes which are not as traditional in structure as the old citrus, light herbal ones. Despite classified as unisex, Acqua Decima to me is quite masculine, it's sharp and has no smothness or sweetness at all. Therefore I can't rate it after my wearing and have to rely on Mr Parfumistas judgement. Some of the other Eau d'Italies have the herbal, outdoorsy, sharpness also, I'm thinking of the original Eau de Italie and Magnolia Romana (worn by me in late spring/summer) both of them have more flowery components which creates a bit smoother, more feminine aura. When Mr Parfumista wears Acqua Decima he also detect a note similar to a lavander in the herbal accord. Overall he find it to be a well constructed fragrance, easy to wear and a fragrance that many people could like. Despite that he founds Acqua Decima a fragrance of much at it's own, there are some similarities to antoher fragrances but not so many. Mr Parfumista smells a hint from the classic cologne Bowling Green from Geoffrey Beene.
Aqua Decima is a genuine daytimefragrance for summer. The sillage is medium and the longevity for almost a day.

Rating: 4

Notes: Lemon, mandarin orange, mint, neroli, petitgrain, white wood, vetiver

måndag 17 augusti 2015

Parfums de Nicolaï - L'Eau Corail

PictureThunderstorm over Corfu - Lightning Strikes
Photo: Simon Q (cc)

via Dorieo from Flickr to, Wikimedia.com 
L'Eau Corail is the summerfragrance for 2015 from Parfums de Nicolaï. The summer eaux fraiches are carefree fragrances for lazy (or busy) days. My favorite so far is the creamy but herbal orangeblossom Eau sOleil from 2013.Well balanced floral fruity fragrances seems to be en vogue in niche this summer and L'Eau Corail is a lighter take in the genre. For example Parfums MDCI Cio Cio San is a more intense version and even more so Neela Vermeire Créations Pichola.

L'Eau Corail starts with a juicy, natural smelling mangonote, the mango doesn't appears as chemical at all, even if I suppose it is. There is also a tangy bite, probably from black currant, just in the right dose as to me, heavy doses of that berry often is too much. But L'Eau Corail also has a dark side, just in the very begining of the top accords, there is also an almost electric smelling note, or mini-accord, glimpses by and this moment evokes the image of the dark sky in the beginning of a thunderstorm, with the flashes, before the rain sets in. There is some of the electric vibe still present also in the later stages of the dry down. Back to the main track: The mangonote is light, not the thick varity as in for example Neela Vermeire Créations Bombay Bling or Montale Mango Manga, L'Eau Corail is an Eau Fraiche after all. The texture is somehow creamy as also the smell and after a while a light boozy element apperars creating an intriguing contrast to the smooth creamyness. A fizzy, light and refreshing also non-chemical smelling mintnote appears as also cardamom from the depths of the fragrance. As L'Eau Corail dries further down the flowery elements steps forward and balances the fruityness, the cardamom is still contrasting and adding a sort of dry spicyness to this airy-creamy-moisty blend. I suspect that the teanote in the base is contributing a lot to the airyness of the fragrance, even if an Eau Fraiche and the ingredients are diluted, many of the ingredients by themselves are heavy in character. The rest of the base is a light regular wooden-ambery accord which act as a discrete background for the light fruity-flowery-spicy mainaccords of the fragrance.

Picture: L'Eau Corail in the regular
Parfums de Nicolaï bottle
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)

Even if contemporary in the notesetting with the fruits and cardamom,  L'Eau Corail gives me somehow a retro feeling. In expression, apperance and the feeling it gives me, this is very strange as it has completely different notes, L'Eau Corail reminds me of a modern and fruity Hermès Calèche Edt, just as the latter it intermediates a bright, confident, timeless, casual elegance which is present but not disturbing (if light applicated). As I got the same Calèche association to last years Musc Monoï which is aldehydic in style and therefore more obvious to be likened to the Hermès classic, there must be an overall similarity between the two Nicolaïs which I didn't caught immediately.

At first L'Eau Corail seems very feminine in style, at least for the first 80% of the fragrance it not at all feels unisex compared to eaux fraiches L'Eau Mixté or L'Eau Chic. Then apperantly something is happening:
In its later basenotes, Mr Parfumista (who hasn't smelled the earlier stages of L'Eau Corail said "Have you borrowed my Armani *) today"  "it smells as a mens cologne". L'Eau Corail is a lasting companion during warm, humid summerdays but I'm sure it will also be nice to cheer up gloomy days in the colder months. Sillage is big and longevity at least a day, very long lasting for an Eau Fraiche.

*) The first Armani, Armani pour Homme, aromatic-citrus with some moss, at least in Mr Parfumistas "vintage" version.

Rating: 4

Notes: Mango, black currant, lemon leaf, orange, spicy mint, jasmine, rose, osmanthus, cardamom, cedar, sandalwood, mate, musk, amber

måndag 10 augusti 2015

Neela Vermeire Créations - Pichola

Picture: Panorama of Udaipur's Jag Mandir Island
 at Lake Pichola, Rajasthan, India
Photo: Sballal (cc) some rights reserved,
Wikimedia commons
Pichola is the latest release of the Parisbased perfumehouse Neela Vermeire Créations which has released some beautiful deep, multifacetted cntemporary orental styled perfumes in the later years. Pichola, as also the earlier perfumes from Neela, is created by masterperfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Pichola is inspired by Lake Pichola which is situated in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Pichola starts sunny, lush, juicy, lemony fruity with hints of spices. It's as I imagine it would be resting in a palace garden on the shore of Lake Pichola, sipping a refreshing, cardamon flavoured tea on a sunny day, occasionally cooled with gusts of wind from the lake. The fruity notes and the cardamon is recognized from another of the Neelas  Bombay Bling. Soon the great white flowers tubereuse and orangeflowers joins the blend mixed with a velvet, smooth magnolia who amps up the lemony impression. The magnolia is very well balanced, it has no sharp edges or chemical hints as in for example the higher octave, cologneinspired Editions Parfums Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia. The middlenotes forms a classical floral accord dominated by the tubereuse and orangeblossom which smells wonderful and very natural as also the supporting jasmine, ylang-ylang and rose. The floral accord is watery-airy, reminding of the smell and texure of the air just above the surface of the lake. Pichola is not at all dense or cloying and the light spices perfectly contrasts the heavy flowers. In the basenotes smooth woods appears, one of the wooden notes is driftwood which probably creates some of the airy and watery impression. 

Picture: The spirit of Pichola
Photo: PR Neela Vermeire Créations (c)
When enjoying Pichola classics as the soapy, tubereuse-spicy Balenciaga Michelle comes to my mind. Michelle is aldehydic, soapier and with just a hint of  fruity notes. Also a modern, highend, less cloying and garish Versace Blonde comes forward. In the basenotes I come to think of Dior Poison also a spicy, fruity and much darker tubereuse. Overall Pichola is not "picco", it's grand but not in the bomastic way as the 1980s floral orientals, It's a wellmade contemporary interpretation of this cathegory, with juicy and lush fruits paired with the right, light dose of spicecs, replaceing some of the almost cloying, heady flowery "old school" accords of the old ones.

Pichola is the perfect summer fragrance to those who likes some "body" in their warm weather frags. Of course also great for winter when loning for the sun. Could be worn in any occasions, except for sport. Longevity for a day with traces on skin the morning after, sillage medium.

Picture: The beautiful bottle of Pichola
Photo: PR Neela Vermeire Créations (c)

Of the Neela Vermeire Créations released so far, I think Pichola is the easiest to like for a wider audience. Therefore I predict it will be the bestseller of the line :-)
Those who likes fragrances such as Ramon Monegal Moonblom and Robert Piguet Mademoiselle Piguet will probably like the more complex Pichola too.

Rating: 5

Notes: Cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, juniper, magnolia, neroli oil, clementine, bergamot, orange blossom absolute, rose absolute, tuberose absolute, sambac jasmine, ylang-ylang, benzoin absolute, sandalwood , driftwood, Haiti vetiver

måndag 3 augusti 2015

Parfums MDCI - Cio Cio San

Picture: Poster for Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini,
Author: Alberto Hohenstein (1854-1928), Wikimedia commons
Cio Cio San is the latest addition to the high quality Parfums MDCI line. Just as the intriguing Nuit de Andalouse from 2013, Cio Cio San is created by one of the brightest shining stars on the perfume heaven in the latest years: Cecile Zarokian. Cecile seems to have good hand (and nose) with oriental styled parfumes, she has created some of my favorites in the genre; Masque Tango, Laboratorio Olfattivo Kashnoir and Amouage Epic Woman.

Cio Cio San is also oriental styled but a floral oriental with intriguing, supporting fruity notes which are lightened up with skillfull handled teanotes which are note sharp or chemical at all. Cio Cio San starts sparkling with pink, lush floral notes, accentuated with fruits, with litchi as the leading star. I can't say that I can distinguish the cherry blossoms but I suppose they are involved in the sparkling, pink flowery opening.
From the very beginning Cio Cio San reminds me of a sort of reversed and less sweet Graine de Joie from Eau d'Italie. Where the fruits are the protagonists, supported by flowers in Graine de Joie, the flowers takes the central position in Cio Cio San even if distinctly supported by the fruits. Soon also deeper nuances appears in Cio Cio San which shows a wider spectrum of accords than in Graine de Joie. After a whlie a dark, rubbery note, similar to the rubber note of rose oil appears and as rose isn't mentioned I guess it comes from the peony. There is also a light glimpse of a fresh almost petrollike note in this stage. Soon also a dark woody note appears, it's similar to a light touch of oud (also not mentioned among the notes) and there is also something almost boozy lurking in the woody musky depths of Cio Cio San. Even in the deeper and darker dimensions of the fragrance, the loveliness of the flowers and fruits are clearly present. The teanote is perfectly intergrated and creates an airy and almost light impression also in the basenotes. There is also a pleasant sort of  tingling (maybe the ginger) tartness present during most of the dry down. The notes of Cio Cio San doesn't smell chemical which could be a problem in some fruity-florals and tea fragrances, respectively.

Picture: The "bust bottle" of Cio Cio San, there
is also a version with a plain cap.
Photo: PR Parfums MDCI (c) 
Just as Cio Cio San herself aka Madame Butterfly, the fragrance Cio Cio San is a fragrance with at least two faces: The happy one just as in the very beginning of the opera, then the melancolic and sad expression just as the way to, and the end of, this tragic drama. Another beautiful flower fragrance which honors Madame Butterfly is Amouage Honour Woman (swe) which is a creamy, well blended, but less original white floral which plays in a less dramatic scale and in higher octaves than Cio Cio San.

Cio Cio San is a intriguing fragrance where different ascpects/facetts are highlighted in different wearings depending for example from how much of the scent is applicated. I'm looking forward to test Cio Cio San also in cold weather as I suspect it will wears nice then too. For summer it's great. Cio Cio San is appropriate for many occasions, both for work and casual, but not for sports, it's too complex for that.
Sillage is somewhere between close to medium, longevity for at least a day with traces on skin the morning after.

Those who like good quality fruity florals as Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling, By Kilian Playing With The Devil and Robert Piguet Jeunesse I suspect will also appreciate Cio Cio San.

Rating: 5

Notes: Yuzu, lemon, ginger, grapefruit, cherry blossom, peony, litchi, tea, guaiac wood, cedar, mus