at Sniffapalooza. It was my 'first sniff' of the day,
and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Michel Almairac's works for Bond No. 9
have been good to me. I started with the effervescence
of Scent of Peace, moved on to the suntanned
skin scent of Fire Island, and fell for Bryant Park's girly
pinkness. West Side's become a staple of honeyed-rose
comfort. His fifth scent for Bond no. 9, though, may
become my favorite of the lot before the year is out.
Bond no. 9's Coney Island does what it sets out to do--it is
a 'fun' scent in every sense of the word. This ain't Mitsouko,
people. Nor is it meant to be. It smells young, and carries
itself like it has no worries in the world. It's not a particularly cerebral fragrance, either, but it does provide me with just enough complexity to keep me interested. The structure of the fragrance itself is distinctly pyramidal. A very realistic 'margarita mix with booze' note sets the stage, not too sweet, and not nearly as synthetic as one would fear. This is that same combo of tequila and acid green stuff that, ahem, scented far too many parties than I want to admit to. It was a pleasure to sniff a cocktail note that hadn't been sugared to the point of smelling like a Jolly Rancher candy, and an even bigger pleasure to find that it evolved past its boozy top notes and into the promised caramel/chocolate middle.
The margarita mix does linger on, but on me, it is the caramel note that makes its presence known. This is a caramel off in the distance--like the scent of caramel popcorn from a passing vendor, for instance, rather than the caramel-on-steroids blast one gets from a fragrance like Aquolina's Pink Sugar. I must admit, after having heard the notes, I did expect something far sweeter. But Coney Island, while 'fun,' distinguishes itself by restraining its sweetness. Yes, it's a gourmand...but one with a bit more restraint than your typical Eau de Cotton Candy. For a little while, it's almost like eating caramel popcorn while drinking margaritas...which, as far as I'm concerned,
sounds like a damn good time.
All that aside, Coney Island distinguishes itself on my skin in drydown. After a good half hour or so, it's a wonderfully clean, slightly salty, cedar and sandalwood blend. Edges are slightly muted with vanilla. Faint traces of its earlier caramel and tequila still linger, but for the most part, it feels light and airy.
I can easily see myself wearing this to a State Fair, or on the boardwalk, or while wearing shorts and a tank top waiting for a roller coaster--places where my other summer staples may fail to satisfy. It didn't feel right to be wearing Goutal's Eau du Sud while I stuffed my face with funnel cake last summer, for example, but I've a feeling Coney Island would fit right in.
by Dora Truong
This refreshing melange of citrus and rose comes from Parfumerie 06130.
Crisp citrus opens like a winsome smile. As the notes of pamplemousse
fade the rose emerges with subtle invigoration. The notes list vervain which
the herbalist Jeanne Rose says is a natural tranquilizer. So one can be
calmed but stimulated with this light summer-weight scent.
When my head feels heavy or I am saddled with indecision, this is my antidote. Some peerfumes just make me smile and this is one. As soon as the mist hit the blotter, I knew I had to make it mine. Because, to quote a certain scentineasta "It is all about the drydown," the instant grin can be dangerous territory. So, I waited. The delivery was there in the form of delicate pink petals and sillage. Yuzu Rouge is a keeper!
by Kathy Patterson
According to the Parfums MDCI Web site, they are a small team of passionate perfumers who work by the concept that fine fragrance should be treated as art, not as a commodity. It is clear to see that the opulence of the Renaissance, with its tradition of incredible sculptural works, is the inspiration for their line. The magnificent flaçons in which their perfumes are sold are essentially glass columns, or pillars, as in classical architecture, that are topped with either a crystal or Limoges porcelain bust. They are in themselves works of art (hence the high price). But what of the scents housed within?
When I first dabbed on each of these fragrances, I thought, "these are not worth $600! There is absolutely nothing special about any of these." After sniffing them again, I still had that thought... but I did notice that the scents had changed almost dramatically into something far more special than my first perception led me to believe.
"Ick, a typical men's fragrance with citrus and lavender," was my first thought on this one. True, that's what it smells like at first, an anonymous drugstore aftershave. Then bam! Tangy pineapple! I sniffed again and detected herbs, then a floral quality, something a little powdery, a cross between sandalwood and violets. The barest hint of leather. And then the amber arrives along with a bit of musky vanilla. In the drydown, there is still a bit of a bright tangy note, the tea most likely, and a dash of the lavender, that keeps things lively. And then much further along, the amber takes center stage.
Although intended to be a masculine fragrance, I find this to be extremely unisex, and it is my favorite of the line.
At first sniff, this one was the most interesting of the bunch. The opening is a bit of bergamot garnished with a healthy dose of cardamom. The scent is soft, almost powdery, and nearly gourmand in quality. Plenty of vanilla blends with lavender in the drydown, with a barely detectable woodsy base. Invasion Barbare is oddly named, as it is far from barbaric, nor is it invasive. It is in fact a very comforting scent, with a cuddly masculinity.
This starts out with a burst of citrus and the hint of white flowers. There's also a very perceptible vanillaic sweetness, that makes the composition start off much like a very sophisticated lemon meringue pie. The ylang and jasmine are very subtle, which I appreciate, and the sandalwood lends a powderyness to the drydown.
An almost boozy opening, heavy on the peony, with a slight tropical sweetness, transforming into a very dry rose with a little of the "cold cream" quality of YSL Paris. There's a wee bit of powdery violet adding a bit of sweetness to the end, with the cedar and vetiver playing very minor roles. This is a delightful rose scent, almost happy, yet with a grown-up seriousness.
Perhaps one should wear this while listening to my favorite opera, Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio although I do not think of ylang-ylang and tuberose when I think of a Turkish harem (which I will admit, is very seldom, if ever). Very much an elegant chypre fragrance (oakmoss or not) Enlevement opens up with lots of white flowers and a little bit of citrus. Soon the white flowers fade to allow a bit of rose to peek through with the sweetness of vanilla and a powdery sandalwood note. The slightly humid note of the tuberose persists through the drydown.
Thanks to Nancy of Fishbone Fragrances for getting a set of MDCI samples into my hot little hands. -KP
Rose Absolue Perfume
by Joyce Boyce
The quintessence of the tamed rose, it is a creative masterpiece
for a single-flower fragrance that brings together the rarest roses
from East and West. Your rose garden in a bottle joins the
Bulgarian, Turkish, Damask, May, Egyptian and Moroccan roses
together so beautifully and with such fluidity that you're femininity
is forever renewed.
There is no migraine headache ready to pounce on you, no heady
burst of rose looking for it's quieter and more refined side. You get an almost immediate basenote drydown into a soothing, comforting note that although may have to be reapplied every 4 hours or so, you'll find part of the pleasure is simply opening the bottle to be reminded you are transcendent and on a journey not to be ended too quickly.
Powder Flowers is a sweet powdery floral, more like rose and violet than rose and jasmine.
The powdery quality is evident from first sniff, and it eclipses a certain other perfumer’s Baby
Powder scent by a mile. Montale’s powder is soft and sweet, with just a wee suggestion of
that plastic doll’s head smell that some baby products have.
In the drydown, the cedar tentatively emerges, but the addition of wood does not alter the
soft powderyness one bit. And the vanillaic quality of the tonka bean only adds to the
sweetness. Although I’m not doing a side-by-side comparison, I am reminded of Caron’s
Farnesiana, with its extreme sweetness and the overall powdery characteristic of many Caron fragrances.
Tom Ford Private Collection
Perfume Review by Tracy Figler
I slept with Tom Ford last night.
When the last of my Spring Sniffa purchases arrived late yesterday, a low cloud ceiling hung over the Sierra. Biting wind and stinging hail blew in from the west. With a wintry storm pressing down on the mountains, a long night with Tobacco Vanille fit the bill. One of the twelve new releases in Ford’s ambitious and pricey Private Collection, Tobacco Vanille is a cold-weather spice fragrance.
Using one of my favorite testing methods, The Bedtime Technique,
I sprayed the backs of my hands half an hour before slipping under the covers.
For heavy sleepers, this may be a waste. For me, awakened often by the
mere hum of an expanding universe, it is the perfect way to experience the development of a scent, and to see how it looks in the morning.
To my nose, four notes appear. Out of the bottle comes cinnamon -- potent
and, I’m sorry to say, ordinary. Cedar shavings hang behind it, more
prominent in sillage than on the skin, but minor. Of course there is vanilla,
but it is more white noise than note, and demurs to the oily, wet cinnamon.
Tobacco with a tannic edge emerges slowly and remains until the end.
Even for a spice lover, an excess of cinnamon hijacks this fragrance. It is a bully.
Other than the arid west, few climates can provide the rarefied conditions this demanding scent requires. Ford’s roots include Santa Fe, which may be where this vaporous blend would be most at home. In the tonic mountain air of New Mexico, always redolent of burning pinion, Tobacco Vanille would be a natural. In an office in Manhattan, it would be cloying – out of character and out of its element.
Ford’s packaging is impeccable. Gold foil and embossed brown paper cover the rectangular box. An equally handsome brown bottle matches the scheme, making a classic and elegant presentation. 1.7 ounce EDP, $165.
Guerlain's Cherry Blossom
By Juvy Santos
In honor of the official blooming of sakura in Japan, I've decided to do a
series of blogs on what might be my favorite flower.
In Japan, the blossoming of cherry trees is a serious business.
There's a 'cherry blossom' forecast that tracks the trees in bloom, from
the south and to the north every year. Sakura products saturate the market.
You can get anything from sakura tofu, sakura noodles, sakura bento,
EVERYTHING. Right now I'm having sakura tea, in fact, and when I get home,
I'll have half of a treat known as sakura-mochi. BUT that's an entirely different
post. Back to the subject at hand.
You KNOW you're a crazed Japanofiendperfumista when you realize that
you need, want, crave and are crazy about this fragrance. You KNOW it's
bad when you make the Saks SA find one of the last few .25 oz parfum
bottles in the United States and have them ship it to your door, and, not
even blinking at the price, smack down cash for it.
You KNOW it's even worse when you take said bottle with you to work,
'just to look at it,' dab a tiny amount on your wrist (despite having doused
yourself earlier with Bellodgia), and are still sniffing it at lunchtime (ignoring earlier applied Bellodgia), pondering the pale pink box it comes in, wishing there were still 1 oz perfume bottles available, because $300+ is 'a small price to pay' to feel this high. Suddenly this little bottle of parfum, decried by so many in its EDT form as 'insipid,' the epitome of 'fruity floral mediocrity,' and 'fleeting' has captured my mind, my heart, and my nose.
And while this may be a passing fancy, right now, just right now, my entire being is in song. I don't care if everyone else thinks this little confection is the lowest of the low of all Guerlains. I don't. All I know is that somewhere in the depths of my mind, I'm underneath a blooming cherry tree, on a blanket with a bowl of tea, numerous sweets, and an orchestra of koto players at my command. And gentle winds are blowing the petals to the ground while the sky is a deep blue above me. I can imagine myself unfurling in the sun, wearing a kimono the color of these blossoms.
Never mind that Pittsburgh is awash in rain right now, that the buses
are jammed in traffic, that even when the weather IS nice, there ARE
no cherry trees within my reach. Never mind all that. Never mind the
fact that I work as the lowest of the low in a law firm that values
nothing I can give. Never mind. And forget the fact that I will not be
able to sit underneath blooming cherry trees this year...work and
time prevent me from doing so.
This...high...is what the essence of perfume should be. Cherry Blossom
does everything it's supposed to, and does it so effortlessly that I don't
really care that it's not Mitsouko. Right now it's displaced Mitsouko
and all those other Guerlains in my Top 10. I would sacrifice my
bottle of LHB parfum right now for a bigger bottle of the Cherry Blossom
parfum...The parfum version has a staying power that far outstrips its
lesser counterparts. The EDT was more powdery and slightly drier. It
didn't last as long. It didn't surround my body in a soft, invisible armor
that protected me against the evils of fluorescent lighting and copier jams.
This is light and wind and youth. The citrusy opening with the green tea
lifts you, plays with you--this, to me, is what makes this fragrance what
it is. And the drydown...the drydown isn't the same powder that turned
me off of the EDT...it's a softer skin-scent...the kind that's bloomed on me.
As for Guerlain's strategy...It's not a younger market they're appealing to--
it's the Japanese market. This may explain the crude adjectives attached
to the names--'Crazy,' 'Lovely,' 'Fruity.' I won't count Cherry Blossom along
the same lines as Insolence or the Aqua Allegorias. Cherry Blossom wasn't developed for the US market. It's too soft, too 'barely there.' Cherry Blossom doesn't fit the mold of the normal fruity-floral, either. It's far too
subtle...and it's definitely a Guerlain. The 2007 limited edition, Cherry Blossom Fruity, MAY in fact fit the traditional fruity-floral mode, but I have no idea...I've not smelled it.
Anyhow...I may wear unrelieved black for every day of the workweek, but I assure you...today my soul is PINK.
She Smells Sea Shells By The Sea Shore
By Kathy Patterson
The weather is getting warmer, finally, and I know people are already starting to think about the beach. Not me. Although I live on the East Coast and am not far from the Atlantic Ocean, I'm not one to long for the smell of the ocean or to feel a salt spray on her face. When I was a kid, "going to the beach" meant a trip to our family's cottage in Riviera Beach, MD. There was a beach at the end of the road, with the waters of the Chesapeake Bay lapping gently at its edges. The sand was full of shells, broken beer bottles, and pebbles ready and waiting to cut the sensitive underside of a city kid's bare feet, and the murky green waters brought a never-ending supply of dead fish and globs of rotting seaweed. When I ventured into the smelly liquid, I had to beware of jellyfish and a fierce undertow.
Once in a rare while, my family would go to Ocean City, or up to Atlantic City, in New Jersey. My preference was a hotel with a swimming pool, so I could avoid the beach and the uncomfortable sensation of scratchy sand in a wet bathing suit bottom.
For you folks who have more pleasant memories of the seaside, there are lots of fragrances available to keep your mind on the beach year-round. Some, like Bond No. 9 Fire Island and Hamptons, smell of salt air and warm skin. Others are more evocative of suntan lotion, as in the coconut-tinged Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil. And still more are reminiscent of exotic isles, with whiffs of tropical fruit and yet more coconut, like Creed Virgin Island Water.
Here's a list of beachy scents. Can you add more?
Anna Sui Dolly Girl on the Beach, Ava Luxe The Beach, Bobbi Brown Beach, Body Shop Beach Bliss
Bond No. 9 Fire Island, Bond No. 9 Hamptons, CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966, Creed Virgin Island Water
Escada Sunset Heat for Him, Estee Lauder Azurée Soleil , Profumum Acqua di Sale , Satellite Ipanema
AEDES DE VENUSTAS ROOMSPRAY
Review by James Dotson
Perfumers deserve fan letters. I imagine that they spend alot of time in their
gleaming silver laboratories, all alone with their prototypes, fantasizing that
someday someone will run up to them on the street and ask them to
autograph their perfume bottle.
Dear Bertrand Duchaufour,
I can barely pronounce your name, but I feel like I know you. Do you sleep in the trees, in a cradle of incense smoke? Sequoia, Avignon, Dzongkha... and now your Aedes fragrance. It is like something liturgical hidden in a monastery’s burgundy leather receipt book, and compounded through the centuries by Trappist monks, with Oman frankincense, cedramber, dried rose petals and secret balsams. A perfect blue tendril of smoke against a gold polychrome statue.
Annick Goutal is one of the more niche-y perfumers that my local Nordstrom always seemed to carry. I never paid them much attention, because AG scents are largely on the floral end of the spectrum, and
that's never been my preference at all. Now that I'm spending more time discovering the various types of floral notes, I recognize that there are some of them that I actually like. A lot. This week, I will talk about
a few of my favorite AG scents, starting off with one that is in the citrus family. Eau d'Hadrien is celebrating its twenty-sixth birthday and is one of the original fragrances in the Annick Goutal line.
Refreshing, and not at all sweet, Eau d'Hadrien starts with sparkling citrus, lots of fresh tangy lemon with the slight bitter edge of grapefruit.
Undercutting the brightness of the citrus notes is a smoky-edged woodsy note that anchors the composition, along with a bit of gentle ylang that becomes stronger as the citrus fades. It reminds me just
a little bit of Hermes Un Jardin Sur Nil, but not as sweet, and more definitely lemon than grapefruit.
Eau d'Hadrien is a very Mediterranean scent that makes me think of summers on the Amalfi coast, with its candy-colored pastel architecture and bright sunshine that makes the sea seem so astonishingly blue. Not that I've been there of course, but a girl can dream!
FIVE NEW ONES BY CB I HATE PERFUME
by JAMES DOTSON
Accidents can be so good.
The other day I smacked over my vial of Wild Pansy.
It promptly hit the ground, neatly shearing off the base
and pumping the juice across the floor. While I was
mopping up, surrounded by beautiful purple-black flowers
and crushed leaves I decided that I really loved my
room smelling this way. This was the perfect roomspray.
All the upscale boutiques and hotels have their very
own scents now, used to “style” their interiors.
Why do they have to be tepid green tea and
vanillaesque things? If there are any captains of the design industry reading this right now, I plead with you to call Christopher Brosius to make something elegant and haunting for you that will be leagues better than what is out there.
That is why I am glad that CB exists - because his creations are definitely not perfume. They are tone poems or artistic constructs that you can inhabit, like a secret grotto or the quiet corner of a museum. They remind me of one of my favorite decadent 19th century novels, J.K. Huysmans’ A Rebours. The main character is the fantastically dandified hyperaesthete, the Duc Jean des Esseintes, who cloisters himself in his country estate to blend obscure fragrances and decorate his pet tortoise with jewels. He spends his days and nights creating artificial dreamworlds. His marine room is fashioned from tar-impregnated wood with portholes that admit a silvery green light filtered through quivering mechanical fish. He tells us why:
“By these means he could procure himself, without ever stirring from home, in a moment, almost instantaneously, all the sensations of a long voyage; the pleasure of moving from place to place, a pleasure which indeed hardly exists save as a matter of after recollection, almost never as a present enjoyment at the moment of the actual journey, this he could savour to the full at his ease...”
And here are five new dreamworlds from CB I Hate Perfume.
GREENBRIAR 1968 (based on a memory of his grandfather, his sawmill and stone house). Deeply handsome and elegiac, this begins with fresh milled pine and the echo of cool granite and fades to a gentle leather with soft tobacco and hay. It is a faded old flannel shirt that you want to cuddle with as you drift to sleep.
UNDER THE ARBOR (crushed grape leaves, twigs and old wood, moss). On the blotter this smells precisely like a deeply shaded afternoon garden that was just watered. When it hits my warm skin, a sugary Grape Kool Aid note springs out which then dries to beeswax and plum, oddly reminscent of Balenciaga’s Rumba. Because my evil skin chemistry makes it go all Jolly Rancher on me, I prefer this as an ambient scent.
ETERNAL RETURN (an ocean archetype with notes of sea air, ship,
cypress and rosemary). I am severely prejudiced here. Those early
90’s blasty ozonic colognes will forever grate my nerves like an
endless tape loop of George Michael music. But I decided it was
time for me to buck up and smell the ozone, and I must admit that
CB has been quite restrained in his use of this oceanic note
(is it Ultrazur?) which settles down into a sensation of cool air
and a suggestion of amber and precious woods. Reigning over
it all is a dry and bitter-green cypress, like a cliffside stand of
gnarled trees shaped by the sea winds.
I AM A DANDELION ( a refinement of his dandelion accord featuring
a new milky note). This is a big surprise and my nose was glued
to my arm with this one. So unlike anything I usually care about,
this mysterious lactonic scent creates a creamy nougat chord that
swirls with the luminous jasmine sambac greeness to make me feel
that I am sprawled on the lawn on a summer morning with my eyes
closed, purely happy.
WILD HUNT ( a forest archetype blend of fir, pine, old leaves, moss
and mushrooms). This is a pagan symphony of Graeco-Roman gods,
of Silvanus and Pan and a retinue of satyrs and fauns. I smell the
forest floor, resins and sweet sap trodden by cloven hooves, and it
just gets better and better until the warm dark truffle shows up; a
fragrance that is what ecstatic religion is meant to be.
As soon as he could crawl, James dragged himself into the garden and began
smelling the scented pelargoniums and purple bearded iris. He began
precociously reading peculiar old herb books and attempted to prepare Hungary
Water from rosemary. Since alchemy was not a contemporary career choice,
he became a psychiatrist with a fondness for deeply strange things. His
current interests include the neuropsychiatric aspects of olfaction, cross-
disciplinary studies of smell, healing and magical perfumes, and all things
odorous. James enjoys meeting fellow flaireurs and olfactophiles and feels
they represent a superevolved form of humanity.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Rose Opulente
By Diane Artzberger
Imagine a room covered in rich brocade, Old Masters on the wall, velvet chaises with
lovely ladies reclining in their finest silk gowns. This is what I see and feel in Rose
Opulente from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. The fragrance was an immediate love.
Not all fragrances give you a picture but this one clearly did.
The rose is rich, not powdery, but perhaps a bit dusky. It is rose petals drenched in rich red wine. Lush, and well, opulent. Rose Opulente changes little from opening to drydown; it begins and remains a beautiful strong rose touched with that wine accord
(although wine is most certainly note in the notes). The notes are Turkish and Moroccan roses, jasmin, ylang-ylang, clove, musk, ambergris, sandalwood. I don’t get a lot of the other notes, but a slightly musky base is there to temper all that rose, with a bit of amber too.
This is not a perfume for the non-rose lover, or one who shies away from real depth and strength in their fragrances. It has great lasting power and good sillage. I know every time I get a waft of it, I feel so good, it just makes me smile, and want to recline on one of those chaises with my richly bejeweled gown in a deep shade of red and smelling oh so good.
Virtue & Valor
By Kathy Patterson
I can't remember how I stumbled upon this particular scent -
probably on one of the message boards I frequent - but I was
intrigued by the company's Web site and their mission
"Established in 2003, we at Virtue & Valor inc.
are dedicated to bringing you unique and inspired fine fragrance
"We are motivated by the virtuous women of the Bible and want
the women of today to see themselves in them as they triumphantly
faced their fears, endured their hardships with valor, walked in the strength of God, and embodied virtue. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a women who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30).
"We want to counter the mainstream cosmetic products promoting immodesty, rebellion, selfishness, materialism, and so on. Granted, there are some beautiful perfumes on the market today, but many of the names make one blush. With our products, you can be proud to tell people who you are wearing."
Our exclusive Virtuessence® line is designed to put you in the mind and place of those whose physical beauty we have never seen, but whose actions and heart created a legacy - each in their own way."
"We capture the mood and essence of each woman we feature. Our flagship product, Virtuessence of Esther®, takes in the scene of Ancient Persia with the flower gardens, sweet incense, and rich oils. Walk with Esther as she bravely strides the halls of the palace to approach the King in order to save her people.
It's refreshing to find a perfume that contains such powerful floral notes as lily, ylang, and jasmine, yet doesn't smother you with any of them. The orange note is there, but is equally subtle and blends beautifully with the lily and ylang. The spices too, are present but not overpowering. I can detect the cinnamon and ginger right away, but not the clove. Yet, the spices with the orange give the impression of a pomander, but one sitting in a bowl of white flowers. And all so light and subtle as to be almost ethereal, yet not wimpy or weak in the least.
The musk note comes out earlier than the drydown, almost at the beginning of the composition, and I think it's part of what keeps the floral notes in check. The frankincense is the most prominent of the rest of the basenotes, and I can also detect the vanilla and a tiny bit of patchouli. There's still a bit of tangyness around too, and cinnamon.
Esther is a gorgeous scent with nice staying power. I'm not usually a fan of oil-based scents, partly because of the, well, oiliness of them. But the oil base used by Virtue & Valor is a dry oil - it sank into my skin immediately and did not leave a slick on the surface.
As far as I can tell, Virtuessence of Esther is only available from Virtue & Valor online, at the price of $70 for 12ml. Samples are free, for $2.50 postage. And isn't the bottle gorgeous?
Upon rummaging my sample bag, I chose to review Marjorie Midgarden
Fragrances' Summersent, a 'fragrance dedicated to all women,' and
sporting the fairy from John Atkinson Grimshaw's 'Spirit of the Night.'
It seemed fitting: a fragrance 'of' summer and having the requisite
Midsummer's fairy art on it. The website tells us to 'imagine the golden
scent of summer surrounding you all seasons.' Of course, I was skeptical.
The ad copy felt cheesy, and I feel ill-at-ease reading lines about a fragrance
'celebrating woman - capturing her possibilities - visualizing her potential.' I am not
fond of overly sexualized perfume campaigns, but neither am I fond of being
courted like an attendee of a self-help conference
("visualizing my potential").
The heart is in the right place, though, and that's what counts. Further googling revealed
that the woman pictured in the ad campaigns was a mother of three, not a model.
Marjorie Kitzrow, creator of the brand, believes that "a lifting up of mind and spirit is
long overdue in our consumer culture. Images of women need to be believable …
women full of hope, promise, intelligence and good taste." That's something I can get behind,
though the website irks me with its non-links and self-forwarding pages. I remembered
quicklysniffing Summersent during the Takashimaya foray at Sniffapalooza,
and recalling it to be a Floral. You see, until very recently, the Juvy did not 'do' florals.
Summersent is part of the vanguard of big florals out there making their way onto skin.
At first sniff, Summersent truly is a heady fragrance--I smelled ylang-ylang,
jasmine, and *some* orange blossom. Some green, definitely a 'honeyed'
sweet quality to it. Listed notes include Italian jasmine, Moroccan orange blossom,
cassis flower, and genet; and the base notes are a blend of white musks and
honey nectar. It remains quite heady for some time--and then begins its transformation
into a greener, more vegetal scent--though it never becomes green enough to be called
a 'green' fragrance. This seemed unusual to me--most fragrances begin green and then become more floral. But Summersent does the opposite on my skin. It almost has a note of wilting flowers, just the tiniest hint of the water in a vase after the flowers in it are no longer fresh. I love that. And please, don't let what I just said scare you--it is the tiniest hint of vegetal decay, and far outweighed by the avalanche of white florals. And it may be my skin chemistry, to boot. It is this 'heart' stage that I like best, the stage in which Summersent truly distinquishes itself from other big florals out there. It is a bit of a chameleon in this respect, not linear at all. In extreme drydown, it resembles Bond no. 9's West Side in honeyed, floral sweetness.
Summersent isn't a 'fresh' or 'transparent' fragrance--no one would mistake it for a Goutal. But it feels inherently sunny, like flowers stewing in the sunshine, or a garden in the late afternoon. It isn't dark at all. I would have no trouble pairing it with a white sundress and galivanting about the neighborhood, or perhaps to a picnic. It has more than enough substance to stand out, but isn't odd in any way. A comfortable, easy-to-wear scent, well blended and well-crafted. The honey-like component would make it easily adaptible to cold weather--in fact, I think I may *prefer* Summersent in the autumn.
Summerscent's parfum bottle is a study in Victoriana prettyness: a diminutive flacon, topped with a faceted crystal ball, whorls of roses and vines, and accented with Swarovski. Summersent and I will probably maintain an amiable relationship, but I do not think Summersent is 'me.' I don't find Summersent full-bottle-worthy, but it is a lovely, well-crafted, long-lasting scent, worthy of the love of many. I'm sure it'll be FBW for at least some perfumistas...I know Raphaella of Sniffapalooza Magazine loves this.
You can purchase Summersent at Takashimaya in New York, as well as in Von Maur department stores.
Divine started out as one fragrance sold by Yvon Mouchel
in a tiny shop in Dinard, a resort in Brittany. People bought
it, loved it, and told their friends. Now there are five scents
in the Divine line, L'Inspiratrice being the latest.
While at Takashimaya during Sniffa, I was being pestered
by the Divine SA. I had a sample of L'Inspiratrice for a
while, tried it and didn't like it, so I was not interested in his
wares. Going through my box(es) of samples the other day,
I found the little vial and decided to give it another shot.
This time, I was much more appreciative of the scent.
It opens with a boozy red rose, lush and sexy and full. There's a creamy sweet layer under the rose, and a bare whisper of powder, a combination of ylang and tonka bean and vanilla. In the drydown, the rose stays bold and the creaminess remains, but a bit of patchouli and vetiver sneak in to ground the scent.
L'Inspiratrice is a rich and warm scent, sexy yet comforting. Unlike other rose and patch fragrances, Rose Barbare and Voleur de Rose among them, the patchouli here is definitely a supporting player and not a star. To my nose, L'Inspiratrice is more similar to a spicy vanilla-y rose like Menard's L'Eau de Kasaneka, which I prefer.
Rock Crystal is a very crisply dry incense scent, with a nice dose of
pepper and a variety of other spices--coriander and cumin being most
obvious to my nose. The cumin does not possess the b.o. quality that is often associated with that note; it merely brings an aromatic warmth to the scent. The opening of this fragrance reminds me of the somewhat acrid characteristics of English pipe tobacco, yet in a pleasant way. It also has a church-like aura about it; although it has many notes, it also possesses an austerity.
The drydown is a bit less dry than the opening, with sandalwood taking over for the cumin, causing the incense of the West to lean a little more to the East. I think Rock Crystal is a very well-crafted and subtle fragrance that should be especially well-appreciated by those who enjoy the Comme des Garçons line of incense scents.
This opens with a quick burst of citrus, strongly bergamot like an eau de cologne, then the scent of green leaves. There's a floral aroma in the background that strikes me as slightly antiseptic, like the smell of bandaids. That soon fades, leaving a musky drydown. I'm not sure if I smell the castoreum, but then again, I don't quite know what beaver secretions should smell like :::wrinkles nose at the thought::::
Notes: Japanese golden osmanthus, white datura, tuberose, green notes
Where's the osmanthus? This is more a tuberose scent, very white floral and jasmine-like. The drydown has a green grassy quality and a creamy warmth. Overall, it smells like a florist's shop full of fresh blooms. Pretty, simple, fresh, but not what I wanted it to smell like!
Notes: tea, orange, freesia, osmanthus, apricot
Opening notes of tea and orange and the slight funk of dried apricot blooms into a delicate floral that so far is the closest match to my beloved HB candle. Quite delicious, but unfortunately very fleeting. Osmanthe Yunnan starts to fade within 10 minutes, assuming a dusty apricot character with a very subtle background floral. That's all well and good, but I would prefer the orange and tea aromas to stay in the foreground and not fade away completely.
Kathy Patterson has had an interest in fragrance all her life. Some of her fondest
memories involve digging through her mother's toiletries and playing with her scented soaps.
(She hated Mom's Youth Dew though.) At the ripe age of 40, Kathy discovered niche
scents and Sniffapalooza. Now she's getting out of hand with the perfume collection,
and her husband Neal thinks she's maybe a little crazy.
Kathy is a jewelry designer/graphic artist/research analyst who lives in Baltimore,
MD with her loving hubby and two cats. You can find her all over the place as theminx,
including her site, http://theminx.com.
My Summer Favorites
By Raphaella Brescia Barkley
My favorite summer fragrances are in no particular order, they all are beautiful and each is different. I am sorry that I did not write about each one but as you can see, (I don't have Mark David on the payroll) my list is long- For new fans of fragrance-please see the “Samples to Purchase” link for samples so that you may explore some of these for yourself.
Azuree soleil by Tom Ford-Estee Lauder
Tuberose Gardenia Private Collection Estee Lauder
Ellie Perfume by Michel Roudnitska
Carnal Flower by Fredrick Malle
Acqua Chiara by I Profumi di Firenze
At The Beach 1966 by Christopher Brosius
Datura Noir by Serge Lutens
To See a Flower by Christopher Brosius
Cradle of Light by Christopher Brosius
Mayotte by Guerlain
For Her by Bond No. 9 for Sak’s (to be released soon)
Jardin Blanc by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
Sa Majeste La Rose Serge Lutens
Do Son by Diptique
Coeur de Fleur by Miller Harris
White Flower by Yosh
Frangipani by Ormande Jayne
Soleil de Capri by Montale
Rose Barbare by Guerlain
La Haie Fleurie du Hameau by L’Artisan
Tuberose by Profumum
Passion Annick Goutal
Frangipane by Chantecaille
Chinatown by Bond No. 9
New York Fling by Bond No. 9
Chelsea Flowers by Bond No. 9
Park Avenue Bond No. 9
Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens
1000 by Jean Patou
Joy by Jean Patou
Rose de Ete by Parfums d’ Rosine
Noix de Tuberose by Miller Harris
Tuberose Indiana by Creed
Cherry Blossom by Guerlain
Ecume de Rose by Parfums d’ Rosine
Jasmin by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
A la Nuit by Serge Lutens
Fleurs d’ Oranger by Serge Lutens
Ambrosia by Laura Tonatto
White Tuberose Anthousa
La Chasse La Papillion L’Artisan
En Passant by Fredrick Malle
Lys Mediterranee by Fredrick Malle
Une Rose by Fredrick Malle
Songes by Annick Goutal
Gardenia Passion by Annick Goutal
Twilight Rose by Kingsbury Fragrances
Gardenia by Molinard
Fiori di Capri by Carthusia
Juste Un Reve by Parfumes de Nicolai
Caterina de Medici by I Profumi di Firenze
IF by Apothia
Fleurs de Bulgarie by Creed
Oeillet Sauvage by L’Artisan
Intense Tiara by Montale
A. maze by People of the Labyrinths
Osmanthus by Keiko Mecheri
Ciel by Amourage
MY TOP 10 SCENTS OF SUMMER - UNABRIDGED
Or Why I compare my white-floral devotion to Shirley MacLaine.
By Mark David Boberick
Summer is upon us, offering a ridiculously dreadful dose of heat and humidity here in the Northeast. Quite frankly, I despise summer with every ounce of my being. I hate heat. I think I was an Inuit in a former life. And I think in my next life, I’ll come back as a polar bear. Its perfect, really. You never have to put up with heat, you can luxuriate in fur all year round without getting red paint splattered on you by PETA and best of all, its perfectly acceptable to wear white after Labor Day.
It is incredibly difficult for me to walk from my frigid, air conditioned apartment every morning into the unbearable summer sunshine. Its even more difficult to choose a scent in the summer - especially when I’d much rather be in a ski lodge wearing Bois d’Armenie. While I hate the heat, I have to make the best of it and something I’ve come to realize lately is that if there is one thing that the summer is good for where scent is concerned - it is a chance to bring out the big guns: the white florals. If there is a support group for white floral addicts, then I suppose I should probably be attending the meetings. After all, I was the man who once proclaimed that if push came to shove, I would single-handedly make white florals the new black. Perhaps you didn’t hear me when I said that. I can promise you that I did in fact make that proclamation. I may have been alone at the time - perhaps driving through a tunnel, maybe. But maybe also, you just weren’t paying attention to me. Could be. I have been told that at times, I speak softly but carry a big sample vial. What were we talking about before I went off on my white floral awareness tangent not unlike that of Shirley Maclaine when she was called by God and led by angels through the deserts of France. Or something like that. I read that a long time ago and filed it away because I knew it would come in handy one of these days. Perhaps I’ll take further inspiration from Madame MacLaine and write a book about how the Great Spirit told me one day to spread the word: Tuberose.
Alright lets get back on track here. Before I got distracted by Religious Pilgrimages, I believe I was talking about how perfect big brash, in-your-face florals are in the summer heat. And so when I was asked to compile a Top 10 Summer Fragrance list, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that the list is dominated by fantastic florals. And because I like balance - there are a few fabulous other fragrances that rescue me when I don't want to smell like Easter at the Vatican. Lets get down to it, shall we?
In no particular order (yeah, right…):
1. Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle - If you’ve been paying attention to the perfume blogs, you’ll notice this has also made many other Top 10 lists as well and it should be no wonder why. I dare say this is my current definition of the mother of all white florals. Drop for drop, this is some very expensive juice but where other costly concoctions are concerned, the sillage and lasting power on Carnal Flower is unparalleled making this worth every penny. Gorgeous tuberose surrounded by a veil of refreshing greenness and surprise, surprise - Coconut, a note that would normally send me running for fear of smelling like a Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-loving tween but here in Carnal Flower, it is rendered with breathtaking beauty and subtlety. Word of warning - if this gets on your clothes, they will smell like Tuberose for the rest of their lives. In the winter, this fragrance is a Chopin Nocturne, but in the summer she dons a horned helmet and waxes Wagnerian.
2. Fleur de Narcisse by L’Artisan Parfumeur - Alright, I may as well just tell you that this scent gets me like no other. The Narcissus currently holds the top rank in Mark’s favorite floral note list and where Carnal Flower is the mother of all white floral scents, Fleur de Narcisse is the be all and end all of Narcissus scents, period. On me, this fragrance does a very happy dance - going from velvety smooth and lush floral goodness right on over to leather? Oh yes. Francois Duquesne’s wife told me several months ago that she was going to wear this on her wedding day and I can see why. This can be a very fickle fragrance but when it works on you - it will captivate you and bring you endless joy. Perfect in the summer. Maybe this will make my top 10 of winter list, too - but I haven’t had a chance to experience this in the winter yet. I can’t wait.
3. Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder- I just happened upon this fragrance and am happy to report that my floral loving skin purrs with excitement when it comes in contact with this fragrance. Perfect sillage, great longevity, and it garners a hell of a lot of compliments. On me, this is about 65% Tuberose and 35% Gardenia and I think if it were any other way, I would loathe it. Probably the best new release from Estee Lauder in many years. This fragrance treats me with pleasant surprises hours after I thought it disappeared from my skin - I would get a whiff and do that happy dance we all do in private.
4. Folavril by Annick Goutal - I don’t have much to say about this except it is like putting on a fresh linen shirt after it has been drying in the sun for a few hours near your flower garden. it’s a soapy-green floral fragrance that is so very uplifting and refreshing. This is not Die Walkure, this is more like La Nozze di Figaro performed al fresco.
5. Eau d’Orange Verte Cologne and Concentree by Hermes - I have every incarnation of this scent in every form available from the refreshing wake-up gel right down to the liquid hand soap. This scent is fresh and invigorating, yes - but what it also achieves is an immediate air of sophistication and just plain class. It is refined, yet youthful - bold, yet light. To me, this is immediately French, yet completely different from all of the other typically “French” scents out there. I love the original cologne the best but of course, it has absolutely wretched lasting power - even when layered with all 900 different products from the line now available. So that said - I wear the concentree in public more often because it lasts a bit longer. In private, however - I’m more than happy to carry my large 13.5 ounce bottle around to constantly refresh my person. I would compare this to an opera, but I doubt one has been written that could possibly come close to illustrating just how important, nay, imperative Eau d’Orange Verte is to my continued existence.
6. Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermes- Continuing on the Hermes trail, another stunner that I simply must include is Jean-Claude Ellena’s extraordinary Un Jardin sur le Nil. When you first smell this fragrance, you think its just going to be another light Ellena scent that is extraordinarily perfect but doesn’t last. But I have found it to have amazing sillage and lasting power and that’s why it made the list.
7. Chanel No. 19 - Sheer brilliance. Gorgeous greens and an earthy Iris surrounded by a cloud of aldehydes and no rough edges. This is what it means to be a French perfume and still be light and refreshing. Absolutely radiant in the summer. This is Divinity in a bottle.
Now lets get deep and dark, shall we?…
8. Parfum Sacre by Caron - Does this surprise you? Truth be told, it surprises me. I wish I could tell you why this works so well under blaring heat but alas, I cannot. I will tell you that I’ve found this fragrance much more secular in the summer and a lot more sacred in the winter. I think that if Serge Lutens and Caron procreated - Parfum Sacre in the summertime would be their result.
9. Alexander McQueen Kingdom - This is another one that either works for you or it doesn’t. If it does work for you, I think you’ll find that it can be divine in all weather - its absolutely perfect for a warm summer evening dinner date. It is sensual, it is sexual - it tends to purr in the winter but it roars in the summer. Wear it with a lot of glee and attitude. I do.
10. Arabie by Serge Lutens - Its heavy, its spicy, and it is PERFECT in the heat. This is a non-floral that behaves like a big bold white flower in that its fine anytime of year - but it is really in its element basking in the heat. This scent is mysterious without being intangible. Exquisite woods rest below a layer of candied and dried fruits - that grow all the more aromatic in the sun. I’ve found this to be sweeter in the winter than in the summer. I’m aware one of the big complaints with Arabie is that some find it unbearably sweet. Perhaps this is you. But have you tried it in the summer? Accept my challenge.
Vicolo Fiori by ETRO - another fickle floral that most perfume enthusiasts seem to dislike, yet ETRO sells this by the ton.
Selection Verte by Creed - another stunning refreshing fragrance that works on me much like Eau d’Orange with the addition of mint. Divine, but would be nice if it lasted a bit longer.
New York by Parfums de Nicolai - a truly marvelous Chypre, perfect in the heat. And best of all - its AFFORDABLE!
Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur - I like the word fickle as you‘ve probably noticed. Timbuktu is fickle. But when it works, it works. What can I say?
Les Nuits d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal - Gourmandy-Citrusy-Goodness. Would it break your heart if I told you it reminds me of Shalimar?
Mandarine Mandarin by Serge Lutens - another Lutens that blossoms in the heat, also with candied orange peel.
Mark David Boberick is a student studying Interior Design in Philadelphia. Mark David has been aware of scent
from a very young age and started collecting fragrances at age 12. A lover of art and music, Mark David frequents
museums, Theatre, and the Opera. He is also an accomplished theatrical set designer having already amassed
a large portfolio of work for only being 22 years old. In 2006, Mark David established Atelier Mark David, his
freelance design business based in Philadelphia. Atelier keeps him busy with several side projects both Interior
and Scenic which he works on in his spare time. Mark David is happiest when he’s designing or sniffing. He hopes
to finish his schooling by earning his Masters Degree in Florence.
Andy Warhol is alive and well and living in a fabulous
perfume bottle. The first collaboration between the Andy
Warhol Foundation and Bond No. 9, the edgy, extremely
successful downtown perfumery is sure to impress.
Incense lovers: pay attention!
What may seem like an odd marriage actually makes a lot
more sense than you might think. Andy Warhol loved perfume.
He once said, “Another way to take up more space is with
perfume. I really love wearing perfume.” This year marks the
20th anniversary of his death and what better way to continue
to celebrate one of the most influential artists of the 20th century
than with a series of Warhol inspired fragrances. Behold Silver
Bond conceived Silver Factory as “a smooth, smoky, spicy
blend of interlacing incense – a key scent of the ‘60s.”
Created by Aurelien Guichard, Silver Factory opens with a lot of bergamot. Bond describes the bergamot as being “soft and gentle – as if it had a hangover,” and I couldn’t agree more. It mingles beautifully with the already present incense, right away setting the mood for this fragrance as being calm, cool, and collected. The lavender and the grapefruit in the opening are minimal to my nose, making their appearance only for several brief seconds at a time. In a few minutes the overture has finished and the curtain is now up. Andy Warhol’s favorite scent, violet starts to emerge. It is not a strong violet, and like all of the florals in this fragrance, it is supported by the incense. From the very start of this fragrance, there is a definite metallic quality – and there would have to be, right? The silvery Iris and the sultry jasmine are never strong, but they are there. It is around this time that things start to warm up. The Incense is full, sultry, and smoky and it supports the dissonant florals which are now like “warmed-up, molten silver.” The rather extraordinary part of this fragrance emerges around this time, about an hour after application – when things are both warm and cool – we have the metallic coolness paired with the warmth and smokiness of the incense with the florals vying for sides – not sure where they belong. It is absolutely breathtaking. The drydown is a simple, soothing aroma of resiny amber with a touch of cedarwood. Nothing strong, nothing different either, but very nice.
The Factory was Andy Warhol’s original studio on 47th Street in New York City from 1964-1968. It was called the Silver Factory because it was decorated in silver paint and tin-foil by Warhol’s friend Billy Name, whose own apartment was seen by Warhol who then requested Name repeat the décor to his Studio. Name also used shattered mirrors and Warhol would often bring in silver balloons to float around the ceiling. At the Factory, Warhol threw groundbreaking parties for the hip, artsy types. It was also here that Warhol created and mass-produced his art. The Factory, and especially its silver-skin represented the decadence of the 1960s.
Decadent? Yes, Bond’s new creation is indeed decadent – but it favors the more luxurious aspect of the word. It is luxuriously priced at $230 for a 100 ml bottle making it the most expensive Bond creation to date. The reason? Bond has never been shy about their perfumes – they are very quick to tell you the percentage of perfume oil in their eau de parfums – much higher than other fragrance companies. With Silver Factory, however, Bond has gone above and beyond their standard, already high percentage of 22 percent to make Silver Factory a 28 percent concentration. They are calling it just that, in fact – a Perfume Concentrate, much in the manner of a can of soup. Remember, we are also talking about Warhol here and one of the most recognizable images of Modern Art is the Campbell’s soup can which Warhol painted excessively. This “Condensed” perfume comes in a textured silver signature star-shaped bottle that has a myriad of Warhol references. Silver Factory’s label takes its inspiration from the soup can, but in true Warhol style, the colors have been psychedelically flipped into a world of turquoise and purple. The Bond subway token, substitutes for the Campbell’s emblem, bridging the 2 color fields together. This bottle is kitschy – exactly what it should be. It never once compromises the artistic integrity of the perfumery or the artist but is a very happy solution to the marriage.
The fragrance is divine, the best new release from Bond No. 9 since Chinatown. It has excellent sillage and superb longevity. It is quite avant-garde and thank god for that. In a market dominated by fruity florals, it is refreshing to smell a smoky, heavy scent. This is time-warp in a bottle. Most importantly for me, this scent truly represents everything Andy Warhol stands for. It’s not just about creating an evocative atmosphere – which Silver Factory certainly does. It’s about taking something that we as perfume lovers all know – a smoky incense scent – and re-interpreting it, because this is exactly what Andy Warhol did. He took a photo of Marilyn Monroe and gave it back to us in 7 polychromatic different forms.
He took what we all know and spun it on its axis. This is precisely what Silver Factory has achieved; your typical Incense with a fascinating new twist.
Thank you Laurice Rahme and thank you Andy Warhol.
Andy Warhol Silver Factory will be released on December 1st and will be a limited distribution scent available only at Saks Fifth Avenue and the four Bond No. 9 New York boutiques. It will also be available for purchase online at the Bond and Saks websites. It is only available in one size, $230 for a 3.4 ounce bottle.
Mark David Boberick is a student studying Interior Design in Philadelphia. Mark David has been
aware of scent from a very young age and started collecting fragrances at age 12. A lover of art
and music, Mark David frequents museums, Theatre, and the Opera. He is also an accomplished
theatrical set designer having already amassed a large portfolio of work for only being 22 years old.
In 2006, Mark David established Atelier Mark David, his freelance design business based in Philadelphia.
Atelier keeps him busy with several side projects both Interior and Scenic which he works on in his
spare time. Mark David is happiest when he’s designing or sniffing. He hopes to finish his schooling
by earning his Masters Degree in Florence.
Juvy's Holy Perfume Grail
By Juvy Santos
When I first began the perfume addiction in earnest, I believed in a Holy Grail...
which I'm sure many of us did. A scent that would define 'us,' that would
announce our arrival in the room, and remind others of us when we left.
I've never found a fragrance that encompassed all of me. I'm far too
temperamental, given to rabid sensuality, easily distracted by the next thing.
I'm not even sure a bespoke fragrance could be created to cover all of my wants,
I'm just too damn flighty. Here's a list of fragrances I would give to a painter,
were he to paint a portrait of me in scent. These aren't necessarily the
fragrances I would take with me to a desert island, no, nor even the ones
I wear the most often.It's a way of introduction, I think.
1. Nuit au Desert, Victoire Gobin-Daudé
2. Orris, Andy Tauer
3. A.Maze, People of the Labyrinths
4. Incense: Kyoto, Commes des Garcons
5. Dzongkha, L'Artisan Parfumeur
6. Bois Farine, L'Artisan Parfumeur
7. Eau de Ciel, Annick Goutal
8. L'Heure Bleue, Guerlain
9. L'Ombre dans L'Eau, Diptyque
10. Bolt of Lightning, JAR
11. Muscs Kublai Khan, Serge Lutens
12. Eau des Merveilles, Hermes
13. An Unknown Jasmine Fragrance....
one that may not exist yet, that smells like sampaguita.
The problem, I think, with skin-testing similar scents at the same time is that one's
reviews always place the perfume in question in comparison to another. Montale's Oud Queen Roses is lush and dark and oudhy enough on its own--more than enough to satisfy me. But I wore it the same time as A.Maze, and there, the differences are clear.
A.Maze won me over with its darkened sweetness and its sheer affinity for my skin. But the Montale smells darker, perhaps with the far more menacing blast of oudh at the forefront. If one wears A.Maze to seduce the Vampire Lestat, then one wears Oud Queen
Roses after one has been given the Dark Gift. Montale Oudh Queen Roses is almost menacing, a less sweet fragrance than A.Maze is. Side-by-side, A.Maze smells like a rose just bloomed.
Montale smells like a rose just beginning decay. This...this is a leathery rose, a more sinister version of A.Maze. It is sharply medicinal and animalic leathery and lushly heady at the same time. It lasts far longer than the A.Maze EDT--although I'm not particularly surprised about that. (It's an EDT vs. one of the Montales, for goodness' sake). I'm thinking about investing in a bottle someday, after comparing it to Oud Rose Petals and Black Oudh (which, according to recollection, turned sharp, withered, and died on me).
THIS IS MY ROSE HOLY GRAIL.
One sniff, and it was enough. This was it. This is mine. This is the rose scent
that I have searched for my entire life. This is everything I could have wanted in
a rose, the medicinal haze, the sweetness and the darkness. The day I went
rose-crazy and sprayed on three rose scents, all I really wanted was A. Maze.
I want to be embalmed in A. Maze. It's everything I wanted the Montale Oud
Roses (Oudh Queen Roses, Oud Roses Petals,Black Oudh) to be. A. Maze
can swallow my soul whole and I would die smiling. I SMELL OUDH.
I SMELL HENNA. I SMELL SAFFRON. AND ROSES, roses roses roses roses,
spilling on the ground, spilling onto my outstretched, greedy little hands.
It's DARK, and sultry, but not decaying--and it doesn't turn thin or animalic
the way the Montales tend to do on my skin. The drydown is a dark, soft,
sandalwood/oud. In fact, it's my only regret: the drydown is so softly lovely
that I feel I just have to spray more on...
This is the kind of scent to seduce the Vampire
Lestat with, a fragrance for midnight daliances. I feel like a heroine out of
a gothic fantasy.
Bring out my corset, my dagger and my cloak!
Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her
By Christine Lewandowski
On either September 1st or October 1st, Laurice Rahme of Bond No. 9
fame will release the next of its New York scents. This release marks
the first time Bond No. 9 has created a scent for a well known shopping
landmark: Saks Fifth Avenue, which, could arguably be a New York
neighborhood in and of itself.
Here is an excerpt from the press release:
“Saks Fifth Avenue for Her signals the return of the classic gardenia eau de parfum,
given a chic contemporary twist with the addition of sparkling jasmine and vetiver,
along with smooth vanilla. This all-white bouquet captures the fashion-forward
essence of 21st century Saks, while at the same time expressing the eclectic
downtown spirit of NoHo-based Bond No. 9.”
Before analyzing the scent, let me share with you my impressions.
Here in my mind, a stage is set with sultry lighting, lots of lush fabric, the feeling is
opulent. Enter Billy Holiday, stage right. Enter Veronica Lake, stage left.
Without a doubt, their presence is a tangible force in the room. They walk, pout, chat to someone they pass…they exist in the moment. As an observer, you enjoy the sight, the sound, the aroma of them. It is as if the rest of the room has fallen away. Only you and the stunning women have substance. You watch but do not presume to engage them. All too soon, the song ends, the room is empty, the women you experienced are gone. The only proof that they were ever even there is the lingering scent of gardenia.
These are my first impressions of Saks Fifth Avenue for Her. The fragrance evokes a presence, an image of classic femininity from another era. The first and most prominent note is a rich gardenia. I am not a scientist but I would think that this would be a difficult note to work with. It could so easily be overdone and the outcome would not be pleasant. Nothing could be further from the truth with Saks Fifth Avenue for Her. The gardenia is exceptionally well done and although jasmine is one of the ingredients, I would not consider this a jasmine perfume. Instead, the jasmine and vetiver, which is not a white flower by the way, provide a seamless structure, melding top to base. Vetiver is an excellent choice to blend with jasmine: where vetiver is “calming” , jasmine is “relaxing and emotionally warming” . Now, I do not presume to know if the contents are essential oils or fragrance oils. However, it is obvious that the creators selected the notes with some knowledge of aromatherapy. Pure gardenia absolute is available and the other listed ingredients are available as essential oils. Having experienced this fragrance, whatever the oil composition, the ingredients smell expensive. Unfortunately, there is no escaping the obligatory vanilla note. Here, at least, I do not find the vanilla overpowering.
Overall, Saks Fifth Avenue for Her is a promising addition to the Bond No 9 library. I can imagine it will become a signature scent for anyone who appreciates a well-constructed, memorable fragrance. Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her is memorable because, if you choose to wear it, you will be remembered by anyone who encounters you and your sillage. Be prepared to tell the curious what you are wearing and to be remembered, but in a good way, a very good way.
Davis, Patricia, “Aromatherapy An A-Z”, page 342. The C.W. Daniel Company Limited, 1993
Ibid, page 188
Christine Lewandowski is a full time mom who is passionate about fragrance. She once suffered from migraines, which lead to her study of aromatherapy, Therapeutic Touch, reflexology, Spiritual Response Therapy and Johrei.
As the former Director of Procurement Programs for the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers Graduate School of Management (Newark), Christine compiled and edited the first Procurement Directory. Rutgers University Press published the Directory.
Christine is a graduate of the University of Virginia, former educator & voracious reader. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.
Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia
By Raphaella Brescia Barkley
A few months ago, I fell in love with a department store fragrance, the Tom Ford- Estée Lauder Azure Soleil(see Kathy Patterson’s review here). I’m not one who usually finds highly commercial fragrances enticing. Like a few of you, I gave them all up when I discovered niche fragrances.
Azuree soleil, though, was a fragrance that called me back to the main-stream. It spoke to me of summers in the late
sixties and early seventies - a time when I ran barefoot and free, sun-streaked hair - it signifies everything about that
time, the music, the clothing, the popular culture of that time, there was hope in the air and long summers at the beach.
Christopher Brosius’ At The Beach 1966, another summer favorite, excites me too. These scents go much deeper,
than say “smelling like suntan lotion”. They are pure sunshine from that era.
So imagine my shock and surprise when I found another department store fragrance, yet another Estée Lauder
fragrance that completely stole my heart and knocked me over. It is the new release of Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. If you had told me two years ago that I would fall in love with tuberose, I would have scoffed. Yet now I cannot get enough of tuberose or gardenia, just like so many other white florals this summer. (Click here for my top summer fragrances in this issue).
Aerin Lauder is the granddaughter of Estée Lauder and has created this fragrance built by the love of fragrance
shared with her grandmother. Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, a sensual floral steeped in luxury, is
created from Aerin’s favorite white flowers. “When my grandmother launched the first Private Collection fragrance
in 1973, her idea was to give the world a special fragrance she had created originally just for herself and a few friends,” explains Aerin. “Tuberose Gardenia redefines Estēe’s Private Collection idea in a very special way. It’s my tribute to her and the love we shared for these magnificent white flowers.”
The fragrance notes consist of Tuberose and Gardenia, top note of Neroli combined with Lilac and Rosewood;
middle notes of fresh Orange flower, Jasmine, White Lily; Carnation with Vanilla Bourbon in the dry down.
Here’s the scoop:
This perfume is garnering a lot of attention and has already won awards. It is a fragrance that wafts up all around you and envelopes you in its luscious scent. This is not a little girl’s fragrance that is pink and sugar filled. It takes a real woman (or man) to wear this. That is exactly what I want from a fragrance. Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is sexy and pretty, it smells expensive and summery, all in one.
The new Estée Lauder Tuberose Gardenia is one hot tamale! This is full bottle worthy in
any form that you can get it, EDT or EDP, in the simple bottle or the stunning jeweled
bottle-it is fabulous fragrance.
Congratulations to Aerin Lauder of Estée Lauder for this truly beautiful fragrance and for once
again bringing me back to the mainstream. I am truly impressed and cannot wait to
try the fall and winter releases from this company when many of us switch gears to
spicy, warm ambers and sandalwoods- RB
Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia launches in North America at Bergdorf Goodman,
Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus beginning August 2007.
International launches begin September 2007.
Special thanks to Donna Muzio of Estée Lauder at Bergdorf Goodman, New York City
and to Jessica Malone of the Estée Lauder Group.
Photographs and press release courtesy of Estée Lauder Group.
For the Men: 2 by Creed
2 by Ormonde Jayne
By Mark David Boberick
Two households, both alike in dignity – here in fair Sniffapalooza Magazine, where we lay our scene.
Recently, Raphaella sent me a fabulous little trove of olfactory goodness full of wonderful scents for men probably with the hopes that I’d take a break from waxing poetic on my white florals for a moment and talk a minute or two on fragrances for our male audience. I think I can do that. So I singled out 2 houses and 4 fragrances from the bunch: The prestigious, older than Christ house of CREED and the very nouveau-niche Ormonde Jayne from London. 4 mini (so to speak) reviews were born. Lets get to it:
ROYAL DELIGHT by CREED
TOP: Mandarin Peel, Bergamot
HEART: Jasmine, Turkish Rose, Violet
BASE: Ambergris, Leather, Vanilla, Sandalwood
When I first smell Royal Delight, I’m surprised that it was released in the 19 century, Not dated, however – it is still a very relevant smell for someone who is, or wants to feel like Aristocracy. We get a light dosage of citrus and dry bergamot in the opening but it doesn’t last for long. Upon spraying, immediately I can tell there is ambergris in this scent and I wouldn’t even need a list of ingredients to tell me as much because there is a metallic quality here, but a warm metal – not a cool one as commonly found with Iris scents. No iris here, folks – this is a warm oriental leather chypre. The leather is soft, buttery lambskin. The florals in this blend never really radiate on my skin – if anything, I probably get a hint of jasmine from this, but this is by no means a floral scent. The vanilla keeps this from being overly “classic chypre” in feel and paired with the sandalwood creates a smooth, creamy drydown – delicious! Something quite interesting happens in the drydown and it immediately draws to mind ashes. It may sound revolting but it is actually quite intriguing. Ash emerges, yet this fragrance never once feels smoky to me. Those of you who are familiar with CREED will understand when I say this has a definite CREED feel to it, and probably is one of the better offerings from the house for men. CREED lists this as being unisex and it definitely is and I strongly urge the men reading this to seek this out as it is truly a stunner. This is a very interesting fragrance to be considered unisex – when I hear the word unisex associated with perfume, I immediately get visions of CK1 and other “fresh, light, clean” scents. This is not fresh and it is not light. This is a rich, creamy elegant scent. It’s rather like a cashmere sweater – you can dress it up or you can dress it down but either way – you still feel at home and comfortable in it.
BOIS DU PORTUGAL by CREED
TOP: Lavender, Bergamot
HEART: Incense, Leather
BASE: Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Amber
Ah yes, Bois du Portugal. I must admit, I was very familiar with
this scent before I received Raphaella’s package. A favorite
perfume of the Basenotes people – one they seem to
recommend (along with YSL Body Kouros) regardless of
what you’re asking for, this fragrance is truly the height of
luxury and elegance in men’s perfumery. Like Royal Delight,
this is a fragrance that would be suitable for a weekend of
hunting in Cornwall or a State Dinner at the White House.
It’s flexible. This smoky, spicy, exotic elixir is masculine in
all of the traditional ways – but it goes about it with a lot of
panache. This is old-school refinement, Clark Gable,
Bentley Continentals. One of the few scents that I can
tolerate that uses Lavender – and it is definitely there –
a lot of it, in fact. It appears from the very start and stays
around for quite a while. Some Incense and leather are
thrown in but it is the Cedar and Vetiver drydown thats
the real stunner of this fragrance and it has amazing lasting
power and very decent sillage. If this fragrance could speak – it would have a British accent (not Portuguese) and would probably tell you that it voted for Margaret Thatcher. But don’t let that influence you either way.
ISFARKAND by ORMONDE JAYNE (2005)
TOP: Lime, Mandarin, Bergamot
HEART: Pink Pepper
BASE: Cedar, Vetiver, Moss
Winner of the 2006 Wallpaper Magazine Award for best Men’s fragrance – this incredibly well blended concoction opens with a juicy blast of lime, mandarin and cedar. It immediately conjures up visions of No. 2 pencils and margaritas. The Pink Pepper in this lasts for quite sometime and keeps the fragrance perfectly temperate. Once the pepper dies off, this scent becomes warmer. The vetiver and the moss keep this feeling earthy, rich and quite long lasting. The drydown seems like a much younger, distant cousin to Bois du Portugal. The sillage on this fragrance is out of this world. I rarely get compliments on my fragrances (I know - I don’t understand, either) but this scent garnered wonderful compliments from all the way across the room. The feeling of this fragrance is much different than most other men’s scents – it does not smell at all synthetic, though I admit I know absolutely nothing about the materials used in this scent nor about the company’s preference for naturals, but it has a definite sense of high quality and refinement to it despite the fact that there is nothing particularly exotic about the ingredients. There are not many fragrances I can say this about – but with Isfarkand, I feel like if one were to buy this blindly, 9 out of 10 times they would not be disappointed. I honestly cannot understand how anything with a pulse could possibly resist this fragrance – even those who dislike cedar could probably still come to love Isfarkand because it’s just so damn chic.
ORMONDE MAN by ORMONDE JAYNE (2004)
TOP: Juniper Berry, Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, and Coriander Seeds
HEART: Oudh and Black Hemlock
BASE: Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk
Well, after 3 testings of this fragrance and declaring it mediocre, I sat down to write this review and sprayed it one last time to refresh my memory and something marvelous happened: I was transported. I was taken back in time to a place from my childhood. A place I had forgotten about for at least 15 years – and certainly a smell which I have not been privy to for equally as long. But immediately, upon smelling Ormonde Jayne’s signature men’s fragrance about a minute and a half into its opening – there I was – 7 years old again, standing in the foyer of Darlene Curwood, our neighbor down the road. What is it exactly that’s doing this? When I think about Mrs. Curwoods home, I immediately think of their woodstove in the family room but there really isn’t anything very smoky about Ormonde Man. Possibly the oudh is just making it seem very rich and I’m getting confused. This does not remind me of Darlene herself – she wore Shalimar. At 5 years old – I knew she wore Shalimar. No, this scent just reminds me of her foyer. This scent, like no other I have ever encountered, reminds me of my home – where I grew up, just north of the Pocono Mountains in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In my mind, this fragrance has a distinct season to it – very late fall, all the leaves have fallen but it has not snowed yet. AHA! I’ve got it. I knew if I just kept writing it would come to me – this is live folks – a scent memory being typed out as it unfolds – I’m 7 years old and it’s Halloween Night. It’s freezing outside and I’m a clown. A clown whose mother keeps telling him it’s to cold not to wear a coat but a clown with an attitude and a quick retort none-the-less. “If I wear a coat…..NO ONE WILL KNOW WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE, MOM!” She wins and 15 minutes later I’m standing in the foyer down the road where Darlene asks, “What are you supposed to be?” “A clown,” I reply. “My mother made me wear a coat.” In my mother’s defense – it was 30 degrees outside. If I remember correctly, Darlene fetched her orange pumpkin and pulled out an entire Kit-Kat bar. I knew I liked Darlene for a reason – not just because she wore Shalimar but because she gave full-sized candy bars instead of those ridiculous minis the size of a matchbox.
Ok, Ok – back to Ormonde Man. It’s absolutely glorious and I have no idea why, exactly. I love Juniper but it didn’t stick around too long. Black Hemlock is listed but I don’t know what that smells like to be able to detect it. Upon spraying it, it has a slightly medicinal opening which is probably a result of the juniper berries over the oudh. 3o seconds later the glorious pink pepper steps in a cheers us all up for a bit. Slightly spicy but not in the traditional sense - this is a cool, mysterious woody fragrance. It’s distinct and very debonair. Another scent I can’t really imagine anyone not loving. Just buy a bottle, ok?
Well, we opened this little article on a Shakespearian note and I regret to inform you that we will not be coming around full circle, probably because all I want to do is run off and find my Shalimar Parfum.
Mark David Boberick is a student studying Interior Design in Philadelphia. Mark David has
been aware of scent from a very young age and started collecting fragrances at age 12.
A lover of art and music, Mark David frequents museums, Theatre, and the Opera.
He is also an accomplished theatrical set designer having already amassed a large portfolio
of work for only being 22 years old. In 2006, Mark David established Atelier Mark David,
his freelance design business based in Philadelphia. Atelier keeps him busy with several
side projects both Interior and Scenic which he works on in his spare time. Mark David is
happiest when he’s designing or sniffing. He hopes to finish his schooling by earning his
Masters Degree in Florence.
Photos source: Aedes, Ormonde Jayne
Black Orchid Voile de Fleur
by Kathy Patterson
Contrary to popular belief, Tom Ford is not the Antichrist. He’s a man who has embraced one of the best and simplest marketing principles: sex sells. Oh, you know it baby. You hue and cry over the ads for Tom Ford for Men featuring the human equivalent of a blow-up doll, but admit that you made a mental note to give the scent a sniff next time you were in Bergdorf’s. I know I did. And the news that Ford wanted Estée Lauder to make his fragrance, Black Orchid, smell “like a man’s crotch” certainly got some attention, didn’t it. And you were curious. (An aside: who would want to walk around smelling like a man’s crotch? And, who would find that smell appealing? If it smells – it’s not clean. Hi! Take a shower and then maybe we’ll talk.) And you breathed a sigh of relief when it didn’t.
Tom Ford has talent. He’s smart. And he’s not afraid of a little controversy. That’s sexy.
His new scent Black Orchid Voile de Fleur takes pretty much the same basic notes of the original Black Orchid and turns the floral notes up to 11. The opening is boozy and somewhat intoxicating, with sweet juicy plums and strong floral notes. They are white flowers, as listed, but they blend together to form black velvet, deep and rich and sexy. The black truffle note (that of course doesn’t really smell of black truffle, which has garlicky, cheesy undertones within its fungal depths) of the original is present but toned-down. And the base, like that of the original, is spicy woods, but with a smaller jolt of vanilla.
Although it’s been years since I’ve worn it, Voile de Fleur reminds me a lot of Coco. It’s a rich floriental that has a definite presence to it, and should probably not be sprayed on with abandon, lest it asphyxiate someone. While it is called “voile,” don’t mistake this for a light fragrance. It’s deep and lush and perfect for nighttime and cooler weather.
Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur notes:
black truffle, ylang ylang, bergamot, blackcurrant, honeysuckle, gardenia, spicy lily, black orchid,
black plum, black pepper, lotus wood, succulent fruit, warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla tears, patchouli,
Kathy Patterson has had an interest in fragrance all her life. Some of her fondest
memories involve digging through her mother's toiletries and playing with her scented soaps.
(She hated Mom's Youth Dew though.) At the ripe age of 40, Kathy discovered niche
scents and Sniffapalooza. Now she's getting out of hand with the perfume collection,
and her husband Neal thinks she's maybe a little crazy.
Kathy is a jewelry designer/graphic artist/research analyst who lives in Baltimore,
MD with her loving hubby and two cats. You can find her all over the place as theminx,
Special thanks to Andy Tauer, Sharon Ruiz and Kathy Patterson for the fabulous artwork.
Raphaella's and Andy's mechanic with undertones of oily skin holding her flowers as he walks towards her...
Yes, the tires are hers too.
Thank's for letting me tease you Andy!
Le Maroc Pour Elle Andy Tauer Perfumes
It’s a whole new world…
By Victoria Austin
My foray into the world of niche fragrances began only in the last year. And it began with a seismic, orgasmic
collision with Le Maroc Pour Elle by Andy Tauer. It’s a long story of how I came to be introduced to this
extraordinary fragrance. Let’s just say that it was destiny and the beginning of a beautiful and fragrant love affair.
A chance meeting with a lovely and talented kindred spirit from Northern California culminated with her sending me a
small sample vial of Le Maroc Pour Elle and thus began my full corruption with all scents niche, and a huge crush on
Andy Tauer’s fragrances. I love a fragrance with a distinct presence – not necessarily loud or overbearing, but one with oomph. Being the somewhat shy, quiet, contemplative soul that I am, a fragrance with presence helps bring
me out a bit and let others know what may be hiding and simmering beneath the quiet façade. Le Maroc Pour Elle is one of those exquisitely crafted scents with a lot of presence – or bang for your buck, if you will.
Opening the vial of Le Maroc Pour Elle, I felt I had loosed a genie from the bottle, and one whiff of this wickedly delicious juice sent me on a sensory magic carpet ride. The initial dab brought forth hints of citrus with lesser hints of lavender, quickly beckoning me on into a frenzied dance with boozy Moroccan jasmine and Maghreb rose. The combination sent me spinning with warmth until I reached the heights of release to awaken on my beautiful carpet ride overlooking dawn in Casablanca, deeply spent and sighing upon landing to a heavenly, rich ambry/woodsy drydown that lingers from morning to evening on my skin.
Le Maroc Pour Elle is a fragrance ancient and dramatic, soulful and earthy. All that and a bag of jewels and silk saris while being chased around the Kasbah by Rudolph Valentino ~ not a just measly bag chips, thank you!
Le Maroc Pour Elle is not a fragrance for ingénues. It should be worn with a disclaimer, as I can readily attest after dabbing myself with it near my dear husband. After ordering and receiving my full 50 ml square bottle filled with the deep amber colored juice, I immediately spritzed and wore this jewel to work. I was nearly trampled at the elevator with people
wanting to know what I was wearing. That has never happened before, although I have had wonderful compliments now and then on other scents I’ve worn. This was a rush! Everyone from my pedicurist to co-workers and doctors to clients were asking what that delicious fragrance was that I was wearing. It never fails to garner me compliments. I knew I had
something special, but now many others knew it too. Even if I received no compliments from wearing Le Maroc Pour Elle, I love it passionately. I feel exotic and bejeweled and every bit the beguiling woman with every spritz from the bottle of this masterpiece from Andy Tauer, a fragrance genie!
For those of you not interested in the Kasbahs and alter egos, here are the basics. Notes: Moroccan Petitgrain (bitter orange), French Lavender, red Mandarin, Moroccan Rose absolute, Moroccan Jasmin absolute, Moroccan Cedarwood from the High Atlas, Sandalwood, Patchouli
Victoria Austin is a passionate accomplished dreamer, hopeful romantic, spiritually attuned-grounded and musically diva-ish. She spent her childhood days dreaming, exploring the forest trails and gleaming streams. She now lives in a sprawling metropolis, but still a jewel of a city in north Texas and her wonderful family. She loves traveling and experiencing new places, people, cultures and foods. She also enjoys reading
great books, writing, singing, acting and playing several musical instruments, cooking, decorating, beauty and fashion, music, movies, live theater, and learning foreign languages. She enjoys thought provoking discussions and communicating with interesting people. Her new hobby is collecting unique boutique and niche
fragrances from Serge Lutens, L'Artisan and Andy Tauer to name a few. Victoria and her family also love working with Habitat for Humanity.
Back to Sniffapalooza Magazine main page
All rights reserved 2006-2010. All content belongs to Sniffapalooza Magazine. All articles by individual writers and contributors, understand and agree that each article that is accepted by the Editor for publication; becomes the property of Sniffapalooza Magazine for the sole purpose of publication for Sniffapalooza Magazine. Articles may be archived for permanent use on the web site for Sniffapalooza Magazine and for future issues.
All articles remain the property of Sniffapalooza Magazine for display purposes only. Sniffapalooza Magazine is independently owned and operated by Raphaella Barkley.
Sniffapalooza Magazine is independently owned and operated by Raphaella Barkley.