Tag Archives: fragrance

Bruno Fazzolari Seyrig: Pure, Beautiful Nostalgia

seyrig

 

Inspired by the aldehydic motifs of late sixties and early seventies perfume, Seyrig centers on an artistic interpretation of the Syringa flower — a relative of lilac that resists olfactory extraction.  – Bruno Fazzolari

Once again I find myself swooning over a Bruno Fazzolari scent. Not only is Bruno a talented artist based in one of my favourite cities ( San Francsico), but he makes considered, unique fragrances that really make their presence felt.

Bruno very kindly sent me a sample of Seyrig recently and I was delighted to receive it.  Naturally opinions are my own.

Seyrig is complex and I will get to the notes in a minute, but here’s what happened to me when I tried it:

First of all- wax crayons and roses for a minute or two until this segues into feminine powdery lilacs.  This reminded me so strongly of my late grandmother who loved lilacs and always smelled lovely: Think Coty L’Aimant, Lily of the Valley,  talc and  soap.  Lilac was her favourite flower and colour and to smell this  evoked vivid memories from way back in the early seventies.  Maybe it was the aldehydes- so popular back then and used in Seyrig with great retro effect. This reminded me of Amouage Dia  a little, so if you like that you may like this too.

semiswede.com
semiswede.com

As Seyrig settles, there is a faint woody spice seeping in, the way a summer day becomes evening.  You can still smell the lilacs but there is a more human note.  It reminded me of the Armistead Maupin scene, written so beautifully as usual, where Brian sniffs the back of the Mary Ann’s neck and smells her “six o’clock smell” and feels crazily in love with her.  I know exactly what he means.

Here’s the notes in Seyrig: Rose de Mai Absolute, Aldehydes, Red Mandarin,  Syringa accord ( a cvousin of lilac), Ylang Ylang absolute, Muguet accord, Oakmoss, Musk , and my favourite note “radical chic” your version of which may be different to mine!

Seyrig is fabulously retro with its aldehydes, lily of the valley, lilacs and rose.  I fell for it at first sniff and well…it’s hard to type with one wrist glued to your nose.  Very addictive! Thank you Bruno.

Stockists

You can buy Seyrig from Bruno Fazzolari’s website.  .  Further stockists can be found here . He gets five stars from me for providing a great sample service where you can take $15 off the price of a full bottle when you’ve chosen.  Great idea and very customer-friendly. The price for the sample set is $35 and a full bottle of Seyrig will set you back $110.

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Gucci Bamboo: And…Rest

bamboo

I’m still in a sulk with Gucci for not bringing back Gucci Envy, so I tried Gucci Bamboo with a bitchy face on.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is a fresh break from the rich’n’cloying smellalikes that have been coming thick and fast of late.  It opened with a whisper and is still there now, all subtle and classy.

Gucci Bamboo opens with top notes of bergamot, and whilst in this case it was not zingy cologne time, it radiated like a muffled lime with lily accents- sounds like a Dulux advert doesn’t it?  Well if Gucci Bamboo were a room, it would have floor to ceiling windows and wispy white curtains billowing in a spring breeze.

keep2

pinterest.com
pinterest.com

The middle phase has the lily, orange blossom and gentle Ylang Ylang (or banana flower as I call it in my head).  There is a light floral sweetness to this that has nothing to do with the recent trend for caramel, chocolate, and candy floss in scent.  Phew!

In the basenotes, which is the phase it’s at now on my skin, there is a hint of vanilla, but it’s not that in-your-face-cakey smell that it’s so easy to get hold of these days, it’s more a soft pile of pillows that tones it all down before putting it to bed. I would almost call it a hint of powder in among the faint warmth of some very mild amber.

Gucci Bamboo is absolutely perfect as a daytime scent and to me, it had a nostalgia that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  In any case, as a new release it stands apart from the crowd as a gentle “Shhh” among the noise.

Stockists

Gucci Bamboo is available from FragranceDirect, Escentual,  and Boots to name but a few.

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Marc Jacobs Decadence

marc jacobs decadence

 

Famous for his fabulous show stopping bottles, Marc Jacobs usually puts his money where his mouth is and produces good quality scent.  Not all of it is my cup of tea, but I respect the brand and like his work.  Not that my opinion will rock his world either way- they all shoot up the bestseller list without my help, as will Marc Jacobs Decadence.

I tried Decadence today after walking past the bottle twice thinking it was a free bag that you get with the bottle.  I opened the bag to find a little spray nozzle inside- how cute!  I was charmed.  I duly slathered on a good tsunami of it so it wouldn’t wear off by the time I got home (and it hasn’t).

Decadence opens with saffron and plum.  I also found the amber and vetiver comes through straight away making this  fruity and rich at the same time.  It’s heady stuff- It doesn’t pass the DayJob test at all so don’t wear it to the office.  Saffron, plum, amber and vetiver- all these come at you with a sledgehammer.  The 2015 Scent du Jour of Jasmine Sambac is also noticeable, as is  a hint of rose, although poor rose gets  a bit overlooked with everything else going on.

Decadence smells very masculine, but that doesn’t put me off.  There were  moments when this reminded me strongly of Elie Saab, and then for a few moments, it reminded me, oddly enough, of Paco Rabanne 1Million Cologne.  There is a rich statement-making trail to Decadence and I reckon it will scent many a night out for at least the next two years.  You will smell it in restaurants, powder rooms and wine bars and say “Oh! That’s Marc Jacobs Decadence, I’d know it anywhere” and you may or may not feel glad that it’s nudged Angel off the  Top Spot for a bit.  Mystic Sam also predicts it will a total sell out at Christmas too.

Whilst I don’t love this myself, I do like it  and  the bottle is good enough to buy on its own – it would grace any dressing table and it should , and probably will, win awards.

Stockists

You will find Marc Jacobs Decadence is stocked widely.  You could try House of Fraser, The Fragrance Shop, or Amazon UK. Prices are in the region of £49 and vary according to stockist.

Friedemodin Rosée de Nuit

Friedemodin
Friedemodin

Inspired by our childhood gardens in northern Sweden and Germany, we invite you on our olfactory journey. Insert the key and enter through the heavy wooden door to find yourself in the wild enchanted garden surrounded by the beautiful scents of green leafy plants, jasmin and fresh herbs.

 

Friedemodin is the brainchild of Elisabeth Modin and Nina Friede.  The collection of four scents encapsulates their combined love of travel and fragrance.  Previously on this blog I have reviewed Vertine and Jardin Mystique, both of which were excellent, and today I am reviewing Rosée de Nuit.

pinterest
pinterest

Incongruously, there are no roses, as you would expect.  However, I could swear there was a whisper of lovely satin rose petal in the background.  There is a light airiness about the Friedemodin collection that reminds me of watercolour paintings.  If you read the notes in each perfume, you would  think these would be hard hitters with monster sillage, but in fact they are gentle and even ethereal.

www.123rf.com
www.123rf.com

Rosée de Nuit has definite woody notes and comes at this from several angles:  there’s teak, there’s “Woodsy notes” (thanks Fragrantica!) and there’s sandalwood and allspice.  But overall, this is gentle petals in a sylvan surrounding, with a hint of spice floating on air.

Maybe it’s the patchouli or the violet or the combination of both, but this is an incredibly elegant feminine perfume that makes me feel wonderful.

Stockists:

Friedemodin Rosée de Nuit is available online from the website, or from Harvey Nichols.  Further stockists are listed on the website here.

Rihanna Rogue: Hiding a Surprise

rihanna3
www.styleite.com

I was in my local chemist yesterday waiting a long time for my husband’s prescription.  The fragrance of the week was on the counter, and like a moth to a flame, I naturally had to completely drench myself in it.  It was Rihanna’s Rogue, which I had never tried before. Expectations were low.  A little cynical voice in my had said “Nah, just another celeb-bandwagon-thingy” and as I smelled it I thought “If this was air freshener it would be called Vanilla Bouquet”. I was unimpressed with the initial melange of fruit, flowers and vanilla overkill and thought little more of it.

But wait! After getting home about half an hour later I sniffed the air and thought “I can smell Serge Lutens Daim Blond”. That’s the second time this week my olfactory memory has come up with the file on Serge Lutens.  It must be the universe’s way of telling me to buy one.

www.styleite.com

I looked on Fragrantica to see if I was alone in finding this similarity.  I was not.  Well sort of.  Several readers voted that Rogue smelled similar to Bottega Veneta, which in turn is also voted on as smelling like Daim Blond, so indirectly we were on the same page ( well the same site anyway). With a base note of vanilla and suede, Rogue is like a slightly less smooth version of Daim Blond’s distinctive suede and apricot finish.  Rogue is not as seamlessly blended, nor as long lasting, but it is about one sixth of the price.  Neither does it have apricots, but rather plums and vanilla, but the similarities rang out nonetheless.

So whether it was homage or a happy accident, fans of Serge Lutens Daim Blond may have a low budget treat on their hands.

Here it comes…

I found love in a hopeless place.

Stockists

Rihanna Rogue is widely available.  Try Amazon UK, Lloyds Pharmacy, or allbeauty.  It’s currently on offer for around ten quid. Serge Lutens Daim Blond is available from Escentual and Amazon.com.

Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue: My Lofty Classic

5th

 

Elizabeth Arden fragrances,although  very reasonably priced, can be hit and miss:

Hits: Fifth Avenue, Untold, Green Tea and all its flankers, Sunflowers Summer Bloom, Blue Grass

Misses: Sunflowers, Red Door, Mediterranean, Splendor, True Love.

My lists are of course purely subjective, but I would add a great big thumbs up to Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue, which I am reviewing today. It deserves a place right at the helm of the Hit list. Fifth Avenue was created in 1996 by legendary nose Ann Gottlieb  and to me, it has stood the test of time where others have fallen.  With it’s light feminine florals and its warm amber base, I would go as far as to say it has a lot in common with Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps.

lazada.com.ph
lazada.com.ph

I mistakenly thought that Fifth Avenue was all about freesia, but in fact I find there is no freesia in it.  Instead, it is chock full of the most classic florals, namely rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, violet, iris, tuberose, lilac and carnation. If flowers had their own version of Who’s Who , all these would be in it. Rather than being cloying though, this floribunda of an accord is lightened with citruses in the opening gambit, bedding down to a floral base with hints of white musk and amber.  Unlike several other Elizabeth Arden scents, lasting power is pretty good.  I thought I’d lost it after an hour or two, but it wafted back to me in the evening when I let my hair down (in the literal sense, I didn’t go and party when the kids were in bed).

I like Fifth Avenue so much that I have a 125ml bottle on my dressing table and its sky scraper style bottle dwarfs my collection with its lofty glass column and its gold lid. I call this a classic, and I call it great value too.  It’s a pretty safe bet as a gift too- it’s sure to please anyone who likes floral scents without killing bystanders ( Hey, Angel, I’m talking to you!)

Stockists

Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue is currently available for a bargain price  at allbeauty.com and is widely available on your High Street or on Amazon UK.

Library of Fragrance Pipe Tobacco: Indulge in Alchemy

 

pipe

I have reviewed many Library of Fragrance scents now and I remain a big fan.  The reasons I love the brand are twofold: You can pick out your favourite notes and wear them alone ( Musk #7 is  a good start or Iris), or you can do a bit of perfume DIY and layer different notes over others until you find a  favourite combo. Either way, at £15 for 30ml, it’s win/win.

 

Today I am reviewing Library of Fragrance Pipe Tobacco and it’s sort of a two pronged review.

McGaheys
McGaheys

Firstly- Pipe Tobacco on its own smells authentically like Pipe Tobacco.  This naturally, won’t come as a surprise to you, but Pipe Tobacco on its own is a rather appealing smell, and if you ever pass that rare thing, a tobacconists, then do pop in and sniff the air.  It’s a kind of toasted dry woody scent with hints of richness and dark fruit.  It reminds me particular of a wonderful old tobacconists in Exeter called McGahey.

During my university days there, my friend Pippa and I would go and buy posh cigarettes to go to a ball with ( This was in the 80s when smoking was trendy and often done alongside cheap red wine whilst wearing too much LouLou).  St Moritz would be a favourite as they had a posh cover and gold foil on the filters and were by appointment to one of the European Royal families that you find in Hello Magazine ( but I digress).  Inside McGahey the shelves were wooden and the jars were see through and it always smelled like an old wood panelled study. In fact, I did occasionally see a professor in there.

homepage

Pipe tobacco may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found a lot to like about it.

So here’s the second prong of my review:  layer Pipe Tobacco over Library of Fragrance Mahogany and you have a gorgeous woody, spicy, dry scent that made me swoon.  In fact, ( and purists will pelt me with tomatoes for this)  it reminded me of Serge Lutens Chergui when layered together. You have here notes of the aforementioned toasty warm woods, whiffs of hay, the faintest hint of liquorice, spice, dark oak and tobacco.  Together they are dynamite. Worn together yuou have the most terrific woody Autumnal combo with a masculine edge that smells a lot more expensive than it costs.

When people throw tomatoes at you, make chutney.

Stockists

Library of Fragrance Pipe Tobacco and Library of Fragrance Mahogany are available from the website.  Boots also carries a range of Library of Fragrance scents at £15 or £25 for two.

Paco Rabanne Olympéa  

fragrantica
fragrantica

 

Ah Paco Rabanne!  That shy retiring wallflower of the fragrant firmament! So meek and subtle…you would barely know it was there…

Anyway, getting back to reality, Paco Rabanne, ( who are still getting dirty looks off me for creating 1Million), has launched another heavy hitter in the form of Olympéa.  I tried it today and I have to say that whilst there is a lot to respect and admire, it’s not my cup of tea or pot of jam.

Opening with a blast of creamy vanilla and white flowers, this is so thick, rich and heavy that I am surprised it is a summer launch.  I thought there was a miniscule droplet of Oud at its heart, but I was mistaken- but that might give you an inkling at how heavy this is.  Two hours later it has bedded down into a woody sweetness, that, were it not for the vanilla, I would possibly have liked more.  It’s faded a lot though in two hours, so I’m not blown away by its longevity- I had to sniff hard to find it. Vanilla isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I guess I have to suck it up until it passes.

Nevertheless, Olympéa will do well on its own without my perfume dollar.  To me though, it was like extract of crême brulée with extra double cream and vanilla beans on top of that, covered with sugar with a heady bunch of jasmine next to it on the table, interfering with the food.  One bite is all I’d want.

Stockists

Paco Rabanne Olympea is available from The Perfume Shop, Boots, and Escentual.

4160 Tuesdays Pillow Talk: Come Here

 

escentual.com
4160 Tuesdays

 Pillow Talk is one of the latest launches from Sarah McCartney, Grande Dame of 4160 Tuesdays. Sarah doesn’t over- launch or saturate us, but neither does she let the grass grow under her feet.

 As always, there is a charming backstory to it.  A Hollywood Agent dropped into 4160 HQ at Issigonis House ( it’s very nice, like a parlour) with the idea of launching her own scent.  Whilst that project didn’t have lift off, the resulting perfume did and is now Pillow Talk.

 Pillow Talk was intended as the smell of a shared pillow upon which secrets are shared as intimacy grows. To me, it brings to mind hotel rooms rather than bedroom: Posh country hotels where you go for a mini break once the dating has hit its stride and you tell them that you were secretly married and have a police record, and they don’t mind because they have a love child in Venezuela- you know how it goes…

Darling, I have a love child in Venezuela...
Darling, I have a secret love child in Venezuela… (Express.co.uk)

I will say though, that this has a strong accord in common with 4160 Tuesdays Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO), so if you don’t like that I’m not sure this will be your  cup of tea (Earl Grey, of course)

 As visual as it is, and I find all 4160 scents very visual,  I could not find a way into Pillow Talk, so I asked my son.  My son Freddie is nine and memorably declared that Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac smelled like “hot sand” .  So I sprayed my arm and said “sniff this and say the first thing that come into your head” and without hesitation, he said “Liquorice”.

escentual.com
4160 Tuesdays

It did!  Liquorice!  Not listed, not included, but somehow, there is a hint of liquorice in this.  I often find this happens- my nose finds a random note that has gone rogue.  Either liquorice is in my olfactory memory and imprinted on this scent, or two notes have a baby and make a third note out of the juxtaposition. Either way, I smelled Liquorice.

 Liquorice was was my way in.  Once I had liquorice, it opened a portal into heavy, dark woods (dark oak panelling  for some reason) which in turn led to vanilla, but not sweet shop vanilla, more drunken boozy liquor,  then a fuzzy background of bergamot, followed by indelicate flowers.  No petals, no tweeness: this is ladies’ talc on a thigh.  It’s a bit spicy, but there’s no spice.  It reminds me of the smell of the bed just after my lovely husband has left it, before his shower: a masculine undertow, but faded from the day before. The intimacy is there, and a tiny hint of complacency has set in. So what if I left make up on the pillow?  He already fancies me….

 Pillow Talk scores a ten on the nuzzle-o-meter

Stockists

You can buy all 4160 Tuesdays scents from the website, and recently Escentual has started stocking them too,  Further stockist information is here. My sample was kindly sent to me by Sarah McCartney, to whom I am enormously grateful. Opinions are my ow

The Body Shop Italian Summer Fig EDT

 

figbox

 

I popped into my local Body Shop today and was delighted to see a classy display of fragrances in beautiful faceted glass bottles.  There were the regulars: Atlas Mountain Rose and Fijian Water Lotus among them, and a new fragrance I hadn’t seen before that had a summery looking green juice.  That fragrance was Italian Summer Fig and I can report that it is truly scrumptious.

 

Telegraph.co.uk
Telegraph.co.uk

Fig works very well in summer,  after all, its good enough for our continental cousins who know a thing or two about heat.  It reminds me of perfumed sultanas:  the fruit is deep and rich, yet aromatic and tangy too. With obvious comparisons of L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier drifting in and out of my scent memory, I helped myself to several squirts and ten hours later I can still smell traces of it- not bad for an eau de toilette.

The notes, according to our trusty friends at Fragrantica, are:

 Top notes: Fig, green notes and vine

Middle notes: Rose, saffron and floral notes

Base notes: Oak and amber

In fact, on me, although it opens and closes with fig, there are definite traces of flowers, especially rose, and I got a whiff of woodiness at the end, which I always thinks  complements fig so well

Italian Summer Fig makes a refreshing choice for summer and I applaud the Body Shop for going down this route rather than the more traditional mainstream routes so often found in summer. My only criticism is that I like to see purse spray versions of new scents available so you can make your mind up before buying a full sized bottle.  Marks and Spencer does this and I love treating myself to an affordable handbag spray. You can get purse sprays containing some of the other fragrances in the Body Shop range for £5 for 10ml, so maybe this plan is in the pipeline.

 Stockists

 Italian Summer Fig  is available from the Body Shop in store and online and retails at £18 for 50ml. Ancillary products are also available so you can layer the fragrance  nicely.