New York Intense by Patricia de Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2014

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all!

Have you ever sold or given away a perfume, only to regret it later? I bet you have!

I once re-homed a 5ml decant of New York by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur. This was the original EDT version, not the Intense (EDP) which came out in 2014. I liked the citrusy and aromatic aspect, but something about the spices bothered me. It felt very dry and scratchy and, well, hot … like a spice market on a hot day. It was like the perfume was burning into my skin.

I had no regrets giving it away until about two years ago when, having smelled a lot of other fragrance in the meantime, I got curious. What did that stuff smell like again? I was a bit too lazy to act on this question, but I brooded on it all the same.

Finally I’ve had the chance to snap up a large decant, this time of the Intense.

New York Intense by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2014

New York Intense by Patricia de Nicolai

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Bergamot, lemon, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, black pepper, pimento, oakmoss, vetiver, amber.

New York Intense arrived today and although I’ve only had it on a few hours, I’m delighted with the re-acquaintance. Citrus and herbaceous notes are as intriguing as ever, but the spices seem a bit less prominent, allowing the smooth ambery base to make itself felt. Maybe because of this, the fragrance seems less solidly masculine than I remember. A lot of Fragranctica readers detect oakmoss. Really? I don’t get any at all. But I’ll see how things go over more wearings. I definitely get a subtle whiff of vanilla, which I like. Also, the longevity is better.

PDI

This is how the Intense strikes me. I can’t do a direct comparison of the two versions but if you have, do comment.

For various reasons, good reasons, we prune our collections to share them, spray forward, or to create space and raise a few dollars for other stuff. Perhaps we keep a sample for reference, although I admit I’ve never been that organised.

I don’t think I’ve ever had any terrible regrets, just a small sense of loss occasionally. After all, there’s a good chance that the lost one will find its way back to you if it is meant to be, as it was in this case for me.

WikiCommons

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies
LuckyScent has $62/30ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $5/ml

So what about you? Have you managed to reclaim some gems you had let go? How did it work out?
Until next time everyone, keep spritzing!
Anne-Marie

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
Since I heard that Annick Goutal is to be re-branded early next year, I’ve been carefully ticking off certain of its older offerings from my ‘to-try’ list. If, as has been reported, the line will be cut from around 45 fragrances to 25, at least some of the great classics are surely headed for the chop.

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

A wander through the Goutal catalogue

Fragrantica

I tried and loved Eau du Sud at the airport on my way home from holidays in January. Unfortunately my excitement did not outlast the post-holiday glow. I bought a decant so as to give Sud a thorough test but, lovely though it is, I’ve found it collapses on skin in hot weather. As it is a summer scent, that’s a disappointment. I still like it, but I’m not going for a full bottle when there are plenty of other Goutals jostling for the attentions of my credit card.

One of those jostlers is Sables (immortelle, cinnamon, pepper, tea, sandalwood, amber). Now this one really could be on the endangered list. Already it seems to be in limited distribution because it’s hard to find and never cheap. You have to have a deep and abiding commitment to the curry-and-burnt-sugar effect of immortelle (or helichrysum) to enjoy Sables. The other notes are bit players, although a lot of people smell cinnamon distinctly (I don’t). Sables is absolutely outstanding but it would take me at least 147 years to get through a FB. A single spritz lasts all day and can survive a shower the next morning. A large decant may be all I’ll ever need.

Then there is Passion (tuberose, tomato leaf, jasmine, ylang, vanilla, oakmoss, patchouli). This is one of the early releases (1983) and it does reference some of the great florals and chypres of yore. Tropical notes are balanced by the green twang of tomato leaf and a mossy base. Overall, Passion has (for me) a slightly tailored, formal feel to it. It’s perfect for professional settings, being neither too stuffy nor too cosy and casual. FB-worthy, yes, and much cheaper than Sables.

Fragrantica

Gardenia Passion (gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla). This should be named ‘tuberose passion’ really, but it is no less beautiful for that. The opening is so dramatic I gasped aloud. A white floral accord so buttery and so green it stole away the very breath I was trying to use to smell it. Then – it’s gone. Gardenia Passion leaves my skin, and the building, in under an hour. So, this one is off the list.

The last in my little clutch of Goutal samples is Grand Amour. . I think this may be a scrubber. The problem is the hyacinth, which normally I like but here it seems too cutting for my taste. But I’ve only tried Grand Armour on skin once, so who knows. It might improve.

Annick Goutal

So – over to you. Do you have great loves from the house of Goutal? Are you doing what I’m doing – snatching at them before they go?
Bye for now everyone!
Anne-Marie

Holiday Scents: Anne-Marie

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all
Last month my kids and I spent a couple of weeks in my home city of Hobart, visiting family and just generally relaxing. We go nearly every year and never feel especially energetic during our holidays. We have our routines; stuff we like to do and things we like to see.

Here’s a few of the ways I scented my down-time this year.

Holiday Scents: Anne-Marie

 

Fragrantica

Guy Laroche: Fidji

I bought a bottle of this at St Cloud Perfumery in Hobart, where I have been an irregular customer for more years than I’m willing to admit. It’s a friendly place where I can try some old classics I never see at home. I might have bought Worth Je Reviens but they only had a tester, no stock for sale. I settled on Fidji, but was disappointed. I find it a merely pleasant moist green floral with a twist of citrus. Lamentably short-lived. Wish I’d smelled it in its heyday. Read Azar’s glorious Fidji review.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream

One year I wandered into The Body Shop in Hobart looking to treat myself with something nice, and came away with a small bottle of this. I’ve never taken to the other products in the Shea range, just the shower cream. Now we take a bottle every time and holidays would not be complete without it. This time I sensed a new accord: a little twist of citrus in the opening moment. Or am I imagining that? Delicious! Check out the Body Shop Range.

Fragrantica

Annick Goutal: Songes EDT

This is a current obsession of mine. Jasmine, tiaré flower, ylang-ylang, frangipani and vanilla. Nothing more or less is needed for pure, sensual scented pleasure. Songes is not my normal style of fragrance, but contrarily, I adore it. Maybe it works for me at some un-analysable, aroma-therapeutic level because I find it very comforting. For two weeks I wore this more than any other perfume in my little holiday kit. Songs Review.

Fragrantica

Christian Dior: Diorella

This one is going through a revival in my perfume rotation this summer. I’ve had a bottle for some years but felt perpetually disappointed in its longevity. But I thought I’d give it a new chance and oddly enough, I find I can smell it on skin for longer than I remember from the past. Diorella is, of course, a masterpiece of modern perfumery which transcends the sum of its parts (citrus, ripe fruit, flowers and moss). I know some people prefer vintage Diorella but I happily wear the current (well, 2009) version. Diorella review.

Lush Happy Hippy shower gel

HH was waiting for me in my bathroom for my first shower after coming home. It’s scented with juicy grapefruit, not at all weird or sharp, just zesty and refreshing. Welcome home!

Are you dreaming of a summer escape? Or are you on one right now? What fragrances are special for you on holidays?
Happy spritzing until next time everyone!

Anne-Marie

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal for Annick Goutal 1996

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
It’s summer in my part of the world and my citrus colognes are helping me push through the dog days.

I own a number of classic and wonderful citrus colognes, and while I always enjoy trying more, I rarely add to the collection of full bottles these days. After all, there is a certain sameness to them, and I tell myself I have most bases covered: 4711 (of course); Eau de Givenchy (my first citrus cologne); Dior Diorella (never dates because it always surprises); Eau de Rochas (lime and wet stones); Calyx (not really a traditional cologne, but wonderful in humidity); and Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil (cleaner and more modern than the mossy citruses of yore).

I’ve many times NEARLY bought Chanel Cristalle, Ô de Lancome, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin, Eau de Patou, and Dior Eau Sauvage. For one reason or other, I talk myself back from the brink each time.

But THIS: Goutal Eau du Sud.

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal 1996

Eau du Sud: My first impressions

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, basil, grapefruit, bergamot
Heart: Mint, lime, lemon verbena, jasmine
Base: Vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss

I gave myself a single spritz of Sud at the airport today on the way home from holiday. About four hours later, before I’d unpacked my suitcase, I hopped online and ordered a large decant.

Full bottle? Not ready to commit yet. But oh my how I enjoyed that single spritz of Sud! It lasted all afternoon and survived a shower (just). I’m not up to analysing notes yet, but what I loved was the mossy, aromatic and yet also dry and almost salty qualities I got as the fragrance developed. Citrus fruit, herbs, and the smell of sunshine on hot stones.

I’m looking forward to figuring out and reporting back on what it is about Sud that clicked the ‘buy’ button for me, when I have rejected those other great colognes. Yes, I’m as susceptible to marketing as the next person, but this really does make me dream of the south of France. The fact that I have never been there makes me all the more suggestible.

Book Depository

If you read romance novels you might know Mary Stewart’s Madam Will You Talk. This was her first novel, published in 1954, before she got into that Arthurian stuff. It takes its heroine, Charity Selborne, on a wild chase through sun-baked Avignon, Nîmes, Les Baux and finally Marseilles. Eau du Sud made me think of this book, not just for the scents, but the effect it achieves of bright sun and deep shade in an ancient, bare but beautiful landscape.

Well, I suppose it’s mostly motorways and apartment blocks now? Hopefully Eau du Sud will help me maintain the romance. I expect it has been reformulated over the years, but please don’t tell me. I’d rather not know.

WikiCommons

Further reading: Now Smell This and Portia on APJ
FragranceNet has $80/100ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

What fragrance conjures up your ideal summer?
Until next time keep spritzing everyone!
Anne-Marie

Vanderbilt by Sophia Grojsman for Gloria Vanderbilt 1982

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all, I hope the New Year is treating you well so far.

Vanderbilt is not a fragrance that gets much attention from the perfume crowd, and I have ignored it myself for years because:
a) I was suspicious of a perfume costing $10;
b) I assumed it is a hot swill of all those loud 80s and 90s perfumes like Red Door, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Oscar de la Renta and Amarige;
c) I don’t know anything about Gloria Vanderbilt except what I read yesterday on Wikipedia
d) I don’t like the muddy lilac of the box;
e) I don’t wear floaty dresses and I’m indifferent to white swans.

But – you should try everything once, eh?

Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt 1982

Vanderbilt by Sophia Grojsman

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, pineapple, orange blossom, lavender, green notes, bergamot
Heart: Carnation, tuberose, orris root, jasmine, ylang ylang, rose
Base: Sandalwood, cinnamon, opoponax, musk, civet, vanilla, vetiver

And here’s what I think. Yes, Vanderbilt smells like a perfume of its time. I won’t say it’s dated, perhaps ‘remote’. The opening bergamot and green notes I enjoy but a slightly harsh tuberose does indeed bring to mind all those fog horn white florals I spent years avoiding. (I’ve come around to Amarige.)

That calms. Actually, after a strong opening, I find that Vanderbilt settles to the skin and after about 20 minutes is much softer and quieter than I had expected. For the rest of its (relatively short, 4-5 hours) time on my skin it forms a pleasant veil of scent with a sweet, praline or cake-like note. It’s borderline gourmand on me, although I have low tolerance to gourmands so I may be hyper-alert to that facet. It’s pleasant, but perhaps suited to cooler weather than we have in my part of the world at present. I can imagine it wafting up beautifully from the depths of a winter jacket.

If you wore Vanderbilt back in the day, do comment. Was it bigger then? Carnation more prominent? I don’t get any at all. Pineapple? There’s a juicy note in there but I don’t identify it as pineapple specifically. Civet? Nope, left the building. In fact, after the opening few minutes I can’t really pick out any notes. It’s a sweetish and slightly spicy (cinnamon?), harmonious whole. Quite feminine, and recognisable as Sophia Grojsman’s work.

In my collection, Cacharel LouLou is about the closest I have to Vanderbilt, except that LouLou has decidedly more character. I’ll put Vanderbilt away until the autumn, when I’ll see how it performs as a casual set-and-forget fragrance.

Further reading: FragranceBouquet 
My Beauty Spot currently has AUD$10/100ml

Not wanting to quibble, but white swans are usually quite muddy and grubby aren’t they? With black swans you’d hardly notice, and they are more interesting. I’d probably prefer a black swan of a fragrance. You?
All the best until next time folks!
Anne-Marie

Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982

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Anne-Marie

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Hi everyone, and Happy New Year to all!

Big White Florals. Not my usual line of country, but with jasmine and gardenia blooming on my patio, I’m tempted to try them in perfumery. My latest exploration is Jovan’s Island Gardenia.

Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982

island-gardenia-jovan-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica only gives gardenia as a note, and the perfumer is unstated, but a Basenotes reviewer offers:
Top: coconut, peach
Heart: gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, neroli, cyclamen
Base: vanilla, civet, Siamese benzoin

I find mixed white florals heavily dominated by tuberose. That is what I get straight out of the bottle: a rich, buttery tuberose, luscious and unmistakeable. I agree on the peach but if you live in terror of the peach-tuberose combo in Givenchy Amarige, relax. The peach fades quickly.

The coconutty facet of many white florals is present, though not to my nose a major player. I don’t notice any of those listed base notes, certainly not civet.
The thing I really don’t get is gardenia. The gardenia I grow is a miniature and I think it is sweeter and less green and earthy than the classic, Billie Holiday-style gardenia. Still, I feel I know how they smell and I get very little gardenia in Island Gardenia. That’s a disappointment.

And then, I had been expecting monstrous flesh eating sillage so I was very surprised when IG shrank to my skin in less than half an hour. After a shower this afternoon I gave myself about five big spritzes (yes, I stayed home, just in case!). The sillage is moderate, but I don’t somehow expect it to last the whole evening.
The opening is my favourite part. Then, on some wearings the dry down seems a little harsh and chemically, but on others I found it pleasantly creamy and slightly salty. I prefer the sillage, especially as it wafts up from my shirt, to the scent on skin.

Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982 white-gardenia-in-bloomPDI

For all that, Island Gardenia is relaxing to wear. It is warm but only slightly sweet; maternal I would say, rather than sultry. Which brings us to – you know it’s coming – Piguet’s Fracas. Island Gardenia is sometimes likened to Fracas: lighter, more timid and much less complex. Well, I have never comprehended Fracas. I like the orange blossom in the opening, but as the tuberose emerges it turns weird and unpleasant on my skin. I do have a sample and I will keep comparing them, but if you know both fragrances well, do comment. And please, if you have compared it to Jungle Gardenia by Tuvaché, I’d love to hear what you think!

On Fragrantica, you have to squint hard to find any really negative comment about Island Gardenia. I normally find that at least a quarter of the reviews of any given fragrance will condemn it, but ‘love the heck out of this’ is a pretty common reaction to this one.

island-gardenia-by-jovan-1982-wedding-waft-pexelsPDI

FragranceNet has US$14/45ml before coupon

And the price! I gone mine for about AUD $21 on Fragrancex.com. No complaints there.
Ah gardenia! Do you have a favourite?
Bye for now.
Anne-Marie

APJ Crew: What We Loved In 2016

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Post by APJ Crew

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Hi APJ,

The end of the year hurtles towards us faster than I was ready for. A year filled with fun and adventure, a year fraught with political upheaval, a year of fragrance, travel, friends and families. For many 2016 has been the year of war, displacement, challenge, heartache and despair. Most of us have had a year of good and bad, a year of work, home and regular life with its ups and downs, drama and spots of magic that make it all worthwhile.

Here’s what the crew at APJ loved the most in 2016. Not all of it fragrant. I hope you enjoy a little look into what we rated high. The order is the order the pieces came into my inbox.

APJ Crew: What We Loved In 2016

skinceuticals-retinol-1-0-1-oz

Claire Vukčević

Honestly? Apart from perfume, the biggest discovery in 2016 was how brilliant Tretinoin is. Northing I’ve ever used before has had such an effect on my skin – small wrinkles minimized, pores reduced, overall skin texture improved. I love the stuff. I can’t find a doctor to prescribe it to me here, so I will have to source it out on the Internet – always a crapshoot, no? But still, it’s great and I will take the chance. For 2017, I am also excited about exploring a more extensive, Korean-style skincare regime. Next year will be all about getting that chok chok, or Korean glow. We’ll see. I just turned 40 and I think that Irish skin might have a finite stock of chok chok and that perhaps I used mine all up in 1997. Call me in 2018 to see how that works out for me.

Galop d`Hermes Hermes Fragrantica1

Sandra
Hey APJ! Wishing ya’ll a very happy and safe holiday season and hoping that 2016 was a good year. 2016 has been tumultuous for me but we survived and we are currently setting up our house in Rotterdam. My favorites for 2016 are not necessarily new but new experiences for me.
Perfumes: Rahele by NVC, Galop and Muguet Porcelaine both by Hermes, discovering the pure decadence of Shalimar in all its variations and last but not least finally getting my hands on the gorgeous Dior Privee Bois d’Argent.
Movies: watching A Christmas Story with my son and hearing his squeals of laughter.
TV shows: I enjoyed Narcos and The Crown (I know – two wildly different shows!). Flowers: finally smelling a vanilla orchid.
Books: all the Robert Galbraith crime novels and rereading Roald Dahl books with my son.
Bring on 2017! Sandra xoxo
Week July 2016 #25 CHANEL Boy

Robert Herrmann

Phew. 2016. What a tumultuous year it was and all I can say is “Buh-bye 2016! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! A year of highs and lows, and what got me through much of it was perfume. Always there at my beck and call…

In 2016 there were in excess of 1100 new releases averaging out to almost 100 a month. Did I try even 10% of them? Possibly, but not likely. There were some standouts that I ended up loving. So in no particular order, here’s what was new to me in 2016….

Boy by Chanel, a VERY unisex Fougere Cologne. Addictive.
Amouage Lilac Love, a truly gorgeous non-lilac lilac.
Amouage Opus X, “The Red Violin” in a bottle. A weird and wonderful rose.
Aroma M Voluptuous Nostalgia and Camillia Extrait, two of the finest contemporary but vintage-style perfumes. Gorgeous!
En Voyage Rainmaker, like walking through the Pacific Northwest rain forest. Amazing.
Dusita Infini, One of the finest oudh’s. Really. Even if you’re not an Oudh fan, try this, it’s stunning!
MFK’s Grand Soir, my new cold weather go-to. Gourmand heaven.
Zoologist Civet (releasing Dec.31st) exquisite. I can’t even.

streets-with-people-in-havana-cuba

Anne Marie

I had fun in 2016 exploring Cuban culture. I can’t remember what brought this on, but somehow I got interested in Cuban food, music, literature and of course, Cuban-inspired perfume. It’s easy to get carried away by a romantic idea of old Havana so the quite gritty novels of Cuban writer Leonardo Padura Fuentes brought me down to earth with a thump. Still, I taught myself to make mojitos, discovered the Lecuona Cuban Boys, and bought a Cuban cookbook (more read than cooked from, I have to admit). Of course bottles of Guerlain Pour Homme and Aramis Havana were obligatory!

doblis-hermes

Val the Cookie Queen

Seeing MUSE on the Drones Tour. After having attended hundreds of gigs in my lifetime, including so many in the mid seventies punk era, to see MUSE at aged 56 and be absolutely blown away was the definitive highlight of 2016.
Celebrating my grandmother-in-law`s 100th birthday gathering was a great privilege. She can still tell a joke to turn your hair white. We have had a close relationship for nearly 25 years. I love her.
Fragrance wise would be receiving a bottle of Hermès Doblis as a gift. The humorous side to this was having to Google it to see exactly what I had. It is the prize possession in my small ( but not as small as it used to be!) fragrance collection.

icons-ii-inferno-4

Erica Golding

2016 was the 10th anniversary of my favorite perfume house, NAVA (Nocturne Alchemy). They are poised to revamp their website and packaging over an extended winter hiatus, and like most fans I went on an ordering spree in December! My favorite 2016 NAVA release was the now Sold Out limited edition Icons II: Inferno, a luxuriously smooth and resonant amber oudh that is in a league all its own.
This year, the novel City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin was finally released, completing a long-anticipated trilogy. His writing is infused with vivid poetry and complex character development, elevating a storyline that could otherwise be classified as Sci-Fi. Deeply moving literary fiction, highly recommended!

TinaG

My travels this year took me to the Islay Festival, or Feis Ile, a whisky festival on the Scottish island of the same name. I fell in love with Islay, not only because of the wonderful people and magnificent whisky, but for the wild island itself. My cottage was 9 kms from Port Ellen along a windy single track road which took my past Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries (for those who know their whisky) and then along little beaches & craggy coves. One of my favourite things to do on my way home was to pull in at one secluded beach, and sit for a while watching the local seals. It was ridiculously cool to hear them slapping the water, blowing bubbles, and chasing each other around. Just me & them, chilling out enjoying the last few rays of the golden evenings. Magical.
15497621_10154621359800115_1678641557_n
Tina’s Ireland cottage
15515516_10154621359835115_1733690007_o
Seal Bay
15435648_10154621357945115_144390778_nThree distilleries near thecottage

Portia

What did I love this year? I particularly loved everyone who took time to read and comment here on APJ. Thank you. Loved all our contributors, I know how hard you all work to continually pull interesting posts out of the hat. BRAVO!
Perfume: The things I purchased most of this year in mls are Granville and vintage Miss Dior by DIOR, vintage Mitsouko by Guerlain and BOY + Misia by CHANEL. New niche faves for me have been Morn To Dusk by Eau d’Italie and Rahele by Neela Vermeire.
Travel: Jin & I had a great time in Japan, we also loved seeing Venice with Tara of A Bottled Rose and our friend Anna-Maria. Unforgettable times.
Books: The Herland Trilogy by Charlotte Perkins Gilman blew my mind, can’t stop thinking about it. Erin Watt’s Royal Trilogy is non-stop pot-boiling reading, could not put this terrible trash down and did nothing except read them for a week. When It Rains and How To Get There are two books by Australian writer Maggie MacKeller on her dealing with grief and moving on, all set against the backdrop of the Australia that I know & love.

Venice'16 #6

What did you love about 2016?
Portia xx