Category Archives: Perfume Reviews

CQ’S WTF CV19 LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

CV19 LOCKDOWN WEEK 4. 

Continuing with the luxury version of lockdown, and a flicker of light for next week.

Saturday 4 April – Friday 10 April. 

The Austrian government rolled out a plan this week, one of which in theory sounds great.  There is going to be a staggered opening of well, everything.  Small shops, meaning those of less than 400 square meters, will reopen on the 14th of April.  Next Tuesday.  Our business falls into that category.  All the bigger stores, and the HAIRDRESSERS will reopen on the 1st of May.  Which is really the second because the first is a national holiday.  The fact that we have just had four weeks of some kind of forced holiday plays no role. A holiday is a holiday I guess.    Restaurants and hotels are expected to be reopened in the middle of May, although I don´t know quite how that will pan out yet.  No public events until at least the end of June.  I have no doubt there will some kind of second wave of CV19, but with the continuing mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets and stores, and with the lockdown rules staying in place until the end of April, I hope it will be a handleable amount.  I mean this virus is not gonna suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke, so we are going to have to learn to live with it.  Gotta get back to a life boys and girls.

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I have been shopping with a mask.  Have had to remember to wipe off my lipstick before I put it on as my lips stick to the material.  Which was pretty funny the first time I wore it.  Breathing through my nose steamed my glasses up and trying to breath through my mouth whilst my lips were glued to the mask?  Honestly.  By the time I got to the checkout I thought I was gonna pass out.  Glasses totally foggy – the checkout lady, (I know all of them) took one look at me and started laughing.  And then I started to laugh and we both ended up in tears.  Seriously, gonna take some time to get used to this shit.  I have coloured cotton masks at the moment, but have ordered a couple of black ones.  Will have to color coordinate with  my outfits if they are gonna become a basic, so black it is.  There is technique to wearing them and I am getting better at it.

The highlight of the week was finally getting a date as to when the hairdressers would reopen.  (This would not be a CQ post if I did not mention hair obvs.). My stylists, (yes I have two actually) messaged me at the butt-crack of dawn on Wednesday morning.   What time would I like my appointment on the day that they open?  07:30 thank you very much.  So I will be leaving my growing out buzz cut until then, so we can put a style back into it more easily.  Whooohoooo.  Priorities.

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Meanwhile I have been doing my workouts and bike rides.  No walking.  I have actually slowed myself down a little and have spent several afternoon on the balcony, reading and lying in the sun.  That has been good for me.  Also watched all the Bourne movies, as did my cat.  Looking forward to Killing Eve III starting next week.

So the shop will be open next week, which is brilliant.  It is high season for the bike part and we have most of our turnover in these couple of months, so it is kind of crucial.  Full  on cookie production will not start until the restaurants re-open, although there will always be some in the shop.  I am hoping I might have time to clean the windows in the apartment.

We are going to visit Oma and Opa for lunch on Easter Sunday.  They will eat first, inside, and then Oma will feed us at the table out in the garden, just as she does with the birds.  As fit and active as the are, they are both in their eighties and who knows what next year will bring.  No way we are not dropping in for a socially distanced schnitzel.

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LOCKDOWN PERFUMES OF WEEK 4.   

Vero’s NAJA.  Lutens La Fille de Berlin.  Hermès Galop.  Malle’s Superstitious and Rose & Cuir.  NVC Mohur.  Chanel N°19 Parfum.

Peace out.    This too shall pass.

“Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me, other times I can barely see, lately it occurs to me,  what a long strange trip it’s been.”  Truckin’. The Grateful Dead.  

CQ.             

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mood Scent 4: Wellbeing Wonders

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Wellbeing Wonders. OK, hopefully we are all in some kind of lockdown and crew taking it seriously. Australia seems to be taking a very lasses faire attitude so far but I think that will become more rigid as the disease progresses here. Already Covid19 has changed the way we interact, work, shop, live and love. I’m off for the foreseeable future. Jin is still working on the trains, they are essential service. I’ve started meeting friends across the road in our cemetery, 2m apart on picnic rugs. It’s BYO food and beverage. LOVELY sitting in the warm autumn sun or the dappled shade. So, what fragrances are we thinking about to help our mind stay healthy in this time of mainly solitary living? Are we choosing meditative, fun, deep, warm or comforting scents? Maybe we want super weird or bombastic things that we could never wear in the workplace? Are you revisiting, culling, testing or going with what you know? My line up is eclectic for different moods.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Also, while this is a lighthearted look at isolation, illness and the current pandemic: on a serious note: Please Stay Home. As much as you, or your work, can. The less people you interact with the less transition of this insidious and hideous virus can occur. If you get Covis19 and go to hospital none of your friends or family can visit. You will die alone with tubes sticking out of you and not enough people to care for you. Please Stay Home.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Wellbeing Wonders 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: Wellbeing Wonders

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CQ`S WTF CV19 LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

CV19 LOCKDOWN WEEK 3.

The beginning of this week marked half way through the official four week lockdown. I am fully aware that I have the easiest of lockdowns but nevertheless continue to journal them.

Saturday 28 March – Friday 3 April.

Three weeks into the lockdown now, and it looks like we might have some easing of the restrictions after the Easter weekend. I am hopeful that we will be able to reopen our business. There is no doubt that our behaviour will have to change though, as a nation. Social distancing, face masks, number of people in the shops and so on. This is the foreseeable future. But so be it.

Had a Zoom meeting with some friends in different places around the world, including NYC. One of the guys was riding a bike through downtown. As he rode along 6th Avenue, he showed us the empty and desolate space. We all have disaster movies burned into our brains, and this looked like a scene out of one of them. Dismal.

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Monday was still Monday, the mood matching. Woke up to snow and freezing temperatures, but that did improve throughout the day. Ran for 45 minutes in our underground parking garage. My knees hurt the next day, I bloody hate running, and in reality, it is gonna take more than a pandemic to get me to do it regularly. Which means I quit.

Wearing face masks in the supermarkets will be mandatory as of the coming Monday, and also where there are larger groups of people. I ordered a material one, which I should get tomorrow. There are some people walking round looking like stormtrooper rejects, I wonder if they can breathe at all?

I did vacuum this week, but things still not bad enough to clean the windows. Watched the third series of Ozark.

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Managed a 42km ride on my carbon frame Rocky Mountain. I have been riding an e-bike for the last couple of years, and it is most excellent fun to be back on a light bike. We rode through the country side, where there is next to no traffic at the best of times. Nothing looked wrong, and made you wonder it was all just a dream?

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Chris took grocery shopping over to his parents yesterday. They are well into their eighties and fall into the high risk category, although it did take someone in their town to give Oma a bollocking for doing her own shopping during the first week of the lockdown. We never come back empty-handed from their place and yesterday was no exception. There is a small biscuit that is very popular in Austria during the Christmas season. “Vanillekipferl” – and to some they are the Holy Grail of all the “Weihnachtskekse”. It is an unwritten law that these are only made at Christmas time. (Actually knowing the Austrians it probably is written down somewhere.) These are my very favourite biscuits in the whole world. Oma had baked me a boxful and sent them home with Chris. This act of kindness totally blew me away.

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It was Vero´s birthday this week.

I had a text from Neela early Wednesday morning saying “Trump is dead.” I knew that it could not be true, but confess to checking my BBC updates! (I assumed she meant that he was dead because of his horrific handling of the whole pandemic. ) Before I could message back I got another one – “April Fool.” Still laughing.

LOCKDOWN PERFUMES OF WEEK 3.

NVC Mohur – several times. Vero’s Rozy Extrait and Kiki EdP. Malle’s Superstitious. and PoaL. Hermès Cuir d’Ange.

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A few people asked me if I could put a photo up of my buzz cut, on Instagram or here in the post. Over my dead and mangled body. But …. I spent the best part of an hour this morning taking selfies. Cringe. Close up ones, and then ones in the mirror. I sought help from my daughter, who suggested I try a few more poses. Scream. Seriously who bothers with this shit? But I did learn something from the close ups, apart from never taking them again – I have a lot more wrinkles on the right hand side of my face, no doubt caused from only ever sleeping on that side. Time to switch.

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You guys know that I know how serious this is don’t you? May your weekend have some joy in it regardless.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow, but if we are wise, we know there’s always tomorrow.” Lean on Me. RIP Bill Withers. 1938 – 2020.

CQ.

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CQ’S WTF CV19 LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

CV19 LOCKDOWN WEEK 2. 

Deadlines know no lockdown.  Here I am still running against the clock.

Saturday 21 March – Friday 27 March  (Writing this Friday morning.)

As I said last week we are doing the  “arse-in-the-butter” form of lockdown where I am living.  I cannot and will not complain for a second.  Yes it is serious. No it is not like in so  many other countries.  Our government tells us every day we cannot let up for a second in the way that we have to live out lives right now. Money will start to be paid out next week for those suffering loss of income.  Our shop falls into that category.   Social distancing has been in full swing for the last two weeks and and starting to show some positive results maybe, the predictions and cases matching what was suggested at the beginning. There are idiots.  There are corona parties.  But it is at this point a very small percentage. Some people are as dumb as wallpaper.

My husband went out and bought me hair clippers last Saturday.  Yes, that is an essential item.  I have been planning the hair buzz for the last couple of days, and am about to do it.  Today, 28 March at 18:30 CET live on Instagram.  Drop in since you will all be at home anyway.  Of course I am terrified, but the fear of my hair being too long outweighs it.

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It was five years ago this week that Vero launched the two Rozys in Milan.  Memories came up in my FB feed.  (One of the terrible side effects of the lockdown is that I have reopened my FB page.).

Tara brought to my attention that David Goggins was gonna do a 60 minute live-on-social -media workout on Monday.  We did it together.   It was hardcore to say the least.  Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups.  10 second breaks if you needed one.  It took me two days to recover properly.  We are going to do it again tomorrow.   After we had finished the workout, we chatted briefly about David Goggins.  Tara told me how inspirational his book was and that I should read it.  Yesterday when I came home from a run, I found a copy of the book in my letter box.  Tara had a copy sent to me.  I cried, really.  It changed my whole day and cheered my soul.  Love in the times of Corona.  That kindness will remain with me forever.  I had to put the book down to write this post.

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I made cookies during the week to share with the supermarket ladies and friends..  Baking makes feel I have some sort of control.

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My mother kept journals for the last twenty-five years of her life.  Each year’s journal has a large envelope that is full of the postcards, magazine and newspaper cuttings, letters, birthdays cards along with it.  I have about fifteen years of the journals here in my home and the other ten years or so are still in the UK.  I brought the suitcase that I keep them in up from the basement and am starting to re-read them.   She wrote them all exactly how  she spoke, and it is a great joy.  It is particularly interesting to see that she wrote every single haircut she got down.  Sometimes with a little drawing of the new cut, and always commenting as to whether Jane or whoever had done a good job or not.  Those who know me will find that hilarious and haunting!

IMG_2773Some of Mum´s journals.  

I started to run this week.  Have not run in twenty years.  And I am smugly satisfied that I have not peed myself yet.

The UK is now on lockdown, and about time, and Boris J is immersing himself in his Churchill wanna-be role.  The country pulling together in that oh-so-British way.  I would expect nothing less.  I hope it is not too little, too late.  Having talked with people in NYC via Zoom, I just cannot imagine how terrifyingly bad it is there.

LOCKDOWN PERFUMES OF WEEK 2. 

I am still wearing perfume.  L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer.  Neela Vermeire Mohur.  Hermès Musc Pallida Oil layered with Cèdre Sambac.  Chanel Boy.  Chanel N°19 Pafum and Lutens Iris Silver Mist in the evenings.

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I have never been bored in my life, and I am not bored now.   My main concern is do I buzz my hair 20mm or 15mm?

Yes of course I know how bloody serious this all is.  It is a pandemic.  I am not stupid.

How has your week been?

“It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone),  It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)”.   REM. 

CQ.    

There were around a thousand deaths in Italy over the last twenty-four hours, and nearly as many in Spain.  I dare not look at NYC. I have Italian friends who will have to lockdown even longer.  My heart breaks.

 

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CQ’S WTF CV19 LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

CV19 LOCKDOWN.

 

The world over now we are all in some sort of lockdown.  Not just me.  I am a pretty up beat person, and have a very dark sense of humour.  I also have an extreme panic disorder.  Balancing them all is a skill I am having to learn.  And rather quickly.

I have no idea how these posts will be laid out, or how they will progress, which is fine since no one had a bloody clue about anything right now.

I live in a wealthy area, which includes a lake and mountains.  That does not mean I am rich.  What it does mean is that I can only comment on what is happening here in my vicinity.   ABR has readers from all over the world and I wanna know what is happening where you live.

I have been in permanent freak-out mode over the snail’s pace that both the UK and the USA have been moving at.  I see that thing are finally shutting down and people are being told to keep to the social distancing rules.  That means at least two meters away from each other.  And no you cannot go for a picnic, or a burger, or down the pub.  Nor to your friend’s house for coffee.  Absolutely NOT.

After mumbling to ourselves about how awful it was in China, but so far away, and then seeing it moving closer to home in Milan, (but spending more time wondering if the perfume show would be cancelled or not) we find ourselves in lockdown.

AUSTRIA.  Monday March 16th.

All the shops are closed.  Our business too.  Supermarkets, pet stores, banks, chemists, and the post are still up and running.  Otherwise it is deader than a dodo.  As many firms as possible have switched to home office.   Some of the counties are in quarantine. We are not yet.  We can go out and walk, ride bikes, or run.  We have to be alone or with people that we live with.   I was very touched when I walked  down a side street to the supermarket and ahead of me were two young boys playing football.  When they saw me approaching, they grabbed the ball and ran way up off of the road to get at least twenty meters out of my way.

I am as terrified of getting no hair cut as I am of the virus.  Already planning a buzz.  It has only just begun and the the sun is shining,  everyone is upbeat, this could be fun.

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Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th

Wearing black latex gloves to go shopping obviously.  Can’t be doing the white ones.  I was slightly worried about my in-laws, 81 and nearly 88.  But when I called them they had been biking, preparing their potato patch for planting, and had made bread.  I don’t know what is happening in the cities, but it seems the lockdown is mostly working.  There will always be those who think it does not apply to them. We have a 34 year old prime minister, and him and his cronies, which also include a lot of women, are doing a great job.

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My good friend left a chunk of fresh Parmesan outside the shop for me to collect.  Social distancing of about 4km. I see no reason to drop my cheese standards.   Supermarkets are full, and open normal hours.  Very quiet though.  People going out of their way to avoid each other.  Excellent.  Went for a bike ride with aforementioned good friend.  We kept at least two meters between us the whole way and sat on each end of along bench to talk.  Obedience is second nature to us.  LMAO.

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I brought weights and a bar home from the gym.  However weird this shit gets I will train most days.  I ride my bike for cardio and might start to run.  Probably not though,  I hate running.

It is Friday as I write this.  I can hardly bear to hear the figures of the deaths in so many countries.  Our lockdown was extended for nearly another month today.  Goal being 13th of April.  Somehow I doubt it.  It is a f***ing pandemic and I wonder what part of that people do not get?  But they will.

LOCKDOWN PERFUMES OF WEEK 1. 

I was in no mood to wear any of my more regular scents, and found beauty in some of the less frequently worn of my collection.

Amouage UBAR.  Amouage Opus III.  Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle.  Neela Vermeire Mohur EdP and Trayee.

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Share your thoughts , good and bad, positive and negative, and of course the perfumes you find yourself reaching for.  Many things unite us, but none more so than our fragrances.

Don´t stand so, don´t stand so, don’t stand so close to me.   STING. 

CQ

 

 

 

 

 

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Mxxx. by Eris Parfums

Gentle Reader, I hope all is well with you and yours at this strange and anxious time. Val the Cookie Queen will be starting a weekly coronavirus lockdown journal this Saturday. In the meantime, let’s try and distract ourselves with  perfume. 

Notes: Blue Ginger, Mace, Saffron, Olibanum, Pink Peppercorn,  Cacao, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Patchouli, Benzoin, Castoreum, 7% Natural Ambergris, Pierre d’Afrique (Hyraceum), Green Vanilla.

I feel like Mxxx. is winking at me. It is knowingly playing with a few perfume tropes but you need to be in on the joke to appreciate it fully.

The original Mx. was a warm and inviting comfort scent with accords of gingerbread and saffron over light woods and cosy musks. With this 2019 Extrait de Parfum reboot, perfumer Antoine Lie has added an animalic twist as well as increased strength.

 

 

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Mxxx. starts out sweet: a swirl of vanilla and chocolate with a nice sprinkling of saffron still present. At this stage you might feel you already know everything about this perfume – yet another sugary confection. But no.

It mellows and darkens from creamy yellow/orange to deep brown. It transforms into dark chocolate praline with a background of salty feline fur. It matures and becomes a more grown-up affair in a matter of minutes. This effect is achieved by taking a cacao note and undercutting it with ambergris (the real deal no less). The result is a deceptively simple on the surface but on closer inspection, a seductive underbelly is revealed. This is my favourite part of the scent’s evolution. The moreish combination of cacao and ambergris shows just why salted caramel has become so popular.

Featuring the unholy trinity of castoreum, hyraceum and ambergris, you’d be forgiven for thinking this would be eye-wateringly sexual. It’s not quite. Somehow Lie has kept these beasts on a leash. It is more slinky and overtly suggestive than outright skanky. I am irritatingly squeamish but find it wearable.

The base is more familiar territory. It’s like one of those robust Middle Eastern sandalwood fragrances studded with spice, incense and oud. (Anyone remember Tom Ford’s Sahara Noir?) Its voice drops several octaves and in contrast with the first half of the perfume, now reads as more traditionally masculine.

Mxxx. has a good amount of throw and excellent longevity. It left a lovely sheen on my skin which shows the high content of perfume oil.

Maybe you’d like to appear as if butter wouldn’t melt but also hint at a saucy side.

Maybe you’d like a fluffy, cosy scent that flips the script later on.

Or maybe you’d like a fluid fragrance that covers the spectrum from feminine to masculine in one seamless flow.

You’ll find Mxxx. works on a number of levels.

 

damian

 

Were you a fan of the original Mx? Have you tried Mxxx?

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Mood Scent 4: Gorgeous Gourmands

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! With the first Monday of this month the crew are looking at gorgeous gourmand fragrances. As much as I Pooh-Poohed gourmands in my early perfume years they seem to have grown on me. There’s so much choice from bakery to berry, cheesecake and chocolate to fairy floss and rice pudding. All are edible, sweet, delectable and make up an enormous sector of the current scent selection available.

Obviously, these favourite choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your gorgeous gourmand favourites 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: Gorgeous Gourmands

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Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen.

“When they kick at your front door, How you gonna come?  With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?”  Guns of Brixton.  The Clash.  

This Tale takes place in the spring of 1990;  at our apartment in Amsterdam, just off of the Leidsestraat and but a two minute walk from the Leidseplein.   You couldn’t live more centrally.  It was my favourite apartment ever.

The apartment was on the first floor, and the flat door opened straight into one huge room.  There was a smaller room for storage and wardrobe, and a bathroom.  The stairs up from the main door were wooden and very narrow.

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Our apartment was one of these seen here.

 

It was around ten thirty in the evening.  Chris and I were sat around watching TV with a huge, as in a brick, of Afghan hashish on the table,  the room full of the fragrant smoke.  There was suddenly a bang downstairs and the sound people running up the stairs, past our flat, and up the next two flights of stairs.  There was a bit of a party animal who lived above us and we wondered if there was a connection.   We were extremely stoned, and tuned to every single movement.

 

We could hear them coming back down the stairs, yelling and hammering on doors along the way.   We were totally stoned and everything was going in a kind of slow motion, our senses were on high alert.  As they reached our landing, Chris got up with the intention of  quietly opening our door to peek through it.

In what was precision timing, Chris cracked the door open at exactly the same moment as there was an almighty loud thump on it.

A guy in plain clothes, screaming “Police” came flying in through the door with his gun pointed straight at us, another with a weapon standing in the doorway, and several more backup outside.  He kicked open the door to the smaller room, and the door to the bathroom.  All the while with his gun at the ready.  This happened at extremely high speed.   I sat there staring.

As the cop started to leave, we asked them what they were doing.  He replied that they were looking for some people.  Chris continued by asking what they had done, to which the cop who had been standing at the door replied, “a lot.”   And they left.

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A Smoking Gun. Roy Lichtenstein. 1968.

 

All the action, from coming in the door downstairs to leaving the building again, took less than ten minutes.  There were six guys and they were loud.  We found out the next day that there had been a robbery at the post office in one of the main markets in Amsterdam, not far from our place.   They had been told that the perpetrators were holed up in our building.

Sheesh.

CQ.              

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Frost by St. Clair Scents

Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Coriander, Petitgrain sur fleur, Meyer Lemon
Middle Notes: Honeysuckle, Rose Geranium, Elderflower, Petitgrain
Base Notes: Cistus, Labdanum, Vanilla, Vetiver, Cedar, Smoke, Clove

I went up to Edinburgh at the end of last year and had the pleasure of finally meeting up with crikey, whom I’ve known through the blogosphere for years now. In 2019 she set up the fabulous Instagram account @scentosaurs. Here, her model dinosaurs pose with perfume but paired with those joyous photos are heartfelt, literary snapshots sparked by the particular fragrance.

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From scentosaurs IG account

 

crikey loves indie perfumes and is much more adventurous than me. After sniffing a number of intriguing creations she kindly gave me a smaple of Frost released by American indie brand, St. Clair Scents in 2018. Perfumer Diane St. Clair produces artisanal, gourmet dairy products from her farm in Vermont and takes the same approach to perfumery, making small batches by hand influenced by the natural environment.

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I had wrongly assumed that Frost was all about cold, icy weather. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s actually named after the poet Robert Frost whose summer writing cabin is located near the perfumer’s HQ. I was only going to include an extract from the particular poem that inspired Frost but I had to share it in its entirety:

‘To Earthward’

Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of—was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Downhill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they’re gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt,
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain

Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.

The beginning of Frost is bright and zesty with the optimistic air of burgeoning love. Everything feels fresh, exhilarating and filled with a sense of boundless hope. Just below that are the sweet, tender florals of honeysuckle, elderflower and dewy roses. This is the stage where love has blossomed and all is well.

Beneath all that however, are circling wisps of smoke and spikes of spice; the foreshadowing of a heart that will eventually be charred and seasoned by the passing of a grand passion. This effect is softened greatly by a cloud of vanilla so the overall feeling is one of yearning rather than regret. The lovelorn is only focusing on the good times and longs to experience them all over again.

The fragrance ties in with the progression of the poem: we start out floating on air, enjoying the ‘sweet things’ and ‘sprays of honeysuckle’ as we travel closer and closer to the ‘bitter bark’ and ‘burning clove’, inevitably coming back down to earth. Still, the overall mood of the perfume is one of light, warmth and dreaminess.

The combination of the sparkling citrus top, delicate floral heart and vanillic resinous base works well. It’s far from a dupe, but imagine a featherlight, naturals-heavy version of Shalimar EDT and you’ll be close to the general vibe of Frost.

Being able to discern all the various facets from the start is like entering into a romantic liaison having already glimpsed how it will end, but being helpless – and unwilling – to do otherwise.

 

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Have you tried anything by St. Clair Scents?

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Memoire d’Une Odeur by Gucci

Notes: Roman Chamomile, Indian Coral Jasmine, Musks, Vanilla, Sandalwood and Cedarwood.

My signature scent for the late 90s was Gucci’s Envy. When I fell down the rabbit-hole about a decade later, I congratulated myself for unknowingly choosing a perfume authored by the masterful Maurice Roucel, who is responsible for the incomparable Musc Ravageur and Iris Silver Mist. I marvelled at how he had transformed green tea into something glossy and sexy.

In some ways, Gucci have pulled off a similar trick with their 2019 release Memoire d’Une Odeur. Chamomile is rarely used as a starring note, being both sedate and sedative. It’s hard not think of nice ladies in floral dresses sipping it as herbal tea in neat gardens. However, this composition takes this demure plant and polishes it until it gleams like an emerald before placing it in a setting that shows it off to its best advantage.

The perfumer is Alberto Morillas who has been creating blockbuster mainstream fragrances for years, from CK One and Aqua di Gio to Mugler Cologne and Daisy.

To be honest, I was so taken with the retro packaging the scent itself didn’t have a lot of work to do.

gucci memoire.jpg

Memoire d’Une Odeur rolls out a chamomile lawn; fresh and herbal – but not as grassy as Daisy – with a nice hint of tart citrus peel. I find the novelty of this and its satiny greenness pleasing. It possesses an easy stylishness while radiating a soft wistful mood. It gels with the idea of a scent that instantly connects you with a long-term memory. I can imagine the wearer floating away on it to summers’ past, when they believe life was simpler (even if it wasn’t).

Although the bottle and concept are nostalgic the fragrance is decidedly modern.

A silken jasmine weaves through the heart while pale woods and clean musks make up the rather predictable but perfectly adequate base. It stays green and shimmery throughout with the progression taking the form of a slow slide. I found that after the memorable beginning, it became quite quiet and longevity was average for an EdP.

This is not a fragrance of complexity or twists and turns. Neither could it be mistaken for niche but for a mainstream fragrance, it’s good. It’s the best example of a green floral you’re going to find at this price level (even if Gucci are hailing it a ‘mineral aromatic’). Whether civilian consumers feel the same is far from clear but it’s great to see Gucci releasing something different to the mass of berry bombs and candyfloss canons lining the shelves.

Why not take a trip down memory lane?

gucci memoire path.jpg

Have you tried Gucci’s latest mainstream release? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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