Tag Archives: Perfume review

A forgotten gem – Chanel Coromandel

At least for me.

I bought the big bottle when I was in Paris for the first time, and since I was getting lost all the time, it took me a while to locate the Chanel boutique. Now the bottle has lingered several years in my closet until I got reminded of it through a perfumista friend a few days ago.

I still understand why I didn’t blink an eye buying that 200 ml for what was my most expensive perfume purchase up to then. Now I think about it, possibly ever.

Basically, what I think of it is that it smells like a dry, ambery pashmina bolstered by patchouli.

Now, if I concentrate, I can smell the citrusy peel note in the opening, the frankincense being hidden in profile-chanel-mademoiselle-privee-collection-_6there (that’s a good thing in my book) and the little sunshine hidden in the petals of jasmine and rose.

The longer you wear it, the more the resiny base comes through and the dryness becomes even more apparent. Incense is peeking out of its hidey-hole and the patchouli takes center stage but the resiny warmth never leaves.

And that’s it. It’s a perfect example of elegant simplicity while not being simple at all.

So, what are your forgotten gems?

 

And while on the subject of Coromandel, these days, I see Les Exclusifs everywhere. 😉

So if you haven’t already, go play the detective over at Denyse’s blog (one of those places).

 

P.S. While searching for pics, I noticed Chanel has a nail polish of the same name in red color. Is it me, or Coromandel just doesn’t smell even remotely?

 

Notes: citruses, neroli, bitter oranger, jasmine, rose, orris, patchouli, woody notes, amber, benzoin, and frankincense

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The Rose of Morocco – Andy Tauer’s Phi Une Rose de Kandahar

Actually, it’s the rose of Afghanistan but I’m calling it the Rose of Morocco in my mind as it smells of dry and thorny rose, on the familiar Tauer base which always makes me think of L’Air du Desert Marocain (not that they smell similar).

But the idea of dryness and dust is there, accompanied by light acridness and the feeling of thorns being hidden so you better beware when approaching it.desert rose

HEAD NOTES: natural apricot extract,cinnamon,hints of bitter almond, bergamot essential oil.

HEART NOTES: rare rose essential oil with its unique scent of spices, plums and flower petals, rose absolute from Bulgaria, Bourbon geranium,dark tobacco fond, absolute of dried tobacco leaves.

BODY NOTES: patchouli, vetiver, vanilla and tonka, musk and amber gris.

I would say smelling the notes is not what is important here. Sure, I can smell the bergamot, spices and almonds in the opening together with a beautiful rose note. And then the warmth of the vanilla and tonka, together with a pinch of tobacco. Finishing off with a warm, dry base resting on incredible patchouli.

What I find incredible is that it actually smells and feels like a warm, dry, rough region where the most succulent rose comes from. Not that I would know what dry, rough lands smell like, whether in Afghanistan or Morocco, but in my mind, this is how.

And once the night falls down, the rose closes its petals and you are left with the warmth of dry lands, reminiscing what bounty there was to smell when the petals were open.

This rose has so easily captured my heart and climbed the list of my favorite rose perfumes.

My sample was provided through http://www.tauerperfumes.com/ and the notes were taken from there as well.

Black is my new favorite color

And not only because I have a new perfume love called Black. 😉

This is more of a side note, but after years of trying to fix my wardrobe so it’s not dark and colorless, and now after actually succeeding, I again feel the need to wear black specifically. Other dark colors are as good as bold colors, but it’s black I crave and black I feel good in.black pure

Back to Black. 😉

As with most Puredistance perfumes, (in the beginning) no one actually knows what are the notes. Except the perfumer of course (Antoine Lie – I had  already joked on account of his last name but decided it might be inappropriate).

Anyway, what I wanted to say is, we all depend on our noses. And in order for other noses not to influence what mine smells, I was very good in avoiding all the reviews so far. Now I’ll be able to go and read what other people smelled.

So what do I smell?

It starts feeling masculine (which I love!), I would call it fougere-like with lavender + something else reminding me a bit of HdP Veni with the warmth and cardamom and dryness. There is some kind of a herb that makes it smell a bit medicinal but there are definitely more spices wafting around a boozy note I imagine rum should smell like.

It is a lightly boozy, woody, ambery concoction where you can tell that the base holds more of the lovely, oozy notes – you know, dark, mysterious and thick (like patchouli, camphor?, and I would say oud).

You can see here the smoke you smell

You can see here the smoke you smell

Because there is a smokiness appearing after the initial blast passes.

And then tobacco hits you. 🙂 You better be prepared because it’s not for the faint of stomach. OK, so I’m being overly dramatic, but I did smell it on a day my stomach was feeling queasy and I can tell you, tobacco is not good for your stomach.

Now that you know what richness of notes this perfume is, I can tell you, it’s a pleasure wearing it. It comes close to its name. It fits with the image of an athletic man wearing a black sweater that flatters his figure. And makes you look repeatedly.

I just hope when I wear Black, the black sweater will flatter my figure too. 😉

My sample was provided by Puredistance.

And now I’m no longer sure what my favorite Puredistance is. I love I, Opardu and Antonia, but M and Black make me swoon.

My lovely leather heaven – Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal

I might not talk about leather perfumes much but I do love them. I just might not wear them as often as I might like as I don’t think my colleagues would approve as much as I do.

That said, I think Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal would never solicit any negative comments. Or at least it shouldn’t. It has become my go-to leather scent and I simply adore it.

Unfortunately for me, my decant ran out and the brand is not available in Croatia. But if I’m nothing if not persistent when it comes to something I love, so eventually a bottle will find its way into my collection.

cuirelle
So how does it smell? Heavenly.

😉

Notes: Somali Incense, Indonesian Patchouli, Bourbon Vetiver, Virginian Cedarwood, Cinnamon and Beehive Absolute.

I find it an incredible achievement that this perfume is well made that I, an incense-phobic never actually registered any incense-y problem in my nose.
Even smelling it now, knowing there is incense in there, I cannot smell it in its usual form. I can tease the buttery soft leather (the feeling of it, no buttery smell to it) and vetiver and cedar but incense is luckily missing from my perception.

Trying to tease the notes apart is a bit difficult, I thought there might have been some iris in here due to the most incredibly soft, leathery beginning of this perfume. It is just so seductive to my nose, it’s like a leather coat lined with incredibly soft fur, you just want to burrow your nose (well, all of yourself not just your nose) in it and never let go.

The fur lining the leather coat

The notes cannot describe the loveliness you smell. I thought there was a slight rum note in the beginning. Even though you can smell the incredible combination of woody notes smelling leathery, the only spiciness I detect is the one I attributed to rum. I’m sure cinnamon plays a huge role in that but I cannot smell it by itself. And I’m sure the beehive absolute is responsible for the amazing softness radiating from this perfume.

I would call this a perfect cashmere sweater perfume, along with some seductive leather on any part of your persona for a perfect fit.

That said, I’m not the person who wears clothes like that but I still find Cuirelle a perfect fit.  It makes me feel like I’m wearing clothes like that feeling completely at ease in them.

Leisurely seductive, in a sneaky way. 🙂 You’re enjoying your time with Cuirelle and suddenly you’re snared and you cannot live without it. perfect fit.  It makes me feel like I’m wearing clothes like that feeling completely at ease in them.

I warned you – that’s what happened to me. Proceed at your own peril.

While waiting for summer – Figue Amere by Miller Harris

smokvaI did some perfume wardrobe re-organization last weekend and came upon an almost empty decant of this perfume. And before I use the last drops, I realized it would be the perfect time to talk about it.

“Figue Amère introduces a curious contrast of fleshy fruit and astringent salt, this sun-soaked fragrance captures bitter green figs and sea air. Top notes of bergamot and mandarin contrast with narcissus poeticus, rose, green violet leaves and angelica, which gently fade into a heady base of cedar, amber and seamoss.”

True to the description, the initial smell of this perfume opens with the smell of fig tree wafting on a salty sea breeze.

There are some milky undertones to the perfume, as it seems someone is picking those figs by the sea (the milky sap that figs produce). I find it strange that only now, when I decided to review this perfume after finishing my decant, is when I realized I can smell the floral undertones in it. I find the peeking narcissus and the lightly bitter feel of angelica to work greatly with the sweetness that one would associate with fig but which you would be hard-pressed to find here. Ok, this sounds strange now. 🙂

But I cannot describe it better at the moment.

There isn’t much development to the perfume, it settles down after a while and the initial breeze is no longer in the air but you can smell it on your skin. It smells like the sun is setting down and what you thought of as the sunny aspect of this perfume (the salty, warm breeze) disappears and the greenery surrounding you is allowed to breathe in the still warm summery air.

I always enjoyed wearing this perfume but until now I didn’t realize how good it actually is.

I’m slowly becoming a convert to Miller Harris perfumes (I admit to initially dismissing the line).

Veni, Vidi, Vici – and I’m conquered

If it’s going to take me this long to write future reviews, I’ll be posting one every quartal. 🙂

It took me a long time to decide to finally post my thoughts on these three as I like them a lot but didn’t feel I could describe them fairly enough.  Soon there won’t be anything left to test so I better tell you now what I think of them:

Here is the quote from Histoires de Parfums site:

Veni represents the earth, which in many ways still remains a mystery to us. It is nurturing as much as it is wild, forcing us to keep our senses sharp, all the while pushing our limits.
Vidi, the wind, carries us over seas and oceans, allowing us to rise above mountains and to take our gaze and spirit beyond the horizon.
Vici, embodies fire, which translates into passion and power. It encourages mankind to create as well as to destroy and our mastery of it requires wisdom as much as well as strength.

 

Veni

in my mind, Veni comes very close to the description above. It is very reminiscent of dry, summer land and I can imagine an army crossing it during early summer while the smells of green hasn’t yet been burned out by the sun, accompanied by lavender and other herbs wafting on a warm, green breeze. And there must be an orchard nearby, as there is definitely a fruity, lightly citrusy tinge to it.

When I say herbal, it is to signify the spicy notes that work so well with the green notes in this perfume, I can smell the cardamom but the idea is what I described.

And even though I am the first one to forgo depicting a perfume as masculine or feminine, in today’s tuscan2sense, there is a definite masculine tone to it. Which makes it perfect for me.

The warmth of the earth and the sweetness of the plants growing on it, making this smell lightly fougerish and then woody, I am definitely conquered by the approaching perfumed army.

 

Top Note: absolu cardamom, cinnamom, galbanum, lavander
Heart Note: carnation, saffron, guaiac wood
Base Note: vanilla, toffee, patchouli oil, musk, ambergris, oakmoss

 

Vidi

The notes, the description, my first smell of this – all these made my think there was no way I would like this one. Water and ozone effects?! Please.

Well, I admit I was wrong. Not in so much that I would wear it, but I would certainly enjoy it on a man. as again this one has a definitely masculine tinge to it. And even though I know when I say that smelling the ozone/metallic and watery flower notes, that are also lightly sweet would make one run the other way thinking Cool Water is about to appear, that would be wrong. It somehow works and I’m blaming it all on cardamom. 🙂

It is generally a note I like a lot and is a common note going through all three.

This is the one I have the most problems wrapping my mind around. I mean, aquatic notes aren’t supposed to smell good. Never mind how you spice them up and give them a light saltiness. Right?

 

Top Note: cardamom, ozone effects
Heart Note: plastic rose, cyclamen, water effects, saffron
Base Note: immortal absolu, musk, ambergris, vanilla, white wood

 

Vici

Honestly, I don’t see much fire in this perfume (except the one burning in my soul to own it). It is a bit reminiscent of Veni with its soil-like angelique note (and iris root) in combination with cardamom and the green notes. There is still a summery feel to this one as well. So the army I keep imagining with the names of these perfumes must be riding through some wonderfully smelling countryside.

But this one is also the most serious one with the bittery nose-pinching in the beginning and no underlying sweetness, reminiscent of battle fields before the battle with its green and hay like hues.

Eventually the serious beginning mellows to more meadow-like feel of rest, with galbanum mellowing summer meadowdown and incense letting the flowers out to play in the meadow. Not that there seem to be many flowery notes in this perfume, but that is what it smells like to me, more floral in the drydown than before.
Top Note: angelical roots, cardamom, pink peppercorns, basil, galbanum, aldehyde
Heart Note: rustic lavender effects, céleri graine, iris concrete, osmanthus absolu, essence incense
Base Note: patchouli oil, musk, vanilla, cedar, raspberry

 

Samples were provided by HdP.

Vagabond Prince: Enchanted Forest (or going back to childhood)

I wonder if my idea about this perfume will have any connection to the actual idea behind this perfume.

But it can’t be helped, ideas and associations coming through smell are not conscious.

The thing is, I actually enjoyed smelling this perfume. That said, I don’t think I will ever wear it. And that said, I wonder if it actually might get popular with the younger crowd.

You see, it smells to me the same way as the blackcurrants taste. That is, the taste of the fruit is

bajkaexperienced through the nose in this perfume. The juicy sweetness and the bitter tartness all there, practically exploding in the air around you. Even the menthol-like hints of what a blackcurrant candy would taste like is there (I’d say the combination of rosemary and aldehydes might be responsible for that).

I didn’t even try to smell the notes when the general idea was so clear. Eventually you lose the juiciness but the candy feel remains. And that is basically why I wouldn’t wear it even though I find it novel enough to like it a lot. That is also the reason why I think it might go well with the younger crowd.

It is also the reason why I wondered about the idea behind the name – no forest really smells like this except possibly the ones from fairy tales. I’m pretty sure many kids would sooner imagine this as the smell of forest than what the forest really smells like. After all, if it’s enchanted, of course it doesn’t smell like the usual kind. 😉

TOP notes: pink pepper, aldehydes, sweet orange (traces), flower cassis, blackcurrant leaf, hawthorn, effects of rum and wine, rosemary, davana.

HEART: blackcurrant buds absolute (by LMR from Grasse), CO2 blackcurrant (by Floral Concept from Grasse), Russian coriander seed, honeysuckle, rose, carnation, vetiver.

BASE: opoponax resinoid, Siam benzoin, amber, oakmoss, fir balsam absolute, Patchouli Purecoeur®, castoreum absolute, cedar notes, vanilla, musk.

 

Notes and my sample by: http://www.fragrantica.com

Intoxication and seduction by Arquiste – Anima Dulcis

I believe I am finally getting the whole enthusiasm behind the Arquiste line. So far I only tried Anima Dulcis and I’m already thinking the rest are probably as great as this one.

I see it’s one of those brands that hide the notes and all I could find was this:

Notes include: cocoa absolute, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, chilli infusion

The notes might make you think it’s a sweet perfume but that wouldn’t be true. There is some sweetness to it but it’s in the background. Although now I said that, I wouldn’t say anything is up front.anima d

On me it starts with a light boozy feeling accompanied by hints of anis and cuminy warmth – very seductive. Of course, I could be just imagining these things, but there is a warm “musky” feel to the start of this perfume and that is why I’m guessing some cumin but who knows, the cocoa absolute could hint at that as well.

It stays close to skin and slowly radiates its seduction off of you. Soon what radiates gives off spiciness, I thought the cinnamon possibly bolstered by some clove too. I can’t say I smell chilli but as the spiciness is unmistakable, I’m sure chilli is doing its thing.

The more you smell it, the more intoxicating it gets. I didn’t get the feeling it changed much after getting into the perfect spicy warmth skin.

I must say I haven’t smelled such a seductive conjurer of a perfume in quite some time. I am very much in love. Or possibly just very infatuated as the seduction certainly worked on me.

 

I have to add that the description on Arquiste site is very interesting as it mentions nuns  making cocoa infused with chilli and “making a rich experience for the senses” and all I can think is – those are some very naughty nuns there. 🙂

 

Pic and notes by: www.arquiste.com

Hidden memories – Memoire Liquide

Epices Precieuses and Hommage

It is easy finding the Memoire Liquide site but it is not easy at all finding any information on their perfumes. The most helpful site was Surrender to Chance and they didn’t have Epices Precieuses listed.

So, I’ll go with that one.

Epices Precieuses, if you go by notes, should work like a charm for me. 🙂 And if I only had the beginning of it, I would have loved it.

Notes: ginger, pink pepper, cinnamon bark, clove buds, nutmeg and cardamomnutmeg and cinn

It starts sweet (I thought of the amber kind) and boozy, lightly spicy and with cinnamon, hinting at some fruit as well. The one that is sweet and can be immersed in alcohol for additional enjoyment. The closest idea in my mind was date. Very soon what I thought was ambery sweetness turns into nutmeg sweetness and the clove also comes out to play. I honestly can’t say that I smelled pink pepper but the spiciness was present in the opening, so I guess it did its part.

It starts losing the sweetness rather quickly but the clove and nutmeg do not lose their place. Soon, some woodiness starts peeping through, and I thought initially if the cinnamon bark  could be responsible (bark is wood after all) but I’m thinking there must be something else in there. Here is where I could actually smell the ginger in the background.

And this is pretty much where the development stops and it remains woody and lightly spicy (ginger hints possible).

 

Hommage

is another thing entirely. The development is pretty much the same as with Epices Precieuses.

Notes: frankincense, myrrhe, amber, musk, sandalwood

It’s probably me, but as I’m very careful with incense (it takes everything over for my nose), I don’t usually like those perfumes.It just so seems that this is the one of those perfumes that reminds me a lot of the smell of Cockta (the local soda drink, containing incense, I checked).
cockta
It even smells, in the opening, lightly caramel-like and sparkly. Sweet and incensey at the same time. At some point the sweetness actually reminded me (again) of sticky-fruit type of sweetness but that didn’t last long.

Basically what I get from this is the smell of Cockta. So, deciphering the notes was pretty much beyond me, I got stuck there. 🙂

P.S. It only just occurred to me that the name of Cockta might seem strange to natives speakers of English. 🙂 Is it?

Unexpected, surprising gardenia – Wildwood flower by H&M

I wanted to call it a cheap find but as I received it in a swap, I actually don’t know how much it costs but being an H&M perfume, I imagine it’s quite affordable.

And I must say, quite good too!

Finding any information on the perfume proved quite impossible. I wonder why doesn’t the H&M site have any perfume related information on it?!

So, if I go by my nose alone, I’d say it starts strangely. Once I spray it on, I can smell the white flower (gardenia in this case) in the divljiair around my wrist, but when I put my nose to the wrist, I can’t smell a thing. 🙂
That lasts only for a minute and then there is the most intriguing opening. I can smell the gardenia in there (Une Voix Noire being my reference gardenia) but it is hidden among some fruit and nettle?! I mean that is the first thing that pops into my head. There is a light fruity sweetness to the opening but it’s not overdone, it’s rather subdued when you think of the fruitiness that surrounds us these days. I might not be nettle that I’m smelling, but there is a slight bitter feeling subduing the sweetness. It could be just an almond note, as there is both a sweet nutty creaminess to it and a light bitter/herbal note.

But at all times there is the gardenia in the background filling your nose with its body. Each time you breathe it in, it fills you up completely. Not that I mind. At all. 🙂

Several times during its development I was scared it was going to turn into, in my case, much detested, clean muskiness but that never happened. There must be some of it in there as I feared the perfume veering towards it but luckily, it didn’t. It is pretty much linear but I don’t mind at all.

The fact that there is a slight saltiness to that nutty note and that the drydown displays some vanilla and amber I’d say, make this a really lovely perfume to be had for a probably very small amount of money.

 

Now, let me know – who has any experience with H&M perfumes (they aren’t available here)? Can you point me in the direction of some other hidden gems among their line?

And does anyone know who made this? The perfumer behind it I mean.

 

P.S. A big thank you to Oktopusy for sending this! 🙂

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