Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My very own custom blend by Ane Walsh

By now if you are still reading my blog and all the others out there and you have countless perfume bottles in your home (office, car, etc etc...) you are either a perfume addicted, a self-called "perfumista" or both, and you probably can situate yourself in one of the 5 phases of this perfumed relationship that are basically the following:

1. The Romance Stage: Oxytocine, Phenylethylamine and dopamine! You are dancing with many perfumes cheek to cheekYou are in LUUUV!
Falling in love is just like a drug addiction, but legal and so is the passion for perfumes that unfortunately although legal, very expensive at this stage. 
You want to smell everything on everyone! This is the phase where the interest of learning everything about perfume and perfumery is higher than taste. You will also tend to follow other people's taste for perfumes because they seem sometimes to know more about them than you.

2. The Love Hangover Stage: You are now 1000s of perfumes and samples away from where you started and just as in LOVE, you are no longer a perfume blind and you begin to smell the flaws. Yes, you begin to recognize perfumes and perfumers not only for they accomplishments and beauties but also for their flaws. Here is when you will encounter deception. You have a lot of perfumes in your wardrobe that now seems to be the case of asking yourself "what was I thinking?" kind of bottles. The good thing is that your nose is more accurate, more educatated. You no longer accept the opinion of other experts as the most accurate ones. All is arguable. You have developed your very own refined taste for perfumes.

3. The Stability Stage: For better or worst you will stick to what you define as a good perfume. By now you have already divided perfumes into 2 cathegories: loved as a concept but I won't wear/ love it and I will wear it because it is also wonderful on me! But of course you are still thrilled by new ideas, new brands...

4. The Commitment Stage: You select the best 5/10 perfumes of all times and these are the ones that you are really going to wear (some people have broader lists such as the 20 best).You will wear one of these perfumes till the very last drop before buying a new bottle (unless you found a real good financial opportunity).

Some people may stay or complete only these four stages of a perfume love affair. Some will be caught up in a loop where stages will start and end until the enlighten wisdom will come.

I took my love for perfumes to the next level where I found myself wanting to have something very specific. It is the fifth stage or Co-Creation Stage: At this point you know exactly what works for you and what is out there. You know which perfumers you admire, which creations you MUST have and now you want to go deeper into your love for perfumery  - which means to have YOUR VERY OWN BLEND! Some will be happy just to have a customized fragrance; some will try to launch their own perfume brands. (but there is a problem with that - read my posts called "The Trouble with the Curve - Part I/Part II). Yeap...Perfumery needs training and that means years of experience and that is exactly why I believe in what it is called Co-Creation. I am a lucky person who happens to know a very skilled perfumer called Ane Walsh who does not fear a challenge and has the heart of an angel! A Co-Creation means you need a partner to sin!

We started to talk about my very own perfume and needless to say IRIS is the olfactive note I love the most, so my dream come true was a fragrance that would explore this flower in the most fantastic way. 
I love most aspects of this note - silvery, salty, buttery, but I asked her to leave the green-y notes out of my fragrance because they interest me less somehow (although I liked Iris 39 of Le Labo). 
Ane had an iris root that was 90 yrs old (wow!) and that was our starting point. I also told her about perfumes that I love such as the Guerlain perfume called Iris Ganache that was unfortunately discontinued. For those of you who can't remember, Iris Ganache had a composition of bergamot, cinnamon, white chocolate, cedarwood, iris, gray amber, vanilla white musk, patchouli and powdery notes. It was launched in 2007 for the L'Art et la Matiere Collection and created by Thierry Wasser.
My idea was not to recreate this fragrance, because not only we respect Thierry's work of art, but also because I wanted something to call MY VERY OWN BLEND. I did wanted a chocolate-iris combination thou, but not the same as in Guerlain's creation. I wanted something that flirts with the Haute cuisine, but it does not smell like pastry nor a box of chocolates. 

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

The result is a gourmet iris perfume that she named LA SIGNORA as the Piazza La Signora in Firenze, Italy. Firenze or Florence in English in Italy is the region concentrating the most beautiful varieties of iris flowers. It is also the home of the Società Italiana Dell'Iris giving the International prize for the best iris cultivators. According to Ane this Piazza is an effervescent point of Florentine culture since its very beginning.


Launch year: 2014
Customized edition
Perfumer: Ane Walsh
Rate: Sky is the limit!
Family: Floral-gourmand
Some of the notes of my perfume are:

Top: Bee wax absolute, peach leafs, rosewood, cognac.

Heart: Iris Fiorentine absolute, orris tincture, iris mimosa absolut, violet, polen, calamus, zdravetz(*), Marrocan Rose.

Base: ambrette, white musk, tolu balm, benjoim, cacao, bitter almonds, ambergris tincture, earth blend.

At the very first whiff you fell the sweetness and the warmth of a golden syrupy-green peachy note accord. It contains a rich waxy, slightly smoked caramelized smell that blends well with the cognac, giving it a more mature aura (taking distance from juvenile obvious scents such as Marc Jacobs and others with honey themes). It slightly reminds me the opening of L'Abeille EDP by Guerlain - a chlorophyl-ish announcement of Spring season, puffed with pollen, but here peach leafs and cognac were added - so it does not smell like a luxurious product you get to spread on your face like L'Abeille. It is a honeyed note with herbaceous undertones and a depth that is both beautiful and welcoming.
The transition to the heart is smooth and continuous. Iris announces itself a bit salty and mineral and slowly blends even more with the honey becoming more feminine, more buttery then earthy. From there it will starts to bring purple-ish layers of violet notes, becoming slightly powdery. If you were trying to say the word ZDRAVETZ don't be frustrated. If you don't know Hungarian it seems almost impossible! All you need to know is that it is a geranium with woody tones.
The best is yet to come! Once you were presented to a whole lotta irises comes my iris-gourmet accord! Ambrette seeds with tolu, benjoim and cacao are simply a lick on the skin.  It goes to a Iris Ganache aura but much more luxurious and less sweet. In the composition of Iris Ganache Thierry used white chocolate - too sweet and too waxy-vanilla for my taste... here you will find a more sophisticated chocolat-y touch. 
Bitter almonds bridges with ambergris and the earthy accord are the final touch and once the dream is over (some hours later) you have the urge to start this journey all over again!! Yes It is for me a dream come true to me to see a perfume where the many facets of iris are presented, one layering another. 

To Ane the perfume was inspired by a Piazza; to me it brings one picture only to my mind: Van Gogh Irises.

I recall a very cold and rainy day in NYC during one Fall when my husband and I spent almost one entire day in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I sat down in front of Van Gogh's masterpieces and literally cried. Although I have the impression that these are copies because they have no protection whatsoever from people's touch and cameras... But anyways, original or not, it makes you cry because it is simply beautiful and genius.

La Signora is exactly what VG Irises is: harmonious, soft (gentle), sophisticated and amazingly unique.

The painting description by the Met:
"In May 1890, just before his release from the asylum at Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh painted four bouquets of spring flowers: two of roses, and two of irises, in contrasting formats and color schemes. Owing to his use of a fugitive red pigment, the "harmonious and soft" effect that he had sought in the Museum’s painting of Irises has been altered by the fading of the once pink background to almost white. Another still life from this series, Roses (1993.400.5), is on view in the adjacent gallery. Both were owned by the artist’s mother, who kept them until her death in 1907" (extracted from their website).

Van Gogh's Irises (1890) - Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection - NYC
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

If one image can explain more than a 1000 words, that is LA SIGNORA:

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

I took this picture with irises that I picked in my garden inspired by the painting, and today it represents a fragrance. My version of irises contained in a vial. It is the image of my very own blend!

Thank you so much Ane Walsh for making my dream come true! You are really a blessed soul! I love you!

Please stick around for the masculine complementary fragrance that Ane has also created for my husband so we can both share an iris moment together!

Dedicated to HF (the article, not the perfume) who seems to be caught in a loop between burying, denial, bargaining, betraying, masking and many others that will take far far away from stages number 3 and 4 in a love relationship...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MiN NEW YORK - Um passeio olfativo por Nova Iorque III - SOHO

Nova Iorque vista de cima durante o evento Elements
crédito fotográfico: + Q Perfume Blog

Para quem acompanha o blog vai lembrar da minha viagem para Nova Iorque em 2012 - Passeio olfativo - parte I e passeio olfativo parte IIA verdade é que em NYC me sinto em casa e desde então já voltei para essa cidade maravilhosa algumas (muitas) vezes mais. Um dos meus lugares favoritos fora o High Line e o Village é o SOHO - pelos seu charme arquitetônico e as muitas lojas de perfumes.
O bairro é fashionista e já foi no passado mais charmoso da Ilha, porém atualmente muito frequentado por turistas. No verão é um pouco irritante ter que lutar por um lugarzinho na calçada (mas é melhor do que no inverno, época que muitas lojas não abrem as portas antes das duas da tarde).
Bom, seja qual for a estação do ano, prepare a carteira porque é lá que você realmente vai passar o cartão muuuuitas vezes! Lojas como a Molton Brown, Aesop, Osswald, Sabon, Le Labo, SMN, Bond Nº9, Fresh, Atelier Cologne estão espalhadas pelas ruas entre as marcas famosas Chanel, John Varvatos, Moncler, etc... e pontos gourmets como o famoso Balthazar e L'Ecole

bolos  L'Ecole
crédito fotográfico: + Q Perfume Blog

Se você está ainda aqui...(kkk) :

Parada obrigatória para todos amantes da perfumaria de nicho entre a Prince e Houston - mais precisamente na Crosby Street no número 117 é a loja/estúdio MiN NEW YORK.

crédito fotográfico: + Q Perfume Blog

Um  toque de elegância no meio desse bairro efervescente MiN NEW YORK é mais do que uma loja; é um ponto de encontro de blogueiros, donos de marcas, ávidos compradores de perfume, cientistas ligados ao estudo do olfato e curiosos (inclusive, dentro da loja existe um local especial para esses encontros). 

crédito fotográfico: + Q Perfume Blog

Sofás de couro e um bar olfativo são ocupados por frequentadores assíduos e visitantes ocasionais durante a semana ou em eventos promovidos por Mindy a curadora da loja.  Acolhedor e hipster como o dono e fundador Chad Murawczyk, o tb chamado estúdio possui além de perfumes, produtos para asseio pessoal (grooming em Inglês), velas e outros objetos de decoração e um serviço de marketing olfativo e de concierge olfativo*. Marcas como Mona di Orio, Puredistance, Heely, Keiko Mecheri, Jovoy e muitas outras de altíssima qualidade ou difíceis de encontrar estão expostas de uma forma lindíssima, em móveis chiquérrimos entre outros objetos de decoração.
Como era de se esperar Chad e Mindy ampliaram sua coleção de perfumes de nicho com o desenvolvimento de uma própria chamada de MiN NEW YORK SCENT STORIES, composta por 11 fragrâncias EDP diferenciadas, criadas e inspiradas a partir de memórias e conceitos olfativos da dupla. São elas Dune Road, Long Board, Dahab, Moon Dust, Momento, Barrel, Old School Bench, Magic Circus, Onsen, Shaman, e The Botanist.

crédito fotográfico: + Q Perfume Blog

Dando uma pequena prévia das avaliações que virão em breve: MAGIC CIRCUS EDP é uma fragrância gourmet com notas de nozes cristalizadas, algodão doce, caramelo, bergamota, pimenta rosa, ládano, gerânio, patchouli e lascas de madeira. Aqui não espere por uma fragrância do tipo Angel de TM ou Jeux de Peau de Serge Lutens. Este fica mais para o tipo de perfume que passeia por notas gustativas sem colocar o pé literalmente na cozinha - como Bois de Farine da L'Artisan. 

Fique antenado (a) para ler as resenhas dos perfumes da coleção!BJOSSSS

Monday, June 30, 2014

Café Cacao by Shelley Waddington - En Voyage Perfumes

To F.J.

I fell in love for Shelley Waddington (En Voyage Perfumes) creations back in 2010 and it has been a pleasure to review her fragrances ever since. My favorite fragrances from her collections are Pêche Noir, Makeda, Lorelei, and Zelda - all reviewed in the past and linked here if you missed.


Her newest collection came in a very good timing because my most recent posts were all about gourmet fragrances and it seems that Shelley decided to take a tour into the world of smell and flavors by launching a new collection called Souvenir de Chocolate Trio with 3 new scents or gourmandises: Indigo Vanilla, Capture in Amber and Café Cacao. All presented in 2 concentrations - Perfume Extrait (0.14 oz) and Eau de Parfum (0.5 oz).

Today I am reviewing Café Cacao EDP - a perfume version of the Parisienne Café Mocha, that according to the brand has a surprisingly aphrodisiac effect and it is also inspired by Marie Antoinette amber flavored cocoa and Josephine musk scented chamber's walls.

Souvenir de Chocolate Trio samples 
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

Notes revealed are:
TOP:  Vanilla Powder, Rose Sugar, Ground Cardamom, Bergamot Peel

HEART:  Espresso Cafe, Steamed Milk, Salt, Dark Cacao, Rich Whipped Cream.

BASE:  Soft Amber, Himalayan Musk, New Zealand Beach-combed Ambergris.

CAFÉ CACAO EDP is a real treat for those who love the sweet combination of chocolate, vanilla and amber, with a velvety touch of coffee with a vintage aura of roses, musk and ambergris.
It seems that Shelley is again following the path of vintage scents that started with Zelda and this is exactly what Ioved about this fragrance. 
Most fragrances surrounding a coffee notes contain a urban contemporary aura and the idea of Lattes. Shelley is going to a total opposite direction.

Café de Flore Paris, 1953
Photo credit: Ed van Elsken

If Pêche Noir was a jazzy rendezvous in smokey bars, taverns and cabarets starting with a carnal dark acid peach, Café Cacao EDP brings a morning dark bitterness opening which is quite striking - a bitter Bergamot-vanilla combo awakens the senses that slowly is mellowed down by a sweeter touch of rose and milky notes. It is a foamy layer that caresses the skin. Two lovers meeting for breakfast and something more perhaps?

Le Baisier de L'Hôtel de Ville, Paris - 1950
Photo credit: Robert Doisneau

As the perfume continues to develop so does its sensuality. Saltiness come play a part in a melting dark chocolate. The caress on the skin is substituted to a long lasting kiss.
Needless to say that breakfast will end in the nearest hotel where ambergris and musk will remind us of Josephine and the lust of Napoleon for her.

In a letter he wrote to her "I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night's intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses/"Je me réveille plein de toi. Ton portrais et le souvenir de l'enivrante soirée d'hiers n'ont point laiseé de repos à mes senses..." *

It is not a secret that I love fragrance with coffee notes. I have reviewed some that really made me smile in the past:

*BONAPARTE, Napoléon (1769-1821) : Lettres de Napoléon à Joséphine.- Paris : M. Vox, 1945.- 56 p. ; 17 cm.- (Brins de plume. 1ère série ; 4).

Friday, May 16, 2014

STEAMPUNK EDT by Erik Kormann (1000 & 1 Seife)

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

It is no secret that I am fascinated by the Victorian Era  and also my love for Violet scents.
In the beginning of this year my dearest friend and perfumer Erik Kormann from 1000 & 1 Seif sent me his latest fragrance launch STEAMPUNK (VIOLA) EDT, a delicious retro-futuristic Victorian-violet fragrance inspired by Jules Verne's masterpiece - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

photocredits: Erik Kormann

The fragrance according to Erik contain notes of limette, ionone, carrot seed oil, ylang-ylang, elemi, cedar oil, cashmeran, amber, musk and moss. 
"A fresh, cooling, steel  feeling with a slightly flowery-powery touch" he says.
And this is exactly what it is! Erik mastered the concept of modernity and retro by giving  a violet perfume a new modern hip approach. 

It contains all this metallic approach of the Steampunk movement and fashion style coming from the Industrial Revolution of the Victorian Age, and a woody-powdery touch that remind us of an era where some things were still handmade and artistic.

To me Steampunk EDT strikes slightly different. It is a gentle, neat, clean, "just got out the shower" kind of perfume, but I still can relate to this game of Victorian retro-futuristic vibe in a certain way if I bring back the memory of one of my favorite childhood retro movies: Time Machine 1960 version.
The Time Machine is a science fiction story written in 1895 by H.G. Wells about a journey into the future made it possible by the development of a time machine by a Victorian man called George, played by the charming perfectly dressed and groomed Rod Taylor.
So this is what Steampunk EDT is to me: Elegant Rod Taylor in a perfectly tailored suit, crisp look of the classic business man of the 60's, with the hair style with slick-side parts perfectly combed!

Rod Taylor in the Victorian movie The time machine - 1960

Rod Taylor

Steampunk EDT It is another option for the MAD MEN look - remember that I have already written about it when I reviewed Fantastic Man by Byredo?

The thing is that Steampunk EDT can also be a great option for women, while Fantastic Man can't.

Steampunk works perfectly for feminine women. It is flowery and powdery and very gentle as I have mentioned. A VERY GOOD VIOLET PERFUME and perfect for every season and daily wear.
I am in luuuuuve!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014



This week I had the joy of receiving the samples of 3 fragrances created by Antonio Alessandria. Mio carissimo Ermano was a super gentleman to make the introduction.
So here you will get to know a bit more about the perfumer and owner of the brand and his fragrances before its commercial launch!

A little bit about the perfumer:

Antonio Alessandria is Italian, born in Catania - Sicily. Although his love for fragrances comes from childhood he pursued a carrier in Electronic Engineering and started to work in the semiconductor industry (probably where he met Ermano, no?) for many years. The passion for fragrances could not be forgotten, so in 2005 he opened a niche fragrances shop in Catania after he finished his professional training in perfumery. Soon Bourdoir 36 became famous in the region and Antonio's expertise recognized in all Italy and abroad.

The collection:

In 2008 Antonio Alessandria began to create the collection Hommage à La Lune with 3 EAU de PARFUMS (Nacre Blanche, Nuit Rouge and Noir Obscure). Its debut was in this last Exsence - Milano 2014, to be launched for consumers this incoming month.

The collection tells a story divided into 3 fragrances, or 3 olfactory tomes of a poem dedicated to the moon, because Antonio feels that the moon is the natural expression of his idea of perfumery: Mystery, sensuality and seduction.

Note: The fragrances has in common not only the initial letter N in their name, but also the scent of a leather note combined in different ways in each fragrance. You will also find patchouli and musk notes in all his fragrances.


DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: "The light of the moon, white as a pearl, enters the window and through a mirror illuminates the skin of a young woman, white and transparent as alabaster. The intense fragrance of the night blooming tuberose, drifting from the garden, mergers with the scent of a private chamber."

Olfactory family: Floral
Description: green, amber-oriental, leather
Olfactive notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, petitgrain, coriander, tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, osmanthus, benzoin, vanilla, soft leather, patchouli, sandalwood, musk.

+ Q PERFUME BLOG IMPRESSIONS: It is a tuberose exuberance! It is very luxurious, very chic and it contains an animal background. It both sexy - carnal. As Antonio A. mentions in his own will want to meet this young woman in her private chambers! 
Here you won't find the plastic doll hair note that I mention when describing tuberose fragrances. Here tuberose also has nothing to do with doll's hair or laundry! (if you are my follower you know what I mean!). If not - go to: HERE or HERE or HERE.

Top notes bring a citrus blast that makes me think of summer right away! The transition to the heart is quite fast and the bridge is the coriander. Slightly soapy, slightly green. Very gentle on the skin. The heart contains a chic and kinky luxurious bouquet. 
The image that comes to my mind is the perfect tanned skin and voluptuous body of Luisa Ranieri. Her full lips, intense eyes and class... yes darlings...Italian women are hot and classy...and so you will be wearing NACRE BLANCHE EDP.



If you are not familiar with Italian actresses you will see what I mean with Jennifer A. in Just Go for It video:

DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: A silvery moon illuminates the frosty night. The volcano looms volatile in the dark. The red glow of a sudden eruption inspires both fear and attraction."

Olfactory family: woody
Description: green, leather, soft-spicy
Olfactive notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, black currant buds, rhubarb, geranium, iris, saffron, black pepper, nutmeg, coffee,  vanilla, leather, patchouli, tonka bean, incense, sandalwood, musk.

This perfume is by far one of the best unisex fragrances I have ever tried - Black Bulgari by Annick Ménardo has the same quality for that matter. It is also one of the best perfumes I have ever encountered - for its personality, structure and combination of notes.
Nuit Rouge is the perfume of Russian Nobility Dvoryanstvo.
It is a royal deep red elixir with a gentle iris-y cloud. A haze, better describing it.
Saffron, coffee, patchouli  and vanilla creates an virile accord that brings a bit of lust to this beautiful perfume and that is why I also think of Excalibur and Medieval Kings. I think of sensual Igrayne dancing for the Knights of the Round Table.
I have been wearing this fragrance for 3 days now and each day I find another aspect to love. Another facet to explore. Another pleasure to enjoy.
If you relate to Russian Dvoryanstvo, you will find both austerity and attraction (Alessandria mentions fear...In this case I would say is not exactly a fear, but a respect for the power). 
Nobility - either Russian or English brings both sensations - we are drawn to their power. 


DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: In the dark still night of a new moon, the memory of the light makes its way through the maze of the soul to lead the way along unknown paths. Soft as a cloud, sensual as velvet, sweet as sin."

Olfactory family: Floral
Description: amber-oriental
Olfactive notes: Orange, tangerine, davana, rum absolute, spicy notes, Bulgarian rose,  jasmine, iris, osmanthus, leather, patchouli, cedarwood, incense, amber, musk.

How can I explain what I feel smelling this fragrance? It is a combination of an old English austere library and a cozy hug? Or being the daughter of Jeremy Irons and receiving a loving hug from him? Wearing a fluffy cozy blanket or robe in a sauna? Crazy. Hard to explain!

If you saw the movie THe Book Thief you will remember the scene of Liesel in the mayor's library in his home reading books. Her beauty and the joy she encountered inside that library is maybe what I relate to with NOIR OBSCUR.

The thing is - the movie is too sad and too touchy and Alessandria perfume does not contain any sadness at all. So let's just pretend Liesel was not in Nazi Germany. Lets just see this amazing 10 yrs old creature discovering the beauty of words in a cozy library!

NOIR OBSCUR EDP has a serenity and a gentleness that makes me want to meet Antonio Alessadria. In fact, all 3 fragrances contain a large dose of gentleness.

Thank you Ermano for introducing me to Antonio and Grazie Tanto Antonio for being such a wonderful perfumer and a gentleman!
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