Scent Diary: 19.2 – 25.2.2018

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Portia

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Hey there APJ Crew,

Mardi Gras season is in full swing this week. I only attended a couple of events but my FaceBook feed is chock full of exciting moments happening across Sydney. There were also a bunch of fragrant adventures and LOADS of perfume was sniffed, spritzed, sampled and savoured. Friends old and new dropped in, Art happened, Roller Derby and a slew of other fun stuff.

 

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Cuir Amethyste by Michel Almairac for Armani Privé 2005

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Post by Portia

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Heya Fragrant Fumies,

I came late to the Armani Privé line, it wasn’t until 2011 that I first got my sniff on them. Jin and I had been doing some shopping and one of the nearby malls had the first Armani Privé line in it’s own area that I’d seen. To be honest, I had worn  Armani Pour Homme and Emporio Armani Lui in the 1980s & 90s but nothing from the line had spoken to me for years and I figured that the quality of the fragrances had nose dived considerably like so many other brands. It was the bottles that caught our attention with the lovely simple black squares, the smooth cool rocks on top and gold plaques very much like the front door of an expensive restaurant or doctors/lawyers/dentists. We spent a lazy half hour sniffing them all and I had two favourites, Cuir Amethyste and Bois Encens.

By the time I realised that Cuir Amethyste was my favourite Michel Almairac had reworked the idea in a sweeter, suppler version for Bottega Veneta and I was so lost in its spell, especially when it became Jin’s signature, that Cuir Amethyst was forgotten. Step in Aelfrik, I bought a decant from him recently and my love is rekindled sevenfold……

Cuir Amethyste by Armani Privé 2005

Cuir Amethyste by Michel Almairac

Cuir Amethyste Giorgio Armani Prive FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, coriander, rose
Heart: Birch, patchouli, violet
Base: Benzoin, incense, Bourbon vanilla

How could I forget this glorious and majestic beauty, it’s so damn good I just want to lick myself all over and then cuddle up in a ball and suck in the divine scent of myself until I am breathed away on a whisper of wind. I SMELL SO GOOD!

My nose gets sweet citrus, leather and patchouli straight away, the mix is a little bit oud-y and Cuir Amethyste shows me little of anything else up front. Slowly I get a cool, bitter hint of burnt incense and then after about 5-15 minutes depending on the day I get a friendly little violet tap on the shoulder and suddenly Cuir Amethyste is an old, much loved leather bag with some powder and lipstick traces. Cool and friendly, like when we were sent looking in Mum’s bag for coins to buy ice-cream as kids, it’s a real memory scent for me. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.

cuir-amethyst-armani-prive handbag kropekk_plPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Later, much later the vanilla/amber combines with the leather to create the perfect skin scent, the scent you wish your skin had. A fleshy, endearing, healthy breath that warms and sweetens my own body fragrance to something compelling and luscious.In the morning there is still a whisper of leather handbag and makeup, I love Cuir Amethyste so much.

When I finish this 10ml there is a bottle in my future.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Cuir Amethyste
Cuir Amethyste by Armani Privé is available in large department stores

Did you fall for any of the Armani Privé line? Which and why?
Portia x

Pivoine Suzhou by Giorgio Armani Prive 2014

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Post by Trésor

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I have an aunt on my father’s side of the family, his older sister, with the most exquisite garden you could possibly imagine. An utter celebration of splendid visual and olfactory delights, hues of emerald, titian, crimson and goldenrod dancing in the summer sunlight. This is one of my happy places, one of which I remember so vividly visiting as a child and finding myself in a state of inimitable euphoria; in awe all of the mind-blowing pulchritude which surrounded me. Of all of the flowers in this exquisite garden there was one in particular which I found to be the most beguiling, the sweet aroma of which stays with me to this very day and reminds me of some of the most beautiful summers I’ve ever had as a child; the peony. Recently a dear friend within the fragrance community generously gifted me a selection of samples one of which is a breathtaking interpretation of peony and the latest addition to Les Eaux from the Armani Privé collection: Pivoine Suzhou. One sniff and it’s safe to say that I was in love.

Pivoine Suzhou by Giorgio Armani Prive 2014

Armani Prive Pivoine Suzhou Giorgio Armani FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, pink pepper, raspberry
Heart: Peon, rose, May rose absolute
Base: Amber, musk, patchouli

Pivione Suzhou begins its journey on the skin as the resplendent essence of juicy and ripe mandarin orange, as breathtaking and luminous as the glowing rays of midsummer sunlight, followed by the mouthwatering roseate nectar of fresh raspberries infused with the scintillating fuchsia sparkle of pink peppercorn. I think it would be rather difficult to experience this ebullient sequence without smiling and feeling an aura of joy overcome your spirit, it’s the quintessence of frivolity and cheer.

Beneath the coy sparkle of Pivoine Suzhou’s incipience the velvet pink petals of a peony blossom unfurl, impossibly fresh and glistening with morning dew; a prime example of perfumer Julie Massé’s particular penchant for treating floral notes with absolute elegance and subtle grace.

Armani Prive Ad Pivoine Suzhou Giorgio Armani FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

As the peony continues to bloom it then begins a dance in rhythmic synchronicity with the delicate essence of tea rose. As I am explaining this it has dawned on me that it comes across in text as a traditionally feminine elixir (not that perfume has a gender to begin with, but I digress) but the reality is that even though this composition has been orchestrated around a symphony of delicate florals and flourishes of dancing light it maintains a particular androgyny that you would expect of something marketed as an Eau de Cologne. As it dries down a gentle watercolour ambience of amber begins to materialize, softly variegating the edges of blush toned petals and making way for the blanket of gauzy musk which takes Pivoine Suzhou into its final moments on the skin.

Pivoine Suzhou Giorgio Armani   Shuangxi_Park_and_Chinese_Garden_Taipei WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The sillage with Pivione Suzhou is beautiful tender but most certainly present, a treat for yourself and those you draw near. The longevity on the other hand is something of which I found myself delightfully surprised, it lasted for upwards of 8 hours on my unholy perfume eating skin. That’s bloody impressive for something which is marketed as a warm weather eaux in my opinion. I think this would be a wonderful first foray into fresh, ebullient florals or an excellent alternative to some of the more citrus laden fare that makes a cameo as the mercury begins to rise.

Pivoine Suzhou Giorgio Armani  wet peony Liz West FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Sandra’s Closet
Larger Department Stores have the Armani Prive line

Do you have a particular flower which transports you to your very own happy place?

Until next time, kittens.

Trésor xx

Armani Privè Ambre Soie by Christina Nagel for Giorgio Armani 2004

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Post by Poodle

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Armani Privè Ambre Soie by Christina Nagel for Giorgio Armani 2004

Armani Prive Ambre Soie Giorgio Armani FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Ginger, amber, patchouli, pepper, cloves

Ambre Soie is a perfume that has a little bite to it. It opens with a burst of amber and ginger. It’s more about sharp, fresh ginger than the dried one used in baking. I can smell the black pepper too. It’s not what I’d call sharp but there’s almost a warmth or heat to it in the opening. As the ginger fades the pepper becomes more evident. Pepper is one of those notes that is sometimes a deal breaker for me. I don’t mind it in this although I will say it’s not my favorite part of the perfume’s development. It gives a warm feeling to the perfume and I can imagine reaching for it on a cold winters night. A night like tonight for instance, where as I’m sniffing and writing, the wind is howling away and the wind chill is well below freezing. Somehow just the word Ambre in the name makes me feel like it will take the chill away.

Armani Prive Ambre Soie Giorgio Armani Freezing Paddock GeographyPhoto Stolen Geography.org

There’s a dry, spicy feeling to Ambre Soie before it all seems to mellow and soften. This is where I begin to really enjoy the scent. It becomes a touch sweeter as the amber really emerges with a spicy patchouli note. The patchouli hums along quietly and never veers into moldy decay like some patchoulis do. Amber scents can be sweet and almost cloying at times. Ambre Soie has a sweetness to it but it doesn’t cross that line. It doesn’t list incense as a note but as it wears on me it becomes more of an incense and amber scent. Somehow, up close, I smell menthol too. At this point it’s very cozy, like a warm blanket.

Armani Prive Ambre Soie Giorgio Armani  Sarah Ackerman  FlickrPhoto Stolen Sarah Ackerman  Flickr

I would say it could easily be worn by a man or a woman. I would wear it but some women might find it leans a little too masculine for them. I think that’s the pepper that gives it that little edge. It’s more of a scent to wear when you plan on snuggling up to someone special rather than wearing it to the office. It only lasted a few hours on my skin with minimal projection after the first hour. On my clothes though it lingered well into the next day. I’m sure both these factors could be adjusted based on whether you were to dab or spray and how much you applied. Also bear in mind my skin eats perfume and I’m using a sample vial.

While I enjoy Ambre Soie I don’t think I need a bottle of it. It’s not quite love.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and The Scented Hound
You can find Armani Privè Ambre Soie at big department stores.
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/.5ml

What scents warm you on a cold winter’s night? Have you tried Ambre Soie? What’s your favorite amber?

Perfume for the musk-averse?

Hello – I’m the laggardly half of Australianperfumejunkies.  I’m the yin to Portia’s gorgeously positive and vivacious yang.  Where Portia describes herself as a perfume ‘slut’, I’m determined to find ‘the one’.  I’ll fill my cupboards with a million decants before I invest in a full bottle that doesn’t speak to me fully and completely.  I’m not a perfumista.  I’m just a somewhat anally-retentive civilian who wants to find a great scent, is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of possibilities out there and needs a systematic way to reach the holy grail of a signature scent.  And I don’t like musk.

This caveat would seem to narrow the field substantially as musk is apparently found in 90% of fine fragrances (according to perfumes-world.com).  I don’t think I’m alone in this aversion, however.  My hypothesis is that all those people who claim to wretch when they pass a perfume counter are musk-averse.  There’s even a celebrated perfumer (Christopher Brosius) who claims to hate musk and leaves it out of most of his perfumes.  You might say I’m in search of a signature scent for people who claim not to like perfume.  I’m convinced it can be found.   I hope there’ll be more than one but I’ll be happy with one.

Adventure One – The Quiet Perfumes

Lists, lists, lists – perfumistas love lists. What better place to start than with a pre-culled selection from those who know better.  Portia popped my perfume-cherry with Luca and Tania’s Little Book of Perfumes so I’m going to start with one of their lists.   Since musk is typically a bold, animalistic scent, I thought Luca and Tania’s favourite ‘quiet’ perfumes would be the place to start.  Surely ‘quiet’ is something of an antonym to ‘musk’ in the perfume world?

A pre-screening of the candidates for evidence of musk on Fragrantica.com proved this to be not necessarily the case and I have had to reject half of the original ten for offences against the musk-averse.

Here are the remainders – Turin and Sanchez’s favourite ‘quiet’ perfumes sans musk:

  • Bois d’Encens (Armani Prive)
  • Commes des Garcons 3 (Commes des Garcons)
  • Lime, Basil & Mandarin (Jo Malone)
  • Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan (Hermes)
  • Timbuktu (L’Artisan Parfumeur)

I’m going to wallow in these perfumes for the next two weeks and my favourite amongst them will be the beginning of my next adventure.  If there’s anyone out there who thinks they’re musk averse and has found a favourite I would love to hear from you.  Evie C.