Monday, August 30, 2010

Voyage d' Hermès - Fragrance review and trends perspectives

photo credit and art: Hermès
Voyage d'Hermès EDT - review
Launch: 2010
Perfumer: Jean Claude Ellena (The one and only!)
Bottle design: Philippe Mouquet
Gender: Unisex
Olfactive family: Woody floral musk.
Olfactive Notes: lemony notes, cardamom, tea, floral and green notes, hedione, lavender, ginger, ambrette, woody notes, musk.
Description by the Brand:"The story of Hermès is a voyage. Voyage d'Hermès is lively and reassuring, new and familiar. Radiant and soft, it is a woody fresh, musky scent. A fragrance to share for both men and women."
Description by + Q Perfume Blog: A Misty foggy journey into the woods looking for the Holy Grail. MISTY, FLOWERY, CLEAN, TRANSPARENT, DELICATE.
Silage: Medium
Fixation: Medium
✬✬✬✬✬ - Holy Grail is less holy than this creation!
✬✬✬✬ - a king's perfume!
✬✬✬ - it escapes like mist evaporating.
✬✬ - my senses are foggy on this one.
- so transparent you can barely notice it exists!
You can find this fragrance at HERMÈS website.

2010 is the year of green-y, clean, transparent/fluid perfumes. Untitled by Margiela, Eau de Campagne by Sisley, Ninfeo by Annick Goutal, L'Eau by Serge Lutens, Eau de Fleur de Capucine by Chloé, A Scent by Issey Miyake, Eternity Men Aqua by Calvin Klein, L'Eau au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka...and the list goes on and on. We have been seeing a lot of green notes, labdadum, galbanum, fresh cut grass, verbenas, cardamoms, crushed leaves, mints, green teas, pale jasmine, transparent musks, water-y notes, citrusy, pale anises and delicate wood-y finishings. VERT, FRAÎCHE, TENDRE, AQUA has been very common words while naming perfumes this year. Predicted by famous trend setter and published here, Li Edelkoort brought the water element to fashion and architecture. Water was the main concern at the end of 2009.
When I first tried Margiela's Untitled I found it very interesting. The super green note of galbanum combined with boxwood, toned down by cacau tenderness was really special. It bothered me thou the final fatty - cigarette ashtray combination.
As I recall, I compared it to Prada's Infusion d'Iris, also green-y and woody, but too soapy for my taste.
Than I found Voyage d'Hermès: Pure Perfection.
If I could rename olfactive families and reorganize them, I would diplay these three fragrances on the same shelf, from Prada to Hermès, in a scale of delicacy (from less delicate and stronger, to softer and more delicate).
I will not compare Ellena's previous Voyages as my fellows perfume blogers did. It would be just one more repetition of what has been said about this fragrance. Or either if it is disappointing or not to Ellena's fans. I am a fan, never disappointed!
What I would mention is that Hermès did follow a trend like any big massive production company. So what? Niche Perfumes such as Margiela and Serge Lutens also did! The difference is that Ellena has mastered this idea of transparency-green combination much better than anyone else.
Voyage d'Hermès EDT has a fresh opening of citrusy-lemmony notes, combined with spicy-peppery notes of ginger and cardamom. You are not trimming the grass of your garden on a Sunday morning, you are not in a sauna or sucking air while skiing.
You are in a dream on top of a mountain, at early hours before sunrise...A foggy, misty humid dream of searching for something that it is not clear.
The little droplets suspended on the air, bringing a fresh bluish aura to your dream came bottled in a fragrance.
The freshness of ginger suggests it is a daydream, and not an obscure voyage into darkness, (another trend pointing out - but to be commented soon, in another article).
Notes of ambrette seed comes along, but it vanishes into the foggy clouds. The fragrance of ambrette reminds me of wet pavements drying out on a hot day - the smell of cement with a mineral hint. Also a hint that this could be a urban dream. Someone could also get lost in a mist foggy trail in a dream, trapped by buildings.
Lavander notes brings the aromatic, fresh, clean roundup, and announce that flowers will be blooming. Like a reflection and a refraction of the tinny water drops, the flowery notes of this perfume do not come directly, exploding outwards the skin. It mirrors Ellena's sensitivity. It is implicit and intimate. Combined with tea (a combo that I love and it is found in many fragrances) the flowers receive an aura of nobleness knighthood.
photo credit:
Transparent musks with a slightly creamy-powedery under layered is wrapped into dry woody notes. I have seen this before in his work for L'Artisan Parfumeur, Bois de Farine. A very delicate version already experimented in the past of a pencil note, slightly powdery and slightly flowery.
What I love about musk is the fact that it can be very sexy, animal and glandular. Or very transparent clean. Animal source bringing the notion of cleanness is not new, but always amazes me! It is just the final touch for the misty delicacy of the fragrance.
Voyage d'Hermès EDT is a jewel. To me, it is as simple and as perfect and as chic as the Trinity Cartier ring. Three different metals rings, three different colors (pink, yellow and white gold) representing three concepts: love, friendship and fidelity.
As in Cartier's, Voyage d'Hermès EDT brings 03 concepts perfectly intertwined: transparency, delicacy and nobility.
Comparing Ellena's creation to Serge Luten's L'Eau, Voyage d'Hermès EDT represents the concept of water with more reality. L'Eau has aldehydes, magnolias, mint, clary sage, ozonic notes, musks and citrusy notes. The flower bouquet is too strong to be related to water. It has some transparency but not enough. At some point it reminds me of a combination presented by L'Ocitanne with jasmine and green tea. While Ellena's creations are round and perfectly finished, as Trinity rings; most Luten's always lack the polish that every jewel gets before displayed for sale. But this is another issue...
To enter to foggy journeys to the land of mystical Grails, kings, witchcraft and quests:
Excalibur - Click HERE
Monty Python The Holy Grail - 3 questions - click HERE

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Menthe Fraîche - Fragrance review


Perfume: Menthe Fraîche EDP

Launch: ?

Perfumer: David Maruitte

Gender: Unisex

Olfactive family: Citrus-green

Olfactive Notes: Spearmint, peppermint, bergamot, green tea, freesia, white cedar.

Inspiration: Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

Description by the brand: Contemporary, ultra-fresh, natural scent. Crushed mint leaves, interwoven with a hint of Sicilian bergamot, green tea and white cedar. A perfectly light, easy to wear fragrance. An olfactory interlude.

Description by + Q Perfume: BLISTEX, SEXY SKIER, TOOTH PASTE, CHIC.

Silage: Good

Fixation: Too long to be true.

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪✪







Where to find the fragrance: Heely's web site - click HERE


photo credit:

The chewing gum was invented by the Greeks - the ancient version of gum was a chewing resin, called mastiche and extracted from the mastic tree. Early American settler made chewing gum out of spruce sap and bee wax. The first commercial gum was sold in America in 1848, and in 1914, Wrigley Doublemint brand was created. William Wrigley, Jr. and Henry Fleer were responsible for adding the popular mint and fruit extracts to a chicle chewing gum.

Since I was ten years old, contrary to my little friends, chewing Bubbaloo and Adam's tutti-frutti gum, I was addicted to Wringley's spearmint gum. Why? because of the smell and the peppery taste! As I grew older, I was chewing less and less gum, and as nowadays I suffer of TMJD (Temporomandibular joint disorder), so Wringley's is totaly out of the question.


Another product that I was addicted to is Blistex, that fantastic lip balm for soothing chapped and burned lips (from cold weather). For the same reason of Wringley's - that lip balm is loaded of menthol, my beloved menthol! I always ended up eating the balm from the lips, turning them from chapped to real cuts.


The only safe way I found to enjoy this lovely plant, without dislocating my jaw or cutting my lips was to drink mint tea, or to add the flavor in salads, such as Tabbouleh.

Today I found a safe and amazing way to experience mint for one entire day: Heely's Menthe Fraîche EDP!

The first whiff is a joy of citrusy notes of Sicilian bergamots, combined with notes of two kinds of mint; spearmint and peppermint. Peppermint is mentha piperita, with strong levels of menthol, usually used to add flavor in chewing gums, toothpastes, shampoos and creams. This kind of mint gives a very cooling effect to the skin, felt immediately at the first whiff of this perfume. As the name suggests, this note is the most peppery of all the other mints.

Spearmint, or mentha spicata, or Nana Mint of Morocco (the only we savor everyday in Israel!), reminds of the peppermint, but it is more pungent and sweeter. It has 0.5% less menthol than the peppermint, and it contains pinenes and carvone.

The combination of both with the bergamots, brings a freshness only felt when you suck up air into the mouth, after brushing the teeth with mint flavored toothpastes. Icy cold, with a sweetness under layered.

But one could think it is rather strange to smell like toothpaste. Don't get me wrong, or anybody else reviewing this fragrance. Heely's Menthe Fraîche is far from having the scent of tooth pastes! It has the cooling, refreshing effect of it.


Heart notes is also a pleasant surprise. Notes of green tea combined with freesia explode just like those blooming green teas, when hot water is poured into the cup. Delicate, herbal, very aromatic, this accord is an endulgement to my senses. The soft nutty note implied is very elegant.The finishing is a white cedar note - very dry and also delicate.

In general the fragrance is fresh-green with a flowery and woody touch. I have recommended in the past as a nice summer fragrance (click HERE to read), and I continue to do so, but as I am reviewing it today, I cannot think of a better description than a SEXY SKIER'S FRAGRANCE! Perfect for any time of the year, it will be a blast in a snowy holidays, doing winter sports such as ski or snowboarding, lodges made of wood, hot coco or wine and someone to kiss.


The brand should invite Toni "the Body" Betschart to pose for the advertising of this fragrance. Just imagine Toni spraying the perfume, spreading Blistex on his lips, showing a perfect white teeth smile... dreamy! The perfect kiss in the lodge...

Info on Toni in case you are not into ski celebs: He has appeared bare-chested in behalf of Swiss tourism. He is a sexy ski instructor with a body to lust and for many to envy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Candle selection - amazing fragrances!

+ Q Perfume Blog has selected for you wonderful scented candles. The fragrances are a treat to the senses and they bring a very special atmosphere for your home or office.
Le Labo's Santal 26 - 100% soya base
Le Labo scent candle collection offers 07 fragrances: Anis 24, Calone 17, Cedre 11, Figue 15, Petit Grain 21, Pin 12 and Santal 26.
Santal 26 is an elegant aristocratic fragrance. Leathery, rich and smoky with a modern glass - like a lab vial.
Amourelle Figue Patchouli
Amourelle Paris candles are made in Grasse - France, following the principles of aromatherapy and the tradition of French perfumery. With 12% of perfume, those candles are soft and sophisticated. The collection has 05 different scents: Figue Patchouli, Orchidée Noire, Tubéreuse Noire, Lilas Rose, Bergamote and Gardénia.
Figue Patchouli is a rich scented candle inspired by sunny notes of the Mediterranean summer. A mix of patchouli leaves, black fig, yellow mimosas, redcurrant, black currant and green leaves.
The Hype Noses offers a collection called Urban candles with :Rose Antique, Grande Bourbon, L’Arbre Guide, Fig Arrow, Banana Kiss, Cheminée, Blanc Désir, Thé et Kimono, Pain de Vienne, Violette Opéra, Narcissisme, Masque Africain, Pyramide de Jasmin, Haricot Magique, Chococaïne, Cerise Chérie, Epices en Stock, Mon Bel Oranger and Art Maniac.
They also have what they call a wooden wick, that is an scented flat bar. Once you light it, it spreads scent without emanation of smoke, and emits the noise of a crackling of a fireplace too, creating a very distinguish atmosphere.
The brand has an elegant wax made of soya and palm, which is creamy and dense with a subtle fragrance. It is a luxurious fragrant way for closing envelopes and decorating gifts and papers. Chococaïneis a scented candle with the fragrance of pure bitter cocoa for purists. It is a work on the beauty of the bean and its qualities. Boiling black chocolate. A dark, tender, powerful shamanic journey.

Hervé Gambs - Black Cashmere XXL Limited Edition

Hervé Gambs has a collection of 07 scented candles: Lait de Palme, Fleur D'Eau, Souffle de bambou, Yuzu Tonic, el d'Osmanthus and Aqua Ginger. The most chic of them is his limited edition - Black Cashmere XXL. Slightly woody with a touch of skin like scent.

Elixir by Penhaligon's

The line of fragranced candles offered by Penhaligon's has 15 scents. Created by Olivia Giacobeti in 2008, Pelinhaligons' candle Elixir has notes of: Eucalyptus, Cardamom, Orange Blossom Absolute, White Cedar, Red Turkish Rose Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamon Leaves, Mace, Rosewood, Benzoin, Tonka beans, Vanilla, Incense, Red Sandalwood and Guaicum Wood. Elixir opens with eucalyptus and the harmonising hot spices of cardamom, cinnamon and mace. The heart notes massage the senses with the dark magic of Turkish rose and jasmine and a twist of orange. Heat and smoke rise from the base and incense and woods mingle with the earthy resins and spices. A touch of vanilla and the hypnotic Tonka bean complete the atmospheric dry-down. Opulent and daring, mysterious and complex, Elixir echoes Hammam Bouquet, created by William Penhaligon in 1872.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Idole by Lubin - Review

Idole EDT By Lubin - Review
Launch: 2006
Perfumer: Olivia Giacobeti
Gender: + Q Perfume Blog thinks it is for both genders
Olfactive family: oriental-woody
Olfactive notes: Rum absolute, bitter orange peel, black cumin, sugar cane, saffron, burned ebony, Doum palm, leather, red sandalwood.
Inspiration: Ancient maritime spice routes; a modern interpretation of the perfume of 1962.
Description by brand: Set the jungle on fire, with a woody liqueur rich in scorching spices, as sweet as sugar cane and as warm as leather.
Description By + Q Perfume Blog: SYRUPY, WARM, CHIC, AMBER-y
Silage: Good
Fixation: Great
Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪♥
✪✪✪✪✪ - A must have for all of us! Simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!
✪✪✪✪ - A great perfume, pure beauty.
✪✪✪ - Nice and wearable.
✪✪ - I sampled but would not buy it.
✪ - yack!
It is said to be a modern interpretation of the original Idole launched in 1962.
Idole by Lubin 1962
The first whiff is medicinal, very aromatic, with a pinch of cloves (not listed as a component of the accord). A woody touch comes with it and it is perceived from the start.
Máximo Rum
The alcoholic note of rum is inebriating. As rum is a fermentation of sugar cane molasses, aged in oak barrels, these aromas added to the composition a sweet, woody, round and warming touch. Bitter orange peel was added (commonly found in Grand Marnier, neroli oil and orange flower waters) so the perfumer brought a citrusy-flowery tonality to the fragrance; more flowery than citrusy. Top notes are wonderfully rich, sensual and very luxurious. Just for them it is already worth buying the perfume!
Although Black cumin is less perceived to my senses (unless it is similar to clove aroma), I have to confess I have never seen black cumin, only the regular one, and I didn't find a single trace of it in this perfume, or even something similar to it.
The addition of saffron notes is an amazing touch. A real gift Olivia Giacobetti has given me.This Mediterranean touch is simply genius! As I find it very hard to believe that there is a single Brazilian child that has never tried Rapadura (a sweet made of sugar cane molasses), it will be perceived and very much loved.
RAPADURA - hard sugar cane molasses
Rapadura is found in Brazil in markets and sugar cane farms. It is a home made sugar treat, and it means rapa = scrape, dura = hard. Something that it is hard as a brick, but once you put in your mouth, it melts slowly, bringing all the burned sugar taste to the tongue. It reminds of brown natural sugar.
The aroma of rapadura is very strong in this fragrance. You can't miss it! Really AMAZING!
But back to saffron... Saffron contains a lot of carotenoids mixed with safranal. This combination brings the special scent of the fragrance. Honey and grassy at the same time, the saffron note is well combined with the alcoholic notes of rum, the flowery touch of the bitter orange and rounded by the rapadura note. And this is a gourmand joy for everyone's senses. Not just for us Brazilians!
Slaves brought from Africa, to work at the sugar cane plantations
Colonial period - Brazil
The African continent is present, both in the juice and flacon. But we, the Brazilians, will relate to this fragrance as something very close to our own culture & history.
Idole by Lubin brings the aura of old sugar farms from the Brazilian Colonial Period. A time where we were a colony of Portugal and Spain and we had slaves working in agriculture.
We all feel disgusted by any kind of slavery, specially due to prejudice of color and race and all the humiliation involved. But my association with this period of our history is not to the suffering and cruelty, but to the fact that Brazil received from the Africans, the culture of Candomblé, Capoeira... the beat of drums, the richness of their ethnic dances and art craft.
Africa is mysterious, exotic, live and exciting! Brazilians absorbed all that.
Once the heart notes fade away, the leather, the woods and the sweetness of sandalwood announces more heat and more sensuality.
The houses of the farm owners, in large sugar cane plantations, had large doors and windows made of heavy wood, and also beam on the ceiling. So today, once you enter to a colonial farm house, you smell the scent of the wood, combined with the smell of the heavy leather sofas and chairs. Idole by Lubin has all that!!!
I must say that this is a fragrance that everyone has to have. The house of Lubin has created one of the most beautiful warm perfumes I have ever known and I am very grateful to them!!!
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