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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

Masque Fragranze Romanza: my wild, green romance

in Reviews by

The absinthe scene in Coppola’s “Dracula”, the world around swimming in a mysterious sea of green. My nana’s old, but strong hands burrowing deeper inside the black, fertile earth, planting her narcissi, hyacinths and tulips, cradling carefully the fragile bulbs from which sweet, spicy, musky beauty was going to arise. Honey dripping over tanned, hot skin. Oh, and the smell of his body, so warm, the feel of it, smooth like velvet, there, in those secret places. So damn intoxicating! I could rest my cheek against such preciousness forever. My mother bathed in the morning light, singing bittersweet love songs and getting the linden blossoms tea ready. Jumping up and down on hay bales. Tilda Swinton as Emma Recchi in the movie “I am love”, her white skin capturing the blinding sheen of a fallen angel, while she was being loved among tall grasses and insects buzzing lazily in the heat of the summer. A funeral during a blistering July, the incense smoke, and salty tears and the smell of decay escaping from underneath the masses of half wilted flowers. Life’s happiness and sadness and the myriad of small things in between. These were some of the images and thoughts flooding my brain the second I put Masque’s “Romanza” on. A fragrance that is first and foremost alive.
Young perfumer Cristiano Canali has achieved a rare feat: a passionate, moving tour de force around a difficult and expensive material, the narcissus absolute. He managed to create something completely beautiful without striping away any of the “ugly” bits of his raw ingredients, a perfume that is soothing and feral at the same time, elegant yet rough.
I love the complex textural feeling I get from this fragrance: dry and moist, sweet and bitter, oily and powdery, soft and scratchy, animalic and floral and so on. A way to simplify the complicated nuances puzzle of “Romanza”, is to look at it as an intensely, almost cutting green floral wrapped around a warm woody-ambery accord with animalic inflections. And this is basically it. But it would be a pity to try and simplify, analyse, box in, compartmentalise a thing that is living and breathing on the skin like that, a thing that keeps changing and pulsating like some weird alien just being born. Scary yet somehow tender and fragile. At  some point the animalic vibe it’s so golden naughty, so warm and addictive and comforting you forget all about the beginning’s poisonous floral trauma, and I mean that trauma in the best possible sense. It’s a shock to the senses, but it comes with the precious side effect of any shock: it makes you feel alive and totally immersed in the moment. The far drydown reminded me a bit of Molinard Habanita, with far less powder and sweetness, but the vetiver it’s just as scrumptious. To be honest I’m moved beyond words of such emotional display in a perfume. It truly is a liquid poem, and alas when it comes to words I’m not poet enough to sing its praise the way it should be sung. With force and vulnerability and realness. I hope at least you’ll try it and hear its message clearly: to live and love before it’s too late for any living and loving to be still done. KEEP ON READING

When mainstream beats niche: Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Scent Collection

in Reviews/Team Round Up by
tuscan scent salvatore ferragamo__41588_big_line_cat
Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Scent Collection, 2014

Once in a while, a designer house throws on the market a high-end collection (or two) of unexpected quality that could perhaps enchant even the most fastidious niche aficionados. I was elated to discover that Salvatore Ferragamo has stepped outside their mainstream field with it`s two Quintessencial Collections, first in 2013 launching the outstanding line of EDT`s in sleek bottles under the name Tuscan Soul (if you`re into amber do try Terra Rosa) and continuing an year later with the black triptych called Tuscan Scent which are all EDP`s. I feel the latter deserves some extra attention because it`s something truly creative and groundbreaking having all the qualities one could hope for and imagine.
Last summer my bestie who is also a perfume enthusiast came to visit me for a week and we literally spend our time together sniffing as many scents we could both in town and from my drawer, laughing, drinking Aperol Spritz, smoking Gauloise Blonde and talking about everything until late at night. It was PERFECT. One day she went alone for a stroll alone and I remember it was raining that day and quite cold. She came home with her coat all soaked up and approaching her neck to my nose she said: SMELL! Oh, wow! The scent she was wearing smelled very natural and had something equally tempting and dangerous to it. It was Golden Acacia applied several hours before and her skin turned it into, well, something quite magical. That raised of course my interest to try it myself and the next day I sprayed it on my wrists and took a deep breath. And it played its magic on me too. KEEP ON READING

My ten autumn perfect perfumes

in Reviews by


I’ve always loved autumn, even as a child. Of course, a child loves most things anyway, but even if the arrival of autumn meant the end of summer holiday’s freedom and the beginning of a new school term, I still loved autumn. The colours drove me wild with excitement. I used to spend hours collecting the most beautiful fallen leaves for the collage projects we always had going in the art class during autumn months. I loved the smells too, the smoke of burnt dead leaves, the damp scent of foggy mornings, the tangy sweet aroma of soft fruit fermenting on the ground, the huge yellow and white chrysanthemums from my grandma’s garden, and that dark, mossy forest smell of autumn soil slowly warming up in the gentle, pallid glow of October sun. KEEP ON READING

Molinard Habanita: A Giant in a Field of Gnats

in Reviews by
Science & Technology
Guy Smoking A Cigarette

Habanita is a giant in a field of gnats.

But man, it took me ages to understand it, let alone enjoy it. At first, I was repulsed. It smelled harsh to me. Indistinct and muddy – like a fistful of wet, mulched leaves. There was a sticky grey -brown cast to it that lent it a slightly glum feel. Who the hell wants to smell like this, I thought to myself.

But something kept making me want to wear it, and now, with time, I’ve come to love it. And I don’t mean love it from a distance. No, I actually wear Habanita once a week. Coming from a gal with as many perfumes as I have, that should tell you something. KEEP ON READING

Amouage Epic Woman: Made to Make Your Mouth Water

in Reviews by
Science & Technology
Chinese Black Dragon – Images

Anybody here remember Opal Fruits? The tagline was: “Made to make your mouth water” – and sure enough whenever an ad for those tangy, sherbet-y little suckers came on TV, my mouth would begin pumping out saliva. Like Pavlov’s dog.

Well, I just have to glance at my dark green bottle of Amouage Epic Woman for my mouth to start to water. Like pickles, umeboshi (Japanese salted plums) and sourpatch gummies, there is an almost physical pleasure to be had in their wincingly tart flavor. It is a credit to Amouage that Epic Woman contains so many piquant green notes and still manages to be so inviting. It smells like something pickled in brine! And yet sweet! KEEP ON READING

MAAI by Bogue: Bridge between the Past and the Future

in Reviews by


There is a road that stretches exactly 674 kilometers from Rimini on the North-East coast of Italy up through the Alps to Zurich, in Switzerland. This journey, were you to make it by car, would take you seven hours to complete, and by the end of it, you would have taken in most of the independent and artistic perfume making that still exists in Europe today. We are talking here about small, mostly self-taught perfumers who, instead of designing according to briefs set by the big fragrance conglomerates, create perfumes that take big, bold leaps into the dark and are limited only by the outer boundaries of their imaginations. KEEP ON READING

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