Olfactif: Synesthesia: Smelling in Color and Texture


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,

I subscribe to Olfactif and genuinely look forward to receiving three generous, neatly packaged samples every month. The February Olfactif Collection, “Smelling in Color and Texture”, suggests how synesthetic experience relates to scent. Years of living with this issue have convinced me that we all suffer (or enjoy) some degree of synesthesia.

Olfactif: Synesthesia: Smelling in Color and Texture

Tokyo Bloom by Emilie Copperman for The Different Company 2012

Tokyo Bloom The Different Company FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Basil, galbanum, dandelion, black currant Heart: Jasmine, cyclamen petals
Base: Guaiac wood, musk, amber

Azar’s Perceived Notes:
Top: Sweet basil, Ivory soap, dry synthetic wood.
Heart: Jasmine.
Base: Thin, light musk, a passing reference to dandelion

Olfactif’s Colors/Textures: Green grass and velvety dandelions.

Azar’s Colors/Textures: Transparent blue-green drying to pale chartreuse with the feel of, well…air…

Tokyo Bloom is listed as cologne and is one of the shortest-lived colognes I have ever come across! Six inches of projected sillage, lasting for 20 minutes or less, left me totally frustrated. I kept spraying more juice hoping for some small measure of satisfaction. I finally gave up, washed up and lo and behold – vague dandelions, if only for a brief moment. For me Tokyo Bloom promises but never quite delivers; cologne designed, perhaps, for the very faint of heart?

Roma Imperiale by Bertrand Duchaufour for Profumi del Forte 2008

Roma Imperiale Profumi del Forte FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, cinnamon, coriander seeds, rosewood, tangerine, tomato leaves
Heart: Iris butter, jasmine absolute, orchid, seringa (Melia azedarach/chinaberry blossoms), Turkish rose essence, ylang-ylang
Base: Grey amber, oak moss, sandal, vanilla

Azar’s Perceived Notes:
Top: Coriander seed, tangerine, tomato leaf
Heart: Iris, jasmine, magnolia blossom
Base: Vanilla, amber

Olfactif’s Colors/Textures: White, silk chiffon.

Azar’s Colors/Textures: Iridescent silk chiffon, contrasting cool and warm tones – glowing white, pink tangerine, a touch of sea green.

Roma Imperiale has a polite, satisfying sillage and a solid ten-hour longevity. It develops slowly on my skin, like a casual languorous tryst on a warm summer afternoon (“If you were here, in this white room, in this hotel, whose hinges stay hot, even in the wind off the sea…”Derek Walcott). Need I say more?

Memoirs Of A Trespasser by Josh Meyer for Imaginary Authors 2012

Memoirs Of A Trespasser Imaginary Authors FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Madagascar vanilla, guaiac wood, myrrh, benzoin resin, ambrette seed, oak barrels

Azar’s Perceived Notes:
Campfire smoke, burnt marshmallows, fire ash, dry wood, vanilla, booze.

Olfactif’s Colors/Textures: Rich browns and old leather books.

Azar’s Colors/Textures: Dry browns, crisp blacks, scorched marshmallows crackling and gooey, rough sawn firewood.

Memoirs of a Trespasser begins near a smoky campfire. The moderate sillage surrounds and permeates my skin. After an hour the burnt offerings morph to vanilla and booze, fading over five hours to a rugged version of M. Micallef’s M. Micallef.

SPECIAL Olfactics Deal

If you are not a winner you can still purchase the February collection. Beginning today Olfactif will be offering past collections as part of a special promotion lasting through the end of March 2015.

Azar xx

Giveaway Time sassisamblogPhoto Stolen sassisamblog

Olfactif: Synesthesia GIVEAWAY!


This week we will have 1 winner who will receive:
1 x Tara Swords, founder of Olfactif, has generously provided one “Smelling in Color and Texture” collection
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me (portia underscore turbo @ yahoo dot com dot au) so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Please comment on any of today’s reviewed fragrances or tell us about your own synesthetic experiences

Extra Chance?
Tweet:  Olfactif      


Entries Close Thursday 12th March 2015 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org
The winners will have till Thursday 19th March 2015 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.


43 thoughts on “Olfactif: Synesthesia: Smelling in Color and Texture

  1. Hello, I follow APJ by email.

    Roma Imperiale for its ‘languoruos tryst’ development and Memoirs of a Trespasser for its boozy smoky vanilla both sound appealing. Thank you for the giveaway.


    • Hi AllGirlMafia,
      Roma Imperiale seems to have the added benefit of driving away mosquitoes (our weather here is SO balmy that we are seeing mosquitoes in March). Thank you for commenting and for joining the draw!
      Azar xx


  2. Hi Azar! I like the sound of Memoirs of a Trespasser best as it resembles Un Bois Vanille. Now I want toasted marshmallows on a campfire. Follow by email. 🙂


    • Hi Jaybee!
      My toasted marshmallow are always charred black. I prefer them that way. How do you like yours? Re the fragrance: Memoirs of a Trespasser could also be described as a fire on a vanilla plantation. You are IN!
      Azar xx


      • Heh, I prefer marshmallows overdone to underdone. Raw marshmallows do nothing for me!
        ‘Fire on a vanilla plantation’ sounds pretty awesome. xx


  3. WOW Azar.
    Great story. I love Tokyo Bloom. When it first came out I fell madly in love with it.
    Portia xx


    • Hey Portia,
      I wanted to love Tokyo Bloom too but on me, for some reason, it disappeared within moments, leaving me wondering “why?”. There is a tiny bit left in my sample. I will give it another go.
      Azar xx


      • How annoying is that Azar? GRRRR! You know Ambre by Mona di Orio? I had tested and used up 5ml, loved it. Wear was excellent and it made my eyes roll back in my head. Bought a bottle and it lasts about 25 minutes and then turns into a barely more than skin scent. Bummed.
        Portia xx


  4. Heya APJ,
    Re: synaesthesia, I have a weird deal where some colours in full sunlight register as a pressure or ‘thickness’. It is most reliable with certain shades of purple/royal blue, such as with lobelia flowers. It is like a shimmer or fog that I can ‘feel’.
    Following by email as always. 🙂


    • Hello Scar,
      Thank you for describing your experience and for joining the draw! I imagine you have become accustomed to it but does it ever take you by surprise?
      Azar xx


  5. Beautiful summer fragrances containing jasmine, figue, lemon blossoms and pergamont instantly bring memories of my childhood summer vacations with my grandparents in the Greek island Lesvos.
    I can almost hear their voices.


    • Thank you for these lovely memories, Despina Veneti! Fragrance is the perfect time machine, isn’t it? BTW if you would like to join the draw please tell us how you follow.
      Azar xx


  6. Following via email.
    I’ve had some synesthesia experiencies, usually with music, one of the weirdest I remember was listening to some black metal, I started to feel a cold wind in my face and body (obviously, all windows closed), and when I realized that, the feeling was gone, I was listening Sombres Fôrets.

    Thank you for the draw!


    • Hi Joaquim,
      That’s a little bit of a weird and scary one! Did you ever consider that the music may have lured a ghostly presence 😉 The stuff I deal with is much more utilitarian…tones triggered by the visual, usually geometric patterns.
      Thank you for joining the draw!
      Azar xx


  7. Hello Azar,

    I follow by email and I agree with you that we all have some degree of synesthesia. For me, it was strongest in childhood, when days of the week, numbers, and even people each had their own colour.

    In adulthood my only remaining synesthetic experiences occur with perfumes, and I use it to categorize them. I decant them into small atomisers with caps the same colour as the fragrance, as I perceive it. (I frequently wonder how others categorise and store their stash of perfumes.)

    You’ve opened what is to me a fascinating topic Azar!



    • Hello Kesbah,
      Very interesting! I love your method of organizing. It might be a faster and easier way to pick out a scent from a big messy stash, with or without the synesthetic overtones. Thank you for your comment and for entering this draw!
      Azar xx


  8. I love the sounds of Memoirs of a Trespasser, smokey woods and vanilla is my favourite combination – reminds me of Korrigan a little which I love.

    I follow via email.


    • Hi Bec,
      I was surprised how much I like the Memoirs of a Trespasser. I’m going to give myself a little sprizt right now! At some point it might be a full bottle buy. I am having a hard time resisting the Roma Imperiale as well. Thank you for your comment and for taking part in this draw!
      Azar xx


  9. I follow by e mail and Memoirs Of A Trespasser sounds just up my street with its burnt marshmallow and campfire smoke notes with boozy notes.Yummy


    • Hi Rene,
      Memoirs of a Trespasser may not be all natural but it is working with my diet. Yeah! I must have a hidden craving for crispy, burnt marshmallows and booze too. Thank you for dropping by and entering the draw.
      Azar xx


  10. i follow by email.love the sound of tomato leaves, tangerine and iris butter..yum..in Roma Imperiale.
    thanks for the draw 🙂


    • Hello flowergirlbee!
      I’m with you! I especially enjoy tangerine and tomato leaves in a fragrance. Thank you for commenting and for joining the draw
      Azar xx


  11. Azar,

    Please DNEM. I am sad to see that you couldn’t get very much from Tokyo Bloom – 20 minutes is indeed very disappointing. I really enjoyed it, for on me it was so fresh, vibrant and alive. I have also really been enjoying Memoirs – it was perfect for the frigid MD weather, though I can’t imagine wearing it in the weather we’re having in Washington now! I wasn’t particularly moved by Roma Imperiale, though I suspect I should try it in warmer weather. I’ll have to see if I brought my sample with me. As usual, it was lovely to read your takes on them!


    • He Sun Mi,
      I just wish I could get more than 20 minutes out of Tokyo Bloom! Maybe if I try it outdoors? BTW, this weather is so fabulous! It was 90 degrees in the greenhouse today before I turned on the fan. No plants suffered, though. The Skimmia japonica hedge is blooming and smells wonderful. The saucer magnolias have a very light fragrance when I stick my nose down into them…so do the star magnolias. Lots of hyacinth are blooming too and some vibernum as well. A perfumed garden…
      Azar xx


  12. Yes, and I certainly think we all experience this in one way or another. I occasionally experience this with scent. However, and I don’t know if this is considered “synesthesia,” but I’ve always related numbers with their own colors, personalities, and relationships with other numbers. Over time, I think it has had an influence on my mathematical abilities, and I think it is part of the reason I’ve always liked math. Thank you, and I follow via email (as on post).

    I also tweeted: https://twitter.com/LeanS12/status/575158641831120896


    • Hello Lean,
      So interesting! I can imagine using your experience to help people overcome math phobias. Geometry was ‘bleh’ to me until I discovered Roger Penrose’ Aperiodic Tilings. Then it all became alive with sound and even color. Do you remember Flatland? Your mathematical world sounds so much better than that horrible place! Thank you for the comment and the tweet! You are in twice!
      Azar xx


      • Hi Azar!

        Yes! Penrose tilings certainly are intriguing, and they are just one affirmation that math is truly an art form. Flatland too! As frustrating as that world was, the story itself managed to spark an “aha” moment in my initial understanding of dimensions! I hadn’t thought about these in a while, thank you for the lovely moment of reminiscence!


      • Fun times, Lean!
        I can’t believe it has been almost thirty years since I first encountered aperiodic tilings in Branko Grumbaum’s book (mid 80s). Time just keeps flying by and around! BTW, did you ever see Flatland, the movie? More than a century after Abbott’s book the movie managed to retain just about all of that author’s misogynistic “charm”… Time flies but does anything really change? 😉
        Azar xxx


  13. Hi Mom –

    I follow by email and twitter. Before Christmas I bought myself a velvety red shirt for the holidays. I never thought it went with my usual light / floral / sweet perfumes so I’ve been wearing it with Annick Goutal’s Grand Amour. Even though the perfume isn’t overly velvety and warm it feels a lot more so than the other perfumes I usually wear. And the bottle from the travel size set you bought me is the same color as my shirt. So naturally I have to wear my “red” perfume with my red shirt:)!


    • Hey Lauren,
      Thank you for dropping by! Did you tweet too?
      Why am I not surprised that you match your perfume to your clothing? 😉 ! I hope it helps you to stay warm out there on the east coast tundra! (Those photos of the “icebergs” washed up at Cape Cod were strange indeed!) I don’t remember if your Grand Amour is an EdT or EdP. The actual juice as well as the bottle of the older version of Grand Amour EdP is red! I smell it more as crimson and almost velvety.
      Cuddle up!
      Mommy Azar xx and X


  14. Wonderful reviews, Azar. Your description of Tokyo Bloom sent me running outside to find a dandelion to sniff. Delightful! You sum up the “essence” of each of the reviewed fragrances in such succinct terms. I feel like I know them without having smelled them.

    I think it is very interesting that some fragrances disappear on one person yet are long-lasting on someone else. It is amazing how our unique skin and olfactory system combine with fragrance to yield so many varied reactions. One person’s perfume heaven is another’s hell (or “meh”)!

    I follow via e-mail. Thank you for the draw and all the fragrant fun here at APJ.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Tiffanie, and for joining today’s draw!
      It is always a bit of a challenge trying to do more than one perfume review in a short post. I know that there is so much more that could and should be said about each of these fragrances. It would be great to see a more detailed review of these here on APJ – hint, hint 😉


  15. Hi, Azar,
    Synaesthesia is a hot topic in my head, all the time! It’s not always color association, neither only texture. Sometimes it’s about sounds, or taste. Nectar of Love (April Aromatics) is definitely nougat halva to me (nothing of the kind in the pyramid, though)! Thierry Mugler Cologne is the chirping of excited sparrows. I cannot explain. It just appears instantly when I spray. But it’s not the case with every perfume I use. I have to set an experiment to see whether it is conditional or not.
    I only tried Tokyo Bloom from the ones you point out, but I guess Memoirs of a Trespasser would be mostly my cup of tea. Campfire is hypnotizing!
    Thanks for the draw! I follow by email and on the FB page.


    • Hi there Lyubov,
      What did you think of Tokyo Bloom? Did it last for you or evaporate quickly like it did for me? Also, do the sound effects from perfume continue as long as you can smell the fragrance or do they disappear long before it fades? Thank you for joining another draw and for this very interesting comment too!
      Azar xx


      • Well, it was just a single test of Tokyo Bloom, in a perfume boutique, not from a vial at home, where I can ponder about its effect. I just remember the crisp freshness, that’s all. I don’t remember its longevity.
        The sounds – whether music or else, just pops out at the first spray of the scent, and then gradually fades. A new spray will renew the sensation, though much softer.


    • Hello Lubka K.
      Thank you for commenting and for tweeting too. You are in twice! I’m trying to remember the green colored perfumes I own in full bottles. Chanel 19 comes to mind immediately as does Pirouette Wild Spruce and Tobacco. I don’t react the same way you do to the color green, though. Very interesting.
      Azar xx


  16. DNEM. Just want to say that I absolutely love Azar’s color/texture descriptions. “Iridescent silk chiffon, contrasting cool and warm tones – glowing white, pink tangerine, a touch of sea green.” <– I want to live there. Thanks for the review!


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