Monday Quick Sniffs, part 20

Dear friends! I just wanted to let you know that starting today I’m taking a position of an intern in a laboratory of fragrance compositions. Guessing the question of the inquiring minds – no, this is not a perfume training. My schedule includes 2-3 working days per week and I will learn some fragrance evaluation. I also have a deadline to write a theory part of my dissertation thesis before February 21st. I will be busier now but it shouldn’t affect the blog activity.

Phaedon is yet another brand from Pierre Guillaume, who already owns Parfumerie Generale and Huitieme Art Parfums. One of the first perfumes in the line was Dzhari and initially it was available in this flacon which was recently changed to the one you see on the left, to match the newer offerings design. The perfume opens with a sweet aroma of candied fruits, especially apricot and apple (?) come to my mind. In fact the perfume contains dates accord. It lasts for around 15 minutes and then it turns earthy. It smells dry and mineral, really like earth and sand. There are probably some vetiver roots there too and the incense vibe accompannies the scent. Because of the latter two notes Dzhari has an aromatic character which is later broken by tonka bean which makes the fragrance more spicy and warm. This perfume from Phaedon line is not bad, it’s just me who finds it a bit too plain, linear and boring. It’s sillage is ok and the longevity was bad on my skin, I couldn’t smell it after less than 3 hours.

Hamsa for cultures of Middle East and North Africa is believed to be a sign of protection and a defense agains the evil eye. It depicts the open right hand. Designer Celine Leora in 2011 created a perfume named Hamsa which is dedicated to her mother and a Maroccan childhood of Ms Leora. On my skin the perfume begins with a very realistic and fruity note of black currant. It’s soft and fresh but it also has a little bit of acidic tastes. Shortly after it I get to smell lotus, which adds a very light and harmonious aroma, quite watery and ozonic. Then after 30 minutes I thought that the scent was gone but it returned to me with a salty, warm stone olibanum accord. There was a sheer smokiness to it which was muted by a coffee accord It felt warm, like just grinded coffee beans ready to be treated with hot water. The perfume was quite entertaining but I don’t like coffee and olibanum in most perfume cases so Hamsa is kind of a no-go for me. But you should give it a try. You might like it, especially if the notes sound good for you.

Barkhane is a late 2013 release from the resurrected perfume house of Teo Cabanel. The composition sets off with a pleasant warm aroma of spices, especially curry, nutmeg and probably cinnamon. There’s also a litte bit of resinous myrrh and a hefty dose of balsamic labdanum which adds density and volume to the blend. It would probably be a little bit too much if it wasn’t for vanilla accord – this one adds a nice pinch of sweetness and mellow. After 30 minutes Barkhane warms up even more with tonka bean note. It is coupled with patchouli and the two notes are so well blended that they nicely mimic the amber accord. The spiciness of this perfume has also something fresh to it. Later on there’s a little bit of oud and cumin. Combined they give (at least in my case) a litte bit cloying and sweaty finish. The drydown is woody and crispy. You can smell a bit of vetiver and geranium. The perfume as a whole is not bad it’s nothing innovative or groundbreaking, it’s just another nice ambery fragrance. I didn’t feel the urge to add it to my collection. It’s not a bad thing.

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28 thoughts on “Monday Quick Sniffs, part 20

  1. InesIn says:

    Congrats on the job!
    Let us know how it goes. 🙂

  2. jilliecat says:

    Thank you, dear Yoda (!), for teaching me more about the unknown. I hadn’t realised that Pierre Guillaume was involved with Phaedon and I am quite fond of his work – I am really looking forward to the release of his Isparta. I am always learning from you!

    Lots of good luck with your internship – have a brilliant time.

  3. Dearest Lukas
    Will your internship be fun as well as hard work?
    I do hope so.
    Thank you for these quick picks. I quite like the sound of Barkhane… but then we British are notoriously fond of our curries.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Ooh how marvellous! What a brilliant opportunity for you – I am sure you will make the most of it!

  5. Holly says:

    I hope you will enjoy this phase of your schooling. Best of luck as you enter the final lap!

  6. Mary K says:

    The intern position sounds like a good opportunity for you! i am sure you are looking forward to it.

    I have a sample of Barkhane; just waiting for the right day to sample it.

  7. Undina says:

    This internship is a good thing, right? I hope it’ll be useful and interesting (or at least one of the two 😉 ).

    I’m so behind on the first two Pierre Guillaume’s lines that I’m not sure when (or even if) I’ll get to trying this one (though I have a lilac perfume decant from it and like it).

    I hope to get a sample of Barkhane soon (I won it on some draw). As to Hamsa, I had no intention of trying it until I read your review. I love black currant note so I should probably seek this one out.

    • lucasai says:

      It’s a very good thing sweetie!

      You’re not alone, I barely know the PG line, not to mention Huitieme Art Parfums which I know even less.

      How cool you won a Barkhane sample, I’d be curious to hear your opinion about it. As to Hamsa, you can have my sample if you want it, it’s almost full.

  8. Jordan River says:

    You have been interned! Great News to start this 2014 Perfume Year. You have a head start to the evaluating neck of the woods.

  9. Congrats Lucas – You’ll be awesome in your new internship I have no doubt!

  10. rickyrebarco says:

    Good luck with your studies. I like Cabanel’s Barkhane better than you, but you are right, it’s not the world’s best amber or anything. But it really goes well with my skin and I love wearing it on chilly days. I have a bottle of Ambre Narguile on its way to me. Now THAT one I’m really looking forward to.

    What are your favorite ambers??

  11. Laurels says:

    Hamsa sounds really interesting. I’d never heard of the concept or the perfume. I have a sample of Barkhane on the way, and lowered expectations are probably a good thing. Good luck with your internship!

  12. hajusuuri says:

    Hello dearest, oh good that I am not creating comment number 13. Congratulations again on your internship; I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    I have a sample of Barkhane and will need to try it soon. The other two also sound interesting but I probably won’t be actively seeking them out.

    And, I just have to say it — hooray for Monday Quick Sniffs!

    • lucasai says:

      don’t be superstitious 😉

      Can’t wait to hear about your Barkhane experience and I totally understand that you’re not willing to seek the other two.

      You’re the most enthusiastic about MQS

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