Thursday, December 29, 2016


"We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world beyond the horizon" - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Last week I took a quick trip down to the beach. I spent my day walking barefoot on the sand, smelling the sea breeze and siting at the deck to contemplate the horizon. 
It makes wonder to the soul. I felt happier with a sense of belonging.
For someone like me who suffers from motion sickness, I have been hearing the same advice all my life "if you feel unsteady, look at the horizon". Well, It is true. When you sit in front of the ocean and you focus into the horizon, that sensation of never-ending brings an idea of freedom, simplicity, unification and steadiness. I guess Nature does that to us in general.
The beach offers us even more. Being near the ocean and to profit from its salty marine breeze relaxes us in such a way that right after I sit behind the wheel to get back to the city, I am already missing my spot on that deck. 
Unfortunately this is far from happening.

Back home I was wondering if this is the reason why I love salty marine fragrances so much. Fact is that besides the relaxing effect, they wrap us by the neck and slowly drags us to a romantic day at the beach or a joyful summer vacation memory. Who does not want to live that again right?

They are also very sexy. Most salty marine fragrances feels like touching the skin with the nose and taking a long deep inhale. Bodies embraced, a long lasting kiss...

During the years I have reviewed many marine fragrances and each of them has taken me to a different shore and a different story.

Today I am exploring a fragrance that I received sometime ago from Gabriella Chieffo and I am letting it sink into my skin to see where it takes me.


Launch: 2014
Country: Italy
Concentration: EDP
Gender: Unisex
Perfumer: Luca Maffei
Olfactive Notes: Neroli, seaweed, elemi, caraway, black pepper, nutmeg, iris, incense, myrrh, patchouli, cashmeran, amber, oakmoss, musk.


"With a dive, it leaves behind the safety of the dry land. Now it finds itself here, in salt water, a mirror of the enveloping sky. A state of rest and movement in breathing, captivated by the primordial element, Purifying, Sacred. Water and salt. Life and wisdom. The branches of its soul swell inhale knowledge. It remembers being a fish and then a reptile before becoming itself. To have known smells, tastes, lives. It knows it was vertebra below the vertebrae, rocked by its breath, calmed by its heartbeats. In the salt water, made of little tears and little seas. It perceived the same smell that is here now, the never ending smell of a breath that is the end of all smells. Spit that became flesh. Dived into dryness with a wave. Having carried out the ritual, that includes the power and magic of regeneration through generation, it swallows a syllable of breath and becomes life". (Gabriella Chieffo)


ACQUASALA EDP is different from all the other fragrances that I have reviewed because although it has a rather pronounced opening, with a less "at the beach, but gazing the beach from the library window" kind of aura, it mellows in a way most salty fragrances don't. I see myself in a fancy lodge at the beach during winter time. No bikinis, no colorful drinks and certainly no Beach Boys tunes. Just a fireplace, a cozy blanket, a sip of wine or hot cocoa and a large window to look at the waves crashing on the stones. The sea shore, a salty icy breeze...a walk hand in hand wearing a warm overcoat, gloves, rain boots and a woolen scarf. It is still relaxing and sexy, but also cozy, instead of refreshing.

I didn't embrace the brand's invitation to dive right away. According to Jean Claude Ellena a fragrance needs to tell a story, and the story ACQUASALA EDP is telling me is a bit different of the one told by Gabriella. It happens. Creative people tend to create stories of their own based on memories of their own. But during dry down, after all the saltness was washed away just as a wave washes the sand and moves back down, a sensation of being under water submerged (can I say that at all?). This is what I liked about this fragrance - its versatility. It will bring you either a summer time aura or a gray-ish icy day at the beach. It depends on the mood you are in.

If you watched the Terrence Malick experimental romantic drama To The Wonder (2012) you will never forget Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko love scenes. The entire movie is rhythmic and fluid, but the beach scenes are really beautiful and poetic. Bodies collide and separate, they approach and they part from one another just like sea waves on the sand. That is ACQUASALA EDP to me - Malick's Normandy love scene captured in a flacon.

To feel romantic today:

To read more about salty (beach-y) fragrances:

Fleurs de Sel EDP by Miller Harris
Acqua di Sale EDP by Profumum Roma
Sel Marine EDP  by Heeley
Sel de Vetiver EDP by The Different Company
Côte D'Amour EDP by L'Artisan Parfumeur
Mr. Hulot's Holiday EDP by CB I Hate Perfume
Eternal Return EDP by CB I Hate perfume
Bois Naufragé EDP by Parfumerie Generale
Marine Breeze Comparisons 

Also at LUCKYSCENT if you are in the USA.

Images: +Q Perfume Blog/ Gabriella Chieffo/
Sample: Given by Brand

Friday, December 23, 2016



Six years ago I wrote about what I called the Mary Poppins/Nanny Mc Fee scents (Click here to read it) meaning fragrances that bring comfort to the soul in cold, rainy, gray days or to weird phases in life when things are very uncertain.
I don't recall why I was feeling that way six years ago because I tend to have a positive selective memory (a wisdom that we acquire with age) that makes me keep only what was enjoyable and memorable in my life. The emotional trash is deleted, if not daily, at least on monthly basis. But what is amazing, if not magical, is the fact that I have been feeling exactly the same way these days and surprisingly I received from someone that I care a lot THE ULTIMATE COMFORTING FRAGRANCE! Unbelievable! I had a similar experience with Olivier Durbano last year. An olfactive synchronicity, if I can call these events this way.
Anyways, here I was in some sort of graysh-ish kind of mood when this beautiful gift arrived at my door with a luxurious refillable perfume spray of the newest launch by Puredistance, created by Jan Ewoud and Parisian perfumer Cécile Zarokian.

Photo credit: Puredistance

SHEIDUNA EXTRAIT (27%) as described by the brand is "The perfect marriage between Oriental sensuality and Paris elegance.The result is a rich and intense perfume inspired by the panoramic views and feel of golden sand dunes in the desert during sunset - soft, female curves changing from deep gold to warm, orangey red - embodying a promise of sensual comfort and silent seduction"

Photo credit: Ivan Solar

Olfactive Notes: Lemon, tangerine, blackcurrant, aldehydes, Bulgarian rose essence, geranium, clove, vetiver, patchouli, amber woody, incense, benzoin, myrrh, tonic bean, vanilla pods and musks.

SHEIDUNA Extrait to me is the perfect marriage of a warm comforting sensation and sensuality. It feels like a complete therapy! Something like "let's work on your soul and once you are back on track, let's bring out all this amazing sex appeal you have!"

If you enjoyed WHITE Extrait by the brand, you will fall in love for SHEIDUNA right away.
While WHITE combined notes of Rose de Mai, orris, bergamot, vetyver, tonka beans, sandalwood and musks, SHEIDUNA brings the same rosy-creamy treats, but adds a touch of Arabia with incense, myrrh and vanilla.

Comparing SHEIDUNA with another desert inspired fragrance - TAI'F EDP by Ormonde Jayne, they are both very luxurious, very sensual and very oriental, but Tai'f has a dusty, acid, spicy touch, while SHEIDUNA has a mellow, creamy "hug me" aura combined with a mystic deepness. Both are lovely, but SHEIDUNA really capture my heart.

SHEIDUNA EXTRAIT is by far the best launch of the brand, and this is hard to evaluate because all Puredistance perfumes are beautifully crafted. But I don't recall closing my eyes and feeling heavenly for such a long long time. SHEIDUNA has that effect on us. It makes us feel adventurous, self assured and very feminine. I can declare without any doubt that it is my choice for a fragrance to wear during the Holidays. The scent will enhance the warm, cozy and joyful of Christmas. It is also the best choice for New Year's Eve because it is unique and very chic. 

Puredistance Website - SHEIDUNA PAGE

Monday, February 8, 2016


Veronica Lake

PLASIR D'AMOUR EDP by Technique Indiscrete (Belgian niche perfume brand) offers to reveal the Belle de Jour in you.
With a chypre composition classic style you will plunge into bergamot, rose, jasmine, patchouli and a chypre accent. Kumquat, flour d'oranges, blue Lily of the valley, vetiver and muscs will play along to give you a complete diva experience. 
You will find seduction hidden in a room. You will find pleasure hidden in a secret love affair. You will find kinkiness hidden in desires and fetishes.

Catherine Deneuve 

But just like Severine (the character played by Catherine Deneuve in Carlos Bunuel's Belle du Jour) there is also a lady-like aura to the fragrance. It is really up to you to decide if you are the wife, or the hooker!

Catherine Deneuve YSL

I decided to wear this fragrance dressed very chic and far from sensual. I think wearing it with a red lipstick or a leather jacket is simply too obvious. It goes well. The challenge is to bring a very elegant persona to the fragrance because it is just as Louison, perfumer and owner of the brand describes:

"She appears to be away to her naughty side that only a few get to discover..."

Jackie O

Jackie O, Grace Kelly, Audrey H., Tippy Hedren...they all could be wearing Plasir D'Amour because somehow it contains the chic aura of the 60's. Truth is that PLASIR D'AMOUR EDP is a fragrance containing 100% of the iconic beauty of British model Jean Shrimpton! Classic, stylish...but a blast with her long lean legs and miniskirts!

Jean Shrimpton

Dedicated to J.S.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Embracing the winter season is a positive way of experiencing what the season has to offer. Instead of complaining about the short, greyish and snowy days, think about how chic winter is. You get to wear many accessories such as gloves, hats, warm scarfs. You get to savor hearty soups, stews and have a good excuse to eat chocolates and high calorie desserts... not to mention ice skating and all these amazing winter sports! The landscape turns white, the air is crisp and clean and we get to hold our most beloved person in front a fire romantic is that?  So cheer up!

In my past articles related to winter I offered fragrances that are more fashionable during cold weathers; fragrances that brought coziness and warmth; and uplifting perfumes to improve winter blues. I love these lists. But this year I wanted to add a different group of fragrances. The ones that either embrace or enhance the winter experience. I guess this time I don't want to offer you a scape route to false happiness. 
Fully embracing what Nature bring us brings real happiness and teach us how to adapt and grow.

Photo credit: Daniela Yaroslavsky* - Central Park NYC

I also thought that it would be interesting to bring a bit of science for a change. After all, here you will find much more than just perfume reviews!

Have you ever wondered why winter smells different than summer?
According to olfactory scientist Pamela Dalton from Monell Chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia it has to do with the speed of the movement of the molecules that tend to be slower when temperatures drop. That is exactly why your perfume seems to have less diffusion during winter than on a hot summer day, therefore we also tend to use heavier compositions such as orientals.
She also explains that we are less sensitive to smell and odors during the winter because our receptors inside our noses "seems to bury themselves deeper inside the nose" during this season. Neurologist Alan Dalton from Chicago explains that this is a protective response of our body against cold.
Being both neurologist and psychiatrist he adds "What you think a smell will be impacts whether you like it and what you perceive it to be. So, if you go outside in the winter and you are used to smelling snow or chestnuts in the fire or whatever you happen to smell outside, that's what you will interpret smells to be. Of course, the smells that are available to be smelled differ as the seasons change. Summer brings flowers and dirt and barbecue smoke. In the most wintery of places, there isn’t much outside on cold days except snow, blustery wind and cars warming up. To cope with the smell deprivation of winter, many people compensate by burning more scented candles, cooking more aromatic stews and baking more cookies. That creates a greater contrast between the indoor and outdoor environments.
"You probably have an uptick of indoor scents in the winter," Dalton said. "Homes are closed up, windows are closed. We concentrate the smells of cooking and living."

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog/Hoboken - NJ

Fragrances capturing cold

Snow by Demeter Fragrances - "Our Snow fragrance captures the scent of cold air and silent moments in the forest, after fresh snowfall.
Snow comes from water vapour in the air. If the air is cold enough the water vapour crystallizes around a speck of ice or dust and falls to the earth as snow. If there is no speck for the water vapour to crystallize on, it will remain in the air as a cloud. 
After years of effort, we were able to capture the essence of snow in a chilling, cool, clean and fresh scent, with just a touch of dust (necessary to form flakes) and earth (upon which to rest). The Fragrance Foundation USA recognised this unique fragrance as the Best Fragrance in America in 2000, awarding Snow two FiFi Awards – the fragrance version of an Oscar".

Walking in the Air by CB I Hate Perfume - The scent of new fallen snow.
Winter 1972 by CB I hate Perfume - The smell of untouched new fallen snow, hand woollen mittens, covered with frost, a hint of frozen forest and sleeping earth. 

 Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog/Hudson River 

Fragrances capturing the the winter atmosphere:

Lago Del Desert by Fueguia 1883 - "Perhaps the only fragrance ever designed to recreate the scent of an immense body of ice. Named for a lake near the border of Argentina and Chile, this beautiful area near Mount Fitz Roy features forests, wildlife and a hanging glacier, which inspired this scent. Lago del Desierto is a frozen aquatic, with sweet melon-like watery notes laced with a bracing dose of ozone over clean musk and native Patagonian woods. While this shares some attributes with other aquatic scents, there is something very distinctive about the proportions of sweet, salt and ozone in this blend and the unusual woods and musk create a sense of a specific forest. We can testify that this smells frozen and wild and somewhat otherworldly. However, we have no idea if it actually smells like a glacier, having never encountered one in real life. We are happy to take the word of its creator that it does. A tribute to a place far away from anywhere else". Fragrance Notes: musk, lenga wood and coihue wood.

Winter Woods by Sonoma Scents - "A cozy perfume featuring ambered woods with a touch of smoke, perfect for fall and winter. The long-lasting drydown of amber, woods, musk, and oakmoss is slightly sweet and gently smoky". Fragrance Notes: Guaiacwood, cedar, sandalwood, birch tar, cade, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber, labdanum absolute, vetiver, ambergris, musk.

Fire Intense by Sonoma Scents - This smoky woods fragrance captures the oddly satisfying scent of smoked woods carried by the crisp fall air or emanating from an evening campfire. Fireside Intense opens with a fairly strong leather and smoke accord that mellows into a drydown of beautiful smoky woods, soft leather, and a touch of deep agarwoood. The fragrance has a very high percentage of natural oils and resins that provide a soft but lasting natural, outdoorsy dry down. Fragrance Notes: Guaiacwood, nagarmotha (Cyperus), Texas cedar, Himalayan cedar, Indian sandalwood, agarwood, birch tar and cade, leather, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber."

König by YOSH - "This elegant masculine scent captures the dual nature of man - gentleman and hunter, an alpine fragrance that evokes a king on a hunt, racing through the Bavarian forest with aromatic bitters and crisp red apples in the air. Beneath a layer of snow flowers, it opens into a white musc and deepens into the scent of saddle leather and smoky firewood. KÖNIG, is the second fragrance in the “M” Series by San Francisco perfumer, Yosh Han. “The “M” series is a departure from the ethereal quality of her previous collections and explores fragrances that evoke our deepest nature. KÖNIG embodies the archetypal King in the mature masculine bringing the qualities of mythology into present time.” The modern man who wears KÖNIG embraces his primal instincts while honoring the king within". Fragrance Notes:  bitters, sage, cypress, apple, smoky papyrus, snow flowers, bois d'landes, vetiver, white musc, saddle leather, amber, firewood.

Albaho by Sulékó - "As if transported to a distant country beyond the mountains, where the sky is always pure, an icy freshness of mint and eucalyptus takes hold of you. The atmosphere is one of icy purity. Traversing the immensity of the forest, a woody scent takes you to the highest treetops. The spicy freshness of pine, the dry hardness of cedar and the smoky finish of guaiac wood open you to unexplored horizons. Majestic and powerful, you smell the distant scent of balsams, benzoin, tolu balm, labdanum. These warm and suave resins portend the presence of a life being created. And you know that, in the same way the snow covers the earth, cradle of life, the swan’s plumage is hiding a living thing. The swan is a being coming into life. It metamorphoses itself, hidden from all eyes, far away through forests and over mountains, in the most complete tranquillity. It is focusing on the essential – seeking harmony and inner peace".

 Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog/Hoboken - NJ

  Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog/Ramat HaGolan - Israel

Photo credit: Daniela Yaroslavsky* - Central Park NYC

Past winter lists:


You can also search in the blog search engine WINTER and you will get many articles related to this season and many perfume options!

*Daniela Yaroslavsky is a Brazilian amateur photographer who captures the most beautiful landscapes of NY and NJ and who was kind enough to lend me some of these spectacular moments of her life abroad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016



The visual authenticity trend has been in the market for a while now and it will continue to shine in 2016. As this trend has evolved, it has moved beyond small artisan brands and is becoming more mainstream itself. With the rise of niche perfumery consumers are fleeting away from mainstream products looking for more emotional and personal experiences with their fragrance (check my last article about NICHE) That said, visual authenticity is one response to shifting perfume consumer values to desire more real, quality and honest products. Products with uncomplicated appearance, yet are crafted; maybe even vintage inspired. Fragrances that can create inadvertent human connection.

The digital age is fostering a decline in human connection which is most prevalent office Gen Z consumers. Because of this, these shoppers are not responding to traditional established corporate brands. They want more. They demand more. They desire a real, trusted, human connection to the products and the brands that they consume. This connection can be expressed in different ways, from a connection to nature, to the written word, to the past, or to simply to other people. This is beyond hipster. This style is a rejection of technology. A pre-
computer era style, if you will.(Andrew Gibbs).

Some perfume brands have this in mind. To reconnect with perfume consumers. They do this by showcasing the craft, quality, and skill in both the product and the packaging design. Some of this trend's characteristics are: handwritten, raw, freeform or sketchy typography/ hand rendered, simple illustrations/ may include vintage inspired references or typography/ natural color palettes.

I have selected a few examples for you:

Le Labo manifesto defines that the idea that luxury relies on craftsmanship. In their website you will find the community craft which shows all craftsmen and craftswomen involved in the creation of a Le Labo fragrance. Le Labo labeling relies on customised labels with personal messages. All fragrances of the brand come with a Lab type of label with typewriter fonts, with the list of the ingredients, and all fragrances are mixed and labeled in front of the customers, so they can have a real and handcrafted experience. They are the pioneers of this type of uncomplicated and yet luxurious fragrance production.

Fragrance brand Demeter tries to capture real experiences and bottle them for you.
Their mission is "to create environments where people can rediscover the wonderful world of scents that is too often overlooked or forgotten in our modern multi-tasked world". In terms of labeling Demeter provides a simple label with little phrases such as "pick me up" Cologne spray suggesting a "conversation" with the consumer.

Maison Margiela is bringing a different type of labeling where you will find the inspiration, a fragrance description and a suggestion of the style on the bottle itself. Like Le Labo you will see here the trend of using typewriter font and simplicity.

Leo & Harper are innovating with a simple label that talks to you. It asks you questions!

Olfactive Studio chose labels that look like a cut piece of tape with handwritten typography. Very simple; very chic.

Swedish perfume house Agonist is now offering a new bottle and label design that brings just a list of the ingredients composing the fragrance and by that they are also bringing a clearer communication with consumers.

Authenticity and human touch is trending now due to social medias because they are allowing brands to be more accessible and more approachable and this type of connection is now extended to packing.The handcrafted look is brought by unique designs and handwritten fonts. The overwhelming amount of information that social media is offering is also overloading consumers in a way that they are longing for a simpler, clearer, easier and quicker way to communicate. Simple minimalistic designs are reflecting this need to quickly understand if the product fits their needs.

Like I have been saying for years "Less is always more!"

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...