Tag Archives: o’driu

SMELLYTHOUGHTS: Best Fragrances of 2013


2013 brought us Perfumistas some outstanding releases. I didn’t want to categorize any of these so I’m putting out this end of year post, as simply as possible: The Seven Best Releases of 2013…
A weird number, not particularly catchy, but these were the standouts. Of course, I haven’t tried everything that has been released, but I generally try what targets my taste. All these fragrances were released in 2013, and are not necessarily what I’ve worn the most for example, but if you wanted to some up the year in perfume, these would be the seven.
In no particular order… (Ok, maybe slightly in a particular order)…

Mito Extrait Vero

Mito Extrait de Parfum by Vero Profumo

So I cannot find a picture of the Extrait de Parfum bottle anywhere, so this Voile D’Extrait will have to suffice! Whilst the composition is the same in both bottles, the concentration of the parfum just wins me over with it’s dense, plush texture.
Vero Kern has created a perfume of immense beauty, and whilst it took me a while to fully “get” the Mito EDP which was released first, the Extrait simply blew me away.
It is a lush combination of bracing citrus accords and bitter greens, with a bunch of white florals laid over it. Lemongrass, cypress, galbanum all lead up top, giving in to a heart of magnolia, champaca and a bitter vegetal tuberose which ties the florals in to the bitter greenery both up top, and the mossy greenery in the base. There’s a hint of peach throughout, and a drop of civet in the base – a reinvented chypre that smells modern yet timeless, referencing great classics of the past with huge admiration. Green florals have been totally to my taste recently, and having tried so many, I can’t see anything surpassing this extraordinary fragrance.

Ingrid Tableau de Parfums

Ingrid by Tableau De Parfums

The final fragrance in the Tableau de Parfums trio was a truly gorgeous release. A frangipani oriental, using the leading floral as it’s never been smelt before… out of a tropical setting, and thrown into a spice basket of dried roses, cloves, cinnamon and woods. It’s an absolutely huge fragrance, overwhelming and extravagant… yet its final hours on the skin are languid and plush; it’s feminine without being sweet or candied. Ingrid is a bold, confident fragrance that is hugely original and truly one of a kind. A fantastic finale for the line by Tauer. His work for Tableau de Parfums has been his most mature and experimental yet.


Zelda by Envoyage Perfumes

Zelda is just an all-round beautiful fragrance. It’s a unique, complicated magnolia oriental – in a similar vein as Ingrid without the hefty dose of cloves. It’s an old-school glamorous floral oriental, concentrating on the more creamy, waxy aspects of magnolia, partnered with subtle greens, hints of booze and old wood, rich in civet soaked woods and tobacco. Zelda is an extremely modern take on a classic structure and whilst complicated, it’s executed perfectly. Shelley Waddington is an extremely talented artisinal perfumer and Zelda is proof of this… it’s truly gorgeous.

Eva Kant O'Driu

Eva Kant by O’Driu

Perfumer Angelo Pregoni has done something with Eva Kant that I just can’t work out – he’s created an extremely beautiful, slightly aquatic floral that has a texture and translucency I didn’t think possible with such a high dose of natural materials. Eva Kant is a slightly spicy floral of rose and ylang, that starts extremely bitter and herbal, with lavender, grapefruit and rosemary. It’s bold, without being overly dramatic, with a fascinating combination of textures and contrasting notes. It’s a hugely intelligent piece of work from the O’Driu brand and undoubtedly his best work to date. Whilst I struggle to wrap my head around it at times, Eva Kant is something I absolutely adore to wear and have certainly never tried anything like it.

Cuir de Gardenia

Cuir de Gardenia – Aftelier Perfumes

Cuir de Gardenia filled a space in perfume land that was desperate to be filled… there has always been a gap for a good gardenia fragrance. I’d say this space has previously been occupied by Jardenia by JAR, and nothing else. Whilst Jardenia is still an extraordinary gardenia, it always felt more a brilliant accord than a fragrance to me. Whilst Cuir de Gardenia is simplistic, it’s a complete fragrance… with an outstanding gardenia accord. In the opening there’s subtle honeyed fruits, pear, a gorgeous gardenia – however devoid of the mushroom earthiness that dominated Jardenia, and jasmine. The jasmine is equally as dominant on my skin, and it leads into a smoky castoreum base that on me, goes through stages of smelling like leather, then smoky bacon. It’s a wonderful, comforting fragrance by the mother of natural perfumery Mandy Aftel – a perfumer who knows her ingredients inside-out. A clever piece of work, executed breathtakingly.

Bogue Profumo Cologne Reloaded

Cologne Reloaded by Bogue Profumo

Excuse the terrible photo, again, I couldn’t find one of the bottle so just took a quick snap of mine :)
Cologne Reloaded was composed almost entirely of vintage materials the perfumer apparently found, or was gifted by someone. The result is exactly as expected, an ancient smelling cologne. Of course citrus oils would have long since gone bad, so there are practically no citrus notes here. Instead, it’s a lavender smoke-bomb of a fragrance. Tons of birch tar, aromatic herbs, astringent, medicinal, bracing, very smoky… It’s one hell of a creation, that dries down to a rather dandified baby powder finale. Hard to wear, but every time I do I love it so much. A brave, and a very interesting release from a very new niche house – this perfumer Antonio Gardoni is one to keep an eye out for. His fragrance Eau D’E for Bogue is also really beautiful!

Santal Exotique

Santal Exotique by The Exotic Island Perfumer

This fragrance is an absolute must try for any sandalwood lovers, any lovers of spicy, Christmas-y gourmands… cinnamon, hot milk, cocoa, sandalwood galore, wood galore in general… It’s a mature gourmand, not at all foody, even more opulent than any of Serge Lutens’ sandalwood interpretations! This puts so many poor sandalwood attempts to shame… and in fact, Juan Perez’s whole line The Exotic Island Perfumer is outstanding. Santal Exotique I didn’t expect to love as much as I did, yet I find myself wearing it most evenings… absolutely comforting, beautifully balanced, totally wearable, and very alluring. A warm, spicy comfort and a reference sandalwood fragrance.

There you go guys! Hope you enjoyed my favourites of 2013… I cannot recommend you sampling these enough!!!!

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Eva Kant – O’Driu

I recently wrote about Peety by O’Driu… both Peety and Eva Kant are new releases from the Italian house, and I couldn’t help but feel immediately, without even sniffing Eva Kant, that it was the one going to be pushed away from the fragrant lovers eye, due to the whole “pee in Peety” thing. It’s a novelty, and something new in the fragrance world – after Secretions Magnifique, and M/Mink even, came Peety. Eva Kant doesn’t have a catch, other than it is a wonderful perfume. Now that I have my full bottle of the gorgeous stuff, I wanted to spend even more time with it before writing about it… so here it is :)

Eva Kant O'Driu

Eva Kant starts with a bracing grapefruit, rosemary, lavender combination. It’s herbal, astringent, but not as intense and bitter as many of the earlier O’Driu compositions. Underneath you can smell the wonderful O’Driu vanilla already, from afar that is… up close, the opening is too brash and loud to detect it. It smells a little medicinal, almost like an aromatherapy scent, but not at all so much as to be off-putting – it’s comforting more than anything.

A little spice works its way in, just a touch of ginger, and underneath a sheet of wet wood. Describing it, I pretty much feel like I’m rewording the marketing description… but to be fair, it’s pretty bang on for the most part. The damp, woodsy herbal opening, softened by the background vanilla, begins to turn more floral and even a little aquatic. No, there’s no calone, or heavily synthetic “watery” accords. Instead, the thing I pick up as “watery” seems to stem from a combination of the ginger, the citrus, the woods and the magnolia and chamomile that slowly joins in, to a point where it almost throws off the subtle smell of melon – think, Le Parfum de Therese. The floral heart to my nose is mainly a magnolia/jasmine/ylang with a pinch of rose. The spice keeping it lively, slightly abrasive, but overlaid with this just-off melon-vibe. It smells a little like a herbal tea, I guess the chamomile is to blame for that, but the florals take it into a more “perfume” territory, although nothing conventional!

The texture in Eva Kant is what is so extraordinary, it smells both dense, thick and oily, whilst at the same time conjuring this faux-melon-like translucency that at times feels extremely light. Then, you bring your nose back in and get the big hit of vanilla and benzoin underneath, that hint of something animal, even smoky – and the density of the heavy natural ingredients, and it’s all thick and smouldering again. Eva Kant has a great, great depth to it, whilst showing flickering signs of light throughout… it’s not a particularly sexy fragrance, nor do I find it romantic… it’s bold, dominating, confident and bitter-sweet. It has a warmth throughout it, which is what makes it so wearable, and a sweetness underneath that provides a huge breath of a relief. It’s volume on the skin is thankfully not too loud, otherwise Eva Kant could simply be too much to handle, but its presence makes itself known all day/night on your skin.

It’s strange… Eva Kant as it begins to relax and meld with your skin, seems impossible to review. Up close it acts as a chameleon, kind of morphing in and out of focus. I find it almost impossible to break down just an hour into wear, but experienced as a whole piece, when wearing it… all I can say is I love it. The best I can describe it is: a great light up top of slightly honeyed florals, ylang, magnolia, the creamy remains of citrus, with a softly spiced sandalwood and vanilla in the base – all draped in this floral water – and something just a little jarring throughout. O’Driu’s most intelligent and harmoniously composed work to date… a must try.

Eva Kant 50ml EDP O’Driu – 150 Euros http://www.odriu.eu/store/3-products

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Peety – O’Driu

Peety is the new fragrance by the fantastic house of O’Driu. The perfumer states that the bottle comes 49ml full, with the intention that you’re to add 1ml of your own pee to it. I’ve heard mixed things about the results of the pee, some seeing a subtle improvement, enhancing certain notes, whilst smoothing out the composition in general… others saying it “flattened” it somewhat. I haven’t tried Peety with my pee yet, as  my sample is definitely not big enough, I’d have to cut a droplet of pee in half which… which I’m not doing. So… here is Peety un-contaminated… which is a perfume wonderful enough to be judged on it’s own, whether you think the pee is a ridiculous novelty or not, don’t dismiss it.

Peety O'Driu

Peety opens with a mouthwatering herbal concoction of sweetened lemongrass, cinnamon, a lush rose note and a hint of smoke. This spicy beast instantly resembles (to me at least), L’Air Du Desert Marocain by Tauer… only without the sharp, tar-like note in the opening. It’s softer undoubtedly, a little sweeter and more herbal than dry.

A clove/carnation note comes in and from here on it begins to differ from LDDM, not that they were identical in the first place, but still. The clove brings in the tobacco note, which is where the initial smokiness comes from, adding a dried, fruity tobacco throughout Peety. It’s gorgeous, now reminding me a little of Mecca Balsam by La Via Del Profumo (all fragrances I love mentioned so far!).

As Peety begins to dry down, the spiced rose and tobacco sit close to the skin, softened with vanilla and tonka. There at times, on my skin, seems to be a slightly astringent, ammonia-like hair-dye smell through Peety’s heart, which whilst typing, isn’t showing up. I did a video review of this the other day and the ammonia smell came out strong. It’s not a bad note, or unsettling in the last, I’m not too sure where it comes from though. What sits in the base however next to the vanilla is a hint of castoreum – a little animalic smoke, pretty much a signature in O’Driu.

The whole fragrance is a very easy wear, and a great introduction to O’Driu’s work. It seems smarter, a little more “thought out”, well-balanced, and beautiful to wear – a departure from the hard-hitting challenging compositions of the original O’Driu line up which although fantastic, smelt more like experiments. It seems Peety is a final piece of everything learnt in the first fragrances, reminding me of numerous compositions in the line, including my beloved Leva which I own (lemongrass/olive/vanilla). A great perfume.

Peety 49ml EDP O’Driu – 150 Euros http://www.odriu.eu/store/products/1-peety.html

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Vis Et Honor – O’Driu

It’s been so long since I’ve wrote about an O’Driu fragrance. I got drawn to them again recently – wearing my bottle of Leva regularly <3
This one is one hell of an odd-ball (well… they are all!). So here it is.

Vis et Honor

Up top, Vis et Honor opens with a bitterly green, camphorous blast of lavender, an astringent narcotic accord riddled with a briney olive-like scent (more black than green: more Sienne L’Hiver than Leva). The lavender vanishes in no time, where a smoky herb bundle begins to dominate. It smells like a burning stick of dried out herbs, along with the most pungent chamomile – overbrewed and nose-clearing, it hits the back of your throat with a sting.

This herb basket settles into a mint… well, it doesn’t settle at all – but a mint comes into focus in full force, heated by the smoke and warmed by the chamomile – it is a mineralic and hot mint, earthy almost. Paired with an absinthe/liqourice (sweetening Vis Et Honor just a tiny bit), what seemed like a complicated overload at the beginning manages to fall into place. I find that a lot with the O’Driu’s – they are literally impossible up top, to know what you’re smelling, and also to predict the direction it will take. A mint/anise was not expected…

The expected cool quality of these two is replaced with a burning, almost boozy sensation, like the feeling in your stomach as a spirit hits it. You’d expect a super-clean thing with the overload of mint and anise, but the smokiness that begins to evolve into a castoreum/leathery scent keeps it human and a touch soiled. It quickly interlocks with your skin smell as it begins to tame at this point, smelling smoother and warmer – a touch of salt, a gorgeous incense followed by O’Driu’s fantastic vanilla and a hefty dose of oakmoss (and pine?). MMMM!

A pinch of fenugreek adds a subtle curried spice, but nowhere near as pungent as in Ladamo. It keeps the fragrance warm, with a bit of spark on the skin. Labdanum shows up and stays up, a thick, sticky black layer of resin that anchors the remaining touch of liquorice and mint to the skin. The incense/castoreum/vanilla creating a smooth, smokiness underneath (I hope this is coming across as clear as it can! – complicated I know).
The spiciness of fenugreek has touches of clove and saffron too – I love a good saffron note and it’s as smooth as can be here!
Drying down, it’s extremely soft on the skin with a furry texture – with enough bite to keep it fascinating start to finish. I’d have bought this one when I was in CampoMarzio70 were it not for the exceedingly high price tag. Still – if I had the money, I’d snap this up in no time. Gorgeous.

To sum up that complicated thing I just wrote there, the development to my nose:
Top: Lavender, olive, chamomile, smoke, salt
Middle: Mint, liquorice, clove, saffron, fenugreek
Base: Labdanum, castoreum, vanilla, moss, pine

Vis Et Honor 50ml EDP O’Driu – 270 Euros www.odriu.com

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Linfedele Haiku – O’Driu

Linfedele Haiku

Linfedele Haiku starts with a pungent O’Driu herbal signature, but something immediately is toning it down to a much more wearable level. Gone is the intense olive note that often penetrates the opening so aggressively, and instead it is replaced with a herbal lavender-like aroma, medicinal, cool and absolutely beautiful. Although entirely natural, there is an unusual chlorinated note in the opening, or maybe I’m mistaking a citrus accord for this hyper-clean smell contrasting with the more bitter herbal and animal notes underneath.

The herbal heart is a large dose of geranium, heated with a clove-y/carnation and sweetened with vanilla and pine. The vanilla is the O’Driu vanilla I fell in love with in Leva – an almost de-sweetened, dense vanilla unlike any other. A coffee note also comes in, reminding me slightly of the spicy/floral/coffee of Tango (Aftelier) – although these are very different. The geranium, a predictable inclusion for O’Driu, slots into this bizarre combination surprisingly well – in writing, it shouldn’t work at all. But the semi-sweet vanilla/coffee/clove paired with an intensely herbal geranium – is brilliant.

A bitter tea like smell that turns out to be mate (green tea) – I mistook it for champaca – also joins in the heart and leads Linfedele Haiku to the drydown. A big dose of castoreum (i’m assuming all natural?) shows up too, adding a furry, soiled, animalic presence to the fragrance – leaving behind it’s “nutty” character which I often associate with it (maybe more common in synthetic castoreum).
My appreciation for these ingenious inclusions and combinations has improved tenfold since I first began sampling these last year. My love for herbal notes and greenery has also increased dramatically though so I’m finding these much more enjoyable. Linfedele Haiku proves to be much easier on the nose compared to earlier releases by the house though. The complicated accords here are cleverly rounded out into something quieter and more supple on the skin – maybe the heavy use of vanilla (in O’Driu terms)?

Linfedele Haiku subtly floats around on the skin: a dreamy geranium – warmed up with the mate, a touch of great patchouli, carnation and sweetened with pine and vanilla – the herbal signature just staining the rest of the notes and the coffee only just about perceptible. It’s gorgeous, and without a doubt one of my favourite O’Driu fragrances. Definitely recommended for those interested in the line but not sure where to begin.

Linfedele Haiku 50ml O’Driu – 180 Euros http://www.odriu.com

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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 – Linfedele 1003, Linfedele 1004

If you don’t speak Italian, these name titles are all pretty overwhelming. The fragrances all seem to begin with the letter L and there’s often repeated names in this brand with alternative numbers at the end, I really don’t know where to begin and end with these. Sorry if these O’Driu posts start to get repetitive but I’m fascinated by this brand so far and really want to work my way through these fragrances, seeing if they each have their own identity beneath the huge O’Driu signature.

Linfedele 1003 opens yet again bitter and herbal, but there’s some notes in here which I find more appealing than before. A strong mentholated note comes in pretty much instantly along with some smoky leather. The type of leather is that boatload of birch tar which has come to fame through fragrances like Lonestar Memories and Knize 10. This is much greener though, and there is this wonderfully sharp medicinal note gleaming up front.

I really like the medicinal-ness to this opening, it’s so sharp and clinical a-top the greenery, it reminds me of notes I’ve smelled in Comme des Garcons’ Tea, and it wouldn’t feel out-of-place with a dollop of oud in the mix.

As with the previous herbal concoctions from O’Driu, I pick out that same cool lavender which I really like. It’s ridiculously sharp and pungent, yet subdued within the mix.
There’s a huge pine presence in this fragrance, and I’m used to pine fragrances having more of a warmth behind them like that in Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens. I actually prefer it like this, I wasn’t keen on the spicy warmth behind the Lutens’. This is much more raw and real.

As the fragrance settles down and becomes a whole lot more bearable, this pine and galbanum combination is coming through much cleaner now. By cleaner I mean individually, not distracted by everything else.
Similarly to the other fragrances I have tried so far, they each seem to have a gigantic “O’Driu signature” of herbs, and a less prominent combination of the headline notes. If that doesn’t make sense: for example, this is basically a leather/pine combo, Lalfeorosa is a rose/patchouli, but you’d never know this until like, 20 minutes of them being on the skin as they all open so similar. Whilst I like this concept, I find it hard to differentiate them on opening, and also, I struggle to understand the drastic price differences between them aside from being limited production…

Anyway, I’m going majorly off topic there. Linfidele 1003 is much nicer now. It’s a super potent masculine, again devoid of sweetness. Full of bitterness, smoky leather, sharp cool pine, and a pinch of frankincense and myrrh which is just starting to come out.
Very pleasant, it reminds me of Complex by Boadicea the Victorious, without the violets, with more class, and greater wearability.

By the way… There are common notes listed throughout these fragrances like juniper, myrtle, laurel etc. I have very limited exposure to these notes so I’m not listing them as if I’m confident with what they smell like, I’m sure this combination contributes greatly to what I keep repetitively describing as “herbal”…

So get ready to hear that word more-so:

So as not to constantly repeat myself, I’m going to give the familiar opening of Linfedele 1004 a little time to open before I start this review…

Ok so already, there is a difference between these two which is great! I really didn’t want too much similarity here. There’s this warmth behind this which right now is quite hard to break down.
There’s instantly a similar medicinal quality, but here it’s down to a handful of sharp and pungent cloves. Once I’ve got my head around this medicinal side to Linfedele 1004, the heat from it just expands more and more! Is it chilli pepper? There’s this fleshy chili note that provides the tiniest bit of moisture to the otherwise bone dry composition.
Similarly to Tauer’s Eau D’Epices, there’s the similar over-ripe cardamom which has that lovely fragrant twang with the painfully sharp green coating, that’s providing a little bit of sweetness.

Underneath all this, I can just about pick up on the O’Driu vanilla which I’m a big fan of. After ten minutes or so, a handful of green patchouli stops this combination from becoming anything foody (it’s not foody at all anyway! But I didn’t want the mention of kitchen herbs and vanilla to sound that way).
I’m really glad that this has its own personality. I was worried with the herbal opening that I would have little to write about here as I began to tire of the familiar openings, but 1004 is definitely its own beast. It is a complete contrast to 1003, where 1003 is cool and sharp with the medicinal pine and cool galbanum, 1004 is hot and sharp with medicinal cloves and heated chilli and maybe cumin?

The patchouli bush underneath is really nice, very natural and earthy. Suddenly I’ve just picked up on a bready-wheat type of note too. Sorry to keep referencing other fragrances but 1004 has just reminded me of my Hansel & Dreidel by Smell Bent. Although they are completely different fragrances, they share this similar bready note which I really like. I won’t use the word “doughy” as that makes it sound all too damp, instead this is bone dry. It works so well in fragrances as it’s not floral, herbal, spicy, sweet, it’s like this neutral space filler of something familiar and comfortable, and it provides a great dense texture to a fragrance like this that could otherwise be overtly spicy and sharp.

So there’s this rough wheat texture that somehow smoothes out this hot spicy pepper and maybe cinnamon?, the cloves are still strong and medicinal, and some lovely earthy patchouli mixed with the dark vanilla, has made Linfedele 1004 an instantly recognizable fragrance.
The spices do smooth out drastically in time and the whole fragrance feels warm, spiced, green, herbal and bizarrely familiar.

Whilst I am giving this a gleaming review, I THINK I preferred 1003, not that it really matters. Whilst I probably wouldn’t wear either, and prefer the creativity of 1004, 1003 is a lot more comfortable to wear on the skin and easier to get on with. However, like the other fragrances from this line, the longer they stay on the skin, the better they become (which is something that can’t be said about many fragrances/brands).

A wonderfully challenging, creative, complimentary duo.

O’Driu Linfedele 1003 50ml – 380 Euros
Linfedele 1004 50ml – 380 Euros both available odriu.it

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O’Driu – Lalfeorosa, Lalfeogrigio

Continuing on from yesterday’s excitement, I’ve picked out these two as my next O’Driu’s…
I know absolutely nothing about them, and am just armed with the provided notes list. Yet again, complex notes and some things I’m not too familiar with so here it goes.

Bizarrely, I pick up the same familiar green olive note in the opening of Lalfeorosa which judging by the notes list, may be the broad bean? As it’s both present in this and Leva… I’m probably completely wrong there.
This is actually quite similar to Leva, I can instantly smell the gorgeous vanilla, the briney olives that are extremely dense and juicy, but instead of that over the top lemongrass, here there is a beautifully classic rose and lavender.

Yet again, the fragrance is strong, almost bitter and herbal and I’m guessing this is pretty much a house signature. The herbals aren’t quite as intense though as with Leva, and it seems as though it’s really cleaned up by some cool geranium. I’m not that familiar with geranium, but I just about recognize the note and it’s pretty big here.

The olive note is dying down substantially now and ten minutes on, I’m picking up some of the lovely earthy patchouli. There’s some warmth and spice in the base, but it’s freshened up by that clean lavender. The rose is still going strong; it has that peppery, earthy quality to it which just works so well with patchouli.
The fragrance is a lot smoother and easier to wear than last night’s offerings from Leva and Ladamo; after a difficult start it has all melted together and has become a beautifully complex rose/patchouli combination with yet again, a handful of cleverly chosen ingredients to compliment. Some spice in the base dries out the patchouli and adds a dose of warmth, whilst some translucent geranium and lavender give Lalfeorosa a cool haze on the top. As it’s settled on my skin, I’ve just picked up on a little bit of resinous frankincense, another lovely touch.

As expected, an impressive scent, surprisingly easy to wear. I was worried at the opening that these fragrances may all be too similar. Whilst they all so far have a similar deep green structure and a briney base, the clever combinations of florals and spices have individualized these and made them instantly recognizable on their own. I hope the rest of the line continues this way and the house signature doesn’t become any less fascinating.

Lalfeogrigio – Opening again, a savoury orange tumbles away almost instantly to that bitter green herbal jungle and that slightly briney accord which is a touch toned down in here. It is only slightly different to the opening of Lalfeorosa with a lack of vanilla, and something underneath which I can’t quite put my finger on.

There seems to be something animalic in the base, it’s not listed but I’m tempted to say… castoreum? I may be wrong, but there’s a familiar musky nuttiness which I hope comes out more soon, right now the citrus/oily herbs are dominating again. I’m waiting for this bit to pass now as I kind of feel like I have smelt it already… Don’t get me wrong I really like this concoction of dried kitchen herbs and greenery, it’s just as intense and arresting as the other fragrances, but that’s just it, right now I’m waiting for this fragrances’ identity to come through.

A deeply resinous aura is beginning to come through, about 10 to 15 minutes on the skin. On top of that familiar geranium of Lalfeorosa, I can smell some breathy myrrh, which blended into the powerful remains of the opening is much more appealing than in the myrrh soliflores I tried recently.
For some reason I’m detecting some lavender as well, actually quite a lot… It’s confusing because a lot of what I’m smelling is not in the notes list. I feel like I could go on describing more and more but I’m diverting further and further away from the few notes provided on my carded sample. I guess that’s the idea, this wouldn’t be as fun if I wasn’t surprised and challenged and that’s exactly what Lalfeogrigio is doing to me!

Some sweetness is coming through more so and it is that familiar vanilla from the other O’Driu bases, thick and dark. The geranium and lavender are still going strong providing some fresh masculine greenery to the composition. At the same time wedged in the middle is the bitter-sweet resins of myrrh? and some amber I think… I’m very confused!

Do I like it? I think I do. I’m without a doubt impressed with the sheer complexity of it, the complicated masculine accords and mysterious sweet/musky base. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m hoping the rest of the fragrances take a couple of sharp turns to surprise me. If I had smelt Lalfeogrigio first, I may have been more “wowed”… but on the contrary I probably would have been more confused. Before I give off a negative impression of this fragrance which I don’t intend to do at all, I will instead leave with saying:

Two more fascinating compositions, hopefully unique in their own way as part of the O’Driu lineup.

Lalfeorosa & Lalfeogrigio – Both 100ml limited to 8 pieces – 888 Euros odriu.it

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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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