Hanbury by Maria Candida Gentile 2010


Post by Michael


Thanks to the very kind Ms P I’m wrapping my nose around a new to me Maria Candida Gentile. I very much like what I smelled of Exultat, so I’m excited to be testing out another from the line.

Hanbury by Maria Candida Gentile 2010

Hanbury Maria Candida Gentile FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lime, bitter orange, orange
Heart: Mimosa, white honey, calycanthus
Base: Musk, benzoin

There are a few nuances but this fragrance can be summed up in two words – bitter orange! Those familiar with Italian bitter orange drinks will have a good idea of what to expect from this little fragrance.

Up top lime and bitter orange jumps off the skin with a seriously tart throw. This is a fragrance you can feel penetrating your sinuses. Once it starts to settle down the benzoin takes control with a little mimosa for balance. I wouldn’t call this a mimosa fragrance by any stretch.

Hanbury Maria Candida Gentile Bitter Oranges PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

From here it becomes a little warmer but it’s never cuddly. Miscellaneous white floral notes become more apparent and they’re quite soft. After only an hour or two it fades to a clean citrus musky skin scent.

From the Maria Candida Gentile site: The inspiration comes from the gardens of the Hanbury Villa in Ventimiglia, a city of northern Italy by the mediterranean sea. The essences of this garden have been assembled during a life time by its owner, a very charming and beautiful lady, Dorothy Hanbury. In spring these essences combines all together in the air and are blended by the soft and warm wind from the sea producing an exquisite harmony which has been recreated in the Hanbury fragrance.

Hanbury Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury Botanic Gardens WikicommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

In the end I’m thinking about Hanbury as a citrus EdC – perfect for summer and when applied liberally and often. Maybe even store it in the fridge for an invigorating summer spray. It’s especially nice if you enjoy very naturalistic bitter orange.
Unfortunately for me, I’m left looking for something a little more…..

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and
Maria Candida Gentile has €25/15ml Travel Size or €115/100ml and sends to the world for €30
Parfum1 has $185/100ml
First In Fragrance has €150/100ml

Which of the Maria Candida Gentile line have you smelled? Does Hanbury sound like your cup of tea?

Fragrant Get Together at Portia’s


Post by Michael


Fragrant Get Together at Portia’s

So today a group frag-aholics descended upon the lovely Portia’s place for an all in frag fest – and it was amaaaazing!

Smelly Stuff for Sniffing Party

Madeleine, Margeaux, Dino, Emma, Glen, Portia and my self played fragrant pass the parcel.

Sel de Vetiver Fragrantica

Kicking off with the salty transparent vetiver that is Celine Ellena’s Sel de Vetiver for The Different Company. Not my style by any stretch but a lovely little number to get the day started. This was closely followed by the classic Jean Paul Guerlain: Vetiver which is considered the benchmark vetiver by many. The pungency of this one really shines through when compared to CE’s modern piece.

Les Colognes Hermes Eau de Gentiane Blanche Fragrantica

From there it was onto the very green Les Colognes Hermes Eau de Gentiane Blanche, a very Green and a little floral number from Jean Claude Ellena at Hermes.

CHANEL No 5 EdC Fragrantica

Onto some classics, and seeing the analogy between sister fragrances that legend has coming from the same Russian recipe, with some vintage Chanel No 5 EdC (which everyone but Portia poo-poo’d!) and the classic floral L’Aimant by Coty (generally considered just OK but way better than the #5).

(Ed. Some of the reactions to No 5 included: Older Statement Floral, Very Soapy, Skanky Bum Floral, EWWW Yuck! What is THIS?)

SOIVOHLE Leather Krem Fragrantica

Siovohle’s Leather Krem was another interesting and very different fragrance – smokey suede-y vanillic, a tough and dark pleasure. Somehow it smelled better on the strip than on my skin but others had better luck.

On and on from there, there were various Annick Goutals (Duel, Eau de Sud, Mandragore), Cartier, ELDO, Aftelier (Parfum de Maroc), Tauer (Lonestar Memories) and many many MANY more!

Madeleine also brought some of her unloved fragrances, in a coupe of small boxes, and we descended upon them like seagulls on a lonely chip! Margeaux got himself some Ambre Sultan – he’ll be smelling amazing in its dry, resinous, herbal, ambery goodness. Portia, of course, showed total restraint and only purchased four…..FOUR fragrances! Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle, for which I harbor a secret love, was one of Portia’s grabs and I’m totally jealous!! Amoureuse by Delrae, Arabie by Serge Lutens and a current EdP formulation of Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue made up the rest of Portia’s bargain haul and Madeleine threw in a half bottle of KAI as a thank you! Jealous!!

After that a few other of Portia’s buddies dropped in and there were home made nachos for dinner and Portia had also made a champagne punch that we went through jugs of so there was a lot of fun and laughter during dinner. Including star turns from our youngest member Lola who decided telling jokes was what dinner tables are for.

After most of the crew had left I was asked if I had done my monthly piece for the blog, shamefecedly I admitted to my unfinished post and Portia made me sit down with iPad and keyboard and write about today, so here it is. Sorry there are no photos of us all, we were having too much fun to capture it.

All in all it was a wonderful day full of fragrances, laughs and Portia’s tasty nacho’s! More days should be like these.


All pictures from Fragrantica

Fleurs de Gardenia by Creed: Sydney Launch Party + Review

The Launch

At 9am Wednesday 29th May media, industry, some very beautiful people and little old me (courtesy of Portia Turbo – thanks Portia!!!) gathered at Harrolds in the Sydney CBD for the Australian launch of the latest Creed offering to hit our shores – Fleurs de Gardenia.

FdG TableFleurs de Gardenia Table

The drinks and canapés were in abundance, but given the time of day the champagne was neglected in favour of juice and coffee coffee coffee!

Fleurs de Gardenia Launch Mary & NickMary & Nick

The event was hosted by Harrolds and Agence de Parfum and kicked off with Nick Smart (AdP) and Mary Poulakis (Harrolds) sharing their thoughts on Creed, Fleurs de Gardenia and the niche fragrance industry more broadly.

Michael Edwards 1Michael Edwards

Guest speaker Michael Edwards (author Fragrances of the World) then talked to us about Creed.
He talked about the brand history, its dedication to quality ingredients and also about the Fleurs de Gardenia fragrance itself. Interestingly, he also highlighted the importance of maceration and maturation in Creeds manufacturing process. Certainly not something I’d heard of before.
Post the formalities I took the opportunity to chat to Michael briefly about Creed. He was lovely to chat with and patiently answered my many geeky questions about Creed fragrances.
I also got to meet and chat to the lovely Catherine du Peloux Menage (Scent of Choice) and Clayton Ilolahia (What Men Should Smell Like). Naturally we talked fragrances and had lots of fun doing so.

FdGFleurs de Gardenia

To top it all off Nick handed us our very own bottle of Fleurs de Gardenia – Nick you are amazing and thank you so very much!
It was an excellent and very enjoyable morning.

Fleurs de Gardenia Review

So, Fleurs de Gardenia in its pretty purple accented bottle:

Fleurs de Gardenia FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pink berries, blackcurrant, galbanum.
Heart: Gardenia, rose, lavender, Lily of the Valley, pink jasmine.
Base: Soft musk, Pink Patchouli, Virginia cedar.

It opens with green, fresh, floral and light/transparent. The main floral notes seem to be rose and lily accented by jasmine.
The jasmine starts to become a little stronger as the fragrance dries and you can start to perceive the lavender and something slightly mentholated and fresh.
The early stages really do suggest some extremely subtle herb and spice work going on. These combine with the headier aspects of the floral notes and lavender to provide a freshness that’s almost like old school aftershave (although not particularly masculine).
The next transition is from these floral and fresh notes into a fresh laundered smell. Imagine fresh clean sheets with a fresh breeze flowing through them. A lovely floral fabric conditioner has been used plus you have some lovely fresh cut flowers in vases nearby.
From here the musks and slightly more personal aspects of the floral notes come alive. The accord is simultaneously clean and dirty. It reminds me of the smell of stockings that have been worn, but are not dirty. It’s feminine, clean, floral and yet personal. Frankly I’m glad to smell a fragrance that smells worn and human yet still pretty and playful.
I enjoy wearing Fleurs de Gardenia but it is not a day long perfume. I get around 4 hours before it starts to become quiet and it’s all but the faintest skin scent by hour 6. Be sure to carry some with you so you can reapply.
The more I wear this fragrance the more I enjoy it. It’s definitely worth checking out if you love florals but can’t stand them being too heavy or loud.

Neroli in Budapest has 147€/75ml
Libertine Parfumerie in Australia has $279/75ml delivered in Australia
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/.5ml


Vetyver 46 by Mark Buxton for Le Labo 2006


Post by Michael


A couple of years ago a decided to try the Le Labo line. None really jumped out and grabbed me and I decided the Le Labo vibe just wasn’t for me. Then, only a few months ago, I found myself craving….

Vetyver 46 by Le Labo 2006

Vetyver 46 Le Labo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Tahitian vetiver, labdanum, pepper, guaiac wood, cedar, olibanum, amber, bergamot, vanilla and cloves.

The reason I enjoy this fragrance so much is that it’s beautifully balanced. Cedar is a note that I often have trouble with. It can be too “scratchy”, too harsh, too much like pencil shavings. And then, adding pepper to the mix!? Yet these notes are treated with a deft touch and balanced perfectly with the vetiver, labdanum and olibanum. These are what I get though most of the life of Vetyver 46 by Le Labo. They weave together with not one part or nor another standing out too much – always moderately woody, moderately smoky….always in moderation. The fragrance feels full and alive.

Vetiver vetiver.orgPhoto Stolen Vetiver.org

The vanilla is always there too, hiding in the base, and becomes more apparent as the fragrance dries down and makes the drydown wonderfully cosy. I remember the first time I wore this fragrance. I was away for work and after a long day I finally made it back to the hotel room. As I climbed into bed and tucked my arm under the pillow to fall asleep I noticed the wonderfully mellow and calming drydown of Vetiver 46. I suppose I should have known back then, that this was going to be a keeper.

Vetiver 46’s sillage is moderate and its longevity strong.

Vetyver 46 Le Labo CedarHillLongHouseArt Thompson Photo Stolen CedarHillLongHouse

Further reading: PerfumeSmellin’Things and TheNonBlonde
Le Labo has an eStore landing page (that delivers to most of the world) starting at 45€/15ml
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Have there been fragrances that you’ve dismissed only to crave a long time later?
Arabie is another of mine, but I’d love to hear about yours.

Until next time

Rosae Mundi by Profumum 2012


Guest Post by Michael


Hi Fragaholics
The lovely Portia passed on a sample of a new fragrance currently piquing my interest, Rosae Mundi from Italian niche house Profumum.

The official lines from Profumum: “Sentiments that have has always belonged to me merge with the unseen. Joy and passion. I envision letting myself go in your arms to mysterious sensations and emotions.” Err, okidoki then.

RosaeMundi FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

gives these featured accords:
Rose, patchouli, cedar wood and vetiver.

The opening is a very familiar rosey bouquet.
The rose smells quite loud and perfumey. It doesn’t strike me as a deep multifaceted rose nor is it naturalistic. This is the smell of womens rose perfumes of past decades and does remind me of the rose in YSL’s Paris (original formulation). In addition to the rose I get a violet accord, some white florals (Jasmine?), aldehydes, iris and green notes. I think it’s supposed to provide a sort of bouquet effect, but I get more of an impression of a woman wearing a big floral rose. Remember the 80s? Shiny dress, permed hair and big shoulder pads –power dressing and power perfumes.

After 30 or so minutes the Rosae Mundi starts to settle down with the floral rose notes receding slightly.
Patchouli and cedre form the base with only a very little vetiver as far as I can tell. Again, these notes aren’t deep multifaceted renditions nor are they naturalistic. Think singular, aroma chemical representations rather than natural oils or complex accords.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Perhaps the easiest way to describe this fragrance is the rose/florals of Paris on top of the deconstructed base of Lumiere Noire Pour Homme. Of course it’s its own fragrance but this is at least an approximation.

If you like 80s rosey florals a la YSL’s Paris then I’d suggest giving this a test run. It could possibly appeal to guys looking for a semi-masculine rose too, although I suspect most guys will run 1,000 miles from wearing this leaving a big bloke-y shaped hole in the wall.

Longevity and sillage are both high

LuckyScent has 100ml/$265 or .7ml/$5

All in all I’m still not entirely sure what to make of this Rosae Mundi. What do you think of it?

1740 Marquis De Sade by Gérald Ghislain for Histoires de Parfums 2008


Guest Post by Michael


Hello fellow Fragaholics

For a kick off I thought I’d review one of my favourite fragrances and, dare I say it, a modern masterpiece –

1740 Marquis De Sade by Histoires de Parfums 2008

1740 is part of the Library of Scents range of Histoires de Parfums and inspired by the: “Birth year of a Parisian gentleman, named Donatien-Alphonse-François, which posterity remembers as the Marquis de Sade. For this man, whose licentious morals had him imprisoned many times, luxury rhymes with literature. The libertine writer would undoubtedly have enjoyed the audacity of this spiced wooded scent, an invitation to pleasure with its bergamot and Davana Sensualis hints, rounded with patchouli and everlasting flower.”

MarquisDeSade FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords::
Top: Bergamot, Davana Sensualis
Heart: Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom
Base: Cedar, Birch, Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Elemi, Immortelle

This fragrance has wonderful depth and volume. The opening combines bergamot, coriander and the high register notes of cedre – you could not call this “fresh” however as sweetness, booziness, leather and naughty spices form the opening too. Cumin and cardamom play they’re dirty little games while the birch and woody notes support the leather undertones. I can understand why some might call out incense however it seems to be more of a fleeting impression than an actual part of the composition. There is a slight persistence of the softer bergamot elements between the opening and the mid offering a soft tone to the dryer spicy woody aspects.

Orgy, Illustration from Histoire de Juliette by the Marquis de Sade, 1797 art.comPhoto of Marquis de Sade Illustration Stolen art.com

The sweetness is a little syrupy but not cloying despite being reminiscent of maple syrup or molasses. The booziness is not entirely specific but it does give off a somewhat dry sweet liquor impression; something akin to oak aged rum or port pipe aged whisky.

1740 does not change drastically during wearing but the middle phase does see some development. The little there is of fresh notes retreat and the spices are turned down allowing a greater overall balance. The sweetness loses its syrupy edge and moves into a subtle amber accord. The tobacco and leather are still there in dryer incarnations. There is a slightly peppered note but I’m not sure if it’s black pepper or an aspect of the patchouli combining with the cumin and dry woods. Certainly it helps add to the perception of tobacco’s presence. This is where the fragrance is at its best– the warm Indian spices, immortelle , tobacco, dry leather and amber swim and dance on the skin and it smells oh so wonderful and comforting. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a big warm hug from your SO or burying your nose and forehead into the nape of your lover as you cuddle up at night.

LS008465Photo Stolen developmentagezim

The drydown sees a further drying of the composition. A somewhat gritty but non head shop patchouli has been at play all the way through but it seems more prominent now with the immortelle, spices, tobacco and leather still rumbling along, albeit at a lower volume. All in all a masterful unisex masculine; hah!

1740 has moderate projection and excellent longevity.

Further reading KatiePuckrikSmells and Olfactoria’sTravels
LuckyScent has 60ml/$125
SurrenderToChance starts at $5/ml

See you soon,