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terça-feira, 19 de abril de 2016

BAIE DE GENIÈVRE BY CREED (1982)



Another discontinued Creed scent way superior to the near majority of their current abysmally insipid range. Baie de Genièvre is an impressively solid masculine spicy fougère straight out of the early 1980’s (still quite 1970’s-inspired, with all that herbal-stale dryness) with some quite peculiar features making it surely worthy a sniff at least – not a purchase at those “vaulted” prices, but surely a try. I mean, it’s very good, it’s a Creed, that’s already quite something.

What I really enjoy about Baie is how simple, robust yet very inspired it smells: basically it’s a crisp, tasteful blend of citrus-infused, herbal juniper notes with their recognizable sort of very aromatic, edgy, bitter, metallic, super dry and dark-boozy nature; then some sharp, earthy, smoky and salty vetiver (“the vintage kind”, rooty and dirty, such as in Maitre’s Route du Vetiver or Goutal’s Vetiver), some very well-fitting sort of sweet-spicy dash of Oriental aromatic powder (they say cinnamon, I trust that, although it smells a bit more generic to me – just something slightly sweet, lukewarm and exotic, even slightly fruity at first) and a light note of lavender - which isn’t listed, but I think I smell it. A sharp, dry, distinguished and very aromatic blend with a palpable sort of “antique” vibe – rusty metal, smoky old woods, sharp herbal spirits. With just the right amount of late-1970’s mojo. There’s some evolution, too: it gets progressively warmer, gentler, powderier, less dry and bitter and a bit smoother and smoky-sweeter, with vetiver and herbs creating a sort of “powdery barbershop” mood. Nina Ricci’s Phileas is maybe a distant relative of this, mostly for the same bold herbal-spicy vein and a very similar sort of “rusty” feel – Phileas is more complex than this, but I think they’ve something in common.

So that’s it, a very old-school, refined yet quite “rugged”, extremely vibrant and very natural-smelling gentleman’s scent with nothing wrong in it – it smells just very good, period. Maybe not overly exciting, but truly impeccable, with solid materials (juniper and vetiver especially!) and a totally neat composition. Very “vintage”, and probably a bit dated for many fans of today’s Creed’s offerings, but definitely a nice option for all fans of classic masculine stuff (nothing macho, but definitely a “virile” blend). By the way, by “vintage” and “dated” I don’t mean generic or boring, though: it’s actually quite of a “statement” scent, due to its metallic-smoky-spicy edginess and sharpness which creates a dark, “raw” vein brilliantly contrasting with its subtle, warm Oriental sweeter side. Extremely versatile as well, it projects quite good without getting too obtrusive. Totally recommended – again, not at full vintage prices though: it’s good, even very good, but not a Holy Grail.

7,5-8/10

Best in Show: Women's Fragrances for the Workplace

by: Jodi Battershell, Elena Vosnaki, Ida Meister, Lucia Remigi,Rouu Abd El-Latif


Met with a challenging day at the office, one is daunted by the choice of an appropriate fragrance. Too strong? Too weak? Too assertive or rather overextending the friendly vibes? When you have only one or two fragrances in your rotation the question is rhetorical, but picking a bottle from a larger fragrance collection presents its own dilemmas. It's a delicate balance and it does depend upon one's job status in said office; a younger assistant might want to "prove their mettle" whereas a more mature senior might throw caution to the wind more easily. And then there's the question of office space and internal compartmentalization: where do you sit and at what proximity to others?
Our writers considered these parameters and chose the best office scents. Do you find your favorites among them or do you have other suggestions? Please share them in the comments.


...an introverted powerhouse fragrance

I know most HR experts and corporate recruiters advise against wearing any fragrance to a job interview, but those of us who are accustomed to wearing a fragrance every day know that we don't feel fully dressed without it. When I was job hunting in 2013, I recalled that a friend who dislikes fragrances had complimented me on this scent for its beauty and subtlety, which she could only detect when she gave me a hug. I knew it would be the perfect scent to wear under my suits on job interviews, with a single spirtz providing just enough sillage that I could smell it and feel confident, but not enough that anyone else would notice or be bothered by it.
I'm a fan of the original Chanel N° 19, but I appreciate the modern freshness of N° 19 Poudre. Punch up the iris, give those green notes a soft bed of musk and sweet tonka to rest on and poof! It's still Chanel N° 19, but with gentle lighting and some Vaseline on the camera lens for a soft, ethereal glow. I initially lamented the fragrance's subtle sillage, but over time I've come to think of it as an introverted powerhouse fragrance that gets its point across without calling too much attention to itself. Chanel N° 19 Poudre is perfect for those days when I know I'll be sharing close quarters at meetings or working side-by-side with someone in a cramped office cubicle. It smells clean, pleasant and slightly perfumey but creates no distraction.
...a whiff of fresh paper
The office is a minefield in many ways, not least of all concerning one's image. Unless you're the boss, in which case you can wear whatever you like and—if you're especially mean—be the Darth Vader of perfume gassing everyone out with something like Giorgio Beverly Hills or equivalent in strength and malicious intent, consideration for your fellow workers goes a long way into assuring good rapport.
For this reason, but bearing in mind that a perfume lover would only approve of something that actually does smell better than nothing at all, I chose the original Infusion d'Iris eau de parfum by Prada. Scoring the double score of being equally well worn by a man or a woman (even though it's technically addressed to the ladies) it's a scent that works on two axes: the rooty, dry part comes off as groomed and polished; the woody-cedarwood and subtly resinous-incense part comes off as dependable and focused. It also gives a whiff of fresh paper which isn't amiss in an office setting.
Not really a powdery metallic iris scent, despite the name, Infusion d'Iris enjoys almost universal approval in fragrances least likely to displease. We all want to put our best foot forward in business, right?
...a brainy perfume with steely resolve to match
I've often suggested it to others as the Resting Bitch Face/Poker Face fragrance: calm, cool, aloof, elegant and confident. It takes no prisoners and shows that you mean business! 
Oh, dear.
I hate the sound of my own voice above: it conveys the impression that I detestChanel No. 19, when nothing could be farther from the truth. I ADORE it. It's a blooming masterpiece on every possible level—but that doesn't mean that I'm unaware of the considerable power it wields.
August 19th is Coco Chanel's birthday. In 1970 [she was 87 years old at the time] one year before her death, Henri Robert created this verdant classic which epitomizes, for me, her quintessential style: quirky but sedate and wearable, unique au monde. One can never go wrong. You will always appear soignée, immaculately dressed in the utmost bon goût.
AND NO ONE WILL WANT TO MESS YOU ABOUT. EVER.
Gloriously green and leafy, galbanum and bergamot beckon, accompanied by the glory of Grasse—exquisite jasmine. Chanel's inimitable sources of rose, narcissus, iris! Hyacinth in bloom, green and indolent at once, with a blush of ylang [not too much!] for sweetness, rondeur.
At the woody/mossy base, green mingles with a slightly menacing depth: the mystery of oakmoss [how I love it!!!], vetiver adding its balsamic baritone, sandalwood [very fine quality] and dark, moody musk lurking about with a sueded glove leather.
Chanel at its finest, I think.
Here is an individual who knows his/her mind and will not be easily swayed. More than competent, refined, Chanel N°19 never gives offense; it's too well-mannered for that. In the parfum, it's understatement and elegance which reign. One may be fooled into thinking that here's someone you would do well to employ; they never realize that this person may well one day take over their position.
N°19 is a brainy perfume with steely resolve to match. It's only if one leans in for a prolonged sniff that the intention which lies beneath becomes apparent. On the surface, it's all shining intellect and unassuming—that's why I frequently recommend it as an Interview Fragrance. The subliminal message it projects belies the seriousness of its intention.
Nothing fuzzy or fluffy about it; wear N°19 when you want to be confident.
...for those occasions where I needed to smell “clean and understated”
Probably I am among the few people who would consider wearing regularly a Lolita Lempicka (and a semi-gourmand, moreover!) to office, but since I added Fleur Défendue to my collection a couple of years ago—it was a true bargain, I should add—I often found myself picking it for those occasions where I needed to smell “clean and understated” and/or to feel comfortable and at ease in preparation for some stressful events.
Well, this loveliest flanker of the uber-famous Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum has never disappointed me in terms of discrete and soft sillage—you hardly want to exude any kind of sultry or overly diffusive blend when among coworkers or clients, especially if the workplace is somewhat formal and enclosed, and this fragrance isn’t surely a heavy hitter from any point of view. But, mostly, Fleur Défendue always succeeded in comforting and energizing me with its quite simple but not so obvious composition introduced by the lively and almost sour green/herbal tones of wormwood and strawberry leaf to which is paired a graceful powdery shade given by violet, iris and mimosa in the medium phase—an accord that gives off a refined soapy/milky nuance on my skin, even more enhanced in the drydown where musk, almond and an adorable cherry note create a smooth and relaxed vibe. Too cute and not elegant enough for some very uptight environments? Maybe, but I guess for the “average” workday spent at the office Fleur Défendue would prove itself to be an appropriate choice, if you happen to love it as much as I do of course, and a big plus is that it works just fine in any kind of weather and season.
...a fine creamy jasmine spell followed by a gentle sunshine breeze
Hey, I’m a career-oriented woman, a professional, and I take my job seriously. if you haven’t noticed my conservative gray attire or my office-appropriate hairstyle, maybe you'll notice my fragrance! It's Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile, a fine creamy jasmine spell followed by a gentle sunshine breeze with a soft herbal green-ish aroma, an intriguing splash of mandarin bitterness candied in a silky bouquet of a jasmine chorus. Francois Demachy signed this perfume for the iconic house of Acqua di Parma. Monsieur Demachy is a maestro; Jasmine can be very commonplace, but not here. When I first tried Gelsomino Nobile the first thing I thought was, “this is not a usual jasmine scent”; it's very well made, tamed and spontaneously develops with every single note to work as a unified theme. The longevity is moderate (+5 hrs) with great sillage and projection. It truly stands out without triggering attention; there is nothing provocative nor overwhelming about this formula which makes it a perfect choice for a work environment.
When in the office, proper etiquette and attitude are required. What can be inappropriate depends on the business type and office atmosphere and culture. As for your outfit, your office scent should be sufficiently pleasant, approachable yet formal. I have to say, my choice is a bit on the pricey side as a bottle of Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile (100 ml EDP) has a price tag of around $175 USD.

Do you have a favorite fragrance for the workplace that didn't make our list? What's your fragrance equivalent of a "power suit" or "go-with-everything" black pumps? Share your choices in the comments!


Fifi Awards, France, 2016

by: Sophie Normand

The annual Fifi awards of the Fragrance Foundation, France was held Thursday, April 14th at the glamorous Lido. An annual gathering of professionals from the French perfume world, this event brings together brands, perfumers, evaluators, journalists, bloggers, etc.


Each year the Fragrance Foundation gives out approximately 15 awards for excellence in fragrance in all its forms - consumer, niche, boutique, retail, design.


The milestone of the FIFI Awards 2016 is Marc-Antoine Corticchiato (pictured above), designer-perfumer of the house Parfum d'Empire, which won le Prix des Experts (the Expert Award) for the second consecutive year. Last year the Jury of Experts made up of journalists, reviewers and bloggers had awarded the prize in the niche perfumery category to Corsica Furiosa. This year, the jury again chose a scent from Parfum D'Empire, the bold Tabac Tabou, a well-deserved reward for Parfum d'Empire, whose creations uncompromisingly carry the banner of alternative perfumery.

Other winners of the evening's FIFI Awards include Le Jardin de Monsieur Li signed by Jean-Claude Ellena (pictured below with Agnès de Villers, General Director for Hermès Parfums) for Hermès, for which the perfumer won the Meilleure Fragrance Masculine ET Féminine du le Prix des Professionnels (best male AND female fragrances in the Professional Prize category). A first!
Other winners included Chanel Misia, Gaultier Ultra MaleSo Elixir Bois Sensuel from Yves Rocher, and many more!
Click here for all the awards of the Fragrance Foundation France, 2016.

Photos: Fragrance Foundation, Hermes.

sábado, 16 de abril de 2016

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct (2016)


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First Instinct By Abercrombie & Fitch

Fashion label Abercrombie & Fitch are releasing a new men's perfume called First Instinct reportedly offering « worldwide appeal for the Abercrombie & Fitch man and beyond, »...
The oriental fougère composition is signed by perfumer Philippe Romano of RobertetInter Parfums oversaw the development of the fragrance.
Romano previously authored a memorable, updated classic fougère blend, Lalique pour Homme (2000), among other compositions.
The blend opens on top notes of electric gin & tonic and Kiwano melon leading to a heart of Szechuan pepper, violet leaves with a twist of citrus. The base rests on sueded leather, musk, and raw amber.
Via The Moodie Report
 

Read more at http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2016/04/abercrombie_fitch_first_instinct.html#9wxvz4SdrbOzo7GR.99

Carven L'Eau Intense (2016)


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The house of Carven have launched a new perfume for men called L'Eau Intense said to be built on the perceived contrast and duality of the notion of a water which is a source of intensity...
Another idea was to imagine a sensation of freshness like that of water infused with mint leaves.
The eau de toilette was composed by perfumers Francis Kurkdjian and Jérôme di Marino.
The fragrance opens on the icy freshness of Italian lemon and grapefruit followed by stronger notes of birch leaves and lavandin while the base expresses the full intensity of the scent with notes of ginger, cardamom, cedarwood and ambery woods.
Available in 3 sizes of 30 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml.
SRPs are 39€, 59€ and 79€.

Read more at http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2016/04/carven_l_eau_intense.html#XWXsmr1EWOYt9oyU.99

Estée Lauder X Victoria Beckham For Fall 2016


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Estée Lauder Partner With Victoria Beckham

Estée Lauder announced today that they have partnered with fashion designer Victoria Beckham to create a limited-edition makeup collection for Fall 2016 called matter of factly Victoria Beckham Estée Lauder...
Beckham, since 2008 when she established her fashion label, has been recognized for her demanding couture eye. It is therefore exciting news to anticipate what her first full makeup and color collection will look like. If her style is any indication, we can expect bold yet classic choices and clarity of purpose and line. She has a sophisticated sense of color which should translate well into pigments for the face.
A previous collaboration with Nails, Inc yielded an interesting contrast between burnt orange polish and peach skin.

VICTORIA BECKHAM _ PHOTO CREDIT - Solve Sundsbo _ EXPIRY - December 31, 2016.jpg
Victoria Beckham said,
"I am thrilled to be launching this limited edition makeup collection with Estée Lauder. The whole process has been both inspiring and eye opening - from going back and revisiting the Estée Lauder archives through to working on the product with the Estée team, this feels like the perfect makeup partnership for me and my brand. I had long admired Estée Lauder the woman, and the powerful brand that she created, so I am excited to offer both of our customers this makeup range and play a small part in her vision for women."
Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies explained,
"We are excited to join forces and bring Victoria's take on beauty to her many fans around the world. Victoria is an entrepreneur in the true spirit of our founder, Estée Lauder, with a real understanding of what women want, and a commitment to making women look and feel their most beautiful. Victoria has a passion for beauty and we are delighted to welcome her into our brand."
As Estée Lauder are also known for their perfume portfolio, just like Victoria Beckham and her husband, it is not impossible we might see a fragrance collab emerge one day from this association. The American beauty company has been scouting for fresh creative talents and "signatures" lately in perfumedom. In V. Beckham's case, her olfactory style remains to be fully developed.
The makeup line will be available from September 2016 at select retailers around the world, Victoria Beckham stores and on esteelauder.com and victoriabeckham.com.
Via press release

domingo, 10 de abril de 2016

Arnaud Poulain of Les Eaux Primordiales: Inspired by Jules Verne

by: Sergey Borisov

I first met young perfumer Arnaud Poulain, founder of the Parisian brand Les Eaux Primordiales, in Milan, but outside the Esxence-2016 exhibition. This young perfume house cannot afford to be an exhibition participant as it`s not a cheap pleasure. But it`s good for any perfume specialist to pay the brand a visit, have a look and smell, and get acquainted with new perfume trends in Esxence. So it was a real pleasure for me – after all of our Facebook messages – to met the man personally. He`s a big muscular guy slightly under 2 meters and he looks more like a rugby player than a perfumer.
Sergey Borisov: How and when did you start your professional perfumery activity?
Arnaud Poulain: Following the footsteps of my father, I first studied electrical engineering and industrial mechanics. Thereafter, as I was working on the command lines of the ice cream manufacturer Haagen Dasz, I met a salesman from the group Interparfums who noticed I had a very peculiar ability to deconstruct perfumes to their core ingredients and advised me to attend the same school he did. This was a revelation. At that school, I met Amelie Bourgeois who was then a professor. She became my friend and mentor and took me with her to Paris when she launched her own studio, Flair.
After taking several advanced courses at Cinquième Sens, I rejoined Différentes Latitudes for 5 years as a business developer. There I learned a lot, and in parallel, the idea of creating my own perfume brand began to germinate in my mind. From my former experience, from my former "life" could we even say, I'd always kept a strong taste for meticulous craftsmanship, arduous work, and strong noble materials.
Sergey Borisov: What were your responsibilities in Cinquième Sens and Différentes Latitudes? What did you learn from those times that help you now with Les Eaux Primordiales?
Arnaud Poulain: I didn’t actually work at Cinquième Sens, I was there as a student for one year. I then directly started to work for Différentes Latitudes as a business developer for France and was in charge of Amouage, Byredo, Parfum d’Empire, Odin, David Mallett, Robert Piguet, Frapin, Liquides Imaginaires, Fornasetti, etc. This is where I learned everything business-wise concerning niche perfumery and its specific distribution networks.
Sergey Borisov: How did you decide to create your own brand?
Arnaud Poulain: While working at Différentes Latitudes for 5 years, I’d always continued to work on my own creations with Amélie and when I came to the point of having 6 finalized fragrances, I jumped into the adventure. Several close friends with experience in the field helped me with the design and refining the global concept, its specific universe, and influences.
As for the specific process for each perfume, we started to work together with Amélie as soon as I had a precise idea. We began by selecting the raw materials we'd need, then did several tests until we reached the exact result I had first imagined. Luckily, we had a very similar vision with Amélie, which makes working together a very pleasant and productive time.
Amelie Bourgeois and Arnaud Poulain  at work 
Sergey Borisov: When I was trying LEP perfumes, I found them to be “innovated classic” fragrances. Why did you choose that sort of concept? Do French people prefer their perfumes to be classical and historical – and not new? Why so?
Arnaud Poulain: I like intemporal/timeless things, in general. Concepts that will last and stand the test of time. As for perfumery precisely, I am particularily fond of Guerlain, Caron, Chanel, and a lot of other mythical brands. I, therefore always try to base my creations around beautiful and noble olfactory families, especially the finest materials, the highest concentrations, and an extensive maturation time.
Sergey Borisov: For me one of my favourite perfumes in the LEP range,Moment Perpetuel, is a lavender fougere – but it is so new and different from any classical lavender perfume! I would rather think of it as a totally new perfume!
Arnaud Poulain: Originally, Moment Perpétuel was created as a cologne. I absolutely wanted to pay a tribute to this magnificent material that lavender is, but with a modern twist. Lavender, thyme, blackberries, and blackcurrant would be the base of it. But we also incorporated modern musks. Finally, I chose to go the extract way instead of a lighter cologne.
Sergey Borisov: Please, tell me about the new perfume you just launched,Mécanique Intuitive. What’s the main idea, what’s the inspiration, who’s the main hero? How does the legend fit into our present times? What are the main notes and the story of its creation?
Arnaud Poulain: The name Les Eaux Primordiales comes from a Jules Verne’s novel, 20000 lieues sous les Mers (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). I’m a huge fan of the novel and see Mécanique Intuitive as an homage to the extraordinary mechanics invented by this magnificent author. This perfume is solely built around core and base notes. Originating in the leather family, we also dabbled into the amber realm. We used tonka bean absolute in high quantities, it’s one of my favourite materials, and first built a leather “accord” inspired by the fragrances from the 1950’s with Labdanum and Violette. Then the amber accord comes in with patchouli, benzoin, cacao, and some osmanthus to add a fruity shade. Mécanique Intuitive is built around the music of the heart and base notes.
Sergey Borisov: Could you please name some books, pictures, songs, fashion items or just any objects that could be paired with LEP fragrances?
Arnaud Poulain: I love architecture books, design books, photography magazines and own several, mainly about Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe, Robert Mallet Stevens… and especially albums about the couple of German photographers, Bernd and Hilla Becher.
If I had to name one fashion designer as an influence, it would be Azzedine Alaia for his minimalist and direct approach, his noble materials, and his elegant and intemporal silhouettes. As for music: Antonio Vivaldi, Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, to name a few.
Sergey Borisov: The moment of perfection. How do you define the moment to stop all the improvements?
Arnaud Poulain: I only start to run tests when I’ve already arrived at a point where the perfume is a very precise idea in my head. Therefore, it’s not that difficult anymore to know when to stop, since the moment when I stop corresponds exactly to when the test is exactly like what I first had in my mind. I try and try and never stop until I reach this point. It can take a short time, or a long time. There are no rules.
Sergey Borisov: The sense of taste and style. How would you say – what characteristics should LEP fragrance fit? Clarity? Simplicity? Joie de Vivre?
Arnaud Poulain: Rigorous exigency, maximum quality, high precision, intemporality, meticulous craftmanship, the hidden beauty of brutal structures like in industrial architecture, the duality between the softness of the fragrance and the harshness of the packaging, a strong taste for paradox, be it in names or in the mix of unexpected materials.
Sergey Borisov: You mentioned business development – how about your own brand?
Aromas of Les Eaux Primordiales in London Les Senteurs
Arnaud Poulain: Well, we are at L`Eclaireur, Liquides and Les Suites (Paris) now, also at Les Senteurs (London), Place Vendome (Belgium) and Harald Lubner (Germany). We`ll have a meeting with Russian distributors as well in days, so we`ll be expanding our distribution.
Sergey Borisov: Thank you, Arnaud, for the interview, and the best luck to you and your brand!
Arnaud Poulain: Thank you! And best wishes to all Fragrantica team and readers!

A Spring Awakening from Dasein

by: Jodi Battershell



"I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen."—Anne Lamott

Sage advice from Anne Lamott. When I lived in Nebraska, there were far too many years when our weather went from winter straight into summer. March, April and early May were overcast, snowy and chilly, then suddenly, 100°F (37°C)!  If there was a spring in there at all, its brief apperance escaped my attention as I chipped away at the ice that still coated the sidewalk on the shady side of the house.
Spring is notoriously fickle. The appearance and demise of cherry blossoms may or may not coincide with Philadelphia's planned Cherry Blossom Festival each year. Those April showers that bring May flowers sometimes come in March, or not at all. The beautiful tulips and magnolia blossoms I've been seeing on everybody's Instagram feeds this week could easily be wiped out by a late frost or snow. 
But given a choice, I would change nothing. Spring is a season to which we should pay attention, for no other season has the beauty, the urgency or the vibrancy of Spring. For the record, my favorite season is Autumn, but I'm seduced by Spring's charms each year and it's always a welcome relief from the short, dark, dreary days of Winter (even when it's an unseasonably warm Winter like this year's.)
I've enjoyed sniffing and writing about Dasein Fragrance's beautiful Winter andSummer fragrances, but, oh! I think Spring may be my favorite of the bunch! (We'll see what Autumn brings later this year.) This unisex fragrance from perfumer Sam Rader arrives in a gorgeous green hue that says everything about the season and the perfume inside that frosted glass bottle. (By the way, Dasein Fragrance and Sarah Rainwater Design recently won the 2016 Package Design Award from Graphic Design USA! It's not hard to see why, with their classic frosted bottles, seasonal color schemes and bold but elegant logos. Congratulations, Dasein!) 
From the press release: "Spring unisex fragrance features natural vetiver from both India and El Salvador. Vetiver is a fragrant grass that smells of rich soil and green shoots, which grows only in the southern hemisphere. The rose note in Spring comes from a precious crop in Egypt where rose petals are solvent extracted for an alive and rich smell. Spring features only natural sandalwood sustainably harvested in Australia. The rare yuzu essential oil used in Spring is cold-pressed from the rind of the citrus fruit found only in Japan."
I knew before sniffing that I was going to love this fragrance. Vetiver is one of my favorite notes in perfumery. From its dry, prickly grassy aspects to its earthy, rooty undertones, with wafts of woodsmoke throughout, vetiver in all its varieties imparts a distinctive complexity to any fragrance that includes it. Truly, you must have some affinity for vetiver in order to appreciate Spring, but if you like it even a little, you'll love what perfumer Sam Rader has done with it.

A spicy blast of black pepper and the tart citrus of yuzu open the fragrance, but the vetiver note—dry, earthy, even a bit prickly at this stage—is present throughout the evolution of Spring. About 30 minutes in, the top notes have burned away and a garden in bloom emerges. Sweet violets and plush roses are strewn at random, softening the sharp edges on those blades of grass. The rose note dominates and and blends with the gentle sandalwood for a kind of powdery effect. At the two hour mark, Spring so perfectly recalled the tender aroma of a freshly-bathed-and-powdered baby—one who is playing contentedly on the soft lawn during a sunny spring afternoon. As an olfactory image, it perfectly captures all that is good about the season: tender flower buds, green grass, warmth, hope and new life.
Like all the Dasein fragrances I have tried, the sillage is moderate but the longevity is amazing—in the 9-10 hour range. As the sun sets on our pleasant Spring day, the smoky and earthy aspects of vetiver have burned away. What remains is a lingering warmth, a soft aroma of wood and dried grass so delicate that the gentlest of breezes could tear it asunder and scatter the particles (though on skin, you'll still have a good hour or two to enjoy it).

Spring is a must-try for fans of vetiver. Men will not find it too floral and women will enjoy the grassiness softened by flowers and sandalwood. It's a high-quality and long-lasting fragrance that is perfect for the vernal equionox but won't seem out of place at the autumnal one, either. Like the other "Season" fragrances of Dasein, it encapsulates its season and transcends it, too.
Thank you to Dasein for the opportunity to try Spring!
All product images: Dasein

Scent & Style: Synaesthesia Explored Through Trends in Beauty

by: Trésor Prijs

As lovers of fragrance each and every one of us has our own singular way of perceiving the aromas which exist the world around us. Much of the time it is in relation to emotion, an invisible thread of consciousness that binds the physical to cascades of memory and deep feeling. To some, however, scent is manifested through other entities such as sound or colour. This is a phenomena known as synaesthesia, one which I happen experience myself though not always with these particular manifestations, but also through texture and light. A fortuitous twist of fate for it allows me to experience another of my greatest loves, the art of makeup, though fragrance as well. I would love for you to join me as I explore my own synaesthesia through some of my favourite trends seen on the runway during fashion week for Fall/Winter 2016.
Luminous, Glowing Skin | L’Eau d’Hiver from Frederic Malle
It comes as no surprise that an illuminated, strategically minimalistic approach to maquillage has taken the runways once again. From the effortless floridity at Zero + Maria Cornejo to the subtle bohemian incandescence seen at Gucci (pictured above)it’s clear that the trend is once again in full swing and most certainly here to stay. Though the the seemingly obvious choice would be to associate the lambent bloom of a glowing complexion with astral hues of a soft and sensuous skin musk my mind instead conjures the exquisite texture of a luxurious cream that is so beautifully apparent within Jean-Claude Ellena’s L’Eau d’Hiver. A lush canopy of delicately powdered heliotrope blossoms is captured within flowing ribbons of iris cream, bathed in the silken rhapsody of atmospheric white musk and undulating tendrils of honeyed aurora. Each note is blended with thoughtful synchronicity, unfolding within my mind as a photorealistic manifestation of this effortless gleam.
Inky Black Eyes | LAVS from UNUM
Enveloping one’s eyes in all manner of obsidian is a practice that has existed just about as long as the practice of applying makeup itself. From the smouldering onyx of Cleopatra’s graphic gaze to the effortless haze of raven hued smoke sported by the Bardot babes of the 1960’s I would hazard to say that this may very well be one of the most enduring beauty trends of all. While the runways were plentiful with incarnations of this trend I must admit that my favourite of all was the atramentous cloud of  shadow created by François Nars for Marc Jacobs (pictured above), mirrored so beautifully by the spectral umbra of LAVS from Filippo Sorcinelli’s UNUM. Visceral plumes of blackened frankincense smoke release their essence as they spread throughout the atmosphere, moving with exceptional grace and calling to mind the delicate ombre of shadow applied by the skillful hand of an artist. Among a symphony of resins, singing in a kaleidoscope of shadow and ash, comes forth the scintillating glow of cardamom and clove calling to mind the gleam of flesh peeking from beneath the shadow as the edges feather softly into all but air.
I love glitter and I mean I *really* love glitter so you can just imagine my sheer delight as I watched it pop up again and again within the makeup shown during Fall 2016 collections. There is something so joyous, carefree and utterly ebullient about the way these tiny particles cause the light to dance and refract in a display of absolute exuberance. Did I mention I really love glitter? Interpretations ran the gamut of lashings of densely saturated silver beneath cheek and jawbones at Opening Ceremony to the delicate smattering of silver and gold shown at Burberry (pictured above). The moment I laid my eyes on these buoyant and sparking beauties I was immediately transported, immediately reminded of the vivid lucidity of shimmering aldehydes. Not just any aldehydes, mind you, but specifically those found within Mark Buxton’s 2 from Comme des Garçons; the likes of which cast the same lustrous sterling light which so seamlessly echoes this jubilant fashion. Fractals of light are broken only by the hologram of a magnolia blossom who's petals have been drenched in ink.

Fragrant Jewels: A Look at New Ways to Wear Scent

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

So many of us are accustomed to wearing fragrance on our neck or wrists but what if there were other ways to wear fragrance beyond application on the skin? Elena Vosnaki recently discussed the history of scented objects HERE, and this year in Milan, perfumers were eager to invite us to wear scented pendants and bracelets made of paper, lava, porcelain, and precious metals.
Italy's Diadèma Exclusif (www.diademaexclusif.it) displayed their wearable pomanders made of handcrafted sterling silver, inspired by the most fashionable models of the upper class between the 16th and the 18th centuries in Europe. Diadèma explains, "Its shape makes us think of an apple and that is where its name comes from. Made even more precious by a series of 4 absolus you can choose in order to perfume the frame located inside."
I had the opportunity to sniff the absolus - Rosa di Maggio (May Rose), Gelsomino(jasmine), Neroli and Vaniglla (vanilla) - and they were all exquisite. The wearable jewel is accomapnied by a small dropper to transfer the scented absolu from a glass bottle with twist stopper; the absolu can also be worn directly on the skin. The pomander dangles on a long silver chain with interspersed black crystal beads. There is a porcelain disc inside that carries the fragrance and the heat from one's body helps to diffuse the aroma over time.
Les Parfumables (www.lesparfumables.com) has been a presence in the industry, crafting discs, pendants and other products of wearable Limoges porcelain that is porous enough to hold fragrance and disperse aroma with the activation of body heat. The company has produced products that have accompanied fragrances such as Boucheron Place Vendome, Gaultier Fleur de Male, and Givenchy Fleur d'Interdit to name but a few.
At Esxence they were thoughtfully sharing samples of scented, painted, rectangular porcelain with their own wearable fragrances. My sample was sprayed with their Bois du Tibet, a woody incense aroma that reminded me of Shiseido's Feminité du Bois. See the black and gold tile at top center, below.

Italian house Acqua di Biella shared a sneak peek at a new scented product - an Italian lava pendant whose porous structure is ideal for holding scent. Although I don't have a quality photo to share as the item is not yet for sale, brand ownder Chiara Cantono hinted that it will likely arrive for the 2016 holiday season based on the success of a present prototype. I can tell you that the elliptical pendant of lava is paired with a black chord and silver accents and as shown at Esxence may be accompanied by a 30ml bottle of an Acqua di Biella scent.
Following the same premise as porcelain items, the pendant is meant to carry scent and be activated by the wearer's body temperature. From the press photo shared on the brand website, above, we can already see that Chiara has been interested in pendants. I'm excited to see what Acqua di Biella will develop in the future.
Thai-Swiss brand Orn (www.ornperfume.com) also showed an interesting array of stunning jewelry and scented accessories. Brand owner Fah Ruengskul's display of her 5 fragrances was accompanied by a range of eye-catching creations that were hard to miss.
Some of the products were crafted from porcelain while others were crafted from sturdy paper-like material that is specially developed to hold scent for weeks without degrading. The ornaments may be worn as jewelry or dangled from handbags, and Orn suggests they may be used to scent closets, cars and furniture as well.
The jewelry, shown at top and middle below, is crafted with accents of 92.5 silver, pink gold and brass and is meant to evoke traditional Thai flower garlands (example at bottom).
If this representation at Esxence is any indication, we may see even more creative uses of porous materials to help us carry our scent in 2016 and beyond.

From Perfumer's Workshop to Amouroud: Mainstream, Niche and the Discovery of Oud – Interview With Donald Bauchner

y: Miguel Matos

Last week during the Esxence exhibition in Milan I had the opportunity to visit brands which were good past acquaintances as well as other ones which I was discovering. In the Amouroud stand I sat down to chat with Donald Bauchner and his wonderful staff who had received me so nicely in past expos. Within the new brand Amouroud, I had already reviewed Safran Rare and I am in love with Dark Orchid, which I will review later. Now that Amouroud is finally distributed in a number of countries with good response from retailers and consumers, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on how a very experienced mainstream american brand like Perfumer's Workshop (responsible for a true fragrant legend: Tea Rose) chose to enter the niche market after so many years. I had a very interesting conversation with Donald Bauchner, owner of the company.

Miguel Matos: Everyone knows more or less about Perfumer's Workshop, with Tea Rose the star of the brand and launching new editions every year. How did you feel the urge to create a brand inside the Perfumer's Workshop that would be more niche-oriented?
Donald Bauchner: I will give you a very specific timeline. We left New York to go to London just before the mid-seventies. And I recall calling on Harrods the morning after there was a bomb explosion on Oxford Street right outside of the store. I remember it because the buyer was annoyed that I had booked an appointment on such a busy day, but when I showed her the Perfumer's Workshop menu she saw the words “essential oils”, her eyes lit up and she said “aha! This is what I am looking for." To make a long story short our first foreign Perfumer's Workshop corner was at Selfridges. We were given a very busy spot, right across from Estée Lauder, and it was tough to bring costumers over and so we had to work. This was at the same time the civil war broke out in Lebanon. So that summer, instead of so many people from the Middle East going to Beirut for holidays, they came to London. At that Harrods counter we would see so many Arab folks and we would hear them say “Oud” all the time. This was because all of the Perfumer's Workshop line was composed of 64 essential oils and in those days you were buying oud oil in the Gulf or you were buying the wood and getting the essence from it. So we heard this so much but we did not understand it, we did not know what the word meant. We started doing research and we started to learn about oud and its characteristics. And we became enamoured of the things having to do with depth, richness, sensuousness and those other magical pieces of performance you would always imagine in your night time perfumes. So, we started to speak to our Middle Eastern distributors and they would say “Donald, save your time. The West knows nothing about oud. It is local, it is old, it's done right and you can't do it right. Stop it.”.
After smelling the Middle Eastern perfume houses, I think most western brands, even niche, still know nothing about oud, but please continue.
We kept on it, and on it, and on it throughout the years in silence. About 13 years ago, when niche lines started to really show their faces, even though a couple of them had been around for a long time, the most beautiful new face was Kilian, because his stuff was magnificent and the shops he was in were the best trendsetting shops. By Kilian was gorgeous and very expensive but it had the mantle of authority of Bergdorf Goodman. About five years ago we started to see in niche lines the brand manufacturers starting to use oud as a word, whether or not it was real, a little real or whatever. Important brands were purveying the idea and that was expanding the consciousness of the public who shops in those stores for those lines into being interested in it. That's when we said to ourselves “The time is right." There's niche and there is oud understanding. In our view we always felt that oud per se as an ingredient story was far larger, implications wise, than musk was in the 1960's and those two things are similar in a way. We are talking of an ingredient story and performance in musk. We are talking of an ingredient attitude and more of a performance than a smell in oud. Now it's a smell, but in the beginning it was more about performance. Musk appealed to youngsters, it gave them something they could proudly claim the ability to judge. “Let me try your musks," kids would say to us at the Perfumer's Workshop counters. It's still around. The problem for musk was that it was always inexpensive and never became expensive. The opposite is important for oud. It is expensive, it is only in these lines and therefore only in these stores. So where a musk can go wider but not come up, oud can stay, then go wider and start to come down.
But aren't you afraid that the oud trend is just a passing thing?
If the people that call oud a fad are correct, which I don't believe they are, when the fad ends there will be oud all over the industry in all distributions and when many of them stop they will have left behind some new classics developed over these years.
And also the fact that oud can start to be treated as just another ingredient. So you have fragrances that are not oud-themed, but use the material as one of the ingredients, just like they have rose or jasmine or sandalwood.
Correct. It's what you wrote about in your review of Safran Rare. You spoke about wanting to work on an oriental theme but making something new of it. That's exactly the point. You absolutely hit the nail on the head. So that's the short story of how we've done this.
When, precisely did you start to develop Amouroud?
We started to work on our Amouroud fragrances at the beginning of 2012. And in fact a few of these first 10 scents, and many more that are not in these 10, were our first work that we have been working and perfecting like Midnight Rose and Miel Sauvage. At the fall of 2013 we launched our line and we have been working nonstop to get to where we are and we are still attempting to perfect.
Amouroud Stand in Esxence 2016
You are not in a rush. I first met you 2 years ago and you were already evaluating the latest mods and showing them to some selected people to see the opinion of specialists.
We've just done a modest change to our Dark Orchid. First of all, Dark Orchid is such a big fragrance that we pulled it back from 23% because some of the beauty was dissipated. So we pulled it back to 18% concentration and that's how we love it. And now we just raised it to 19%. You won't perceive it but it is even better.
I have to ask you about Dark Orchid. Everyone knows Tom Ford's Black Orchidand Dark Orchid is a very similar name. The perfume itself is similar to Tom Ford's Black Orchid. I am sure I am not the first person to tell you that... How do you react?
No you are not. It doesn't bother me. To me it's not the same. You can call them in the same school in a way. We have black orchid, black gardenia, some oud and a bunch of other stuff in our Dark Orchid. To me, Dark Orchid is far more complicated and far more rich in character. And for me character is key.
I can only tell you one thing: it's impossible for me to wear Black Orchid, it chokes me. With Dark Orchid I don't feel that way. It has air inside, as dense as it may be.
I know exactly what you mean. There is a roundness of bringing everything together seamlessly as one. So that nothing is rough or with pointed edges.
It's still an extreme fragrance with atomic sillage... And I consider it the star of this first line.
Absolutely. I know. That's what I love about it. Yesterday a perfumer smelled it, loved it and he asked if there was rum extract in it. There is not, but I smelled it freshly sprayed and I'm getting it. That's a magnificent smell to me. Maybe that's why to me it's intoxicating.
photo by Sandrina Raičević Petrović
Amouroud was first launched in the market a few months ago. What has your experience been like?
Dark Orchid is the bestseller in our first point of sale which was NK Stockholm and Safran Rare is already sold out, too. We still don't know our performance because we are still opening sales points in Moscow and Italy. We are still shipping, but shipping is not learning about our brand's perfirmance. Our Turkish distributor will also have our products very soon.
Selfie time: Miguel Matos and Donald Bauchner
What are the main differences between producing and distributing a niche brand like Amouroud, comparing with the mainstream segment of Perfumer's Workshop?
The answer to that question I learned when we first started doing fashion fragrances like Sonia RykielTorrenteLouis Féraud, etc. With higher price merchandise you can do much more beautiful fragrances and much more glorious packaging. You know you must attract me before I can try you and evaluate you. If you are fantastic but you don't attract me I will never know it. These plaques in the Amouroud packaging go on by hand and have to sometimes come off and go back on and then get hand polished. We could have just put a label here or just print it! But there are real plaques. So, it costs to do beautiful but you want to do as beautiful as you can. The answer to you is: it's a joy to be able to spend more because niche is more beautiful than prestige. Niche is more glorious and longer lasting fragrance than prestige.
photo by Sandrina Raičević Petrović
When you only had Perfumer's Workshop did you feel the need to do something in a different mindset?
No. Because all we were doing was Perfumer's Workshop. So we knew no difference. Now after we've done fashion fragrances we know the difference. The attention on niche is interesting because niche is the most active heart of perfumery today. Will it last? Who knows? But the fact is that it is creating a lot of beautiful things and people are buying.