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.

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.

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.

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!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Thoughts on Neela Vermeire Mohur and Bombay Bling

Neela Vermeire's initial trio of perfumes are highly regarded, yet for some reason I have not warmed to them generally. I sort of feel bad saying this, as I feel I am going against the grain, but I can't lie and just pretend I love them.

Having said that, I do think they smell highly original and I can't fault them structurally, not that I can even start to suggest I have any true perfume technical knowledge. But, as most perfume lovers will know, that is no guarantee that you will love a perfume, and I can think of quite a few perfumes that I simply don't like, no matter how well made they are.

Starting with Bombay Bling, I will say that I like it, and it is my favourite in the line. I like the dry down, which is lightly spiced with some incense and a residual hint of mango and milkiness. The opening is a bit of a let down for me, because it doesn't smell as juicy and tangy as I had hoped, judging from the reviews, which waxed lyrical about the mango note. In fairness, maybe some of this is down to skin chemistry. Where Bombay Bling does succeed on the mango front is that it does evoke that slight chalky sensation one gets from eating the fruit. And there is a definite lactonic, milky feel too, which could be a representation of a mango lassi. As I write this, I can actually conclude that Bombay Bling is a good fragrance, albeit not as exuberant as I had hoped.

Moving onto Mohur, I find it hard to be positive. For my Mohur-loving friends out there, apologies, but I can't pretend to like it. Everything I've read about Mohur makes me think that I should like it, but on skin it just does not work for me. 

One thing I find as a common thread through all the Vermeire fragrances is that milky, lactonic note. I can't decide if I like it or not, but it is very distinctive to my nose. Interestingly, I noticed a similar note in Penhaligon's Vaara, which is another Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance and also Indian-inspired.


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