Tag Archives: L’Artisan Parfumeur

Is perfume world going bananas?

I had to put this title as it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the name of the new L’Artisan Parfumeur release – Bana Banana.

That said, I would actually love to smell it! 😀 I somehow believe it might be the type of perfume that makes you smile and just lets you enjoy yourself without any fuss while wearing it.

The site only has the page in French so far and this is what the description says: Une Banane Ambrée, composition baroque, rare et généreuse : le mariage d’une guirlande de jasmin et d’un bouquet de bananes confite.

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Basically it’s an amber banana composition (a combination of jasmine garland and banana jam). Might sound strange but I believe it will work.  I have trust in Céline Elena’s work.

Quick translation of the notes mentioned  would include: jasmine flower, violet leaves, nutmeg flower, iris, and tonka bean.

So, what do you think? Do you want to try it?

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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.

I’m not gone just a bit MIA

Dear readers, I feel like last couple of years all I do is plan on writing more and it always seems like I write less. 🙂

I don’t really have a good explanation why that happens as I have many perfumes in my queue I would love to write about, it just seems that life has some other plans that unfortunately intervene in the meantime. Life is usually unpredictable like that. 😉nev1

The last few months have been rather tumultuous when it comes to my life, what with the quantity of work I had to do, what with separation from my long-term boyfriend, and then finally with enrolling to get my driver’s licence. And that is just the three largest things that come to mind.

As none of that is finished yet, I am sincerely hoping I organize my time and mind in a manner that allows me to write (and smell) more.

That said, I will be finally getting some well deserved peace of mind and rest when my vacation starts on the 30th (of July). Luckily, that is not far away.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some general perfume thoughts I’ve been having lately:

  • I’m not really happy with the new L’Artisans even though they are Duchafour’s work
  • I am rather happy though with Cologne du Maghreb and finally understand Andy’s idea of spraying your body with a lot of cologne, works like magic! 🙂
  • The Scented Hound sent some amazing perfumes for me to try (and I did), now all I need is to give them more time and write about them
  • The longer I’m in this perfume world, the more I am starting to lean towards old style perfumery – French classics are taking over my heart
  • Helped by the new Coco Chanel biography I’m reading (well, I just started) – I have a feeling it will be a good one
  • Also, I really, really want to find an old version of Chanel 5 (see previous bullet) 🙂
  • And Paris has been on my mind lately for several reasons, perfumes, Coco Chanel and I’m re-reading Angelique, La Marquise des Anges after I saw the new movie (beats me why it got such bad reviews…)

 

P.S. The picture is of the weather we have once a week here (give or take a few days). It’s also a bit what my life has been like lately. Which is why I loved this Portia’s post where she hid a little gem of a sentence in about loving yourself.

Life is about to get better and more fragrant!

My top 5 spring notes

I like this top 5 series because it’s much easier coming up with 5 things than with 10. 🙂 Unless you’re choosing your top 5 perfumes for life.

When I think of spring, I think of green, dewy grass and spring flowers. Asali did a great lilac post a few days ago but for some reason, I never think of lilacs when I think of spring even though I adore the smell.

My first idea is always green (grass) when it comes to spring. It still surDSC_0875prises me how difficult it is for me to find perfumes that smell green to my mind and are not chypre/galbanum variants because even though I think of galbanum in those terms, I would love a perfume that reminds me of dewy grass. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open to all.

And then, the flowers. You can’t have spring without flowers and in this case, my first idea is somehow always iris. I have no idea when irises actually bloom but they are among first spring flowery perfumes I decide to wear.

Closely followed by the most perfect grass of this world – vetiver. So far there wasn’t a vetiver perfume I smelled and hated. I just think I have a natural propensity towards that smell. 🙂 (there is a top 5 vetiver perfumes post in the making)

One note I unfortunately only smelled in one great perfume and would love to wear more during spring is narcissus. I absolutely love the smell of L’Artisan’s Fleur de Narcisse and I wish from the bottom of my heart they would bring that perfume back. I wasn’t aware of it when it was available and only got to try it later but it is perfect. If there is another great narcissus perfume out there, I’d love to try it.DSC_0871

And the last, but not least (although if considered by the amount of wear it gets…) – the loveliest smell of the little white flower – lily of the valley. I both love the smell of it in Diorissimo and it will always remind me of my mother who adores those flowers. I also wish that annual Guerlain release of Muguet wasn’t so awfully expensive.

 

 

Pics have no relation to notes I mentioned but were the first spring flowers I saw this year some time ago so it seemed fitting.

My top 5 perfume houses

Well, Birgit beat me to it. 😦 Even so, I’ll go with the one I had planned several weeks ago and never published (now wonder people beat me to different things). 😉

So, as there are posts like these all the time (your favorite perfumes, notes, brands, perfumes from a brand, etc.), I wanted to share my preferences on the subject.

I have a hard time naming favorite perfumes as that changes all the time. Plus, there are so many good perfumes out there, I hate having to choose among them. I have enough love for all of them. 😉DSC00761

That is why I decided to tell you about my favorite perfume houses because even though I don’t like everything they do, I like/love most of their perfumes and look benevolently on others even when I don’t like them. They are also better represented in my collection. 🙂

In no particular order:

Serge Lutens – I’m guessing most perfumistas have Serge Lutens on their list of perfume houses they enjoy. I don’t think a special explanation is needed but to explain my reasoning – they are like a wonderfully intelligent conversation you might lead at the most unexpected places but one you really need to be alert for, otherwise you will lose your strain of thought.

Guerlain – again, some of the ingeniously great perfumes came from this house and they still come up with some great perfumes.

Ramon Monegal – now, I only recently discovered this gem of a perfume house and the more I smell their perfumes, the more I fall in love. Which isn’t surprising considering Mr. Monegal’s love for books which in my mind only means he knows what he’s doing when it comes to perfume as well. And the inkwell! I was sold at that. 😉

Histoires des Parfums – I always think they don’t get enough love and raving reviews because honestly, those perfumes are great, and very wearable. And not expensive either (considering what else is out there and how much it costs).

The last but not the least, the house that started my perfume journey – L’Artisan Parfumeur. They are also the house I would recommend every perfume newbie to start with as they make you fall in love with some amazingly down-to-earth notes.

 

I noticed in this list that my European heritage is rather obvious. 🙂

And of course I have special additions. 😉

Special mention goes to Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (being both an American perfume house and indie as well) whose perfumes I keep enjoying since the first time I smelled them. I’m amazed at the work Dawn does, both in its expanse and quality and look forward to smelling many more perfumes her artisan hands make.

And Frederic Malle which would have made the list if I were to mention 6 perfume houses. They’ve been steadily climbing my list of favorite houses for some time now…

P.S. Special thanks to Asali for the absolutely wonderful photos I could use for this post and my blog header.

Perfume shopping in Zagreb – TOP

There is a new niche place to visit in Zagreb! 🙂 And, it’s one that is right on me routes around the town. The address being Tomiceva 4.

You can check their facebook site too.

It opened yesterday, when I learned about it from my Zagreb perfume crowd – so of course I went to check it out today.

The place is rather small and cosy (when compared to other niche destinations in Zagreb) and at the moment, you are greeted by Borut, the lovely SP who I first met at Viktor Koncept.

It might seem like there aren’t many lines there at the moment (the number will definitely grow once Croatia enters the EU) but I had to stop smelling at some point as my brain decided to process what I’ve smelled so far.

So, here are my reflections so far.

I am happy to say it seems L’Artisan’s Caligna will be available here (and I might get to try the tester even sooner, hopefully next week).

I finally got to test Blood Concept and even though I’m not sure I would wear any but my own group (A – strangely likeable) and realized again that I pretty much suck at rebus because I had to have the name +MA explained.

Also for the first time I tried A Lab on Fire perfumes – What We Do In Paris Is Secret is my favourite of the trio. The more I smell it, the more I fall in love. Well, I’m predisposed to it just by seeing the name. 😉 It is very romantic and seductive.

JHAG Mad Madame had the most intriguing opening and is the first JHAG perfume I liked from the start and the next time I’m there, I’ll give it some arm space (didn’t have any left today).

The more I smell Byredo line, the more I like them. I am not a fan of Inflorescense (or whatever is the name) but I quite like La Tulipe.

Of the LM Parfums I only tried O de Soupirs and I admit, it smelled much better on the blotter than on me.

A lovely surprise was Eight & Bob which I find a rather lovely concept and a perfume I will try at a later time when in passing.

So, from memory, here are the lines that can be found at TOP:

Juliette Has a Gun

Escentric Molecules

Parfum de Nicolai

Blood Concept

Naomi Goodsir

LM Parfums

Byredo

Eight & Bob

A Lab on Fire

LaDuree Beaute

L’Artisan Parfumeur

Séville à l’aube – a place where you get seduced

With the arrival of The Perfume Lover, there came a little round black bottle containing some of the most potent stuff I ever smelled in my personal fragrant history. The juice in that bottle could be called radio-active due to its strentgh, vibrancy and longevity.

Now my little black bottle is empty (and I’ve read the book), I believe I got to know it well enough to end up seduced by it. 🙂

The book also helped me identify more of the notes and smell the warmth of the drydown which I had problems with in the beginning getting pounced upon by orange blossom and petitgrain. It took me several tries to delve deeper than these notes.
I also think it has something to do with my skin as when I smell the bottle, I have no problem finding incense in there and the warm, full, sweet and rich, slightly ambery, base.

Just reading a review of what this perfume smells like will not prepare you in the slightest for what is to come. Plus, what is coming will last and last and you will have quite a ride before you reach the end.

For me it was a slow seduction, first I got to know the ebullient flowers, then I slowly delved through their depth to find incense coming through with occasional glimpses of metallic saltyness (which I’m guessing was the part meant to evoke blood), only to end up warmly enveloped in the still flowery cocoon of sunrise (possibly a bit drunk when I consider the lingering wafts of my little bottle).

Ok, I just took a look back onto my words and it seems I got more influenced by the book than I thought. 😉

The perfume is coming out soon so you can get ready for being seduced by it.

Notes: petitgrain, petitgrain citronnier, orange blossom absolute, beeswax absolute, incense resinoid, Luisieri lavender absolute and Siam benzoin resinoid.

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
EauMG
Eyeliner on a cat
Fragrant Reviews
Muse in Wooden Shoes
Olfactoria’s Travels
Parfumieren
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.

Giving in to my perfume sweet tooth – Un Bois Vanille

I find it both interesting and telling that at this point in month, the two perfumes that made such an impression are both sweet. 🙂

First, I’m forever thankful to the Perfume Posse for hosting that incredible mass swap before Christmas, I got so many wonderful things in exchange, I still need to go through them properly.

One of the things I received was the decant of Un Bois Vanille as I never tried it before and since I, well, like pretty much anything coming from SL line, I wanted to try it. It took a while for me to take it out (two days ago actually) and I decided to spray it on without testing it first.

It wasn’t a mistake. 🙂

In my case at least. I’m not sure though how many people actually appreciate burnt caramel smell. But it’s so wonderfully done! I keep getting that burnt caramel/sugar vibe with some smoke hidden under that heaviness but it’s so good. (I’m doing a little happy dance in my chair just thinking about it) 🙂

Before you start thinking that’s all there is to it, I do get traces of vanilla, the one that makes me love Vanilia by L’Artisan (why in the world did they decide to discontinue it?!).

For me the burnt caramel never truly goes away but it certainly dissipates enough to get you to smell a nutty (slightly bitter) vibe and then it just dries down to a less sweet (not that it was too sweet in the first place) woody burnt caramel/nuttiness. The burnt part has here already been mostly cleared by the wind.

Notes: Black vanilla absolute, licorice, sandalwood, coconut milk, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, Gaiac wood, tonka bean

P.S. I do wish I got a 10ml decant instead of 5ml.

Can there ever be enough figs?

Not for me. Turns out at the moment I have four different fig scents and if I can get my hands on more, I won’t mind (so after you read this post, please comment with some new choices for me).

Today it was actually (finally!) a real summer day here so I wore Fleur de Figuier by Molinard. Did you know that a 100ml bottle of this costs 31 euros? I couldn’t believe it and once my decant is empty, I’m buying a bottle. The only thing that angers me a bit is that I don’t have to pay VAT so it’s even cheaper, but the shipping cost is 27 euros (more than the bottle without the VAT).

This is a green, fresh fig that has some serious lasting power and feels refreshing when you wear it.

Then, of course I have a decant of Diptyque Philosykos which is another great fig (one it seems everyone is familiar with). There’s not much to add to the name. 🙂 It’s similar to Molinard and just as great.

One more decant, L’Artisan’s Premier Figuier, my introduction into fig category. And a love at first sniff, the one that started all this fig love.

In the end, a fig that passed under my radar, Ninfeo Mio. I’m ashamed to say that I went down another path when smelling this for the first time and haven’t even realized there was a fig in it. But after wearing it for some time, now I cannot mistake it even though this is not a fig scent like the other three before.

So, I told you my favourites. Now, let me know what are the scents that make you feel figgy too?

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