Thursday, December 24, 2015

Peach, war, and the golden age of perfumery: Mitsouko by Guerlain

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Believe me being an 80's child is not a very good coincidence to celebrate when it comes to perfumes! I'm an 80's production and the worse part of my olfactory journey is confronting a bunch of crap modern fragrances with no character came into the age of techno music as we blossomed in youth. A series of considerably more characteristic items that have been worn by elder siblings of ours, have been gone out of production and reformulated under name of adaptation to the new world, which left us in doubt. We are the generation of change! Reformulation, an immeasurable intervention that is nightmare of every perfumista, used by marketing policies to cover watering down a perfume to fit it to newer criteria of design, fashion and health; and I really want someone to answer me why the hell this term is synonym of dilution and not improvement?!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Armani Privé Oud Royal by Giorgio Armani

Armani Privé Oud Royal by Giorgio Armani

What else could be nicer than oud in such frozen days!? Nevertheless, since this blessed wood is now as widespread as McDonlads, it is boring to dig for the best ever.
The aperture between mass product and exclusive series of some brands is that big that you can say they are two different routes. One of which is Giorgio Armani. This brand has two separate portfolios: silly mediocre Code series and so on, and Armani Privé series which include some earth-shattering releases. Regardless to what reason lies behind, some part of Armani Privé series are indeed high-end creations and Oud Royal is so. The fragrance is composed by Evelyne Boulanger in 2010 (some say it's 2011).

Monday, December 14, 2015

Victory smells leather: L'Aigle de la Victoire by Rancé 1795

L'Aigle de la Victoire by Rancé 1795

For no particular reason I had not even glanced at creations of this house, and before a friend; whose taste is totally contrary to mine; tells off about the actual perfume, I did not even know where Rancé 1795 is originated; France or Italy!
Anyhow, everything began with that Facebook post the friend wrote and told off about how skanky and disgusting L`Aigle de la Victoire (from now simply Victorie) is. Immediately I assumed that this would be something I dig for nowadays; a massive animalic. Researches began. Thanks to my dear friend in Jovoy Tehran I filled a sample when I first tried Victoire. That first impression was slap in my face!

The Rancé family has been working in the industry since the beginning of 1600's in Grasse. The family was famous for producing fragrant gloves for French aristocrats. In 1795 François Rancé's innovative spirits brought success and fame to the house. He entirely approached in perfumery and produced remarkable modern formula that attracted Napoleon's attention.
Rancé 1795 is a family business and a higher class master perfumer house with over 200 years of faithfully safeguarding Fançois's tradition and innovation.

What surprises me is that Victoire is not listed in the site's database! Victoire is a perfume from Collection Impériale line of Rancé produced in 2013 by Giovanni Rancé.

The fragrance opens so vibrant and edgy. The very first impressions is you either fall in love or repulse. This steadfast, certain and potent opening is parallel to what happens in a bunch of other notorious hair-chested phenolic leather fragrances as Caron Yatagan, Christian Dior Cuir Cannage, and Mona di Orio Cuir. You know this is not really difficult to set a perfume with leather start up but it is seriously a hard task to keep the balance and not overdo it.

The first shut of Victoire is on ephemeral, quickly subduing citruses that solve within hardcore leather. This tarry black opening promises of rather denser subsequent drama, which materializes by birch. Birch is an interesting wood. It has sad dark and omen senses and it easily duplicates animalic aura.

Victoire, nevertheless, for its core when earthy frosty vetiver appears and mingles with patchouli, is not a hardcore animalic fetish. It get's softer and dusty, a bit sweet and rounded yet still massive and gigantic. In this level, smart use of soft oud wood in the composition brings mystical aura to solid flat leather, and intensifies its woodsy acrid animalic attributions. Oud also grabs Victoire off from its classical chypré appearance and give it retro/modern masculinity.
One aspect that socks in Vicotire is its constant monotonic leather performance that stubbornly continues till the end, but if you say "better this way" then it's your perfume. It is rigid, over-masculine, cold, wintery, powdery creamy leather, massive and so so so serious. Don't even think about wearing it on a t-shirt or shirt without jacket. It has enormous longevity as expected and so as for trail.

Carpe Odor!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pearls and jaguar: Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

George Bellows, The Circus, 1912

It smells like Dostoevsky!
Dzing! is literally high level; like his novels which are composition of very professional grammar and literal ability; the perfume is an exquisite harmony of simple elements forming an ultra-structure. And like a masterpiece of art, as a compose, a painting or a novel, while many perfumes are known by their producers' name, Olivia Giacobetti's creations signify her name as an signature with her blood. It's a matter of respect to nose's talent when her name comes before brand's name, and Dzing! is indeed such masterpiece. The fragrance is a 1999 child and is called Woody in Fragrantica while Ozmos racks it in Oriental Vanilla. Regardless to both, Dzing! is a complex combination of leathery notes and soft sweets with a touch of pale fruity saffron...

Dzing! unfurls with the very Giacobetti's breath. What is that? A familiar draught of something fresh, foggy, and dreamy merged into composition, that hides behind and makes you crazy yet you can't conjure it up and can't get rid of its intrigue. This happens in most of her creations, for example, Fou d'Absinthe, Hiris, Tea for Two, and Elixir.
The first wack of the fragrance is a  juxtaposition of strange musky hinge and very delightful sweetness/smokiness. This simple yet very integrated opening evokes a sense that Dzing! is a perfume made for perfumers not for ordinary costumers. This is a highly elaborate composition which is irrationally underrated by many Youtubers.

The house describes that the perfume is composed as a circus performance and is a magical evocation of a circus of dreams and imagination. The concept is so amusing. A collection of smells in a circus: horses, animals, felines, saw dust, hay, fire, sweaty muscles, candies and too loud noises. Let's do it other way, I close my eyes and try to empty my mind from the imagination to see whether if the scent illustrates these all...
Well I clearly smell leather harness on a male horse and probably the intense colors of the woman's make up. But the leathery/musky hue is not a vulgar one. It's seriously luxe like skin of a black jaguar. A hint of soft chalky tone enriches the leather and reduces skanky volume of animality.

Now, when the fragrance sets down, those sweet smells of saffron and toffee gradually subdue and the woody base appear. This perfume, to be accurate, is the smell of a circus itself rather than smell of performance. I mean an empty circus hall after show ends and crown scatter. It is yummy in the beginning, serious in the heart and fancy and delightful in the base, so could anyone tell this would not be a woman whom every man desire?!...

You know, I'm a bad fond of musk and I really want them all in my collection. But the fact that Dzing! doesn't like my skin breaks my heart. This fragrance is so gorgeous, modern and I'm so infatuated by. It's like a personal blend, a bespoke and a strong signature scent; a combination of class and originality. It is very comfortable, characteristic, very sexy, and very complete. But at the same time it is so daring and challenging for my rough masculine skin. This is the common aspect of musky and phenolic leathery fragrances. But it's not all; there's something more. I think this is a kind of perfume that plays mesmerizing and erotic on porcelain feminine skin but not that bold on me. This is the very problem I faced in Balmain Ambre Gris which plays like a row of pearls on my wife's skin but dances funky like a clown on me: cheap pseudo-floral. So pity that she's not in animalic fragrances, to motivate me to buy it for her and give my heart tranquility! But maybe a closer fragrance in the matter of smell to Dzing! could be Kiehl's Original Musk when it sits in base; the same musky floralized freshness and mistiness.

Although many believe Dzing! inclines to masculinity, I believe this perfume is made for feminine skin. Don't reckon on leather and musk, this is as soft as skin after bath! On my skin it has about 5 hours longevity but my wife smells leather to about 7 hours with medium sillage and projection.

Carpe Odor!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wounded bird nested back in fruity thorns: Blackbird by Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes

Blackbird by Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes

By this picture I don't indicate to any carnality in the smell content, contrary, the violet leaves, the body and bleeding berries all are overlapping my story, my impression on Blackbird.

Blackbird is literally a sane perfume, if I take that term to deliver my impression, it is the sanest I have met this last months. With loyalty to nature, expressed in a lucid tongue by one of the most adept noses in natural perfumery, Dr. Ellen Covey.

Once upon a time there were hundreds of blackbirds in fir forest behind that berry meadows of the other side of the lake. In autumn, when weather is slowly getting colder and the meadow is marshy by midnight rains and daytime fogs, one tiny matte black chested blackbird flies over the berry shrubs to pick berries which are now defenselessly hanging on shrubs with no leaves. Delicious juicy organic berries has always a tinge of woods taste. The squirrel on the oak witnessed the yellow beak of a blackbird eating polished eggplant-purple blackberries. The bear is so mad at the bird for leaving no berry for him... ah I think I should never write children book upon our childhood stories!

Ok, the fragrance opens with very amethystic purple color of fruity notes represented by balsamic dimensions of an unfamiliar fresh fir. It's like greens and berries in a diet salad but anyhow, it's not yummy or fresh as green fragrances. The fragrance in fact is so simple, so plain and inviting. Invites you to hear her message from nature. Behind her fragile appearance, there is smoky incense-like apothecary heart, that speaks of untouched wild nature in which mankind has not intervened yet.
Gradually, fir slides away and blackberry remains on top, with delightful taste. There is very clever use of hay to duplicate tobacco'ish aroma that supports jammy smell of blackberry.
The core of the fragrance is totally out of this world. You camp with friends in woods, no car, no network coverage, no sign of technology while the city is few miles away. It's pure happiness and this must be the life!

Painting © David Hutchinson
David Hutchinson, Blackbird in Springtime

Ellen Covey just reminds me to take a look at back, not too long, just ten years ago. Grandma's delicious summertime berry jams, smell of woods and firs, music of river and fly of tiny birds over dense shrubs; you curiously find your path through dense net of scratching tightly tied-in thorns to encounter the nests and see the wild chicks. You bleed and feel the pain of thorns under your skin for hours to keep you aware that you're the last generation how climbed trees as a game, who saw the thorn birds' nests, and ate berries from shrubs.

Blackbird has moderate tenacity although it stays quite long on skin but only displays close to skin after a while. For the first hour its projection is average. But what makes me in love with it is the transparency and virginity of smell of natural elements. It's so loyal to nature.

Carpe Odor!