Monday Quick Sniffs, part 42

I can’t believe that last time I posted mini reviews was in July! Let’s do something about it.


No. 42 The Flower Shop by Jo Loves… opens with a green transparency that becomes more leafy and crunchy after a few minutes. There’s also a bit of a sweeter citrus vibe to it. It doesn’t take long until the perfume releases a large portion of lily of the valley note. It’s pretty much out there but at the same time it feels more green than floral to my nose. Floral part arrives later and it’s rather hard to identify. The brand lists peony, narcissus, freesia, jasmine among the notes. Yet muguet is the one that steps to the front for me. Cloud of white musk make the perfume feel clean, almost sterile. Apparently No. 42 The Flower Shop also features moss and patchouli. I didn’t notice, so probably it’s just modern fractions that have nothing to do with a real thing. This Jo Loves… smells like entering a flower shop. It’s cool, floral and has that similar scent to the spray used by florists to add shine to the leaves they use in bouquets.


Ormonde Jayne Tsarina remains completely scentless on my skin for a few couple of minutes. When it finally reveals its presence it almost skips all of the top notes. I only get a hint of coriander spiciness combined with a tender juiciness of mandarin. Then it immediately becomes suede-y but in austere, ascetic way rather than fuzzy & warm. It’s blended with some floral notes, with a delicate veil of powdery iris. It quickly evolves into more smoky being. Labdanum and it’s dark, resinous facets have been blended with rugged woods: sandalwood & cedarwood. There is also vanilla that darkens the composition rather than brightening it. All is wrapped with musk. First moment I tried Tsarina I knew this is not a perfume for me. It smells so synthetic, so artificial that it’s hard to stand. Perfumer Geza Shoen certainly used a lot of his beloved Iso-E Super. I would never pay the amount of money OJ is asking for this fragrance.


Zenne is a part of Shadow Play trilogy that Nishane launched in Q1 of 2017. It opens with an uplifting blackcurrant note that feels tart and not overly sweet. It’s coupled with rhubarb that makes it feel more crispy, green and fruity. At the same time there’s a grapefruit element that adds some sour juiciness to the blend. In fact when I smell the top notes combined I almost feel as if I was smelling lychee. Heart of Zenne is built around Turkish rose, but it’s not as rich or prominent as you’d expect. It somehow loses in a fight with fruity top notes. Rose feels muted, it’s a layer underneath blackcurrant and rhubarb. Gardenia adds some white flower brightness making the perfume feel more airy. Sandalwood is barely noticeable on my skin. It’s rather smooth and it doesn’t make the perfume feel more solid. Drydown has a lot of vanilla that sweetens the blend quite a lot, so that on me it smells almost like a candy. Ambergris and musk add some warmth and depth. It’s delicate, feminine and rather on innocent side. If you like fruity florals, you can give it a try.

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19 thoughts on “Monday Quick Sniffs, part 42

  1. Jillie says:

    Great to see Quick Sniffs!

    You know that I really like Tsarina … and that’s strange, because I am not usually a fan of the dreaded Iso-E Super that OJ perfumes seem to overdose on. I can only think that this is one of those cases where our skin’s chemistry really makes a difference to how a fragrance blooms (or otherwise). On me I get a distinct feeling of suede and cosiness with Tsarina and certainly some “buttery” iris, although that’s very faint. I like it best when I smell it on my clothes and I would only wear it in cold weather – I think it might actually be a little unpleasant in warm!

    Totally agree with you about the cost – it’s not worth that ridiculous sort of money (I wonder if any perfume is????). Thank goodness for samples and decants!

    • lucasai says:

      I don’t mind aromachemicals at all, actually as a chemist I’m quite a fan. But Tsarina just doesn’t smell luxurious to me, especially when I look at its price. In my opinion its hype comes mostly from the fact that OJ is quite hard to get outside UK.
      I also tried to love OJ Vanille Iris but it also reeked of synthetic to me. Glad at least you get to enjoy this one.

      • Jillie says:

        Yes, I wanted to love Vanille Iris too but find it so “woody” (guess it’s the Iso-E Super again?). I can wear it sometimes, but on other occasions I have to scrub it. Again, it’s good to have samples to try.

        You’re right about the hype – anything that’s hard to get is automatically elevated to a high status. But I find it sad that OJ – and many other “niche” perfumeries – have raised their prices so much over the last few years …. the cynic in me makes me suspect that this is a marketing tactic calculated to make them appear even more desirable, after all, something so expensive and hard to get hold of has to be wonderful ….doesn’t it????? Hmmmm. A bit of a kick in the teeth to loyal fans who were there at the beginning.

  2. rickyrebarco says:

    Love your quick sniffs! I wish the Nishane had more rose, but then I have a lot of rose fragrances already. Don’t need any more. After Rose De Petra by Stephane Humbert Lucas joined my collection, I can’t imagine anything topping it.

  3. Holly says:

    The only one of these three that has sparked my interest is Jo Loves The Flower Shop, but I’m not interested enough to actually seek it out. 😉 For all I know, it’s similar to one of my summer favorites, Demeter’s Flower Show.

  4. Undina says:

    Your review reminded me that I need to take my No 42 (it’s funny that the number of this QS corresponds to the number on the perfume) out of the fridge. It actually was quite pleasant to spray it on on a hotter days. But, in general, it’s not a masterpiece that everyone needs to even try.
    I like Tsarina in colder weather but the amount of Iso-E Super just kills me: not because I do not like it (I do and sometimes wear Molecule 01 on its own) but it doesn’t have its place in those quantities in perfumes of that price level. The effect of smelling nothing that you described is definitely how I react to Iso-E Super from time to time (not always though).

    • lucasai says:

      Oh my goodness! I didn’t even notice that until you just said that.
      On me Tsarina was a galore of Iso E Super and basically nothing more. When it doesn’t work on you does it have something to do with The weather or other factor? Or is it completely random?

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