Photo stolen from Marco Fabbri :D
Hey guys :)
Just to let y’all know I’ve updated the YouTube videos page… I’ve deleted a fair few of the older videos and loaded links to a new 10 or so :) All fun stuff.
I’ve also updated the About Me section, it’s not much bigger but I’ve shared a few recent tattoo pieces which you may like to look at. It’s funny because I started this blog before I even started tattooing… and seeing how far I have come is crazy. I recently got shared on Instagram’s “UKTTA – UK’s Top Tattoo Artists page” which was stupidly exciting. I’ve got some guest spots coming up in Essex and Worcester (where you tattoo as a guest in another studio for a week)… all amazing :D
AND!!! I have been working on a secret little collaboration thing with a fantastic fragrance brand y’all know I love (no it’s not a fragrance… but all will be revealed soon!) – so stoked for that to be announced (hopefully early next week).
ANYWAY, hope everyone is keeping well and smelling amazing <3
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 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.
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 :)
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:
Please email me with your shipping address and your three choices so I can forward them on to Andy Tauer.
Congrats and good luck to everyone else in the future draws <3<3
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:
“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!!
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
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.
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
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 :)
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.
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
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