Rose Pivoine by Patricia de Nicolaï for Nicolai Parfumeur Créateur 1998

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Portia

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Hey there fumes,

Only twice in my life have I been engulfed by the scent of peonies. Once a friend who came for lunch brough them as a gift and told me that they only open if the house is filled with love. Needless to say they never opened but they did fill the house with their glorious scent. It was utterly heavenly.

The next time was in south Korea with Jin and a bunch of our mates. We had gone to visit Mummy and Pappa and across the road there was a bush with the most enormous magenta peonies covering it. The bush itself was easily taller than me and in the cool misty morning the scent travelled across to us. Like a zombie I was drawn across the road to get close to these exquisitely fragrant blooms, they were calling me and I could not resist.

So every time I smell even the cheapest, nastiest, ugliest peony scent recreation I am taken to one or both of those moments. Thankfully todays fragrance is all class.

Rose Pivoine by Nicolai Parfumeur Créateur 1998

Rose Pivoine by Patricia de Nicolaï

Rose Pivoine Nicolai Parfumeur Createur FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Red fruits, Roman chamomile
Heart: Rose absolute, Rose essence, Geranium
Base: Woods, Musk

Dry, sizzling opening leads to red fruity roses that are fresh and dewy, the change in the first 20 seconds is marked. I love the watery feel that comes through, it’s so pretty. This is the style of fragrance that has saturated the mid-price designer market. Patricia de Nicolai was doing it last century and doing it better than any of the imitators. There’s a fresh, velvet rose petal pressed against your cheek, you’re burying your nose into a blooming peony. There is also the powdery yet crisp snap of geranium leaves rubbed or crushed as you wander past the bush. All done in a transparent, aquatic style, very watercolour.

Rose Pivoine Nicolai Parfumeur Createur pink peonies PexelsPDI

I know some women who wear scents like this. I grew up with them and now they are Mums and business runners. Big glasses and beautiful pearly white toothed smiles (not the ultra white of American TV), well maintained and presented women with trophy cars/handbags/houses and a couple of kids at exclusive Sydney private schools. There’s something eternally casual about these women, even when they dress up for galas. They are not brittle social X-Rays but living, breathing women who work really hard on their businesses, families and relationships but can still cackle at a girls dinner or drinks at the club. This is their style, a very fragrant yet sheer, fresh and pretty scent that is absolutely luscious when you get caught up in a hug.

Flickr

Of this style I think Rose Pivoile a very well made version, it’s seamless, reeks of good ingredients and quite gorgeous.

BeautyHabit has $45/30ml and samples

Is there a peony fragrance that you like?
Portia xx

Perfume Discontinuations: Grab them before they are gone

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,

It’s a common thing in perfumista land that you only really start paying attention to a perfume when you hear rumours of discontinuation. You ignore it happily until suddenly you realise it could be too late. Then FOMO sets in – Fear of Missing Out. Oh no!

I got thinking about this recently when, after YEARS of dithering, I finally bought a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker Covet. This one may have been discontinued some time ago and I’d decided not to bother until a chain of discount chemists in Australia suddenly started stocking it. Cheap – $20. I bought one, and no regrets. Lavender and chocolate; it should not work but it does.

Perfume Discontinuations

Grab them before they are gone

What else have I made a wild grab for, and what have I let go?

Covet FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mint, geranium leaves, Sicilian lemon, lavender, chocolate notes
Heart: Honeysuckle, magnolia, lily of the valley
Base: Cashmere wood, musk, vetiver, teak wood, amber

Perfume Discontinuations: The Ones I Grabbed

Sarah Jessica Parker Covet, as mentioned.

Bvlgari Black. Vanilla and fresh tyre rubber! I bought a back-up for my son to own and me to borrow.

Lancome Cuir de Lancome. . A cult leather. I bought mine while it still going for about $50.

Rochas Tocade. A laughing vanilla fragrance, this one is not discontinued as far as I know, just re-packaged. Re-packaging always makes the perfume enthusiast nervous, and I grabbed a bottle.

Yves Saint Laurent Y.  Same as for Tocade. It’s always worth grabbing a chypre if you think it’s under threat. It probably is.

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Casablanca lily, Black locust, White carnation
Heart: Golden pollen, Gold dust, Violet leaf
Base: Amber, Indian patchouli, Resins

Perfume Discontinuations: The Ones I Let Go

If there’s a bottle out there with my name on it, someone else can have it.

Donna Karan Gold. This has been cheap at the discounters for years and you can still get it. I have tested it thoroughly and decided it’s not for me, but it is wonderful stuff. I’d rather leave a bottle available for someone who loves monster lily perfumes. I don’t, it seems.

Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete. I should love this green wonder but somehow it has never moved me. Anyway, I have YSL Y, as noted, so I’m happy.

Fendi Theorema. I have a decant but I just can’t get on board with Theorema. It’s too much of a gourmand for me. It can still be had I think, not sure of the prices.

Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse. Again, a re-packaging. I could have bought a 75 ml bottle this classic fruity chypre for $60 in the old packaging but I just don’t love it. My only regret is that prices on Yvresse are now so high I could easily have got my money back three times over if I had bought that bottle.

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Gardenia, Neroli, Tuberose
Heart: Benzoin, Jasmine, Lily
Base: Amber, Musk, Vanilla

Perfume Discontinuations: The One I Missed

Oh darn!

Madonna Truth or Dare. I tried TD Naked but didn’t like it much. The original was apparently not widely distributed in Australia and I decided not to bother. It was a wonderful white floral, I gather. I should have bought it when it was going cheap on Fragrancex.com but I didn’t. Now it’s gone. I’m stupid.

What about you? What are the ones that got away from you? Any regrets?
Keep spritzing everyone!

How Do You Scent Your Home?

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Post by Erica Golding

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Hello fellow fragrance lovers!

Today I’m wondering, how do you scent your home? Our quarters are our own personal atmosphere, an oasis from the spiraling chaos of routine. It’s fun to express yourself by decorating your air space!

How Do You Scent Your Home?

Aside from the typical candles, incense sticks, and Scentsy warmers (which I display and use proudly), there are some other fun and creative ways to liven up the ambience.

brume-d-oreiller-parfums-de-nicolai-linen-sprayParfum de Nicolaï

Luxe atmosphere/linen sprays are such a delight! Right now I have several favorites in my collection from houses such as Black Phoenix Trading Post, Parfum de Nicolaï and Sucreabeille. The fragrances are unique, unexpected, and great conversation starters! Don’t forget the L’Artisan Amber Balls too.

lartisan-amber-ball-300gL’Artisan

Another fabulous experience is burning resin incense on charcoal tablets in a censer. There is nothing that compares to real frankincense tears and myrrh resin cloaking a room in divine perfume. Be safe and try not to burn the place down! And it’s smart to crack a window open, smoke alarms can disrupt one’s zen. 😉

bag_of_frankincense_at_dubai_spice_souk-wikicommonsWikiCommons

Have you ever used an oil burner? A while back, Nocturne Alchemy released some limited edition Offering Oils specifically formulated for warming in an oil burner, no dilution necessary. I just light a tea light under the suspended glass dish, and soon the aroma is dancing around the room. The scents are purely euphoric, and they are by far my favorite way to fragrance my home. I hope they decide to make more someday, my little hoard is starting to dwindle.

Lastly, I’d love to hear your opinions on ultrasonic aroma diffusers like the Muji. I’m curious and very tempted. If you have one, do you use it often, or did you lose interest once you played with it a few times? Do you have any brands you recommend (or would advise against)?

I hope you are cozy and well-scented, and that you are enjoying the company of loved ones this holiday season.

So tell me in the comments below, how do you scent your home?

Fragrant hugs,
-Erica

Best Of Fragrant NEWS!! In My Inbox

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Post by Portia

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Hey gang,

It seems the frag companies are sending about 200 pieces of news a day at the moment. I’ve sifted through and found you some stuff that I thought VERY exciting.

Best Of Fragrant NEWS!! In My Inbox

A new release, sone excellent Travel Sets and a DISCOUNT CODE!! If this list doesn’t get your Gifting or selfishly wanting juices flowing then I don’t know what will.

Rahele by Neela Vermeire Creations AVAILABLE!

rahele-neela-vermeire-creations-fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Osmanthus, woody notes, spices, floral notes, herbal notes, leather, oakmoss

I can’t see it yet on the NVC site but I bet they are working double time to make that happen. So exciting. Neela tells me sometime this week! WOO HOO!

Olympic Orchids Perfumes DISCOUNT CODE

olympic-orchids-perfumesOlympic Orchids Perfumes

Any order totaling $15 or more will receive a 20% discount in either the flagship store or the original boutique.
Enter the code DECEMBERSALE at checkout. The code is good now through December 25.

Olympic Orchid Perfumes are discontinuing Arizona, which will be slightly reformulated and re-released under a new name early next year. In the meantime they are selling the remaining stock at discounted prices.

Parfums de Nicolaï Discovery Kit 6 x 1.5ml

parfums-de-nicolai-discovery-kitParfums de Nicolaï only €29

The NICOLAÏ Discovery Kit with :
– 1,5ml of Patchouli Intense
– 1,5ml of Ambre Cashmere Intense
– 1,5ml of Musc Intense
– 1,5ml of New-York Intense
– 1,5ml of Fig-Tea
– 1,5ml of L’eau miXte

Annick Goutal Travel Set & Gift Coffret

Eau d’Hadrien

annick-goutal-travel-setAnnick Goutal €55

Eau d’Hadrien Travel Spray set

Travel Spray case with 2 x 8ml Sprays. Gorgeous for resproitzing the ephemeral Eau d’Hadrien

eau-dhadrien-limited-edition-box-jpgAnnick Goutal Gift Coffret €50

Eau d’Hadrien Gift Coffret

Gift Coffret contains Shampoo 50ml, Conditioner 50ml, Body Lotion 50ml, Shower Gel 50ml, Soap 50g in the Eau d’Hadrien scent. VERY nice, I quite like one of these for myself TBH.

James Heeley Discovery Set

heeley-discovery-set-5x15

The crew at Heeley has put together a little coffer of some of their most popular Eau de Parfums – 5 x 15ml Natural Sprays
Sel Marin . Hippie Rose . Cardinal . St Clement’s . Menthe Fraiche

I can’t think of a better way to get to know this brand which flies under the radar a but. You all know how much I love Travel Size Sprays. Heaven.

See anything that takes your fancy for you or gifting?
Portia xx

New York by Patricia de Nicolai for Parfums de Nicolai 1989

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Post by Portia

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Hi there Cool kids,

Back in 2014 my mate Tara reviewed New York by Parfums de Nicolai for Olfactoria’s Travels and I said I would try and find a bit of it because her review made me think it was right up my alley. Then I completely forgot about it. Now looking through my stockpile I rediscovered a sample sent to me at some time by someone, um sorry I’ve forgotten who but thank you. So I decided to spritz it yesterday, now I’m wearing it again….

New York by Parfums de Nicolai 1989

New York by Patricia de Nicolai

New York Nicolai Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, amalfi lemon, cloves, lavender, green notes
Heart: Thyme, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, patchouli, cedar
Base: Amber, vanilla, leather

Tara mentions that New York is a masculine Shalimar, well you may know that I adore Shalimar and it’s my favourite scent of all time. I have spent the last couple of days searching for the similarities and differences, then getting so lost in the fragrance that I need to reapply so I can do the comparisons. It’s been fun.

So the open is fresh and bracing but the lavender takes me far away from Shalimar. It feels very old school cologne but drier and more biting. The citrus is lovely, sweet and fleshy and pretty photo realistic. All together I find the opening an exemplary riff on an old trope. Not a big departure but enough to make New York interesting.

New York Nicolai Demuth_Charles_Incense_of_a_New_Church WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

As we settle into New York’s heart the spices remind me that a chypre is supposed to be created without flowers, because the island of Cypress is a place of evergreen shrubs & trees and citrus groves (is New York a chypre, if you substituted leather for oakmoss it could be included). My skin maintains lavender and citrus right through the spicy heart. It’s SO good, so beautifully balanced and blended. I love the smooth and unfussy growth, the slow and stately speed that different accords appear and fade, the hints of a bygone era of beautiful fragrances.

Deep into the heart I notice the pepper, the pepper seems to be casually chatting with the woods. No fireworks, they just stood out the front to make sure I noticed them. Base comes extremely late, it’s at least an hour before the warmth of amber/vanilla even shows its face over the leather and heart (it smells quite vetiverish to me too). Like Shalimar? Not at all. New York is pure old fashioned cologne/chypre and I really enjoyed it.

New York Nicolai Woofer forme-masculine FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Scented Hound
Neroli Budapest has 11,400Ft (US$40)/30ml and posts worldwide
Surrender To Chance has New York Intense samples from $5/ml

Are any of your fragrance favourite old style? Do the masculine leaning frags bring you happy memories or remind you of sexy men?
Portia xxx

 

Vanille Tonka by Parfums de Nicolai: LIVE Video Sniff

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Post by Portia

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Hey Hey Crew,

I’m about to jump on a plane with Jin for our 2016 European Adventure. 10 cities in 5 weeks! It’s come around so freaking quickly and now it’s really happening!
WOO HOO!

Vanille Tonka by Parfums de Nicolai

Vanille Tonka: LIVE Video Sniff

Vanille Tonka Nicolai Parfumeur Createur FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Basil, lemon, mandarin oils
Heart: Carnation, orange blossom absolute, pepper oil, cinnamon oil
Base: Incense, vanilla absolutes, Tonka bean

Scotty and I on the back verandah being fools with a super great fragrance. So good, one of the yummy ones.

Weekend in Normandy by Patricia di Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2009

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Post by Anne-Marie

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A word about name changes and formula tweaks: according to Fragrantica, Nicolai released a fragrance called ‘Weekend in Deauville’ in 2009 as a limited release, but re-released it in 2011, apparently just named ‘Weekend’, with some additional fruity notes (apple?). Now it’s ‘Weekend in Normandy’.

Weekend in Normandy by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2009

Weekend in Normandy by Patricia di Nicolai

This was going to be a very brief review. ‘I went to Paris. I bought Nicolai’s Weekend in Normandy. I loved it in the shop. At home, I hated it. How could that have happened? Gloom. The end.’ What’s in this stuff?

 Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Tarragon, mint, basil
Heart: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, galbanum, cardamom, lily-of-the-valley, apple, calone
Base: Musk, cedar, leather

Standing in the Nicolai boutique on the Rue des Archives, I clearly smelled the herbs in the top. I really did, all three of them. It was like being back home in my own garden in summer. Tarragon, mint and basil are my favourite herbs of all. Back home though, all I could smell was calone. Now I’m a calone-hater from way back when it first started stink out fragrance floors in the 1990s. I can smell it in teeny amounts, such as Nicolai’s Fig-Tea, which I reviewed in these pages a short while ago. I know it can work, especially in fruity fragrances such as Badgley Mischka, where it balances out the syrupy-sweet notes very nicely. In Fig-Tea I occasionally get a whiff of salt, which is an aspect of calone I do appreciate and which cuts through the denser, fruity accord in Fig-Tea. If anyone can use calone to its best advantage, surely Patricial di Nicolai can

Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Beige abstract See-Ming Lee FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

But the calone is too much for me in Weekend in Normandy, matched as it is with so many other fresh, green notes. (If there’s any ylang-ylang in there – then my ol’ man’s a dustman.) So the question is– why was I not repulsed at first sniff? I don’t know, I just don’t know. Was I over excited to be there (it was fulfillment of a dream), over-eager to find a fragrance to love and treasure as a souvenir? Maybe. The only thing that gives hope is that when I reluctantly brought out my bottle tonight to take a dutiful spritz for this review, I again got those herbal notes – quite lovely.

It did not take long for the Calone Monster to come stomping in to trample all through the herb garden. But I’ve also noticed this time that worn at some distance from my nose – at the back of my neck for instance – the fragrance loses some of its aggressiveness, and becomes almost pleasant. It’s faint praise I know. Almost like saying ‘If someone at the end of my street wears it, I’m quite fine!’

Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Beige girl StockSnap pixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Posse
Parfum1 has $45/30ml
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $4/ml

Has anyone else had weird about-turn experiences like this with a fragrance? Please share.

And now I can’t stand it any longer. Bye for now, I’m off to the shower.