Tag Archives: short review

Never late to change my mind

This is going to be fast. πŸ™‚

Up to now, I haven’t tried anything by Keiko Mecheri that I liked enough to wear (or actually only like). But that changed today and I will definitely be trying more of her fragrances but first let me tell you of my new love – Iris Pourpre. Mmmmmm. The first association that came to me is this smells a lot like Very Irresistible by Givenchy (the original version). That one was a love/hate smell and I really liked it and went through a bottle ratehr fast (I’m not so sure people around me were grateful for me wearing it). πŸ˜‰

So, the first thing I did is compare notes. And of course, there isn’t a single one that is the same. Could have guessed that. πŸ™‚

Notes for Iris Pourpre: white iris, orris, ylang ylang and chypre accord.

Honestly, if I had to guess the notes in this, I would never come up with iris because it is not the typical iris I learned to smell. And I always thought ylang ylang smelled more subdued and creamy. This is a loud floral on my arm but such a great one that I don’t mind the fact that this will need to be applied sparingly in order not to suffocate people around. πŸ™‚ Who cares for them though if I can smell this all day long?!

I’m definitely getting myself a bottle of this. Soon! It will be my spring gift to myself (that’s just about enough time to recuperate from Christmas spending).

In the mean time, I’ll check my samples for some iris and ylang ylang thingies to widen my knowledge of those two notes and understand what happened with Iris Pourpre.

And a short side note, I tried November by CB I hate perfume. Very interesting. I got the forest, damp mushroomy feel and then the whole sweet foody note evoking childhood (don’t know what pumpkin pie smells like and that is one of the notes) so I’m guessing that is the smell of pumpkin pie with the barest apple hints. It really is a happy scent. You can read more on notes and the story behind it here.

My favourite Serge Lutens perfume

I found my favourite SL fragrance. Not that I don’t like the rest – I actually haven’t smelled any of them (except Chergui) that I didn’t like and wouldn’t mind wearing. It is really strange after you read this that the only SL bell jar I have is actually Chergui. πŸ™‚ I blame it on the SL and the SA working in the Paris boutique. And if you are ever there, don’t smell the strips, they are not helpful at all. I smelled all the Bois and didn’t particulary like any. Now when I keep getting samples of them, I wonder how come they didn’t smell this nice when I was there…

Anyway my favourite is Fille en Aiguilles and I better find a large decant soon (I’m spending much on Christmas presents so I’m not buying myself a bottle – yet).

Notes: vetiver, incense, fruits, pine needles, spices and luminous woody-oriental base.

Ok, so it’s not possible to really describe any fragrance – one can get the idea out of the description but until you actually smell it, it is a vague idea you have in your head. After reading the reviews of this I understood there would be pine in it but I didn’t think it would smell nice. I thought it might be too strong. I really should know better than to doubt Mr Lutens creations. πŸ™‚

There is a signature in some of SL creations, especially of the woody line. This one has it as well but that pine needle note and the fruit make it perfect in my opinion (ok, vetiver and incense help as well).

It starts off like boozy pine smell with lightly burnt wood from the fireplace (only wood you would find there, not the smoke). And I couldn’t believe it when I got the incense (I’m really proud at being able to discern it), especially because I was never a fan (to put it mildly). I love it here – but it is not too strong so I guess that’s why I like it.

I kept wondering about the fruit in this – first I thought it might be more of the candied sort (in the beginning) but then I got this tangy-juicy vibe so I thought maybe some tangerine and pomegranate? I don’t really know, I wish someone would tell me if I’m right or wrong.

Anyway, why I love this is because it is like a breath of winter fresh air over the woody-oriental loveliness of SL creations.


If anyone is wondering why I haven’t been writing much about scents lately that’s because I was reminiscing about the days when I used to be healthy and didn’t have a runny nose. πŸ™‚ As you can guess, I have a cold (again!) and my sense of smell isn’t really as good as usual. Which is not stopping me anymore. I decided to just apply larger sample quantities so they can force their way through my congested nose. It’s working so I won’t be reminiscing on my missing health but talk about 2 Reminiscence scents I got.

My best friend was in London last week so I decided to use the opportunity to get a charm from Reminiscence and with it I got samples of Patchouli and Etoile de Rem. I’ve been smelling some Bonds recently and was left disappointed so I wasn’t expecting that I’d like both Reminiscences.
Notes for Patchouli: cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, labdanum.
As you might remember, I’m trying to figure notes before actually reading and this time I was very happy once I read the list of notes. All those I was able to register on my own were there (along with some others I should have recognized, but, hey, small steps). πŸ™‚
Anyway, it started boozy sweet which pointed me straight at vanilla and labdanum. You know it smelled like rum patchouli. I wish it remained so but the rest wasn’t bad either. At some point I realized that sweetness went away and what I was getting was a rougher version of this scent, no longer rum playful but more serious and I realized that green hinting wood note was vetiver. Then it was time for the notes and when I read cedar I realized I was smelling it all along but didn’t realize it. Well, like I said, small steps. πŸ™‚
The second one was Etoile de Rem (which I thought spelled Rien and kept wondering how come google can’t find it). πŸ™‚ Then I went to Reminiscence site and realized my mistake.
This is one of their summer scents and it is described as a marine scent. That didn’t sound promising. Marine sounds too much like aquatic and I run in the other direction when I smell that. The strange thing is this one wafts around and you think you get an aquatic accord in the air but when I smell my wrist, I don’t get it. That’s really good.
So, I tried figuring out notes before reading them for this as well. No luck. The best I could come up with was airy and nice, not aquatic. And then (this is turning into a problem for me), I thought I was getting hints of tuberose. So, I checked the notes: citruses, bergamot, orange blossom, coconut, ylang-ylang, jasmine, sea water, coumarin, musk, vanilla.
I completely missed the citruses. I mean it did smell airy and light but I can’t believe that citrus didn’t occur to me. Anyway, I read all those white flowers and the list as you can see doesn’t contain tuberose. The only thing I can say is that perhaps the combination of ylang-ylang and jasmine reminds me of tuberose? Or I just can’t distinguish between jasmine and tuberose.
My collection does not contain a cool, fresh, non-aquatic summer fragrance. I think this might be it – it smells like tuberose/jasmine wafting on a sea breeze. Lovely really.
Pictures taken from: http://www.reminiscence.fr/

My DSH package

has arrived the other day. I didn’t order much but what came in it made me very happy. Then I started smelling what was in it and I was no longer that happy, I was quite distressed. I know I ordered sampled according to notes I usually like, but I didn’t expect them to smell so nice that I decide I need those in larger amounts, and I only tried 2. There are 3 more left!

Notes for Nourouz:

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone but once you smell that, you’ll recognize pomegranate anywhere. I love it here! It smells like the real deal, so juicy. It made my mouth water. The other thing I realized except for that top note, I get lost in the wonderful smell of the DSH perfume. Don’t ask me if I got the other notes, I just smelled my wrist and wondered how much more money was I going to spend on DSH site. πŸ™‚

Notes for Cimabue:

For those of you who might not have realized it yet, I’m a total clove fan. I grew up smelling it each winter when my parents made hot wine and lated, tasting that same wine and smelling those wonderful aromas. Actually, while at university, I tried the Swedish variant (glΓΆg) and that’s where I learned I liked the smell of cardamom as well.

But on to Cimabue. I smelled it before reading the notes (you can get lost in them, there are really many) and straight away I got the nice sweet smell of clove. Then I went to see if I was imagining it these days and saw the list of noted. It is not listed in the top notes but I guess all those citrusy fruits are the ones that made me not think of clove in terms of hot wine. I tried my best and only managed to catch whiffs of cinnamon, the rest was again lost in the wonderful smell that emanated from my wrist. In the end, I got some vanillic undertone to my clove but I’m sorry to say, my nose wasn’t able to distinguish much else.

The good thing about my new infatuation with DSH is the fact that they are going to have a holiday sale! And it will be starting this weekend! Yeey!

20% means I’ll be able to squeeze something more in the package for the same amount of money. πŸ™‚

Discovering Haydria perfumes

There are so many perfume houses out there waiting to be discovered and some of them are never going to be (by me I mean). I don’t think I would have ever come across Haydria perfumery by myself but that’s why there is this lovely perfume blogosphere where one can learn great things. I learned about Haydria from Divina’s post on them.

For now I only tried 4 and of those 4, I really like 3 – and for the price they have, I believe I’ll purchase at least 2. Still not decided which two though.
The description for Gypsy Queen is lush florals and rich spices with deep woody notes. Divina had better luck deciphering individual notes. What I thought it smelled like in the beginning it reminded me of a syrup I used to have to drink when little that was made from some sweet plant and a bit of alcohol. The syrup my mom made actually tasted and smelled great and this reminded me in the beginning of that boozy – syrupy combination. Then it turned into something having a distinct bitter dirt-like feel. And then the florals came. I thought I smelled iris and jasmine but it’s not like I can say for sure. I seem to have discovered that iris turns salty on me which is something I like very much. In the end, what I thought of it is that is a no frills, serious floral and I enjoyed smelling it.
I got my dose of cat piss – finally. πŸ™‚ I’ve been wondering how is it possible people smell it in some perfumes and I never came across any. Well, now I have. But before I go on, I have to say that Mrs. Haydria Bish (the perfumer) seems to know what she is doing. She certainly has the background. Anyway, all of the perfumes I tried seemed very well done to me and Pure sin seemed more like an exercise in perfume than something actually wearable (at least for me).

The description said it was passion fruit, champagne, dark chocolate and white musk.

It started wonderful – like a coffee caramel that smelled so comforting. I seem to associate chocolate in perfume with other caramel-like sweets. Anyway, there I am, smelling this lovely opening when something strange happens. At first I thought it was only going to be a hint of dirtiness. But did it roar afetr that. πŸ™‚ I have no idea what’s the matter with my skin chemistry but the dirtiness turned into something smelling of cat piss (for real!) with bare hints of the coffee caramel underneath. And it lasted. And lasted. Finally subsided with the drydown (some 3 hours later) but was still quite noticeable. I didn’t want to wash it off beacuse I coulnd’t believe it and just had to smell it again and again (although I could smell from afar as well). πŸ™‚
Now, on to one that I would have never have guessed would be wearable for me (containing violets). Tainted love was quite a surprise. The opening reminded me of Gypsy Queen with that bitterlike, nettle smell (my association). Are there perhaps some violets in there as well?
Anyway, the description is:violets, berries, light amber and honey.

Now, I’ve been reading a bit about the smell of violets and Im confused. I finally detected the violet smell and liked it (it does not remind me of old ladies violet smell), it was more stringent smelling (probably the berries influence). It seems violets contain this compound called ionone “which temporarily desensitises the receptors of the nose, thus preventing any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover” (by wikipedia). I guess when listed as a note it might not contain ionone because I didn’t realize I couldn’t smell it whenever I tried. Maybe that’s the catch, I smelled it every once in a while so I didn’t have time to desensitise myself?!

Since this is the first violet scent ever I liked very much, I definitely need to include in my collection. Any excuse for shopping is a good one. πŸ˜‰
And the last one was Harem girl.
Description: powdery iris, musk, opoponax, incense.

Again the opening reminded me of both Gypsy Queen and Tainted love. Unfortunately, I can’t say much on the subject of this one. I liked it. πŸ™‚ It’s a lovely oriental with hints of incense (I’m pretty much falling for smoke and incense these days wherever they appear). I don’t know how opoponax smells, I barely found the iris, but the whole picture is great.

Btw, has anyone else noticed the latest uproar regarding the L’Artisan’s Vanillas? πŸ™‚ Some like the original more and are not happy it’s getting discontinued, some like the Havana V. more and are completely in love with it… I’m going to try and locate them here so I can see what the fuss is about. I’m not a vanilla fan but it turned out they are not the gourmand vanillas – I read that in a post by Diana on Feminine things so there might be something there for me to love.

Checking my perfume learning progress

It seems I found a way how to check how much I learned (or more likely didn’t) by smelling Andy Tauer creations. Yep, a good way to test how little I know.

I tried Lonestar Memories and Reverie au jardin. Ok, I did smell a bit more than the first time some months ago but there’s so much more there that my nose cannot get hold of. πŸ™‚

Notes for Lonestar memories: geranium, carrot seed, clary sage, birch tar, cistus, jasmine, cedar wood, myrrh, tonka, vetiver and sandalwood.

The smoky tar hits you straight off, it has a bit strong opening (like all Tauer creations I tried). I get some herbal and fruity notes (got surprised by the fruit, I wasn’t expecting that). I did get hints of carrot (yeey for me) and supposed what smelled somewhat herbal was sage but that’s about it. The rest of the notes are a blur in a smoky, slightly sweet leathery setting that ends in the drydown with a burnt caramel note I completely love.

I have a bit of a problem with all Tauer creations so far – they are strong on the initial spritz and although I actually love all of those I tried, and I tried them on my wrist, I cannot imagine what it would feel like wearing them. They really need to be used sparingly since not only do they come on strong, they stay on forever. πŸ™‚ Well, not forever but longer than anything I’ve been wearing/smelling lately.

I find them all terribly serious. They cannot be taken lightly or worn indoscriminately otherwise it might happen that the perfume is wearing you. πŸ™‚

The second one I mentioned was Reverie au jardin. I realized lately I have a tenuous relationship with lavender – although I like the essential oil and the real-life plant, there are not that many perfumes that have a strong lavender that I find wearable, or even nice.

Notes: green and fresh lavender, galbanum, fir balm, bergamot, rose, frankincense, ambrette, flowery orris, vetiver, tonka bean, oakmoss.

It striked me as a clean and floral lavender before I read the notes. Than I realized it does smell fresh and that the clean part was probably my association regarding fir (so many cleaning product having that smell). Then I got a really strong citrusy feel for the lavender and after that, my smelling fell apart. I mean, everything coalesced into this joyful, loud, sunny, happy creation that I couldn’t for the life of me take apart. So I just kept smelling it and enjoying it. Of all those I tried recently, I don’t think I’ll be able to wear this one as often as others. I wish I could, but at the moment I don’t see myself as how I described it so we woulnd’t suit. But who says that’s not going to change come spring? πŸ™‚ I certainly hope that the sun and greenery will be what it takes for us to get together again.

So, of the 4 I tested recently, my favourite is Lonestar memories. It even sounds like I feel these days.

REMINDER (again): You still have time to win a copy of the first novel in The Black Cobra quartet series, by Stephanie Laurens which, trust me, shouldn’t be missed. You never know, you might get hooked like me (and that’s not a bad thing). πŸ™‚ Or at least have a little fun and spend a cozy evening reading a book that is made for anti-stress therapy.

P.S. I still have Une Rose chyprΓ©e to try and see how far I go. πŸ™‚

Working on my relationship with the roses

As you can probably guess from the title, I’m not really into roses when they make an appearance in a perfume. At least, I believed so. It seems that has if not changed, then changing definitely. I’m still not fascinated by them like with some other notes but I actually started appreciating them and even liking some to the wearable on me extent. Maybe it’s just the learning process and I’m expanding my horizons. Whatever the case, today I’ll talk about one with a rose and one that made me think more of warm sands than the Matthew Williamson did.

Did I give enough hints about who am I going to talk about? πŸ™‚

I’ve been trying for weeks to find time to sniff Andy Tauer creations again. I realized recently that everything needs at least 2 tries before you can decide how to approach it properly. I smelled my samples some months ago (while on vacation so I couldn’t write about them) and I needed to repeat the experience. Btw, the samples that Aus Liebe zum Duft sends are quite large. So, after testing them I’ll have at least for 4-5 wearings. Yeey! πŸ™‚

I wish I could them justice – by them I mean L’Air du dΓ©sert marocain and Le Maroc pour elle. Both are so full of perfume life, for lack of a better phrase. And do they last!

L’Air du dΓ©sert marocain is warm, dry, sweet and smokey? oriental that I don’t think can be described as accurately as to give you the right picture. You just have to try it and see for yourself. πŸ™‚

But what I got from it was a test for my nose. I though the opening was vanilly incense/smoke. Turns out there’s no vanilla in it.

Notes from Andy Tauer site: coriander, cumin, petitgrain, rock rose, jasmine, cedar wood, vetiver and amber.

Don’t ask me what notes I discovered. My mind simply refused tracking them, I get the whole picture and cannot delve into notes. It strangely reminded me of Timbuktu, it reached straight into my subconsciousness and expanded my world vision.

You know, if it smells like this in the desert, I think the time has come to visit one. Dry, slightly sweet, warm and somewhat smokey.

Le Maroc pour elle is a different story. I got surprised by the larger than life opening. Described by Mr. Tauer as a sunny fragrance does it justice. You get hit by all this sunny sweetness that seemed vaguely fruity to me but again, no fruit in this. Unless you consider fresh citrus but that wasn’t what I thought I smelled.

What really surprised me in this one is the fact that as I was enjoying the sunny opening, I didn’t realize there was a rose in it. Or lavender for that matter. It’s upsetting for me how I completely cannot force my nose to smell anything else than the big picture when Tauer creations are concerned.

Notes: fresh citrus, lavender, cedar woods, oriental woods, rose at dawn, evening jasmine.

Anyway, after reading the notes, I finally found lavender in that sunny sweetness and understood that rose does not always smell like the rose I know. It obviously smells similar enough for me to recognize but this one went completely into an elaborate, oriental beautiful depiction of a rose.

One last thing about those two today. I haven’t checked the description to see if they are described as masculine (L’Air) and feminine (Le Maroc pour elle). If you would want to categorize them, then yes, they would be a masculine and feminine. But I think both are wearable for both sexes. I will certainly use up both my samples.

And that is what my newly discovered rose relationship has made me realize. There are some rose scents that can be worn by guys as well. πŸ™‚ It feels like I’m late to some realizations, but some things need to be discovered by oneself. That’s how I comfort myself. πŸ™‚

A bit more on Le Jardin RetrouvΓ©

This line has managed to somehow grow on me. πŸ™‚ I find some of their fragrances unwearable but for most of them I wouldn’t mind having them in my perfume wardrobe.
But before I go on to them, I realized today that I can no longer live without blogging. When I don’t have the time to write something the moment I’d like, I actually get upset. It seems I need to write. Even if it’s going to be short and not terribly interesting.
On to some other Mr. Gutsatz creations. I had to check the dictionary for Chevrefeuille (honeysuckle) for the Croatian equivalent. I had no idea what plant that is. Turns out I did smell it before – again evoking childhood memories. It seems I no longer spend that much time outside playing. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, this one is not for me. It’s a nice fresh floral that seems to clean to me, too much fresh laundry associations to be used as a personal fragrance. It has that breezy, floral quality – like a smell wafting on clear day on a cool breeze. I thought I got some jasmine in the drydown, but can’t be sure.

I liked the Jasmin, but I’m not sure yet as how much. One of the great things about these fragrances is that there is a lot of greenery there and I for one love that. This Jasmine also has a green quality to it – not exactly grassy but more like you break young green twigs. That’s the best equivalent I could come up with. I also thought I got some smoky hints but am not sure about it and some fruity aspect of jasmine.

On to Le Lys (lily). I wish there weren’t that many lilies around and they probably do not smell the same. Of the lily variety, I only recognize the lily of the valley kind. On my first try, I though that is what I smelled, but second time I was no longer sure, maybe I just wanted it to smell similar to something I recognize. It was a lovely floral, one I could wear much more readily than Chevrefeuille. I though I got some creamy iris in the drydown but checking the Jardin site, I realized there’s no iris in this but vanilla and oakmoss in the drydown, so I guess that’s it. Smells great though. πŸ™‚

Today I also tried one of the masculines for the first time. Pour Homme. Funny. Interesting as well. Ok, funny might not be the right word for it, but it really brought a large smile to my face for being so different from the rest.

Notes I was able to find: lavender, rosemary, cinammon and patchouli.

I’m smiling again trying to compose this in my head. But first, do cumin and dirty patchouli smell alike? Because I was so sure there was cumin I was smelling, until I found the notes and it turned out there was no cumin in it but patchouli. So, I’m a bit confused now. How in the world am I going to be able to tell them apart without actually seeing the notes?! Different things shouldn’t smell the same. Ok, they might not be the same to someone with a better trained nose, but that’s not me. Anyway, I got sidetracked by the smell of dirty patchouli – it was shouting so loud I just couldn’t hear the other notes. Not that I minded. I like it when something veers off the usual path. Then it subsided into a nice skin scent that still has hints of “that” patchouli” but nowhere near as strong as in the beginning. I don’t think I’ll be wearing this but I love it for its bravery. πŸ™‚

I’ve been thinking…

Yesterday I was at my French class and as always, had a great time. But afterwards I started thinking about stuff we discussed in the class (it’s a conversation class). The thing is, the group consists of several people my age (around 30) and we have 3 older ladies (they are all retired, so my guess is they are over 65). What I was thinking yesterday is how great the group functions. We’ve been together in this state for years now and I realized yesterday that what I find fascinating is how much we can learn from each other. One of them is a mathematician, one was a professional dancer and the third was the equivalent of a highly sucessful business woman. They are completely different but all three have kept their interest in life and additional activities and I hope one day, my retired life looks similar (and I get to spend time with young people). πŸ™‚

On to some perfume news. I’m over my fear. πŸ™‚ I got my package from the Posh Peasant yesterday with Coquette Tropique by Monyette (and the wonderful big candle) and I tasted summer again.

Notes: Hibiscus, Gardenia, Plumeria, French Anjou pear, Madagascar vanilla

I was looking for melon in the notes because I could have sworn I smelled it, but it’s not listed. Anyway, I’m a bit angry with myself because I had a product this summer that smelled exactly like this (hair or body), and I can’t recall what it was. What it did was make me happy I tried it because it transported me straight into summer. I am really looking forward to wearing it next summer. Such a lovely creamy tropical smell.
The other thing I tried today was Kinmokusei by Ayala Moriel.

Notes: Ambrette (musk) seed, Coriander, Green tea, Linden blossom, Olive tree resin, Osmanthus, Sandalwood, Tabac blond, Wild orange.

It is an osmanthus soliflore and if that’s what an osmanthus smells like, I like it. It almost went overboard into too heady-sweet category but in the end, it balanced out nicely. The beginning was great though – aromatic peppery opening with wild orange. Wonderful!
I find this a lovely autumn scent I am going to wear this year. I ordered this guessingly, some time ago (there was some kind of a sale beginning of the summer I think) and I still need to try the two samples I ordered with it (Ayalita and Espionage).

Btw, Kinmokusei is the Japanese name for osmanthus.
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