Friday, November 28, 2008
Before I describe the fragrance, I must reference the philosophy of the house that created it. Ormonde Jayne's creator, Linda Pilkington, opened her doors on November 30, 2002 in London's old Bond Street after a lifelong love affair with scent. In creating the house, her goal was to "combine elements which [she considers] define true elegance: The quality of English craftsmanship, the art of French perfumery and the sensuality and natural harmony of the Orient." In addition to this brilliant philosophy Ormonde Jayne uses only the finest quality oils and essences, sought throughout the world, in their perfumes, candles, bath oils and body treatments. This truly is a luxury fragrance line and I long for the day I can shop in the store.
Ormonde Woman is a stately fragrance, exceptionally unique, unexpectedly warm and woodsy ... and seductively violet. Its development is textbook marked by a definite personality to each stage. A seductive and warm scent, I am charmed by its curious and exceptional foundation: Black Hemlock absolute. In researching this note, I am surprised to find it is simply an evergreen tree indigenous to the western United States, with "wood much harder than Canadian hemlock." Well, that puts it into perspective. Not really. I know nothing about evergreens other than how their scent mesmerizes me during the holiday season. Using this rare note speaks volumes for the originality of its creator.
With a spicy and green opening that lasts several minutes, the senses are awakened and primed for a fragrant voyage. When I first tested, I wanted the opening to define the fragrance and to last forever. The combination of cardamom, coriander and grass oil was simply heavenly to my nose - unlike most any other scent I had experienced. However, in experiencing this exhilarating stage, I was not aware of the beautiful base to come that would enthrall me even more. The heart of the fragrance dances on the skin featuring that gorgeous hemlock and the introduction of violet with jasmine. Woodsy and slightly masculine describes this phase and it is not my favorite, but pleasing enough. The hemlock outshines the flowers making the heart more resinous than one would expect. It is the dark, mysterious yet delicately sweet base that truly sets this fragrance apart as a gorgeous creation. Here, the violet note truly shines! Yet this violet differs from the many violets that have come before, lacking the candied quality of Guerlain L'Heure Bleue and others like it. This is grown-up and sophisticated violet, deep mahogany in color and Lauren Becall in character. For those with a green thumb, this scent reminds me of the color of angelface dark violet. No nonsense and stately, the amber and sandalwood that surround this violet give it depth. And I am in love.
I highly recommend Ormonde Jayne's sample program. All eleven perfumes come housed in a velvet and satin pouch, with free shipping worldwide. Available online at www.ormondejayne.com.
Ormonde Woman is available as Perfume, 50 mL for £112.00 or Eau de Parfum, 50 mL for £58.00. Be sure to investigate bath products and home scents as well, all at www.ormondejayne.com.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hello Dear Readers!
My sincere apologies for a lack of entries over the last few weeks. Closing in on the end of my pregnancy brings with it a "to do" list a mile long along with a jam-packed full-time work schedule in order to prepare for maternity leave. I have some wonderful samples to review, but finding the time to write them is proving challenging. My goal is to have one up by next Friday. So please tell me what you are wearing today. I plan to wear the new Intuition by Ralph Lauren. I liken it to warm and spicy yet soft cocoa powder, a perfect fall scent for a sensitive nose.
Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Dear Fragrance Friends:
In just one short week, fragrance lovers from around the globe will be gathering in NYC for the most spectacular fragrance event of the season, the ultra-fabulous Sniffapalooza Fall Ball!
Demand for tickets to this Fall Ball weekend has been so overwhelming, that we regret to tell you that we have only a few precious spaces remaining... and you know how we hate to disappoint anyone. So we urge you to let us know right away if you would like to join your fellow fragrance-lovers for our biggest & best Sniffapalooza yet!
For those of you who are just joining the Sniffapalooza family, the Sniffapalooza Fall Ball is an entire weekend crammed full of olfactory and multi-sensory experiences. You'll come away from the weekend with new knowledge, new friends, lots of new goodies, and a new perspective on a fragrant life. There's nothing else like it on the planet.
This year's event will be Saturday, October 25 - Sunday, October 26. As always, Saturday will be our 'uptown' day, and Sunday will be our 'downtown' day. Here's our itinerary below, with lots of surprises in the works, and many details will be added right up to the last fragrant moment!
Perfumers, guest speakers & presenters you'll meet during the weekend:
Kilian Hennessy of By Kilian; Joe Garces of Robert Piguet; Tom Crutchfield of Asprey, Annick Goutal, Etro, & Judith Leiber; Dovanna Pagowski & Chely De Pablos of Acqua di Parma; Shelley Levendos of Donna Karan Collection; Maree Damm of Boucheron; Sandi Burrows of Serge Lutens; Brian Kurtz of L'Artisan Parfumeur; Mary Claire Pedone of Jo Malone; Theresa Dickinson of Creed; John Bain of Van Cleef & Arpel; Geri Verlaque of Chanel; Katy Jourav of Tom Ford; Sonia Ciliberti & Jason Beers of Guerlain; Montgomery Taylor of Ambre de Venezia; Ulrich Lang of Parfums Ulrich Lang; Neil Morris of Neil Morris Fragrances; Sarah Barton-King of The Pink Room; Patty Namm of Brandy Perfume; Janna Sheehan of Trance Essence; Lee Cuthbert of Intelli-Scents; Avery Gilbert, author of 'What the Nose Knows'; Adelaide Farah of Beauty Fashion Magazine; Phoebe Ellis, Natasha Cote, & Irina Burlakova of Seven Skies Perfume; perfumer Roxana Villa; Christopher Voigt of Vetivresse.com; Raphaella Brescia of Sniffapalooza Magazine; Salomeh Daley from Memoire Liquide; Cathy Gins of Aromawear; Laetitia Longuefosse of Cinquieme Sens; Rainer of Linari; perfumer Gerald Dubose; Pedro de Leana; perfume designer Linda Gerlach; Sabine Hernandez of Amouage; Olyesa Inaovitch of Bill Blass Fragrances; Alex Mehfar of Le Cherche Midi; Jessica Dunne of Ellie D; and Miriam Mirani from Aqaba.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25
8:15-10:00am The famous Breakfast with *14 speakers and presentations* at Bergdorf Goodman ****PLEASE NOTE: Breakfast limited to the first 65 guests to sign up & is SOLD OUT.The other guests will arrive at 10am & meet all the breakfast speakers & get the stuffed-to-the-brim gift bag!
10:00am-12:00pm Sniffing time on the beauty floor at BG, meet special guests & presenters from the breakfast, exclusive offers, makeup artists, that incredible raffle & those legendary gift bags.
NEW LAUNCHES & MUST SNIFFS: By Kilian Prelude to Love & Sophie Matisse bottles, Tom Ford White Patchouli, Tom Ford Private Blend, Creed Love in Black, L'Artisan Fleur de Liane, Jo Malone Sweet Lime & Cedar, Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes, Judith Leiber Parfum, Donna Karan Collection, Acqua di Parma Profumo, Guerlain Les Charnals, Chanel Eau Premiere, Chanel Les Exclusifs, Van Cleef Feerie, Serge Lutens Serge Noire & Santal de Mysore, B Boucheron, Ajne, Ineke, Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang, JAR, Le Cherche Midi, Clive Christian, Prada, Apothia, Caron, Mona di Orio, 10 Corso Como, Antica Farmacista.
12:30-2:30pm Prix Fixe lunch at Opia restaurant - *13 special speakers*, party favors, fragrance games, Sniffapalooza Magazine raffle, Beauty Fashion Magazine promotion, unbelievable gift bags! (Registration required)
2:45-4:15pm Sniffing & dessert at Takashimaya, with special guests, presentations, terrific promotions, those amazing cupcakes and mango tea, and goodies to take home.
PERK: 10% off all fragrance purchases!NEW LAUNCHES & MUST SNIFFS: Neil Morris for Takashimaya, YOSH Olfactory Sense, The Pink Room, Histoire des Parfums, Le Cherche Midi, Septimanie, Keiko Mecheri, Miller et Bertot Shanti Shanti, Summersent, E.Coudray, Pedro de Leana Sensaciones Collection, Fragonard, Detaille 1905, Acqua di Biella, Divine, The Different Company.4:15-5:45pm Sniffing at Henri Bendel, with special guests, the exclusive fantastic Sniffapalooza GWP, refreshments, and gifts.PERK: 10% off all purchases when opening HB charge
NEW LAUNCHES & MUST SNIFFS: Etat Libre d'Orange Bendelirious, Salvador Dali line, L'Artisan Eau de Liane, Aftelier, Privet Bloom, Caron, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Apothia, Isabella Capeto, Teo Cabanel, Ellie D, Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen, Kai, Child, Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes, Memoire Liquide, Aqaba.
6:00-8:00pm Cocktails & refreshments for the 60th anniversary party for Fracas at Spafumerie!
For this event only, original Robert Piguet dresses will be on view, flown in for Sniffapalooza from Paris. Also, several niche fragrance lines that we saw in Italy will be brought in for this event!
PERK: 10% discount on all purchases! Manicure gift certificate with $200 purchase! Facial gift certificate with $250 purchase!
EXTRA SPECIAL: Fracas 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Coffret, special price for Sniffapalooza!
NEW LAUNCHES & MUST SNIFFS: Bois 1920, Isabey Gardenia, Tarantella, Costume National, Laura Tonnato, full Robert Piguet line, Juliette Has a Gun
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26
10:00-11:30am The famous Brunch & Sniffing at Bond No. 9! Meet Bond No. 9 fragrance specialists, sample new Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, and fantastic gift bags.
PERK: 15% discount on all purchases.
MUST SEE: The Robert Lee Morris Andy Warhol jewelry collection.
MUST SNIFF: Andy Warhol Silver Factory, Union Square, Lexington Avenue and dazzling Bond No. 9 holiday gift sets!
11:00am-5:00pm Open House sniffing at Le Labo. Meet founders Eddie & Fabrice & specialist Bo Jade & have your purchases custom-labelled!
MUST SNIFF: Exclusive New York scent - Tubereuse 40, and scented notepads in cult-scent Santal 26!
12:00-1:00pm Sniffing at Lafco NY, with sampling, refreshments, special gifts. Meet Creative Team Jon Bresler & Segen Scott. PERK: 20% discount on all purchases.
NEW LAUNCHES & MUST SNIFFS: Linari new fragrance line created by perfumer Mark Buxton - meet Rainer, the President of Linari! Eau d'Italie Baume du Doge, most comprehensive selection of Santa Maria Novella products in the US, Lorenzo Villoresi, Claus Porto.
1:00-4:00pm Prix Fixe lunch at Country Cafe, with *6* speakers, party favors, and the incredible Sniffapalooza Magazine raffle!
Two seatings for lunch:
First seating: 1:00-2:30pm
Second seating: 2:30-4:00pm
While the first group is dining, the second seating group will visit L'Artisan Parfumeur right across the street for sampling & treats & an introduction to the new Fleur de Liane. (This L'Artisan location has the most comprehensive selection of L'Artisan products in the city!) Likewise, for the second seating group.
** Please note that those choosing the second seating will have more time at Bond No.9, Le Labo, and Lafco NY. If you need to catch a flight or make a train, you should choose the first seating. First seating diners must be seated promptly by 1:00pm.
**Sunday Lunch Seating is Extremely Limited
4:30-6:00pm Prosecco Bellinis & sniffing at Aedes de Venustas. Samples, special guests, exclusive launches & gift bags. Meet creative team Robert & Karl.
MUST SNIFF: Lalique Amethyst, By Kilian Prelude to Love, Amouage Lyric Man & Lyric Woman, Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes, Aedes de Venustas EdP by L'Artisan Parfumeur, Brandy, Andy Tauer Vetiver Dance, Serge Lutens Serge Noire, Escentric Molecules, 3 new Diptyque candles & new Diptyque bath & body line, Lubin Nuit de Longchamp, Lubin L de Lubin, Carthusia, Heeley, Penhaligons Elixir, Parfums D'Empire, Molinard, Anvers & Anvers 2, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Miller et Bertot,Creed Love in Black.
The rates for Sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2008 are as follows:
Saturday, 10/25: $70 covers event & lunch Sunday, 10/26: $70 covers event, brunch & lunch Full weekend: $140 covers events 10/25 & 10/26, lunches both days, the brunch on Sunday, and the BG breakfast (only if you were one of the first 65 people to sign up).
A portion of each registration fee will be donated to a very special charity for Multiple Sclerosis.
You can register at http://www.sniffapalooza.com/ via PayPal. You will need to log in with your Username and Password to access the “Event Registration” page. If you have questions or need to make other payment arrangements, please contact Karen Adams at email@example.com.
If you are visiting NYC from out-of-town, there are some incredible last-minute deals to be had on airfare and hotels!!! Please visit expedia.com, hotels.com, hotwire.com, & travelzoo.com, etc. - and you'll see what we mean!
While you're counting the days to Sniffapalooza Fall Ball, please check out our award-winning on-line fragrance magazine, SNIFFAPALOOZA MAGAZINE, at http://www.sniffapaloozamagazine.com/. Subscriptions are free!!! The current two issues are a tribute to Fall Ball and you can get a preview of all the new launches and what you'll experience next weekend!
If you've attended a Sniffapalooza before, you know what an incredible experience awaits you...If you haven't, you're in for the time of your life!
**Team Karen cannot be responsible for any addictions to Sniffapalooza, or withdrawal symptoms that may result after the event is over. If such symptoms occur, please go immediately to the nearest fragrance counter.
We can't wait to see all our old friends again and meet our new ones! And remember, *accept no imitations* - this is the ONE and ONLY *SNIFFAPALOOZA*!
Viva La Sniffa, Baby!
Karen Dubin, Founder & Director
Karen Adams, Executive Operations Manager
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
For this month's Amber devotion, I picked the refreshing Series 4 Anbar. The Series 4: Cologne collection contains three scents, all in cologne form, designed to be splashed and applied liberally while remaining remarkably close to the skin. (Read: the wearer will not overwhelm others but rather draw others closer to take a whiff of light scent.) True to form, these scents play on the skin for a short while. What they are not is a day-to-night fragrance to be applied in the morning with bottom notes lasting until dusk. Therein lies their charm and uniqueness.
Friday, October 10, 2008
As mentioned in my review, I was unable to locate a bottle or price online. If any readers have more information about this fragrance, please fill me in and I will update!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
In the meantime, this is what I was doing this past weekend - celebrating our growing baby!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I had the pleasure of meeting Antonia herself in New York City last fall. Quite a humble and kind woman she is; humble in the sense that she has created amazing fragrances and simply sees herself as being of service to the perfume community, and kind in the sense that she gave items to me and my contemporaries that are quite valuable. One of these items is a gorgeous purse sized spray of a delightfully floral, fruity fragrance called Floret. Inspired by the "rambling" sweet peas in her grandmother's garden, the bouquet centers mostly around the pinky, purple flower. With marigold, apricot, lily of the valley, rose and tuberose added, the bouquet is as sweet as springtime, as fruity as punch and just downright precious. I get loads of lily of the valley which makes me very happy. I was quite a fan of the flower as a little girl and they grew abundantly in our back yard. I adored the tiny little bells that adorned the large green leaves and wondered how I could bottle their delicate scent. So Floret finds a place in my book for a full bottle purchase simply for realizing my childhood dreams. It reminds me of all things innocent, sweet and cheerful - like a smiling little girl in a frilly dress. I will wear it on days that I am feeling particularly girly and whimsical, to add bounce to my step and sweetness in my wake. No more than one or two spritzes is all you need! The staying power on my skin lasts all day. Pardon me for being particularly short-winded today. As you may agree with your own experience, I know a good thing when I smell it!
Floret is available in EDT and EDP formulations and ranges anywhere in price from $21 for a purse spray to $140 for a 2 oz. EDP custom bottle. Matching body lotion is also available, all at antoniasflowers.com. Image from said website.
Monday, May 05, 2008
In lieu of planning other people’s weddings, what better topic for us to choose for Perfume for the Occasion than the fragrances brides and grooms should wear on their big day? The vast majority agree that picking something already loved by your fiancé is a key consideration. One week before your big day is not the time to rush out and buy the latest trendy fragrance. (Of course, if you receive a fragrance as a gift from a family member or your fiancé the day of the event, by all means wear it for sentimental reasons.) You may already be incredibly certain as to what you will wear, based upon reactions from your beloved. However, for those who do not have anything in mind, Divina of Fragrance Bouquet and I offer some choices that will steer you in the right direction.
This is perhaps the most personal fragrance choice you will ever make since most brides will always remember what they wore on their wedding day. (I wore Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier because my husband adores it!) Make sure to find something you both love by testing the following picks:
For the Romantic
Did your fiancé plan an amazing proposal? Are you choosing songs like “At Last” by Ella Fitzgerald for your play list? These scents will whisk you away to starry nights, candlelit dinners and hushed voices.
Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle EDP - full of innocence and promise, white flowers beckon you to a beautiful, romantic garden where your beloved awaits.
Hanae Mori Eau Fraiche - this recent limited edition would be a perfect compliment to any bride who wishes to smell simultaneously sweet and fresh. Most importantly, it contains a peony note which is the symbol for long-lasting love and feminine beauty among the Chinese.
Groom: I Profumi di Firenze Terra di Sienna – what better scent for a groom who is a lover of all things romantic than one from a city of romance: Florence? When my husband wears this soft, romantic and warm scent, I know what lies ahead will be at the very least fun, at the very most incredibly memorable.
For the Traditionalist
For the bride and groom who enjoy tradition and would rather not set any new trends on their wedding day, these scents offer a classic option that will not offend you or any of your guests. And they just might deem your wedding unforgettable.
Jean Patou Joy – this legendary fragrance was created in 1935 by Henri Alméras for Patou at the height of the Great Depression. The scent was designed for Patou’s former clients who could no longer afford his fashions, according to Wikipedia. A quintessential classic foral heavily focused on roses, it would compliment a traditional bride superbly.
Chanel No. 22 EDT – another classic from Chanel that has stood the test of time. No. 22 is powdery green, effervescent, clean, innocent and nostalgic, perfect for a bride who is sweet and fresh but who desires to be classic.
Christian Dior Diorissimo – a timeless classic of clear, soft composition centering upon muguet and tuberose that is reminiscent of a spring garden.
DSH Perfumes The Perfect Bride – a superb, feminine blend of flowers that will beautifully match any flower arrangements you choose, as well as any dress!
Goeffrey Beene Grey Flannel – unanimously one of the best selling fragrances for men and the women who love them, this treasured classic is sure to please your bride.
DSH For the Groom – an understated and complimentary blend for the groom who has time to order online and test. Dshperfumes.com will not disappoint you!
For the Nervous
I have yet to observe a wedding where both the bride and groom were pillars of calm and serenity. For those who believe in the powers of aromatherapy and would like their fragrance choice to benefit them, I offer a few fantastic choices with lavender as headline, known for its anti-stress properties.
Bride: Andy Tauer Reverie au Jardin – this choice could work for both the bride and groom but I offer it for the bride because of its sweet, powdery qualities. This soft, incredibly interesting blend offers enough lavender to calm nerves without overwhelming.
Groom: Caron Pour un Homme - a soothing blend of lavender atop a warm, ambery vanilla that smells, quite simply, like a gentleman. One spritz is all you need.
For the Earthy
Do you buck most tradition and instead opt for a simple, low-budget wedding in a beautiful setting? Do you prefer picking wild flowers to hiring a florist? How about flip flops instead of shoes? These choices will offer a stunning addition to your meaningful day.
Bride: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia – an incredible offering from Guerlain’s L'Art et la Matiere line that blends gorgeous florals with a grounding, earthy, and warm base. This choice is a fantastic one for any bride, but I offer it for the earthy because I detect so much of the gorgeous base notes.
Groom: Hermes Terre d’Hermes – an earthen yet uplifting scent that offers contrasting notes to create something truly stellar. Grapefruit juxtaposed to woods, cedar and patchouli with a velvety dry down renders the fragrance fabulous without extra “frills.”
For the Fashion Plate
Finally for those who insist on wearing the latest designer gowns and/or tuxes, choosing the trendiest accessories, and creating a day that will go down in history as one of the coolest ever, these choices are for you!
Bride: Stella Absolute Rose – this gorgeous rose based in amber is not only unforgettable but created by arguably one of the most trend-setting designers today: Stella McCartney. Please read my review for a description of this refined scent, perfect for a wedding day.
Groom: Chanel Egoїste or Platinum Egoїste – Alluring, sexy and fashion forward, these fragrances will compliment a man devoted to looking and smelling good.
Should you have any questions about where to find my suggestions, please leave them in the comments section and I will do my best to help you find them. Most are widely commercially available. Enjoy your day and turn your mind into a video camera to capture every moment. If there is one thing that all of us who are married know, it is that the day goes by way too quickly. Try to savor every delicious moment. Most importantly, best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together!
Images are from my own wedding, courtesy of elysehall.com
Friday, May 02, 2008
Image of bee courtesy of pdphoto.org
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Ajne deLavande is available on the website in .5 to 1 fl. oz. sizes ranging from $80-$130. It is also available at Bergdorf Goodman.
Image of ajne products courtesy of ajne.com; lavender courtesy of stressdynamics.com.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Delightfully I was able to peruse some new shops that have sprung up in a quaint, boutique-y shopping area in Scottsdale over the weekend. The area is called the Waterfront. Inside a tiny little shop full of colorful furnishings and eclectic finds from places like Capri and Sicily, I found the entire Molinard 1849 collection. I was stunned and delighted because I have only seen these fragrances available (so far) at Aedes.com, which is a fantastic website. The ability to test the fragrances in person far exceeds any online shopping experience and I did each one. I have reviewed Un Air de Molinard and find that softly, greenly beautiful. But I discovered true love yesterday with Nirmala in the purple Lalique bottle! What a fruity, fresh, intriguing blend that reminds me of Thierry Mugler's Angel without the patchouli note, making it entirely wearable for me. Tragically, it appeared that the store stocked the fragrances simply because they matched the color scheme throughout the place. There were six customers at once expressing interest in the line, and unfortunately the sales clerk had very little to say about them and promptly left to look for her "fact sheet," losing the interest of all six people. It truly was a sad scene, and I wished I was able to help her become more well-versed but at the moment I recalled so little about the house, other than the fact that it originated in Grasse. This is one expensive bottle, however. At $185 a crack, it requires some saving - a worthwhile sacrifice for a beautiful fragrance. I plan to review once I get my hands on more, so please stay tuned!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
1. Of the fragrances you have tested in the last month, how many full bottles have you purchased?
2. If you received a sample from BodyNew, do you like it? If so, what do you like about it? (If you do not know what this is referring to, just reply n/a.)
3. What is your favorite aspect of this time of year?
4. What is your favorite flower that blooms this time of year?
5. If you were to characterize yourself by a fragrance category (spicy/woodsy/floral/chypre/green/fresh/gourmand), which one would it be and why?
2. I loved sharing!
3. Birdsongs most of the morning and baby quail
5. Floral simply because I adore floral fragrances and I enjoy being a woman
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have been hoping to review a Floris of London fragrance for quite some time but I have been limited by the two previously mentioned samples I received in New York City last fall. How I wish there was a Floris counter in my hometown! I would thoroughly enjoy the quest to find “my scent” and fill my bathroom with its accompanying toiletries that are so plentifully available.
So let us move on with the story, shall we? Floris of London was founded during the year 1730. It was a year of abundant arts, culture and tragedy. The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great by Henry Fielding was playing at Drury Lane Theater, the oldest English theater still in use; an actor and playwright named Colley Cibber was named poet laureate of Britian due to his works centering on political intrigue; and the Russian czar died of smallpox on his wedding day at the tender age of 14. Additionally an opportunistic man arrived in England to seek his fortune from his native Menorca (the second largest of the Balearic islands of Spain). His name was Juan Famenias Floris. He began a business by setting up shop in the elegant St. James quarter of London, where he worked as a comb-maker and barber. However, eventually he missed the aromas of his native land and began experimenting with oils, essences and fixatives. Thus, Floris of London was born! Floris is run to this day by eighth generation descendants of Mr. Floris and the house focuses on “superior products where craftsmanship and quality is paramount,” according to their website.
Seringa, a fruity floral, theoretically centers around the “mock orange blossom” or seringa flower. In fact, I have not been able to find anything on the actual scent of the seringa flower but rather the seringa tree that yields rubber. Not to worry, however, since the remainder of identifiable notes give this scent its character: notes such as violet leaf, lily and oakmoss. This initially crisp, leafy green, not in the least bit sweet floral begins quite sharp – so much that I encourage you to avoid sniffing for at least a full three minutes. It is in my inability to identify one particular note (in the words of Luca Turin) that makes this scent’s composition exceptionally good. Seringa is shower-fresh that lasts all day. It is a quiet scent when applied lightly and it leaves a woman smelling nice but not perfume-y, subtle and humble, crisp and clean. Interestingly, several of the representatives at Floris claim that it was a favorite of Princess Diana. That fact perhaps inspires many purchases of the fragrance, but is it really full-bottle worthy? If you enjoy smelling faintly like floral soap, faintly like a spa, and faintly like greenery added to floral bouquets, this scent is for you. I would gladly purchase the body cream to wear on days that I need a quiet fragrance. But I will not be adding a full bottle to my collection anytime soon due to my boredom* with the fragrance. There is positively nothing about it that causes me to swoon, much like the uniform I wore in parochial school. It is just there. It serves its purpose and sometimes looks nice, but I would not choose to wear it to impress. The history of the house has me intrigued, though. I would like to find one from the collection that works for me. Any suggestions? Please be sure to visit Divina's review of Nina by Nina Ricci at Fragrance Bouquet.
*When Divina and I came up with the concept “Forget Me Not”, we agreed that there may be scents that fall into this category that we do not like. It is not that I do not like this one, however. I am simply unmoved.
Image of bottle courtesy of florisoflondon.com; violet leaf courtesy of hiltonpond.com
Update: Thanks to the lovely Iris from L.A., I now have a video clip that encapsulates several of the points made during the WBUR interview and offers a peek at Tania Sanchez and Luca Turin. Although a little grainy as Iris admits, it's still great! Watch it here.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Montale Aoud Roses Petals is available at luckyscent.com. A 50mL spray retails for $150.
Image of rose courtesy of mir.com; woman courtesy of panterka.kiev.ua
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Lotus Blossom & Water Lily contains a well-rounded combination of notes, including grapefruit, mandarin, freesia, honeysuckle, incense, amber and guaiac wood, among others including the title notes. I have discovered that any fragrance containing either mandarin or guaiac wood is likely to inspire a double take on my part ... or make that double sniff. But this luscious, uplifting, and most certainly "energizing" fragrance has struck my fancy so much that I have nearly used up my samples. (I typically sample a fragrance a few times for a review and then either give the vial away or stash it for future use. Not with this one.) The Kōdō ceremonies are hallmarked as being extremely refined, precise and requiring 30 years of study to perfect. Lotus Blossom & Water Lily possesses a similar refined quality, as if the perfumer desired to perfect each aspect of the scent. It melds adjectives such as "fresh," "sweet" and "spicy" into one and when I wear it people ask, "What is that? It smells so good!" A fresh, energizing beginning leads to the sumptuous yet light floral heart, all the while faintly underscored by a spicy, resinous, and reverberating base - squeaky clean with a dirty twist. I adore the fact that most of its bouquet is a soft floral, not in the least bit cloying and fresh as a cool breeze. In fact, I have found that Jo Malone is able to create fragrances in the "fresh" category unlike no other house and I love them for it. Here in the desert the quality is elusive.
As an interesting side note, I was drawn to investigate the significance of lotus blossom. In researching Tantra, an ancient tradition in which the lotus blossom is revered, I found this on a Tantra website:
In tantric art the lotus is a symbol of the expanding consciousness, which ultimately raises the aspirant from the dark depths of ignorance to the radiant heights of inner awakening. Because of its smooth and oily surface the lotus is not affected by the water in which it grows. Hence just as the lotus plant grows in the 'darkness of mud' and gradually blossoms out to the surface of water, unsullied by the mud and water which nourishes it, so the inner-self transcends beyond its own material limits, uncorrupted and untarnished by illusion and ignorance.
If you have ever attended a yoga class, you have undoubtedly experienced references to tantra, the chakras, mandalas and the like. With this idea in mind, I move to the next fragrance.
Dark Amber & Ginger Lily amps up the sex appeal considerably, with an ambery although mostly woodsy composition delicately sweetened with ginger and lily. Dark Amber & Ginger Lily contains water lily (as in the previous) with the provocative addition of night blooming jasmine, leather, pink pepper, amber, incense and sandalwood. In the Kōdō tradition, participants "listen" to the incense by properly holding and sniffing it through a Kōdō cup. In "listening" to this fragrance I hear deep, resonating Tantric chants, not the watered down Western idea of Tantra (typically referring to sex), but the ancient conscious-expanding form of the tradition. The chant focuses on the Sacral Chakra, the source of life and creativity. It is deep and resinous, at times honey sweet and always calming and profound. Enlightenment feels within reach with this audible, delectable scent.
Best of all, these profound and meaningful fragrances can easily be layered, as all of the scents of Jo Malone, to create a scent all your own. I may just have to temporarily relieve myself of my savings plan to invest in these two impeccable scents while they are available.
The Jo Malone Kohdo Wood Collection will be availabe in 30mL and 100mL cologne and matching bath oils and candles at your local Jo Malone counter in May.
Images: Genji-Plum courtesy of japanese-incense; lotus blossom courtesy of hongkongdailyphoto; "Enlightenment" courtesy of eso-garden
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I have undergone some medical treatment this week that required me to relax and rest. Therefore, my Wednesday post will be up tomorrow, Thursday. On Friday I will be back on my regular schedule. Thank you for your patience!
Monday, April 14, 2008
My latest obsession is not extremely new, but it’s new and fabulous to me, so I thought I’d share for any of you out there who might have missed it. I am currently in love with Antica Farmacista’s Fico Verde Home Ambiance fragrance, enough so that I’ve purchased a large “refill” size of the stuff so that I can have it wafting around the house all through this Spring and Summer. I’m smitten with it for several reasons:
- The scent is Philosykos for the home, and as I noted in my first post on this blog, Philosykos is one of my all time desert-island faves. Fico Verde (Green Fig) is a grassy, figgy, sweet-bitter green scent; the Antica Farmacista website (http://www.anticafarmacista.com/) describes the notes thus: “This scent begins with fresh green notes of cut grass, luscious notes of fruit and soft violet, then softly envelopes you in the sweetness of wild fig. A finishing drydown of powdery sandalwood round [sic] out this harmonious scent.” Green Fig conjures up for me the scent memory of relaxing with a glass of homemade lemonade near a fresh cut lawn on a summer day. It’s perfect for this time of year when the temps are rising, the windows are open, and I want the house to smell (if not actually be?!) fresh and clean.
- The fragrance is offered in one of those “sticks in a glass bottle” forms that are ubiquitous at the moment, and I have to admit I like the concept—it’s scent distribution that requires no flame or electricity and has the added bonus of looking pretty. Antica Farmacista’s bottles and labels are classic apothecary styles that would fit in most décor schemes, and Fico Verde is a pleasing light green liquid that blends with seasonal decorations and arrangements. Since I purchased the large version of the scent, I’m buying a few extra small pretty glass bottles and splitting up the included looooong birch sticks so that I can spread my scented joy around more of the house.
- And the clincher for me: the “throw.” Fico Verde is not overpowering, but it’s not a shy scent, either. I’ve tried a variety of the diffusers, from cheap to expensive, with mixed results. Fico Verde nicely scents up a room and the adjoining hallway in my home, and I don’t find I have to turn the sticks more than once per week to keep the scent strength consistent.
Image of Antica Farmacista Home Fragrances courtesy of beautybentobox.com. Green figs courtesy of jupiterimages.com.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Because all of you, dear readers, are well versed on fragrance, what better audience to provide feedback to the organizers? The following links will allow you to browse the finalists, debate the top ten, view celebrity pics and clips. You can even vote for your favorite fragrance of the year. Do not miss this opportunity to express your opinions. I myself am delighted to see the category "Nouveau Niche" as the bulk of my blog focuses on this genre of fragrance. Enjoy!
Image source courtesy of facebook.com