Niche Fragrance Magazine

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Claire Vukcevic - page 3

Claire Vukcevic has 127 articles published.

My name is Claire, I'm a 39-year old mother of two, and I am a freelance writer and consultant. I love perfume, any perfume, practically all of 'em. Other interests such as writing, reading, and painting fall tragically behind the perfume. It's a hobby that tends to be all-consuming (of both my time and my money).

Roses Volume V

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Wow, are we at Volume V already? I ain’t finished yet, ladies and gents. I might, however, be getting, if not exactly sick of rose, then a wee bit short-tempered with it. Before this frantic round of testing all the rose samples in my stash (see Volumes I, II, III, and IV), I had been inclined to go easy on rose fragrances when reviewing them, because rose is one of my favorite notes. But now, rose fragrances have to go above and beyond to impress me. Welcome to the tougher, meaner old hag that is now me. You roses have broken me. KEEP ON READING

James Heeley Chypre 21

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The term “chypre” seems to be a rather fluid one these days. Technically, in order to be classified as a chypre, a fragrance should contain bergamot, labdanum, and oakmoss. But you can drive yourself crazy trying to sort perfumes into chypre and non-chypre categories, checking off notes lists, and so on.

In general, the nose can recognize a chypre right away, because of its immediately recognizable Yin and Yang of sweet and bitter. In its entirety, a chypre should smell the way a perfectly balanced Chinese meal tastes, with the bitterness and saltiness of oakmoss contrasting the brightness of the citrus, and the ambery base softening and sweetening the final “taste”. KEEP ON READING

Three Great Non-Rose-y Oud Fragrances

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Is anyone here just a teeny tiny bit tired of the rose-oud combination? Don’t get me wrong – there are days when I still crave that wonderful combination of smoky, sour oud and sweet rose. But increasingly, I am turning to oud fragrances that either do away with the rose part of the equation, or bury the oud in dark woods and crisp leather so that it becomes more of a bit player than the main attraction.

The key words here are subtlety and novelty. Can oud be presented in a manner that surprises and pleases even the most jaded of palates? Here are my thoughts on a few fragrances I’ve been testing recently that place the oud note in a new light. KEEP ON READING

Masque Fragranze Romanza: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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The latest fragrance from Masque Fragranze, Romanza, is neither easy to describe nor to wear. That doesn’t mean it’s not utterly brilliant, because it is. It features narcissus, but instead of wrapping it in sunshiney beeswax (Ostara) or sweetening it with rose (Lumiere Noire Pour Femme), Romanza plays up all its ugly, bitter facets, resulting in a fragrance that is a real punch in the gut. Do you want to be challenged, confronted, and swept off your feet? Well, Romanza may be just the ticket. KEEP ON READING

Lonesome Rider Review Series Pt. 3: A Beautiful Cloud of White

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[Part 3 of a review series on the new Tauer Perfumes fragrance Lonesome Rider. Please find the other parts here: Part 1 – Sjörn | Part 2 – Neoxerxes | Part 4 – Narada – Available for purchase here ]

Lonesome Rider strikes me as quite different to the impressions of my blog colleagues here and here. To me, it reads mainly as a bright, arid floral with a dusty, soapy trail, eventually winding up in a grey, mineralic cloud of resins and Ambroxan. If that doesn’t sound like I enjoy the scent, then you’d be wrong: I love it. It’s just that I don’t get much of the leather or any of the smoke that other people are talking about. To me, this is a beautiful white-grey cloud of soapy orris, spicy carnation, and other, mixed florals (rose, violet, jasmine) floating on top of that Tauerade of powdery sandalwood, vetiver, and Ambroxan. If Lonestar Memories is an oil painting done in thick reds, browns, and tar black, then Lonesome Rider is an acid pastel – strong but delicate. KEEP ON READING

Dans Tes Bras: Thanks, but No Thanks

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I admit that I was rooting for Dans Tes Bras to be a winner even before I’d smelled it, because it’s considered the edgiest entry in a brand that focuses on giving us the most super rich, but straight-forward versions of single notes or styles. I kind of like the idea of the quirky one in the bunch being a soul match for me. I had smelled it briefly on a trip to Brussels and in a flurry of twenty other fragrances all competing for nose space, its pale, violet-tinged reticence intrigued me. But when I ordered a sample to investigate further, I discovered certain problems with it. KEEP ON READING

Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories

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We’re all excited here at Fragrance Daily for the arrival of precious samples of the new Andy Tauer release, Lonesome Rider. Over the next week or so, there will be a series of takes on this new scent by a few of our contributing writers, so keep tuned to this site! In the meantime, though, I thought we’d take a look back at one of the classics in Andy Tauer’s line, namely Lonestar Memories, because this fragrance was the starting point for the Lonesome Rider.

In his WordPress blog created for the purpose of launching Lonesome Rider, Andy mentioned that Lonestar Memories was  “[A] scent that captures elements of untrimmed leather, campfire and the scent of wild pastures. A smoky leather note is what I wanted to see in Lonesome Rider, too. To me, this feels like going back to the source. I want the Lonesome Rider to stand out of the crowd. Thus, there’s an element of rough texture that I love so much. The smoke note is civilized, the leather warm and feels like a worn leather jacket.” KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume IV

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This installment covers a jammy rose, an attar of roses, a cologne-style rose-oud, and a dusky oriental rose.

Rose Flash by Andy Tauer Tauerville

Food & Drink
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam | Slim Pickin&;s Kitchen

The Tauerville project is very interesting because it’s an acknowledgment by a perfumer that sometimes we are just looking for a rough and dirty fix on an ingredient – a whistled tune rather than a full scale opera. Rose Flash is a forceful exposition of an idea of rose as an edible, attar-like confection, made to satisfy a base hunger that more delicate or more complex rose creations cannot. KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume III

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Today I’ll be looking at some Arabic-inspired rose fragrances at various price points – Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone, Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne, Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdijan, and Wissal by Ajmal.

Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone

Flowers & Trees
Nature Hd Beauty Flowers Rose Red Scarlet Petals Px images: ~ hd beauty images, hd beauty balm, hd beauty supply coupon

Velvet Rose & Oud is utterly brilliant. I always feel that the traditional pairing of rose with oud never goes quite far enough to modulate the underlying sourness of oud, especially if the traditional Bulgarian rose is used, because there is always that faintly tart, green-lemon edge to Bulgarian roses that inches it too close to the sourness of the oud. KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume II

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Today, we’re looking at a few of the fresher, lighter rose scents out there – L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and Eau Rose by Diptyque, Rose en Noir by Miller Harris, and Elisabethan Rose by Penhaligon’s.

L’Ombre Dans L’Eau by Diptyque

In January, 2013, alone in a small niche perfumery in Rome and armed with birthday money, which is free money, I made my first niche perfume purchases, among them Diptyque’s L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I ended up selling all but one of those bottles (I kept Borneo 1834), and the first on the chopping block was L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I always have a moment of hesitation before selling on a perfume, but not this time. KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume I

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Guys, I’ve made a sort of New Year’s promise to myself (not resolution – because I always break my resolutions): this is the year when I am going to plow through that large stack of samples I have lying around the house. The rose perfume stack is especially high, so I’m going to write a series of Rose Volumes until all the samples are gone and I have a better idea of which ones make my top ten wish list, and which do not.

Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle

Human
Lipstick Girls

A beautiful swirl of jammy violet ionones, rose, and iris whipped up into the classic scent of a high-end waxy lipstick – what’s not to like? It aims for a lighthearted cheerfulness and stays there, not changing or progressing much in its lifetime on the skin, save for a brief flash of sharp, soapy grapefruit that (mercifully) drops back once the topnotes have dissipated. KEEP ON READING

Rania J. Oud Assam – Excellent Starter Indian Oud

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Oud Assam smells (to me) like real Indian oud oil tinctured in perfumer’s alcohol, bracketed by a simple bitter orange note on top and a fresh, mossy note on the bottom. This pared-back approach allows all the complexities of the Indian oud used to come out and show themselves – the leather, the woods, the funk, the cheese, the rot, and the sour tang of moldy earth. It’s pretty close to being an oudiflore.

The extent to which you’ll find the oud in Oud Assam dirty depends on your level of experience with real oud. If you’re used to the Montale type of oud (plasticky, band-aid-y, rubbery, or even paint-thinner-ish), then Rania J.’s version might have you running for the hills screaming “Cow dung! Blue cheese!” If you’re coming at this from the perspective of Oud Palao, Leather Oud, and Oud Ispahan, which are all based on the aroma of smoking oud wood chips (rather than the oil), then this will also be quite a departure. But if you’ve smelled real oud oil, and especially Indian (Hindi) oud, then you’ll sniff Oud Assam and say to yourself, “Damn, but they sure put the real stuff in here.” KEEP ON READING

De Profundis by Serge Lutens

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From the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord!

Despite the chilling despair of Psalm 130 from which the title De Profundis (“From the Depths”) was taken, and the gloomy death poem that Oncle Serge sent out with it, there is nothing melancholic or funereal about De Profundis the perfume. That’s the problem with back-story in perfume – one association from the perfumer and our mind rushes to meet it, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Oncle Serge hadn’t mentioned death, nobody would be talking about this perfume using words such as death, sadness, melancholy, or funerals. But he did, and they do… KEEP ON READING

Etat Libre d’Orange Like This

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A slow burn, this perfume. I’ve had a sample of it for a year, and despite many tests, it’s only recently that Like This has truly gelled for me. A “meh” to “yeah” progression, I guess. Although I smelled everything I was supposed to – the pumpkin, the ginger, the tangerines, the immortelle, the whiskey – the lines between the notes in Like This always seemed blurred and fuzzy, like everything melted down into a big pot of pumpkin soup.

Then I realized two things. First, that there is a sort of charm to having all the notes gleam in an orange and gold register. It’s a deliberate choice, not a mistake. The soft ochres and burnt siennas of the notes are there to provide a tight, muted symphony of voices all in the same range rather than to feature the depths and heights of a full Wagnerian opera. KEEP ON READING

Oud Shamash by The Different Company

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I wish I didn’t like this so much. It’s beyond my budget (like, totally beyond my budget). But even worse, smelling this, I got that sickening feeling you get when you invest $$$$ in an iPhone4 just two days before the iPhone5 launches. Damn that Betrand Duchaufour if he hasn’t improved upon about three or four of his previous perfumes with Oud Shamash. And sure enough, I own some of those early models…

Something about the combination of the fruity incense smell (davana) and the dry woods reminds me of Timbuktu or even of Jubilation XXV, both also by Duchaufour. There’s also a toasty, slightly sugared “bread” aroma here that reminds of the dry-toasted cumin seeds in Al Oudh (Duchaufour again).  But Oud Shamash does not have the stark stillness of Timbuktu, the armpitty, disturbingly sugary funk of Al Oudh, or the glowing, ruby-red orientalism of Jubilation XXV – rather, it has the dusty, faded brilliance of a complex brocade that has been folded up and stored in a wooden casket for two centuries. It’s a ghost. KEEP ON READING

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