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Welcome to the Opera: La Tosca by Xerjoff

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La Tosca XJ Casamorati Collection
La Tosca XJ Casamorati Collection

When I received a sample of La Tosca I was quite elated by this new editon from Xerjoff because it is a genre of fragrance that I was searching for a long time. It also made a possitive impression on people around which is always nice as a bonus. But as I payed more attention to its details suddenly I had a strong déja-vu feeling because La Tosca, despite having an unarguably captivating appearance, is not a completely new, original stuff. This opera had already been performed before in a heavier, lower key note at the Sospiro theatre. The scent I am thinking about might be regarded as the bolder forerunner of La Tosca and is called Opera. Same nose, same brand owner. The thing is I never, never ever could wear Opera at the concentration that it has. Majestic, full of sweet-salty contrasts, too bold, Opera is a predator disguised in a long black velvet gown. Everything seems strange and enveloped in danger when I smell it. Those all sorts of fruits, tropical flowers and amber gris evoke for me the smell and almost the taste of a dessert called halva, you know it? It is very dense, nutty and sweet, made of tahini and sugar. This tahini flavor I get mostly from Opera. Strange. But La Tosca…well, La Tosca has the same DNA but she`s easier at heart, fresher somehow and she smiles. And that`s enough for me not only to feel comfortable with it for a test run, but to reach for it again and again. I need it. I developed a passion for it.

Stagecourtains1 KEEP ON READING

Mon Dieu, Monsieur! A new Frédéric Malle Experience

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Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Monsieur. A fragrance like composed for Jean Paul Belmondo himself.

Mon Dieu, mon Dieu – this release is a shocker! While I am writing this, I feel like Belmondo in the photo above. I am enjoying the new Frédéric Malle release “Monsieur.” Mon Dieu indeed – this is one of the rare, almost groundbreaking perfume experiences we all are living for (more or less). The first spray leaves you puzzled, enough so that you want to sit down and take a deep breath. This is exactly what “Monsieur” reminds me of: the movie “Breathless” by Jean Luc Goddard from 1960. “Monsieur” is film noir personified – virile elegance, with a touch of masculine drama, heck – this is the utterly French…. Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo) and his love for american idols and the hipness they radiate. This is the irrational, wild passion of an elegant slickster in love with Patricia, a young and vivid American girl. Crisp ties and classic thick suits are popping up in my mind, smelling this fragrance. Oh wait – please let me apologize, I’ve been taken on a flight of fancy. Yes, the fragrance – I guess it’s time to talk a bit about it: KEEP ON READING

A Duo of Perfumes from Paul Emilien

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Paul Emilien is a new name on the perfume scene, as of 2014. Based in Grasse, France, he seems to be the artistic director of the brand, and the perfumer or perfumers behind the six perfumes launched in 2014 have not been named. Here below is my review of two of Paul Emilien’s perfumes, L’Espirit Divin and Une Belle Journee. The unique selling point of this new brand appears to be a heavy focus on sourcing and using raw materials of mostly French origin.


L’Espirit Divin

L’Espirit Divin opens on a wave of dry, nutty spices and aromatics so immediately impressive that minutes after spraying it on, I was tapping the name into my search engine to see how much it cost. (Too much for me, in case you’re wondering). Anyone who loves big, spicy Orientals will surely purr when this fragrance hits their skin. The saffron, black pepper, cloves, ginger, and cardamom in the opening all feel very dry and resinous, as if the spices have been dry-roasted in a hot pan and are about to explode. A touch of grapefruit and ginger adds a slight vein of adult bitterness, as well as a little lift to the heavy spicing. For the first thirty minutes, this glorious cacophony of spices and aromatics make me think fondly of vintage Opium, although in general L’Espirit Divin is far more aerial and diaphanous in comparison. But there is a familial link there to this great oriental, and it is a good association. KEEP ON READING

Wardasina: Tumble(Weed) Dry

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Wardasina by Sospiro has been garnering a lot of attention recently, especially on Facebook fragrance groups, where it is frequently mentioned as the ne-plus-ultra of rose fragrances for men. Early reviews are saying that it is the best rose and tobacco combination on the market. Since I am on a bit of a rose quest at the moment, and I like masculine-leaning notes like tobacco, I ordered a bit to see what it was like.

Well, frankly, I am a little stunned. Wardasina is one of those fragrances that make me scratch my head and wonder if I am smelling the same thing as everyone else. First of all, hats off to anyone who can smell tobacco in this. If it is there at all, it maybe makes a brief appearance as a cherry/almond note in the opening – but I’m not sure. Second, the rose is only really perceptible in the opening notes, and I wouldn’t characterize this as a rose fragrance at all. Neither the delicate note of rose nor the usually robust note of tobacco stand any chance against the real power player of this fragrance, which is an incredibly radiant and super-dry woods accord that dominates the fragrance from top to toe. KEEP ON READING

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