Friday, 11 April 2014

4th Blog anniversary

I've been blogging so infrequently over the last 6-9 months that it should come as no surprise that I missed my own blogoversary, the 4th. I first posted on 29 March 2010, which seems like an awfully long time ago. 

Back then, I was full of enthusiasm, and judging by my output over the last year, it would seem that this joie de vivre has waned, to say the least. 

I'm not saying that I am going to stop blogging, necessarily, but it would not surprise me if this is my last year - time shall tell.

In the meantime, here's to all things perfume. I'm wearing Muscs Kublai Khan today, still my favourite musk perfume.  

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Exotic Island Perfumer - Santal Exotique

Juan Perez's Exotic Island Perfumer line is wonderful. They are different, stand out from a lot of other perfume lines, and to my nose smell well made and well thought out.

Santal Exotique is no exception. Perez's Etsy listing mentions notes of sandalwood (Mysore, Hawaiian and New Caledonian), black vanilla, elemi, incense, tonka, massoia, cinnamon and rosewood barks, pandanus leaf, cardamom, civet and musk.

In execution, Santal Exotique for all of five minutes smells quite foody, in a similar vein to Luten's Jeu De Peux, but after that it quickly transforms into an incensy, slightly milky sandalwood perfume, suffused with light spices. It is deliciously calming and meditative, subtle, but beautiful. The spices are not overpowering, and to my nose the perfume does not descend into a Christmas-fest, luckily.

I was fortunate to be gifted a generous sample of this by a good friend of mine (thank you!) and I can certainly recommend it without hesitation. Equally, this applies to the rest of the line too.

Friday, 21 March 2014

A briefest of overviews - the week that was

You know you've had a great week (not) when you get to Friday and need to refer to text messages you sent to a fellow perfume fan to remember the perfumes you wore.

For the record, I wore Mona Di Orio Oud, Juan Perez Oud Nawab, Neil Morris A Rose is A Rose and another Di Orio, Eau Absolue. They are all perfectly lovely perfumes and I can highly recommend trying any or all of them. I think that Eau Absolue was probably the most in tune with an early spring day, with its citrusy, herbal notes and undercut with musk. 

Friday was scentless, sadly. I hate it when I go through days without wearing or even thinking much about perfume.

If it is springlike where you are, what have you been wearing this week? 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

SOTD - Alexander McQueen Kingdom

I'm not sure what compelled me to wear Kingdom today, other than it was staring at me from my top drawer and I hadn't worn it in a long time.

I snapped up probably the last bottle I ever saw in Tunbridge Wells (and elsewhere for that matter) and don't regret it one single bit. It is a fine and slightly unusual rose perfume, packed with cumin, a note which tends to either attract people, or repel them. I've never had an issue with cumin and enjoy it in food and as a perfume note, so Kingdom is very wearable for me.

I find the dry down quite comforting actually, with a warm sandalwood note that softens the cuminy rose and jasmine. It was marketed as a feminine fragrance, but I actually think it can be worn fairly easily by a man too.

I would strongly recommend trying Kingdom at least once. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

TGI Friday

I don't know about you, but this year already seems to be flying by with unrelenting pace. Two months down and I haven't managed to pause and catch breath.

Life is like that, I guess, and I'm not sure it is going to change, so may as well go with the flow and hope for the best, says my inner voice with alarming alacrity.

As I sit here with a glass of wine, curry heating up on the stove, I'm thinking about what I've done this month and enjoyed, so here goes.

Listening to:
Interestingly, whilst 'm still enjoying my usual music on my ipod, since my wife purchased a piano, she has been playing a lot of classical music and as a result of that, I've been picking up on and listening to a lot of classical music in turn. A lot of is nice, but for whatever reason, Erik Satie has appealed a lot. Try his Gymnopedies.

Watching:
Food shows on the BBC iplayer, mainly. Anything featuring Michel Roux junior. Apologies to US readers if you're not familiar.

Music documentaries, in particular it Might Get Loud, which features the coming together of Jack White, The Edge from U2 and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Marvellous stuff.

Reading:
Food features again - Tom Parker Bowles and also Jay Rayner. Again, US readers are unlikely to be familiar, but you would recognise the name Parker Bowles. After all, he is the son of the wife of the future King of England.

Perfume:
Well, I've worn plenty of perfume, and written about it very little. Today I'm wearing two from Parfumerie Generale, Hyperessence Matale and Harmatan Noir. The former is a slightly smoky, green, tea fragrance, while the latter is a slightly smoky, earthy, incense-like mint perfume. Both are very nice by the way.

Here's to a good weekend, and all the best for March. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, role on spring!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

SOTD - Parfum d'Empire Fougere Bengale

My impression of Fougere Bengale is that it would be suitable for people who are skittish about Serge Luten's Arabie. To my nose Fougere Bengale is Arabie Light, but with a twist.
 
There is a very prominent curry spice note in the perfume, although interestingly Luckyscent do not mention this at all. Their note list includes lavender, tarragon, geranium, tobacco, tonka, vanilla and patchouli. I would guess that the curry note is probably due to a dose of fenugreek or perhaps immortelle, but I can't be certain.
 
Anyway, I quite like Fougere Bengale, but I can see how some might view it as being a slightly strange fragrance. The curry note is unexpected perhaps, if you've never encountered this perfume before, but is clearly a nod to India and the title says it all.
 
It is certainly worth trying at the very least.  

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A brief perfume visit in London

I went  to London this past Thursday, my first visit to the capital in 2014, and the first since a day spent up there with friends in late November.

It was a work visit, but as is so often the case, I usually try to squeeze in a flying visit to some perfume store, this time Liberty, as I was not too far from the West End. I've noticed a few negative comments about the Liberty perfume section recently, and if these relate to customer service and general attitude, then I can certainly understand why. In the past, the staff used to leave you alone to get on with your browsing and sniffing, and they still do. However, there is something slightly condescending about them when you do ask a question, or if you make it clear that you just want to be left to your own devices. If the criticism relates to what perfume is stocked there, then I disagree. For a fairly small space Liberty packs in a very good selection of perfume lines.

Anyway, I tried quite a few perfumes on scent strips, and if there is one thing to be learned from this (hardly rocket science to any seasoned perfumista) it is that one should never judge a perfume from how it smells on paper, or any fabric for that matter; the true test is on skin. A case in point is Aedes Iris Nazarena, which smelled totally flat and faint on paper, but wore beautifully on my skin. I think it is a really interesting iris fragrance that has that characteristic fatty feel and earthy smell, but is not particularly 'rooty' or 'carroty'. It is joined by a faint incense that works very well. Another perfume tried on skin was Agonist Infidels, which I was less enthusiastic about, not necessarily because I didn't think it was good, but perhaps it didn't work that well on my skin. Oppopnax is a heavily featured note in this perfume and it came across sweetly resinous, whereas I would have preferred something slightly less sweet and dry, but that is just my personal taste.

I say this quite often, but as much as I love London and what it has to offer (and I did live there for almost six years) I find it far too busy, impersonal, and if I'm being honest, smelly. Certainly by my standards anyway, compared to other UK towns and cities I visit. It seems to get dirtier and smellier each time I visit, although I cannot say whether this is actually the case or simply caused by my state of mind!

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