Tatiana by Diane von Furstenburg 1975


Post by FeralJasmine


I do love BIG white florals, and recently I acquired a crush on Tatiana. I am not referring here to any of the numerous reformulations, all of which carry a bug-spray note to my nose. But recently a Facebook friend reminded me with a picture what the original bottle looked like, and I realized that the original does show up on EBay periodically and isn’t even all that expensive.

Tatiana by Diane von Furstenburg 1975

Vintage Tatiana: Crazy Floral

Tatiana Diane von Furstenberg FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, hyacinth, orange blossom
Heart: Gardenia, jasmine, narcissus, rose. tuberose
Base: amber, musk, sandalwood

Tatiana is a diva. You might think it’s a jasmine diva, or a gardenia diva, or a tuberose diva, depending on what stage you encounter. When I dab on the original Eau de Parfum, I smell jasmine first, with some bergamot and a faint suggestion of the bug-spray note which is so prominent in the reformulations. Fear not, it’s quickly gone. The jasmine has a warm creamy quality, rather the way you encounter it wafting around in Hawaii if you’re lucky and visit at the right time, and is a touch indolic. Gradually, over twenty minutes or so, gardenia creeps in under the jasmine and intertwines with it. At no point is it a gardenia soliflore, which is a pity because the gardenia accord is quite pretty. Rose drifts around underneath, and the musk is more noticeable now. After an hour there is a fair amount of tuberose, the rose continues to make its presence felt, and there is a definite animalic undertone. Over the following two hours ( on my skin; your mileage will probably be longer) Tatiana is a mixed white bouquet with a smoldering musky undertone. Periodically I get a sudden whiff of pure narcissus when I move during this stage, but this is not noticeable when I hold my wrist up to my nose. It’s an occasional surprise. After three hours it’s a skin scent, and quite a pretty one.


I have to emphasize that I am talking only about the original stuff, in the bottle shown in one of the original ads. I have tried the juice in every other bottle that it ever came in and have found it all to be substandard. You should also know that sometimes you find the old bath oil in the same bottle style as the old perfume, but it often has a rancid smell. You can tell the bath oil even in a photo because it is deep yellow, while the EdP is pale straw-yellow.

Diane_von_Furstenberg WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Is Tatiana a great perfume? No way. It’s too big and bold and simple and has no patience for surprising you and keeping you guessing. It is, perhaps, a reminder of the time when you could get perfumes at the drugstore that actually smelled nice. This is not an office-safe perfume, at least on me. But for a romantic summer evening on the deck, it’s a beauty. Ms. von Furstenburg herself, at age 68, is bold and sexy enough to give us all hope, and her perfume in its original form has the same qualities.

Further reading: Yesterday’s Perfume and Non Blonde
FragranceNet has the bath oil $13/120ml before coupon

FeralJasmine XX

Sunshine by Sidonie Lancesseur for Amouage 2014


Post by FeralJasmine


Originally from Musette on Perfume Posse: Sunshine, is that brightest gold!  It’s the summer sunlight as you emerge from a shaded canopy in a primeval forest, where darkness really does have its own backstory.  You can sense the spirits of Nature that have gone before but there is also a thread of new life that is woven within that forest and once you come out of the canopy the brilliance of the sun affirms that life.  Sunshine weaves all of those feelings into its composition – this is no sparkly little citrus, with a frilly sort of charm.  It’s a grounded, warm scent, with a core of burnished brightness…….

Sunshine by Sidonie Lancesseur for Amouage 2014

Warm Sun on Skin: Amouage Sunshine

Sunshine Amouage FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Artemisia, black currant, almond
Heart: Osmanthus, jasmine, magnolia, vanilla
Base: Juniper, patchouli, papyrus, white tobacco

This is a pretty perfume. From the rush of blackcurrant softened with almond and apricot (probably the davana and osmanthus),through the jasmine-floral musky heart, to the drydown of blond tobacco and an earthy touch of patchouli, this one is just plain pretty on me. I love warm florals, and this one is definitely warm. It has some fresh notes but they aren’t obnoxious. It is light. It sparkles and effervesces. It smells like spring. It comes in a bottle that reminds me of a yellow Chanel handbag that I once desperately wanted for most of a day (I got over it.) It lasts about four hours even on my skin, which means it would probably last eight on normal skin. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

unshine Amouage Sunshine Flowers danigeza PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Sure, I’ll take a bottle. It will be a nice addition to my summer line-up. And it costs what? Really??? Areyoufuckinkiddingme? You are trying to charge me 450 American dollars for this? I’ll give you $150. Okay, 200, I’ll throw in 50 for the bottle, and that’s my final offer. What do you mean, you won’t haggle?

So I will never own a bottle of this, as much as I want one. Like that brilliant Chanel handbag, I long for it but the value-for-money factor just isn’t there. I am not among the reviewers who think it’s an awful synthetic mess; I like it a lot. But I just can’t get my mind around the idea of paying that sort of money for it. At the end of the day, it’s a warm and pretty floral in a nice package. No more, no less.

Sunshine Amouage AlzirrSwanheartStock DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse
Libertine Parfumerie has $499/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/.5ml

What was Amouage thinking? What do you think?
FeralJasmine xxx

Ambre Vie by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2012


Post by FeralJasmine


I love amber and there is probably no note that I wear more regularly. I have different ambers for different seasons, but I adore them all. I am considering adding Ambre Vie to my line-up and am weighing my decision and seeking enablement.

Ambre Vie by Christi Meshell for House of Matriarch 2012

Ambre Vie: Soft Amber Waves

Ambre Vie House of Matriarch FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ambreine (labdanum), resins, mimosa petals, davana (artemisia), costus, amber, natural musk

Ambre Vie is an all-natural vanillic amber. It’s beautifully smooth and opens with a soft wave of spices and mimosa, but nothing dramatic. From the moment of spraying it smells somehow “settled,” as if it has melded with skin. I find it very hard to differentiate the various spice notes from one another. The labdanum is smooth and supple. The vanilla is there from the beginning, but it is soft and low-key and serves just to round out the amber. There is a dessert-wine, Tokai-like note which is probably the balsamic note referred to on Fragrantica. There are soft sweet powdery undertones, which I love in amber perfumes. On me it’s very soft and work-appropriate. Over the course of an hour the winey and mimosa notes disappear and the powder is a little more pronounced, but other than that it’s pretty linear. The remarks on House of Matriarch’s website refer to the drydown “becoming mysteriously stronger with time,” and all I can say is, not on me. It’s a skin scent within 90 minutes and gone at the two-hour mark.

Ambre Vie House of Matriarch Yellow_dragon jar Wikipedia)Photo Stolen Wikipedia

A commenter on Fragrantica calls it a “reference amber” and I agree with this. It’s like your perfect pound cake recipe that, while not being in any way unusual, is always delicious and never lets you down. Another Fragrantica commenter, Deadidol, says “Like its closest analog, HdP’s Ambre 114, this scent utilizes more than 100 materials to achieve its effect, yet the result is largely free from bombast. There’s musk lurking beneath, but it merges with the buttery tones of the base to keep from announcing itself too loudly. Similarly, soft, smoky notes appear alongside what seems to be clove, but these notes never get close enough the surface for full recognition.”

When I dream of the perfect workhorse amber perfume to suit all occasions and seasons and never call unwanted attention to itself (while inviting the wanted kind!), it’s pretty much like Ambre Vie. I wish it were more intense and lasted longer, and if it did, I wouldn’t be deliberating, I would be buying. I suspect that this is unique to my perfume-eating skin, because commenters have reported that it does last several hours on them. But ultimately I will almost surely buy a bottle because it is so very pretty, so well-made, and so right.

SONY DSCPhoto Stolen SteamRadio

Further reading: hausofwaft
House of Matriarch starts from $24/3.3ml

Speak to me of amber! What are your favorite perfumes based on this lovely note?
FeralJasmine x

Sublime by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1992


Post by FeralJasmine


Sublime Spring

There is no part of the transition from winter to spring that fails to interest and even enthrall me. Gardeners are generally beguiled by this season, and I am no exception. The birds are singing, the earth is awakening, Persephone is rising, and life stirs all around us.

In earliest spring I enjoy delicate, effervescent florals, but then the days get warmer and the daffodils bloom, and I develop a taste for divas who stand at center stage and defy winter to show its haggard face again. Sublime by Jean Patou is just such a scent. I will be writing only about the original release in the lobed bottle with a cap shaped rather like a tulip. I’ve never smelled the reformulation.

Sublime by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1992

Sublime Jean Patou fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, tangerine, coriander, green accords
Heart: Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, neroli oil
Base: Vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, civet

Jean Patou gives these featured accords:
Envolée: Bergamote, Mandarine, Orange, Ylang Ylang
Plénitude: Rose, Jasmin, Muguet, Fleur d’Oranger
Sillage: Vanille de Madagascar, Ambre, Santal

So what flowers lurk in this bold concoction? Jasmine, rose, ylang, and neroli are the official heart notes, but I smell narcissus in there too, and I’m not alone. A commenter on Fragrantica mentions the narcissus note, although other commenters don’t. My overall impressions of this scent are warm, sweet, and yellow. Imagine a double daffodil opening in the morning sun, and you have some idea of the quality of this perfume. And like so many flowers in the Narcissus family, it can be a bit much at close range. Even on my perfume consuming skin, this one has to be sprayed with some caution, at least 30 minutes before I leave the house. However, the warnings that I see on fragrance boards here and there that this scent is “rank” and “civet-y” are, to my mind, not worth paying attention to. There is a touch of civet but it is subtle. Refined, even. The drydown is long, sweet, warm, and powdery.

Sublime Jean Patou-jean-patou-1944-rene-gruau-fashion-illustration-hprints-comPhoto Stolen HPrints (Problem using image, get in touch please)

It was released in 1992, and in some ways partakes of the qualities of the 1980s bombs, toned down just a bit for the next decade’s sensibilities. But it remains lavish, and there is definitely a time and place for lavish.

Further reading: Non Blonde and I Smell Therefore I Am
FragranceNet has $66/50ml (old packaging)
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the house of Patou, or tell me your favorite floral bomb.
FeralJasmine XXX

J’ai Fait un Reve – Elle by Dorothée Piot for Majda Bekkali 2010


Post by FeralJasmine


The main thing that I remember about childhood vacations in Florida was the extraordinary scent of orange blossoms. The cottage that we rented was rural at that time, and when I left the house early in the morning I could nearly always smell orange trees blossoming nearby. That extraordinary mix of hypnotic sweetness and underlying spice and indoles is not something that I will ever forget. I love a lot of orange blossom perfumes, but to interest me they have to be fairly complex and have enough sweetness to at least somewhat resemble the real thing. Orange Blossom is a traditional bridal flower both because of its sweet and innocent aspects and its underlying narcotic properties. Drifting along like an angel, it wafts hints of the demonic and the damned. That’s for me.

J’ai Fait un Reve by Dorothée Piot for Majda Bekkali 2010

J’ai Fait Un Reve - Clair (Elle) Majda Bekkali  LuckyScentPhoto Stolen LuckyScent

LuckyScent gives these featured accords in one line:
Petitgrain, elemi, cumin, currant leaves, orange blossom, jasmine, lisylang, castoreum, white musk, white cedar, guaiac, leather, labdanum, incense, papyrus

I always become fervently interested in Orange Blossom perfumes in late winter, and this year I am loving J’ai Fait un Reve Elle by Madja Bekkali. The notes are simple enough. There are drifts of orange blossoms, a few fruits hanging in the background, the sweet white musk (on the clean side) underlying the flowers, a bit of petitgrain, with the whole given a sensual undertone by a hint of cumin.I am no fan of cumin in perfumes, but this is very subtle and really well done. It has a quality of movement on the skin that reminds me of the blossoms blowing gently in an early morning breeze. Right now, I can’t get enough of it. My orange blossom addiction usually crashes by late February, so this is a time-limited pleasure, and I use it to the hilt while it lasts.

J’ai Fait Un Reve - Clair (Elle) Majda Bekkali Orange_Blossom WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

I suspect that J’ai Fait un Reve will have a difficult time finding its audience, or maybe the audience is rather limited. It isn’t elegant and structured like 24, Faubourg. It isn’t a cuminy skank bomb like Rubj. It isn’t indolic, cumin-laden, and narcotically sweet like the SL Fleurs d’Oranger, and it isn’t a sweet delight like the Houbigant Orangers et Fleurs with its absurdly pretty nutmeg note. I love all of these except Rubj and will be wearing them constantly for the next month. But I reach for J’ai Fait un Reve more often than any of the others, simply because, right now, it smells like my orange grove, the one where I long to be lying, within hearing distance of the sea.

J’ai Fait Un Reve - Clair (Elle) Majda Bekkali Jacek Yerka PlayingWithSpacesPhoto Stolen PlayingWithSpaces

Further reading: Now Smell This (the whole line overview)
LuckyScent has $125/50ml (Currently the 120ml is on special for $125)

Dream with me, gang! What orange grove scent do you long to lounge in right now?
FeralJasmine x

DSH Perfumes: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz


Post by FeralJasmine


Quick mentions: new favorites from DSH

Sorry Junkies, I got a very late start on this post and have to make it brief, but I wanted to mention a few things that I’m enjoying during this lovely holiday season. It’s no secret that I admire Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and, although I’ve only sampled a small part of her compendious and addictive line, I have some loves there. So here are a few that seem especially suited to the holidays:

DSH Perfumes: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Mahjoun DSH Perfumes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

DSH Perfumes: Cimabue

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, nutmeg, cardamom, bergamot, amalfi lemon, bitter orange, clementine
Heart: Carnation, jasmine, geranium, tuberose, beeswax, saffron, clove, cinnamon, rose
Base: French labdanum, sandalwood, opoponax, benzoin and vanilla

I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Cimabue smells like Safran Troublant to some people. I’m not one of them. Certainly the rose and saffron are there, but the cardamom is pronounced in Cimabue, while its lovely companion notes prevent it from going dusty, as cardamom is prone to do. Spicy and sweet, it’s a delicious holiday treat. The sillage is particularly delicious, and I only wish that it were a bit stronger. Many of the DSH perfumes hug their wearer closely, and I could stand a bit more potency myself.

DSH Perfumes: Mahjoun

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bitter almond, cardamom, cherry blossom, lavender, lemon, orange
Heart: Bulgarian rose, fig, hazelnut, honey, nutmeg, orange blossom, sugar date
Base: Amber, cedar, cinnamon, clove, olibanum, sandalwood, Arabian myrrh

This one is pure rich luscious honey. To my surprise it doesn’t have much beeswax or hive scent, which I think of as the natural adjuncts to honey. Just all honey all the time. Listed notes include citrus, cedar, and Amber, but mostly I just smell honey. I like it by itself, and I also like to spray it over more austere ambers to give them a touch of holiday sweetness and joy. If I’m in the mood for a real hive scent, I may dab on a trace of beeswax absolute and overspray with Mahjoun.

Vanilla Cinnamon home fragrance DSH PerfumesPhoto Stolen DSH Perfumes

DSH Perfumes: Vanilla Cinnamon

DSH Perfumes gives these featured accords in one line:
Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamon Leaf, Clove Leaf, French Vanilla, Spice, Sweet, Sweet Cream, Vanilla, Vanilla Absolute, Vanillin

DSH has just started offering room scents, and this is the only one that I’ve tried so far. It’s offered in a regular or small travel-sized reed diffuser. The notes are summed up in the name, but it is somehow much lovelier than I expected. It’s also rather light and subtle, a far cry from the “cinnamon bun” scents that make the air at the mall so gooey. I love it on the coffee table, and I’ve been known to use one of the reeds to dab a bit on my wrist before drinking my morning coffee. Yum. You need to try this one if you have any taste for vanilla scents.

DSH Perfumes site has a wonderful selection of fragrances and an excellent Sample System starting at as low as $4

A joyous winter solstice to all of you, enjoy the long dark fragrant nights, and make sure to find a little of the quiet repose that winter seems made for.
Have you tried any of the DSH Perfumes?
FeralJasmine x

Kalemat by Arabian Oud


Post by FeralJasmine


Some time ago, my friend Kafkaesque did a review of a then-unknown perfume called Kalemat, from Arabian Oud. It was $60 for a big bottle, and such is the seductive power of Kafkaesque’s prose that large numbers of us blind-bought it.

Kalemat by Arabian Oud

Kalemat Arabian Oud FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blueberry, anise
Heart: Rosemary, cashmere wood, floral notes
Base: Musk, amber, honey

To see exactly what seduced us, there is no alternative to reading the original post, because nobody can write like Kafkaesque. You will also note that, like a comet, the post developed a very long tail as we all reported back with our experiences. My own response was a tiny bit disappointed at the time, and that’s where matters stayed until a few months later, when I noticed that the level in my bottle had decreased visibly and bought a back-up bottle. In cool weather, I reach for it at least three times a week, and often wear it as a comfort scent in the evening and on weekends.

Kalemat Arabian Oud Women's_Day_in_Egypt WikiMedia)Photo Stolen WikiMedia

So why did it take me weeks to fall in love? Chasing a youthful dream, I’m afraid. To this day, my dream amber is one that I smelled on a woman in Egypt over 20 years ago as she passed me in the street, and I am still seeking that honeyed amber spice-bomb and haven’t found it. When I read about Kalemat, I was sure I had found it, and felt irrationally disappointed when Kalemat was its duplicate but, on my dry perfume-eating skin, was a soft memory rather than the concentrated bombshell original. All the notes are there, but the volume is turned down.

Kalemat Arabian Oud Amber Ann Porteus FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Is that a bad thing? Not at all. If I found my dream amber, Kalemat Cubed, it would probably clear elevators. Kalemat has a beautiful sunset-honeyed cloud of an opening that has excellent projection and killer sillage, and for the first 20 minutes projection is several inches off my skin. I spray before going to work, and enjoy this part along the commute. By the time I arrive, the sillage is soft and polite and it never raises an eyebrow among my colleagues. I don’t get the rivers of amber that Kafkaesque got, but I do get trickles of honeyed spiced amber that delight me every time I can sniff my wrist surreptitiously, and waft to me with every movement of my hands. A few other notes, like the blueberry-spice note, drift by and turn my thoughts firmly to pleasant things when they reach my nose. Sprayed more heavily in the evening, it reminds me that life is so lovely and generous that those of us who can’t afford the Roja Doves can still smell wonderful. It is killer on a scarf in the winter, warming you subtly. The packaging is also lovely, with a heavy, substantial 100ml glass bottle that arrives in a lovely Arabic-lettered book box.

Kalemat Arabian Oud mosque CarlMaxwellLewin PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

The parent company, Arabian Oud, moved off Amazon but Kalemat can still be found on EBay for very reasonable prices. Someday I still hope to find my dream amber for special occasions, Kalemat Cubed, but this one will hold me just fine until then.

FeralJasmine X