Tag Archives: perfume

SMELLYTHOUGHTS Presents… Rozy Artwork!!

So excited to announce this… Vero Profumo made public the final promotional images for Rozy this evening on Facebook.
Remember my little secret project I went on about in my last post? Well here it is :P
Tattoo inspired artwork by yours truly  ;) WOOOO
Oh and here’s the little bio I wrote for Vero Profumo explaining the designs a little more…

“I have been a tattoo artist working in Birmingham, UK, for only 2 years now, so I still feel that I am very early on in my career. Aside from my work, fragrance is my passion, and the opportunity to create these pieces for Vero Profumo’s amazing Rozy was the perfect opportunity to combine everything I love into one project. I settled on a style that is true to my own, but keeping true to traditional tattoo artwork, using lady faces (here, similarly inspired, structurally, by Anna Magnani), hands, and of course roses so that the artwork is immediately recognizable as tattoo related. The modern meets traditional twist on the art works, reference that of Vero’s work also – a mix of modern and highly unique concepts and nuances, on top of traditional, almost vintage structures… one of the reasons Vero’s work is so brilliant. I made the references to Rozy literal, combining ingredients, colours and textures to represent both the Voile d’Extrait and Eau de Parfum concentrations – yet they all tie together as a collection.
Freddie Albrighton
Facebook: /freddiealbrightontattoo
Instagram: @freddiealbrighton”

Hope you like them guys <3

Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo Rozy Vero Profumo Freddie Albrighton Tattoo

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Mini reviews of random vintage aquisitions – Part 1

I have bought a lot of vintage goodies recently, almost too many to do individual reviews on (although see reviews of others in Full List of Fragrance Reviews)… so here’s part 1 of my mini review series :) Oh and these first four are all in pure parfum concentration.

Crepe de Chine F Milot

Crepe de Chene Parfum – F.Millot opens as a big, traditional chypre – although extremely soft (texture wise not volume). There’s oakmoss, sandalwood, a hint of carnation… in the same vein as Mistouko without the lactonic peach. There’s a little aldehydic chain up top, patchouli… lots of big, mossy, earthy greens… and the subtlest of florals weaving in and out. As I said, for some reason I keep getting carnation although not listed, and no one else seems to mention it… but my nose is always super sensitive to the note.

It’s powdery, classical, soft, very dated smelling but so well put together it’s timeless. Crepe de Chine doesn’t have the most distinctive personality, but follows a chypre trend often found when exploring vintage, done very well.

Shocking Schiaparelli

Shocking Parfum – Schiaparelli starts with bright, Chanel-esque aldehydes, along with a honeyed floral that smells similar to the indolic Paperwhite Narcissus. Very quickly, an animalistic honey comes in – thick and almost bitter, laced with a floral spice. There’s a touch of rose and a scattering of powder… and then begins the slow development into a construction similar to the beautiful Onda extrait by Vero Profumo (minus the vetiver)… you can tell that Vero was greatly inspired by Shocking!

There’s an amazing balance between bitter and sweet, the honey smells sticky and skin-like; Shocking feels extremely classical (although my partner calls it old-fashioned) – pshhhh!!!! It’s very musky, although not as filthy as I expected – the overload of civet adds a plush, richness to the honeyed florals, and the powder (which seems to be coming from a sandalwood) softens the whole thing. Shocking is quite a skin scent in parfum form, one that on first glance smells tame and refined, and when inhaled a little closer – primal and furry. A new favourite of mine, absolutely beautiful.

Cialenga Balenciaga

Cialenga Parfum – Balenciaga starts with a rooty, earthy vetiver overload, partnered with oakmoss. The vetiver has a nutty, castoreum-like quality to it, the whole composition extremely dry verging on masculine. There’s extremely subtle hints of jasmine and aniseed, similar to Balenciaga’s Quadrille. It stays relatively linear, revolving around the vetiver and oakmoss with an overall, obvious “chypre feel”. It’s extremely classy and refined, green throughout in colour, but without an overload of florals or citrus (at least in this parfum version). There’s a little spice, again from clove (something that seems to be popular amongst vintage chypres so I’ve discovered…), a pinch of rose… but almost solely deep base notes. Very nice, almost too “nice” though and not enough “amazing”.

Soir de Paris Bourjois

Soir de Paris Parfum – Bourjois starts with a hint of peach, aldehydes and a slightly sour, heliotrope/violet powder. Violet dominates Soir de Paris (Evening in Paris), like an old school Insolence by Guerlain without the sweetness and the overload of hairspray. It also brings to mind Apres L’Ondee and L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain – it has an old school, melancholy feel to it – coloured in lilacs and blues – a wash of scent but of course not “watery”. It’s a dreamy violet fragrance, with a base of musk, sandalwood and iris. Hints of jasmine and fruits keep it interesting and multifaceted… but the heart of Soir de Paris has become one of my favourite powdery violet accords… it’s familiar, and unbelievably romantic, like a long lost love. Beautiful.

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Video: Where to begin with “Vintage Fragrances”

Hey guys – sorry I’ve been off the scene for a while and haven’t updated the blog in ages. I have this awesome secret project thingie going on with a popular fragrance brand (a collaboration – but not on a perfume) that I will hopefully be able to talk about and reveal all details of soon…
So anyway, for now… here’s a video of me rambling and chatting shit for 10 minutes on how to get in to “Vintage”… hope it helps

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EnVoyage Perfumes – Souvenir De Chocolat – Cafe Cacoa, Indigo Vanilla, Captured in Amber

One of my favourite perfumers Shelley Waddington of Envoyage Perfumes has created a new, unexpected and somewhat unconventional trio of chocolate-based fragrances. Of course I was totally excited to try these, and have been living with my miniatures for a good few weeks now. I really hoped there was at least one I could say I didn’t like just so my post didn’t make me come across as such a suck up! HA! But honestly, I’ve raved about the Envoyage line before and I’m doing it again…
So here you go…

Envoyage Perfumes Souvenir Chocolat

Indigo Vanilla surprised me to begin with – a spicy, almost Christmas-y opening of cinnamon, nutmeg, just a pinch of clove and frothy milk – brought to mind fragrances such as Untitled #2 by Magnetic Scent, Un Crime Exotique by Parfumerie Generale… it’s not my favourite accord – but what begins to develop almost immediately is quite breathtaking.

A candied violet comes to the front, a little powdery, but more crystalized – like the decorative petals on top of a cake. There’s the sweet, waxy smell of icing sugar, and thick condensed milk. There’s a vanilla overload underneath that actually works to de-sweeten the other dressed up and sugared notes – a dense, very natural smelling thing that, if you’ve smelt Envoyage’s Zelda, will smell somewhat familiar. It’s that thick, sweet, slightly balsamic vanilla – tainted with a hint of animalics (civet and white musk), that saves Indigo Vanilla from turning into anything too foody.

The violet is absolutely fantastic – a violet I’ve been hunting for. It’s rare that a violet fragrance comes along these days, and when it does it tends to be nothing “new”… Well Indigo Vanilla is new, a sweetened almost lactonic violet thrown into a gourmand… but not quite candy-sweet setting. The spice does trail throughout, but with much more subtlety – and nothing that would scare off anyone afraid of smelling like a festive candle (which was where I was scared Indigo Vanilla would end up on first sniff). No, the violet dominates, along with a basket full of cake-mix ingredients (including a few rough-cut chunks of white chocolate), but composed in a classical perfumery style (with a sandalwood/resinous base) that avoids being anything childish or edible. This isn’t a mass-market “sweet/teen” fragrance – it’s an exceptional, unconventional gourmand that is made with such intelligence that is a joy to wear (that on paper I’m sure reads as a calorie ridden nightmare to some)… for me? It’s a dream come true and a beautiful piece of work.

Envoyage perfumes chocolat

Captured in Amber opens with a rich, thick, Arabian-inspired amber. It’s a no-holds-barred accord featuring a heavy dose of animalics up top, not quite fecal, but a labdanum and ambergris overload, lacking the sweetness and powder of a more mainstream amber. I admit, almost immediately Captured In Amber was my least favourite of the group, as this dense, thick, resinous-style of fragrance is not generally to my taste (I guess I worn it all out when I first discovered these notes and went overboard!)… but on repeated wearings, the fragrance becomes softer, and much more comfortable.

I suppose initially I mistook it for a big straight up amber – but what keeps me glued to my hand are the subtle nuances underneath… a familiar, dank, stuffy patchouli and a subtle dark chocolate that weaves in and out. Underneath the thick amber accord is what smells like a smidge of Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834 (my favourite patchouli soliflore), and I guess that is what I love about Captured in Amber. Ok so I’m not saying literally of course, but the glorious chocolate/patchouli combination is what makes CIA much more accessible. There’s a hint of vanilla again, a smidge of butter-y myrrhe (with a very subtle aniseed/rootbeer vibe), and after half an hour on the skin every piece of the puzzle merges into one perfectly unified accord. It’s earthy, furry, the perfect balance of sweet and bitter with subtle hints of spice and salt.
On paper, Captured in Amber reads as a list of base notes that I personally wouldn’t take a second look at – the outcome however is an entire fragrance that flips expectations of these notes with subtlty and beauty. I admit, it’s still not the style of perfumery I am often drawn to, and the least likely I’d choose to wear out of the trio, but it’s a deliciously comfortable fragrance and possibly the best amber soliflore (we’ll call it to be brief) I’ve ever come across.

Cafe Cacoa was the one I was unsure about before I sniffed it. I’ve never liked the thought of coffee dominating in fragrances… sure, it’s a gorgeous smell in the kitchen or in the cafe, but on a person? – I tend to think it smells unclean. Cafe Cacoa changed this –
It opens with milk chocolate and sweet coffee, it smells scattered with white sugar and whipped cream – with a light, airy consistency – whilst still being extremely potent! The perfumer has this way of making a fragrance both light – and extremely powerful (A Study in Water? – genius).

Cafe Cacoa has the texture of whipped cream, triple infused with chocolate, coffee, sugar, a little vanilla, a hint of cardamom – and yet again, a rich base of salty musks, a sweeter, more powdery amber (than CIA) – makes this fragrance, well, a fragrance – and not the smell of food. It is however the most edible of the three – and it is hella delicious. One of my favourite chocolate fragrances is Musc Maori by Parfumerie Generale… Cafe Cacoa takes this idea of frothy milk and chocolate and adds a whole bunch of other stuff to it whilst still respecting the texture, weight and subtlety…. did that make sense? I hope so. I’m trying to say that Cafe Cacoa kind of smashes Musc Maori, and has made it a whole lot more interesting – whilst not over-doing it. That’s better.

The coffee (which I guess is the point of this fragrance), never gets bitter, or dry, or “burnt”, or “coffee breath”… it’s a light, milky thing, smelling more like a mocha mousse if there is such a thing. It’s the scattering of sugar that just makes me want to chomp my arm off… this thing is absolutely delicious! Fantastic work <3


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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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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 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


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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