måndag 23 januari 2017

Jehanne Rigaud - Ambre Obscure

Picture: Captain Haddock,
from "Les Aventures de Tintin"
Author: Hergé (George Remi),
picture borrowed from pinterest
Ambre Obscure is a fragrance from the relatively unknown and a bit under cover perfume house Jehanne Rigaud from Grasse. As I understand it, the house had a range of fine fragrances during the 1920s-1930s and the following decades but then focused on to produce essences, ambiences, basic colognes and eaux as also producing for other perfumehouses. In one website I can recognize bottles with the same shape and labels as some editions from the house of Les Nereides. As mentioned in the earlier post about Imperial Poudré, I smell similarities in style between Les Nereides and Jehanne Rigaud. maybe this is not a coincidence. Jehanne Rigaud, just as Les Nereides, issues really priceworthy perfumes, compared both to mainstream and niche releases. The whole Jehanne Rigaud line is avaible here at top notch niche shop Fragrance & Art.

Ambre Obscur starts and proceeds very familiar to me: I can smell an old favorite, the early 1980s oriental Prelude from Balenciaga. It's almost the same vintage smelling amber, deep and multifacetted containing notes  similar to old sherry oakbarrels.It's like looking in a caledeoscope with changing patterns in brown and ruby red nuances. As Ambre Obscur dries further down, a fine jasmine blends delicately with the dark, deep amber and balsamic notes from the basenotes. Patchouli is also present as a supporting note, well balanced and it doesn't take over the composition, the patchouli just enhances the vintage feeling. Ambre Obscur is slight powdery in texture but not at all as powdery as the powder bomb from Jehanne Rigaud Imperial Poudré. In its later stage, Amber Obscur reminds me of the discontinued gem from Estée Lauder Youth Dew Amber Nude and there is also similarities with Aramis JHL at least the vintage version I have on hand.

To me who is a bit tired of all the light and airy contemporary ambers released in later years, Ambre Obscur is a very pleasant surprise, dark, deep and vintage in style. This is a fragrance for those who wants more body in their ambers and I think those who like fragrances as Rania J. Ambre Loup and Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Doré (with patchouli in Ambre Obscur instead of oud as in Ambre Loup and Ambre Doré), also will appreciate Ambre Obscur.
Picture: Ambre Obscur
Photo: PR Jehanne Rigaud (c)
Ambre Obscur is perfect for autumn, winter and early, chilly spring. It's also a good eveningfragrance and it's very comforting to wear for example by the fireplace a dark, snowy winterevening, Ambre Obscur is unisex even if leaning slight to the feminine side IMO. Despite that I couldn't resist to continue using a Tintin character, in this case Captain Haddock, to illustrate Ambre Obscur. I think he fits the bill as the fragrance has some dark, boozy elements..

Taken as a whole: Ambre Obscur is a very well blended, genuine, a bit wild and untamed, dark amber. Dark as its namn implies but it could, and not the new Annick Goutal amber, also be named Ambre Sauvage.

Rating: 5

Notes: Bergamot, orange, jasmine, amber, labdanum, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli, musk

måndag 16 januari 2017

Jehanne Rigaud - Patchouli Premier

Picture: Tintin
From the album "Tintin au Congo" (1931)
p.55, drawing Hergé (George Remi) (c)
borrowed from Tintin.com
Patchouli Premier from Grasse perfumehouse (and scent supplier) Jehanne Rigaud features, as the name indicates: Patchouli.

When applying Patchouli Premier my first thought is: This is Patchouli Antique from Les Nereides. It's the same rough, dark, dusty old book note as the latter. Now my speculations in earlier posts about a connection between Les Nereides and Jehanne Rigaud fragrances, maybe JR is the producer for both, seems even more possible. When Patchouli Premier (PP) reaches the middlenotes it departs partly form Patchouli Antique (PA). Whereas PA continues in its rough, dusty, slight fuggy, like an attic in an old house accords, interpreted in a positive way, PA smells really intriguing, PP enters another route as it becomes, lighter, brisker, sort of outdoorsy in style. It highlights the herbal and leafy aspects of how I imagine fresh patchouli could smell. When comparing to PA, I'm refering to the old version, I havn't tested the later versions in the new, different styled, bottles.
Picture: Les Nereides Patchouli Antique
old bottle at the top, a newer version below.
Photo: PR Les Nereides (c)

As the middle accord also the rest of PP smells. It's a good classic, basic patchouli of the herbal, not the ambery kind, which doesn't adds anything new to the genre. On the other hand it's a perfect companion when one need something simple, woody, outdoorsy refreshing, both for casual and for work. Patchoulis in this "fresh" style is relaxing to wear during the summer in particular sunny and windy warm days, but not in the worst heat wave. PP as slmost all patchs in this style is perfectly unisex. Silage of PP is close, longevity for at least a day.
Picture: Patchouli Premier
Photo: PR Jehanne Rigaud (c)
As the two earlier reviewed Jehanne Rigauds, Imperial Poudré and Ambre Obscur, Patchouli Premier also could be associated to a "Les aventures de Tintin" character, in this case the protagonist himself: Tintin. A lively, brisk patchuli like PP is perfect for the changeing existence of the character, one day among papers and prints in the newspaper desk, the other in the middle of the jungle.

Those who like simple and genuine patchuli fragrances as for example Etro Patchouly and Molinard Patchouli will probably also apperciate Patchouli Premier.

Rating: 3+

Notes: Patchouli, cedar, myrrh, myrtle, sandalwood, oakmoss, vanilla, musk

måndag 9 januari 2017

Deco London - Quick reviews 2(2)

Deco London is a fragrancehouse which debuted with six fragrances in 2015, three for women and three for men. Deco London pays homage to the golden age of perfumery and elegant, flamboyant 1920s London. Here some thoughts about the gentlemens trio:

ErnestAromatic everyday, classic fresh with a contrasting, slight oriental depth which adds a certain balsamic sweetness to the aromatic structure. Lavander, vetiver, different woods, leather, amberand vanilla. Reminds me a tad of a oriental interpretation of Caron Pour un Homme but without the metallic almost bloody accord which is present in the latter. Ernest is a versatile, daytime fragrance in a timeless style.

Picture: Deco London Lawrence
Photo: PR Deco London
Lawrence: Smells like a warm bubblebath, which reminds Mr Parfumista of the classic Badedas bathoil. There is also something dry and salty, which is distictive for the fragrance. There is also a light spicy, tangy lime, blended with white flowers, lavender, vetiver and some greenery. First I come to think of a cologne dominated by orangeflowers (for example Les Colognes Néroli from Annick Goutal), when inhaling I can smell nothing of the orangeflowernote, but the structure/texture is similar. A special fragrance with a vintage but in the same time timless aura. The most intriguing in the Deco London collection IMO and a Mr Parfumista favorite.

Quentin: This one is close to good ol' Givenchy Gentleman at least in the earlier stage. Starts with a dark green mossy patchouli, just like Gentleman. After a while the development of Quentin takes a different path. Where Gentleman focuses on the dark, moisty moss, backed-up with a dark herbal patchouli, Quentin goes to radiate just a herbal patchouli, first with hints of old books as a tame version of Les Néiréides Patchouli Antique and later transformed to a nice slight soapy texture. A nice moderated patchouli, a unisex fragrance IMO.

To summon up the Deco line, three-four of them are similar to, or in some cases (Loretta & Millicent), very close to already excisting designer fragrances. Loretta & Millicent to my nose are gentler, more finetuned but not as distinctive as their designer equals.

Deco London is avaible from Fragrance&Art.

måndag 2 januari 2017

Deco London - Quick reviews 1(2)

Deco London is a fragrancehouse which debuted with six fragrances in 2015, three for women and three for men. Deco London pays homage to the golden age of perfumery and elegant, flamboyant 1920s London. Here som thoughts about the feamle trio:

Constance: A sweet, balsamic, musky oriental with some flowery notes. Reminds me of candy; caramel toffee to be precise. In style it has similarities with Prada Candy but more dense, sweet and less distinctive than Candy. Prada Candy has the typical chilly, almost of refreshing Prada base (similar to the basenotes of Infusion d'Iris)which brightens that fragrance, Constanse is solid in texture and is more average in its sweet oriental style than the Prada. Anyway a good oriental, balancing to the gourmand territory.

Picture: Deco London Millicent
Photo: PR Deco London
Loretta: This Loeretta is far away from the dark, plummy tuberose of Andy Tauer. The Deco Loretta is bright, chocolate-boozy, like white, icy, booze in a wide cocktail glass. There is also a flowery element which I percieve as lily of the valley, both the flower and the greenery even if the notelist mentions orangeflower, osamnathus, rose and jasmine. To me Loretta smells like a lighter, brighter and more flowery version of the chocolate-boozy, icy Notorious from Ralph Lauren. Notorious is bold, dark and dense in texture compared to Loretta. If compared, Loretta is the spring and summerversion, whereas Notorious goes for autumn and winter.

Millicent: A superb white floral which is not surprising as Millicent smells almost identical to a real favorite orangeblossom of me, Elie Saab Le Parfum (Edp) at least in the top and basenotes. In the middle, Millicent is at tad more of a general "white floral bouquet" even if the orangeblossom dominates in this stage too. Millicent is less sweet/thick and more spritzy/mineral-like (like  Sauvignon blanc vs Chardonnay if related to the world of wine) than Elie Saab Le Parfum in its Edp version (havn't tested the Edt). In the basenotes of Millicent there is also a light pleasent dry a bit chalky note which smells like a sunwarmed, round, smooth stone a hot summerday. My favorite from the womens trio, very pleasant to wear.

Deco London is avaible by Fragrance & Art

torsdag 29 december 2016

Best of 2016

As earlier years I've tested just a very small fraction of the huge number of fragrance releases. So my choice of the best of 2016 comes from a small selection based on my liking.

Picture: Galop d'Hermès
Photo: PR Hermès (c)

Picture: Chanel No 5 L'Eau
Photo: PR Chanel (c)

2016 I found the most interseting, in terms of having potential to be a "classic", and to me the most memorable fragrances of the year, in the designer segment. Galop d'Hermès (pink rose embedded in fine leather) and Chanel No 5 L'Eau (an airy, less aldehydic No 5) are, even if different types of fragrances, both chic and easy to wear, contemporary and in the same time with an anchor in the heritages of the iconic and still independet houses of Hermès and Chanel. I also appreciated Hermès Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate very much, it seems as Christine Nagels adopted style for Hermès works for me. Another designerfragrance, even if not of the great quality of the former mentioned, that I like from this year is the asphalt flower in the night My Burberry Black. Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli should also be mentioned, a beautiful, contemporary, dark and in the same time sort of rosy green chypre. The comforting, creamy, bold, warm and sunny tubereuse of Tom Ford Orchid Soleil makes me happy.

Picture: Tèo Cabanel Kasar,
also together with TC Jaspé and Galop d'Hermès
the best bottles of 2016 

In 2015 there was a battle between white flowers when it came to niche. This year my niche favorite has an abstract, dusty, almost electric (like a warm, dusty old sort of  bulb) carnation flowery scent dimension together with horse, leather and a light touch of cinnamon. The fragrance is classified as masculine and is a new favorite of Mr Parfumista: Tèo Cabanel Kasar, named after one of Emperor Napoleon I:s more than 150 horses. Another horse Jaspé, is also model for another TC release of 2016, a good aromatic fragrance. The house of Tèo Cabanel was also a close contender to the number one position in best of 2015. A very close contender in 2016 is the brilliant, in quality superior, Oud Sublime from Parfums de Nicolaï. Green, dark, velvety, woody with natural Cambodian oud it's refreshing in an elegant and intriguing way.

Picture: Oud Sublime Elixir
Photo: PR Parfums d'Nicolaï (c)
Other niche fragrances that I liked very much in 2016 was in the dark, green, tangy, woody category as Parfums de Nicolaï Incense Oud  with its similarities to Oud Sublime, Maria Candida Gentile Lankaran Forest and Rrose Selavy (which resembles Galop d'Hermès a bit). I also liked Puredistance Sheiduna and Rania J. Cuir Andalou very much, both relaxing, warm, dark, embracing, spicy and oriental styled in different ways.

The to me new house that I discocvered an enjoyed in 2016 was Anatole Lebreton a line of robust, genuine "back to the roots of perfumery" fragrances.

lördag 24 december 2016

The fragrances of Christmas Eve 2016

Picture: Berliner Junge vom Weihnachtsmarkt, um 1890
Watercolor of Franz Skarbina (1849-1910)
Wikimedia commons
(I found this young Berliner when searching for a
 picture for the Christmaspost.
This sad year of terror,  this picture  will
remind us of the victims.)
Once again time for the regular Christmas Eve post: The Scent of Christmas Eve 2016 is the luxerious  Oud Sublime by Parfums de Nicolaï which is descibed in the former entry of the blog. A good alternative to this is a high quality blend is Parfums de Nicolaï Incense Oud. Both fragrances are sort of "forest-refreshing" dark green, mossy, woody with the delightful typical for Nicolaï dry, chalky element. Suits this green, warm, a bit sunny and windy Christmas Eve perfect.

Mr Parfumista is breaking his habit wearing Santos de Cartier vintage version for Christmas Eve. SOTD is an excellent  masculine release from this year: Téo Cabanel  Kasar light spicy, especially cinnamon, leathery accords with a touch of a floral note like carnation/clove. A choice when regarded, in style is close to a contemporary interpretation of Santos; leather and cinnamon   Will be reviewed in 2017. Below is the updated list of the fragrances I've worn the last thirteen Christmas Eves:

2015: Rose de Taif Extrait Perris Monte Carlo (high class smooth velvety rose petals)

2014: Impossible Iris Ramòn Monegal (an elegant, contempory iris with a delicious rasperrynote)
2013: Quintaesensia Ramòn Monegal, (a special retro styled blend, furry, ambery, herbal/spicy)
2012: Nothing, knocked down by the worst flu in ten years+.
2011: Betrothal, Grossmith (classic, light and exquisite florals)
2010: Cuir Mauresque, Serge Lutens (saddle leather, orangeblossom, jasmine, spices)
2009: Tribute Attar, Amouage (dark leather, smoke, oud, excellent spices)
2008: Incense rosé, Andy Tauer (rose, mandarine, cardamom, myrrh cedar, incense)
2007: Ambre Russe, Parfum d'Empires (boozy amber, the, wood, oriental)
2006: Jil Sander 4, Jil Sander (dark, overripe fruits, white almost withering flowers, oriental spices)
2005: Nuit de Noël, Caron (dusky, retro flowers, moss and a furry note)
2004: Cabochard,  Parfums Grès (leathery chypre, harsh green notes and retro flowers)
2003: Fracas Robert Piguet (the ultimate classic grand tubereuse)

I wish all of you a Great Christmas! As I'm very curious to know what you are wearing for Christmas, feel free to leave a comment.

måndag 19 december 2016

Parfums de Nicolaï - Oud Sublime

Picture: The Moose in the snow
Painting by John Bauer (1882-1918)
Oud Sublime is a luxurious elixir based on real cambodian oud, created by perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï for her own house, Parfums de Nicolaï. As the rest of the Nicolaï ouds, Oud Sublime stands out as a different oud compared to the common, strong, medical, syntecial intrpretation of this woody note. In the oud fragrances of Nicolaï oud is gentler and not as dominating, it's one of several notes inteacting in well constructed accords.

Oud Sublime starts smelling almost as Incense Oud for a while. Then Oud Sublime takes a darker and deeper trail, with less patchouli, smoother and a bit mysterious. It's texture and color is like a mossy green velvet gown under a dark chocolate brown velvet coat. There is no harsh chemical notes and no cloggy thickness which could be an issue with some "commercial" oudfragrances. Instead, despite of it's darkness, there is an element that could be described as fresh in Oud Sublime, it's the freshness of walking in the forest in the mid-winter, not the acquatic or citrus sort of fresh. The patchouli in Oud Sublime is the same characteristic "Nicolaï patchouli" as in Patchouli Homme/Patchouli Intense and the note is intergrated with the other notes in a seamless way. The base are dominated by the characteristic dark green, chalky, slight mossy elegant Nicolaï accord, the Guerlinade of the house of Nicolaï. In Oud Sublime, this houseaccord seems to be wrapped in dark, woody, slight animalic and natural oudy notes with a hint of a clean incense.
Picture: Oud Sublime
Photo: PR Parfums de Nicolaï (c)
Overall, to me Oud Sublime seems to be an extrait variation of Incense Oud, darker, smoother and close to the skin whereas Incense Oud is the more radiant, brighter, higher positioned on the fragrant notescale.
When it comes to the difference/similarity between the two versions it's about the same relationship as between Andy Tauers versions of his moroccan desert fragrances L'Air du Desert Marocain and Au Coeur du Desert where the former is the brighter and more radiant and the latter extrait variation is darker, smoother and close to the skin.

Oud Sublime is a wearable fragrance both for gloomy autumn/winterdays and for evenings year around. It's a unisex fragrance, close to the skin with a longevity for more then 12h. Silage is somewhere between close to medium.

For a conniseur both Oud Sublime and Incense Oud are worth owning, just as the classic Guerlains and Chanels are different enough to justify owning all versions. As Oud Sublime is quite expensive, Incense Oud is a good option which on the other hand is quite friendly to the wallet.

Rating: 5

Notes: Davana, coriander, rose, ambretta, cambodian oud, patchouli, incense, styrax

Parfums de Nicolaï is now avaible on Fragrance & Art