Tag Archives: Rose perfume

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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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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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.