Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
eugenol - brown, buffalo hide hut, warm, drum, summer evening
benzaldehyde - creamy custard yellow, hospital, room temperature, glugging sound, overcast
vanillin - brown, velvet, warm, thud, hot summer night
oakmoss - greenish brown, water (lake) mossy wood, warmish, silence, dry and warm air in a wet environment
iso super e - beige/blonde, nubuck, slightly cooler than room temp, sound of running stream or dipping hand in water, sun after rain
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
However, I like to root for the underdog, so today I sprayed a tester of this Canadian designers first mens release (1988) and was pleasantly surprised. Its a very warm and spicy "powerhouse" type, with mossy and dry oriental facets, there is also a distinct pine note that remains through initial spray to the final drydown. Very long lasting and excellent sillage - the only detraction is a lingering overly synthetic (dihydromyrcenol) lavender note (it is not too overtaking).
Cousins: Bois du Portugal, Cool Water
Monday, November 24, 2008
So I got to thinking, if the average perfumer can pump out up to three fragrances per year, thats more than enough for any socialite to want to keep him/her by her side - and almost enough to satiate a ravenous young Hollywood celebrity (they may only need two or three perfumers). These perfumers could work absolutely exclusively, or they could operate made to measure services for a few clients at a time. If the type of niche consumption trend we are currently experiencing in the working class (ie: at basenotes we count by the litre per year!) can be cut and pasted to the nouveau-riche and Hollywood, there's cash to be made gentlemen(women)! The only thing standing between reality and this vision of the future is a bit of brainwashing; we just need a celebrity or two to make a bold move, signing on a personal perfumer, then talk about it for a few episodes of their reality shows and we're in the money! Drop your government jobs its off to ISIPCA!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Mature trees like this must be protected for historical and cultural reasons as well as to provide genetic diversity for the species as it becomes more and more exploited.
Friday, November 21, 2008
- A hard, grey/white solid substance, which can be broken if "snapped" between the fingers with moderate strength
- Not something that can be distilled into an oil
- The tincture is actually a light brown/golden colour
- Ambergris is not something that provides a sweet note, see: benzoin
- Not the same as Indian "amber", a mix of benzoin and other resins
- Not "the thing in Creed that makes it smell good"
- Not a fragrant marvel by itself, that piece seen in the photo has a somewhat salty, mineral, sour and slightly mossy smell - the same as its tincture. Its not something that is immediatley pleasant on its own at all, and definitely not the holy grail scent of its folklore.
So what is this "ambergris oil" stuff that we keep seeing on ebay ? Is it just a scam for us to waste 60 - 300$ on? To tell you the truth, I'm not 100% sure what it is. Is it made with real ambergris ? All I can tell you is my observations and hypothesis:
- Some aspects of the odour profile of the oil are very similar to the ambergris sample, it has a very strong sour, mineral fragrance
- The main difference is that the ambergris oil also has a very sweet smell (about 80% of the odour profile), which is totally absent from the natural ambergris in solid and tincture form. The sweetness is a very difficult to decifer accord, but I would say it has aspects of Tonka/Coumarin and Benzoin resin.
- I also sense in the oil, some spices, such as the suggestion of cinnamon, though not the note of natural cinnamon bark, more like cinnamic alcohol, and also spices and herbs such as oregano and myrtle.
- The oil is of course, a viscous liquid, definitely not the result of the processing of the actual ambergris, which is a hard, dry, solid substance, similar to a weak, crumbly stone.
Thoughts: Though I do have samples of Indian Ambers at home, of many different varieties none of them smell like this oil. This oil is something completely unique and actually most similar to Ambre Sultan of Serge Lutens. The one thing that sticks out, perpetuating the mystery, is the very distinct natural ambergris sourness that is present in the oil.
The Verdict: If I had to guess, these "ambergris oils" are "amber" type attars, in which natural ambergris has either been infused, filtered, or the tincture added. The particular one which I have is a beautiful fragrance, it is intensely sweet and the heavy coumarine note actually seems to amplify the natural ambergris note.
Worth the money?: As a perfume composition I'd say it is, the one I've got is absolutely beautiful. As long as you buy this for the fragrance, you are okay - just don't be fooled into thinking this is the product of ambergris or that it is 100% pure in any way.
if it was launched by just anyone, it would be "meh"
since its launched by Dsquared, if F%$(*# sucks.
Everywhere I wear my Dsquared hat people ask me what it is and where I got it, I don't think I'd get a single compliment or curious question wearing He Wood - thats whats missing
I recently purchased this item off ebay and have seen many items like it being offered. It is always advertised as "Bulgarian Rose Otto", Bulgarian Rose Oil or something similar. It is generally suggested to the buyer either directly or indirectly (by means of an anecdote about production methods etc) that it is the natural product. Of course, upon recieving it I noticed this is not the case.
My ability to read the characters is not so good, but im fairly certain it says "Bulgarska Roozha" on the top, meaning of course Bulgarian rose, and on the side I think it says something like "Aroma from Roses" (it is C PO3OB APOMAT, for those who know these character better than I can you please leave a comment :) )
As you can see by the enlargement of the ingredients, is it clearly not Bulgarian rose otto, but instead a perfume of Bulgarian rose. Here is my rough translation of what I think it says on the ingredients:
alcohol, diethyl phthalate, parfum, matieral no.1
Im guessing the last ingredient "material no.1" is rose otto, while "parfum" ecompasses a synthetic blend of rose molecules meant to stretch the effect of the rose otto.
The box is obviously fully disclosing the nature of the product, however it is the ebay sellers which often take blurry pictures and don't disclose information, so be sure to ask for a rundown of the ingredients list or a translation incase you are not sure! Since the characters are not english they can always claim ignorance!
The Nothern Agarwood Research Center based in Canada, has released today that it has had major advancements in a new technology to produce agarwood oil, that will greatly surpass the quality of agarwood oil currently on the market. This oil will rival the most expensive ouds (over 400$ per 1/4 thola). Early research suggests that this oud may be produced efficiently enough to be available at half or possibly one third the price of current comparing ouds.
Question: with all this research into cultivation and processing, will agarwood be nearly as expensive in 10-20 years as it is now ?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ive worn these two extensively for a few years, until just lately it hadn't clicked. As Chanel Pour Monsieur is a landmark perfume, Bois du Portugal is clearly made in its legacy. I have chosen the bottle of PM Concentree (1989) for my cute little morph-o-vision as I have just sampled it lately. As it was released 2 years after BdP, we can look at it as Chanel's answer back to Creed for "borrowing" something from PM. Both are wonderful fragrances which I own and enjoy :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
An observation about perfume trends:
Universal perfume trends since 2005 and beyond can be difficult to pinpoint, especially now that there has been a giant swelling of the market for niche perfumes, often sold under the premise that they are made with higher quality / natural materials, and designed more to fit the growing eclectic tastes of perfumistas and the growing focus on purchasing perfume for ones own personal pleasure rather than for the enjoyment of others. If we take for example the online retailer Luckyscent (luckscent.com) which has over just the past few years grown from carrying twenty-some brands (many of which looked to be almost “home-made”) to now stocking possibly a hundred brands of commercially produced, high priced and very exclusive niche offerings ranging from established companies such as Shiseido's Serge Lutens to Oman's Amouage, we can see the great growth of this niche industry. If one were to take a time lapse of the niche industry over a month one would see that there are not only established companies pumping out new releases at the rate of three or four a year but new companies also opening shop and offering their first collections almost weekly, everyone from hair stylists (Boadi) to the sons cognac makers (Killian Hennesy). How did this industry come about? Possibly the public grew tired of the many less than stellar releases of the 90's and the very bland aquatic era of the early 2000's. In fact all the corporate entrepreneurs currently riding the success of the niche wave can give their thanks to what was just recently a cottage industry of do it yourself'ers. It is amazing to think that “the power of the people” could start such a trend, however this is evidenced by the pioneering successes of perfumes like Yosh Han, Pink Manhatten, Kai, Child, Ebba and Tauer Perfumes.
Getting back to perfume trends, I believe that they are now difficult to pin down as they were in the past (the 80's had power scents, the 90's aquatics), as it seems that the current “trend” for the niche (and even now some of the fashion houses) is to have a version of everything and they need it all at once. Take for example the highly successful house of Serge Lutens, who famous for its orientals, scrambled to release a chypre, woody scents, incense and florals seemingly as fast as they could produce them; all notes are currently in fashion because fashion is currently eclectic. The trend of perfume right now seems to be that there is no trend at all, and that once must have a full offering to let the customer decide what they want to wear to express themselves. Those more keen on the matter will probably agree that this “no-trend” is in fact a trend in disguise; as customers eventually will tire of this freedom and will again want to be told what to do (which perfume to wear). I cannot put a precise date to when this will happen but I believe that those on the cutting edge of style will eventually being to push this concept forward with greater momentum. I have recently read some articles in the that people are growing tired of this free for all and gender bending in the perfume industry; The New York times has recently declared that the power scent is coming back to us, and influential perfume blog Vetivresse has just released a review of the new fragrance Esprit du Tigre by James Heely praising it as a long overdue return to men's fragrance which smells “manly”.
Not to neglect what is still be far the largest perfume market, the so-called “designer” fragrance market, my observation is that it generally catches trends that have already become in their plateau or even decline phase in the niche industry, such as one note perfumes (Prada's Amber and Infusion d'Iris). What will probably occur is that it will continue to feed off spent trends in the niche industry similar to the way that the United States is reported to catch European fashion trends 2 years late. Will this be the new model for fragrance trends? Will the niche market become the new feeder for creative direction in the designer market ? Or will the niche market evaporate in the event that we move towards a more top-down leadership style for trends as its sole purpose was to offer the consumer personal choice and style? Only time will tell
I know they were going for the whole heritage thing, but seriously? vintage tabarome vs this stuff ? I mean dont get me wrong, "new" tabarome its def. a tobacco scent, im comparing a 5% dilution of the leaf's absolute to the perfume as I type. But which one would win in an arm wrestle? Is this a tea scent or a tobacco?
I invite all comments!
PS - that ugly grey border that this blog puts around my pictures killed my cool fading in effect :(
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sasora: This often has a very light and sour/slightly bitter scent, there for the highest quality can sometimes be mistaken for kyara.
Manaban: Mostly sweet it is said the smell is unrefined, and likened to a peasant (sorry peasants!)
The two photos above are incense that I burn sometimes when I feel like it, the first brown tube is not classified in any way by the seller, but I would estimate it to fall somewhere around the Sumotara classification, the second copper tube is suppose to be a mix of Kyara and other agarwoods, it is very light and beautiful. I have once had the opporunity to smell Baieido's offering Ko Shi Boku which is made from Kyara. Yum! its fantastic although I can't afford it.
First Clive Chrisitan had those rediculous gold bottles that had actually had the phrase "The Most Expensive Perfume In The World" inscribed right on them (see above, I know the text is small sorry!), now he's autographing his own bottles?? who does he think he is! The more important question of course is are there really that many stupid rich people out there? If so, who are they ? I want to sell them my beard shavings
Expect short updates from time to time as these happy green guys get taller and taller. It'll be like a par: fum blog version of meerkat mansion! (one plant already died too bad we didnt see it drawn out on reality blogo-vision)
How did I get these to grow you ask ? well, a drop of agarwood oil in each pot full of soil - Naturally!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Perfumes I am currently enjoying; Here is what I've got on rotation this month. I usually keep my perfumes just in the hall because I like to decide right before going out the door what I am going to wear that day. if anyone is curious here is what I am liking right now with a comment attached to each:
Stardust - This long discontinued citrus has come around due to a large selloff by the stockist last year, its interesting but I will admit it doesnt get alot of mileage on me
I'll start with the notes:
Angelica, Mimosa, Frangipani, Mandarin Aldehydes
Cascarilla, Orange Flower, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine
Labdanum, Ambrette Seed, Opopanax, Benzoin, Tonka, Vanilla, Patchouli
What a great fragrance, I remember this from when my memory essentially starts (in the 80's). It is therefore my compass of what is a perfume. Before becoming a perfume enthusiast I never really thought of the notes in terms of floral, ambery etc, but actually I decoded the perfume as the smell of mixed cosmetics. This is actually an association that has stayed with me, both aldehydes and orris have a strong "make-up" connotation in my mind. Anyways, now that my perfume IQ is more developped I can describe the perfume in terms of its actual notes, which are listed up top. For this review I will concentrate mostly on the rose note, which is the essence of this perfume. That being said, the floral bouquet here is mainly jasmine + rose, with touches of neroli, frangipanni and mimosa. The roses are very heavy on damascones and have almost the scent of fresh apples, but not the sweet apple topnote we are now use to in alot of fragrances, this is the semi sweet fresh scent of the apples' skin cut open. This semi-sweet floral note paired despite the oriental base means that this perfume never falls into sweet oriental territory, instead keeping a much drier profile all the way through to the drydown. This is accomplish by a very light application of vanilla, and more spotlight on the dry ambery facets or the oriental base. The only musk that I detect is an ambrettolide type, which makes this fragrance very light, despite its "baroque" character. Both sillage and longetivity are very long with this fragrance.
Another perfume which I own, in which I find a strong ressemblance to Coco Chanel is 1000 de Patou - what do you think ?
Why cant my bodily products be coveted perfume ingredients like Musk and Civet ? are my anal glands not equal in value to those of a tree-prone catlike fur with legs? I suppose I wouldn't REALLY want anyone to come in and scrape them, but then again if the price was right... and the fame! I would sell myself as an excluse note, only one house could have it! They'd be feeding me like a balloon, "increase production!" they scream! But no really, it would be interesting to see a house using human notes (synthetically recreated of course) such as the natural odour of active humans as basenotes to otherwise standard perfumes; citrus, oriental etc
If you are also as ahead of the times as I am you probably know what I am talking about and will chuckle to yourself
actually nevermind, even if you think you know what I am talking about you are probably completely wrong.
whoever emails me with the correct guess will get a prize! hurray!
edit: I hope no one takes this post the wrong way, while I do wish that everyone has the opportunity to find and experience the wonder that is agarwood oil, I feel that it has become cheapened and like a pre-packaged spirituality product by those who wish to exploit it.
Until next time!