Vetiver Tonka by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermès 2004

Hello Fellow Fumies,

I don’t know what’s going on lately but it looks like vetiver has overtaken my big white flowers as favourite note. This was unintentional, surprising and I hope it doesn’t mean my love for the BWF is dying. Also, I’ve been doing some reading, always a dangerous course for the half educated like myself, and it turns out that vetiver is becoming the plant de jour around the world for a number of things other than perfume. There are 2 types of non invasive, clumping vetiver that are being used world wide for their ability to leech the toxins from soil and water, they are also excellent for stabilising erosion, holding banks/mountains in place and creating sea walls. This is only the tip of the iceberg I feel and will be interested to see it used in the future for self-sufficient-household sanitation and water cleansing.

Hermessence Vetiver Tonka by Hermès 2004

Vetiver Tonka Hermes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Vetiver, tonka bean, lily of the valley, tobacco, caramel, praline, sandalwood, hazelnut

The caramel/resinous/LOTV open is joyous all by itself. So full throated and filled with call, like a siren or water bird floating across the brackish water of river and sea land junction. The foody stuff all combines with the tonka to create a wonderful sweet amber or crispy toffee scent that makes me want some salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb. YUMMY stuff indeed.

Vetiver Tonka Hermes Roots vetiver.orgPhoto Stolen vetiver.org

The fragrance then takes a decidedly vetiver turn on my skin, giving me a gorgeous earthy, salty, green smell like sitting on a dock above or the verandah near mudflats at low tide, it must be cooler months because there is a smoky waft carrying across to you from someones fireplace, or maybe it’s a summer Bar B Q and the sweetness still lurking is caramelising onions and sausages.

The feeling I get from Vetiver Tonka is a sense of space and freedom. It’s like a holiday, there is time to smell the unfolding of the story, the sweet warmth and earthy dankness combine to form a welcoming and pretty adventure that is both warm and very, very cool. Though it is not a sillage monster Vetiver Tonka does waft a trail and if you spray a card and leave the room, when you return it has tinted the air with a very slightly foody sweetness underlaid with a wetland breeze.

Heftier than many of the more recent J C E offerings and lasting power is decidedly longer, around 4-5 hours before I lose it, or the ability to notice it. Lately I have been using the Olympic Orchids Patchouli Lovers Soap and it is adding a very green baseline to Vetiver Tonka that darkens it and adds a couple of hours life to the whole also. The tobacco and LOTV seem to completely bypass my skin, with or without the soap, but I probably just miss them in the seamless mix that is a J C Ellena trademark: a scent story that has the most beautifully gradated transitions.

Vetiver Tonka HermesPhoto Stolen Hermès

Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Bois de Jasmin
Hermès does a great set of 4 x 15ml Hermessence of your choice $180
Surrender To Chance has Vetiver Tonka on sale for $4/.5ml

Are you a J C Ellena fan? Have you tried Hermessence Vetiver Tonka or are there favourite Vetiver or Tonka frags that you’s like to share with us? We’d love to read your thoughts.

See you tomorrow
Portia xx

Hanbury by Maria Candida Gentile 2010

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Post by Michael

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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?
Michael

Gaiac by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2005

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Post by Maya

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Hello APJ,
Recently my daughter ordered 6 perfume samples and gave them to me. She said, “These are all different from what you usually like, but they all have at least one note I know you love.” I was skeptical, but they were all nice. One really stood out,

Gaiac by M. Micallef 2005

Gaiac M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Cloves, jasmine
Base: Guaiac wood, vetiver, amber, vanilla

I should note that my love-note in Gaiac is jasmine and it’s all but invisible to me as is the vetiver in it.

I had no idea what gaiac is, but soon discovered that it is a tree, native to the tropical and subtropical Americas. It is a wood so resinous that doesn’t float. It sinks in water. Spanish Conquistadors burned it as incense, something they must have learned from the indigenous peoples, some of whom considered the tree sacred.

Gaiac M. Micallef Bulnesia sarmientoi WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

This is a lovely, low silage scent, that whispers it’s presence, but every word is audible and clear. M. Micallef lists it as masculine. I disagree. I think it is as much a feminine scent as a masculine one. When I dabbed it on, it was unexpectedly sharp, though not unpleasantly so. The sharpness faded quickly and I got sweet vanilla, spicy clove, and what had to be gaiac wood. I cannot describe the scent of gaiac wood. It’s unique and a bit exotic. The balance of the sweetness, the spice, and the wood is wonderful. The clove lessens after a few hours but the vanilla and gaiac wood stay as equal partners until the end, which is about 6-8 hours on me, except on humid days, when it fades after about 4 hours. Gaiac by M. Micallef is linear, which is fine. It doesn’t need complexity. It’s an evening around a campfire, burning gaiac wood, watching the flames dance, everyone feeling relaxed and stress free, laughing. And maybe, just maybe, some sensual feelings could awaken!

Gaiac M. Micallef Bulnesia sarmientoi WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: The Scented Hound and I Smell Therefore I Am
Parfum1 and LuckyScent have $90/30ml and $185/100ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $5/ml

Gaiac wood seems to be an underused note in perfume which is a shame. I will be looking for it in more scents. What about you? Have you tried Gaiac by M. Micallef or other fragrances containing gaiac wood?
Maya

Voleur de Roses by Michel Almairac for L`Artisan Parfumeur 1993

Hello Happy Huffers,

Just yesterday my mate Michael was at a perfume sale in Sydney and I got the call, “they have some L’Artisan on sale mate. Not a lot left and some is sprayed is there anything you want?” What a question! So there are a couple of L’Artisans that often go in the shopping basket but get ousted for other beauties at checkout time. Does anyone else do that? Fill your basket and then go back through deleting till it’s how much you want to spend? This L’Artisan has been on my want list for a long time, I love how it smells but even the name is lovely and sinuous like a line in a poem,

Voleur de Roses by L`Artisan Parfumeur 1993

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured notes in one line:
Patchouli, rose, plum

Perfume is a funny thing, everyone gets a different piece of the fragrance pie and what can smell naughty and indecent to one can ofdten smell pastel and washed out to another. Recently I put on the Facebook board FFF that I was wearing Voleur de Roses, “Currently wafting the gentle wash of Voleur de Roses by L`Artisan Parfumeur. It’s so tasteful and nice, I feel like a very good boy.” This sums up my experience with the fragrance perfectly. I get the softest, prettiest aqua tint style wash of fragrance. It is a lovely plummy rose as if you were standing inside the house with roses scent being blown in by the breeze, yes that soft. There is so much air between the notes and it sits so close to my body after an hour that it can surprise me when it huffs up my shirt later in the day because I forget I’m wearing it.

When I first spritz Voleur de Roses it smells like it might be going down the SJP Lovely road but it quickly diverts to this soft fruity rose with a super clean patchouli and a very laundry musky cuddliness. I wonder if we use something different in our laundry that other countries don’t because what I’m getting is clean, the idea of clean and airy space. Pretty linear after the initial rush it does stay around for about 4-5 hours but not in a big way.

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur Plum Roses Tracie Hall FlickrPhoto Stolen Tracie Hall Flickr

Thinking about who or where I could imagine Voleur de Roses being worn? Totally unisex and it smells amazing on my BFF Kath, though both my Aunties turned their noses well up at it on them while liking it very much on me, and soft enough but unusual enough to help you stand out quietly (funny but Now Smell This has the same idea but better expressed) and it could be a terrific date night fragrance, I’ll let you know on that score. Definitely sheer enough to be office friendly, even in the most frag phobic work spaces but it will give the message that you are quietly, and wonderfully, different from the many department store fragrance wearers.

Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur Plum Roses T Kiya FlickrPhoto Stolen T.Kiya Flickr

Further reading: Bois de Jasmine and Now Smell This
Parfum1 has $145/100ml
Beauty Encounter has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml

How does Voleur de Roses smell on you?
See you tomorrow,
Portia x

Racine by Jean Laporte for Maître Parfumeur et Gantier 1988

Heya APJ Crew,

Ever get so swept away by a review that you go hunting for the fragrance immediately? I too am no slouch in the lemming stakes. Here is a happy ending story…

Racine by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier 1988

Racine Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Vetiver, oak moss, while musk, citruses

To give you the complete truth I have been dying to own one of these bottles but the ones I tried were too close to things already in my collection. It’s hard to believe that this fun crew, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, have been around since the 1980s that is a 4 decade run in a business notorious for its patrons fickleness. Quite an achievement.

Racine Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier citrus group pixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

The opening on my skin is a zesty burst or citrussy goodness slightly warmed by what I think must be the musk/vetiver but it reads to my nose like almond. If you are yawning and switching off at the ubiquitous citrus opening you would be missing out on something fun and a little daring, the citrus is mildly effervescent, dry and bitter without any of the household cleaner aspect, whatever they have put with it keeps it playing nice. The citrus stays! Even through the soft, earthy greenness of the vetiver. For a change I get no salt shimmer from this vetiver at all.

Beyond 2 hours Racine goes quiet on me, it hasn’t gone and continues to pump a low level hum through the day with bursts of waft. On Wednesday I wore Racine for cleaning the house. Always a 3-4 hour marathon that stretches to 5 because when I finish each chore I gift myself 10 minutes on the computer with a drink, coffee or tea. Even as I was doing my last chore of the day, steam mopping the tiles, I was getting radiant whiffs of very soft Racine. Do I like it? I LOVE IT!!

Racine Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Vetiver Aqua Culture vetiver.orgPhoto Vetiver used in Aqua Culture in Brazil Stolen vetiver.org

From The Black Narcissus: Usually in perfumes of this type, the lemon or bergamot in the opening will disappear fairly quickly and be taken over by the usual contemporary architecture of cashmere woods and the like, and this is where Racine is different: rather than the constrained urbanity of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver or Lalique’s Encre Noire and their debonair, besuited attractiveness, Racine, from the Les Caprices du Dandy collection, entwines a predominant, fresh-as-a-vine, sinuous vetiver from the Réunion Isles with a sucked-on-a-lemon, imperious citrus note, combined beautifully with a mauve-hued, satin plum cushion of prune, oakmoss, geranium, and, gently intertwined, a touch of equally dry, deep-octaved patchouli.

Racine Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier citrus bubbles deviantArtPhoto Stolen thebeeskneez DeviantArt

Further reading: The review that had me swooning enough to go get Racine was The Black Narcissus and looking at old & new variants The Non Blonde
FragranceNet has Racine for $99 but with the Coupon DCRT3 it comes down to around $78
The Perfumed Court starts at $3/ml

Do you have any of the Maître Parfumeur et Gantier range? Maybe you’ve spent some Racine time? Don’t you love the bottles?
Till tomorrow,
Portia xxx

Floral No 11 by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2009

Heya Bargain Hunters,

Do you ever spend an evening trolling the fragrance discounters? Sometimes, after a windfall or I’ve paid all my bills, I set myself a budget and go hunting. A few weeks ago I did just that. there were a couple of things on my list to definitely find a good priced version of but there was about $70 spare by my reckoning to take a chance with.

Floral No 11 by M. Micallef 2009

Floral No 11 M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum
Heart: Rose, jasmine, geranium
Base: White musk, woody notes

M.Micallef’s Floral No 11 is the most ridiculously bargain priced scent for a real hark back to perfumes of days gone by. When I first sprayed Floral No 11, from the very first spritz, I felt like I was visiting an old friend. The galbanum/bergamot opening sequence like a chilled out version of CHANEL No 19, imagine #19 the morning after a really fun party, she’s washed and dressed with her usual attention to detail but her hair is a loose ponytail instead of a French twist, to her sharp chocolate/grey suit and ice blue shirt she has added a fabulous over the top Pucci scarf and an inch of heel. She is still impeccable but free-er, warmer and more human.

Floral No 11 M. Micallef Jasmine Flower DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Then, instead of heading for the cool aloofness of iris and narcissus our girl has taken a right hand turn into geranium territory, a spicy, flirty and welcoming combo with jasmine and rose. Jasmine plays peek-a-boo through the heart, you smell it and adore its slightly indolic magic and then it’s gone, you forget it and some time later get a waft of its breathiness again. There seems to be a honeyed/animalic note almost from the beginning waft, could it be the way galbanum, jasmine and musk are playing or is there a groaning whisper of honey? Around the hour mark we are in hefty vintage-fragrance sensual mode, I’m probably way wrong but there seems to be some notes missing in the list and if you told me this naughty little baby was from 1960 I would believe you. I don’t understand why this is not talked about. How is it not thought of as a modern perfumista masterpiece?

After around 4-5 hours I am left with a pretty wash of flowers, musk and woods. Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering but a good, solid, wearable close that makes up for its lack of outrageous by being comfortable and very easy. That sounds like a slur but it’s not, the fireworks have happened earlier, now we can all relax and hang out. Imagine being so comfortable in couture that you could have a ball, rather than being constrained by going to a ball. That’s how I think Floral No 11 feels.

Christian Dior: Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture S/S 2009Photo Stolen Luxussilk

FragranceNet has 100ml refills around $20 before discount coupons! (I paid just over $15 with the DCRT3 21% off coupon)

I hope you enjoyed my finding you a secret budget fragrant champion. Sometimes we are incredibly lucky.
See you tomorrow,
Portia xx

Red Cattleyea by Ellen Covey for Olympic Orchids 2010

Don’t forget to enter our Rouge Avignon GIVEAWAY<<JUMP

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Post by Poodle

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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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto Stolen MorgueFile

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

Rouge Avignon by Pierre Guillaume for Phaedon 2013 + GIVEAWAY

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Post by Val the Cookie Queen

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Hi APJ,

I received a text from my daughter last week: “Stole two spritzes of your new perfume. I feel like I could conquer the world and just hop on a plane and go anywhere I want.” No fear of her turning into a perfumista then!

Rouge Avignon by Phaedon 2013

Rouge Avignon Phaedon FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Raspberry, ylang-ylang
Heart: Rose, cacao pod, hinoki wood, tuber
Base: Vetiver, sandalwood, musk, amber

Oxana at Bloom Perfumery, London tucked a big sample of this into my bag as I left her shop. I had never heard of Phaedon, although I know Pierre Guillaume of course.

From Phaedon: A Gothic composition, as opulent and dark as the shadow of the Papal Palace looming over nations and centuries… The carmine red of the papal stole is conjured with a fleshy, spicy rose facetted by ylang-ylang and raspberry. In the heart notes, waxed woods, cocoa bean, black truffle and earthy smoky vetiver lure us into the private apartments of the Supreme Pontiff. Gilt moldings and religious ornaments glint in the firelight while gray tendrils of smoke rise from a censer burning sandalwood chips mixed with musk and amber.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon Jacopo_Pesaro_presented_St._Peter_Pope_Alexander_VI_-_Tizian WikiMediaJPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

So you know what – it´s pushing 40°c here in Austria so let´s skip the usual banter.

Rouge Avignon shocked me with it´s splendour. It´s unusual and beautiful enough that someone may well ask what you are wearing, but you don´t need an instruction manual to understand it. It’s a gliding, seamless scent and it will be a stunning fall to winter fragrance, but it is beyond fine now too. I feel an addiction coming on.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon Roses Dayle Ann ClavinPhoto used with permission: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography

Rose. Red. Opulent. Velvety. Ylang ylang. Spicy rose. Earthy rose. Gorgeous, succulent, but never gourmand raspberry. It is so vibrant and cerise and strangely pretty. But don´t be fooled, it mingles with amber and vetiver and sandalwood and musk. To all that you may indeed add a little smokiness. Dark and sparkly. The fruity note is always there though, hiding in the shadows. I could see Ann Boleyn wearing this. Quite medieval.

Rouge Avignon Phaedon  Anneboleyn WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

So you wanna try it? Thanks once again to Oxana at Bloom perfumery in London Town, I can give away three samples of it. But hey – no – not for nothing.

Rouge Avignon GIVEAWAY

Giveaway myprettypaintsPhoto Stolen myprettypaints

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

There are 3 prizes this week. Each winner will receive:

1 x Rouge Avignon by Phaedon 2013  Sample
P&H Anywhere in the world

HOW DO YOU WIN?

Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

All you need to do is tell us how you follow and exactly why this juice might float your boat!

Extra Chance?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Rouge Avignon by Phaedon GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p2fQBU-1QS #Perfume #Review #Giveaway

HOUSEKEEPING

Entries Close Midnight Sunday 18th August 2013 in Austria and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by putting names on same sized papers, folded similarly, I will then put all the names into my long dead armadillo and three winners will be drawn. Alright?.
The winners will have till Wednesday 21st August 2013 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Bussis from a melting CQ

xxxxxxxxxx

Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2012

Hey there Crew,

Sometimes when I am in touch with Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels she might mention a bottle or two that I love and she is ready to let loose, just such a one as this. I can tell she loved it for a while because there is a fair amount missing, sometimes tastes change or something along a similar vein eclipses your current bottle, a million reasons. Maybe you need to sell off a few to buy a newby, always an excellent way of keeping stuff loved and in rotation.

Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete by Guerlain 2012

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Cedar, jasmine, saffron, cardamom, laurel, oud, myrrh, patchouli, leather

BaseNotes gives theese featured accords:
Top: Laurel, Neroli
Heart: Jasmine, Patchouli, Saffron, Cedar
Base: Leather, Myrrh

Perfume Shrine tells me that Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete means Dreaming of a Summery Wood, cool summer evening maybe? Summer doesn’t really fit for me to be honest perhaps Autumn? Maybe that’s the dreaming bit? Dreaming in Autumn and Winter of the memories of a Summer wood but surrounded by the scents of winter. OK I’m on board with that. I love the beaded curtain on the bottle with tiny little Guerlain logos and bees, also the Arabic/French writing and the squarish, spare design that you can fit loads of on a shelf. Did I mention the box this comes in? It’s so ridiculously luxe all by itself.

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain Turkish Delight WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Opening up I get honeyed sweets, like baklava or sugary real Turkish Delight (some days it’s more a candied citrus) with woods and fairly early on I also get a patchouli/oudh vibe that runs baseline. Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete is woodsy and sensual, spicy, and a little waxy. It washes over me in warm, elegant waves like toffee, making everything seem fluid and the air thick. Imagine looking into a brightly lit room through 1970s amber glass, a teinte, a glow, a wash of luminous whiskey coloured grandeur. Thierry Wasser has made something regal that throws such a luscious nod to the middle east but is ensconced firmly in the heart of Paris, the oudh/patchouli clean and dinner suited. How has he made these notes into a gourmand, I seriously want to eat myself up. There are some hints of smoke and the sweaty green of cardamom/cumin adding depth and variation through Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete life.

 Turkish deLIGHTPhoto Stolen LASZLO ILYES Flickr

Through my wear I am most conscious of how amazingly international I smell. It’s as if all the sweet, delicious and pretty pieces of the middle east have been distilled into a fragrance. No dust or desert, not super sweet rose or oily, cloying, heavy and dark fragrance, no camels, tents, sand or oasis. Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete is sheer but still super fragrant, it’s like Mr Wasser has added air and space to the denseness of what we expect from the middle east. So wearable and still unusual. Guerlain from top to bottom: but 21st century Guerlain.

The deep dry down is clean sweaty skin, softest, most loved, old suede and resinous myrrh but that is far, far, far into the future. Next morning there are still viable traces of Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete. What a fragrance. Wear it everywhere if you dare.

Songe d'un Bois d'Ete Guerlain Dancers BBC.UKPhoto Stolen BBC.UK

Further reading: The Non Blonde and Olfactoria’s Travels looks at the three Les Déserts d’Orient collection
PlaceVendome in Belguim has €190/75ml and also sends to the world (Birgit bought my bottle there)
Universal Perfumes has Les Déserts d’Orient collection $276/75ml and send to the world
Surrender To Chance has Songe D’Un Bois D’Ete from $4.60/.5ml or has Les Déserts d’Orient 3 x .5ml from $13

Have you tried any of the three Les Déserts d’Orient? What was your favourite? Would you like to?
Till tomorrow we at APJ wish you health, wealth and happiness, and the ability to see them all when they come.
Portia xx

L’Heure Bleue EdP by Raymond Guerlain 1912

Hey there Perfumed Peeps,

Tonight I’m giving my fresh bathed skin L’Heure Bleue,  the modern EdP from Madeleine’s reject pile. I am totally ignoring my many other new frags for Madeleine’s unloved babies, they are seeing more wear time than anything else right now, even though I’ve still not finished opening bottles from my various travels this year. I am officially a TRAGIC, GREEDY, FRAG HOARDER!!!

L’Heure Bleue EdP (2011) by Raymond Guerlain 1912

L'Heure Bleue Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, neroli, aniseed, bergamot, coriander
Heart: Bulgarian rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, cloves, ylang, orchid, heliotrope, neroli
Base: Vanilla, Tonka bean, iris, musk, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin

There has been much talk of reformulation, IFRA regs etc, especially around some of our long term favourite and historical hallmark perfumes. L’Heure Bleue is a case in point, especially because last year was its centenary and that century has seen so many changes in fashion, materials and consumers taste. My oldest L’Heure Bleue in the collection only goes back to the 1980s and is an EdT. What happens on my skin with the modern EdP?

There is no denying that even in the 30 years across my L’Heure Bleue collection that it is changed. The opening is still definitively Guerlain, all sugared citrus candy and adding in the very slight spicy/herbal tinge. In fact for me the openings are the most similar part of the fragrance life. I can’t parse all the flowers for you but the bouquet is still gorgeous and beyond. Lighter, floatier, fluffier: the powders are silken soft and they waft gently in spring breezes compared to the heft and depth of the vintage. More floral and its lasting power is considerable less. It still has something glorious and fun, like eating PEZ in a bakery’s back alley. MMMMMMM

PEZ WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

It has had some of it’s animalics and dirty back end amputated and towards the very dry down end in about 5-6 hours, depending, I get a very clean laundry musk that first wear surprised the freakin’ shit out of me. It is nice but not something I expect from a Guerlain, maybe a Body Shop. Really, it’s not offensive, just unexpected.

Wearing the current L’Heure Bleue is fear free. I find it polite and wearable in most situations and it has moderate to low sillage now, with good wear life. I will be interested to see how it changes over the next 30 years. If I am extremely lucky.If L’Heure Bleue was released today as it is currently I think we would love it and it would probably come out in the Guerlain exclusives line, especially with DIOR’s Milly-la-Foret and CHANEL’s 28 La Pausa being popular powdery releases by the big guns.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Olfactoria’s Travels
Fragrance Shop has $74/75ml EdP
Surrencer To Chance starts at $3/ml EdP

Have you smelled any of the L’Heure Bleue formulations or strengths? Which is your favourite?
Till tomorrow, waft fragrantly,
Portia xx