Red Cattleyea by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2010

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Post by Poodle


When I was first married my in-laws told me I’d have a hard time cooking for my husband because he was so picky. I knew this but since I had persuaded him to try different foods while we were dating I knew I’d come up with a plan so I could cook what I wanted and not have him go hungry. I figured out that it was almost like cooking for a child (no offense, my love, if you’re reading this).

If he knew a dish had certain ingredients he wouldn’t try it. He was convinced he didn’t like certain things, even things I knew he’d eaten in the past and loved. The catch was that those times he hadn’t seen what was going into the pot. He came home and it was already prepared and waiting for him. I stopped telling him the ingredients or I told him what was in a dish after it was in his stomach. It worked, and cooking is much easier.

How does this relate to perfume? There are times when I think too much information is a bad thing. Sometimes I think knowing the notes before smelling can alter one’s opinion of it. If something smelled awful on me before or has a lot of notes I dislike I shouldn’t waste my time with it…or so I thought.

Red Cattleyea by Olympic Orchids 2010

Red Cattleya box smallPhoto Stolen Olympic Orchids

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Citrus, peach, apricot, melon, hyacinth, gardenia, violets, lilac, musk, woods, vanilla

I asked for the Olympic Orchids Just Orchids sampler set for Christmas. I didn’t see many reviews and I didn’t really study the note lists prior to trying the perfumes.

When I tried Red Cattleyea it was juicy and tropical and a great counterpoint to the chill in the air at the time. Since it is named after a flower I was expecting it to be a floral, but there was more, something sweet yet wonderful…then it hit me. Fruit! Yes, the dreaded fruity floral. This was nothing like the mainstream fruity scents, this was a fruity floral with personality. My first impression was favorable so I just kept enjoying my perfume, sniffing happily at my wrist now and then.


When I looked at the notes I was horrified. This has multiple notes that usually turn ugly on me. Citrus, peach, and melon can make me run from the fragrance counter. Had I read the notes first I may have never sprayed but Ellen Covey worked some magic here.

Red Cattleyea opens sweet and fruity, more candied citrus than kitchen cleaner. Then there’s peach, on my skin peach usually smells like, well, let’s just say it’s not how I want to smell. But not this time. The peach is blended with apricot and it’s more jammy and sun warmed than fresh. Alongside this is a bouquet of gardenia and lilac. Hints of wood and vanilla keep peeking through and there’s an undercurrent of spice to my nose. As the fruit subsides the gardenia becomes fleshy and rich before fading. I don’t find the musk very strong, rather it holds everything together and gives the perfume warmth as well. On my extreme scent eating skin I could smell it easily for hours and ended up with the most wonderfully warm vanilla base.

Red Cattleyea Peaches Flickr Brett SpanglerPhoto Stolen Flickr Brett Spangler

This isn’t a light skin scent, it’s got some kick to it, I’d say that if applied with a light touch it would be office friendly. I’ve worn Red Cattleyea to work and gotten compliments. If you work with fragrance-phobes, perhaps it might be a little too bold.

Further reading: The Alembicated Genie and Hortus Conclusus
Olympic Orchids has $40/30ml EdP, isn’t that the best deal EVER?
Olympic Orchids $15/5ml Parfum

So Red Cattleyea’s fruity and sweet and peachy. On paper I shouldn’t like it yet I absolutely love wearing Red Cattleyea and there aren’t many fruity florals I can say that about.
Have you tried it?

Poodle. x


Spiritus / Land #2 by Miller et Bertaux 2004 (?)


Post by Poodle


The cottage was a mess when she inherited it. No one had lived there since her grandfather died. Her family thought it was too small, too rustic and that she should sell it. She thought it held a certain charm and now it was hers. It needed a lot of work but she had vision to see past the years of dirt that had accumulated in every crack and crevice. She scrubbed every inch of it until her fingers were raw. She remembered her grandmother used to burn incense to purify the air. She loved the smell of incense sticks but not the smoke so she would tuck them strategically around the house like potpourri. She washed and polished the wood floors. She put fresh new curtains on the windows. Little by little it regained some of its former beauty.

Spiritus/Land #2 gum-tree-cottage TripAdvisorPhoto Stolen TripAdvisor

She was now finally able to sit back and admire the results of her hard work. The warm spice tea she cradled in her hands comforted her. The smell of the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg brought back memories of when her grandmother used to bake in this very kitchen. It was early fall and still warm enough to keep the windows open. On the breeze she could smell the lavender and geraniums she had planted in the window box. Every now and then she caught a whiff of the late summer roses but they were far from the house so it was only ever a fleeting scent. Sunlight streamed into the kitchen in the late afternoon. She was convinced that as the floorboards warmed under the sunlight she could smell the wood and even after all of her cleaning efforts and bucketfuls of soapy water, a touch of her grandfather’s tobacco still lingered.

 Spiritus/Land #2 by Miller et Bertaux

Spiritus : Land #2 Miller et Bertaux FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Top: bergamot, rosemary, incense
Heart: lavender, rose, geranium, ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg
Base: sandalwood, teak wood, patchouli, tobacco

When I got the sample for Spiritus / Land I was expecting something earthy and dirty. It has a dusty quality to it but it’s clean and fresh at the same time. I saw it described as an incense scent but this is not churchy at all. It smells more like the unlit sticks. It’s also a soapy scent. It opens somewhat herbal, fresh, and woody all at the same time and then hits you with ginger and spice. Not like dessert spices, these are spices without the sugar. The spices are prominent throughout its development and the wood notes seem to come and go. Yet for all the spice and woods it is a very clean smelling fragrance because it has a very strong soapy quality to it that persists throughout. It also seems to smell cleaner as it develops instead of getting woodier and dirtier in the base. This isn’t the modern clean of laundry fabric softener. It’s more along the lines of an old fashioned guest soap. If soap isn’t your thing you might want to pass on this one. If you’re looking for a clean scent without citrus or marine accords it might be worth a try. The lack of sweetness in the spice might make it lean more masculine to some. Longevity on the average person is probably pretty good. My scent eating skin got a few hours out of it and at the end my skin had a just out of the shower scent to it. This was the first perfume I’ve tried from this line and while it was not true love on me I imagine it would be wonderful on the right person.

Spiritus:Land #2 Spices ehowPhoto Stolen ehow

Further reading: Perfume Smellin’ Things and Now Smell This
Libertine Parfumerie has $165/100ml with FREE postage within Australia
Aedes de Venustas has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance start at $3/ml

Thanks for reading<
Poodle xx