Samba de Janeiro, Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio

Time for parties and having fun in the first weeks of 2016 was really short due to rather early Easter and Great Lent which will start soon. So for us here comes the time to fasten our belts and not indulge too much in entertainment. But in Brazil the carnival is only about to begin. Rio soon will be taken over by beautiful girls with curved bodies and handsome boys with sculpted muscles, all of them dressed in colorful costumes with feathers, sequins and ornaments. For them it’s all about dancing samba, enjoying life,  having fun and showing their great bodies.

I decided to start this review with those words because the perfume that I would like to present to you today is like an olfactory postcard. It’s a scent that takes you right to the heart of South America and lets you discover some piece of Brazil, even if it’s only a small part of it. In niche perfume market we don’t experience many follow-ups of the perfumes launched earlier yet Celine Verleure of Olfactive Studio took a risky step by revisiting Still Life, a composition from 5 years ago. All I can say is that the end result was much, much better than I could’ve expected!

still-life-in-rio-bottle

The perfume is named Still Life in Rio and it continues the idea behind Still Life but the perfumer has added a couple of twists to it, making it a brand new being. Composition of this new scent opens with a somewhat screechy yuzu note. Most of you probably know that yuzu is basically a Japanese species of grapefruit. It smells bittery-sour, citric and tart rather than juicy and sweet as it has a thick peel and albedo. I won’t be surprised if some of you find this note a bit sweaty because that’s how it is. Luckily that impression quickly fades away and after 5-10 minutes you will smell aromatic citrusy notes with hint of powder (from albedo.)

As soon as the scent warms up on the surface of your skin the heavier aroma molecules start to evaporate. In the first place I could smell a generous portion of coconut that made my mouth water instantly. It’s a beautiful and exotic chord that is a marriage between powdery and sweet elements with a big creamy-milky part to it. It’s realistic, veering slightly gourmand yet it’s gentle and doesn’t induce a toothache. Then once again it becomes more citrusy but this time in a juicy way thanks to lemon and mandarin orange. At this point Still Life in Rio is focused on fruity pulp and coconut combination. It’s almost like pina colada but with citrus instead of pineapple.

After around 45 minutes new Olfactive Studio composition starts to change its direction as first twist is delivered. The perfume reveals fresh spicy accords that really stand out in the blend of coconut & citrus. There is a nice chunk of fresh ginger that introduces that spicy fizziness that tingle in your nose. Perfumer also added a handful of black and pink pepper that provide more dry spiciness and some metallic vibe that some might associate with gun powder. But it’s mild and nicely blended in the whole stricture of Still Life in Rio so you shouldn’t find it bothersome. Later on there is also some piquancy coming from Jamaican hot peppers. This unusual note is another twist in this fragrance and it has this warm, flaming character.

During the next couple of hours all the notes assimilate, become rounder and they slowly start to become one. You can still smell yuzu or coconut – that said, the latter one is the most powerful on my skin and I can smell a lot of its tropical character. Ginger or pepper are set in the background. At this point a bit of copaiba balm appeared and added more substantivity to Still Life in Rio. The note was shortly followed by rum that added its typical molasses sweetness with a hint of booze. In the drydown I noticed a nice leather chord – it caught my attention because normally I would not expect an aroma of cuir in such perfume. Here’s to more surprising perfume twists. Leather is nice here, darker and not so soft – it’s definitely not a suede. From the mark of hour 4 the perfume didn’t change much on my skin. It kept going as a delightful tropical blend of citrus, coconut and spice. I approached this new Olfactive Studio launch without any expectations because earlier perfumes were good but not really my style. This I liked a lot.

Still Life in Rio was created by Dora Baghriche who also composed Still Life a few years ago. Just like all Olfactive Studio are linked and inspired by a photograph, this perfume is no exception. Taken by Flavio Veloso, the picture is beyond amazing in my eyes. It’s full of light and I just adore the play of shadows on it. Yellow, orange, brown and black are dominating colors and the character of the set pictured really transports you to Rio de Janeiro. Still Life in Rio is a fragrance that shall shine on its own. This new eau de parfum comes in 50 ml and 100 ml bottles, matching aesthetics of the brand. The perfume will be officially launched at the end of March during Esxence. In terms of longevity I wasn’t disappointed as it lasted on me all day long with medium sillage for most of the time. Now after trying these last 2 perfumes I reviewed, I’m ready for spring.

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Omen of spring, Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo

Being a perfume lover is pretty much about making discoveries. And just by saying that you can mean a couple of different interpretations of “making a discovery.” One that pops first in one’s mind is to find out about new brand and seek for a chance to try what they have to offer. Another way might seem a little bit saf but for me it’s probably the best and most interesting way of discovering – that is to come back to well-known brands, those that are among your favorite ones every once in a while they announce a launch of new fragrance. No matter which is more suitable for you it all leads to the same effect – learning something new and broadening our scented horizons.

Saying that I jumped up from excitement when I learned that Atelier Cologne, after a very fruitful 2015 (which was their 5th birthday year) is going to launch a brand new collection of fragrances making a focus on rare and precious materials from the oriental world. Just their Cologne Absolue was an innovation and twist on traditional cologne. With oriental elements it will become even more innovative. Collection Orient consists of 5 perfumes, today I will talk about my favorite one.

mimosa

The fragrance that I found most attractive is named Mimosa Indigo and is just as pretty as its name sounds. Composition of this Cologne Absolue opens with a brief impression of tangerine. It’s citrusy sweet and juicy but at the same time it’s mild and very well-behaved. In the opening it’s there just for a short moment and it will return at the later development stage. As soon as this accord subsides you can start to notice that floral tones come in and how their intensity gradually builds up.

Mimosa blossoms are naturally the biggest start of this perfume. In Mimosa Indigo at first this floral accord is very transparent, slowly developing some watery, slightly aquatic facets. As the fragrance is warmed up by your skin the flowery molecules become more and more pronounced, gaining their characteristic yellow-ish aroma that has a delightful powdery undertone mingling in the background. It’s very pretty and sophisticated already and yet it’s going to evolve into something even more beautiful – mimosa is not the sole flowery element of this new Atelier Cologne creation.

Around 45 minutes mark this yellow facet of mimosa begins to change color like a chameleon and quite a few purple elements emerge from the depths of Mimosa Indigo composition. Purple shade that I just mentioned is introduced by a fantastic lilac chord. I have never appreciated lilac fragrances if they were soliflores mostly because they smelled too intensive and way too feminine for my tastes. Here lilac blends in perfectly, creating a wonderful vortex of color that is balanced and attractive. This note is obviously floral and has just a little bit more intensity than mimosa.

mimosa-indigo

As the time goes by and top notes fly away we are moving towards the surprising twist in the heart phase of Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo. From the floral field of yellow and purple, from this bouquet that smells flowery, powdery and sweet an unexpected note emerges like a submarine in the middle of the sea – it’s a white leather accord. That’s the name used in official PR materials however from my own perception I can tell that it continues the powdery element from before and also it smells soft & fuzzy enough to consider this note as suede. We like suede, don’t we?

Leathery element in Mimosa Indigo is nicely rounded and quite playful. It has moderate power that stands out in the composition for the time being but generally speaking it’s very suitable just where it appeared. It didn’t break the perfume structure apart but rather did fit in where otherwise some gaps could be left. And because apart from having a leathery/suedy aroma it’s also powdery and soft which helps it to blend in more. Definitely there is more substance and structure.

indigo

Moving on with time the composition undergoes further changes. Fragrance of mimosa and lilac became weaker but is still present in the background. At this point of development it starts to become more clear that oriental part of Mimosa Indigo is still bound to come. And it does – as soon as sandalwood joins the composition with its substantive and woody smell that has nice density and saturation. After a few minutes it becomes more milky. Warm & spicy hue comes shortly after with a portion of saffron that emanates an aromatic, comforting aura. Plus there is some vanilla to make a drydown phase even more yummy. At the very end I could smell more tangerine, this time it was more tangy, accentuating its peel.

Mimosa Indigo from Atelier Cologne is a perfume that surprised me in a positive way. It’s complex, well-composed and rich at the same time not being overly powerful. I think this is a result of ‘cologne meets oriental’ compromise. I enjoyed every moment of this perfume and I definitely see a bottle of it in my near future. Collection Orient will be available for purchase in February and will come in 200ml, 100ml and 30ml white bottles with golden caps. With petit flacon you’ll receive a matching leather case which is purple (indigo) in case of this particular scent. Mimosa Indigo has a very nice longevity (+ 7 hours) and moderate sillage which is just fine for me.

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