Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton for Mark Buxton 2015


Post by Madeleine


Hello perfumed peeps!

Living in Melbourne at this time of year, I cannot help but be reminded of the advent of summer in London. There, as soon as the grey dark skies of winter dissipate and the sun’s rays make a welcome return, the whole mood of the city lifts and people scramble to sunbake in parks at lunchtime.

Much like London, we’ve endured a hard cold winter here and spring has given us precious, joyous glimpses of the warmth that is to come. The whole psyche of the city and inhabitants changes at these times – one cannot help but feel elated to shed a winter coat and have a stroll after work amid a gentle warm breeze under a sky the colour of ice cream as the sun sets. There is a perfume that perfectly encapsulates these moments for me and that is ……

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton 2015

Message in a Bottle by Mark Buxton

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ylang-ylang, magnolia, neroli, jasmine sambac, ambergris, sandalwood, labdanum, civet.

Message in a Bottle opens up with a dazzling burst of neroli, awakening one from winter’s hibernation with its efferversence and joyousness. The effect to me here is exactly like the hot towels you get on a long haul aeroplane flight. Waking groggy from a restless sleep, one cannot help but feel refreshed as the warmth and glowing citrus of the hot cotton on your face envelops your senses.

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton Hot_towels WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It’s about 10 minutes in when it would be permissible to dismiss Message in a Bottle as another neroli-based cologne. While the lightness of the composition certainly does feel cologne like in structure, the depth of the jasmine and the ylang ylang anchors and deepens the neroli, taking the composition humid white floral territory with an almost tropical feel. As the scent fades away, the ambergris comes to the fore with its salty woodedness, giving a nice segue from steamy floral into skin scent.

Message in a Bottle is a bit of a changeling. Much like Melbourne’s weather that can veer from tropical to freezing in an instant, the perfume itself metamorphoses depending on the weather conditions. In cooler weather, it is very much a selfish scent – your little private view of summer when it is still time to wrap a cardigan round your shoulders. When the temperatures are high, Message in a Bottle truly sings – warm humid skin is what really sets this perfume alight, bringing the tropical effect of the neroil, jasmine ylang ylang to the fore. I like wearing it both ways – for my secret snatch of summer promise as well as a full-on holiday scent when the mercury is climbing.

Message in a Bottle Mark Buxton summer Stevebidmead PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Ainslie’s review here on APJ and Colognoisseur
Libertine Parfumerie has $199/100ml

What scents spell the promise of summer for you?
With much love until next time

M xxxx

Ellenisia by Steve de Mercado for Penhaligons 2005


Post by Madeleine


Hello perfume lovers!

It’s often said that happiness comes when reality beats expectations. This can happen as much in the perfume world as anywhere else, especially now when we’re faced with rave blog reviews or when there’s a new release by one of our favourite brands or perfumers.

Today I want to talk about a beautiful perfume that has fallen short for me, not because it is not good – quite the opposite – but because I have built up my expectations about it over several years, actually having it and wearing it doesn’t match those expectations. That scent is Ellensia by Penhaligon’s.

Ellenisia by Penhaligons 2005

Ellenisia by Steve de Mercado

Ellenisia Penhaligon`s FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica lists these following accords:
Top: Mandarin orange, violet leaf
Middle: Jasmine, gardenia, rose, tuberose
Base: Plum, vanilla

The weight of expectations for poor old Ellenisia was built up a long time ago. At the earliest stages of my perfume wanderings, when I was skulking round the perfume boards on Makeupalley, board members were raving about it as the most gorgeous white floral. As the perfume was unobtainable in Australia back then, it became even more coveted and desirable to me. My desire only grew when people said it was a better version of Chanel Gardenia.

Time went on and then Penhaligon’s made an appearance at our local department store but a bottle was way beyond my budget. I’d go in often and spritz some Ellenisia on a blotter to get my fix of the fume and delight in the sensual, heady but very playful gardenia and tuberose mix.

Ellenisia Penhaligon`s Toorop_Dame_in_wit WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

This happened for a while, until of course, other perfumed delights came my way and Ellenisia was temporarily forgotten.

Fast forward to last year. I had just moved to Melbourne and I am out of work. Again, a bottle of Penhaligon’s is too expensive and out of my reach. Again, I covet it more than anything.

A couple of months ago, I finally pull the trigger. After more than a decade, the object of my rapture is finally in my hot little hands and I can’t wait to wear it. I am carefully unwrapping the cellophane from the pink cardboard box and lifting the little glass cap that sits so prettily atop a pink ribbon, I press the atomiser and….nothing. For sure, Ellenisia was pretty, it was the same gorgeous mix of gardenia and tuberose, given depth by the mandarin and plum but not too sweet, thanks to the greenness of the violet leaf. It was nice, but it didn’t rock my world like it had in my head time and time again. Mr M says I smell pretty and I do, but I can’t help feeling something’s missing. I’ve ruined my own perfect scent, I have built it up too much in my mind, building it up and up and up that it can’t help but fall short. Hopefully, as I continue to wear it, my expectations will fade to the background and the beauty that is this gorgeous white floral will come to the fore, unencumbered by the prospects in my mind.

Ellenisia Penhaligon`s Statue PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: EauMG and Mimi Froufrou
Libertine Parfumerie has $239/100ml
Luckyscent has $4/0.7ml

Have you ruined a perfectly gorgeous scent through the weight of your expectations? Conversely, what perfumes have you set the bar really low for that have subsequently rocked your world?

With much love till next time.

M x

Je t’aime Jane by Bella Freud 2014


Post by Madeleine


Hello perfumed peeps!

Today, I want to focus on a scent that has recently been launched in Australia – Je t’aime Jane by UK fashion designer, Bella Freud.

Bella Freud is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud and the great granddaughter of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. She has launched a range of perfumes named after the slogans that adorn her fashion collection and Je t’aime Jane is a the white floral of the bunch. The perfume celebrates actress Jane Birkin, and more specifically, her famous duet with Serge Gainsbourg, Je t’aime…moi non plus.

Je t’aime Jane by Bella Freud 2014

Je t'aime Jane Bella Freud FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine absolute, Ylang-ylang, Orange blossom, Queen of the night, Oud, Sandalwood, Musk

So, how does it smell? Upon first blast, Je t’aime Jane feels like a perfume in reverse. Rather than starting out with the traditional top notes of bergamot and other citruses, this scent opens up with a mammoth does of black oud and sandalwood, so much so that on first application, I was completely overwhelmed and thought I’d sprayed the wrong perfume. Where were the white florals?

But slowly, slowly, these accords in Je t’aime Jane reveals themselves. It’s a gentle unfolding, like peeling back layers of onion skin, that the perfume morphs and softens in a gentle segue from dark to light.

 Je t'aime Jane Bella Freud Transition_light_to_dark WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

After the initial woody rush, the orange blossom comes to the fore and it’s thick and sweet. But it is not cloying, there’s enough of the woods in the background to anchor it and prevent it from becoming overly shrill and overblown. It is warm and comforting and melds to the skin like a big warm fluffy coat. The orange blossom also tempers the gothic like quality of the opening – there’s a prettiness and hopefulness to it, but there’s still a hint of melancholy. The dark clouds of winter have started to part from their recent dose of driving rain and the spring sun is starting to peek through, but not all the greyness of the day has lifted, just yet.

But wait a little longer and the scent gets lighter and more airy – the jasmine starts to peek its head through it all and unveil itself, at first all heavy and indolic and then getting greener and more transparent. It’s pretty-pretty at this stage and all flirty, but the woods are still there. This girl may like her lipstick, but she’s dressed in all black with tortoisehell framed glasses and a vintage camel hair coat rather than a cashmere twinset and pearls and coral nails.

Je t’aime Jane has average longevity and minimal sillage and whilst it is thick with white florals and woods, its lack of sillage makes it a personal and introspective scent. The scent was the perfect accompaniment to a recent chilly day here in Melbourne when I was clad all in black, praying for spring to finally arrive and only getting more cold and gusts of rain. The only think that struck me was I would have expected it to be a little bit more bohemian and quirky in character to truly encapture the enigma of Jane Birkin. Nevertheless, if you are an oud fan, or like florals thick with woods, this is a good one to try.

Je t'aime Jane Bella Freud Jane Birkin ScottR FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: lips so facto and Fashion Editor at Large
Mecca Cosmetica has $168/50ml
Luckyscent has samples $4/.7ml

Have you tried any of the Bella Freud scents? What’s your top pick for a scent for Jane Birkin?

With much love till next time,
M xx

(Ed: There seems to be some confusion on the perfumer so I left it out)

Gardez-Moi by Bertrand Duchafour for Jovoy Paris 2013


Post by Madeleine


Hello Perfumed peeps!

I must admit that I’ve been much more focused on non-perfumed pursuits lately. A big one has been fitness and running training as I’m doing a Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (overseas peeps, she’s a local fitness trainer) and I’m feeling really good. I’ve never been a good runner and I’m enjoying the challenge of pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. I can honestly say I’m the fittest I’ve been in my life and I’m enjoying having ab muscles for the first time!

Gardez-Moi by Jovoy Paris Running skeeze PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

A lifelong love of mine – makeup – has also had my attention. I tend to flit between perfume and makeup and the latter won out this month: I’ve been spending lots of time time looking up reviews, checking out Instagram posts and testing colours and all that kind of good thing. Lipsticks and nail polishes are my biggest weakness and when perfume isn’t my focus, I’m usually buying one of the two things.

I’ve also revived my passion for reading and I’ve ploughed through Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event as well as Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and I’ve just started to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird to compare.

In saying all this, the joys of discovering a new love scent-wise didn’t evade me completely. One that captured my attention over the past few weeks was Jovoy’s Gardez-Moi.

Gardez-Moi by Jovoy Paris 2013

Gardez-Moi by Bertrand Duchafour

Gardez Moi Jovoy Paris FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, Aldehydes, Black Pepper, Cyclamen, Leaves of Tomato
Heart: Ylang-Ylang, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Absolute Mimosa, Gardenia, Lily White
Base: Virginia Cedar resin, Styrax, Musk, Vanilla, Oak Moss, Raspberry Agreement

I’ve had a couple of tries of this previously and dismissed it as boring, but now it just seems to feel like “me”. Naturally, it should because it’s a Big White Floral and you all know that I love gardenia. But it’s also a Duchafour, and I’m sorry to say that Mr Duchafour’s scents and I don’t usually get along – there’s something in the base of his scents that smells like a bunch of flowers left in water too long – a green, stanky staleness.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Gardez-Moi – there is green there, but it’s at the beginning and it’s light and soft and powdery, thanks to the mixture of aldehydes and tomato leaf. This green gently folds into the big bouquet of ylang ylang, jasmine and gardenia. The mix is so big at first that I was afraid Gardez-Moi would just become a huge white floral as opposed to a true gardenia, but it doesn’t take long before her star begins to shine.

Gardenia augustaPhoto Stolen Flickr

It’s a heady gardenia, but the green notes keep it fresh and blooming rather than overly buttery and cloying. There’s also a vintage vibe thanks to the aldehydes and oak moss – paying homage to Jovoy’s history, I’m guessing. The result is a classically elegant fragrance with chiseled cheekbones, crimson lips and a graceful beauty. However, the scent also has a joyful vibe thanks to the greenness of the gardenia and this stops the mix becoming too haughty or requiring that the wearer must don a ballgown to enjoy.

Further reading: Grain de Musc and Perfume Posse
Luckyscent has $180/100ml and samples at $4/.7ml

Have you tried Gardez Moi or any other Jovoy scent?

What are your other passions and interests besides perfume?

With much love till next time!
M xxx

Madeleine’s Parfumerie Generale Picks


Post by Madeleine


Hi Perfumed Peeps!

The other week when I was rummaging through my samples, it occurred to me that I hadn’t done many posts on Pierre Guillame’s Parfumerie Generale line. I’m not really sure why as Tubereuse Couture was my very second niche full bottle after falling down the rabbit hole following the discovery of Lys Mediterranee by Frederic Malle.

I’ve smelt quite a few of the PG line and have found a lot of favourites, to the extent that once I’m in a PG mood, I think I could be happy with just a few bottles from the line and nothing else.

Pierre Guillame FacebookPhoto Stolen Facebook

It seems that I’m in good company with my thinking as Miss P just recently posted about Pierre Guillame’s creations over at the Posse, asking readers for suggestions from the line. So, I’d like to chip in on the conversation and offer up my top three picks other than Tubereuse Couture:

Madeleine’s Parfumerie Generale Picks

Gardenia Grand Soir Parfumerie Generale FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Gardenia Grand Soir 2010

Fragrantica gives these notes in one line:
Gardenia, sandalwood

I think the name “Grand Soir” led to a lot of confusion and disappointment from the blogosphere when this was released as people were expecting something very rich and opulent along the lines of Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia. What you get here, however, is one of the lightest and prettiest gardenias I’ve come across. The gardenia is gauzy and a little bit salty, akin to smelling the white blooms under the shower of surf spray on a hot summer’s day. The subtly luminous white floral accord is underscored by creamy and milky sandalwood, giving some depth and drama to the mix. A pretty and carefree blend that is still elegant.

Further reading: The Non Blonde and CaFleureBon
Luckyscent has $125/50ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $10/ml

Jardins de Kerylos Parfumerie Generale FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Jardins de Kerylos 2006

Fragrantica gives these notes in one line:
Fig leaf, herbal notes, sycamore

I really don’t usually care for fig fragrances and yet I love this one. But at first, Jardins de Kerylos was such a big scary green monster on my skin, I was a little thrown. After the initial sniff, I went round my business, getting changed for dinner and called my Mum. Whilst talking to her, I kept getting distracted by this wonderfully green, dewy, fruity expansiveness of a scent. What makes Jardins work for me is that its not a sweet milky fig like a lot of others, but a very dry fig scent with beautiful lushness and verdancy.

Parfumerie Generale starts at 65/30ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $5/ml

 Papyrus de Ciane Parfumerie Generale FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Papyrus de Ciane 2010

Fragrantica gives these notes in one line:
Galbanum, broom, grass, oakmoss, musk and powdery notes

Speaking of verdancy, this one has it in spades. Papyrus de Ciane starts with a dry bitter green burst of galbanum, evoking the galbanum lade classics of old. The grass note lends some crispness and a slight pepperiness to the mix. Papyrus de Ciane stays all bright sparkly green for a while before the damp, moist sweetness of the mousse de saxe comes to the fore, evoking Caron’s classic Nuit de Noel. The mossy becomes slightly more powdery, offset by the sharp brightness of the galbanum, which evokes staring into a dark forest on a bright day through green coloured gauze. A tremendously beautiful modern green scent for those who like galbanum heavy scents such as Vent Vert and Bandit.

Further reading: The Non Blonde and Smellythoughts
First in Fragrance starts at 95/50ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $6/ml

 Pierre Guillame Facebook 1Photo Stolen Facebook

Do you have any favourites from the PG line?

With much love till next time!

M x

Madeleine’s Three New Fragrant Favourites


Post by Madeleine


Hi perfume lovers,

It’s so easy for me to fall into a perfume rut. My white floral adoration and Mr M’s penchant for dark, spicy roses can sometimes mean that I rarely go outside of my comfort zone of the two genres when it comes to wearing scents.

Maybe I’ll get samples or decants just to sniff something different or for the purposes of writing a blog post, but it’s a very rare occasion indeed when I find not one, but three perfumes that don’t fall into either category, but feel utterly perfect to me.

But that unexpected moment has happened and today I want to share with you my three new favourite NON white-floral/dark-rose perfumes

Madeleine’s Three New Fragrant Favourites

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaim for Frederic Malle 2014

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Calabrian bergamot
Heart: Magnolia, vetiver, patchouli
Base: Cedar, mos, amber

I’m not one for colognes and magnolia isn’t my favourite flower, but this to me is just utterly magical. A sharp burst of bergamot with a verdant twist of lime morphs into a subtle green and mossy magnolia underscored by the dryness of vetiver. It’s an easy to wear, yet utterly elegant and sophisticated chypre that have me craving spring.

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse
Mecca Cosmetica starts at $59 for 10ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $7.59/ml

Chanel Misia Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Misia by Olivier Polge for Chanel 2015

Fragrantica gives these notes in one line:
Violet, iris, orris root, Turkish rose, Grasse rose, Laos benzoin, tonka bean.

Rose and violet is a combination that usually has me running the other way. I didn’t expect to like Misia, let alone love it, given the myriad of comparisons with Lipstick Rose and the like, but I do. The difference for me is the sharp opening of iris, which lends the rose violet accord a little dryness and fizziness. There’s a powdery, candied vibe as the iris veers into the rose-violet accord while berry notes lends a sweet vibe to the rose without veering too much into the dreaded fruity floral territory. Misia is just such a pleasure to wear, it absolutely sparkles on my skin and has enough Chanel sophistication whilst feeling completely modern and different to the rest of the Exclusifs line.

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Grain de Musc
Misia is available at Chanel boutiques, US$280/AUD$350/300ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $3.99/ml

Wit Parfums DelRae FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Wit by Yann Vasnier for Parfums DelRae

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, mandarin orange, angelica, laurels
Heart: Jasmine, narcissus, mimosa, ylang-ylang
Base: Amber, vanilla, musk

Wit surprised me, given that DelRae’s creations, whilst completely beautiful to sniff, never really work on me skin wise. Plus, the lemon element scared me a bit, given citrus can turn overly sharp and cloying on me, but Wit had me at hello. The opening is bright creamy lemon, softly sweet and also lemon curdy in nature, with a decidedly tactile and almost edible quality. The citrus notes sparkle and yet are softly sweet before segueing into the jasmine and daphne which is all bright yellow and tempered by the soft green of the laurel and angelica. Wit is a surprisingly different floral, with a brightness and richness I haven’t found in the genre for quite some time.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and Now Smell This
Luckyscent has $150/50ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $3.99/0.5ml

What three fragrances are your favourites at the moment? What fragrances do you love that are outside your comfort zone?

With much love till next time!

M x

La Religieuse by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2015


Post by Madeleine



Jasmine is such an important scent for me. Like gardenia, jasmine is the scent of my childhood summers in Sydney. Jasmine blossomed all around the neighbourhood and in our backyard. It was the scent of swimming in our pool on a long, sweaty December night; it was the scent of walking the dogs in the early summer evening when the humid air would gently caress the white petals and fill the pale sky with their intoxicating perfume; it was the scent of carefree and happy, languid days.

And yet, when it comes to perfume, jasmine is a really difficult note for me. The indolic nature of the flower tends to overwhelm on my skin, turning the scent from something that should be magnificently beautiful to something that more resembles, say, cat’s pee. Jasmine can often go so wrong on me, sour, sharp and just generally dreadful. I’ve tried so many in an effort to capture that wonderful scent of my childhood, often to no avail.

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens 2015

La Religieuse by Christopher Sheldrake

La Religieuse Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine, musk, civet and incense

Therefore, it was with a mix of trepidation and excitement that I tested the latest release from Serge Lutens, La Religieuse, some weeks ago. I’d read that it was a softer jasmine than the houses other offerings: A La Nuit and Sarassins, but would it be a mess on my skin or would it be that gorgeous soft jasmine that I really wanted?

I can happily say its the latter. La Religieuse is one of the only new releases lately that has gone straight on my full bottle to buy list, it is that beautiful and perfect to me.

La Religieuse Serge Lutens  Jasmine fence Allan Henderson FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I find the notes list quite misleading because the scent for me is a light, green and sweet jasmine. La Religieuse opens up sharp and slightly indolic but with a beautiful verdancy that keeps my nose to my wrist. The overall effect is of being enveloped into masses of jasmine bushes awaiting to bloom – you get the green, lush smell of the leaves and just a promise of scent from the delicate white unopened tendrils.

The jasmine then comes to the fore and it’s quite fruity and playful, underscored by the almondy powder scent of mimosa. It’s this slight marzipan-sweet vibe that I find unusual and beautiful and such an interesting twist and contrast to the green to white floral vibe. It’s a fairly linear scent, somewhat quiet and yet resolute and yet joyful at the same time.

La Religieuse may not please those who like big, thick indolic jasmines, but it’s just a perfect scent for me that has just felt completely right every time I’ve worn it. It’s also a good choice for any occasion, light enough for the office, elegant enough for a little black dress and comforting enough for those days when one just wants a sense of solitude and peace.

La Religieuse Serge Lutens  Mars & Venus WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: Persolaise and Perfume Posse
Luckyscent has $150/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $4.50/0.5ml

Have you tried La Religieuse? What did you think? What are your favourite jasmines? What perfumes remind you of your childhood?

With much love till next time!
M xx