“My CHANEL Ballerinas”

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Portia

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Woo Hoo!

Sometimes you need to buy the most extravagant of its kind and then wear it like it’s from Target. That has been a sideline motto of mine since fashion school.

What’s the use of having the best if you don’t get the enjoyment of using it, living in it and ultimately wearing it out?

Portia xx

“My CHANEL Ballerinas”

Spring-Summer 2017 ballerinas

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

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano for Penhaligon`s 2015

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Portia

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Heya Niche Nerds,

I done’t remember this little beauty being released. Clearly I must have read about it somewhere but the name rings zero bells at all. Nick, my mate from Libertine Parfumerie sent me a sample to try and he usually knows what I’ll like so let’s give it a test run together.

Halfeti by Penhaligon`s 2015

Halfeti by Christian Provenzano

The Penhaligon’s story goes: All respectability forgotten, we have travelled far, as far as Turkey! And here in Halfeti, the red roses appear black so intense is their magic. Here, the British Levant Company traded in the opulent treasures of the Ottoman merchants to secure the pick of the crop.

Libertine gives these featured accords:
Top: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Green notes, Armoise, Cypress
Heart: Cumin, Nutmeg, Violet, Saffron, Rose, Jasmine, Muguet
Base: Leather, Oud, Amber, Resins, Tonka, Vanilla, Sandalwood

Dry leather, nutmeg, oud and some sweet resinous funk open Halfeti. I know that Val the Cookie Queen would not enjoy wearing it because the familiar oud/woods/leather trope is front and centre. Here it’s dark, sharp, smoky and animalic. A very masculine leaning woodsy concoction. So nothing incredibly groundbreaking but expansive and powerful for a Penhaligon’s scent, who are usually so quietly reticent.

Obviously I can imagine this on a man but in my head I wonder what sort of woman would wear Halfeti? She would have to be strong willed, happy to break the mold, probably unknowingly walking through life causing change and creating new roads for people to follow. Halfeti strikes me as a comfortable fit for a woman unafraid of being judged, happy in her choices and able to command. There you go, some scent inspired ramblings.

WikiCommons

Longevity is excellent and once the fireworks burn off a sweet, soft and comfortable woodsiness encapsulated within a soft focus vanilla/amber will hum above your skin for hours.

So, do I like it? Yes, I like it a lot but I have something quite similar and I can’t pinpoint what it is, or was. Don’t worry, it will come to me at 4am.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Fragrance Daily
Libertine has $329/100ml plus FREE Australian Delivery

What fragrances do you think of for people who break the traditions?
Portia xx

 

 

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

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Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
Since I heard that Annick Goutal is to be re-branded early next year, I’ve been carefully ticking off certain of its older offerings from my ‘to-try’ list. If, as has been reported, the line will be cut from around 45 fragrances to 25, at least some of the great classics are surely headed for the chop.

Annick Goutal Discontinuations

A wander through the Goutal catalogue

Fragrantica

I tried and loved Eau du Sud at the airport on my way home from holidays in January. Unfortunately my excitement did not outlast the post-holiday glow. I bought a decant so as to give Sud a thorough test but, lovely though it is, I’ve found it collapses on skin in hot weather. As it is a summer scent, that’s a disappointment. I still like it, but I’m not going for a full bottle when there are plenty of other Goutals jostling for the attentions of my credit card.

One of those jostlers is Sables (immortelle, cinnamon, pepper, tea, sandalwood, amber). Now this one really could be on the endangered list. Already it seems to be in limited distribution because it’s hard to find and never cheap. You have to have a deep and abiding commitment to the curry-and-burnt-sugar effect of immortelle (or helichrysum) to enjoy Sables. The other notes are bit players, although a lot of people smell cinnamon distinctly (I don’t). Sables is absolutely outstanding but it would take me at least 147 years to get through a FB. A single spritz lasts all day and can survive a shower the next morning. A large decant may be all I’ll ever need.

Then there is Passion (tuberose, tomato leaf, jasmine, ylang, vanilla, oakmoss, patchouli). This is one of the early releases (1983) and it does reference some of the great florals and chypres of yore. Tropical notes are balanced by the green twang of tomato leaf and a mossy base. Overall, Passion has (for me) a slightly tailored, formal feel to it. It’s perfect for professional settings, being neither too stuffy nor too cosy and casual. FB-worthy, yes, and much cheaper than Sables.

Fragrantica

Gardenia Passion (gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla). This should be named ‘tuberose passion’ really, but it is no less beautiful for that. The opening is so dramatic I gasped aloud. A white floral accord so buttery and so green it stole away the very breath I was trying to use to smell it. Then – it’s gone. Gardenia Passion leaves my skin, and the building, in under an hour. So, this one is off the list.

The last in my little clutch of Goutal samples is Grand Amour. . I think this may be a scrubber. The problem is the hyacinth, which normally I like but here it seems too cutting for my taste. But I’ve only tried Grand Armour on skin once, so who knows. It might improve.

Annick Goutal

So – over to you. Do you have great loves from the house of Goutal? Are you doing what I’m doing – snatching at them before they go?
Bye for now everyone!
Anne-Marie

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1996

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hey APJ!

Cuir Mauresque is an odd creature. I have a bell jar of the stuff and have worn it a lot. Which should indicate that I like it.
Although it always smells the same when I sniff it in the bottle, it is an absolute risk putting it on as I have no idea as to whether
I am going to enjoy the experience or not. Hours of pleasure or hours of pain?

Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens 1996

Cuir Mauresque by Christopher Sheldrake

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Amber, incense, cinnamon, cedar, jasmine, civet, nutmeg, cumin, musk, mandarin peel, orange blossom, sweet spices

Like a number of Lutens, it is a casserole of components. Perhaps the order of these materials are forever swirling in the bottle?

Like most of us I have perfumes that I have to be in the mood for, and perfumes that only I might only want to wear once a year. That
would include Vero Profumo`s Onda EdP and a recently acquired vintage Mitsouko. But I enjoy both of them and know what I am going to get when I wear them.

Cuir Mauresque on a good day is sumptuous and warm. Spicy, golden, a supple leather. Stylish, rich and fragrant, comforting, balsamic, seductive, and classy. It opens with a floral burst of jasmine and orange blossom, resting on top of the darker and more spicy ingredients. I love this version all day and all night! It is agreeable and slouchy, relaxed and comfortable.

PDI

However Cuir Mauresque on a bad day is a whole different kettle of fish. We are talking an artificial fruity shoe polish opening, or perhaps furniture polish, powdery and cloying, old wet leather, and an underlying feeling that you´ve spilled a bottle of cough syrup over yourself. The kind that sticks to everything. Perhaps a dab of floor polish? It remains sickly sweet and very waxy. There is a a continuous leather note, running through the whole composition, but it´s the recently deceased cow vibe. Hmmmmm.

Nevertheless, I wouldn´t want to be without Cuir Mauresque. I love it.

Val XX

Further reading: WMSSL and Scented Hound
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.50/0.5ml has

WTF? I wonder what causes this extreme difference in what I experience. Any of you know what I mean?

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Bountiful Bussis
CQ

Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes 2015

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Portia

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Hey All,

A while ago when I got the DSH Chroma Sample Set I grabbed every dabber out and had a quick sniff. It is fun finding the instant likes, loves and loathes. I will admit that Ultramarine Blue jumped into the WTF category. It was so interesting, unusual and confronting. No, I’m not sure why because it really smells like the beachside in summer but with an undercurrent of menace. Anyway I filed it away under Must Revisit and thought you might like to come along on the ride with me today to see if it lives up to its

Ultramarine Blue by DSH Perfumes 2015

Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Chamomile, cassis, cumin, ozonic notes, musk, sea notes, orris root, petitgrain, sandalwood, violet woodsorrel

OK, so I decanted the whole vial into a spritz and did the whole 18 blasts on the back of my hand and forearm. WHOA!! No turning back now.

Salty citrus, briny seas, a herbal greenness that feels both freshly chopped and mulched. The cassis is green and biting, like pulling ivy off the wood fence and scrunching it up in the summer after swimming in the pool. There’s nothing easy about Ultramarine Blue. I find it disturbing and challenging. Imagine oversalting cucumber, add a little under the boardwalk bilge-e-ness, tear some rose leaves and dig in a super heated grass mulch pile. Then you can smell exactly what my nose is giving me from Ultramarine Blue.

PDI

Doesn’t sound appealing does it? Well, while it’s not exactly my fragrant cup of tea I do love the way it moves through the pieces of the story. Dawn has a deft way with ingredients that means even though it’s not a spritz & go frag it is compelling and keeps drawing my nose back to my hand.

After an hour or so Ultramarine Blue becomes driftwood. it’s absolutely beautiful. Calm, tranquil and an unruffled seaside escapade in the glorious sunshine.

DSH Perfumes has loads of sizes and variants of Ultramarine Blue starting at $6

Want something unusual, interesting, refreshing and ultimately peaceful? I think you might like to try Ultramarine Blue.
Is there an aquatic that you love?
Portia xx

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1972

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Portia

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Hey Hey Vintage Fragheads,

1000 was a fragrance I had basically ignored. Joy was my Patou fragrance and at some point I had a Sira des Indes too but though it was lovely it didn’t float my boat at the time and I sold it on. Back in 2014 my mate Michael & I went for a 2 hour private class at the Osmotheque in Versailles, Paris (the suburb, not the palace, walking distance though) and when we got there out tutor was none other than Jean Kerleo himself. It was the most fabulously surreal afternoon and I will never forget it. The photo below is taken when Patricia de Nicolai came in to thank us and very kindly tell us it was time to leave. We’d still be there had she not.

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Patou 1972

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Osmanthus, violet, apricot
Heart: Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss

A floral chypre! Yep. My knowledge of chypre (sketchy at best even though I love them) is that they have no flowers because Cyprus (or Chypre as it’s also known) is all about citrus, foliage, conifers and herbs. Anyway, so many of my chypre loves have flowers who am I to bitch?

This bottle was a recent eBay purchase and I already have some pristine vintage parfum so I have a pretty good base line to mark it from.

The osmanthus, violet and apricot in the opening are there if I look for them, particularly the violet and I would have picked fruit but not that it was apricot and would add there also seems to be a low-key slug of citrus. Aldehydes too, giving a softly oily radiance to everything.

Wikipedia

The hearts bouquet is basically overrun by the base with only a passing reference to roses that I can pick and without notes I probably would have missed them too. Not incredibly creamy sandalwood and furry oakmoss seem the stars of the show for me and I am 100% OK with that. After reading NST review I realised that there are also animalics that I was totally nose deaf to, having smelled Jean Kerleo’s remaining musk tincture the memory jumped out at me again. Heavenly.

1000 is dressed up and ready to rumble, what I really want to do is triple spritz my chest and go grocery shopping or clean the car. The sheer weight of its glamour would be excellent as a backdrop to the turbines of tedium.

PDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
The current 1000 is available in department stores and on the discount sites.
Surrender To Chance has EdP & Parfum samples starting at $6/ml

How about you? Ever wear the really flashy good frags to light up the everyday?
Portia xx