Category Archives: Perfume thoughts

The Jicky issue

If you remember, some time ago I asked for help with opening the golden Jicky casing. I finished my bottle and wanted to remove it from the gold in order to be able to get a new one.

Optimist that I am, I thought that would be easy.

A friend of mine went to Paris this week, and of course I asked her to check the Champs-Elysees Guerlain store in order to purchase a bottle of Jicky.

Turns out there is no Jicky to be had for my golden cage. 😔

I mean, I certainly hope that is what the sales assistant meant when she told my friend that the series is discontinued. Because the other possibility is unfathomable. Right?

So, does anyone know if it’s only the Jicky in gold casing that is being discontinued? I’m still being optimistic. 😉

And if so, where could I possibly find a bottle before they are all gone?

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My secret Shalimar habit

It’s not a secret that  I am a huge Shalimar fan.

I still chuckle at the irony of that, each time I write it, due to shal2

the fact that I hated it the first time I tried it.

The bad thing is that experience has shown Shalimar not really being appropriate for work. And that is where I wear perfume the most.

So, in order not to take away from myself the pleasure of smelling Shalimar, I put it into my routine of changing bed sheets.

All I can say is, it’s a win-win situation.

I spray my matress with several spritzes of Shalimar each time I change the sheets

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This is what Shalimar in bed feels like

and then I go to bed with a light misty feel of Shalimar in the air. And the best thing is it lasts for a few days!

The upside to this? Additional one I mean.

I change my sheets quite often nowadays.

Ok, that didn’t come out as it should have. 🙂 But you know what I meant.

Golden Jicky problem

Please help?

I’m pretty sure that when I bought my bottle of Jicky I decided on the golden outerwear because it was a refill.

Turns out I have no idea how to open it. 😀 I do hope it can be opened?

If someone knows how to do it, please let me know.

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Or if anyone has some Jicky they want to swap, let me know that too. 😉

A Month of Irises

I am really glad I decided to participate in Undina’s Month of Irises. First, I really needed a kick-start to begin writing about perfumes again, and secondly, I seem to have  a hidden love of iris. 🙂

When I started thinking about what iris perfumes I have that I could write about, only Hiris came to mind. And then I rummaged a bit through my collection and in no time, 6 of them came to light.

I really enjoyed smelling them again, having forgotten I actually had some of them. It’s funny, if anyone had asked if I enjoyed iris perfumes, I would say not so much but it turns out, I actually love them and enjoy wearing them.

Washington Tremlett: Iris Absolute

This one smells old-fashioned, quite aldehydic and buttery underneath. This is one very proper iris. 😉 With time the musk comes to bring the white flowers in this perfume to more prominence. As I’m usually not a fan of white musk, I must admit here it performs its job perfectly. As do the vanilla and tonka bean, making for a quite sweet drydown.

Notes: iris, Bulgarian Rose, jasmine, absolute of iris, heliotrope, lilies of the valley.
white musk, vanilla and Tonka Bean.

 

Aedes de Venustas: Iris Nazarena

It has a very earthy, carroty fruity opening, and all I can think is ‘god I love that perfume’. Then I read the brief and it made sense, loving it the way I do,  with that special iris: “rare Iris Bismarckiana is also known as Iris Nazarena because it grows mainly in the mountains east of Nazareth”. I’m not sure how special this iris smells, but I’m fine with giving it special properties.iris_nazarena_1

This is the most earthy of the bunch. At some point it gets a rosy, spicy feel due to the base notes. The longer you wait, the more the spiciness starts to come out.

Notes: iris and incense accord, ambrette, rose, juniper berry, star anise, patchouli, vetiver, incense, clove and oud.

 

 

Hermes: Hiris

Smelling Hiris after Iris Nazarena gives me no carrot hints even though that note gets mentioned often in this perfume.  It actually smells more grassy and dewy, very springlike and maiden-like, unblemished. It’s the happiest of iris perfumes in this post. It’s the type of perfume that makes you relax and smile. Soft like summer rain but fresh like spring dew. The best I can come up with in the end is that it exudes softness.

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Numero 8

Now this is one I struggled with, it’s the most austere of them and at the same time teeming with strength and nuance. No sweetness in the beginning,  it smells calm, cool and poised. And when the initial cool dissipates, you can feel a smile forming on your lips because the cool facade gives way to a heart that sings of spring. It just starts smelling so buttery soft and pleasant. It smells like flowers are starting to come out of it making it feel more approachable.

Notes: Coriander, apricot, carrott, violet flower, jasmine, narcisse, rose, mimosa, iris, vanilla, white musk

 

Van Cleef and Arpels: Bois d’Iris

Bois d’Iris smells quite unlike the other irises. All afore-mentioned perfumes have this recognizable iris opening note, you cannot miss it. This one smells more green and vetivery, more than it smells like an iris perfume.

Notes: Iris, exotic wood, and ambergris

Now that I took a look at the notes I have a better understanding of what I smell. The ambergris in this is very reminiscent of the Amber Gris by Balmain. The common thing is this slightly metallic tinge of the ambergris. With time the amber and woody notes start taking over and it gets more woodsier and amber loses the metallic tinge. The funny thing is that by the time it dries down, no iris remains, but I don’t mind – amber can never go wrong with me.

 

Which brings me to the first iris perfume  I fell in love with.

 

Prada: Infusion d’Iris

It makes me smile smelling this and thinking of how much I loved it. Compared to the rest of iris perfumes in this post, this one comes a bit short. I still love its citrusy opening, and the fact that it’s the most bitter iris of them all. I also love the fact that it contains vetiver and that I can smell it and enjoy it (that is still one of my favorite notes).  This one is the most obviously a summer perfume. The rest are seasonless, for the lack of a better word,  but this one would go best for summer.

Notes: Mandarin, Orange blossom, Iris, Vetiver, Frankincense, Benzoin, Galbanum, Cedarwood

 

I realized writing this and smelling all these iris perfumes that the iris note makes perfumes containing it very elegant and distinguished. Smelling of irises makes you instantly feel more classy. Just in case you needed something to make you feel like that. 😉

The good thing is it is often paired with frankcincense and green notes. Green notes are never amiss in my case, but the fact that I don’t mind (or smell) the incense is quite astonishing.

Iris truly is an amazing note.

Snowflakes

Are the kisses of winter.

I only realized this today, walking home while snow was falling.

I’m a winter child. I have always loved winter and especially snow. There is that special smell in the air before it starts falling, crisp and clean, like the snow itself.

Just one more reason to love snow – because it smells right.

But today, walking while snow falls on my face, I realized snowflakes feel like little kisses of winter. They lightly fall on the face and feel like little butterfly caresses all over. I especially enjoyed those touching my eyelashes because nothing can actually touch your eyelashes so softly. And one fell on the top of my nose and remained there as a drop to remind me winter loves to kiss the tip of my nose too.

I can’t help it, I’ve been waiting all winter for snow to fall in Zagreb, and now it did, it feels like a present for my birthday month.

One that came with thousands of winter kisses.

Merry Christmas!

To all my readers – people who still think this blog might be brought to life and haven’t lost faith –  and to those who think otherwise (whom I hope to prove wrong 😉 ) – I wish you all the most fulfilling Christmas – may it bring you the true happiness and contentment we all deserve to feel in our lives.

This is one my trees this year – the other one is on the wall but somehow isn’t photogenic (I really tried taking a good photo but failed).

 

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P.S. I’ve been trying to re-ignite my love for perfume and the farthest I got so far is enjoying immensely the original Feminite du Bois.

God, that perfume is so good!

And it makes me remember the initial enthusiasm I had.

Decants – optimism and irony

I know I’ve been MIA for a really long time (I’d rather not think about how long) and I can’t say I’m back, even though I would love to, but I will certainly try to be back. 🙂

So, in my wish to get back to writing about perfumes and just generally enjoying them more, I did a switch the other day, finally bringing out my spring and summer bottles and decants – only to have weather suddenly change back to winter. It seems to be getting back into spring luckily though.

But that’s not the point of this post.

Going through my decants, I realized I have some unnamed ones. And I am the person who didn’t label them after decanting them. The optimistic past me thought my nose and brain were so good I would remember what I decanted. But the optimistic me forgot how bad I am at remembering names. And I suck at remembering names – ask anyone who knows me.

The irony of me thinking I would remember what I decanted years after the fact, knowing how unable I am to remember names wasn’t lost on me.

So, imagine my surprise when I smelled a decant and knew that I could remember this perfume because it was so very familiar to me. But the name just wouldn’t come no matter how much I smelled my arm. And it was a perfume I really loved at one point in my perfume story.

So I let myself not think about it anymore and went on with chores.

Honestly, I love lightbulb moments and I wish I’d have more of them. My nose and my braing finally made the connection half an hour later.

It was Chinatown by Bond No 9.

A brand and a perfume I totally forgot about. I don’t read blogs much anymore but it feels like no one ever talks about Bond No 9 anymore (and I know the brand is probably responsible for that).

The thing is, I don’t really care what kind of brand is behind that perfume because I realized I still love it and think it’s absolutely wonderful in all its sweet, gourmand glory. I guess it evokes the initial gidiness of learning about a new obsession of mine (perfume), at a time when my life was much more carefree and optimistic. And now I think about it, it was quite a long time ago. 🙂

I don’t want to lose my newly found perfume optimism, but I feel old when I think about stuff like my old carefree days. 🙂 Luckily, it just makes me laugh at myself. Besides, I am not that young anymore – and the irony is not lost on me here too, because I feel younger in my mind than I did in my 20s. Probably because I don’t take things so seriously anymore even though I feel more serious. glass

I realized I never actually reviewed Chinatown. It won’t happen today either but I would actually love to talk about it a bit more.

So here’s me hoping the perfume that originally got me into loving niche is the one that brings me back into enjoying perfumes and writing about them again.

Long time, no sea

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. 🙂 It’s been a long time since I wrote anything, and well, this post will come with sea photos. 😉 

Yes, I’m on vacation. Finally.

I had (still have) time to think about what’s been going on in my life and pondering the reasons why I no longer have the time and/or energy to read and write. Honestly though, I haven’t come to any smart conclusions. Life takes you on a path and before you know it, all that once brought you pleasure as a hobby suddenly no longer fits into the hours in a day. I hate that.

So I spent my first week of vacation basically doing nothing. Just resting from the hectic pace my life is when I go to work. 

I sleep a lot, go for a swim, do some yoga and pilates and read. I’m just doing things I enjoy and that bring me relaxation and hopefully, one of these relaxed days I will have an epiphany and realize how to make time in my routine for things that make me happy and relaxed.
Because when I’m happy and relaxed, nice things happen to me. Like talking to a neighbor and discovering a new perfume gem I now covet. 

Cartier’s La Panthere. 

I was so surprised to find myself enjoying a perfume I thought was for older ladies. 😀 Oh, well, I’m the first to admit I’m prejudiced. 

Anyway, I hope to do a review sometime in the near future. So far, I can only say that after reading the notes, I am no longer surprised I fell for it. There is gardenia hidden in its heart. 🙂 

And to leave you now with typical Smokvica sights:

I won’t be powdering my nose – Narciso Poudree

I’ll be powdering everything else I can. 😉

It’s funny – one day you’re lamenting how you can no longer find a perfume that will make you fall in love and then, suddenly, from the most unexpected place, one appears.

I’m not complaining though. Ok, maybe a little as it’s not yet out so I can’t get a bottle of  my own but in the overall scope of things, I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that I’ll be encountering many other people smelling like me once it’s released.

I think Narciso himself introduced this perfume in the clearest of ways:NARCISO image9.indd

“With the original NARCISO fragrance, I wanted to create an extremely sexy fragrance. NARCISO eau de parfum Poudrée captures femininity at its core in an even more seductive way. It is both tender and powerful and immediately addictive.”

I cannot but agree with everything stated here. I liked the original Narciso perfume but it is this one that is at the same time sexy as hell and feminine and not overpowering. It speaks to me like in all the ways I didn’t think a perfume can. It reminds me of younger days when I thought Very Irresistible by Givenchy was all the rage. There is a character note they share (rose) and where Very Irresistible made the air in the room unbreathable with its overbearing silage, Narciso Poudree is the wisp of air that makes you turn your head in search of the sensuality you think you noticed and want to make sure you didn’t imagine, because it smells too good to be truly there.

Yes, it’s obvious I’m in love, isn’t it? 🙂

Notes from I gathered from the press release include: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, vetiver, black cedar, white cedar, powdery musc.

Before going on to what I smell, I want to say a big thank you to Raquel Zimmerman who made me re-think the fact that synthetic muscs will never work for me. It is obvious this was made expertly as this perfume never veers off into territory where muscs take over, even though the longevity is here – my blotter still smells amazingly strong after 3 days and it smells great.

I admit with shame now that when I first smelled this I have no  idea what it was I was smelling, I just loved it from the first spray. The best thing I can say for myself is I understood why they named it Poudree. 🙂 It took me a while to understand that rose was the one seducing me from the start, accompanied by her minions whom I ignored. It is only now that I smell the drydown again and again I can understand where vetiver comes into play (I would never have guessed it was there by myself) and I would swear there is some vanilla in the base as the warm, seductive sweetness it exudes cannot all be attributed to the mentioned notes.

I love the powdery feel of this perfume as it keeps the rose in check and I love that the creaminess you feel in this perfume is a sleight of hand done by jasmine. And even though I would say that vetiver adds its dryness and sweetness to the poudree part of the name and the perfume drydown, I still think a drop of vanilla helps. 😉

So, I hope now you are all as eager as I am to see Narciso Poudree released.

Please let me know what you think once you get the chance to smell it.

 

And I would like to say a big thank you to Ivo who shared this gem with me. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling in France – Paris

In December I finally had a chance to visit Paris again, even if it was only for two and a half days. It was a quick getaway that happened at exactly the right time to re-charge my batteries before work hit me hard for the rest of the month.

I arrived on the first Sunday of the month and the optimist in me thought to visit museums for free. 🙂 This is the closest I got to a museum – this is Rodin’s. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were out of the question, the queues were unbelievable! Still, just walking in the gardens of Musee Rodin was a beautiful experience.

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So, since my free entrance to Louvre was out of the question, I decided to pay for it and used most of my Monday to stroll around it. I seem to have been fascinated with staircases this time around but I’ll post just one picture of them (ok, maybe two). 🙂

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There are so many beautiful things to see in Louvre. I’ve been there once already, my first time in Paris, but I really wanted to visit it again.

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The jewelry on display is “magnifique”!DSC_1394[1]

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This time I was actually able to snap a rather ok photo of Mona Lisa.

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It is not a worthy trip to Paris if you don’t visit a perfume shop and this time, my perfume wanderings took me to Jovoy (no pictures from there but a perfume did come back 😉 ) and to Caron which had an amazing Christmas display in their window. I didn’t buy anything there but the SA was amazingly nice and cooperative and explained everything. I went away with arms smelling of many perfumes and a sample of Poivre.

Honestly, I feel old French perfumery is calling me back to its folds. I seem to enjoy it more and more.

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Of course that no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to Guerlain. This time a friend and I decided to visit the famous tea room (Le 68 Guy Martin) at Guerlain and it was the first time I discovered what the French insolence feels like. You see, you need a reservation for the place and we didn’t have one. But as it wasn’t really full we somehow managed to convince them to let us in for tea and cake.

That was misstep number 2. You see, you cannot come around 2 for tea and cake. 😀 Because that is lunch time. As we were very haughtily informed. Still, they obviously made an exception in our case.

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And since I didn’t know if taking a photo of my dessert would be misstep 3, I took it quickly so it’s not the best one.

That said, once we started eating our dessert and being so obviously appreciative of it, the chief waiter (one being frenchly mean to us) actually appeared with a smile on his lips. Honestly though, this was I believe the best dessert I ever had in my life. And I can’t even remember its name and can’t find it on the restaurant’s menu either (some kind of chocolate profiterole).

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My Guerlain visit ended with a purchase of Shalimar tea. Again the optimist in me thought I’d buy more than just Shalimar tea, but once I saw the prices, additional tins were out of the question. 🙂 Oh well, at least I tried one of them with my dessert. 😉

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