Category Archives: Perfume Reviews

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens – And A Giveaway

Iris Pallida, Galbanum, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Clove, Incense, Vetiver, Labdanum, Musk, Benzoin and White Amber

 

When I visited the Serge Lutens flagship store in Paris back in April, I was talking to a member of our group about how we loved fragrances that evolve on the skin. Then I promptly purchased a perfume that pretty much stays consistent from beginning to end: Iris Silver Mist. It’s a reminder that we don’t always need twists and turns. Sometimes consistency is what we crave.

 

 

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The sleek black atomiser of ISM I bought in Paris

 

I owned a small decant of ISM maybe 5 years ago and wanted to fall in love with it quite badly. Howver, it was a bit too metallic; as if a cold knife were pressed against my skin. Like a lot of the Lutens fragrances, it appears to have been reformulated since then. It is not only less metallic, but less reminiscent of freshly dug carrots. For once, reformulation had worked in my favour to make Iris Silver Mist considerably more wearable.

While it may not be as evocative of orange vegetables as it used to be, it is still satisfyingly rooty. I love this about it because when I’m in the mood for iris, I want it in all its raspy, rootsy glory.

Released in 1994, I’d forgotten that this Paris Exclusive was composed by Maurice Roucel and not Christopher Sheldrake.

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It’s not worth spending much time pondering the notes list. This is such a cohesive composition it’s hard to unpick and really, why would you? It’s all about that spectacular overdose of orris. Everything else is merely there to enhance and complement that striking effect.

Iris Silver Mist is likely to cause the uninitiated to take a step back. It’s unearthed bulbs, freezing fog, green shoots, rich soil, purple violets and even a crisp ream of paper. The dusting of powder serves to soften its edges somewhat and gives it a silky feel. However, it is still most definitely a statement fragrance rather than a pretty perfume.

On me, it swathes the skin so closely, others’ reactions are not of any concern.

ISM is as much an atmosphere as a scent. It’s introspective and wistful but it is also rarefied and mysterious. Has a name ever fitted a pefume more perfectly? I doubt it. You inhabit it the way you might inhabit an otherworldly mist at dusk.

It doesn’t need to mutate. It just has to be.

I find it more soothing than sombre, though I lean towards the melancholy so maybe I simply feel at home. Lately my nerves have been on edge and Iris Silver Mist has been s supremely calming influence, grounding and pacifying me. It’s a beautiful, ethereal filter through which to view the world.

 

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When people ask me what my favourite perfume is, I now have an answer: Iris Silver Mist.

A Giveaway

When I bought my atomiser the SA at Serge Lutens gave me what I think must be close to a complete set of wax samples. If you’d like them, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do a draw next week and announce the winner on Thursday 28th June.

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Mood Scent 4: Scents of Place

 

It’s Mood Scent time again! Today, Megan, Sam and I are picking perfumes that remind or connect us with the place we live or have lived in the past. There are so many fragrances and entire brands devoted to geographical locations, but there are also perfumes that evoke a particular area for other reasons. It’s a personal resonance and I’m looking forward to reading which fragrances my blogging pals based in Wales and France have chosen to represent their home. Hopefully Esperanza will be up to joining us for our next post in August.

 

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London by Gallivant Perfumes

Cucumber, Rose de Mai absolute, Leather

I’ve lived in the capital my whole life so I’ve chosen two perfumes that represent it. This city of mine is a quirky one and Gallivant have made a perfume to match. London is a light, rosy leather with a twist – an aquatic top note that you might not expect to work but somehow does. It captures the eccentric side of the city where everyone is free to express themselves in whatever way they choose. It’s one of the things I am most proud of about my hometown. This unique perfume was a finalist in the 2018 Art and Olfaction Awards for good reason.

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Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone

Ambrette Seed, Sea Salt, Sage, Red Algae and Grapefruit

While I might not be naturally drawn to Jo Malone’s clean and tasteful output, this 2014 release made an impression on me for its evocation of the British coastline. It was composed by Christina Nagel who is doing a stellar job over at Hermes after taking over from Jean-Clause Ellena. It represents in scent a windswept shore rather than the more familiar tropical beach fragrance. Wood Sage & Sea Salt starts with citrus moving through light woods with gentle greenery and ending with a salty/sweet amber in the vein of Eau de Merveilles. It’s successful in bringing to mind the flashes of sunshine and salty breeze I used to get when visiting a British seaside town out of season with my family as a child.

 

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Vaara by Penhaligon’s

Quince, Rosewater, Carrot Seed, Coriander Seed, Saffron, Moroccan Rose Absolute, Bulgarian Rose Oil, Freesia, Indian Magnolia, Peony, Iris, Honey, White Musk, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Benzoin Resin, Tonka Bean

I can’t write about London without taking into the account the multicultural mix that I am a product of. My mother came to Britian in the 1950s with the rest of her Angl0-Indian family from Bangalore. They moved into a house in Willesden and when she married my English father, they bought a house in west London. I’ve grown up in a mixed race family and still live in this terrifically diverse city. I therefore have to include a perfume that reflects this and I happen to own and love Vaara. Penhaligon’s is a quintessentially English brand that have created a Western perfume inspired by India. It’s a light, sunny Anglo-Indian rose fragrance with gorgeous splashes of quince, saffron and carrot seed.

vaara by penhaligon's bottle

 

Dryad by Papillon Perfumes

Narcissus. Oakmoss. Jonquil. Cedrat. Galbanum. Benzoin. Vetiver.

Moving out of the city into the British countryside is a joy and I love it whenever I get a chance to trample through a forest or woodland. What’s great about Dryad is that it is more than a literal interpretation of the ancient forest in Southern England that inspired it. It starts out with a galbanum note that is a photoreal expression of being immersed in the lush vegetation of this green and pleasant land.  However it is embedded in a magnificently complex chypre with a base of oakmoss and oriental leanings which give it a glorious antique feel.

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Have a look at the Scents of Place from my partners at Megan In Sainte Maxime and I Scent You A Day.

 

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Is there a perfume that you associate with your part of the world?

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ELEGANCE, POISE AND POLISH: HERMÈS ESSENCE DE PARFUMS 2018

By Val the Cookie Queen (from APJ)
 
”Using oils is highly sensuous.  I wanted to have people putting it on their finger and applying it skin-on-skin.’’ – Christine Nagel, Hermes perfumer
 
Hermès have introduced Cardamusc and Musc Pallida, two 20ml essences de parfum, into their exclusive Hermessence collection, available only in the Hermès stores.  The parfum essence is carried by the lightest of oils and melts into the skin as though it was never there, leaving behind the most elegant and divine smell.  
The essences wrap their threads around you, the warmth of the skin magnifying the qualities of the materials Nagel has used. Both are absolutely stunning.
 

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7.5ml press samples 

Cardamusc Essence de Parfum
 
Exactly as the name suggests, it opens with an overdose of a rich, fragrant, very green cardamom which softens when the musks warm up on the skin, each layer slowly revealing itself. As it develops, the cardamom remains anchored by a very beautiful sweet vetiver, never losing the sensuality that the musks bring to the creation. Divine.
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Musc Pallida Essence de Parfum
 
Opening with iris, it soon becomes a musky, powdery, peppery, and violet  (violet the flower) tinged iris. Musc Pallida oozes elegance and tranquility, and at the same time, remains scintillating, transpiring through the skin.  Drop dead gorgeous.
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The two essences stand alone as perfumes, seductively scenting the skin for hours (they are pure parfum strength). Liquid gold. Layering them with the three new Hermessence EdTs brings the idea of a perfumed skin to a whole new level. 
The Essences de Parfum are expensive.  Sometimes life is.
 
 “It is with these ‘essence de parfum‘ Hermessences where Mme Nagel makes this collection her own.  Both are like nothing else in it.“
Mark Behnke – Colognoisseur
 
I would love a rose and musc in the collection.
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Elegant, poised and polished bussis.
CQ 
 
 
 

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ANIMA VINCI: “Fragrances Designed to Awaken the Spirit Within”

 

By Val the Cookie Queen from APJ

 

As some of you may have read in my last post, I recently spent a few hours with Nathalie Vinciguerra Founder and CEO of Anima Vinci Perfumes, formerly the Creative Fragrance Director of Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan. One could say she knows her stuff. Inside out.

 

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It was The Candy Perfume Boy that first brought Anima Vinci to my attention, and to be with both him and Nathalie in London, to sniff through the line was a privilege and a great pleasure. Both of their enthusiasm and love for the brand was infectious.

 

 

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There are five fragrances in the initial Anima Vinci collection.

 

Wood of Life by Michel Roudnitska

Bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, mint, blue ginger, ylang ylang, rose, petitgrain, cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, piri piri, palo santo, leather note, musk, vanilla.

Mellow, woody, smooth, soothing, quiet, but that is not to say unnoticeable. This perfume contains the material “piri piri“ seldom, if ever used before in a fragrance. The South Americans have drunk it as a tea for centuries, as a means of entering a dream like state, and for creating a calming and sedating effect. Perhaps this is what induces the feeling of tranquillity in Wood of Life. A distinctive and elegant fragrance.

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Lime Spirit by Christiano Provenzano

Bergamot, orange, citrus fusion, mandarin, black pepper, neroli, ginger, lavender, hedione, pink pepper, cardamom, pepperwood fusion, amber, cedarwood, moss, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, tonka, leather, benzoin, musk.

Opening with a stimulating and restoring burst of citrus, reminiscent of a cross between an Opal Fruit and Rose´s Lime Cordial, it is pure pleasure. Diving into the heart we find a multitude of colourful spices, enhancing the revitalizing effect of the citrus opening. Unlike the cologne you might be tricked into thinking it is, it all rests on a bed of leather, tonka, amber… Lime and leather? Absolutely.

 

Jasmine Yang by Thomas Fontaine

Mandarin, yuzu, pink pepper, solar flowers, water jasmine, frangipani, ylang ylang. sandalwood, ambergris, patchouli, vanilla, white musk.

This is my most worn of the five as I have a bottle in my collection. It is a white floral, but think more along the lines of a white floral for yoga and meditation. It dos not scream. The jasmine cossets your skin, sweetening your emotions, relaxing your mood. Jasmine blossom is offered to the Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu faith. Opening with a mandarin and pink pepper flash, the jasmine is there from the start, enhanced in the heart with ylang-ylang and frangipani. It rests on sandalwood, ambergris, patchouli …… and is utterly delectable.

 

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Oud Delight by Christian Provenzano

Bergamot, lemon. cinnamon, clove, ginger, saffron, coriander seed, ylang ylang, rose, olibanum, sandalwood, oud, patchouli, tonka, labdanum, vetiver, musk, amber.

As Nathalie introduced me to the Oud Delight, she commented that no collection is complete without an oud fragrance. Oud is no longer a phase, it will remain. Oud Delight opens with a strengthening bergamot and citrus accord, before smoothly going into a spicy heart, the oud apparent, but not overpowering. It is anchored into the base along with sandalwood, labdanum, amber …..Tranquil.

 

Rose Prana by Randa Hamami

Violets leaves, verbena, pink pepper, Centifolia rose, oak moss, woody accord, vetiver, patchouli, white musk.

It was The Candy Perfume Boy saying that Rose Prana was one of the most gorgeous roses ever that sparked my interest and the subsequent meeting of Nathalie. I love rose, but only have a couple in my collection. Rose Prana is absolutely ravishing. Rose: Sensual, love, enlightenment, calming, nourishing, rejuvenating, stimulating, restoring. Rose Prana is clear, sweet and with light notes of honey. Divine. I crave a bottle of this.

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All beautifully constructed, modernistic perfumes. An absolute joy.

Anima Vinci offer a perfect discovery set. 5 x 1.5 mls, and it includes a stack of scent strips and a very informative leaflet. You also receive a fifteen pound voucher to redeem if you choose to purchase a bottle. The discovery set is ten pounds plus postage.

 

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For more details and a lot more information on the Anima Vinci house, go check them out here.

With great thanks to Nathalie for the fantastic day that we had together, for the black cab ride, excellent tea and sunstroke.

Om Bussis
CQ

 

 

 

 

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Scherzo and Tender by Miller Harris

I went into the new Miller Harris store at Westfield London recently to try the pair of fragrances launched in January this year which were inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel Tender is the Night.

Miller Harris gave a passage from the classic novel to two perfumers and asked them to interpret it in scent as they wished.

Here is the text: –

“…She walked on, between kaleidoscopic peonies massed in pink clouds, black and brown tulips and fragile mauve stemmed roses, transparent like sugar flowers in a confectioner’s window – until, as if the scherzo of colour could reach no further intensity, it broke off suddenly in mid-air.”

 

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It was clear from the packaging alone that the perfumes were very different and I discovered it mirrors their contrasting characters.  I kept muddling up the names because Scherzo is very tender, while Tender is very striking.

 

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Scherzo (by Mathieu Nardin)

Top: Tangerine and Davana
Heart: Olibanum, Narcissus, Pittosporum and Dark Rose
Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Oudh and Sweet Note

I had to look up what ‘scherzo’ means. It’s a musical term for a composition that is light and playful in character. Now I understand why this feel-good fragrance is named as it is.

The opening of Scherzo is the best part for me. I love a tangerine note and the juicy, fruity opening is fantastic. I would have really liked to get those heart notes of narcissus olibanum (incense), pittosporum (Mock Orange) and dark rose, but after 10 minutes it has morphed into a fluffy vanilla. I don’t pick up on the oud.

Scherzo takes its inspiration from the ‘pink clouds’ and ‘sugar flowers in a confectioner’s window’. The SA said they only had two bottles left and I can well imagine it pleasing a wide range of people.

 

 

Tender (by Bertrand Duchaufour)

Top: Pink Pepper, Aldehydes, Green Hyacinth Note and Cinnamon
Heart: Black Tulip, Leather, Saffron, Geranium, Cyclamen, Incense and Turkish Rose
Base: Amber, Cedarwood, Myrrh Absolute, Patchouli, Frankincense, Vanilla Absolute, Storax, Sandalwood and Musk

If Scherzo is more mainstream in appeal, then Tender is more niche. Where Scherzo seems to focus on the word “fragile”, Tender seems to take its lead from the word “intensity”. It picks up on the kiedoscope of peonies, black tulips and mauve roses in the passage. Its character is as introverted and stealthily seductive as Scherzo is buoyant and innocent.

The first chapter of the perfume is the scent of a bed of green hyacinths; deep and heady in the shade.  This combines with the black tulip accord and rose in the heart to create a dark floral aroma which is uncommonly gorgeous.

This gradually slides into the familiar Duchaufour base of musky woods spiked with incense. It’s not as strident as it can be, but it’s still not something I’ve ever enjoyed in his work. All the same, I still favour Tender over Scherzo because I’m not much of a vanilla fan and up until the base, I find it quietly intoxicating.

 

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Are you attracted to perfumes inspired by literature? Which of this pair of  fragrances is more your style?

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Niral by Neela Vermeire Creations – And A Giveaway!

 

By Sandra from Australian Perfume Junkies

 

Silk Road…

Hey there ABR! How are you all doing?

As many of you know, I am a huge Neela Vermeire fan. She has been working with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour for all of her creations and the latest perfume has been in the works for over two years.

Neela pours her heart and soul into each of her creations and her vision is clear and determined until she is satisfied with the final outcome.

Niral, an eau de parfum, is her newest release. I stalked the website for days waiting to be able to purchase Niral. I received my brand new bottle last week and have been wearing it every day since.

Niral means calm, serene and unique in Hindi and it suits the perfume beautifully as we will see further on. Niral is an olfactory ballad in honour of Sir Thomas Wardle (1831-1909) who received a knighthood for his work towards the silk business.

Before I continue I have to let you know that the packaging has changed from the box to the bottle. The box is a beautiful purple with silver embossed logo and lettering. The bottle shape remains the same, however Niral is a gorgeous gradient purple flacon. What I love most is that it has a thin silver cord with the name Niral on a small pendant.

 

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The notes listed on the NVC website are: Angelica, Champagne Accord, Iris, Tea, Rose, Magnolia, Cedar, Sandalwood and Leather.

When I first spray the perfume, I am greeted with a vibrant champagne accord. It has a slight liqueur undertone which quickly fades into the background. There is a lot of iris in the opening as well. It starts out muted and as the perfume warms up it becomes alive. Together with iris is the delicate floral bouquet of a black tea leaning towards Darjeeling.

For a few moments, Niral’s tea note has the muscatel grape note sometimes found in second flush Darjeeling teas. I find the subtle shift from the champagne accord to the iris and tea phase so fitting since Darjeeling is considered by many as the champagne of teas. There are times when I can imagine getting a whiff of magnolia. It is fleeting but I do not detect it every time I am wearing it.

As the perfumes shifts it moves into a more rounded phase where cedar and sandalwood are mixed in and bring the whole composition to the next level. The sandalwood is smooth and the cedar lends it a slightly woodier side. The elegant finale comes when the drydown is a chorus of iris, tea and soft, almost suede-like, leather with a smooth woody finish. It has an almost tactile quality about it bringing a sense of calm into my life.

 

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Niral is a complex perfume with sublime notes. One word describes it – exquisite.

I adore it and hope that you all will as well. I would like to send my sample to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment telling me what your favourite spring time flower is and why. On a side note, I would like to state that Niral truly does need to be sprayed to experience the full beauty with all the nuances.

Entries for the Giveaway close at midnight on Thursday 3rd May and the winner will be announced here on Saturday 5th May. Good luck!

 

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Raw Silk: Neela Vermeire Creations

 

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Slowdive by Hiram Green

Notes: Neroli, Orange flower, Tobacco flower, Dried fruit, Beeswax, Tuberose and Resins.

Hiram Green makes high quality, opulent perfumes that sing on the skin. My particular favourite of his collection is the glorious sunlit orange blossom, Dilettante. These beautiful fragrances are handcrafted from natural ingredients at his base in the Netherlands. A bonus is that they are available in 10ml sprays as well as 50ml bottles.

His latest release is the evocatively titled Slowdiveslowdive.png

Slowdive is a languid, floral tobacco-themed fragrance and its name suits it perfectly. After an opening of unctuous honey tinged with Play-doh, you gently drift down into its swirl of petals, tobacco leaves and dried fruit.

It’s a lot brighter in feel than many tobacco fragrances which tend to reside in shuttered gentlemen’s clubs. Slowdive has the warmth of days filled with hazy sunshine, ripe fruit and the low hum of bees flitting from bloom to bloom. The beeswax gives it a sumptuously soft landing with its honeyed waxiness.

It makes me think of an autumn harvest, but if you love honeyed and/or tobacco scents, you’ll enjoy it at any time of year. It has a caressing, lazy mood which I’ve found immensely enjoyable on these gloomy London days. It’s the feeling you get when you kick off your shoes and sink into a big, squashy armchair at the end of a tiring day. It has that sense of letting go and having nothing better to do than watch the sun melt into the horizon, bleeding into colours of amber, gold and ochre.

Slowdive is a fragrance to relax into; a place to rest your aching bones. The sillage is low-key but within its orbit, you can’t mistake its distinctive character.

One thing to make clear regarding the presence of tuberose, is that there’s no need to be put off if you normally hesitate at its mention in notes lists. As I’ve said before, natural tuberose is not the stonker of the synthetic variety, which can trample over everything in sight. Here, the natural absolute adds a flowery creaminess to the composition without overpowering the other accords. It’s probably what makes Slowdive such an uncommon tobacco perfume.

It’s definitely a fragrance anyone could wear comfortably and combining the traditionally masculine tobacco with the uber feminine tuberose, makes for a clever and interesting pairing that works beautifully.

 

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How do you feel about tobacco/honey perfumes?

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Mood Scent 4: Perfumes Perfect for Any Occasion

Today we, the Mood Scent 4 blogging project, are sharing our picks for perfumes that we feel are suitable for any occasion.

I think of perfumes that you can wear anytime, anywhere, as those that are not too overbearing and which you feel at ease in. The second category will vary from person to person. Some people will feel at home in easy-going florals while others will reach for something woody as their go-to.

I have a few all-rounders and it’s no surprise to me that two of them are chypres. This is  a genre I’ve long loved and always felt can take me anywhere.

These four perfumes are the olfactory equivalent of the versatile white shirt  – but with added character.

 

 

Mood scent purple

Diorella, Dior

Sicilian lemon, peach, basil, Italian bergamot, melon, greens, honeysuckle, jasmine, violet, rosebud, carnation, cyclamen, oakmoss, vanilla, clove, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, patchouli

This carefree fruity chypre with gentle florals is truly a ‘take me anywhere’ scent. The green accents keep it fresh while the mossy base elevates it to the level of chic. The white vernal flowers lend it some prettiness and the ripe fruit prevents it from feeling too formal. It’s a significant step up form a cologne-style fragrance like its older brother, Eau Sauvage, but it’s not as dressed-up as its older sister La Parfum de Therese.

 

diorella

 

Seville a L’Aube, L’Artisan Perfumeur

Lavender, pink pepper, lemon tree leaves, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, beeswax, incense, Benzoin Siam, Luiseiri lavender

This orange blossom scent has a zesty opening, caramelised lavender and a resinous breath of incense that makes it intriguing yet relaxed. The syprupy aroma of orange blossom is counter-balanced beautifully by the other accords and means it has enough depth to wear outside of summer. Its radiance and style means it can be to spritzed for smarter events while being languid enough to also sport on casual occasions.

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Vol de Nuit EdT, Guerlain

Bergamot, galbanum, petitgrain, jasmine, daffodil, spices, sandalwood, orris, vanilla, amber, oakmoss, benzoin, musk, ambergris, castoreum

The large gold Habit de Fete canister I have of Vol de Nuit contains a perfume that feels like me. I can wear the EdT at any time and it always feels right, with the added bonus that it soothes my soul. Its inherent chypre classiness means it can take me anywhere – including the office – but it also works on the weekends because it simply feels like a second skin. I know it so intimately now that I find it hard to break down. There’s still nothing like it.

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La Fille de Berlin, Serge Lutens

Rose, violet, pink and black pepper, musk

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I love Rose de Nuit for an evening out and Tobacco Rose by Papillon Perfumes for the whole rose-bed, but my ‘all occasions’ rose is La Fille de Berlin. Though it has presence, it also has a transparency that makes it unobtrusive. The soft puff of violet-scented powder makes it feminine and the musky amber drydown gives it substance. I can wear it through the summer as well as the cooler seasons. It’s one of those perfumes that never fails me.

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I can’t wait to jump over to Megan in Sainte Maxime and I Scent You a Day to see their choices. Make sure you do too and share your own ‘white shirt’ perfumes in the comments.

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Iris Poudre by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

 

Notes: Bergamot, Orange, Palisander, Rosewood, Magnolia, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Violet, Rose, Carnation, Lily, Aldehydes, Iris, Musk, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Amber, Ebony Tree, Sandalwood and Vetiver

 

I don’t think there is a niche fragrance line I admire more than Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle and the perfume among them I love the most is Iris Poudre. I have sunk into it over this autumn/winter: there was a desire in me to take on its character as my own. It’s one of those rare fragrances that has become a part of me, managing to get under my skin as well as on top of it.

Iris Poudre was created by Pierre Bourdon and released in 2000. I can safely say it has pushed Hiris off the top spot as my favourite iris scent.

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When I’ve read reviews of Iris Poudre over the years they have tended to focus on the perfume’s old-school glamour.  This is because it eschews the more familiar metallic and vegetal facets of iris root in favour of something infinitely more refined and alluring. It highlights the pure luxury of orris butter which is prettied-up by the accompanying florals and given sparkle by a sheer veil of aldehydes.

Despite its name, Iris Poudre is not a powder-bomb but has just enough to make the link with the golden age of Hollywood; all red lips and glittering jewels. It strikes the perfect balance between classic and modern. It has a retro flavour but doesn’t read as vintage.

It starts out cool with gentle aldehydes tickling the senses like an icy chill. These aren’t the overly soapy or intense kind that can be off-putting, but silky and shimmering.

This is not a challenging perfume to wear – file under “effortless chic”. It’s curvaceous and figure-hugging but never restrictive.  It’s rare to find a fragrance that has an aura of sensuality and glamour but still feels comfortable. Iris Poudre is satisfyingly complex and the kind of perfume you can still get a thrill from time and time again.

The fragrance possesses style without being aloof or prim. It’s a boudoir scent extraordinaire, reminiscent of make-up, silk stockings, fur and supple powdered skin.

However, there is even more going on in Iris Poudre than that. There is greater depth and substance than the soft-focus image of a movie star would suggest. I’ve found there is strength behind the feather boa and a wilfulness beneath the come-hither eyes.

I suspect it’s the ambrette seed that does it. That vegetal musky essence which imbues fragrances with a subtle sexuality. It has a very distinct character which warms on skin over time and the pairing with slick musk amplifies the effect.

When I first owned Iris Poudre the ambrette eventually put me off enough to sell my bottle. I’m not sure if in the intervening years whether Iris Poudre has changed, or I have (probably both) but in any case, we are now a perfect match. 

 

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If you’ve missed it, be sure to check out Undina’s Entertaining Statistics post covering February’s Month of Iris.

 

 

 

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A Month of Irises

Who needs roses on Valentine’s Day when you can have irises?

You may already be a reader of Undina’s excellent blog, but she came up with the idea of making February ‘A Month of Irises’.  There is a new post each week on Undina’s Looking Glass which she is adding to each day with a little iris-related review or fact, so do check in there for the rest of the month and share your SotD. Other bloggers are getting involved in the fun too and I’m hosting here on A Bottled Rose today.

I’ll be posting a full review of my current No.1 iris, Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums at the end of the month, but today I wanted to talk about another iris in my collection: 28 La Pausa by Les Exclusifs de Chanel.

 

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I own a 200ml vat of the original EdT and while it is notorious for poor longevity, strangely I don’t have any problems on that score. It would be tough to produce an iris-centric perfume that wasn’t elegant but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one more refined and coolly charming than this Chanel.

28 La Pausa is a silken iris, being low on rootiness and much more floral in character. I find it soothing and minimalist yet radiant. It stops short of aloof and floats pleasantly around me in the palest blue aura.

When I tried the new EdP version I found that it progressed rather too quickly to its vetiver base on my skin. However Victoria of Bois de Jasmin recently wrote that she prefers it, in her brilliant Top Ten of Winter Iris Perfumes so do see how you find it. That post also spawned galloping lemmings of On Lipstick from Maison Martin Margiela Replica and Mythique by Parfums DelRae.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens is surely the ne plus ultra of iris perfumes but it has too much of a cold knife edge for me to wear it comfortably. My “lottery win” iris would be Irisss by Xerjoff at £560 for 100ml.

Chanel No.19 EdT is the iris-forward perfume that is currently on my To Buy list. Another fantastic iris that I’m sure I’ll own one day is Prada’s Infusion d’Iris Absolu.

Some others that I admire and have reviewed in the past are Hermes Hiris, the white iris of Nirmal by Laboratorio Olfattivo, the moonlit Iris Nazarena from Aedes de Venustas and the fabulously smoky Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir.

If you missed it on Olfactoria’s Travels back in the day, you might be interested to read my write-up of Incredible Irises, an evening of iris at Perfume Lovers London. It features some background information about this luxurious ingredient as well as a good selection of scents.

irises

Please let us know in the comments which iris perfume you are wearing today or which one/s you love!

 

 

 

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