Top 5 2017 Perfumes: Gabriella




Hiya Perfume Junkies!
A happy and fragrant New Year to you all.

Today I’m talking about my top five fragrances for 2017. These were not all new releases for the year – just the top perfumes that I discovered over the past twelve months. Last year was a bit of a watershed fragrance-wise: I visited Paris for the first time since falling down the perfumista rabbit hole and I also explored a bit more outside my white floral comfort zone. So what scents made the cut for me?

Top 5 2017 Perfumes: Gabriella

Melodie de L'Amour Parfums Dusita FragranticaFragrantica

Melodie de L’Amour by Pissara Umavijani for Dusita 2015

The heartstopper. I’d given up on finding another lush gardenia-centered fragrance when Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia was discontinued some years ago, but when Melodie de L’Amour hit my skin, it was utter devotion at first sniff. A buttery gardenia at the height of its bloom paired with sultry tuberose, jasmine and a hint of honey. This exquisite white floral was made all the more special due to the fact that I acquired my bottle in the city of lights.

First in Fragrance has €295/50ml

1996 Inez & Vinoodh Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

1996 by Ben Gorham for Byredo 2013

The vintage starlet. I didn’t expect to fall in love with 1996’s soft hush of iris and violet that’s powdery, delicate and slightly sweet. Just when you think the floral notes are the only things going on, an ambery leather lends a touch of old school decadence. It’s the scent of vintage luggage, fur stoles and black mesh pillbox hats paired with a slick of red lipstick.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $187/50ml

Stilettos on Lex Jul et Mad Paris FragranticaFragrantica

Stilettos on Lex by Dorothee Piot for Jules et Mad 2012

The Parisian chic. I found Stilettos thanks to the lovely staff at Jovoy in Paris who included it with an enormous bunch of samples when I purchased my bottle of Melodie de L’Amour. Stilettos is a grown up fruity floral with a touch of 1980’s powerhouse about it. A bright plum transcends into a rich melange of violet, rose and lily of the valley tempered by aldehydes.

Jules et Mad starts at EUR22.50/5ml

Velvet Haze Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

Velvet Haze by Ben Gorham for Byredo 2017

The hippie luxe. I usually only like patchouli with rose, but this proved to me that coconut and patchouli is a pretty awesome combination. Here the patchouli is gauze-like, it usual pungent head-shop vibe has been stripped back and white washed, all pale and ethereal. The coconut is slightly salty in tone, giving the scent a tropical but edible quality.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $160/50ml

Vetiver 46 Le Labo FragranticaFragrantica

Vetiver 46 by Mark Buxton for Le Labo 2006

The unexpected choice. Vetiver is about as far away from a big white floral as you can get, but this still enraptured me from the get go. A strikingly green bergamot gives way to piney incense, cloves and a touch of vetiver. A brooding scent that’s strangely comforting.

Mecca Cosmetica starts at $264/50ml

So, what were your top perfume picks for 2017?
With much love till next time!
G x

Aqua Sextius by Cécile Zarokian for Jul et Mad Paris 2014

OK Happy Huffers,

Today a beautifully presented silver spray sample arrived from the Jul et Mad crew. Can I tell you from the beautiful and detailed packaging that I already feel like I am having an uber luxe experience. It all feels so finished and thought out. Then I went to look up the perfumer Cecile Zarokian whose name rang only faint bells for me till seeing that she has been quite prolific and done some fragrances I know well: Amouage Epic Woman, Tango for Masque and Pink for Undergreen. Curiouser and curiouser I decided to do a first spritz piece for you today. Come with me and try ….

Aqua Sextius by Cécile Zarokian for Jul et Mad Paris 2014

Aqua Sextius Jul et Mad Paris FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citrus zests, bergamot, mandarin, orange, grapefruit, tea notes, mimosa blossom
Heart: White flowers, sea notes, fig, pine tree resin
Base: Labdanum, amber(gris), cedar, guaiac wood, oak moss, musk

So the structure reads very much like a chypre, lets call it a modern chypre. The fragrance is in parfum concentration and I have to give a big fat bravo to Jul et Mad for doing 5ml, 20ml and 50ml bottles. It means that you can test, enjoy and have choice to suit your budget. So important now that fragrance is becoming increasingly expensive.

How does Aqua Sextius smell on my skin? Well, the opening is fun and fizzy citrus, very smile inducing and sweet. The mimosa is clean and adds some warmth to an otherwise cool sweetness and the whole opening is effortlessly wearable. I can already imagine it becoming a go-to for the opening alone. I am reminded of another fragrance but can’t put my finger on which one. If summer, or the dream of summer, could have a scent then Aqua Sextius could definitely be it. this is scent of the fun summer that you want always to remember, like a scent-track.

FigsPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It’s not long before we get salty fig and resins, here there is a soft, elegant reminder of Womanity; sensual and not in your face at all like the Mugler. Here we are treated to similar parts but put together for an unstructured creamy linen suit and a pistachio T-Shirt rather than the spiky, shoulder padded, OTT and aggressive tone of Mugler. While Aqua Sextius is infinitely more wearable I think I prefer the Womanity at this point, for me anyway. Aqua Sextius is light and spare, clean and fresh in the modern 2014 new vision of such things. It feels bang up to date and has a lovely sillage. That’s basically how it stays on my skin for hours, just getting quieter and parts of the fragrance slowly falling by the wayside. At every point I find Aqua Sextius very wearable and non confrontational. It is interesting enough for a perfumista, but more importantly I think almost everyone would think this a fabulous gift.

laughingPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

After about 8 hours, yes EIGHT hours, I am left with a slightly salty wood waft that is barely discernible. Very sexy: if I didn’t know better I would think it was my own smell. It’s not my own smell, it is a beautiful mask.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Colognoisseur
Jul et Mad have 3 sizes all in a Parfum concentration: 5ml/22.50, 20ml/95, 50ml/230 (All with postage inclusive!! To the world)

One of the comments I really love is about the name: Empliau writes, “Aquae Sextiae was the Latin name of Aix en Provence. Aqua is feminine in Latin and requires a feminine adjective. Aqua Sextius is simply impossible and grates upon the ear.”

Have you tried the lovely little beastie?
Portia xx