Tag Archives: Myrrh

We Three Kings of Orient Are: Library of Fragrance Myrrh

myrrh

The week after my seven year old son, Leo, told me he was a King in his school play, a bottle of Library of Fragrance Myrrh landed on my doormat.  This dovetailing presented me with an opportunity too good to ignore.  Leo said he didn’t mind modelling the bottle for me on the condition that I tell you all that he actually carried gold not myrrh in the play.

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So what does it smell like?  Well, I’m a big fan of churchy smells so Myrrh is right up my street.  Myrrh is an aromatic resin that has in the past been used for embalming and as a medicine. In fact, there is a medicinal frisson to this (albeit homeopathic). It’s a cross between herbs and citrus and then beds down into the scent of incense-infused ancient stone and the infused wood of church pews (medieval for preference). This reminds me of the scent of a thurible in High Anglican Mass (St Michael’s Exeter to be precise).myrrhmahogany

In fact, I blended this with Library of Fragrance Mahogany and it was an absolute knockout. I’m talking, Hall of Fame brilliance. It reminded me of Comme Des Garcons Avignon, which I adore, but can’t afford.  Alone or layered with Mahogany, Myrrh is divinely good (pun intended) and will fill your home with the scent of the first Christmas.

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Stockists

If you move  fast, Myrrh is half price until midnight tonight (20th Dec 2016)  if you use the code SENSUALMYRRH . Otherwise, try the Library of Fragrance. website. The price is usally £15 for 30ml, which I call jolly good value.

Acknowledgements

My bottle was sent to me by Library of Fragrance PR, for which, many thanks. Photos are all my own. Thank you to Leo for agreeing to be  a Kingly model for me.

Amouage Jubilation for Women: The Gift of Kings

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The leaves on the trees are not the only ones who turn to Amber as the temperature drops.  Eschewing my fair weather hesperides, I was looking for something cosy to wrap up in and decided to try Amouage Jubilation For Women for the second time.

The first time I tried it, the weather was warm and the Vetiver aggravated my hayfever in a raspy sort of way.  Or maybe my nose was too naïve to cope with solid gold, because second time round, Jubilation is magnificent and my hayfever is a distant memory.

ImageI almost want to say never mind the top notes (I know, sacrilege) because almost from the first spray, it’s the base notes that provide the rich background for the Ylang, the Rose and the Tarragon (which aren’t very memorable). Right from the start, it’s the Patchouli, Myrrh, and Amber that are straight off the starting blocks and which envelope the less sturdy notes, showing off with their heavyweight stamina.  This is not to say they are overdone. In the cold weather when your cheeks feel chilled within minutes of leaving the house, these rich spices, along with the incense, could warm the coldest heart.

Jubilation gives me that lovely impression of old, slightly damp walls, like the walls of a Cathedral or Castle.  It’s like Aromatic ancient stone.

The prices are legendary.  I found a bottle for £208.95 for 100ml on Amazon.  I guess you could ask for it instead of an engagement ring.  Having fainted at the price, I can assure you that this is the kind of quality that you would always find in a  Perfume Hall of Fame.

To me, it smells like Aoud, even though there is none.  The Myrrh is as rich as Christmas Cake, without the sugar, and yet the Patchouli and Vetiver keep it just prickly enough to feel you’re not wearing any lightweight here.  This is the real thing.

Created in 2008, Amouage Jubilation for Women is as magnificent as its price. It is shamelessly exclusive, with the price tag keeping out the riff raff.  Even the website states ” The Gift of Kings”.  Let’s face it, they’re not going to do a Special Offer or a Buy One Get One Free anytime soon.  Amouage was created by Omani Royalty for their um…well, rich people.

But I still wish it was a leetle beet cheaper so that commoners such as myself could get a crack of the whip.  But I guess that’s the idea.  If like me, you can’t justify this eye watering price (or hide the joint bank statement), you could always try Serge Lutens Borneo 1834. It’s not quite the same, but it would certainly tick that “I NEED Patchouli NOW” box, and is of beautiful quality.

Thank you once again, for Lisa Wordbird for the loan of the sample. Even used sparingly, this is STUH-rong. and Stunning.

Avon Week: Absynthe by Christian Lacroix

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Christian LaCroix has created several fragrances exclusively for Avon: Noir for Men, Rouge for Women, Nuit For Women,  Nuit for Men, and Christian La Croix Absynthe. It’s not the usual run of the mill Avon stuff either.  Absynthe has guts and gusto and isn’t afraid to tread a tightrope away from being A Safe Bet.

 Absynthe is one of Avon’s most expensive fragrances, yet it can still be bought for as little as £12 for 50ml in some brochures.  It was created in  2009 by Laurent Le Guernec,  who has also worked on  Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker,  twelve fragrances for Bond No 9, four for Liz Claiborne,  and  Aromatics Elixir Parfumer’s Reserve for Clinique to name but a few of his successes. Despite it’s affordability and ubiquity, Absynthe is a decent scent that can stand shoulder to shoulder with more expensive contemporaries.

My lasting impression of Absynthe is that it reminds me of the bitter Greek Wine, Retsina, made of pine resin.  It opens with dry, bitter notes: Myrrh and a hint of Wood and Anise. Wormwood is strong too, as you would find in the notorious namesake drink.  Middle notes are softer and more feminine introducing flowers and a hint of pretty White Musk. The base is clearly  Amber and Musk, and the Wormwood from the opening stays true throughout.   There is a sweet note in there too, that I cannot name. I would have said Vanilla or Tonka Bean. It’s not overpoweringly sweet though, more like the sweetness of a glass of Chardonnay. I would also have described Absynthe as having Green notes too. The drydown is, to my nose, a dry, Green and Woody combination that has a refreshing bitterness. There’s a faint hint of Liquorice too, from the Anise in the opening blast.

Although LaCroix has also created Absynthe for Him, I don’t know why he bothered since this would comfortably merge from one to the other. I could easily pretend I bought this for my husband and then steal the whole damn bottle.

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Chanel Cuir de Russie: Add It To Your Stable

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Cuir de Russie is part of the Chanel range of exclusive (and elusive) fragrances; “Les Exclusifs“. Originally made in 1924, Cuir de Russie was audacious even then, as it was created to complement the then shocking trend of women smoking in public.

In 2007, it was relaunched as part of the Les Exclusifs range, and is available at Chanel Boutiques and selected  Chanel counters in larger stores, but not widely.  Chanel are not in it for the money. They know it’ll sell even if it’s hard to get hold of and costs £200 a bottle.

I have been wearing Cuir de Russie today and  throughout the day my opinion has been changing. When I first wore it, I thought it smelt vintage and also very similar to a Frederic Malle, with that same milky, stuffy base note that several of his perfumes have (according to me, at least). There is Iris in there, which maybe made me think of Malle’s Iris Poudre. (This is not a Good thing, I loathe Iris Poudre!).  However, my heart was won over by the whiff of Leather and one of my favourite incense notes: Myrrh . Myrrh not only  smells archaic and musty and beautiful, but is very hard to spell without a spell checker.

Disappointingly, Cuir de Russie does not have great staying power. I have had to reapply from my borrowed sample several times today (sorry Lisa!) to get the scent going. It’s worth it though, because after a while (and three sprays and a brisk walk), what I got was a new note that I have never smelt in a fragrance before: Horse.

Yes, this leathery beauty smells like Black Beauty. Or Champion the Wonder Horse. Or  Trigger. But I happen to love it.

If you find the £200 price tag eye watering (and who wouldn’t? ) you could always try donning  a Russian Cossack outfit, climbing on board a sweaty stallion,  and riding a leather saddle from the Urals to Moscow. Rub some Myrhh into your legs and then sniff. What have you got? Cuir de Russie.

The Animalic Horsey smell is rather sexy and sets this apart from other Leather classics. Horses smell good, so it is either a stroke of genius or a happy accident that this earthy smell of Hay and Horse has made it’s way into a Leathery Incense fragrance.  Fragrantica lists many notes that are contained in this fragrance, but I’m darned if I can smell Bergamot, Mandarin, Orange Blossom or Rose.

If you want to try Cuir de Russie and can’t get to one of the rare beauty counters that sell this, try looking for samples and decants on eBay or perfume forum sites such as Basenotes or Fragrantica.

It was shocking in 1934 and it’s shocking now. Horse notes?  Shocking.  Shocking but Great. With a capital “Gee Gee”.

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