lördag 24 juli 2010

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Kubla Khan

After Arams post about 24 The Fragrance, I´ve tought a little about idols. I do belive that you can have idols, even fictive one´s, no matter if you´re grown-up or not. And I´ve also tought a little about the difference between idols and role models, and somehow having role modles feels a little more adult. But, also a little more boring, role moldes are usually people that have achived something that you admire and hope to achive yourself one day, while idols don´t necessary need to have a lot of good feautures that you wish for yourself. Idols are also kind of unattainable. Hey, idols can even be nothing but plain old good looking and strong. Personally I´m a die hard Uruk-Hai fan girl!

An idol that have existed for real, and that I still have some kind of admiration for, is Djengis Khan and also his son Kubla Khan, even though I think Djengis have a much cooler name, I even named my siames cat after him once upon a time. Maybe some of you think that having Djengis and Kubla Khan as idols is as having Hitler or Stalin as idols, but I don´t care that much for their war success (or cruelties). I think it´s the whole thing with men in leather armor on horse back, and the little nerd in my also loves the fact that Djengis is the historical person with most living off-springs! Any of us plain regular citisens can have some drops of diluted Djengis-blood in us! That is sooo cool!

Anyhow, I don´t seem to be the only person with a little father and son-Khan cult. Everyone knows about Serge Lutens famous musc, Muscs Koublai Khan and the scent I´m about reviewin today is inspired by Coleridge´s well-knowned poem, Kubla Khan:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

I totally agree that this poem is so inspiering. And of course it deserve a scent of it´s own! And I belive that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has manage really, really good. Kubla Khan is a dreamy, subtle scent. It´s obvious that the fact that Coleridge in his turn was inspired by a dreamlike opium fuddle also has inspired the guys at BPAL. There is an all time present smokey note in Kubla Khan, and it is the most subtle, soft and enjoyable smokey note one can imagine. In a very genuin and convincing way it smells like a soft, sweet, sheer and narcotic smoke. I will gladly imagine that this is what opium smoke smells like!

The pleasant opium smoke at first lingers beyond sweet fruits like fresh apples, tropical fruits of all kinds and ripe melons. When the fruits are wearing of, the floral notes are coming up front, and such nice, soft and likeable floral notes. The flowers are gilded with the opium smoke, but also a incense note occurs, making the smoke more spicy and full bodied. The different smoke notes makes me think that Kubla Khan also works really good on men. Eeven tough the floral notes are obvious, even a little powdery, they don´t seem that feminine. The last of the floral notes are a mix between rose and violets that on my skin smells like sweet, creamy lipstick.

After that I can smell warm, golden notes of hay, amber and soft spices. Kubla Khan is a sweet scent, but all the time very dreamy and soft. And it is amazing to sleep on it I´ve discovered! Just before I fell asleep I have no problems imaging that I´m on a soft couch in a golden parlour in a castle in Xanadu. Kubla Khan is extremly soft, caressing and sensual. Together with Bayou, Kubla Khan is one of the scents I´ll have in a bigger bottle eventually.

BPAL is with all it´s different scents and not least, the fab descriptions quite addictive itself, I can easy find about 60-70 different oils that sound interesting enough to give them a try. And that´s a part of the problem, sometimes it feels like not seeing the forrest because of all the trees. It is a little to much of everything, and since i´ve got so many other nice fragarnces I want to test, I can´t really enjoy BPAL as much as their most devoted fans seem to do.

Do you have any favorite from BPAL that you think I need to try? Or don´t you care about them at all, and save your money for proper fumes?

Pic: John Kiraly, Rendezvous at falls head

torsdag 22 juli 2010

24 – The Fragrance

When I was asked by Annelie to contribute to this blog with a guest review as a male perfume nerd, the question about masculine verses feminine was evoked. Just as she points out in her review of J.P Gaultier´s Fleur de Male, what is masculine and what is feminine, for real? There isn´t any simple answer to that question, and we can all admit that the stereotypes changes according to time, culture and values. But also, I thought about if a women would have chosen to review the scent I´m about to review as a firsthand choice? There are different reasons for me to choose this scent, but one of them is that this scent represent a male "idol". Maybe, it isn´t that flattering -in my mature age- to have an idol, and a fictive one at that, but I think it´s just as good to be brutally honest about it.

The fairly new perfume house, Scentstory, created by Gabriel Chami has come up with a scent, 24 The Fragrance inspired by the main character Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) from the tv-series 24. Those of you that have seen the show know that Jack Bauer is a tough, male agent working for the American Counter Terrorist Unit. In the character of Jack Bauer, we find all the classic and stereotypical male macho qualities that our culture (before gender science) taught us to associate with masculinity such as physical strength, bravery and sense of duty (think James Bond and Clint Eastwood).
At the same time, Jack Bauer also shows, as expected by the modern man, a more gentle and softer side.

Scentstory´s Gabriel Chami, with many years within the perfume industry, has taken on the task to capture Jack Bauer's properties in olfactory form very seriously At once when you hold the box in your hand and lift up the bottle -designed by Daniel Clarke- you can tell that it ´s a sturdy and tough piece. The first launching tells that this is a serious scent with a lot of candy in it.
No, it´s not gunpowder or leather that first hits the nose receptors but clearly fresher notes of bergamot, mandarin / orange, lemon and a hint of coriander.

Right after the fresh top notes, you can also smell the darker and spicier notes , telling us that that we are dealing with a basically warm oriental

There is, power and strength and you sense a longevity and sillage well above average.

24 The Fragrance is quite linear and cedar wood mixes with bergamot to a nice middle note. In the base there are more goodies in the form of ambergris and vanilla that brings warmth, but also a darker note can be sensed, it´s the famous oudh note. I had to wear 24 The Fragrance several times before I could get some more subtle impressions and before I could feel that I finally had come to grips with it. Initially I was happy that it wasn´t just one of many "male mainstream" scents, but a scent with many facets and layers.

Without doubt it is a powerful scent, but at the same time there is a softness, even a kindness present (my youngest sons first impression was bubble gum). The bergamot note contribute with an Earl Grey feeling to it, which overlaps to an even darker oudh-amber base.

What makes this scent particularly exciting is that the whole spectrum of notes, from top to bottom, lingers throughout its life span of at least 7-9 hours.
If the scent was to be translated to film discourse, one might say that the fight between light-dark, good-evil, etc, going all the way to the uncertain end and keeps the viewer riveted to the screen

So some brief final comments on "24" The Fragrance!

Is it masculine? Answer yes!
Can it be worn by a women? Why not?
Does it have a distinct identity? Answer yes!
Is it exciting? Yes, and to reconnect to the question concerning gender belongings, I believe that excitement and dynamics always is created by contrasting effects. It is a middle-aged man's hope that the contrast pair male-female will continue to be eligible for our linguistic and biological repertoire.
That said, it is my belief that life is both better and more fun when men and women can switch roles with one another, both for fun as well as in serious matters!

By Aram Afsahi

Pics: From 24 The Fragrance, Scentstory

onsdag 21 juli 2010

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Bayou

It´s been a while since I´ve got my imps (samples) from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. And until now I´ve only write about one of them. Is it because the rest of them was just boring? No, not at all, I didn´t like all of them, but some of them are really interesting and good. One of the good one´s is Bayou.

Bayou is the wetland swamps that you can find -mostly- in the state of Louisiana, USA. No wonder, Louisiana is one of the states in the US, that I am most curious about, and I dream about to visit not only New Orleans, but the swamps as well. BPAL`s perfume oil, Bayou makes me want to go there even more...

Bayou starts very bright and tart, like a mix between high tuned aldehydes and really tart citrus. I´m not sure which kind of cirtrus, but a really tart one without sweetness. After a short while the citrus are getting accompanied by soft greenery, the green notes are also kind of tart, soft and fresh. This phase makes me think of sunbeams shining through green grasses and plants. Bayou is also a very warm scent, without being sweet, which makes it both pleasant and different.

But, it´s first when the oakmoss makes entrance I truly surrender and feel like transported to a genuin bayou. At the same time as the oakmoss also some lazy, almost tranquilising white flowers occurs. Gradually the citruses dissapears, but during about an hour, the citrus, the oakmoss and the flowers exists side by side, replacing each other all the time. During this time, bayou is also getting darker and deeper.

More and more I realise that it makes me think of an entire day in the bayou swamps. From the first bright sunshine in the morning, through the heat of the day with it´s flickering shadows and overwhelming greenery, until the oakmoss totally domintes the scent, and make me think about dusk and nightfall.

Even though Bayou makes it´s best to smell like a certain place, I woudln´t hesitate to wear it as a perfume. I find it to be enjoyable, complex and very interesting. As it is a perfume oil, two little drops is more then enough. I think I will buy a big bottle (5 ml) of it when my little imp is empty. Bayou is a must try for everyone that likes perfume oils, but also for all of you that like green scents with lots of oakmoss in. And I do suggest that those of you that still isn´t convinced about perfume oils give Bayou a try! Bayou could be the perfume oil that makes you change your mind.

It has excellent sillage and good lasting power. One of my biggest faves from BPAL.

And whats up then? Well, I will introduce a guest blogger soon. And while mentioning it, if you feel like contribute to this blog with a article, it could be a review or whatever you feel like that has some kind of perfume/fragrance/scent theme, feel free to contact me and make a suggestion. I can´t promise to publich everything, that depends on how many that are interested, but also if three persons would like to write a review about the same scent, maybe I can only publish one of them. It doesn´t matter if you would like to write in Swedish, English or both, I can translate the article.

Pic: daily headlines and from the movie "Pirates of the Carribean"

söndag 18 juli 2010

Vivienne Westwood - Boudoir (orange version)

Both my grandmothers are dead now, but they both lived quite long and I still had them around when I was grown-up. Especially my maternal grandmother was longlived, she become more then 90 years old even though a little scattered towards the end. Now I´m a grandmother myself and even though it´s wonderful with grand children (and I hope I´ll get many of them, which I pretty much van expect since I´ve got 5 kids!) I don´t feel like the perfect grandmother.
But I don´t think that anyone does it? Maybe if you had to wait for years and years to become a grannie and then finally the first grandchildren comes when you way past 60? Maybe it was easier and more natural to be a grandmother during the rustic society? Even pretty young women at 40 or 5o was certainly more worned out back then, and maybe it was a comfort to stay at home looking after the grandkids when the younger generation took on the hard work?

The thing is that my grandmothers also was young once upon a time. They where both young duirng the happy twenties and both of them had for sure experienced a lot of things that I have no idea about. Somehow, high age seem to take a bit of a persons personality and identity, a person that is 80 or 90 years old has soooo much past, when we´re living in a time of constant nows and celebrating the youth.

I am happy with my age, and seldom want´s to change it. It´s very rare for me to wish me younger, but even more rare that I think about being older. I suspect that most of you that read this don´t go around and wish to be 82 or 94? But if you´re 17 I can totally understand that you wish to be 18 or even 20.

Vivienne Westwoods Boudoir (orange version) makes me wish to be at least 80 or a healthy 90 years old or even 100 years old!

I had Boudoir with the pink juice, and that didn´t work at all on me. But everyone said the orange version was much better, and different so when I found one (used bottle) on ebay for practically free I bought it. And I so don´t regret it!

Boudoir makes something with me. Some scents just do that, it is like they are communicating with me. If it is a single note or some skinchemistry thing, I´m not sure, but something triggers my imagination.

Boudoir smells like something that has been around for a long time, like someone that was young and happy and danced between the two world wars. Like someone that attached black silk stockings to a salmon pink garted belt. Like someone painting her eyes with black mascara and some saliva. That smoked cigarettes in a holder and had her hair in a modern bob. Boudoir is like the smell of an old sepia colored photo. Like worn out, but still elegant vintage-underwear. Like something that have been used, loved and lived.

Boudoir is a very powerfull and strong scent, still it smells like something that has been left behind. Like and old chypre scent that has faded. Like a flower bouquet that had been forgotten on a table with a white lace cloth. Like the maku-up forgotten in the bathroom, because a mother to several small kids don´t have enough time to use it... It is something melancholic with Boudoir, but at the same time happy spirited. Like thinking of old happy times, but also realised that they are long time gone...

Oh well, but what do it smell like? It´s amix of a lot of different flowers, blended that way I can´t smell any single flower. There is also a bubblegum scent, and powder, make-up and smokey tobacco. It´s vanilla, milky sandalwood and a tad of skank. But just a little. The skanky note that is blown up in the pink Boudoir is in this version just a pleasant hint. Like comparing the vintage erotic pic on top of this article with a modern porno pic. In this version, the skank is subtle without being spread all over over the place, Whish I like. I don´t understand why they chagned it at all?

This version of Boudoir has some similarities to Libertine, Boudoir being the more retro and feminine of them. Boudoir is a powerful scent, one spray on each wrist is more then enough for me. It have great sillage and good lasting power. Really, I think everyone shuld give the orange version at least a sniff. It si really good, and interesting!

Pic: Vintage erotica

lördag 17 juli 2010

J.P Gaultier - Fleur de Male

Masculinity and femininity isn´t that easy, I guess there are as many opinions on what is what that there are humans. What I consider to be really masculin can be super-feminin some other place (or time). Stereotype gender-etiquettes have changes during time and doesn´t look the same now, as for 25 years ago. Of course the differences is also big between different cultures and different age groups.

Of course this male/female thinking is common with perfumes as well. Ages ago someone -in Europe- come up with the idea that man and women should smell different. This gender diversion has been followed quite well-behaved since the, at least until the last 15-20 years. I´m not at all immune about it, I also test perfumes that I discover to be much to masculin for me to wear (or even like). But, I also think it´s totally OK if other women would like to wear those scents. Of course also all men that likes it, can wear perfumes that to my nose are super-feminin.

And the we got all those scents that are marketed at unisex, some of them are "really" unisex, but I also find a lot of them leaning a little to one side or the other. And there are also supposedly male scents, that i find to be much more feminine and the other way around too...

J.P Gaultiers scents, but also his design, has often some gender bender features. I know of a lot of women that borrows from Le Male, or even own their own bottle of it. And I guess Fleur de male also is popular with many women... but I wonder if it´s really as popular with the men?

I don´t think of Fleur de Male as unisex, it is much to sexy for being genderless (many unisex scents lack that sexappeal for some reason). Fleur de Male is rather something that got a little too much of the good things, rather than to little. Maybe, like Hermes and Aphrodite´s hermaphrodite child, Hermaphroditus, the human (or god) that gave name to all the hermaphrodites, people born with imponderable gender belonging.

Fleur de Male isn´t without amsculin features, no it has a aromatic and herby notes with some briskness that i find masculin, at the same time it has creamy and powdery notes that I think of as feminine. But the floral notes in Fleur de Male is quite gender neutral in my opinion. Fleur de Male makes me happy, and since I bought it in Norrköping I have worn it much more then I expect. Somehow it is very appropriate in this hot and dry weather we experience now.

Fleur de male makes me think about almost dry late summer flowerbeds with aromatic herbs, dry lawns, sun and heath and a beautful person all dressed in wide, white summer clothes. A women in linen costume or a man in shining white Arabian burnus maybe?

Fleur de Male has similarites to Xerjoff´s Oesel, Fleur de Male is a good substitute until I saved up for my own bottle of Oesel. They have that subtle, discrete masculinity in common and also the floral notes, but Fleur de Male is dryer and more herby, while Oesel is creamier and sweeter, also with a woody base, that Fleur de male don´t have. But there is, more similarites than there isn´t.

My Fleur de male is an eau de toilette, but much stronger than many eau de parfums and the sillage is more than good also. My husband also likes it, usually he don´t care if perfumes are considered unisex or feminine, he wears most of the things I spray him with.

Do you have any favorite scent, that actually belong on the male shelf? Or the other way around if you´re a guy? Maybe you´re one of those that never would dream about wearing a scent supposed for men? Or do you belive that this whole gender thing with perfumes is un-interesting and old fashioned?

Pic: Wikipedia, Hermaphroditus, Louvre

fredag 16 juli 2010

La Collina Toscana - Girasole del Poggio

I have tried some scents from a new, Italian company La Collina Toscana. They´re offering fragrances with eau de toilette-concentration and they´re inspired by the Tuscan nature and plants. Among the one´s I´ve tried (Papavero delle Balze, Assenzio dell'Oblio, Iris della Signoria and Girasole del Poggio) I have been captured by Girasole del Poggio.

Sunflower note in perfumes are quite un-common, but in Girasole del Poggio I can enjoy it fully. Girasole del Poggio mange to be both a summery and sunny scent as well as different and memorable. The note i think about as sunflower makes all the difference. Apart from hte sunflower Girasole del Poggio is a summery, soft, sweet and fruity scent. Not what usually like in perfumes. But, the sunflower note is amazing.

Now, I hope it is the sunflower I can smell, since sunflower isn´t that common in perfumes I´m not totally sure. Well, anyway Girasole del Poggio smells like a wonderful Italian peach ice cream sprinkled with sunflower seeds, nuts and grated white chocolate. The sunflower note is interesting, multui-faceted and subtle. It´s partly remind me of melted white chocolate, but also buttery oli and fried crisply haselnuts, there is also a aromatic floral note and something soft and creamy. With other words, it smells incredible jummy and also a little bit odd (in a good way).

Girasole del Poggio is one of those scents that I have to repetedly sniff when I´m wearing, maybe to convince myself that I´m really smell that good! It´s quite a discrete edt, but the staying power is OK, about 4 hours on me, best among the scents I´ve tried from La Collina Toscana (Papevero delle Balze and Assenzio dell'Oblio has longvity like Annick Goutal/L'Artisan scents on me). Girasole del Poggio have very modest sillage (at least from my dab on-sample).

Girasole del Poggio is like having a picnic at the edge of a sunflower field in tuscany with the smell of sunflowers blending with icrecream, peaches and black currant (yes, there is a blcak currant note in it, but I don´t really get it that much). Most of all Girasole del Poggio is a very summery and sunny scent. It is easy to wear, but I can imagine that not everyone likes the sunflower note. It is youthful, yet timeless and can be worn by most women I think.

Girasole del Poggio makes me very curious about other scents with prominent sunflower note. I haven´t tried many with such (except for Honore des Pres Bonte´s Bloom which alos is a beautiful summer scent, but with no lasting power). There is a scent called Sunflower by Elisabeth Arden, but it is really with a truw sunflower note, I belive it´s more like an mixed floral? If you have any suggestion on scents with strong sunflower note, please let me know.

I suggest that everyone that likes floral and fruity scents with a little twist shall give this a try. You can buy it (and sample it) at http://shop.essenza-nobile.de/ (the price is totally OK). You can also read more about La Collina Toscana here: http://www.aquacosmetics.com/
It is now among my summer favorites.

Pic: steve-thoms-sunflowers-field

tisdag 13 juli 2010

I discover a rip-off!

I was looking for some information about Amouage and stumbled upon an other perfume blog, but I realised pretty quick that this so called blog had stolen a lot of my blog writing! They have copy and pasted a lot of my text and the pics I´ve used as well.

I know matter of copyright are really difficult on the net. I know that I use pictures that I find in not alsways a proper way, but I´ll never stated there where my own pictures (accept when they are).

In one way it´s a little flattering, but on the other hand, their readers probably belive that the one´s responsible for that blog also are the onés writing the articles. I suspect that they have rip-off other bloggers articles as well. Do you have a blog, then check out if you can find any of your work here:


Is there at all anything to be done about it? It do look a bit weird when they have copied, not only the reviews, but also my own personal top lists, and my shopping trips to Norrköping and perfume meetings in Stockholm as well as the drawings I´ve had (I can assure you, that if anyone have enter any draw on that blog, they haven´t got any price!). It is the English blog writing that has been copied.

I´ve heard about other perfume bloggers that have been through things like this, but never discovered my own works among it until now. Sad, boring and people without any imagination. And, if there is anyone knowing how I can "get my" articles back, please let me know!

Majmua Attar

Of my closest family, it´s only my younest son that is completly un-interested in perfumes. All perfumes smells the same, he said. No, no the daughters cry, some smells like flowers and others like fruit... and candy and musk and a lot of different things. Even though I don´t really agree with him, I can what he means. A perfume smells like perfume. In the same way as a rose smells like a rose and an apple smalles lika an apple. Of course, both a flower and a perfume can have very complex and multifacetted scents, you can sense more and more different scents the better your olfactory sense get.

But, no matter how complex or different a perfume may be, it is still a perfume. Perfume perfumes (as I call them, close to the original purpose of -commercial- perfumes) such as Caron´s Tabac Blond, Chanel No 5, Lancomes Tresor and Miss Dior. Of course Etat Libre d'Oranges most weird creations like Secretions Magnifique you find rather far from thsoe perfume... still... Secretions Magnifique is a perfume. And so are the scents from CB I Hate Perfume, memories, occations and different locations, maybe you don´t even want to smell like somebodys holliday, still, no matter how strange... aren´t they also perfumes? They aren´t toasters, airplanes or goats!?

Attars are also a kind of perfume, even though they are as far from traditional Western perfumes as some of the most modern, weird perfume art we can find. Attars are traditional Indian and Arabic perfume oils with a sandalwood oil base. I´ve read a review at Perfume Posse about Majmua Attar and become so curious. I´m so thankful to Ebay, because ther you can find a lot of different Attars, among others I bought me an own Majmua Attar. I´m not sure if it is of the same origina as the one described at Perfume Posse, but I hope -and belive- they are at least quite similar.

Majmua Attars is something quite special. I´ve mentioned before perfumes (some of the Montales, but also Hindu Kush) that smells like a very beautiful song in a foreign language and with unknown intsruments and strange melody. Majmua Attar is without doubt a part of that kind of perfumes. Majmua attars is like studying a beautiful, antique scripture of some defunct lagnuage that not even the scientist have solved yet. Beautiful, secret and alluring... What can it mean? Who write it? When? I´m not sure if I even want to find out that it is about an overlord sending four camels, ten goats and a cow for the wedding in the capital city.

Majmua Attar is a strange bird, yet very beautful and likeable. Complex, rich and very carismatic. The opening is strong on soil, wood and some menthol or eucalutus-like note. When I´m wearing majmua Attar I become aware of a lot of different scents, a kind of floral note that is partly powdery, but also green, as soon as I become aware of it, it´s gone. The sandalwood note is all present, but also very changing, some time it´s soft, smoth and buttery and at other times more harsh, aromatic and even slightly bitter. The scent of soil is also very detectable, but also complex, dry, dusty and with features of ash and even smoke, and thereafter wet, rich and heavy with some manure in it.

Majmua Attars is blenden with four different attars, one with baked earth in it, one with flowers, one with vetiver and also sandalwood. This makes Majmua quite complex and very evolving, the different notes comes and goes during several hours. It hasn´t any traditional top-heart or base note, still ity has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The opening consist of earthy and menthol-like notes mostly, and during the middle phase the floral note are more prominent, and when drying down the whole scent become softer, both buttery and powdery at the same time.

When I´m wearing majmua Attar I want to dress in sheer, fluttering fabrics in bright colors, I want to braid my hair and put henna on my hands. Majmua Attar makes me feel like a beautiful, sensual and powerful oriental queen. Majmua Attar is caressing, soft and relaxing. And, yes it will work on men to without any problems. It is so different from usual perfumes that it´s hard to think of it as belonging to any certain age or sex.

Majmua Attar is longlasting, and even though it´s really hot here, it isn´t to strong or overwhelming. This is after all scents made for much hotter climate then in Sweden. If you have the possibilty to buy Majmua Attar for instant on Ebay, I suggest you should do that. The price is ridicolous low, about 3-4 euro and I have diluted mine with some vegtable oil, so a bottle of 3 ml could easily be blended to about 10-15 ml. And you wont need more then a few drops at the time, so it´ll last for a long time. I really recommend you to try it!

Pic: matildasantropologyblog

söndag 11 juli 2010

Parfums Del Rae - Debut

Apperantly I have got me some writing cravings during vacation, and I can sit alone also since all of my kids still sleeps. And speaking of kids, all of mine (still living at home) seem to be in some kind of housey mood. Some days ago they made apple pie, and yesterday they picked blueberries and we made some delicious blueberry buns. I like it when they mess around in the kitchen, co-operate and behave nicely to each other.

Well, anyway this isn´t a bakery-nor an at home with-blog. This is a perfume blog.

As mentioned, there are so many perfume house and lines and Parfums Del Rae is one of those I haven´t tried anything from until just recently, when I´ve got all of their scents (except the newest Coup de Foudre) in a swap. Among them, Debut is the one that manage to catch me the most, even though I haven´t tried all of them yet.

Debut is on me, at least in this heat, another close relative to La Chasse Aux Papillons. And among those I find similar (La Chasse Aux Papillons, Esprit de Fleurs and Pomelos) this is the one with best staying power. That is of course a great bonus I think.

Most of all it´s in the opening I can smell the similarity. Debut opens with a quite heady and strong floral note, but toghether with wonderful, fresh and juicy citrus fruits. It´s like a very well blended note of flower that smell both soft, rich floral and citrus at the same time. Oooh, Debut is such a pretty scent, just that kind of summery and youthful scent I like so much.

In the heart of Debut you can find lily-of-the-valley, linden blossom and cyclamen. This makes Debut a little more concrete then the others, with a tendency to big white floral, without being it. Debut also have a green element, which I hardly can detect, maybe it is more noticable in colder weather? Usually I´m not that much of lily-of-the-valley in perfumes (If it isn´t the exact RIGHT lily-of-the-valley), but in Debut it´s working quite well.

I can smell the lily-of-the-valley clearly in Debut, but without it being so overpowering and almost tranquilasing that it can be in some scents.

Debut is also different from the other during drydown, thanks to the base, Devut is much more long-lasting then the others. It is nice with a fresh, sprittingly summer scent that last long. On me up to 8-10 hours (over night). The nice tart floral notes last quite abit to, but apart from that I find the base note a bit strange...

I like it, but now Debut has chosen to walk a different path, it becomes a little masculin even. I guess it´s because of the vetiver and sandalwood in the base. In some ways I think that the base doesn´t really fit with the sunny, summery and girly floral. Still I like it, and I think the base (whitch has some similarities to L'Artisans Timbuktu) is making Debut more interesting and edgy.

This means that Debut also could be really interesting on a man. Or someone lifting up masculin notes with skin chemistry, like my oldest daughter for instant. I must try Debut on her later on...

Debut is a really nice and well made scent, and I recommend it to all that likes La Chasse Aux Papillon, but don´t forget about the little weird base note though! And so nicw with some lasting pwoer in this cathegory of scents, and a decant sillage as well.

Pic: Lily of the Valley, candle craze

lördag 10 juli 2010

L'Artisan Parfumer - La Chasse Aux Papillons

Just like Courtesan, L'Artisan´s La Chasse Aux Papillons is a scent that I´ve mentioned on the blog, without giving it a proper review. And agaian, it isn´t because I don´t like it. No, absolutly not, since I LOOOOOVE La Chasse Aux Papillons as much as I love Swedish summer.

But as the case with Swedish summer, La Chasse Aux Papillons isn´t at all long lasting. But, while it last, it´s a very, very pleasant fragrance.

I have tried several scents that reminds of La Chasse Aux Papillons, M.Micallef´s Pomelos has the tartness and the note of lipstick in common. Frapin´s Esprit de Fleur is also a close relative, a little more citrus and maybe not as charming, but on the other hand with better lasting power. Another scent that I plan to write about soon (I won´t tell you which yet) also have similarities. The one´s I´m mention aren´t THAT similar to each other, but close enough, the possibility is that you´ll like all of them if you like one of them.

Despite poor lasting power, La Chasse Aux Papillons seem to be the ideal scent of them all, the one closest to perfect summer in bottle. Oh, how I wish it would have better staying power. But, wonderful is usually short lived (between half an hour - one hour on me). :(

La Chasse Aux Papillons makes me think about the perfect summer idyll. Maybe at a time when cars, tractors and boat engines wasn´t around yet. As a Swedish it makes me think about Astrid Lindgrens story about a bunch of kids in Bullerbyn (sorry I can´t find any english name for that story!, maybe some of my readers now what it´s called in English?) with happy kids in summer meadows wearing summery dresses and shorts. I can also see (and hear the signature tune) the vignette to "THe Little House on the Prairie) with pretty Laura Ingalls rushing down the hill with her sisters after. Fluttering sun bleached hair and floral printed dresses.

If soft colored butterflies had any scent, I´m sure they would smell like La Chasse Aux Papillons. And no one can imagine butterflies to have a lasting scent, huh?

La Chasse Aux Papillons is both summery and girly. Still I think I can wear it (and other scents alike) without any problem. It is more like to have a little part of carefree childhood summer memories then to making one self more childish. I know my mother would love this scent, as well as my 13-year old daughter wears it very pretty.

And how does it smell? Well, the opening is all about tart yet sioft citrus and flowers and a very discrete note of creamy lipstick. In the middle it isn´t as tart, instead it become more floral, the most softest and creamiest flowers you can imagine, on me the jasmine is dominant, but I can also smell little whiffs of linden blossom and rose. La Chasse Aux Papillons isn´t at all powdery (on me) and not a trace of any erotic floral notes what so ever. Most of all La Chasse Aux Papillons is a happy, uncomplicated and yet, so wonderful. Unfortunatly, it just wears of when it is at it´s best. In one moment I can still smell the wonderful scent, and then in the next moment it´s gone. Leaving behind only the faintest memories of a perfect summer in the land of my childhood...

Pic: Little house on the Prairie

fredag 9 juli 2010

Worth - Courtesan

I´ve mentioned Courtesan earler on the blog, but without describing it properly. Not because I don´t like it or find in un-interesting, but I´ve only forget about it from time to time.

Well, now it´s time to give it a proper presentation. Courtesan has lot of notes, fruity notes are blended with gourmand notes and spices. In the opening Courtesan is a tart fruity scent that gets accompanied by vanilla, spices and a soft smoky note. During the topnote I can also smell both aquatic and airy features in it, still it´s also tart, sweet and warm.

Courtesan is a really lively scent on my skin, especially during top-and heart notes, for a while I think cardamom is dominating, but thereafter I think it´s vanilla and then the fruits take center stage... For that reason, Courtesan become a scent filled with expectancy to me. It is so much going on in Courtesan that I get the feeling of preparing for a fantastic party. Not the neighbors usual barbecue, but THE party. No matter if your preferences are London Rubber Ball or the Carnival of Venice, this is the party that make your heart beat a little faster and thickles in your tummy. That feeling, but in adjusted dose, I get when I´m wearing Courtesan.

This doesn´t mean that Courtesan is nothing but a prepart-scent, Courtesan will work fanatstic even at the party. Courtesan is warm, sweet and fruity, but still I think of it as quite a soft scent. And without doubt, Courtesan is also a sexy and sensual fragrance, and as such, filled with energy. This is a sprightly and living kind of sensuality. Youthful, but still wearable for women in all ages. Not at all an average fruity-floral.

When the scent has warmed up on my skin, I can smell the floral notes, but they´re all the time quite soft and in the background (at least on my skin). The flowers are all the time dominated by spices (mostly cardamom) and vanilla. The flowers are more distant, then flowers right under your nose. During this phase, the scent is also becoming more linear, the vanilla is smoth but also a skanky musk showing up.

As you can guess, there is something for every taste in Courtesan. Maybe that it is a little to much for some. I like it, but need to be in the right mood to wear it. Courtesan is a must try if you like fruit, vanilla, spices.. musk... flowers, well it is a full-bodied to much of everything kind of scent.

Courtesan has decent lasting power, about 4-5 hours and the sillage is OK, without being overwhelming. I think Courtesan works well during hot weather, it´s actuallt much more saturated and soft now when it´s hot, then when it´s colder weather.

Pic: Life123

torsdag 8 juli 2010

Winners of the draw

List Randomizer

There were 17 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. Nina
2. womo531
3. Matilda
4. Habit Man
5. Karin
6. Ines
7. solocha
8. Vera
9. Susanne B
10. frk Ø
11. Ylva
12. Bellatrix
13. La Bonne Vivante
14. Hanna
15. siiri
16. Anonym
17. Diana

Timestamp: 2010-07-09 06:08:21 UTC

Congrats to Nina and womo531, and no I still haven´t figured out how to past the print screen properly. And my son is asleep. Anyway, send your addresses to my mail and I´ll send you some goodies by post, even though it can take a while, it´s quite a deal to decant.

This morning my husband get to work, for his first working day after holiday. I gues it´s never so much fun to start working agian after the holiday, but even worse now when it´s so hot. Not so pleasurable to be at the emergency room all day in this heat. But, we have had a great vacation, both fun and relaxing. This means that I´m going to write as usual on the blog agaian. And you know what, that is quite necessary since I´ve got so much to catch up on.

And what to expect? Well, I have promised a review of Worths Courtesan (it´s about time) and also I have Majmua Attar to write about and a lot of other stuff. But I admit that I´m not as much up to test new scents right now. It´s beacuse of the heat wave, usually I like strong and powerful scents, but now I´m afraid of testing something too powerful, I can´t stand some kind of scents in this weather. Aquatic and soft floral scents are in heavy rotation right now and as usual soft, clean amber-scents.

What do you wear in the heat? Have you any new summer favorite? Do you long for some cooler weather when you can start wearing your heavy faves again? For some reason I´ve discovered that I tolerate heavy notes better if they´re in a perfume oil, than in usual perfume, how come?

Apart from that I´m sitting here and are a bit uncertain about a scent that I recently bought on Ebay (haven´t even paid for it yet) namely V.Westwood´s Boudoir. I was supposed to buy a bottle of Paul & Joe´s Blanc, but wasn´t admitted as a bidder since I wasn´t in UK, even though I had contact the seller beforehand. So when I didn´t get Blanc I placed an impuls bid on Boudoir and won it... Oh well, it´s the one with orange juice and I sure hope it´s as different from the one with pink jucie as every one say, since the one with pink juice makes me ill. And if I don´t like it, maybe I can swap it?

tisdag 6 juli 2010

Summer, perfume shopping and a draw

Here I am and feeling very satisfied. Yesterday I was off to Norrköping to shop for the gift check that I won.

It was me and two of my daugthers that went to Norrköping. First we visited a really nice second hand store, where I manage to find a lot of nice clothes for almost no money at all. I´ve got two tank tops, a bare shoulder top and a hood sweater for about 15 euro. Middle daugther manage to get an entire wardrobe with shoes, dresses, shirts and tops for about 50 euro. I really love second hand stores, and the one i Norrköping is one of my faves.

After that it was time for Kicks (Kicks is a Swedish cosmetics, skincare and perfume chain). I usually never buy perfume over desk in Sweden, but still have some idea about the prices and supply. And, yes I tested a lot of perfumes, even though some of them was so discrete and neutral that I forget that I´ve had tested them. After a while there was three different scents that wanted to follow me home; Kenzo Amour Le Parfum, Prada´s Ambre and JP. Gaultier´s Fleur de Male. When I discovered that the Prada scent wasn´t available I decided to buy both Kenzo and Gaultier even though the final sum was a little more then 100 euro. It´s also nice to bring home a frag that both me and my husband can use.

But it is after all a little shocking to discover that perfumes that I can find on the net for as little as 10 or 20 euro are as expensive as 70 euro in Swedish stores. I´ve noticed that a lot of customers at Kicks seem to be young, trendy girls. Aren´t they aware of internet and the huge price differences? This makes me wonder how usual perfume store manage to survive considering the rivalry from net-retailers?

I was also so naive that i thought I would get me some nice perfume samples since I support the store with more than 100 euro, but no, the girl in the cashier shrugged, they didn´t have any. But she gave me a small skin care sample at least. Wow, I´ve got 1,5 ml face cream for free! I find it a little starnge, since I heard of perfumista friends all over the world that gets a lot of free sampels whenever they buy a bottle of perfume. Why isn´t that common in sweden? Or maybe I had only some bad luck? Otherwise I think some "goodies" to bring home are a great way to make customers to become returning customers.

Well, it was a great day anyway.

Since i´ve had so much luck I´ll host a little draw. Leave a comment and I will draw two winners that´ll get some samples from my newest scents and maybe some decants as well and a little this and that that i find in my drawers. And maybe I´ll even throw in a small sample of face cream. Don´t miss it! ;) I´ll draw two winners totally on friday morning (9/7) and please in the comment tell me where you usually shop for perfumes and if you have had some particually nice or bad perfume shopping experiences?

lördag 3 juli 2010

Shantara - Reve Etoile

Shantara is a Swiss perfume house offering 100% natural and eco-certified fragrances. This far they have three different scents to offer, reve Etoile, Shaman and Isiris, but it seem like they plan more launches. You can find more information about Shantara here (only in French) http://www.parfumshantara.com/

Of the three scents, I get most fascinated by Reve Etoile, it´s really a different kind of scent. The opening is extremly startled, vibrant and living and making me think about a sparkling softdrink. But not any old soft drink, no some kind of chocolate soda- creamy vanilla kind of drink. I have never smelled anything like it before. This is a exciting and different scent indeed.

Unfortunatly that bursting sparkling feeling fades away rather quick (I have a spray sample) and that is a shame since it contribute to gives the scent a cool and refreshing feeling that would have been needed further in. When the bubbly feeling has fades there is a -quite vibrant though- floral note showing up. Apperantly this is a certain kind of orchid with chocolate features, but I can also sense powdery and soapy notes, something really nice and spicy and even little whiffs of something citrusy.

Reve Etoile is developing really fast on my skin, after the initial burst, what remains on my skin after about 10-15 minutes is what the scent is all about for the rest of it´s staying on my skin, even though of course the different notes gets weaker and weaker. The chocolate note are present, but in the background, apart from that Reve Etoile is a powdery, sopay and vibrant floral scent with spicy and gourmand notes as well. Despite that I really like the opening, after a while Reve etoile become a little heavy and samey on my skin. This could very well be beacause of the hot weather, I´m sure Reve Etoile is a scent that is much better off during colder weather.

Anyway, Reve Etoile is a lively, sparkling and unique kind of scent. It´s complex with a lot of different kinds of notes going on at the same time. The sillage is really prominent and longvity is Ok, about 3-4 hours on my skin (in the heat). It´s hard to recommend Reve Etoile to any certain cathegory of perfume lovers since it is so all over the place. Of course it´s a must try if you´re in to organic/natural perfumes, and different and personal scents and also if you´re curious about floriental gourmands.

Pic: Don Bartram

torsdag 1 juli 2010

Marc de la Morandière - Kiyo

There is so many perfume houses and perfume brands that when i´ve tried perfumes from one new brand, there is two new brands showing up that I´ve never heard of. Marcde la Moriandière was such a brand. I had never heard about it, until a fellow perfume lover mentioned that they offer really nice perfumes for not so hich prices. Of course this made me curious.

And since I´m in a lucky streak, I have got the possibility to try one of their scents, Kiyo. I don´t know anything about Kiyo, and I can´t find it anywhere not even on the company homepage

I guess that means that Kiyo is a new scent, and that it will make it to the homepage eventually. Well, that also means that I have no idea which notes that are supposed to be in Kiyo, so I´ll have to guess. Kiyo means pure and clean in Japanese, and as you know, those kind of scents aren´t usually among my favorites. Howvere, with Japanese inspiration it becomes another kind of clean scent, then it would be with more Western inspiration.

Kiyo starts off with fresh greenery and some very soft and easy notes of citrus, maybe lemon. I find the citrus note quite interesting since it occurs now and then during the opening in kind of small, short whiffs. Apart from greenery and citrus, Kiyo is also quite aquatic, but there is a mystic kind of creamy, milkky notes that haunts me. I tried to figure out what it was a long time until I decided it smells almost like banana, green bananas that is or maybe some little coconut in it as well. This is a very, very soft note and I´m not sure what it is for real, but it gives Kiyo a slightly creamy feel, but without sweetness.

Kiyo is a discrete, cooling and calming scent. It is like sitting on a low bridge in a Japanese garden under the bamboo and dip your toes in the cool water. Even tough I think of Kiyo as a very discrete scent, it is a master on lingering around. When I´m wearing it, now and then I´m surrounded by beautiful serene bamboo greenery.

After a while the citrus and banana/coconut/whatever wears off and being replaced with some very soft floral accords. At first I experience it as an aquatic floral, maybe lotus blossom. But as the scent evolve I think of it more lika lily-of-the-valley or some other lily note. As with the creamy note, the floral note is subtle and hard to pinpoint.

Despite it´s soft and tranquile character, Kiyo has great lasting power, at least 8-10 hours on me. The base note has more prominent green and floral impression on me.

Kiyo isn´t spot on my kind of scent, even though I think it fits perfect during hot weather when you need something to cool you down with. I also belive Kiyo would be nice if you wan´t to create a serene and still kind of lively feeling. I do really recommend Kiyo to those of you liking green, transparent and aquatic green florals. As I said, Kiyo is discrete but very nicely whafting. In that, it reminds about Comme des Garcons 3.

Pic: losemindfindsoul