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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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SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Zurich… Day 7 (Dinner at Andy Tauer’s with Vero Kern)

Hi guys!!!

Today is my final day in Zurich (and also my birthday!) and I’ve loved it here so far.
On the first day, I visited Osswalds – a perfume shop in the city centre which has one of the most impressive selections I’ve seen, they have EVERYTHING.
So after a bit of walking around sniffing, I realized I wouldn’t be shopping in Zurich because the prices are soooo expensive! Lutens’ and Parfum D’Empire? You’re looking at about £110+ a bottle. So, quite scary – but I’ve found that almost everywhere in Zurich. It’s such an expensive city I’ve been on the biggest budget ever here. The little bar under my hotel wants the equivalent of £18 for a burger…. it’s insane. But I guess that’s been a good thing really, more money to spend in Paris and Rome!

Ok so, last night… where do I begin? Well, last night was my arranged dinner with Andy Tauer and Vero Kern, all very exciting stuff. So after having some preliminary “nerve calming” red wines back in my hotel, I hopped on the tram and amazingly, managed to not get lost.
I could smell Andy’s house literally before I walked through his front door – a light Tauerade pretty much filled each room.

Tauer Vero Freddie

So, Andy is lovely – he made me feel right at home, which I was hugely appreciative of considering I hadn’t had a proper conversation with anyone for nearly a week! We chilled, drank some beer, and chopped vegetables, shortly followed by a tour of his pad.
So Andy and Werner (his partner) showed me where all the backstage stuff happens for the Tauer brand, and it’s totally true when Andy says he runs everything from home. His little studio in the backroom behind the kitchen is overloaded with a big bottles of aroma chemicals, samples galore, there’s fridges full of raw materials, there’s vintage bottles of his own fragrances and other brands’ perfumes scattered around the cupboards… overwhelming, but a bit of a paradise really! I just wanted to dig my nose into everything. I also got a little tour of their office and library; Andy and Werner seem to have an absolutely perfect set up, having your own studio in your house seems like a dream environment to work in. What’s amazing is the solid relationship Andy and Werner can have when also working in such close proximity all the time (Werner is also the book keeper and Andy’s right hand man when it comes to large orders and all the complicated stuff with the Tauer brand) – they were both charming company. It was fascinating chatting with Werner too, considering he had no real passion or interest in fragrance until Andy started creating, and suddenly in a matter of years has found himself immersed in a world of perfume. I have to admit I felt a little guilty constantly keeping the conversation on fragrance around Werner as I could only imagine it must drive him crazy with everyone wanting to ask Andy questions, but he’s embraced Andy’s work so thoroughly and his insights and knowledge was fascinating.

Vero arrived a little while later with pretty much the most adorable dog I’d ever seen – a little black brussels griffon (I think) called Izi(sp?). At this point the fizzy was cracked out (wine…beer…fizzy, I hope you’re keeping track too) and we pretty much had a big natter about everything – upcoming brands, Basenotes members, favourite frags, perfume construction, particular bloggers, what brands are doing it right, and which ones aren’t, upcoming releases – endless conversations covering every aspect of life as a perfumer. Oh and during all this, gradually getting more and more pissed as two bottles of red wine vanished in a matter of hours and the cherry schnapps to go with the cherry-schnapps-soaked cake seemed to keep refilling in my glass.

Andy Vero

Vero spoke about her upcoming work which I’m extremely excited to sniff – it sounds wonderful. We also spoke about her previous ideas for her line and what direction Mito was originally going to go in, it was fascinating hearing all these ideas that could have come to light but didn’t – but new paths mean new things and it sounds like she has some great new things for us up her sleeve.
We spoke briefly about the construction of some of her work and the differences between creating the parfums and eau de parfums, how the formula’s needed to be altered and why her passion fruit signature from the first three fragrances didn’t work in Mito (it was changed to peach).

Andy and I spoke about Lys Du Desert for a bit and how it’s so “old school Tauer” – I’d been wondering since sniffing it why he hadn’t taken a drastic new direction for the Decennial scent. He said though that he knew he wanted to create this fragrance for a long time after visiting the Joshua Tree each time he was in LA – he didn’t really give a true answer other than saying “That’s just how it turned out!” which is actually, completely fair! I really love the smell of Lys Du Desert – and I think when you try the newer work of Andy, you forget just how awesome his Classics line really is – and Lys Du Desert is like a new, classic Tauer – I have a bit more of an appreciation for it now!
But on the topic of new directions for Tauer’s line… well, my mouth is zipped, but my nose is d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e for more! Trust me – keep your noses peeled, something awesome comes! ;)

Werner Andy Vero

So originally I planned to ask particular questions, and I took my laptop to jot down answers and stuff so I could make this post be an interview – but I’m so glad it didn’t work out like that. It just… wasn’t right. The company of Andy, Werner and Vero was nowhere near as formal as I thought it would be (no need for those pre-drinks after all), it was so relaxed and laid back that I didn’t crack out the laptop or the notepad once (apart from to show them my itinerary and what shops I’m visiting in Paris and Rome – they gave me some more “must visit” places).  So I left just after midnight, I can’t quite say I remember my tram ride back to the hotel… but a lovely birthday-celebration night it was!

Vero has invited me to her pad this afternoon, and Andy is doing a talk later on white florals which we’ll both be attending (although I won’t understand any of it, I said I’d just nod along and smile!). So more posts to come! :) Yay Zurich! And tomorrow… off to Paris :D

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SMELLYTHOUGHT’S 2012 Winter Vacation! (2 week disappearance)

Hi guys, Freddie here :)

Well, tomorrow is the day I go on holiday. I haven’t spoken about this much on here yet – but tomorrow I leave for Berlin. I stay in Berlin for four days – then off to Zurich for 3 days, Paris for 4, Rome for 3, then back home :)
I’m travelling alone so it’s a little scary – but I have tons of places to visit and things I can’t wait to get my hands on!

map

I think the standout event I have planned, is dinner at Andy Tauer’s  in Zurich with Vero Kern also a dinner guest :) It’s the day before my birthday and they’ve been extremely welcoming. I can’t wait to meet them, pick their brains and have a lovely evening in great company.

I also am super excited to visit the CampoMarzio70 stores in Rome – stockists of O’Driu and tons of other obscure, uber-niche brands!

So yes, tons of things planned, lovely people to meet and places to see. Hopefully my hotel rooms will have Wi-Fi and I can keep you guys posted on all the gossip and maybe slip a review or two in there on things I sniff whilst away :D

Look forward to reading what everyone else has been up to when I get back!

Freddie x

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Mito EDP – Vero Profumo

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

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


Fabulous illustration by Sofo Berdzenishvili!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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