Category Archives: Short perfume review

Quick perfume thoughts

After quite a long time, I finally got to see some of my perfume friends and we shared what we have acquired lately that each of us might like to try (I didn’t have much though).

So, here is what I remembered from the quick sniffs I took today:

Piguet Knightsbridge – a lovely, boozy, warm perfume for colder days, it really hit all my boozy-vanilla-amber buttons 😉

Amouage Opus IX – in the beginning it’s a monstrously dirty jasmine/something (and dirty coming from me is really something), 2 hours later it smells like a slightly bitter floral, rather nice

Mugler Cuir Impertinent – the surprise of the meeting (at least for me) – a really wearable light leathery smell with a rather green-herbal opening and undertones of Angel, I can see myself wearing it easily

Odori Iris – nice feminine iris with no big projection, actually a rather soft and elegant feel

MFK  Oud – well, it’s anything but oud if you ask me (at least what I’m used to when it comes to oud), and if you take it like that, a rather nice perfume that works as edc just fine

TDC I miss Violet – also a perfume without much projection but with a soft side and easy smile. I had a bit trouble smelling it in the beginning as it was so light but later I got the lovely violet tones (and I get light fruitiness in the drydown)

There were also the Zoologist perfumes: Beaver, Panda and Rhinoceros and I am honestly pleasantly surprised how much I liked them.

The Poison Rose – Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie

I don’t remember the last time my perfume caused so many reactions, from “Please don’t wear it ever again as it’s making me sick” (coming from my boyfriend), to “It feels like entering a poison ivy cloud, it clears the sinuses” (by a colleague). The last one was actually meant in a positive way. 🙂

I read my old review of a sample of this perfume and here is where the whole dabbing vs. spraying a perfume make all the difference.

Spraying Paestum Rose gives you a day-long sillage you can smell. I’ve been smelling it for the whole day and enjoying myself – I really like this perfume even though it seems I will have to stop wearing it.

Notes: Davana, cinnamon, pink and rose pepper, coriander, blackcurrant buds, osmanthus,
peony, Turkish rose, tea, elemi, incense, myrrh, opoponax, cedarwood, papyrus,
patchouli, wenge, vetiver, musk, benzoin

Truth be told, there is an edge to this perfume. I think that is the reason why I love it so much, it seems to be the perfect blend of a well-formed and redolent rose in full bloom, but in this case the thorns have a smell and they warn you not to get too close. Taking apart this perfume by the notes you can smell, will not bring you close to picturing the smell in your mind – it is they type of perfume that gives you an aura. A poisonous one it seems, but I mean that in the best possible way.
I love feeling poisonous if it means I smell of Paestum Rose.

But I understand why other people might not be so happy about it…

O Tannenbaum! (part 2)

Welcome to my part of the O Tannebaum! blog project. 🙂
I’m running a bit late after my co-bloggers but that’s because I tried to put my thoughts on my 3 choices in order, only to discover I can’t.
I find all 3 beguiling, extremely interesting, strange and therefore meant for me. 🙂
In a random manner (not as to how much I like them) here they are.
Parfumerie Generale – Un Crime Exotique
My readers probably remember that I was on a hunt for a Christmas perfume. This one fits the bill only partly. The cinnamon and ginger are here, as is the black tea, but Christmas here doesn’t smell like this perfume.
But I surely wouldn’t mind spending it where it does smell like UCE. 🙂
With this perfume I keep going through what of the notes I can smell and then trying to guess how in the world do they combine into what I smell.
Notes: Chinese osmanthus, gingerbread, tea, cinnamon, star anise, mate absolute, vanilla sugar, South Sea Island sandalwood
It starts sweetly gingery-cinnamony (I don’t know how gingerbread smells like so gingery it is) and now that I know what to look for, I can smell the tea underneath (of the black variety). My notes made me look for a bit of raspberry-ish fruit but I guess the osmanthus-anise-tea combination could make me feel the fruity aspect in this.
I keep having problems describing this but I blame it all on the anise. It gets more barky-cinnamon and there is the underlying smell I cannot describe that I’m guessing is made refreshing by mate, anise, vanilla and sandalwood.
The good thing about this perfume is that it doesn’t lose the cinnamon tinge, even though it lessens, it is still there. And the wonder lasts.
La Via del Profumo – Oud Caravan no1.
I was lucky to win a sample of this from Suzanne and it came in time to be included in my O Tannenbaum choices.
If there are notes for this listed somewhere, someone please let me know as I had to smell this blindly (so all manner of strange associations might crop up). 🙂
First of all, I need to say it doesn’t smell as oudy as I keep thinking oud perfumes should (having the previous Montale experience). Then again, it does smell oudy, in that good, smoky, serious, lightly leathery and incensey way. The way that makes you a bit scared of the aura it is projecting.
At the same time, it makes you come closer to try and define what is it that makes it enticing.
As I don’t know the notes, it makes it easier for me to describe what I’m smelling without wondering why am I not smelling something (or smelling something that isn’t there). 🙂
Sometimes I smell it and think there is a light herbal tinge to it – the kind that makes your nose clear but in this case it’s not very apparent.
Anyway, a bit later, light balsamic feel emerges (as in the woody-resiny kind) giving this just a hint of sweetness so as to not make it too dry to smell. But it still smells dry with a light woody creaminess in the background. And all the time preciously oudy.
It seems Burren Perfumery is this very well hidden little perfumery in Ireland because so far I’ve never seen a single perfume review of any of their scents (including myself who is aware of their existence).
Winter Woods is their latest release and I was lucky to receive a sample when the release was announced (along with all other of their perfumes).
Notes: rosemary, bergamot, lemon, iris, lavender, cedar, pine and vetiver.
I see they are calling this a quietly masculine fragrance – I can’t really judge, I like it and I have a tendeny to fall into the “masculine” part of the perfume world.
It starts with a refreshingly bitter – powdery feel. Considering the fact that both bergamot and lemon are listed, it is remarkably subdued in the citrusy department. I mean you can smell the light citrusness, combined with a bitterness and what I tend to call shampoo freshness (which always reminds me of nettle but that’s not listed as a note).  Before I lose your interest, the clean freshness doesn’t last that long. I’m pretty sure iris is exorting its effect on this whole composition, making it bitter and powdery.
At the same time, the idea of winter woods is becoming more and more true. But these winter woods are covered in snow (the wihiteness of the perfume comes very clearly out) and you can smell the crisp air, the wood bark and the powdery feel of the snow.
I’m not one to fall for powdery (at least I never did before) but the bitterness and powderiness of this are getting under my skin.
(actually they already got there)
I could go into details of the notes but unless you really pay attention to what you’re smelling, they won’t reveal themselves (they will if you really want to know them).
But I find that I don’t want to deconstruct them – I want to walk in those woods.
Please visit other participating blogs for some more Tannenbaum perfumes. 🙂

Another Perfume Blog
Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies
Beauty on the Outside
Eyeliner on a cat
Fragrant Reviews
Muse in Wooden Shoes
Olfactoria’s Travels
Redolent of Spices
Scent of the Day
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
The Candy Perfume Boy

O Tannenbaum! A joint blogging event

I adore participating in joint blogging projects so when Joanne and Krista asked if we were interested in this year’s Christmas project of course we said yes (that includes Asali and I).

So here are Asali’s mini reviews for O Tannenbaum! project:

Pick #1:

Iunx, L’Ether; Only recently I discovered this fragrance, and I can’t get it out of my mind, so it is definitely my Tannenbaum perfume no 1 – in spirit, even if not yet in material shape.

Because this incense perfume invites introspective thoughtfulness, and in the middle of this almost spiritual swirl of fragrance there is a discreet rose heart, and there is the golden hue of saffron softened by sandalwood. Even if this can be worn all year round, somehow it manages to sum up the soul of Christmas to me. A divine creation by Olivia Giacobetti

My pick #2;
Another Giacobetti gem is Safran Troublant (L’Artisan Parfumeur), ok so it isn’t exactly an imaginative choice, but it practically IS all that is nice about December to me.  It smells like the most delicious bun that the Swedes do for Lucia day called Lussekat. The fragrance like the bun manages to sparkle in all its glorious saffron spiciness, rounded and softened by vanilla sweetness.  It is alluring and smooth, and a most wonderful fragrance. Sharing many of the same notes including the creamy sandalwood, it couldn’t be further away from L’Ether in its expression. On the 13th of December you can experience a little scenery of girls dressed in white with a candle clad garland on their heads singing the Santa Lucia song, and you can eat Lussekatte (plural), and you can relive it every time you wear ST.

Pick #3

Last but not least the ultimative Christmas party fragrance: Marron Chic from Nez a Nez.

It’s less “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and more sleigh ride style “We’ll be singing the songs we like to sing without a single stop, at the fireplace while we watch the chestnut pop, just hear those sleigh bells jingling , ring ting tingling too, come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you ”

Comfy cosy and yet very sensual, it truly comes alive on the skin, oozing chic radiance, and like some of my most cherished perfumes turns you into something a little better than yourself.

Please visit other participating blogs to read more about what Christmas season perfumes bring happiness to them:

Another Perfume Blog
Beauty, Bacon, Bunnies
Beauty on the Outside
Eyeliner on a cat
Fragrant Reviews
Muse in Wooden Shoes
Olfactoria’s Travels
Redolent of Spices

Scent of the Day
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
The Candy Perfume Boy
Undina’s Looking Glass

P.S. I’ll be posting my reviews later in the day.

Filching a birthday present

As all of you who read Birgit’s blog Olfactoria’s Travels know, she did mini reviews yesterday of DSH perfumes in honour of Dawn’s birthday today.
I think it is a lovely idea so I thought I’d give my thoughts on the latest trio I tried of Dawn’s creations.
And a very happy birthday Dawn! 🙂

Top notes: Cassis Bud, Hazelnut, Silver Fir

Middle notes: Carnation, Centifolia Rose Absolute, Jasmine, Tuberose Absolute
Base notes: Brown Oakmoss, Olibanum (Frankincense), Oude (Agarwood)

I’d swear there was some patchouli in this as it starts sweet, lightly earthy-rooty so it instantly reminded me of patchouli. Also, I just realized, that the earthy-rooty thing might not sound appealing in terms of perfume but to me, it always smells great. I was already starting to get worried I might be imagining things as I smelled carnation (and I tested Vitriol d’Oiellet morning before) but carnation is in there. And I can smell the wonderful oakmoss base. And to imagine I used to think I didn’t like oakmoss (that’s until you smell the real deal).
Basically, to me it smells darkishly woody and lightly floral, and then it gets more rosy-woody until woodsy notes are all I can smell and it makes me feel calm and relaxed and while I’m not watching, the woods give way to florals and I’m floating on a cloud.
Oude Arabique
Top notes: Mastic

Middle notes: Oude (Agarwood), Tamil Nadu Sandalwood

Base notes: Australian Sandalwood, Buddahwood, Himalayan Cedar, Tolu Balsam

Of this trio, Oude is my favourite but it doesn’t smell really oudish to me. It starts sweetly, floral-sandalwoody and then I get this wonderfull creaminess that is very reminiscent of Love Coco but there is no coconut or ylang-ylang in this. The best I could come up with was that mastic and sandalwood were playing tricks on me because later I could smell sandalwood more clearly.
As I follow my nose and notes are there to point the way most of the time, I ended up with something floral in the base (again). 🙂 Not that I mind.
L’Eau d’Iris
Top notes: Bergamot, Florentine Iris Flower, Violet

Middle notes: Neroli, Orris Root
Base notes: Benzoin, Musk, Sandalwood

I really thought this wasn’t my kind of perfume until the initial iris bitterness was mellowed  by violet. And if I read that somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been interested as I’m not really a violet fan, but lately it seems to be getting under my skin.
The initial iris smells very strict and uncompromising to me until it gets mellowed by the violet and then later musc (reminding me a bit of MdO Musc where the pair works wonderfully). I really tried smelling the bergamot but it’s more of a backdrop to the iris’s center stage.
Does that happen to anyone else? I mean, I can’t smell a note but I know it’s there because of the way the most obvious note smells like.
So, iris loses its strength slowly and while making way for violet, in the end it makes it into sandalwoody muskiness. Extremely lovely. Especially when considering where it started from.

Notes and pics by:

Short foray into mainstream

It’s not often I visit Sephora as it’s not close to my usual places but today, I was at the exact spot and had 10 minutes. 🙂
So, of course I took the chance and went in search of a spray of Chanel 19 Poudre.

Basically, I won’t go searching for it again. I am very disappointed. Not that it’s bad for the general, youthful I’d say, public, but it holds no candle to the original. It feels exactly like what Guerlain did with Shalimar, only their flanker is much more wearable to a lover of Shalimar than Poudre is to a lover of Chanel 19.

Not to mention the fact that after 10 minutes, I could no longer smell it on my arm. Poof! It was gone.
Notes I could find: neroli, galbanum, jasmine, iris, white musk, vetiver and tonka bean.

I also got to finally smell Jimmy Choo (which for some reason I keep calling in my mind Jimmy Chang, have no idea why…).
I thought it was perfectly nice and acceptable and would probably make a good gift if you have no idea what the woman in question loves (and she isn’t a hardcore perfumista). I’ll give it some skin time next time around.
Heart notes: Tiger Orchard

Top notes: Pear Nectar, Sweet Italian Orange
Base notes:Toffee, Indonesian Patchouli

The surprise of the evening was Bulgari Jasmin Noir. The only problem is I tested it on paper and Bulgaris usually fail in contact with my skin. What appears on paper is nowhere close to what appears on me. So, I’ll give this another go on skin. 
At first, I couldn’t detect any jasmine, but then it slowly appeared and being upset with Poudre’s disappearance, I forgot to follow but I will definitely give it another go. The idea I got wasn’t noir though. 🙂

Notes: green plants juice, gardenia flowers, Sambac jasmine absolute, sateen almond aromas, dark notes of precious wood, liquorice absolute and accords of Tonka.

The last try for the evening was Kenzo’s Flower Tag. And with it, my enthusiasm for discovering more mainstream evaporated. Yep, a fruity floral. A sweet fruity-floral.

Top notes: mandarin, black currant, rhubarb

Heart: peony, jasmine, lily of the valley
Base: tea, musk, vanilla

Time flies by when the sun is shining

I think I’m suffering from spring laziness. I’m not really tired as that is what everyone keeps talking about these days when the sun keeps shining all day long and everyone is smiling because of it. I’m actually running around, trying to do all sorts of things and I’m managing but the writing sort of got lost in the middle of all that.

During last week’s fumechat, I got some wonderful recommendations for spring scents from Persolaise, only to manage to locate one of those samples and basically just try that one. One would think if I’m looking for new perfume loves, I’d put more effort into it…

So, the one I tried was Vert Pivoine by Histoires de Parfums, and while I was already amid those samples, I tested Blanc Violette too.

Vert Pivoine

Notes (in French):
Top note : Pivoine, Feuille de Lierre, Eau de Rose.

Heart note : Pivoine, Rose, Mimosa, Gardénia, Fruits Rouges, Baies Roses.
Base note : Pivoine, Santal, Cèdre, Musc, Vanille.

One of the good things about perfumes is that I learn many new words through them. Especially for flowers. 🙂 So now I know the name for peony in both French and Croatian and thanks to google, I even know what it looks like. Before, peony was just another name of a flower.
So, what does it smell like? For me, it starts with the smell of flowers stalks that give off a slightly peppery twist. It’s not sweet at all, more like spring flowers after rain when you can’t smell the sweet grass and pollen residue in the air but just clear scent.
It smells serious and elegant to me with the smell of real rose (at least that’s how I think of that particular smell, the one where you actually have your nose in the rose and can smell the surrounding air and leaves) complementing the elegancy.
These are soliflores by Histoires de Parfums site so it’s no surprise when I say that this one smells pretty much linear with some detours – a bit greener in the drydown.
Very easily wearable if not a great love for me. It’s more like a nice blouse you know fits well, even though  not the most spectacular you own.

Blanc Violette

Notes (also in French)
Top note : Violette, Bergamote, Iris.

Heart note : Violette, Ylang-Ylang, Anis Badiane.
Base note : Violette, Santal, Vanille, Musc, Poudre de Riz.

I’m not the one to fall for violets in my perfumes, but I actually liked this one better than Vert Pivoine (and I liked that one).
The interesting thing happened right at the beginning – I couldn’t say what I was smelling. I was smelling it but my mind refused to put any name to it so I wrote down – white and sligthly bitter. 🙂 I’m just so good with words. 😉
After that, it got slightly powdery and lightly irisy but I can’t say I could recognize violets in there.
Then another interesting thing happened – it started smelling like it was being suffused with light. I don’t know where that came from and I was very surprised to get that idea in my head. I wonder if someone else has tried this and had the same revelation?
I like it when I smell something that strongly questions my perfume knowledge as it was very hard for me to put into words what I was smelling and still can’t really describe it well enough – I guess my flower notes knowledge is seriously lacking. 🙂
To me it basically smells good, easy, light, elegant and smoothly powdery in occasional whiffs.
Notes by:
Pic is mine of trees blooming in Zagreb.

SOTD: Ava Luxe, Red Tara

I received a swap package today and it held a sample of this. So, I gave it a go. It’s a really nice, warm, spicy, woody scent.
And I went in search of notes which I found at Perfumed Court: sandalwood, iris absolute and myrrh.

I wasn’t able to find this perfume listed at Ava Luxe site so these are all the notes. I really like this one, even though the lasting power is a maximum of 3 hours.
If I didn’t read iris absolute, I’d never have guessed it – I mean I still don’t know that I was smelling it. 🙂 I get the sandalwood and I kept thinking from the beginning there must be something else in it making it slightly sweet and warm (my guess was benzoin).
Unfortunately I don’t have much more to say. It’s really nice and right up my alley but can’t say it’s spectacularly different or great. It’s exactly what I said the other day regarding Vetiver/vanille, perfectly wearable (in cold weather probably better) without thinking too much about what you are wearing.

SOTD: B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful – Breathe of God

It seems I’m late to the party and I only realized it when trying to find notes for this – they are out of business. Their site says some of their products might appear in Lush stores but that’s it.

Notes: vetiver, sandalwood, Virginia cedar, amber, musk, neroli, Amalfi lemon, jasmine, rose, melon.

This is going to sound awful – but if the rest of their products were like this, it’s really not a surprise they are closed. It really does sound awful. But I had to say it.

It’s not that the Breathe of God is bad – it’s just not really good.

I don’t have much to say about it. It started smoky for me (although I read that it’s supposed to be leathery), sweet and I thought slightly almond-tinged. But what felt wrong with it, is that it floated on nothing. It lead me to expect some kind of base behind it, not feeling like the notes were nowhere. Then it smelled like some kind of a soda (Fanta, Schweppes, sth of that sort) mixed with that leather and I couldn’t figure out what it was in there that was disturbing my stomach but now I see the notes, I realize it’s melon. I just don’t like it – in real life nor in perfume.

My thanks to Rita from the Left Coast Nose who sent this with some other surprises some time ago but I only got around to talking about it now.
Rita I hope you get the urge to talk about perfumes again soon – we miss you! 🙂

Pic by:

SOTD: The Six Scents, series 2, No. 2 Ende/Anfang

I’m not sure if it’s the strenth of this or something is wrong with my nose but after two hours on my arm, I can barely trace it. Maybe applying it a bit lavishly might help (although it seemed weak from the start, so I re-applied it after some 15 minutes).

Btw, the name means End/Beginning if you are not familiar with German (have no idea why they named in in German…).

Notes: purple ginger extract, vetiver oil, cedarwood, guaiacwood, cardamom, coriander seed, birch tar, sandalwood, beeswax absolute, patchouli, myrrh.

It started great, spicy and I thought incensey but that turned out wrong, as you can see by the notes, but myrrh could have turned me that way.

I smelled it first without reading the notes (as I always do) and since I doubt my nose all the time, I thought I was projecting sandalwood and cardamom under the influence of yesterday’s sample, so I wrote down only cedarwood. But still felt good after reading the notes. 🙂

What can I say, I enjoy the opening and I like the broody masculine dusty woods later but I wish they were stronger in sillage and longevity.
I will be hoisting this off to my boyfriend, I know I will enjoy smelling it on him.

Pic by:

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