Scent Samples: Love & Loss

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TinaG

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Hi APJ,

My fragrance collection had a bit of a rough ride last year. I packed up my house & put everything in storage in May while I travelled overseas for 7 weeks, and then it stayed in storage while I found another place to live. It wasn’t until September 2016 when I got access to everything again. The full bottles and decants were fine, but there was substantial loss from my samples. This varied from leakage & evaporation, to label text disappearing.

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

Moral number one of this is: samples are intended to be used. They aren’t there for you to build a mini-Osmothèque style fragrance library, the vials aren’t that robust at the best of times. Use them, make notes, talk about them, and if you fall in love… buy the bottle.

So, I’ve sorted my samples, laid them out, & thrown out the empties. The ones which have leaked but still have juice left in the vial have been put aside for testing. So today I grabbed two as I walked out the door to give them a run through. These are Fueguia 1833 – Don Giovanni, and Castillos.

And – do you know what? I looked up Fueguia 1833’s current catalogue, and these two aren’t listed. Some time back I purchased full sample sets of Destinos and Special Projects, of which Castillos and Don Giovanni and were included as at March 2016. Now in March 2017, a year later, they’re no longer available – which leads us to moral number two: things change. What was available 6 months or 12 months ago, may be discontinued and therefore so much more difficult to access. And if you fall in love, you’re screwed.

So what do I do with these two samples? Do I treasure them,put them in tightly packed glass vials or on the shelf? I think we need to go back to moral number one: samples are intended to be used.

Here’s what I think of both:

Fragrantica

Castillos – Destinos collection

Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Mate.
This is weird. The mate isn’t dried powdered green tea, it’s fresh and floral and slightly rotten, with the tuberose and jasmine rounding out the overall indole. It is old flowers in a jungle – damp, wet and lush but with that meaty heaviness which you can find in tropical plants. Would I wear it again? Maybe. It’s dried down to have a woody background note and what I think is a touch of ylang ylang.

Fragrantica

Don Giovanni – Special Projects collection.

Notes: Tuberose, Civet, Jasmine
Interesting that I’ve picked up another fragrance with tuberose and jasmine in it today, and once again they are pretty sexy and indolic. The civet seems to me to be refined, its funky but without being feral and I think there’s a lemon note in there smoothing things over. Think: a woman who’s been with her lover all day, but has freshened up and got dressed to go out to a movie premier. She’s looking elegant but still has a slinkiness & smell of dangerous liaisons about her. Rawwwwrrrrr.

Have you ever mourned the loss of any fragrances from your collection?

Have a wonderful week!

Tina G xx

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

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TinaG

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Hi APJ, hope your week is travelling well so far.

It is a sultry rainy day in Sydney, and I’ve just turned the house upside down looking for my 1.5ml sample of ‘lightscape’ so I could wear it for the second time. I have a house full of bottles, decants and samples so 1) it was difficult to find and 2) it shows how determined I was. Standing with hands on hips, surveying the chaos, I glanced over to my side table – there it sat, almost looking at me with a faux-innocent “….What? I was here all along.” expression.

Right.

Grab. Spray spray spray.

Bliss.

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, violet leaf, lemon
Heart: Iris, rose, violet, cyclamen, cedar
Base: Ambergris, tonka bean, cashmere wood, musk, ambrette (musk mallow)

I’m surrounded by the most wonderful green galbanum and that strange violet leaf note which is both floral and verdant at the same time. There’s a background buzz of lemon floating in and out and a touch of sweet dry wood. An ever so soft powdery iris starts wafting through at around 10 minutes. Fab.

I had a pre-conceived anthropocentric impression of lightscape, for no good reason; a city at night, all those white & yellow sparkling lights and flowing red through the veins of its streets. Maybe because of the NY connection. Wrong. This is the dappling of light through a sparse forest & the smell of crushed plants as you walk on through.

Geograph

That effect lasts about an hour and from then the sillage settles slowly by degrees. I’m not quite sure when it morphs to the next dry down stage, it seems to sneak up on me – maybe 3 hours? It’s pretty – an elegant pink musk mallow being the star of the show, supported by tonka bean, more musks, and ambergris giving it a lived in skin effect. It’s alluring, confident and comforting.

I’m enthralled with this fragrance. It’s the type of perfume which has the potential to be part of life’s tapestry as it weaves its own stories into yours. I can’t wait to buy a full bottle, maybe during my visit to Los Angeles later in the year.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and EauMG
Ulrich Lang has $120/100ml has
First In Fragrance has €95/100ml + Samples

A big thank you to Portia for the sample of lightscape, along with nightscape, aperture, and anvers. Thoroughly enjoyed giving these a run through.

Have you ever worn a fragrance and immediately thought – yes, you will be mine…. ??

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Unicorns! OMG Unicorns!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

If you haven’t noticed, unicorns are so hot right now! I mean, they even have their own emoticon. Here’s a few colourful and fragrant ways to dive into all things unicorn.

Fragrantica

Les Nez – The Unicorn Spell

I have to cast my mind back to sniffing this when in a violet rabbit hole. Their website elaborates: .. feels like a search for the unicorn in a dark, damp forest. The unicorn’s presence can be felt, the steam of her breath hangs frozen in the air, the trails shimmer under the quiet mist of her magical spell, but we can’t find her yet …

LUSH USA

Lush Cosmetics – Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

You can let yourself slip into a magical dreamland of unicorn and fairies with a Lush bubble bar, featuring notes of Lavender, ylang ylang and neroli. Shame, I don’t have a bath. Get it HERE

TinaG Photo

Golden Gaytime – Unicorn Breath

For those who don’t know what a Golden Gaytime is, it’s an iconic choc/toffee/vanilla/honeycomb ice cream. The Golden Gaytime pop-up bar in Topshop, Sydney, has a bar where you can order one with a special coating. I chose Unicorn Breath – edible sparkles, popping candy, vanilla crumbs, strawberry candy and musk sticks. You can also buy the coating in a can…..

Mecca

Two Faced – Unicorn Tears

It’s a holographic lipstick by Two Faced. Seriously Want. Apparently it sells in Mecca. I don’t care if it doesn’t suit me, it’s *holographic*!! All the rage with the cool kids.

Unicorn Macarons

These are just too adorable to leave off the list. It’s a recipe. I’d put money on my attempt to make them looking quite different….

The Unicorn Hotel

Sydney even has its own Unicorn Hotel!! No, not really. The Unicorn in Paddington has been revamped under the watchful eye of the crew from Mary’s in Newtown (who do legendary burgers). I used to catch the Bronte 378 bus along Oxford Street and marvel at this classic Aussie pub. It’s nothing pretty to look at but good to see the beige tiled & curves walls out the front, like all good Aussie pubs used to have. Mind you my old fave, The Robin Hood in Waverley still has them too. Watch David Bowie’s video ‘Let’s Dance’ for a taste of what I’m talking about.

And last but never last, coz there will always be something Unicorn coming out…

WISH

Unicorn vs Robot Dinosaur Leggings

….. it could happen. And you’d need to be prepared to run for your life with these sleek leggings. WISH has the goods.

Have you succumbed to any unicorny goodness?

Till next time!

Tina G

Cologne Cashmere by Carla Chabert for La Manufacture 2015

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TinaG

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Hey APJ!

I came across La Manufacture through a gifted sample of Cologne Rare, and I was so impressed that I promised myself to purchase a few more of their colognes to try out. A major problem in accessing these was having them shipped to Australia – they don’t send directly. I needed to have them sent to Germany and brought back in personal luggage – not ideal, and difficult to replicate. However, as I have been enjoying these, I thought it was worth sharing my thoughts.

Cologne Cashmere by La Manufacture 2015

Cologne Cashmere by Carla Chabert

Fragrantica

Le Manufacture gives these featured accords:
Bergamot, mandarin, guaiac wood, sandalwood, leather, velvet, amber, vetiver, marron glacé

This fragrance is a fantastic example of why not to underestimate something just because it’s a “cologne”. It changes through dry down with three distinct stages, and sticks to my skin for at least 8 hours in the summer heat – albeit as a skin scent after about 4 hours.

Cologne Cashmere opens with a fabulous juicy mandarin and bergamot. The bergamot borders more on the green side of the citrus rather than the smoky side and I think this is because it’s emphasised by a generous waft of dry woods that sweeps through and then deepens. After 15 minutes a cheeky little suede note slips in to the picture, having a certain peach aspect to it in a similar vein as Daim Blond or Bottega Veneta. There’s a touch of salty plasticine in there too, which I’ve sniffed out during the first hour a few times. Makes the fragrance feel lived-in.

PDI

At 1 hour you get a jumbled mix of woods. Close to the skin there’s a sense of a soft wood hollowed out by fungus and then dried, and a blond grassy note. I got a lovely surprise when I caught a whiff of sandalwood in the silage. It was a perfect representation, and it was a gorgeous match for a hot and humid day.

But wait, there’s more. I was entranced by a sweet note during the dry down which I likened to strawberry jaminitially. Because the first time I noticed it I was in a home environment, I passed it off as being an anomaly. However on closer investigation on the sample’s listed notes, there is something called a marron glacé right at the very end of the spiel – my brain disregarded this the first few times around because I simply didn’t know what it was. However, what I was overlooking was the source of my sweet impressions! Marron glacé is chestnut which has been crystallised and then coated in a glaze – and there it was in my fragrance – a yummy sticky jammy sugary chestnut. Bloody brilliant.

WikiCommons

I’m fascinated by the way Cologne Cashmere changes from being primarily hesperidic, through to dry and woody, and end up with such an unusual gourmand. It’s been very fun to wear and I’m sorry to see my sample running dry.

Le Manufacture has €65/50ml and samples

What is your favourite cologne?

Have a fab start to the week.

xx Tina G

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès 2008

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

In an effort to combat Sydney’s summer heat and humidity, I’ve been seeking out fragrances that I find refreshing. These have ranged through modern and retro aquatics, juicy citrus, and magnolia.

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Hermès 2008

Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena

A new fragrance in my wardrobe is Un Jardin après la Mousson by Hermès. I can’t say what exactly made me race off to buy a full bottle of this, but one sniff in David Jones was enough to make me swoon – and so it’s now mine. The official blurb on this fragrance locates it somewhere unspecific in India, taking us to a garden which was in drought but has now been refreshed by monsoon rains. I’ve never been to India but I’ve experienced heavy tropical rains in Papua New Guinea, and the solid downpours can be quite punishing – here’s hoping that the imaginary garden of this fragrance survived the onslaught.

Un Jardin après la Mousson opens with a burst of warm spices and watery notes. Ginger, cardamom and black pepper waft up into the air. There’s a distinctive green melon note which develops at 5 minutes giving the watery effect but in a fruity and very mildly fetid way rather than anything specifically river/ocean/storm related. I really enjoy this combination, I have been finding that it cuts through the summer heat and provides a refreshing aura that even manages to get me through morning public transport in train carriages with no airconditioning. Urg. Speaking of punishing….

Wikipedia

And, as far as fragrance development goes, it is fundamentally linear. At 3 hours, the pepper and melon have softened appreciably, and there is a light white floral accord that I find very subtle and pretty. Reapplying at 4 hours for me brings out the sweet aspects of cardamom and a touch of coriander seed in the background. I’m not sure I find much ‘vetiver’ in there. Longevity is good – there’s still tangible scent on my skin at +8 hours even without a respritz.

The joy in this fragrance for me is very much in the wearing. In the summer heat, it becomes more beautiful and “lived-in” with an added touch of salty skin and dry summer dust. I think this fragrance is wonderful on its own but it is enhanced though use, it’s meant to be worn and be part of a day rather than placed up on a pedestal and admired.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Olfactoria’s Travels
Hermès stores and department stores carry the Jardin range

What fragrances do wear to cut through, or compliment, the summer heat?

Till next time,
Tina G

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

It’s tea-time. I thought I’d share with you a quick snap-shot of a few of my favourite tea fragrances.

5 Favourite Tea Perfumes

Fragrantica

BVLGARI – Eau Parfumée Collection

This collection of five fragrances is a touch-stone for anyone wanting to explore tea scents. Green, white, red, blue and black, they are all magnificent colognes. Au Thé Rouge, with pink pepper and roobios tea, is probably my favourite. It’s followed closely by Au Thé Bleu that replicates a sparkling blue summer sky in my mind, with oolong tea notes, lavender, iris, peppery shiso and has its longevity strengthened with the use of musks.

Fragrantica

Comme des Garçons – Series 1 Leaves: Tea

CdG Tea is to Bvlgari Eau Parfumèe what saddle leather is to suede. With notes of lapsang souchong and thick mate (pronounced maa-tey) it is dark, smoky and heady. More for the experienced ‘tea’ lover. I absolutely hated it the first time I smelt it, but was so intrigued that I kept going back it it, and ended up buying a bottle. (Welcome to my world….)

Fragrantica

Hermès Hermessence Collection – Osmanthe Yunnan

Well this could be considered a mix of two teas – herbal osmanthus flower, and black tea from the Yunnan Province, China. The osmanthus is the star of the show with its apricot floral notes softly supported by a gentle very slightly peppery black tea. It’s linear but beautiful. I wore this all the way through the Christmas/New Year period – light, elegant, easy in the summer heat and not overwhelming for social meet ups.

Fragrantica

Baruti – Chai

Chai is the perfect comforting tea scent, with its milky mix of warm spices and a touch of rose in the dry down. It’s being inside on a rainy day all snuggled up with a blanket, fluffy jumper & great chai tea. Yuuuummmmmm!!!

Fragrantica

Masque Milano – Russian Tea

This fragrance is a joy to wear, particularly because it has at least four distinct changes through the drydown – a treasured feature in my mind. I absolutely love the mint in the opening of this fragrance. It is black tea and spearmint, with hints of black leather closer to the skin. At 1 hour an incense comes through, and at two hours I find a wonderful dark honey note. Then at around four hours it goes funky & animalistic. Wow. Why do I not have a full bottle of this?

What are your favourite tea fragrances?

Have a great start to your week!

Tina G xx

Volume II: Precision and Grace by Geza Schoen for The Beautiful Mind Series 2015

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TinaG

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Hi APJ, hope you have all had a lovely start to the festive season.

I wrote briefly about one of my go-to perfumes in an article on Adelaide a few weeks back. This is Precision and Grace, Volume II of the Beautiful Mind Series. It is a great warm weather fragrance and a good all round travel pick-me-up. I’ve always finished decants when I’ve taken it away with me. “Finished” is not a word many perfume hobbyists use too often…..

I thought I’d revisit Precision and Grace with a bit more detail on the development of the scent on skin and why I enjoy wearing it so much.

Volume II: Precision and Grace by The Beautiful Mind Series 2015

Volume II: Precision and Grace by Geza Schoen

volume-2-precision-and-grace-the-beautiful-mind-series-fragranticaFragrantica

LuckyScent gives these featured accords:
Williams pear, bergamot, mandarin, lemon, Egyptian jasmine, plum, osmanthus, rose, mimosa, pink pepper, freesia, violet, sandalwood, myrrh, moss, amber

Precision and Grace is described as a Fruity Floral. That, in itself, is enough to send many a perfumista screaming and ducking for cover. But with descriptions, you have to start somewhere, right? It puts us in the ball park of maybe what to expect – it’s the quality that then defines the fragrance experience itself.

I always give this a few generous sprays, and it opens a slightly metallic lemon. Over the next 15 minutes or so, from this centre point softly emerges a beautifully balanced sphere of co-habiting notes – mandarin, pear, osmanthus and freesia primarily. The osmanthus and pear are really the stars on my skin. The pear is amazingly juicy and fresh, never wandering in to room-deodorant territory. And osmanthus…. Wow…. It is present with a glowing soft yellow radiance, calming and uplifting.

Woman Sunset Fog Profile Silhouette Yellow CloudsPDI

After about 1.5 hours, a jasmine comes through – nothing indolic, this is fresh as it would be still on the vine. The freshness is tempered with a plum note which drawn the scent down into slightly heavier olfactive territory.

There is something really special about the way this fragrance is balanced, each note is clear and real, but no divas, nothing pushing front and centre. I think that’s why I visualise a sphere, with the lemon surrounded by three main auras at first – floral, citrus, and fruit. You’ve got the precision in the photorealism, and grace in the balance, everything has a purpose and a place, working in harmony.

The fragrance changes ever so slowly, and at about 4 hours I find that a woody notes and dry sandalwood have appeared but I really didn’t have any hint of them coming. The dry down is subtle, and fragrance long-lasting at 8+ hours.

volume-2-precision-and-grace-the-beautiful-mind-series-claude-monet-french-still-life-with-flowers-and-fruit-wikicommonsWikiCommons

Further reading: Megan In St Maxime
LuckyScent has $165/100ml and samples

I enjoy wearing Precision and Grace very much. I find it is one of those which grounds and centres me – I suspect that is why I wear it travelling, when I’m working in unfamiliar territory and need to move through my day with a sense of happiness, kindness and purpose. And, of course, the grace to work around those unforeseen hiccups that you always come across on the move.

What is your go-to scent when you need to get things done?

Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful start to 2017! Lots of Love.

Tina G xx