Category Archives: Perfume Reviews

Mood Scent 4: Into The Woods and Away

OOOOHHHHH! Our very last Mood Scent 4 week! All good things come to an end eventually and Mood Scent 4 has fallen victim to perfume ennui. We gave it our all and now there’s nothing left to give. I’m super bummed though because it’s been a wonderful time working in tandem with these three perfumed peeps. Thanks Esperanza, Megan and Sam for letting me be part of this cool kids collective. It was really nice to be part of a crew. I particularly loved how different our collections and perfumed directions were on the same topic, also those rare times when we snapped on a perfume. I loved the reckless running through my collection trying to find the exact five or six matches for a mood, note, moment. The sense of fulfilled completion after winnowing a huge list down and getting the post finalised, often with three or four overhauls after remembering a forgotten fave that fit the brief better or more interestingly. The fun of jumping over to the other members pages and seeing their choices, sometimes beating myself up for not going with what they chose too. It was a monthly labour of love and I will miss it, a lot.   Ironically our Into The Woods and Away theme seems to have coincided perfectly with our wave goodbye. So it is with melancholy heart I’ve chosen my woodsiest fragrances to share with you all today.

Can’t wait to read about your fave Into The Woods Perfumes in the comments too.

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

Mood Scent 4: Into The Woods and Away

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Mood Scent 4: Al Fresco Party Perfumes

OOOOHHHHH! Mood Scent 4 week! YAY! This month we sniff some Al Fresco Party Perfumes. Most of our readers being Northern Hemisphere have had a seriously warm summer so I am really excited to read what you have all been wearing for outdoor adventures, beaching, meals, BarBQs, rooftop parties and secret rendezvous. Here in Australia the cold is has been abating over the last month and we’ll be heading into the jaws of spring/summer again from now. YAY! Already we are seeing some days at 25C (77F) and over in the warmest parts of the day. As soon as Lock Down is over here in Sydney I’ll be getting my Al Fresco Party spritzing on like crazy!

Can’t wait to read about your fave Al Fresco Party Perfumes 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: Al Fresco Party Perfumes

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Paris-Deauville by Chanel

Notes: Basil, Sicilian Orange, Lime, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Lemon, Green Notes, Hedione, Jasmine, Rose and Patchouli

Paris-Deauville was the only one of Les Eaux de Chanel released in 2018 (composed by Olivier Polge), that caught my fancy. I have a fondness for green fragrances and this seemed like a good one to wear in warmer weather as opposed to the chypres I associate with spring.

The bottle with its rounded edges is just gorgeous and the sprayer is exceptionally good at misting the skin.

Bottle

Tart, zesty, citrus fizzes and sparkles in the opening. It’s uplifting but a brief introduction. This is rapidly followed by a herbaceous wash of green that is chiefly made up of basil interspersed with sprigs of fresh mint.

I wish leafy herbs were used more in modern perfumery so I’m pleased to experience them here. They make a welcome change from the usual suspects and have a depth of aroma I really appreciate.

The chic French resort of Deauville is on the coast of Normandy and there is a waft of salt air here that I can imagine may not be to everyone’s taste. It mingles with the herbs to recreate the scent of foreshore foliage crusted with sea salt. Some people’s skin seems to play up the florals but it’s green all the way on me without any noticeable jasmine or rose except for a subtle sweetness.

It’s a classy cologne-style fragrance with complexity and recognisable Chanel D.N.A. I really appreciate its aromatic, citrusy radiance and find it to be a real mood-lifter.

It’s been a pleasure to feel it cutting through the heat of summer as well as on those dull, muggy days we’ve had too much of this August. I am determined not to be precious with it and instead spray it lavishly – it’s what it needs.

Paris-Deauville doesn’t last terribly long in its true form before scattering, to be replaced by a wispy, celadon-tinted musk. However this is when I have to remind myself it is an EdT and needs to be enjoyed for what it is.

Deauville resort

Do you have any Chanel Les Eaux in your collection? I’m looking forward to trying the latest, Paris-Edimbourg.

Photo credit: Loik_marras from unsplash

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Synthetic Jungle by Anne Flipo for Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

If I happened to have been wearing Frédéric Malle´s Synthetic Jungle, these might have been my impressions.

JUNGLE: 1. an area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics. 2. a style of dance music incorporating elements of raga, hip-hop, and hard core; consisting of very fast electronic drums, and slower synthesized bass lines.

SYNTHETIC JUNGLE: 1. a piece of acid-house (techno, rave) music by Limbo. 2. a perfume by Anne Flipo for Frédéric Malle.

I have been watching the internet like a hawk, since the beginning of 2020, for information on the what is now the soon-to-be-released, beginning of September as far as I know, Synthetic Jungle from Malle. All you could ever find was the trademark registration information for the name. Then in April of this year information started to trickle in. Note list includes basil, galbanaum, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, patchouli, oakmoss.

Possible Impressions.

Green up the yin-yang. A bright galbanum opening, and a darker, more vintage galbanum in the oakmossed base. Very indolic from both the jasmine and the muguet. Walking into a hothouse of transparent lushness. Quite a prominent jasmine, and possibly a hyacinth. Acutely modern, without taking away from the more traditional aspect of the green genre. Just beautiful. An impressive addition to the collection.

Henry Rousseau. Tropical Birds and Flying Things.

Does Frédéric Malle go to the South Goa Indian Jungle Parties? And will we ever know?

CQ

With thanks to my Fabulous Malle Fairy Godmother.

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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

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Vetiver by Hiram Green

Notes: Citrus, Ginger, Vetiver, Cedarwood and Ambrette Seed

I tend to approach vetiver fragrances with some trepidation. While I admire a few, a little vetiver goes a long way for me. I have always appreciated the depth and earthiness it can bring to a perfume but when that swampy facet is amplified, it’s a hard no from me. However, I do have confidence in Hiram Green as a perfumer. He approaches natural materials in a unique way, always bringing something new to the fore – and so it proved with his latest release, Vetiver.

I spray Vetiver for the first time and smile instantly. Instead of being swampy, it is the exact opposite: a buoyant blend that makes me feel alert and uplifted. The ginger is pitched just right, adding an aromatic, zesty brightness as opposed to a curried spiciness. The overall effect is joyously luminous.

Vetiver is known for its smokiness and here it is toned down and acts more as a kind of musty grey backwash with its presence being a constant throughout. It is used in such a way that it acts to complement and highlight the other notes in the composition. The citrus seems fresher, the ginger extra zingy and the base notes more sophisticated.

When I read that Vetiver was inspired by the heartthrobs of Hollywood’s Golden Age I thought it might lean heavily masculine with a kind of rugged, square-jawed feel. However, I see it as less Clark Gable/Burt Lancaster and more Gene Kelly/Marlene Dietrich. It possesses confidence and charm but also nuance and ambiguity.

When it comes to the base, the vetiver is prominent along with softly sweet resins and bone-dry woods. The ambrette lends a subtle vegetal, musky quality. Up close, it has a very pleasant balsamic stickiness. Vetiver perfumes tend to go towards clean or murky and while Vetiver leans more towards the former, it strikes a good balance being more sparkling than clean and having a base with darker, warmer depths that retains its smoothness.

I experienced very good longevity and moderate throw.

I admire Hiram Green’s deft touch with the eponymous material. He has managed to illuminate a perfume ingredient that in some hands, can make my stomach churn.

Vetiver has shedloads of light and shade. It has the feel of morning sunlight filtering through the curtains into a gloomy room, waking you up to the possibilities for the day ahead.

How do you feel about vetiver fragrances? Do you think you might get on with this version by Hiram Green?

NB. Perfume sample received from Hiram Green.

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Mood Scent 4: Orange Blossom, Fruit and Branch

OOOOHHHHH! Mood scent 4 week! YAY! This month Orange Blossom, Fruit and Branch frags are our choice of genre. Thanks Esperanza, super choice. Oranges play a huge role in perfumery and the whole tree has been used over the centuries. Orange blossom, fruit, neroli, leaves and pettigrain all have their place in the perfumers organ.

Can’t wait to read about your fave Orange Blossom, Fruit and Branch frags 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: Orange Blossom, Fruit and Branch

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Spell 125 by Papillon Perfumes

Notes: Siberian Pine, Black Hemlock, Ylang-Ylang, Green Sacra and White Ambergris.

In line with its superstitious inspiration, this seventh anniversary Papillon perfume will be launched on the 7th day of the 7th month of this year. So just one week to wait.

Liz Moores has created a carefully curated collection of fragrances. Each earns its place by being her own take on a classic theme from a green chypre to a furry vanilla.

Spell 125 particularly intrigued me because it circles back to Liz’s first work, Anubis, albeit spinning off in a different direction.

Truth be told, while I admired Anubis, its sticky, tarry leather was not really my style. Therefore I was intensely interested to see how Spell 125 would work for me.

In the Book of the Dead, Spell 125 details ‘the weighing of the human heart’ ceremony overseen by the god Anubis. The perfume incarnation of Spell 125 represents this by creating tension between its contrasting facets; mirroring the weighing of the heart’s sins against its purity. Ethereal Green Sacra frankincense and Siberian pine are pulled downwards by the earthbound black hemlock and white ambergris.

The opening is a whoosh of pine needles and citrus peel. I love pine but the accents of lime and mandarin should assuage anyone who is less of a fan. In any case, it recedes quickly after that first jolt to the system. What’s revealed is a stark olfactory vista of smoldering ash with an undercurrent of something distinctly feral – the pine trees still visible, but at a distance.

The billowy smoke is like that released by a booklet of incense papers slowly being devoured by a stealthy flame, one page at a time, releasing its vapor into the air.  It has a mineral quality that is much quieter and more reverent than many incense fragrances but because of its weighty base, it also has more depth.

I find Spell 125’s palette of grey ash, green pine and white ambergris to be  striking in its sparseness. The coniferous, smoky and musky tones meld together effortlessly bringing together vegetable, mineral and animal.

The base however, is all about the animal with the musky aroma of ambergris taking over now the spirit has broken free. This is a perfume without extraneous ornamentation so there is no sweet amber or soft woods to make it more obliging.

It’s hard to convey just how atmospheric this perfume is. There is a hushed tone to it that adds to the transporting, ceremonial mood. Where Anubis is thick and oily, Spell 125 is airy and resinous.

It veers away from the traditional perfumery territory inhabited by previous Papillon releases and leads the wearer to a place seemingly outside of time and space, as if forged in a primordial soup of earth, water, wind and fire, it is arrestingly elemental.

It also feels deeply personal, the kind of fragrance you wear for yourself, entering its sacred space. It adheres to the skin and doesn’t budge, remaining close.

Spell 125 is an experience more than any of your typical spritz-and-go perfumes. One that can only be fully appreciated by trying it for yourself.

Are you tempted to order a sample when Spell 125 becomes available?

N.B. Sample gifted to me by Liz Moores with no expectation of review.

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Mood Scent 4: Spice It Up

OOOOHHHHH! Mood scent 4 week! YAY! This month we sniff some spices. Spicy frags are up to bat. Now spice is a HUGE genre, so much choice. Some very fine houses got completely ignored today, sorry. I do think we have a nice cross section of price, availability and designer or niche. Some are pretty new and others are world builders. I’m hoping a couple will be new to you and at least one a total surprise.

Can’t wait to read about your fave spicy frags 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: Spice It Up

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Ordering Chanel in 2021. Coromandel EdP.

“While she looks at you so cooly, and her eyes shine like the moon in the sea, she comes in incense and patchouli, so you take her, to find what’s waiting inside, the year of the cat. AL STEWART.

It was not until last week when I went to Vienna with a girlfriend that I bothered to really try the Coromandel EdP. It fell into the “it cannot possibly be better than the EdT, oh my gosh what did Chanel do?” category.

The service and knowledge in the stand-alone Chanel beauty store in Vienna is excellent. Totally welcoming, you can spray everything, and all of the parfum extraits are out to try. (That has not been my experience in the Chanel Boutiques, you know, the ones that have security on the door, and take your backpack when you walk in.) We were sprayed top to bottom with Le Lion and Coromandel, each given both perfumes in the cute mini form, and sent off to breakfast and truck around town whilst the fragrances settled. Who knew if we would even go back? I also grabbed a few drops of the Coromandel Extrait and off we went.

My girlfriend knew before exiting the store that she would be back for Le Lion. We returned in due course, and she made the purchase. We both received more cute minis, and as the fabulous SA said, one can never have too many. I was enjoying the Coromandel EdP, but not enough to justify buying it, I still have the EdT after all.

I came home and spent the next four days wearing the EdP. Well well. It is much smoother than the screechy EdT. Screechy does not mean I don’t like it, I love it. But it can be wearing on the nose. Several years ago Tara and I tried a number of the EdPs in the store in Covent Garden. My Coromandel impressions at the time were that they had taken the incense out, an integral part. Uhm, nope. So I never bothered again.

Fast forward five years. The incense is there, but in the base notes, and to my nose it was in the heart notes of the EdT. Therein lies a really big difference. The EdP is not as tenacious and what is not to love about a rich patchouli, benzoin, and incense base? Infinitely more wearable, not as tenacious, divine dry down. Chanel Patch don’tcha know?

I WhatsApped Chanel Vienna and ordered a bottle. Two days later I had it. WhatsApp? Of course, Why? How do you order your Chanel?

CQ

*Yep, Chanel here have a WhatsApp number. I’m screwed. Thank you Peter.

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