Niche Fragrance Magazine


Al Waad (Promise) by Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle

The ad copy for Al Waad (Promise) by perfumer Dominique Ropion for Les Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle reads as follows:

“Frédéric Malle celebrates two precious varieties of rose in the Promise Eau de Parfum.

A harmonious blend of rose essence from Bulgaria and rose absolute from Turkey are lifted by apple, pink pepper and clove, and bound to a sensuous base of patchouli, cypriol and labdanum for a truly unbreakable accord.”

I agree with the “truly unbreakable accord” bit. I sprayed this on at 2pm yesterday and as of 2pm today, Promise is still there. But while one can’t argue with its performance, I’m ambivalent about whether it’s outstayed its welcome on the piece of skin real estate stretching from my right wrist to inner elbow. KEEP ON READING

Decrypting Puredistance Black

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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)

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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

Puredistance Opardu

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Opardu is a flawless perfume elegantly presented in three different sizes, one of a 17,5 ml spray holder of golden glass and two simple black bottles of 60 ml and 100 ml which comes also together with a leather pouch. Apparently the name comes by mixing the words “opulence & perdu”, meaning the long gone opulence of the golden age of perfumery and the perfume itself seams to revive that lost glamour. KEEP ON READING

The Perfect Aquatic?

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This is an aquatic of truly natural nature. Something that I’ve spent a great deal of time searching for, an accurate depiction of walking the shorelines of the sea.

Last month I walked several hundred miles up the Oregon coast. My nose bombarded everyday by many smells.

The salt in the air.

The dirty smell of brine and hot sands.

The sweet coldness of the sea.

The moss growing sympatically with the old trees that cover the coast as you move inland off of the sand.

Beautiful scents, beautiful memories in time, the perfect notes came together while I walking. KEEP ON READING

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