Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wrapping up - 2011

In the memory of Mona di Orio
Dear readers, as New Years Eve is approaching I hope you all succeeded to finish with your shopping lists of 2011. At this point we all know that what came around will stick around till the next season. So it is time to wrap up and bring what was good and bad in perfumery this year.


Chanel continues to go downhill. In 2010 they had 02 pale launches - Chanel Eau Tendre and Bleu. This year they tried to reformulate a beloved fragrance, the Chanel Nº19, launching a new modern version called Nº19 Poudrée - Jersey . 40 years ago Henry Robert succeeded Jacques Polge as the new in house perfumer of the brand. It was also the last time she would have any saying on the creative process of a Chanel fragrance. She wanted a powerful statement. With a very masculine green opening, the fragrance than lead us to a path of flowers (the Chanel signatured ones) with an impeccable finishing. Chanel Nº19 Poudrée Jersey also shouts out loud an statement: That Chanel needs a turn around, to fire most of their staff and start from zero!
Another Excusif was added to the collection Les Exclusifs. Jersey was received as a nice fragrance by the public, but I would probably stick with Coromandel, as lavender is concerned. This one does not last long enough and it has absolutely nothing exclusive about it. So here it is my readers, as far as my beloved Chanel brand is concerned...I am really concerned with the future of this brand. I don't know where they will find their inspirations, their creativity and their Mojo to reinvent themselves.
Guerlain on the other hand is working full time to satisfy their clientele. The Idylle family got Duet and Eau Sublime - which seemed to be more of a marketing/financial strategy than new fragrances - but people enjoyed anyway. The fans of Habit Rouge from 1965 got a new modern version, going back to its classics. Another trend these days. Thierry Wasser also presented the 6th flanker of Shalimar - Shalimar Parfum Initial. Youth oriented - targeting and looking for new clientele...

Well, since we are mentioning Mr. Wasser - another break through: the man finally recognized, as a perfumer, that we bloggers do have our share of respect in our opinions as the general public is concerned. He also made some implied statements, that IMO was directly messages to ONE blogger only...but I will not stretch here the subject...
Jasminora was added to the Aqua Allegoria range and it is simply beautiful. 
Speaking of revivals, Oscar de La Renta makes a great come back with a very nice fragrance Eprit D'Oscar, and a less greater one, Live in Love EDP. 
By the way, love was a very explored theme in perfumery this year, click HERE to see some of the perfumes; and nature continued to inspire us, less ethereal, less dewy, greener, with more depth, click HERE.


Annick Goutal has nailed this year with one single fragrance - Mon Parfum Cherrie EDP, while Thierry Mugler launched 05, including a new beautiful flacon for Angel and Le Goût de Parfum collection - limited editions where the gourmandise is unleashed. As far as collections are concerned, this is also an on going trend these days that started last year - instead of launching flankers, brands are launching "collections". Last year Ralph Laurence launched the Big Poney Collection; Mona di Orio launched her Nombres D'Or (which was expanded this year with Tubereuse, Vétyver, Oud and Vanile); Loewe launched a beautiful limited edition only sold at Harrold's, with 04 fragrances - La Coleccíon; YSL brought some of his vintage hard-to-find fragrances in a collection of 8 perfumes called La Collection (coincidence or copy?); Blood Concept with their A, B, O and AB fragrances; Ineke with her Floral Curiosities; Costume Nacional with their POP Collection of 04 different fragrances; Molton Brown investing more on the fragrance department, launching fine fragrances, with a collection called Navigation Through Scent; Andy Tauer with his less successful Pentachords that began to be launched last year, and will continue its downfall next year; Victoria Secret with the worst of perfumery - The VS Temptation Collection, etc etc...
Fashion brands that were not yet in the fragrance market have also appeared this year, such as Botega Venetta with Botega Venetta EDP; Ben Sherman with a fragrance that takes his name; and Diane fon Furstenberg with Diane EDP.
In the area of celebrity perfumes we are finally seeing a slowdown, with some surprises such as Madonna rushing to compete with Lady Gaga to launch a fragrance of her own. Both announced this year, and probably both will be very disappointing as 99,9% of the celeb's fragrances.


In the perfume publishing department we have fantastic new books on the shelves this year: La Cuisine de Nez by Sabine Chabert (click HERE), The Perfume Lover by Denise Beaulieu, The Little Book of Perfumes by Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez, Sleeping with the Enemy - Coco Chanel's Secret War by Haul Vaughan, Fragrances of the World - 2011 - 27th edition by Michael Edwards, Perfume - The Alchemy of a Scent by Jean Claude Ellena, and Les Parfums - Histoire, Antologie, Dictionnaire by Elisabeth de Feydeau.
So, if you haven't read any of those - it is still time to pick some of them to read this Holidays!

Mona di Orio

We had a sad moment for the perfume community this year as we have lost our beloved Mona di Orio, perfumer and friend of many of us. Although the brand has announced that will continue to spread her beauties, I am concerned with the future of this brand. Some of her fragrances are being sold in the internet as rare findings already at the highest cost.
We lost a great perfumer, but we have gained a very promising one - John Arthur, aka Kerosene (click here to read the article), who has created one of the most beautiful OUD perfumes of 2011.

So I think this is it darlings. My last post of 2011. I need my friday to finish to pack and than leave to enjoy family and my needed holidays.

I wish you all a happy New year and I hope we will rejoin here in 2012!


Simone XXXX

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Packing to leave!

If you ask me what I love the most about Christmukkah holidays, it is definitely the fact that I am packing to leave! In 06 days I will be landing in one of the most beautiful places on earth - The Holy Land.
Packing is tricky. Although we can take 02 suitcases (32k each) +  handbags, and that would be exactly 06 traveling suitcases and a total of 192k, I would not dare to try to drag half of my home with us. So we just take one suitcase each. The thing is, we are experiencing a very hot summer time and we are traveling to winter, so the backpack is the heavy one. We leave in shorts and sandals and arrive in heavy coats, gloves, scarf and all that paraphernalia we need, in order not to freeze once we put our noses outside the airport.
Fragrances. Another issue. Should I take them? Should I buy new ones to attach them to a great memory of my desperately expected holidays?
Usually I do both. I bring small vial with some of my fragrances and incorporate news ones during the holidays. By doing this I feel that I have capture in a bottle, the fun of being away, the joy of my holidays.
Last year I bought Van Cleef's Lys Carmin EDP (from the Extraordinaire collection) and La Chasse aux Papillons Extrême by L'Artisan.  Lys Carmin was on my way back in a shop in the airport, so it does not really remind me of anything but my 3 hours connection in Spain. But LCAP Extrême has this fantastic travel machine effect on me! One tiny whiff and I am back to Israel having fun I the middle of a freezing to death winter day skiing in the Golan Mountains. One tiny whiff and I am back to the many trips we made around the country exploring Shuks, caverns, restaurants, forests...
Israel is one of the most fragrant places on earth. If you ask me if I agree that it is the land of milk and honey...I would prefer to say it is the land of rosemary and many many other spices.

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog
This year I will try to continue my quest for the love of incense notes. As you know, Israel has many Biblical sites, and incense is very common in this region. Let's see where I will find it. I remember once taking a Catholic friend in a tour to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (or Resurrection). We went to see all the archeological-historical sites and we also attended the Christian mass. I felt pretty much dragged into the monastery of Eco's book "The name of the Rose". The praying in Latin, the Franciscan monks, the huge incense burner making clouds of frankincense and myrrh... needless to say we both left the place pretty intoxicated!


This year I will not travel far to look for Alepo soaps as I did last year. I will see where the scented paths will lead my nose. I collected many pictures for future articles last year. Needless to say I haven't written a single one. I guess I have a problem to share my fantastic Israeli scented experiences, they are too complexed, to intense to put in words. I shared some of the photos in my facebook thou...
Let's see if I manage to change that aspect of personality in 2012...

So I leave you guys for check if I packed enough socks for my child..tata!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas has arrived

Christmas Eve in Brazil (Sao Paulo) is always very different from what I have seen in other countries.  Snow flakes, snowmen, and all the cute things related to winter & Christmas are just for decoration. Here we are enjoying summer time. It feels a bit strange to think of hot coco or apple sider, warm cookies, eggnogs and fire places when it is 30ºC outside. To complete the weirdness of the holidays, this year it is simple raining cats & dogs.
If you ask any Brazilian  how was his Christmas, probably 60% will say they had fun at the beach and a great dinner at midnight around the pool. But here in São Paulo the atmosphere is completely different. It was steaming hot all day. The city is empty. No traffic jam, which is a miracle in this crazy town. But I managed to find the crowd in the supermarket. Seems that everyone forgot something, and went to the same place to make the last minute purchase of Christmas dishes ingredients. Fine. I survived...
Usually young paulistas go to Christmas parties in night clubs after their dinners. They are very cool dancing parties. Everybody hugging and kissing each other...a perfect time for single people to mingle. Me? I have already found my love many Christmases ago.
My plans for this evening are pretty much the same as every year. Spend quality time with my child (husbbie will not be joining us today - sadly, he has to work so others can go home to their families, which is a mitzva that he does, since we are Jewish). 
We have some family rules for Christmas which are:

A Christmas films marathon - the same movies every year!
Bikini during the day, PJs after 16:00.
Make a fancy dinner.

So, here I am, smelling the wet dry grass of my yard, the tropical summer rain shower, the fantastic Elo fragrance "Like This - Tilda Swinton", that came today in a package - broken into tiny pieces, placed beside my Mac....wondering what to cook for dinner and who to curse in the postal service office...

I will not post about perfumes this year and I am really sorry. I didn't have enough time due to my work, and the last minute list of things that have to be done before leaving. These last couple of days were a bit overwhelming to me. I know you are used to my fragrant posts this time of the year.

I will end this post by wishing you all a magical evening, full of joy, love and peace.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The stinky dark side of Perfumery

"Put the trash where it belongs. In the trash can!!!"

After six months of trial, former Dior designer, a man called john galliano was found guilty of racism and being anti-Semitic, based on public insults towards persons, on the basis of their religion and origin, despite trying to present himself as a person suffering from triple addiction of valium, alcohol and sleeping pills. Although galliano's laywers tried to prove that his racist and anti-Semitic rampant were not to be considered public, the video that Sun posted of the same man not only saying that he loves hitler, but people like the one's he was fighting with would be dead, in what was considered a very public racist rant.
Yes my dear readers, the man who is considered a genius wished people to be gassed. He only forgot one detail: by being a homosexual that he is, he would stand in the same line with all the Jews (that he hate so much) to be gassed just like them. As we all know (and apparently the genius had very bad scholar education), nazis send Jews, homosexuals, gipsies, communists, or anyone that they considered a threat to nazi Germany to concentration camps, and later to the showers. So Dior ran fast to fire the designer in order not to be involved in his racist war against Jews. Dior knows who their real clients are. The thing is, this fashion house belongs to the portfolio of International group LVMH, that coincidentally is also involved with nazis. Seems that louis vuitton has collaborated with them during the German occupation of France.
Stephanie Bonvici has researched many historical documents about the brand and the family, and in her book she exposed the link of louis vuitton with the Vichy regime led by phillipe petain, who ruled France during the period of WWII, and openly collaborated with the nazi occupation of the country. LVMH never contested the contents of Bonvici's book.
If we go back in time my dear readers, we will have to narrow our fragrance or fashion options if we do not wish to purchase products coming from racists bastards such as galliano.
It is a fact that the beloved hugo boss was a member of the nazi party in 1931 sponsoring nothing less than the SS. By being a nazi he went from bankrupted to a very successful man, and his sales increased from 38,260 RM in 1932 to 3,300.000RM in 1941. He became an official licensed supplier of nazi uniforms. How he ran his factory - by using Jews as slaves.
After a long lawsuit filed against the group, on the behalf of the survivals of the families who worked as slaves in Hugo Boss factories during the war, an agreement was settled between both German and American governments, the Jewish groups and the brand.
According to German historian Henning Kober, not only the designer worshiped the leader of the nazis, but also had a huge photo were he was posing with him, in the center of his living room.
If that made you want to vomit, let's go back in time to present the most famous World War French whore - Miss gabrielle (born) charnel - aka coco chanel.
This woman slept her way to the International jet set, and between fashion shows, she took millions from dumb rich men who were willing to pay a fortune to sleep with her. Till now we can't judge her, she does with her body what she wishes to, right? So what about sleeping with the enemies of your country???
Well, the lady who was venerated in France, turned her back to her own country, and collaborated with nazis during the occupation of France. With the excuse that she wanted to bring a relative back home from the battle, she did nothing less than to associate with a nazi spy called at the time spatz, and the nazi elite. As my dad says " whores do not choose their clients" Bulshit! Even whores know the difference between right and wrong. Most of them are in this profession because they have no other option. In chanel's case - she was addicted to prostitution, she was rich, she did it because she had no moral filter at all.
Her excuses were very weak, mostly proven because after the relative was returned safely home, and years later in exile in Switzerland, the prostitute financed the medical treatment of one walter schellenberg - former right arm of himmler. After being declared a war criminal and sent to exile, walter schellenberg had all his expenses paid by the same prostitute till the day he died.
chanel tried to send her Jewish business associates - the Wertheimer family to concentration camps - but they had already escaped to the USA. She also tried to steal the property of the same Jewish family (the shares of their participation in the company) in a process called Aryanization. In fact, she was a Jew hater and also had a severe problem with homosexuals. In many confirmed occasions she said terrible things about them, denying her own homosexuality. It is also a proven fact that this lady was bisexual, having many lesbian affairs with women. Confused? Me too! She proclaimed to be an independent woman, but had to have men financing her, all her life. She proclaimed that she hated homosexuals, but she was one too. She proclaimed that she had disgust for people who did not behave properly, but she lead a very strange life geared by many shots of morphine and other drugs. A prostitute, a drug addicted (heard that somewhere else? maybe galliano worshiped her?), a anti-Semitic disgusting woman who not only DID NOT CREATE THE CHANEL Nº5, but was ASSOCIATED TO JEWS AND HOMOSEXUALS when convenient. In fact, she never had friends, she used and manipulated people. She financed them according to her own interests. If you have any doubt about what I am saying here, there are two recently historical books  about it - all facts confirmed with documents. I recommend the book "Sleeping with the enemy - coco chanel's secret war by Hal Vaughan. The truth about her is no longer avoided.
So far all that does not concern you? You are not homosexual, you are not Jewish?
French Perfume House Guerlain also faced legal suits due to racism. This time the victims are "black people" or "niggers" as jean paul guerlain calls people who are not white.
The 73 yrs old perfumer, already retired, had to come to the public to explain what he meant, and again the group LVMH had to come forward to give statements against racism. He comes from an era were white folks were better than others, and the rest were to be considered slaves.

So here you have it. The perfumery industry develops many fragrant dreams that we run to buy as soon as they are launched. Perfumers like jean paul guerlain have brilliant skills to create beauty. But the main problem of this industry is: THEY DON'T CREATE FRAGRANCES FOR PEOPLE. Because they don't understand the concept of humanity. They create fragrances for what nazis considered humans.

All that said, I leave you to think if it is ok to buy their products. If it is ok to live in denial. 
We live in a world today app.80 years after nazis were proclaiming their ideology out loud. But did we get rid of them? Did we get rid of people like miss chanel, who criticized and judged people by their sexual preferences? Did we get rid of Extremists? Fundamentalists?

I think these people stink. I think that brands like hugo boss should be banned and vanish from this planet. But that's me and my notion of morality.

That does not concern you? The anti-Semites, the racists of the past and present, will be the Muslim haters of tomorrow. They will be the ones to claim that their religion is better than yours. Their color is to be considered normal, not yours ...just wait and watch! Extremists change their target, not their behavior.

P.S.: all the names cited here do not start with uppercase letters because these are not to be considered people. They are to be considered trash. Stinky trash.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

R'OUD ELEMENTS EDP by KEROSENE - Interview with perfumer & fragrance review

A seductive incensy - woody fragrance.
My choice for a X-mas gift to guys that are cool!

This was a weak year for fragrant interviews in this blog. Truth is, I really didn't find any interest in questioning perfumers about their last launches nor their inspirations, until I have recently seen one of the latest KEROSENE youtube videos last month. The guy who has been spreading his charms and fragrance reviews in the internet has been also working secretly to develop his own fragrances. John Arthur, aka Kerosene, is a 35 yrs old small town guy with big dreams for his future in the fragrance industry. If you are a fragrance reviewer, evaluator or blogger, and you have always questioned yourself if reviewing a fragrance is as hard as developing one of our own, but never dared to try, I can tell you that this shy young man had the guts and skill to do it.  He moved away from the safe place where he gets to evaluate other people's work via youtube, to subject his own creation for others like him to evaluate his work.
I exchanged a few e-mails with him that resulted in an interview which I am happy to share with all of you today. John is a very nice person and although he presents himself publicly, I found out that he is a bit shy when talking about himself. 

+ QPB: Since when have you been interested in fragrances?   

Kerosene: I have been interested in scents for as long as I can remember. It was probably around the middle school era when I really started to discover fragrances. 

+ QPB:Do you have a fragrance type preference? 

Kerosene: I tend to gravitate toward woody flavors. 

+ QPB: How people near you reacted about this passion for perfumes? (since you work in a very masculine rough environment!)

Kerosene: People around me don't understand my sniffing obsession. And in the automotive environment, it's not really understood much anyway. Once in a while, I'll catch a waft of someone wearing a scent, and even if it's Axe, good job for wearing at least something!

+ QPB: When or why did you start to review fragrances on youtube?

Kerosene: I began reviewing scents about a year and a half ago. Im not what you call an eloquent speaker, or very charasmatic, but my goal has always been to describe a scent for people that have never smelled it. Helping others is my number 1 priority! And if I can have fun here and there, I will.

Photo credit: Kerosene for + Q Perfume Blog

+ Q PB: You are migrating from a fragrance reviewer to a perfumer. How would you feel if someone would give you a bad review? (Which I doubt, because the fragrance is really great).

Kerosene: Yeah, I've prepared myself for the inevitable bad reviews. But really, it doesn't matter. If a person doesn't like a scent, that's fine, they dont have to wear it. For the people that love it, then the scent is for them! I will never take it personally that a scent isn't liked. Fragrance is such a personal choice kind of thing, it's like arguing over what is the best color. Blue or Red. Doesn't matter. People like what they like and it's something that cant be judged.

+ QPB: I would like to know how this project started. Are you going to open your own brand in the near future? Is this one scent only, or is it going to be in a collection of others to come?

Kerosene: What first started the project was my obsession with individual notes. Some are very simple, while others are very complex. I wanted to familiarize myself with notes for my online fragrance reviews. To really smell what sticks out the most, and not just by reading a note pyramid. Once I had collected quite a bit of essential oils, I began to dilute them to build simple formulas. At the same time, learning the scent strength of various base and top notes. Some notes can last for days, others a few minutes. So that’s where the true obsession began. I truly loved the creative process of endless possibilities in scent. My goal will to always create something that doesn’t smell familiar.
R’Oud Elements isn’t the first fragrance I’ve created, it just happened to be the first one I felt was ready to be released. And yes, I want to release a new scent whenever I feel a new formula is ready. I’m constantly experimenting. I want to create a unique, yet wearable fragrance house, which is called Kerosene.

+ QPB: I think it would be super cool if you were to open a fragrance house that makes niche perfumery just for men! Not a single perfume for us women. It is my opinion that men have been neglected for years by brands, receiving only EDT versions of perfume, and the raw materials used in the masculine fragrances are far cheaper than the ones used in fragrances for women.  It would be nice to see for a change a brand that gives the quality and respect that men deserve! Your thoughts?

Kerosene: My fragrances will always be edp concentrations and will vary greatly from feminine tones, to masculine.

+ QPB: That is excellent news! Guys deserve that!!
Have you got any perfumery training? Or you just trusted your sensibility and knowledge as a consumer? 

Kerosene: Like with music, writing, motorcycle building, everything I do in life seems to be self-taught. Some might applaud that approach to life, some might scowl. I love to research just enough to make me dangerous. I also don’t like to research too much, and lose the creativity in the process. If I was to learn how another perfumer goes about to create a scent, I might have the habit to instinctively work in the same frame. But I never allow myself to do that. I trust my nose to tell me if something smells right. Win my lack of formal training, I might waste more raw materials in my processes, but I have confidence the end result will eventually be promising.

+QP: I think in a way you are right, as per not being influenced by others, especially because you did master it. But today with so many regulations such as IFRA’s, a perfumery training could be handy, no?

Kerosene: Yeah, there are regulations, but every essential oil and aroma molecule will have a Material Safety Data Sheet that lets the perfumer know the safe consumer limits of concentration. I will always follow those regulations.

+ QPB: What was the inspiration of this fragrance? How long did you take to conclude this creation from inspiration to launching the perfume? 

Photo credit: Kerosene for + Q Perfume Blog

Kerosene: We have some cold weather here in Michigan, and I really enjoy warm scents. So I wanted to create something that was comforting, warm and relaxing. This scent probably took close to a year to complete. I usually work on a scent, walk away and work on something else. I feel when I come back to something after a while, a new idea will pull me along when smelling it again. And from there, more tweaks.

+ QPB: Tell me a bit about you. How you define yourself personally/professionally? Tell me your age! 

Kerosene: I’m 35 and grew up in a small town not far from where I live now. If I decide to do something, I put my whole heart into it. I would love to see the house of Kerosene taken to the professional level, and I can’t say that will happen until I'm able to quit my regular day job at an automotive plant. I dream of working in a lab, mixing, diluting, smelling something different as my regular job, versus staying up late and being tired most of the day after.

+ QPB: What you do when you are not reviewing fragrances? 

Kerosene: When I’m not testing scents, hovering over perfume counters and reading reviews, I love wrenching on old motorcycles. I love tea, especially Earl Grey and Darjeeling. As with enjoying different perfume notes, I love all kinds of music, The Cure, Demon Hunter, Soilwork, The Beatles, Muse, and anything with a cello in it. I could really go on forever. I also love to write whenever I can find the spare time. Short Stories with a twist are always fun to concoct. 

+QP: Your fragrance reminded me of Black Cashmere by Donna Karan. Do you know this fragrance? Have anybody else thought this way? Do you agree with me? 

Kerosene: Haha, maybe I’d agree with you if I’ve ever smelled Black Cashmere. I heard of R’Oud Elements being compared to Creed’s Royal Oud which I have still not smelled, so can’t really compare either.

+ QPB: R'Oud Elements- what does it mean... I know OUD is the raw material - but does the "R" mean anything?

Kerosene: The name of R’Oud Elements, other than being a cute play-on-words, comes mostly from the opening. To my nose, the opening is smoky, raspy, and in your face, and is very much rude-like. But that opening is only an element of the fragrance as a whole; as is the oud note. So many other notes play a bigger role than the oud and I feel it separates the scent from other OUD fragrances. It’s less bright, pungent and piercing than most of the oud fragrances I’ve smelled.

+QP: I loved the explanation! The name is brilliant!
Tell me a bit about the bottle. I heard from your video that you have crafted it yourself right? Automotive painting… give me more details. I think it looks very sleek.

Kerosene: I wanted to put my motorcycle painting talents into the bottle's design. I love metallic paint, so it was a no-brainer to paint the bottles in that style. For the label, I've always like Serge Lutens simplicity, so I drew the vine pattern, scanned it on my computer and added the fragrance name. There's a metal stud in the middle of the label, which I think adds an elegant touch. Each fragrance will be a different color and one little aspect will differentiate it from other scents. R'Oud Elements has a bow, the next scent will have a.... (he left me curious LOL!)

+ QPB: About the OUD note - synthetic or natural - if natural - where is it from? This is crucial for OUD aficionados.

Kerosene: I used a blend of synthetic oud and authentic Indian Black Agarwood. In order to keep the costs reasonable, I was able to create a pleasant scent with my blend.

Photo credit: Kerosene for + Q Perfume Blog


Photo credit: KEROSENE BRAND

Origin: USA – Port Huron, MI
Launch: 2011
Perfumer: John Arthur (aka, Kerosene)
Olfactive Notes: oud, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, lavender, iris and orange bitters. (I think there is frankincense too)
Description by Perfumer: "A smoldering R’oud opening that slowly develops into a velvety, woody scent with amber and vanilla".
Description by + Q Perfume Blog: SMOKY, SEXY, CHIC, MODERN
Olfactive family: Woody Oriental
Gender: Opening is masculine, but the drydown could be worn by anyone (perfumer)/I think it is masculine, but can be enjoyed by the ladies too.
When to use: Mostly fall and winter - any occasion
Silage: Excellent in the first 10 minutes, gets closer to the skin afterwards with a few peaks now and then...
Fixation: Great
Range: 50ml and 100ml - EDP
Could pair to: Black Cashmere by Donna Karan
Rating: ☆☆☆☆
☆☆☆☆☆ - I am on fire!
☆☆☆☆ - You will find your true element in this fragrance!
☆☆☆ - Nice warming.
☆ - Automotive painting smells better than that!
☆ - Kerosene would smell better than that!

WHERE TO BUY: Contact Perfumer or at ETSY website.

Just like John's smile, the fragrance has a very uplifting - warm opening, with woody notes combined with delicate minty-soapy freshness, that could be coriander, but I can't confirm thou... John does not share any more notes than the ones he has published. So I will call it the sauna bench note (like the one found in Cepes & Tuberoses by Mandy A.), but here much more delicate, tuned down at least 45ºC.LOL. 
It also contains a rather strange and very close smell to a Brazilian minty flavored sweet called Bala Garoto de Hortelã, that gives you the refreshing breath of mentha arvensis with a flowery touch. If you are in Brazil - smell the candy, but do not put on the mouth, otherwise it gets intense, and in this case, won't remind the scent of John's fragrance anymore!

One more strange detail - When I first tried this fragrance in a colder day than it is today, and I could assure the perfume had a very smoky incense opening. Something like frankincense and myrrh. Today, a week later, in a very hot day (at least 12ºC more) it smells fresher, more orange-y and more uplifting. Quite curious... 
The OUD used is a combination of both natural and synthetic agarwood (read in the interview above), which is nice to my taste. I am not a purist. never was, never will be.

Roland & Rattfink

It smells as if Black Cashmere by Donna Karan lost a bit of broom flowers and its Bois de Miel notes, to receive a heavier woody facet instead. Therefore I recommend to pair both of them. Remember the cartoon ROLAND & RATTFINK?  That is John's fragrance and Black Cashmere by Donna Karan, when both are compared. Roland was the blond, good looking make love not war kind of guy; and Rattfink the evil, darker character. (By the way, I remember that Roland always got to my nerves with all that daisies smelling).
Please do not translate Roland as good and Rattfink as bad. This is not what I mean when I compare both, as to the fragrances in case. Translate Roland (or Black Cashmere - as the softer, flowery, mellower one) and Rattfink, or R'Oud Elements EDP as the naughtier, darker one). R'Oud Elements has the same velvety touch of cashmere wools of Donna K's fragrance, but somehow the wool is his is a bit more raw, less soft, less creamy, less "polite like Roland", and more piercing, more spicy, more rude = R'Oud - at least it sounds very close when you say both words!
R'Oud Elements EDP has a unisex appeal - when sprayed on my husband it becomes very spicy resinous - smoky masculine, and the ambery-vanilla elements are less accentuated (oriental base). When sprayed on my wrist, the powdery furry candy like elements are much more detectable. Needless to say we both loved the fragrance.

I think Kerosene succeeded to deliver what he thought it would be his signature fragrance - a very warm, velvety, hip fragrance. I can even say it has the same vibe as Comme de Garçons WONDERWOOD (click here for the review). Yes, here the lumberjack scent got a bit of the automotive-industrial touch. Yes, dear readers...a lot of common elements with Black Cashmere. A lot of elements of Wonderwood...but with R'Oud Elements of its own.

It came from the heart, from his natural skills to smell scents and smells around him, and most of all, from the dream of making his own signature perfume. I really like it!

I want to congratulate John for his new venture, and certainly I will look forward his next creations!

The sample was sent to me by John, upon my request.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Felanilla EDP by Parfumerie Générale - fragrance review

To Magnifiscent, who needs to find a gourmet fragrance that he enjoys...


Felanilla EDP - Fragrance Review
Origin: France
Perfumer: Pierre Guillaume
Launch: 2008
Olfactive family: Spicy oriental soft
Olfactive Notes: vanilla absolute, saffron, Florence iris, banana wood, hay absolute and amber. (I smell a tobacco note too)
Description by the brand: "Ferociously luxurious/A feline vanilla".
Description by + Q Perfume Blog: IRIS DELIGHT, The non fruity fruity perfume, LUXURIOUS DELICIOUS
Fragrance Bottle: PG's standard Sleek rectangular, transparent glass with black and white label, numbered 21. 
Gender: M, but can be whiff on the ladies too.
Silage: Great
Fixation: Great - lasts more than 12 hours.
Could pair to: NOTHING AT ALL!!
When to wear: Any time, any place.
Range: 3,38, 1,69 or 1,01 fl oz. 
Where to find: Parfumerie Générale
Rating: ☆☆☆☆
☆☆☆☆☆ - I went bananas!
☆☆☆☆ - As good as Woody Allen Bananas' quotes!
☆☆☆ - I trade a Banana Chocolate fudge for it.
☆☆ - I would stick to the Banana Chocolate Fudge!
- Rotten banana peel.

Felanilla is a game of 2 words - feline and vanilla. It is indeed a very distinguished vanilla perfume. The overall idea is a gentle oriental fragrance, with a spicy coating of saffron, a woody note combined with a very powerful iris, resulting in a pencil styled scent (the Faber Castell note that I mention sometimes), with hints of banana peal. It also comes with the masculine touch of tobacco, and a base that unveils slowly a very soft amber-y vanilla.
One wonders if banana could smell as sexy as its shape. The answer was no... till Pierre Guillaume came along with his straightforward creations.
The funniest thing about scents is that they change according to perspectives. I read in Luca Turin's Perfume Guide that this fragrance had an iris with a potato-rooty aspect. "An astringent aspect to slightly unripe bananas". So I sprayed on my arm expecting to find a different iris that would stand out for creativity, from the 1000s I have already tried. NOTHING happened. I could not sense this fragrance by Luca's perspectives. To me it was just a tobacco - iris fragrance...

Very frustrated I went to the kitchen and took a half green-half ripe banana, peeled it and put my nose very close to the flesh. Hummm, delicious I thought. Nose back to my wrist and BINGO! There it was, a hidden unripe banana note, covered by layers of woody pencils. That said, the ultra sweet, fruity, sticky, tropical scent of banana is not there. It is not dancing on the head of Carmen Miranda. It is hidden under woodsy notes, to result into a tropical, happy, sunny vibe of Brazilian summers. It brings a sensuality that needs to be discovered. You need to peel that banana to get to the core of the sensuality proposed by oriental fragrances. It is a fruity - non fruity fragrance - which I love!
The dry down is also very sensual. The amber notes melt on vanilla, and the beige yellowish woody pastel becomes a deep dark caramel brown scent.
It is indeed a luxurious delicious perfume with the aura of Copacabana palace in its golden years.

And now, a bit of Chiquita Banana for you. 
This video that contains a bit of the aura of this fragrance!

P.s.: Felanilla in my opinion means Felatio + vanilla. I have seen PG's photos around, and he seems to be much naughtier than a naive Feline + vanilla... IMO!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Delicious Perfumed Gourmandises!

Gourmandise, or Gluttony (it sounds more charming in French...everything sounds better in French!) can be defined as over-indulgence for food to the point of extravagancy. It is a term also associated to the pleasure of savoring food, savoring its taste and quality, seeking olfactive and palate enjoyment. According to Saint Thomas Aquina in his Summa Theologica, one of the ways of committing gluttony is to seek for very expensive, luxurious and exotic foods. I am not suggesting we all become sinners. Instead, I am offering this "almost sinful" list of exquisite gourmet fragrances. So, let's leave the sins aside, and think of Gourmandise as a wish to fulfill a desire through food, and how it stimulates and induce us to seek for Gourmet fragrances. Today I want to propose a quest for the most delicious treats. Fragrances listed are so good that you will be impelled to lick your skin!

HALVA (Haleweh or Halwa) 
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

Mastering the art of edibles, I bring Pierre Guillaume and his niche fragrance house Parfumerie Générale, with the latest launches of the Limited Editions Praliné de Santal and Tonkamande.

Praliné de Santal EDP has a delicious mouth watering, rich combination of notes of Sandalwood, heliotrope, Virginian cedar and cashmeran. 
Imagine the delicious sweet aroma of crushed peanut butter cookies, crispy from the outside and smooth and creamy inside. Imagine crunchy caramelized hazelnuts and a sticky, dense Halva. Now put all the ingredients together, and make a layered dessert. Add a woodsy creamy topping, and there you have it - a smooth luxurious perfume-dessert that it is simply irresistible to the senses. Praliné de Santal is as glorious, beautiful and sinful as a BANOFFEE. It does remind me a bit of Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens, but it is much more refined, 1000 times better crafted, and much less buttery, but still very very creamy. 
The Halva note is simply outstanding, and for those of you who are not introduced to this Middle Eastern sesame delicacy, I suggest you run now to buy a piece. If there was a book such as "1000 food treats you must eat before you die", Halva definitely deserves one entire chapter! The sesame butter is rich, intense, sticky, warm and very tasty, and you will find it in this perfume combined with baked goodies, and roasted nuts.
PDS = Jeux de Peau - butter + Halva + hazelnuts + perfumer skills.


Tonkamande EDP - composing this beauty you have notes of almond milk, aldehydes, tonka beans, wheat, sandalwood, vanilla and amber. It brings many things to my mind, such as drinking hot foamy milk beverages in a cold day, chic ladies powdering their noses and drinking Champagne in a fancy wedding, or even young couples in love embracing each other. It is delicate, slightly gourmet and very chic. Once you spray this fragrance on your skin, two magical things will happen to you: One - you will find out that happiness can be bottled and sold in liquid form; Two - Pierre G. not only masters the art of making surprisingly beautiful gourmet fragrances, but he also mastered to create olfactive cuddling. This is the closest idea of spooning with someone you will get from a fragrance. Feeling lonely? Tonkamande! Wanting to feel extremely happy, naive, or christmas -y? Tonkamande! Having cravings for sweet treats and pastries, without being too boulangerie? Tonkamande. Wanting to feel pretty and bubbling? Tonkamande.

Another chic gourmand perfume is offered by luxurious Italian niche brand Xerjoff. Mefisto EDP is one of the fragrances belonging to the Casamorati 1888 collection, and it also reminds me of Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau, but with much less cholesterol, much more flowers and again, 1000 times better crafted. 


Mefisto EDP - Bergamot, grapefruit and Amalfi lemons are combined to bring a fresh citrusy and refreshing summer-y opening. Lavender, iris and rose bring a strong whiff of spring, and the base with musk, sandalwood, amber and Virginia cedar brings the warmth of an autumn day. That said, the fragrance can be enjoyed a year round, and somehow it contains a slightly gourmand facet, which it takes time to peak, being much more implied than obvious. It is elegant, Mediterranean classic, pleasant and very powerful.
If you make the following formula you have Mefisto:
Mefisto = Jeux de Peau + butter/2 - croissant + (flowers )2 + aromatic herbs + Mediterranean breeze. OR make a lemon & lavender butter cookie fragrance sprinkled with iris powder! 
Although Mefisto seems to be sold as a masculine fragrance, I think both genders will enjoy this fancy fragrance.


If you cannot afford niche treats, Tommy Girl by Hilfiger has a gourmet flanker called Tommy Girl 10. It is not new, probably launched in 2006, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the brand.

Tommy Girl 10 EDP - This version comes with notes of apple trees, camellias mint, cranberries, pear, tangerine, grapefruit, magnolia, rose, honeysuckle, water lilies, butterscotch, sandalwood and birch. It is a crazy fragrance, with a mix of forest during winter and Martha Stewart making cookies. The fragrance has a strong smell of spicy cookies and flowers, with a transparent ocean breeze. Good to combine with a glass of milk.
To make this fragrance the formulas are:
Tommy 10 Girl = Praliné de Santal + (cookies)2 + flowers - (HALVA + hazelnuts) + Ocean Breeze OR Tommy 10 Girl = Mefisto + (cookies)2 - cedar.

I hope you will enjoy the quartet. If you ask me which one is a must have, I would say Tonkande for sure...but I am lucky, I have them all ;-)

Now, I could not leave without bringing the master cookie chef,
The Muppet Show COOKIE MONSTER!!!

If you wish to use my Halva picture, ask me first for authorization! I might not want to share it.
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