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Encre Noire – Lalique

I had tried Encre Noire a hell of a long time ago after briefly reading about it online and spotting it in a local little fragrance shop. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then again, I was very new into my fragrance journey, and simply remember being overwhelmed by the dense translucent woody thing that later turned out to be Iso E Super… At the time, I was hoping for a big dark inky thing…
Still! A Facebook friend shared an online link for 100ml of Encre Noire for only £22 delivered, so I sprung for a bottle, having recently been craving vetiver and vetiver only. For this price – it was worth another shot.

Encre Noire

Encre Noire hits the skin with a pretty pure, direct vetiver note. No citrus freshening up the opening (yes!!), not over the top herbal notes taming this into a more “cologne-like” composition (yes!!), just an earthy, dry vetiver… the way I love it. It’s pretty light to begin with but has a nice density; the thick earthiness, whilst dry as a bone, has a weight to it on the skin, and Encre Noire feels like it skips any top notes and greats straight to what you want… if of course, this is what you want.

An unexpected note of mint joins the vetiver after just a minute or two… on first sniff, I was a little disappointed, hoping this wouldn’t trail off into a light minty/green scent. Thankfully, it’s rather nice. Whilst the vetiver is warm and dry, the mint adds a little more texture, it floats above the vetiver in an ever-so-slightly toothpaste-y (at least from a distance) fresh layer, not at all culinary, or too reminiscent of hygiene products! The leading note keeps it in line, and whilst it isn’t my favourite part of Encre Noire… it doesn’t hang around too long. Was it necessary? Well, they could’ve chosen something a little more interesting we’ll say…

The mint gradually fades, leaving behind the vetiver with a sideline translucent greenery that I can’t put my finger on, and the Iso E Super that begins to push heavy in the drydown. So, the Iso E Super (very quickly for those who don’t know), is an aromachemical that almost has a presence rather than a smell… it’s a slightly woody, slightly vetiver smelling, slightly greenish smell with a real weight to it. By weight, I mean whilst it smells almost clear, it’s texture is thick! It blobs on the skin, anchoring ingredients to it, whilst throwing it off your skin as well. Making sense? I guess not. The weird thing about this ingredient is it seems to disappear and reappear from time to time. Encre Noire feels like it’s vanished after a couple of hours, but then give it an hour, and I catch a quick whiff of it as I turn my head. It’s a quality that I can never decide whether I like or loathe, but here, I just go with it.

The late drydown is all vetiver, soft dry woods, a little clean musk with a smidge of liqourice? It’s dry, green, earthy, and nowhere near as “dark” as people make out. The whole fragrance is relatively translucent, but as I’ve repeated too much already, quite “thick” with a (synthetic) weight to it. I wish the mint was non existant… but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

To be honest, I have actually lived in Encre Noire for a few days now, day and night. I’m drawn to it a lot as something desperately easy to wear, and comfortable enough to want to wear it whenever and wherever. It’s drew a couple of compliments at work which is a rarity (I guess for once because I smell a little more less overpowering and “flowery” hahaha!). Still, there is something charming about Encre Noire… No, it isn’t a “masterpiece” as those guys clearly restricting themselves to the designer and masculine side of the fragrance world often claim, but it’s pretty damn good for such a small price. Recommended.

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Update From Freddie :)

Hey guys

I’ve taken a bit of time off I guess just to chill in the New Year, the blog will be back up and running soon, sorry it’s been so long… but heck there’s so many blogs out there to read now I’m sure y’all didn’t miss me :’)
Anyway, still going strong with YouTube, admittedly more so than here I think! Just updated the YouTube page which was very out of date, and new reviews to come soon… You’ll also see I’ve added a new page up top for other fragrance related posts through the blog :) But for now, here’s just a quick video on some things I bought last month :)

Byeeeeee! <3

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Tauer Perfumes’ Advent Giveaway: WINNER!!!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog to enter this draw (all 284 of you!), and of course thanks to Andy for letting me host.
The winner is:

JAKE HALL

Please email me with your shipping address and your three choices so I can forward them on to Andy Tauer.

explorersetdetail1

Congrats and good luck to everyone else in the future draws <3<3

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Day 11 of Tauer Perfumes’ Advent Calender: GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Well! If you don’t know already, Tauer hosts a massive giveaway throughout the Christmas period with prizes being thrown at you each day. One of you lucky folk can with an EXPLORER SET just by commenting below and saying you’d like to be entered :D

Tauer Perfumes Explorer Set:

explorersetfull1s

“Can ‘t decide which scent to get? Is a sample just not enough? We cannot ship full, 50 ml, bottles to your country? Here’s the treat: Get a set of 3 EXPLORER size scents, in solid glass flacons with a fine spray and a little metal cap : 15 ml each with free choice of scents from Tauer range, shipped inside our in decorative glide-cover metal box. The perfect gift! And the best: It comes with free shipment”

This is pretty massive prize (read: Freddie riddled with envy!), and it’s awesome to see the Homages in there <3
Winner will be picked via Random.org and announced tomorrow at 9am (my time).
But to make these comments a little more interested, feel free to write which 3 your choices would be :D I’d love to hear! Good luck guys!!

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“You’re too young to like it”…

Hey guys – I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this debate I had with a fellow fragrance “lover” on Facebook the other night.
It came about from me briefly sharing my thoughts on Puredistance M – to which this guy said I was basically too young to like it… I got pissed :P

A perfume debate

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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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Naomi Goodsir – Cuir Velours & Bois D’Ascese

Cuir Velours

Cuir Velours opens with a super sweet immortelle note – not a hint of curry or space, all maple syrup and burnt sugar galore. A jasmine (I assume) throws off a bubblegum-like smell and a hint of orange blossom (I assume) gives it a kind of grape-soda vibe. If this is a leather, it reminds me of a mix between the drydown of Tubereuse 3 Animale and the opening of Cuir Venenum - however, it’s smooth, light and well-rounded.

A slightly boozy note up top reminds me of a good bourbon, it has a liquer-like consistency with just a touch of smokiness coming through from underneath. The leather is smoky but suede-like, the overall feel gives off a kind of Cuir Ottoman vibe only less aggressive. Some incense comes in pretty quickly continuing the smokiness, but it’s not at all “bonfire-y”, it’s much tamer than that – almost buttery all together.

There’s a mystery fruity quality to Cuir Velours that I can’t quite put my finger on, it’s soft like a peach note but sweeter like a strawberry. I dont’ want to keep mentioning the sweetness but for a leather, it definitely is. The fruits dry out giving way to a tobacco-like stickiness, a plum/raisin-like deep shade of fruit with a Lutens quality to it. This isn’t really my kind of thing but it smells easily wearable and all-round “nice”.

As it dries down the leather becomes more prominent with a slightly resinous/ambery undertone. A touch of vanilla – the golden immortelle still prominent, the suede is super soft and covers the skin in a sheer layer. The violet-coloured fruit notes just flickering in and out until the very end (tobacco). A little too well-behaved for me, but a great introduction to both leather notes and immortelle, done very well.

Bois D'Ascese

A harsh peppery opening starts Bois D’Ascese. A bone dry incense gives way to a beautiful smoke reminding me of the “dark side” of Vierges et Toreros by Etat Libre D’Orange (the bright side being a tacky white floral and plastic accord – awesome!). This smoky leathery scent is much more intense from the start, getting “fuller” and more powerful as it goes on but again, well-rounded and behaved, there’s nothing overly sharp jolting out. The pepper thankfully begins to become overwhelmed (not a huge fan of a pepper opening) and the bone dry, charcoal black leather and burnt wood becomes lead.

The fragrance stays pretty linear from here on, the smell of burning wood sticking to the skin like the residue on clothes after a bonfire only without the irritating screech. It manages to be smooth and reeking of a luxury fragrance whilst still having a challenging nature. This is what I expected from Mona Di Orio’s Cuir - and smells how many describe Cuir to smell like… well, smell this instead.

Ok, so admittedly, I prefer the Etat Libre D’Orange because I love the sweet plastic and floral accord soaked underneath this bitter smoke and wood (I mentioned this one twice now… yes they have similarities). But, for a straightforward interpretation of this kind of “accord” – you can’t get much better than this one. It doesn’t have the sweetness of Lonestar Memories (what seems to be a let down for most people who don’t enjoy the Tauer), it doesn’t have the flat animalic castoreum overload of Cuir (my problem), it doesn’t have the rancid pitch and cloying quality of Patchouli 24, and is much more upfront and enjoyable than Black Tourmaline… basically, this is nice stuff!

All in all, in a niche world heavily populated with very smoky fragrances (oh yes I forgot about you too CB I Hate Perfume)… this stands out as one of the best. It may not be for me (what’s going on with me these days?) – but I’d recommend it highly :)

Cuir Velours 50ml EDP Naomi Goodsir - $150 Luckyscent
Bois D’Ascese 50ml EDP Naomi Goodsir – $150 Luckyscent

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SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Zurich… Day 7 continued (@ Vero Kern’s)

Hello guys. Well, my title is a bit of a lie, because it’s actually day 9 and I’m in Paris… (I’ll write about my adventures here so far over the next couple days).
But when I wrote my last post (titled Day 7 but about Day 6), I mentioned how I was off to meet the lovely lady that is Vero Kern (again) so we could have a little chat about her faultless line. I will say, considering she invited me into her house and let me see her workstation, I felt it’d be rude to take pictures – so I’ll break this post up with some pictures I took when in Zurich as I missed them out of my last post :)

Winter in Zurich
(Yes it was absolutely f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g!)

So arriving at Vero’s, we grabbed a seat in her little studio underneath her apartment where the whole “creative process” takes place. Instantly she grabbed a ton of raw materials and synthetics, vintage Guerlain’s and her own fragrances.
The first thing we sniffed, was vintage Mitsouko Parfum de Toilette – to compare it to her own Mito, along with Mitsouko Parfum. She took her inspiration from both it’s use as a classic chypre, and the famous peach note that was added to the chypre base of Mitsouko.
For Mito, Vero used peach instead of passionfruit (her usual signature that ties her line up of EDP’s together) – I’d never really clicked with the association before as Mito’s high dosage of lemongrass and a different floral arrangement (magnolia/jasmine) makes them extremely different – but as she explained her appreciation of Mitsouko and how it inspired her… it all falls into place when you think about it.

The floral arrangements that go into Mito were really interesting – we smelt a synthetic magnolia which she had put together which had an almost phenyl ethyl acetate thing going on (if anyone remembers my little explanation of this aromachemical in my Aftelier Lumiere review…). It was sweet and fruity, with a honeyed-pear vibe going on and just a touch of spice. Also the raw material magnolia champaca was beautiful to try – an astringent, bitter tea like scent - it’s spicy and vegetal with a hint of leather in there. A fascinating floral note. When these are sniffed together, it begins to make the floral arrangement in the heart of Mito - a complex exploration into every aspect of mangolia - it’s more “lemony” aspects enhanced by the herbal lemongrass (which we also sniffed… and spilled!).

More raw materials we tried were some concretes that she’d recently got her hands on, geranium, rose and a jasmine sambac which were interesting not only to see in their raw form, but to smell – they have an extremely dense quality to them that almost takes them away from being floral and enhances more resinous/bitter aspects – I look forward to sniffing how she puts these to use in the future!

On to Kiki and her inspiration – Jicky. Now, I’ve never been a real fan of Jicky, and in my opinion Kiki is undoubtably superior, but I can appreciate the classic composition. The lavender usage of Kiki (as Andy Tauer said to me), is so brilliant and unusual because it pairs the almost medicinal, herbal side of lavender with a more sweetened, caramlized glaze – it’s contrasts are what makes it so lovely. We broke down Jicky and on came more explanations as to it’s influences and comparisons with Kiki - it’s obvious that Vero’s knowledge of the Guerlain’s is great and she takes a lot of inspiration from such classical perfumery – she manages to hold this true in her fragrances whilst allowing them to smell completely modern.

Zurich at Night

Rubj is my favourite of the four I must admit – and similarly to Mito, we broke down the floral arrangements, smelling synthetic orange flower and the raw material – pairing them together to make that mouth wateringly rich floral heart in Rubj. We talked about the cumin and how every suggested she should get rid of it for the EDP – we both agreed it would not have been the same. That warm, human spicy note is what melts it into the skin and makes Rubj so damn sexy. She similarly has no idea why people get so up in arms about cumin, it doesn’t smell like sweat…

As for Vero’s future projects? Well, my mouth is of course zipped – but I hope you’re all looking forward to the Mito extrait…

After a good sniff of her line and understanding the inspirations and the materials, we took her gorgeous dog Isi for a stroll through the snow to listen to Andy Tauer’s talk on white florals at a gathering in Zurich. Unfortunately, I looked a fool not being able to understand any of it so I just nodded along and smiled (it was in German!) - looking forward to another sniff of Loretta at the end.

After the talk I met up with a guy Andy introduced my to called Christof - he told me tons of fascinating stuff – he works for a fragrance company that create scents for brands. His collection (he invited me back to his place to see it) was insaneeeeeeee. All the Byredo’s, all the Etat Libre D’Oranges… just, tons and tons and tons. He also had some rare gems amongst his collection, including a REAL bottle of Lisa Kirk’s Revolution (picture below) – not the little 15ml screw caps you get now. Being extremely generous, he made me numerous samples and gave me 10ml bottles of numerous Frederic Malle’s, so as you can imagine I was in my element.
So yes, Zurich was a huge success, and I was quite sad to leave having met such lovely people! But I’ve been spoiled with goodies on my Birthday and had a wonderful time :D

Lisa Kirk Revolution

I’m in Paris now and have spent two days exploring which has been awesome, I’ve already spent far too much money, thankfully as Christmas presents for my mum and dad (all perfume of course!) – and I think tomorrow I may just treat myself. But, my money is saved for Campomarzio70 in Rome – I think I need an O’Driu in my collection… we’ll see…
Until next time! :D

More (Unsuccessful) London Shopping… Part 2

Part 1…

So, as I said, off to Ormonde Jayne. I have been reading into this brand quite a lot recently – I’ve heard wonderful things and some of the fragrances sound wonderful. My recent cravings have been tropical florals – so on walking into the absolutely beautiful boutique, I asked the lady for:

Frangipani. It opens with a strong lime on paper (I didn’t try this one on skin), and it took the length of my stay before I managed to detect the sweet, almost peachy floral, delicately plush – very pretty, but much more lime than I expected. I still haven’t lost hope, I think this would be wonderful in the summer and I’ll be sure to try it again properly.

Having recently fallen head of heels for gardenia notes, I eagerly tried Tiare which opened with a similar, sweet and tart lime note. Unfortunately, the tiare gardenia in the heart was very unrecognizable to me, it didn’t have that dense creamy, slightly soiled scent of a beautiful gardenia. Instead the flower was almost translucent, and almost powdered. I liked the scent, but it wasn’t what I wanted – and I tried this fragrance twice on skin in the one day because I SO wanted to love it.

The biggest suprise came from a rose which I didn’t initially plan on trying:

Ta’if has the most exquisite opening. The best rose note I have ever smelt is paired with a kick of pepper, spicy almost like frankincense. Whilst it sounds unoriginal, there is something utterly divine about it. However, on skin, within half an hour, a strange bitter tea leaf note with a papery texture became uncomfortable, and took away the richness of the opening for me. I will try it again though – as on initial sniff I instantly thought it was something very special. One of the best things I had sniffed so far…

I left Ormonde Jayne as having tried the 3 I came to try (along with a very brief sniff of some others in the line), my nose was getting a little tired so I needed some fresh air and a beer!

So after all that, I made my way to Selfridges (I figured I’d save Harrods until last as there was bound to be something I would buy there if I hadn’t found anything anywhere else!). You’re probably not but I’ll say it anyway: You may be wondering where the usual must-stop trip to Les Senteurs is? Well, I decided to be a little adventurous and not visit this time as I really wanted to discover something new for myself.
So anyway…

At Selfridges the first stop was the Dior counter again. I asked the dolled up sales assistant:
“Which is the fragrance that is strong with immortelle?”
“Immortelle?”
“Yes it’s like, a flower that smells like maple syrup and curry. Someone told me there’s a great immortelle in the Prive line but I can’t remember what it’s called”
“Im…mortelle?”
“Yes”
“Well… We have Ambre Nuit, which is a spicy fragrance”
“Yeh, no that’s not it. It smells like curry-ish”
“Erm, well Mitzvah is our other spicy scent… and there’s of course Leather Oud”
“Yeh no it’s none of them… Don’t worry I’ll try them”
Three scents later and I of course land on Eau Noire.
“Mmmmm this is it!” I said. She sniffed the strip.
“Oh yeh maple syrup” She gave the strip to the other sales assistant “Yes everyone says this smells like curry” Said the other sales lady…
“Holy shit” I thought.
“Yes, this is a lavender and liqourice” She said.
“………………… and immortelle”. She checked her little book.
“No it says here, just lavender, and maybe it’s the liqourice your smelling”
“Well… its immortelle, trust me :)” I said. She nodded and smiled almost sympathetically as if I was babbling absolute nonsense.
“Well, whatever it is, it is beautiful” She replied. URGH! I left quickly hahaha. This was 1 out of 2 stupid moments I was to encounter.

So anyway, Eau Noire was a lovely immortelle, and more wearable than Sables, I will have to give it a proper wearing some time.

I made my way to Jo Malone as I have always said I wanted to try a couple fragrances from the line.

I gave a quick sniff to Black Vetyver Cafe which was not at all what I expected – a bitter, but subtle coffee over spicy masculine notes with subtle earthy vetiver. I didn’t like it at all. I also tried Pomegranate Noir expecting something really wonderful, yet again, I didn’t enjoy it. Bright and juicy up top, but not with the richness of the pomegranate in Aziyade for example. The top notes didn’t catch me enough to give the heart any time to shine – maybe another time.

From here I headed over to Guerlain, just because here in Selfridges it is a much more relaxed environment to try out the exclusive Guerlain’s (as opposed to Harrods which I will mention later).

I saw the stunning bottles and scanned the titles, instantly picking up the mouth-wateringly named Iris Ganache.

I really enjoyed this iris. It’s powdery and floral, but with a woody, rooty orris aroma, paired with the sweetness of milky, white cocoa. Delicate, very sweet but not cloying, and such an unusual but delicious pairing, with the carroty iris created a savoury contrast with the gourmand notes. The price scared me a bit, but considering the divine bottle and the large volume of fragrance, I think this will be a future buy.

I tried a couple of others, but nothing which caught my attention. The sales assistant came over to hound me a bit so I scurried along (as my day was coming to an end).

Off to the glorious snobbery of Harrods where sales assistants’ nostrils flare at the sight of me, armed with my notebook, a laid back attitude and a bucket load of knowledge to which I will pound them to the ground with :’)

First stop was (weirdly) the Guerlain counter again. I don’t know why I kept ending up here – I’m not even a Guerlain fan. But anyway, those bottles caught my eye again. I noticed they had the iris (which I was again tempted to buy) and then remembered that the bullshit talking sales assistant at Selfridges told me they were the only stockists of that particular scent in London… Deary me…

The over-enthusiastic lady made up like a hag approached me with a huge grin – which I thought was lovely :) – and instantly threw Une Petit Robe Noire under my nose saying
“I use’ to always wear Dee-yoor before I smell dis, it is bee-yowtiful smell, I just splash myself wit it”
“Ok”….”Yeh, red fruit, anis, it’s alright”
“Yes we have it in 50ml - it very popular scent, the price is…”
“No I don’t want that thank you :)”

Running to the other side of the hall, I managed to stumble upon Dior again. This is repetitive I know… I’ll go on to something new soon.
Anyway, I saw New Look 1947. The sales lady told me it was her favourite of the line so I gave it a quick sniff.
“Mmmm, tuberose, and is it gardenia? I think? I’m not sure” She got out her trusty little book.
“It’s ermmm…. Rose, and vanilla” She says.
“…..Annnddddddd tuberose? Surely? It’s a white floral whatever it is?”
“No maybe it’s the vanilla you’re smelling” I wasn’t getting into that again!

Over to Lutens’! – and the super good looking sales guy that served me last time.
There’s the new one gleaming at me from afar… whispering “buyyyyyy meeeeee”

*sniff* “Oh…”
Santal Majascule opens with an almost identical sandalwood opening to Jeux De Peau. But where Jeux De Peau turns into a liquorice/apricot sandalwood, Santal Majascule allows a faint rose to provide some floral fragrance and support, and the cocoa is a mere dusting. It is absolutely nothing original in the Serge Lutens’ line up and I was really disappointed :( I hoped I would love this.

I also gave brief sniffs to Lutens’ that I haven’t paid that much attention to:

Fleurs D’Oranger which I really enjoy, the best orange blossom I had smelt all day – full, rich and indolic, heady and almost tropical – it’s a perfect summer scent.

A La Nuit is a great jasmine, but I struggle with jasmine. I never used to – happily drenching myself in Lust by Lush, an almost rancid jasmine. I wouldn’t want to wear this though.

Bas De Soie I have tried before and enjoyed, but I sprayed a little on my arm, and found it a little more “perfumey” than last time. I remember the last time I tried it I loved the cold, sharp iris with a heavy metallic note cutting through the core. It was cold and calculating and I hoped it would capture me again, but on this hot day, it didn’t quite have the same effect. I’ll have to try it another time – I neeeeeed an iris in my collection.

I also gave a quick sniff to some Annick Goutal’s. I am awaiting Songes in the mail, so I gave that a quick sniff again. Along with Gardenia Passion which although I found it to be mainly tuberose, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will have to explore this further. I would have bought it, but I found it in the same vein as Songes, and as I haven’t worn Songes thoroughly yet, I’m not sure whether I need both.

I also tried Vanille Exquise which added on to my vanilla failings of the day. It turned to its usual rancid self on my skin – not “equise” :(

Oh mannn… so what now?!?! I blushed my way into a goodbye with the sales guy and in desperation I carefully approached the Penhaligons stall… I looked at the nasty bottles and the dated lables with sorrow, but my pocket was burning!

I picked up Sartorial again – yes, I like the opening. Yes, I like the fact it’s masculine and I need something like a fougere in my collection. Yes, I love the modern almost Comme Des Garcons style opening with the aldehydes, metallic violet and lavender and ozonic notes. The drydown just turns generic on me though, but I do find the beeswax interesting. I have to get a good sample of this and wear it for a few days – if I get on with it, it’ll be a perfect addition to my collection.

I actually had read a bit about this fragrance a few months ago and spotting it, I remembered it was apparently an almost damp, green jungle like scent. So I picked up the bottle and gave a big sniff on paper to Amaranthine. The banana skin flew out straight away for me, along with the tropical ylang ylang, and a jasmine I think, along with some other green leafy notes and a kick of spice. I really enjoyed the opening, and it put a much-needed smile on my face. Unfortunately, it’s not something I’d want to wear – my grubby greenery comes from the divine Totem Eclipse by Smell Bent.

A last quick sniff before I had to literally run for my train:

Peoneve – the new fragrance. Spicy rose, green notes – relatively clean, with a peppery carnation accord. It was pleasant, natural smelling, but far too tame for me.

Gardenia - a nice enough fragrance, bright, floral, a recognizable creamy and thick gardenia which had a fresh green edge to it. I’d quite happily wear this – but I looked at the label *shuudddderrrrr*. I put it back down and quickly ran off. Penhaligon’s is not for me.

So there you have it. A ridiculously unsuccessful shopping trip to London – I left COMPLETELY empty-handed – how crap is that?!

Lesson of the day: Go to Les Senteurs.

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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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