Niche Fragrance Magazine

Tag archive


Tea with (smelly) friends

in Thoughts by

Two weekends ago I went to London with a good friend I’ve known since I was in my 20s – that’s her in the photo with me – Sam who writes the I Scent You A Day blog. We went to hang out and drink tea with a group of perhaps twenty people, many of whom we hadn’t physically met before. What did we have in common? Perfume. How did we know these people? The internet.

Now some people get upset when I refer to them as Smelly Friends, so I may need to use some other terminology, such as Fragonerds, Perfumistas and Perfumisters, or just fragrance afficionados, but it all boils down to the same thing. We are people who love perfume. You, dear reader, may very well be one too. KEEP ON READING

Scented souvenirs

in Reviews by

I keep a bottle of supermarket Eau de Cologne in my fridge and just soused myself in it after hanging the washing out in the hot sun. It was gratifyingly cooling and refreshing, and its scent flashed me back to summers spent in France and Switzerland, where it was often this hot, and I learned this cooling trick.

Because I’m writing a review rather than simply enjoying my favourite eau, which by the way is Mont St Michel Eau de Cologne Ambrée, I took notice of the barbershop-ish initial impression it gives me. As a confirmed anti-frou-frou woman who loathes ruffles, pink and florals, I spent years trying to find fragrances that worked for me. (Thank goodness for Yves Saint Laurent, is all I can say.) Anyway, I came across this particular favourite of mine via soap (another weakness). I was in France and needed to buy a bar to use while I was away. After sniffing several packages, I found the soap version of this eau de Cologne and was pleased by its non-floral spicy and ambery notes. I used it the whole time I was away, and now it is one of my favourite ‘flashback’ scents. KEEP ON READING

Rudis by Nobile 1942: Empty Promises

in Reviews by

Half an hour into Rudis by Antonio Alessandria for Nobile 1942 and I’m willing to sell my soul for it. I can’t remember the last time I was so bowled over by an opening of a perfume. It smells like expensive whiskey at first, its sheer booziness giving Lubin’s Idole a run for its money, followed by luscious red berries, dark wine, leather, incense, and smoky woods. The first time I wore it, I couldn’t stop muttering “wow!” to myself like a mad woman. I was quite literally intoxicated. KEEP ON READING

Idole by Lubin-opulence Olivia Giacobetti style

in Reviews by


I’ve noticed lately that, as I go further and deeper into my perfume journey, I feel more and more attracted to subtlety, finesse and a certain discreet depth. I’m still, always will be, in love with the brazen creatures that form the most of my collection but I’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for intricate delicacy, whispered suggestions, gentle but nevertheless surprising shifts of nuances and perspectives. These kind of works seem to suit my mood often enough, especially when I feel fraught and tired. They’re never too demanding yet equally entertaining as the more assertive perfumes I own.
And Olivia Giacobetti is the master of clever, subtle entertainment. Before I even realized it, three of her works, all for L’Artisan Parfumeur, have made their way into my home and heart: Dzing!this happy, friendly, sexy oddball of a scent, Tea for Two, the coziest tea themed perfume ever made and Passage d’enfer, a graceful, airy incense with a delightful hint of soapy, floral cleanliness.
What these perfumes have in common is their inherent affability (never met an Olivia Giacobetti perfume that feels cold and aloof), a blurry, soft radiance, a sort of playful, smiling disposition with a hint of longing that draws you in like a spell, and this charmed lightness of touch even when working with robust notes such as leather, smoke, incense, amber, rum and so on. Miss Giacobetti always brings glow into the dark and casts a mysterious shadow over the brightest, sharpest edges. Emotional, lyrical, capturing ineffable moments or smells, her work is always ethereal, dreamlike and simply magical.
Indeed, whenever I find out that a certain perfume was created by this particularly intelligent, sensitive and precise perfumer, I know it’s at least worth a try.
So Idole was on my mind. I would’ve liked to do a comparison between the earlier Eau de Toilette, which is now discontinued, unfortunately along with one of the most stunning perfume bottles in recent history, and the more recent Eau de Parfum, of which I have a sample. Alas, I can’t, as I have not even a drop of the Eau de Toilette in my possession.
Idole Eau de Parfum bursts into being with a spicy, boozy scream quickly soothed into a sheer blanket of ambery warmth and creamy woods. Sensual, a little animalic, slinky and dark, this feels like a silk dress, powdered with exotic spices, sprinkled with smooth rum draping itself around a beautiful, sinuous ebony black body. The fantasy of a sailor lost on the seas of the Spice Trade routes. Up close, Idole is very strong in the first half an hour: breath in deeply and you’ll be half drunk on the rum and the rocking, tilting motion of the notes. It smells simultaneously alcoholic, sweet, woody, warm, resinous, smoky. The beginning is so concentrated, almost searing in its intensity, but the notes slowly start to unravel, increasing the space between them ever so slightly. It is a wave like movement, things coming together and then apart again, a continuous alternation of sensations, but essentially the structure of the fragrance is perfectly contained in the first hour. It stays the same throughout, just a little mellowed and a touch more creamily luminescent. The rum and spices also retreat to the edges, giving center stage to soft, elegant wood notes.
It’s very nicely blended, smooth and addictive, softly radiant and hazy. The boozy notes are one of the best I’ve ever smelled, sweetish, mellow, almost caramel like. The heat of the saffron and black cumin (note:no sweat connotations whatsoever) lends a lively buzz and the bitter orange rind cuts through the sticky, molten amber and labdanum lava. In spite of the rich, potentially cloying notes Idole is easy to wear and the more you wear it the more attractive it becomes. I think we all have in our collection those fragrances that can be considered a bit unoriginal, nothing new under the sun type of thing but that we find ourselves wearing the hell out of because somehow they feel right for most occasions. Idole is one of those versatile workhorses.
Dedicated to restless explorers and daredevils, people that push the world forward with their insatiable thirst for knowledge, adventure and testing their limits, Idole is supposed to smell bold and exotic and to a certain degree it does, especially in the beginning. But it’s also civilized, refined and luxurious. Idole is the dream and not the reality of explorers. It’s a sublimated version of what exoticism might be: the soft gleam of rough pearls adorning black skin, the dusty fierce aroma of spices in overflowing wooden bowls, liberating nights fuelled by rum, its heady vapors floating around like a hypnotizing fog, carved plates piled full with sugar syrup soaked cakes, laughter, the lull of the sea waves and the unsettling mysterious darkness of the jungle nearby. It is like a costume party for the rich and beautiful in an opulent, refined club.
Nothing to do with mosquito bites, oppressive heat or cold, the moments of sheer terror, the dirty clothes, the utter tiredness after days of endless walking or riding on an inhospitable terrain. And it’s fine. We need to dream, and all of us, including Olivia Giacobetti, are looking up to the same stars. Fantasy and imagination can bring us all inside the same dream and this perfumer always knows how to transmit an abstract idea, conjuring strikingly similar images in different minds. It’s a sign of consistency, clarity and coherence, intention and the fulfillment of it. In a word, beautiful! KEEP ON READING

Vanilla Madness: The Search to Find My Perfect Vanilla

in Reviews/Thoughts by

Winter is a-coming, and I be a-laying down fat to keep myself warm. Ambers, dark musks, spicy orientals, creamy gourmands…..I’ll take one of each, please. But the perfect vanilla has always eluded me. I mean, yes, there’s Shalimar, and Shalimar is pretty much the perfect everything. But Shalimar is an awful lot more than pure vanilla – there’s leather, incense, musk, and bergamot in there too. I’m on the look-out for a vanilla vanilla.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Even though the word ‘vanilla’ itself has come to mean something pedestrian, simple, or even a little boring, the variations that perfumers are able to visit upon it seem to be endless. My quest therefore becomes like the search for the Baby Bear’s Porridge – you know, the vanilla that is ‘just right’. Of course, it would help if I knew what exactly I was looking for in a perfect vanilla fragrance. But, like with good art, it’s something I’ll only know when I smell it. Here are the vanillas that I have tried and tested thus far. KEEP ON READING

Korrigan by Lubin: Restrained Drunkeness

in Reviews by

When I was nineteen, I used to work in a nightclub in Dublin called Copper Face Jacks. It was – and maybe still is – somewhat notorious in Ireland as a meat market, in other words, a place where young people would come to get drunk and make some very bad sexual decisions (sometimes without even leaving the confines of the club). Coppers, as we staff would grimly call it, was owned by a former policeman, or a guard, as we call them in Ireland. We would routinely get ‘raided’ by the gardai, who would shut us down for the night, throw the punters out with a stiff warning ringing in their ears, and then proceed to drink us dry until the wee hours of the morning. The only consolation was being allowed by the owner the rare treat of being allowed to have one drink free. KEEP ON READING

21: Space Age Cashmere

in Reviews by

CoSTUME NATIONAL 21 is what you’d imagine robots in a lab in far future would come up with if asked to produce a cashmere sweater scent, and they only had access to a boatload of synthetics and a handful of ‘vintage’ natural materials. On the surface, it’s warm and fuzzy, but there are dark currents and sharp edges underneath. I like it because it’s exactly the kind of thing I want to wear when I want to feel comforted but don’t want to be lulled into complete torpor. It’s cozy but edgy. KEEP ON READING

Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki: Riding the Hype Wave

in Reviews by
Stolen from Fragrantica
Source: Fragrantica

Every now and then you come across such a storm of interest around a fragrance that you just have to plonk down your money, buy blind, and hope to God that what you get is every bit as wonderful as people say it is. Often, these fragrances are only available to you through a complicated system of secret handshakes and Chinese whispers. Such is the case with Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki, which until a week ago was only available through a perfumer’s contact on Facebook or through a splitter with the right contacts. As an example of the sort of madness we are talking about here, my sample came from a bottle that had been flown from Poland all the way to California, and then all the way back to Montenegro, which is, may I remind you all, IS ONLY A FEW HUNDRED METERS AWAY FROM BLOODY POLAND. KEEP ON READING

Pin It on Pinterest


Subscribe to our Newsletter and grab your  free eBook copy of "PERFUME 101 - From Beginner to Aficionado" by Fragrance Daily Author Claire Vukcevic now!

Fragrance Daily eBook Cover

YAY! You subscribed successfully and became part of the growing FD cult!

Go to Top