Tag Archives: perfume

Vero Profumo – Rozy EDP & Rozy Voile d’Extrait

Rozy Vero Profumo

Rozy Eau de Parfum opens with Vero’s signature passionfruit, honey and a cool (and at first almost medicinal) geranium. It brings to mind a less abrasive, less citrus-heavy version of Onda EDP (which of course I adore). It’s hyper fresh, golden in colour, with a clean, green, Bulgarian rose heart.

There are hints of fruit, just a touch of red berries and a soft peach (which billowed on paper, yet is more much refined and suede-like on skin). It comes across up close as translucent, but has an enormous throw. I love how just like Onda EDP, Vero manages to create something almost excessively clean at times, yet not at all sterile or unhuman… there’s something extremely sexy about the fresh take on these ingredients – it’s like she’s thought of the term “fresh out of the shower” to include the naked body as well. Not that this is a fresh out the shower smell at all!! – don’t get me wrong… but the passionfruit up top that dominates with the flourescent layer of honey and rose is scrubbed up to the max – not predictable dank earth or pepper overload here, but then neither is it soapy or old-fashioned.

Rozy EDP is a clean take on a rose whilst avoiding all the imaginable cliches – and yet I’d say it is immediately the most accessible in the line. What Vero has done is create something that I’d almost consider her signature, as a fragrance… just like L’Air du Desert Marocain is to Tauer. It’s an introduction, and an immediate way to understand her work. It ticks all the “Vero” boxes, yet it’s not as challenging and as puzzling as some of her first creations. It’s surprising that Rozy didn’t come first… I could imagine Rozy being “the start”, and then Onda introduced a honey/vetiver overload, Rubj introduced white florals and spice, and Kiki introduced lavender and caramel (and let’s just say for now Mito is the beautiful odd ball)… the fact the rose is not a dominating note and more a “part” of Rozy, it seems to be a unifying fragrance in the collection…. for that reason alone, I think Rozy EDP is an extremely clever and well thought out release for the line… the fact it is a hugely joyful piece to wear is just a bonus!

And for a little more of the “technical/how does it smell bit”, Rozy EDP remains relatively linear, gaining a little powder atop a dry, woody structure of cedar and sandalwood. Elegant, yet youthful – the correct way to do a modern rose fragrance – lovely!

Freddie Albrighton Vero Kern

Rozy Voile d’Extrait has a breathtaking opening – a pinch of bay leaf?, nutmeg (which at times gives off a clove-y, carnation warmth), what to me smells like cardamom, and a tart blackcurrant. It’s a slightly sour, slightly sweet spice basket of a fragrance… the peach still seems to be there, only more leathery… the fruit and spice accord smells slightly “turned”, a little rotten and damp, but lacking the indole to push it into an uncomfortable territory – Rozy Voile is definitely not challenging or difficult, but it is complicated and multi-faceted…

I admit only one fragrance is brought to mind when wearing Rozy Voile… Blask by Humiecki & Graef – a favourite of mine… it combines dark, smoky woods with red fruits, spice and florals (oh and mushrooms, chestnuts and buckets of other stuff)… but the association can only be found in the first few seconds – both are complicated and have a similar olfactory colour and texture (a dark burgundy/purple). The rose (and at times what smells like a pinch of saffron) is what spins Rozy in an alternative direction, lacking the sweetness (and hyper synthetic nature) of Blask due to the almost bitter blackcurrant and a balsamic base. The rose is a little darker here  in the Voile d’Extrait (but still not dominating), partnered with a listed tuberose, which to my nose adds a density and a softer texture rather than anything traditionally “white floral”.

The spices settle quickly on the skin, but remain “humid”, and for that reason Rozy Voile comes across to me as a “jungle rose” – despite a lack of greenery… I suppose it’s hard to describe without smelling it… But the cleverly chosen ingredients in the “spice basket” opening take Rozy Voile away from being anything remotely “middle eastern”… or let’s just say “over done”. The blackcurrant/rose combination smells nothing like Keiko Mecheri’s Damascena, or Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans L’Eau… no, Rozy’s complicated little structure is a modern oriental that doesn’t fit into any other boxes, and all the better for it.
The base is soft, vanillic and resinous… labdanum, sandalwood, vanilla, just a smidge of powder, a touch of smoke… it’s a big ole’ oriental thing that at the very end, references the classic vanilla base of Shalimar and the like. I also find an animalic warmth to it and a little dry earth (castoreum?), and there’s a strong impression on vetiver thrown off my skin. The base is as full of life as the opening. Again, Rozy Voile is accessible, and yet totally unique – these two releases are clever, well thought out, and gorgeous additions to the Vero Profumo line, and perfumery in general.

Rozy 50ml Voile d’Extrait Vero Profumo – £156 http://www.bloomperfume.co.uk
Rozy 50ml Eau de Parfum Vero Profumo – £138 http://www.bloomperfume.co.uk

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Vintage: Ming de Dynasty – Parfum de Toilette & Pure Parfum

Well, I’m still on a vintage binge… it’s become my new obsession. Ming de Dynasty has been one of my favourite recently discoveries. I’m not the hugest fan of chypres, but I can hella appreciate a good one… Ming may be my favourite I’ve smelt.
Now, with no notes pyramids, or a single review to be found anywhere online, this thing is a bit of a challenge to pull apart… but I’ll do my best to put across how gorgeous I think this thing is!

Ming de Dynasty

Ming de Dynasty PDT starts with a sour, agressive rose that reminds me a little of the rose in Indigo by Magnetic Scent… they don’t smell the same, but it’s the closest similarity or comparison I’ve been able to make. It’s a rough, heavily peppered rose, overloaded with greens – cypress, galbanum, and a thick mossy base underneath already. There are hints of citrus up top – an industrial-like lemon/bergamot – adding a sour astringent quality to Ming.

There’s tropical ylang ylang, hints of jasmine, and a light dusting of resinous powder – vanilla and labdanum? The whole composition comes across as a slightly powdery green chypre, bitter yes – but I wouldn’t want to call it a “bitter green chypre” because to my mind that conjurs things like hyacinth, and a more pungent, typically “green” smell than Ming delivers to me.

I guess Ming is all about the peppered rose. There are hints of soap in the distance and subtle, clean white florals… traces of that deliciously old school powder. The thick, traditional chypre base drags Ming PDT out forever and whilst it remains relatively linear, it lasts forever on me in a translucent (in time), expensive and refined veil. The bitterness to it continues, although softens into a more doughy, “nutty” texture. It’s extremely classical, with enough of an edge, and a bite, to make it unlike anything else I’ve come across. Beautiful stuff.

Ming de Dynasty Parfum

Ming de Dynasty Parfum is of course in the same vein, but it starts sharper, with even more spice (pepper and clove?). The rose is sour and oily, almost (again reminding me of Indigo) as though it is tainted with mastic oil. There is an animalic edge to the parfum, like a thick rich civet that merely pops it’s head up in the PDT. Here, it gives off a skanky almost indolic vibe, along with a sweetness that bizarrely reminds me of violet.

The ylang is a little more pronounced, and in general, the florals give off a more pungent, impenetrable layer. There’s the dense greenery that is much more “perfume-y” than anything natural or earthy… again, cypress, galbanum, and here – there seems to actually be a swampy hint of hyacinth? There’s also a fizziness to it? The violet mirage from earlier? At times I feel I get a suede-like apricot, and then others just a soapy powder. The civet gives Ming Parfum a slight leathery feel… with the oakmoss, labdanum/amber (the amber accord is much more obvious in the parfum!) and just a hint of patchouli(?), it begins to settle skin-like, and extremely elegant.
Is there a trail of incense in here? I’m not sure – but after about two hours on the skin, the only fragrance I find Ming de Dynasty to have any similarities to is Rien by Etat Libre d’Orange! Civet, leather, incense – and here, oakmoss too. So gorgeous.

Sniffing the Parfum and the PDT side by side… The parfum remains sharper, with a more pronounced and long-lasting sour tart quality… it’s a little more textured with a pulsating animalic heart. There is a dry, charred wood quality in the Parfum (cedar) that I can’t find in the PDT, and an exaggerated leather bite. The PDT, in a more settled phase, has a nutty, powdery quality to it, whereas the parfum’s amber is more recognizable. The rose in the PDT becomes muted, like a waxy sheet with a softer greenery. Both variations are absolutely gorgeous, the PDT being much more easier to wear day-to-day (which I pretty much have been doing!), and the Parfum having a bit more of a sultry – at times it seems so dark it has metallic bite to it, and the woods so sharp they leave splinters… and then it softens. I guess that’s what I mean by “pulsating”, it has movement on the skin. The PDT remains a little more relaxed, but both endlessly enjoyable. If you can find these, BUY THEM.

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3 Great Vintage Gardenias: Estee Lauder Private Collection, Houbigant Gardenia, Anne Klein

Hey guys, sorry for not keeping Smellythoughts updated as regularly as it should be – I admit I have concentrated on YouTube a little more. I’m not sure why, I guess I find it more of a fun way to get my personality across and just chat shit about the things I love, I feel as though this blog is almost more… formal? Maybe not formal, it’s never been that… but I dunno…
Let me carry on.

As some of you may know, I’ve fallen down the vintage hole, hunting out bargains and difficult-to-find gems on eBay and the like, and have stumbled upon some great things.
Three of these recent purchases have all turned out to be wonderful gardenia fragrances, something I’m always on a hunt for… so let’s start…

Anne Klein Parfum

Anne Klein Pure Parfum goes on the skin as a strong, thick gardenia soaked in galbanum. It’s a pungent, green thing, not mushroom-y or particularly earthy… more reminiscent of the green gardenia of Gardenia Exuberante by The Exotic Island Perfumer (minus all that fig!). There are hints of hyacinth, and a little bergamot up top, just a touch of berries – but as a whole, a very nice gardenia portrait. It has a slightly Poison-esque syrupy quality to it, but the heavy-handed greenery keeps it from having much of a similarity. There’s a hint of buttery tuberose, and a slightly spiced floral accord, that could just stem from the greens.

As Anne Klein begins to settle down, which is quite quickly in the parfum, it gets a little dense – a thick, dry (but muted) fruit smell, along with a de-sweetened amber and white musk. The greenery looses it’s punch pretty quick, and the whole fragrance reduces in minutes into something much more conventional, but still quite classical (and 80′s)… It has this papery texture to it, dominated by a half decent sandalwood. I much prefer the opening to the drydown (and tend to wear this to bed more than anything), but I still think the opening is awesome enough to list it as a hidden gem of a vintage gardenia.

Houbigant Gardenia

Houbigant Gardenia (not to be confused with Gardenia Concentree), goes on with a harsh, ugly overload of swampy green nail varnish, banana skin, and narcotics galore. There’s a hint of tuberose-y mouthwash, a rotten vegetal note of green peppers… and unlike more modern representations of this ugly side to white florals, this thing, is just ugly… not sexy. It is however, ridiculously interested, and doesn’t hang around in this phase for too long.

Now I can’t find a notes pyramid or anything about this online which is frustrating, it’s almost like it never existed. So trying to pull it apart is a little complicated… the overall impression is that of a gardenia, it develops a strong, sweeter lactonic quality reminiscent of Fracas by Piguet… but only from a distance. Up close, the fetid green quality seems to be a mush of gardenia, carnation, peony, lily of the valley, and hints of grass and wet leaves. It’s definitely perfume-y, not a “fresh” scent… but again, missing is the earthy, fungal quality reminiscent of mushrooms that alot of us gardenia lovers crave.

Still, it’s a hugely interesting fragrance, and one of the few vegetal takes on a gardenia I’ve smelt (also whiffs of raw carrots in the heart). A little hideous treasure that will probably get a lot more skin time in the summer <3

Estee Lauder Private Collection Parfum

Estee Lauder Private Collection Pure Parfum (not to be confused with Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia), opens with extremely bitter and loud greens, again, almost vegetal, as if pulled from the earth – dominated by a powerful and realistic hyacinth. Hyacinth tends to have a “swampy” smell to it, only here it is JUST freshened with hints of bergamot and lemon, it almost has a pinch of Shalimar’s opening in the top (when applied generously).

The hyacinth dominates most of the composition, but just how Bas de Soie is a hyacinth/iris duo that go hand in hand, Private Collection goes hand in hand with a decent gardenia accord. Sure it’s not the lead player… but it’s there. Maybe it’s a mirage? There is also some crisp green chrysanthemums, just a hint of jasmine – the whole green bouquet smells like a florists… the old, murky vase water and all. The huge bouquet is weighed down underneath by hints of powdery vanilla, a potent musk, a huge handful of oakmoss and other bits and bobs (patchouli, dry woods)…

Private Collection, is a massive green floral, encompassing the earth and soil, every flower you can imagine and the slight rot of them all too – all wrapped up in a big vintage smelling chypre. So I guess the gardenia isn’t really a big piece of the perfume when you really break it down, but it encompasses a lot of the aspects I love about gardenia notes, although very distorted and amplified… lactonics, green, white florals, earthy notes. I guess it’s just an all-round fantastic perfume and I wanted to include it in something :P But still, I cannot recommend this one enough.

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Envoyage Perfumes – Debut de Carmel, Carmel de Ville

These two fragrances were blind buys in the Envoyage sale. I trust Shelley’s work enough to know that even if it’s not to my taste, it will at least be interesting. Thankfully, I fell for both of these on first sniff! Here’s why…

Debut de Carmel

Debut de Carmel opens with an almost lychee note… a watery, slightly green fruit that gains a little floral spice. It’s a near-mouthwatering, but more “refreshing” aquatic, tropical juice, that within minutes, transitions into a very clean, ivory soap with just a small touch of clove. Yep, the dominant soap accord was unexpected, and the transition is so rapid, and so literal, it was baffling the first time I tried this. I like soapy accords, but not when they’re bashed next to bitter floral greens (Antonia by Puredistance for example)… here, I could tolerate it… infact, I liked it, but hoped it wouldn’t stay this way until it end… thankfully it doesn’t :) instead, I find it quite a charming little phase of Debut.

Debut’s soap begins to turn creamy and a little sweeter as a vanilla, white musk, and a hyper-clean, subtle wash of apricot comes in. There’s a crisp lily of the valley and an abstract interpretation of white florals (gardenia) in here, with hints of soapy violet that reminds me of a non-aldehydic Stephen Jones by Comme Des Garcons, a love of mine. There is evening a fleeting smell of mineralic stone like in Stephen Jones. The dominating floral “feel” overall is Wisteria, another note I love. A slightly honeyed, powdery, purple floral that reminds me a little of lilac and heliotrope, but with a linden blossom feel… it’s like a combination of them all. A charming, very quaint, English smelling floral. Debut remains a squeaky clean, shiny, soapy floral with hints of soft fruits and musk – all atop an almost aquatic vanilla base. I can totally imagine that this doesn’t sound appealing, but I’m constantly drawn to it as something desperately easy to wear, and really comforting.

I love how Lucy over at IndiePerfumes said in her review: “how is it possible that the precise feeling of beginnings was captured in the form of a scent?  There is something anticipatory and active in how the notes hold together, a sense of curiosity and innocence.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Really lovely work.

Carmel De Ville

Carmel de Ville is a whole other story. It starts with tart, syrupy fruits, like a liqour. It’s spiked with sour edges of rhubarb, and yet sweetened with hints of brown sugar, fresh plums and peach/apricot. There are hints of powdery, honeyed florals (indolic jasmine?) – and the whole thing reminds me of an easier to wear… “prelude” to Chang Chang by Envoyage Perfumes… one of my favourites of her line. There is the same huge contrast of florals, tart fruit acetates that becomes totally holographic and impossible to pull apart, with an even greater dose of honey here. Where Chang Chang gets even more powerful with honey and cocoa, Carmel de Ville gets a little sweeter with a thin laquer of caramel, and a very urinous honey.

Now, the honey is what could be the thing that will make or break the fragrance for you. For me? It’s an absolute love. I adore things like Miel de Bois, Onda, (to a lesser extent) Absolue Pour Le Soir etc… Here though, that dry, slightly sour, animalic honey is enriched with all the jammy fruits and caramel that it becomes an abstract gourmand with an animalic edge. It’s fascinating to me, and something I feel hugely comforted in. It’s warm, human, filthy, but sweet and delicious at the same time. It’s become a bedtime staple for me :’) Much to my partner’s dismay… but there we go!

The honey is the dominant note in Carmel de Ville for me, along with the caramel, yet it remains holographic and multicoloured, never one-dimensional or predictable – a thing I adore about Shelley’s work. It settles into a sweetened patchouli/sandalwood much later on. If it sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll love it!
And as always I’m blown away by the gems in this line. Thrilled to have these :)

EnVoyage Perfumes – Carmel de Ville & Debut de Carmel – 15ml EDP – $40 http://www.envoyageperfumes.com

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Video: Unboxing and First Impressions of Vintage JMFarina Eau de Cologne

SORRY GUYS! I know I know, two videos in a row to bulk up my blog – SO lazy…
But no worries if you choose not to watch :) The reviews will be back soon… managing two blogs is hard work :|
And my work life at the minute is hugely stressful! Great, but stressful.
Recording videos is like a little “getaway” for me just to natter after work about random shit without the greater, I guess, formality, of a written review.
So here’s another one for you :) Enjoy xxx

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Vintage: Balenciaga – Prelude & Quadrille

Ok I’ve finally succumbed to vintage… it’s happened. I’m snagging up bargains left right and center buying, with a bit of research, buying things that sounds interesting… finding my tastes change slightly or at least my cravings.
These are two that I have picked up in the last week (I figured going by house would be a good place to start…)
Here’s some quick thoughts :)

Prelude

Prelude opens with a sparkly of very alcoholic aldehydes, extremely astringent with a nail-varnish like pitch, and an equally jarring scent. It takes just a short while for everything underneath to fall into place… as it slowly gives in to a slightly abstract, but light handed, spicy/oriental thing.

There’s a carnation/clove spice with just a hint of dry cinnamon – the solvent-notes still pushing hard. There’s a hint of sharp ylang ylang – and the whole thing smells like a higher pitch, more dated (despite it being more recent) Opium-hybrid. There’s a hint of clean rose underneath, and a bracing green accord – yet the whole thing has a slightly “soap-ish” edge initially – with a “musky” through, predictable almost of these kind of old-time, almost cheap-y fragrances.

The rose/ylang dominate with a jasmine note getting louder throughout, paired with the light but bracing spices, with a soft amber/resinous accord underneath. There’s a dose of civet and musk – it has a very old school feel even in the finale… but with a texture almost ozonic. Once the aldehydic accord burns off, it becomes much more enjoyable, getting smoother and more vanillic with a heavy tolu and benzoin base. A smooth, restrained spicy floral that’s very nostalgic, and familiar – I’m sure I look totally out-of-place wearing this, but I surprisingly really enjoy it! It’s extremely refined, very classic whilst being a little too “pristine”… but interesting and easy enough to wear to make this one a keeper <3

Quadrille

Now Quadrille I absolutely love! It opens with again, just a tiny smidge of aldehydes… but develops much quicker, and deeper – into a thick fruit of plum and peach, so dense it’s almost “boozy” whilst still being relatively light. The fruits are gently spiced with cloves and cardamom, all piled on top a thick mossy base.

Quadrille has a very restrained but elegant quality on the skin, a more muted, yet slightly more complex Mitsouko. It is a peach chypre, very delicately spiced with an even deeper colour (the plum). There’s hints of jasmine, just a touch of rose, and a subtle liquorice note that runs throughout. The liquorice jasmine and plum is piled on top of an immediately recognizable and old-school chypre base… a little white musk, and a hint of civet and lots of thick moss.

I find Quadrille to be an exceptionally easy wear, and unlike Prelude, it’s immediately appealing, familiar, with enough of a personality of its own to make it hugely unique. From a distance, it has a relatively subdued but rich mossy throw; with a little heat on the skin, up pops the spicy florals and wafts of liqourice. Gorgeous!

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Bruno Fazzolari – Lampblack & Au Dela

Au Dela

Au Dela opens with a heavy, classical citrus and culinary green accord of pungent coriander, a hint of lemon and bergamot, undercut almost immediately with a dense moss. It reminds me (in style) of Mito by Vero Profumo – a gorgeously sharp citrus opening, a white floral seamlessly blended heart and a green moss base… only this is a little warmer and softer (and just a smidge soapy – neroli?).

The neroli adds a distinctive soapy and somewhat powdery accord in the heart, there’s a little orange blossom and a very transparent, clean jasmine. The powder throughout (which at times seems to come from a vanilla/amber in the base), is a subtle melancholy touch, reminiscent of the accords that run through vintage Guerlain classics and maybe even Roucel’s older work for Dior (although even that smelt a little more modern). It’s not a dated smell, but a reference to fragrances of the past, and it’s very, very nice.

I admit, to me at least, it smells relatively simplistic, or maybe even minimalist… it is beautifully composed and balanced, extremely soft on the skin – but with a lovely throw. A no-frills chypre structure (with a hint of powdery amber) using the bare necessities only, but nicely done: a gorgeous, easy wear.

Lampblack

Lampblack is a beautifully balanced, tarry “thing” up top, the black petroleum-like notes immediately combatted and freshened somewhat by an abrasive and bitter grapefruit and black pepper. It as a very similar “sour-fruit and smoke” vibe that I get in Lil by Olympic Orchids, only the smoke here is more literally… like an undercurrent of rough black leather. The difference between this and a million other smoky leathers is the restraint of it on the skin, and the visual structure it delivers… the leather literally smells “underneath” everything else – whilst the fresh citrus notes up top create something reminiscent (although not scent-wise) of the fresh vs. leather Knize 10.

Whether it is lime leaf (which I think it is), or something else, the sour green of citrus fruits stays for much longer than expected, slowly giving in to a smoky vetiver underneath. Again, as with Au Dela, there’s a signature powder making the whole composition smell more classical, than modern or avant-garde (as these kind of compositions often do) – and that makes a realllllly nice change.

The memory of lime, subtle bitter greens, smoke, vetiver and powder is how the fragrance pretty much stays until the end. Now and again a bit of extra texture is thrown up from a sharp, oily “petrol” note, and then the powder tames the whole thing down. It’s again, surprisingly easy to wear, very nicely done – and an original take on a “leather”.

Bruno Fazzolari Lampblack 30ml Au Dela 30ml EDT – $85 each http://brunofazzolari.com/store/

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Vintage Diorissimo – Christian Dior

I picked this up very cheaply at a Vintage Fair here in Birmingham, quickly sniffing out the bottle to check it still smelt good… it certainly does!

Vintage Diorissimo

Diorissimo opens with a clear, clean and green lily of the valley with a powdery lilac (and a very light citrus). It almost has a slightly “peachy” feel to it in the opening, an not-quite-ripe green peach and maybe even apple? The fruit accord isn’t dominant however, slightly alcoholic even (maybe the top has been tainted a bit… my bottle unfortunately leaks a touch after all…). The lily of the valley isn’t the powerful waxy and slightly spicy beast of the gorgeous Carillon Pour Un Ange, but more delicate, feminine and a touch “soapy”.

There’s a dewy scent of fresh greenery and a little heady jasmine, reminding me of the honeyed jasmine of First by Van Cleef & Arpels (without the aldehydes). There’s a light spice of lily – but all in all, the lily of the valley and lilac dominate… giving off an almost “laundry-clean” vibe, but all round more perfume-y. Whilst the lotv is pretty realistic, the rest of the composition smells undeniable-y dated, although too classical to smell old-fashioned… if there is such a thing. It’s quaint, very pretty, very delicate on my skin but with a spring-like throw (that somehow conjures up green melon? – although it’s not aquatic).

Underneath Diorissimo has the slightest civet rich musk, but it’s cleaner to my nose than many seem to get… all on top of the most subtle transparent woods and green. To me, Diorissimo remains relatively linear, gradually fading away in time not too dissimilar to how it started – fresh from top bottom, seamless, green and floral. Of course it’s not at all a challenging wear, but very, very pretty <3

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Video: Fragrance Purchases January – February 2014

Hi guys

Thought I’d load a quick video up on here for you, just some recent purchases, no biggy… OK, seven purchases :| which is a lot for me! But anyway – enjoy!

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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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