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The Different Company

Castaña by Cloon Keen Atelier

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Have you ever felt like you’ve missed the boat on a certain brand or a fragrance? I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling. Given the depressing frequency of botched reformulations and senseless axings, the life of a fragrance enthusiast is often fraught with the fear of missing out or, worse, the agony of knowing that you failed to strike while the iron was hot.

I’m no stranger to missed chances myself. I arrived too late on the perfume scene to scoop up two fragrances that would later become big loves of mine, namely Guerlain’s Vega and Attrape-Coeur. I dithered on Dior Privée Mitzah until it was gone – ditto Eau Noire. I had a bottle of Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’Une Fete, and stupidly sold it; by the time I’d realized my mistake, that too disappeared into the ether, along whatever raw material that made its production impossible. Other bottles carelessly sold or swapped away were Fendi Theorema, a bottle of pre-1950’s Chanel No. 5 extrait, and a large decant of Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit that I missed desperately the minute I’d mailed it off to its lucky recipient. I can almost feel you all wincing out there, so I won’t continue. I’m embarrassed. KEEP ON READING

Adjatay (2016): Leather Rebooted

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Adjatay: Cuir Narcotique was launched in 2016 by The Different Company, with a press release that told a perfectly adorable story about a little tuberose from Grasse that was forgotten in a leather bag and thereby inspired the creation of a new floral leather eau du parfum by Alexandra Monet. From the marriage of tuberose and leather, then, comes “Adjatay,” christened with the name of “prince” in Cameroon and a perfume that could be happily worn by anyone. And although I may be a little skeptical about the details of Adjatay’s nativity tale, I think we can always use another good floral leather perfume.

Smoke, Woods, & Resins: Top 15 for Fall/Winter

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2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths and an even worse one for celebrity presidential elections, so I’ve found myself craving and wearing mostly woody, resinous perfumes that perform like one long howling basenote, working my tired neck muscles like a Russian massage therapist. This year, no roses, no leathers, and no ambers – just a long line of calming, resinous woods that make me feel like I’ve slipped into the Nirvana of a silent forest, isolated from all the problems of the world around me. KEEP ON READING

Absolue d’Osmanthe Eau de Parfum — Perris Monte Carlo

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The Osmanthus, or Osmanthus fragrans, is a flower famously associated with the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan as well as Taiwan and Southern Japan.  In fact, it is the city flower of Guilin, the beautiful city by the Li River, whose name actually means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus.”   Osmanthus is famed for its fragrant flowers which have a strong, sweet fruity scent often associated with smell of peaches or apricots.

With its strong ties to the lore of the Orient, the Osmanthus fragrance note is often paired with tea notes like Oolong (Providence Perfume Company’s Osmanthus Oolong) or Yunnan (Elléna’s Osmanthe Yunnan for Hermès).  However, given its Far East associations, Osmanthus is used in a surprisingly large number of perfumes (Basenotes lists over 400 perfumes containing the note) across a wide spectrum—it is even successfully paired with oud (Tom Ford’s Oud Fleur, Mona di Orio’s Oudh Osmanthus and Xerjoff’s Oud Stars), which, given the current craze for oud fragrances, comes as no surprise.  Given its distinctive nature, it adapts well to the soliflore category, like a The Different Company’s Osmanthus and Absolue d’Osmanthe. KEEP ON READING

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

Wearing a halo every day

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By Lisa Jones on April 4th, 2016

Jean-Claude Ellena fascinates me. I have read his book, (The Diary of a Nose), I have read a book about his creative process, (Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent), and I have smelled a lot of his fragrances. He is charming and charismatic, one of the original spokespeople for the emerging celebrity perfume ‘noses’ when they started to be recognised by the public, and his appointment as the in-house perfumer at Hermés was a newsworthy event in the wider world of fragrance fandom, not just the perfume industry. He created the Hermessence range that placed Hermés firmly in the niche fold, as well as enormously successful mainstream releases such as the Jardin series, Jour, Voyage, Terre, and the rejuvenated Eaux. KEEP ON READING

Three Great Non-Rose-y Oud Fragrances

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Is anyone here just a teeny tiny bit tired of the rose-oud combination? Don’t get me wrong – there are days when I still crave that wonderful combination of smoky, sour oud and sweet rose. But increasingly, I am turning to oud fragrances that either do away with the rose part of the equation, or bury the oud in dark woods and crisp leather so that it becomes more of a bit player than the main attraction.

The key words here are subtlety and novelty. Can oud be presented in a manner that surprises and pleases even the most jaded of palates? Here are my thoughts on a few fragrances I’ve been testing recently that place the oud note in a new light. KEEP ON READING

Oud Shamash by The Different Company

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I wish I didn’t like this so much. It’s beyond my budget (like, totally beyond my budget). But even worse, smelling this, I got that sickening feeling you get when you invest $$$$ in an iPhone4 just two days before the iPhone5 launches. Damn that Betrand Duchaufour if he hasn’t improved upon about three or four of his previous perfumes with Oud Shamash. And sure enough, I own some of those early models…

Something about the combination of the fruity incense smell (davana) and the dry woods reminds me of Timbuktu or even of Jubilation XXV, both also by Duchaufour. There’s also a toasty, slightly sugared “bread” aroma here that reminds of the dry-toasted cumin seeds in Al Oudh (Duchaufour again).  But Oud Shamash does not have the stark stillness of Timbuktu, the armpitty, disturbingly sugary funk of Al Oudh, or the glowing, ruby-red orientalism of Jubilation XXV – rather, it has the dusty, faded brilliance of a complex brocade that has been folded up and stored in a wooden casket for two centuries. It’s a ghost. KEEP ON READING

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

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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

La vie en….Violet Jacket – I Miss Violet

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It looks that these days the shy violet is back in niche perfumery. Since last year there were several launches of violet centered fragrances some pairing in the classical way violet with roses like in French Kiss from Guerlain , Epine mortelle from LM Parfums or Chanel’s Misia , others trying new companions like oud in: Silk Mood from MFK and Aoud Violet from Mancera or leather, also “en vogue”, like in the new launch of The Different Company I miss Violet .

I miss Violet is part of the TDC’s Excessive Collection and “evokes attachment and contemporary incarnation of a secret love “ being a floral leather fragrance created by Bertrand Duchafour. My curiosity was raised enough to give it a try, I like violets in perfumes and love leather fragrances. KEEP ON READING

A rose with thorns: La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens

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I`ve always admired and praised the enigmatic aesthetic of Serge Lutens`s line because his creations are so well executed, creative, precious and memorable. Therefore, as a huge rose fan as I am, I found myself immediately seduced by his last year`s launch called La Fille de Berlin developed by his long time collaborator Christopher Sheldrake. Takeing his own description as a guide, telling that “She`s a rose with thorns, don`t mess with her. She`s a girl who goes to extremes. When she can, she soothes, she rocks and she shocks“, I tried first to imagine how it might smell like and to my surprise my intuition worked good this time – it is indeed a fierce and poetic perfume which meets all my expectations of a natural, big, distinctive and dramatic rose so well that it could have been my bespoke rose. But before I start describing it, allow me to go back in the past and say a few words about a previous rose centered fragrance from Lutens created by the same perfumer  Christopher Sheldrake, namely Sa Majesté la Rose (2000), because somehow I see a strong connection between these two scents. I`ve tested Sa Majesté la Rose many times and sadly this rose refused to bloom on my skin as I hoped it would. Three types of roses have been combined in order to create a sumptuous structure (Maroccan, Turkish and Bulgarian rose absolutes), along with a mixture of honey and musky shades which infuses the scent with an animalic tone, but as promising as it may sounds, their effect is actually very austere and somehow too gloomy for me.

Try to imagine a castle ruin in the middle of the woods. An empty ballroom, silent as a grave. There you see a throne of iron, solid and cold. Wiry stems of roses have broken the marble floor tiles and wrapped around the throne. Up at the top there is a single giant red rose. It is Her Majesty the Rose guarded by fierce thorns. It smells centuries old and dusty like dense powder. Dominant and indomitable. If you don`t obey her charms you`ll be enveloped in freezing cold aldehydes. She is the MOTHER. Her daughter, La Fille de Berlin inherited her rough side, but she`s warm blooded, curvy and voluptuous. And much more human.

The official notes of La Fille de Berlin are just rose and pepper, but my nose gets actually less pepper and more a great dose of blackcurrant. By the way, if you are looking for a nice example of rose mixed with pepper, real pepper, try Rose Poivrée from The Different Company – there the pepper IS indeed very present and sprinkled all over the rose petals. Caron Parfum Sacré is another great example of a peppery rose presented in a very classic way, with many layers of oriental condiments underneath in which I often lose myself with great pleasure. KEEP ON READING

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