Talisman describe this as a dark and oriental spicy boquet - well the spice I get but the darkness not - it smells like baked green apple with at least the main part of the cinnamon exchanged with clove. It's very nice balanced between the jucy green baked fruit and spice, a good foody that is not too heavy or too spicy or to sweet, a perfect autumn scent for those with a less sweet tooth appreciating some tranparency.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Madini Mokhalate Malaki
Fantomia 3/17/2011 8:35:00 PM
I'm a big Madini fan, but mostly I wear their Azehar, as I'm a hardcore orange blossom lover, and Azehar is one of my very favorite orange blossom / neroli scents (Azear is the strongest & headiest true OB I know). But lately i've found interest in more strange and odd scents, believing oud is the object of my seeking - I don't know oud very well, but I think it it is responsible for the odd beauty in some perfumes and many arabian oils. Today I've been wearing Mokhalate Malaki, wich have exactly this odd beauty I am seeking. MM it's not made to please others - but it's very nice to wear, at least for me that rarely find myself comfortable in big Perfumes, and it's hard to describe except from beautiful in an unusual and strange way. It's earthy but not too dense, not at all sweetened and maybe a bit bitter but not acrid, there is a note in it smelling clean like wet earth wakening form the winter dream in spring. Checking the notes it HAS oud - the Talisman site, which are selling the Madini line online, is listing Mokhalati Maliaki an oud, chipre, rose and saffron blend. I get the rose, but I cant recognize the saffron, or I haven't understood the saffron - I find saffron more foody, at least is Madini's Saffron soliflore quite sweet and foody, and I recognize the Madini saffron in a lot of the Montale ouds - I call them foody ouds for myself. I get nothing of this sweet, dense softening note in this, but the rose is def there. Of others in the Madini line (I've tried most of them) I find the Oud and Kamary similar - Kamary is listed as a rose - sandalwood, but it has the same oddlyness, though it's more rosy, so I think Kamary has oud too. Madinis Oud is described as floral oils and spices in an agarwood base on the Talisman website, but it has a peppermint note in adition that makes it the least favorite of those to me, though it's very nice & well blended too. Madinis Agarwood is very different - more sweet and dense and very smokey - like a very smokey amber, but totally lacking the odd beauty of these. Strength & lasting power is excellent, as with most Madinis, - you only need a drop for many hours of exploration.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Lagniappe Oaks - Wisteria & Lace
Fantomia 3/4/2011 8:58:00 PM
I dont know how Wisteria smells i real life, or how it is manufactured in perfume, but this is a fresh, slightly creamy floral, a little minty-ish to my nose, and that is no drawback - it's an easy to like & enjoy day-light smell, and the cool mint suits the composition well. It's subdued and natural and fresh - and a kind of stylish too - much more natural & better than average department scents (the floral dept store scents are the worst IMO - it's much easier to find likable woody scents for instance) - and much cheaper. It's not a childish or non-sophisticated scent - my sister, that is older than me and (I am 47), works in an office and is quite traditional in many ways, and she choose this among several others - I think this would certainly not offend any of her co-workers, and would give her a natural and pleasant whiff now and then during the day, to keep her fresh.
Fragrances -Andy Tauer - L'Air du Desert Marocain by Andy Tauer
Fantomia 1/7/2011 7:06:00 PM
L'Air du Desert Marocain starts with a pine-y green twig note, and that part is very promising and nice, but very soon it morphes into a warm, dry smell that suits its name - I get sweet smelling wood burning in a hot, dry place - or at least the smells of this idea - it smells very smokey sweet & dry in the sense of not wet. Nice & interesting because the smoke is very realistic and it's not overly perfumery, or trying to be interesting - it's just a very well rounded & well made smokey sweet blend, and it's true to it's name, but too sweet for me, and a little meh. For reference, other incense frags I prefer for this is Norma Kamali Ceremony, L'Artisan passage d'Enfer and Ava Luxe Olibanum, and there are others too, but they would be too light & floral & different too compare, and none of those I mentioned is really similar either. I wouldn't compare this to Shalimar - Shalimar is much wetter and more balsamic, and no smoke, and it's def a Pefume. LAdM is really unique in it's dry, clean, undisturbed smoky sweetness, and I guess I'm just not enough of a smoke-lover to appreciate it the way it deserves. But I def recommend it for perumistas that are - + for the substitute for a fireplace - it's a really nice & sweet smell - I just don't care for it so much as a personal fragrance.
A sample of this has been around for a while and getting no attention, and trying it again I had in mind a saleslady that told me one of L'Artisans scents was created to resemble the smell of a circus. Maybe that's the explanation for why the most dominant smell in Dzongkha to me this time is ... horsepoo! And I like it! It's actually smelling good - interesting and good, and not overly perfumey (that would be horrible wouldn't it?) Now I know Dzing is the scent L'Artisan created to smell like a circus, and if somebody had told me that Dzongkha was made to smell like a bakery I would probably smell chockolate-cookies with cinnamon baking in an old fashioned wood-stove instead (there is definitely sweet - but not so sweet - smoke in it), but nevertheless, there is no way for me to escape from the horse-poo-impression in Dzongkha now. When I still thought it was Dzongkha that was the circus-scent I was admiring Bertrand Duchaufour's sense of humor: it's a fun scent to stick in front of your loved one's nose and ask: what do you think? And even now, knowing better, Dzongkha makes me giggle - or at least enjoy it for it's (as I see it) unpretentiousness.
I'm a big Madini fan - not that I love everything they make, but some things they make I love so madly. Alma de Alma is one of my very favorites - it's sooo rich and smooth, and fresh and refined at the same time. It's definitely a resinous / balsamic scent - and ambers is not my favorite category of scents, but my interest for these kind of scents has grown after getting to know the Madini; I detect more real & natural stuff in them than we're normally exposed to. I'm not good at picking out the ingredients in ambery scents - but here the other day I put on a sample of Les Nereide's Opoponax and I thought of Alma the Alma right away; There is something in them that is almost identical, so I guess AdA must have opoponax. AdA is fresher than Les Nereide's, it has this fresh greenish top note that reminds me of a flower I smelled in my grandmothers garden when I was a little girl (ok Madini says a blend of musk, amber and citron, but it's greener than lemons..) I don't know if this flower really exist, but if it does, it is a flower with long and thick juicy stems, that cracks easily and would be beautiful and crispy in salads if they where edible. And it's just as smooth and vanillic as Les Nereide's. No similarity to Ava Luxe Opoponax Intense though (these are the only two opopanax scents i know) - that one is much more powdery and dryer (dry like in non-wet, not non-sweet) - Les Nereides Opapanax and Alma de Alma is both much juicier. I prefer Alma de Alma because of this unique green add, also it sits better than Les Nereides - it lasts and radiances - the silage and strength of (most of) the Madnis is fantastic - a touch with the tip is enough for a full day wearing (and more - and that's why 26 $ / 6 ml is cheap :-)). I get nothing overly spicy or animalic - it's just the smoothest & freshest (and at the same time deepest as this is a scent I can burry my nose in without getting a synthetic saccarin-shock) recinious scent I ever smelled. Her beauty is relaxed & timeless & unique - she don't try to make herself intersting - she simply is. Edit: Now I know what the green in AdA is - it's galbanum, I received my first EO of this lovely plant short time ago. It doesn't grow in Norway, and don't have any relatives here as far as I know, so it doesn't explain my association to my childhood memory completely, but it is such a rich, wet, smooth green scent, and Norway is very green, and where I live, very wet too. I love galbanum and I love Alma de Alma.
It´s my son´s birthday today (yes, he´s born 9/11 and I was out buying lamb chops when he called me and told about the terrible news) – he has been using Jean Paul Gaultier´s «Le Male» since he was 17 and I knew he was out of it. I didn´t necessarily want to buy this but was looking for something similar. But I couldn´t find anything – there are nothing similar to this out there, it´s actually a very unique scent, much to unique for being worn of every second teenage boy as it was here in Norway 6-7 years ago (was it like this in other parts of the world too?). It´s actually very suprising that the youngsters choose this among all the water-and unisex scents that was popular back then as it´s not a light or easy to wear scent at all, it´s a very sweet scent – a mixture of musky vanilla and mostly sweet floral notes that could ended in catastrophe, especially as a scent for men, if it wasn´t done in such a brilliant way. It´s so close to over-the-top – maybe it even IS over the top – just like Jean Paul Gaultier´s art. Like the costumes he designed for Peter Greenaway´s movie «The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover», «Le Male» is both baroque and avant garde. I´m a lover of natural perfumes, but though I don´t get many natural notes in this, I must recognize it as a true piece of art – it´s so unique and well blended, and even the name play an important role - a less "manly" scent is hardly made for men before – it´s nothing green or citrusy or watery out-dorsey, or smokey, manly in-dorsey, still JPG has called it «The man». But it DOES smells man – the New Man, the man that are in contact with his feelings, the empathic man that are not afraid to show his feelings and even cry, the androgyne man that has developed his feminine sides, but still have the strength and will of a Man. It has both lift and depth and an incredible warmth and radiance (it´s maybe the most beautiful use of orange blossom aroma-chemical I know), and it suits an artistic man that has all that. Today my son is a young man on 23, and lucky me – he is just like that. My son´s lovely girlfriend and I did so agree: this smells just like my son, and is a scent he always should have in his closet. I´m so glad it´s not that «in» anymore (at least not here), so it can work as his signature.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
Fantomia 8/22/2010 12:25:00 PM
This was one of my first parfumes; I wore it when I was 20. It was very interesting to find it again – and read all the reviews about it. I remember I never bought it because I found it dirty or sexy or something like that – I bought it because it was the only fragrance I could find & stand when I run out of L´Heure Bleue (and I wanted something different), and decided on this because I found it kind of vanillic (because of the amber and balsams I´ve learned later) rounded and smooth. All the other perfumes I tried (and I tried them all) felt loud, discomforting & sweet in the wrong way to me. Comparing it to other perfumes I have smelled in the meantime I now do get the animalic vibe everyone talks about, but this particular parfume stands out as a masterpiece to me in its category; the balance between flowers, citrus, woods, amber, balsams and incense are just perfect – it has a warm lift (because of the citrus and orange blossoms) so it don't get heavy or dark as other survivors like for instance Tabu or Habanita, but is still smooth, it`s just as glorious and sophisticated as Narcisse Noir (I love orange blossoms) but not so old world, it does have a bit of this dirty vibe but it´s never vulgar - it´s just enough to make it intimate and interesting. It´s a glorious, feminine and timeless masterpiece. It kind of glows on skin, and when I wear something else than one of my beloved Orange Blossoms, this is one of the few I can be sure to feel comfortable in - but mostly in winter or on special evenings. The quality of the ingredients seems excellent to me, and it`s hard to understand how they can sell it to the prizes you ladies over there report about – in fact it´s so hard to understand, that I wonder if there can be a hidden agenda – especially when I myself have experienced the addictive qualities of it – so be warned, American ladies :-)
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Devita Solar Body Block 30
Fantomia 7/2/2010 6:59:00 PM
I love this sunscreen – it is rich and fluffy and feels like velvet on skin - it’s not “short” and sinks in too fast, but lubricates well, still the finish is quite matte. I mostly use it on my face (on body now and then only if parts of my body have started to get burned but mostly I don’t spend that much time in sun), and since I do want some tan also on my face I use just a tiny bit over a moisturizer and it work likes a dream – and I love the matte finish, combined with the feeling of well moisturized skin. Gives NO white cast (it has no chemical sunscreen – only sink oxide – the other ingredients are very good too) – and have lovely mild smell of almonds. Pure luxury – never used a sunscreen this good before. Wish they used the same formula for making a tinted moisturizer – just exchanged some of the sink with other natural minerals – with turmeric for the yellowish to add even more anti-oxidants – then I too would start using makeup on a daily basis :-) Another thing I wish is that the packaging was smaller – it’s very god value ($22 /6 oz), but a 2 oz packaging would be much more travel-friendly.
I like Light Blue. It’s one of the scents I can pick out in a crowd, and for years I always had to ask women what they were wearing when I noticed the scent. Now I have learned it’s Light Blue. I’m an orange blossom lover, and even if orange blossoms is not listed in this I perceive it as a well done chemical orange blossom scent – it must be the citrus (lemon) combined with sweet flowers (jasmine), green (bamboo – I really like bamboo, such a fresh green but non-masculine scent) and woods (cedar) that produce the woody bitter-sweetness of neroli to my nose. IMO it’s just as successful as other mass marketed attempts of creating the smell of orange blossoms of aroma chemicals alone (Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger for instance) if not better. But it’s too chemical for me to enjoy being veiled in it myself. For some reason perfumes with that high concentration of chemicals goes flat on me and smells just bad and boring. But I’m grateful when other women are wearing it – there is much worse stuff out there. I don’t understand its name though it’s light, but nothing in it gives me an association to blue – it’s a fresh, feminine sunny scent to me, and despite its great silage it’s not poisoning the public space.
(according to the review above) I’m very glad if I find a perfume overpowered with orange blossoms / neroli – that’s why I seek them out in the first place – I’ve been an addict of this flower’s smell for many years, and top of happiness for me is when I find a fragrance dominated by it. This is, but orange flowers / neroli has many redemptions. (and I like most of them except the sickening sweet or 100 % aroma chemicals found in dept store frags like Guerlain Idylle, Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger etc) This is the light and bubbling style of orange blossom (opposite those who emphasize the bitter-dry spicy aspect of the flower like most Italians I’ve tried except Santa Maria Novellas) – in the line with Fragonard and L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger and Jo Malone Orange Blossom. My favourite if my wallet didn’t have anything to say is L’Artisans, but Pacificas certainly contribute enough to the sparkle, helped by a good amount of citrus peel to make it sing - and it work very well in combination with neroli and I think also petitgrain. For comparison the Fragonard is less peel (if any) and more flowery and not as high singing – but still light with the bitter-sweet zing - I love them both. (but admit I use my Fragonard more often).This perfume is called Nerola Orange Blossom by the way – not Neroli.
I’ve got a new love – organic lip tints. Applies and feels like lip balms (you don’t need mirror), and add colour for a fresher look, but not overly make-uped like lipstick. Even easier to apply than lip-gloss, and wears longer too, I think, + my hair doesn’t stick to my lips as when I wear lip-gloss. I've tried Alba Botanicals Terra Tints, KissMyFace Sheer organic Shimmers and MyChelle Little Kisses, and love Little Kisses because it is richer pigmented with less shimmer than Sheer organic Shimmers and Terra Tints. My favourite colour so far is the colour Beaujolais – it’s a lovely bright lilac-ish colour – I normally like darker colours but this one is just so bright and rich but still natural! I have tried the colour Flirt too but that one was too dark – even for me – as if I had been drinking very rich red wine all day long for 14 days (well I haven’t tried that but I can imagine if the red-wine stains has builded up and got even all over..). If it was a little more red and less plum it would be bright enough to work for me though, so I’m going to try the colour Garnet next time hoping it’s a colour between Beaujolais and Flirt - it cannot be darker than the Flirt, it’s not possible! Tastewise I prefer Sheer organic Shimmers and Terra Tints – so refreshing minty! The Little Kisses tastes and smells a little (fruity-) sweet; more reminding of regular lipstick, but better. The consistence is quite thick and dry, witch helps it stay longer on I believe - but its not drying out my lips – and I normally have dry lips!
Lip Treatments -Alba Botanica - Terra Tints - Blaze SPF18
Fantomia 2/1/2010 10:57:00 AM
I’ve got a new love – organic lip tints. Applies and feels like lip balms (you don’t need mirror), and add colour for a fresher look, but not make-uped like lipstick. Even easier to apply than lip-gloss, and wears longer than lip-gloss too, I think, and my hair doesn’t stick to my lips as when I wear lip-gloss. I’ve tried this type + KissMyFace Sheer organic Shimmers and MyChelle Little Kisses, and love this + Sheer organic Shimmers for the fresh minty taste, but this feels even better on as it is softer (but I think Sheer organic Shimmers lasts a little longer because of the dryer consistence – but never mind, they are so refreshing to reapply so I do it all the time anyway). And colurwise I prefer Little Kisses because they re richer pigmented with less shimmer than those two. Love this colour even if I normally like darker colours; it’s a bright but natural red-ish colour just dark enough for brighten up my face. I want to try the Garnet too to see if it is a darker plum colour. And what a wonderful prize on these!
I’ve got a new love – organic lip tints. Applies and feels like lip balms (you don’t need mirror), and add colour for a fresher look, but not make-uped like lipstick. Even easier to apply than lip-gloss, and wears longer than lip-gloss too, I think, and my hair doesn’t stick to my lips as when I wear lip-gloss. I’ve tried this type + KissMyFace Sheer organic Shimmers and MyChelle Little Kisses, and love this + Sheer organic Shimmers for the fresh minty taste, but this feels even better on as it is softer (but I think Sheer organic Shimmers lasts a little longer because of the dryer consistence – but never mind, they are so refreshing to reapply so I do it all the time anyway). And colurwise I prefer Little Kisses because they re richer pigmented with less shimmer than those two. I like darker colours, and blaze is just dark enough for brighten up my face; it’s a quite lovely bright but natural red-ish colour. I want to try the Garnet too to see if it is a darker plum colour. And what a wonderful prize on these!
Love these lip tints – I agree on it being on the dryer side but it’s not drying out my lips, and I do think the consistency help it stays better on. A great substitute for lipstick – gives a lot of colour, tastes & feels much better and is much easier to apply (don’t need a mirror as with lipstick). I like dark colours and Garnet is my favourite – a natural brownish red, but I wouldn’t mind if it was even a bit darker. Tried the Amethyst colour too but it’s much to pale for me – but a good choice for those wanting a shimmery pale lilac-ish 60-ties look. If I could change something in them I would add less shimmer – but the Garnet is not too bad and looks quite natural.