Tag Archives: World of Perfume

When perfume speaks, you can only listen – Pentachords by Andy Tauer

I am happy to be able to host a guest post by Asali who was recently a lucky recipient of some Pentachords samples and I feel lucky she wanted to share her experience with us by writing a post. 🙂

Three samples from Andy Tauer’s new line Pentachords arrived at my door some days ago. Two of them would not leave me alone, but kept telling me to write, so I did.

Andy Tauer did the perfumer’s answer to the painter’s restricted palette, and wanted to show how to create beautiful and innovative fragrances out of only five ingredients. 
Let me start with Verdant which is an edt with notes of (in his own words) dewy leaves, suave leather, brown tobacco, sweet earth, vibrant amber. This fragrance is quite unlike any green scent I ever smelled before. It is definitely earth and leaves, both moist and heavy with scent. It’s not aiming at transparency nor is it a stylized picture of nature forced into a little neat pastel. This smells like nature when you’re out walking in the rain drenched woods in your mac and wellingtons.  The leaves I find are more soaked than dewy and have, together with the rain-wet soil, the slight sense of bitter decay.
Doesn’t sound good? Well, it is. It’s rather marvelous. Because the tobacco sets in and gives the scent warmth underneath the dampness, and the leather makes you feel well equipped for this kind of walk in the forest. The slight bit of amber in the base feels like the anticipation of being home again. For me personally, this fragrance evokes memories of my childhood spent in a daytime forest kinder garden, with no playground and actual playthings, just the grounds and the forest at our disposal. This was in the late 70’s, and I suspect the memory connected with this smell of woods after the rain together with the scent of pipe tobacco which hung in the smoking caretaker’s clothes, to me breathes comfort and safety.

 White is an equally surprising white fragrance, which gives the extreme quality bourbon vanilla scent off, so that it almost has a whiff of sweet tobacco, it’s both a tiny bit fluffy and at the same time retains a low sense of gravity, and again the sensation almost of damp earthiness .  In contrast to Verdant, and although I think Andy Tauer was inspired by a winter morning run for this one, I feel very much like this fragrance is the one you put on as you’d wrap yourself in a comfy shawl, once you’ve returned home from your country walk. You hang up the damp clothes, make a cup of vanilla scented tea, and comfy yourself up in the sofa with a good book, ah, and then just enjoy.

The violets then kick in, but only after a substantial amount of time with the vanilla, so beautiful and a bit powdery and yet so earthy and rich, a real surprise after the bourbon vanilla. The dry down of ambergris and warm wood, is the lovely base on which the two main players are resting. I like the way as you read the notes, and kind of second guess the fragrance, only to be proven utterly wrong. White has notes of Bourbon vanilla, orris root, violet blossom, amber gris and warm wood, and it’s lovely.

May I suggest if the ‘wildlife’ of verdant is a bit too much for you, that you might try layering. Oh, yes, I know the whole idea was to restrict the perfume to 5, but they do go awfully nicely hand in hand. Both have 8+ hours at least.

The picture I get from both fragrances, the stories they tell, the time travelling is so vivid, so beautiful I can only encourage everyone who reads this:  Do go and try all of the Pentachords, I’m sure you’ll find they will tell you your own story, if you’ll let them.

Peach and Love – a guest post

Dear readers, I am very proud to present my first ever guest poster. 🙂

Asali is a friend I’ve been given by our lovely perfume community. I’m really happy she commented on my blog and from the on, we’ve been sharing thoughts on perfume and perfumes themselves, sending emails and packages galore. 🙂
And now I am happy to say she agreed to write a post for my blog.
(I do hope to get her to write some more as I love her thoughts on perfumes, maybe even get her to start a blog of her own, but I’ll temper my exuberance for now). 🙂

So, here it is.

Peach and love,

I am really honored that the wonderful Ines, will share the space of her redheaded blog with me. Not that I am surprised that she wants to share, since she must be one of the most generous perfumistas in the blogosphere as I am sure that most of you will readily agree on. She taught me before anyone that perfume love goes around.

Talking of love, I have for some time now been smitten with peach. I feel that peach done well is a treat which tends to give an aura of luxury to the fragrance and its wearer. My peach love started with a decant of vintage Rochas Femme, and after that, peach has sought me out everywhere I went.

On my recent trip to Paris it came to me in the shape of Fath de Fath. Jacques Fath launched the original back in 1953, but it has since been updated twice, most recently in 2010 and turned into a sumptuous oriental by Mark Buxton.

So why would I want to write about an oriental in July? Well, first of all I can always wear/buy/write of/think of /sleep in/etc orientals, second, June has been terrible here, cold and rainy, so comfort scents have been called for. And third, if ever there was an oriental to go well on (cooler) summer days this one might be it, with the layers of ripe fruits, like those that surround us at this time of year.

The bergamot and a little green start out, but wink and you’ll miss it and a mixture of fruit notes bloom before settling with plum and peach. Those two are delicate and at this stage the perfume almost goes gourmand, although never so gourmand I want a bite of my arm. I feel that the tartness of the fruits really is singing a duet with the resins and the amber making me unable to detect where the fruit stops and the amber begins. Later in the heart of the scent, there is the orange flower which is perhaps the easiest detectable, but all the way down to the fragrance’s last ambery chords, you keep getting whiffs of flowers; heliotrope, and hmm, was that perhaps some jasmine? The dry-down is an oriental proper, amber and vanilla, and it lasts 6-8 comforting lovely hours. It’s a beautiful fragrance which takes you on a journey- and it also holds your hand all the way.

For this golden, lush oriental, really the price is a steel 58euros for 50ml, and should it become true love for you, you can get 100ml of extrait for 98euro! Get it amongst other places at http://www.parfumsjovoy.com/

Top notes: Black Currant, Peach, Tangerine, Plum, Bergamot, Green Notes
Heart notes: Jasmin, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Heliotrope, Tuberose, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Patchouly, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Benzoin, Ambergris, Musk, Tonka Bean

Les Nombres d’Or: Tubereuse and Amber

It takes some time to get to know perfumes by Mona di Orio and even then, you cannot say for sure they aren’t going to surprise you sometime in the near future.
I’ve been happily testing the Nombres d’Or line and I love them all. Some more, some just a little bit less, but if I had them all, I would happily wear them. As I don’t see that happening any time in the near (or even distant) future, I’ll give my samples all my love. (btw, I ordered mine from Aus Liebe zum Duft and they might seem expensive but they are also big). 🙂


Notes: pink pepper, bergamot from Calabria, green leaves, Indian tuberose absolute, Siamese benzoin, heliotrope, amber, coconut milk, musk

Honestly, I really shouldn’t be reviewing any tuberose perfumes. So far, I haven’t encountered a single one I didn’t like. Tuberose is one note I cannot get enough of and I enjoy it immensely.
In this case, I’m happy to say, I found one that would work great in my collection, as it’s a refreshing, green tuberose. In the beginning.
It’s lightly sharp on the nose due to the pink pepper and citrus, and greenery is there too, hiding the tuberose  bathing in the coconut milk. At no point in development does tuberose take over and the greenery remains there, not perhaps as obvious as in the beginning but there to make this tuberose light for wearing and something tuberose haters might give a go.
Also, it made me realize how wonderfully (for me) tuberose works with coconut (this is not the first perfume where the pair is featured but perhaps the most obvious one). Which brought me to the idea that perhaps Love Coco and Vamp a NY might work well together…  Hmmm, I should give it a try…
(of course, if it doesn’t work out great, I’ll never mention it here and I’ll just pretend I didn’t try it) 😉


Notes: Cedarwood from Atlas, Ylang-ylang from Comores, Benzoin, Tolu, Absolu Vanilla Madagascar

As much as I could tell the notes in Tubereuse, I can’t really say the same for Ambre.
It smells like the epitome amber. Lightly sweet, lightly burned, vanillic, somewhat musky and for a little while powdery. Ok, so that last part might not sound like amber, but it works for me (and I’m not a fan of powderiness).
Of all my ideas as to what might work to provide powderiness, none of them appear in the notes.
Anyway, my boyfriend assures me I’m wrong, but I smell similarities between Ambre and the drydown of Shalimar (which is a very good thing in my opinion).
This amber has me baffled. Each time I smell it, I smell something different and it’s all good. 🙂
It’s just a great, lightly burned and woody amber. There would definitely be a place for it in my collection.

Like Birgit says, there is always a place for another amber.

Notes and pics by: http://www.luckyscent.com/

Jardin du Poete – where summer’s heat dissipates

Sometimes I wonder why I even try reviewing perfumes when my opinion of the same perfume tends to vary. OK, it’s not like I go from liking something to hating something, but it’s not rare for me to think I absolutely love something, then to testi it again and think, yes, it’s ok, I like it, but why did I think I loved it so much?

Luckily for me, that part of it’s good but not great didn’t last long with Jardin du Poete. It was only a blip on the screen (or arm to be exact). 🙂

I find this to be invigorantingly refreshing. Not sweet in any context. Perfect for summer but also the thing I crave in the spring as it’s green!
I mean, it smells green.
Green, grapefruity and well, cypressy, but in my case, every tree of the evergreen sort translates in my mind into fir-like. 🙂 OK, so I still can’t tell the difference. I’m learning…

This is also the perfume where it became obvious for me that I really work better with deciphering perfumes when I have no access to notes.
If I see the notes, then I keep trying to smell them and transfer my experience into them. When I don’t have them, I write down what I can smell.
In this case, what I smelled was green, bitingly citrusy, I thought lemon peel, until I caught the grapefruit smell. And well, like I said, fir-like. Only the fir I smelled was actually a cypress. 🙂

It slowly loses the initial intensity while retaining the initial notes until it hits the real drydown where the warm, hay-like vetiver gets in.
It sort of fills the whole between what cologne should smell like if it were a perfume.
I love it for the freshness it brings. It instantly makes the heat back away and it lets you get some fresh air into your lungs.
It’s perfect for the summer but in my case, it will also be perfect for my spring quest for greenery and freshness.

Notes: orange, grapefruit, basil, angelica, immortelle, pink pepper, cypress, vetiver, musk.

pic by: http://www.punmiris.com/

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Peaseblossom by Justine Crane

With this review, ends my participation in A Midsummer Night’s Dream blog event. I had the greatest time reading the play and smelling the entries and I’m glad to be ending this with Peaseblossom.

Especially since it wasn’t what I expected. Here are the notes I gathered from the list of ingredients (I love that I got the whole list of what is in there).

Notes: wheat grass, oakmoss, ambrette, oakmoss resin, enzoin, lavender, clary sage, carnation, tonka bean, vanilla bourbon, rose gulab otto, patchai ellai, tea rose otto, Mysore sandalwood, vetiver, honey, jasmine sambac, rose geranium, vintage tolu balsam, rose otto.

This is an edt and when you look at the notes, you cannot but wonder how Justine made them in such light and refreshingly warm perfume. The notes are so well combined and blended you cannot (well, I cannot tease them apart).
I can smell the oakmoss and lavender and rose and vetiver and resins but they are all light on their toes and they play around on this warm, sweet breeze.

Here is the inspiration:

Peaseblossom, quiet fairy be, shyly collects dewdrops
to steep the petals which he
On his merry way through the sylvan woods
A sweet perfume to present to his
Golden Fairy Queen.
What I found interesting was the fact that this perfume conveys to me the feeling of seriousness. Peaseblossom is going about his very fragrant business in a serious manner, after all, his work will get to be worn by the Fairy Queen (lucky her).
Btw, my notes ended with me calling this a meadow green perfume – more green than meadow, but that is the feeling I have when smelling it. And I love perfumes that are reminiscent of meadows. 🙂

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Night Queen by JoAnne Bassett

Night Queen isn’t a perfume based on a character from a play but on the idea of what a night perfume would smell like – “unique fragrance of what night time scents are out there to fascinate your nose”. (quote from JoAnne Bassett)

Well, if you ask me, night is obviously the part of day meant for easy seduction.
Just by reading the notes, I knew I was going to be seduced.

Notes: night queen oil, rhododendron, peru balsam, rosewood, damask rose oil, neroli, tuberose, vintage jasmine sambac, frankincense, yuzu, clove bud, tulsi, frankincense noir, vetiver, violet leaf, ylang-ylang.

It starts off refreshingly warm and sweet. There is that light pepperiness to tease your nose and make you lose track of the sedcution in the air following close behind.
The opening is at the same time refreshing with the yuzu, clove bud, neroli and rosewood but you can smell the sweet flowery and jasmine hints underneath. The thing is, even though you’d think the opening notes would make it a light-hearted thing, to me it smells serious. And I keep wondering how do you manage to convey that through a perfume?

So, while your nose is being teased by the refreshing notes, the creaminess of the white flowers sort of creeps upon you and gets you to relax and let go. The night has you and you are enjyoing its warm, creamy and flowery tendrils while the starry night settles around you.
This is the part where it smells most tropical to me, with unbelievably but very true to my nose, a creamy, Thai rice note waving through the perfume. And believe me, it smells incredible.

The Night Queen seduced you and you didn’t even know it was happening.

And even though you’re seduced, the night doesn’t end for you. You might be enjoying your night amid sweet creamy florals but the morning will come, the fragrant and warm night air will start cooling and when the morning comes, the night air will no longer be warm and sweet with flowers but cool with remembered hints of the beginning of your night’s adventure.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Titania by EnVoyage

I thought the best way to review the perfumes for this blog project is by the order I received them.

So, I’ll start with Titania by Shelley Waddington of EnVoyage perfumes.

I’ve had some problems putting my thoughts on Titania in order as each time I smell it, it seems to behave differently. I love that it keeps me interested in smelling it again and again and finding something new each time.
I have to say, it seems a lot of thought went into this perfume. I kept enjoying the opening with its piney, summery, and lighty sharpish feel and wondering how much of that fits into the idea of the play. Here is the referenced part:

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

 – Oberon, describing Titania’s bower, where she sleeps

I’m glad I decided to read the play otherwise I wouldn’t have known it’s taking place in and around Athens. And Athens being Mediterranean, pines abound, as well as fragrant shrubs, plants and well, the air around Midsummer’s Eve is probably saturated with the fragrances of the plant world.
I think this perfume gets it great.

It’s not really a straight feminine perfume but then again, Titania sleeping in such a fragrant corner of the world would be hard to distinguish from the nature. And her corner of the world is dark green, deeply hidden in the forest and mossy as well. There is an underlying warmth and femininity in this but it’s just out of your reach, teasing you through the canopy of fragrant air.

I can’t really say I smell all the notes, I never can, but pine, lavender and geranium are hard to miss. And the underlying warmth achieved by aromatic woods, nuts, wild rose and honey isn’t distinguishable by note but by their warm presence throughout.
Truly a delight to smell as it must have be a delight to see Titania sleeping in her bower.

Top notes: fir needles, spice and citrus
Heart notes: basil, mint, geranium, lavender hidcoat, ylang-ylang, wild rose and heliotrope
Base notes: juniper, Ho wood, aromatic woods and nuts, moss, fern, savory leaves, iris and honey

Pictures and notes were provided by Shelley Waddington except for the first picture by Amanda Feeley.

P.S. I forgot to include a link where you can follow what’s happening on other participating blogs.

How to define extreme? Incense Extreme

I’m one of those people who cannot remember definitions of anything or quote examples at the right moment or even remember what exactly happened when I got the idea in my mind. I just remember I got the idea, my beliefs are composed of all the things I heard and learned in life but I cannot exactly say what was the initial fact that got it in my head.

I don’t deal in facts and definitions – I deal in ideas and thoughts. Does that make sense?

So, I can’t give you a definition what anything extreme in perfume should be like. Because I just don’t know it.

But I got a general idea of what it means to me when applied to Incense Extreme by Andy Tauer.

The extremeness of this perfume for me lies in the fact that I never thought incense could smell refreshing.
Most of the time, incense is not a note I can wear. Yes, I can enjoy it in small quantities, especially if it’s not reminiscent of churches. But, I generally don’t have an urge to wear it except for special, thoughtfully relaxing situations.

And then, there is Incense Extreme. An incense I breathe in as fully as I can that refreshes me the instant it hits my smell receptors. How Andy did it, I don’t know but it’s great. 🙂

Notes: coriander, petit grain, incense, orris wood, dry woods, ambergris

I’m not going to talk about how it smells much. It starts off sharpishly refreshing, lightly tinged with green and I thought I caught barest powdery wisps in there.
A bit later, I get something smoky and to me, something that smelled a bit like smoked meat. 🙂 Anyway, the drydown is the most masculine of the perfume but that is no deterrent in my case.
I do believe this is  my favourite of the line, even though it’s hard to choose among several Tauers I love.

Notes and pic by: http://www.tauerperfumes.com/

Zeta – experiencing more than can be described

I do wish that I wouldn’t so very often start reviews by saying I can’t really describe a perfume I’m reviewing as I lack words. 🙂 I mean, that kind of defeats the purpose of reviews.

But still, I want to give you my thoughts even if they cannot prepare you for the experience.
That is one thing I can say about Tauer perfumes, no matter how many reviews you read and you think you have an idea, usually it’s not even close. And I mean that in the best possible way.

I grew up with a linden tree in my yard, and I still adore that smell. But so far, all the linden perfumes I smelled just didn’t work for me. Yes, the linden note was unmistakeable but it came across as shrill and just not what I could wear.

Luckily, this is not the case with Zeta. But then again, Zeta isn’t really a linden soliflore perfume. It’s more the softest whiff of linden you would catch on a coldish spring morning before the blooms reach their full scenting power with the sun beating down on them. Which is the part where I get confused because upon first sniff, I am reminded of summery freshness in the guise of sparkling lemonade and barest whiff of sun creams on a breeze ( can’t help it if ylang always conjures that for me). Absolutely smile-inducing. 🙂 And then there is the thought of linden trees in the early morning.

But at least the scenery passing by my nose is wonderful. I’m also not the only one thinking along the lines of two seasons as you can see from Tarleisio’s review.

There is just one little thing I need to add. I get a little dirtiness from Zeta and I see Tarleisio is talking about honey but I don’t see it listed as a note (except as part of a rose). But it would definitely fit that little teaser in there.

Notes: bright chord of lemon and bergamot with a sweet orange note, ylang, orange blossom absolute and steam distilled neroli, Linden blossom, honey yellow rose, orris root, Mysore sandalwood, vanilla.

Bottom line is – you have to experience it and see for yourself where it takes you. I, go along for a ride through scent memories that hold no everyday stress and make me smile and relax.

Notes by: http://www.tauerperfumes.com/
Pic by: http://www.opg.mturic.net/

Coty Fatale – a gem lost in the past

I don’t know how long past that would be as the information I found says it came out in 1988. So some years after that – I’m pretty sure it was around for a while.

As I’m on a floral search, I decided to give better attention to some of the (vintage) bottles I acquired past year (most through Posse swapmania so you can imagine I’m looking forward to the next one).

One of the things that I got is a bottle of Coty Fatale, a perfume you would be hard-pressed to find much information on (not the case as it seems with other Coty perfumes).
That is something I find very strange because this one is so wonderful. It’s exactly the type of floral I was looking for. It makes me smile broadly just writing this. 😀 It also makes me wonder if at the time of its release, it was so similar to other florals out there that it went completely unnoticed…

Notes: top green notes, jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenia, tuberose, rose, carnation, narcissus, sandalwood, musk, amber, oakmoss

Even the notes convey what I wanted in my floral. Though, honestly, I can’t really talk about the notes I smelled. It’s a floral bouquet in the manner of what I keep thinking as lost perfumes. They just don’t make them as such anymore.

I do want to to give you an idea what it smells like so I’m going to try my best.

For me it opens with a perfume variant of a floral bouquet, that is at the same time lightly sweet and sharp – like you’re getting a bit too much flowers at the first sniff but just bordering on too much. My guess is the sharpness is due to the green notes as in a while it subsides to general floralness in which I would lie when I said I smell particular flowers but I can trace the fact that they are there.
You see, there is some of the rose sharpness you can find in Paestum Rose, there is also underlying intoxation provided by the lush white florals and the rest are reminiscent of the most fragrant seaside floral bushes.
It’s an incredible floral feast for the senses.
And the best thing? It stays close to the skin and remains there for half a day at least. I didn’t try it, but I want to spray it lavishly all over me just so my skin would retain that smell all day long.

The drydown is of course the least floral of the whole perfume but trying to describe it wouldn’t give you an accurate idea. I can see where sandalwood and amber come as the drydown notes  (not really musk and oakmoss) but the best I can some up with is creamy, lightly-floral sandalwood finish.

The whole perfume is just so exquisitely blended for me, it cannot but continue into the drydown.

One of the conclusions I got from this is that even when I’m not enthusiastic about some perfumes the moment I test them, I know I should keep them because I can recognize that there might come a time when they will fit me as a glove (or a type of garment I might wear more).
This one is one of those and I cannot say how happy it makes me feel to smell it.

So, as I have a bottle of this and I believe other people should get to know it and possibly love it, the first two people who state their interest in the comments for this vintage floral will get a little decant.

I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

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

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