torsdag 31 december 2015

Best of 2015

Picture: Lily of the valley
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Last day of 2015 and I don't feel entitled to write this post as I havn't tested a fraction of the many fragrances released this year. I'm also aware of some samples *) of untested 2015s from which I know there will be some I'll like very much.

Regardless my limited testing of 2015 releases, this post optimally should be written in March/April 2016 to catch up, there was a battle between flowers. The winner is Puredistance White with Téo Cabanel Lace Garden as a close contender. White is not only a beautiful, well crafted, high quality fragrance, it's also a very happy fragrance, versatile, elegant and in the same time comforting, easy to wear. A staple for everyday life, as a concept reminding of the also very versatile Jour d'Hermès. Lace Garden is the white floral going contemporary, also happy and elegant, easy to wear but less formal, more casual than White.

Honorable mentions to the lovely, lush, fruity, airy floral Cio Cio San  from Parfums MDCI and in the same vein but a bit spicier; Neela Vermiere Creations Pichola, the creamy non oud - oud 1001 Ouds from Annick Goutal, the spectacular, almost gormand, citric, furry lavender Shermine from Huitème Art and last but not least the cosy, fluffy, lily of the valley vanilla Eau d'Italie Morn to Dusk.

Among designerfragrances releases Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu is the winner in my book. I also like Narciso Rodriguez Narciso Edt and Gucci Bamboo. Havn't smelled the praised Alaïa from Alaïa nor Equipage Geranium by Hermès.

A house I started to explore in 2015 was the (relatively) priceworthy, quality nichehouse Perris Monte Carlo. Their Edp:s are great and now I have just started to explore their wonderful Extraits, released in 2015. So Perris is my house of the year, even if in the fragrance business for decades.

*) Still untested 2015's which I suspect I'll like much are: Cuir L'Aigle Russe from Oriza L.Legrand, UNUM Rosa Nigra and Jehanne Rigaud Imperial Poudré. And I definitly must get my nose on Parfums MDCI Les Indes Galantes a late 2015 release.

måndag 28 december 2015

Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Short impressions

Stéphane Humbert Lucas the perfumer of many of the Nez a Nez and SoOud fragranes also has his own line named Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777. The "7:s" comes from his lucky number. The perfumes are oriental in style, high class ingredients are used and it seems that the market of the Middle East is the main target. Below my impressions from testing some samples of the earlier releases from the line.

Picture: Khôl de Bahreïn
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Khôhl de Bahreïn: Dominated by a dry, gunpowder note in the same style (but darker) as the same note in Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Ambre. The cumminlike note in the top is dry, smooth and very well balanced against a very dark mystic violet. The dark, powdery violet theme reminds me of a drier version of Terry de Gunzburg  Ombre Mercure
Picture: Oumma
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Oumma: The smell of the finsest and softest  first class leather gloves, infused with very smooth and discrete roses and balsamic notes. The woody notes are almost creamy, even the oud is smooth, there are no sharp edges at all. Pure class and sophistication which has to be be experienced. But unfortunately, the perfection of Oumma is also reflected in the price: EUR 395 for 50 ml, sigh :-(

Picture: Rose de Petra
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Rose de Petra: A soft, high quality, dark, soft spicy rose. It somehow resembles Histoires de Parfums 1876 Mata Hari but in a darker, more oriental way. It's also more quiet in apperance and lacks the slight gourmand "cakenote" that is present in Mata Hari. Unfortunately RdP has too short longevity, it doesn't last as long as required form my high standards (and the price), ie for a day.
Picture: Black Gemstone
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)
Black Gemstone: Wearing this I come to think of MDCI Cuir Garamante drier and Puredistance Black which is sweeter and more feminine. Black Gemstone is one of the woody-boozy-leathery fragrances with a dark depth. A good fragrance but personally I prefer Black, Black Gemstone is more masculine.

Picture: Soleil de Jeddah
Photo: PR Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 (c)  
Soleil de Jeddah:  A strange fragrance, starts interesting with yellow flowers as mimosa and chamomille but when developed to the middle notes, a leathery, smoky, tarry, burned meat accord a la Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Cuir appears but not as skillfull handled as in Cuir. Until today, what I have sniffed from this accord/note it is successful interpreted just in MdO Cuir. In Soleil de Jeddah the unbalanced sweet flowers and the burned meat/leather simply is too much.

To sum up my impressions of the Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777-line so far: An interesting line well worth testing even if uneven in how they fits me. Some mixes very well with my skinchemistry and lasts for at least a day, other is just "meh" and too short longevity and the Jeddah is a small disaster on my skin.

torsdag 24 december 2015

The scent for Christmas Eve 2015

Picture: It's almost the same temprature (+6 C)
this Christmas Eve as Midsummer Eve 2015 (+10 C).
Therefore this lush summer rose is illustrating this post.
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Once again time for the regular Christmas Eve post:. Scent of Christmas Eve 2015 is a stunning rose - Rose de Taif Extrait by Perris Monte Carlo. This is a high quality fragrance as also the Rose de Taif Edp.

Suits this green, warm Christmas Eve with some sun outside. This beautiful rose is enlightened by subtle spices and a smooth rubbery note from the roseoil. It's just delightful, a sort of thicker and stronger variation of the Edp version. Wearing it feels like rolling around in fresh, just harvested, medium pink rosepetals a warm and sunny day

Mr Parfumistas SOTD is Santos de Cartier vintage version, suits well with its spicy, leathery accords.     Last year, also a green Christmas, he wore the same fragrance. Wearing this classic is a recurring habit for Mr Parfumista for Christmas Eves as it has happened for several times.
Below is the updated list of the fragrances I've worn the last twelve Christmas Eves:

2014: Impossible Iris Ramòn Monegal (an elegant, contempory iris with a delicious rasperrynote)
2013: Quintaesensia Ramòn Monegal, (a special retro styled blend, furry, ambery, herbal/spicy)
2012: Nothing, knocked down by the worst flu in ten years+.
2011: Betrothal, Grossmith (classic, light and exquisite florals)
2010: Cuir Mauresque, Serge Lutens (saddle leather, orangeblossom, jasmine, spices)
2009: Tribute Attar, Amouage (dark leather, smoke, oud, excellent spices)
2008: Incense rosé, Andy Tauer (rose, mandarine, cardamom, myrrh cedar, incense)
2007: Ambre Russe, Parfum d'Empires (boozy amber, the, wood, oriental)
2006: Jil Sander 4, Jil Sander (dark, overripe fruits, white almost withering flowers, oriental spices)
2005: Nuit de Noël, Caron (dusky, retro flowers, moss and a furry note)
2004: Cabochard,  Parfums Grès (leathery chypre, harsh green notes and retro flowers)
2003: Fracas Robert Piguet (the ultimate classic grand tubereuse)

I wish all of you a Great Christmas! As I'm very curious to know what you are wearing for Christmas, feel free to leave a comment.

måndag 21 december 2015

Perris Monte Carlo - Essence de Patchouli

Picture: Moon over the Mediterranean sea  (Greece)
Photo: Mr Parfumista
Essence de Patchouli is the first patchouli fragrance in the Perris Monte Carlo line. Essence de Patchouli is one of the five first fragrances which were released in 2012, the other four starters are Bois d'Oud (reviewed a few weeks ago), Oud Imperial, Ambre Gris and Musk Extrême. In 2014 a second patchouli fragrance was released, Patchouli Nosy Be which I have not smelled when writing this review but plan to test and review the coming winter. Update March 2016 - review of Patchouli Nosy Be.

Essence de Patchouli starts with a very dark, balck or dark purple if imagine a color, velvety patchouli which is silky in texture. There are also some offsetting almost "ugly" notes that could be associated with mosquito repellent but in a non sharp, again velvety texture. The repellent accord steps backward as Essence de Patchouli dries down but is present in the background to prevent the fragrance to be too polite. The patchouli in this fragrance is not of the ambery type nor the herbal, which are the two cathegories that constitutes 90% of all patchfrags. The patchouli of Essence de Patchouli is instead as the patchouli leaves have been pickled in a musky, dark flowery a tad sweet souse. As Essence de Patchouli dries further down, the dark iris/rose combo becomes more apparent even if they are intergrated to such extent that they are hard to separate from each other. The sliky, light powdery patchouli impression prevail and the powdery note reminds me slightly of the cocapowdernote of Mon Patchouly from Ramon Monegal which is also a patchouli fragrance which is not ambery nor herbal but almost gourmand, which Essence de Patchouli is not. As with some other Perris Fragrances, Essence de Patchouli is grounded in a beautiful, either not chemical nor animalic smelling musk. The musk creates an intense, long-lived fragrance and it pronounces and highlights the other ingredients. Woody notes warmed up with a light touch of resin deepens the fragrance.

Essence de Patchouli mediates the picture and feeling of dining outside on a terrace by the sea a warm mediterranean summereveing with the dark velvettextured sky dark lighted by the silver full moon.
In darkness, texture, mood and apperance Essence de Patchouli reminds me of a forgotten gem which is based on a completely different note (incense) Juozas Statkevicius/Josef Statkus from the designer of the same name.
Picture: Essence de Patchouli
Photo: PR Perris Monte Carlo (c)
Essence de Patchouli is appropriate to wear in most seasons, in summer one has to be extra careful when applying, a little goes ong and too much could be totally overwhelming especially when warm weather outside. To me Essence de Patchouli is a feminine creation even if it definitly could be worn by brave men. The silage is moderate to big and longevity for 24h.

Essence de Patchouli is another winner from Perris Monte Carlo, it's not happen often that the releases from house have a hit rate like this house when it comes to fragrances that I think is memorable and longing to wear even after the tests for the review is over.

Those who like Sergel Lutens Borneo 1834, Chanel Coromandel  and Prada Intense will probably also appreciate Essence de Patchouli even if the former three are more gourmand and the latter more floral in style.

Rating: 5

Notes: Rose, geranium, iris, cedar, guaiac wood, patchouli, musk, labdanum, coumarin

måndag 14 december 2015


Picture: A swedish fir in the middle of the long, cold winter
Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
LAVS is the first fragrance from the House of UNUM. The house started as an atellier for constructing, maintaining and taking care of  liturgical vestments. The Vatican is an important cuetomer and LAVS has a fascinating backgrund. It started as a roomfragrance which is used in the atelliers and also to scent the robes and vestments when packaged for delivery. The wearer of LAVS in other words has the same olfactory aura around as the Pope himself, at least when he wears his UNUM vestments :-) . The creative director and spirit of UNUM is Filippo Sorcinelli which has many artistic skills, for example he is an a church organist and also expriments with painting. His businesspartner Marcello is a tailor who seeks perfection in the creative process creating the UNUM coustumes. More about the backgorund and inspiration of UNUM look here.
The perfumer is a person very close to UNUM’S world who prefers remain hidden, he translates in fragrances the emotions and the ideas of the creative director.

LAVS opens spectacular with an accord containing fresh and brisk birchtar, a very thick and dense, almost honeyed incense and a rubbery note close to fresh, new, tires. There is also a light, smokey note, like smoke from a campfire made of dry pinewood a cold winterdaym with high, dry air in the coniferous forest. The impression is somehow clean, outdoorsy despite the thick notes. After a while a fresh (fresh seems to be the common factor here) and soft leathernote appears followed by a metallic note that bridges over to the middlenotes. In the middle- and basenotes, LAVS calms down and connects to the ordinary incensetrack, most close to Comme des Garcons Avignon and Montale Full Incense, minus the aldehydes of the latter, but also with traces form other Commes des Garcons incenses such as the cold pine in Kyoto and the note similar to a textile band-aid from Jaisalmer. The putty, almost powdery texture in the basenotes reminds me also of Making of Cannes Rocher Princier.

Picture: The stylish bottle of LAVS
Photo: PR UNUM (c)
Not as churchy as Avignon, LAVS has more of a cold, outdoorsy aura. My sons reaction was "It smells like Finland" probably the birchtar, the smokey, sauna like notes as also the cold, airy vibes of LAVS evokes the association of our beautiful neighboring country. Robert Piguet Oud also has this cold outdoorsy feeling and even if not containing oud, LAVS has a similarity to RP Oud in its texture and expression.

LAVS is unisex, appropriate for all seasons expect in the warm days in the summer. Longevity is for more than a day, sillage is medium in the first stage, then close to skin, LAVS after all is in perfume strength.

LAVS starts incredible, the first on third is the most interesting incensefragrance I've tried so far, (and I have tested many :-). From the middlenotes to the base, LAVS to some extent "dissapoints" in the way that it doesn't live up to the extraordinary first part. But LAVS anyway, even if the originality has disappered, is a very good high quality incensefragrance also in the later stages. As I'm sick and tired of fragrances that starts exciting and then morphs into something common that I've smelled so many times before, LAVS shouldn't deserve  the highest rating. But in this case the first part is so spectacular and the rest just as good as for example Avignon (which is a favorite of mine) and therefore LAVS gets

Rating: 5

Notes: Jasmine, cardamon, black pepper, elemi, coriander, clovs, labdanum, opoponax, palisander, amber, oakmoss, tonka been

torsdag 10 december 2015

Fragrances for Christmas 2015 2(2) - Nichefragrances

In the second post about fragrances which could attract especially in Christmastime some appropriate gems from the niche segment will be commented.
Picture: Un Crime Exotique
Photo: PR Parfumerie Générale (c)
Un Crime Exotique (Parfumerie Générale): This is similar to the traditional sweet mulled wine called Glögg which swedes are drinking the in Advent and during the Christmas holiday. Un Crime Exotique is not as sweet as Glögg, the fragrance smells like Glögg mixed with an refreshing the like for example Oolong.
Picture: Loretta
Photo: PR Tableau de Parfums (c)
Loretta (Tableau de Parfums): A dark fruity, spicy, slight dirty, animalic tuberose which compared to for example Marc Jacobs Decadence really is decadent. A fragrance in the classic dark, style of Rochas Femme. One of Andy Tauers best fragrances IMO.

Picture: Mon Numero 10
Photo: PR L'Artisan Parfumeur (c)
Mon Numero 10 (L'Artisan Parfumeur): This one is a sort of merged fragrance with traces from Christmas appropriate classics as Fendi (original), Coco (Chanel) and also Un Crime Exotique (above) + some incense. Embracing and comforting to wear in cold and grey weather.

Picture: M.O.U.S.S.E
Photo: PR Oliver & Co (c)
M.O.U.S.S.E (Oliver & Co): This is the most similar fragrance to mimic real clove that I've tested so far. A sort of fresh, airy but in the same time intense, almost cold, spicy fragrance. Some incense also seems to be involved in a supporting role.

Picture: Wazamba (new bottle)
Photo: PR Parfum d'Empire (c)
Wazamba (Parfum d'Empire): A warm, a bit sweet and spicy incense, not the traditional cold, midnight mass churchy type as Comme des Garcons Avignon which is also a beautiful fragrance suitable for Christmas.

måndag 7 december 2015

Fragrances for Christmas 2015 1(2) - Designerfragrances/classics

Christmas is upcoming, in a few weeks it's here. Up here in the north the temprature is mild for the season about 6-8 C, and the residues of two storms namend "Gorm" and "Helga" makes it windy outside. Maybe because of this my inspiration is not on top when it comes to Christmasoriented fragrances, anyway here is an attempt when it comes to the designerfragrance/classic category ie the ones that are fairly available in departmentstores, parfumeries and on line. In the next post (on Thursday) there will be some suitable fragrances from the nichesector.
Picture: Burberry London Men
Photo: PR Burberry (c)
Burberry London Men: This is an underappreciated dark gem, with a subdued dark, velvety red sparkle. Highlights warm tobacco and boozy, woody, slight spicy and leathery notes. Very comforting like sipping brandy by the fireplace one of the Christmas evenings. If released today Burberry London probably would appear in niche.
Picture: Opium
Photo: PR Yves Saint Laurent (c)
Opium (Yves Saint Laurent): I like both the vintage and the current very much. The current version is more woody and with less carnation and I think its a good reworking of the original. Warm, thick, woody, spicy and dark flowery Opium is a winner for cold and grey days and dark evenings.
Picture: Decadance
Photo: PR Marc Jacobs (c)
Decadance (Marc Jacobs): This plummy, ambery dark woody floral fragrance is to me somehow the 2010s decade interpretation of 1985 Dior Poison. Thirty years later, Decadance intermediate the same feeling in a contemporary setting.

Picture: Dioressence
Photo: PR Christian Dior (c)
Dioressence (Christian Dior): Like sparkling rosewood with green and spicy elements, especially cinnamon over a base with both balsamic and mossy elements. A classic especially suitable for daytime during Christmas.
Picture: Chanel No 19 Edp
Photo: PR Chanel (c)
No 19 EDP (Chanel): The Edp version of the green, galbanumladen Edt higlights more of the flowery elements. There is a cool, fresh mix of itis and rose resembling a crispy hyacinth  over a green mossy light leathery base. Refreshing stuff relatively the heavy scents of Christmas.