Jungle L’Elephant by Dominique Ropion for Kenzo 1996

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Post by Chairman Meow

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Jungle L’Elephant by Kenzo 1996

Jungle L'Elephant FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, Cardamom, Cumin, Clove
Middle: Ylang-Ylang, Licorice, Mango, Heliotrope
Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Amber, Cashmeran

You’ll notice that plum is not listed as a note, which is intriguing, because to me it is the overarching theme in this scent. And what a shape shifter of a plum it is, taking on various guises, some more pleasant than others.
Pernicious Plum

L’Elephant opens off as a melange of dried fruit peel and spices, of which clove is quite prominent. I often have difficulty with this little nail of a flower bud, and its fondness of hijacking whatever perfume it takes a ride in, though thankfully here it is more dulcet compared with the rugged variety you might encounter in, say, Noir Epices. I can detect cinnamon, the everyman, the spice equivalent of Bruce Willis, who offends no one. It took some convincing that I could smell any cardamom, so for sport’s sake I spent some time snuffling away on some bashed up cardamom seeds that I balanced on the scented part of my arm. It’s there! It works! A random but recommended activity. Sitting in the background of the peel and the spices, like some shady trench-coated nogoodnik, is a sinister almond-y waft redolent of cyanide from the pit of the plum, which I’m taking to be the heliotrope.

Jungle L'Elephant MorgueFilePhoto Stolen MorgueFile

A recurring theme that you’ll encounter in reading reviews about L’Elephant is that it is a “strong” perfume, ambiguous word such as it is. People could be referring to the sillage, which is certainly impressive for the first hour or so before settling to a much more sociable pitch. They may be speaking of the longevity, for indeed it does have the endurance of several oxen. Alternatively, they may be talking about the paint blistering gust of nail varnish remover that sears the nostrils on first spray. I call it The Curse of Sally Hansen, and it persists for quite some time. Sally does eventually pack up her nail file and shuffle off, albeit reluctantly and with furtive backwards glances, and that’s when L’Elephant is at its most enjoyable. Yum Plum

The sinophiles (lovers of Chinese culture) amongst us may be familiar with the salty-sweet dried plums that go by variety of different names. I know them by their Cantonese name of Wah Mui. Imagine something that Shrek might excavate from his nose and you get a pretty good idea of what they look like.

Jungle L'Elephant Dried Plums WantChinaTimesPicture Stolen WantChinaTimes

Wah Mui are coated with a liquorice infused powdered sugar which, as a 7 year old, I found to be the best bit, actually the only edible bit, which would be licked off before abandoning the actual plum. I am transported to this memory in the late dry down of L’Elephant, hours after application, when you can finally approach the thing without a hazmat suit, and can detect the soft purr of the vanilla and amber. Later still, as L’Elephant is in its death throes, I think I can smell something indefinably wood-like, and then it expires.

Jungle L'Elephant Kenzo Elephants MorgueFilePhoto Stolen MorgueFile

Further reading: Another Perfume Blog and Bois de Jasmin
Beauty Encounter have $45/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $3/ml

I haven’t found L’Elephant an easy love, but it does have legions of admirers. I suspect that had it been produced by a niche house, was double the price, had a slick ad copy and had listed as one of its notes an “accord of oriental desiccated plum snack”, it would have had the cogniscenti misty- eyed and lisping “JEEY-nius!”, and been awarded a swathe of Fifi’s.

See you next month,
Chairman Meow xxx

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Flower by Alberto Morillas for Kenzo Fragrance 2000 Perfume Review and 2013 Ad Campaign

Hello Lovely APJ Family,

Flower by Kenzo Fragrance 2000

KenzoFlower FragranricaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, hawthorn, Bugarian rose, blackcurrant
Heart: Parma violet, rose, opoponax, jasmine
Base: Vanilla, white musk, incense and woody notes

I was given an ENORMOUS bottle of this by my girlfriend Annie, every time I spritz, or smell someone in the street wearing, Flower I think of her and the great big hugs she gives, her warmth, fun and joyfulness. Because Flower is so sheer and spare it’s hard to believe there are so many ingredients that make it come together. Also there have been so many imitations of its style that I am at a loss to remember how ground breaking it was when it was first released. That hefty airiness that doesn’t skunk but has impressive sillage, so that as you waft fragrantly past someone they are entranced by your scent, a la Perfume by Patrick Suskind, or a room slowly fills with your fragrance and you can smell it softly on return to the room, but not in a pushy intrusive way, just a haunting memory.

It opens green and fresh on me with a sharp sweetness, then the warm resinous bouquet slowly takes over until a clean, warm musky vanilla finishes the story in around 4-6 hours depending on the day and whether I’m moisturised.

PoppyField girlservesworldPhoto Stolen GirlServesWorld

Interestingly Tania Sanchez in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide says that, “Albert Morillas almost certainly knew Caron’s Royal Bain de Champagne (now Royal Bain de Caron) by heart when he replicated it and added a splash of hedione to make Flower, but it seems no one else knew….” but I have only a modern incarnation of Royal Bain de Caron for comparison and they seem only distantly related.

I love the 2013 ad campaign, the lightness and airiness of the poppies flying through the air isa a perfect symbolism for this still lovely fragrance.

See you tomorrow,

Portia xx

Flower by Kenzo Fragrance 2013 Ad Campaign

Picture provided by one of my go-to fashion bloggers art8amby

The campaign girl is Chinese/Taiwanese actress, Shu Qi.

Image via TFS.

L’Eau Par Kenzo by Olivier Cresp for Kenzo 1998

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Guest Post by EmmaKate

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L’Eau Par Kenzo by Kenzo 1998

This fragrance marks the beginning of my love affair with all things fragrance.

L'EauParKenzo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green lilac, mint, reed, mandarin orange, red pepper
Heart: Water lily, amaryllis, white peach, rose, pepper, violet
Base: White musk, cedar, vanilla

I was sitting in the perfume connection, in a group interview for Christmas casual positions and they were testing our noses. They sprayed about 12 fragrances and I can tell you nothing about them, except for l’eau par Kenzo. This fragrance struck me from the very first moment I smelt it. It is light and fresh, with a slightly spicy edge. It opens with a cucumber/watermelonesque fresh aquatic feel, dries down with a subtle peppery warm feel.

When I wear L’Eau Par Kenzo I feel clean, fresh and summery. I have this sense of calm joy, like walking through the shallow waters of a tropical beach.

tropical-beach ClearViewTravelPhoto Stolen ClearViewTravel

It is my quintessential fragrance, so much so that when a friend has worn this out she has been told she smelt like me. I have even been snorted by a good friend in David Jones (Ed: one of our prestige department stores in Australia) whilst wearing it. 😉

It is a very easy fragrance to wear that makes you feel great!

L’Eau Par Kenzo is becoming harder and harder to find. If you see it buy it!

FragranceNet has 50ml around $35

See you next month,
EmmaKate

Here is the ad

SUNDAY QUICKSNIFF REVIEW #7

Hey Hey Scent Hogs,

These are quick looks at a few of the fragrances I wore this week for my own fragrance pleasure. The Sunday QuickSniff Review page is opened on Monday morning and every time I spritz and am near the computer I’ll give a 3 sentence review with a rating out of 5 each for, well, see the key after the reviews. Often these are samples I’ve bought or had sent to me by friends, or a FB that I may fully review later, or have done before and want to remind you of its existence.

BELOVED by AMOUAGE 2012. This opens sensationally on me. A big fat old fashioned sparkling spicy floral with depth and character, you can smell the deep drumming of the animalic, vanilla and amberish undercurrents. It’s so sexy as it starts pounding out its syncopated ululation, flowers, animals, herbs, wood, flowers, balsam, spices, cat. Unfortunately after less than an hour it becomes the merest whisper of a skin scent on me (this is my 4th spritz in a day) but everyone else that I’ve read reviews from gets hours and hours, GRRRRR.  S=***** L=** D=****

KENZO FLOWER EdT by KENZO 2000. I received this bottle from Annie, THANKS!! Usually fresh, aqueous fragrances aren’t my thing, but maybe my nose is evolving because this is dynamite!! On my skin the hawthorn is cool GREEN and the resin, vanilla and musk ironically completely overtake any flowers that might have been there making me think of torn leaves and broken branches. A thoroughly delicious, light, bright, sparkling fragrance that has deceptive sillage and longevity too. FragranceShop has 50ml Tester for $38 S=**** L=**** D=****

BADGLEY MISCHKA Parfum 2006. OMFG!! On my skin this opens so SWEET, AARRGH. The peach and red berries are gut wrenchingly, tooth achingly, pant for oxygen sweet and almost had me running to the shower but I pushed through and WOW am I glad I did. This is a serenade, a love song and a poem; it calms down after 5 minutes into an amazing warm and delicious, slightly foody floral chypre that dies down to hours and hours of almost masculine, sexy woods, resins and musky caramel YUM. FragranceNet has 15ml for under $20 S=**** L=***** D=****

SUNFLOWERS by ELIZABETH ARDEN 1993. Years ago I used to wear this all the time, I was going through a phase where I decided one perfume in my cupboard was enough. I loved it so much and thought I smelled delicious until someone had a word, I was devastated and stopped wearing it, throwing the bottle in the bin. Tonight I was working with a girlfriend and the most glorious fruit juicy white floral and warm spicy perfume was wafting around, it was so divine I thought it must be an expensive niche tuberose but it was Sunflowers and she smelled awesome. FragranceX has 100ml under $20  S=***** L=**** D=*****


Photo Stolen from shirtsays

Scent, Obviously the number 1 priority here is how does it smell. My reviews are completely subjective and will differ widely from your own experience with the scent but it’s a good starting point. As yet I am not a trained perfumer so any and all descriptions are merely that, descriptions. There are plenty of blogs that offer technical details and chemistry, in 3 sentences I’ll pass.
Longevity, This is a biggie for me because like enfleurage where flower petals are left in fats to steal the scent, my fatty body works the same and eats it up, yum. So for a scent to last well on me, it will probably last a whole day on you and need a radioactive decontamination shower to defuse it from your skin.
Desirabilty, Wrapped up in this is scent, price, house, history, longevity, packaging, availability and a billion other things.

Photo Stolen from bittbox

* in any of these being the, “You couldn’t pay enough to spray this God awful stink on me again, it smells like public toilets in India, long time fridge malfunction while on Summer holiday and the vile stench of poverty all rolled into one.” You are putting innocent people in danger if you wear this.
** means it’s a nothing, wearable, boring, maybe the price is prohibitive for what you get or it’s ubiquitous. You should definitely get a sample of this to stop a buying boo boo.
*** is a perfectly good product that smells good and lasts a while at a decent price. You should definitely think about trying a sample or squirt but should you miss out your life will continue. Sample size worthy.
**** is the one you try, want a lot but can wait for a birthday/Christmas. It’s better than most of the stuff you’ve sniffed and may fill a void in your library. This is also an excellent decant product 5ml will get you through the season and maybe buy it next year.
***** meaning, stop reading this, grab your cash, credit card (or partners), roll the elderly or rob a petrol station and purchase this product. NOW! If you don’t have this fragrance you could die.

Hopefully this has given you a little inside track on fragrances to might buy, want, avoid, sample. What delicious bits and pieces did you try this week?

Portia xx