L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville a L’Aube. Classy Aqua Manda

13 Aug

I love this perfume, and it would be one of my desert island choices in the unlikely event I get to leave northern climes. Others I will post about in the not too distant future.

For those of us who grew up in the 70s, Aqua Manda was an orange and herbal confection marketed by Goya, with a nod to the hippies in a fab arts and crafts presentation.  I miss Aqua Manda – it was one of my mother’s favourites too.  She would have been delighted by Seville a L Aube as it evokes both Paris and Seville (some of  her favourite places) and orange blossom (one of her and my very favourite notes) with a hint of lavender and a twist of incense.  Beautiful and accessible.  The ghost of Aqua Manda with a wonderful new life. I have found a light spritz works well in summer, and a couple more are cozy in winter.  Give this fragrance the love it deserves, people.  A True Fan Girl, I went to a presentation in London by the perfumer and his muse and my signed bottle is a treasured possession.    Dry rot chez nous means I will have to part with some of my lovelies.  Not this one though.  Photo to follow.


Prada Infusion D’Iris EDP and Prada Eau Ambree

2 Jun

I read Undina’s review of Infusion D’Iris today.  She inspired me to put fingertips to keyboard with the aim of sharing my love for my two Pradas.  The only Prada bag I will ever own (the paper bag one, sigh) came with the Eau Ambree.

One of my friends is a Puig SA who is permanently enraged by the damning with faint praise given to Infusion D’iris by Turin and Sanchez in the Guide. She and I both wear and love it.

To me, Infusion D’Iris EDP is the perfect LBD fragrance.  She fits perfectly, is quiet but never boring, has trans seasonal qualities, and feels comfortable and elegant, always. The iris is the star, cool and dry, underpinned by gentle incense and mandarin. Simply gorgeous. 

I am beyond excited about the Absolue version and cannot wait to try it.  There is also an EDT version which just disappears on me.

Id’I EDP shares qualities with my other Prada fave Eau Ambree.  Eau Ambree is a sheer incense which I wore incessantly last winter, and I smelled GOOD.  My right wrist is sporting Id’I and my left is EA.  Others have said, and I wholeheartedly concur, that the two are very similar, although there is a place for both in everyone’s collection as one conveys warmth and the other coolness.

I love both equally.  They share a wearability factor with Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere and L’Artisan Mure et Musc.  None of these 4 are ever going to cause fainting, gasping for breath or window opening by one’s friends and colleagues. 

Id’I is great armour for interviews or presentations as it always feels just right

The sad tale of Tauer Cologne du Maghreb

30 Apr

I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Andy Tauer’s Cologne du Maghreb in the 2011 Advent Calendar.  Inspired today to count all my full bottles,  I was having a look inside the boxes.  My Cologne du Maghreb tipped face first out of its box onto my vanity – alas!! The bottle neck and the aerosol snapped clean off and half the bottle spilled over the surface.  You can see the “headless” bottle in the picture.  The two little brown dropper bottles in the foreground, full to the brim, contain what I salvaged, about 20ml in total.  Waaah! Sob.


Just real bad luck, as a registered clumsyclogs, I have knocked over or dropped many other bottles to no ill effect.  Fortunately, the Cologne is short lived, after a couple of hours the fragrance is all but gone.  My dog was sneezing so I had to let him out into the garden.

Do you have a sad tale of a breakage?  I recommend the dropper bottles, £1.05 from the pharmacy counter at Boots if you ever need to salvage…

Bud Parfums of Australia – Elysium

16 Apr

Bud Parfums are an Australian niche house with a bohemian vibe.  You can receive 5 glass sample vials for $AUS 20  They have great customer service as a couple of my vials arrived smashed and were replaced along with a couple of extras as quick as the postage comes from Australia to the UK.   I have been wearing the perfumes for a while and will be posting reviews.

The overview of the perfumes is that they are all well crafted with good quality ingredients.  I have not experienced “recoil” with any of the scents.  I’m looking at you, Penhaligons Bluebell !!!

Today’s selection is Elysium and I reproduce below the description from the website.

A place or condition of ideal bliss or complete happiness. A paradise. A little bit gypsy in the sense that she lingers long enough to distract your fancy. Surrounded by cascades of jasmine flowers, with trails of honeysuckle blossoms. The first day of Spring, full of new potential. Sunshine and warmth after a long cold winter. Light and refreshing, you are floating on air in your magic bubble. INGREDIENTS: Neroli, Jasmine, geranium, sweet orange, lilac, orange blossoms, musk, bergamot, petitgrain oils.

Decided to sniff alongside Chamade EDT one of my spring favourites, as both share a soft, airy, springlike, ethereal quality despite their different recipes and characters.

Elysium holds up well beside the Guerlain and does not smell cheap in comparison.  Elysium opens up with a light jasmine and then warms with orange blossom. Chamade is greener, and I smell the hyacinth and galbanum, then lily of the valley.The drydown of Elysium is orangy floral musky  and Chamade warms down with vanilla flowers and woods.

Sample of the day No 4 – By Kilian Amber Oud

13 Apr

Blogging newbie that I am – thought I had lost this post.  Some of you will remember getting your surprise envelope in the post a while back!!

Well I was hoovering, dusting, cleaning this messy house and then..the postman had left an envelope from Paris.

Unexpected padded envelope from Paris.  Ooo!  Those rubber gloves came off.

Inside there was a little black envelope which caught the light and showed the word “Kilian”.

A sample of “Amber Oud”.  What a lovely surprise, I have not tried this line, only “Added to Cart” without “Paying Now”.

I am unfamiliar with oud.  The other main notes are vanilla and benzoin.

Had a debate with myself and the dog about the appropriateness of spraying a Kilian while doing housework.  Curiosity won out and after wearing it for a day I was inspired to try it alongside a few others.

Left wrist – Amber Oud; Left elbow Shamilar Initial

Right wrist – Prada Candy; Right Elbow Shalimar Ode a La Vanille

Each smells wonderful! Although each has a different attitude.

Amber Oud has a medicinal quality, “I am good for you, I have healing properties, under my sweet coating, and I will make you feel serene and centred.”  The far drydown is alternately herbal chocolate and fine vanilla custard.  YUM.

Shamilar Ode a La Vanille is more boozy , ” Amber Oud doesn’t know how to have fun, I like to party.”

Prada Candy, is sweet of course, ” I am cute candy floss and marshmallow fluff  and unexpectedly elegant”

Shalimar Initial walks into the room, “I am just so sexy and fabulous”


Cristalle Eau Verte by Chanel

13 Apr

I love Cristalle EDP, but she can be a little heavy in warmer months.  Cristalle Eau Verte was introduced around 3 years ago, although sprayed only recently by me.  I tried side by side with Cristalle EDT and No 19 EDT on a few occasions, and this is my favourite of the three. It is mostly about lemon – sherbet lemons, the old fashioned sweet – at the beginning.  Lemon can be difficult – sharp, sour or household, but this is a lovely sweet lemon which dries into a floral neroli.  It isn’t really like Cristalle at all!  But I love it.

The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu “Grain de Musc”

26 Mar

In summary:- the author’s perfumed journey through life, a vivid and sensual experience in Seville during Holy Week, and, inspired by the latter experience, what she has made of the opportunity to work with  master perfumer, Bertrand Duchaufour.

Seville is one of my favourite cities, and I love perfume, so I awaited the book with interest.  Everyone should experience Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril,  which heighten the unique mix of the sacred and the profane posessed by the city and its inhabitants.  Beaulieu’s witty elegant prose captures the City’s hidden olfactory landscape .  I say hidden as most visitors to Seville will first encounter the whiff of drains and delicious deep fried seafood.

But the book is not a travelogue at all, and Seville is a supporting player. It is mainly a fascinating insight into the complex process of creating a perfume.  Some of the best passages recount the conversations between perfumer and author as they go down a long and winding road together with many detours and delays.  As a vraie perfumista, Beaulieu’s delight in the project is infectious, and we feel her and Duchaufour’s struggle to achieve “duende”.

There is a strong autobiographical thread in the book and I felt that the polished prose would have been enhanced by some pictures or photos, as that is often an enjoyable part of an autobiography.  Also the lack of a perfume sample with the book is quite unforgiveable!!  As I live a long way from anywhere which stocks L’Artisan, it will be a long while before I can sample the “juice” and it would have been great to read the book and sniff the perfume at the same time.

A must read for perfumistas, but you might want to wait until the perfume is out there before opening the book……

L’Artisan Parfumeur Mure et Musc

13 Mar

Sometimes I just can’t decide which perfume to wear.  We have all been there – too rushed, unsure of the “rightness” of a fragrance for our mood or the situation, or just plain bamboozled.

Mure et Musc is the absolute Go To for these situations.  It always smells great on me, although I would caution that it seems a bit love or hate out there in perfumeland..

I had been looking for a no brainer ‘fume for the longest time.  I have a mini EDT and a 100ml bottle of the EDT Cologne (courtesy of the L’Artisan sale).  The two are different, the edt is slightly sweeter, the cologne is breezier and more citrusy, fortunately I like them both.

Confusingly there are many iterations of Mure et Musc – I haven’t sampled the perfume solid or the Extreme version or the extrait, and probably shouldn’t as I may have to have them as well.

M et M doesn’t get a lot of love out there in the fumeosphere, so I just wanted to give it a boost!  I will never have a signature perfume, but M et M will always get a lot of wear.   If I had to choose between them today, it would be the EDT, not the cologne.  Tomorrow it might be the other way round.

Do you have a perfume to fall back to if you just can’t decide?



Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations

10 Mar

I just read the delicious NST review by Jessica –  do read it at http://www.nstperfume.com/2012/03/09/neela-vermeire-creations-mohur-fragrance-review/.

The sample package from Neela Vermeire is elegant – three little black atomisers in a tiny gauze bag with a handwritten note.  Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling.  I have never visited India but the links with the UK are strong and enduring, and the history is dramatic.  My personal connection with India, like so many of us here in Britain,  is through the aromatic spiced food and colourful cultural displays.  Each of the fragrances rings true, like a crystal glass, but has a shifting character.

Maybe the shifting nature is to do with the amount of naturals in the blends.  My current favourite is the spicy dark rose Mohur.  Today it truly has displayed a luminous quality.  Jessica describes “it hovered around me like a shimmery cloud of gold dust and rose petals.”  It truly did that for me today.  Other days it has displayed a woodier nature and stayed closer to the skin

I compared it with a few other roses I love, up and down my arms.

Vintage Rose and Rose Musc by Sonoma Scent Studio.  Vintage Rose is more boozy and Rose Musc is less spicy.

Une Rose Chypree and Rose Incense by Tauer Perfumes.  Une Rose Chypree is greener and Rose Incense is drier.

Mohur is subtly spiced, and this is its unique beauty.  I will be very sorry when my sample runs out – sorry enough to want the 3 10 mil discovery bottles…..



Woo Hoo

7 Mar

After not winning anything in competitions and raffles my entire life I won a Cologne du Maghreb in the lovely Andy Tauer’s Advent.  I got the email after a rubbish day and my spirits were immediately lifted.   CdM is all natural and on me is a wonderful citrus blast.

Now I have won perfume from  Osmoz after taking part in a survey about experiencing perfume.  Choice from the following list of mainstream ‘fumes.  I didn’t know any of them well, and initially was tempted more by the Fragrances for Men – Dior Homme or Kokorico.  In the end I picked Chanel Coco.  Not sure if the prize will be a tester or an FB but excited anyway.  Which would you have chosen?

Fragrances for women Fragrances for Men
Coco Eau de Parfum – Chanel Bleu Eau de Toilette – Chanel
Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum  – Chanel Le Mâle Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier
N°5 Eau de Parfum – Chanel Allure Homme Sport Eau de Toilette – Chanel
Angel Eau de Parfum – Thierry Mugler L’Eau D’Issey Homme Eau de Toilette – Issey Miyake
Trésor Eau de Parfum – Lancôme La Nuit De L’Homme Eau de Toilette – Yves Saint Laurent
Chance Eau de Parfum – Chanel Chrome Eau de Toilette – Azzaro
J’Adore Eau de Parfum – Dior Fahrenheit Eau de Toilette – Dior
Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette  – Dior Kokorico Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier
Idylle Eau de parfum  – Guerlain Allure Eau de Toilette – Chanel
« Classique » Eau de Toilette – Jean-Paul Gaultier Dior Homme Eau de Toilette – Dior