Tag Archives: winter perfumes

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule: Little Drops of Heaven

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It seems entirely apt that in this season of goodwill and nativity plays, Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule reminds me of Christmas, cosiness, and all things nice.

It’s an unusual but simple blend of Sandalwood, Rose and Cacao.  It seems as if one dominates, only to be taken over by another, then another, in rotation.  One minute I think this reminds me of the dried fruit in Serge Lutens Arabie, the next there is a droplet of rose against a dusty, rich sandalwood background, and then the slightly fruity, rich note comes in again.  In fact, at first sniff, I was convinced there was fig here.

Some sandalwood purists would have preferred this to have been made with Mysore sandalwood, but in all honesty, I am not discerning enough to differentiate. I’m just happy to have sandalwood, any time, any place.

Cacao refers to the seeds of an unripened cocoa pod before it becomes suitable for harvesting and growing advent calendars.  An unripe cocoa pod is green and bitter and here it is captured, not as green and bitter, but as if all the richness of dark chocolate has been captured before any sweetness has been added. Against sandalwood it works terrifically well, and a lack of sweetness, unlike in real life, becomes a virtue.

The whole melange works incredibly well and I would happily wear it every day in this icy weather, which is saying something for somebody as scentually promiscuous as me. (new word alert!)

Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule is wonderfully warm with just the right amount of  sandy prickliness to stop it being too gourmand-y.  I love it. It may well be my favourite Serge, and that’s a hard one to call.  Christopher Sheldrake steals my heart yet again.

Stockists:  In the UK You can buy Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule online from Selfridges, Liberty and Escentual.  In the USA and Canada you can try www.Fragrancenet.com  or Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.

Library of Fragrance Fireplace:  The Last Word in Winter Warmers

www.boots.com

 

Now that we’re properly cold and wearing woollies it’s time to bring the rabbit out of the hat.  If there is a cosier, warmer smelling scent than Library of Fragrance Fireplace I have yet to come across it.

Somehow the exact smoky dustiness of a real log fire has been captured in a scent. If I’m not mistaken, something extra has been added too:  not quite spice, but more of a peppery note.  I name it old wood beams in a rustic farmhouse as the wind whips the windows outside.

Fireplace is a delightful wintry fragrance that is equally good on women or men. In fact, this would smell amazing on a man wearing a warm jumper as if to say “I am all capable and manly and have big strong arms”.

www.3planesoft.com

I have mentioned Fireplace briefly before in my review of Library of Fragrance Gingerbread, and I will reiterate here how well Gingerbread and Fireplace go together.  These two were simply made to be worn on freezing November evenings.  Longevity is pretty good too at around five hours. To make it last even longer, spray your hair and clothes as these will keep the scent longer than skin. This is especially good on scarves.

Play Bing Crosby and pour yourself a sherry.

Stockists:  Library of Fragrance is available from the Library of Fragrance website or Boots in the UK, online or in store.  Prices are £15 for one or £25 for two (one for you, one for Christmas presents). Photo by www.3planesoft.com

Tableau de Parfums: Ingrid by Andy Tauer : There is Warmth Behind the Hauteur

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This is the latest scent from the Tableau de Parfums range.: a collaboration between filmmaker Brian Pera and Perfumer Andy Tauer.  Ingrid joins previous creations Loretta (which I haven’t tried) and Miriam (which I have reviewed in this blog and which I liked very much).

 It’s a new launch, only recently released, and I am lucky enough to have been able to obtain a sample from Scent and Sensibility, which for UK Tauer fans, is a very good way of sampling them without the annoying perfume posting regulations that are the bane of our lives. My sample was £4.50 for a 2ml spray. I consider this excellent value as longevity is so good.Image

Ingrid is hard to categorise.  I recently reviewed Vitriol d’œillet by Serge Lutens which is a Clove/Carnation combo.  At first I thought Ingrid was similar but I was wrong. Ingrid is earthy and reminds me of birch or tar or dried bracken. There is winter spice too, but not in a chintzy Christmas way, you’ll be relieved to know. The Rose is prevalent, and as with other Tauer scents, no Rose is the same twice.  In this case, the Rose reminds me of dried petals in a pot pourri- they have gone paper thin and their colour has faded but their scent has gone faintly peppery. Nevertheless it can still be recognised as Rose.

Image Ingrid is rich and spicy, but dry rather than sweet. It left me thinking I could smell the deep dark scent of Myrrh, but it may have been the resinous Styrax which is used so beautifully.

On my skin, the base notes of Ingrid are Clove, dried Roses, Resin and Frangipani. It’s rich, dark and mysterious yet the ingredients have been used lightly enough not to overwhelm.  It’s a winter scent that would make you stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons. It reminds me of bare wintery trees and faded petals and hot spiced brandy. It is layered and complex and beautiful. Longevity, as ever is excellent. Around ten hours. If ever a perfume was created to be worn in snow against a backdrop of stark bare branches, it was this. It injects spice into winter and warmth into frost.  It makes me think of a woman who is always immaculately dressed,  maybe a little scary, but deep down she has a heart of gold. I will always be friends with Ingrid and Miriam.

 

 

Avon Week: Timeless

Avon.com
Avon.com


Now we’re talking. I bought a bottle of Timeless in 2012 and was dismissive of it.  In my naivety I labelled it “powdery” and “old lady”. Since my recent epiphany regarding the chypre genre (Thank you Balmain Jolie Madame, I’ve never been the same since), I have changed my outlook on Chypres.

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In Timeless, we have in our midst an excellent and very affordable chypre  (sans oakmoss) that users compare to Rochas Femme or even Gres Cabochard.   Another fan says it is a cross between Obsession and Dana Tabu.

Prominent notes include aldehydes, opoponax, patchouli and amber.   It opens with spicy citrus, beds down into an old fashioned floral with roses and jasmine, and finishes off with an ambery powder accord that isn’t done enough these days.

Timeless was created in 1974 and has fans that have been wearing it ever since.   On the Avon Shop UK page,  buyers are clamouring for it.  On Fragrantica, it is praised to the skies.  On my humble left arm, it smells amazing and has great lasting power.  In fact Avon, did a very daft thing which they quickly put right after listening to their cusotmers.   Timeless was at one point, discontinued.  Such was the uproar from their non-millenial,  long term, customers that Avon very kindly brought it back again.  Wise move, Avon

I tried a sample of Timeless EDT today and was knocked for six. The powdery old fashioned smell I once foolishly tossed aside is terrific. It’s classic, spicy and feminine.  It could hold its own alongside many more expensive brands and not even blush.

Stockists: Timeless is available from Avon UK at the excellent price of £5, although prices and offers may vary.

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