Category Archives: Perfume Reviews

strangelove nyc fallintostars edp

 

Strangelove NYC.  Founder: Elizabeth Gaynes.  Creative Director: Helena Christensen.  Perfumer: Christophe Laudamiel.  Result: A stunning collection of perfumes. 

fallintostars is the most recent of the five edps and oils in the Strangelove collection.  Oud, jonquil, rosewood, amber, pink peppercorns.  (labdanum and peru balsam?).  

Aurorean:  Belonging to the dawn, or resembling it in its brilliant hue.

 

The edp opens with warm and honeyed oud/ouds.   Unlike the number of perfumers that claim to have used exquisite raw materials,  Laudamiel and Strangelove actually have.  Despite its quite opulent richness, it never becomes heavy, and as it wears it leaves a trail of golden amber.  Animalic, sensual, elegant, divine.  

Completely and utterly addictive.  As perfumistas we hope for, but rarely receive compliments on what we are wearing. Each time I have worn fallintostars someone has asked what it is.   

Offering an alternative to mass perfume, Strangelove are truly niche.  The eau de perfumes are available in bottles 15ml, 50ml, and 100ml.  Sure they are pricey, but you pay for what you get.  Quality has a price.  There are many expensive so called niche perfumes to choose from.  The challenge is to sift the wheat from the tares.  

“And they know just what we do, that we toss and turn at night, they’re waiting to make their moves on us, the stars are out tonight.”   David Bowie. 

CQ

With the exception of the fallintostars oil, I have all of the Strangelove’s in the small oil pots, and the 5 x 2 ml edp sample set.  I bought the 15ml fallintostars recently.  I wear all of them.  I never write about what I do not own and wear.  Just to clarify.  

 

 

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Mood Scent 4: Golden Oldies

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! We are looking at our Golden Oldies. This month I have tried to steer clear of my favourites and talk about things that I adore but rarely write about. Quite a lot of my fragrances are from days gone by, so you may have read me waffling on about them before. I want to keep this series as fresh and interesting as possible for you, as well as me. Golden Oldies is open to a fair bit of interpretation too. It could be things I remember from my youth or things that go back well before that. It could be a reformulated frag that historically is much more my style or a brand new reformulation of something from decades ago. I’ll try and do a bit of a cross section for you.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Golden Oldies in the comments too.

As always, totally 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: Golden Oldies

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My Perfume Collection – Top 15

Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume recently did a blog post about the re-organisation of her perfume collection in which she set an initial target of selecting 15 perfumes from her stash as a ‘capsule collection’. In the end she managed to cut it down to 20 from 63 which is no mean feat.

In response to Vanessa’s question about her readers’ own capsule collections, I decided to see if I could pick 15 based on just one of her selection methodologies ie. ‘The burning building speed grab method’. I did a quick sweep and managed it without much fuss. I ‘only’ have 27 bottles in total. I included those which are 30ml or larger but also two smaller bottles which are parfum concentration. In short, travel sprays and decants don’t count.

The 27 include 3 back-ups and 3 perfumes I have in both EDT and parfum. After knocking those out it was only a matter of choosing 15 from 21. The Chosen Ones are below in no particular order. I’ve linked to fuller reviews where I have them.

 

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

This oriental chypre is the most ‘me’ of all the perfumes I own. It would be my Desert Island perfume if push came to shove. These days I can’t analyse it more than that. I have a vintage parfum, an old-ish parfum back up and a vintage EDT.

La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens

Actually this perfume also feels very me (I sense a recurring theme). It is my ideal retro rose/violet. The sensual yet light amber drydown is a bonus. It’s simply a lovely perfume in all its parts.

Vaara by Penhaligons

While I love rose paired with violet I also love it paired with saffron. If I could justify the cost, I’d trade Vaara for the infinitely more chic riff on this pairing trimmed with suede, Galop d’Hermes.

Naja by Vero Profumo

This is my most loved of Vero’s exquisite collection and a reminder of the unique and inspiring woman herself. The sparkling lime over blond tobacco is autumnal bliss.

Miss Dior by Dior

The vintage parfum is something I can wear when nothing else feels right. It’s not a skin scent but I feel so at home in it it feels like a second skin to me. I also have the EDT as do for the next fragrance on the list.

Chanel No.19

Again the vintage parfum is sublime. Galbanum can be astringent and off-putting but here it’s green nectar paired with powdery iris. No.19 has strength and elegance in bucketloads.

Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum

I’d take this as I feel the need to have a beachy/tropical perfume but I’d much rather exchange it for swoon-worthy Frangipani by Ormond Jayne which I only own a travel spray of.

 

 

Dryad by Papillon Perfumes

If Vent Vert and Vol de Nuit had a baby maybe it would smell something like Dryad. I’m drawn more and more to the centring power of green perfumes and this one gives me all those ancient woodland vibes.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

The iris to end them all. Rooty, chilly and evocative. A rare example of a reformulation improving on the original in MHO. It’s more wearable now, sans the aroma of metallic carrots.

Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Instead of calming me, incense perfumes are often so strident they overwhelm me. Of course Olivia Giacobetti would compose one that is as smooth as it is enigmatic. The combination of woody resins and waxy littles works every time. I have a back up.

Cuir de Lancome

I also have a back up of this sadly discontinued gem. The saffron studded smoky suede has not been surpassed by another leather for me.

Fleur de Oranger by L’Artisan Parfumeur

This is summer sunshine in a bottle. The perfect orange blossom which makes me smile just to spray it.

Eau de Rochas by Rochas

I got this cheapie in a swap meet-up and it’s my favourite cologne. The combination of tart lime and raspy patchouli is uncommonly beautiful in an Eau.

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

I adore atmospheric books set in dark forests and this perfume captures that feeling in a scent.

Diorella by Dior

Coming full circle, this was one of the very first perfumes I fell for in a big way when I fell down the fragrant rabbit-hole. The old formulation is a glorious fruity chypre with tender spring florals. I feel very nostalgic about it and enjoy it hugely still.

What do you make of my list? Any there any that would make a similar list of your own?

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Mood Scent 4: Made For Me

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Made For Me. Sometimes you smell a fragrance and it is everything you dreamed a perfume could be. Suddenly there is life before and life after discovery. Fortunately for regular people this is the end of their search and they find a signature scent. As a perfumista though this may (hopefully) happen many times. I’m one of the lucky ones and it does happen fairly regularly around here. So I’ve picked a few that exploded in my life over time, some are still available, some not, all changed me because I found a new fragrance that felt perfectly Made For Me. Some of these I talk about a lot, of course I do, they’re Made For Me!

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Made For Me 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: Made For Me

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Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen.

“Don’t you just know I waitin’ for the train that goes home sweet Mary, hopin’ that train is on time, sittin’ downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line ……” One Toke Over the Line. Brewer & Shipley. 1970.

We flew to Lucerne very early in the morning at the beginning of December for a three day work trip sometime at the end of the eighties. It was bitterly cold and there was snow on the ground, but with clear blue skies and sunshine; we picked up a car at the airport and went to the very nice hotel to check in and dump our cases.

We had to meet a car and its driver around 11.00 in the Lucerne train station underground car park. We left our car a few hundred meters away from the station and walked there, arriving punctually. We went down into the car park and took a look around for a car with Dutch plates, but found no one. Hoping it was just late we went back up into the train station and sat in a café for a while. After giving it about an hour we repeated our steps in the search for the car. Again, nothing. We began to think that the guy had not made it. We repeated the above one more time, to no avail, and started to get a bit paranoid.

We went to a phone box to make a call to Holland. Things ran differently in the days of no mobiles, and took a lot longer to reach people. Disadvantage was trying to get through to someone who may or may not have been at home by a land-line. Advantage was that tracing calls from phone boxes was extremely unlikely, if not impossible. No answer.

After about three hours, paranoia level quite high, we got through to The Man in Holland. He told us that the guy we were there to meet had called and asked where we were, and told him that he was on the very lowest level of the car park, and lurking in very furthest corner. Not suspicious at all.

He had been there since morning. You need balls of steel for this kind of work. We had gone down to the third level of the parking garage, where there were nearly no cars, and took a look on the fourth level, where there were no cars at all, and not gone on down to the sixth level.

We got our car and drove into the carpark, parking up on the second level. I climbed into the back seat and covered myself with a blanket. Chris said he would be back in a few minutes and headed down to find the guy. I laid there frozen with fear, wondering what I would do if he did not return.

I heard the screech of wheels approaching, and a car turned sharply into the space next to us. Was it them? I was barely breathing. The boot opened and a 10kg bag was thrown in, and the boot was then slammed shut. We left the cars and all went up into the Bahnhof to eat, after which the guy we met, having finished his part of the job, left.

Smooth sailing from then on. Chris grabbed the bag and carried it up to a storage locker in the station, I stood from afar watching. He deposited the bag, locked it up and pocketed the key. We drove about forty kilometers, where we delivered the key, along with the locker number, to one of the Swiss Angels.

Job done, we went back to the hotel. It had been a long day.

I recently came across a postcard from Switzerland that I had sent my mother and stepfather in England. Excitedly telling them that we had gone away for a break and to do some Christmas shopping. Perhaps this is the truth and as with other Strange Tales the above story is but a figment of my overly-active imagination.

CQ

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Mood Scent 4: Unsung Heroes

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Unsung Heroes. Yes, those under the radar beauties that feel like we are the ONLY people on earth who love them. They rarely get chattered about on the scentbloggosphere, don’t come up in frag nerd conversations and you never see their names and pics in SOTD threads. We all have a few of them. Maybe we bought it blind, it came in a group from a yard sale, spritzed somewhere and fell madly in love, or maybe it’s just a few years old and seems to be forgotten. Doesn’t matter why it’s not being talked about, now is your chance to tell us some secret loves you’ve been keeping to yourself. SHHH! We won’t tell.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Unsung Heroes 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: Unsung Heroes

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NARS Audacious EdP 2019 by Olivia Giacobetti

Contradiction.  A combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.  A situation in which inconsistent elements are present.           

François Nars’ cult cosmetic brand NARS founded in 1994, celebrated 25 years in the business last year.  To acknowledge this milestone, he launched the NARS debut perfume, choosing the brilliant French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti to work with.  Giacobetti  has only  been creating for her IUNX brand and this is her first work outside of that for a number of years.  The fact that she does not just churn out fragrances making her a stellar choice.

White frangipani and smoke of incense  —   Tiare flower, ylang-ylang essential oil, sandalwood  —  White cedar essential oil, white musk.

A study in light and dark, it opens with the frangipani, immediately tempered with Giacobetti´s translucent incense.  A contradictory scent, it never goes near a suntan product.   The sandalwood becomes central, but the frangipani, tiara, and ylang-ylang remain, albeit behind the weightless veil of the incense smoke and cedar. Giacobetti`s use of the white musks keeping a constant translucency.  Effortlessly exquisite.

The bottle, designed by Fabien Barron, sprays with the very finest of mist;  the skin is coated in nearly invisible droplets.  Minimal and all black, it belies the ethereal delicateness of what is inside it.

ED06A0C9-A1D2-4619-9120-4E6300FDA436       Bottle my own.  

For those who have been disappointed that Audacious is not a cloying oud or an ambroxan laden skin-glue, NARS never was going to go with the nuclear creations that come out of the “backstreet abortion clinic perfume” genre.  And that in itself is exactly why this perfume is AUDACIOUS.

CQ

 

 

 

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Mood Scent 4: Joyful Spritzing

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Joyful Spritzing perfumes. My thought for Joyful Spritzing is the ones I like to spritz a LOT of. Ones that not only give me happiness through their smell but the simple act of giving myself a few good blasts of them. The memories and feelings that I know will join me through the life of the scent. The whole wonderful experience of having, holding, spritzing, smelling and remembering are so much more than just what I smell.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Joyful Spritzing 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: Joyful Spritzing

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Vivacious by Hiram Green

Notes: Bergamot, Violet, Carnation, Orris and Amber

 

I’ve long been drawn to violet scents. Along with roses, they evoke that vintage glamour I so admire. However, I usually have issues with the violet perfumes I try. They are either too sweet or too powdery, too green or too metallic. Their characters strike me as being quite child-like or rather staid. Maybe I am unduly fussy (well there’s no ‘maybe’ about it) but I couldn’t seem to find the right violet for me.

Therefore I was understandably excited at the thought of a forthcoming violet done the Hiram Green way. I knew this indie perfumer would bring something unique to the genre, as he has done with all of his fragrances.

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Hiram describes Vivacious as a ‘violet-themed’ fragrance and it is indeed that. He riffs off the central idea of a traditional violet perfume but expands it with gauzy layers of carnation and orris. In doing so, he transforms it into something much more interesting than a violet soliflore.

The first time I tried Vivacious I got a lot of carnation; a note we rarely see in perfumes these days. This spicy floral aroma is full-bodied with the clove-like scent of eugenol. The subsequent times I’ve tried it on my inner forearm, I’ve got something considerably more nuanced.

After a joyful opening of parma violets and sparkling bergamot, it settles down into what I imagine as a purple-hued haze.. There is powder but nowhere near an overwhelming amount. It’s just enough to add a delicate aura of prettiness. The proportions of violet, orris and carnation are beautifully balanced.

Its character is supremely graceful. I thought it might be a boudoir fragrance but no. I’d put Vivacious in the category of what I think of as ‘ballet slipper perfumes’. Those that are less about vintage cosmetics and more about satin, tulle and crushed rosin. There is a distinctly romantic, nostalgic air about it but this never veers into melancholia. 

The base is a gentle glowing amber with the texture of suede. This makes for a fittingly smooth finish.

While it wears in a sheer manner, this Eau de Parfum lacks neither presence nor longevity.

In short, Vivacious is Hiram Green’s most complex and accomplished fragrance to date – and my new favourite violet-centric scent.

It is full of buoyancy and flair. Its wistful yet hopeful attitude expressed in a poised, glorious, grand jeté.

 

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Do you already have a favourite violet perfume? Do you like the sound of Vivacious?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CATSINOMA

 

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As readers of the blog may remember Meepsy/Mitzi had a massive nosebleed back during the lockdown here. The vet was not sure whether the bleeding was coming from inside the nose or from the outside. And yes, it was impossible to tell. He gave her some sort of Jackie Kennedy shot, with a lot of puppy-uppers in it and some antibiotics. Which did the job just fine. For a few weeks.Her nose began to have slight scratches on it, which would bleed a little, and then dry up and fall off. It was causing her nose to shrink. A couple of weeks ago we made the decision to take her to the very highly rated animal clinic about a half hour drive from here, and skip the local vet.She was diagnosed with carcinoma on her nose. Unbeknownst to us it is fairly common for white cats, as they have very pink noses. Whatever it is total shit. We made an appointment to have it removed, at the cost of a vacation which we will not be taking anyway because yeah, Covid.We believe that secretly she wants to be a pug-cat and that this is part of the transitioning. Nose-jobs are never cheap.She had the operation yesterday. She is always quiet in her carrier, as she is at the vet. But I know she is scared to death by the way that she behaves. It breaks your heart, but if you have a pet you also have a responsibility to care for them.

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The operation and (slight) recovery took about three hours. We picked her up. She looked like death warmed-up with a cone collar, but she crawled out of her carrier onto my lap on the way home and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the massage and rubs that I gave her.She has spent today sleeping in my wardrobe, drooling into the cone, and generally looking rough. Nevertheless she is totally up for belly rubs and a brush, as she cannot care for her self at all. As of writing this she has not eaten or drunk a thing, and of course I want her to.

The day before her operation she received a care-package in the post (her first ever mail) from her Katzen Tante in Germany. She was so excited to sniff/smoke her catnip, and to eat all of the yummy strips of jerky for cats.  That was pre-op and I am sure it gave her the strength to go through it.  Right now she won’t touch a thing.

I blew off my training class at the gym tonight, just in case anyone needs proof as to how much I care about her.

I hope that they have got all of the cancer out, and that it does not crop up somewhere else.  So yeah.

UPDATE. Twenty four hours later.

We loosened her collar last night and she finally ate and drank little water.  She stayed hidden all day today, but I am just home from the radio studio, 21:00.  She came out and let me take her collar off and I massaged and groomed her for a long while, and she ate food which we laced with cat painkiller!  She is now out on the balcony.  

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