Maravilla by Daniela (Roche) Andrier for Bulgari 2014

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Portia

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Hey Hey APJ,

I remember being in Paris the week these were released and they had a big stand in Galleries Lafayette and about six spritzers placed strategically. It was all very enticing and I did like a couple of the fragrances. Had they been around the €180 mark or less I would have bought at least one bottle but they were well over that and I’d already spent quite a lot of my ready cash. Since then though I have wished that I’d bought one of those space age bottles, just to have it in my collection.

Maravilla by Bulgari 2014

Maravilla by Daniela (Roche) Andrier

Maravilla Bvlgari FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Peach, jasmine, patchouli, Italian lemon, orange blossom

To start with I don’t think perfumistas are this ranges market. Certainly not this scent in the range anyway. I know there are a  wide audience for this kind of scent and it’s pretty much what I smell 30 something shopgirls on their lunch break wafting. Fruity and sweetened with sugar crystals.

Fresh Fruit Splash Falling Water OrangePDI

What we have here is a fresh, fruity, lightly aquatic melange that is perky and quite frisky. It’s airy and a little dewy. The citrus is very soft focus and the very faint peach smells a little canned. There’s an amorphous white flower, completely cleaned of all indole and depth and the patchouli does not even register for me.

Maravilla would not be out of place in the Tocca range. They have a fairly similar line at about one fifth the cost or less. I think what you might be paying for here is a smoother blend and the fabulous bottle. A low key pretty perfume that is totally inoffensive to start and falls away to a soft focus white musk laundry scent to finish. Longevity is pretty good, you’ll continue to pump soft gouts of clean citrus clothes till work is finished.

Maravilla Bvlgari Elizabeth_Sparhawk-Jones,_Shop_Girls WikiMediaWikiMedia

Harrods has £215/100ml (UK Delivery Only)
Some discounters now have it too.

What is one of your didn’t buy regrets?
Portia xx

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

Five Reasons You Don’t Need To Buy Niche

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Post by Anne-Marie

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Caution being my middle name, I was never tremendously adventurous in sampling niche fragrances, even at the best of times. Now that it’s the worst of times (a low Aussie dollar and much higher shipping costs), I’m not buying niche at all.

But a tight budget forces you back on your own resources: if you apply a bit of cleverness and an open mind, it is amazing the treasures you can find amongst the stuff cluttering up the shelves and inventories of mainstream sellers and discounters.

Here are five inexpensive (well under $AUD 100) options to try if you are looking for fragrances that are off-beat, avant-garde, or beautiful in an inexplicably un-beautiful sort of way.

Five Reasons You Don’t Need To Buy Niche

Molinard Habanita FragranticaFragrantica

Molinard Habanita (perfumer unknown, 1921)

Towering in its originality, Habanita is so weird it never smells dated. Although famous for its association with cigarettes, tobacco is not listed as a note in Habanita. I get dirty leather, vanilla, jammy fruit, and vetiver. Florals? I suppose so, but I don’t smell them.

Femme Rochas 2013 FragranticaFragrantica

Rochas Femme (Edmond Roudnitska, 1943)

Chypres smell ‘niche’ because they are not fashionable for the mall customer any more. Femme is a meltingly beautiful fruity chypre, often likened to Guerlain’s Mitsouko but less austere and much easier to wear. I prefer the post-1989 reformulation to the vintage versions I’ve tried.

Bvlgari Black FragranticaFragrantica

Bvlgari Black (Annick Mernado, 1998)

Like Habanita, Black is famous for a note it does not possess: tyre rubber. Black is mainly leather, vanilla and smoky tea. Comforting, edgy, and so alluring. Someone should write a novel where the main character wears Black. Would they be male or female? You decide.

Estee Lauder Knowing FragranticaFragrantica

Estee Lauder Knowing (Elie Roger, 1998)

Lauder is so mainstream you can buy it anywhere. If Lauder could establish a counter on the moon, it would. This makes it all the more wonderful that Knowing is still in the line-up. It’s a rose chypre so intelligent, so commanding and so dark that the best way to wear it is not with a pencil skirt and stilettos – for that would be too predictable now – but with jeans and a simple cotton shirt.

Lalique Encre Noire FRagranticaFragrantica

Lalique Encre Noire (Nathalie Lorson, 2006)

Encre Noire is a crisp, nothing-to-hide vetiver. You might find it linear and one-dimensional. Or, conversely, you might love that it takes ease and good taste for granted. It needs confidence to pull off something as apparently simple as this.

It was easy to think of five examples of ‘alternative to niche’. I could easily rattle off more, but I’m interested in hearing your ideas. What would you pick?

Tea and Sympathy: Scent Memories of Mum

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Post by Anonymous

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Hello APJ,

She died in the early hours of a Monday morning. There was no pain, just hours of quiet ragged breathing interspersed by pauses until, finally, one pause became permanent.

My mother had always loved tea. In the last years of her life she hardly ever ate a full meal, but she was always up for a cuppa and a biscuit. She loved visitors and was always quick to offer a cuppa and a chat to anybody who dropped by.

Tea and Sympathy chezbeate pixabayPixabay

Once she had left, I decided a good way to remember her would be to wear tea fragrances for a while. No great thinking lay behind this, just one of those things you reach for to help you deal with the news. It was a way of reminding myself of what she liked.

Tea and Sympathy: Scent Memories of Mum

Masque Russian Tea FragranticaFragrantica

On the day of her passing, I chose Masque Russian Tea. This is the most overt tea fragrance that I own, a real hit of lapsang souchong, almost exactly like breathing in the heady fumes of a stiff brew in one of mum’s fine china cups.

Silver Mountain Water Creed FragranticaFragrantica

Tuesday was dreadfully hot, and I was in no mood to deal with that. Creed’s Silver Mountain Water was the right tea fragrance in the heat. This one is a crisp cup of white tea, not huge in flavour but elegant and refined. Like a lot of Creeds on me, this one didn’t stay long in the extreme heat, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Oolang Infini Atelier Cologne FragranticaFragrantica

My favourite style of tea is oolong, and I thought Atelier Oolang Infini would be a good one for me. Sad to report, it isn’t. I could barely tell that I had perfume on, even after applying it for a second time. Atelier have a few stars in the line-up, but this was a disappointment.

Eau Parfumee au The Vert Bvlgari  FragranticaFragrantica

Green tea is another favourite, and Bvlgari Au The Vert was my pick as the classic green tea style in my collection. This never disappoints; a really nice scent that doesn’t impose itself on people and it can deal with the heat. A fairly linear bergamot and tea concoction; is this what Earl Grey would smell like with green tea instead of black?

Tea for Two L`Artisan Parfumeur FragranticaFragrantica

L’Artisan’s Tea For Two takes a different direction, blending tea and tobacco notes for a rich, warming fragrance rounded out by spices and wood. This one is a winter fragrance for me, and didn’t work too well on this hot Friday, but it is one of my favourite tea scents, and I wasn’t going to leave it out.

I had my doubts about Saturday, the day of the funeral, and seriously considered not wearing any perfume at all, out of respect for the occasion. But this is not our way; funerals are sad occasions, sure, but they are also celebrations of a life lived, and a rare occasion where our far-flung extended family can get together. People came from interstate and all around the world to join us, and I decided that celebrating was the best way to think of the day.

By Kilian Bamboo Harmony FragranticaFragrantica

I chose By Kilian Bamboo Harmony for the funeral. It might sound macabre, but there is something about the plush-lined black box that it comes in that seemed appropriate. This is another white tea and bergamot blend, like Silver Mountain Water, but it nods towards Asia rather than Europe. It’s discreet and long-lasting, and proved to be a good choice.

Yerbamate Lorenzo Villoresi FragranticaFragrantica

Sunday was worse than Saturday. An empty, numb feeling all day, now that something truly was missing. Brunch with the family, but I really didn’t feel like it. What I wanted was to be by myself at last, go for a long walk in the sunshine and listen to some music. I did all that later and my feeling was buoyed by the perfect tea scent for a bright sunny day – Lorenzo Villoresi’s Yerbamate.

From now on the scent of tea will unlock something in me that it never has before,
Thanks for reading.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu by Daniela (Roche) Andrier for BVLGARI 2015

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Post by TinaG

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Hello APJ!

I have a soft spot for the Bvlgari tea series, as Au Thé Rouge was the first fragrance I ever wrote up for APJ and it holds special memories of that summer. And it changed my life. It all started with a travel size sample of Au Thé Rouge and subsequent hunt for and purchase of rooibos, the “rouge” tea in Au Thé Rouge. From there I started investigating styles of tea, and tea as a fragrance note. Two years later and my life is richer for these experiences; I’ve widened my knowledge of the world, found some beautiful “tea” fragrances, and thoroughly enjoy a quiet cuppa and breathing space now and then.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu by BVLGARI 2015

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu by Daniela (Roche) Andrier

Eau Parfumee au The Bleu Bvlgari FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, shiso
Heart: Violet, tea
Base: Iris, musk

I was excited to hear about the release last year of Au Thé Bleu, Bvlgari’s fourth in the tea series. It showcases a ‘blue’ tea accord, inspired by one of my favourite teas, Chinese oolong.

Eau Parfumee au The Bleu Bvlgari Blur tea Unsplash PixabayPixabay

Au Thé Bleu is a great cologne to both counteract and compliment a hot summers day. It opens with a smoky tea, cool lavender and subtle iris. The lavender is the star here. The fragrance stays crisp and cool for about an hour, before it warms up with a touch of tonka, giving the whole silage a comforting feel. Over the next two hours it flits around, alternating between warm and cool, supported by wonderfully light musk notes. The best way to describe the musk is clean but warm, not like a cool laundry musk. It’s sweeter, slightly in to musk-stick / lolly territory.

At 4 hours the fragrance has a peppery feel about it. I didn’t remember seeing any spicy notes listed but when I went back to Fragrantica and the Bvlgari website, there is a note listed of Shiso leaf which is described as having a peppery spicyness about it. It fits in well. As a cologne strength the dry down is surprising long-lasting, staying on my skin for about 8 hours.

Eau Parfumee au The Bleu Bvlgari Lavender Fields Angela Bethell FlickrFlickr

There is a fabulous uplifting quality to this scent, and it makes me feel as if I’m being warmed by the sun, whilst looking up at a blue summer sky across wide fields of lavender. The ‘blue’ accord is sheer and radiant – like holding up a corn-flower blue sapphire to the sun and watching the sparkles of light dance. ‘Happy’ is a simple word but the feeling of being happy can be profound. This fragrance makes me happy, it has a pureness from simplicity which is a pleasure to enjoy.

Further reading: Persolaise and Colognoisseur
David Jones has $184/150ml with FREE Australian delivery

Do you have a favourite fragrance you wear, which makes you feel happy?

Tina G xx

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by Carlos Benaim and Sophie Labbe for BVLGARI 2008

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Post by Portia

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Heya APJ Family,

Since 2008 I have longed to wear this fragrance. Every now and then I give myself a spritz in the mall but it’s too busy there to contemplate fragrance and Jasmin Noir doesn’t seem to be big enough to maintain my attention when otherwise occupied. So I bought a decant, now I get to spend some time in peaceful surroundings and really test drive it. Don’t worry, my expectations are very low but sometimes you just have to scratch the itch.

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by BVLGARI 2008

Bulgari Jasmin Noir by Carlos Benaim and Sophie Labbe

Jasmin Noir Bvlgari FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Gardenia, Green plant juice
Heart: Jasmine sambac absolute, Almond
Base: Precious woods, Glycyrrhiza, Tonka bean absolute

Sheer radiant sappy floral, pretty and slightly plastic smelling that is airy and sparse. This fresh greenness never really points to one flower but smells to me like an amorphous white floral bouquet and when the jasmine arrives it feels fizzy and metallic, are there some aldehydes hidden in the mix? As far as flowers go my skin is throwing floral holograms rather than the flowers themselves, space flowers, crystal floral replicas. I am just not getting the notes I’m supposed to be smelling, except the green plant juice. Green plant juice and woods as if what I’m smelling is in a dream about standing next to a council shredder and they are putting through leafy branches of soft stemmed plants like hydrangea, tied old air conditioning and maybe some arum lilies, there is a petroleum/exhaust hint too that I would normally love. They must have used the cleanest isolates of flowers or chemical representations of them.

Jasmin Noir Bvlgari Fragrantica adPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

I wanted to like this, was ready to love it and buy one of those gorgeous bottles, but sadly on me Jasmin Noir smells bad. My skin throws some awful thing up at me that is not the way I would like to be, or imagine myself, smelling. Sorry if it’s your favourite, more power to you if it smells better on you than me.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Perfume Shrine
FragranceNet has $50/50ml before Coupon
My Perfume Samples has $7/5ml

Do you ever crave to try something even though you’re 98% sure that it’s going to be a complete failure? Does Jasmin Noir work on you? I’d love to read reports of it being fabulous.
Portia xx

N.B. If you hit the My Perfume Samples link and shop I get a kickback.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Olivier Polge for Bvlgari 2006

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Post by TinaG

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Hi APJ,

So many people have been making the effort to travel during this holiday period. For those of us in Australia with overseas relatives and friends, it can mean extended flight and transit times. In what is essentially an enclosed public space (ie: open to anyone with a valid passport and money) consideration of others, whilst trying to make yourself comfortable enough to endure what can be a challenging trip, is an interesting balance. For those of us who have a regular wrist-to-nose sniffing habit, should we really be going fragrance free? What, if any, fragrances could actually be suitable for these close-quarter random encounters?

I had this question partially answered by one of my brothers, as he was was upgraded to Emirates Business Class on his return trip to Australia in December.

Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Olivier Polge for Bvlgari 2006

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bvlgari FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, pink pepper, bergamot
Heart: Tea, fig
Base: Musk, walnut, resin

Emirates have chosen Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge by Bvlgari for their Business Class amenities pack. A 5ml eau de cologne, 40ml body lotion and 40ml after shave emulsion are beautifully presented in a pretty little red branded box. The “Au Thé” series from Bvlgari have been formulated to incorporate notes of various tea varieties, specifically green, white and red tea. Au Thé Vert was launched in 1992, Au Thé Blanc followed in 2003 with Au Thé Rouge released in 2006.

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bulgari Tina

Fragrantica advises that Au Thé Rouge is created using two red tea extracts, a Roiboos from South Africa, and a Yunnan which is of Chinese origin. The first splash of the cologne brought on a whoosh of fresh alcohol which disappeared after 20 seconds. I could imagine how invigorating that would be in a stale aircraft cabin, it certainly worked wonders on a steamy summer afternoon. This was followed by what I interpreted as tea – I’m afraid my nose is just not that sensitive to be able to distinguish subtleties of tea types in fragrance, but practice makes perfect. I wafted my wrist under my brother’s nose and he immediately likened the scent to Thé Blanc (White Tea) by L’Occitane. 20minutes later, pepper elbows its way in to the fray along with orange and bergamot that creates a warm, uplifting vibe. Tea, pepper and citrus are an invigorating combination which I really enjoy. After two hours there are wood and resin notes which bring a comforting sophistication to the blend. I can’t seem to find the walnut or musk in the drydown but that is probably just me.

Eau Parfumee au The Rouge Bvlgari Sydney Evening AdventureJay2Photo Stolen AdventureJay

The silage of Au Thé Rouge is very much on an up close and personal basis. I’ve worn this scent now in multiple social situations and not had one person comment on it, even after extremely generous re-applications. Longevity is good albeit subtle. It would be an appropriate choice for travel or the office, but it has also been a lovely experience to wear in an evening winding down as the day cools and settles into dusk.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Bois de Jasmin
Fragrance Shop has $27/50ml before coupon
My Perfume Samples starts at $2/ml

I’m interested to hear of any other scent-related travel experiences, good or bad! What has been your travel scent of choice?

xx Tina