Tag Archives: best niche perfumes

Retro Perfecto: 4160 Tuesdays Paris 1948

I’m a sucker for a good chypre. The greener, the mossier and the older, the better as far as I’m concerned.  Serendipity twinned me with a bottle of Paris 1948 today, and reader, a bit of magic took place. Love was in the air and cupid shot me.

A few years back, I tried Paris 1948 and decided it wasn’t for me. I also tried Lady Rose Lion Monkey Unicorn and decided that wasn’t for me either. However, today I received a full bottle of Paris 1948, and by chance, a sample of Lady Rose Lion Monkey Unicorn, and whaddya know? They don’t half go! One complements the other in the way that Guerlain Apres l’Ondee brings out something new in Frederic Malle L’Eau D’Hiver. (Try it, you’ll see. Thanks Lisa!).

My first impression of Paris 1948 is of fresh cut grass in an aged bottle. Have you ever opened a really old bottle of fragrance that has ambered with age and has that sort of bitter powdery thing going on? That’s what Paris 1948 reminded me of.  To me, the dominant note is, believe it or not, basil.  This is a note that is also really prominent in 4160 Tuesdays Lady Rose Monkey Lion Monkey Unicorn, which is why they seem to go together so well.

 

With my brand new 4160 Tuesdays phone sticker.

Paris 1948 opens with citrus, specifically grapefruit, and peaches. Now, I used to have a problem with peaches until the penny dropped and I realised that many of the Grand Dames of fragrances carry peachy nuances: think Lanvin Arpege and Madame Rochas to name but two.  Once this made sense to me, peaches always gave me a

Photo of Paris in 1948 by Edouard Boubat

friendly sort of retro yoo-hoo when they pop up. They certainly make their presence felt here, and that could be one of the reasons why I didn’t like this first-time round.  The basil has a sweet, herbal thing going on that almost borders on the medicinal, but not quite. The flowers come out after the citrus has calmed down a bit and let them get a word in: roses and orange flower and leathery labdanum.

The base to my nose, at least, is a peachy, mossy (VERY mossy) herby, slightly medicinal chypre.  I’m sorry I can’t make that sound more catchy, but it’s true. Call me an addict. Call me a fan.  This is a permanent fixture.

Jacqueline de Francois “Mademoiselle de Paris” 1948

Stockists: I bought this from 4160 Tuesdays and you can too.  If you buy it before tomorrow afternoon (October 27th 2017) then it’s half price. After that it’s still jolly reasonable. This is not a sponsored post.

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Marina Barcenilla India: Better than Heaven or Arcadia

MB-Parfums-India-2

Better than Heaven or Arcadia

I love thee, O my India!

Marina Barcenilla recently sent me  several of her perfume samples, which I will review in a future post.  However, one stood out so much that I was itching to review it.

Marina Barcenilla was born in Spain and is now based in Glastonbury. The Marina Barcenilla perfume house evolved from her small start-up business which originally made body products such as salts and scrubs.  Customer demand led her to where she is now: a perfumer, and a talented one at that.  I’m jolly glad she went down this path because when MB Parfums India landed on my mat recently, it was love at first sniff.

mb perfume bottles

Incredibly,  Marina manages to produce this beautiful earthy scent using only natural ingredients. Personally, I have no beef with non-natural ingredients, being composed of C02 and H20 myself, but it really takes some guts and innovation to achieve glorious fragrances with the limitations that can come with such a restriction.  It doesn’t seem to restrict Marina though.  Her imagination and flair has produced some stunning and Award winning results (India won a FiFi Award in 2016).

perfume workshops

India opens with orange flower, Indian Jasmine, tuberose and roses. It’s a rich and heady floral opening, but there’s nothing  light about this.  The heady weight of this stunning opening accord is narcotic in its depth.  It gradually segues into wood and spice that smells both earthy and authentic.   The spice is like tarry resin, yet as the richness dies down, the sandalwood and cardoman emerge in a beautiful accord of aged, incense-infused wood.  Think church pews but still with some bark left on.

India reminded me of both Comme Des Garcons Avignon and Andy Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain.  It is not exactly like either, however, since  it has a distinction all of its own.  If you like either of those two, however, you will adore India.

mb perfumes all in a row

Longevity is excellent and it just seems to get better the longer I wear it.  India is deep, resonant and evocative.  The base is longlasting and on my skin, at least, it combines woods, jasmine, roses and spice for many hours after I sprayed it.  The ingredients are distinct and vivid.  Reader, it was love.  Real, true love.

Stockists

Marina Barcenilla perfumes can be ordered from the website here. There is an excellent sample service and you can also find other ancillary fragrance products such as candles and  body oils ( I have a rose one which is beautiful). Marina herself kindly furnished me with my samples, for which, my warm thanks. Opinions are my own.

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Chinchilla: Animal with a Capital “GRRR”

chinchilla

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz very kindly sent me a batch of samples recently. I was delighted to receive them and delighted to review one of them here. There’ll be more reviews to follow, but I felt an urge to get stuck in when I wore the stunning Chinchilla today.

Chinchilla was inspired by olde worlde glamour: a world where women still wore chinchilla stoles and their best diamonds to dazzle suitors. Chinchilla has a vintage feel to  and I mean that in its most literal sense. You know when you open a bottle of vintage perfume and it’s gone amber? That’s what chinchilla smells like. But it’s more than that. Chinchilla packs an animalic punch that puts this straight to the top of the “Perfumes That Smell of Sex” Top Ten.

plymouth_auction_1086Containing civet (secreted from glands of the civet cat), hyrax (from hyrax urine crystals) AND castoreum (from beavers), this animal note is unmissable and written in bold. There’s honey too, which always reminds me of the smell of skin. Like all the best vintage scents, this has a wonderful chypre feel with oakmoss, bergamot, musk and vetiver. It reminds me of scent from the 1920s and 30s. If you yearn for the olden days when perfume smelled like perfume and came in heavy glass bottles, then Chinchilla is for you. Personally, I adore a classic vintage-feel chypre with a hint of Grrr, so Chinchilla is for me, too.

PS My cat Danny the Ginger Ninja went MAD for this.

Stockists

You can buy this and other DSH perfume from the website. Sample kindly supplied by Dawn, with warm thanks from me. Opinions are my own.

Andy Tauer Une Rose Chyprée : Bring Me Pearls

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I do love a good rose, although a rose soliflore would be too bland for me.  I also love anything with Bergamot in, as well as a good spiky Patchouli and if possible, a bit of Oakmoss from time to time.

Lucky for me then, that Andy Tauer has created Une Rose Chyprée, which is all my favourite things in one big Perfume Sundae. Luckily Andy resisted sticking a cherry on top ( I am so over cherries! See my recent reviews of Delices de Cartier and Louve).

The opening notes of Une Rose Chyprée remind me a little of Noontide Petals.  It must be the Bergamot. Bergamot is so often used in hesperides and  colognes that it’s refreshing to  find it used in a powdery capacity in this floral Chypre.  Used in a similar way to Noontide Petals, the Bergamot has a lovely chalky quality, which I find thirst quenching, like wet chalky cliffs. It’s here in spades in Une Rose Chyprée.

Along with Bergamot comes a prickle of Patchouli and Vetiver, spiky Geranium and of course the Rose. The Rose is so intense that it becomes spicy. In fact, it reminds me of the kind of peppery rose scent that comes from the dried petals of a Tea Rose in a bowl of Pot Pourri. It’s not fresh and dewy, it’s aged, like good antique wood.

Put this together with a touch of Oakmoss and dried Vetiver grass, and you have a wonderfully spicy rose that is anything but bland. The powdery note gives this a charming retro feel. It makes me want to dress up when I wear it. Don your Pearls and lipstick ladies, this is elegant and ladylike.

Once again longevity is excellent. The only reason I kept respraying because I love the wet top note so much as it dries and settles. Une Rose Chyprée is ladylike, yes, but my addiction to it is not.

In the UK Tauer samples are available from Les Senteurs. Image Longevity is excellent, (around 12-14 hours per spray) and this is the Eau de Parfum concentration. Even the samples last over a week of constant daily wear on me, although I generally keep for them for best.

A Footnote Incidentally, Speaking of Tauers, I have just got back from the Hell that is Legoland (“L’Enfer est les Autres” J.P. Sartre). My scent was Carillon Pour Un Ange. It is the total antidote to crowds and hotdogs and commercialisation. I could handle the horrible bustle if I could just smell those Lily of The Valley and go to my happy place. There. I’ll bet you never thought you’d hear Carillon Pour Un Ange and Legoland in the same sentence, did you? Actually, neither did I.