måndag 30 november 2009

Hilde Solani - ACQuiilssSSIMA

I´ve wrote about a jasmine perfume for angels (T.Mugler´s Alien) and about a jasmine perfume for elf princesses (Parfumerie Generale´s Drama Nuui) and now it´s time to write about a jasmine scent for mermaids. Well, I know that if a mermaid would be presented for a bottle of perfume she would think it was as strange as the mermaid above find the shoe. And... even worse, mermaids seem to be non-existing for real.

But if they would exist and for some strange reason would use perfume, I am sure that Hilde Solani´s ACQuiilssSSIMA would be a perfume that mermaids would like.

The italians seem to make very good and realistic interprentions of the sea in perfumes. Two of my sea favourites are italian, profumum Roma´s Aqua di sale and Profumi di Pantelleria´s Approdo and ACQuiilssSSIMA dare I suggest, is about to enter the very top of auqatic perfumes.

Now, I have to admit that this season isn´t the best for trying cool, wet and subdued aquatic perfumes, but I promise to take care of my little sample, since I am convinced it will come to more frequent use when we´re heading towards summer.

When I try (dab, not spray) ACQuiilssSSIMA I do feel that I am missing something in the opening, something vaguely warm and spicy, that just escape me. Instead the scent develop rather fast to some cooling waves, maybe with something a little minty as well? As an aquatic scent it´s quite beliveable. The sea of Hilde Solani is turqoise, the waves are crowned with white foam, but kind of calm waves, absolutly no storm. The water in ACQuiilssSSIMA is incredible clear, fishes swims around corals under the surface and maybe there is a mermaid escaping down to the deepth...
ACQuiilssSSIMA is first about water and sea, but after a while you can sense a scent of jasmine, at first very vaugue, but slowly more and more concrete.

It´s like the water is slowly retreat and leave a gorgeus smelling jasmine base note. And it is jasmine so soft, clean and delicate that I´ve never smelled it´s like. And despite the scents very soft and easy character it is very longlasting. I tried it an evening and when I wake up the smell of jasmine was still there and not even weak. If you´re curious about all kinds of jasmine varietys in perfume, Hilde Solani´s ACQuiilssSSIMA is a must try. It is a very unique jasmine scent.

As I said, I think warmer weather can do this scent more justice, but even though it isn´t optimal to try it in november it goes straight up to the top among both aquatic and jasmine scents for me.

Pic: La Vie Parisienne, flickr

lördag 28 november 2009

Christmas is closing in...

In the US my American perfume friends recently celebrated Thanksgiving. About a month earlier they celebrate Halloween, a feast we´ve halfly import to Sweden. Not so appreciated by older people, but really popular among kids and young people.

Earlier we had big autumn holidays in Sweden to. Mikkels mass in the end of september and All Saints day in the end of october, ok it´s still common to decorate the graves this weekend, but there isn´t much to celebrate.

No, in Sweden and many other European countries, Christmas is the only holliday to look forward to during all the long, grey, rainy, cold, snowy, wet and boring autumn. Maybe we would be a little less Christmas hysterical if we had some other feast to celebrate during autumn?

I think I am about halfway hysterical when it comes to Christmas. I´ve start looking at Christmas gifts and love to decide what present that would be the best for each and everyone. A nice thing is that my oldest son specific want´s a perfume in Christmas present. He get one last Christmas and that must have been a success, since he want´s one agian. He even asked for a perfume to his girlfriend as well. I have some plans, something youthful, quite cherful but also really cool.

Of course I wish perfume for myself also. My husband thinks it´s best that I chose and he give me money. Oh, how hard it is to decide. Shall I buy one big bottle or several a little cheaper or a lots of decants or one perfume and one dress or...??? It´s not easy.

Otherwise I sit here and smell a wonderful perfume. A Hilde Solani perfume that is. You will read quite a deal about Hilde Solani´s perfumes here at the blog soon. Don´t miss it!

torsdag 26 november 2009

Lalique - Perles de Lalique

Some scents are hard to describe even tough I like them. Perles de Lalique is one of those scents. It isn´t the kind of fragrance I usually enjoys to wear, and it isn´t so interesting or different that I can´t resist it either. Perles de Lalique just is.

Perles de Lalique is one of the most elegant perfumes that I know of and also appreciate. It´s kind of rare for me to feel like I want to be elegant. Perles de Lalique is also kind of conservative, there isn´t anything progressive, experimental or odd about it. It is classic, soft, elegant, discrete, beautiful but also sexy. Yes, perles de lalique is really sexy, but as for from slutty sexy as it is possible to be.

The rose in it is very soft, restrained and cool like a white rose growing in the snow. The note of white pepper is contributing to the cold, but also very aromatic, dry and beautiful feeling. Perles de Lalique do deserve it´s name, cause this is a fragrance that would wear really nice together with a classic, elegant pearl necklace. Perles de Lalique is well-groomed nails with mother of pearl glossy nude nailcolour. It is gorgeus silk underwear soft as water. Or like a spiderweb in the wood covered with dew drops. Powdery sherness. Tailormade. Rye blonde hair in a simple knot.

Perles de Lalique is something of a chameleon. It works at the office, but also on your wedding. It would do for party, but also for casual. But, it doesn´t really suit me, still I like it. Why?

Pic: beautiful-spider-web01

måndag 23 november 2009

D.S and Durga - Beartrapper

Already the ancient greeks tried to humanise the animals. In Aesop´s (620 b.C-560 b.C) fables we can read moralizing stories with animals in the main characters. Animals are also main characters in some of the most loved fairytales as H.C Andersen´s "The ugly duckling" and some of the Grimm Brothers stoires as well. And we shouldn´t even mention Walt Disney and all the animals in his cartoons and moivies. Some other well knowned animlas we can find in C.S Lewis and his books about Narnia.

Yes,yes, yes I have probably mentioned Narnia before, but those books was really my biggest favourites during a part of my childhood. The sieblings that becomes kings and queens, the great lion Aslan, the mouse Rippipip, the faun Mr Tumnus, the horses, the donkey Pussel and Mr and Mrs Beaver with their cozy little beaver hut.

When trying the perfumes from D.S & Durga, Rosa Americana is the one capturing my attention at first, it´s beautiful and unique at onve. Cowboy Grass and Cowgirl Grass are free spirited scents with a lot of waste land, herbs and grasses in it. Beartrapper is a little more diffcult to come close. Even though I am wearing other perfumes in between, it stays in the back of my head and kind of gnawls! Beartrapper is reminding me of something, but still it is totally strange..

Beartrapper is marketed towards men, yes, it´s quite masculine, but I can´t stay away from it. Beartrapper is presented as originally being an old alchemy recepie used to trap bears. And, yes that says a lot about the scents character.

Beartrapper is jagged, strong, smokey, animalic, pungent, lingering and oh so homy. Yes, there is something really cozy and familiar about it.

All homes have thier own very special smell, home smell like home. When visiting your parents it´s also smell like home, but home a long time ago. Your closest friends and relatives homes also smell familiar and nice, but not really as home.

Beartrapper also smells like someones home... but who... where... no, I can´t really get it! But after thinking about it a coupple of days the coin drops. Ooooooh, it smells like it could have smelled at the Beavers hut in Narnia! If you just know how I imagine how it would be like to visting human-like animals in their homes when I was reading Narnia! Everything at the beavers home (and Mr Tumnus home as well) looks so homy, cozy and familiar but still with thing typical for beavers and fauns.

No, I can´t get enough of Beartrapper. It smells like being at a dear friends home, a dear friend that happens to be an animal. (Sorry for this, but I can´t really help where my association takes me!)

There is a fire crackling in the fireside, the smell of old well used wooden furniture, oiled leather, the dinner is soon to be ready, a stew with strange spices and herbs. The room is dimly lit, with the light from the fire and some oil lamps burning. It is murky, aromatic and so totally homy at the same time!

Yes, among the scents from D.S & Durga, Beartrapper manage to win my heart the most. It´s wonderful as a perfume, but imagine it... like a room scent or a scented candle. I would be first in line to buy it!

Beartrapper have a little more potent sillage, but it´s last about as long as the others from D.S & Durga, decent, but not that long. On the other hand, I don´t need to go around and smell like the beavers hut for such a long time. Oh, and Beartrapper is also my husbands favourite from D.S & Durga, so the precious drops in the little sample is down to half!

Pic: From Narnia, Beavers hut

lördag 21 november 2009

D.S and Durga - Cowboy Grass

If Cowgirl Grass is the fresh, juicy aspects of grass, Cowboy Grass is the dry. Dry grass is hay, but it becomes so much more than hay in Cowboy Grass. Dried herbs, leather and dirt and some tar.

I find Cowboy Grass to be a distant relative to Tauer´s Lonestar memories, but easier to wear and like. D.S & Durga´s Cowboy Grass is a light masculine scent of an endless prairie with dry grass and other aromatic prairie weeds. Cowboy Grass is grass that dry that it´s crush when you rub it between your fingers and leave traces of a warm, comfy scent.

Even tough Cowgirld Grass has a richness in scent, Cowboy Grass is even richer, and also more complex without being hard to wear. Cowboy Grass make me feel both adventourus and calm at the same time. It´s atranquile scent, almost monotone, like travelling trough a vaste landscape that doesn´t change so mych. At least not on the syrface, like watching it from a car/train windor or by horse. But if you walk the same way, you will notice every little change.

The warm, aromatic scent of Cowboy Grass seem to have a little better lasting power than Cowgirl Grass on me, now when I try both of them side by side, the arm with Cowboy Grass is dominating after about 2 hours.

My husband has also tried Cowboy Grass, but on him, it stands in the shadow of Tauer´s Lonetstar Memories, but on the other hand he seem to have found a new favourite among D.S & Durga´s scents, Beartrapper.

Pic: David Koslowski, flickr

D.S and Durga - Cowgirl Grass

It´s hard to decide wich to start with, when it comes to D,S & Durga´s Cowgirl Grass and Cowboy Grass. To me, they´re both very far apart interprentions of the same thing, namely grass. They´re both what I would call unisex-scent, rather than masculine or feminine. Cowgirl Grass a little more at the feminine side and Cowboy Grass, well you can guess, a tiny bit masculin.

When trying Cowgirl Grass and Cowboy Grass I become curious to explore grass more thouroughly. I do not mean anything but ordinary grass that grows on the lawn or the meadow. Both of the Grass-varieties make me realise what complex scents there can be in just a tiny tuffet of grass.

Cowgirl Grass is the fresh, dewy kind of grass. Like lying on the back in dewy summer grass with the blue sky with little clouds on above. Butterflies and bumblebees flies around you and the smell of grass is strong, fresh, weedy and with some floral notes as well. It´s like I have tuffet iof grass in my hands and the smell is juicy green, almost as if I´ve got grass in my mouth. I am sure most of us have tried to eat grass some time?

When the scent develops it becomes stronger, dryer (but never dry) and warmer. De weak floral notes becomes a little stronger, but still, it´s a green scent with some floral, not the other way around. Cowgirl Grass is interesting, genuin but also comfy. Lazy and relaxed like a summer day, but also unique and personal. During the dry down Cowgirl Grass got a little more perfumed character, a little more feminine as well.

Cowgirl Grass has medium sillage and decent longvity, about 4 hours on me, even tough little traces of it last for about 6 hours.

I do like Cowgirld Grass, but I like Cowboy Grass even more.

Pic: home and garden

torsdag 19 november 2009

D.S and Durga - Rosa Americana

Do you like rosehip soup? I do not like it that much, but now and then I´ve got cravings for it, and then there isn´t anything that taste the same as rosehip soup.

D.S & Durga offers a very pleasant and challenging collection (or actually, several) of perfumes. Their homepage is beautiful, well made and makes at least me, very curious. Take a look at it: http://dsanddurga.com/

I´ve got a nice selection of their perfumes in samples, and haven´t tried all yet. I´ve liked all of them I´ve tried this far, but one in particular make me want to write about it at once. Namely, Rosa Americana.

D:S & Durga doesn´t reveal much about the notes in their perfumes, but in Rosa Americana at least one note is obvious, rose. On my skin, Rosa Americana become a rose scent beyond what is usual when it comes to roses in perfume. There is dark, spicy roses and fresh, natural roses, roses with gourmandnotes and there is Rosa Americana.

The first note I smell is the note of rose, somehwat fleeting but also a little sweet, but pretty soon it changes to a note of rosehip. Yes, there is a distinct note of rosehip, but also a little rose flower, as if the rose bush bopth have flowering roses and rosehips at the same time. The rosehip note become dominating, but all the time keeping at the light, airy side, never to sweet, to much or cloying (like a big bowl of hot rosehip soup when you´re not up to it!). On D.S & Durga´s homepage you can read about the smell surrounding the rose bush, rather then the rose bush itself and that is pretty accurate.

The rosehip note is still there, but get company by a light honey note, like rose honey, some similarities to turkish delight, but never pronounced, strong or sweet. Just a little lingering and soft. Sher yet beautiful. So now we got rosehip, honey and airyness and then comes some juicy tobacco. Like the smell of pipe tobbaco, but from some distant. Really beautiful, interesting and different, have never encountered anything like this actually! During the heart phase of the scent, the notes are changing and sometimes the honey are dominating but soon there after the tobacco is. Really, really nice and unique. At the same time a scent I think most would like, it never becomes to strange, odd or edgy.

Not until the basenotes anyway, the honey becomes oily and more like bees wax, but that is ok with me, it´s the note of moss that occurs that make Rosa Americana lost me a little. No there isn´t a heavy moss note, it´s kind of light, but still pronounced, and as you know by now, mossnote isn´t one of my favourites. Yes, Rosa Americana still smells good, but not as good as during the opening and heart. It is thanks to the opening and heart I will return to Rosa Americana.

Rosa America have decent longvity, bot not amazing and the sillage is a little below medium.

D.S & Durga´s perfumes isn´t the easiest to come by, but if you get a chanse to try some of their perfumes, don´t miss those lovely and different rebel-perfumes! I will write about some other D.S & Durga perfumes, so don´t miss that either!

Pic: anandasoup

tisdag 17 november 2009

Wish list

I have tried a lot of perfumes. OK, compared to a more experienced perfumista my "Perfumes I´ve tried-list" is kind of short, but I am closing in to about 500 tried perfumes. There is a link to my Basenote-wardrobe here, but that´s a bit shorter, since i don´t always remember all perfumes I try or sometimes they aren´t in the basenotes directory.

It would be hidious if I wanted all the perfumes I´ve tried or even if I wanted about half of them. It isn´t quite that bad, it seems like I like about 10% of the perfumes I try so much that I would like more of them.

Or rather a little less than 10%, since it seem I become a little harder to win me over as I try more and more perfumes.

So my wish list is kind of scaled down, in most cases I would be more than content to have a decant of the scent. A 100 ml bottle for about 150 euro, it would last me a lifetime, since I prefer to change perfume often, even several times a day. But a 30 or 50 ml bottle for about 50-60 euro seem more appropriate. And when it comes to mainstream perfumes I can find on the net for about 20 euro, there isn´t much to think about.

With a little more than a month until Christmas I´ve made a wish list with perfumes that works good this time of year.

My Christmas wish list:
1) Parfumerie Generale´s Aomassai, Felanilla or Lounges Profanes.
2) Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan or Borneo 1834.
3) Frederic Malle`s Carnal Flower.
4) L'artisan´s Safran Troublant or Bois Farine.
5) Tauer´s L'Air du Desert Marocain.
6) Montale´s Red Aoud.

There you go, and there is only ten of them!

Which ten or less perfumes are on top of your wish list? Do you prefer a big bottle of perfume or ten 10 mls decants? I rather have ten decants I think.

måndag 16 november 2009

Nasomatto - Absinth

Probably I have mentioned absinthe on the blog before. And no, caring readers don´t have to worry about me. I don´t drink much alcohol and particulary not asbinthe. Even tough I "only" drink asbinthe about once a year, I would really like to own an absinthe fountain. Wouldn´t it look great next to our water pipe? And probably, being used as little.

There is something decadent about abisnthe, I know it´s a cult beverage among goths-artists and other alternative people. To me, it´s the ritual while drinking absinthe that I find most interesting. Nowadays it´s quite common to put a burning sugarcube (drenched in absinthe) in the glass and pour water in it until the fire stop. But historically, it was common to put a sugarcube on an openwork spoon and drip water on it and down in the absinthe glass. I don´t want to waste alcohol by burning it, so I prefer the later way of preparing absinthe.

Some perfumes are soft and comfy, others are sexy and there is some that crave attention. Nasomatto´s perfumes are (at least the one´s I´ve tried) somewhat spell binding, despite that i don´t really like them, they have a way to haunt me. China White for example is one of the "worst" scented experiences I´ve gone trough, and I swapped my little sample rather fast. But, still I am thinking about it and kind of belive that I would get it, if I only could try it again.

Black Afgano is really a nicer acquaintance, but still so potent and offensive I hestitate to wear it. Black Afgano disturbs, and touches and making a lot of noise while wearing it, and some of it is really comfy but some of it isn´t at all.

Compared to those Absinth is a quite subdued, but still very unique scent experience. Like other scents from Nasomatto, Absinth isn´t that flattering or nice, this is real absinthe with skyhigh thujon content (thujon is the neurotoxin that can be found in some absinthe and in large doses causing hallucinations and even nerve damage). At the same time I think Absinth is much softer than the other onés I´ve tried from Nasomatto. There is something comfy, laid back and vauge pleasantly about Absinth. If you want to try Nasomatto, I think Absinth could be agreat starting point.

The briskness in Absinth is on the border to spritzy, wich is suitable together with the liqour absinthe of course. There is almost like some kind of bubbly reaction between my skin and Absinth. This besque and bitter phase never become to bitter on me, and that´s nice since I have a tendency to make bitter notes even more bitter. In the bitter I also smell little hints of something sweet... The sweetness is extremly volatile, but make Absinth never to harsh or difficult to wear. It´s an interesting kind of sweetness.

Well, despite the fact that I don´t seem to get along 100% with Nasomatto´s perfumes i am still curious about their other perfumes. Yes, they are very expensive, but also worth the money if you´re looking for unique scent experiences, a 30 ml bottle of Nasomatto perfume extract will last for at least as long time as most perfumes in a 50 ml bottle.

I once read a book where one of the main characters said something like "Most nice people aren´t that interesting and most interesting people aren´t that nice" and I think that is a good way to describe Nasomatto´s perfumes.

The sillage of Absinth is much closer to skin than the others I´ve tried from nasomatto, but the longvity is great, Absinth last for at least 12 hours on my skin.

Pic: absintheonthenet

söndag 15 november 2009

Histoires de Parfums - Vert Pivoine

My grandmother had a coupple of beautiful peonys in her garden. As a kid I was fascinated by the flowers, so heavy that they leaned down to the ground. Peonys are the flower equivalent to fluffy, creamy fancy cake or the overloaded dresses of the rokoko-era. When my half-sister get married she had flowers from my grandmothers peonys in her wedding boquet, and my mother made it for her. One of the most beautiful wedding boquets I´ve seen.

But apart from that? Is peonys all about apperance? Or do they have any actual smell? Honestly, as I remember my grandmothers peonys, they didn´t smelled good, they rather smelled kind of not so good. But I´ve seen there is some sort of peonys called fragrant peoys, and I guess they smell good.

It must be that kind of peonys I find in Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine. Because this is an all together soft, comfy and pretty floral scent. Even tough I can´t say it smelles like peonys. My favourite among Histoires de Parfumes scents is the harsh, stiff leathery Marquis de Sade, and Vert Pivoine is almost as far away from it as it is possible to come. Still, I like it.

No, Vert Pivoine isn´t really my kind of scent. It´s a shy, light and never in your face kind of floral scent. But, as such, a really pleasant, nice and also a little different take on sheer floral. I find a slightly aquatic note in it and something minty, this contribute to the scents see through character. The floral note is in there, but very subdued. The green notes are easy, transparent and crispy. It´s like the faintest water colours, pink and green as light as they are close to white. Even if the scent is airy and light, it still has some kind of concrete poetic feel. It´s not one of Histoires de parfums "historic" scents, but still it´s like a nowadays rare, fragile interprention of femininity. Like an in apperance fragile ballerina in ballet shoes and tutu, but with an almost unhuman strenght and skill underneath the fragile surface.

Vert Pivoine slowly sails away like big pink petals on the ponds calm surface.

It last pretty long, but the scent is kind of fleeting. Sillage is light. It is both tight and romantic, beautiful but not that easy accesable.

Is there anyone that have tried the re-formulation of Marquis de Sade? I can´t belive it is to the better, since Marquis de Sade is one of my favourite leathery scents, but who knows?


torsdag 12 november 2009

Parfumerie Generale - Tubereuse Couture

There is something very special with severe coldness. No, I am not a winter lover, but when it become really, really cold there is something magical about it.

For me this state occurs when the temperature has fallen below -35c. It´s a kind of border between usual coldness and magical coldness. Severe, icy coldness with the arctic dark sky above covered with aurora borealis (northern lights) sparkling across it with it´s gentle humming sound. It´s like, for a while, being transported to an other world. A magic, cold, beautiful, but also cruel world.

Sounds become distorted, the feeling of space changes and become more shaped like a tunnel and everything seem to have sharper contures than usually. You can feel you´re not supposed to be out in this cold for such a long time. And, even tough you have experienced it before, you´re drawn to it, like an human explorer on an alien planet. There is something very interesting with that kind of cold, you can´t really get used to it (or maybe, if you´re an inuit you actually can!). And maybe, the world will never be more beautiful then it is in snow covered forrest, the moon is rising big and red and the aurora borealis dancing over the blackest sky ever and the temperature is on it´s way below -40c.

Parfumerie Generale´s Tubereuse Couture can be the coldest of all cold tuberose-scents I´ve tried. The opening is so icy and cold it make me think of arctic nights, aurora borealis, ice crystals and palaces made of snow and ice. Thing actually quite scentless, because cold aren´t the best surroundings for scent. But in my imagination, aurora borealis can smell like Tubereuse Couture. Cold and sparkling but with elements of colour.

Tubereuse Couture is a scent that chnges. Maybe the small ice crystals melts from the warmth of my skin, but slowly, because it take some time to melt something that cold. From extreme coldness to something with traces of wild strawberries. Still, it´s cold wild strawberries, like strawberry sorbét maybe? The strawberry notes lingers in and out of the tuberose note. For me, Tubereuse Couture is a very complex and changing fragrance.

It´s like making a journey from the coldest part of our world, trough the temperate zones and reach the Tropics. It´s a mindblowing and strange trip. Mindblowing and interesting, but honeslty, I would have prefer to stay in ice and coldness rather to suddenly embrase the sun, warmth, spices and coconut. Yes, now it´s become sweet, creamy and spicy.

Not to sweet or creamy, Tubereuse Couture is all the time a very refined and elegant scent. But I do find the heartnotes a bit strange thinking of the opening. During this phase, the tuberose become toned down, I can smell other flowers, I think jasmine and something sweeter and fruitier. The wild strawberry note stays and it´s all together nice, pretty and well made. But I do prefer the opening, I feel that I am losing my curiosity during this phase.

The base notes are rich, warm, creamy and soft. Really nice, but with no connection to the opening. Tubereuse Couture are longlasting and with great sillage, but never becomes to much or to strong. Do you want to try a perfume taking you on a really long trip, I reallt recommend Tubereuse Couture, so much longer than from the North Pole to the Equator it´s hard to go with only one perfume.

tisdag 10 november 2009

Paco Rabanne - XS Extreme Girl

For a long time ago I practised in a perfume shop. The name of the shop was "Lilly´s Bags and perfumes" and it was situated in my home town Boden. As the name suggest, Lilly offered not only perfumes in her shop but also bags, and swimwear, leather gloves, make-up and skincare products. Lilly and her emploies where all elegant ladies, close to retirement age.

I was a somewhat gloomy and balck dressed teenager with red and black hair and even if Lilly and her staff was really nice ladies, they didn´t want me to come close to the customers, mostly elegant ladies 50+. So I had to run errands, make inventory, get things from the store-room and dishwash the tea cups. When there wasn´t any customers in the shop, it was also ok for me to try some perfumes.

I can´t imagine that they got any rare brands, but nice classic brands like Hermes, Chanel, Dior and maybe Guerlain. Some a little more modern and trendy also. I do remember that one of my old teachers stopped by and bought a bottle of Paco Rabanne in present to her husband.

Among the perfumes I´ve tried there was only one that I really liked. I tought it smelled much better and more interesting then all the others. As I can remember the name was Crest. But I have no idea if it was the name of the perfume or the company that made it? It could have been a scent for men, since I´ve got some memory that one of the women that worked there told me it was a gentlemen perfume, not for girls. But I can have mixed things up. Well, I´ve tried to find a perfume named crest, with only resulting in a scent from Ralph Lauren named Crest, but released much later. And when reading the notes, it doesn´t at all sounds like my long lost perfume.

This mysterious Crest-perfume made such an impression on me, that I wished it in Christmas present. My mother visited Lilly´s shop, but I don´t remember if she later told me that the perfume was to expensive or that they couldn´t figure out wich perfume it was. I din´t get a bottle of Crest in Christmas present. Maybe my passionate perfume interest would have started back then if I had get me a bottle!?

Many years later, when my perfume interest had accelerate I get curious about Paco Rabanne´s XS Extreme Girl (but the name is sooo boring), the notes seem interesting and promising. Pistachio, safron, tobacco, cinnamon. Fortunate enough i manage to swap me a little sample of it. And...

Yes, XS Extreme Girl is a nice, pretty and a little different kind of scent. Not at all so extreme as the name suggest, but still a little more than your average mainstream scent. It´s kind of fresh and warm at the same time. Sweet, but never heavy. Youthful, but not girly. As a matter of fact, it do remind me of my long lost mystery perfume from the 80'ies!

XS Extreme Girl, isn´t an extremly interesting perfume, but still it got a personality. There is something minty, or maybe eucalyptus in it. And it is that minty, cool part together with warmer, spiceier notes I remember from that perfume back then. Strangely enough I also find that this perfume XS Extrem Girl could work for men as well. It has an unisex quality.

You can´t complain about the lastingpower or the sillage, they´re both pretty good. That paco Rabanne´s Black XS (available for both men and women) has become a best seller and not this one, is to my nose, really strange! I think XS Extreme Girl is a much better scent. But I guess it can depend on the name and the look of the bottles.

If there is anyone that can figure out or maybe remember what perfume it was, please tell me about your suggestions! Thank you!

Pic: Iceland Artscene

måndag 9 november 2009

Hilde Solani - FRaaagola saalaaata

Hilde Solani´s perfumes are truly niche-perfumes, since they´re so hard to find. What I can find, there isn´t any retailer within Europe, but some in US. Hilde Solani don´t have any homepage either, witch I find a little strange and also boring, since I have been curious about her perfumes for a long time.

Anyway, I manage to get me a sample of FRaaagola saalaaata, yes it´s supposed to be spelled that way. It is salted strawberries in italian.

FRaaagola saalaaata is everything I hoped that Montale´s Mukhallat would be and a little more. FRaaagola saalaaata is a scent in the same, rare genre as Frederic Malle´s Lipstick Rose. It´s happy, fun, feminine and so very mood lifting I almost got bubbly. If Lipstick Rose is a warm red scent, like a shining red umbrella in the rain, FRaaagola saalaaata is more of a creamy, saturated pink kind of fragrance.

It is girly in that cute and lively way that you sometime wished you could be. It makes me think about Sophia Coppola´s movie Marie Antoinette, pink shoes, pink cakes, fans, silk corsets and white powdered whigs. It also make me think about the old hit from the 80'ies, "Girl´s just wanna have fun". It make me feel half as old as I am, and enjoying in! And that´s quite an achivement, since I most of the time really enjoying my somewhat more mature age.

Even tough FRaaagola saalaaata is girly, pink, happy and funny I don´t see that women 30 or 35+ should avoid it, no in some strange way it´s just gorgeus on women not that young. But of course I have had to rescue my little sample from the daughters, they enjoy it very much.

For some reason it become totally different on my daughters than on me. On the daughters the topnote is a strong burst of violet, similar to Lipstick Rose, but much stronger. The violet notes stays for a while, with strawberries joining in, and after a while there is fresh, ripe strawberries all over until the drydown wich is more like softer, a little powdery strawberries. But, if you´re looking for a complicated scent experience I think you better look some where else.

On me there isn´t any violet at all. No there is fresh strawberries and something that could be a sweet desert wine. The strawberries and wine are soon joined by notes creamy notes. Like strawberries and creams and a little vanilla. I don´t recognise any salt tough, but maybe the salt after all make this perfume not to sweet. All the time it is more like fresh strawberries than strawberry jam.

And no, FRaaagola saalaaata isn´t a complex perfume on me neither. But, who cares? It´s so mood lifting, happy and filled with joy. I also think this is a scent possible to wear all year round.

FRaaagola saalaaata is pretty longlasting and has nice sillage. It´s a nice comfy scent, but also quite unique. A lof of perfumes whit notes of strawberries can make little cheap expression, Hilde Solani´s FRaaagola saalaaata doesn´t.

Pic: From Sophia Coppolas movie Marie-Antoinette

söndag 8 november 2009

Dabbing or spraying?

I know that most eau de toilettes and eau de parfumes that are sold today are supposed to be sprayed on. Still I´ve noticed that I in many ways prefer to dab on the perfume, even in the cases when it isn´t pure perfume or perfume oil.

The small samples I order are usually meant for dabbing, but some samples directly from manufacturers are spraysamples and of course it´s also possible to order spray samples from for example The Perfumed Court. But since I enjoy my dab samples I usually stuck to them.

I´ve talked with my oldest daughter about this, and she even stated that she usually likes the scent much more in a little sample vial, when she finally got it in a big bottle she tend to discover that she don´t really like it as much as before.

To dab on the scent, become more of a ritual than to spray it. You have to be careful with the little sample so you don´t waste expensive drops of perfume.
As I mention before, a small sample vial of 1 ml can last for pretty long time. When i order a larger decant I sometimes feel like I waste a coupple of ml´s in just a few sprays! Oh!

Some of the bottles and spray decants I´ve got sprays so generous that I sometimes think of breaking the spray device and dab the scent instead. No, I wont, but maybe you see what I mean?

At the same time I´ve noticed that a lot of scents get a totally different height and sillage with spraying, there is one rule, and that is that it doesn´t seem to be one!

What do you think? Do you sometimes miss to dab on a few drops after you bought the loved scent in a big bottle or decant? Or do you prefer spray always? And how come roll-on is so seldom used? Couldn´t that be a good middle way?

lördag 7 november 2009

Better safe than sorry.

I´ve got a lot of perfume samples. The last time I counted them they where about 300! At least that are many to me, and I guess a lot of perfumistas have many more samples than I do.

When receiving new perfume samples of course I test them. Some of them am I so curious about that I try them at once they´ve arrive. Others I try after a coupple of days, while some of the samples can be untested for quite a long time. It´s not possible to be as curious about all the perfumes. But some of the samples that haven´t been tested at once become happy surprises when I finally try them.

Quite often the most longed for samples become dissapointments. Maybe, because I had such high expectations.

Some perfumes takes me with storm at the first sniff. Half an hour later I know this is a scent I need more of. Maybe I try to get a bigger decant of it while I still got something left in the sample. This is perfumes that make me sit with my nose attached to the wrist. On a scale between 1-5, this is of course straight up fives!

Other perfumes takes some time for me to realise how much I like them, and that I don´t want to live without them. Maybe, perfumes in this cathegory smells a little less me. Anyway this is still really, really good perfumes. About steady five or strong four.

Then we come to all the perfumes i try that isn´t really that good. They are usually very nice, fine and good smelling perfumes. Maybe I think they´re a little to expensive. Or not so longlasting. Or I think I will not use them so often. Or maybe someone in my family don´t like them at all. This perfumes are weak fours or strong threes.

Anything worse than that is perfumes that I easily forget about. They usually smells really good, but there is something vague about them and a similarity to lots of others perfumes in this cathegory. Yes, three.

The perfume I forget about while I still wearing them are about grade two.

Then there is the kind of perfumes smelling fishy on me. Like they are created for someone with a totally different sense of smell or skin chemistry. Grade one.

In an own cathegory I would place the perfumes that gives me a great olfactory experience, but that don´t smell really like a perfume to me. There is something about them that make them more like apice of olfactory art than perfume. I know art is discussed when it comes to perfumes. I think it´s a complicated issue, so this are my own labels, that works for me and maybe no one else. Anyhway, for perfumes in this cathegory, a little sample can last a lifetime.

Yesterday I used a coupple of drops of Profumum Roma´s Dulcis in Fundo. Doing that made me realise that there only was about two drops left in my little sample. I´ve had the sample about 1½ year and it was only half full when i´ve got it, so that 0,5 ml has lasted quite good. I´ve consider Dulcis in Fundo as too expensive, but now with only one use left I realise I don´t want to be without it! Not often I use it, but perfcet this time of year. And when I am longing for Dulcis in Fundo nothing else comes even close!

L'Artisan´s Bois Farine is also like that. Not so longlasting on me, but when I feel like wearing Bois Farine, nothing else will do. There isn´t ANYTHING even reminding of it.

Ego Facto´s Poopoo Pidoo is another and Florascent´s Umami. Calé Fragranze D'Autores Tepidarium and Lostmarsch´s Lann-Ael. Ormonde Jayne´s Ormonde Women, Ava
Luxes Silk (Soie) that I don´t even like all the time. Honore des pres Sexy Angelic that smell as little as a newborn baby and well, I am sure there will be alot of others when the samples are about to run out.

This perfumes has a thing in common. They´re not spot on "me". But they´ve all got something unique that I not have been able to find in any other perfume. Still, it´s nice to know that a 5 ml decant of Dulcis in Fundo would probably last about ten years, wich makes it not such a expensive investment after all.

Wich perfumes have you surprisingly discovered that you won´t manage without, even tough they aren´t really "you"? Do you have any tips on those kind of unique perfumes that cant be replaces with anything else?

Pic: Mu own perfume bureu.

torsdag 5 november 2009

Ineke - Field Notes From Paris

Who hasn´t dreamed about café life in Paris? I can imagine myself resting my feets in high heels at a small table on a Paris café, after a gorgeus shopping in Parisian perfume boutiques.

Unfortunatly, my only visit to Paris is as far from that image as one can come. We where totally lost and had no more cigarettes and at that very time France won Soccer-EM and the whole city of Paris went crazy! OK, it was really fun to see the happy people, but it didn´t make it easier to drive!

Ineke Rühland seem to have got her share of Parisian café life while studying perfumery there. Ineke Rühland is the perfumer and creator of Ineke perfumes. http://www.ineke.com/index.html

This far, Ineke offers six different scents, After My Own Heart, Balmy Days & Sundays, Chemical Bonding, Evening Edged In Gold and the last Field Notes From Paris. You can also order a sample set of all six scent at Ineke´s homepage. As you can see Ineke´s perfumes come in alphabetical order, I think it´s a funny and personal concept. Unfortunatly I haven´t yet tested any of the other perfumes from Ineke.

Anyway, Field Notes From Paris is about tobacco, not about coffee. Well, to smoke cigarettes on a café in Paris is probably almost as usual as drinking coffee.

The tobacco in Field Notes From Paris is an aromatic, golden and almost a little chewy tobacco note. It makes me think more of raw tobacco then of cigarettes or pipe tobacco. The tobacco scent smells very genuin and fresh. Even tough non such notes are listed, I get a very prominent green feeling. Like the tobacco is being mixed with something fresh, green and grassy. The note of tobacco and grass goes in and out of each other in a very interesting way,

During this phase in the perfume, I can´t at all associate to a café. No, it makes me think of an old fashioned tobacco farm, with tobacco hanged to dry in a barn and fields of lush summer greenery outside it. A very living and interesting scent, but there is something in it reminding of mosquito reppelant as well. Don´t misunderstand me, I think the note of mosquito reppelant smells quite nice and homey. Like tobacco grown in Northern Sweden.

Anyhow, the opening and heartnotes are fresh, aromatic, chewy and a little sharp. But after a while the green sharpness wears off and this is when I like Field Notes From Paris the most.

It slowly changes to a creamy, warm and golden gourmand scent, with an interesting note of soft leather. Now, it is more of a café scent I think! Really comfy, nice and great this time of year. If the opening is a little on the masculin side, the dry down is more on the feminin. But, still I consider it easy to wear for both sexes.

The most negative is that the scent become very soft during this phase. As soft as it is really hard to notice it. I have to sit with my nose close to the wrist to smell it. Ans since it has been quite powerful from the start, this is a little dissapointing. Field Notes From Paris is an eau de perfume, but to my nose and skin chemistry, it´s more like an eau de toilette.

As I said, I haven´t tried any of the other Ineke scents, which among them shouldn´t I miss?

Pic: paris_cafe Philip Levine

tisdag 3 november 2009

Nicolas Danila - Arabian Gardens

Arabian Gardens is pretty much the opposite to Asian Gardens. It´s warm, woody and aromatic while Asian Gardens is cold, airy and soft. Arabian Gardens is mood lifting and gives energy and happiness while Asian Gardens calm you down. Despite a lot of differences there are also similarities, both (actually all in the line except Amazonian Gardens) are light, easy and transparent creations. Not that strange when it´s about an aquatic perfume, but more so when it comes to an oriental scent.

Arabian Gardens have that quite rare glowing sensation that I´ve found in perfumes like M. Micallef´s Gaiac and Montale´s Red Aoud. Even if it´s glowing, warm and aromatic it´s also soft, caressing and subdued. There isn´t anything strong, loud or to much about Arabian Gardens.

Arabian gardens make me think about the peace in an Arabian Garden with trees that offers shadow and the calming sound of purling fountains, but also having lessons in Arabian calligraphy with an old and very peaceful calligraphy master or to sit with my back against a thick wall that protects against the heat from the sun and eating ripe fruits such as oranges, tangerines and mango...

Yes, I notice a scent of sun ripe fruits in Arabian Gardens opening, the green notes that are supposed to be there escape my sense of smell or my skin chemistry. This isn´t at all sweet, spritzy or sharp fruits, this is more of a floral, soft and very comforting fruit note. After a short period of time the fruits get companied with the amazing glowing note. Hot wood, like in a sauna, with a little trace of tar. And no, this is no way close to noisy, hard or strong only fascinating. I have to sit with my nose close to my wrist a lot when I´m wearing Arabian Gardens.

Arabian Gardens is something that rare as an oriental perfume you can use in any occation. You can use it at the office or whenever you don´t want to smell to much or to strong (but still oriental). Don´t make the mistake to believe this to be a boring scent, because it´s everything but that, Arabian Gardens is truly an enchanting and sensual scent.

Among the perfumes in Aladin Gardens, Arabian Gardens is the one that is most me. And if Asian Gardens isn´t that perfect for cold weather, Arabian Gardens is as made for this time of year.

After a while the fruity notes wears off, but the spicy and glowing scent stays for a long time, after a while accompanied with dry, aromatic vetiver. Despite it´s lightness, Arabian Gardens is very longlasting, little traces of vetiver still lingers on my skin after the night. The sillage is very easy, but a little more than in Asian Gardens.

Generally I find the scents of Aladin Gardens to be beautiful, well made and fine, even tough it´s Arabian Gardens and Asian Gardens that manage to capture me.

Aboriginal Gardens smells soft citrus floral on me, with some green notes, after a while it turn more creamy milky. Amerindian Gardens have a cool rose rhubarb note, but become a little to sharp on me. Polynesian Gardens is a sunwarmth tropical scent with some salty sea notes as well. European Gardens I´ve already written a little about and Amazonian Gardens is... well, so outstaning and strange it deserve to be mentioned.

Yesterday, I make my husband try Amazonian Gardens, he got a small drop on his wrist before we get outside with the dog. And that tiny drop followed us all around the forest, even tough it was hided beneath winter jacket and glows! Amazonian Gardens is more than a perfume, it´s a phenomenon. Even tough I can´t really like it, I find it amazing and almost a bit frightening. In my opinion, it would be more suitable among the darkest creations of Serge Lutens, than in line dedicated to gardens. I am so very curious about how Nicolas Danila and others that worked with this perfumes thought about Amazonian Gardens.

Alhambra (with garden) is actually situated in Spain, but after all Alhambra is of Arabian origin and therefore I think of the garden as an Arabian garden, and it´s also very, very beautiful I think!

Pic:Alhambra_Garden, wikimedia

måndag 2 november 2009

Nicolas Danila - Asian Gardens

Surprisingly, Asian Gardens become one of my favourites among the Aladin Gardens perfumes. Surprisingly, since it´s a green, aquatic and very light perfume. Not a cathegory where I usually find favourites. It´s not really the right season for this kind of perfume, with cool notes of mint among the notes. Still, Asian Gardens manage to captivate me, maybe most of the seven perfumes from Aladin Gardens.

Asian Gardens is a calming perfume, close to meditative. That an east asian garden has been the source of inspiration for this perfume isn´t surprising at all, since it make me think of the sound of the wind trough the bamboo leafs, the raked pebbles of a zen garden, a pond bright as a mirror with gold fish in it, shortly speaking, peace, quiet and tranquility.

With notes of bamboo and mint, Asian Gardens become like cool, green and pure water. The scent itself is delicatly thin, actually so thin it´s hard for me to associate to anything else than air and water. The mint note gives a impression of cool air, than the actual smell of mint. All the notes in Asian Gardens are toned down, on the border to scentless, without being scentless. It could be a mineral water with the most delicat flavour of mint and bamboo. And, yes Asian Gardens has the slightest notes of minerals as well.

During the whole cycle of Asian Gardens, the scent doesn´t change or evolve so much, it stays cool, pure, aquatic and airy for many hours. But it´s also really longlasting, I dabbed it on yesterday evening, and still this morning I could still could feel it lingering around, but now with some warm and soft floral notes as well.

Asian Gardens is a really delicate perfume, beautiful and refreshing, adorable and transparent on the border to invisible. Outmost refined. Calming and sothing. Like having a private and secret Asian retreat, where you can hide from every day hardships for a while.

As I said, it lasts and lasts, wich is an art with so light notes. The sillage is discrete, but not really skin scent. Asian gardens is probably more of a summer scent, but I think it work as an indoor scent this time of year, even tough I don´t want to put it on before a walk in the forest. I do recommend it to everybody that are curious about a beautiful and pure aquatic perfume with meditative calmness.

Pic: David lee, Koi and bamboo

Nicolas Danila - Aladin Gardens

It´s hard to know where to start when it comes to Nicolas Danila´s perfume line Aladin Gardens. All the seven perfumes in the line are 100% allergen-free. Appearantly they´ve used some kind of modern technology to get rid of the allergens from some raw material. I have no idea how to do that, but I guess it´s a really good thing if it works. Those of you that knows more about the upcoming prohibition of some notes used in perfumes as citrus oil and mosses maybe knows more about this subject than I do?

Aladin Gardens consist of seven different perfumes (EdP), Aboriginal Gardens, Amazonian Gardens, Asian Gardens, Polynesian Gardens, Amerindian Gardens and European Gardens. The bottles are in rainbow colours, each bottle looks beautiful on it´s own, but together they must make a gorgeus impression. I imagining the sun reflects trough the glass of the bottles even tough I know that direct sun is the last thing to be close to perfumes.

The perfumes will be produced in 7000 bottles. All the perfumes (except of one) in the line are cherful, bright and easy to wear. They would be perfect on women in all ages, pretty and sweet on girls in my youngest daughters age (12 year), beautiful and feminine on a little older women and vibrant and youthful on more mature women. I am sure Nicolas Danila´s perfumes would please a global audience, wich is appropriate since the line have a global theme.

I do like the bottles, and I also find the story and philosophy behind the line interesting, but do I like the perfumes?

As a perfume nerd, it isn´t how beautiful a bottle is that is the most important, it´s the perfume inside. The sam goes for the story behind each perfume, no matter how interesting, pretty or adventurous, still it´s the smell of the perfume that matters.

When going trough the notes of each perfume i find some of them more interesting and some of them sounded nice, but honestly, a bit boring. My impression before trying them, was that they sure was pretty and nice, but maybe not pretty, nice and interesting.

Was I wrong or right?

Actually, both. Three of the perfumes (Aboriginal Gardens, Amerindian Gardens, Polynesian Gardens) was nice, but didn´t do anything for me. Did they smell good? Oh, yes. Do they last? Nothing to complain about there. Worth to remember? No, not really.

European Gardens has a note of anise. And it isn´t that commonly used anise that smell like anise-licorice, no it´s the kind of anise used in bread. My dear grand mother used to bake a kind of deep fried anise bread. European Gardens smell that kind of anise, and with the scent of freshly (or actually, halfbaked) bread. Despite it´s orginality I don´t feel this is a perfume for me, but I do recommend it to anyone looking for an unique anise scent with bakery notes as well. Oh, and it´s really strong in the beginning and long-lasting.

Aboriginal Gardens have a dark grey bottle, but if I could chose, Amazonian gardens would have that bottle instead. I am really curious about how they´ve decided wich perfume to put in wich bottle?

Amazonian Gardens is, in my opinion, the one in the line that doesn´t really fit among the others. All the other perfumes in the line is quite sodt, bright and easy to wear, but Amazonian Gardens is anything but that. This is massive perfume darkness, in fact the most interesting of them all, but also really (REALLY!) hard to wear, at least on me, that have -as usual- troubble with moss in perfumes. This is moss over dose, but together with a very interesting note of Yerba maté-tea. Something in this scent is extremly attractive, but at the same time almost as extremly repellant. I can´t really figure out how something with such a strong smell of moss can be allergen-free. This is also the only perfume in the line that can be difficult in a global point of view. I can imagine for instant a japanese women that usually like soft, fruity, floral perfumes can be frightened to death by Amazonian Gardens! Beware! Maybe I will write a better review of it, if I dare to try it once agaian. Anyway, Amazonian Garden is a must try for anyone looking for unique, hardcore perfumes.

You realise there is two perfumes left from Aladin Gardens. Yes, Arabian Gardens and Asian Gardens, the two in the line I like the most.

Until I wrote about them, here´s a link to Nicolas Danila´s perfumes. http://www.nicolasdanila.com/

Pic: rainbow-ocean-by-thelma

söndag 1 november 2009

Aral - Un des sens

As you know I really like to discover perfumes that not "everybody else" all ready has written about. Sometimes that may depend on that the perfume itself isn´t something to write about, but as often it depend on that the particular perfume haven´t get stucked in the usual perfumista net.

I am usually quite updated with perfume releases in the niche genre, but not at all as updated when it come to mainstream perfumes. Still, I take the chanse to try A scent by Issey Miyake when we where in Norrköping. Floralgreen, fresh and airy with a pleasant and quite different earthy basenote, but not really my kind of perfume.

Anyway, now I sit here with a sample of the perfume (or eau de toilette) Aral - Un des sens

Catherine Lara is a french musician and singer. Quite big in France appearantly, but totally unknown for me. She have 25 music albums in the CV, one of them named Arala and wich the perfume Aral is named after.

I´m a embarrising sensitive person, because the perfume Aral makes me think a lot in musical terms. This is a perfume in minor, it´s kind of musical tuned down. A perfume with a surprisingly melancholy and depth.

Aral remind me a little of Thierry Mugler´s Eau de Star or Florascent´s Umami, but if Eau de Star is aquatic and Umami is a soft gourmand, Aral is a scent lovered in deep fog. I think of all the notes in Aral as distant and like it is a thin coat between me and the actual scent. I don´t know how to achive this in perfumery, but Aral is exciting and different.

The notes are classical orientals, warm and spicy. Cardamom, patchouli, amber, incense, vanilla, tonka and musc. But the scent reaches me as if I was on a trip trough a jungle in compact fog. Among hte oriental notes, there is also notes of sea alges, maybe that whats lend Aral is foggy, milky and opaque character?

I don´t find anything bright, strong, sweet or clear in Aral. It´s all the time subdued, adventurous, sensual and with a very captivating depth. Actually, it´s a celebrity perfume, but more of Miller Harris L'Air de Rien (Jane Birkin) or Etat Libre d'Orange´s Rossy de Palma, than anything with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton or Jennifer Lopez.

Aral seem to be hard to get outside France, but since Catherine Lara isn´t that knowned outside France, I find it ok. Even tough I would prefer to find Aral at the shelf at the local mall rather then most other perfumes I find there. That is one thing I find so fascinating about France, and also Italy, any little town have a small perfume shop offering even the strangest perfumes. This would never be possible in Sweden!

Aral last pretty long on me for an eau de toilette, at least four hours. The sillage is discrete, this is a skin scent, easy to wear on any occation. As a scent, maybe not for the youngest audience, but apart from that a very good choise for anyone looking for something quite discrete but still very unique.

If you´re travelling to France I do recommend you to try Aral if you happen to stumble upon it. I think it´s possible to order a bottle trough the home page, even tough I think you have to contact them before if you are outside France.

Anyway, Catherine Lara can be very proud of this perfume!

Pic: diego gurgel, flickr