Monday, October 3, 2016

Rosa Nobile by Acqua di Parma c2014

Rosa Nobile by Acqua di Parma: launched in 2014 as part of the Nobile Collection. The Nobile collection is composed of fragrances that are each dedicated to a specific flower, previous editions included Iris Nobile, Magnolia Nobile and Gelsomino Nobile.

Rosa Nobile is a tribute to the queen of flowers, a particular rosa Centafolia which grows in Alba, Italy on a limited organic plantation, Piedmont. Because the scent is so fragile and fleeting, the buds have to be picked at early dawn, while the garden is still covered in dew, or else the buds will lose their potent fragrance. This painstaking picking process is only conducted during the months of May and June as the roses fragrance is at its most intense.

From Acqua di Parma:
"A fragrance with a brand new and modern personality. A unique charm in the essential structure whose base reveals sophisticated nuances. The fragrance opens with the soft and fresh citrus scent of bergamot and mandarin, enhanced by pepper notes in a unique composition. At the heart, the Italian rose is the star, with its rich intensity. The seducing touch of its velvety petals is enhanced by harmonious notes of violet, peony, and lily-of-the-valley. This crescendo of emotions continues in the base, with Virginia cedar wood enhanced by a grey amber and musk accord, creating an unforgettable blend. Rosa Nobile. A fragrance as rich as a bunch of freshly picked roses."

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a floral woody musk fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: Sicilian Mandarin, Calabrian Bergamot and pepper
  • Middle notes: Centafolia rose, peony, violet and lily of the valley
  • Base notes: cedar wood, ambergris and musk

Rosa Nobile is available in eau de parfum and velvety body cream.

The body cream has a rich, but lightweight texture that is quickly absorbed leaving the skin moisturised and delicately enveloped in the sophisticated notes of Rosa Nobile. Ingredients with emollient and antioxidant properties such as rice protein, beeswax and vitamin E, work together with rose extract to nourish the skin, enhancing its softness. A precious and luxurious cream that leaves the skin velvety like the petal of the rose.

A friend from Facebook sent me a sample and I sprayed the fragrance on the back of my hand.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


From Joya:
"Joya is a fragrance design studio, producing innovative perfumes, personal care and home ambiance, as well as engaging emerging and established artists for unique collaborative projects. Joya is headquartered and hand-crafted in New York City. Our products are selectively distributed at apothecaries, boutiques, department and lifestyle stores, hotels, resorts and spas worldwide. 
A privately owned company established in 2006 in the State of New York, premium design and ingredient selection and customer service represent the hallmarks of what we do. Our quality objectives are the highest in the industry. We strive to manufacture the best and most ethically responsible products available. We employ local artisans and source materials domestically. And we take pride in providing personal, attentive service."

Composition No. 1:

Perfume oil in slip-cast porcelain container with 22k gold-dipped wand. An ongoing collaboration with ceramic artist Sarah Cihat.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a fruity floral fragrance for women.

  • Top notes: sparkling Italian mandarin, Brazilian orange and fresh quince.
  • Middle notes: heliotrope petals, tuberose, jasmine, camellia and Damask rose.
  • Base notes: creamy sandalwood, pale musk and a hint of tonka bean.


Perfume oil in slip-cast green porcelain container with 22k gold-dipped wand. An ongoing collaboration with ceramic artist Sarah Cihat.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a green floral fragrance for women. 
  • Top notes: Blood orange, salt meadow grass and hyacinth leaves.
  • Middle notes: Honeyed jasmine, camellia and jonquille.
  • Base notes: Treaty oak, white cedar and wild musk.

Composition No. 6:

Perfume oil in slip-cast black porcelain container with 22k gold-dipped wand. An ongoing collaboration with ceramic artist Sarah Cihat.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an aromatic spicy fragrance for men and women. 
  • Top notes: fujian cypress, juniper berries and tangy yuzu
  • Middle notes: silken lotus leaves and blossoms enhanced by a fresh air accord. 
  • Base notes: lush, green meadow grass blended with rich cedarwood, saffron and amber.

Ames Soeurs:

Perfume oil in travel-friendly glass rollerball. An ongoing collaboration with ceramic artist Sarah Cihat.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a floral fragrance for women. 
  • Top notes: spicy tamarind with accents of shimmering grapefruit and cypress.
  • Middle notes: rose bulgar, ginger and bright orange blossom.
  • Base notes: lasting cedarwood, paired with incense, amber and sweet musk.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Etoile D'Or by Volnay c2013

Etoile D'Or by Volnay: launched in 2013.  Created by Amelie Bourgeois who was inspired to create a modern interpretation of Etoile D'Or by using one of Volnay's original formulas dating back to the 1920s.

Click here to discover Parfums Volnay

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Parfum Pour Toi by The Pink Room c2008

Parfum Pour Toi by The Pink Room: launched in 2008.  Created by Cyrille Carles.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a floral woody musk fragrance for women.

  • Top notes lemon, blackcurrant, grapefruit
  • Middle notes: rose, fleur de melati, lily of the valley
  • Base notes: sandalwood, vanilla, white musk
Visit their website here

I received a sample directly from Sarah Barton-King, the founder of The Pink Room, and was very interested in trying it as I was fascinated by the look of the boutique.

At first, I smell straight up citrus, a blast of lemon and grapefruit. Normally just the mention of grapefruit in the scent pyramid would make me run in the opposite direction as I really don't enjoy the smell of grapefruit, however, this is not the I-just-cut-up-a-fresh-grapefruit-to-eat-for-breakfast scent of grapefruit, it is blended so well with the zetsy lemon that it does not make me scrunch up my nose and sneeze. 

The fresh citrus makes way for a sheer fusion of rose and lily of the valley, nothing heavy in this floral meld. I was wondering what the fleur de melati is and if I could detect it in the perfume. Of course I smell it, it is simply  jasmine sambac, but known as melati in Indonesia. The jasmine, rose and lily of the valley are a little shrill at first, but slowly, the creamy notes of vanilla appear and start mellowing out the flowers, making them smooth. A whisper of white musk and the woody note of the sandalwood round out this diaphanous fragrance. The vanilla, while sweet, is not cloying. 

At the end of the drydown, I am left with a soft trace of the flowers upon delicate vanilla and musk. My overall impression is that the fragrance is very light, airy, and definitely aimed at the younger set. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jasmin Reve by Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger c2013

Jasmin Reve by Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger: launched in 2013. Created by Jean-Claude Gigodot.  As one can tell from the name, Jasmine is the star of this fragrance.

And brides as delicate and fair 
As the white jasmine flowers they wear 
Hath Yemen in her blissful clime 
-T. Moore 
Jasmine is highly prized all over the world and is one of the most costly perfume ingredients. It has been reported that more than five million blossoms must be gathered to produce one kilo of what is known as "pure jasmine absolute". As a result, much of the jasmine used in perfume is a chemical approximation and is present in about 83% of women's fragrances and 33% of men's.

Jasmine oil is often used in aromatherapy as a natural remedy for stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms. It is also said to act as an aphrodisiac.

Then how serene when in your favourite room 
Gales from your jasmines soothe the evening gloom 
 Ancient Greeks and Egyptians knew the divine power of the jasmine and used it in not only perfumes, but as offerings to the gods. The Pharaonic Egyptians painted flowers on the walls of their palaces, temples and tombs. These paintings show chrysanthemums, cornflowers, roses, irises, jasmine, narcissi, vines, and poppies, with papyrus and lotus.

The intense fragrant essence of the jasmine is recalled in the origin of its name which derives from the Persian word "yasmin" which means "a gift from God."

In early days it was known in English as Gethsamine, Gelsemine, Jesemin and Jasme. It is also the Jasmin as well as Kajan and Zambach of the Arabians.
Here jasmines spread the silver flower 
To deck the wall or weave the bower 

So what does Jasmin Reve smell like? It is classified as a Floral fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: jasmine
  • Middle notes: rose
  • Base notes: musk, sandalwood and vanilla

I received a sample directly from Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger and dabbed some drops on the back of my hand. Jasmin Reve means Jasmine Dream in French and this is exactly what it is. At first sniff, a dreamy waft of plush, narcotic jasmine greets my nose. There is a distinctive fresh bloom effect about the jasmine that I find very appealing. A trace of sweetened spice weaves its web as the fragrance dries down. Now I can smell the soft sandalwood mingling with the creamy vanilla. A vanilla that is not cloyingly sweet. The musk is as soft as gossamer without being overwhelming. It has moderate sillage and as the dry down fades, the jasmine is tenacious until the very end. 

My overall impression of this perfume is that it has a very ethereal quality. Luxuriant and refined. Perfect for wearing with your softest of cashmere sweaters or pashmina shawls. I also think that this would be suitable for a bride to wear on her wedding day. The matching perfumed candle would be appropriate for a wedding gift, Mother's Day or hostess gift.

Visit Au Pays de la Fleurs d'Oranger's website

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kai by Kai c1999

Kai by Kai: launched in 1999. Created by upscale boutique owner, Gaye Straza Rappaport, who sold exclusively it in her Malibu, California boutique. She later sold her shop, but decided to continue selling her perfume oil which had gained status as a cult favorite among celebrities. Recognizing this fact, she expanded the line to include toiletries in a matching scent so that one could layer the products, making it easy to enjoy the scent all day long.

From the kai website:
""breathe in the beauty of kai, and experience the light and
                 soothing scent of today's most sought-after fragrance."

beauty lies in the simplest and purest of things. kai brings this idea to life by using exotic fragrance and natural essences in our light and intoxicating scent of gardenia wrapped in white exotics. kai captures the irresistible fragrance of the tropics in a full line of fragrance, bath, body and home care products. breathe in the beauty of kai, and experience today's most sought-after fragrance.
"as a child my family would spend summers in hawaii... there’s nothing like the scent of exotic flowers; plumeria, pikake, gardenia and jasmine seemed to grow everywhere. every time i smell one of those flowers i’m instantly back on the islands surrounded by loved ones." ~ kai founder, gaye straza (elle, january 2012)

The company claims that it is paraben, sulfate, phthalate & phosphate free. Also cruelty free, which I am glad to hear about. Plus it is made in the USA from recyclable packaging.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a lush, white floral fragrance for women with a dominant gardenia note.

  • Top notes: fresh green notes
  • Middle notes: gardenia
  • Base notes:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gold Leather by Atelier Cologne c2013

Gold Leather by Atelier Cologne: launched in 2013. It was released as part of the Collection Métal, created by perfumers Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel. To further enhance the metal theme, the bottles are richly covered in genuine precious metals, making an industry first.

The bottle for Gold Leather is appropriately cloaked in a shimmering gold finish. For those that enjoy the refreshing feeling of splashing cologne onto their skin, the removable spray pump can be removed. The 100ml and 200ml bottles sport a handcrafted leather cap for a luxurious touch.

Ce Soir Ou Jamais by Annick Goutal c1999

Ce Soir Ou Jamais by Annick Goutal: launched in 1999. The name in French means "Tonight or Never", sounds like it could be a plea from a lover. Inspired by the scent of a beautiful rose Annick Goutal found in a priest's garden, it took her a reported fifteen years and over 160 secret ingredients to capture an almost perfect replica.

From Annick Goutal:
"Infinitely secret murmur, pressing and tender proposal of a lingering and discrete perfume which intrigues and arouses desire...  
According to Annick Goutal, it is the perfume of her life, the most accomplished. Interpretation of a rose in a "priest's garden" which she stumbled upon, so much idealized in the extent that it makes one's head spin.  
15 years of work and determination to succeed in revealing the transparency of this delicate, mysterious, almost wild rose."

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an intense floral fragrance for women.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, lemon, bergamot, pear, rose geranium, peach, lily of the valley, and hibiscus
  • Middle notes: acacia, orange blossom, lavender, apple blossom, beeswax, jasmine, verbena, rose hips, Turkish rose, tea rose, violet, lilac, mimosa and Bulgarian rose
  • Base notes: incense, sandalwood, myrrh, anise, patchouli, leather, musk, oakmoss, ambrette, benzoin and amber

Available in both parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, body cream, shower gel and soap.

I received a sample from a Facebook friend and just sprayed some on the back of my hand. Starting off with a hint of citrus zest and juicy pear, beeswax, rosehip tea, then revealing a heart of fresh cut bouquet of both sweet Turkish and soapy Bulgarian roses and ending in a marriage of spiced wine and a patchouli laden chypre base with a touch of powdery jasmine.

Each time I smell the perfume, it seems a little different and new notes appear. I love this. This is as if Tea Rose by The Perfumer's Workshop and to Jo Malone's Red Roses cologne had a baby, it has a slight vintage feel that I enjoy. Many of the ingredients in the notes listed above I was able to detect through several sampling sessions, as the "secret ingredients" truly are secret and not officially listed anywhere online.

I imagine an elegant woman wearing a slinky black velvet dress arriving at her handsome lover's home on the last night before he leaves on yet another business trip. He opens the door and lets her inside. They immediately embrace and he tastes her violet candy like red lipstick as they passionately kiss. She nuzzles her head into the crook of his neck and smells his musky aftershave spiked with lavender, patchouli and ambergris. He smells her vintage aldehydic chypre perfume that she sprayed on her hair. Her lover presents her with a lush bouquet of long stemmed roses. They stroll into the dining room. She sits down at the table to an empty goblet which is twinkling with the flicker of candlelight.  A small Baccarat crystal vase on the table holds crimson hibiscus blossoms sits atop the freshly laundered linen table cover. A gilt rimmed Limoges porcelain plate holds a succulent baked pear and sliced peaches drizzled with honey and garnished with candied citrus fruit peel. He pours an expensive red wine into her goblet. Her lover presents her with a red envelope, she excitedly opens it, it simply reads "Tonight or Never." She coyly smiles, looks up at him with a mischievous look in her eyes and takes his hand in hers.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal c1983

Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal: launched in 1983. The fragrance was created as a tribute to her cherished daughter.

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a green floral fragrance for women. The perfume evokes the leafy green scent of privet hedges, crisp ivy, freshly cut grass and hints of the delicate floral notes of lilac (seringa) and honeysuckle.
  • Top notes: honeysuckle
  • Middle notes: privet, seringa
  • Base notes: ivy, cut grass

Eau de Camille was discontinued in 2013/2014.

A friend on facebook sent me a sample of this fragrance. I sprayed some onto the back of my hand and inhaled the scent. In my mind, the ivy reminds me of the meandering ivy that grew along the walls of my grandmothers Victorian era farmhouse. I would visit her during the summer when I was a child and slept in an upstairs bedroom that had a window just above where the ivy grew in abundance. Privet hedges lined the walkway to the backdoor. After heavy summer thunderstorms, the air was thick with the scent of electrical ozone, deep, dark privet leaves and crisp ivy. Occasionally, during the early days of June, I would also get a whiff of the first lilacs that grew in her small garden that encircled her gazebo in the backyard. Their scent was both vegetal and sweet and smelled wonderful married with the scent of freshly cut grass. Delicate wild Japanese honeysuckle shrubs dotted the property line that abutted a soybean field in the heart of Maryland's rural farm country. I used to love to walk out there, pluck a flower, pinch off the little green calyx, and suck the addictive nectar from the blossoms, wondering if the bumblebees enjoyed the sweet, honeylike taste as much as I did. The days before cellphones and the internet, when we had to entertain ourselves and play outdoors, this was one of the simple pleasures that I fervently remember. It is a shame that there aren't any honeysuckle bushes near my home now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sortilege by Le Galion c1937

Sortilege by Le Galion: launched in 1937 by perfumer and Le Galion owner, Paul Vacher. The name means "spell" in French. It's magical blend was composed of over 80 ingredients. It was suggested to be worn for blondes and brunettes, and described it as sumptuous, warm, luxurious, and suitable for evening wear.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mix 17 by Platinum J c2011

Mix 17 by Platinum J: launched in 2011.

"Be yourself. Imitation is suicide."

Platinum J fragrances are hand blended using only the finest 100% pure essential oils by natural perfumer Jacqueline Clemens in Lakewood, Ohio. Each perfume is meant to work with the wearer's own skin to become her own signature fragrance.

From Platinum J:
The green goddess, laughingly skipping across the meadow of hope-filled days of endless sunshine, has bewitched us with her sophisticated yet playful mien. Touched with sun and emotion, the fiery presence of geranium and the liveliness of bergamot fills the empty space that once was inside her heart. As this settles, the crisp green goddess gives way to woods that murmur and amber that whispers " my sweet embrace all your pains erased."

So what does it smell like? It is classified as an oriental chypre fragrance for men and women.

  • Top notes: bergamot
  • Middle notes: frankincense and geranium
  • Base notes: amber and patchouli

I received a sample directly from Platinum J, and immediately was taken by how earthy this perfume is. It has a beautiful chypre accord and has a rich patchouli note that I find very attractive. This is not your average, everyday hippie head shop patchouli, but more of a spicy, sweeter, more refined version. Not a floral fragrance, just lots of soft woods, incense and spice. This ambery fragrance has a familiar vintage hint to it that makes me think of the 1920s and the wave of orientalism that swept over that decade.

I would imagine this perfume being housed inside of a limited edition heart shaped jet black crystal flacon and a round ball stopper with a long glass dauber, and the front of the bottle would simply say" "Mix 17".

I would wear this perfume on a daily basis, as I love how deftly composed this honeyed fragrance is. It has a seamless blending only rivaled by the very best perfumers in the business.

Speaking of the vintage aspect of this perfume, it reminds me of the time I was at a local country auction where there were a few perfume bottles sitting up on a table. I picked up the Nuit de Noel bottle and found that the stopper was frozen in place. I didn't try to pry it open, but heard some splashing inside so I knew it still contained the treasured formula. Later on, I had bid on the perfume bottles and happily won the lot.

As I was wrapping up the Nuit de Noel bottle, the stopper miraculously came loose and the sticky, brown, syrupy perfume spilled all over my hands. It's scent immediately filled the room and I was only slightly embarrassed when a little boy, there with his grandma spoke up and said, "It smells like bug spray in here gramma." Everyone was looking at me as I was trying so hard to wipe my soiled perfumey hands on some paper towels I grabbed from the ladies room earlier. The auctioneer even stopped his chanting and asked me to take the perfume out to my car...LOL...So, that is what I did.

I came back inside and went to the ladies room to attempt to scrub the old perfume residue from my hands. I scrubbed and I scrubbed for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, I sat back down at my seat to resume bidding on a lot of antique RS Prussia porcelain. For the rest of the auction, all I smelled was the honeyed perfume from Nuit de Noel still clinging furiously to my hands, however, I found the spicy woodsy dry down to be delightful and not at all obtrusive anymore. This is exactly what I smell in Mix 17, the wonderful vintage woods and amber.

Click HERE to purchase Mix 17 by Platinum J