Monday, January 05, 2015

Tackling the Classics: Angelique Encens by Creed



Once long ago for a song I got a decant of Angelique Encens by Creed. It was almost on a whim that purchase and now looking back I really wish I had gotten more. Angelique Encens has now been discontinued by Creed, in the weird Creed fashion where it apparently goes into their "vault", and is then released once a decade as a limited edition. Whatever, Creed. I will stop my annoyance with Creed and go to the actual scent.

Angelique Encens is truly worthy of the adoration that those who have smelled it bestow on it. It is simply one of the most beautiful delicate dry interesting takes on incense out there. The beginning of Angelique Encens for me is the sweet entrance of angelica, a note with not enough love in perfume as far as I am concerned, easier on the nose than anise with a green sweet gentleness that perks up your mouth when you smell it. It is then followed by a soft marshmallow vanilla and a very soft dove grey amber, what then follows is the most interesting use of a cedar incense. The use of the cedar incense offering a unique spark to Angelique Encens, it keeps the scent balanced in a world of ethereal and cool.

While many associate this scent with Marlene Dietrich, the scent was made for her by Creed, I have always had other images in my head with this scent. The softness of it so wonderfully hazy that it makes for something more comforting than noir. It is a misty gray scent, all softness, but never overt.

Try if you like: L'Heure Bleau by Guerlain, Jicky by Guerlain, or Chergui by Serge Lutens.
first image provided by fragrantica.com 
second image: Fumee d'Ambre Gris by John Singer Sargent

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Easy on the Senses: Perfumes For When You Just Want White Noise



I think my relationship with perfumes in the winter is a bit like my relationship with holiday foods. By the time January rolls around I am wanting hot, bitter, sour, and brothy foods that scream this is vitality. I find these comforting but at the same time they are utterly the opposite of the rich dense foods that start in November and end December. While I wouldn't describe them as white noise they do offer the wake-up call that my tongue very much needs after all the butter and cream.

When January rolls around I suddenly crave white noise scents. I am needing a break from the dense spices, ambers, and uber-amped scents that go great with a a holiday mood but when work and soothing come into the picture are just too much. I like to call these scents white noise scents, many would categorize them as comforting, but for me they provide the perfect veil of scent without being intrusive like white noise they keep the discordant out but allow you to focus.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black oil, the perfect soothing blend of sandalwood and vanilla with a dash of violet. I am frequently reminded of Tam Dao when I where this but the vanilla and violet add just a hint more creaminess. This scent is so easy and blends easily with your day.

Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess, one of the best Egyptian musks out there, and provides you with an easy clean lovely musk.

Trussardi Jeans: rainwater, violets, irises, heliotrope, and almonds all on a layer of creamy grains. A cool and warm and effect that is instantly soothing.

Ted Lapidus Silk Way, a musky light heliotrope incense with hints of cedar.

image: Liminal Moment by Bobbette Rose via alyzenmoonshadow.com

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Beginning the New Year



There is nothing quite like getting a cold to decommission you from smelling perfume and if it is a particularly nasty one it will leave you congested for a very long time. On the other hand in that time of healing and rest it allowed me to think about how I wanted to focus my perfume blogging this year. Consider it a sort of New Year's resolution list of how I want to consider perfumes this year.

*More indie perfumers! I cannot believe the amazing beautiful perfumes this group is putting out. In some ways I consider indie perfumers an offshoot of niche and many ways better. First off the customer service, the desire to communicate and see what people are loving about their perfumes, this simply does not happen with most niche lines.
*A focus on California perfumers. I feel like there is a renaissance happening here that I want to get to know. From MikMoi, Shelley Waddington, to Sonoma Scent Studio there seems to be really group of perfumers in the state that all have really wonderful visions for the perfumes they are putting out.
*At least one entry a week, I like to talk about perfume, consider it a joy, but between school and work I frequently lose track of it. I feel like I need to pay more attention to the things I enjoy.

image by Olaf Hajek

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Favorite Perfumes of 2014



So the question is what perfumes did I love in 2014? Was it an oldie in my collection that I rediscovered? A new launch? A classic? I like to think it was pretty varied. Well, no it wasn't because there is a lot of rose in my favorites for 2014.

Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone, the launch of my rose quest again, you would think after finding this beauty I would be done but I wasn't, instead it renewed by love of gourmand rose scents.

Rose Flash by Tauer Perfumes, it may be the best gourmand rose around. Andy truly did create something for the gourmand rose loving enclave. I was lucky to get my hands on this beauty.

Coriandre by Jean Couturier, I can only thank the lovely Perfume Shrine blog for this recommendation. The scent of summer at my family's ranch. So many memories found in this scent.

Ao by MikMoi, an introverted tropical, it's genius, and the perfumer is incredibly kind. This scent is so tranquil and unique.

Elie Saab Le Parfum, a radiant futuristic orange blossom that just smells so good.

Neroli Blanc Intense Eau de Parfum by Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger, the best orange blossom gourmand out there. Comforting and serene.

Ambre Narguile by Hermes, I rediscovered this delicious tobacco cinnamon apple pie.

Jour d'Hermes by Hermes, it let me have a spring when we had summer for most of the year.

Image by Monica Ramos

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Variations of Orange: Monserrat by Bruno Fazzolari



Do you need to smell something that smells close to the sublime moment of a seed sprouting in soil? If so you need to get your hands on Montserrat by Bruno Fazzolari.

This scent is for me that strange juxtaposition that citrus ripens in the winter. We consider the scent of citrus to the scent of summer at times but add cloves and you think winter. Montserrat does not go into clove combination but rather it plays with the idea of citruses out in the cold fields of spring and winter in California. In fact under the layers of grapefruit you smell the green buds of citrus about to bloom. Yet, what I love more is that he is able to capture the scent of citrus as you pick it from a tree the dry earthy green scent of the break between fruit and branch.

This scent is heightened with the intriguing note of plaster which appears in the dry down. With addition of this note Fazzolari creates a full image in my head. Think white walls of old farms houses in the countryside think in the style of Italy or Spain, especially the ones that may have a courtyard, and in that courtyard are citrus trees.

There is a strange beautiful quality of lushness and austere-ness in this scent. The grapefruit and citrus notes verdantly singing and yet the addition of earthy notes of carrot seed and plaster keep in grounded in a cooler contemplative mood.

Try if you like: Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne, Concentre d'Orange Verte by Hermes, and 4711.
image from Riochico

back with the beautiful bluster of a storm

I know far too long not to write about scents but life unfortunately takes detours with our time. For me it was school. Simple as that. The work, school, and personal life balance is so hard to maintain at times but with the beauty of the storm we just had I feel like talking fragrance.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I was going to wear my usual Halloween fragrance today of Lolita Lempicka but decided to change up this year with Serge Luten's Five O'Clock Au Gingembre, the smoky tea and ginger scent has been calling me and with the rain today feels like a perfect combo. Tomorrow I will wear Lolita Lempicka in honor of Dia de Muertos, the anise notes of the scent perfectly complementing the anise scented pan de muerto.

Image: "Forever Autumn" by Jen Brook

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Best Cheap Thrill I've Smelled In Awhile: Rose Oud by Laurence Dumont



I'll be honest I'm not an oud fan, most of the time I find it to be a note not used kindly, or even with much understanding. I like oud scents that are not really actually about oud for an example Jo Malone's Velvet Rose & Oud. So as things go Laurence Dumont's Rose Oud would not have been on my radar until I read a lovely review mentioning how rose forward it is and it reminded someone of Velvet Rose & Oud. So at the mention of Velvet Rose & Oud I had to try it.

Rose Oud by Laurence Dumont is not a dupe but it takes a lot of parts of other things to create something that smells far more expensive than it is. What I am first reminded of just for a moment of in the beginning is of L'Artisan's Safran Troublant's creamy saffron opening, it quickly leaves but it is a herald of the nice scent. What follows for me in the lemony jammy rose of LUSH's Rose Jam with a very light dollop of oud, this stage is long lasting and the most representative of the scent. The dry down is a fruited rose with hints of amber. Overall, Laurence Dumont is offering a really lovely entry into the world of jammy roses with touches of oud but without the ginormous price tag. Give it a try if you have ever wanted a rose oud combo that didn't take itself so seriously.

Try if you like: LUSH's Rose Jam, Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud, or Yves Rocher Rose Absolue.

image by Sofia Perina-Miller