Flamenco by Ramón Monegal 2017

.

Sandra

.

Hi there APJ! Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the month of August. We are eagerly anticipating our upcoming trip to southern Spain. I am in desperate need for sunshine and heat – both will hopefully be in abundance.

“The dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of the gods”. Plato.

Music and dance are indicative of a culture and its people. Joie de vivre, cultural history and even weather plays an important role in the musical roots of a country. Every country has its own rhythym, its own heartbeat. Having lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I cannot imagine that city without the rhythyms of tango and the evocative dance associated with it. The same holds true for the Waltz and Vienna, Austria – a lot of structure to the dance and the music. I have always believed that the warmer the climate in a country, the more passionate and captivating the music and dance will be. This is only my opinion as I have had the pleasure of living in many countries and experiencing the music and dance.

Enter in Spain and the Flamenco dance.

Flamenco by Ramón Monegal 2017

Flamenco Ramon Monegal fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, raspberry, violet, apple
Heart: Jasmine, rose, iris
Base: Cedar, amber, pine tree, cypress.

With all of that said and done, I am sure that you all know of Ramón Monegal perfumes from Barcelona, Spain. Ramón Monegal is one of the very few brands which excites me with their new creations and they have recently launched Flamenco. The Andalusian dance, the Flamenco, with its music (guitar, vocals, clapping and dancing) is seductive and sensual and was the inpiration for this new creation. When I watch a Flamenco performance I feel as if I am watching a deep magical dance from the soul of the people. It is a feast for my senses. I get lost in watching the rhythmic movements of the dancer’s arms and feet, the sway of her dress, the dust slightly coming off of the wooden floor, the musicians encouraging her and then the final culmination.

When I spray on Flamenco, it opens with a cloud of raspberries and orange blossom which is radiant and bursting with flavor and brings a smile from ear to ear on my face. A bowlful of berries, succulent with their juices, slightly sweet and yet marginally tart, is my secret haven for a warm summer evening. There is an underlying woody aspect to the opening which grounds it from turning into a fruit syrup. When the woods come into play they are warm and glowing which gives me a sense of comfort and well being. This perfume exudes passion, slowly working its way into my soul making me want to wear something red, dance the night away on a warm summer evening after enjoying a day of languishing in the sun.

The packaging for Flamenco is equisite; a book shaped box with a mirror on the inside of the lid holds the red bottle in a black and red cloth bag. There is so much attention to detail that surpasses anything that I have seen in a while. It is pure joy to use the perfume and adds to the sensorial experience.

Special thanks to Ramon Monegal for sending me this beautiful bottle

Perfumaria has €190/50ml
LuckyScent carries the Ramon Monegal line

Have you tried any perfumes from Ramón Monegal? Do you have a favorite? Or do you have a favorite dance?
Sandra x

Sandra’s London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

.

Sandra

.

Hey there dear APJ! How is everyone doing? Hopefully comfortably settling in with summer or winter.

It has been a hectic couple of months here in Rotterdam. What with school keeping us busy, family & friends visiting, it was a blessing to be able to get away for my son’s birthday over a long weekend at the beginning of June. He turned 8 this year and one of his greatest wishes was to see London (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London Eye, and of course toy stores were all on his wish list). Not only did we manage to see all the sights, but we also had a couple of perfume activities which I would like to share with you today.

London Trip June 2017 Photo Essay

I finally got to meet Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations! Wow! What an amazing woman – but I knew that already. It was absolutely fabulous sitting down with her in London and chatting for a while. Thankfully dear son and husband also enjoyed their visit. Thank you Neela!!!

Saturday was reserved for meeting up with Tara from A Bottled Rose. I last saw Tara in Vienna about two years ago and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with her again. We started out by heading to the Natural History Museum. It was a bribe for my son so that we could go sniffing later! We headed off to Harrods afterwards and had lunch before heading to the toy kingdom which I must admit was exciting for us parents as well. The choice is staggering.

Now it was my turn – yay!! Tara took us upstairs to the beautiful area where many brands have their own small boutiques. I got to sniff perfumes from Xerjoff, Dior, Frederic Malle, Kilian, Ramon Monegal. The new Superstitious by Frederic Malle is gorgeous and powerful. Xerjoff is a brand that I like wearing and I was thrilled to see that the Casamoratti line is now offered in 30 ml bottles. I liked Monegal’s Flamenco quite a bit – the red bottle is eye catching and the perfume was a lot of fun starting off with a blast of raspberry and it stayed a happy joyful perfume.

This summer Dior will be shaking things up a bit. The SA was kind enough and said that I was permitted to write about it. I think that many of us will be super happy with the big news that they will be offering the Privée line in 40 ml bottles in addition to the current bottle line up. Dior will also be launching a new sub line to the Privée consisting of 10 new perfumes which are apparently easier to wear and more appealing to the mass market. I for one cannot wait to see what Dior comes up with and am so excited about the smaller bottles. My husband may have to hold onto my wallet!

When we meandered downstairs to the perfume hall I was taken aback at how bustling it was. One of the first perfumes I spritzed that day was Ormonde Jayne’s Ambre Royal. Truly a beautiful perfume with notes of osmanthus and iris and drying down to a wonderful unsweet amber. What a shame that I did not pick it up.

We then headed towards the Kilian stand where two handsome SAs Niko and Johan greeted us and walked me through the new releases. These two gentlemen were so patient and kind and both had a great sense of humor – here is a picture of us. I just love the box for Black Phantom and decided then and there to buy the perfume. Not necessarily smart to buy a perfume for the packaging – but had to do it this one time. The one perfume that I just adored was Single Malt. I walked around the city with my arm at my nose and had to go back in the evening to buy that one too. Reviews coming up of the two Kilians.

After all of that our noses were exhausted and we decided to head to Big Ben. We took some pictures with Tara and our full on day came to a close. A big shout out to dear Tara for taking time to spend with us. We loved seeing her.

I know that I could have seen and sniffed more, but we jammed as much as possible into the 4 day weekend. It just means that we will have to go back and SOON!

What about ya’ll? Any travels lately? Any fun sniffing lately? I would love to hear about it.

Sending you lots of sunny hugs,
Sandra xoxo

Bois d’Argent by Annick Menardo for DIOR La Collection Privée 2004

.

Sandra

.

HI there APJ,

Iris season has begun, the yellow water irises have bloomed and now I am waiting to see some bearded irises. I find the iris to be one of the most stunning flowers allowing itself to be photographed and painted over and over without getting bored. The colours are all over the spectrum and I find it difficult to choose a favourite. However, I love the shape of the bearded iris the most.

Now when it comes to perfumery, I always found the iris note to be cold and aloof, almost unbearably so. I tried and tried through the years to come to terms with this much loved note. I have even bought a bottle here or there of an iris centric perfume in hopes of finally getting it – only to be disappointed and then pass it along.

I do not know if it is age or reason that has brought my nose around, but at the moment I cannot seem to get enough of iris. I do believe that I am finally understanding that I like the warmer treatment of iris and tend to shy away from the cold renderings.

Bois d’Argent by DIOR La Collection Privée 2014

Bois d’Argent by Annick Menardo

Bois d'Argent Christian Dior FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Yemenite frankincense
Heart: Somalian myrrh, Indonesian patchouli, Florentine iris absolute
Base: Amber, Woody notes, Honey, Leather, White musk

Last summer I picked up Christian Dior Bois d’Argent, created by Annick Menardo in 2004, which is part of the La Collection Privée. I sprayed it on in Nice and was taken aback of well this perfume worked in the summer heat. It was never stifling, nor suffocating. I packed it up as soon as we found out we were moving and did not spray it again until January of this year. It was winter and a wet cold set into my bones. The only way to stay warm was through olfactory stimulation. Bois d’Argent is warm and cuddly in the cold. The vanilla is played up with the iris and myrrh making it a slightly sweet, but not too sweet treat.

It has been in heavy rotation ever since January and now that Rotterdam is finally warming up I can say that I am enjoying Bois d’Argent even more. The perfume starts off with a blast of incense and a tinge of myrrh. The incense is warm and not overly done which can be a bit much. I find that myrrh rounds certain perfumes beautifully. The iris is smooth and warm and only slightly powdery. The powder aspect is less detectable now in the warmer weather. Instead of powder I am getting a lovely dry down of woods, incense and iris. Bois d’Argent is elegant and refined but not so much so that I cannot wear it on a daily basis. It keeps me centered and calm and ready to face the day with a smile and positive energy.

To be honest with you I can forget about the notes. This is smooth sailing and I do not need to think about what I am wearing. Rarely do I get compliments when I wear perfume. However, I do when I wear Bois d’Argent.

Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Olfactoria’s Travels
DIOR stores and some larger department store countermand airports carry the DIOR La Collection Privée line
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.25/ml

Have you tried Dior Bois d’Argent? Now that I am open to and looking for some iris scents to try, can you recommend some to me? I would love to hear what you have to say about iris and how you like it or do not like it.
Sandra x

(Ed: All the Iris photos by Sandra. Beautiful.)

Xerjoff Xerjoff Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

.

Sandra

.

Hi APJ! Hope everyone is having a lovely smelling spring or autumn. I am currently surrounded by beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees and all of my senses are in overdrive. Here are a few pictures of the mesmerizing spring in the Netherlands. Every turn I take and every day brings a new colourful image to lock away in my memory chest. What is your favorite part of spring or autumn?

Rotterdam Photos by Sandra

Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

I am sure you are all well ahead of me when it comes to Xerjoff. It is an overwhelming brand for me and I have only really sniffed and enjoyed the Casamorati line and a couple from the Join the Club line. As a Vienna farewell gift I received three minis from the Shooting Stars collection. (Thank you so much – you know who you are.)

So, here I am freezing my butt off in chilly and beautiful Rotterdam and eagerly sniffing these little gems from Xerjoff. They are harbingers of early summer days. Here are my thoughts.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Shingl

Notes are: bergamot, basil, anise and artemisia, iris, rum, patchouli and vetiver, vanilla, amber and musk.
Shingl opens up quite sharp and spicey making my nose cringe. The sharp opening is herbal as well and it was confusing until the rum settled in. I always thought that rum or alcohol notes are not appealing, but the note here is subtle. It smooths out the opening together with the introduction of iris. What I find not only interesting but also addictive about Shingl is that it moves into a powdery, woody scent and is an intoxicatingly easy to wear good mood scent.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Lua

Notes are: bergamot, orange, lemon, melon, rose, iris, pink pepper, lily, cedar, vanilla and musk.
Lua opens up fresh, floral and full of spring promises. I love the touch of melon here as it cuts into the citrus nicely. This is a perfume for spring days where the vast changing skies provide a dramatic backdrop to the new young green leaves and grass cropping up everywhere. I cannot help but smile when I smell Lua. It is a beautiful perfume full of hope for the next six months of gorgeous long days. I will be wearing this through the warmer months here.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Dhajala

Notes are: african orange flower, galbanum, bergamot and orange, pink pepper, jasmine and rose, resin, amber, vanilla and musk.
To be perfectly honest with you, when I first spritzed Dhajala I recoiled. Something was not working for me. Perhaps it was the orange flower or the citrus vibe (which I normally have issues with), I do not know exactly. I promptly forgot about it being on my wrist and I put it in the pass pile. Well, after another hour or two I was taken aback of how good my wrist smelled. It was well rounded and very pretty but also easily unisex. I would love to smell this on a man.

I have been pleasantly surprised by these perfumes and would love to take the time to try others.

LuckyScent has the Xerjoff line
Surrender To Chance has a selection of Xerjoff samples

Do you know Xerjoff? Do you have any recommendations or favourites?
Sandra

 

David Jourquin Leather Fragrances: First Impressions

.

Sandra

.

Hey there APJ!

Hope ya’ll are enjoying life. I am getting used to my new home and am adoring the Netherlands in the springtime. Magnificent blooming trees and flowers, people smiling and spending time outdoors, and warming temperatures make me happy.

Who likes leather? Anyone? I have discovered that I really enjoy wearing perfumes with a leather note. Enter David Jourquin…

David Jourquin Leather Fragrances: First Impressions

David Jourquin perfumes are pretty new to me. I tried two when they first came out but then I promptly lost the two samples and forgot about them. Shame on me!

David Jourquin is quietly giving us a wonderful collection of sumptuous leather perfumes from his house. To put it simply, David Jourquin has envisioned a perfume house dedicated to the multiple facets that the smell of leather has to offer. This is coming from his childhood scented memories and from his life as an adult.

A big shout out to the team at Aus Liebe Zum Duft and their generous giveaway of sample packs of the six perfumes that they carry from the house. I have now had the great pleasure of sampling these beautiful perfumes.

Here are my first impressions. Let’s see if any strike a chord with you.

Fragrantica

Cuir Altesse by David Jourquin 2014

Altesse was created by Cecile Zarokian as the nighttime duo together with Cuir de R’Eve. It is a bit spicy and sharp to begin with. The patchouli starts out a bit too strongly for my tastes but it warms up as the hours pass and then becomes one with the rest of the ingredients. I find Cuir Altesse more daring and sexy than its counterpart Cuir de R’Eve. It is not necessarily only for high heels and red lipstick – this can be worn on any occassion.

Fragrantica

Cuir Caraïbes by David Jourquin 2015

One of the more recent releases, Cuir Caraïbes opens up fruity and tart which surprised me. But the spices quickly join the party and warm it up. It does become sweeter soon after spraying it but not to worry – the sugar fades to the background again. Throughout the development I can detect a wonderfully subtle ginger vibe. The dry down is a warm cocoon surrounding me. Love it.

Fragrantica

Cuir de R’Eve by David Jourquin 2014

This perfume was created by Cecile Zarokian as a daytime duo together with Cuir Altesse. It is leather mixed with a few fruity and floral notes to make it elegant and refined. The base is warm, enveloping and comforting with a hint of fruit to keep it interesting. I could see myself using this on a regular basis. Just gorgeous.

Fragrantica

Cuir Mandarine by David Jourquin 2011

Daytime version of the duo for men together with Cuir Tabac. It leans masculine and opens tangy with a smidge of lavender. The start is quite big and loud on my skin but gets quiet within 20 minutes and projects softly. Cuir Mandarine sang on my husband’s skin and he now declares that he likes leather perfumes.

Fragrantica

Cuir Solaire by David Jourquin 2015

One of the more recent releases. Sunny opening that lasts throughout its development. This definitely feels like I have been sunkissed at the beach and then went out on the town. It has a touch of orange blossom and jasmine which does bring to mind sandy beaches and the sea. I can imagine that Cuir Solaire will be excellent with warm temperatures and sunshine.

First In Fragrance has the whole set to sample or buy

 

Do you like leather in perfumes? Do you have a favourite?

Until next time. Happy spring and autumn to everyone.

Kisses. Sandra

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

.

Sandra

.

Hey there APJ! Hope everyone is doing well and I am sure smelling fabulous.

To be perfectly honest with you I am completely out of ideas here. It has been a week of living in a daze. The house is set up but we still have boxes to unpack in the basement and to be frank, in order to make it livable we just threw items into cupboards and closets with the intention that things will be organized in the near future. (I still have not found my favorite erasers for sketching or my favorite kitchen scissors.) Hence, the foggy brain .

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

I have quite a bit less closet space here and what used to be a perfume cupboard has now become one for clothes. In order to save valuable space, I took all the perfume bottles out of their boxes (into the basement they went) and randomly set the bottles into the cupboard, an old CD rack and into two boxes. Now, I need to organize them. So, here is a peak into the mess that awaits behind doors and under lids. Any suggestions?

Sanity may be fleeting at the moment, but here are my three go-to perfumes of the week to help clear the mind: Dior Bois d’Argent, Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille and Chanel Misia EdP.

Until next time.
Sandra xo

(Ed: All photos donated by Sandra. VERY nice collection love. XXX)

CHANEL: Scented Journey

.

Sandra

.

Hi there sexy smelling APJers

About a week before I left Vienna I was sniffing my way through the new Eau de Parfums of the Chanel Exclusives when a lovely SA came up to me and asked if I would like to go on a Chanel Scented Journey. Intrigued, I signed myself up and asked a friend to come and join me.

Not knowing what I was about to embark on, I went in open minded and happy to get away for a little bit of scented fun. Now, I will be perfectly honest here, I did not come out and tell her that I was going to write a post about it, nor did I tell her that I looovee perfumes and have more than 2 bottles at home. I thought it might make her uncomfortable and clam up. I did ask permission to take one picture of her with the essences in front of her and she agreed (no close up of the box was allowed).

CHANEL: Scented Journey

So, to begin with she asked me several pointed questions about my scented memories or what I find to be the perfect scented experiences. We spoke a bit about flowers and colours and then we dove right it.

Now, if you think that this is all hogwash and you do not want to read any further, I understand completely. However, take into consideration the most amazing Chanel box that came out full of essences that Chanel uses in its perfumes. My jaw dropped when I saw what lay before me and I wanted to go through each and every one of the mini bottles. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Taking into account my answers, she had me go through 10 essences where I had to guess what I was smelling and then give an opinion on how I liked it.

Well, after about half an hour of sniffing and swooning or cringing, she walked away for 5 minutes and then came back with what she thought would be my perfect Chanel perfumes. I was told that Beige or Boy would be to my liking. Now, she hit the nail on the head with Beige as I already have gone through a bottle of it and still love it. But Boy? Unfortunately she did not have any samples of Boy left but she gave me samples of several of the other perfumes to test at home.

You may wonder if I walked away with anything. Yes, sure did – after several wearings I fell in love with Misia EdP as I find it a tad rounder, less sharp in the opening and overall more tenacious than the EdT which tends to fall flat on me after about an hour of wear. I received a decant of Boy from a dear friend and will be giving it a full wearing when it warms up a bit here and wonder if she got that one right too.

If you have the opportunity to take the Chanel Scented Journey, please do. It was such a joy being able to see the essences lined up like that and actually smelling some of them. I would love to hear if you have had the chance the smell the new EdPs and what you think of them.

Till next time,
Big smoochy woochies,
Sandra xxx