Tag Archives: Ramon Monegal

The sunny side of life – Monegal’s Kiss My Name

I apologize for the disappearance. Life gets rather busy sometimes. And interesting. 🙂

That said, the weather here’s been interesting as well. After a summer that resembled more of an autumn, we were in for some warm sunny weather. So this time around I turned to some white flowers by Mr Monegal. Ever after hearing him speak several weeks ago, I’m more and more leaning toward acquiring several more of his perfumes (Cuirelle is always a huge hit whenever I wear it).
So, I’ve been wearing Kiss My Name rather often. It  makes me think of the sunshine and happiness all in one (hence the title). The brightness of neroli just adds to the experience of the sunshine. And then tempered with tuberose and jasmine… What’s not to give you an instant smile? 🙂
I’d say Mr Monegal has mastered the art of seduction through perfumes.
I am certainly succumbing to more and more of his wonderful creations.kiss my name

So now that it was sunny and warm, I was wearing Kiss My Name a lot, a Monegal version of white flowers..

Notes: tuberose, iris, egyptian jasmine, tunisian neroli and tolu balsam.

A very refreshing start with neroli, based on jasmine and tuberose and I’d swear some kind of fruit. My guess would be peach. and then tuberose slowly leaves its nice position to let neroli and jasmine take center stage, all the while lurking in the background.

I admit the iris is playing hide and seek with me (rather well as I haven’t found it yet) but the tolu balsam is what I’d say gives the wonderful longevity to this perfume and the warmth to the notes that can sometimes be shrill.

And that’s basically it. An overwhelming feeling of happiness and warmth due to white flowers.

It seems though the enjoyment of the warm and sunny is finished for this year. Tomorrow the cold weather begins…

 

P.S: I can’t help it, that makes me instantly think of “Winter is coming…” (Game of Thrones)  😉

Ramon Monegal in Zagreb

Oh yes, that did just happen! 🙂

Organized again by Juraj of Bl’eauOG, we were in for a great talk made by Mr Monegal. In French! I really was very happy with the fact that I spent so many years learning it because I could follow what he was saying without any problems. And he had LOTS to say.

I’ll try and give you the highlights. One thing that I’m upset about though, when I had the chance to ask him questions, I couldn’t come up with a single thing. Now that I’m home writing this, I have a full head of questions I would really like to hear his answers to. Oh well…

Basically, what I believe is the most important thing he said and one that resonates through his perfumery and his approach to clients is that we all don’t know how to use our nose for anything that is not stomach related – e.g. food. And it’s a learned thing, conditioned by our culture as babies can smell their mothers but then, at some point, we all forget to use our nose for enjoyment and identification of the world around us (like animals do).

 

He said that one of the main reasons for using perfumes is communication and nowadaysdsc_1153b people don’t have an olfactory image (like we do with the clothes we wear). They are not even aware that something like that exists. Well, we obviously are, but there were many people present today for who I could tell he was saying new things. And for him, that is the main reason perfumers came out of their labs – to educate the public of the importance of knowing the terms and recognizing the olfactory image.

Mr Monegal also explained his idea of why a perfume is like a book – with the introduction, the main part and the end. And how different notes communicate different things. I really enjoyed the idea that he so obviously espouses about it all being about communication.

I learned a lot about some notes which I’m not going to repeat here. Just that I wasn’t aware it was so difficult working with iris as it doesn’t have much longevity (and what with how expensive it is, it’s good we even have iris perfumes). 😉

I’ll leave you with one gem I really liked. There is no good/bad perfume in his mind, it’s all about the olfactory image again and the fact that perfumes can be either well worn or not well worn (depending on what you want to express with them and how they fit you). I actually like that idea as I definitely know that I cannot wear some of the perfumes I own at any time I like (Serge Lutens’ I’m looking at you).

I got to try Dubai Next To Me and I like it a lot and I basically fell in love with Impossible Iris. 🙂 The name is a reference to how difficult it is to work with iris (the longevity issue again).

DSC_1151

DSC_1149

A mini bottle waiting for each of us

DSC_1155

DSC_1156

 

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.

Easing into spring with Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal

We had a really strange winter this year (more like no winter at all) so it started feeling like spring in the middle of February. But the spring is basically here this week. even though it seemed to have been hesitating for a while.

Like me when it comes to perfume. I’m not really sure what to wear these days, something still for the cold days or something spring-like?

So, at the moment I’m exploring the flowers with some warm undertones. Which is how I came to try and like Impossible Iris with its fruity warmth and cool iris.

Notes: Italian Iris Concrete, Cassie d’Egypte Absolute, Raspberry, Comoran Ylang-Ylang, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute and Virginian Cedarwood.

I saw that many reviews center themselves around the raspberry note. It makes sense, as that fruitiness cannot be missed and lasts for quite a while. But for the life of me, when I first smelled it, I couldn’t come up with raspberry as the fruit I smelled. I thought it was more in line with forest berries with some orange (possibly peaches) thrown in. Turns out I was very wrong.impossile

The thing is, I have a hard time putting into words exactly what I smell.

I love the fact that it feels like a cousin of Cuirelle, due to a similar grey feel (I wonder if that’s cedarwood). I haven’t explored many of the Monegal perfumes so I can’t say if there is a signature to it.

For me, Impossible Iris starts with a light cleaner-like smell, slightly citrus-y with a hint of evergreen. Hmm, looking at my notes and the official notes, I wonder what in the world do I think I’m smelling?! 😉

Anyway, the fruitiness is there from the start basically and at some point it actually overpowers the flowers. But not for long. The perfume also veers on the edge of white muskiness (or whatever kind of musks is in everything these days) but I say veer, as the musk never bothers me like it usually does, instead it feels more like a facet of the iris than anything else.

The general feel of this perfume is like the raspberry iris is resting on a warm mattress of hidden white flowers. With some cedar chips thrown in to make it more elegant. With such a beautiful aura.

That is one thing I cannot help but think about when I think of this perfume – the beautiful warm iris-y aura you waft around yourself when you wear it. Definitely helped by the raspberry note. 🙂

My sample came courtesy of the Monegal company.

2013. The year that was

I have no better words to describe it. It was, it’s over now.

I look back on it and all I can think is, thankfully, it’s over. Nothing bad happened to me but it still felt like a bad year, full of bad news (both domestic and international), lethargy, indifference, deaths – generally, a year that didn’t display human kind at its best (an understatement) and did display it at some of its worst.

I always feel guilty for thinking like this, I feel I am being ungrateful. Compared to most of the world, I lead a life of plenty. And realistically speaking, it’s true. I lack for nothing, quite the contrary, I have a great family, a nice job, a good education, great circle of friends. I live in a beautiful country. I travel. I can buy perfumes and books. I am also healthy and hopefully will remain so.

So why feel like my year was one I just went through? Because it was. It mostly feels like a year where I went through all the motions of my everyday life when actually it felt more like hibernation with some small sparks of life.

But I want to focus on all the positive things this year brought me (because it feels like the hibernation period might be over) and one should always bring in the new year on a positive note. 🙂

 

PERFUME

This year has brought me some true treasures. 🙂black smoke

I discovered Cuirelle by a lucky chance and fell in love completely.

Suzanne opened my eyes to what incredibly happy perfume 24, Faubourg is.

I listened to Maurice Roucel give a talk on perfumes and met some new perfume friends.

And then the new Puredistance Black came out. And speaking of black, it really has become my favorite color to wear.

 

 

BOOKS

I discovered I am hooked to post-apocalyptic novels of any and every caliber – YA, horror, zombie, romance – you name it, I’ll probably enjoy it. I do wonder about what that says about me because I’m scared of the actual possibility (some of them sound too realistic). Am I preparing for the possibility?!passage

I haven’t read World War Z but I did see the movie and loved it. I’m guessing the book is better. When someone asks me what I want for birthday, that will be on my list (although I can already see the eye-rolling accompanying my wish for more books). 😀

I also think I will never reach my annual goal of 100 books. Last year I came closest, but this year, I think it’s the worst so far. Maybe I should sign up for the 50 books a year challenge, I would be able to finish that one. 😉

 

THE REST

The highlights of my year have been the trips to Vienna and Rome. In Vienna I finally got to meet the lovely Birgit and her boys, with an additional surprise of meeting Sandra and her son as well.

Rome was a trip we planned while in Paris in 2012. I cannot say how happy I am that I got to meet with Suzanne, Mark and Asali in Rome again. I thought there wasn’t a city in the world that could remove Paris from the top of my list of places I would love to live, but there’s Rome. I love that city and I hope to visit it again soon.

View from the park above Spanish steps

View from the park above Spanish steps

It might seem like I had a very active year, what with finishing 4 half-marathons in 3 different countries, but that was an uphill fight all the time, as all I wanted to do was stay home and read, and not go out and run. Still, you can’t tell that from the races, so at least it looked good on the outside. 😉

IMG_2034

See how tired I was?!

But I took time off for the last two months as I needed to replenish my physical and psychological energy levels. I actually feel better now.

So, without further ado,

Wishing you all a successful, fulfilling New Year full of happiness, laughter and joy!

*off to toast to that with a glass of champagne*

Champagne_glass_flower_stem_shape

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.

%d bloggers like this: