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Video: SMELLYTHOUGHTS’ Best Fragrances of 2012

Pretty much the same as my Best of 2012 blog post but thought I’d post it here anyway :)
Oh and I forgot to mention M/Mink in the video :( Silly me!


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SMELLYTHOUGHTS Back Home… What Did I Get? + A Giveaway!

So after my two-week fragrant tour around Europe (which went swimmingly!) – I managed to pick up some goodies on the way (of course).
Here are my somewhat unusual choices if I do say so myself…

New Bottles

Bosque by Humiecki & Graef

I love Bosque. I always have. I got thinking about how people say it is the easiest to wear and the most “generic” of the H&G line – I completely disagree, but maybe that’s my mindset. I’ve planned this big friggin’ essay on Bosque that I’ve been working on and am looking forward to posting, it might be a bit ridiculous for most people to read but it’ll be there anyway :P
Bosque is a dried grassy/floral with really bizarre floral notes I might add… it dries down to this bizarrely salty/milky/spermy? accord undercut with vetiver, it’s extremely unusual, absolutely beautiful and I’m thrilled to finally have it.

M/Mink by Byredo

I had tried this one before but only on paper. I thought it was absolutely disgusting. However, as soon as it hit my skin in the store in Germany, I got this blast of animalic musk and an intensely synthetic aldehyde combo that still, turned my stomach a bit. But as it dried down and the bitter, set honey, dark incense and unsettling inky notes came in, I found it completely captivating. I’m not sure whether I’ll wear M/Mink much, but I knew it had to be in my collection – it fits an empty spot. It’s both intimate and completely soul-less – brilliant!

Miriam by Tableau de Parfums

Miriam is an incredible fragrance, a modern vintage classic that carries a true Andy Tauer signature. It’s such an emotional fragrance, beautiful, elegant and timeless – full of interesting twists and turns that take it in unexpected directions. It evokes such strong memories and emotions with me and is a real “homely” fragrance – it is pure bliss. I have written my big review on this so I don’t need to write much more, but I feel like I can sigh relief with a smile now I have it.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

I knew I was going to get this one – it’s the most perfect iris (soliflore?) fragrance I’ve smelt. Full of carrots, powder, clove, earth and blahhhhhh it’s just great. A cold, calming, haunting perfume that has been on “the list” for far too long now. I needed it!

Rahat Loukhoum by Serge Lutens

Now here’s a weird one ey? Well… after my deep exploration of the exclusives line both outside of the Palais Royal and during my visit, I decided to pick up this one again for a quick sniff – having reviewed it many months ago after I had a slight obsession with it before smelling it. I loved it all over again – cherry, marzipan cakey goodness. But before, I was disappointed with the drydown – it lost the cherries, it lost the sweetness – it became a subtle skin scent that just hovered on my skin in a light, slightly powdered layer of vanilla, rose, musk and almond. The thing is, right now – this part appeals to me just as much. It is the ultimate comfort scent and I’d love to fall asleep to it. But also, It is the perfect fragrance to wear when you don’t know what to wear – something that will just within an hour or two melt into your skin in a delicate sweet layer that smells like a part of you – just a little more yummy. Thoughtless, elegant, edible? but necessary! I had to buy it. It alters my mind completely on first sniff – a complete joy.

Rubj by Vero Profumo

Rubj is one of the greatest florals created… in my opinion of course. As Judas as it is to say, I love the EDP more than the extrait… now, I adore the extrait, it’s beautiful – but the crisp green quality and the tart passionfruit in the EDP just tips the scale for me and could literally make me faint in adoration of this fragrance. An overwhelmingly gorgeous perfume that I almost feel is too good for me to wear, but when I wear it I feel incredible – and that’s what a real perfume should do! A necessity.

Leva by O’Driu

I have always wanted an O’Driu – but thought I didn’t like any of them enough to own – and the price is indeed terrifying. Leva always gets put down a bit in the lineup as being too sweet, too light, and too unlike the other O’Driu’s – I can’t disagree with that enough. Leva is a powerhouse on me, holding a typical O’Driu signature up top with THE MOST intense lemongrass and green olive combo which smells like a dense, pungent almost vinegar-laden oil on the skin. But the thing that captivates me the most is its perfect development (using only naturals I believe). The olives burn off after half an hour or so, the pungent lemongrass undercut by the greatest vanilla I have smelt. I struggle with vanilla so this is a big deal for me. Difficult to wear, but a real piece of art work.

Fracas by Robert Piguet

Ok I’m lying a bit here, this was a gift from the Robert Piguet house, but I came back to it from my holiday so I’m including it :P After all, it is a new bottle. I do love Fracas – a playful ditsy tuberose that I can splash on in abandon and roll around smelling of candies and cream – all buttered up in creamy white florals! Of course, there’s more to it than that, but I’ll be sure to write something a little more mature about it soon :)

So yes! There you have it. What do you guys think? Did I do good? :D

(the real reason you’re reading this)

So one lucky reader can win a 1ml sample of each of my new goodies!
All you have to do is subscribe/follow (if you haven’t already!), let me know which one takes your fancy the most, AND – LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THEM!!
I love feedback, negative and all, don’t be afraid to tell me you hate something that’s part of the fun :P But it sucks to send people stuff and never hear from them again – just saying ;)
I’ll announce the winner next Sunday: 23/12/2012 so make sure you come back and check because people keep forgetting to collect their goodies :(

Winner announced here!

Thanks for the support everyone

Freddie <3

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O’Driu – Leva, Ladamo

Where do I begin…
Ok, so, the extremely helpful and friendly Anna at Pleasure Factory gifted me with the most wonderfully presented and exciting sample pack I have ever recieved.

Envelope after envelope fell out of my huge parcel, all with the fragrance sample inside handwritten on the front. Each envelope opened with a carded image and description of the sample attached to it, and a feather – a lovely touch!

I’ve heard great things about this brand, but have never really read any reviews, they seem mysterious, and I wanted them to remain that way when I try them.

So as I have done with other sample batches, I am going to write my thoughts as I sniff these rather than live with them for a while. My thoughts later down the line will be posted in an update, but to be honest I just can’t wait! With a huge selection of the fragrances for me to try also, these will be broken into numerous posts over the coming days. For now I will start with LEVA and LADAMO.

Before I start, let me just say this:
By the look of the note pyramids (which I’m trying to slyly avoid), these have some crazy notes which to be honest, I have no familiarity with, I won’t pretend like I do. So, my reviews may be quite visual, but I will give you the best impression of them I can without sounding too amateur!

Leva opens beautifully dark. First comes a lemongrass note – blindingly green and tangy, as well as a deep black vanilla. Some piercing grapefruit keeps dashing up to the surface and attacking your nose. On top of all this, a really oily olive note seems to spring off the skin, more green than that in Sienne L’Hiver and much more prominent. Up close, some spicy black pepper, and the whole feel is extremely herbal yet sweetened by the vanilla and woods.

The lemongrass is probably the most prominent note right now. I say probably as this whole concoction morphs around on the skin so much I’m trying to tame it and keep track. Prickled up with the pepper, the herbal woodiness and vanilla underneath is intensely potent and almost too strong to sniff up close. The olive note remains the most present in the air space. This is a shapeshifter of a perfume and literally smells different from every angle.

After ten minutes or so, the dense dryness of the lemongrass is much less nose burning and the warm blanket of benzoin and vanilla bean melts into the skin. It softens up the fragrance just enough to make it smell more of a perfume, and less like an expensive candle.

Leva is a pretty hardcore “feminine”, although it is marketed as I feminine (I presume), it opens extremely masculine. I’m sorry for categorizing so much, I realise it’s something I rarely do, but named after Eve from the story of Genesis, I was expecting something much more serene and “pretty”. I’m pleasantly surprised! It opens with a punch and doesn’t let you forget it.

The herbal notes do calm down over time and it becomes what is basically a citrus/woody fragrance, but that would be a very general categorization and it sounds like a big understatement.
There remains a big mustard coloured stain of lemon, some dusty pepper, dry earth, woods and vanilla.
Hours later, I come to realise this is one of the best vanilla fragrances I have smelt. The surrounding notes are extremely clever – Wonderful.

Whilst I’m not sure if I would want to wear Leva, it is a remarkable introduction for me into this brand…

I can’t quite get my head around the opening of Ladamo, the green notes are huge and complex. Let me try break this down…
There’s an almost over brewed tea like smell to the herbs, they smell physically hot, almost nose piercing. It’s extremely medicinal, then at times not at all.

There’s a deep black liqourice note that I can only really detect from a distance, up close it is all too dark and enveloping. There’s a tobacco note also which smells extremely bitter sweet, and it is probably the only thing providing any sweetness to Ladamo.

Similar to Leva, there is a deep smell of earth, only here it is rugged and completely unforgiving. It is like being completely smouldered by bitter roots and soil, but it doesn’t smell like soil… I’m guessing this is some pretty potent vetiver, and it has just a tiny touch of salt.
Looking at the notes list, I’ve just managed to pick up that tiny bit of ginger, it’s like an earthy root of it, nothing foody, or even particularly spicy, but it creates a slight warmth to Ladamo.

The astringent herbal notes are burning off now, ten minutes later or so. I’m managing to bring my nose in close to sniff properly. It now smells familiar, and it is becoming warmer. Both of these fragrances have opened completely devoid of anything embracing and comforting, instead you have to work hard for the fragrance to accept you.
There is a strong tea leaf note now, and it almost smells Chinese medicine shop-y. Any moisture that there was at the beginning has dried out and some wood notes become more prominant. There are some florals which are now only just showing up, but to me they are quite un-definable, they simply provide a more fragrant haze over Ladamo.
The ginger becomes a little more prominant again and actually smells a bit like curried immortelle. I don’t have that much experience with it, but after smelling Fareb by Huitieme Art (which I detested) the other day, the same spicy heat is being radiated off of this fragrance. It seems to be providing the dryness that I am mistaking as tea. Very interesting!

I’m starting to enjoy it more and more now, the longer it has been on. It’s becoming bizarrely comforting and familiar, yet nothing like anything I would normally choose to wear or enjoy.
However, the immortelle now I’ve discovered it is one of the most prominent features. I don’t like the curried, almost body odour like scent this can give off, but it is just about tamed by the green earth underneath. It’s certainly a challenge.

Both Ladamo and Leva on individual hands are much more wearable, but I still feel like they are in control of me rather than the other way round. I have never experienced this with a fragrance before and I’m fascinated by it.
They actually go together wonderfully, if I bring both hands to my nose, the creamy, green lemon of Leva mixed with the dried herbal tea notes of Ladamo completely counter-balance each other.

Excellent, exciting fragrances. I really cannot wait to try more from O’Driu!

Ladamo and Leva 50ml – 180 Euros www.odriu.it

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