Vanille Orient by Jean-Claude Astier + Geoffrey Nejman for M. Micallef 2012

.

Portia

.

Hey there Frag Heads,

You may remember a few weeks ago I bought a bottle of M Micallef Vanille Marine? Well looking through my decants this week I discovered 5ml of another in the line. Because I loved the other so much I’d basically ignored todays and so I thought we could look at it together today.

Vanille Orient by M. Micallef 2012

Vanille Orient by Jean-Claude Astier + Geoffrey Nejman

Vanille Orient M. Micallef FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Spices, vanilla, sandalwood, amber, musk

Opening is vanilla, quickly tempered by sweet citrus and warm resins. There is some cardamom or something equally green/smooth floating around and a smokiness on a low level. A simple creamy amber, very easy wear, is the heart. Nothing ground breaking or distinctive but it does smell very luxurious.

I keep smelling myself and thinking that Vanille Orient transports me to an expensive European hotel lobby in winter. Resinous, woody, balsams and a clean musk with a faint reminder of long dead cigarettes and coffee. It’s a clean, warm, comfortable scent that would make a terrific candle.

Vanille Orient M. Micallef istanbul tpsdave pixabayPDI

I don’t know if you ever go to art galleries but there is a certain slim line 40+ woman who wears a black wool polo neck jumper, boot cut jeans or a tailored skirt and comfortable boyishly styled shoes. Often her greying and kept natural hair is cut in a modern super short bob and she accessorises with white gold. I have come a ross these wonderful women and they will chat about the art sometimes. They LOVE this kind of amber. A happy middle ground between the sweet, bakery style and the bitch tar leather ambers.

This wears resinous rather than sweet, is dry and warm with no animalics or darkness. A 100% comfortable amber that smells very good. Excellent for wafting in the cool halls of galleries.

Vanille Orient M. Micallef the-louvre unsplash pixabayPDI

Further reading: Notable Scents and Muse In Wooden Shoes
Feeling Sexy Australia has $245/100ml with FREE Australian Shipping

What do you wear to go to the gallery?
Portia xx

White Musks: Friend or Foe?

.

Post by Trésor

.

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.

Collection Rouge No2 by Jean Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2013

.

Post by Michael

.

It’s with mixed feelings that I first picked up the sample vial of Micallef’s relatively new Rouge No2. I’ve been circling the liturgical Shanaan for a while. Should I get a full bottle? I just can’t decide. In any case it’s one of the finest frankincense fragrances I’ve tried, but then, how often am I really going to wear incense? Then there’s Vanille Aoud – so wonderfully intimate and snugly. It’s one of the few fragrances I’d love to be around someone else wearing. Then there’s been misses like Le Seducteur (too pungent) and the Les 4 Saisons that somehow felt unfinished. So with a little trepidation I gave Rouge No2 a sniff.

Collection Rouge No2 by Jean Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2013

Collection Rouge No2 M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses, black currant, nutmeg
Heart: Jasmine, violet, orchid
Base: Vanilla, labdanum, amber, castoreum

Rouge No2 opens fruity, resinous and animalic. The fruit is miscellaneous red candied fruit, the resins ultimately a vanillic amber and some animalic tendencies courtesy of some nutty castoreum. This fragrance is SWEET, literally. I can’t remember a fragrance I’ve tried that’s sweeter. As it dries down the vanillic amber becomes more prominent supported by the labdanum. A leatherish note comes through a bit later but ultimately this is a sweet fruity fragrance over a sweet vanillic amber base.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto Stolen Flickr (couldn’t find attribution)

For my taste this is just far too sweet but for those that like sweet fruity vanilla fragrances this is a must try, especially if you’re comfortable with animalic notes. Rouge No2 is miles ahead of the sweet fruity fragrances you’ll find in your typical department store.

Sillage is average on my skin and longevity is excellent.

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Olfactoria’s Travels
LuckyScent has $245/100ml + Samples
First In Fragrance has €185/100ml+ Samples

M x

Gaiac by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2005

.

Post by Maya

.

Hello APJ,
Recently my daughter ordered 6 perfume samples and gave them to me. She said, “These are all different from what you usually like, but they all have at least one note I know you love.” I was skeptical, but they were all nice. One really stood out,

Gaiac by M. Micallef 2005

Gaiac M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Cloves, jasmine
Base: Guaiac wood, vetiver, amber, vanilla

I should note that my love-note in Gaiac is jasmine and it’s all but invisible to me as is the vetiver in it.

I had no idea what gaiac is, but soon discovered that it is a tree, native to the tropical and subtropical Americas. It is a wood so resinous that doesn’t float. It sinks in water. Spanish Conquistadors burned it as incense, something they must have learned from the indigenous peoples, some of whom considered the tree sacred.

Gaiac M. Micallef Bulnesia sarmientoi WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

This is a lovely, low silage scent, that whispers it’s presence, but every word is audible and clear. M. Micallef lists it as masculine. I disagree. I think it is as much a feminine scent as a masculine one. When I dabbed it on, it was unexpectedly sharp, though not unpleasantly so. The sharpness faded quickly and I got sweet vanilla, spicy clove, and what had to be gaiac wood. I cannot describe the scent of gaiac wood. It’s unique and a bit exotic. The balance of the sweetness, the spice, and the wood is wonderful. The clove lessens after a few hours but the vanilla and gaiac wood stay as equal partners until the end, which is about 6-8 hours on me, except on humid days, when it fades after about 4 hours. Gaiac by M. Micallef is linear, which is fine. It doesn’t need complexity. It’s an evening around a campfire, burning gaiac wood, watching the flames dance, everyone feeling relaxed and stress free, laughing. And maybe, just maybe, some sensual feelings could awaken!

Gaiac M. Micallef Bulnesia sarmientoi WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: The Scented Hound and I Smell Therefore I Am
Parfum1 and LuckyScent have $90/30ml and $185/100ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $5/ml

Gaiac wood seems to be an underused note in perfume which is a shame. I will be looking for it in more scents. What about you? Have you tried Gaiac by M. Micallef or other fragrances containing gaiac wood?
Maya

Floral No 11 by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2009

Heya Bargain Hunters,

Do you ever spend an evening trolling the fragrance discounters? Sometimes, after a windfall or I’ve paid all my bills, I set myself a budget and go hunting. A few weeks ago I did just that. there were a couple of things on my list to definitely find a good priced version of but there was about $70 spare by my reckoning to take a chance with.

Floral No 11 by M. Micallef 2009

Floral No 11 M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum
Heart: Rose, jasmine, geranium
Base: White musk, woody notes

M.Micallef’s Floral No 11 is the most ridiculously bargain priced scent for a real hark back to perfumes of days gone by. When I first sprayed Floral No 11, from the very first spritz, I felt like I was visiting an old friend. The galbanum/bergamot opening sequence like a chilled out version of CHANEL No 19, imagine #19 the morning after a really fun party, she’s washed and dressed with her usual attention to detail but her hair is a loose ponytail instead of a French twist, to her sharp chocolate/grey suit and ice blue shirt she has added a fabulous over the top Pucci scarf and an inch of heel. She is still impeccable but free-er, warmer and more human.

Floral No 11 M. Micallef Jasmine Flower DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Then, instead of heading for the cool aloofness of iris and narcissus our girl has taken a right hand turn into geranium territory, a spicy, flirty and welcoming combo with jasmine and rose. Jasmine plays peek-a-boo through the heart, you smell it and adore its slightly indolic magic and then it’s gone, you forget it and some time later get a waft of its breathiness again. There seems to be a honeyed/animalic note almost from the beginning waft, could it be the way galbanum, jasmine and musk are playing or is there a groaning whisper of honey? Around the hour mark we are in hefty vintage-fragrance sensual mode, I’m probably way wrong but there seems to be some notes missing in the list and if you told me this naughty little baby was from 1960 I would believe you. I don’t understand why this is not talked about. How is it not thought of as a modern perfumista masterpiece?

After around 4-5 hours I am left with a pretty wash of flowers, musk and woods. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering but a good, solid, wearable close that makes up for its lack of outrageous by being comfortable and very easy. That sounds like a slur but it’s not, the fireworks have happened earlier, now we can all relax and hang out. Imagine being so comfortable in couture that you could have a ball, rather than being constrained by going to a ball. That’s how I think Floral No 11 feels.

Christian Dior: Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2009Photo Stolen Luxussilk

FragranceNet has 100ml refills around $20 before discount coupons! (I paid just over $15 with the DCRT3 21% off coupon)

I hope you enjoyed my finding you a secret budget fragrant champion. Sometimes we are incredibly lucky.
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx