Tag Archives: Vero Profumo

February: A Month of Roses

At the start of February I joined Undina’s giveaway challenge (inspired by Chemist in the Bottle) to wear nothing but rose perfumes for the whole month. Being her usual fastidious self, Undina compiled a calendar with a different rose fragrance scheduled for each day. Me being me, I took a more scatter-bomb approach, grabbing whatever appealed on the day.

One of the positive side effects of the project, was that it made me go through my samples and decants to dig up the roses. I love rose perfumes anyway (obviously) but it was good to have the motivation to try – and use up – the samples and decants languishing around my house.

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Here’s what I wore over the course of the month –

Tobacco Rose by Papillon Perfumes (Full Bottle)

This is a  rose bush in a bottle with leaves, earth and hay. A rose found in early autumn to hold on to as nature reclaims summer’s florid show. You can take comfort from it in the same way you might from a walk in the woods. It’s a womanly, over-blown rose with depth and throw to spare. One spray will last all day and it’s one of the few perfumes I’ve been complimented on.

Rose Oud, By Kilian (Decant)

This was the first western oud fragrance I came across and it’s still my favourite. The quality of the velvety rose is outstanding and the combination of saffron and oud complement it beautifully. It really is a deep red rose in the middle of an arid desert.

Wild Roses by Aftelier Perfumes (Sample)

Mandy Aftel’s intention was to capture the rose in situ within the garden. It’s easy to forget that these flowers have such varied scents. At its heart we have a balsamic, honeyed rose but there are also subtle fruity and animalic facets. Taragon absolute represents the herb garden and the leaves of the rose bush, while patchouli roots it in the earth. It’s incredibly complex and potent, especially for an all-natural fragrance.

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Le Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens (Full Bottle)

I love the vintage pin-up look but while the clothes and make-up don’t suit me, I can wear a beautiful retro rose/violet scent like this one. The softly musky amber base makes for a perfect finish. Unlike a lot of fragrance by Serge Lutens, La Fille de Berlin has a transparency that makes it extremely wearable. I wear this from spring through autumn.

Rozy Voile d’Extrait, Vero Profumo (Sample)

Rose may be the most recognisable facet of this oriental tour de force but there is so much more going on here. Smoked honey, amber and fruit swirl and buzz on the skin with a vital intensity. When I first encountered it, Rozy represented to me the complexity and power of untamed feminine energy – and it still does. Perfumer Vero Kern is someone l hugely admire and I can’t imagine anyone else making a rose-centred perfume remotely like this one.

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Rose de Nuit, Serge Lutens (Full Bottle)

It was nice to give my bell jar an airing. Rose de Nuit is a rosy musk more than it is a pure rose fragrance. It’s not skanky or headache-y but oily and unctuous. It’s a nocturnal harlot in perfume form who doesn’t believe in any such thing as the walk of shame. She’s brazen but sophisticated and oh-so-enticing.

Mille et Une Rose, Lancome (Decant)

Appropriately enough I won this decant on Undina’s Looking Glass. Mille et Une Rose is a soft yet deep, somewhat sweet rose with an amber base and a trail of musk. It makes me think of one of those pretty peach coloured roses with a multitude of petals, circling around and around, layer after layer. It’s velvety, easy to wear and rather romantic.

Velvet Rose, Senoma Scent Studio (Sample)

Again from Undina’s prize package, Velvet Rose is a sparkling, dewy rose. It’s a frothy cascade of pale pink tea roses with a touch of greenery. Delicate but long-lasting, it has that vintage cosmetic association that I really love. The more I inhale it, the more I enjoy it. It’s incredibly pretty and joyful.

The Coveted Duchess Rose by Penhaligon’s (Sample)

This recent release is part of the Portraits collection.  At first I’m thrown by a metallic green note but this does fade in the heart which is a fresh and fruity rose soliflore with a swirl of powdery sweetness. The base is a rosy woody musk. Green and/or fruity roses aren’t really my style but it’s nicely done and will no doubt be popular.

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Vaara, Penhaligon’s (Full Bottle)

Vaara has such an original and vivid start that the first time I tried it I was a tad disappointed that it ended up being a light and linear rose perfume. Now I just enjoy it for what it is – a refreshing rose perfume to wear in the summer with its striking opening of tart quince, creamy saffron and a splash of rosewater.

 

Did you take part in the Month of Roses? How did you get on? Could you wear roses day after day?

 

 

 

 

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My Favourite Bottled Lavender – Kiki Extrait de Parfum by Vero Profumo

The ingenue grows up…

Notes: Cassis, Lavender Essence, Bergamot, Lemon, Caramel, Lavender Absolute, Geranium, Ambergris, Opoponax, Patchouli and Musk

 

Independent perfumers generally seem to me to make fragrances that feel a lot more personal. This is probably because they have the freedom to put so much of their own vision into them. Their creations often have strong characters that evoke a person, place or emotion. Vero Profumo’s Onda Voile d’Extrait triggered so many feelings in me, as did Rozy.

Another gem from Vero Kern that has my vivid imagination racing, is the fabulous Kiki Extrait de Parfum.

Only the alchemy performed by Vero could make the impossible possible: She created a lavender-centred perfume that even people who think they can’t abide lavender, fall in love with.

In Kiki, Vero turns the traditional use of lavender on its head. Instead of being cold, herbal and masculine-leaning she makes it warm, feminine and even flirty. Who would have thought it?

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I was already won over by the sprayable Kiki Voile d’Extrait as you can read here, but Kiki Extrait de Parfum takes me to new heights.

Its inviting from the very first encounter, welcoming me by rolling out a plush purple carpet. There’s no sharp lavender opening, just a sense of complete ease and abandon. The inspired use of caramel brings out that self-same facet found in Lavender Absolute and this is what transmutes the material from medicinal to sensual.

If Kiki Voile d’Extrait is an ingenue, then Kiki Extrait is the same woman a couple of years on; more polished and knowing but with the same joie de vivre.

Kiki is steeped in Paris.

The city is her playground as she spends the day free-wheeling with artists and intellectuals and the evening trysting with her amour. The couple whisper sweet nothings in a dimly illuminated corner booth…

 

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During a busy day at work I suddenly thought “Something smells really good, what did I put on today?”. The answer was Kiki Extrait. Even though it’s pure parfum which is designed to be dabbed rather than sprayed, it has enough throw for you to enjoy it as you concentrate on other things. It’s a multi-faceted jewel radiating soft amethyst light.

Perhaps its the tension between the cool tones of lavender and the warmth of caramel that makes it so addictive – the usually frigid Lavender softens and melts in Caramel’s heated embrace. Perhaps it’s the blackcurrant pulp which adds that surprising touch of nonchalance. Or maybe it’s simply her womanly yet playful nature that captures your heart.

Whatever it is, wearing Kiki is pure Parisian pleasure.

 

Do you know Kiki? Have you found a lavender to love?

 

 

 

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Onda Voile d’Extrait by Vero Profumo  

 

 

Push me, pull me.

Onda means “wave” and we are talking tidal. On first spray, the scent rushes over my skin and fills my senses, obliterating all else.

It is a multi-sensory, immersive experience. I inhale its aroma and I see an inky ocean set aflame, I feel warm tar sticking to my skin and I hear a low, wanton growl. Its depths seem phathomless, its heart impenetrable.

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Listing notes seems rather inconsequential because Onda is so much more than its perfectly constructed parts, but for the record it has the following structure:

Top notes: Bergamot, lemon, tangerine, ginger, coriander, basil

Heart notes: Iris, ylang-ylang, honey

Base notes: Vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, ambergris

Forget any misgivings you may have about it being described in various quarters as a veitver-loaded fragrance. The composition transcends that material and any other categorisation for that matter.

While Onda is an extreme and uncompromising creation it’s also incredibly intoxicating. I’m gasping for air while at the same time, wishing to be submerged once more.  I breath it in deeply, feeling the need to possess the fearless qualities imbued within it. Anything seems possible, all bets are off and every risk is worth taking.

Onda has no limits and encourages me to push against mine.

Spice crackles, birch tar burns and vetiver smokes.  A trickle of honey and a handful of petals are included to placate the Spirits.  A spell of protection is cooked up on your skin which will ensure you only let the right one in.

Like all of Vero Kern’s extraordinary fragrances, Onda has a strong personality and a complex one at that. Her power is potent; a vibrating intensity that coruscates across the night sky, captivating all those in her wake.

Talk of power and strength might make you think this is merely a macho show of force; more about business than pleasure. Not so. Onda has a fluid sexuality that is raw, unrestrained and head-spinning. All this without being skank-filled.

It’s a perfume to anoint yourself with, like some ancient rite. Primal and instinctual, but never base or beastly. I find it as decadent as I find it daring. It is a breathtaking fragrance and fantastically chic. Wear it to set the right conditions for drama and get ready for the consequences.

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It fascinates me how occasionally a fragrance will suddenly click with you at a particular time in your life. I am finally ready to inhabit Onda and have Onda inhabit me.

2015 was a year of unprecedented personal growth for me. I have challenged myself in ways I would never have done previously. Now I have Onda on my skin, there’s no telling how or where this journey will take me next, but I can’t wait to find out.

 

Do you have a fragrance that inspires a sense adventure or feels like a protective cocoon?

 

 

 

 

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