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Parfums d’Empire

Parfums d’ Empire Musc Tonkin extrait: the quintessential filth

in Reviews by

Perfume as medicine again. And again. When will this need end? This need for appeasing the pain? When will the pain end? There are too many days of it. I know I have no reason for it. From a logical point of view absolutely nothing is wrong, on the contrary. But I can’t get rid of the mental anguish. It’s with me when I’m chewing my food, when I smile to my friends, while I cuddle next to my partner. It’s with me today and it was with me yesterday. It was with me at night, keeping me awake and gripped in fear that it’s going to be with me forever, poisoning me slowly, killing me in the end. I’m fighting against it every time I get out of bed, forcing myself to breathe deeply, to wash my face, to put on makeup and get on with the day. Every time I’m choosing a perfume to wear it’s a conscious effort to cheer myself up, to remember good things, to soothe and console. Today it’s Musc Tonkin and I confess is not really working because nothing much works these days and today is one of those times when I’m just riding the pain wave. I let it engulf me and hope I won’t get swallowed altogether. Still, even in the midst of blackness, I feel the beauty of this perfume. It is more than beauty. It’s mystery. It is not meant to be worn to feel pretty and put together or clean and confident or even sexy and sensual. It is meant to be worn like an amulet. To remind you that are things beyond our grasp, that life is big and terrible in its magnificence. It doesn’t care about you or me, it just is. That we are impermanent and transient and we don’t matter but life in itself matters. That my tumult today is irrelevant, less than the tiniest blip on the radar, but that the fact that I’m alive and part of this big hot humanity soup it’s important. That I’m connected to others and they in their turn are connected to more and this has to amount to something. A sense of some sort. These connections between us, the only sense to life I can grasp. And Musc Tonkin is bodies. A lot of bodies pressed together, warm and alive. Naked and connected, because I’ll be damned if it’s not the only thing that keeps the spectre of death away. When I wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in cold sweat after dreaming about my loved ones dying, hugging my partner’s body it’s the only thing that gives me a bit of comfort. That human warmth is present in Musc Tonkin alongside the elemental, cruel forcefulness of life. It smells both very close, intimate and cozy but also remote and threatening somehow, majestically so. In my mind, although they don’t smell at all alike, I relate it to Vero Profumo Onda. Because they’re built on big, bold proportions and they have an almost mythical aura, it’s as if they capture the time axis from the beginning of the world until the shadowed end. Musc Tonkin is more human, Onda is more transcendent and spiritual, but they both have a shamanic presence, the feel of being swept into something eternal, that’s been part of our souls ever since the first people walked the earth. The mystery within us. The inexplicable yearning we feel when we’re staring at the sea or a starry sky. The electrical vibration between lovers. The way we can speak without words. A sudden, irresponsible but irresistible attraction towards something or someone. Sliding towards darkness in search for the key to our existence. There is no key. The key is simply existing and discovering ourselves. Incessantly and fearlessly. Accepting who we are, our innermost wants and desires. Because if we don’t dig deep, what would be the point of digging after all? And because Musc Tonkin partially smells like a salty, warmed, sexed up vagina I’ll leave you to meditate on this quote from the movie Nymphomaniac directed by Lars Von Trier. The quote is explicit and because of the fact I share this virtual space with other authors I will use asterisks in lieu of some letters but I’m sure you’ll all understand. So it goes : “Dear everyone, don’t think it’s been easy, but I understand now that we’re not and never will be alike. I’m not like you, who f*cks to be validated and might just as well give up putting c*cks inside of you. And I’m not like you. All you want is to be filled up and whether it’s by a man or by tons of disgusting slop makes no difference. And I’m definitely not like you. That empathy you claim is a lie because all you are is society’s morality police whose duty is to erase my obscenity from the surface of the earth so that the Bourgeoisie won’t feel sick. I’m not like you. I am a nymphomaniac and I love myself for being one, but above all, I love my c*nt and my filthy, dirty lust.” KEEP ON READING

Iris Quest: Denouement

in Reviews by

For the fourth and final installment of in my Iris Quest (see Parts I, II, and III here), I’m focusing on all the iris fragrances that I (a) either forgot to include the first time round, (b) features iris not as the main player but as one important element in a larger whole – iris as part of an incense, woody, or oriental composition, and/or (c) features iris in the role of cosmetic or lipstick-style scents.

Let’s begin with an absolute heart-breaker….the amazing and utterly unaffordable Irisss by Xerjoff. KEEP ON READING

From the Fragrance Daily Team: Our Favorite Summer Niche Scents and a Giveaway!

in Competition/Team Round Up by
As the Sun Rise Indy Kethdy / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Maybe we’re nuts, but when we at Fragrance Daily think about summer wardrobes, we’re not thinking shorts and flip-flops.  I mean, those things are nice and all, but not essential.  No, we’re mentally lining up our citrusy Annick Goutals and clearing space in our fridge for massive bottles of eaux de cologne. Priorities, people – priorities.

Anyway, our latest idea is this: since we love perfume and we love lists and we love you, our dear readers (or at least we like you very strongly indeed), we’ve decided to do a quick whip-round the office and get everybody on the Fragrance Daily writing team to list their top five niche fragrances for summer. KEEP ON READING

Black, Blue, Brown, Red and White: The United Colors of Montale

in Reviews by

There are 104 Montale fragrances registered in the Fragrantica database, all of which were released in the last eight years. It is impossible to keep up, so I am just going to give a brief rundown of some of the most popular ones (well, the only ones I’ve tried outside of Aoud Cuir d’Arabie, that is, but I  refuse to talk about that one).

Blue Amber: Ambers, and especially vanillic ambers, are the comfort blankets of the perfume world for me, so I have to constantly be on guard against my Pavlovian response to them (basically, sit, roll over, and present tummy for rubbing), otherwise I’d end up with ten bottles of minute variations on the same theme. My response to Blue Amber’s big, dopey play-dough amber is initially the predictable one – I want to roll around in it. Done in the Montale style – rich, slightly synthetic, and none too subtle – it has the potential to be someone’s baby bear porridge of the amber category. Weight-wise, it sits between the sheer woody-rose amber of Histories de Parfums’ Ambre 114 and the heavier, more aromatic Ambre Precieux by MPG. Blue Amber is nicely balanced – its toffee and whiskey opening is cut with a huge dose of that icy bergamot oil Montale uses in their aoud compositions, and a big saltmarsh vetiver note in the base adds a pleasing shot of brine. Salt and lemon are very effective palate cleansers. Still, my wallet is safe. It is very nice but, in the end, nothing exceptional. Ambre 114 satisfies me on the sheer amber side, and Ambre Russe is my heavy hitter for winter. Having established – after much trial and error – my North and my South of the amber territory, I am finding it easier to dismiss contenders that fall in the middle. KEEP ON READING

Miller Harris L’air de rien-coming home

in Reviews by


How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to move my soul so much?  How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to smell so human, so warm, so alive and yet so nostalgic? How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to feel like the aura of a beloved? or the glow of a place where we were once happy?

L’air de rien it’s not a perfume. It’s a distillation of human skin and hair, of the crumpled cotton bedclothes that still retain the aroma of the one you love more than you love yourself, of the snuffed beeswax candles, of the creaky well worn honey colored wooden floors, of the old, yellowed fairy tales books that you used to read as a child and that you still leaf through sometimes, of the warm and soft rabbit furs that lined the small sleigh pulled by a pair of laughing mother and father, of the comforting woodsmoke from the fire that was awaiting at the end of the snow ride. KEEP ON READING

Dior Homme Parfum: French with an Arab Accent

in Reviews by

Full disclosure: I love Dior Homme Intense. It’s one of my favorite perfumes ever, not just my favorite masculine. So when I learned that Francois Demarchy, Dior’s in-house perfumer and the man behind Eau Sauvage Parfum (2012) and Fahrenheit Le Parfum (2014), was going to turn possibly the most beloved of Dior men’s fragrances into a pure parfum, I was both worried and excited.

On the one hand, Demarchy has met a gap in the men’s market for pure parfum versions of classic scents, and has done so competently and to general critical acclaim. On the other hand, when perfumers take on the task of working backwards and producing a pure parfum version of an original EDT or EDP (when it was traditionally the other way around), it must be as difficult as taking an orphaned baby, extracting it’s DNA, and extrapolating backwards to arrive at a picture of its mother that will seem convincing to everyone. It’s a journey that’s fraught with difficulties. 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

Ambra Mediterranea by Profumi del Forte: Amber with a Five O’ Clock Shadow

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Profumi del Forte’s Versilia Vintage Ambra Mediterranea is a woody, smoky, and resinous amber that I see as the John Wayne of ambers – uncompromisingly masculine, rough around the corners, and utterly compelling. Nothing soft or vanillic here. You won’t find people on Fragrantica or Basenotes describing it as the perfect ‘cashmere sweater’ scent. No, this is an amber with dangly bits between its legs and a five o’clock shadow.

Amusingly, the presentation of this fragrance is at complete odds with the character of the scent itself. The bottle is a slim, white classical-looking thing with what looks to be the paw prints of a pussycat all over it. It’s just straight up fricking adorable. The press babble – ‘gentle luminous notes remind us of the Mediterranean breezes’, and so on – is more than a little misleading. If you ask me, the people at Profumi del Forte have missed a prime marketing opportunity here. If they’d put it in a matt, black bottle with horns on it and wrapped it in leather, I bet you anything it would have been catnip to all those overgrown schoolboys on YouTube looking for ‘panty-droppers’ and ‘beast mode projection’. As it is, this fragrance only seems to attract attention among hardcore amber fans. That’s a pity, because this is a truly great fragrance, and would make a superb masculine. KEEP ON READING

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