Tag Archives: tableau de parfums

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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Ingrid – Tableau De Parfums

Miriam is one of my greatest perfume discoveries, I adore it. Loretta was absolutely wonderful – the Tableau de Parfum line has so far been extraordinary, so I was ridiculously excited to get my nose on the final fragrance in the collection by perfumer Andy Tauer: Ingrid.

Ingrid Tableau de Parfums

Ingrid starts sharp and overwhelmingly complicated. Spiced citrus up top, bergamot, orange, lemon, clove, cinnamon – a hit of sweet sherbert… a crowded thing, difficult to pull apart but slowly begins to fall into place. The spiced citrus dominates up top, extremely classical, slightly dated with the heavy use of clove – reminding me of the citrus in the opening of Incense Rose, and also the spiced orange of Noir Epices (although far thicker). The cinnamon in the background is almost bitter, heating up Ingrid into a less green, less cardamom-heavy version of Eau D’Epices. There seems to be a little bay leaf, and maybe even pimento berry… the sheer warmth of the spice adds such a humidity to Ingrid it is literally dizzying.

The florals begin to come in… in time. Rose shows up first and for me, dominates. It’s a mixed bag of roses, on one side, fresh, bright and citrus-y… Moroccan? With a more potent, Bulgarian style rich, red beauty. It’s deep, dark, totally lush, with the clean aspect giving an ever so slight soapiness, providing a much-needed breath of fresh air in the surrounding darkness of Ingrid. The frangipani that also dominates is bizarre. It feels totally out-of-place, or let’s say, adjusting to a new surrounding. I’ve never smelt frangipani like this, I think we’re all too used to it in the background, next to maybe some tuberose or ylang… it’s a plush, dense tropical floral with a suede-like texture, here made more abrasive by the clove and cinnamon… but overall, it manages to give this more suede-like floral feel, acting as a harmonizer (usually the roses’ job?). It’s fantastic, and hugely original. It has a subtle suggestion of peach skin to it, and just a hint of greenery. There are other florals darting around, a flash of hyacinth (before the rose and frangipani come in and take over), a mirage of mangolia (maybe a combination of the citrus in the opening and the slightly waxy frangipani), and jasmine, sharpening the more bass-like noise of Ingrid.

Vanilla in the base adds a powdered, almost sherbert-y quality, similarly to how it’s used in the base of Miriam. But the spice entwines with it, along with a sharper dose of woods (sandalwood/cedar) and a little vetiver. I get a bunch of balsams and resins, along with a splash of civet. There’s a cumin-y sweatiness to it, and the patchouli/civet combo in the base add this sticky, overly rich finale which lasts on the skin for the duration of the heart and dry down. From afar, this thing throws of a true skank vibe, but not at all human-unclean. It’s so complex… but harmonious I assure you. Oh and of course it has some signature Tauerade going on, ambergris, tonka, lovely lovely!

So, after all this, reading it back, not even I would have a single clue how Ingrid smells if I hadn’t tried it already. So, en bref?
Spiced, thick citrus>> clove and cinnamon>> rich red roses, frangipani, jasmine>> vanilla, patchouli, woods and pure animal>> Tauerade. A stunningly original, oriental composition with some totally unexpected inclusions. On paper, it sounds like it shouldn’t work… but Tauer has this way of holding things together, and only just… which makes it so much more fun on your skin. An outstanding finale to the Tableau de Parfums line.

Tableau de Parfums 50ml EDP Ingrid – £110 http://www.scent-and-sensibility.co.uk

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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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Loretta – Tableau De Parfums

The second fragrance in the Tableau De Parfums line – created by Andy Tauer of Tauer Perfumes… :)

Loretta opens with candied grape soda and a hit of heated spice – giving off a very subtle candied cinnamon dusting paired with some green herbs that brings to mind the merest smidge of Eau D’Epices hidden underneath the syrupy florals. The grape soda from the start is something I first came across when smelling Cuir Venenum by Parfumerie Generale – an overloaded, obscure treatment of orange blossom and it’s lovely!

A clear rose comes into Loretta as the spices slowly begin to vanish, leaving behind a green, herbal smidge underneath. The rose and orange blossom are the leads, with a subtly lactonic tuberose creeping up from below – the green accords snapping to the tuberose to make it smell like the stem has been removed with the flower. The combination of bitter greenery and the tang of grape juice from the orange blossom and jasmine, create a bizarre, metallic and oily quality – which gets stronger as a worn leather note comes in. I’m glad I’m not the only one who picks up on this oily metallic quality as The Candy Perfume Boy entitled this The Steampunk Tuberose – and that totally makes sense!

The culinary herbal notes and the bitter leather notes bring to mind dated classics such as Bandit – but where that fragrance is solely about these notes, Loretta overloads them with a more modern candied floral accord that releases something almost avant-garde – a dominating, modern-day fruity floral with greater maturity.
The grape soda image never disappears for me, morphing into stewed fruits at times (plum), and hard PEZ candy at others. The orange blossom for me is the lead, sweet and playful, lacking the deep resinous aspects I expected. The tuberose slumps on the bottom, a green, decaying floral releasing oil and metallic notes that remind me slightly of (the opening to) Bolt Of Lightning by JAR, only more in control.

The rough leather stays tame, as some dry cedar becomes more potent – releasing a trail of smoke throughout Loretta that I initially mistook for incense. The burnt, charred aspect of the wood further splits Loretta into two halves – the fizzy candied florals and the smoky woods and leather (and a growing presence of green earth – vetiver? – that brings the return of the peppered spice from the opening), similarly to how Miriam split the bright aldehydic floral from the deep resinous base.

Whilst personally Miriam appeals more to me, Loretta is a fabulous fragrance. It does smell slightly familiar, I’m reminded of Cuir Venenum with its grape-y orange blossom and smoky leather, Love by By Kilian with its marshmallow like jasmine, orange blossom and candied white floral overload – only with a smear of Comme Des Garcons’ Garage muddled in the mix. I’m not saying the Loretta is un-original, it combines all these fragrances I really like and manages to elegantly smush them into something charming and ladylike. It has a dark heart, but puts on a beautiful smile – a complicated fragrance full of little nuances and unexpected textures that makes me discover something new each time I try it. As with all Tauer’s – recommended!

Loretta 50ml EDP Tableau De Parfums – $160 Luckyscent

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Miriam – Tableau De Parfums

I had been wanting to try this for so, so long. Tableau De Parfums is a new line that encorporates film, and fragrance. A short film is created (surrounding a female character) – and the brilliant Andy Tauer creates a fragrance to match.

Miriam opens fizzy and aldehyde heavy. A beautiful candied citrus up top of bergamot, orange and lemon have a sherbert quality, sharp and tangy – almost mouth-watering. The first floral to hit me is a powdery violet, cut underneath by a bitter green bay leaf. At this point it reminds me of Une Rose Chypree – where the rose is replaced by violets and an aldehydic opening.

A rich ylang ylang comes in next, that slight banana hint made richer and more effervescent by the still fizzing aldehydes and the scattering of powder. The bay leaf still drifting along strong, with a clove note maybe from a mere hint of carnation – and a herbaceous lavender which adds a medicinal edge. That’s where Miriam becomes distinctive as a modern fragrance with a vintage feel, rather than just a vintage fragrance – the huge contrast of textures and unexpected additions. The lavender/clove camphorous quality undercuts the “pretty” floral notes to create something that almost feels like two separate fragrances, but it just about holds together – it’s a great play on the skin.

A rich rose and jasmine in the distance add to the bouquet and fill the spaces which I appreciate (them not being the leading role) – for me it’s the violet, carnation, ylang ylang, and maybe even a lily of the valley? It’s a complicated arrangement but similarly to the recently reviewed Ubar by Amouage – works harmoniously.

The vanilla from the base begins to creep in after about 20 minutes or so, the lavender and sweet vanilla remind me of a tamer Kiki by Vero Profumo, only heavily overlaid with a classic floral arrangement. The bitter greenery quietens quickly as the vanilla smooths out the sharper edges. Similarly, a sandalwood and amber adds a resinous, woody base – smooth and creamy paired with the vanilla, rounding out Miriam into a languid drydown. The powder from the heart turns into a more prominent orris note, dragging the almost lipstick like quality into the base. At this point the iris, violet and wood combo bring to mind Pentachord White by Tauer, only Miriam is softer, without the intensely sharp rosewood.

Tauer’s signature is subtle but recognizable for those familiar with his work – it results in Miriam having a really unexpected, sweet/woody/resinous almost oriental base that feels a touch out of place – but all the better for that. It turns slightly musky as it lives on the skin, and I think there’s a smidge of ambergris that keeps Miriam ethereal and bright – the density of the base never overwhelming the buzz of the fizzy florals.
Miriam is a truly lovely fragrance. It has the same feel to it as La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens – that contrast of textures paired with aldehydes – resins and florals given new life. I find it fascinating and beautiful, and without a doubt one of the best feminine fragrances I have smelt in ages – a modern classic.

Miriam 50ml EDP Tableau De Parfums – $160 Luckyscent

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