Tag Archives: Mood Scent 4

Perfumes That Work For Everyone Else But You – Mood Scent 4

You know what it’s like, you read all these rave reviews for perfumes that seem to be super popular with the cognoscenti or are venerated as classics. You go out of your way to try one with eager anticipation but after lifting your wrist to your nose you think “Nope”.

It’s a feeling of disappointment mixed with a touch of confusion as to why it didn’t work for you.

I don’t have the taste of most hardcore perfumistas so this tends to happen to me a fair bit. I’m not one for typically niche-style scents which are characteristically dark and heavy. I was gutted at the beginning of my perfume career because I wanted to be one of the cool kids and like the edgy stuff. Since then I’ve become fine with it but there are still some perfumes mismatches that stick.

So today, we – the Mood Scent 4 – are sharing those fragrances that feel as if everyone  gets them but us.

 

Mood scent purple

 

Feminite du Bois by Serge Lutens

I might as well start with the big one. Feminite du Bois with its rich cedar and stewed plum, represents all those Serge Lutens perfumes that I am far too fey to carry-off. They are the ones full of warm fruit and resinous woods that must be wonderful in cooler weather and give the wearer an air of chic with a touch of edge. Sadly that will never be me. I can only wear Uncle Serge’s more transparent and non-woody compositions such as the rooty Iris Silver Mist and the rose-violet veil of La Fille de Berlin. It’s not you FdB, it’s me.

feminite du

Chanel No.5 

It was a ground-breaker when released in 1921 and manages to retain its position as the most famous perfume in the world. No.5 is synonymous with class and effortless elegance. On me it is just too soapy and well, nondescript. I have a vintage parfum from Portia to give our mutual friend, Val the Cookie Queen and I imagine that is another experience entirely. She didn’t always love it so maybe one day it will click with me too. There is always hope. Apart from anything else, who doesn’t want to own that iconic bottle?

 

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Nahema by Guerlain

On paper this one should be perfect for me. I love Guerlain, I love rose, so why don’t I love Nahema? Each time I’ve tried it I’ve got an acidic green, metallic rose, which is not to my taste at all. I love roses which have a touch of sweetness but this is just plain sour on me. I have heard that it is one of those perfumes that is different on different people so I suspect my skin chemistry is the culprit. Shame.

 

nahema

 

Avignon by Comme des Garcons

Oh how I wanted to love the ultimate incense perfume by those proto-hipsters at CdG. I sprayed Avignon – probably too generously – on the back of my hand and inhaled. Jeez that thing was powerful. It nearly knocked me sideways. Straight-up, full-force Catholic frankincense clearly wasn’t for me. This led me to discover that I like my incense more subdued and preferably combined with another contrasting accord. The muted, woody incense of Passage d’Enfer with its waxy white lilies was the version that worked for me.

 

avignon

 

Knize Ten

Released in the 1920s and lauded as one of the best leathers of all time, Knize Ten sounded fantastic. Unfortunately it was oily, tough and scratchy on me. The good thing that came out of this less than positive experience was that once again, I found out what kind of leathers do work for me: those smoky, birch tar based leathers and softer suedes such as my holy grail Cuir de Lancôme.

 

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This is a fun one so hop on over to my blogging partners to see which notable scents missed the mark for Megan In Sainte Maxime, L’Esperessence and I Scent You A Day.

Now it’s over to you. Which perfumes that fell flat did you expect to love because everyone else did? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

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Mood Scent 4: Relaxing Perfumes

Shut out any distractions and put your feet up for a scroll through the perfumes that the Mood Scent 4 turn to when they want to kick back. I’ve chosen four very difference fragrances that all induce a feeling of calm in me. Not everyone uses fragrance for mood-altering purposes but I find it particularly useful for this and regularly choose my Scent of the Day based on how I feel that day, or how I’d like to feel.

 

 

Mood scent purple

 

 

Slowdive by Hiram Green

Neroli, Orange Flower, Tobacco Flower, Dried Fruit, Beeswax, Tuberose and Resins.

Imagine floating in a warm pool of honey while watching a beautiful orange-tinted sunset. That is the blissed-out feeling you get when wearing Slowdive. This tobacco/honey fragrance is full of the mellow fruitiness and hazy sunlight of early autumn. The languid feeling of summer still lingers but without that season’s oppressiveness. Walk through the orchard at harvest time and look ahead to an evening  cosying-up with the comforting scent of woodsmoke in the air. The hint of floral creaminess from tuberose adds to the languor.

slowdive

Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur

White Lily, Frankincense, Aloe Wood, Benzoin and White Musk

I associate quiet incense perfumes, such as this, with peace and a kind of meditative tranquillity. Instead of being restricted to the room where you’ve lit that stick of Nag Champa, you can take that soothing incense with you. Not all incense fragrances are relaxing though. Avignon by Comme des Garcons is an exemplar of the genre but it’s too powerful to enable me to unwind. Passage d’Enfer is a low-key, woody incense with the soft, waxy petals of lily to aid its gentility. You’re entering a cool, musty church and taking a moment to soak up the mystical atmosphere. I wear it on days when I’m feeling the need for a bit of centring.

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Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens 

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

This is the fragrance that descends on me like a calming fog; obliterating all annoyances.  It is the one I turn to when life is feeling just a little too harsh and I need something to buffer me from the world. The rooty iris is grounding, beautiful and supremely relaxing to the point of anathesatic. The stark, breath=taking beauty of it is enough to make the earth stop turning for a brief moment. It’s a fragrant form of respite and an escape route to another place where is all is well.

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Rahele by Neela Vermeire Creations

Green Mandarin, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Violet Leaf, Osmanthus, Rose, Magnolia, Jasmine, Iris, Violet, Cedar, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Patchouli and Leather.

I’ve always found osmanthus to be a dreamy floral scent. Its the aroma of ripe apricots caught on a cool breeze. Rahele is a composition based on osmanthus, accented with other muted florals to create a perfume with the same meditative quality you sometimes get when spending time in nature.  It possesses space and air, giving the wearer lots of room to breathe.

 

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While you’re taking time out to do a bit of reading, carry on at Megan In Sainte Maxime, I Scent You A Day and L’Esperessence to see their laid-back perfume choices.

 

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Is there a perfume in your collection that you find relaxing?

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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.

 

 

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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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Mood Scent 4: First Love Perfumes

Today, we as the joint blogging project Mood Scent, 4 are sharing the first perfumes we fell in love with. What memories do they recall? How do we feel about them now?

Unlike many British teenage girls in the 1980s, I didn’t go through a phase of wearing soft, feminine fragrances like Anais Anais or Lou Lou. No, I went straight for the hard stuff…

 

Mood scent purple

 

Obsession by Calvin Klein

Mandarin, orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, rose, coriander, tagete, armoise, oakmoss and amber

I bought a small bottle of Obsession on a school trip to France and vividly remember a friend asking to try some on the ferry home. I couldn’t believe she was expecting me to open the brand new bottle and let her be the first one to use it. Me being me, I complied without a word. That tells you how much I coveted that bottle and the scent within. Looking back now, this classic 1980s power perfume seems way too strong for a teenager but I loved it. A heavy, musky amber is just about the opposite of anything I’d wear today.

 

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Parfum d’Ete by Kenzo

Mahogany, green leaves, lily-of-the-valley, freesia, peach, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cycalmen, peony, narcissus, iris, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar, musk and amber 

I went through quite a love affair with Kenzo perfumes at one point. I bought and thoroughly enjoyed their excellent fruity florals Le Monde Est Beau and Ca Sent Beau.  I remember trying the now discontinued version of Parfum d’Ete on skin for the first time at a department store. By the time I reached the exit I was so smitten I turned around, went straight back to the counter and bought a bottle.  It’s a pleasant, breezy scent with plenty of heft despite its lightweight feel.  Although the name meaning “summer fragrance”, it actually comes across as rather spring-like with its tender florals and green shoots full of water.

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Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Sage, chamomile, verbena, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, rose, patchouli and oakmoss

I bought the 70s classic Aromatics Elixir when I started my first permanent office job and received lots of compliments on it. So much so that my mother, sister and boss all started wearing it too. It was unlike anything I’d come across before and I guess it was my first experience of a chypre. While I’d find it a bit too intense now, I still admire it. It’s such a distinctive, cohesive composition that is more than the sum of its parts, which are herbal, floral, woody and mossy.  My mum still wears it, 20 years later.

 

 

aromatics elixir

Envy by Gucci

Hyacinth, magnolia, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, iris, musk and woods

Owing to the popularity of Aromatics Elixir among those close to me, I had to find a new signature scent. I turned to Envy which had just been released in 1997 It was created by perfumer Maurice Roucel who composed the iconic Iris Silver Mist for Serge Lutens three years earlier and Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle three years later. It’s such a clever perfume in my book because it takes the green floral as a theme and turns it into something sleek, chic and subtly sexy.

 

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Unfortunately Esperanza isn’t up to joining us today but don’t miss the First Love Perfumes of Megan In Sainte Maxime  and I Scent You A Day.

 

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Please share your own fragrant first loves in the comments below!

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Night Out Perfumes – Mood Scent 4

We are four perfume bloggers from France, Holland, England and Wales posting on a different joint subject every couple of months.  Each time we pick a selection of  fragrances to fit a particular mood or occasion. You’ll find links to the other participating blogs at the end of the post. Our previous subjects have been Rainy Day Perfumes, Wedding Guest Perfumes and Mainstream Perfumes.

December marks the start of the party season, which for many will include various get-togethers with friends, family and work colleagues. It therefore seems a good time to discuss today’s topic of Night Out Perfumes.

I’ve chosen five different evening activities and matched them with five appropriate perfumes.

 

Mood scent purple

 

Dining at a Restaurant – Anima Dulcis, Arquiste

A perfume to match a meal has to be gourmand, but I have a hard time with much of this genre of fragrances because I’m not good with high levels of sweetness in my perfume (though I love it a little too much in food). Most gourmands take the sugary route with lots of vanilla, syrup and/or caramel, but that’s not the only option.

Anima Dulcis by Arquiste is a sophisticated chocolate scent inspired by a recipe for spiced cocoa kept by nuns for centuries. The chocolate accord is dark and spiked with spices and chilli. I should mention that I don’t pick up on any cumin if you’re super sensitive to it as I am.

Notes: Sesame Seed, Cinnamon, Oregano, Clove Buds, Cumin, Jasmine, Smoked Chili Infusion, Vanilla, Cocoa and Oriental-Chypre Accord.

 

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A Show at the Theatre – Bois des Iles Parfum, Chanel

If you’re going to be sitting in close quarters with people you don’t know for any length of time, it’s best to choose a perfume that is on the quiet side. This doesn’t mean it has to be dull however. Somewhat sadly, people don’t dress up for the theatre any more but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear a classy perfume.

Choose a fragrance that feels decadent but make it the Parfum concentration so it doesn’t draw more attention to you than what’s happening on the stage. Perfumer Ernest Beaux was inspired to create Bois des Iles for Chanel while at the opera. The sumptuousness of the theatre is reflected in this golden, sandalwood masterpiece.

Notes: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Neroli, Peach, Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Iris, Ylang-Ylang, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Benzoin and Musk.

 

bois des iles

 

Dancing at a Club – Superstitious, Editions des Parfums Frederic Malle

Conversely to the situation above, at a club anything goes. In fact you need a perfume that is able to compete for attention.  Superstitious is a rarity for me: a loud perfume that I love. Frothy aldehydes laced lavishly with jasmine float on top of a dusty and earthy vetiver.

It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy how the surface layer of peaches and cream contrasts with the dark and dirty base underneath. It starts off elegant but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Superstitious gets increasingly dishevelled as the night wears on.

Notes: Jasmine, Rose, Peach, Amber, Incense, Vetiver, Patchouli and Aldehydes.

 

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A Walk in the City – Rose de Nuit, Serge Lutens

Strolling along London’s Southbank is one of my favourite things to do. During December it’s particularly enjoyable because in the evenings the trees are festooned with twinkling lights and there’s always something festive going on. It’s a great option for a date because you can walk and talk, see what attractions are on offer and take in the views across the River Thames.

For a night like this, a nocturnal, leather-tinged rose seems to fit the bill. The Paris exclusive Rose de Nuit contains red roses and yellow jasmine petals smeared with beeswax and emitting a wanton undercurrent of animalic musk. There’s something raspy about it that creates a bit of a frisson.

Notes: Turkish rose, jasmine, apricot, amber, musk, sandalwood and beeswax

 

rose de nuit

 

Drinks at a Bar – Liqueur Charnelle, Parfumerie Generale

If you’re going to be imbibing alcohol then a boozy perfume seems the obvious choice. Like gourmands, I rarely come across fragrances with prominent alcoholic notes that I like. I’m drawn to the idea of them but when I put them on my skin they are often too strident.

Liqueur Charnelle by Parfumerie Generale is one of the few boozy perfumes that I really enjoy. The burn of cognac is mellowed by frozen raspberries sprinkled with pepper. It feels hedonistic in a very seductive way and it’s perfect for after-hours, grown-up fun.

Notes: Cognac, Dried Fruits, Lime (linden blossom), Grapes, Caramel, Vanilla, Black Pepper, Pink Pepper, Elemi, Amber, Raspberry, Coumarin and Tobacco. 

 

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Check out the Night Out Perfumes chosen by my fellow fragrance bloggers Megan in Sainte Maxime, I Scent You A Day and L’Esperessence.

 

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Which perfume do you usually turn to for a big night out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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