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House of Matriarch

Smoke, Woods, & Resins: Top 15 for Fall/Winter

in Lists/Reviews by

 

2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths and an even worse one for celebrity presidential elections, so I’ve found myself craving and wearing mostly woody, resinous perfumes that perform like one long howling basenote, working my tired neck muscles like a Russian massage therapist. This year, no roses, no leathers, and no ambers – just a long line of calming, resinous woods that make me feel like I’ve slipped into the Nirvana of a silent forest, isolated from all the problems of the world around me. KEEP ON READING

Sweet like Chocolate: All Things Brown and Fudgy

in Reviews/Thoughts by

So, chocolate-themed fragrances. I am more of a fan of animalic chypres and orientals myself. There are times, though, when I do get a craving for a perfume that smells just like chocolate. It is very low-brow of me, I know. But what can I say – the desire exists, so I frequently (more frequently than I would like to admit) order samples of fragrances with chocolate notes. Here are a few of my recent explorations into this particular note.

Chocolate Greedy by Montale

I am not too sure if I am attracted to, or repulsed by Montale’s Chocolate Greedy. Perhaps it is the fact that, on me, Chocolate Greedy is as much about the smell of wheat as it is about the chocolate. Specifically, Chocolate Greedy opens on an orange-chocolate-wheat note that is strongly reminiscent of a brand of low-fat chocolate digestive cookies marketed to women, called Wellness. These cookies have a thin scraping of (low quality) baking chocolate, a hint of orange, and a flat, dry biscuit with a very leaden, ‘wheaten’ texture. These cookies are cynically marketed as the type of product women can scoff down with no feelings of guilt while trying to ‘reduce’. All utter bollocks, of course, because they contain something like 150 calories each, and when women do this to themselves, it morphs from cynical misogynism into willful masochism. Anyway, the opening is kind of wheat-y in a way that instills shame and self-loathing in me, no Wellness biscuits required. KEEP ON READING

Kalemat: Damn Fine Coffee

in Reviews by

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve put on a fragrance and thought, “I could wear this and only this for the rest of my life”. In case you were wondering, the perfumes in question were as follows: Chypre Palatin by Parfums MDCI, Blackbird by House of Matriarch, Lyric Woman by Amouage, and Bois des Iles by Chanel. Now, Kalemat by Arabian Oud joins them.

Now, I’m not saying that Kalemat is wildly original (like Blackbird), complex (like Chypre Palatin), or so beautifully composed that it brings tears to my eyes (Bois des Iles and Lyric Woman). But it’s one of those rare instances when you can just put on a scent and know that it smells damn good, and that you smell damn good, and that other people (all of the other people, believe me) will think you smell damn good too. It reminds me that things don’t have to be wildly expensive or original to give you pleasure. In fact, every time I spray Kalemat on, I think of what Agent Dale Cooper tells Harry, the local sheriff in Twin Peaks: KEEP ON READING

Norne by Slumberhouse: Photorealistic Forest

in Reviews by
Snow Flurries

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

By Robert Frost

Snow Flurries
Image credits: Alfi007

Somewhere between dark green and black, the colour of this juice announces its sinister intentions ahead of time. This stuff stains. It feels sticky where you sprayed it, like getting pine sap on your fingers, or tar. This is what it smells like, too. Fir balsam served straight up, crushed pine needles underfoot, the camphor and tar of a dark forest jostling around you. For a bit you even think “Christ, will I be able to breathe?” You will. Just wait. KEEP ON READING

Review of Blackbird, by House of Matriarch

in Reviews by

Blackbird

It’s not often that a perfume knocks me off my feet so completely. This one just did.

Composed by Christi Meshell for her House of Matriarch line of perfumes, Blackbird is made up of over 300 different notes and materials, 93% of which are all-natural. It is offered in extrait strength only, with 33% concentration of perfume essences.

The main notes are leather, oud, resins, and woods. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what your nose actually gets. This is incredibly complex, even crowded perfume – but somehow it still manages to achieve the effect of a smooth, even flow of notes, like water across a silk panel. KEEP ON READING

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