Noir Epices by Michel Roudnitska for Frederic Malle 2000

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hi APJ folk!

We’ve been enjoying an amazing autumn here in Ireland. Lucky enough to live in the most sheltered spot on this rain-sodden island, we spent most of October and November trawling the long, golden beaches and kicking over the leaves in castle parks. The sun never stopped shining, temperatures barely dipped below 15 degrees, and we were all in such a damn good mood. Then one day, driving back from a jaunt to Kilkenny, I made the fatal mistake of saying, “And imagine – the kids haven’t been sick even once!”

Jesus.

Naturally, there hasn’t been a dry tissue in the house since. There’s been the flu, chest infections, and a torn cornea that necessitated an emergency hospital visit and a hefty bill (no health insurance). More familiar with hospital waiting rooms than I’d care to be, I have developed a perfume strategy that helps a bit. I wear powerfully radiant, antiseptic fumes that march ahead of me, wiping whole rooms down with Dettol before I enter, and whisper “Do not fuck with me” to receptionists.

Noir Epices by Frederic Malle 2000

Noir Epices by Michel Roudnitska

noir-epices-frederic-malle-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, rose, geranium
Heart: Nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cloves
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, vanilla

Yeah, so, I’m wearing a lot of Noir Epices. It is a difficult, somewhat prickly perfume – a sort of stripped-down, Vorsprung Durch Technik version of Coco. Re-engineered to remove all the sweetness and ballasting amber; it’s the perfume equivalent of whittling a comfy sofa into a Philippe Starck chair.

noir-epices-frederic-malle-ngv_design_philippe_starck_w-w-_stool-wikicommonsWikiCommons

In the opening notes, a hot pink rose stumbles onto the scene, flushed and boozy, washed down with the metallic sheen of geranium leaf. It is intensely beautiful to me at first because I get the impression of fullness – the bitter greenness of the geranium balanced by the rose, and the dry, peppery spices are backed up by rich woods. Singed orange peel and clove burn through spices, florals, and woods, purifying the unclean air around me and excoriating the flesh around open wounds. Noir Epices is the answer to the plague.

I feel fierce when I wear this, but eventually the very things that make me feel protected wear me down. Wearing Noir Epices is like putting a pure vitamin C serum on your face – the burning feels good because you know that it is active, but at the same time, the discomfort is real. Noir Epices has all the trappings of a rich spice oriental – the acidity of spilled orange juice, dry pomander woods, black pepper, an excitable rose – but completely lacks the underpinnings. There is no amber, vanilla, or creamy, hefty woods to round this out in the base, and while I understand that its appeal comes from this woody weightlessness, I would wish for a kinder, more forgiving ending. Noir Epices is a stern judge of character.

noir-epices-frederic-malle-ku_kai-chih-wikicommonsWikipedia

Longevity and sillage are outstanding, 7 hours at the least. I recommend Noir Epices to anyone in need of a magic potion to ward off illnesses, and to fans of spicy, dry orange-rose pomander fragrances such as Coco and Maharanih.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Non Blonde
Mecca has $217/50ml with FREE Australian Shipping
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $8.69/ml

What do you guys use to banish the sickies?

Slán,
Claire

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.
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Tina’s Ireland cottage
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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

Elixir des Merveilles by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2006

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hello APJ!

Christmas time is a-coming! Time to talk about orange scents, in other words. First up – Elixir des Merveilles.

Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès 2006

Elixir des Merveilles by Jean-Claude Ellena

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Peru balsam, vanilla sugar, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli, Siam resin, caramel, oak, incense, orange peel, cedar

God, Elixir des Merveilles is such a weird perfume. The first time I tried it, I remember thinking –this right here is why people hate perfume. It was overly rich, sweet, muddy, with all the elements jumbled together in that overdone blur that defines “Rich Bitch” perfumes to me. The second time I tried it, I thought “I should learn how to read labels better” because I’d been aiming for the Ambre bottle.

Third time round, something clicked for me and I began to like it. Now I have odd, sudden cravings for it. I think it’s because I was finally able to figure out its structure. There are two sides to Elixir des Merveilles – the syrupy orange peels dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt on one side, and on the other, a massively butch clutch of resins and moss. It’s basically a super-gourmand grafted onto a super hairy-balled aftershave.

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-natalie-greco-clown-shoes-flickrFlickr

Both sides are as oversized as clown shoes. The oranges dipped in caramel and chocolate are sweet to the point of being grotesque. One minute you think it’s gorgeous, the next you think, Christ, this stuff is absolutely gross. The sprinkling of what feels like celery salt over the treacly mass is probably one step too far. I swing between feeling repulsed to wanting more. The countermanding element is rather chypre-like: a brusque, musky cedar, smoky balsams and resins, moss. It’s really quite dry, bitter, and smoky.

The exaggerated forms of the two parts give the perfume a cartoonish Jessica Rabbit shape. It’s like watching an overloaded plane trying to take off or Kim Kardashian walk across the road in a tight skirt. You half fear it’s going to topple over any minute. But somehow the whole thing seems to hang together and work quite well. It’s a great winter gourmand, and the oranges and resins make me think of Christmas and oddly, Theorema.

Just don’t put this on if you’re not in the right mood for it, because it sticks like glue and seems to grow grander by the minute. At times, I find it enveloping and rich – just right for a cold winter’s day. But at other times, it begins to wear me down. When my hand glides over the small bottle of it that I bought, I have to think twice before putting it on.

elixir-des-merveilles-hermes-winter-woman-loganart-pixabayPDI

 

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Non-Blonde
Hermes stores and department stores stock Elixir des Merveilles
FragranceX has it around the $100/50ml mark
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3/ml

What about you guys? Do you have any perfumes that you hesitate before putting on because they are either such a huge commitment? Or because sometimes you enjoy them and other times they make you want to hurl? M/Mink and Myrrhe Ardente are both a little like Elixir des Merveilles in that way for me.

Slán!

Claire

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off<<JUMP

Sex and the Sea by + for Francesca Bianchi 2016

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hello lovely-smelling APJ people!

I’m supposed to be writing an article on ambergris for Basenotes, but instead of finishing up, I keep ordering more samples of stuff I hear has ambergris in it, and so we are already at 6,000 words and counting….But I can’t help myself – I am simply fascinated with ambergris and how different perfumers choose to work with it (or a synthetic replacement).

Sex and the Sea by + for Francesca Bianchi 2016

sex-and-the-sea-francesca-bianchi-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Mimosa, pineapple, coconut, immortelle, rose, iris, sandalwood, myrrh, labdanum, benzoin, ambergris, civet, vanilla

Francesca Bianchi’s Sex and the Sea is a good example of how perfumers can take a material you think you know and find a completely new angle on it. Here, Francesca takes all the usual markers of tropicana (pineapple, coconut, lactones) and twists them into something far less comfortable than the creamy, sweet sun-tan oil smell we expect to smell.

Using a dry, urinous ambergris material (Cetalox, a synthetic replacement for ambergris), the fragrance drags the pineapple through salty sea water until it dries up into a weathered old fruit leather.

Imagine a pile of dried, salted pineapple mixed in with discarded coconut husks and ancient sea tackle, ropes, and flotsam washed up on the shore of an island somewhere. The heap of materials is dry and crusted over with salt, and if you get close enough you will notice a searing smell of old seagull piss, dry and ureic – not honeyed and wet.

sex-and-the-sea-20Francesca Bianchi

Underneath this dry, acid-toned salt-and-fruit-leather tangle, there is a queasily warm mix of milky lactones, fruit, and salt that comes off a little metallic and iodine-like. I’ve never smelled Secretions Magnifiques – not even by accident – but based on what I’ve read, I’d venture a guess to say that they are at least thematically related. Later on, there is a warm, unwashed body funk to this that is appealing.

Early reviews on Fragrantica are rhapsodic, with most pegging it to be a sexy or sensual fragrance. But I think that Sex and the Sea, while a very interesting way to use ambergris and pineapple, is not that easy or pleasant to wear. It contains a similar idea to Slumberhouse’s Sadanne, that is, a schmear of bright fruit over a layer of ambergris marine filth and bilge, but whereas Sadanne is sparkling and sweet, in Sex and the Sea, the result is far too urinous and tinder-dry to be a comfortable wear.

Longevity is everlasting. I would be surprised if cetalox ever truly dies on the skin or just eventually get scrubbed off. The kind of person I see enjoying this would be a fan of challenging perfumes that do animalic/sexy in a metallic, harsh, salty way.

sex-and-the-sea-13Francesca Bianchi

Hats off to Francesca Bianchi, though. She is certainly not playing it safe. Instead, she hands us a pile of salt-encrusted sea tackle and says, here, this is my idea of sex on the beach. It’s as far from the Eau des Merveilles take on ambergris as you can get, but, in my opinion, all takes on this fascinating material are welcome.

Further reading: Pierre de Nishapur
ParfuMaria has €98/30ml

What ambergris perfumes have you guys tried and liked?

Slán libh!

Claire

 

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off

Egoiste by Jacques Pole + François Demachy for Chanel 1990

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hello APJ peeps!

My husband came to me the other day and told me that he’d seen Burberry Touch for Men for €20 at a local pharmacy and was thinking of getting it. I held my hand up in the universal sign language of “Lemme Stop You There”, remembering the last time he bought perfume on his own (Dior Sauvage, oh the horror, the HORROR), and glumly handed him over a big bottle of Egoiste. “You wear men’s perfumes?” he asked me, confused.

Egoiste by Chanel 1990

Egoiste by Jacques Pole + François Demachy

egoiste-chanel-fragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, Mahogany, Mandarin, Rosewood
Heart: Carnation, Rose, Cinnamon
Base: Amber, Leather, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Vanilla

Yes, husband. Yes, I do. When perfumes are as good as Egoiste, women will purloin them and claim them as their own. He doesn’t even know about my Dior Homme Intense habit yet.

Anyway, the great thing about my act of supreme generosity is that Egoiste now lives in our downstairs loo, where it gets splashed on with gay abandon onto the husband, me (whenever I go in there), and my two children upon whom I use it as a body spray. The very act of bringing it out into the light has meant that we are all currently luxuriating in the fabulousity of Egoiste.

egoiste-chanel-jeff_golden-family-feet-flickrFlickr

Egoiste opens with a tight little nubbin of spice, its mandarin orange oil, cinnamon, rose, and lemon notes swirling together to form an effervescent coca-cola accord that never fails to lift the spirits. Sometimes the rose becomes very big, sometimes I barely notice it, as I think it knits itself into the smooth rosewood and tobacco very cleverly.

The new version is definitely weaker and thinner than how I remember it smelling in the late 1990’s, when I recall it being a big hit with several boyfriends. To my nose, the tobacco has been amped up, and it is the crumbling, dusty sort that can smell a little like earth and dried leaves – similar to the tobacco note in Journey Man.

Thank God, though, that the sandalwood in the drydown is still the rich, sweet, spicy gingerbread sandalwood that I love so much in Bois des Iles and Mona di Orio Vanille. Before I moved from Montenegro to Ireland last summer, I sent all my perfumes on ahead of me (strapped to donkeys, over the Alps), and I found I missed my sandalwoods the most. My Egoiste is therefore a bottle I bought in Montenegro a week before I left, procured solely to give me comfort during that tumultuous time of my life, and I clung to it despite the sweltering 40 degree heat. Of course, reunited with my perfumes back in Ireland, I kind of forgot about Egoiste. Until now.

Longevity is ok – about 4 hours and definitely not as strong or as rich as the older versions. It’s perfect for men AND WOMEN who love big, spicy woods perfumes with a coca cola twang and a creamy drydown. For me, it’s pure cold weather comfort in a bottle.

egoiste-chanel-bureau-of-land-management-blm-winter-bucket-list-11-white-mountains-national-recreation-area-alaska-flickrFlickr

Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Bois de Jasmin
CHANEL counters everywhere have Egoiste, go grab a free spritz

What about you guys? Do you wear and love any perfumes from the other side of the gender aisle?

Slán!

Claire

 

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off

Immortelle de Corse by Claire Chambert for L`Occitane 2011

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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G’Day lovely-smelling APJ people!

Have you ever nicked a perfume from your parents or siblings? I have. Well, I’m too scared of my father to lift his Terre d’Hermes parfum. But I’ve mentally placed post-its on it just in case, you know… My mother has no interest in perfume, but like any good mum, is given loads of it and stacks it all up at the back of her wardrobe.

Now, I used to joke that the only perfume I’d be likely to inherit from my mum would be a half-used bottle of Eternity. But it turns out that she only likes No. 5, and so I was free to take her vintage No 19 EDT, vintage Je Reviens, and a bottle of Opium that she tried to persuade me not to take “because it must be 40 years old at this point and no good at all.” Ha!

Also among the bottles I re-housed for her was L’Occitane’s Immortelle de Corse. I had never heard of it. A quick search on eBay, however, told me that it’s pretty rare and that people pay up to €200 for it. But I don’t think I’d ever sell it because it’s G…G….G…Gorgeous.

Immortelle de Corse by L`Occitane 2011

Immortelle de Corse by Claire Chambert

immortelle-de-corse-loccitane-en-provence-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Corsican immortelle
Heart: Honey, rose, black tea
Base: Corsican immortelle, benzoin, iris, musk

I’m a big immortelle fan, to the extent that I grow it in my garden and own pretty much every perfume iteration of the note. To me, it smells in turn of delicious hay, tea, leather, maple syrup, honey, booze, curry, and sometimes dried grass. It is not a simple, one-dimensional smell, so that’s why I think it’s not redundant to own more than one fragrance that features it.

immortelle-de-corse-loccitane-strawflower-pixabayPDI

 

Initially, Immortelle de Corse smells like whiskey mixed with Acacia honey. The rich booziness that rolls off the topnotes remind me somewhat of the Scottish whiskey note in Like This, which also features immortelle, but with less smoke and gingerbread, and more of a simple, liquid honey.

There is a maple syrup-like chewiness to the honey that’s pitched halfway between amber and burned sugar, but the accord never comes off as heavy or sickly. Immortelle can be slightly cloying, but here the potential clinginess of the maple-honey note has been cut with notes of black tea, which introduce air and smoke.

There is also a dry, powdery iris evident in the drydown, which joins with the delicious smell of sun-baked hay and benzoin to make you think of lazy harvest afternoons, smoking on a shady veranda and looking contentedly at all the haystacks you’ve just built. Basically, it’s a cornucopia of harvest smells – wine must, honey, booze, hay, and tea.

Longevity is great – about 6 hours on me, when it fades into a leafy, curried warmth that is pure immortelle. The kind of person I see enjoying this would be a fan of other autumn harvest fumes such as Botrytis, Volutes, and Frapin 1270.

immortelle-de-corse-loccitane-wheatstacks_end_of_summer-monet-wikipediaWikipedia

Further reading: Now Smell This

What about you guys? Have you ever nicked, er, I mean, “borrowed” perfumes from family members? If so, what were they?

Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir!

Claire

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off

Bois de Paradise by Michel Roudnitska for Parfums DelRae 2002

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Post by Claire Vukcevic

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Hi there APJ folk!

Have you ever built a fragrance up in your head for ages before even smelling it? I do that a lot. The town where I live sells nothing fancier that Beyonce Heat, so I am completely dependent on the Internet. So, I read. 95% of the pleasure I get from perfume is reading other people writing about it. Words set off a moving train of vivid images in my head, and if a person is a talented writer, they can bring a perfume to life for me in a way that just smelling the damn thing simply will not do.

These images and dreams of a perfume can slosh around my head for years until I actually smell it. Can you imagine the utter joy when the images I’ve filed away in my mental library actually lines up with how the perfume smells? Unfortunately, Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis doesn’t quite live up to the movie reel in my head.

Bois de Paradise by Parfums DelRae 2002

Bois de Paradise by Michel Roudnitska

parfums-delrae-bois-de-paradis-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses
Heart: French rose, blackberry, spices, fig
Base: Amber, woodsy notes, resins, incense

There is just something a little too insistent, too overwrought about Bois de Paradis. It bowls me over….then sticks in my craw. Each time I put it on, I think of the immortal lines of Hotel California – this could be heaven, or this could be hell.

The problem: In the middle of a pool of rich, luscious florals, fruits, and woods, a strident tone eventually juts out and catches my skin on its jagged edges. It’s like running your hand down a gleaming wooden banister and finding one tiny splinter. It gets in the way of what I signed up for.

bois-de-paradise-parfums-delrae-loretto_chapel-wikipediaWikipedia

What I signed up for: A luscious rose-berry syrup, heavily spiced but suspended in a golden elixir, so delicious I want to drink it. Fresh blackberries and dried currants swimming in some kind of quaint alcohol, like mead or mulled wine and draped in the same golden, autumnal haze that I associate with other rich, honeyed harvest scents such as Botrytis and 1270 by Frapin. This, right here, is my bailiwick. Mah wheelhouse.

The splinter: The syrup boils over and becomes pure resin. The woods funnel into pine sap, with a helping of mint, blackcurrant leaf, and camphor, introducing an “aftershave”-like aftertaste. These notes interfere with a creamy-dry, rosy sandalwood in the base. I want to shove aside the throat-catching resin, pine needles, and mint, and enjoy my sandalwood unfettered. It won’t allow me. (If I wanted pine needles and mint, I would wear Nuit Etoilee).

Despite the odds stacked in its favor at the start, it is not a buy for me. But I am grateful to have been given the chance to try it. DelRae stuff is almost impossible to find in Europe.

bois-de-paradise-parfums-delrae-s-rae-spruce-resin-flickrFlickr

Further reading: Non Blonde and EauMG
LuckyScent has $150/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples from $4/0.5ml

What about you guys? Have you ever built a fragrance up in your mind while reading reviews, only to have your hopes (and expectations) dashed to the ground when you actually get your nose on it?

Slán from sunny but cold Ireland,
Claire

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off