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quinta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2015

Scented Snippets New Fragrances Review: Dame Perfumery SOLIFLORES / When Linear Grows Lovelier

by: Ida Meister

I love being proven wrong.
You heard me.
There is nothing better than being called to account, or when someone/something reveals its nobler self.
I blather on and on about linearity: fragrances which don't change or evolve, which smell the exact same from start to finish; lamenting the unwillingness of our society to delve deeper than the surface, our inability to wait for gratification. Blah, blah, blah.
Here I stand to celebrate that linearity, if you will.
Jeffrey Dame of Dame Perfumery has given us cause to rejoice at a price point that makes beauty accessible to a great many [he's rapidly expanding his mailing base to include many countries outside the U.S., beginning with his SOLIFLORE line at $35.00 USD apiece!
"A true floral, alive and in full bloom. Lifting off into the breeze, floating through the air; adrift in a garden of earthly delight. Pure perfume too perfect for this world.” ~ Jeffrey Dame
Is this hyperbole, like much of the perfume copy one reads?
Where's the rest of the story, the fairy tale?
There is none.
Jeffrey feels very definitively that his soliflores speak for themselves; he wants each person to relish their own unique experience without his interference. How refreshing.
Since last summer's UNRELEASED Project in collaboration with Tigerlily Perfumery, Jeffrey has been obsessed with the concept of soliflores in general; his first was the Gardenia which was released as a sample. I went wild for that gardenia; like most folks, I couldn't even conceive of owning a Baccarat flacon of JAR Jardenia, and Tom Ford had already discontinued his exquisite Velvet Gardenia, as did Yves Rocher their most excellent bon marché version. Nothing on the market scratched that particular itch: the desire for a realistic, full-bodied, take-no-prisoners gardenia complete with bleu-cheesiness, an earthy mushroomy aspect, fresh verdancy, and full-frontal bloom perched upon the precipice of utterly divine decay.
Gardenia Soliflore is all that and more. My gateway drug. Jeffrey sweated blood over it. He agonized, and it was worth it. And it is linear, which makes Jeffrey happy.
Linear?
Strictly speaking – YES. It smells photorealistically like a gardenia at the beginning, the middle, and the end. But this is a good thing.
If I am truthful, the charm of each 10 ml. rollerball of pure perfume oil is precisely this: the chosen flower commences smelling like itself and becomes more itself throughout the wearing. It doesn't lose its fundamental character, it becomes one with the wearer. You don't walk around smelling like a gardenia – you become Billie Holiday wearing a gardenia behind your ear, swaying to that soulful melody.
It melds with your flesh. It clings to the bed linen, your scarf, your lingerie. It's glorious.
There's more than gardenia available here; there's tuberose, and Jeffrey Dame'sTuberose Perfume Oil is a whopper.
Mentholic [wintergreen], indolic, sweet and nasty: the whole enchilada. She's beguiling and potent, full of the magnificent approach/avoidance personality for which she's famous/infamous [you decide], larger-than-life. If she's just too much for you, you can layer her with other soliflores. That's the beauty of it.
[I adored her last night; my dear husband, not so much ;-) So I'll have to tone her down a bit. Or maybe not slather her all over my arms and cleavage next time.]
Do you crave tenderness? Then may I suggest mimosa.
Is there any word which describes her better? I feel Mimosa tender as a mother's kiss, that Proustian madeleine-like caress which shares a linden gentleness of spirit, slightly spicy, almondy, heliotropin-infused sweetness. Those beautiful yellow pom-poms hanging heavily from such frondy-appearing fragile branches! Oh, to be in the south of France when the mimosas are in bloom! I close my eyes and I am there: bless the lizard brain, that amygdala of mine. It is instantaneous olfactory recall.
Yes, I cherish Jeffrey's Mimosa Perfume Oil. It reminds me of Caron's wonderfulFarnesiana, blithe and winsome.
Mmmmm.
There is more: rose de mai.
I love rose in her many incarnations, but I can't be bothered with sleazy rose dupes.
Jeffrey's Rose de Mai Perfume Oil is young at heart: green, damp with the fallen dew, the freshly-snapped stem in hand. She's peppery and vital, dulcet and ever-so-willing. What a beauty! And you know what a fine playmate she is; pair her with your gardenia, your tuberose, your mimosa. Your choice, and yours alone.
She's a world unto herself, with all those facets flashing before your greedy nostrils like a diamond brought to light.
Osmanthus, the Queen of Apricot.
This is the role which Jeffrey has assigned her in his Osmanthus Perfume Oil – lush, apricotty, pulpy, fleshy. A zing of citric piquancy at the very start, then full-on fruit right out of the gate. This beautiful fantasy osmanthus is all juice and no leather, unlike absolute in the raw from China; the costuslike furriness has been deliberately left behind.
What I smell is an ambrette silveriness [perhaps ambrettolide] in its stead, the sort of metallic coolness which conjures the qualities of violet leaf with its limpidity, and perhaps a whisper of vetiver somewhere.
[In my Perfumed Closet of Shame I happen to have some glorious ambrette CO2 distillate and a French natural apricot melange fraction – these do well, side by side – in my attempt to analyze what's going on in Osmanthus.]
The end result is a beautiful fantasy of the flower, an image of voluptuousness tempered with a silvery reserve: a very elegant, plaintive perfume in its own right - just dose judiciously.
Narcissus as Enigmatic Floral.
Of all of the Dame soliflores, I feel Narcissus Perfume Oil to be the most complex and mysterious.
For many, narcissus can prove a challenging floral: in absolute, it sings of the stable, urinously-animalic, densely aromatic in an herbal /earthy / balsamic sense – and all the while, very much a flower, a complete perfume unto itself. The most highly prized absolute comes to us from the mountains in the Lozère region of southern France [a mere .05 ml sample costs $42.00 a pop – and that's a bargain].
Narcissus celebrates the amplitude of the earth, such a modest-appearing blossom possessed of animalic verdancy. If one imagines the qualities of lavender [not the actual aroma, of course] – herbal, floral, spicy, earthy, sometimes tonic and astringent - and then add that horse urine note plus a sigh of the paperwhite, you might have a sense of the narcissus scent profile.
Small wonder that the Greek word 'narke', from which the word 'narcotic' is derived – is the actual root of this name – NOT the myth, as it turns out. Narcissus is like a drug, as many white flowers seem to be, except that one may more quickly feel drawn to a jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose - than narcissus. Give narcissus a chance; it will probably grow on you!
Layer it with the musk, the osmanthus, the rose! Add the mimosa, to gentle it. Other perfumers certainly have, with glorious results.
[I'm a big fan.]
I'd like to add another oil perfume which isn't a soliflore, but provides fabulous accompaniment: New Musk Oil. I'll freely admit to initial skepticism, so I ordered the smallest bottle possible, thinking that it might last me a lifetime [which it undoubtedly will]. This one has notes listed:
“a blend of lemon, plum, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, vanilla, sandalwood, musk; but mostly musk.”
Okay, I was a skeptic at first. This oil simply gets better the longer you wear it, and blends seamlessly with any of the soliflores if you want to introduce a soft touch of furry warmth. It does very well on its own too; I'm just a fussy-britches about my musks, is all.
It's taken me quite a while to complete my reviews, as the perfume oils arrived in the order of their availability. Like many of you, I've been on tenterhooks; it's been a marvelous, satisfying journey. I purchased every one gladly and eagerly awaited each shipment; I've not been disappointed, and at times I've been surprised. I sincerely hope that more beauties will be forthcoming in the future, as the quality / size / price point and clever rollerball size is simply perfect for me. I can slip these into my pocket at work, and treat myself [and anyone else I care to, as is my custom ;-) ] to a fresh hit of olfactory pleasure. The soliflores make it easy to literally spread floral love around, flower child that I was and still am.
Thank you, Jeffrey Dame!

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