Tag Archives: World of Perfume

I won’t be powdering my nose – Narciso Poudree

I’ll be powdering everything else I can. 😉

It’s funny – one day you’re lamenting how you can no longer find a perfume that will make you fall in love and then, suddenly, from the most unexpected place, one appears.

I’m not complaining though. Ok, maybe a little as it’s not yet out so I can’t get a bottle of  my own but in the overall scope of things, I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that I’ll be encountering many other people smelling like me once it’s released.

I think Narciso himself introduced this perfume in the clearest of ways:NARCISO image9.indd

“With the original NARCISO fragrance, I wanted to create an extremely sexy fragrance. NARCISO eau de parfum Poudrée captures femininity at its core in an even more seductive way. It is both tender and powerful and immediately addictive.”

I cannot but agree with everything stated here. I liked the original Narciso perfume but it is this one that is at the same time sexy as hell and feminine and not overpowering. It speaks to me like in all the ways I didn’t think a perfume can. It reminds me of younger days when I thought Very Irresistible by Givenchy was all the rage. There is a character note they share (rose) and where Very Irresistible made the air in the room unbreathable with its overbearing silage, Narciso Poudree is the wisp of air that makes you turn your head in search of the sensuality you think you noticed and want to make sure you didn’t imagine, because it smells too good to be truly there.

Yes, it’s obvious I’m in love, isn’t it? 🙂

Notes from I gathered from the press release include: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, vetiver, black cedar, white cedar, powdery musc.

Before going on to what I smell, I want to say a big thank you to Raquel Zimmerman who made me re-think the fact that synthetic muscs will never work for me. It is obvious this was made expertly as this perfume never veers off into territory where muscs take over, even though the longevity is here – my blotter still smells amazingly strong after 3 days and it smells great.

I admit with shame now that when I first smelled this I have no  idea what it was I was smelling, I just loved it from the first spray. The best thing I can say for myself is I understood why they named it Poudree. 🙂 It took me a while to understand that rose was the one seducing me from the start, accompanied by her minions whom I ignored. It is only now that I smell the drydown again and again I can understand where vetiver comes into play (I would never have guessed it was there by myself) and I would swear there is some vanilla in the base as the warm, seductive sweetness it exudes cannot all be attributed to the mentioned notes.

I love the powdery feel of this perfume as it keeps the rose in check and I love that the creaminess you feel in this perfume is a sleight of hand done by jasmine. And even though I would say that vetiver adds its dryness and sweetness to the poudree part of the name and the perfume drydown, I still think a drop of vanilla helps. 😉

So, I hope now you are all as eager as I am to see Narciso Poudree released.

Please let me know what you think once you get the chance to smell it.

 

And I would like to say a big thank you to Ivo who shared this gem with me. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Santal Majuscule (and a minuscule draw)

There is a reason why I don’t review Serge Lutens perfumes often even though I wear many and like many of them (wouldn’t mind owning practically the whole line).
I just never seem to be able to find the words to describe exactly what I smell – that happens with other perfumes as well, but nowhere am I so strongly aware of it as with SL perfumes.

So, I’ll try and do my best ut in the end, as is always the case with Uncle Serge perfumes, the reviews won’t really prepare you for what you smell in the end. 🙂 (I find that a great thing myself)

Notes: sandalwood, cocoa, Arabian attar rose, honey, spices

I’ve sampled and worn Santal Majuscule many times over the weeks I have it and still, each time I smell it, I find another facet of it to be revealed. I went through so many ideas of what this perfume smells like and each time I smell it again, half of the stuff I thought it smelled like aren’t there but there are new things I smell.

Until I saw the notes, cocoa and rose never entered my mind  but once I saw them, I knew they were in there, I even remembered exactly at what point the cocoa comes to play.

Before I start describing what it smells like to  me, I should say that the most obvious thing I get from it is that it is a combination of perfumes that already exist in the line. I don’t mean to say by that that I think it’s not good or smelling differently, it’s just that there are familiar accords jumping out at you at different times.

Sometimes it’s the idea of sweet, sticky, spiced (and even boozy) fruit of what I’d like to think as Arabian market variety the first thing you smell, soon to be followed by the teasing wafts of how Jeux de Peau starts, following with opening of Santal Blanc until sometimes you come across barest hints of Ambre Sultan hidden in the murky depths of this perfume.
Because there ARE depths to it, you can smell them from the start. But try as you might, sniffing at close proximity won’t get you anywhere near those depths.

So, what I smell in the beginning is described in the previous paragraph, warm, spicy, boozy fruit with the general feeling of seriousness and darkness (there’s not frivolity to this fruit as the feeling is dry and not sparkling and happy) with cocoa underscoring the darkness and warmth and sandalwood making you swoon.
Now I know it’s there, I can smell the rose appear and the fruitiness slowly disappear. At this point is where I feel a smile blossoming on my face. It is also where I feel the resemblance to Santal Blanc is most prominent.

Being true to my smelling practices, after enjoying this phase for quite a while, all I can say about the drydown, is, it continues to dry in the vein it smells.

Honestly, I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m really not a drydown person.  My attention dissipates by that time.

So, for the minuscule draw I have two samples from my bottle, tell me why you think you might like/love this or why not? Both will work. 🙂

Vero Kern: Mito (or, please bribe me)

I don’t think there is anyone in our perfume community who after some time doesn’t start believing in synchronicity.
It seems each season, I have the same type of a problem. I want something new (to enjoy along some of my all time favorites) but I don’t feel like trying many things I haven’t tested yet looking for the perfect seasonal scent.
And then sometimes, they simply fall into your lap. 🙂 Or, well, arrive in the mail.

After being offered the opportunity to try the latest Vero Kern perfume Mito, of course I jumped at it.

I might have guessed it would take a while to get us to know each other if I were to go by previous Vero Kern perfumes (Kiki, Rubj, Onda).

Notes: magnolia, citruses, champaca, jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, cypress, moss

While checking for notes, I saw that this was classified as a floral and even though you cannot miss the florals, it still smells more like a (floral) grapefruity chypre to me. No wonder when you see galbanum, cypress and moss listed as notes.

For me it starts off green with a bitterish undertaste, helped along with citruses and cypress I guess, but I can’t help but think of the citrus in this as grapefruit. That is my idea of the citrus in Mito. And well, you cannot miss the galbanum in the opening. If you are wondering how exactly does galbanum smell like, try Mito.
But what you can miss and if you’re not careful and you blink (or don’t inhale at the right moment), you’ll miss the sweetness of mint playing hide and seek in there. You might seek after but it will be well hidden. 🙂
The whole perfume is a game of hide and seek for me actually.
Try it once, and you would swear there is the greeness bolstered by citrus and kept fresh and serious until the end.
Try it again, and there is the sweet mint playing hide and seek, and the hyacinth is making you wonder if that is its trail you’re picking up when smelling some sweet powdery dryness in there.

And if you are trying to find the flowers, you will really need to play hard. Their hiding place is well chosen. You can hear them in the background but look as hard as you want for them, and they will elude you.

For some reason, I am trying to fit vetiver into this perfume. 🙂 I don’t know why my mind goes, Is there vetiver in there? as it’s not listed in the notes (but then again, neither is the mint).
I realize my description might not be very helpful. 🙂

After the beginning, the best I can do is say, the galbanum dissipates as do the citruses and the floralcy becomes more apparent  but in my case not as you might point, aha! I see you jasmine! (I do glimpse you though) but more in the line of true perfumery – the florals enveloped in the greenery.
They do have leaves and stems after all and are usually located in a garden…

P.S. As a little side note, Mito actually means “a bribe” in Croatian. 🙂 I wouldn’t mind being bribed by this. 😉

Vetiver for all seasons: D600 by Carner Barcelona

Luck hasn’t been on my side lately when it comes to winning anything. So, when I learned I was the lucky winner of D600 samples on Ca Fleure Bon, I took it as a good sign.
And I was right to do so. 🙂

I might be repeating myself with my love of vetiver, but I really can’t help it when many of those perfumes hit the right spots for me – warm, dryishly sweet and green (sometimes more yellow) and spicy enough to tickle your nose and refresh it in summer and give off warmth in winter.

Therefore, it was really to be expected I would love D600 as it’s one of those vetivers. 🙂

Top notes: Madagascan Black Pepper, Sicilian Bergamot, Grapefruit.
Mid notes: Guatemalan Cardamom, Italian Iris, Egyptian Jasmine Absolut.
Base notes: Virginian Cedar Wood, Madagascan Vanilla Absolut, Vetyver

It is difficult to put into words the notes of this perfume. For me it starts dryishly sweet, lightly fruity and peppery (it really just tingles your nose a bit). You can smell from the start that this is a vetiver perfume and it took me several wearing to finally locate that grapefruit (and bergamot).
There is a masculine quality to this perfume (masculine in terms if what is sold today as masculine) as there is a bitter and sharp quality to the vetiver in the beginning, even though it has a sweetness underlying all that (I guess vanilla is doing its thing).

And I do believe vanilla is doing its thing from the beginning because at some point there is a spicey-warm quality to the perfume, possibly of the rum variety and I thought there might be some clove in this, but as the notes don’t mention it, I’ll settle for cardamom, iris, cedar and vanilla working their magic.
Basically, I love it from the start to its dry, woody and hayish finish.

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.

Parfum de Nicolai: Odalisque

When it comes to perfumes, each spring I try and find green perfumes that would work for me. You know, not too fresh as it’s not yet summer but they need to connote the springness – the sun, the grass, the flowers, the morning dew and chill and the gradual warmth permeating our world.
Each spring I don’t know where to look but eventually a perfume makes its presence known to me and the spring suddenly feels like THE season for enjoying perfumes.

Before you start thinking I only came across Odalisque the other day, it wouldn’t be true. I have a little bottle for quite some time now. But it only dawned on me some days ago that the greenery I seek might be hidden in this bottle.

It’s a strange little perfume. It doesn’t smell the same to me when I spray it on my arm and smell it there and when I spray it on me and I catch my own sillage. There aren’t any big differences but what I smell in my sillage seems to be clearly chypre-ish while what I smell on my arm distinguishes itself with other notes.

Top notes : green citrus, bergamot and tangerine

Heart : lily of the valley, jasmine, orris, oakmoss
Base : musc

Honestly, lately I started to think that the only note I can always rely on smelling in a perfume is a citrusy one. 🙂 I don’t mean to say that Odalisque is the general thing you can smell anywhere, this is just what usually comes up in my first sentence when taking notes on a perfume. I’m starting to find it funny, but I also realize I’ll have to develop my citrusy vocabulary because they don’t smell the same.

Anyway, in Odalisque the little citrusy feel you get smells green and there is no sweetness at all (as evidenced by the notes). When I was smelling this without the notes, I thought that the little fruity aspect that could be gleaned came from some kind of a dark berry, but in retrospect I guess the tangerine-oakmoss combination works its little magic. I was also getting a light camphorous feel from it but I can’t guess where that one came from.

The thing is, I would never have come across lily of the valley if I haven’t read the notes (jasmine too). There is a barely floral tinge to the oakmoss in there and once I saw lily mentioned, I could smell it in there but the most important part of this perfume for me is that it reminds me of spring wet wood and grass. Not that it smells like that – but the oakmoss is working its magic with a lightly mossy and woody notes.

Btw, I just went to check the meaning of odalisque and came up with a serving girl in a harem. 🙂
I don’t know how that would relate to the perfume and I don’t really care – all I know is that it worked for me.

Penhaligon’s Artemisia – my undercover business perfume

And when I say undercover, I mean that it works for me without anyone noticing anything. 🙂

Because, where I work, no one ever comments on perfume (two comments in 5 years don’t count). But I noticed people tend to smile more and feel helpful toward me when I’m wearing Artemisia. So now, I count it as my undercover perfume when I need business situations to go my way.  😉

The strange thing is, I know this perfume and can recall its smell without wearing it, but trying to put it into words – no deal.
I’ve been meaning to review it since I started my blog (which was 3 years ago) but the words i.e. notes eluded me. They still do, but I’ll give it my best (people should  be aware of this little gem).

Head Notes: Nectarine and Green Foliage
Heart Notes: Green Apple, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine Tea, Violet and Vanilla
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Musk, Amber and Vanilla

I would be lying if I said I can smell the fruity notes. The only way for me to know there is some fruit in there is by taking into account the whole I’m smelling – which is florally, powdery sweet with a hint of bitterness and something not letting it be dry and powdery but giving it warmth and joyful sweetness (at points interspersed with fresh burst of an orchard fruity smell).

Oh, I don’t think I’ll get it right this time either.

On the whole, the perfume doesn’t change much, which is completely fine with me, as I love the calming effect it has. And for a perfume that seems so very mellow to me, it has some serious longevity.

My best description of it could be summed up with a creamy, lightly powdery, intricately floral, charming little minx of a perfume.

And for some reason, it reminds me of Paris. The smell of Artemisia never fails to conjure Paris in my mind.

Notes and pic y: http://www.penhaligons.com/

Visiting India III – Bombay Bling by Neela Vermeire Creations

Or, saving the best for last. 🙂

I really thought I loved Trayee and Bombay Bling the same, but there is just no getting around the fact that mango is my thing. In any way you can imagine.

The problematic thing with Neela Vermeire perfumes is that each time you smell them, something new pops up in your head as association to what you’re smelling (ok, that’s not really a bad thing, only when you’re trying to describe it). 🙂

So, for me, this is a happy, smile-inducing mango perfume. In the beginning. The opening reminds me of a fizzy mango drink, as it were made with tonic, you know, lightly herbal (or green) and citrusy but mango is still the most prominent note.
At some point I started wondering if I were smelling tea again, but no, that turned out to be a black currant/cardamom combo. When you start smelling this combination, the whole perfume seems to get another twist – it gets a gourmandy background. Well, at least that’s the way I see it. Or better smell it.
It’s hard to explain but that whole creamy base of ylang-ylang, white woods, sandalwood and vanilla makes for me a gourmandy base for the fruit (probably because it reminds me of Thai food coconut/spicy dishes which automatically transfers anything into a gourmand for me).

Later, you lose the mango prominence and the whole perfume is a riot of smells (in a good way) – not too sweet, not very juicy, lightly flowery and spicy.

Notes: mango, lychee, blackcurrant, cardamom, cumin, cistus, rose accord, Turkish rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, white floral tuberose accord, frangipani, gardenia, patchouli, tobbacco, white woods, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla

P.S. I’m not a cuminophobe, quite the contrary, and I can easily smell it in a perfume usually, but I don’t smell it here at all.

Pic and notes by: http://www.neelavermeire.com/

I breathed a gentle fragrance – April Aromatics

By Asali

We all know the feeling; so much to do, so much we want to do, and yet there seems to be not enough hours in the day, days in the week etc, to do all that. I was actually in the privileged situation that Ines wanted me to write here on her blog, and it would have been a very suitable time to ‘help out’, since she’s busy with her thesis. But I just couldn’t find the space, neither in my diary nor in my head to write something, and that, although I wasn’t short of things that I wanted to write.

One of the things that I have wanted to write about, are the perfumes of April Aromatics. However, I got a bit carried away with one of them. So, I’ll save the others for another time.

April Aromatics are organic perfumes from Berlin based perfumer Tanja Bochnig. I first read about Tanja’s perfumes at another blog, where all her fragrances were listed with a mini review of each. One particularly seemed to be calling my name, not as usual because of the description or the notes as such, but the name; it was called ‘Unter den Linden’. This name associated so many stories for me that, wanting to refer to some of them now, I hardly know where to start, or how to explain the deep strings it tucks at with me.

First of all, the famous Boulevard in Berlin, the place where for the last three and a half centuries Berliners and visitors alike have been taking their Sunday strolls. It’s also the calling name for the famous old Statsoper Berlin, also called Staatsoper Unter den Linden (as opposed to the (former)West- Berlin opera called Deutsche Oper Berlin), in short Unter den Linden.  Any musician talking about Unter den Linden will be referring to this historic house. Then there are the numerous poetic references to lime tree in the German literature as being the tree of love. From Walter von der Vogelweide’s (1170-1230) ‘Unter den Linden’ to the Romantic poetry, the lime tree becomes the symbol of love and harmony, the place where lovers meet, below the lime trees. Perhaps most famous of all is Müller’s poem from Schubert’s Winterreise ‘Der Lindenbaum’ or ‘Am Brunnen von dem Tore’ as it’s called when sung as a simple strophic version of Schubert’s more complicated artsong. My own favourite song of lime trees is Mahler’s interpretation of a Rückert poem ‘Ich atmet’ einen linden duft’ (I breathed a gentle fragrance), where Rückert plays with the different meanings of the word Linde in German to make it respectively; the twig of lime blossoms, gentle, soothing or with ease. It is also under the lime tree that the thwarted lover seeks and finds eternal peace (as in ‘Am Brunnen…’, or another Mahler song ‘Die zwei blauen Augen’).  So there is also sadness in this idyll. You probably see where this is going…

UdL has a lovely fresh citrusy opening, like the first linden blossoms still light and gentle. As the fragrance warms on the skin, you feel other blossoms coming out to play, here I especially smell a rounded mimosa; but like with the bergamot in the beginning, it feels like they are there to add to the true nature of the linden scent, rather than wanting to take over from it. There is never any of that heavy summer drunkenness of the lime, it’s the early excitement of the first curious flowers all dewy fresh in their loveliness, and only slightly sweet. Now and again I feel as if a tiny bit of twig found its way into the perfume as well, as if in homeopathic style the flowers would still remember the tree which they grew from. The fragrance shimmers as if you were walking underneath the lime trees, the sun shining through the heart-shaped leaves, between lightness and sweetness, playfulness and reflection.

Unter den Linden manages to be calm yet uplifting, and joyous yet melancholic. It’s an adorably beautiful Linden Duft, and just perfect these days as we long for warmer and gentler weather.

“Unter den Linden” spoke to me from the first moment, the name alone, I wanted a perfume with that name, and it was everything I hoped for and more too, and I’m delighted that it found me. That’s one happy linden-love story.

Notes for Unter den Linden from Tanja’s webpage; Linden blossom, Mimosa, Honey, Bergamot and Gardenia (and confirmed no twigs in thereJ) and can be purchased at

http://www.aprilaromatics.com/

As a little aside UdL has just been nominated for a Prix de Parfum Artistique.

Visiting India II : Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations

It took me quite a long time to get to know these perfumes, but now I have (not completely, mind you), in my mind, they each have a designation beside their name: the Cardamom one, the Tea one and the Mango one (I’m saving the mango for the end).

I admit, my knowledge of India is limited to what I heard from people who were there (and school), but mango and spices do feature highly on the list of mentionable India characteristics.

Mohur for me, is the Tea one, and  “embodies, and is a dedication to, the mix of all the best of Mogul and the Bristish Raj”.

I realize this is a “rose-based perfume” (that’s what its description calls it) with additional facets “that can only be imagined during a hight tea after a polo match”.

Still, for me it’s a tea based perfume, as that is the note I get most prominently and with the most endurance. Although, I have to admit, it’s a rose tea in my mind. 🙂 The first two notes I got out of smelling Mohur were tea and rose, followed quickly by almondy (lightly alcoholic and salty of all things) quality with a lightly botanical tinge.
Here again, we have a shape-shifter perfume.

Wear it once, and you think you know what’s it all about. Wear it again, and you’re wondering what happened to the flowers from the first time, a more violet powdery floweriness is coming through. Then, wear it for the third time, and I wonder what did they do to make those flowers behave in such a transparent manner. And all the time I’m having problems teasing out particular notes, the scent is wafting as if on a breeze and when you want to stop and smell it, it wafts out of your reach.

Eeven though I’m calling this a tea perfume in my head, it’s a perfume with a floral heart.

Notes: Cardamom Absolute, Coriander Seed Oil, Ambrette Seed, Carrot, Black Pepper, Elemi Oil, Turkish Rose Oil, Moroccan Rose Absolute, Rose Accords (more or less 11%), Jasmine Accord, Orris, Aubepin Flower, Almond Milk Notes, Violet Flower and Orris Effects, Leather Vitessence, Sandalwood, Ambre, White Woods, Patchouli, Oudh Palao from Laos, Benjoin Siam, Vanilla and Tonka Bean

Pics and notes by: http://www.neelavermeire.com/

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