Author Archives: lucasai

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 63

At times of global pandemic what’s normal had to be defined anew. Instead of launching the perfume properly at an international fragrance fair, new fragrances launch online these days, with or without special events on Skype or Teams. In these conditions being up to date with everything is difficult.

I often learn about something with a few months delay until. This wasn’t exactly the case with two new Perris Monte Carlo scents. I read about them before, I was truly excited to try them but the opportunity didn’t come until late summer or early autumn. Mimosa Tanneron is a stunning, minimalistic perfume from perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena himself. Dominated by a pure joy of mimosa absolute, the radiant aura of it consists of pollen-like powdery notes that are entwined with more fatty, waxy nuances of tiny pom-pomps colored intense yellow. On skin Mimosa Tanneron is elegantly floral, very tender and with just right amount of sweetness. This yellow bouquet of flowers is enriched with roses but their presence isn’t obvious – more like a faint scent of a tea rose or a watery rose, it blends in. I suppose hawthorn introduces the element of green foliage to the composition. It creates an apt background to the star of this perfume – mimosa. In the drydown the perfume becomes even softer, more fluffy and powdery thanks to the white musk. At the final stage the smell is pure, harmonious and dreamy. Mimosa Tanneron is not a complicated perfume that manages to do the justice to the Grasse famous flower. It doesn’t beat my favorite Amouage Love Mimosa but it could become my firm 2nd choice. A must-try for mimosa lovers.

So-called “exclusive lines” from the designer brands are something that I rarely actively seek, mostly because they are hardly available in Poland (if they are, it’s usually only 1 place in Warsaw) and I also find their price to be quite steep. Sometimes I’d make an exception, like when I read about Iris Torrefie (eng. roasted iris) to join Guerlain L’Art et la Matiere collection. Combination of iris and coffee instantly made me think it will be either super good or the very opposite. Turns out I was wrong. Iris Torrefie starts on my skin with a silky, slightly green-tinted iris note that quickly takes a turn towards powdery, slightly chalky variation. After a couple of minutes I can picka coffee note. Not very strong, not a freshly ground bean, more like a leftover ‘coffee was here’ impression you could smell after opening a kitchen cupboard. It’s spiced with a bit of cardamom that adds a grainy texture to the perfume. Everything is mellow and smooth thanks to ambrette. In the drydown a creamy sandalwood is blended with some opoponax (it has raisins-like sweetness) and a touch of vanilla to brighten the fragrance. I can’t get rid of the feeling that Iris Torrefie is a bit bland and to me it lacks the wow factor that was so obvious for Iris Ganache (2007). The new Guerlain iris doesn’t live up to the fame of its older sibiling. I also had longevity issues, after an hour I could barely smell the perfume on my skin.

Lavande Romaine another new fragrance introduced by Perris Monte Carlo in 2020, along the aforementioned Mimosa Tanneron. As you know, I love me some lavender for that was one of the first perfumery notes that I fell for. Composed also by Jean-Claude Ellena this fragrance manages to capture the true nature of these small purple blossoms. Lavande Romaine starts very floral and it has a lovely transparency to the note, letting it shine as a soliflore for some time. Couple minutes later it gets more clean but not in a soapy manner but more like lightly scented bedsheets or a shirt. The scent is crisp, relaxing and elegant. When blackcurrant bud joins the composition it adds a fruity flavor to Lavande Romaine. Currant adds an acidic tartness, it suggests something that is juicy but surprised with bittersweet taste. This perfume will surely wake up your taste buds. Overally Lavande Romaine has a light feel to it, but it has a blue cedar accord in the heart that helps the composition to be more grounded and lasting on skin. The woody aspect is not very pronounced, it surely doesn’t interfere with lavender + blackcurrant key notes. Similarly to the Perris Mimosa, this perfume also is finished with white musk that makes it soft, fluffy and cuddly. Lavande Romaine is a well-executed lavender fragrance, worth a shot should you look for an easy lavender.

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Sensual Healing, Olivier Durbano Aram

I’m sure many of you will agree that living at times of covid can be stressful. Many of us are stuck at home without the possibility to check on our family & friends in other way than online. Furthermore we’re flooded with so much info these days that it becomes almost impossible to filter the good and bad news or to realize what’s true and what’s just a gossip. All this, not enough exercise and growing sleep problems affect our bodies and minds. At times like that it’s good to have a perfume that helps you realize that it’s absolutely okay to think about yourself and maintain own balance.

Aram unfolds on my skin with a fairly noticeable yet not overwhelming grapefruit note. Stripped off the sweaty vibe it can sometimes carry, what it brings to the table smells mostly aromatic to my nose. I can smell the zestiness of a freshly grated peel as well as some tartness coming from the pieces of the flesh. The juicy aspect is minimal, this is a more dry kind of grapefruit. After 5 minutes or so the fruit is engulfed in the resinous mass. Slightly salty & balsamic elemi comes to the fore, with a succulent spice-green aspect of artemisia mixed in. 2 steps farther from the front line there’s a smoky mist of frankincense hovering above the ground with cistus adding a balmy comfort.

It’s a thrill that this new fragrance from Olivier Durbano feels fresh yet not exactly because of the resinous notes that add density. Heart of Aram gives me the same impressions. The accord of green tea brings an exhilarating breath of crispness. Young green leaves steeped in the hot water to brew the most extraordinary beverage known for centuries. It feels warm on the skin and Damask rose enriches the bouquet with a silk texture of its petals and with a fragrance that is pure & pristine. Sweet acacia introduces a shiny, golden element of something floral & honeyed. At the same time tobacco shows a perfect synergy with it, adding a chewy, hay-like smokiness to it.

There’s also a hint of frankincense that descended to the heart of Olivier Durbano Aram from the top of the composition. At this point I got a weird sensation of smelling something yeast-y, like a ball dough rising in the warm kitchen. This ghostly feeling disappeared as fast as it came to me. Unfamiliar with such odour in perfume I wonder if the source of it was gum ammoniac, a gum obtained from some perennial herb. The drydown of Aram shows more substantivity than the rest of the fragrance. It combines hefty cedarwood with slightly burnt scent of myrrh, balsamic sweetness of benzoin with a hint of incense and vetiver. It’s blended to bring peace and comfort to the wearer.

I’ve been admiring the fragrant works of Olivier Durbano for years now as he was (still is) a cherished friend of Perfumeria Quality in Warsaw where I put my first steps in the world of niche perfume. But I was a silent admirer because I felt as if his fragrances were not meant to be worn by me. They didn’t feel right for me, with the exception of Pink Quartz (reviewed years ago). Today I think that Aram is more wearable and easier to approach. It has that inviting aura and the energy that you feel when someone hugs you. To me this perfume speaks of hope, of reassurance and perseverance. It’s like admitting we all have weaknesses but also the power to overcome them.

Aram by Olivier Durbano is a surprising and comforting perfume that came to me just in time to combat the bad mood caused by the gloomy autumn weather. It’s like a fragrant message from Olivier in which he’s trying to tell us that self-care is so very important in those weird, difficult times. I really like the way it smells and how it combines fresh notes with more striking and comforting ones. Aram is an eau de parfum that was introduced as a limited edition, in 100ml flacons. I don’t know about other distribution channels but on Olivier Durbano official website it says it’s sold out.

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