Tag Archives: niche

Fantastically Foxy: Foxy by DSH Perfumes

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Funnily enough, my children and I  were halfway through Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox when this arrived in the post.  I have been reading this book since the mid-seventies and it kept me company during several commutes in my twenties too.  This utopian story in which handsome Mr Fox overcomes adversaries brings both adults and children back to this classic story.  Also, it marks the only time in my life when I ended up with a bit of a crush on a charismatic fictional wild animal.

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The original book I grew up with

As if she can read my mind, or hear the funny voices when I read in Farmer Boggis’s voice, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz posted me a trio of samples all the way from Boulder Colorado: you know, where Mork and Mindy lived.

So what does Foxy smell like and is it as fantastic as Mr Fox himself? Well, read on.

tygertale
Photo from tygertale.com

Foxy instantly smells like a vintage scent. I don’t know how Dawn does this, but usually you have to buy fragrance that’s about 70 years old to get this kind of ambery aged lushness.

The amber smells almost rusty, which seems appropriate when you think of the name of the scent.  There are flowers, although they don’t dominate. I detected jasmine and spiky, peppery carnation. There are spicy herbs and a little heat from ginger, and a fun note of apple brandy, made by and drunk by Farmer Bean from the book, who drinks only cider and never eats.

foxy samples

The final flourish has definite notes of oak moss mingling with the amber, to give this an animalic, rustic heat.  I am often to be found with my face buried in the flank of a sleeping cat and this warm fuzzy finish certainly reminded me of that.  The big star here though, is amber. It’s there at the start, in the middle and at the end. The amber adds a cosy warmth and showcases all the other notes within its embrace.

Foxy is fantastically Foxy.  Let it transform you into a twenty first century fox with a retro twist and a crafty twinkle in your eye.

Stockists

You can buy Foxy from the DSH Perfumes website, which also provides an excellent sample service. My sample was from Dawn herself, for which, my warmest thanks. Opinions are my own.

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4160 Tuesdays Pillow Talk: Come Here

 

escentual.com
4160 Tuesdays

 Pillow Talk is one of the latest launches from Sarah McCartney, Grande Dame of 4160 Tuesdays. Sarah doesn’t over- launch or saturate us, but neither does she let the grass grow under her feet.

 As always, there is a charming backstory to it.  A Hollywood Agent dropped into 4160 HQ at Issigonis House ( it’s very nice, like a parlour) with the idea of launching her own scent.  Whilst that project didn’t have lift off, the resulting perfume did and is now Pillow Talk.

 Pillow Talk was intended as the smell of a shared pillow upon which secrets are shared as intimacy grows. To me, it brings to mind hotel rooms rather than bedroom: Posh country hotels where you go for a mini break once the dating has hit its stride and you tell them that you were secretly married and have a police record, and they don’t mind because they have a love child in Venezuela- you know how it goes…

Darling, I have a love child in Venezuela...
Darling, I have a secret love child in Venezuela… (Express.co.uk)

I will say though, that this has a strong accord in common with 4160 Tuesdays Sexiest Scent on The Planet Ever (IMHO), so if you don’t like that I’m not sure this will be your  cup of tea (Earl Grey, of course)

 As visual as it is, and I find all 4160 scents very visual,  I could not find a way into Pillow Talk, so I asked my son.  My son Freddie is nine and memorably declared that Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac smelled like “hot sand” .  So I sprayed my arm and said “sniff this and say the first thing that come into your head” and without hesitation, he said “Liquorice”.

escentual.com
4160 Tuesdays

It did!  Liquorice!  Not listed, not included, but somehow, there is a hint of liquorice in this.  I often find this happens- my nose finds a random note that has gone rogue.  Either liquorice is in my olfactory memory and imprinted on this scent, or two notes have a baby and make a third note out of the juxtaposition. Either way, I smelled Liquorice.

 Liquorice was was my way in.  Once I had liquorice, it opened a portal into heavy, dark woods (dark oak panelling  for some reason) which in turn led to vanilla, but not sweet shop vanilla, more drunken boozy liquor,  then a fuzzy background of bergamot, followed by indelicate flowers.  No petals, no tweeness: this is ladies’ talc on a thigh.  It’s a bit spicy, but there’s no spice.  It reminds me of the smell of the bed just after my lovely husband has left it, before his shower: a masculine undertow, but faded from the day before. The intimacy is there, and a tiny hint of complacency has set in. So what if I left make up on the pillow?  He already fancies me….

 Pillow Talk scores a ten on the nuzzle-o-meter

Stockists

You can buy all 4160 Tuesdays scents from the website, and recently Escentual has started stocking them too,  Further stockist information is here. My sample was kindly sent to me by Sarah McCartney, to whom I am enormously grateful. Opinions are my ow

4160 Tuesdays New York 1955

 

4160 Tuesdays

If you’d told me a few months ago that I would be actually choosing to buy a perfume that apparently smelled like vanilla ice cream and candy floss, I would have rejected the idea with an unladylike snort.

However, this week I have done  just that and I am proudly wearing my brand new bottle of 4160 Tuesdays New York 1955.  It was first the violets that captured me and the rest of the scent sat around as if to say “it’s all or none.  We come as a pack”.  In actual fact, I began to see how well violets, candy floss and vanilla worked once the violets had got their foot in their door.

Photo from pinterest.

New York 1955 is one of a range of four vintage cities from 4160 Tuesdays.  Each one is very different from the other.  Friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird adores Rome 1963 (“and I’m not normally a tuberose-y person” she said), and I liked New York 1955 and London 1969. There is also green chypre Paris 1948, which I reviewed here.

Not only do the names alone capture a whimsical vibe that makes my mind’s eye turn me into Julie Christie or Gina Lollobridgida depending on which city I’m trying, but these cities have made both Lisa and I step out of our comfort zone and like it.

from DLP Guide

I have swerved, sworn off, and dodged with comic elaborateness the vanilla/candy floss invasion of the Noughties Fragrance Fad, but Sarah McCartney is kind of in my brain saying “yes, but if you try it with THIS, it’s totally different” and she’s right.

What I smell of today (I will explain in visuals rather than notes as is fitting with this brand) is this: Central Park,  a raspberry ripple ice cream,  a mouthful of parma violets, a vintage Laura Ashley dress and a very blue sky with nary a cloud.

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Visiting the fabulous Sarah McCartney in the 4160 studio, November 2014

Stockists I bought my bottle for the ludicrously agreeable price of £10 for 18ml directly from the 4160 site. The price is a sale price though so be quick, but have a browse around whilst you’re there as there are some good deals on samples and discovery packs: a great way to explore the brand before you commit to a full bottle.

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4160 Tuesdays The Dark Heart of Old Havana: A New Voice

4160 Tuesdays

4160 Tuesdays is the brainchild of Sarah McCartney. Indpendent perfumers are to be cherished, and Sarah’s doing a pretty good job of being a treasure.  The school of thought here is that in an average life, we have 4160 Tuesdays and that we should make them count.  Creating your own brand of perfume is a pretty good start, Sarah.

Today I am reviewing The Dark Heart of Old  Havana and the quick review is that I like it very much.

Me visiting Sarah McCartney’s studio in 2014

Here is the longer review: I don’t know if you, like me, ever used to consider a nibbled sugar cube from a bowl a big treat as a child.  I wouldn’t do it now (sugar tongs, my dears!) but I remember clearly that white, almost nothing-y smell of white processed sugar.  Well, here is that smell again, only this time it’s combined with Tobacco, Coffee, Fruit, and a faint spiky hint of Geranium.

Imagine a dark Latin night, with music coming out of a brightly lit door, passing pavement cafes with Night Owls sipping Espresso and smoking in the night air.  If that’s what Sarah McCartney was imagining when she created this scent and this name, then she succeeded.  It’s one of those scents that takes you to a place in your imagination, rather than just changing your smell for a day.

Sarah is emerging as a British niche brand to watch. I have others to review from 4160 Tuesdays, so watch this space and if you can get hold of samples then do have a try.  Her Facebook Page tells me she gets around a lot (in the nicest possible way, of course) and also that she does perfume day courses, so it would not be unreasonable to think that one day you could meet her and do sniffage together. I like accessible brands and I like indie perfumers and I like The Dark Heart of Old Havana.

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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.

EDIT: Scent and Sensibility has now sadly closed.

 

 

Andy Tauer Pentachord Verdant: Experience Required But Not Essential

 

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I’m a Green fan. I’m hard core. I like them bitter. The more bitter, the better. If you hate Green notes, I’d be amazed if you like Tauer Pentachord Verdant. And boy, is verdant the word!

The Pentachords are a series of three fragrances made up of five notes each. Its simplicity is its charm. Andy Tauer never has to please a committee when he creates perfume and that’s why I am a devotee of the brand. I always love to see what he’ll come up with next.

In topping up my depleting supply of Carillon Pour Un Ange samples (Cannot live without it now), I added a Pentachord sample to the cart, and I was surprised, by it, but not disappointed.

Firstly, there are no flowers here, it’s like a dark canopied forest with a freshly turned floor after a heavy rain. It’s green like nettles, leaves, broken ferns and moss. Not a whisper of a petal. Like I said, it’s hard core. The Petal People ran away scared, but the Green Guerillas merely tutted and marched on through the branches. This didn’t faze them.

Pentachord Verdant is almost one dimensional, in that it doesn’t change much, although there is a tangy basenote that I thought was Ambergris. In fact I was mistaken and it was Amber and Tobacco. To me, this smells like a green tobacco, unripe and unsmoked and still wet.

So extreme is this that it just about borders on smelling of leaf mould. It’s pungent but stops just before it goes off. It’s rank and high, like rotting undergrowth turning into new fresh soil ready for green shoots. Wonderful!

I can’t help thinking  that now I will have to track down the other two Pentachords: Pentachord White and Pentachord Auburn. This got my interest, kept it, and made me into a fan.

Tauer samples are available from Scent and Sensibility or Les Senteurs in the UK. Or if you happen to be in Zurich, pop into the shop and go nuts with your plastic. I know I would.