L’Instant de Guerlain and it’s many flankers.

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Kate Apted

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Hello there and welcome to APJ.

Do you get lost in the myriad of flankers? Guerlain is most certainly guilty of pumping out copius amounts of flankers each year, but it does not mean they are necessarily bad, inferior or unwelcome.

The lesser known series of L’Instant de Guerlain attracts very little attention in our community. Part of that is the fact they were issued almost a generation ago and are harder to source. I also suspect the range is now considered dated. But you can let me know what you think about that. I do, however, hope they will enter the cannon of Guerlain greats eventually.

Today, I want to showcase four from the series; simply because I own four and they are the only ones I have come across. They are L’Instant de Guerlain (LIdG) eau de toilette, eau de parfum, the Iris limited edition and L’Instant Magic.

L’Instant de Guerlain EdP

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Tocade by Maurice Roucel for Rochas 1994

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Post by Anne-Marie

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Hi all,
Ah … Tocade! This is one of the perfumes forever associated with critic Luca Turin. A bit of ‘harmless fun with roses and vanilla’ is what he called it in Perfumes: the Guide, but so beautifully done from top to bottom, with simple materials normally taken for granted, that it deserves five stars.

Tocade by Maurice Roucel for Rochas 1994

Lullaby of Broadway

Tocade Rochas FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green notes, freesia, bergamot, geranium
Heart: Magnolia, iris, orchid, jasmne, lily-of-the-valley, rose
Base: Patchouli, musk, amber, vanilla, cedar

I have no quarrel with a perfume that sets out do nothing but please receiving a top rating. Why not? Aren’t Shakespeare’s comedies masterpieces as well as entertainments? Does something have to be cool, dark or moody to deserve the highest accolade? No indeed. No-one – not even me! – can wear Chanel No 19 every day.

That said, I don’t completely love Tocade. It is a bit too loud and too artificial (LT likens it to nail varnish) for me. I enjoy the sillage much more than the scent on skin. Vanilla is Tocade’s key message, and I can only take vanilla in moderate amounts, usually.

There is a darkness to Tocade as well though. I think its ‘pretty, dancing feet’ have seen a few tawdry dance floors over the years. You know that beautiful song ‘Lullaby of Broadway’? It’s been recorded many times but I love Diana Reeves’ version, which pulls the tempo right back to a sweet, wistful imagining the life of a Broadway performer. Behind the ‘hip hooray and ballyhoo’ is a weary existence for a girl who works all night, every night. It’s early in the morning before she can go home to sleep; the ‘milkman on his way’.

Tocade is her perfume. It’s a pretty, showy piece but with a haunting density of patchouli and cedar underneath. The vanilla is smoky as well as sweet. Backstage, as our ‘broadway baby’ she waits for her next cue, she rubs her calloused feet, mends the laced on her dress, and longs for her rest. Sure, her ‘daddy’ buys her ‘this and that’. Perfume, sweets and roses adorn her corner of the dressing room. But when she goes home, she sleeps alone.
Tocade has strong sillage and lasts ages. I snapped up a bottle in the old, crazy packaging, but in 2013 Rochas shoved Tocade into a uniform bottle. I don’t know if the formula has changed, so do comment if you have compared them.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
FragranceNet has the 2013 edition under $50/100ml Before Coupon!
Surrender To Chance has samples of the original starting at $3/ml

The apparent simplicity of Tocade never fails to give me something to think about. And what about you? Do you have a perfume in your collection which is as puzzling as it is beguiling? Sweet but sad?
Until next time, keep spritzing everyone!

Bringing back the 80’s! Xia Xiang + JCC No2

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Post by Robert Herrmann

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Hey Frag Friends, Robert H. here, writing from my small island home in the Pacific Northwest…

Today it’s All about the 80’s!

Got these little honeys in a mixed auction lot awhile back and they’ve been sitting on my desk since then. So today when I decided to clean my desk (again) I decided to give them a try!

um……WOW! Just WOW! Shall we talk about absolutely classic late 80’s Chypres? Yes, let’s!

80s Fragrances

Xia Xiang by Charles Of The Ritz for Revlon (1987) (L)
JCC No2 by Maurice Roucel for Castelbajac (1987) (R)

JCC No2 by Maurice Roucel for Castelbajac 1987

JCC No. 2 Castelbajac FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, lemon, bergamot, fruity notes, galbanum, gardenia
Heart: Carnation, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, ylang-ylang, sandalwood
Base: Amber, castoreum, labdanum, leather, moss, patchouli, olibanum

One spritz from this bottle and my head was REELING from castoreum, oakmoss and galbanum overload! I had to sit down, the skank was so overwhelming. And gorgeous.

That skank only stays for about 10 minutes then fades into the background and stays there, throwing out tendrils of raunchy beaver scent to mix with the heart and drydown. Phew.

Then leather, labdanum, patch and flowers appear, beautifully blended, and absolutely “old school”!

Rose, ylang, carnation, iris…. it’s all there in typical 80’s fashion, when the hair was BIG, the shoulder pads were BIGGER, and the perfume was potent!

Xia Xiang by Revlon 1987

Xia Xiang Revlon FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Amalfi lemon, tangerine
Heart: Jasmine, African orange flower, gardenia, ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss, tonka bean, vanille, peach, plum, chamomile

Xia Xiang (pronounced “see-AH see-AHNG”) by Revlon was launched in 1987.

No less potent, but a bit “softer”. No blast of animalic, but LOTS of oakmoss, and again every flower you can think of with some fruit accords thrown in because why not, right? Powder, sandalwood, patch, tonka, vanilla, it’s all there.

Made by Charles Of The Ritz, my first thought was that this would be a big-hot-floral-mess, but no. It all comes together to produce a perfect harmony of flowers and notes that proves the point that less is NOT always more!

Bring back the 80’s!!!
Actually, no. Don’t. Just the pre-IFRA perfume!

Do you have a favorite 80’s scent that you’ve rediscovered?

Gucci Envy by Maurice Roucel for GUCCI 1997

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Post by ElizaD

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An Old Friend

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my senses get worn out from trying new things. After my post about linden perfumes I ordered Zeta by Andy Tauer, and of course had to get three other Tauer samples so I could fill that cute little shipping tin. It just seemed wrong to get only one to try. Ten days later my vanity was strewn with little vials, and my nose was starting to itch.

First I took a vacation, during which the only fragrance I wore was a sultry mix of Coppertone SPF 50, sea salt and my own skin warmed by the sun, but when I returned home, I stowed all the samples back in their tin and pulled out my old friend, one of the few perfumes of which I own a whole bottle…or about a third of one now.

It’s crisp, it’s light, cool mornings, warm days, and mellow nights, flip flops and hair in a pony tail. I love to spray it behind my knees and let it extend my summer even after I have returned to work. It’s so simple, and sadly, discontinued.

Gucci Envy by Maurice Roucel for GUCCI 1997

GUCCI Envy Gucci FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, peaches, freesia, magnolia, pineapple
Heart: Lily of the valley, hyacinth, jasmine, violet, hyacinth, rose
Base: Cedar, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood.

With all those notes, you’d think it would be a big hot mess, but Envy is really quite easy to wear.

On first spray, the bergamot and peaches perk up my senses, and I am reminded of another favorite, the original Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld. In fact, these two perfumes evoke the same late summer floral and fruit fest, but Envy is less likely to offend at work—some day I will just spritz a heady perfume with abandon, but that is a thought for another post. Eventually the top notes are joined by the flowers and then the whole thing warms on my very cool, dry skin. The top and heart notes never fade completely, but are wonderfully mellowed by the oakmoss and sandalwood. It’s this last stage that makes Envy so fun to wear…it helps me growl.

GUCCI Envy Gucci  tiger_eye annemaria48 DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Longevity is great on me. As for sillage, honestly, I can never tell how far I project my perfume. No one has ever gone running out of the room when I enter, and people don’t generally comment on what I am wearing. But then again, I don’t wear perfume for other people, I wear it for me, so if I can smell it, I am likely to say that sillage is pretty good.

Some day I will open my perfume cabinet, and that long slender bottle with the missing cap will be empty of its green tinted juice. That will be a sad day. For now, I will just enjoy this lovely thing and be grateful for those of us capable of making liquid art.

GUCCI Envy Gucci Glass Art WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Posse
FragranceNet has $55/30ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $3/ml

Do you have any perfumes that have been discontinued? Do you search for replacements, or just celebrate that you knew them and move on?

ElizaD

New perfumes for a new life

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Post by Gabriella

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Hello fragrance friends! For those of you that read my last post, you’ll know I’ve been busy with my relocation to Melbourne.
The good news is that we’re here now and besides being really cold and missing my fragrance collection that’s still in transit, there are plenty of things to look forward to. One of these is that perfume shopping is way better in Melbourne than Sydney (I’ll be sure to post some of my shopping adventures soon!). The second is that I’m really excited about introducing some new perfumes into my life.

I find that relocating gives a new outlook: not only do you feel different, but it is often a great time to try new things, like a different fashion style, a new lipstick and of course, new or different perfumes. When I moved to London, my tastes in perfume changed quite a bit and gems like Chanel No 19 EDP, Lipstick Rose, Musc Ravageur and Habanita became new loves. So, what beauties will Melbourne bring perfume-wise? Here’s five scents that I’m looking forward to adding to my permanent rotation:

New perfumes for a new life

Dans Tes Bras by Maurice Roucel for Frederic Malle 2008

Dans Tes Bras Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Heliotrope, jasmine, woodsy notes, patchouli, pine tree, cashmeran, sandalwood, musk, incense, violet

This beautiful but quirky violet scent has always intrigued me, but I have never really found the perfect time or place to wear it. It’s woody sombreness never quite fit with Sydney’s warmer clime, but it strikes me as the perfect accompaniment to Melbourne’s chill. A good choice for the weekends when I’m swathed in a big black jumper, jeans and boots and mulling over life, sipping an espresso.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and The Non Blonde
Mecca Cosmetica starts at $142/30ml
Surrender to Chance has $7/.5ml

Louanges Profanes by Pierre Guillaume for Parfumerie Generale 2008

PG19 Louanges Profanes Parfumerie Generale FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Lily, benzoin, hawthorn, incense, neroli, woody notes

I’m including this one because I’m dying to wear it after experiencing a massive olfactory memory the other week. While packing boxes, I smelt it there and then, even though I last time I sniffed it was more than three years ago and only from a small sample vial. Does anyone else ever experience this? I’m thinking this opulent oriental with its smoky lily accord and smattering of hawthorn will be lovely in the cold weather when I want to feel glam: it’s all plush red velvet, cashmere and patent heels.

Further reading: The Olfactorialist
Luckyscent has $125/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $5/ml

Love by Calice Becker for By Kilian 2007

Love by Kilian By Kilian FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli, bergamot, pink pepper, coriander
Heart: Iris, jasmine, rose, honeysuckle, orange blossom
Base: Musk, vanilla, civet, caramel, sugar, labdanum

I’m by no means a gourmand lover but I’m finding that the cold, dry air has me hankering after something sweet. Love is a good fit for me, given the neroli and jasmine give me the much-needed white floral hit within the sweetness of caramelised sugar and vanilla. This is cotton candy and marshmallows, pink and pretty. A somewhat frivolous and light-hearted scent when the grey skies will make me want to take my girly-ness to the max.

Luckyscent has $145/4 x .25oz
Surrender to Chance has $4/.5ml

Moor Street Gardenia Eau De Parfum by Klein’s Perfumery 2014

Moor Street Gardenia Eau De Parfum
Photo Stolen Klein’s Perfumery

Anyone who’s read my posts will know of my love of gardenia. Like many, I’d given up on finding a really good one given Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia is discontinued. Klein’s Perfumery Moor Street Gardenia is part of the boutique’s new line up that I discovered on a hasty reconnaissance visit here a few weeks ago. It’s as perfect a gardenia as I’ve ever encountered. A heady, slightly green composition that evokes the creamy petals in full bloom. A good choice for when I’m longing for the Sydney mugginess and just that little bit homesick.

Klein’s Perfumery has $110/50ml

Ta’if by Geza Schoen and Linda Pilkington for Ormonde Jayne 2004

Ta'if Ormonde Jayne FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these notes:
Top: Saffron, date, pink pepper
Heart: Orange blossom, white peach, rose, freesia, lily of the valley, jasmine
Base: Amber, tonka, musk, vanilla absolute

It’s now clear to me that I’m craving orange blossom, since Ta’if is the third scent that I’ve mentioned, along with Love and Louanges Profanes that includes a hefty dose of the note. However, Ta’if is first and foremost an opulent rose scent. I’m pretty picky with roses, preferring them dark, and Ta’if satisfies this want with a spicy opening of saffron and pink pepper. The rose is full and lush, tempered by a breath of jasmine, lily of the valley and freesia before the voluptuous orange blossom comes to life in the dry down. This is the scent to wear when I want to feel powerful and confident whilst job and flat hunting: regal, rich and very sophisticated.

Further reading:  Now Smell This and EauMG
Peony Melbourne has $195/50ml
Surrender to Chance has $4/.5ml

So, do you like any of my picks?
What new perfumes have you discovered when moving to a new place or traveling?

With much love till new time!
M x

24 Faubourg by Maurice Roucel for Hermès 1995

Hi to you Lovers of Fine Fragrance,

My mate Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) sometimes has amazing clearances from her Frag Wardrobe and last year I snaffled this little beauty from her. I think she grabbed the Limited edition bottle and knew two was more than she’d ever use. COOL! I have often nearly bought 24 Faubourg but there seemed to be something more pressing at each near buy and it was deferred, now it’s mine (Cue evil laugh and gratuitous hand wringing Mwa HA haaaaa HAAAAAAAaaaa)

24 Faubourg by Maurice Roucel for Hermès 1995

24 Faubourg HermesPhoto Stolen Hermès

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, peach, bergamot, yalan ylang, hyacinth
Heart: Black elder, iris, jasmine, gardenia, orange blossom
Base: Sandalwood, amber, patchouli, vanilla

What I get in the opening is ylang, peach and sweat, like a beautifully perfumed person has gone a little bit long without a shower and they’ve added more fragrance instead of a bath. Maybe 24 Faubourg even smells like the smell of perfume on a scarf the next morning, beautiful, elegant, memorable and a little tired. It is so good, without being totally in your face, that tiny hint of bed head, that après un rapport sexuel (probably a terrible translation by google).

Hermes 24 Faubourg Hermes Lautrec_in_bed WikiPediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The berries/citrus doesn’t really appear on me till well into the heart and seems woven through the white floral accord so beautifully that it’s hard to separate anything. Currently I am sitting in 31C (88F) inside the house! The fan is doing a lovely job and 24 Faubourg is sublime. I sit in a fragrant cloud of what feels like big money, old money. There’s a dry rustle of patchouli and amber towards the end that I feel is missing some of its buttery goodness from a cool temp wearing.

In this heat I’m lucky to get two hours of fragrant wear before 24 Faubourg becomes a sheer patina of woodsy vanilla that will then stay around another two to three hours and slowly fade away to nothing.

Hermes 24 Faubourg Hermes Versailles snow WikiMediaPhoto Stolen Wikimedia

By the time you read this I will be in frozen Europe, Paris by now and I have lunch at Guerlain, 68 Champs Elysees booked with Neela, a catch up with Denyse Beaulieu, off to do a private English class at the Osmotheque and stomp around Versailles and hopefully two full mornings in the Louvre. YAY! Sometimes I can’t believe my good fortune.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and The Perfume Magazine
You can buy 24 Faubourg online at Hermès Hermès World Site Page<<<JUMP
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

Is 24 Fauberg in your collection? When do you wear it? What magical fantasies does it give you?

Portia xx

I know this is late but I love it. Hermès shoes! YES PLEASE!!!

Hermès Women’s 2013 Fall/Winter Shoe Collection

L’Instant de Guerlain EdP by Maurice Roucel for Guerlain 2003

Hello Frag Nerds,

Sometimes while swanning around the department store I go check out the frag counters even though we don’t get all the good stuff that the world gets. Sometimes I get a lovely surprise when we have the goods and I spritz away. Never have I ever even thought about spritzing todays fragrance, I don’t know why but it always gets overlooked. well, my buddy Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels recently sent me a care package and inside was a 5ml boxed manufacturers sample of…

L’Instant de Guerlain by Maurice Roucel for Guerlain 2003

L'Instant de Guerlain Guerlain FragragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, red apple
Heart: Iris, magnolia, ylang ylang, jasmine
Base: Musk, honey, vanilla, benzoin, amber

So right out of the gate I get a sweet, resinous toffee that is sticky and sweet, all warm sugary deliciousness. Citrus and most of the flowers are bypassed in favour of a very edible candy/confectionary scent that is reminiscent of a thing we have in Australia called a Musk Stick. They have been one of my favourite lollies since childhood but Jin wont eat them because he thinks it’s like eating soap. There is definite soapy reference in L’Instant and it has a clean feel without all the usual connotations of blandness and the current overuse of laundry stylings in fragrance. Though they are not the same I am reminded of JPG Le Male a bit, L’Instant has that same hefty, dense, sweetness that is both insistent and moreish. A hint of baklava even, mmmmmmmm

L'Instant de Guerlain Baklawa WikimediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Guerlain is so good at this stuff. Clearly the success of L’Instant became a beacon to celebuscenters everywhere. The style and warm vivacity that is so deliciously enjoyable here is reflected in many of the celeb offerings of the last 10 years. Guerlain does it better, of course. I’m surprised there is no almond note because I can smell some yummy toasted almonds too.

L’Instant is pretty, sweet and very easy wearing. The bottle is beautiful and I can understand why it’s a big hit for Guerlain. You could give this to someone 16 or 86 and they would both smell beautiful wearing it. Longevity on my skin is under 4 hours of fragrant and then another couple of hours of very soft base notes that really do give me a vanilla, amber, almond blur. Lovely.

L'Instant de Guerlain Women Generations WikiPediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: I Scent You A Day
Beauty Encounter has $52/50ml
My Perfume Samples has EdP starting from $3/ml to $9/5ml

Do you ever get a pleasant surprise from something you’ve bypassed for years? Tell me, I love to read your stories too.
Portia xx