The New Hermes Iris Ukiyoe Perfume

Jean Claude Ellena fans will not be disappointed by this newest addition to the Hermessence perfume line.

Parfums de Nicolai: Weekend a Deauville Perfume Review

A detailed perfume review on the limited edition (and now discontinued) Week-end a Deauville by PdN.

Vintage Perfume Shopping

Lovers of vintage perfumes should check out this report on local Antique Shopping in Florida.

Chanel Perfume Photos

Photos of a few Chanel perfumes, include Cuir de Russie in pure parfum and Cristalle eau de toilette.

By Kilian Releases Incense Oud

By Kilian's newest addition to their upscale line is a high quality combination of oud and incense (but too pricey for most budgets).


SOTD: Ormonde Jayne Seraphim (for 20ltd)

Perfume-hobbyists like me often become obsessed with a house or a perfumer. In fact, we frequently become fanatical about SEVERAL and try to buy everything that they've created. I feel this sort of fanfare for only three perfumers/houses: Ormonde Jayne, Jean Claude Elena and Patricia Nicolai. So, when I heard that there was a limited edition perfume made by Ormonde Jayne for 20ltd, I had to try it. Seraphim has not let me down!

Eventually, I bought some through someone. If you are on the trail of this beauty, send me a message and I'll email you my source. At the time, she was even potentially willing to sell me the bottle, which is a huge score since 20LTD agreed to let the owners of the bottles have unlimited refills.

According to their website, only 50 of the elegant bottles were made, and each bottle sold for $730 US dollars. I sort of have a hard time believing that, since I know a handful of people who own it (do I know where 10% of the bottles are? it's possible). I don't know them all personally, of course. Nathan Branch owns a bottle of Ormonde Jayne Seraphim, for example. I don't know him personally, but I love his blog and his photography. And notice that one commenter there also owns a bottle. Two people on MUA have commented that they own one too, plus the gal that was kind enough to sell me some of her stock.

But I digress. Onto my short, SOTD assessment:

1) Purchasing a decant of this one is cheating, but... who could afford to buy an unsniffed bottle at a cost of $730? And even if you could afford it, could you find it? Even in the nicest decant container, the juice is just too beautiful to be in such a simple bottle. It really deserves to be put on a pedestal in the classic OJ parfum bottle.

2) She's an elegant floral, but she's a touch fruity. I wash shocked that my initial impression was: rose and fruit. Which is strange, because there's no fruit in the notes (does bergamot count as fruit? I digress). Looking at the notes, I realize that it's the combination of the rose and violets that are creating this impression, with an almost wine-like accord which is soft and not bitter. I think that this wine-like accord is what's creating the impression of fruit for me.

3) She sparkles like gold flakes. Paired with the rose and wine aspects, there's an effect (apparently created by the ylang ylang) that could be visually represented by flakes of gold falling through liquid and catching the light: this note is certainly 'gold' in smell and very shiny.

SOTD Perfume Review: Ormonde Jayne Seraphim for 20LTD
Perfume House: Ormonde Jayne
Creator / Nose: Not really given; Linda Pilkington of OJ works frequently with Geza Schoen, but I don't know if he was involved.
Year: 2008
Classification: Floral
Perfume Notes: Rose, Rosewood, Violets, Iris, Coumarin, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Vanilla.
What you mostly smell: Rose, Violets, a slight wine effect, Ylang Ylang, not-too-sweet vanilla, wood and coumarin (which here smells a bit like safron to me, but maybe my nose is being tricked)
Lasting Power: Very good. It's parfum strength and wears close to the skin for your own personal enjoyment. I love my perfumes this way but sillage lovers may need to spray this expensive beauty rather than dab.
Similar to: I can't really think of anything similar to this. In some ways, it's clearly a cousin of Ormonde Jayne Ta'if. Because of the rose+violets effect, it makes me appreciate Parfums de Nicolai Violette in Love even more, though clearly ViL is very fruity with the addition of lime and rasberrys. They aren't really similar, but it's the closest "cheap thrill" that I can think of. Maybe if I layered ViL with Ta'if? Hm. That's worth trying for a fun layering experiment, but I don't think that it will turn out at all the same. Seraphim is incredibly unique. I think that this is the highest quality ylang ylang I've ever smelled.
Overall impression: A unique masterpiece!


Shopping and Smelling Atelier Colognes: Grand Neroli, Trefle Pur, and Bois Blonds

I first smelled the Atelier Colognes at Neiman Marcus on a trip out of town. If you live in a small town like I do, an out of town trip to go sniffing is a real treat-- but also a bit overwhelming. I feel incredibly intimidated by the sales people every time. I'm not sure why: I've worked in sales in the past and now RUN both a sales and a marketing dept for a very expensive product line. I'm a grown up, right? But I always feel a bit rushed and judged in these upper end stores. And I feel guilty, because I'm more of a shopper than a buyer. Often the salespeople are so pushy that I just want to leave. If there were no salespeople, I might stay all day and buy a few things. But I feel guilty if I can't make an immediate purchase.

So when a line launches 5 frags that are all in a similar cologne/citrus genre, it's really tough. I can't stand and spend the time that I want getting to know each one, calling out their differences and finding the one that fits me best.

My initial thought was that the bottles were huge. HUGE! The 6.7oz, uniform bottles were a bit... functional... for my taste. They looked pretty and clean, but more like soap than an upper end perfume line. Why did marketing choose these? Maybe because they were shooting for something that would appeal equally to men and women (these are marketed as unisex).

The saleswoman pushed Orange Sanguine. She had samples but I didn't ask for one. This one (as I'm sure you've read elsewhere) smelled mainly of orange juice to me. Sticky, realistic, warm: very good stuff, but still just orange juice.

I was most impressed with Oolang Inifi, which is the most heavy on the tea within the series, to my nose.

Strangely, the SA took back the sprayed cards after handing them to me. I told her that I was most interested in Grand Neroli, which she then sprayed and handed to me. I no longer had the original two cards to compare it with, but I was immediately hit by the green-ness, the powdered orange (the powdered orange has been seen a bit more often lately: this note sort of reminds me of one stage of the Hermes Eau Claire des Merveilles, but it's less soapy and more fresh and realistic). I also asked for a sprayed card of the Trefle Pur, which she gave me.

I was now guarded with the SA (she had taken back the cards!!), so I handed the sprayed card with the Grand Neroli to my husband, who knows that I don't like the cards to touch each other (contamination fears!!) AND that I like to keep them all, labeled and carefully organized in my Moleskin notebook or in separate pages of a book.

I took the Trefle Pur, which was less powdered-orange and more clover and greenery. I thought this was a good fit, too, and decided to walk around the mall a bit with my cards to see how they developed.

I later bought decants from the Google group of both Atelier Grand Neroli and Atelier Trefle Pur and hope to do true reviews of them soon.

I came back to these today, after not wearing either in months. We sold our house, my husband accepted a job in another state, and I am commuting back and forth. My decants are sitting in a well organized box now, and I don't see them that often.

After buying them, I thought that they were both a bit of a disappointment. They were close but not quite right: not as unusual as Hermes Jardin sur le Nil with it's green mango note, not as clean and obvious as the ripe almond and lemon notes of Dior Escale a Portofino.

I kicked myself for not spending more time on them in the store. I love citrus and knew that the right one was somewhere in this line. I bought a sample Bois Blonds, which I hadn't tried in the store. At the time, I wasn't into woods but now love them, especially at night. Testing that sample, I think I've found the one. The notes are a bit deceptive, talking about wood and incense... this is still a green classic cologne, but it's cut with more tea than the others in the line, to my nose. It's softer, warm, less sharp and less literal. But I hadn't seen a split and wasn't ready to spring for a 6.7oz bottle. The good news is that the good folk at Atelier have come out with a coffret set of the original five, along with soaps, individual 1oz bottles and candles. And they just recently released a 6th scent with vanilla notes, called Vanilla Incensee.

Everyone's been talking about the new one, and I thought about Bois Blonds again yesterday. I posted on one of the blogs that I really wish I had bought this one, and one of the lovely MUA'ers wrote to offer a split, which I quickly agreed to. I can't wait!

So, inspired by the idea of a new addition to my seem-splitting perfume collection, I spritzed two full sprays of Atelier's Grand Neroli on this morning. Two sprays! I never do this, because despite everything that I have, I am a hoarder. So I dab or do half sprays mostly.

Today, I had a completely different impression of Grand Neroli. Other bloggers have spoken about the magic of "spraying themselves wet". Some perfumes are an experience that is meant to be big, and I think that Atelier must have meant them to be worn this way. I had one spray on my hand and one on my neck. It's a cool mid-60s day outside, sunny and breezy. My mother commented that the top notes had wintergreen; I think that she is referring to that crisp green-ness, like when you take the stem of green plant and break it. It's green, herbal and crisp (but I don't get any wintergreen myself). In the middle notes, it had the orange-powdered-candy note that I mentioned earlier. Today it reminded me more of Francis Kurkdjian's APOM pour femme , but where that one is more girly and somehow pinktified, this is more refreshing and realistic. The Atelier line just doesn't smell man-made. It's smells like nature in a bottle.


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