Tag Archives: shapeshifting perfume

The Outlaws, part 2

Like I promised, I’m trying to keep up with the writing, so another part in the Outlaws series (I’m way behind reviewing these). Can’t say I’m happy with my notes on them but I don’t think I’ll be able to improve much on them as each time I wear one of them, I get something else and slightly different than before. Shape-shifters, all of them. 🙂

Anya’s Garden: Amberess

Top notes: none, in the true Oriental style
Middle notes: Zambian Princesse de Nassau Rosa Moschata African musk rose otto and Musk rose absolute, Madagascan ylang ylang, South African rose geranium sur fleurs
Base notes: Indonesian patchouli, Himalayan amber oil, Turkish styrax, Greek labdanum, Peruvian tonka bean, Salvadorean balsam tolu, Balsam of Peru, Chinese benzoin, Madagascan vanilla

I kept wondering what exactly does a perfume with no top notes smell like and if they are really necessary in order to have a good perfume. The answers are good and no. 🙂 As to what exactly does it smell like, that’s a bit more difficult.

The opening is strange (I feel that’s the word I use most with the outlaws). 🙂 It starts familiar, and I can get traces of the rose that is going to appear but at the same time, it smells slightly acidic. Eventually, it subsides into a geranium sharpness you feel alongside rose and everything else that’s in there. It makes me imagine the opulent, oriental, carpeted room with delicacies on the table (of the sweet variety) and flower scented bedcovers. It smells what I would imagine a woman reminding you of an earth goddess might – rich, soil-like at one point ( very lightly), slightly green and wet and smelling of rose.
The rose feels very real in this one, the way I imagine the smell of rose when I think about it and then it becomes the smell of a rose on an oriental bed smelling of spices and woods.
Hmm, I keep getting that bed imagery, so I guess my mind is trying to tell me it’s seduction in a bottle. 🙂

Lord’s Jester: Daphne

Top – cypress , ginger , bergamot , tangerine , mandarin , grapefruit’, tagetes
Heart – immortelle , frangipani , magnolia , jasmine , jasmine sambac , rose , rose otto
Base – oakmoss , benzoin , labdanum , vanilla , tonka , pine needle , styrax , ambergris

Please don’t get frustrated when I call this one strange again. 🙂 Because it is. Even more so than the rest. It’s dark, in the beginning, it also upsets my stomach a bit. It’s at the same time sweet, dark and unsettling. I’m not sure what is unsettling my stomach, I thought it was cassia but it’s not listed so now I don’t know.
It smells deep, green and marshy while at the same time retaining the sweetness. I’m sure you can see now why I keep refering to it as strange.

In the beginning, you can smell spicy citrusness and ginger, combined with some kind of sirupy sweetness. But once the flowers start getting through, it all gets much more enjoyble. Morphs for a bit into something smelling more “masculine”, sweet and cool at the same time.
It strikes me as a very serious perfume, it doesn’t evoke any sunny or bright feelings.
The fact that I find it strange and unsettling doesn’t really mean I don’t like it, quite the contrary, I find it interesting enough to want to wear it. Not often though as it probably won’t make me feel happy but there are times when it fits the mood.

Artemisia: Belle Starr

Notes: Red cedarwood, ginger, bois de rose, bergamot, karo-karounde absolute, carnation absolute, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, tonka, lotus concrete, rooibos absolute and cepes absolute.

Sometimes when I smell a perfume, all I think is, why in the world do I think I can do this? I see the notes listed and I know I have no idea what half of them smell like. And then I smell the perfume, and still, I can tease out some, but the rest are floating around in a cloud of wonderful smelling perfume laughing at me. This is such a well-blended perfume, the best I can do is get teased by a note, only to find it gone once I think I’m smelling it, then another comes and does the same. So not fair! 🙂

It’s a slightly sweet and possibly rosy scent and I manage to tease out ginger, the rooibos tea and the bois de rose but I’m still getting a spicy, somewhat herbal vibe. The citrus here is used so perfectly to temper the possible sweetness of other notes that you don’t actually smell it as such but realize it’s there to keep the sweetness in check.
Mostly I think of this as spicy carnation, even though I got some jasmine and at one point (short-lived though). As it progresses, it gets more flowery until for me it gets to smell jasmine-y masculine. A clean jasmine (keep thinking there’s rose in there as well) mixed with woods.
I wonder what it would smell like on a guy, it seems to me it might work very well. If I’ll let him have it. 😉

P.S. I can’t seem to find Belle Starr listed on Artemisia site and the price for it.

Daphne is 30$ for 5ml and Amberess is 75$ for 3,5 ml.

Pics by: http://www.lordsjester.com/ and http://anyasgarden.com/

The Outlaws, part 1

I am so happy Carol organized sample packages for all of us who didn’t participate in the Outlaw Perfume Project but still wanted to try the perfumes that got so many great reviews.

I spent a lot of time in the last 10 days or so since the package arrived smelling them over and over again and trying to gather notes that would do them justice.
I plan on writing about each of them and because I can’t talk about them all in one post, I’ll do several but in no way does appearing in the first means I think those are the best. Actually, I can’t really say which one I find the best. I would like to own several of them, and some are extremely interesting but at the same time, not something I like to wear. I usually don’t spend so much time sniffing perfumes before deciding to write about them, but these I feel I could smell over and over again and each time discover a new facet I didn’t smell before.

Wing and a Prayer: Notoriety

Notes:Oakmoss,Amber,Rose,Wild Rose,Lavender, Violet Leaf,Carnation absolute,Geranium,Bergamot and Rosewood

This was the first sample I took out of the bag. It was instant love. It’s piquant, green, earthy and well, slightly meaty for only a short while in the beginning (missable really). It has a nose-clearing sharpness of geranium, lavender and rosewood while at the same time it smells tame. Then it gets a rainy, metallic quality and gets very dark, my thoughts were that I’m finally getting what the oakmoss should be like. The original rose (the way I learned it smells here) is there as well, amid some light woodiness, like it’s a bush, not an actual tree.
It really escapes me for words, it’s a bitter rose smelling slightly patchoulish (there is no patchouli in the notes). It’s really another shapeshifter, in the end, I think it smells refreshingly cute and sweeter than before.

Tabela: Rose of Cimarron

Notes: pink pepper, black pepper, pandanus, rose absolute, wild rose absolute, jasmine absolute, labdanum, patchouli, angelica root, ambrette seed, blond tobacco and amyris

I got to smell this directly after Notoriety so my initial thoughts were, wow, a sexy rose and completely different from Notoriety. It reminded me of jasmine I bought in an Indian shop, like there were sandalwood and cedar in there as well but I guess I could be mistaking those for a patchouli with something else. It has that dark, sultry feel to it. It does have that peppery sharpness which I love, but it’s also fuller somehow than Notoriety while at the same time more dry. They both drydown to a nice ambery, rose, light woody feel.

Providence Perfume Co: Gypsy
Top Notes: Galangal, Lavender, Lemon Petitgrain, Cardamom
Heart: Pink Lotus, Bulgarian Lavender Absolute, Violet Leaf
Base Notes: Tonka, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli, Costus, Vanilla

I find it a bit difficult to talk about these perfumes as I often can’t describe the half of what I smell. For me, this starts peppery, green and strange. I love how I classify perfumes as strange, like that means the same to everyone. 🙂  Anaway, on my second go, I was completely sure I smelled cinammon but as you can see from the notes, it’s not there. My conclusion is that cardamom and petitgrain made me think that.
Then it gets sweet and resiny with something green like herb peeking through. It’s at the same time cool and hinting of sunshine.
I like it very much and my word for describing this is charming – spicily sweet (cardamom is in there) and slightly floral. Charming really.

Pic of rose by: http://www.tambela.com/

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