Category Archives: About Me!

A Smelly Bloggers’ Day Out In London

Myself and Val the Cookie Queen, guest blogger at Australian Perfume Junkies had been chatting recently on Facebook. She told me about an upcoming “meetup” where Portia (APJ) and other guest blogger Michael Borg were traveling from Australia, through Europe, and landing in the UK. After an invite, along with many other bloggers, February the 8th came and we were all stupidly excited about the day :D

Bloom Perfume London
photo stolen from about.com

I arrived at Bloom Perfume in Shoreditch, our meeting point, nearly an hour lot – flustered as hell having trekked my way across town at record speed after my original train was cancelled.
Everyone was in full swing already, the tiny store was crowded with the blur of people sniffing blotters and chatting with each other. I tried my best to slip in as calmly as possible but ended up looking a bit erratic and out of breath.

The group was made up of the lovely Val who has an incredible larger than life personality along with killer taste. She left Bloom with Rubj and Mito Voile D’Extrait’s by Vero Profumo (see?!) <3 The glamorous Portia of course who helped to chill me out by pretty much… well, talking. He gleams non stop positivity and is absolutely hilarious to boot. Michael was charming, has wonderful taste and was keen to sniff various things with me – we share some very similar fragrance tastes. The lovely little Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume) who I have met up with twice before here in Birmingham, Thomas the Candy Perfume Boy who I had met once before, and his partner Nigel, the lovely Nick Gilbert, Joshua (The Smelly Vagabond) and the gorgeous Tara of Olfactoria’s Travels… were the other bloggers who had managed to show up! Quite a list!

I actually can’t remember much of my time at Bloom with everyone :’) It was a bit of a blur trying to settle in and say hi to everyone… We tried the new Isparta by Parfumerie General and all agreed it smelt a little like Portrait of a Lady, only sweeter, without the patchouli, and not as superior… easily dismissed. Dzhari by Phaedon which to me smelt like prune juice… And at that point, I was pretty much done… I was much more keen to hear everyone elses thoughts than try things myself!
I swapped some samples with a few people, and got to try a sneaky spritz of Dark Passage by Tauer for Tableau de Parfums which was a limited release… a big dark camphorous patchouli, very nice, a little straightforward… but almost “oudy” in its rawness up top… quite cool.

Bloom Perfume Bloggers
Back Row: Myself, Michael, Portia, Nick
Middle: Tara, Nigel, Val, Thomas
Front: Joshua, Vanessa

After this quick sniff around, we popped next door to Poppies – for “The best fish and chips in the UK”… or something like that, an award-winning place anyway! I unfortunately was pretty much puking up my dinner the night before (nice!) having been ill for a few days and near overdosing trying to cure it by the morning on tramadol, codeine and paracetamol ha! So I settled on a drink only… regretting it slightly seeing everyone’s delicious looking food arriving!

We had a bit of a sniff around at the table, everyone had brought bags of samples and I felt a bit stupid not bringing more with me. Still… one of the biggest hits to be handed round was Envoyage’s gorgeous Zelda which Portia hadn’t smelt. One spritz down his top and he was constantly screaming “OH MY GOD THIS IS HUGE! IT’S GORGEOUS!”. Another hit was 1996 by Byredo that Thomas brought, it was a very nice dough-y iris that I didn’t try on myself so can’t remember perfectly… but it’s something I may revisit. Other things worked their way around but I was just kind of sitting to the side having a big natter with Portia about his travels… I was riddled with envy! The amount himself and Michael had done around Europe, in Paris and Austria, blew my mind. Two very passionate bloggers with a heck of a lot more knowledge than they let on! :D

Freddie Albrighton Portia Turbo Smellythoughts
Myself and Portia in Poppies

After all this we trekked to Les Senteurs. Most of the bloggers including Val and Portia parched themselves on the sofas at the back, knackered from all the walking and talking (they had been travelling a hell of a lot over the last few days!). I had a sniff around with Michael and the others, tackling the likes of Eau D’Italie, and sharing my love for Sienne L’Hiver. I explored a little more of the Frederic Malle line again, resniffing Musc Ravageur as I have recently bought a bottle off a member of one of the Facebook fragrance groups and have been super excited for it to arrive! I had saved some money up so knew I was going to buy something, and knew pretty much 100% that it would be Mona Di Orio’s Eau Absolue. I got everyone else to sniff it, knowing full well that it is not something to make you go “WOW” on first spray… it’s a grower, with a wonderful development that captivated me totally on repeated sampling… and yes, I ended up buying a bottle!
I also tried more of Mona’s line, spraying her Ambre on one hand (which was gorgeous musky and raunchy on me to begin with) – Portia said I smelt “filthy!” in a good way I’m sure ;). It settled to something a little more tame and powdery, but still, a very nice accord.  Tubereuse went on the other, which was also a win! The drydown was a little bit too tame for me, but the opening was gorgeous… something I’ll have to revisit… in fact, I think I’ll be revisiting all of Mona’s line again, I seem to be having a lot of success with them now. Thomas ended up buying Portrait Of A Lady after being on the hunt for a good rose all day… I adore the smell of POAL, but it doesn’t work on my skin, I picked up a sample for my mum as she adored it the last time she tried it (along with lots of other samples from Malle along with my purchase).

lessenteurs
becauselondon.com

We also sat and devoured Val’s box of peanut butter cookies she brought with her, which everyone agreed, were “AMAZING!” – the box had a remaining couple left so I stashed them in my bag to take home for the evening… no chance in hell were they going to waste <3 After further sniffings of the Parfumerie Generale line (I still need a bottle of Cuir Venenum), and smelling the fabulous Narcisse Noire parfum on Portia (hairspray and nail varnish as he describes), we said farewell to Vanessa, Thomas, Nigel and Nick… whilst myself, Portia, Michael, Val and Tara headed to Selfridges (to go and meet Val’s daughter).

Selfridges
freefoto.com

Selfridges to me is full of shit I don’t really want to smell, not that everything is bad there, but there is a lot of crappy niche brands at high prices targeting the Arabian market, a lot like Roja Dove’s. Still, Portia had a good sniff around, and came back reeking of some bonfire atrocity by Union, Celtic Fire… which every agreed, smelt like barbecued sausage with tomato ketchup – a less refined, more savoury gourmand version of things like Cologne Reloaded, Lonestar Memories, and Patchouli 24… He also tried the new Hermessence Epice Marine which was a weirdly spicey marine fragrance (who’d have guessed) – that wasn’t my sort of thing, but it seemed to radiate of Portia nicely! Along with a slathering of No.22 Parfum by Chanel, which we all agreed was a little soapier and less plush in its more concentrated form… weirdly.

Tara sprayed on some Coromandel which was gorgeous on her… the only question I always find with things like Coromandel, is how much different is it really from many other patchouli soliflores? I have a difficult time, or maybe struggle to bother, differentiating between them all… still – it was very pretty! I remember trying Mitzah by Dior Privee on Michael who had bought a massive bottle in Paris I believe… it smelt nice enough to me… although a pretty generic amber accord – nice enough, with a subtle rose in the heart… I haven’t found a Dior Privee that’s truly wow-ed me yet.

Mona Di Orio Humiecki Graef

Anyway, after Selfridges, myself, Portia and Michael parted with Val and Tara to head back to Portia’s hotel. Unfortunately the finale isn’t as exciting as it sounds… Portia had simply forgot to bring with him the bottle of Blask that I had asked him to pick up in Austria! Humiecki & Graef isn’t available in the UK, so I thought I’d snatch my chance to grab a bottle of this gorgeous juice, that I first tried in Berlin. So after getting my bottle of Blask from them, and some requested samples, I gave a hug and said my farewells and headed off home. The day was a huge success and everyone was a joy to be around, Portia and Val made me feel very special, despite them being the honoured guests of the daytrip!
I’m sure everyone else had fun, having read the other folks’ write-ups of the day (which I’ll link to below). Hope to see you all again soon <3<3

The Candy Perfume Boy: Australian Invasion

Bonkers About Perfume: A Fishy Fumehead Encounter

Olfactoria’s Travels: Portia Fest 2014

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SMELLYTHOUGHTS: Best Fragrances of 2013

SMELLYTHOUGHTS

2013 brought us Perfumistas some outstanding releases. I didn’t want to categorize any of these so I’m putting out this end of year post, as simply as possible: The Seven Best Releases of 2013…
A weird number, not particularly catchy, but these were the standouts. Of course, I haven’t tried everything that has been released, but I generally try what targets my taste. All these fragrances were released in 2013, and are not necessarily what I’ve worn the most for example, but if you wanted to some up the year in perfume, these would be the seven.
In no particular order… (Ok, maybe slightly in a particular order)…

Mito Extrait Vero

Mito Extrait de Parfum by Vero Profumo

So I cannot find a picture of the Extrait de Parfum bottle anywhere, so this Voile D’Extrait will have to suffice! Whilst the composition is the same in both bottles, the concentration of the parfum just wins me over with it’s dense, plush texture.
Vero Kern has created a perfume of immense beauty, and whilst it took me a while to fully “get” the Mito EDP which was released first, the Extrait simply blew me away.
It is a lush combination of bracing citrus accords and bitter greens, with a bunch of white florals laid over it. Lemongrass, cypress, galbanum all lead up top, giving in to a heart of magnolia, champaca and a bitter vegetal tuberose which ties the florals in to the bitter greenery both up top, and the mossy greenery in the base. There’s a hint of peach throughout, and a drop of civet in the base – a reinvented chypre that smells modern yet timeless, referencing great classics of the past with huge admiration. Green florals have been totally to my taste recently, and having tried so many, I can’t see anything surpassing this extraordinary fragrance.

Ingrid Tableau de Parfums

Ingrid by Tableau De Parfums

The final fragrance in the Tableau de Parfums trio was a truly gorgeous release. A frangipani oriental, using the leading floral as it’s never been smelt before… out of a tropical setting, and thrown into a spice basket of dried roses, cloves, cinnamon and woods. It’s an absolutely huge fragrance, overwhelming and extravagant… yet its final hours on the skin are languid and plush; it’s feminine without being sweet or candied. Ingrid is a bold, confident fragrance that is hugely original and truly one of a kind. A fantastic finale for the line by Tauer. His work for Tableau de Parfums has been his most mature and experimental yet.

Zelda

Zelda by Envoyage Perfumes

Zelda is just an all-round beautiful fragrance. It’s a unique, complicated magnolia oriental – in a similar vein as Ingrid without the hefty dose of cloves. It’s an old-school glamorous floral oriental, concentrating on the more creamy, waxy aspects of magnolia, partnered with subtle greens, hints of booze and old wood, rich in civet soaked woods and tobacco. Zelda is an extremely modern take on a classic structure and whilst complicated, it’s executed perfectly. Shelley Waddington is an extremely talented artisinal perfumer and Zelda is proof of this… it’s truly gorgeous.

Eva Kant O'Driu

Eva Kant by O’Driu

Perfumer Angelo Pregoni has done something with Eva Kant that I just can’t work out – he’s created an extremely beautiful, slightly aquatic floral that has a texture and translucency I didn’t think possible with such a high dose of natural materials. Eva Kant is a slightly spicy floral of rose and ylang, that starts extremely bitter and herbal, with lavender, grapefruit and rosemary. It’s bold, without being overly dramatic, with a fascinating combination of textures and contrasting notes. It’s a hugely intelligent piece of work from the O’Driu brand and undoubtedly his best work to date. Whilst I struggle to wrap my head around it at times, Eva Kant is something I absolutely adore to wear and have certainly never tried anything like it.

Cuir de Gardenia

Cuir de Gardenia – Aftelier Perfumes

Cuir de Gardenia filled a space in perfume land that was desperate to be filled… there has always been a gap for a good gardenia fragrance. I’d say this space has previously been occupied by Jardenia by JAR, and nothing else. Whilst Jardenia is still an extraordinary gardenia, it always felt more a brilliant accord than a fragrance to me. Whilst Cuir de Gardenia is simplistic, it’s a complete fragrance… with an outstanding gardenia accord. In the opening there’s subtle honeyed fruits, pear, a gorgeous gardenia – however devoid of the mushroom earthiness that dominated Jardenia, and jasmine. The jasmine is equally as dominant on my skin, and it leads into a smoky castoreum base that on me, goes through stages of smelling like leather, then smoky bacon. It’s a wonderful, comforting fragrance by the mother of natural perfumery Mandy Aftel – a perfumer who knows her ingredients inside-out. A clever piece of work, executed breathtakingly.

Bogue Profumo Cologne Reloaded

Cologne Reloaded by Bogue Profumo

Excuse the terrible photo, again, I couldn’t find one of the bottle so just took a quick snap of mine :)
Cologne Reloaded was composed almost entirely of vintage materials the perfumer apparently found, or was gifted by someone. The result is exactly as expected, an ancient smelling cologne. Of course citrus oils would have long since gone bad, so there are practically no citrus notes here. Instead, it’s a lavender smoke-bomb of a fragrance. Tons of birch tar, aromatic herbs, astringent, medicinal, bracing, very smoky… It’s one hell of a creation, that dries down to a rather dandified baby powder finale. Hard to wear, but every time I do I love it so much. A brave, and a very interesting release from a very new niche house – this perfumer Antonio Gardoni is one to keep an eye out for. His fragrance Eau D’E for Bogue is also really beautiful!

Santal Exotique

Santal Exotique by The Exotic Island Perfumer

This fragrance is an absolute must try for any sandalwood lovers, any lovers of spicy, Christmas-y gourmands… cinnamon, hot milk, cocoa, sandalwood galore, wood galore in general… It’s a mature gourmand, not at all foody, even more opulent than any of Serge Lutens’ sandalwood interpretations! This puts so many poor sandalwood attempts to shame… and in fact, Juan Perez’s whole line The Exotic Island Perfumer is outstanding. Santal Exotique I didn’t expect to love as much as I did, yet I find myself wearing it most evenings… absolutely comforting, beautifully balanced, totally wearable, and very alluring. A warm, spicy comfort and a reference sandalwood fragrance.

There you go guys! Hope you enjoyed my favourites of 2013… I cannot recommend you sampling these enough!!!!

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Video: New Purchases November 2013

Enjoy!

Oh and every now and again I like to post some tattoo updates. Been working on some cool pieces recently :D All my own artwork I really wanted to do!

cherryblossominnerbicep geisha shrunkenhead tattooshaman beardedlady

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Update from Freddie :D

Hi guys
I know I know, my posting has been absolutely dire recently. I have some hardcore writing to do to catch up haha.
Well, next up is my interview with Chandler Burr on his Art of Scent exhibition and the Untitled project. This was going to be a video review, but as we’ve both been super busy with work, we just couldn’t find a time to arrange the call! Very frustrating, so unfortunately it’ll be written. Obviously the interviews are relatively brief so each blogger gets their turn without hogging all the questions but hopefully you’ll find it as interesting as I have.
I also have the Vero Profumo Voile D’Extrait releases to talk about which I’ve been sampling lots recently (total love of course). So yeh, lots to come up.
I’ll brighten this post with some of the tattoo work I’ve been keeping busy with these last few weeks as I haven’t done that in a long time! Bit of a non-fragrance related thing but… enjoy!

Freddie Albrighton Tattoo

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The First Response to Smellythoughts’ Blind Sniff 2013!

Well! Fumerie Hilaire (Freddie) was the first to tackle my blind sniff challenge (Oh and apologies for the lack of posting I’ve been so into this YouTube blind sniff that I had abandoned my blog for a few days!).
Here’s his video – a little long, but very fun to watch :D

I’d like to say also that Freddie, just today, figured out what “Power” was – and is so close to figuring out “Stone” I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for him to say it!
He’s also figured out “Spirit” much better than I could of but I’m worried that the uber-niche-ness of it may make it difficult to guess – he’s got all the accords right though!

But yeh, I can’t name what “Power” is on here yet just incase Raj has a snoop around and finds out ;)

But enjoy guys! New reviews to come soon – I’m up to my neck in things to write about!

Freddie xxx

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Update from Freddie :)

Hey guys hope everyone is keeping well.
Been working on some new YouTube vids – which got kindda wasted because my video editing software has just all failed on me for no reason – majorly sucks.
Anyway – got tons of reviews coming up I just need to manage my blog, the YouTube channel, and the masses of work I’ve got to draw up for people at work! Thought I’d brighten the post with a new picture for my About Me section (lemme know what you think!) - and a really cute tattoo I did on my friend Laura yesterday at work (off topic I know sorry but gotta give you something to look at here).
:D BYEEEE <3

Octopus Cartoon Tattoo

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SMELLYTHOUGHTS and BONKERS ABOUT PERFUME’s blind date…

Hi guys

Well, the other day myself and fellow fragrance lover, blogger and fountain-of-knowledge Vanessa, from Bonkers about Perfume, decided to hook up for a drink and a quick sniff of various things. I’d love to write an in-depth diary entry about this, but Vanessa has beat me to it (or I’m just lazy) and has written a charming little account of our drinks and sniffs, in words much more elegant than I could have put together.
We had a great chat about pretty much everything, shared some perfume loves and had a right good slag-off about everything perfume and blog related. Perfect company! <3

Enjoy!

A Bacchanalian Sniff-In with Freddie of Smellythoughts

Samples

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YouTube Fragrance Reviews!

Just reminding people that I’m still working on the YouTube vids, they’re slowly getting sharper, shorter and a bit more “put together”. Please stop by and say hi :D

Freddie Smellythoughts

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SMELLYTHOUGHTS What I Bought Giveaway WINNER!

New Bottles

Selected via Random.org:

The winner of the 8 x 1ml samples is:

!!! poodle !!!

Please email me (email address on the “About Me” section) with your postage details and I’ll get the samples shipped out to you asap!
Congratulations! :D

Thanks to everyone who entered, keep your eyes peeled more giveaways to come soon.

Merry Christmas and congrats on surviving the apocalypse

xxx

SMELLYTHOUGHTS Back Home… What Did I Get? + A Giveaway!

The REVEAL!
So after my two-week fragrant tour around Europe (which went swimmingly!) – I managed to pick up some goodies on the way (of course).
Here are my somewhat unusual choices if I do say so myself…

New Bottles

Bosque by Humiecki & Graef

I love Bosque. I always have. I got thinking about how people say it is the easiest to wear and the most “generic” of the H&G line – I completely disagree, but maybe that’s my mindset. I’ve planned this big friggin’ essay on Bosque that I’ve been working on and am looking forward to posting, it might be a bit ridiculous for most people to read but it’ll be there anyway :P
Bosque is a dried grassy/floral with really bizarre floral notes I might add… it dries down to this bizarrely salty/milky/spermy? accord undercut with vetiver, it’s extremely unusual, absolutely beautiful and I’m thrilled to finally have it.

M/Mink by Byredo

I had tried this one before but only on paper. I thought it was absolutely disgusting. However, as soon as it hit my skin in the store in Germany, I got this blast of animalic musk and an intensely synthetic aldehyde combo that still, turned my stomach a bit. But as it dried down and the bitter, set honey, dark incense and unsettling inky notes came in, I found it completely captivating. I’m not sure whether I’ll wear M/Mink much, but I knew it had to be in my collection – it fits an empty spot. It’s both intimate and completely soul-less – brilliant!

Miriam by Tableau de Parfums

Miriam is an incredible fragrance, a modern vintage classic that carries a true Andy Tauer signature. It’s such an emotional fragrance, beautiful, elegant and timeless – full of interesting twists and turns that take it in unexpected directions. It evokes such strong memories and emotions with me and is a real “homely” fragrance – it is pure bliss. I have written my big review on this so I don’t need to write much more, but I feel like I can sigh relief with a smile now I have it.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

I knew I was going to get this one – it’s the most perfect iris (soliflore?) fragrance I’ve smelt. Full of carrots, powder, clove, earth and blahhhhhh it’s just great. A cold, calming, haunting perfume that has been on “the list” for far too long now. I needed it!

Rahat Loukhoum by Serge Lutens

Now here’s a weird one ey? Well… after my deep exploration of the exclusives line both outside of the Palais Royal and during my visit, I decided to pick up this one again for a quick sniff – having reviewed it many months ago after I had a slight obsession with it before smelling it. I loved it all over again – cherry, marzipan cakey goodness. But before, I was disappointed with the drydown – it lost the cherries, it lost the sweetness – it became a subtle skin scent that just hovered on my skin in a light, slightly powdered layer of vanilla, rose, musk and almond. The thing is, right now – this part appeals to me just as much. It is the ultimate comfort scent and I’d love to fall asleep to it. But also, It is the perfect fragrance to wear when you don’t know what to wear – something that will just within an hour or two melt into your skin in a delicate sweet layer that smells like a part of you – just a little more yummy. Thoughtless, elegant, edible? but necessary! I had to buy it. It alters my mind completely on first sniff – a complete joy.

Rubj by Vero Profumo

Rubj is one of the greatest florals created… in my opinion of course. As Judas as it is to say, I love the EDP more than the extrait… now, I adore the extrait, it’s beautiful – but the crisp green quality and the tart passionfruit in the EDP just tips the scale for me and could literally make me faint in adoration of this fragrance. An overwhelmingly gorgeous perfume that I almost feel is too good for me to wear, but when I wear it I feel incredible – and that’s what a real perfume should do! A necessity.

Leva by O’Driu

I have always wanted an O’Driu - but thought I didn’t like any of them enough to own – and the price is indeed terrifying. Leva always gets put down a bit in the lineup as being too sweet, too light, and too unlike the other O’Driu’s - I can’t disagree with that enough. Leva is a powerhouse on me, holding a typical O’Driu signature up top with THE MOST intense lemongrass and green olive combo which smells like a dense, pungent almost vinegar-laden oil on the skin. But the thing that captivates me the most is its perfect development (using only naturals I believe). The olives burn off after half an hour or so, the pungent lemongrass undercut by the greatest vanilla I have smelt. I struggle with vanilla so this is a big deal for me. Difficult to wear, but a real piece of art work.

Fracas by Robert Piguet

Ok I’m lying a bit here, this was a gift from the Robert Piguet house, but I came back to it from my holiday so I’m including it :P After all, it is a new bottle. I do love Fracas – a playful ditsy tuberose that I can splash on in abandon and roll around smelling of candies and cream – all buttered up in creamy white florals! Of course, there’s more to it than that, but I’ll be sure to write something a little more mature about it soon :)

So yes! There you have it. What do you guys think? Did I do good? :D

THE GIVEAWAY – NOW CLOSED!!!
(the real reason you’re reading this)

So one lucky reader can win a 1ml sample of each of my new goodies!
All you have to do is subscribe/follow (if you haven’t already!), let me know which one takes your fancy the most, AND – LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THEM!!
I love feedback, negative and all, don’t be afraid to tell me you hate something that’s part of the fun :P But it sucks to send people stuff and never hear from them again – just saying ;)
I’ll announce the winner next Sunday: 23/12/2012 so make sure you come back and check because people keep forgetting to collect their goodies :(

Winner announced here!

Thanks for the support everyone

Freddie <3

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