Niche Fragrance Magazine


Waters + Wild: Cedarwood & Cognac

One of the reasons that I enjoy my frequent travels to Ireland is the olfactory delights that greet me on the Emerald isle, particularly in the west of the country, where earth meets water meets sky on a daily basis. The lush green grasses, ferns and trees that can be found from its rich soil, the salty and ‘seaweedy’ air emanating from the rocky or sandy coastline, and the water that permeates absolutely everything (having once asked how frequently it rains in Ireland, I was told one can experience each of the four seasons every day in Ireland…although all of them involve rain).

Black Saffron: Fruit Leather with Volume Control Problems

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Black Saffron by Byredo

Black Saffron is not what I expected at all. In fact, when my nose was hit with a burst of fruit syrup notes, I had to check the box that my sample came in twice. Yep – the words “black” and “saffron” were definitely there. But before I even had a chance to reach up to scratch my head in puzzlement, the scent did a crazy volte face. What I smelled was….. wood shavings in a heated, covered horse-riding arena. How odd! This eventually settled into a fine dusting of sawdust that coated the main accord of the scent – fruity violet leather – giving the entire fragrance an unusual kind of musky, ashy “mouthfeel”. Although I assume the dustiness is due to the saffron, I was unable to detect any of that spice’s usual medicinal aspects. In fact, despite the presence of both saffron and juniper berries, I was unable to pick up much spiciness at all. Here, they seem to manifest themselves more as a textural component (ash, dust) than as a flavoring agent. KEEP ON READING

Bahiana – A Fruity Floral With Brains

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Bahiana Maitre Parfumeur Gantier

Bahiana by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is an absolute delight from beginning to end. Part of the delight comes from surprise – this is the rare tropical fruity floral that manages to side step all of the “flip-flops and pina colada” associations that usually go along with the genre. It opens on the most realistic note of freshly peeled mandarins that I have ever smelled. It is so good that I blinked in astonishment and then spent the next few hours spritzing it on again to play this part of the show back again. KEEP ON READING

Review of Blackbird, by House of Matriarch

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It’s not often that a perfume knocks me off my feet so completely. This one just did.

Composed by Christi Meshell for her House of Matriarch line of perfumes, Blackbird is made up of over 300 different notes and materials, 93% of which are all-natural. It is offered in extrait strength only, with 33% concentration of perfume essences.

The main notes are leather, oud, resins, and woods. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what your nose actually gets. This is incredibly complex, even crowded perfume – but somehow it still manages to achieve the effect of a smooth, even flow of notes, like water across a silk panel. KEEP ON READING

I don’t belong to the leather enthusiastics and this is my view on Cuir Velours…

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Nami Goodsir - Cuir Velours

Nami Goodsir - Cuir Velours

Let me begin by saying that I don`t belong to the leather enthustiastics group, as I am more inclined to favor a drop of gorgeous flower nectar to a harsh leather accord. The only straightforeward leathery scent one can find in my wardrobe is Bottega Venetta. I used Armani Cuir Amethyst in the past, but gave it away in exchange for a great floriental from Rancé.

But I never gave up the hope finding a nice soft and easy to use leathery scent, so I`ve searched a bit and finally decided to give Cuir Velour a try. And I`m glad I reached it. Cuir Velours is a very well made scent that, as it`s name implies, provides a great amount of soft suede note. It feels as if you are constantly enveloped in a suave aroma of high quality suede, very fine and cozy. In the first minutes it`s a bit boozy-sweet offering accords of rum and dried fruits, than it moves on to a marvelous mixture of flowers and balsamic notes that reproduce accurately the best suede you can imagine. I also get some kind of cosmetic scent, like the way the interior of a leather bag smells when accidently my face powder spills all over the rest of the items inside. The perfume lingers very well on skin, creating an enjoyable skin-scent with hours gone by, and towards the end it smells exactley like my skin after I remove my toffee coloured mini velour dress.

I think gents could wear this too, it`s totally not a gender oriented scent. For myself I imagine it going great in colder days or nights, suitable for any occasion that requires high-heels, a leather jacket and a bold red lipstick. This is full bottle worthy for me.


Frapin 1697 – A Must Have

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Frapin - 1697I knew that my first niche fragrance review had to be about Frapin – 1697.

I had not heard about Frapin or 1697 before I received a sample one day (thank you Essenza Nobile). Trying it for the first time was amazing. I seriously could not put the test strip down. You know this wonderful moment when the instant decision has been made that you have to have’this one’. Not even a chance for the rational side to get arguments in (like ‘see whether it is smelling similar to something else’, ‘check out the price first’, ‘not due for another fragrance’…) – nothing would have counted anyway.
1697 is a lovely warm, well rounded full bodied fragrance which combines wonderful notes of rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine as well as woods, fruits and Frapin’s famous cognac note. To me, it is very special and not like anything else I have smelled before. Just listing the ingredients is not going to prepare you for this scent. This one has to be tried. KEEP ON READING

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