Thursday, December 10, 2015



Continuing to bring beauties for the Holidays today we will explore Italian fragrances!
Fleurs et Flammes EDP by Antonio Alessandria is the forth perfume launched by the brand and the most beautiful one; if not the best of 2015 at all!

Olfactive notes of: Galbanum, bergamot, citrus, summer fruits, green and mineral notes, carnation, lily, rose, white flowers, soft woods, almond milk effect, musk.

Description by + Q Perfume Blog: green, flowery, MILKY-almondy, warm, SMOKEY.

Antonio's nose signature is the combination of Italian citruses, beautiful heart notes and a warm heavier base. All fragrances of his collection are luxurious, well blended and beautifully composed. Fleurs et Flammes  EDP is not an exception. 

Photo credit: Antonio Alessandria

Here citruses were combined with galbanum and green notes, bringing to this fragrance the a verdant opening that will be much loved if you like the contrast of green and mellow. If you found Untitled by Margiela exquisite, you will find this fragrance much more interesting because you will find the combination of galbanum, citruses, musk, flowers and fire, but you won't find the fatty and ashtray notes of Untitled EDP that is not so appealing to the senses.Also, If you loved Champaca by Ormonde Jayne you will also love Fleurs et Flammes EDP because although both have no common notes in their compositions, they present somehow the same flower-creamy/milky-smoke-y combo beautifully explored.

Fleurs et Flammes EDP has a sensuality that is not imposed. It is revealed in flower petals and a mineral-animalic combination of notes. The mellow gourmandise touch is presented by a softly blended milk and almond-y warmth and it brings the idea of youth. Youth translated to freshness; first time falling in love kind of aura. 

Alessandria presents somehow a classic kind of perfume wrapped into a hip, contemporary fragrance. You won't be taken to a past distant era, but you will find the quality and the expertise that most modern launches are lacking these days.

Perfect for winter times, wearing Fleurs et Flammes EDP you will feel wrapped in both coziness and happiness.

You can find Fleurs et Flammes EDP at his website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


This is the time of the year where I share some of the fragrances that I think are worth checking to wear during the Holidays season or to share with someone you really love!
Nana-M is a fresh new brand from France, so chances are that you are giving a real exclusive gift!

Photo credit: Nana-M Parfums

Nana-M Parfums is the newest niche perfumery brand coming from the world's most famous perfume capital Grasse, launching this year a collection of signature fragrances called Rêves or dreams. 

The nose and owner Céline Ripert combined her expertise of decades in the perfumery industry, her identity and the savour faire grassois, creativity, sensibility and local raw materials, to offer to an exclusive clientele her olfactive dreams, presented in hand made luxurious round bottles developed by glass blowing artist Christophe Saba.

The brand is debuting 08 fragrances, all EDPs 20%, called Rêve Fou, Rêve Piquant, Rêve de Sensualité, Rêve Romantique, Rêve Royal, Rêve Erotique, Poudre de Rêve and Une Île, un Rêve.

RÊVE FOU EDP - It is a oriental fruity perfume combining traditional classic perfumery with a modern touch with notes of Pink Pepper CO2, Fir balsam Absolute, Davana EO, Bitter orange EO, Rose de Mai Absolute, Raspberry EO, Cinnamon EO, Violet, Benjoim, Siam, Vanilla Absolute, Patchouli EO and Incense. 

RÊVE PIQUANT EDP - A woody-spicy-citrusy fragrance playing with the contrast of cold fresh and deep warm notes of Ginger CO2, Grapefruit EO, Lemon EO, Green Mandarine EO, Black Pepper CO2, Litsea Cubeba EO, Cedarwood Virginia EO, White flowers, Benjoin, Vanilla Absolute, Guaic wood EO and Tobacco Absolute.

REVÊ DE SENSUALITÉ EDP - A chypre aromatic composition where sophistication and sensuality with simplicity is brought with notes of Lavender EO and Absolute, Tuberose Absolue, Patchouli EO, Sandalwood EO, Musks salicylates and Vanilla Absolute.

RÊVE ROMANTIQUE EDP - A dreamy yellow flowery romantic fragrance bringing notes of Green mandarine EO, Cocoa, Fir balsam Absolute, Apricot, Mimosa Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Broom Absolute, Cassis Absolute, Amber, Everlasting Absolute, powdery musks and Hay EO.

RÊVE ROYAL EDP - An opulent, linear woody-leathery perfume with notes of Osmanthus Absolute, Orris Absolute, Davana EO, Cashmere and Guaiac woods EO, Mate Absolute, Honey, Soft leather, Benjoim, Vanilla Absolute and Cistus Absolute. 

RÊVE EROTIQUE EDP - Bringing an animalic sensuality the fragrance it combines notes of Davana EO, Rum Absolute, Cinnamon bark EO, Sandalwood, Violet, Guaiac wood EO, Vanilla Absolute, Tonka Absolute, Musk and animals amber.

POUDRE DE RÊVE EDP - A powdery and ultra feminine floral composition with notes of Pink pepper CO2, Ginger CO2, Freesia, Cedar Atlas OE, Orris, Rose de Mai Absolute, Heliotrope, Cashmere wood, Ambrette, Vetiver OE, Vanilla and Sandal OE. 

UNE ÎLE, UN RÊVE EDP - An aromatique white floral bouquet bringing the aura of Cannes with notes of Rosemary Absolute, Eucalyptus EO, Cistus EO, Ylang Ylang, Tuberose Absolute, Moroccan Jasmine Absolute, Orange bloom Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, Patchouli EO, Benjoim, Beewax Absolute. 

The Bottle
The fragrances are presented in heavy glass hand made bottles by artisan Christophe Saba combined with a classy red atomizer. When less is more, you won't find incrusted stones or golden charms; just a very beautiful thick round glass bottle with a Murano style with tiny bubbles in the bottom. 

The package
All fragrances come in a round black mate package with a beautiful velvety red ribbow.

Nana-M Parfums is offering in this debut collection perfumes that have in common some elements: most compositions have a strong presence. That said the person wearing it needs to have a personality that goes along with it. I had no problem with that even thou sometimes I like to wear low profile perfumes. I think it is for the fact that most of them are absolutely gorgeous. IMO the brand is soon to become a cult brand among perfumistas all over the world.

63ml refills and body milk are also available for all fragrances.
You can discover each fragrance by purchasing a discovery set of miniature bottles or free perfumed cards.
Nana-M can be purchased on line at or in Grasse at their showroom located at 52, Chemin de la Tête de Lion, Grasse - France.

The brand is offering real nice ideas/packing for Christmas gifts! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


"Calvin Klein used to be raw. In the ’90s the brand was seductive, uncensored, and with the help of a topless Kate Moss, the essence of cool".

In 1993 Kate Moss met with Calvin Klein. At that time the brand was in a crisis and Kate was not famous. Calvin Klein loved the fact that Kate was plain, real and beautiful. They wanted her to be shot shirtless, although she had small breasts. She was always shot in black-and-white, sometimes nude, sometimes in a black tank and cotton underwear. Her stark, fragile beauty amplified by lank hair and little makeup. Fabien Baron, the creative director launched what was defined as the heroin chic look. In a culture scared of Aids the sex approach of the campaign was very risky, but somehow it actually worked. The campaign brought the finances of Calvin Klein back to profit and also launched Kate's career. She was soon the sole face of Calvin Klein jeans, underwear and fragrance.

Today we know that Kate was closing the door of the excessiveness of the 80's. So did the fragrance the brand was about to launch - CK ONE EDT. 

CK ONE EDT was designed a fragrance that embodied, in its flat little screw- top bottle, the disaffected, sexually ambivalent grunge youth of the moment. CK ONE EDT, with its unconventional black-and-white advertisements filled with moping, androgynous models, was arguably the most perfectly tailored fragrance ever pitched to one market, breaking industry rules and records, selling twenty bottles per minute at its peak. 

A unisex brand that was so authentically grunge it was carried in record stores alongside albums by Nirvana.

The fragrance was created by Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont, with top notes of pineapple, green notes, mandarin orange, papaya, bergamot, cardamom and lemon; middle notes of nutmeg, violet, orris root, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and rose; and base notes of sandalwood, amber, musk, cedar and oakmoss.

It broke gender barriers and was marketed as a SHARED fragrance instead of unisex. CK ONE EDT  had an introductory budget of $17-18 million, which may be largest budget for any of the so-called prestige fragrances introduced in 1994 and reached 250 million dollars in sales in its first year.

"Be hot. Be cool. Just BE."

In 1996 Calvin Klein did it again with CK Be EDT. It was one of the best selling new scents EVER. 
The company described the scent as “raceless, genderless, ageless, and shared statement. ” It was called “the new fragrance for people.” The ads, once again shot by Avedon, were like a amalgam of all the work that had been put into creating a unique aesthetic for the brand, it was Heroin Chic at its finest: waifish and disoriented models who were young, multicultural and highly androgynous gathered into shot looking bored and gorgeous. The commercials showed Kate Moss speaking into the camera talking about “one more bad habit you have to break.” The ad ends with a voiceover: Be hot. Be cool. Just BE. Calvin Klein had done it. He created a media virus, an answer to any question that Generation X might have had: Just Be. All this from basic denim, a quiet unisex fragrance and white cotton underwear. His empire was built.
Each Calvin Klein ad campaign had its own characteristic image and its own particular target market. While the ads for CK ONE EDT portrayed groups of young, multicultural, mostly androgynous urban men and women, the CK Be EDT campaign featured an intimate and raw close-up of the individuals within the CK ONE EDT groups. According to Pauline Mancuso - Calvin Klein's CEO back then, ‘‘The CK be EDT campaign pulls you into these people’s lives.’’

"Freedom and possibilities of young people to explore the world".

CK in2U fragrances were launched in 2007. The brand launched two separated masculine and the feminine versions and it was described as the fragrance for the internet connected or techno-sexuals, a term the company made up to describe its intended audience of thumb-texting young people whose romantic lives are defined in part by the casual hookup. CK IN2U expressed freedom and possibilities of young people to explore the world. That same year, during its launch, Coty executives gathered to explain that the fragrances were  a portrait of a generation physically bold, but emotionally guarded; having grown up using computers as a primary means of interaction. Now young adults, they are post-Abercrombie, post-Juicy Couture and over any number of scents derived from the essences of Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton.

As Coty's Vice president for Global marketing Lori Singer explained about the fragrances targeted group of 20-ish youngsters  “They don’t want to feel that they are being marketed to or spoken at. They are much more empowered, but they are unshockable. They have seen everything from 9/11 to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears without underwear. They see everything instantaneously that goes on in the world.” 

To seem more authentic, Calvin Klein was trying to reach consumers on their own turf by creating an online community,, patterned after sites like MySpace and Facebook. The company invited students at film schools around the country to submit shorts addressing the theme of “what are you into?” and their clips were to be found on the site. The response to CK in2u among fragrance retailers at trade shows was so strong, the company said, that it delayed its introduction by a month to increase production to close to two million units, nearly twice the 258 initial volume of its Euphoria women’s fragrance in 2005. (Eric Wilson edited)

Gottlieb, the perfumer who created the fragrance explained that because Millennials are used to fast-moving information and images, the fragrance is meant to be quick-acting and immediately recognizable on the skin. Their food and drinks, like Smartwater and coffee-flavored colas, and gum charged with flavor crystals, all come in high-definition, intensified varieties. So their fragrance should also seem busy. 

“It is about two individuals defined by who they are, not what they are”

The newest launch for 2016 - CK2 EDT

Ten years later Calvin Klein is putting its chips again into a fragrance for a new generation - The Millennials. Not as unisex or shared, but now it is introducing a new term: gender-neutral. As Coty describes it: "CK2 embodies the thrill of life and celebrates the diversity of connections between two people. Two individuals defined by who they are, not what they are. one gender-free fragrance for a man or a woman, without prejudices, to unite and create an experience that can be shared together in love, lust and friendship. We come together void of stereotypes and free of conformity; a youthful connection between 2 people to celebrate the differences that make our connections richer and define what makes us, us. Life is better when we are 2."

The composition

Defined as urban woody - fresh scent, CK2 EDT is developed by International Flavors and Fragrances with notes of  wasabi, mandarin and violet leaf, wet cobblestones and orris concrete accords, rose absolute and a woody base of vetiver, sandalwood and incense.

According to Melisa Goldie, interviews by WWD, the brand wishes to target young consumers: “The launch of CK2 represents an extension of our overall brand strategy to reach a younger consumer base through modern, authentic storytelling. Given its relevant cultural messaging and youthful spirit, CK2 aligns well with this evolving approach to consumer engagement.”
Camillo Pane from Coty explained to WWD that they are targeting a new generation that values authenticity and fluidity in their everyday lives, and CK2 encapsulates this in every facet of the brand, whether via the scent, packaging, or campaign creative.

The company also gave details about its distribution strategy: “The launch of CK2 brings a new fragrance proposition to the marketplace with its relevant and disruptive brand messaging. We will launch exclusively in Macy’s in the U.S. in February, and then broaden distribution through alternative channels, while telling the story of CK2 through engaging media tools that resonate with the target audience.” (Distribution is expected to top out at 2,000 doors in the U.S. by yearend 2016).

The design of the new bottle

The bottle, a thick glass cylinder set in a clear base that allows the fragrance to be viewed either upside down or right side up, is intended to reinterpret minimalism and the minimalist design continues on the outside packaging, which is a drawing of the bottle inside.

The advertising campaign, shot by Ryan McGinley, includes both TV and print and is intended to celebrate the diversity of people’s connections. “It is about two individuals defined by who they are, not what they are. The campaign features four stories that fold into one another in unexpected ways. Four couples play out free spirited, raw narratives of today’s youth. The connections emphasize the thrill of life shared by two people and magnify the uniqueness of each relationship in our lives.

From what I watched, I saw young people finding sex partners via social media...pretty real. Twenty years later Calvin Klein is doing it again - portraying one entire generation in one fragrance, one concept.

Twenty two years from the launch of CK ONE EDT, twenty years after the CK be EDT and nine years after the launch of  CK IN2U EDT, one can affirm that if Luca Turin once said that fragrances are not about sex he was wrong. One can even study the sexual behaviour of generations just by analysing the marketing strategies to sell Calvin Klein's perfumes!

All photos are credited to Clavin Klein brand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Photo Credit: + Q PERFUME BLOG

Launch: 2015

Perfume House: Olivier Durbano

Olfactive Family: Woody-Aromatic-Spicy

Olfactive Notes: Hyssop, cumin, Vervain, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, sage essence, rosemary, jasmine, cedar wood, vetiver, sage absolute, ambergris, musk.

Description by the brand: Chrysolithe combines ancestral virtues and the mysterious aroma of hyssop, symbol of purity and humility, with the precious and majestic power of cedar, pungent fragrance and revitalising properties; infused with white sage, "desert sage', with its purifying power, and mixed with black cumin, known as "the seed of blessing" invoking all the virtues of strength and harmony, Chrysolithe gives out and pure luminous vapour, marked by peace and wisdom.

Description by + Q Perfume Blog: soft, illuminated, dry, spiced, fresh, timeless, genderless. (⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️)

In 2009 I asked Olivier what he considered an excellent perfume. Back then the answer was "Sincere, gentle and devoted to make women look beautiful. A very personal and essential "skin", like an emotional story, a pure dream, a movie between soul, or mind and body...Something also with memory, in the past and at the moment... and why not to the future. Something that elevates your being, in order to transform life into something better and more beautiful".

Chrysolithe #11 has definitely all that. 

Being mystical, the perfume was named after the ancient Greek Khrusolithos which means gold stone. The stone, referred in the Torah in Hebrew as Peridot, meaning "transparent", is the 10th precious stone that adorned Aaron's breast plate (representing the tribe of Dan) and the 7th of the foundation stones of New Jerusalem.

"We are told not to seek treasures in this life where moth and rust will destroy them, but as we can see, God has chosen to build this city with the finest of gems, and the richest of materials.  And each of the materials used in the construction of this New Jerusalem has a divine purpose and reason to be used where it is.

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it was transparent glass".   Book of Revelation 21:19-21.

The perfume bottle is also is numbered - Chrysolithe #11. According to the perfumer, the number eleven in the Arab culture represents the number of steps one must take to understand God. In China, it represents the TAO, the mother earth, the path through heaven. To Jewish culture 11 is a master number for the elevated spiritually.

In that sense CHRYSOLITHE #11 is indeed a fragrance that uplifts the spirit for its purity and freshness. 

To me the perfume has the smell of Israel. To be more specific, of the Galilee. This combination of spices is found in a typical landscape of the Mediterranean region called in French Garigue which is described as a low open scrubland with many evergreen shrubs, low trees, aromatic herbs, and bunch grasses found in poor or dry soil. Chrysolite #11 has the smell of Garigue herbs and bushes. A smell that I captured in 2011 in a trip to Israel. At that time I was already interested in smellscapes of countries and cities. I brought back with me a booklet with all the herbs I collected and when I flip the pages of this booklet, I smell a scent that is very similar to some of the notes in the composition Olivier's perfume. I travel in time and space to Israel in a fraction of second.

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

Now it would be odd to us perfume wearers to smell like the Galilee. You won't, I promise.
CHRYSOLITHE #11 is a woody dry scent, with a freshness of an early morning bath and a flowery powdery touch that is simply lovely.  It brings a rather spicy and strong opening, but as time passes it becomes a gentle perfume with a mellow dry down.

Needless to say that it reflexes 100% the personality of its creator. 

To add a mystery in the whole thing I must tell here what I have already told in my facebook and something that I think it is quite magical:

As I progressed in my meditations I started to see the number eleven everywhere. Mostly the hours 11:11 (am or pm). No matter what I was doing, every time I checked the time or made a phone call or entered to facebook via cell the hour was there 11:11. I began to see it in car and street plates, in websites, in movies. EVERYWHERE. If I wished to see, it would not appear before my eyes. It did and it does only when I am not thinking about it.
I had a major question mark in my mind about what could it mean. If it had any meaning at all... The answer came the day the fragrance arrived. Not only it contains the number 11 in its name, but in the description of the fragrance written by Olivier Durban he explains about the meanings of number 11. I was in a total shock when I read the flyer that came with the perfume. It all made sense. I now know that it has to be with my spiritual elevation. For that I will be FOREVER grateful to Olivier.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

RUBINI Fundamental
Photo credit: + Q PERFUME BLOG

Launch: 2015
Country : Italy (Verona)
Perfumer: Cristiano Canali/ Olfactive Director: Ermano Picco/ Package Designer: Francesca Gotti/ Brand Owner: Andrea Rubini

Olfactive Notes: Bergamot, Tangerine, Hesperidic Flowers, Soave Grapes, Maquis, Florentine Iris, Beeswax, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver Java, Velvet Accord, Leather

Description by the brand: "Verona, 1937. The brightness of colognes and brillantines Pietro Rubini provided to barbershops of the town is the first welcome getting into the small perfume shop downtown. A face powder says a lady and suddenly the air is filled in the fine powder and alluring smells. The heart of the scene costumes and lights exalts the dense smell of greasepaint he often gives as a gift to opera singers at the Arena to promote himself. The most daring smells though come at the evening mixing smoke and mischievous talks to the perfumes and coquetries Pietro sells in the wore houses after work. So I imagined these aromas layer and shine in the golden light of September that ripens Soave grapes to render a special man, his courage and passion for beauty as basic values now distilled in fundamental."
Description by + Q Perfume Blog: waxy-leathery, bubbly , relaxing chic!

Market price/store: USD145 at Luckyscent.

RUBINI Fundamental
Photo credit: RUBINI

In a blogger's life sometimes you face difficult situations. Once you are very active in the perfume community you start building relationships and sometimes long lasting friendships with perfumers and brand owners. Truth is that every time I am sent a fragrance to review, or simply as a gift, there is a moment of breathless fear when I open the envelop or box. What if...? What if I will find the fragrance a total fiasco and the person sending is a friend of mine? Yes, there is always that moment of pure fear and suspense. Sometimes followed by a huge smile; sometimes followed by a profound sadness and worry. When my dearest friend and confidant and blogger ( Ermano Picco  said he had been developing a fragrance together with Cristiano Canali for an Italian brand and that he wanted my address to send me samples, my heart simply stopped! Anxiety installed at maximum grade, I waited impatiently for those samples to arrive. I remember like it was yesterday the day the samples finally arrived. I opened the envelope and said to myself "you don't have to worry, after all Ermano has a magnificent nose and taste. He would never be involved in a fiasco!". I was right. Rubini's fundamental is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
If you loved Voluté EDT and EDP by Diptyque or Absolue EDP by Mona di Orio you will certainly love fundamental. They kinda have the same "aura".

It is no secret to me that Ermano loves irises Fiorentine and a beautiful solar Hisperidic note, after all he is 100% Italian and so it is the brand. The surprise really came for the fact that the perfume is around a grape note. Researching I got enough info to understand the idea:

"The Soave Blend refers to the combination of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave (or Verdicchio) that make up Soave DOC wines, arguably one of Italy's most famous white wines. This crisp and fruity white wine, made mostly in the Venetian hills near Verona, is now enjoyed around the world, offering a simple and refreshing wine experience.
Garganega forms the bulk of Soave wines. In dry whites it provides structure, with its steely mineral character and fruit components of citrus, peach and apricot, and in sweet Recioto di Soave wines, it adds richer tropical fruits and honey notes. The Soave DOC laws stipulate that at least 70 percent of the blend must be Garganega..." (edited from wine

The grape note enhanced the irises' minerality. Beewax amplified the honeyed facet of the grape. Crispy and fruity, chic and elegant, the fragrance opens with a luminous hisperidic bouquet that later will develop into a more masculine experience.
The sensual masculine base took me to a trip to the Italian wineries holding hands with an Italian man whose casual elegance is the perfect mix of classic chic and effortless whimsy. 

Rubini Fundamental express style and grace, with a studied carelessness and a hidden sophisticated attention to details, that is the very essence of the Italian way of doing all things. 

Bravo Ermano!
Many thanks to you, Canali and Rubini for bringing a modern breath to classic Italian style!
Baci mille!

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