Category Archives: Byredo

Video: SMELLYTHOUGHTS’ Fragrance Starting Lineup 2013

A new video here!
Please excuse the unflattering stalling towards the end of the video :) x

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SMELLYTHOUGHTS’ 1 Year Anniversary + Freddie’s Best of 2012

Hello!
Ok, I’m gonna crack straight on with this.

First of all: Happy New Year :)
Now that’s out the way – here’s what I loved and discovered in 2012.

My Favourite 3 Fragrances in 2012:

Haute Claire

Haute Claire (far too closely followed by Secret Garden) by Aftelier Perfumes. Both of these fragrances are a tie for me, completely different, but absolutely beautiful. The richest, most naturally grand florals I have smelt – truly beautiful, wearable and classic – timeless fragrances that will be with me for a long time. Outstanding!

Rubj EDP

Rubj EDP by Vero Profumo is simply awesome. A sexy, volumptuous floral with an unexpected, almost tropical/sour “fresh” slice of green passionfruit smothering it. Mouthwatering, huge, and an absolute necessity. Exceptional.

Miriam

Miriam by Tableau De Parfums is a modern classic. It combines so many elements of fragrances I love into something seamless – the aldehydic resins of La Myrrhe, the aldehydic white floral/incense combo of No.22, various fragmented particles of classic Tauer’s such as the bay of Un Rose Chypree, the violet/iris of Pentachord White… I can go on… but it is its own being – Miriam is gorgeous.

Most Unexpected Beauty:

M/Mink

M/Mink by Byredo completely took me by surprise. After months of thinking I hated it (after trying it only twice on paper) – I found it’s evolution on the skin absolutely captivating. Whilst I still struggle to wear it, when I finally accept that it’s a beeswax/incense/patchouli and not the fishy atrocity that my mind conjurs up – I love it.

New Talent:

Indigo

Mangetic Scent is an awesome line. Indigo was one of my sampling highlights of the year and I can’t wait to get my hands on a full bottle. The packaging is beautiful, the fragrances are truly brilliant and I can’t wait to see what this guy comes out with next :D

Best Marketing and Packaging:

O'Driu

In all honesty, O’Driu is pretty pompous and poncy (a little cringeworthy at times)… but judging the brand through it’s products, marketing and advertising – it owns. Not only have they kicked off massively solely from threads on Basenotes, the gorgeous sample packages were handed out extremely generously, and the packaging is fantastic. I love the boxes stuffed with feathers and hessian, the advertising images are beautiful, the bottles are solid (although a bit wierd, when you buy 50ml, you get 50ml in a 100ml bottle…), and I like the atomizers (but wouldn’t use it – evapouration and all that shit). All in all, kudos to you O’Driu.

Oh and just in the category of advertising, Lady Gaga’s Fame commercial was brilliant (there, I said it)… as we all know, the fragrance was piss poor.

Sad To See Go:

Eau D'Epices

Eau D’Epices got discontinued this year – which gave me a little heartache… but it’ll be back next year I believe so no big deal :P I guess it’s removal from the market re-trigged my admiration for this challenging composition. I will get it when it returns!

A list of other fragrances I loved in 2012:

Iris Silver Mist
Sepia
Bosque
Chypre Rouge
Musc Maori
Putain Des Palaces
Ambra Nera
CDG EDP 2011
Bolt Of Lightning/Fermes Tes Yeux/Jarling
Tawaf

Ok so you might be wondering where all the hate is here? In all honesty – there’s too many to write about and compile into neat categories, so I’m just gonna real some off and get the dirty stuff over with…

Crap of the year:

Seville A L’Aube (loved smelling the ingredients that went in it… didn’t like ‘em all together…)
Serge Noire/L’Eau/L’Eau Froide/Nuit De Cellophane (obvious reasons)

BEX
(the write ups that started the trouble)
Sentifique
(words can’t describe these fragrances… so I won’t try) 
Jean-Claude Ellena’s Dreary Diary (and most of his work)
Seven Veils
(I still re-live the nightmare of when it hit my skin)
Jovoy
(the line, not the shop)
Blah blah blah – I have a terrible memory and the list could go on forever, trust me. That’ll do for now :)

So yes – every bloggers doing these in far more detail so there’s my little two cents. Thanks for the support everyone <3<3<3

Freddie x

Oh, and some perfect music… just because :)

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M/Mink – Byredo

M/Mink

M/Mink starts with an absolute, horrific overload of aldehydes – no, not the gorgeously rich, floral/citrus Chanel style aldehydes; Adoxal – a material I haven’t smelt in its raw form, but I believe it practically is here. Adoxal smells waxy, intense, sour, heavily marine (almost verging on fishy). It has a balmy/lemony quality which soon reveals an overtly intense incense, not at all comfortable in volume, texture, or scent. It’s texture turns to liquid: black, murky and pungent – the perfect ink representation.

But, it’s settling… it morphs and changes, floating around on your skin as the discomfort and intensity begins to disperse and evaporate, leaving behind something difficult, but much more approachable… just. The incense is potent, as described before – balmy with a true “lemony” quality. It’s not the normal incense variety I’m fond of, it reminds me of the note in Comme Des Garcons 2 Man – only I don’t particularly like that fragrance. The salty, literal marine notes still sit underneath, crystallizing into a more solid form that almost “crackle” on the skin.

Patchouli plays a leading role, but it’s crisp, clear, stuffy yet almost translucent. There’s nothing “headshop-y” about it whatsoever. It has a leafy quality to it like a freshly picked handful of the plant, roots and all, with maybe a hint of vetiver adding to the earthy/saltiness.
But the texture isn’t right, there’s something morphing it into something bizarre: beeswax. A completely de-sweetened honey note adds a pungent aroma that swallows the entire composition of M/Mink in a thick, greasy layer of cloying warmth and an unwelcome bitterness. The honey’s use is hugely animalic, yet not at all “pissy” as in my favourites Miel De Bois and Delivre Moi (yet to review): paired with a warm amber underneath it has this soiled, “breathy” quality that smells unclean and literally “sticky”.

M/Mink Advertisement

There is something floral going on underneath though – the only trace of anything “perfume-y” desperate for attention whilst buried neck-deep in the “ink”. Is it rose? Jasmine? Maybe it’s hyacinth? It’s something… made a mere sparkle by the crisp patchouli that helps to bring it out. But it’s completely blurred, unnoticeable and unimportant – it hardly has a contribution but it’s nice to know it’s there.
The sourness still rises to the surface every now and again, along with marine/driftwood notes, metallic elements, waxy textures and animalic musk. It sounds like hell in a bottle right? It sort of is… but it’s undeniably compelling. The thing is, yes, the first spray of M/Mink is almost unbearable-y difficult, but it’s drydown whilst extremely impossible to wear when broken down – combines into a relatively harmonious blend that is somehow mysterious, soulless, and utterly fascinating.

It’s mystery is what keeps me hugely interested, because even from afar it’s complicated personality is evident and I find that almost meditative. But M/Mink isn’t all a challenge, within half an hour to an hour, your nose has got through the worst, and what is on the end is more approachable, even enjoyable. Enjoyable sounds boring, it sounds like it is merely “good” – but if you’ve made it this far, M/Mink is “great”! And by “great” I mean it’s actually a lovely smell. The patchouli/incense/amber leads – which makes it sound like a thousand other fragrances out there, but with the still-potent residue of marine notes and the muted, unsettling beeswax, what it manages to create is something completely original and perplexing. At this point it’s not at all difficult, yet it remains avant-garde and completely unfamiliar – fascinating to wear with an aura of abstract beauty. A brilliant fragrance.

M/Mink 50ml EDP Byredo – £88 www.liberty.co.uk

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More (Unsuccessful) London Shopping… Part 1

This post is going to be longgggggggggggggggggggggggg…….

Ok so back to London (to attend the L’Artisan launch for Seville A L’Aube with Bertrand Duchaufour and Denyse Beaulieu – but there’s enough posts about that), and to have a shop! So here I am, armed with my lame-ass note book, my nose, and a wad of cash!! After my great success’ last time – leaving with the gorgeous Lonestar Memories and the repulsively addictive Musc Maori, I had high hopes!

So on arrival, I had about an hour to kill before it was off to L’Artisan in Covent Garden, so I made my way to Oxford Street and figured I’d hit Liberty’s – there were a few things I wanted to try (and were on my “I know I want this but I haven’t tried it yet” list).

Passing Byredo, I couldn’t help but have another quick sniff of Pulp. I put a bit on my hand this time, and didn’t realise that it was actually a fig fragrance – I hadn’t got that at all the last time I tried it on paper. But still, there it was, paired with the plump fig the hideously synthetic scent of berries and shower gel. Not the summer fruity fragrance I would like :(

Seven Veils smelt very interesting out of the lid… on my hand, oh my god the horror – words cannot describe. Haha, ok so it wounds overdramatic, but Seven Veils is without a doubt the worse fragrance I have ever had on my skin (don’t take it personally, this is only my opinion). A floral, clove spiced vanilla (in the same sort of veil as Musc Ravageur only far more intense), but the vanilla just turned absolutely rancid on me – in the same way that Mona Di Orio’s Vanille turns to egg on me, it was a very similar but worse reaction. I mistook the vanilla for myrrh initially – that rancid breath quality that it so oftens morphs into. After I smelt this, I had very bad experiences with vanilla for the rest of the day. I worked my way through a pack of wet wipes getting this hell beast off my skin before it burnt through to the bone! Hahaha.

Over to Parfum D’Empire (just becuase they’re such good value and such great fragrances), I sniffed Azemour Les Oranges again, I do love the bitter green but mouthwateringly juicy opening – but I had tried it before, and the thought of purchasing it there and then just wasn’t exciting enough for me!

Iskander had a great sour start, but the dirtiness of the grapefruit paired with the pungent oakmoss, turned it into a sweaty-cologne scent that I really didn’t enjoy. I really need to fall in love with a masculine citrus – but it’s hard work!

Heading back to more my sort of thing, I picked up 3 Fleurs which I hadn’t sniffed but read mixed reviews about. It sounds right up my alley on paper as a classical floral, but unfortunately, the beautifully indolic jasmine and sweet creamy tuberose, just didn’t work with the classical rose that wedged awkwardly in between them. The fragrance felt completely unbalanced (and overhwelming) for me, with a dated style that wasn’t the powerhouse of a floral bouquet that I had hoped for! :(

I made my way over to the fragrances I really wanted to try: Ineke.

The idea of a lilac soliflore really appealed to me (for some reason) – I think it was after sniffing En Passant and really enjoying it’s delicate shade. Unfortunately, the beautifully named After My Own Heart was a very faint, very soapy lilac that had little personality unlike the dewy freshness and slight melancholy of En Passant. I felt extremely uncomfortable in it for the few moments that it lasted.

Insistant on owning one of the absolutely beautiful bottles, I picked up the gorgeous looking Field Notes From Paris.

An unusual take on an orange blossom – but an unpleasant one for me. The narcotics were turned down, and instead the bitter medicinal aspects of orange blossom were enhanced by deep (but somehow flat) notes of tobacco and patchouli, all sitting underneath a bright citrus and cologne like opening. For some reason, I really disliked it – it seemed to amplify the ugly aspects of all the notes I normally enjoy, it didn’t work in harmony for me :( I will give it another shot some time though… dear god I need that bottle! :|

Evening Edged In Gold is another fragrance I tried by Ineke, it was actually the one I enjoyed the most, but not memorable enough for me to even remember what it smelt like (I didn’t take notes of it). I was really disappointed as I was certain I was walking out with an Ineke for my collection!

Anyway – off to the L’Artisan launch to come back to Liberty’s later – I hadn’t finished here just yet!

I purposely didn’t try Seville A L’Aube after reading the book until the launch as I wanted to sniff it for the first time when I was there – just to spice things up a little for myself :’)

Seville A L’Aube opens with a wonderful, sharp resinous lavender and the rich orange blossom, threaded through the top with a lighter touch than I expected. I enjoyed this part, it’s bright, sunshine filled with the tang of lavender adding an unexpected, very slightly masculine edge. I was sure there was a touch of rose in there too, the tiniest soapy edge (but from another floral other than the orange blossom) seemed to peep up.
Unfortunately (unliked other attendees who tried the fragrance on skin), the beeswax/incense combination came out on my skin too quickly, pushing aside the lovely orange blossom all to quick to reveal a quiet, waxy almost myrrh like scent on my skin. Unusual, enjoyable, but not for me :)

So, after a mingle and a chat with the lovely Denyse and brief, awkward, star-struck talk with Bertrand (oh and I introduced myself to the smiley Katie Puckrik – which whether she was freaked out by my big stretched ears or not, turned out to be even more short awkward than the chat with Bertrand… but there we go)…

Back to the sanity of Liberty’s where the sales staff always assist other customers assuming I won’t spend a penny -

I walk past the Frederic Malle stand – where the handsome French sales assistant greeted me wearily at first – I do look clueless – until I said “Mmmmm heliotrope” when he handed me a card with L’eau d’Hiver on it. It was the first time I’d tried, or even heard about this fragrance (I’m new to the full Malle line up). Although it was a lovely heliotrope with a powdery almond and slight anis spice – definitely my sort of thing – it was farrrr to delicate for me.

I told him what I had tried, and he started throwing more cards under my nose:

Geranium Pour Monsieur had a surprisingly good peppermint note and the geranium was unlike the watery green rose note that I am familiar with, instead it was green, slightly citric and peppery – really good, but not my sort of fragrance. I’ll be sure to revisit it though.

Angeliques Sous La Pluie was a peppery watery thing that was completely forgettable.

I also sniffed some things that I am already familiar with (yet again) Portrait Of A Lady, Bigarade Concentree, Une Fleur De Cassie etc etc. All lovely (and unaffordable at this moment in time) :’) None out do my love of Dans Tes Bras however.

I had another little wander round, sniffing Odeur 71 again amongst other Comme Des Garcons’. I decided that there was nothing else I really wanted to sniff here, and after my disappointment with the fragrances I hoped to love, I was sick of Liberty!

On to Ormonde Jayne…

Part 2…

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A Wednesday In London

So, on Wednesday I decided to make my way to London and have a sniffathon – and a little shop at the end of it.
I had a few things in mind I originally wanted to buy – and was completely open-minded as to what I wanted to sniff.

My shopping goals for fragrance were something smoky (I was thinking Lonestar Memories/Vierges et Toreros/ the-then-untested Les Nombres D’Or Cuir/ anything else that some sales staff want to throw under my nose), and something for summer.

After arriving in London – the first point of call was Selfridges.

There’s the main beauty department bang in the middle of the bottom floor – filled with all the designer brands, a little to the side in a small room (or two) are a few niche fragrances and generally, the more interesting bits.

Walking past Dior firstly, I was thrown a piece of paper with Oud Ispahan written on it – and this is one of the things I actually came in to try.

Oud Ispahan is the new release in the Dior Prive line, I haven’t got much experience with the line as although I love the bottles, they don’t really appeal to me :( However, I figured if I liked it enough it may be a buy, but it didn’t quite hit the spot.

That’s not to say Oud Ispahan is not nice – it is a really nice, safe rose/oud combination. It is rich, with a slightly soapy edge. The rose is crisp and clear as is the oud, they are both perfectly balanced and the fragrance was MUCH cleaner than I expected. A really good beginner oud scent, long-lasting, but delicate and refined enough to wear regularly (unlike most rose/oud combinations).

I also gave Leather Oud a quick sniff, but yet again, I just find it too perfectly balanced and not quite scary enough for me to really get attracted to it (I considered this in my smoky fragrance list also); it may be a daring composition for them, but it still feels like a Dior fragrance (if that makes sense).

The only other fragrances I gave a quick sniff too were a couple Lutens’ I have already tried, and two of the new Robert Piguet fragrances – Notes and Casbah.

Notes was unlike anything I normally try, very masculine in a “cologne” type of way, I really liked the strange opening clary sage and geranium, but it got very uncomfortable on me very quickly. It is very loud and powerful (a little nauseating) with such a strange combination of notes, I had to ditch my paper blotter pretty quickly.

Casbah I can’t even remember what this smelt like, I hated it straight away. It definitely had the Piguet signature in pretty strong (I don’t know much about the signature but so far I have not got on with his fragrances at all as they all have this weird component tying them together). All I remember was that it was spicy, but cool, and really musty and dated. Horrible.

That was me in done after that – scared away by the Piguets and remembering that Selfridges is actually not a very good fragrance shopping destination…

Next, around the corner to Marble Arch and a much-needed visit to Les Senteurs.

Welcomed as always by the lovely staff, my first sniff was at the central table where they were promoting the new Ruth Mastenbroek fragrance – Amorosa.

I wanted to try Amorosa after reading The Candy Perfume Boy’s write-up of it and hearing about the wonderfully unusual watermelon opening!

Yes the opening was quite unusual, a lovely juicy watermelon – non aquatic and instead sweet and almost fizzy. The white florals underneath were good also – that was pretty much all. A nice, safe summer fragrance with no “umph” to make it unique enough for me, but I like my weird shit :P  It was also one of the very few occasions where I sniffed something feminine and thought “Nah I couldn’t get away with that” which was a shame.

After much snooping round in awkward silence, I made my way over the Frederic Malle counter, and asked for some advice. I have tried a couple of Malle’s – the gorgeous Dans Tes Bras, Musc Ravageur, Carnal Flower, Vetiver Extraordinaire, Bigarade Concentree.

I firstly had another quick sniff of Dans Tes Bras - a beautiful extremely salty combination of clean sweaty skin, seaweed-like salt, and the most unusual violets. I just adore it and was tempted by a bottle – but it wasn’t what I came for!


After asking what I had tried and liked from the line, I was directed to Une Rose. One sniff and I was overcome with “mmmm”‘s and “ahhhhh”‘s. I said “This is one of the best things I’ve tried in ages”.

It is a clean, almost soapy rose, but undercut with earthy mushroom type notes. It has that dirty/clean vibe that balances in perfect harmony, with delicate presence on the skin, but great surrounding throw. Whilst it sounds silly to say I enjoy the “refined” quality of this, and not the Dior’s, the complexity of the rose here is presented in all it’s glory and it’s far more fascinating than the more simple compositions of the Prive line I sampled. Whilst I do think that this is currently too mature for me (another thing I never say), I will own a bottle in time. I was going to add it to my basket in Les Senteurs but when I was told the price, I moved on!!

Sticking with the Malle’s for a minute, I also gave brief sniffs to -

French Lover – bitter greenery, galbanum, green pepper, raw cedar – all that jazz, I felt like I had smelt it before, not for me…

Noir Epices - surprised me and is something I will sample properly in time. I imagined something close to Tauer’s Eau D’Epices but it turned out to be far cleaner with a crisp clear display of spices, an aldehydic orange and floral accord up top brightens the opening and makes Noir Epices feel more classical than other spice-basket fragrances. Maybe not something I would wear, but very nice.

Une Fleur De Cassie - Reminded me instantly of Carillon Pour Une Ange, not sure why as lily of the valley isn’t listed but it’s what I got strongest. It was a pollen rich floral bouquet with a carnation spiciness. I didn’t like it.

Lys Mediteranee - I really like – an aquatic note of salty ocean, warm and beachy, with a gorgeous spicy lily (which I adore) floating throughout. It’s light and lovely – nearly bought this.

En Passant - I also thoroughly loved and didn’t expect to – water and lilacs, so unbelievably delicate with abysmal, poor longevity, but heavenly whilst it lasts.

So is that all I sniffed? Hellllll no, my nose was practically burning but I continue…

I went onto my smoky cravings, where I smelt a lot of stuff not worth writing about. A few caught my eye including Mona Di Orio’s Cuir which I hadn’t tried before. I do not like Mona’s creations as narrow-minded as that sounds, but I just can’t stand her base. However, Cuir was a lovely smoky leather, the kind of smoke that is delicate in its volume, but piercingly uncomfortable in its texture – it had the feel of stale cigarette smoke and it had this rich/trashy clash going on and it was a very near buy!

I went on to sample Lonestar Memories again for the millionth time which constantly makes me collapse in delight. I pretty much knew this is what I wanted to buy, but I had more smokiness to try later in the day in other shops…

At this point, my nose was knackered, so I needed a coffee and a change of scenery, and I promised I’d be back later!!

So after a an hour of chilling, I headed over to Liberty.

I mainly came to Liberty to sniff two fragrances. One was the intensely smoky Patchouli 24.

I hated this when I first tried it, and I didn’t have much luck again. Patchouli 24‘s smoke is extremely dense, loud and uncomfortable. It is literally bonfire smoke, with that hit-the-back-of-your-throat pitch. Underneath is a sickly sweet vanilla, and the whole composition is completely unbalanced and immature, I hate it (but wanted to love it)

I also came to try Pulp by Byredo as I heard of its rotten fruit accords which I was craving for summer. Unfortunately it reminded me a lot of Multiple Rouge by Humiecki and Graef – more the combination of every cheap shower gel scent exploded into one opening. It wasn’t richly fruity and natural smelling as I hoped, and instead was an extremely synthetic combination of overpowering, unappetizing fruit notes. Not at all what I was after.

I was hoping the Blood Concept line was still on sale but they were no where in site (I had my eyes on AB!).

I was in and out of Liberty very quickly, taking a quick sniff of Goutal’s Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille, which was a huge, stuffy dated patchouli with some high-pitched metallic notes scattered throughout – I liked it! But I don’t need another patchouli.

I quickly stopped by L’Artisan Parfumeur in Covent Garden to pick up a bottle of Dzongkha on sale for my mum (who loves it) – so that was my first purchase of the day, but not for myself!

So, from here it was off to Harrods.

In Harrods I instantly walked to the Perfume Hall, which was buzzing with people and sale signs. I entered the room by Boadicea The Victorious I noticed a sale on – I hoped Complex was on sale but, it wasn’t…

Instead a little bottle of Reviving was on sale for £35 – bargain considering RRP is £90. I sprayed it on my hand (the first skin test of the day), and it was a nice enough masculine composition of vetiver, oakmoss, a light floral opening and a saltiness throughout, I enjoyed it and was going to buy a bottle but, it was only because it was on sale, that £35 could be put to much better use…

I continued around the hall, nothing taking my fancy, so up I went to Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie.

Greeted initially by a hugely enthusiastic lady with the most forcefully upper class accent I have ever encountered, I quickly shunned her off and headed over to the Vero Profumo just to glare at the bottles with serious wanting.
I sniffed the glorious Onda and Rubj EDP once more when another sales assistant came over.
He began talking to me about how the Onda EDP is “a wonderful lavender and leather”, I held back my chuckle through watery eyes and just smiled and nodded… I said, “Yeh… and of course the vetiver, ginger, citrus and honey – I mean, they make up the most of it” :’) He smiled, nodded, and then proceeded to say “The perfumer was inspired by Tabac Blond… would you like to smell it?”
So why not. He brought of a paper blotter with Caron’s Tabac Blond extrait on it – it was undoubtably beautiful and I said so.

I heard the posh lady in the background “sharing a larrrff” with some ladies out back and I heard both the words “fabulous darling” and “so drôle!” before I had to make my way out this hell hole! Not my scene!

Back to the sanity of Les Senteurs

I’m back at Marble Arch now after a beer in Knightsbridge, and I’m ready for my spending :)

Greeted again, I say I want to find something for summer – no citrus (I was considering Azemour Les Oranges by Parfum D’Empire but they didn’t have it in stock), no vetiver soliflores and no white florals (although I do love them). So, I asked to try some iris fragrances
(randomly).

I was shown me the new W1X (iris, violet, rose…) by new London based niche line BEX. Infact, I gave a brief sniff to the whole line (4 fragrances) – which I will go into detail about in later.

I also tried Naiviris by Huitieme Art (I really want one of these fragrances – I love the bottles!), which I actually really liked. It is a relatively straightforward iris with a lovely warmth and spice to it. Nothing complicated, but delicate and easy to wear with a nice doughy texture to it. However, after trying these two I figured iris wasn’t my summer craving.

I went to the Parfumerie Generale display – convinced this was my last resort (and I LOVE the line). I sniffed almost everything:

Cedre Sandaraque - is a very unusual resinous, woodsy fragrance, with a warmth and spice to it that reminded me in the heart of Dior’s Fahrenheit, with it’s slightly petrol undertone. I loved the almost cotton candy sweetness up top. It’s nice – but not quite my thing.

Felanilla - another iris that is very very similar to Dior Homme, only warmer, spicier and a little richer, this would be my choice over and above Homme, although I wouldn’t want to wear either.

Psychotrope – was a very unusual dense watery, floral fragrance that Nick described as “the smell of drowning!” which is very true, it reminds me of Skarb, with its watery/chlorine type scent and a Calone/melon thickness. Uncomfortable to wear, but bizarrely intriguing.

Iilang Ivohibe - was a divine ylang ylang, narcotic floral, that somehow came across as the scent of men’s calogne/shaving cream. I loved it, but it wasn’t what I wanted – I’ll probably end up with a bottle in the near future, it’s very unusual.

Louanges Profanes - also really really good – a lily/soapy orange blossom opening becomes a rich, narcotic floral bouquet and rich vanillic benzoin drydown. I haven’t got anything like it and it was a contender for a full bottle as well. Damn I love this line so much!!

L’Oiseau De Nuit - I loved the opening of this, boozy rum and cake! I was instantly craving some more yummy goods after smelling this – and the only thing that put me off was the warm spicy amber dry-down which reminded me of my L’Artisan, I don’t need another amber soliflore…

“More yummy things!” I said…

Musc Maori - MMMMMMMM! YUM! Musc Maori is a chocolate milkshake. Slightly warmed frothy milk, and the scent of creamy milk chocolate. There’s this slightly animalic musk underneath which just turns the fragrance from being too edible into something that almost smells ever-so-slightly off. I loved it. It’s gourmand (I don’t own a gourmand), and is light enough for summer.
“Does it last like this though or is the drydown boring… HONESTLY?”
The gourmand factor of Musc Maori is so strange it had me going from “Mmmmm” to “Ewww :’)” in seconds. It’s almost grossly gourmand, in the same sense as the unedible 100% Love by S-Perfume with its “sweaty foot” note.
I was pretty much sold. But asked for more anyway :)

Une Crime Exotique – holy moly lovely opening! Gingerbread with extra spice. Gorgeously gourmand, I wouldn’t wear it myself but asked for a sample for my mum (who loved the ginger notes in Etat Libre D’Oranges’ Like This). It goes through a lot of stages in its development but somehow gets more and more lovely – but diverting slightly from the spicy, super-gourmand opening into more “perfumey” territory.

I have already tried other wonderful gourmands in the line – Aomassai, Tonkamande, Cadjmere, Praline De Santal, Indochine…
I pondered around the shop for a while, staring at everything I had sniffed that day…
What “smoky” do I want…

“You know what” I said “I’ll get Lonestar Memories. I just love it so much, nothing will beat it I don’t think :)”

And for the summer scent?

“And it’s going to have to be Musc Maori, I think I’ll be able to pull it off in the summer!” I kept sniffing the Musc Maori which I put on my skin straight after trying the carded sample – it was just so so so good. At times it is gorgeously edible, at other’s – sickeningly grotesque, so much so it makes me laugh :’)

So that’s what I walked out with, and a huge bag of samples :) A successful day! (And more thorough reviews of some of these scents to come).

What was your most recent purchase? and because I’m rubbish with summer scents – What will you be wearing regularly this summer?

I do not own the pictures of the shop exteriors :)

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Gypsy Water – Byredo

I got this sample free with a purchase so I thought, why not review it…
I could just spray this and dismiss it and forget about it with great ease but, I’m writing this blog to expand my knowledge and appreciation for fragrances. That won’t happen if I dismiss lots, so maybe some of my next fragrance reviews may not be very “me”, but they are for others and I’ve got to understand and remember that.
So here it goes…

Gypsy Water opens quite sparse, the alcohol is more prominent for a few seconds than anything else. A pale familiar floral creeps in and then a tart lemon-curd pudding type of note dominates. I actually like the lemon, it’s not used as fresh-aquatic, but is instead quite dense and creamy. At this point, it smells quite edible, gourmand even, like a lemon meringue pie – mmmm!

Some white musk hovers underneath, pleasant, easy to enjoy, nothing revolutionary. There’s a nice pine needle smell which I couldn’t initially put my finger on (had to look up that one), that thankfully stays away from floor cleaner territory. I like pine, and it adds a really nice green-ness to the lemon pie.

There’s lots of vanilla in the base, which is most likely providing the creaminess, along with some amber. There’s a little sandalwood in there too, just solidifying that base a tad more.

Gypsy Water remains relatively linear, the lemon pie notes go a little flat, as does the pine needles. What remains after a short while is a slightly musky, vanilla/amber base. Pleasant enough. Some very pale incense creeps in after about 15 minutes which also takes this away from gourmand territory, along with a handful of pepper who’s spiciness doesn’t really match with the rest of the fragrance.
This is the first Byredo I’ve worn on skin (had some quick sniffs in store recently and I will try to sample more of the line) and I know they don’t really have the best reputation in consistency. I will need to try M/Mink as that seems to be the only one that might captivate me enough.

Sorry I’m going off topic there. So yes, Gypsy Water… a pleasant lemon pie and vanilla pudding fragrance, slightly boosted by some green pine and pale, creamy woods. It’s ok, and that’s about all. I wouldn’t recommend it… but it’s a safe, easy to wear fragrance that is just “nice” and not much else.

Byredo Gypsy Water 50ml EDP – £88 from byredo.com

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