Monthly Archives: June 2012

Amorvero EDT – Amorvero Profumo

This sample was a surprise little gift from the lovely ladies at Campomarzio70 (who provide the best customer service I’ve ever experienced – I can’t wait to visit their store one day). I have no knowledge of the brand, but the fragrance was something quite classical and not what I normally familiarise myself with… So here it is :)

Amorvero EDT opens with a rich jasmine overlaid with a citrus melody of tart lemon rind, and orange zest. It is juicy and mouth-watering – and instantly reminiscent of a fragrance I wore when I was about 16 – Guerlain’s Samsara. I haven’t smelt Samsara in at least 4 years, but if someone sprayed this on my hand without showing me the bottle I’d say it was Samsara…

Anyway – it’s not, it is Amorvero… So, Amovero has a wonderfully sweet jasmine and soapy rose combo. Yes, soapy rose – that’s where this and the Guerlain drastically differ. Introduced to the classical, indolic jasmine is the rich suds of soap, still clinging the slight acidity of the lemon – scrubbing up the heart of this fragrance into a squeaky clean but gorgeously rich floral bouquet. It is powerful, and screams “PERFUMMEEEE!” when you wear it.

Tuberose is listed, but I perceive it more as an orange blossom – although it isn’t as prominent as the dominating rose/jasmine duo. The soap perseveres with a potency, and unfortunately begins to flatten the florals into something not quite as explosive as the beginning. A rich sandalwood note pairs with the jasmine to further push forward the Samsara similarities – oh, and vanilla for a little bit more likeness… :’)
Some super powdery amber floats in and sprinkles a little powdered coating on everything, and a predictable drydown ensues.

Yes, it’s pleasant enough, no it’s nothing new, yes it’s well made, no I would never want to wear it. I don’t really think this fragrance has a place in the market – it isn’t providing anything new or even anything better. Instead, it is another “nice” composition that slips amongst other small exclusive niche lines that very few will buy.
Amorvero EDT smells like opening it’s packaging: The box (the opening) – overtly opulent on entry >> The bottle (the heart)- about as interesting as a slipper.

Amorvero EDT Amorvero Profumo 100ml – 140 Euros Ausliebezumduft.com

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Fig – Aftelier Perfumes

I have discovered now that I need to write this top line AFTER my review. My opening line initially read “It’s been a while since I’ve tackled an Aftelier – so here is Fig”. Now that I re-read that back, it was so blasé!
When I first sampled Fig (as a quick sniff on the back of my hand when my Aftelier box of goodies first arrived), I liked it, but instantly considered it my least favourite of the bunch. After sampling it again and writing up this review – it has leapt upwards, to a point where I feel like I NEED a bottle, and it will hopefully be a future purchase when I can stop spending and start gathering my pennies.

I feel like a complete stuck record when I go on about my appreciation of the Aftelier line, but I honestly didn’t expect much from this review – yet again, I’ve been completely bowled over by this. So, sorry for the horrendously long essay, but – here is Fig…

Fig opens with a bright, indolic jasmine, paired with a sour slice of grapefruit. Underneath? – a deep, jammy greenery that can only be fir. I was confused by fir the first few times I tried it, expecting a bitter evergreen scent – fir is sweet, dense and resinous, it’s an exceptional note.

The fir paired with the jasmine is a fantastic combination. It is almost unbearably rich and fruity; with the grapefruit cut through it, the aura is of an almost medicinal sweet fruit that reminds me of a feijoa –  natural methyl benzoate of the rich jasmine? It is further exaggerated by the surrounding essences and clever combinations:

A pink pepper prickles the heart with a tangy spice and for a moment I find it difficult, with its acutely complicated medley of textures, colours and sweet/savoury balance. Whilst for a few minutes it is difficult, it is also (as with all Aftelier’s) fascinating! Bizarrely I get a similar vibe to Exquisite Corpse by Smell Bent, with its bergamot/tuberose/pink pepper/animalic musk concoction that becomes shockingly repulsive. Here however, the bergamot is replaced with a much richer/sharper grapefruit, the synthetic tuberose replaced with an exquisitely rich jasmine, the pink pepper handled with a lighter touch and all wrapped in jammy fir needles replacing the animalics. As a result – Fig is much more complicated than first meets the eye but, gorgeous when you begin to follow it.

So, this is all happening within the first few minutes, and I don’t mean to make comparisons – the Smell Bent fragrance mentioned is merely the only thing I can grasp on to as a point of comparison and explanation – these two are nothing alike – in execution as well as story.
The story here with Fig is hard to discern. At first I mistook Fig as one of the most simple of my group of samples, but wearing it and understanding it is proving more complicated than any of the other Aftelier works.

In the heart, the jasmine sambac still glistens strong, sharp indoles wither the florals with slight decay whilst the dense fir needles pulverize into a thick marmalade. It is inedible but fruity, with a sour note prickled with spice. Fig gets darker and darker as it sits on my skin, overlaid with what to me is a melancholy sheen – devoid of the iris and heliotrope which make up the classic heavyhearted compositions from Guerlain and the like; here, the blue hue is replaced with an emerald greenery, speckled with amber and dusted with grey. If my colour expression doesn’t make sense – Aftelier  has basically created something with depth, darkness and a somber atmosphere, using such rich joyful notes of jasmine and fir, uplifting essences of grapefruit and pink pepper – it is heartfelt, and effortlessly clever.

Something in the heart of Fig strikes me, and suddenly an emotional surge of sadness falls over the composition. Sniffing again, and I’m filled with upset, in the most positive way I can describe. The melancholy aura I described before, clouds with full body; its passionate subtlety doesn’t change the volume of Fig, and instead works its way into you quietly and emotionally, sucking you into this complicated encounter.
I don’t want my upset to be perceived as a negative thing, because for me it is not a negative reaction. Instead, inhaling and appreciating Fig makes me feel that something great is to come – and for some reason it brings on that familiar emotion that I can only describe as “a sad relief”. Fig makes my heart ache. It sounds ridiculous I’m sure, and I’ve been left speechless after trying to figure out how to explain this. I guess it’s best to try to leave this part out, as I’m sure for others, Fig will be an exciting and uplifting experience of the rich notes in nature. However, I can’t help but include this part of my Fig encounter.


Painting by Cameron McIntyre

I guess I should get back to the fragrance itself. Fig mellows, the rich fir and withered jasmine fragrant the base that reminds me of the wonderfully animalic Secret Garden. I read on the Aftelier site about an included ingredient: Africa Stone:
“The by-product of the symbiosis of the environment and the excreta of the Rock Hyrax, a small mammal from East Africa. Stone collecting hinders neither the animal life nor the habitat and is subjected to fair trade practices. The odor is a cross between civet and castoreum.”
And yet again Aftelier teaches me something new – an ingredient I have never discovered before. It’s odour is beautiful, warm, human, with a furry texture that so many fragrances promise but never achieve.

The deep base of Fig is completely captivating – melted with the decayed compote of the jasmine/fir, the outcome is heart-breaking, with a lonely depth and somehow a warm clutch. Yet again – full of contrasting descriptions I know, but the fragrance has so many aspects to it, that on my skin at least – merge into something that is difficult to understand, but so wonderfully embracing that it no longer feels like a perfume. This seems to be a recurring theme with the Aftelier fragrances.

I get little specks of numerous mirages throughout the drydown, hints of cardamom, the warmth of resinous amber, even a delicate waft of smoke and a breath of myrrh. Fig becomes a shapeshifter, constantly and delicately distorting until it becomes an unfamiliar memory of the heart, and leaves with an almost gloomy farewell. It’s beauty leaves me silent and stunned, ambivalent even, and a little bit emotionally drained.

If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this essay – I applaud you for your patience. If you have tried Fig I’d love to hear your thoughts, even more so if they are drastically different from mine.
Just to be sure that this write-up hasn’t made me sound like an emotional train wreck:
Has a fragrance ever left you so emotionally confused? What was it?…

Fig 30ml EDP Aftelier Perfumes – $150 Aftelier.com

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Jeux De Peau – Serge Lutens

Thanks to a generous Basenoter, I have a lovely 2.5ml decant of Jeux De Peau. I have tried this before, I love it, and I know I’ll own a bottle in the near future, but there are other things on my priority list right now :P

My nose is finally getting better (thanks Dr.), and I wrote a mini review of this fragrance before so I’m confident in reviewing it without my dodgy nose affecting my writing :)

Jeux De Peau has a beautiful opening: edible and delicious, I can’t help but lie back and go “Mmmmmmmmmm”.
Compared by everyone to the smell of hot buttered bread, I also get a strong popcorn vibe off it. The start on the skin is warm, sweet with bread notes and instantly a hot melted butter. As thick and fatty as it sounds, it actually doesn’t penetrate the depth of Jeux De Peau, and turns out to be perfectly translucent as the heart comes through.

A typical Lutens’ heart and base is present, but I’m not saying it’s unwelcome or predictable – a maple syrup sweet immortelle (taken from Chypre Rouge), and the delicate licorice (taken from Borneo 1834) both melt together underneath the initial sweetness. Sandalwood becomes detectable after only 5 minutes or so, and is one of the leading notes throughout.
Apricot (taken from Daim Blond) creates a jammy accord which although sweet and almost pulverised, savours up the fragrance’s more gourmand accords and keeps Jeux De Peau wearable and “perfumey”.

I am reminded of bread, yes, but also chocolate covered hazelnuts, sweet smoky coffee, maple syrup pancakes, and a butter and jam soaked croissant. All these wonderful glimpses are presented on a diaphanous golden veil that sits above the warm signature, syrupy sandalwood.
As it rests on the skin for longer, the gourmand notes do settle, leaving behind the apricot which becomes more prominent, and some savoury cereal notes spiced with immortelle. At this point it is instantly recognizable as a Lutens’ creation, and a perfect example of his style.
It literally picks at cleverly used aspects of his other work and combines them into this one fragrance – obviously adding a wonderful top accord to create a new, more literally edible theme in his line-up.

The drydown becomes more masculine, and savoury. The apricot vanishes, whilst sandalwood, amber and the remaining crumbs of cereal hug the skin, never fully allowing the opening images of mouth-watering food yummies to disappear. A waft of smoke, that I can only guess comes from a trail of Lutens’ incense?, allows the quiet base to keep delicately throwing itself up at your nose.

I personally really enjoy Jeux De Peau, I know it is very hit and miss in the community and I can completely understand that – people have described it as unoriginal. I don’t think it is overtly sweet and “cheap”, there is a whole lot going on in here and it is an extremely clever combination of notes with unexpected, delicious results.
I would recommend Jeux De Peau as a perfect introduction into niche perfumery and Serge Lutens’ work.
Really lovely stuff! :)

Jeux De Peau 50ml Serge Lutens – 79 Euros – sergelutens.com

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Poorly Nose

Bizarrely, I have a poorly nose :(
I have some nasal thingamabob that gradually over the last few months has made my nose-ways pretty much close. It’s got real bad over the last few weeks affecting my smell (and breathing).
So I’m taking a little break from reviewing at the moment as I can’t guarentee the accuracy, and of course, it isn’t helping my nose.
For now, I’m having a bit of relax time, with my new pal’ nasal-spray, and have uploaded a new page: Smellythoughts’ Q&A!
Just for fun :)

Mito EDP – Vero Profumo

So I received a wonderful surprise package from the generous people at Campomarzio70.
Inside? A sample of the much-anticipated new 2012 release from Vero Profumo – Mito.

I probably should live with this for a while longer, but I just can’t wait, I have to write about it! :)


Fabulous illustration by Sofo Berdzenishvili!

Mito opens with a wonderful bitter greenery in the style of Papyrus De Ciane by Parfumerie Generale, only this is much more dispersed and wearable. Before you know it, the bitter reeds and galbanum tumble into an intense citrus accord that literally erupts out of nowhere.

The lemon is so intense it reminds me of some of the O’Driu herbal openings, only yet again – more wearable, and much more appetizing. It has the sharp yet syrupy intensity of a lemon sherbert candy and the delicious but unedible accord penetrates the opening of Mito for some time.
A sweetness underneath gives us a wink to the floral accord that is to come – the rugged greenery retreats into the background, adding a brilliant bitter edge that literally cuts through the flourescent citrus.

The great thing about the opening is that it is a full, glossy citrus with absolutely no aquatic notes in sight. Instead it is enriched with tart, syrupy goodness before a quick, sly flare of magnolia’s blossom before your nose. The magnolia accord is slick, and creeps in underneath the already present citrus, it’s presence only detectable from a fantastic “waxy” texture and the slightest smear of vanilla. The delicate vanilla was detectable from the start but I mistook it not for a hiding base note. The magnolias add a further density to the lemon drops, whose greenery verges on a true to life lemongrass.

The lemongrass/vanilla combo reminds me of Leva by O’Driu – only Leva’s intense green olive note and oily texture makes herself and Mito almost polar opposites. The vanillic accords in here which seem to come only from the white floral bouquet, are considerably less sweet and firm than the almost congealed drydown of Leva – whilst I love that vanilla, this is far more obedient but more fun to wear.

Anyway, I keep going on about this vanilla as though it’s a main player – it’s not. The citrus harmony mellows, with the slightly fruity, slightly creamy, slightly green mangolia’s blooming underneath – a green jasmine creeps in without notice as well, imparting a subtle but present richness to round out the tangy lemon sherberts. I at times feel like I can detect a slightly powdery orris root which I absolutely love, but it may be a combination of other things. There definitely is the occasional subdued waft of vegetal powder that creates a wonderful matted texture over the fragrance.

The slow drydown (which is so seamless from the heart that you don’t realise Mito is submerging to the green core), becomes smooth, rich with a creamy texture from the volumptuous florals and soft furry moss. The moss in the base I guess makes Mito a chypre, but not as overtly obvious as Rubj. Here the base is soft, furry, almost human in its natural fluffy texture. It isn’t as bitter and prominent as the green edge in Rubj – the green facets of citrus and the white florals help smooth out the earthy base and create an effortless blend from start to finish. Mito is delicate and sleek with no knots in its transition, the knots that make some of Vero’s older compositions sometimes challenging.

The unfortunate thing for me in Mito is the lack of passion fruit – the confronting Vero signature that creates a translucent attack across the outer edges of all the other Vero EDP’s, if it is in Mito – it is extremely subdued to a point where I can’t detect it. I would love to smell that terrifyingly unique signature splattered across the citrus florals of Mito, but unfortunately – I do miss it.

However, Mito is a wonderful citrus (coming from a non citrus-soliflore lover), with the white florals creating something that is a perfect summer release, and a completely new addition to her line up. Not as challenging and complicated as Onda and Rubj, but more a partner to Kiki in the easily loveable and wearable side of the Vero house – no less beautiful.
These are initial impressions so I’ll be sure to update on further wearings :)

Vero Profumo Mito 50ml EDP – Released September 2012!!

Image copyright of Diego Comi Ph. Artwork by  Sofo Berdzenishvili.

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Borneo 1834 – Serge Lutens

As if I needed more Serge Lutens in my modest collection – here I go blind buying again.
So, I had a patchouli craving recently that my Intrigant Patchouli wasn’t quittteeee hitting, and figured that this would reach the spot :)

Borneo 1834 opens with a wonderful blast of pure patchouli. The patchouli that I needed! It has that real head-shop stuffiness that I’d hoped for but without the hemp-like greenery and no sour accords like in CB I Hate Perfume’s scary patchouli…

There’s an instant sweetness from a wonderful cocoa that comes into play, and to be honest – this accord isn’t as “dark” as I thought it would be. It is almost milky chocolate to me, verging on gourmand, but no complaints – the combination is beautiful.
So patchouli + chocolate = Angel? Not quite. The patchouli here is lavishly sleek, whilst being familiar in its dank, deep scent – it remains tame and completely in control. The sweetness in Borneo, unlike the Mugler, is also in complete control, richer – more exotic, with a delicate camphor laying over the top – adding an almost medicinal astringency to the patchouli and cocoa. The camphor is far from the intensity of Tuberuese Criminelle (for example), and instead has the sheer, sharp aspect that some great ouds have. It adds an age and a chilling subtlety to the foggy atmosphere.

I get a very subtle tobacco, as well as a liquorice note – in the same, but more toned down, style of Parfumerie Generale’s Aomassai. All intermingled with the cocoa and bitter patchouli, Borneo 1834 is dark and perplexing whilst being light and delicate on the skin.
The fragrance remains relatively linear, with a wonderful resinous base acting like a dark, sticky veil. The resins give off that breathy/slightly sweaty feel that they sometimes do (I normally get this with myrrh), I’d almost have thought there was the tiniest bit of cumin in here, but the fragrance isn’t spicy at all.

Borneo 1834 never gets overwhelming with its intensity as it wears light up close, but scents the air all around you. I’m thoroughly enjoying it already and am sure I will grow to absolutely love it (as I have with my Chypre Rouge). Whilst I don’t have a great deal of experience with patchouli compositions, this combination is a classic and I’m sure I’ll be wearing it all year round. A sexy, mysterious fragrance that is slighty dirty, and almost edible – gorgeous!

Borneo 1834 50ml EDP Serge Lutens – 95 Euros sergelutens.com

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CB I Hate Perfume – Just Breathe, I Am A Dandelion

Just Breathe  is a perfect designer release. It is universally pleasant, yet just about unusual enough to be considered unique.
It opens both green, and sweet – with an extremely synthetic and overtly loud green tea accord, that is more candied than natural and bitter.
Bizarrely, the opening reminds me of Secret Obsession by Calvin Klein – something I used to enjoy but would never wear.

The fragrance has a damp feel to it, and manages to pull of Brosius’ typical “soaked earth” feel but with the fresher scent of bamboo… having said that, I have no idea what real bamboo smells like. Given the list of notes (Bamboo, green tea, cedar), it sounds like a fancy body wash, and smells like one too. It has a creamy texture to it that is much denser than the fragrance needed to be.

Just Breathe verges on cloying, and the sweetness is like an intense fruit accord of peach and maybe even melon? It has the same fruit vibe as Saddle Warmer by Smell Bent – only SW is almost meant to be gross and it works well because of that – here however the fruit note smells like a cleaning product or an air freshener.
Some floral notes come in and out but are so translucent they are hard to identify. Maybe a cheap jasmine?

Basically, I don’t like this fragrance. It is probably the first CB I Hate Perfume creation that I have actually not found anything to like about. It was designed to “calm, balance and center yourself”, but it doesn’t do that at all – and thankfully it seems that many noses agree. Not a good effort.

And finally we find something great again!

The classic Soaked Earth accord opens I Am A Dandelion, sitting underneath a juicy, sap filled floral that without the name of the fragrance hinting at you – would be completely baffling and so familiar!

Before sniffing I Am A Dandelion, it’s almost impossible for me to think about what the flower itself smells like – one inhalation and it all comes back…

The floral accord has a wet, playful scent of sap, green leaves and an almost delicate smoky aroma. You can smell the gleaming yellow petals contrasting with the thick scent of rich mud and cut grass. Whilst the imagery goes hand in hand with Christopher Brosius’ marketing and direct name, the fragrance is undoubtably familiar and wonderfully accurate.

The perfumer really does excel with these green earthy fragrances – and maybe for some it can get a little tiresome, almost like a cheap trick throwing in that great accord to make something so joyous and real, but for now it does work; for me – I’m not tired of it just yet.
I Am A Dandelion is basically Wild Hunt without the mushrooms, but more sap and fresh greens.
It is linear, not particularly long-lasting, but a pleasure to wear whilst it lasts.

Just Breathe 15ml Absolute – $90
Just Breathe 100ml Water – $75
I Am A Dandelion 15ml Absolute – $95
I Am A Dandelion 100ml Water – $80 all available from cbihateperfume.com

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Secret Garden – Aftelier Perfumes

I keep meaning to review this, but I feel like I don’t know the Aftelier’s well enough. Each time I try them I’m a little intimidated, but always excited!
Working my way through writing about this batch of samples is taking a longggg time, but, it’s helping me write my favourite posts so no complaints :) So, on to the learning…

Secret Garden has an almost muted opening at first – a delicate, refined orange peel begins to give way to the softest rose and smooth wood. As it begins to re-arrange itself, everything becomes a little clearer. The bitter juices of the citrus fruits stain the skin whilst allowing the warm, elegant bois de rose to radiate in a hazed glow. Before Aftelier – I was not familiar with bois de rose at all. I’ve noticed it in almost all the fragrances I have tried of hers so far, and it really is a beautiful note. It is warm, extremely smooth and refined with an almost tea-like texture, and a savoury rose aura.

The orange remains and floral woods, smooth into a translucent sheen whilst a true Turkish rose emerges. Paired with the delicately powdered rose, a rich, indole heavy jasmine pushes to the foreground where it remains. In perfect proportion, the jasmine imparts its syrupy sweetness – counterbalanced by the unrecognizable rich base, yet to come out.

The jasmine sambac is truly beautiful, never cloying but heady and sensual – partnered with an exotic jammy fruit that Aftelier lists as “raspberry isolate”. Although not easily identified on its own, it seems to melt with the floral duo to create a whole new dimension to them. The raspberry turns a simple (but exquisite) jasmine and rose heart, into something that is so alien and perplexing, it makes me frown in confusion, and sniff again… and again…
Whilst being recognizably a fruit accord, engulfed in the heart it is practically indiscernible turning almost animalic. It morphs the heady florals into a singular accord of a phantasmal flower – so appealing it makes me a crack out a thesaurus to find ridiculous words like “phantasmal” to describe it.

Gracefully underlying this bizarrely animal flower, is what I initially perceived as a true to life gardenia, with the faintest trail of it’s instantly recognizable creamy/cheese facet that makes it so fascinating. Noted by Mandy as “blue lotus”, a flower which I have no familiarity with – she describes it as a “watery gardenia aroma”. The word “watery” should definitely not be taken as aquatic, it is perfectly detectable and wonderfully appealing. It imparts this delicate almost lactonic effect, adding a further white floral edge along with the jasmine, only calmer and more savoury. All together, this floral trio and animalic raspberry create a thoroughly narcotic but perfectly tamed sensual bouquet.


If Secret Garden’s scent looked like a single flower – it would be this Passion Flower

So, before I get overwhelmed with attempting to describe the clever partnerships in the heart, I almost forgot that the base came into play a while ago on my skin. The base is just another wonderful piece to Secret Garden. A mature vanilla and plush benzoin, cushion a civet/castoreum duo on earthy patchouli. The animalics seep a textured heat, that merged with the indolic jasmine, raspberry and lactonic lotus create something that seems harmless at first… then suddenly “SWEET JESUS!” You realize exactly what’s smacking you between the nose. It seems so restrained and refined, all warming into something that you makes you think “What a beautifully elegant floral” but it is sooooo much ruder than that and all the better for it. Don’t get me wrong, this IS a beautifully elegant floral – the harmonies are outstanding and the unsual notes distort expectations (as with all Aftelier fragrances). But the “secret” in Secret Garden is that just when you are completely lulled into a luscious floral bouquet, you are suddenly slapped with an animal hide and buried neck-deep in a bestialized flower patch, with only the merest hint of vanillic notes keeping your nose above the ground. It’s wonderful. I’ll also add that a listed note is “deertongue”, it is a plant that I am completely unfamiliar with, but for now I’ll let my imagination run wild as I think the scent of a tongue would just slip in here nicely…

Hopefully those who blush at the thought of wearing something civet heavy haven’t run off screaming yet, as Secret Garden is completely wearable. To a nose unfamiliar with some of these animal notes, it will probably be identified as a terrifically deep pollen scent (in a kind of Manoumalia style). For those of us who are in with the secret, it is great fun to wear!
Secret Garden is ever-changing, and the accords are fascinating – starting out simple and identifiable before throwing your sideways with the introduction of something completely alien but alluring.
To be honest, when I first sampled Secret Garden, yes I loved it, but perceived it as I described just – “An elegant floral, deep pollen, narcotic, very nice!”. But as I keep repeating like a stuck record: sniffing and writing opens a fragrances’ many doors to me, and Secret Garden has suddenly become one of the most fascinating white florals I’ve ever encountered.

Update: 26/08/12 I have since bought a full bottle of this – absolutely wonderful fragrance :D

Secret Garden 30ml EDP Aftelier – $170 aftelier.com

Passion Flower photograph from Daleys Fruit Tree Blog.

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Maturity in Fragrance and Language

I never really think about some of my reviews once I’ve written them; I forget that my use of language and my nose has evolved (and improved).
Recently, I decided to re-read some of my older posts and was shocked at the difference.

My posts about Vero, Aftelier and my recent Tauer write-up, was so much fun for me, and I felt that I was really able to put my language and thoughts to use, and trust my nose entirely. As a result of that, I feel like I wrote some great essays and said exactly what I wanted to.

So back to my old write-ups (some of them being on fragrances I absolutely adore), I noticed amateurish descriptions, incorrect facts, and a blunt-ness that is so intent on picking out notes and less about the feel and emotion. As poncy as it sounds to encourage these aspects, it is what I believe I’ve began to flourish at, and my perfume interest has become even more passionate than before. Where then I was intent on discovering notes and their scent, now I’m discovering how brilliantly these ingredients can be put to use.

I’m beginning the long process of re-writing/updating the reviews from my first few months of blogging. And I have begun with Iris Silver Mist. I have completely rewritten this review (re-sampling at the same time of course) and I am much, much happier with it. I couldn’t believe what I wrote about it last time – it just didn’t justify this fragrance at all. I don’t think that it is the most important review, but re-reading it was the most obvious literary image of my immaturity I found immediately. So, I hope you’ll read this re-write and agree that it was a good thing to do, and gradually this blog will be re-worked until it’s much more consistent.

This isn’t something I planned when I started, but they don’t represent me any more. I also forget that most of my readers aren’t regular, and will instead stumble upon a review from a Google search – in which case the one review they come to is their immediate impression of my style, and if these are outdated and inaccurate, then I won’t get any appreciation in my time and passion. It’s not that this is just for others, but it is a great thing to do for myself and is now helping me to visibly see the evolution in my work, and keep me passionate about writing – and sniffing!

So, I hope you guys are enjoying my recent posting as much as I am, and there are as always – many more exciting discoveries still to come!

Thank you :)

CB I Hate Perfume – In The Library, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday

These are two CB I Hate Perfume fragrances that are pretty much considered some of his most popular, so I thought I’d pair them together as they are relatively simple fragrances that I feel kind of sit together well (they are also both part of the CB Experience Series).

In The Library opens with a subtle vegetal aroma with a hint of sweetness. The first thing that came to mind every time I smelt this was “coconut flesh”, and it still is. It has the aroma of coconut without being the typical sweet, creamy scent found in fragrances that always comes off as tropical. This coconut note is damp, and to me, true to life.

This is where In The Library confuses me. To me, it doesn’t smell at all like books, old books/new books, any type, I get no association with a library, or even fresh ink for that matter. Along with Brosius’ “English Novel” accord, is “Leather Bindings” “Worn Cloth” amongst others. If I’m honest, I don’t get any of this, which is really rare for me with a CB scent – generally I fall completely in love with the story and pick up everything and am fascinated by his perfect recreation of natural aromas. Here however – I’m not at all influenced by the story as it doesn’t connect with me when I smell In The Library at all.

Ok, so the coconut aroma is incredibly subtle, but it does linger throughout the life of this fragrance. When I’m used to this, I begin to pick up this damp/mildew kind of effect. I associate it with a sodden, kind of mould like scent – but to be honest, I don’t know what mildew smells like – but that is the effect that In The Library gives off to me.

It is pleasant, and that’s about all. If you pick up the leather and cloth and furniture polish then I’m extremely jealous. For me however, In The Library is all about coconut flesh and a dampness – which may come from the “Worn Cloth” accord. It is subtle to the point of having to bring your hand extremely close to your nose to begin to smell it, and that’s from the first spritz. It is probably my least favourite CB fragrance from those I’ve tried, but I can thoroughly understand its appeal.

At first, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday or MHH, opens with a typical, subtle calogne type of note – an aquatic mix of woods and citrus, but very delicate and restrained.
This gives in pretty quickly, and out comes a wonderful salty, sea air accord; not quite as acrid and seasoned as Profumi Del Forte’s Tirrenico salt, but more the scent of ocean stained skin.

If I’m honest – there really isn’t much to say about MHH, it is what it is – and it remains linear throughout it’s life. A salty sea breeze accord dominates, extremely subtle and close to the skin, yet with a subliminal warmth that you can’t help  but find familiar and comforting. It is the scent of your body after a day at the beach, only without any kind of tropical associations of suntan lotion and cocktails. Here the effect is more blunt, and slightly less dreamy and romantic. The direct effect of salty skin is further enhanced by the merest hint of driftwood, sharing an ever so slightly familiar mould vibe as present in In The Library.

There are a few listed accords I don’t pick up, the main one being “Old Leather Suitcases”, and I wish this accord was more present as I’d love to detect a musty leather beneath this, it would completely take this fragrance out it’s usual aquatic territory into something much more original for me. But unfortunately, whilst I think MHH is a wonderfully fresh, summer sea scent, it needed to be much more to match its story and its goal.
MHH is what it is, and a great example of a “salty skin” note, I personally need a little more :) But sometimes subtlety works best and many people seem to thoroughly enjoy this.

As I say with all my CB reviews, I really really think Christopher Brosius needs to drop his nonsense regarding water perfumes, and whack some alcohol in these. If he did, his bank account would flourish with hundreds of new buyers and that’s pretty much a fact. I, along with many people on the forums, agree that these fragrances just don’t pack enough impact. Brosius has exceptional talent that almost seems wasted once these are diluted in water, and his absolutes aren’t much better. It’s a real shame as this brand could be much larger and more successful and greater appreciated than it currently is. I hope one day he accepts this, but it won’t happen…

In The Library/Mr. Hulot’s Holiday 100ml Water – $75.00
In The Library/Mr. Hulot’s Holiday 15ml Absolute – $90 – all available from cbihateperfume.com

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