White Musks: Friend or Foe?

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Post by Trésor

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I like white musk, I cannot lie and I like it a lot. Many of you will be familiar with my profound affection for accords steeped in subversion, depravity and potions rife with filthy delight but when it’s just me, myself and I there is only one solution: a proper cumulonimbus of glimmering white musk. Instead of just one review this week I’ve opted instead for three, a collection of my most cherished and well loved fragrances graced with this accord of pellucid splendour.

White Musks: Friend or Foe?

Pure eVe The Different Company FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Pure eVe by Céline Ellena for The Different Company 2011

First up on the docket is Pure eVe (formerly known as Pure Virgin) from French niche house The Different Company. Pure eVe opens in an exquisite breath of sheer vanilla, flirting with the idea of confection but never quite registering as a treat that’s entirely edible. Soon vanilla gracefully fades into cascades of creamy almond and transparent caramel, each tendril encapsulated within zephyrs of gentle powder. The base is comprised of a glorious and breathtakingly kaleidoscopic blend of white musks, each one scintillating and setting another aglow until they are all but one orb of fluid light.

Royal Muska M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Royal Muska by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2008

I happened upon Jean-Claude Astier’s Royal Muska for M. Micallef entirely by accident. I’d been snooping through a friend’s perfume shelf as one does and the most gloriously glittering bottle caught my eye. There was no question, I had to spray myself and the from the moment I did I could tell that it was going to be love. From first sniff there is a familiarity, I can catch whiffs of delicate summertime beauty. Ephemeral flourishes silky cream and raspberry permeate the background, cheekily peeking through a veil of aroma that’s reminiscent of fine French soap. At the heart is a translucent interpretation of ripe and velvety peach that carries through until the composition has become glowing billows of plush white musk.

Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker  FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Lovely by Laurent Le Gurnec + Clement Gavarry for Sarah Jessica Parker 2005

Out of my entire collection there are but a small a handful of fragrances which I use on a regular basis and even fewer which I use entirely and repurchase time and time again. Alongside my greatest love, Aromatics Elixir from Clinique there is only one other where I have repurchased bottles more times than I can count: Lovely from Sarah Jessica Parker. The opening of lovely, to my humble nose, is sheer perfection. Silken plumes of luxurious white musk are scintillating with fractals of golden light radiating threads of glowing bergamot and transparent grains of sea salt, their form cut as precious stone. At the heart of Lovely dwells the velvet petals of a white rose, her petals bathed in the roseate hue of celestial evening sunlight. The warmth of the rich rosewood that comprises the base is utterly magnetic and the soft shades of amber on which it rests are equally as exquisite. If I were to choose only one white musk for the rest of my life, there is no question of which it would be. Lovely.

You might find this interesting: Surrender To Chance Musks Sampler

What are your favourite fragrances focused around an accord of white musk?

Until next time, kittens.

Trésor, xo.

Shiloh by Michel Roudnitska for Hors La Monde 2007

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Post by Trésor

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My maternal grandmother lived in a quaint home, nestled in between two incredibly large hills with a small brook running down one side. Every so often we would gather iridescent stones that found their way to the tiny banks and pretend they were the scales of mermaid’s tails that had made their journey all the way from the Caspian sea to our little brook. We would take these stones into the house, clean them and place them inside the upstairs cabinet where she kept all of her finest china. She said they would stay there for safe keeping should the mermaids ever come looking in search for their missing glistening scales. These moments were some of the happiest of my entire childhood so you can just imagine my delight when I happened upon a fragrance by the name of Shiloh, authored by Michel Roudnitska for the French house of Hors La Monde that so flawlessly captured all of those exquisite iridescent colours I remember from those stones. All in one breathtaking journey though this perfume’s life on my skin.

 Shiloh by Hors La Monde 2007

 Shiloh by Michel Roudnitska

Shiloh Hors La Monde FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Bergamot oil, Damask rose petals, Virginian cedar, patchouli, lemon, sandalwood, incense, green grass, oakmoss, vanilla, musk, wood notes

Shiloh opens upon my skin in the shape of an effulgent sensory orb, pulsating in hues of vibrant cinnabar, rust and gleaming tangerine that illuminate from within like holograms of fragrant fireflies, whizzing about as if captured inside a mason jar by a joyful child on a late summer’s eve. The aroma of a ripe and glowing citrus fruit, that which smells to my nose of lemon, graciously wafts her golden fragrance in excess as gossamer plumes of diaphanous incense smoke envelop the citric rays of aureate light and with them begin to paint the composition a shade deeper, a spirit guide into the embrace of red rose petals existing as soft sculpture in translucent velveteen. Her petals begin to gracefully bleed a mellifluous zephyr of black pepper and aldehydes which have taken form as the kaleidoscopically lambent shards of a nearby star. With each precious drop that leaves her petals the rose darkens into crimson and soon finds herself enraptured within an abating aura of patchouli who’s fragrant leaves are as smooth as silk and permeating the airspace with their exquisite balsamic aroma of rainsoaked flora and the earth from which they came.

Shiloh Hors La Monde Bosc d'Anjou Grandma Moses Sugaring off (1945) FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

As the composition dries down the roses and patchouli are laid to rest upon a bed of redolent Virginia cedar, creamy sandalwood and sensuous skin musks which dance upon the skin like phantasms of Bolshoi ballerinas illuminated in hues of auroral copper and gold. It is within this final act of spectral pirouettes that Shiloh finally becomes one with the skin.

Shiloh is a fragrance which wears closely to the skin, existing nearly as a skin scent the entire duration of its life. It is by no stretch of the imagination a weak fragrance but one that is meant for those you wish to draw close. Each time I wear Shiloh I tend to get about 6 hours wear before it trails into dancing wisps of ethereal musk, though I will admit that on warmer days I’ve gotten upwards of 9 hours before it was completely gone from my skin.

Shiloh Hors La Monde Grandmas_house WikipediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
LuckyScent has $125/50ml

Have you tried Shiloh?

Skin Drenching Moisturising Potions

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Post by Trésor

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Autumn is officially in full swing in my humble little corner of the globe and the mercury has finally begun its lengthy descent into what I’m expecting shall soon be one hell of a winter. As much as I adore the delightful chill that comes along with such utterly magnificent sweater weather it also brings with it a far less welcome guest: dry, itchy skin; otherwise known as *the* bane of my existence. Luckily for me (and you beautiful readers, if you just so happen to enjoy a fragrant treat or two…or five) I’ve happened upon a number of exquisite lotions and potions that are both positively nourishing and olfactoriaely sublime and it would be my pleasure to share a few of my favourites with each of you.

Skin Drenching Moisturising Potions

Angel Perfuming Body Cream

Angel Perfuming Body Cream from Thierry Mugler

I’m fairly certain you’re well aware of just who Angel is, she needs no introduction. She’s the face that launched a thousand ships, the high-octane über-gourmand who’s DNA runs through an astonishing amount of fragrances which occupy the spheres of both designer and niche alike. Here, contained within her fantastically celestial flying saucer, her edges have been softened and entire demeanour expressed with a sense of fluidity and grace. Her holy trinity of neon candy floss, camphorous patchouli and sumptuous dark chocolate are still fully intact but wear closer to the skin, their rich languidity reimagined effortless sensuality in her altered form. Deeper, earthier yet somehow transparent; her beauty now bound to the Earth as much as it is to the stars above.

LAFCO Feu de Bois House & Home Nourishing Body Cream

Feu de Bois Nourishing Body Cream from LAFCO

The aroma of burning wood is one of my favourites in this entire world. Growing up on the East Coast of Canada where winters are considerably harsh and wood stoves are aplenty one comes to associate the fragrance of woodsmoke with their morning routine, the promise of glowing warmth and comfort after waking up to stone floors as cold as ice or conversely the abating comfort of curling up by to the fire in a sinfully cozy blanket and taking a glorious nap on a particularly chilly evening. LAFCO has captured the essence of these moment’s so beautifully, all the while wearing with an incredible ease and a great deal of comfort to skin which may be feeling a bit under the weather. Soft plumes of woodsmoke are joined by the delicate emerald hum of conifer resins that illuminate their sylvan radiance through the diaphanous haze. Utterly sublime.

Pulp Body Cream from Byredo

Pulp Body Cream from Byredo

There are certain accords in the realm of fragrance which one (myself, at the very least) may develop a particularly blasé attitude toward as time passes. One such example for me is the fruity floral, compositions of this nature truly wield the power to bore me to absolute tears but that, of course, is simply my own personal opinion. Every once and a while, though, something comes around and challenges my preconceived notions. It has me falling head over heels for a fragrance that by all accounts I should very much dislike. Meet Pulp from Swedish niche house Byredo, one of the very first fragrances to have put me in this precise position and caused me to reconsider my exploration of an entire genre. Pulp is absolute divinity, a symphonious amalgam of wildly nectarous fruits like succulent blackcurrant, crimson red apple and unbelievably juicy fig, overripe and on the cusp of decay. It’s absolutely magnificent and in my opinion even more enjoyable in the body cream, which lends a most sensual aura to Pulp’s already subversive leitmotif.

Are there any fragrant body creams which you enjoy breaking out when the temperatures begin to fall?

Until next time, my darlings.

Trésor xx

L’Amoureuse by Emilie Bouge for Brecourt 2010

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Post by Trésor

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(Ed: BTW Here’s the link to a story about Trésor in the Mac Campaign)

There are a handful of categories in fragrance which are often maligned by those whom may consider themselves connoisseurs of haute parfumerie (myself very much included) but there is one particular climate of olfactory exploration which may well get a bum rap that’s worse than them all: the fruity floral. The fruity floral has become somewhat ubiquitous and while that ubiquity can often come with a sense of fragrant ennui there can also be a sense of comfort and familiarity captured within these dulcet vapours. Just as I’d been delving into some research of the genre to further my understanding it so happened that I was fortuitous enough to receive a package from a dear friend, one which contained a very generous sample of L’Amoureuse from the Parisian house of Brecourt, easily one of the most exquisite compositions in the genre I’ve had the pleasure of wearing along my scented journey this far.

L’Amoureuse by Brecourt 2010

L’Amoureuse by Emilie Bouge

L’Amoureuse Brecourt FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, tangerine, black currant
Heart: Rose, jasmine, violets, raspberries
Base: Peach, lily, musk

L’Amoureuse opens on my skin with the sumptuous bravura of juicy blackcurrant, each berry positively glistening with rich and nectarous dew. The narcotic aroma of jasmine and her petals of luxurious ivory permeate the airspace alongside the citric effervescence of glowing tangerine, a combination which somehow reminds me of a smell from my childhood; the redolent aroma of a particular shampoo or other such potion that perpetuates the most splendid notion of lighthearted nostalgia. As the composition progresses the lush magenta petals of a blooming rose bouquet unfold and radiate their glowing aurora throughout the exquisite menagerie of aromas which preceded. The lambent sweetness of ripe peach amplifies the utter ebullience of delectably fruity damascones and makes way for the most unbelievably comforting drydown. A plush cloud of sensuous white skin musks alongside the delicate warmth of rich sandalwood are what remain after the spellbinding floridity of the heart begin to fade. It is in this splendid embrace that L’Amoureuse finally becomes one with the skin and exists as but a fond memory.

L’Amoureuse Brecourt Vivien_Leigh WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

With L’Amoureuse I get a moderate degree of sillage, nothing particularly huge but by no means existing within the realm of a skin scent. Longevity is about the same for me as well, I get a good 6 to 8 hours of wear before the fragrance disappears entirely on my skin though I am certain on warmer days I may very well be able to get a solid 10. I think L’Amoureuse would be the absolute ideal transition scent for someone making the journey from wearing only mainstream releases into the world of niche. It is wonderfully elegant, delightfully well made and created with a sense of familiarity that I think even those completely new to fragrance would find very appealing.

L’Amoureuse Brecourt happy young woman Andi_Graf PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Scent For Thought
First In Fragrance have €69/50ml & samples
IndieScents have $85/50ml & samples

What fragrance would you recommend to somebody taking their first steps into the world of niche?

Until next time, my darlings.

Trésor, xx.

Bel Respiro by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 2007

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Post by Trésor

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Sometimes there is a fragrance that one is taken with, right from the get-go. It’s a bit like finding the perfect pair of black leather pumps or a flawless white shirt, a seemingly simple task but one that in reality it’s never quite so easy. They have to click, tick each box and do so with a comfortable, effortless sensibility befitting their impeccable nature. A sublime marriage of fit, form and fabric that so fluently weaves its way into your life and exhibits as not only an immediate appreciation of fine craftsmanship but as the beginning of a lifelong affection. For me, this is how it began with Jacques Polge’s Bel Respiro for Chanel, a pure manifestation of not only incredible fondness but what it means to be consummately and so unapologetically chic.

Bel Respiro by CHANEL 2007

Bel Respiro by Jacques Polge

Bel Respiro Chanel fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Green notes, flowers, leather, grass

The opening of Bel Respiro is, in my opinion, SO bloody Chanel. If you just so happen to be as irrationally obsessed with fragrance as I am (and I sincerely suspect you are) then you know just what I mean. It’s so good, in fact, that it may very well reside within the selection of some of the most beautiful top notes I’ve ever smelled in a fragrance. Upon the first push of the atomizer one is met with a diaphanous aura of desaturated emerald, exquisite in its verdancy but whisked away into a realm of subtlety and utter grace. There is a sunlit radiance emanating from the surface, not particularly warm but a palpable sensation of luminosity and effervescence.

Bel Respiro Chanel emerald_and_diamond_brooch DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

The elegant austerity of silken iris soon follows, infusing the composition with an air that feels again so deeply “Chanel”, beauty of the highest order but beauty that has not made an effort to appear as such; it simply is. Pastel hued petals of lilac and rose redolent of a delicate herbal astringency follow suit and create what smells to me of a subdued kaleidoscope of ephemeral floralcy. A flourish of suede reveals itself beneath glorious fractals of efflorescent aroma, but only as an accent much like the the double-C on the button of a vintage tweed jacket. The dry down smells of transparent resins alongside a slightly amplified trace of the aforementioned suede and the scintillant glow of soft white musk.

Bel Respiro Chanel  green leather bm.iphone FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

The longevity and sillage, for me, are largely dependent on how much one applies. A spray or two yields a relatively evanescent outcome, close to skin and lasting just a couple of hours but with a proper dousing in the stuff as I much prefer (quelle surprise!) I can get about 5 hours and a nominally more potent sillage. Bel Respiro is certainly not, as the boys like to say, “beast-mode” but that is where its beauty lays, in gossamer undulations of fragility and grace.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Smelly Vagabond
Bel Respiro can be found at most large department stores and stand alone CHANEL boutiques
CHANEL Online has $160/75ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

Have you fallen for any fragrances right from the beginning? What was it about them that beguiled you?

Until next time, my darlings.
Trésor xx

North by Amelie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel for Mendittorosa (Odori d’Anima) 2013

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Post by Trésor

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I have a confession to make: I am not a fan of summer, of all the four seasons it is easily my least favourite. I know what you’re thinking. “Have you no heart, Trésor?! How can you not love the summer?!” While I admit there are few things more delightful than the aureate hue of summertime sunlight there are also few things I despise more than the heat that accompanies this precious gift. I revel in the embrace of graceful autumn zephyrs and even within the frost-bound chill of the Canadian winters in which I grew up. Naturally, when August rolled around and the heat *really* hit I was scrambling to find just about anything I could to satiate my desire for hyperborean delight. It was around this time I just so happened to have serendipitously received a sample kit from Italian niche house Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima and I was delighted to find that nestled within was a potion authored by perfumers Amelie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel called North, a pulchritudinous ode to Scandinavian minimalism and the elegant austerity that so harmoniously exemplifies this exquisite aesthetic.

North by Mendittorosa (Odori d’Anima) 2013

North by Amelie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel

North Mendittorosa FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Black pepper, aldehydes, bergamot
Heart: Sea notes, floral notes, jasmine
Base: Atlas cedar, Virginian cedar, nutmeg

North opens with a diffuse aurora of shimmering aldehydes, refracting light in a way that so viscerally resembles a premonition of fractured crystal suspended in perpetuity within rays of December sunlight. A verdant scythe of emerald bergamot penetrates the crystalline aurora, setting the sky alight in a flash of vivid green, the threads of which fall daintily like stardust into the Baltic sea. Holograms of gelid flowers float on the water’s surface, breathing in the salty brine and exhaling piercing clouds of glacial ozone bound for the shore. Hologram materializes into tangibility as the composition approaches land and the bounty which it bares.

North Mendittorosa Cedrus_deodara  WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The frozen petals of this ephemeral white flower now rest at the feet of towering cedars, singing unto the borealis with their sylvan essence. There is little warmth to be found here in this landscape but is within this hiemal serenity that the beauty of the composition lays. The notes seem to flow into each other as the river to delta and delta to the sea, naturally and with a sophisticated ease.

North exists on my skin for about 6 hours in total though on the warmest of days I can get just a bit longer. The sillage is gentle, an ethereal aura of divine fragrance as opposed to a diffuse cloud. I’ve found this to be just the antidote to my admittedly cantankerous disposition towards the heat and humidity as it reminds me so beautifully of the seasons which bring me the greatest joy and those of which I have the fondest memories.

North Mendittorosa Anchorage Wildlife refuge Paxson Woelber FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Val the Cookie Queen writes about another Mendittorosa (Odori d’Anima) fragrance Id
First In Fragrance have €185/100ml
Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima have a fabulous Discovery Pack (7 x 1.4ml samples, literature, message from founder, world postage) 40

Do you have a favourite fragrance who’s atmosphere mirrors the glacial chill of North?

Until next time, my darlings.

Trésor x

Sensual Orchid by Jerome Epinette for LM Parfums 2012

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Post by Trésor

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Where I grew up the opportunities to express my authentic self were few and far between, it was not until later in life when I’d developed a certain degree self confidence that I was able to manifest who I truly was and see that very person staring back at me from the mirror for the first time. It was in significant part through the exploration of exquisite fragrance and rituals of beauty that I found myself growing more comfortable in my own skin and experiencing a newfound symbiosis between body and spirit.

The one thing I recall so vividly with a great deal of fondness from these early years is so simple, the pacifying aromas that would accompany the application of my skincare and makeup. With each breath inward I could feel myself transforming, the chrysalis breaking away and the gentle warmth of lambent sunbeams filtering though upon my skin. As you can imagine, this olfactory landscape holds a rather profound emotional significance to me so when I came across a fragrance that encapsulated this sacred microcosm with such ease and incredible grace I was moved to tears. Sensual Orchid is a time capsule, the contents of which are the essence of what afforded me threads of hope and unimaginable joy when both were in short supply.

Sensual Orchid by Jerome Epinette for LM Parfums 2012

Sensual Orchid LM Parfums FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin orange, almond, neroli
Heart: Orchid, jasmine sambac, ylang-ylang, peony, heliotrope
Base: Vanilla, musk, woody notes, cedar, labdanum, benzoin

Upon my initial breath I am taken by the heartbreakingly voluptuous vapours rising forth from my skin, crystalline wedges of mandarin orange glistening with cognac dew drops falling gracefully into an ebbing ocean of almonds imagined as heavenly cream. The technicolor petals of sumptuous ylang ylang rise from beneath the surface, radiant in hues of canary, languid with lashings of the almond cream and what’s now materializing as sweet, fleshy coconut. This achingly luscious olfactory texture calls to mind that of the creams my grandmother would apply each and every morning and night, a practice she passed down to me and one which would later exhibit itself as the genesis of one of my greatest passions. A veritable kaleidoscope of indulgent florals unveils itself, each petal metamorphosing into another before the one preceding can be identified in full. From narcotic jasmine, jovial peony, the syrupy richness of heliotrope to what I swear are tendrils of libidinous tuberose and back again in a display of decadent hedonism and dancerly motion.

sensual-orchid-lm-parfums shimmer-and-move FotoCommunityPhoto Stolen FotoCommunity

As Sensual Orchid dries down it takes on the scent of something very dear to my heart, the aroma which resides within the silk lined leather bag where I keep my favourite makeup, the cherished treasures that have done well to assuage dysphoria in the throes of growing up as a transgender youth in an environment of hostility and rage. A dulcet aura of soft vanilla permeates the background, not unlike the aroma of my beloved Russian Red lipstick. A gleaming hologram of cashmere woods flickers, redolent of the shavings of well loved kohl pencils, illuminating the diaphanous dust of delicate French face powder dancing in the air.

sensual-orchid-lm-parfums rainbow_eye DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

On my skin Sensual Orchid radiates in full bloom for just about six hours, tapering into a translucent whisper for another three until it finally exists as an exquisite memory. Initially the sillage is considerable but as time passes Sensual Orchid recedes closer and closer to the skin until finally fades away, becoming a sensory delight for only those you choose to draw near.

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Scented Hound
Jovoy Paris has €195/100ml
Osswald NYC has $225/100ml

Do you have a fragrance that reminds you of a particular metamorphosis in your life?

Until next time, my darlings.
Trésor