Mood Scent 4: Well Named Fragrances

OOOOHHHHH! Mood scent 4 week! YAY! This month we sniff some Well Named Fragrances! We are working in reaction to all those sweet nothings labelled noir and mundane scents saddled with pompous and overwrought titles. You know them, we don’t need to go back and catalogue them (though that could be fun another day).

There were a few ways I could take this. Maybe choosing fragrances that were named for their notes, juice or bottle colour, even the place of origin. Instead I wanted to go with fragrances that evoke the name they’re given. You spritz and suddenly understanding blooms.

Can’t wait to read about your fave Well Named Fragrances in the comments too.

So excited to be blogging with these three superstars again: Esperanza L’Esperessence, Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha I Scent You A Day. Check theirs out too.

Mood Scent 4: Well Named Fragrances

Well Named Fragrances! Evocative names that fairly portray the bottles fragrant contents. It;’s funny, I thought there would be a huge amount but fairly few bottles in my collection reach this heightened level of name. Especially once you add a few parameters to the search. Suddenly Red Tobacco, Lys Soleia, Patchouli Patch, Eau de Citron Noir (one of the few that noir works for) and Pimiento +++ are out of the running.

I’d also like to take a moment and congratulate myself on choosing only gold & black perfumes. It looks so good in the pic and was 100% unintentional.

Coromandel by CHANEL

Long before I ever knew there was a CHANEL fragrance named Coromandel, or even before I knew what they were called, the beautiful screens held me captivated whenever I’d see them in museums, on TV, in film or used as props for fashion. Long before it became naughty to cherish the spoils of colonialism, before I’d even thought about how these antiquities had got to where they were. So, when I found out that Gabrielle Chanel was also a fan and the company had named a fragrance for these magnificent pieces I needed to smell it ASAP. Patchouli! The herb grown to scent carpets and clothes for millennia, to keep moths and other vermin from destroying precious cargo and commodities. Amber, that warm and rich mixture of vanilla and resins from far off lands. Incense; the scented smoke, the par la fumée that fragrance is named for made of resins transported across the silk road to us in our armchairs so we can dream. Coromandel is all of this and more.

Fracas by Robert Piguet

What better name for a stand out, big white floral fragrance than Fracas? Fracas = crash, which has been anglicised and maybe even in the French means a disturbance, fight, drama or other commotion. Whenever I spritz it my mantra is Prepare for Fracas. Sometimes when over applying I also do the grand 1980s waste of juice and spritz into the air and then twirl through it. Tuberose bubble gum with an incendiary hint of petroleum. The opening is so over the top and fun but after the initial fireworks Fracas settles to a softish creamy white floral. Noticeable but not so confrontational.

Nirvana French Grey by Elizabeth and James

French Grey means many things to different paint companies, from green through blue. Back in the 1980s we painted my bedroom walls and ceiling in French Grey and it was a mid tone, lilac grey colour and the cornices and architraves were Wedgwood blue. At the time I thought it was the height of fashion and maybe it was. It was incredibly calming and soothing to a crazy, angry, rebellious teen hell bent on self destruction. Funnily, the first thing I thought of when spritzing Nirvana French Grey was how much I loved being in that grey bedroom, how peaceful and chill. Citrus, Lavender, woods and musk; and though not mentioned in the notes, vanilla. As calm and still as my teen bedroom.

Skin on Skin by L’Artisan Parfumeur

L’Artisan brought out the squat bottles from a stockpile found mouldering in one of their warehouses. Though most of the subsequent releases were not my style Skin on Skin definitely is. Done in the style of Serge Lutens Daim Blond, Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste and Bottega Veneta EdP it is like yet utterly unalike. A fleshy iris leather using whisky as the sweetness instead of a fruit accord, sugar or vanilla. This is the dream of that first touch of someone else’s skin, cool and softly supple in the fiery grip of passion. It’s the perfect, remembered moments, made hazy and beautiful by time. It’s the soft warmth of waking up slowly and happily, wrapped up with someone you love, in the cold winter morning.

Tiger’s Nest by Memo

Imagine a Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan? Sandwiched between India and Tibet, high in the Himalayas. Though outside temperatures might be freezing my imagination gives me pictures of warm, clean cat and kittens. Stone, earth, some milkiness and mustiness. Woods, snow and cold, fresh air scented by incense from the nearby Vajrayana Buddhism rituals. What we have is a vanilla rich amber and smoky incense offset by some frosty greenery. Tiger’s Nest is warm, calm and safe, not too far from my imagination and so beautiful to wear. My bottle was a Thank You gift for getting two friends together for a business collaboration.

Ubar by Amouage

I had heard that Ubar was DCd but looking on their website it’s still available to purchase. Legendary Ubar (Iram, Lost city of pillars), both the Koran and “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights” mark it as the heart of the frankincense trade for 3,000 years and Lawrence of Arabia, called it the Atlantis of the sands. Until the late 20th century considered a myth and found by a team who used Space Shuttle Challenger’s last flight to radar the Oman region, looking for long forgotten trade routes. Ubar is so rich and tapestried, a rose/white floral surrounded by so many resins, flowers and fruits that it can easily be seen as the wealthy, debauched city’s fragrant reincarnation. This bottle has the original Christopher Chong juice with the non metallic cap.

Don’t forget to go across and read the other three members of the Mood Scent 4 crew:
Esperanza L’Esperessence
Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime
Samantha I Scent You A Day.

Please share your Well Named Fragrances in the comments too
Portia xx



Filed under Perfume Reviews

16 responses to “Mood Scent 4: Well Named Fragrances

  1. What a double bonus, a successful business introduction AND a bottle of perfume you love to show for it! My own attempts at introducing friends/colleagues to work together have not been so fruitful. I can’t think of any perfumes in this category except the ones where the ingredient is in the name… Well, maybe Givenchy Rêve D’Escapade (which translates to Dream of a Getaway), a woody, fruity, floral because I first smelled a similar scent wafting from other people when I was traveling, so in my mind I associate the scent with getting away on holiday.


    • Hey there Nose Prose,
      The entertainment industry relies heavily on back scratching and introductions. It behooves us to make the most of gigs offered and introductions made so we will be asked again.
      LOVING that your scent is a fragrant reminder of travel adventures and named for them. Perfect.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Portia
    What an enjoyable read. Fracas is an epically perfect perfume name and I had no idea about the story behind Ubar.

    Have you ever read the Coromandel review on Now Snell This where patchouli isn’t mentioned once? 🙂


    • YAY! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Tara.
      Yeah, how cool is that Ubar tale. It was like the cherry on top of my love for it. I said in the post the original Christopher Chong version, there was also one before that but Christopher had it completely remade (so much better in my books). Then he had to give it more IFRA tweaks apparently.

      No, I never did but have also been known to completely miss the main note in my descriptions. It’s funny because it’s so obvious that I forget it.
      Bummer for that writer, I’m going back to read it now.

      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Portia,

    Beautiful choices. Love how you describe Skin on Skin and Nirvana French Grey. Didn’t know Elizabeth and James. Drama would be a great name for a perfume (if there isn’t one already) and Fracas definitely is perfectly named.



    • OMG Esperanza,
      DRAMA! Would be a fabulous name for perfume.
      Elizabeth and James are the siblings of TV stars the Olsen Twins. I’m not sure why they picked their names for the fragrance line but I like most of them. Very affordable at the discounters nowadays.
      Portia xx


  4. Those are very good choices, and it is a great topic for this series. My mind has gone a complete blank in terms of any more names to add to the pot, but I shall enjoying seeing further suggestions from readers. I can say perhaps that the bass player in The Monochrome Set keeps coming up with possible adjectival names for perfumes as they occur to him, the latest being ‘Remorse’ and ‘Incorrigible’. 😉


  5. Hi Portia. Love Ubar, Fracas and Tiger’s Nest as names. Very cool. xxx


  6. Nice work on the black and gold visuals my friend! What a happy coincidence. I loved hearing about your teenage bedroom decor- pretty classy actually when you think of what some teens deem to be tasteful. Totally agree about Fracas. Whoever wears that is a right handful! Also, I never knew Coromandel had any meaning. I thought it was just a made up perfume name. Every day’s a school day!


    • Hey Samantha,
      OMG! Tara says that to me all the time! “Every day is a school day with Portia!” Is that a regular UK saying? I’d never heard it before Tara said it to me.
      That bedroom was my haven for a few very fraught years. I think instinct dictated the need for calm. There was a huge Debbie Harry poster of her all rugged up walking through autumn colours and a Monet waterlilies print. So many memories.
      Portia xx


  7. Excellent and to read your descriptive impressions post Portia! The photo of your coincidental black and gold bottles is beautiful. I love all of your perfume choices (only unfamiliar with French Grey, hadn’t paid attention to Eliz & James), and now I know more about Ubar (glorious perfume, as well as Coromandel).


    • Hey Kathleen,
      This was a really fun Mood Scent 4 title for me, you can probably tell. I had such a good time planning and writing it.
      How funny is that? Completely random choices and even as I took the photo and edited it I didn’t realise. It was when I put it in the post the lightbulb switched on.
      Elizabeth and James have done some very comfortable perfumes, now so affordable in the discounters.
      Always so good to see you.
      Portia xx


  8. I knew the stories/meaning of two my favorites – Coromandel and Ubar, but I loved reading about your bedroom color association, and the description of the tiger nest makes me want to wear it (from the sample) right now! 🙂

    Names that I could offer: Stilettos on Lex, Sensual Orchid and Portrait of a Lady.


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