Tag Archives: Rose perfume

Parfums de Marly Delina: This Extravagant Beauty

The thing I love about discovery boxes is that they put brands under your nose that would otherwise have been off your radar. This was the story with Parfums de Marly Delina- a brand and a scent I had never even heard of. I found this sample in the Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box.

Parfums de Marly was established in France in 2009 and Delina is its most recent launch.  There is a group of noses (can we please think of a word to describe a group of noses?) who work together and alone on the fragrance collection.  Delina was created by Quentin Bisch. The brand name comes from the Louis XVI era of extravagance and luxury that ended with revolution.  Louis dedicated the Chateau de Marly to his beloved horses and celebrated  each race victory with new fragrances.  Louis had his own court perfumer in Jean Fargeon so  all this scented extravagance  makes for a fertile place for inspiration.

Delina opens with bergamot, rhubarb, lychee (or litchi). Middle notes are Turkish rose, lily of the valley and peony. Base notes are vanilla, musk and cashmeran.

On paper, this looks like it would make for an overly fruity opening, but in fact the rose and the rhubarb kind of burst out at the same time.  I love how well these two go together. The rose gets jammy but never sticky and the rhubarb adds a thick richness to the roses.  The musk pitches in fairly early on and softens all the edges, making this in my mind at least, a thick velvety deep rose blanket with delicate fruity nuances darting around delicately.

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The base contains cashmeran, which according to Fragrantica (because I’d never heard of it) has a wet concrete facet, and funnily enough, I could detect this in the background.  Rather than being a disaster, it adds a pleasant dampness to proceedings, like wet stone.  Thankfully the vanilla was either part of the rhubarb note or was playing quietly in the distance. It didn’t overtake. This one is all about rose and rhubarb together. They go so well I’m amazed more people aren’t doing it.

photo from Fragrantica

I’m delighted to see that rhubarb does seem to be enjoying a renaissance lately, however. It features in Thierry Mugler Aura and also in Aedes de Venustas eau de parfum (the first one). I also found it in Jour D’Hermes but I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be in there. If I had to isolate a rhubarb note I would describe it as juicy, green, sharp like a gooseberry and sweet like deep red apples. It has a wintery feel that soaks up spices particularly well.  Now I’m thinking about rhubarb crumble. Oh boy.

Parfums de Marly Delina is very long lasting. Two sprays on each arm from my sample kept me going all day with delightful rosy, rhubarb wafts.  It doesn’t come cheap, but when I look at the beautiful moulded pale powder pink bottle I ache to own it. #greed

Stockists

My sample was included in the Perfume Society Latest Launches Discovery Box, but you can also buy  a full bottle from Selfridges and House of Fraser. Prices start at £175 so try before you buy.  I’ve tried and I want to buy.

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Paul Smith Portrait For Women: Where Do You Go to My Lovely?

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“And you sip your Napoleon brandy, but you never get your lips wet”

I was recently sent a bottle of this by a dear friend of the blog, and of me, Rachael.  For which, many thanks.  Paul Smith Portrait was inspired by his love of travel and photography and Portrait is the result of a collaboration with Barnabe Fillion.

I was unsure what to make of Portrait at first, but the more I have worn it, the more I like it.  My initial thoughts were of roses, and the rest came together later, like a jigsaw.  The roses are restrained and demure,  and stay neatly in their place.  This is a very classy scent that never puts a foot wrong.

The rose note has been coaxed out of its tendency to dominate by the inclusion of bergamot and green tea. These classically green notes transorm the rose into an airy scent with a translucent feel. The middle notes add jasmine to the chorus, establishing this firmly as a green floral.  In fact, the inclusion of the tea note made me think of Penhaligon’s Malabah.

In the base there  nestles clean laundry musks and a hint of resin, although just a faintly spiced toe in the water, rather than fully formed spicy rocks and balsam.

Paul Smith Portrait is subtle, feminine and clean. It’s a gentle floral that will appeal to your girly side when you’re trying to tone down your inner tigress.  Paul Smith Portrait For Women  is that wide eyed face you pull when you say “Who me?  How could you think it?”

Stockists

Paul Smith Portrait for Women is available from Fragrance Direct  or from the Paul Smith website.

Acknowledgments. Photo from PaulSmith.com.  Opinions are my own Bottle from Rachael P.  Big cwtch from me to you. x

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Hermès Galop D’Hermès by Christine Nagel 2016

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Galop D’Hermès is the much-anticipated latest launch from Hermès. There are two things about it which excite me.  Firstly, it is perfume i.e not eau de parfum or eau de toilette, but actual perfume.  Secondly, it was made by Christine Nagel, who is nothing less than legendary.

I will begin by saying that if leather is not your thing, then you may wish to sit this one out. Galop D’Hermès is all about the leather. However, it’s not just leather, because that’s been done. Galop D’Hermès is more about a power struggle between a feminine side and a masculine side.  As it turns out, neither wins and both are victorious.

In the opening there is leather straight away. Top notes are listed as being quince and saffron. Quince might be an unusual choice, and indeed, it only makes a brief cameo, but somehow it stops the dry, spicy saffron getting too sober. The middle phase heads straight into leather and Turkish rose territory and pretty much stays put. This is what gives Galop it’s USP. The rose and leather are so seamlessly blended that you cannot decide whether the saddle is made of roses or whether the rose has leather petals.

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The leather, it must be said, is terrific. It’s unmistakably horsey, as the name would suggest, but it has a softness that comes from the unfinished inside of a belt: the rougher, unpolished side. This isn’t Sloaney Hermes, this is real, battered leather and being of perfume concentration, this is what you leave in your wake and on your pillow the next day.

If you like the sound of this, then you will love Galop D’Hermès.

Stockists

You can buy Galop D’Hermès from John Lewis.  Brace yourself. It’s not cheap. Alternatively, you can do as I did, and buy a Precious Perfumes Discovery Box  from The Perfume Society which has a generous perfume strength sample.

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Floris White Rose: Perfection

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I have in my possession a small sample of Floris White Rose, and if I can possibly engineer it, I will soon have a full size bottle. Not only is this a dream-come-true sort of fragrance for me, but it has the loveliest whimsical background. Created way back in the early 1800s ( I can’t find the exact year), this was worn by Florence Nightingale, and rumoured to have been presented to Lady Emma Hamilton by Admiral Nelson. Now that’s what I call an impressive backstory.

Rumoured fan: Lady Emma Hamilton
Rumoured fan: Lady Emma Hamilton

Despite its fascinating heritage, this smells surprisingly modern. Roses have been done in every possible permutation within the fragrance industry. I’m certainly not saying this is a bad thing- quite the opposite-but a good rose scent has to be clever enough to stand apart from the competition, and this one does. White Rose had me all a-quiver.

White Rose has many layers. It opens with a burst of roses, which are never allowed to dominate. The carnations vie for attention straight away and this becomes a great double act. The carnations are, in turn, softened up by gentle violets and subtle clean musks. You can find sobering iris in there, as well as warm amber, but it’s those violets that kept calling my name. The carnations add  a grown up spikiness to it. The musk softens the base and the amber warms it all up.  Round this off with a delicate powdery finish and you have an uplifting musky floral that knocked my socks off. Every note works in chorus with the others, seguing from one to the other until it finds a stunning harmony. It’s clean, pretty, feminine and brought out shameless greed in me. I’m on a mission to own a big size one.

Longevity is excellent at around eight hours.

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Stockists

You can buy Floris White Rose from Floris, John Lewis or Amazon UK.

Photo credits

Top photo: Fragrantica. Photo of Lady Emma Hamilton by talesofcuriosity.com. Photo of Floris by The Telegraph.

 

4160 Tuesdays Raw Silk and Red Roses

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I wanted to make a really rosy rose, a 1980s style scent, like a walk through a rose garden. I love my rose fragrances, and although I’ve been dabbling with rose and violet, rose and herbs and rose and vetivert, I’d wanted to take the plunge with pure rose. – Sarah McCartney

When I received my box of treats from 4160 Tuesdays last week, looking like Quality Street for grown ups, the first one I tried was Raw Silk and Red Roses. It was instant love for keeps. It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best rose scents I have ever smelled, and I’ve smelled A Lot.

At first spray, this smells delicate and retro, like breath sweets or rose water ( only amplified), and then I smell a bunch of my beloved violets. There are no violets, but maybe the rose breath sweets are so intrinsically linked with violet ones that I can’t help it. The sweetness is Middle Eastern aromatic- yes, I’m going to say Turkish Delight, without sugariness, and that’s a compliment because I love that too. However Raw Silk and Red Roses then drops its veils one by one. There’s peppery geranium to add a little oomph. There’s peach and plum,( don’t panic peach-dodgers, its great) and vintage musk.

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However, what I got was an almost creamy almondy hint, that makes this a proper grown up lady perfume to me. The patchouli and musk gives this a real clout that showcases the rose and makes it the star.

It makes me feel like I should put my pearls on and make witty retorts. It makes me feel that to wear scruffy clothes whilst wearing it would be rude. If this had been available ten years ago when I got married, I would have worn it on my wedding day.

Longevity is great- at the end of the day I was catching little whiffs as I got comfy on the sofa in the evening ( in my pearls, whilst making witty retorts).  When I wear it, I feel like showing off. That’s good enough for me.

Sarah, please don’t stop making it. I’ll be wearing this for a very long time.  Superb. I’m calling it a classic.

Stockists

All 4160 Tuesdays scents are available online  and a selection is available from Escentual and in store at Fortnum and Masons. The 4160 Tuesdays postal service is excellent. They send it to you like its your birthday.

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Goya Black Rose: Hello Again

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Goya Black Rose, like Aqua Manda, went away and came back again, and I’m so glad it did. Thanks are due to Beauty Brand Development who had the good sense to bring it back to a willing audience. They also had the good sense to send me a sample.  I am very grateful indeed. Opinions are my own.

The brainchild of Douglas Collins, Goya Black Rose, Aqua Citra and Aqua Manda were created in the 50s and 60s respectively and were a great hit until dwindling sales led to them being discontinued.  Gradually the hum of longing for the good ole days of these classic fragrances reached the right ears , and all three scents have been brought back, using the same formula, with the cooperation of Christopher Collins, son of Douglas.

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Rose perfumes have been done in a thousand ways, for all budgets and throughout all trends and eras.  So what makes Goya Black Rose worth buying and trying in a market where Roses are prolific?

It’s a dusky rose that’s teamed with green notes and something retro- like those rose breath sweets.  It’s not quite Turkish Delight and it’s definitely not jam.  It’s a feminine pink rose with big waxy satin petals.  It’s the kind of rose that goes with a twin set and pretty shoes. But it’s more complex than that.  Just as you think you have it labelled “classic, feminine rose” here come the cloves!  Now there’s spice and a daring edge to it.  Add a peppery geranium or two and then soften the whole thing with a pretty white musk flourish and you have Goya Black Rose.

There’s something almost borderline foodie about this- maybe it’s the cloves, but it has a tang of bitterness  that complements the pretty florals which makes this a good girl with a dark side.  I’m just relieved that in this case foodie doesn’t mean saturated with vanilla, and for that I am jolly grateful.  In fact, I would call it an almondy finish.

Goya Black Rose is elegant, beautiful and classic and I’ll gladly call myself a fan, whilst drenching myself in it.  It makes me want to trot around town wearing smart gloves and saying Good Morning to passers by.  Longevity is great.

Stockists

Goya Black Rose is very reasonably priced- you can start with a purse spray if you’re not sure ( I LOVE a purse spray!) and you can buy it for around £15 for 15ml  on allbeauty.com or just under £40 for a big 100ml bottle. You can also try Amazon UK

Meanwhile elsewhere…

The Perfume Society has a lovely article about the Goya fragrances right here.

 

Juliette Has A Gun Lady Vengeance: Roses in Yer Face

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 Lady Vengeance  from Juliette Has A Gun immediately makes you feel all feisty just by reading the name, so I cannot use delicate watercolour analogies her, nor would I, since sillage and longevity is nuclear.  No shrinking violets here.

Lady Vengeance was included in the utterly incredible Perfume Society Love Scents Discovery Box (more of which anon) which this month contains a selection of fragrances themed around The Mighty Rose. Very apt with February 14th looming ahead.

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On first spray, Lady Vengeance bashes you about the face with a bunch of roses like a jealous lover. This Bulgarian rose has a pepperiness about it, and a dried rose petal waft, like pot pourri, which runs parallel to the fresh, soft dewy rose petals which are also there.  I also found a hint of nuttiness in it, which for a brief moment brought to mind Tauer PHI Rose de Kandahar.

The middle phase seems to pay homage to Narciso Rodriguez For Her for about half an hour before the rose rallies back wearing several different faces and carrying a hint of spice and amber.  This may well be the effect of the Ambroxan and the ISO E super rather than the inclusion of any spice or actual nuts and cloves.

ISO E super is a synthetic note used widely in modern perfume and it has the effect of making a scent “fuzzy” round the edges with an ambery/woody hint.  It is used very widely in men’s fragrances but, as I found here, when used with the right lightness of hand, it can give depth and a classy finish to a hardcore rose/patchouli/vanilla mélange like Lady Vengeance.

(There is an excellent article on Fragrantica about ISO E Super which was my source).

Juliette Has Gun Lady Vengeance has loud sillage and atomic lasting power.  Roses and Patchouli mean business and they showed up on a motorbike.  It is almost too much for a morning, but I wore it to the 9.15a.m. PTA meeting anyway.  Like me, it becomes more ladylike once the morning is over with.

Stockists:  You can buy Juliette Has a Gun from the website in France, or in the UK from Selfridges and Escentual.  In the USA you can get it from Amazon.com and in Canada from Amazon.ca.

Andy Tauer PHI Rose de Kandahar-It’s Here!

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I am an unabashed fan of Andy Tauer. That doesn’t mean I blindly love everything he does: for some reason Reverie au Jardin disagrees with me, but I’d pretty much take a Tauer scent any day of the week.

What I love about Tauers is that Andy is a one man show.  He’s not a boardroom full of shirts looking at focus groups and trends.  He doesn’t have to go through a comittee and he’s not part of a global organisation (apart from having a distribution partner).  He’s a lone wolf and that makes things very interesting right from the start.

The development of PHI Rose de Kandahar has been well documented via Andy’s blog and Facebook page and it’s finally available in the UK.  This is a limited edition as Andy’s vat of Rose de Kandaher absolute is not bottomless (hence its inclusion in the “Collectibles” range). So now I finally have my treasured sample. Was it worth it?  Oh yes.

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fragrantica.com

PHI Rose de Kandahar has a Middle Eastern richness to it. Initially it’s honeyed roses and almonds and dried apricots: it reminds me of a scented Souk. At first this edible combination was very Turkish Delight, just for a moment.  But what happens next is that it transforms into, unless I’m mistaken, something not unlike a good Arabian Oud.  I often find Oud too strong for me, but in Rose de Kandahar it’s like a robust backdrop to something altogether more delicate. The irony is that there is no Oud in it, but the combination of tobacco, ambergris, vetiver and patchouli gives this a very rich and almost prickly base.   It’s like serving an aromatic Bacchanalian feast on a rough granite table. The contrast of the rough with the smooth enhances the delicacy of the ingredients.

Here are the notes as listed on Fragrantica:

 apricot, cinnamon,
bitter almond, bergamot

Rose of Kandahar essential oil,
Bulgaria rose absolute, Bourbon geranium, dried tobacco leaves.

patchouli, vetiver, vanilla,
tonka beans, musk, ambergris.

 There is an interesting Feel Good back-story to this.  The Kandahar roses that produce this absolute were grown in Afghanistan by farmers that have been subsidised to produce roses instead of growing plants that provide the base materials for drug use (“Hungerhilfe”). In other words, Make Roses, Not Drugs.

The wonderful fragrance alone is reason enough to love this, but  add the milk of human kindness and  you have just one of the many reasons to love PHI Rose de Kandahar.

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Versace Baby Rose Jeans: As Seen On My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

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My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on the UK’s Channel 4 is compulsive viewing. If you live outside the UK, it’s a reality show following Traveller families as they get married, usually aged 16 and usually in a dress that weighs about three times what they do. They have a unique style all of their own: Over The Top doesn’t begin to cover it. They make Alexis Carrington look unkempt. The dresses often cost tens of thousands of pounds, and  on the episode I saw, the skirt alone contained 500 metres of Imagechiffon. That’s half a kilometre. I’m not sure I can even swim as far as that. With wedding dresses that are too big to get down the aisle, and so painful on the hips they have to strap nappies underneath, you can imagine what my most pressing question was:

What perfume goes with that dress?

So, with the help of my trusty Pause button last week, my question was answered. Versace Baby Rose Jeans was seen on more than one Traveller counterpane. I immediately ordered some samples.

Initially, this is positively chaste in its innocent girlishness. It opens with Violets, Hyacinths, Freesias, Lily of the Valley and Roses. What could be prettier and more innocent? However, the drydown allows the dominant Vanilla to creep in, and that’s where it all goes wrong. The Vanilla cheapens the light-as-air petals and converts what could be a pretty and light floral, into something akin to discount bin babywipes. Cloying, fuzzy and overly sweet, the flowers are wrapped in a big pink Vanilla blankie and made to smell like a 99p shop.

Shame though. The floral notes contain some of my favourites. Take the vanilla out (PLEASE!) and I would consider wearing this.  Sadly, it has been ruined by it. Next time I buy babywipes, I will buy unfragranced, just in case they remind me of Baby Rose Jeans.

NB All photos by Channel 4 the makers of this addictive programme.

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