torsdag 29 december 2016

Best of 2016

As earlier years I've tested just a very small fraction of the huge number of fragrance releases. So my choice of the best of 2016 comes from a small selection based on my liking.

Picture: Galop d'Hermès
Photo: PR Hermès (c)

Picture: Chanel No 5 L'Eau
Photo: PR Chanel (c)

2016 I found the most interseting, in terms of having potential to be a "classic", and to me the most memorable fragrances of the year, in the designer segment. Galop d'Hermès (pink rose embedded in fine leather) and Chanel No 5 L'Eau (an airy, less aldehydic No 5) are, even if different types of fragrances, both chic and easy to wear, contemporary and in the same time with an anchor in the heritages of the iconic and still independet houses of Hermès and Chanel. I also appreciated Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate very much, it seems as Christine Nagels adopted style for Hermès works for me. Another designerfragrance, even if not of the great quality of the former mentioned, that I like from this year is the asphalt flower in the night My Burberry Black. Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli should also be mentioned, a beautiful, contemporary, dark and in the same time sort of rosy green chypre. The comforting, creamy, bold, warm and sunny tubereuse of Tom Ford Orchid Soleil makes me happy.

Picture: Tèo Cabanel Kasar,
also together with TC Jaspé and Galop d'Hermès
the best bottles of 2016 

In 2015 there was a battle between white flowers when it came to niche. This year my niche favorite has an abstract, dusty, almost electric (like a warm, dusty old sort of  bulb) carnation flowery scent dimension together with horse, leather and a light touch of cinnamon. The fragrance is classified as masculine and is a new favorite of Mr Parfumista: Tèo Cabanel Kasar, named after one of Emperor Napoleon I:s more than 150 horses. Another horse Jaspé, is also model for another TC release of 2016, a good aromatic fragrance. The house of Tèo Cabanel was also a close contender to the number one position in best of 2015. A very close contender in 2016 is the brilliant, in quality superior, Oud Sublime from Parfums de Nicolaï. Green, dark, velvety, woody with natural Cambodian oud it's refreshing in an elegant and intriguing way.

Picture: Oud Sublime Elixir
Photo: PR Parfums d'Nicolaï (c)
Other niche fragrances that I liked very much in 2016 was in the dark, green, tangy, woody category as Parfums de Nicolaï Incense Oud  with its similarities to Oud Sublime, Maria Candida Gentile Lankaran Forest and Rrose Selavy (which resembles Galop d'Hermès a bit). I also liked Puredistance Sheiduna and Rania J. Cuir Andalou very much, both relaxing, warm, dark, embracing, spicy and oriental styled in different ways.

The to me new house that I discocvered an enjoyed in 2016 was Anatole Lebreton a line of robust, genuine "back to the roots of perfumery" fragrances.

lördag 24 december 2016

The fragrances of Christmas Eve 2016

Picture: Berliner Junge vom Weihnachtsmarkt, um 1890
Watercolor of Franz Skarbina (1849-1910)
Wikimedia commons
(I found this young Berliner when searching for a
 picture for the Christmaspost.
This sad year of terror,  this picture  will
remind us of the victims.)
Once again time for the regular Christmas Eve post: The Scent of Christmas Eve 2016 is the luxerious  Oud Sublime by Parfums de Nicolaï which is descibed in the former entry of the blog. A good alternative to this is a high quality blend is Parfums de Nicolaï Incense Oud. Both fragrances are sort of "forest-refreshing" dark green, mossy, woody with the delightful typical for Nicolaï dry, chalky element. Suits this green, warm, a bit sunny and windy Christmas Eve perfect.

Mr Parfumista is breaking his habit wearing Santos de Cartier vintage version for Christmas Eve. SOTD is an excellent  masculine release from this year: Téo Cabanel  Kasar light spicy, especially cinnamon, leathery accords with a touch of a floral note like carnation/clove. A choice when regarded, in style is close to a contemporary interpretation of Santos; leather and cinnamon   Will be reviewed in 2017. Below is the updated list of the fragrances I've worn the last thirteen Christmas Eves:

2015: Rose de Taif Extrait Perris Monte Carlo (high class smooth velvety rose petals)

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 19 december 2016

Parfums de Nicolaï - Oud Sublime

Picture: The Moose in the snow
Painting by John Bauer (1882-1918)
Oud Sublime is a luxurious elixir based on real cambodian oud, created by perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï for her own house, Parfums de Nicolaï. As the rest of the Nicolaï ouds, Oud Sublime stands out as a different oud compared to the common, strong, medical, syntecial intrpretation of this woody note. In the oud fragrances of Nicolaï oud is gentler and not as dominating, it's one of several notes inteacting in well constructed accords.

Oud Sublime starts smelling almost as Incense Oud for a while. Then Oud Sublime takes a darker and deeper trail, with less patchouli, smoother and a bit mysterious. It's texture and color is like a mossy green velvet gown under a dark chocolate brown velvet coat. There is no harsh chemical notes and no cloggy thickness which could be an issue with some "commercial" oudfragrances. Instead, despite of it's darkness, there is an element that could be described as fresh in Oud Sublime, it's the freshness of walking in the forest in the mid-winter, not the acquatic or citrus sort of fresh. The patchouli in Oud Sublime is the same characteristic "Nicolaï patchouli" as in Patchouli Homme/Patchouli Intense and the note is intergrated with the other notes in a seamless way. The base are dominated by the characteristic dark green, chalky, slight mossy elegant Nicolaï accord, the Guerlinade of the house of Nicolaï. In Oud Sublime, this houseaccord seems to be wrapped in dark, woody, slight animalic and natural oudy notes with a hint of a clean incense.
Picture: Oud Sublime
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Overall, to me Oud Sublime seems to be an extrait variation of Incense Oud, darker, smoother and close to the skin whereas Incense Oud is the more radiant, brighter, higher positioned on the fragrant notescale.
When it comes to the difference/similarity between the two versions it's about the same relationship as between Andy Tauers versions of his moroccan desert fragrances L'Air du Desert Marocain and Au Coeur du Desert where the former is the brighter and more radiant and the latter extrait variation is darker, smoother and close to the skin.

Oud Sublime is a wearable fragrance both for gloomy autumn/winterdays and for evenings year around. It's a unisex fragrance, close to the skin with a longevity for more then 12h. Silage is somewhere between close to medium.

For a conniseur both Oud Sublime and Incense Oud are worth owning, just as the classic Guerlains and Chanels are different enough to justify owning all versions. As Oud Sublime is quite expensive, Incense Oud is a good option which on the other hand is quite friendly to the wallet.

Rating: 5

Notes: Davana, coriander, rose, ambretta, cambodian oud, patchouli, incense, styrax

Parfums de Nicolaï is now avaible on Fragrance & Art

måndag 12 december 2016

Burberry - My Burberry Black

Picture: My Burberry Black
Photo: PR Burberry (c)
In mainstream, during the years, I have discovered that I have a soft spot for fragrances from Burberry, both Burberry Body and My Burberry caught my interest and Burberry London for Men is already classic in my book. When a nice colleauge supported me with a sample of the new My Burberry Black I was intrigued at once, wearing the fragrance two days in a row which is unusual when it comes to me. Just as My Burberry, My Burberry Black is created by Francis Kurkdjian.

My Burberry Black starts almost repellent with a thick, flowery, fruity accord, a sort of a syrupy version of a nightblooming slight animalic jasmine. The fragrance then lightens, the thickness disappears but some of the syrupy texture remains and in this stage My Burberry Black reminds me of Chanel Allure Edp. Then a peachy, candided, ambery rose accord appears, balanced by a dark, clean patchouli in the contemporary minimalistic style. There is something in the feeling/texture of sweet candided flowers which reminds me of By Kilian Voulez-vous coucher avec Moi? not the similar smell but the style and feeling even if the Kilian is more polite and discrete. The Burberry in comparison, is big, almost in your face, as contemporary version of a 1980s fragrance, for example Lancome Trèsor, a fragrance which My Burberry Black has similarities to when it comes to the ambery treatment of the rose.

Wearing My Burberry Black is like walking home late through the city a dark, rainy and cold night in the autumn. A wet asphalt note mingled by exhaust fumes from the cars is opposing the gourmand candided sweet flowers and reduces the sweetness and creates an intriguing backdrop to the fragrance. The asphalt/fume accord is also present in the daytime urban floral My Burberry but in My Burberry black it's heavier, darker and moistier.

Picture: My Burberry Black
Photo: PR Burberry (c)
My Burberry Black is the perfect fragrance for evenings but also for daytime when it's grey, cold and rainy outside. It's very feminine, strong (be careful to not overdose) the sillage is big and longevity on skin excellent, over 24h. An intresting and well made representative of contemporary mainstrem with retro (1980s) vibes.

Rating: 5

Notes: Jasmine, candided roses, peach, amber, patchouli

måndag 5 december 2016

Maria Candida Gentile - Lankaran Forest

LPicture: Azerbaijani Forest
Photo borrowed from
  trend news agency 

Lankaran Forest was created by Maria Candida Gentile inspired from a visit in the Lankaran Park in Azerbaijan. This is a magic and mystic place which inspired Empror Alexander the Great so much that he declared the forest protected forever. 

Lancaran Forest starts with a bitter citric-aromatic tinge with accents of turpentine. It's bright and sparkling, just as ray of lights between giant trees a sunny day in the forest hitting a source of fresh water flowing in the green forest floor. As Lankaran Forest dries down, more scents from the moisty forest floor, dry leaves, grass and lichen as also notes from the sunwarmed tree trunks of the iron three which are typical of the Lankraran Forest. Even if golden, green and glimmering, Lankaran Forest has a sort of fresh, woody, chilly backdrop reminding me a bit of the teaish note of Rrose Selavy and Mona di Orio Bohea Bohème but without the smokey accent of the latter. The notes blended also create a faint flowery note, with touches of something that reminds me of dry neroli if such a note exists. Lankaran Forest is fresh, sparkling, moisty and dry in the same time. The woody base is smooth, there are no harsh chemical woody notes, and balances the other notes in a gentle manner.
Picture: Lankaran Forest
Photo: PR Maria Candida Gentile (c)
Lankaran Forest is a refreshing, carefree fragrance, suitable for daytime wearing both for casual and for office. It's especially good for spring, summer and also for sunny days in the autumn with high air and colourful crispy leaves on the ground. It's not a classical cologne but has the same versatility, is inspiring and uplifting for the spirits. It's longevity is very good for a fragrance in this style, traces are left on skin after almost 24h. Lankaran Forest is totally unisex.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bitter orange, petit grain, black tea, lichen, sandalwood, iron three, leaves

Thanks to Fragrance & Art for the sample to test