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Parfums de Nicolaï

Aldehydes, Past and Present

in Reviews by

Once you become interested in perfumes, you begin to search for answers to hitherto unknown mysteries, such as trying to learn what aldehydes really smell like. (A few years ago, before I had registered on my first perfume forum, I don’t think I had ever heard the word “aldehyde.”) The perfume neophyte soon realizes that aldehydes are everywhere in perfumery, although they do not seem to be terribly popular these days.

Singular Summer Soliflores

in Reviews by

Confession: I don’t actually like soliflores. I mean, I don’t like to wear them. I like sniffing them from a sample and I consider them useful to have around as a reference, but wearing them simply wears me down. Soliflores say one thing, and one thing only. I admire the single-mindedness of their message, but as the day goes on, it grates. Flowers must be part of a more complex composition for me to wear them.

I will say this, though, and my apologies if this sounds like a contradiction – there is nothing like a good soliflore to move me to tears. The smell of a Bourbon rose, a tuberose bloom, or newly opened jasmine flowers are so astoundingly beautiful in nature that any successful attempt at recreating their smell in perfume has a similar effect on my senses and emotions. KEEP ON READING

Here Comes the Sun: Ambre Nuit, Eau du Sud, and Eau Mer

in Reviews/Thoughts by
End Of The World - Dungeness Simon & His Camera / Foter / CC BY-ND

Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee

It’s no rarity in the niche world to have a fragrance name at odds with its contents. Le Labo is legendary for that, as both Rose 31 and Ylang 49 can attest to. Patricia de Nicolai’s recent Amber Oud was patently devoid of either amber or oud. And to many who have worn Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee, the same brush applies: where the hell is the amber?  Well, it’s there, friends, you just have to be patient, and perhaps shift expectations of what an ‘amber’ fragrance is. 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

Alternatives to Summer Colognes

in Thoughts by

Confession: I don’t like summer colognes.

I have a few problems with them. First, most summer colognes are a bit boring. I know that this won’t be a popular opinion, especially in Southern Europe, where 95% of us walk around smelling like lemons for three months of the year, but it’s true. Part of the problem is that the cologne genre doesn’t seem as ripe for innovation as other genres, following as they do a tried and true formula of citrus, herbs, and woods that has been around since 1704. It’s kind of like being five minutes into the latest Jennifer Anniston romantic comedy – it’s nice and all, but you can totally tell where it’s headed. KEEP ON READING

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