Tag Archives: World of Perfume

Visiting India: Trayee by Neela Vermeire Creations

Sometimes you smell something and your brain refuses to provide the notes for what you are smelling. That is what happened to me with Neela Vermeire Creations (brought to life by Bertrand Duchafour).

It took me quite some time to form words around these perfumes, and today, I’ll talk about Trayee, which name harkens to the divine origin of the first 3 Vedas, the Triad.

Trayee is one of those perfumes that each time you apply it, it smells a bit differently. A shape-shifter of the most interesting order which displays its shape-shifting nature mostly on skin.

Usually it starts for me with a sweetish, strangely earthy, cardamomy smell, soon to be enveloped in spices. Several times I thought it had a really natural start to it (as similar to what I’m used to with natural perfumers).
Sometimes, it smells like the resins from an evergreen tree are mixed with meadow flowers, but those flowers barely peek  through the spices mixed with cardamom.
Last time though, the cardamom got in line by the blackcurrant dancing on the fumes of sandalwood, cedre and vetiver.  It had that lovely dark fruitiness that blackcurrant can provide.
Eventually, the fruitiness dissipates and the smoothness of the base notes comes to the fore, interspersed with vetiver and other relatively raspy notes so the smoothness wouldn’t be boring (I’d be lying if I said I could smell exactly which).
Sometimes the smoothness takes on a leathery tinge.

On paper though, the fruitiness completely bypassed me and instead smelled more like a combination of cardamom and cedre, lightly cinnamony and lightly sweet, but spicey (clove and saffron do their thing). Also, it was only on paper that I caught whiffs of ambery background.

But then again, who knows, maybe next time I wear it, amber and oud come out to play as well… ๐Ÿ™‚

Notes: Blue Ginger from Madagascar, Elemi Oil, Cinnamon Bark, Ganja Effects, Blackcurrant Absolute, Basil, Sambac Jasmine Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Cardamom Absolute, Clove, Saffron, Sandalwood, Javanese Vetiver, Haitian Vetiver, Incense, Mysore Sandalwood Oil, Patchouli, Myrhh, Vanilla, Cedar, Amber Note, Oudh Palao from Laos and Oak Moss

Samples of all 3 were provided by Neela Vermeire.

Notes and pics taken from: http://www.neelavermeire.com/

It seems I love Gin-tonic more than I knew – Juniper Sling

Well, I might not be fast but I get there in the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have to admit I received the samples of Juniper Sling quite a while ago (measured in months, not weeks) and I wanted to write about it but the time never seemed right.
(I should also mention there are quite a few more samples I received waiting their turn)

The thing is, I kept thinking that this was not the right season to talk about a perfume I considered a summer one.
But you see, the thing is, this perfume is the equivalent of gin-tonic. And although that might sound as a refreshing drink, it’s not a singularly summer one, is it?
I mean, I can imagine having one this time of year too. Easy and sparkly, refreshing and calming after a hard day.
And before anyone starts thinking I consider alcohol as a solution, I don’t. I just believe it helps unwind from a work-day and lets you relax a bit.

And that is what Juniper Sling does for me. After the initial burst of junipery gin-tonic freshness to perk you up a bit, it actually relaxes me.
I breathe it in and I can feel my mind and body relaxing with the exhale.

For me, it smells bitterly sparkly, slightly herbal and very juniperish (or anyway of a evergreen tree – I still have a hard time distinguishing between them).
The smell itself doesn’t change that much – it retains that gin-tonic spiced with juniper feel but at the drydown it gets more into skin scent teritorry, acquiring a salty tang underneath, less sparkly, more musky. Perfectly relaxing.

I honestly didn’t think this would get under my skin – I guess I just wasn’t aware of the fact that I was a gin-tonic lover…

I’ll leave you with the video made for the release – I really loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Head notes: Cinnamon, Orange Brandy, Angelica, Juniper Berry
Heart Notes: Cardamom, Leather, Black Pepper, Orris Wood
Base Notes: Brown Sugar, Black Cherry, Vetiver, Ambrox

Pic by: http://www.thekitchn.com/

Wrong season but I need some energy (Eau Dynamisante, Clarins)

Clarins was always a company for good cosmetics and I never got the urge to try their scent. It always felt like a splash edt that they had and could sell along with the creams.

Now I know better. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got a sample in a swap and from the instant I applied it, I felt better.

To me it smells like a really good cologne, exactly the one that I would fit into my collection as it has all the hallmarks  I find lovely in perfumes.

It has an energetic citrusy opening (the peel one along with the sparkly soda feeling) and what I like to call evergreen freshness.

Then, it also has a light spiciness to it so it’s not completely innocent.

All that time you can smell the light sweetness and warmth in the base but on this summer day, you are refreshed and feel cool because Dynamisante is taking care of you.

It’s not spectacular, innovative, strong or perfumey for that matter, but it’s energising and dynamic and refreshing. It doesn’t pretend to be other than that.

And I won’t pretend I don’t need a bottle for next summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Top notes are orange, coriander, caraway and amalfi lemon; middle notes are rosemary, carnation and cardamom; base note is patchouli.

The easy choice – Labdanum 18 by Le Labo

I’m calling this an easy choice because each time I have to go someplace and don’t know what to wear, I reach for this. ๐Ÿ™‚
My relatively large decant came through a split and the speed I’m going through it, makes me think I will have to start looking for another one soon.

Notes: Labdanum, tonka beans, vanilla, castoreum, patchouli.

If I were to describe this perfume in one word, I’d say it smells ambery. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lately, I realized I write down my notes on a perfume, then I go see what are the notes listed and then I go investigate which parts combined to get me the smells I was getting.

One of the good things about Labdanum 18 is that I believe I know what castoreum smells like. The process of elimination brought me there. ๐Ÿ™‚
So, the vanilla, labdanum and tonka beans are responsible for the ambery feel but all very nicely tempered so no note overpowers the other. I also detect light whiffs of some herbal sharpness and I thought that came from patchouli but cannot really say for sure.

The problem with this perfume is that it is better smelled around you than on you. I mean, for reviewing purposes, I get less when I smell it on my wrist than when I smell it around me when I wear it. Then it sort of jumps out at me at all times. Not that this perfume jumps, it’s more like it suddenly stealthily overpowers you and you are left wondering how you didn’t know it was there a second ago.
It’s an aural perfume to me (you know, it has the amount of sillage like an aura – just right).

Which brings me to the last note and castoreum. I have a problem detecting that particular tinge to this perfume on my writs, but when I catch a whiff of my “aura” there is a light sexy, possibly dirty or animalic to some, tinge to this perfume. But when you want to take a better look, it’s gone. And then when you’re not watching, it hovers around the edge of your vision, only to disappear when you take a better look.

There doesn’t seem to be much development to this perfume (at least not to me) but I don’t mind that because I really love the way it starts and those “sleight of hand” changes it does so it remains smelling the same with some minor changes for the  duration.

P.S. I just checked the Le Labo site and they list more notes than Luckyscent.
The ones missing up there are: cista, civet, musk aubepine, birch tar, cinnamon, gurjaum balsam.
Can’t say I got any cinnamon but the first 3 could be all responsible for what I thought was solely castoreum’s part. Oh well, I guess I still need to learn how it smells then. ๐Ÿ™‚

Late to the party – L’Air de Rien by Miller Harris

It seems everyone knows how this smells and it has quite a lot of fans out there as far as I could tell.

I only tried it today. So, yes, quite late to the party. ๐Ÿ™‚

Notes: French oak moss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, amber and vanilla

I’ve been thinking of how to describe this all day.

On me it doesn’t really display many changes, and I don’t want it to.
(I also tried Lorenzo Villoresi’s Dilmun today and wished it wouldn’t change from the opening, but unfortunately it did, once again confirming LV perfumes and I don’t go together)

Basically, L’Air de Rien smells like a cool, dry cover over a warm ambery base. The cover wouldn’t let me get to the warmth hiding inside even though I could almost touch it.
Honetsly, I can’t tell what notes the cover is made of, but as I see the list, the oakmoss must have done its thing with keeping the warmth and sweetness inside and neroli and musk as far as I can tell kept everything smooth and cool.

I really need some of this.

Tom Ford: Black Violet (and I’m upset)

Seriously upset! I mean, for the love of god, Mr. Ford, 200$ for 50 ml?!

And that was the cheapest one I could find.

I don’t know how private these blends are, but unless Mr. Ford made them himself, there is no way I want to give that much money for 50 ml.
No matter how much I love this perfume.

I can’t even convince myself Profumum’s Ambre Aurea would be a justifiable purchase even though I go weak at the knees thinking of it (240$ for 100ml but the blend is 40% perfume).
Btw, is that normal? Going weak at the knees at the smell of particular perfume? Because Ambre Aurea isn’t the only one – but luckily there isn’t many of those around.

On to Black Violet.

It smells perfect to me.

It starts lightly citrusy-piney to me, the masculine accord but soon after that I get the sweet “pulpy” fruitiness, and the woods and I believe some resins too but the notes themselves are very misleading. There’s got to be more in there than what is enumerated (I guess everyone who smelled this came to the same conclusion) but I can’t figure out what.
I just love the way it smells. A lot.

I’ve been testing it for a whole week and I still have problems writing this review. Each time I try it, something new comes out. And it’s not the violet. ๐Ÿ™‚
There are some florals in there, beside violet that is. And I hope it’s not my wishful thinking conjuring the violet feelings of this perfume (I hate being influenced but sometimes I can’t tell if it’s happening or not). Still, can’t say I smell anything violety, I just have the color in my head.

That middle stage, after the masculine accord of the beginning and before the one in the end, lasts quite a long time. And I lack words to describe it – a woody, lightly salty moss lightened by fruity sweetness.
And the woody masculine drydown is still discernible after 8 hours of wear.

But still, 200$?!

No matter how much I love it, I won’t be buying a bottle at that price (but if anyone can point me to a cheaper one, please do). ๐Ÿ™‚

Notes: citrus, pulpy fruit, black violet, woods, oakmoss

Vitriol d’Oeillet – friend or foe (and a draw)

It seems that lately there isn’t so much love for the SL releases. Beats the hell out of me why that is so, because to me, they are still so very Lutenesque. And by that I mean, it takes several wearings for me to get to know it and then get friendly with it and then, comes love for life.
That’s my usual path with any SL perfume (exceptions exist but aren’t many).

Therefore, I don’t get disappointed if a SL perfume doesn’t instantly sweep me off my feet. It is usually a complex stranger you would be wrong to take at initial value.
So, I don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been testing and wearing it for some time now and what can I say? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a huge clove fan. For some reason, I keep thinking of this as a clove perfume even though it exhibits the carnation most of the time.

Notes: cayenne pepper, black pepper, pink pepper, clove, carnation, wallflower, lily, ylang-ylang, nutmeg.

I guess you can tell by all the peppers it’s going to smell sharp on the start (clove helps too). If you ever smelled an SL creation, you probably know that no description can prepare you for what you’re going to smell. So, when I say it starts peppery sharp with a clove twist, I’m hoping you’re imagining your nose tinkling in response. ๐Ÿ™‚
But before that happens, just after the initial spray, before the pepper takes over for a while, you will get the  sweet whiffs of nutmeg being propped by ylang-yland and lily. I’m still not sure on how good the lily part is  but it seems to work. Later, it will take much more work to smell all this under the peppers.

For me this perfume emits a constant light charge – each time I smell it, it seems my nose gets a little electrical charge. Quite interesting really. And then I smell the carnation. But for the life of me, I can’t think of this as a carnation perfume. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, most of the time, it smells like carnations. But those are metallic, strange carnations, emiting even a lightly meaty smell at one time. Ok, so that last part might not sound enticing but it’s not bad.
And yes, I noticed my constant use of “buts”. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s because I keep thinking that while I’m describing this, I’m making it sound bad and my opinion couldn’t be further away.

Once the carnation gets going, there’s not much change, it lasts and slowly loses the charge. Less clove-y, more floral.

And each time I wear it, it seems more friendly and easier to love (less sharp, more sweet). Luckily, I’m not going to run out of it any time soon… ๐Ÿ™‚

As I was the lucky recipient of a whole bottle, courtesy of Ca Fleure Bon and  Serge Lutens (it was supposed to be a mini bottle but they generously sent me the whole), I have 2 little decants and a sample to give. State your interest in the comments, and let me know whether you think you can like this or not.

De Profundis

By Asali

I canโ€™t remember anticipating a Serge Lutens release as much as this for a long while. The name of De Profundis had captured my imagination well before the beautiful bell jar with the purple juice arrived in its black box. Describing De Profundis, M. Lutens once again reached Sfinxish heights, referencing certain periods of French and English literature and its flirtatious fascination with death.

I find it is a fragrance full of quiet surprises on every corner you turn with it, from the very first green notes of the funeral march, to the last sweet whispers from beyond. Much has been written about the resemblance to funeral wreaths, church yards and mourning veils, but to me itโ€™s not gothic and dark, if any connection to these, itโ€™s more like a remembrance, a peaceful celebration, a sanctuary. But having said that, I donโ€™t feel that the fragrance has limitations as such, I could certainly wear it often. Perhaps because itโ€™s a quiet, all be it persistent, Serge. De Profundis Clamavi might translate as I shouted from the depths, but there is never any shouting from De Profundis EdP.

I like the opening of the green yet friendly, chrysanthemums followed by the cool violet and rest of the bouquet, which together with the aldehydes are all together more extrovert and less melancholic than I would have expected. The flowers have a bit of own spiciness and it feels like some musk works its way into the bouquet as the violet softly withers from the perfume. I get the decided feeling that the fragrance itself yearns and beseeches you to think of the violet, once gone, like an echo. There is incense but I find it only detectable as a feeling of calm and quiet, it isnโ€™t a dominant note, and yet it almost feels like it is a main player of the fragrance because of the serenity it emits. Is it perhaps some chamomile which reinforces that sensation of peacefulness as the perfume slowly descends into the base? This is richer than one would have expected of the opening and the aldehydic flowers, yes, it turns out to surprise by its Lutenesque familiarity. Like a last caress, it whispers of spices and warmth.

I imagined many different poems and poets, before receiving De Profundis, but the one Iโ€™d like to share with you that I find to be the closest poetic soundtrack is by Rainer Maria Rilke and called Traumgekrรถnt.

Traumgekrรถnt

Das war der Tag der weiรŸen Chrysanthemen,
Mir bangte fast vor seiner Pracht…
Und dann, dann kamst du mir die Seele nehmen
Tief in der Nacht.

Mir war so bang, und du kamst lieb und leise,
Ich hatte grad im Traum an dich gedacht.
Du kamst, und leisโ€™ wie eine Mรคrchenweise
Erklang die Nacht.

Crowned with dreams
That was the day of the white chrysanthemums,
Its splendor almost frightened me,
And then, then you came to take my soul
At the dead of night.

I was so frightened, and you came sweetly and gently
I had been thinking of you in my dreams.
You came, and soft as a fairy tune
The night resounded.

Olympic Orchids, part I

As I announced the other day, I want to finally put to words my thoughts on some of the less known perfumes out there made by people who obviously have a perfume vision unique to themselves.

One of those people is Ellen Covey aka Doc Elly of Olympic Orchids.

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been sitting on the samples she sent for months now, not even getting around to smelling all of them, but now my vacation is over, and I feel I should be rested even though the heat here won’t let me feel rested, I can finally start reviewing perfumes that I ought long time ago.

So, I’ll go through them in batches, which means they’ll be a bit shorter and here is the first. ๐Ÿ™‚

Olympic Amber

Notes: labdanum, vanilla, benzoin, incense, resins, patchouli, and woods

Being a fan of labdanum, you’d think I’d recognize it when featured in a perfume. ๐Ÿ™‚
For me, this is a raspy, lightly fruity, green-spicy amber. Not sweet and actually rather serious.
And in the beginning, amber is sort of hidden under that bold opening.

Which brings me, almost Ellen’s perfumes seem bold to me. She has a signature of her own that you can recognize after smelling several of her creations and it’s like nothing I ever smelled before. Can’t say if it’s in any way connected with orchids because the only ones here don’t have any kind of smell.
Out of all the notes listes, the only one I can smell on its own is patchouli in these little, cute whiffs while the amber feel broadens.

Although as I said, this isn’t a cuddly amber. Quite an achievement if you ask me.

Carolina

Notes: longleaf pine, hay, tobacco, lavender, green grass, magnolia, kudzu flower, honeysuckle, star jasmine, and tonka

Sometimes I wonder why I even review perfumes when there seem to be a lot of notes in there that I have no idea what they smell like.
I think for me, one of the easiest ways to know if a perfume is great is when I can’t tease out the notes. Which seems to happen a lot with Olympic Orchids.

The best I could come up with for Carolina is that it’s a flowery sweet, sunny and refreshing as a spring day with barest fruity whisps in the air.

I don’t appreciate sugary sweetness in perfumes, but when the sweetness in there is from blossoming flowers, well, I’m on my knees. It’s one of the best smells in the world if you ask me. I honestly couldn’t figure out the notes I was smelling – they were combined into a perfectly lovely experience.
And here is the description Ellen wrote which seems more appropriate than my words:

“A dreamy scent of the American South that takes you from a day spent among sun-warmed longleaf pines, grassy fields, magnolias, and kudzu flowers through a warm, humid night sweetened with the scent of honeysuckle and star jasmine, always with an undercurrent of tonka-rich tobacco curing in the wooden barns and historic red brick factories.”

Gujarat

Notes: saffron, tulsi, lime, tagetes, jasmine, rose, cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, curry leaf, turmeric, mango, spikenard, olibanum, vetiver, patchouli, choya loban, black agar, and sandalwood

Gujarat is among my favorites from the line. But that one is not for the weak hearted (or cumin-phobic). Not that you get a lot of cumin, just the underlying musky warmth of it but I still need to warn people as I can tell it’s cumin, so I’m sure other people would too.
I hate it that my starting line is about cumin because that’s such a minor player in this. This is a spice fest of the most luscious kind.
As you can see from the list of notes, there is no lack of spices in there. Which again brings me to the fact that I have no idea how most of those spices smell like. I do know though that they combine into a powerfully attractive mix to me.

The perfume starts for me slightly menthol-like with warm spices (here is where I detect cumin underneath) and lightly fruity as well. It practically emits warmth from where you apply it.
Again, I can smell the floral sweetness and the idea of what I come to call Ellen’s signature.

By the time I can detect mango and oudishness, I am thouroughly glued to my wrist.
Which brings me back to the fact that I saw black agar listed here and oud listed on one other of Olympic Orchids perfume together with black agar, and I somehow thought it was the same…? Obviously, I need to learn a lot more. ๐Ÿ™‚

Olympic Rainforest

Notes:cedar leaves, green sword ferns, rhododendron, forest mushrooms, beebalm, myrtle, oakmoss, black spruce, balsam fir, and Port Orford Cedar wood

This is my last Olympic Orchid for today.
This is the one that smells of lavender, and pine needles, of woods and fern. The whole deal.
It starts refreshingly and invigoratingly, it makes you breathe in fully and then lets you enter the underbrush of the rainforest, as it smells grassy and ferny to me (again barest fruity whisps, I seem to amplify sweetness in these perfumes).

One of the best things about perfume is that you learn a lot. I kept smelling this menthol-like freshness (many things piney smell menthol-like to me) and it turns out cedar leaves come from an evergreen, coniferous tree. And as I’ve never seen a cedar tree in my life (there aren’t any here), of course I didn’t know that.
The perfume then goes on to smell like you’ve entered the rainforest, lightly sweet fungi smell, slight dampness and rottiness of leaves and underneath all that, the smell of fern.

It gets less and less sweet until you are left with flowery cedar woods (I really don’t know where am I getting all this floweriness from).

Pics taken from http://www.fragrantica.com/

Smitten by vetiver – Mona di Orio Vetyver

Basically, you all need to smell it and then go buy a bottle (or a decant, the bottle is quite expensive and I’m not one bit grateful to MdO for making me want to buy it). But boy, it surely smells great.

This is by far my favourite vetiver. I am completely smitten by it. I keep testing it in order to get better

ideas of how to describe it but nothing worthy comes to mind. I am simply in love. ๐Ÿ™‚

Notes: Bourbon vetiver, blue ginger from Madagascar, Virginia cedar, violet, cistus labdanum, clary sage absolute, tonka bean, musk.

I don’t think any of my readers have any doubt now that I am a huge Mona di Orio fan.  I love her creations but some, I love more than the others. Those are also the most difficult to describe. I spray my little vial of Vetyver and I think I’m going to concentrate now, and describe what I smell, only to be disarmed and seduced by it and then I come up with only rudimentary notes. But nevertheless, here they are. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a sunny, dry, hay-like vetiver but the hay is interspersed with flowers and therefore smells a bit sweeter than hay usually does. But at the same time, the vetiver is giving it a  masculine vibe underscored by cedar. I think the ginger again is more in line with the sweet and feminine side of this vetiver.  The fact that it is all there makes this a perfect unisex perfume for me. Not that I ever take those labels into account.
It’s a warm, snuggly vetiver, one you smell and then do everything to come closer and keep smelling it. I never thought I would say this about vetiver, but this one seduces you by making you weak at the knees.
I keep sighing deeply trying to describe it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eventually, it does veer into a more masculine vetiver, losing some of that initial floweriness (which  I have no idea why I keep referring to as such, as notes don’t really list any except violet).

This is not a refreshing vetiver, it is a vetiver in line with the summer. It does nothing to cool you but instead makes you feel warmed by the sun somewhere in the flowery summer fields.

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