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The Different Company I miss Violet: sappy rapture

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I’m having a violet fixation. And an iris one. And it’s only getting worse. As time goes by, rich, powdery, wet-earthy fragrances centred around flowers like violet, iris, mimosa, osmanthus and any other ones with a vaguely leathery, animalic facet are the only ones I feel like buying. It all started with Une Fleur de Cassie, a shameless mimosa, continuing with Iris Silver Mist, iris as an artistic statement, Dans tes Bras the weirdo violet, L’Heure Bleue an unforgettable classic, Infusion d’Iris Absolue so refined, so posh, Dzongkha the weirdo iris, a blind buy of Opus III prompted by Claire’s review on her blog Take One Thing Off (crossing my fingers and toes for that one), and now The Different Company I miss Violet. And in spite of having Dans tes bras, which to me is like Après l’Ondée with Christmas lights on and spaceship technology, guess what: I want to have Après l’Ondée too, even if it lasts about half an hour at most. But I’ve long given up staring at the bottomless pit of my perfume hobby insanity and trying to do something about it, so let’s move on. So far I’ve given you a long list of iris, violet, mimosa themed things and the list could be longer still. Maybe not when it comes to mimosa, but iris and violet combos in various permutations have been done to death. It is a crowded field, and making one more seems like almost counterintuitive but The Different Company I miss Violet is to me the missing link between the neon lit flirtatious femininity of the lipsticked gang of iris-violets and the earthy, more plaintive and naturalistic band of the hippie chic violets. By bridging this apparently opposite styles I miss Violet becomes the happiest bohemian violet I’ve ever had my nose on. Created by Bertrand Duchaufour for “La Collection Excessive” I miss Violet is marketed as a floral-leather, but in my view the leather aspect is negligible, in the form of a slightly sueded, velvety finish, most apparent in the base. The true showstopper is the complex, indeed excessive, floral accord which marries sweet-powdery effects with a green apple crunch, a kind of shimmering aldehydic fizz and something which resembles vegetal sap, or how I imagine this to smell like: watery, green, fruity sweet and a little bit salty at the same time. Osmanthus, with its edible, delicious nuances of apricot jam is also coming through very strongly alongside a beautiful mimosa note. The whole things smells absolutely vibrant, alive with a glowing splendor. It is sophisticated and coquettish, reminding me of lipstick, powder and silky dresses but it goes way beyond that, into real joy territory, into living the moment with absolute intensity. With I miss Violet you don’t have to choose: you can have both ditzy, perhaps a touch vacuous prettiness and wild, rebellious abandon: like rolling on damp earth, laughing, crushing under your body delicate purple flowers, ripe fruits, sappy stems and blades of grass while wearing the softest, most luxurious suede frock and a face full of make-up. But you don’t care anymore: smeared lipstick, stained dress, messy hair what difference does it make when for the first time in years you’re able to experience again all-conquering, innocent, delirious glee. This is what I feel when wearing I miss Violet and I don’t give a damn about the fact it wears close to skin after the first, explosive half an hour. I’d give what I paid for my bottle and more to do pirouettes again and again surrounded by clouds of sweet powders in the nacre colours of an Abalone shell. KEEP ON READING

Acqua di Parma’s Fico di Amalfi: Figs on an Ocean Breeze

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Like the rest of the Blu Mediteranneo line, Acqua di Parma’s Fico di Amalfi is an atmospheric fragrance. Quite different than the dry, woody fig of Diptyque’s Philosykos, or the tropical blend of D.S. & Durga’s Debaser, Fico di Amalfi is a wet, juicy fig combined with oceanic and airy notes.

Opening with citruses, namely mandarin and grapefruit, the fragrance maintains Acqua di Parma’s citrus-heavy DNA. Immediately after the spray, within only a few seconds, the citruses recede to the background and one is hit with the smell of a juicy (and I mean juicy!) fig accord. The watery fig note is unmistakable, though it is unique in that it doesn’t share many similarities with the dry figs used in Philosykos or Debaser. Behind the nectarous fig one can detect the citruses, a small hint of crunch green leaves (perhaps from the fig tree), and a powerful oceanic note that is enhanced in complexity by the addition of a soapy benzoin (much like one might find in Prada’s Amber Pour Homme). Fico di Amalfi is certainly a fresh fragrance, and it is exceptionally unique for a fig scent, however it takes inspiration from a number of bestsellers, including the aforementioned fig fragrances, and combines them with soapy elements from successful masculines and a “fresh marine breeze” note that reminds me of the airy lift that one might find in Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. KEEP ON READING

Iris for a (Red) Wedding

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I’m just kidding about the Red Wedding bit. If you’re currently preparing for a wedding (yours or someone else’s), then of course we hope it turns out much better than it did in The Game of Thrones. Still, it never hurts to come prepared. A good iris perfume, if chosen wisely, can be just the steel dagger in your pants that you need.

Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle

Despite the name, Iris Poudre is neither very powdery nor very iris-heavy. Boy, it’s beautiful, though. Wearing it feels like a celebration. It envelops the wearer in a white, balmy, creamy cloud of aldehydes and sweet flower petals, with subtle hints of a cool, floral iris glinting like pearls threaded into layers of white tulle. When I wear it, I feel like I’m ten again, digging through my mother’s clothes and playing dress-up with her costume jewelry. KEEP ON READING

Lonesome Rider Review Series Pt. 3: A Beautiful Cloud of White

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[Part 3 of a review series on the new Tauer Perfumes fragrance Lonesome Rider. Please find the other parts here: Part 1 – Sjörn | Part 2 – Neoxerxes | Part 4 – Narada – Available for purchase here ]

Lonesome Rider strikes me as quite different to the impressions of my blog colleagues here and here. To me, it reads mainly as a bright, arid floral with a dusty, soapy trail, eventually winding up in a grey, mineralic cloud of resins and Ambroxan. If that doesn’t sound like I enjoy the scent, then you’d be wrong: I love it. It’s just that I don’t get much of the leather or any of the smoke that other people are talking about. To me, this is a beautiful white-grey cloud of soapy orris, spicy carnation, and other, mixed florals (rose, violet, jasmine) floating on top of that Tauerade of powdery sandalwood, vetiver, and Ambroxan. If Lonestar Memories is an oil painting done in thick reds, browns, and tar black, then Lonesome Rider is an acid pastel – strong but delicate. KEEP ON READING

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist: the lunar maiden

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Iris is not really my thing. Or it wasn’t until a while ago. Some of it still isn’t for me: the chilly hauteur of Chanel no.19, the crisp, intriguing cleanliness of Prada Infusion d’Iris, the classic elegance of Hermès Hiris or the aldehydic sophistication of Chanel 31, Rue Cambon.

I partially blame my lack of Iris refinement on my growing up years. I wasn’t one of those children that could remember their mothers coming to kiss them goodnight surrounded by clouds of fine perfume: Shalimar, Chanel no.5, Opium or other iconic fragrances. Alas, in a communist Romania, my mother and I were lucky if we had our next cheap deo spray lined up. The market was completely devoid of any luxury products and more often than not of the bare necessity ones too. My olfactory memories consist mostly of my mother’s fabulous cooking aromas and the multitude of smells around my grandmother’s household. So many fascinating odours from the honeyed, deeply intoxicating fragrance of her huge, velvety, dark red roses to the less than pleasant but somehow homely and soothing waft coming from the chicken’s house. There were herbs of all sorts too and linden blossoms, chamomile and mint and a lot more flowers than just roses: lillies of the valley and narcissi, stargazer lillies and pure white lillies, geraniums and so on. And then in the late summer and autumn the smells of the fermented soft fruit fallen on the ground and of the sweet grapes being crushed to make homemade wine. Yes, I was a happy child surrounded by love and nature, even if I didn’t get to surreptitiously sniff my mother’s perfumes, for the simple reason there weren’t any. KEEP ON READING

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