Monday, May 23, 2016

Berdoues Cologne Grand Cru "Scorza di Sicilia": fragrance review

Maison Berdoues is well known for their classic violet fragrance, Violettes de Toulouse, as de rigeur retro as a finicky collector would demand of their collection. But modernization, and Scorza di Sicilia is part of that project, is the name of the game for an old company to survive the times. Berdoues have been busy producing a collection of colognes, called grand cru to reflect wine phraseology, in order to catch the attention of the niche buying perfume lovers with an eye to heritage.


There's a dearth of fragrance reviews in the year that has been put between the original release of the grand cru colognes, 2015, and today, so I took it upon myself to write some on them having tested the line in detail recently. And so I'm beginning with Scorza di Sicilia, i.e. Sicilian rind. 

Contrary to the gorgeous sliced citruses painted on the columnar bottles (truly nice in person as well as in the photos) Scorza di Sicilia is not about citrus per se, even though the citrus is perceptible throughout. In fact the scent's character is quite floral indeed, taking lily of the valley as the sharp floral note that assembles the references that an Italian summer fragrance would normally evoke: the sun, the breeze, the lightness, the clarity...We all need a slice of sunshine in our lives, don't we.

Lily of the valley with its sharpness, clean aspect and green underpinning can act as an effortless bond between the bergamot top note (a Calabrian, if not Sicilian, reference) and the grassy-woody coolness of the vetiver of the base. I suspect white musk makes for the same cohesive glue, giving Maison Berdoues Scorza di Sicilia the starched, fresh aura that makes it so very amenable to a hot day somewhere where the houses are white-washed and the roofs tiled rather than thatched.

A note on terminology: Though "cologne" might evoke either short lasting power (and citruses are notorious for that) or a masculine effect I assure you that neither is applicable in this case. It's a rather decent eau de toilette duration scent that could be worn by either men or women in warm weather (I suspect it'd get drowned in the cold).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Viktoria Minya Hedonist Cassis: fragrance review

The fallen berries that get smashed and mushed underfoot reflect something of the realization of so much waste around us that even useful, succulent things fall to their unintentional demise through a drive that obeys cosmic rules; gravity, fall, squish. Hedonist Cassis by young but talented perfumer Viktoria Minya is certainly not wasteful, bring the tang of blackcurrant and grapefruit into the core chord of Hedonist, her original creation, making for an intense experience that recalls gathering berries in the countryside waiting for mr.Fox.

hello mr.fox on flickr, via Pinterest

Viktoria Minya has indulged her original composition with a cluster of variations, each highlighting a separate ingredient, Iris, Rose, and Cassis. The latest, Hedonist Cassis, possibly comes in the most attractive bottle, purple-ish with a touch of the late Prince, if you will.

Berry fragrances probably owe their heritage to the cult best-seller by L'Artisan Parfumeur, the original "berry" which spawned a hundred offspring over the decades since its inception.
The composition here however reminds me much more of the appeal of Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again (a combo of grapefruit and blackcurrant) by perfumer Jean Claude Ellena and doesn't fail to make me smile. The rose note is reminiscent of the chord in L'Ombre dans l'Eau by Diptyque; if like me you tend to shy away from overly prim, Jane Austen roses, and appreciate instead the tang that blackcurrants give to the above mentioned Diptyque fragrance, then Hedonist Cassis is sure to hit you with the epiphany of "oh, there's rose in it". Yes, but oh so delicious.

I am reminded of inconsequential things that have to do with late summer: the droning sound of the bees, the lazy contours of the calamus in the distance, the gentle softening of the sky as dusk sets in lilac hues; refreshing juice full of sour and sweet citruses served on the balcony and the canopy shading the rays while we're reading L'Education Sentimentale, the heroes leaping off the page in their game of social graces, platonic loves and carnal disgraces; freckles slowly forming on a long hellenic nose and lashes prettily faning on a smooth cheek, the comfortable silence of well trodden territory.

Extraordinary lasting power in Heodnist Cassis is an added bonus. For those of you who love a tart synthesis with great balance between sweet and sour and a stonking beat of lasting musky-wood this is your fruity floral pick for summer wear.

Fragrance Notes for Viktoria Minya Hedonist Cassis:
Top notes are black currant, grapefruit and rhubarb;
middle notes are bulgarian rose, grass and cassis;
base notes are cedar and musk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Scent of Spring : A Collection of Top Spring Perfume Lists, Spring Images & Facts about Spring Fragrances

Mar 13, 2015 ... However I have composed a few articles of pertinent nature, which might come useful for those of you in search of new spring fragrances, for a ...
Apr 3, 2014 ... Among fragrance families, only "green" scents are classified through a visual connotation, specifically a color coding. You could argue that ...

Apr 5, 2012 ... Spring Floral Fragrances: Delicate Beauties Yielding Under Your Caress. Legend wants it that the goddess Flora created violets out of the body ...

Jan 25, 2016 ... In an effort of some welcome diversion of spring-time thoughts, before any floral prints ...Spring Floral Fragrances: Delicate Beauties Yielding .
Apr 16, 2010 ... So my personal Top Spring Scents for this spring (fragrances I am wearing with much gusto and utter glee) are: Amaranthine Penhaligon's ...
Jun 26, 2012 ... In perfume terms, that means your signature scent might be a little too .... I wore Une Fleur de Chanel for my spring 2000 wedding, and it fit ...
Apr 22, 2011 ... The awakening of spring, which sheds its pagan archetypes shining upon everything, is walking hand in hand with the tradition of a pious ...
Apr 15, 2011 ... (as reported by Beatrice de Gea in The Wall Street Journal) "When spring arrives, women may want to tone down perfumes so they aren't ...

Mar 4, 2008 ... Where I live spring has already come and it's raining sunray upon ... Under the smart recommendation of Vidabo/Lou from Perfume of Life, I am ...

Mar 15, 2009 ... Spring is univocally here as you can see and my mind wanders on avenues of floral and greenfragrances that like a breath of optimism ...
Apr 1, 2013 ... Interview with Dr. Joachim Mensing, Fragrance Psychologist: How we Choose Fragrance andSpring Perfume Moods. “Fragrance and ...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Your "Best in Show" Guerlain perfume: Which Is It?

When erotic authoress Anais Nin reminiscences about her relationship with Henry Miller's wife, June, it is a bottle of Guerlain's Mitsouko she is asked for as a gift by the statuesque yet destitute woman amidst sapphic caresses.

via pinterest

When Séverine, the bourgeois heroine of the cinematic adaptation of Joseph Kessel's novel "Belle de Jour", sets out to work the afternoon as a prostitute, it is a bottle of Mitsouko that she accidentally smashes in the bathroom, immersed in her sadomasochistic reveries.

When Jean Harlow's husband, Paul Bern, allegedly driven by impotence, took his own life, a mere short week after his wedding to the silver screen goddess, it is Mitsouko by Guerlain he was drenched with; her perfume.

Originally meant for brunettes, Mitsouko took the gentle but poignant star-crossed lovers of a Japanese brunette and a Russian naval officer meeting at wartime, to inspire women (and men) of all hair colors and ethnicities ever since. Always implicated in sex in a "screw in the brain" sort of way, Mitsouko, with its tender peach skin heart and troubling inky base, is not just Belle. She's Belle Toujours.

You can find my entry on the Best in Show on Fragrantica. Please share in the comments here (and there, if you like) which is your own pick for Best in Show Guerlain perfume! I'd love to read during the holidays for Orthodox Easter.

Fragrance review & perfume history for Guerlain Mitsouko on this link

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How To Describe Perfume

The perennial and elusive question of how to describe a perfume has risen at one of Spain's top style magazines, EL TOCADOR and journalist Ana Fernandez Parrilla accosted me to provide her with some insights.

via laboratoryperfumes.com

I'm pleased to see the published article and hope that it is of some enjoyment to our Spanish-speaking readers. You can take a glimpse using this link. (click on arrow > to read the next page)

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