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).

Perfumes as Proustian Madeleines

in Thoughts by
Horse Race

Horse Race

Even if you’ve never read Proust’s famously weighty “Remembrance of Things Past”, you will have heard about the famous scene with the madeleine. Never read it? Eh. This is not one of those cultural gaps I’d be rushing to fill if I were you. I suffered through the first volume (IN FRENCH) when I was fifteen and it was a temps perdu indeed. But anyway, here’s what you need to know.

Proust is sitting there, minding his own business, when he absentmindedly sips a teaspoon of lime blossom tea, into which he has crumbled a bit of his afternoon teacake – a madeleine. Suddenly, the flavor and scent of it hurtles Proust back through the corridors of time to when he was a child, going up to bid his aunt good morning, with her lime blossom tea scenting the air. It was a long time ago, and Proust is an old man now. KEEP ON READING

Xerjoff 1861

in Reviews by


An excerpt from a largely fictional, yet true conversation between two fragrance geeks.



Nat, I’m just gonna fly by the seat of my pants on this review and let my nose do the talking.

Alright with you?


No, no.

Think about it for a second.

Jim, honestly.

Let me do this.

I’ve been thinking about this scent for two years.

Jim: (completely oblivious to the two years of thought Nat put behind this review)

I did.

I promise. Swear. On Baby Jesus.

For like, the last four hours.

I walked around in the Historic district on the east end of Alameda island and took pictures of the Victorians while I tested it out. KEEP ON READING

Decrypting Puredistance Black

in Reviews by

Puredistance Black

The last year released perfume by Puredistance comes in the same elegant flacon design as the previous scents of the line, an all black bottle in concordance with the mysterious composition inside. I did smell some of the most controversial scents made by Antoine Lie and for a long time have been attracted by everything noir, so I was very intrigued about this scent that promised alot.

Decrypting Black was a real pleasure. As there are not givin any official notes you only have to trust your own nose here. Let`s imagine an old castle or a place you are not familiar with and you find yourself in the main room, maybe the ball room. The whimsical Lady of the house has a new game in mind. She covers your eyes with a black scarf and you must cross the room and guess what is around you. No mention of a reward, but tempting enough to go on. When I played the game for the first time I lost. I didn`t understand Black. It was too much going on, the scent felt odd and very dense, with too many layers and depth. I was about to give up, but I tested it in another day and it was way better. Maybe if I try it again I`ll become totally addicted to it because it is the type of scent that doesn`t reveal itself complety from the start, but seduces you the more you wear it.

In the first minutes it is bright and citrusy. It must contain a bouquet of aromatic herbs and some bergamot zest on top that give the impression of lightness…very refreshing…but then you live the pacefull and idyllic garden behind and step into the darkness. That`s another territory. A place full of shadows. I begin to recongnize some familiar smells the second time I pass through it. I get a sweet note of pipe tobacco and there`s deffinetly some good Oudh in here. From a corner the smoke of burned incence tingels my nostrils and I also feel the presence of licorice that adds a nice gourmand contrast to the woody-spicey mixture. Vanilla is also present, but not from the dried pod but the warm vanillic smell of an empty glass of cognac. In time Oudh becomes barely perceptible as it rounds up with the rest of the ingredients in a smooth blend. I`d call it a woody-oriental scent with sweet undertones. It starts more masculine, but in time it developes as a unisex and the projection is rather medium, but stays on you the whole day.

Puredistance Black is unforgettable, elegant, daring and indeed…black. KEEP ON READING

Perfumes in Short Supply: Loving the Rare, the Discontinued, and the Gone Forever

in Thoughts by

What do you do when you fall in love with a perfume that is discontinued or otherwise unavailable to you (for reasons of cost or limited supply)? Do you spend huge amounts of time and money tracking it down on eBay? Do you beg friends to bring you back exclusive bottles from Tokyo, Paris, and London? Or do you just…..let it go?

I am working very hard at being one of those people who just accepts it and moves on. But damn, it’s hard.

Personally, the way I react to a perfume I love being in short supply depends on the reason behind its unavailability. As far as I can see, there are three main reasons. KEEP ON READING

How it all started…(for me)

in Reviews by


This was my first ever fine fragrance, a long time ago. Released 1980 by Juvena, a Swiss cosmetics company, Sarabe is not technically a niche perfume, but since it has been discontinued a while ago, it is rare and hard to find.

It’s a lovely, full blast oriental fragrance which mellows down after about an hour to a soft mix of cinnamon, patchouli and amber. It does remind of the big sisters Opium and Cinnabar, but with a softer, not as easily recognizable twist.

As far as I know, it has never been re-formulated so if you can find a bottle, it is the original. For me, it was the start of an ever growing collection… KEEP ON READING

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