Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Miller et Bertaux - #2 Spiritus / land
LaureAnne 12/23/2004 4:46:00 PM
There is an austere beauty to this scent from the tiny French boutique Miller et Bertaux. M. Miller gave the notes as 'mystical incense,' white lily, black iris, teak, and sandalwood, tobacco , rose and ginger. I find it smells a little differently on me each time I wear it. Sometimes the ginger is dominant from first to last. At other times the sandalwood seems dominant. In all cases, the drydown is more than the sum of parts. Miller et Bertaux # 2 is mysterious, complex, otherworldly.
I got this as a present from lovely Neela and I am over the moon about it! Fieno means 'hay' in Italian, but this is like no hay that I have ever smelled--not remotely. It is a soft and tender scent with fantastic longevity (especially for a Santa Maria Novella scent). I detect a base of musk, but beyond that, I have no idea what goes into this fabulous elixir. It reminds me a little of SMN Freesia, which is not at all Freesia-like, just yummy in an enigmatic way. I am wearing this in December and I can see wearing it all year, an unusual turn of events for normally seasonal me. Not only is this amazing in the beginning, but the drydown is heavenly, just heavenly.
Pashmina is one of the nine fragrances released in a boxed set by Susanne Lang for the 2004 holidays. Very different from her delicious Cashmere, it is deeper, more sophisticated, slightly haunting. It calls to my mind both l'Heure Bleue and Aimez-moi. Here, though, perfumer Susanne Langmuir has taken an energetic broom and swept away the cobwebs and mustiness from classic Caron/Guerlain style--- and made something all her own. I'm no expert, but I think I detect notes of violet, anise, iris and (maybe) heliotrope, grounded by smoky amber. If you had thought of Susanne Lang fragrances as only fresh and uncomplicated, more morning than evening, more playful than pensive, think again. With these nine fragrances, the seven ready-to- wears, and the base set of scents that can be bought in trios (with all the permutations of blending that they offer!) there really is a Susanne Lang for every mood, impulse, occasion.
Seems I'm finding a host of new fragrances that are unpretentious, playful or comforting, wearable, affordable, but still unusual enough to be interesting. Zents Oolong is one of these. A well-blended mix of petitgrain, lime blossom, lavender and green tea, it is not a typical tea scent at all. Petitgrain is the dominant topnote, softened by lime blossom. Lavender is there for a zesty touch. The drydown is just lovely. The lime blossom note is true to its source--- what I'd hoped for in the orange blossom in Cologne Sologne, but didn't get. Yes, the green tea and lime blossom drydown is pretty fabulous. Oolong is a quiet member of the same family that Carthusia Mediterraneo belongs to. There is also some similarity to IPF Zagara, though this one has more going on (with the tea and lavender)and seems more finished, better blended. Staying power surprisingly good for this kind of scent.
Cashmere is the perfect name for this scent from the Canadian perfumer Susanne Lang--- it envelops you in warmth and softness like a stole of tissue-weight pashmina. With a composition of amber, spices and wood notes, Cashmere is classified as an oriental fragrance, yet it is unlike any other oriental I've tried. It is a daytime scent or a perfect pre-bedtime one. It can and should be used any time comfort is needed. It is a pencil sketch of an oriental, or a watercolor done in pale glazes--- altogether an evocative, lovely perfume.
Ta’if is a femme fatale’s scent. But think Kirsten Scott-Thomas, Charlotte Rampling, maybe Cate Blanchett —sophisticated, mysterious, enigmatic. While I prefer lighter, more sparkling rose scents to heavily perfumey ones , I’ve wanted to find a richer, cold weather, ‘dressier’ rose,and have been disappointed by Nahema, Une Rose, FDTRB, etc. Ta’if ‘s deep heart of rose is tousled by notes of broom and dates. Orange blossom softens and lifts the exotic notes. There’s a slight smokiness in the dry down that is lovely. For Ormonde Jayne fans, a must try. For me, a must have. My only regret is that it doesn’t have that instantly recognizable OJ base found in Tolu, Ormonde and Champaca. In its complexity, originality, and luxuriousness, though, it is pure Ormonde Jayne.
If you like Fracas, you will like this. If you hate Fracas, well, you get the picture. A heavy and artificial tuberose and jasmine perfume.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - the Different company Osmanthus
LaureAnne 9/9/2004 4:33:00 PM
Toxic Substance Alert! This has about as much connection to real Osmanthus as I do to the Czar of all the Russias. The Osmanthus flower is small and white and has a haunting, lilting scent, quite unlike anything else in the world. Not sweet, not heady, yet absolutely gorgeous. The Different Company's attempt at capturing this exquisite perfume smells like a mixture of root beer and licorice, poured in a saucepan to simmer and then left to burn.
I can't do justice to this gorgeous and unique fragrance. There aren't enough lippies in the rating scale to rate it. Tolu is a celestial blend of herbal (clary sage), spice (juniper berry), floral (orange blossom)---and those are only the topnotes! Heartnotes: orchid , moroccan rose, and muguet de bois (with orange blossom, my favorite white floral.) Here's the denouement: tolu, tonka bean, frankincense and amber. I say denouement, but really, all of these are present from beginning to end, like some fabulous bouquet of fragrances harvested from the otherworld, blended together the way Leonardo would have done it, if he'd done perfume. This one is peerless. Oh, and the ingredients used are of the highest, most luxurious and special quality.
My favorite Nicolai fragrance, Eclipse is lily of the valley based, but MUCH softer than any other attempt at capturing this floral scent in bottled form! (Don't know why such a tender fragrance in nature comes across so tangy and sharp when translated by perfumers!) It is very dewy, very clean, very quiet, VERY pretty. The muguet is presented as though at nighttime--you get the essence, but not every detail, and yet, paradoxically, this rendition is more complex than other muguet soliflores. The name 'Eclipse' is a clue that this is an oblique and dreamy scent! The drydown reminds me a little of Cote Bastide Lin, but is deeper, more floral (of course) and more longlasting,
For a long time I resisted trying Ormonde Jayne fragrances, caught up as I was in exploring the French perfume classics on the one hand, and Italian colognes on the other. English scents as a rule leave me lukewarm, so I dismissed this English house without a thought. Well, WRONG AGAIN-- Ormonde Jayne is, for my money, the best contemporary perfumer, period. It owes nothing stylistically to the English tradition, or to any other tradition I'm familiar with. Frangipani Absolute was my OJ summer choice and it is gorgeous, ultra-sophisticated, womanly, smooth as silk, utterly transporting. Topnotes of linden blossom, magnolia flower, lime peel are followed by a heart of frangipani,jasmine and tuberose absolutes mixed with plum, water lilies and green orchid oil. Basenotes are amber, musk, cedar and French vanilla absolute. The notes are evidence of a completely original aesthetic and the product is artistry of the highest order.
Fragrances -Christiane Celle Calypso - Chevrefeuille
LaureAnne 6/10/2004 2:16:00 PM
I can't imagine a more perfect summer floral than this one. Dreamy and delicious, Calypso Chevrefeuille is not a true soliflore, but a lyrical interpretation of honeysuckle. The soft orange blossom opening is a wonderful surprise (especially for a passionate orange blossom fan like me!) Soon the honeysuckle heart emerges and then gives way to a slightly smoky, ambery finale, the Calypso St. Barth signature. I had been a sometimes hesitant fan of Calypso Violette until I smelled Chevrefeuille--- and realized it was the Calypso part I loved, and that the violet was the problematic component! I remember walking solo through the Irish countryside on a sunny June day, many years ago. The only sounds were beebuzz and birdsong. Wildflowers were everywhere. I was young, happy, and enchanted by my surroundings. Calypso Chevrefeuille takes me there again.
I fell hard for this lovely concoction, with its opening of neroli and orange zest, its heartnotes of tender orange blossom, and its base of soothing amber. It is more architectural and yet more subtle than Santa Maria Novella's Zagara (which I also admire inordinately!). It is soft around the edges in a way that perfectly suits its conception as a nocturnal garden scent. I am halfway through my second bottle and that is a record for me!
Perplexed. And disappointed. Where are the orange blossoms? What is the point? Muddled, vague, soapy. OK, it is clean and soothing, but so is Dove soap. Patricia, you can do better than this!
To think I might have missed this if a dear friend hadn’t pointed it out on a shopping trip!. Miss Rocaille is pure, unadulterated delight. French ELLE described it as ‘espiègle’–mischievous or impish, and I agree with the characterization. It has an unusual combination of notes, which contribute to its pixiness. They are : rose, lilac, jasmine, muguet and violet BUT also waterlily, Vietnamese basil, and absolu of pistachio tossed in! Can you imagine? No, you can’t, I’ll bet, because the mix is so amazingly done that it is a surprise from first spritz to last note. It is one of those great mood-enhancing fragrances. It makes me feel positive, energetic, feminine, makes me smile, makes me want to work on the old abs til they squeak! When I have it on, it is high summer and I’m wearing a linen sundress with a halter top and espadrilles and chic sunglasses and everything seems possible! The bottle is charming—one of those u-shaped ones, similar to Guerlain’s l’Instant, but with a little floral frieze on its shoulders and a pale- to- darker pink color gradation in the glass. I think it is perfectly appropriate for ALL stages of summertime womanhood–I still have that jeune fille cavorting in my psyche somewhere--- don’t we all? Miss Rocaille may not be soulmate material, but she will surely be a terrific summer fling!