Friday, October 30, 2009

New Perfume Review : CK Free Calvin Klein

Thanks to the folks at Wiredset marketing for sending me a bottle of the new CK Free by Calvin Klein for review! I've just recieved it today and have been smelling it off the strip and off my skin for the past few hours. The official notes list according to the press release I recieved looks a little something like this:

top: thailand star anise, jackfruit, absinthe, juniper berry

mid: suede, tobacco leaves, coffee absolute, south african buchu

dry: patchouli absolute, oakwood, texan cedarwood, costa rican ironwood

This is a perfume that stays fairly true to its listed notes - as long as you aren't expecting a niche interpretation of them! There is absolutely no surprise with the first spray out of the bottle; This is not a groundbreaking fragrance, nor is it particularily attention-catching. However, despite its adventure-promising advertising campaign, uniqueness is of course not the intent of the perfume. Lets not forget afterall, CkFree is a massmarket release. It is a very easy-wearing fragrance - airy, ozonic, and very dry, a modern fragrance for men. Although there are sweet notes indicated, they are very toned down, along with the modern amber accord which barely manages to bring a sweetness to this composition. All the notes are fairly clear to me, with the exception of the anise and wormwood in the top and the tobacco in the mid. I do smell a certain fresh standard green note, which I am assuming is what they refer to as the absinthe. The base is a fantasy cedar accord which borrows its structure from He wood and Dior Homme. The suede note here is especially soft, and I think it is the best designed part of the fragrance. Although I do smell the jackfruit, I wish it would be more pronounced.

The overall spirit of the fragrance is something we have seen many times, upon application you will be reminded of the feel of many of the men's shower gel products currently on the shelves, albeit slightly less aggressive. The coffee note is CkFree is also executed exactly as it was in Adidas' Adrenaline deodorant sticks for men and EDTs. The base is following the latest trend of clear, dry, fantasy cedar/woody bases with fresh laundry musks. If I had to give a percentage breakdown of the way this fragrance "feels" to me, I would have to say 75% shower product 25% fine fragrance.

If you are looking for something along the lines of One, Obsession, or the original Calvin - you wont find it here. Instead, this cologne is ideal for someone looking to complement their line of mass market shaving, shower and deodorant products, or someone who needs to have a fragrance which will not stand out or cause too much attention. This could be worn for example, in an office setting where loud fragrance is frowned upon.
Here is the pricing info I was forwarded:
eau de toilette spray 1oz/30ml $32.00

eau de toilette spray 1.7oz/50ml $47.00

eau de toilette spray 3.4oz/100ml $62.00

aftershave balm 5.0oz/150ml $42.00

deodorant stick 2.5oz/75g $16.00

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A list of perfumes containing immortelle, helichrysum, everlasting flower

I am going to be working heavily with a certain raw material named immortelle absolute over the next few months, so I have been doing my research on it. In perfume it is a raw material that has been described as having the following characteristics: straw-like, dusty, syrupy, burnt. I find the odour to be somewhat similar to sweet fenugreek. It is used primarily in Chypres and Orientals. In medicine the flowers are used to make an infusion for the treatment of gall bladder disorders, as a diuretic. It is commonly used as an herbal tea used for medicinal purposes in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.
It has been used in quite a few perfumes to date, so I will try and publish as complete a list as I can as I will be sniffing all of them shorty :)
Annick Goutal - Sables
Balmain - Ambre Gris
Boucheron - Initial
Christian Dior - Eau Noire
Diesel - Fuel for life
Escada - Magnetism
Lolita Lempicka - L
L’Atelier Bohème - Immortelle
Guerlain - Coriolan
Guerlain - Cuir Beluga
Guerlain - No. 68
Gobin Daude - Biche dans l'Absinthe
Iunx - Léau Interdite
Mona di Oiro - Oiro
Seems as though this is quite a popular material with the team at Guerlain :)

Growing the flowers of perfumery : Jasmine (Jasminum Sambac)

Finally! after years of waiting (seriously) - I was able to pick up a jasmine plant on a business trip. Jasmine (true jasmine) plants are very difficult to find where I live because it seems that no nurseries carry them; They are not able to be grown outdoors in this climate, and I suppose they are not so popular as houseplants. They are easy to find on the internet, but importing them is quite difficult as they must be sent bare root and wait quite a while in customs. Thankfully however, after years of searching, and even trying to source the seeds myself, I have finally been able to get a plant. Mine is of the Jasmine Sambac Grand Duke variety, which is very fragrant but from my research quite slow growing. This is the second in my collection of the flowers of perfumery, my first was the Bulgarian Rose which is featured in a past blog article. I also picked up an osmanthus plant on this trip which is not yet in bloom - I will post some pictures when it flowers.

For those interested in growing jasmine themselves, you'll need a spot with at least 3 hours of sun - but 6 hours is most recommended. Also watch that it does not get too cold near the window as this is a tropical plant which is not very cold hardy at all. The fragrance however is beautiful! Prune often to create a bushy growth and remember that jasmine flowers on new wood growth :)

have fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fragrant Facebook : Tiring and annoying

I guess I'll never really understand internet social networking. I barely use it for my social life, and I suppose a little more for business - but I honestly don't really see the point of it. It is so over-saturated and full of bizarre nonsense - like actual grown adults sending each-other e-Guerlain perfumes as wall gifts?

I'm sorry if its not my cup of tea, I just cant get into it. I'd personally rather do my social networking with a handshake and a conversation. On the other hand, I am all for email correspondence, and I love when anyone who reads my blog sends me an email... But I don't want to join anyone's facebook groups, play online games, or whatever else there is to do on facebook. - I simply don't have the time or patience!

The last thing that bothers me is the sheer amount of "friend requests" I get for my blog's facebook profile. This was initially created just to be able to link with other blogs and readers, but now I find myself with three new people asking to be added as friends per day. I don't blindly add anyone though, if someone's profile doesn't specifically state that they are involved in fragrance in some way (which is like 75%) I won't add them. I do send messages from time to time asking people what they do that is fragrance related so I may add them, but I have never gotten a response. I'm starting to think this facebook adding is just a game most people play where they click as much as possible so they can have 10,000 friends.

I know theres absolutley no chance that most of my "facebook friends" read my blog or have even bothered to notice that I have one, as my friends list is in the triple digits and my blog's traffic is still pathetically low.

Just something to think about I guess... And I'll try and get something more "quality" up as an article soon - been doing a lot of traveling lately.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aramis Rebranding Arrives

Here is the Aramis rebranding that I talked about earlier. We are lucky that in fact no classics are lost and Havana is once again available. I have not yet had the chance to sniff any of these but I will let you now as soon as they are available to me. I'm not so sure that I like the bottles so much (they look cheap) but it will be interesting to see how the scents have changed (if there have been any reformulations). With the exception of the rather low pricing, it looks as if the brand is trying to position itself in a more niche zone, creating the look of a "collection". To further this point Aramis says that the fragrances should be treating as fragrances for different moods, as opposed to signature scents.