Perfume Fact No. 5

clove

We’re counting down the days until Christmas so let’s learn something associated with the festive season. Did you know that a characteristic smell of clove, which is considered a winter spice, consists mainly of one chemical compound? Up to 90% and no less than 72% of clove essential oil is reserved for eugenol. It has a pleasant, sharp and spicy scent profile that we associate with clove. You can find eugenol as a part of other common Christmas spice – in cinnamon leaf oil in amount of over two thirds while in cinnamon bark oil there’s usually no more than 20% of it. Apart its fragrant properties eugenol also has antiseptic and mild anaesthetic values – that’s why it’s advised to temporarily chew on a clove before you get to the dentist in case of toothache. Eugenol molecule is also a starting point in obtaining vanillin through oxidation process. In perfumery you can find it as part of oriental accords. European Commission considers eugenol as one of 26 most common skin sensitizers. Its labelling is strictly regulated: it’ll be listed if exceeds 100 ppm in rinse off and 10 ppm in leave-on products.

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Colors of the Wind, Memo Morrocan Leather

I have never been to Morocco but it’s definitely one of the countries from my to-visit list. Actually my parents went there for holidays this year & they absolutely loved it. Morocco is also one of those places that are relatively close to most European countries and that serves as a ‘gate’ to a whole new world. Different culture, cuisine, architecture. Not that I am a connoisseur of the latter but even I was familiar with traditional moroccan tiles, mosaics and arabesques. Latest addition to the Cuirs Nomades collection from Memo Paris explores Morocco vivid colors & intricate patterns.

Experiencing Morrocan Leather for the first time is like running head-on towards a wall of galbanum & there’s no way it would break once you hit it. Green molecules are absolutely overwhelming to the point of inducing some ofactive dizziness. I would describe this smell as sappy, heady and narcotic. On one hand it makes me think of snapped twigs only to evoke green vines of a tropical forest on the other hand. There’s also something humid to the galbanum note and the way it’s been presented. It takes some time but the verdancy finally subsides (not completely), giving way to a note of ginger.

Appearance of a new olfactive stimulus offers a new angle to look at this fragrance from a different perspective. Ginger in Morrocan Leather isn’t as lemony as it could but it still has its usual effervescence that brings more life to this perfume. At the same time it’s worth mentioning that to my nose it’s a bit dry & due to that its spiciness feels kind of prickly, if I may say so. As a back note we have a hint of tangy mandarin and some orange blossom. The latter one smells as if its fresh aspect was abandoned and only heavier – more oily and saturated molecules made it into the bottle.

Overall feeling of spiciness lasts and lasts, changing its shape several times yet still maintaining an equilibrium of green galbanum and tingling spices. Heart of Memo Moroccan Leather steps in after 2-3 hours. It’s easy to notice because the perfume moves away from the verdant in its large part in order to let the flower fully bloom. Ylang-ylang takes the lead, effusing the solar smell reminiscent of jasmine but which is definitely more creamy & lactonic, evoking a tropical paradise through its warmth and sensual aura. Beforehand the perfume felt close, hermetic; now it’s opening up.

moroccan-leather-memo

Coming up next we have my favorite part of Morrocan Leather – the iris. Present in the composition in an exquisite form of a butter, it elevates the scent, giving it a new quality. Through its buttery facets the perfume feels as if it was melting on your skin, hugging it with the most embracing, luxurious fragrance. I can detect elements of earthy and rooty iris goodness entwined with silky floral nuances and a hint of chocolate-y sweetness. And all together they smell balsamic on skin. As hours pass a powdery impression appears on skin and leads the way towards the accords of the base.

Viscous like an ointment, cypress revives a green impression that links top and base of Moroccan Leather. Leather itself is somewhere in between raw and untreated & pret-a-porter. It has some dusty, powdery fuziness but also a sulphuric vibe of a workshop. To me it smells like inside of a new leather bag. Styrax together with ambrox react on skin giving off a warm, balsamic and almost incensy cloud. Vetiver is like a seam that holds everything together while musk – dusty, decadent and slightly animalic results in a sultry, seductive waft. There’s also tonka for that aromatic volume.

While preparing a review of Memo Moroccan Leather I realized that it reminds me of another perfume from the same brand, namely Italian Leather. Both of these fumes exert green notes that later reveal leather and iris. But where Italian Leather was more crisp and had that dolce effect, Moroccan Leather was more balmy. The latter one is also greener in general. Like any other Memo Paris fragrance, Moroccan Leather was also composed by perfumer Alienor Massenet. A 75 ml bottle of this eau de parfum is adorned with flying hawk & moroccan geometric pattern.

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