Atelier des Ors: Dreaming while Sampling

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Sandra

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Hey there APJ! How are you all doing?

I feel as if I have been bitten in the bum by a nasty stress bug. I cannot shake the feeling of constant stress and to be quite frank with you I am exhausted. Storms and hospital visits are the culprits this time around and all I want is a break and of course a vacation in the sun and warmth would be ideal. Continue reading

Finishing a Bottle – To Repurchase or Not…

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Sandra

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Hi there APJ! How are you doing?

We are two weeks into the new year and I am feeling the January blues. After all of the merrying, socializing and festive lights, I feel down with the grey weather, short days and routine. This happens every year and I know it will pass soon. In order to get myself out of my funk I do a bit of tidying up and organizing. Sounds weird I know. But after I get through the general house cleaning, stowing away all the Christmas decorations and getting back into the school rhythm, I like to get into my perfume closet and shuffle things around a bit.

Finished bottle replacements Ann Larie Valentine Party mess FlickrFlickr Continue reading

Eau de Velours by Michel Almairac, Mylène Alran for Bottega Veneta 2017

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Sandra

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Happy New Year dear APJ!

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and safe 2018. 2017 was a turbulent year for many and I hope that the new year will show us a kinder side.

We spent the holidays with my folks in town. It has been wonderful having them here and my son has enjoyed the extra attention. We have been blessed with an extraordinary mild winter so far and I can only hope that continues.

I gifted my mum the new Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours and I find myself sneaking a spritz or two here and there. It is such a surprise for me that I love this one so much. The original Bottega Veneta was not a huge love – it was far too creamy for me.

Eau de Velours by Bottega Veneta 2017

Eau de Velours by Michel Almairac, Mylène Alran

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accord:
Top: Bergamot, pink pepper
Heart: Rose, jasmine, plum, spices
Base: Patchouli, leather

The first impression of the deep burgundy (leaning towards purple) bottle tied with a velvet ribbon makes me think that a luxurious perfume awaits me.

First sprayed, it starts out with a fresh blast of bergamot. It is quite refreshing but moves along quickly turning a bit spicy, rosey and plummy, with just a hint of leather in the background. I personally love the plum and spices because it reminds me of certain aspects of vintage Shiseido Feminite du Bois with its rich and deep plum note. Most fresh plums I have eaten have been rather tart in taste with only a hint of sweetness that could have been had it been left on the tree to ripen. The plum note in Eau de Velours is not juicy, nor is it sweet – it is slightly tart at the beginning. Then the plum is mixed with the intense rose and floral notes. Speaking of floral notes, the Bottega Veneta website says that Eau de Velours includes iris butter. Personally, I do not detect any iris butter, but hopefully others will experience the iris.

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta edro_de_Camprobín_Still_Life_of_Iris,_Lilies,_Roses_and_Carnations_In_Elaborate_Urn WikiMediaWikiMedia

The rose accompanies me from first spray all the way to the late dry down. It is a lovely deep and velvety dark rose with the natural scent of actual rose. I bury my nose into my wrist and inhale deeply feeling the opulence surround me. Throughout the development, Eau de Velours has a sophisticated smooth leather note reminiscent of new kid leather gloves. Patchouli is added and it is quite prominent at first but dries down differently than what I normally expect from patchouli. It is faintly beautiful leaving me feeling elegant and dressed up. Now it is time for the red lipstick to come out!

Eau de Velours Bottega Veneta still life PXHerePDI

Further reading: Colognoisseur
David Jones has $170/50ml

Do you like dark, gothic rose perfumes? What did you do for New Year’s? What did you wear on New Year’s Eve?

Oodles of fragrant kisses,
Sandra

Ambient Scent Wishlist for Santa

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Sandra

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Hello dear APJ! How are you all doing?

The holidays are a around the corner and thankfully I am done with the shopping and just have to finish wrapping everything. We are having my parents over for Christmas this year and it will be special as my eight year old has not spent Christmas with his grandparents since he was six months old.

While I was telling my husband what I had bought for our son, he exclaimed that I am the most difficult person to buy a gift for! Seriously???!!! Me -difficult to shop for??!!! If he would listen to what I have been whispering to him (not so much whispering as it is me telling him what I wish for)… He was in Tokyo for a week and went looking but came back empty handed because he could not find it despite the fact that he had Japanese colleagues helping. He is off to Rome this week so fingers crossed… In all honesty I would love a new set of sheets and new bath towels but he says that he refuses to buy household items for Christmas – I understand his problem. So if I am honest with myself, perhaps I am a tad challenging to shop for.

The one luxury item that I am loving this year is ambient scents. So, while I am not holding my breath on receiving something scented for Christmas, I would love to share with you what has had me intrigued over the past six months.

Ambient Scent Wishlist for Santa

While buying the roses for the perfume talk at the school, I spotted a brand which was completely new to me. L’Objet. The florist carries the bath salts, bars of soap and room sprays. I started out smelling all of the bath salts and loved each one of them and would have bought one on the spot if I had not seen the room sprays.

Rose Noire Room Spray L'ObjetL’Objet

The black bottle is heavy and has a white label with the name of the scent and two reliefs on either side of the name. Very modern and elegant. The one that came home with me is called Rose Noire which is all about the exquisite rose and tea with some added spices for good measure. I spray the room, the upholstery and sit back and dream of walking through a garden of rare fragrant roses. Divine. I will certainly be trying out the two other room sprays in the collection.

Flora Di Fornasetti Room Spray MeccaMecca

Another brand that I have always loved is Fornasetti. Their incense sticks are subtle and leave the room scented for hours. This summer I splurged on the Fornasetti room spray Flora which leaves a scented trail of a white floral bouquet which I find stunning on a warm day. It of course helps that it comes in a gorgeous ceramic holder with a lid and looks like a piece of art.

Cire Trudon Becker MintyBecker Minty

Cire Trudon is another brand that I started exploring this summer. I am eyeing one of their Christmas candles with the festive scents and colours of the ceramic holders.

There is a whole new world out there with home fragrances that I have yet to tap into. If I cannot have flowers every week, why not a room spray or a candle that brings a smile to my face.

Do you like to scent your home? Do you use candles, incense or room sprays? Any suggestions for me? I would love to hear what you have to say.

Be safe over the holidays.
Oodles of fragrant kisses, Sandra

Sharing my Perfume Passion

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Sandra

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Hiya wonderful smelling APJers! How is everyone doing?

As many know, I have had a love affair with perfume since I was a child. I have other passions as well, such as travel, photography, sketching and music. I am not sure if it is the language or age, but I am obviously more comfortable in my skin now and where I would normally keep mum about my loves, I find myself expressing myself more freely. This is a great opportunity for me because it takes me to new places and I am meeting so many wonderful people.

A friend of mine approached me a few weeks ago to speak at an expat morning meeting at the school. About perfume! I was skeptical at first but decided to go ahead and it was a pleasant revelation for me of how open and curious people were.

Sharing my Perfume Passion

I decided to share my love of Neela Vermeire Creations. Big question was how to go about doing so. I adore Neela’s perfumes as they use some of my favorite notes and spices. The Netherlands is the place to live if you love flowers so my first stop was the florist where I discussed what kinds of flowers are readily available in November and they did a marvelous job. I chose to include fragrant flowers and not all are used in the NVC perfumes. We had lily, tuberose, freesia, ‘Yvette Piagaitte’ rose, ‘Free Spirit’ rose, a third rose which they could not name and finally stock also known as matthiola incana which is clove-like in scent.

I included fresh mango, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, vanilla bean paste, essential oils of frankincense, sandalwood and jasmine and a leather clutch for its scent.

We kicked off the meeting by starting to sniff the various flowers. Many of the participants were astonished at how different each of the roses smelled.

There was the obvious love/hate reaction with tuberose. Interestingly though those from tropical climates loved the tuberose. We moved through the spices, oils and finally the fresh cut mango. Once that was done I sprayed Bombay Bling onto a tester paper and all were amazed that they could easily identify the mango and also the lychee. A friend of mine loved Trayee not for the incense but for the ganja which she could identify (I cannot). Several participants could identify cardamom or cinnamon.

In attendance was a man who did not know exactly what to expect but enthusiastically sniffed the flowers, spices and oils. When it came to testing the perfumes he was under the impression that a man could not possibly wear any of these perfumes. I convinced him to try Mohur as I find men can really rock its spicy rose with glorious sandalwood. He loved it and went away with the knowledge that perfume can be unisex and that it will smell differently on each and every one of us!

Each of the participants had a clear favorite so at the end of the talk I gave the participants samples of the perfumes they were interested in and a flower of their choosing. It was a lovely morning and I would like to thank the expat group for giving me this opportunity.

Neela Vermeire Creations Discovery Sample Set €55 

Do you have any inhibitions when it comes to talking about your perfume passion? What would you talk about?

Wishing everyone a wonderful start to December.

Oodles of fragrant kisses,
Sandra xo

 

(ED: All photos supplied by Sandra. Thank you. XXX)

NEW! April Aromatics + The Different Company

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Sandra

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Hi APJ! How are you all doing? Can you believe we are nearing the end of the year already?

Where has the time gone? We are in full autumn swing here, buckling down for the coming winter. The heat is on and there is a chill in the air outside. I have been here in Rotterdam for soon to be eleven months! It definitely feels like home now, but I still have not hung any paintings on the walls – what is up with that?

Autumn is a time of closure for me. Summer is over with its long days and warm air kissing my skin. My son goes back to school which ends the innocent joys of childhood summers. The trees show colours of vibrant yellows, oranges and reds and then loose their foliage all too quickly. Even the birds are changing – many fly south and yet others arrive for the milder winters here. I have not seen the hedgehog in a while, perhaps he is already hibernating? All of this closure has brought me to think about my first year here in The Netherlands.

When I am completely honest and look past the challenges here and there of navigating a new language and culture, it has been a year of awakening and coming back to myself. I have lovely friends and neighbors and this is now home. I am no longer weary, I am stronger and more self assured than I have been in years.

With this new awakening I am now ready and excited to try and test new perfumes and there are two perfumes that fit into this new self quite well.

NEW! April Aromatics + The Different Company

Fragrantica

Pink Wood by Tanja Bochnig for April Aromatics

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Sandalwood, Agarwood, Cistus, Labdanum, Oakwood, Rose Otto, Rose absolute, Geranium, Rosewood, sweet pink fruity notes

Pink Wood is my first experience with April Aromatics. I eagerly sprayed my first spritz of Pink Wood and was taken by surprise by the beautiful rose and wood opening. Many roses turn sour on my skin but this is actually remaining rosy which is a big plus in my books. There are no pink fruity notes for me though. The warmer my skin is the woodier the perfume. The roses stay more in the background leaving me with a wonderful woody rose perfume perfect for autumn days and walks in the park.

Fragrantica

Santo Incienso, Sillage Sacré by Alexandra Monet for The Different Company

gives these featured accords:
Top: Calabrian bergamot, petitgrain, nutmeg
Heart: Palo santo, atlas cedar, hedione
Base: Incense, myrrh, musk, vetiver, guaiac wood

This is not your usual incense perfume at all. For me it starts with a blast of bergamot with an air of spice. There is something citrusy in there but it slowly fades into the background leaving behind a warm woody accord. I have no idea what Palo Santo smells like, so I cannot assume that this is what I am smelling, however, it is beautiful and intriguing pulling me in. In the middle stage through to the dry down there is a magic happening with the incense and myrrh where the woods are warmed through. What I love about it most of all is that the incense tendrils waft up to my nostril throughout the day and bring me such joy and calm.

Both Pink Wood and Santo Incienso, Sillage Sacré are getting a lot of wear time. The days are shorter and colder but the lighting is stunning taking my breath away on an almost daily basis when the sun is shining. This is my favorite season of the year.

Do you have a favorite perfume for autumn or spring walks? Do you have a favorite season?

Sending sunny hugs to you all.
Sandra xo

Nuit de Bakélite by Isabelle Doyen for Naomi Goodsir 2017

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Sandra

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Hi there APJ, I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying spring or autumn. I am actually quite surprised that autumn is so much nicer than summer here in the Netherlands.

When we arrived in the Netherlands I made it a personal quest of mine to hunt down as many different flowers as I could get my greedy hands on. Not only is almost everything available, but the prices are incredibly low! I have been going through the seasons here looking for specific flowers, such as crocosmia in the summer, hydrangeas the size of basketballs, orchids of all shapes and sizes and this summer I finally, after many years of dreaming, was able to buy fresh tuberose. I have always loved tuberose perfumes, but after experiencing the real thing, my expectations have changed slightly. I no longer want creamy or buttery tuberose, or tuberose that is so difficult to smell because of added ingredients that are an onslaught to my senses. I want the real thing.

When I bought my first stems of tuberose I was taken aback at how complex the flower is. The flowers are so delicate in sight and to the touch – they are almost silky. I expected the flowers to be white, when in reality they are more ivory, tinged with pinks, yellows and the slightest green. The stem itself has different shades of green but not a dark green at all. Visually the tuberose is stunning and then there is the perfume. Oh my is it intoxicating! My home smelled divine for a whole week.

I love that the Naomi Goodsir website describes Nuit de Bakélite as “Floral (2017) The premise of a ‘narcotic lady’…”

Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir 2017

Nuit de Bakélite by Isabelle Doyen

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Tuberose, angelica, artemisia, ylang-ylang, karo karounde, carrot seeds, cardamom, leather, styrax, green notes

Don’t take these notes too seriously as they differ on several websites because no note list was released.

I was hoping for something out of the ordinary, something new and bit surprising – narcotic. Let’s sniff…

Wow – what an opening! It starts out bright and fresh green – full of juicy (not sweet at all) slightly bitter green leaves. Usually, I shy away from such green perfumes because they are out of my comfort zone. Not to fear, this perfume surprises me with the turns it takes. After such a fresh green opening it stays that way for a while on my skin, only hinting at the merest inclusion of tuberose. As my skin warms and I am moving around, the tuberose becomes more pronounced, but it is not a soliflore at all. The tuberose is accompanied by a little bit of rooty and woody goodness. To make it more interesting I am sensing that there are other things going on here that I cannot pinpoint.

Then to my surprise once again, Nuit de Bakelite shifts slightly bringing in a leather component. It dries down to a wonderful tuberose leather scent sprinkled with woods to make it rounder. This perfume has all the colors of the blossoms that I smelled this summer. The green stalk, the blossom tinged with pinks and yellows all come through in Nuit de Bakelite.

Further reading: BL’eauOG and Persolaise
LuckyScent has $187/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/0.5ml

With this new entry into Naomi Goodsir’s lineup I will buy samples of all of the other ones.

Have you tried Naomi Goodsir? Which of her perfumes should I sample next?

Kisses – Sandra

 

(ED: All photos supplied by Sandra unless specified)