Author Archives: lucasai

Smell you soon (I hope)

Under normal circumstances two weeks ago I would have travelled to the West and above the Alps to spend a magnificent weekend in Florence, Italy. There, during Pitti Fragranze, I would’ve had a chance to smell my way through a few dozens, if not a hundret of new perfume releases. We all know why it just didn’t come to be this year and why I had to stay at home, just like many other people who love frangrances as much as you or me. I miss Esxence and Pitti for obvious reasons – I can’t try as many new scents as I’d like to, I can’t meet my friends, both writers and brand owners, perfumers. Finally I can’t be in Italy, even if it were just for 2-3 days, to enjoy their delicious cuisine along with a glass of prosecco or aperol spritz. But those good days will come back, won’t they?

At times of global pandemy one can wonder how niche perfumery will deal with this new and very difficult state. I was thinking that brands might postpone their new launches & wait for better times since without these exhibitions it must be harder to bring same level of buzz & attention to the new compositions. And while I have an impression that niche brands have slowed down due to Covid-19, many have already adapted and present the fruit of their work to the public with the help of social media platforms. Of course it has less splendour than a special spotlight at the stand in Milan or Florence but curiosity of ‘hungry’ perfume fans eventually wins. I’m thankful to any brand who reached out to me during these difficult times. Without them I would write even less…

There’s a bunch of new or soon-to-be-released fragrances that I’m really looking forward to trying. Let me share a couple of them with you – maybe we’ll be together in the feeling of excitement?

Over the years we all got accustomed to a slow-paced creation process at Puredistance and that our waiting will be rewarded with something luxurious and of highest quality. Announced for October please be introduced to Rubikona – this perfume, with a name resulting from the junction of words ruby and icon, will be an 11th composition in brand’s portfolio. For a second time Jan Ewoud Vos invited Cecile Zarokian (Sheiduna, 2016) to collaborate. This will be a spicy floral, 28% perfume.

I like Gallivant but I know some of you don’t. However there’s always a but to a but. Have you ever heard of the city of Bukhara? Worry not, neither have it. It’s somewhere in Uzbekistan and Nick Steward decided this will be another location to pinpoint on the map of his fragrant journeys. My way to convince you to try it? It’s an iris. Orris! Hello! By perfumer Ralf Schwieger at that. I love Iris Nazarena he composed for Aedes. I know Gallivant has different easthetics but I think it’ll be fab.

In my opinion Perris Monte Carlo is one of those brands that aren’t very much spoken of which is totally unfair because they make great perfume. Some time ago I was captivated by Mimosa Tanneron which I long to try. I know it’s the first day of astronomical autumn today but why can’t I have some yellow cheer all year round? Dedicated to pom-pom flowers that grow around Grasse, this watercolor-like flower is now interpreted by Jean-Claude Ellena, a master of watery scents.

More iris? But of course! Is there such thing as enough iris for me? To be honest I rarely get excited by the releases in the mainstream perfume segment these days. Same goes for the more exclusive boutique lines from big brands. This time my interest was tickled when I read about Iris Torrefie from Guerlain, joining Art et la Matiere line. Orris with coffee? This could either go super right or super wrong. I signed up for a decant so I hope to make my own judgements soon.

Listen, I know what you might think but I’m not a real devotee of Memo. It just happens that I like a few fragrances from the brand. I actually find Italian Leather and Winter Palace to be the only 2 that would fit in my collection. New in Art Land collection is Odeon, named after Parisian theatre. Blend of rose, candied date, tonka and sandalwood sounds promising. There’s also Sintra, also new, with a Morrocan tiles motif on the bottle – but it’s supposed to smell like marshmallow, so not for me.

Are there any fragrances you’re waiting for to smell? Or maybe any of these 5 sounds interesting?

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Monday Quick Sniffs, part 61

How is this even possible that it’s been 2 months since my special yuzu edition of MQS? Is it just me or do you also have an impression that in the times of Covid the time flies even faster than usual?

Amouage introduced Interlude Man in 2012 and it was a challenging perfume due to heavily accentuated notes of oregano and pimento. 8 years later Interlude Man Black Iris is born. It’s the first flanker in the long history of the brand and also one of the first (if not first) launch after a major shuffle within the brand’s structures. This perfume starts with an oily & zesty bergamot note accompanied by herbaceous & aromatic rosemary. After a moment a crisp dewiness of violet leaf emerges. Instead of oregano there’s orris – deep and rooty, silky-cold and elegant. It’s warmed up by generously dosed frankincense that is followed by ambery tones. Going further there is labdanum and myrrh that give Interlude Man Black Iris its resiny vibe. A hint of vanilla (which smells like a bourbon) adds a bit of sweetness to this dark fragrance. Base is a mixture of hefty woody notes such as sandalwood and cedarwood, combined with leather and oud. In general it feels like a more streamlined, more wearable version of its predecessor.

For any perfume writer the number of reviews dedicated to a specific brand is probably the best measuring scale to determine if they like the fragrances from this house or not. Considering the fact that I have never written about Xerjoff before – so that’s a clear signal for you, no? Apollonia, named as a tribute to a successful lunar landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, its composition starts with an abstract white blossoms accord. Abstract because there’s not a single floral note that would dominate it. It’s like a mass of flowers among which you can’t tell which is jasmine, tuberose or an orange flower. There’s a lot of airy creaminess to it with a pollen-like sweetness. Gradually the density of the perfume changes and the focus goes towards the orris butter. In this perfume it is viscous, blending the fatty aspect of iris with its waxy tones. When you smell it you get an impression of reserve, of restraint. It’s kind of like a statuesque persona, like someone who feels they are better because they’re rich. But it is a pretty iris note nonetheless. The perfume dries down to an abundance of white musk in variety of forms – there’s a bit of cotton candy effect, a bit of something like a meringue and a tad of something plush & fluffy. On my skin Apollonia is not very complex, it’s rather linear and lacks something that sparks interest. At this price point I can easily pass, even if the bottle is covered with moon dust…

I liked the initial releases from Altaia (an offspring brand from the owners of Eau d’Italie) but the fragrances that joined their portfolio later were not really my cup of tea. Just like Purple Land from 2018. The fragrance starts with a prominent note of grapefruit that feels juicy but also bears the sweaty undertone that does not contribute to a pleasant experience. It subsides after some time, making room for exotic fruitiness of guava and papaya. Both give the perfume a strong fruity vibe that feels summery, mouth-watering and quite fleshy. Over time the floral aspect of the scent rises up, with lily of the valley taking a lead role in it. Muguet gives Purple Land a watery, gently floral feel that is reminiscent of a morning dew. Frangipani on the other hand makes the flowery phase more lactonic & creamy. The base is warmed up by ambrox molecule – combined with the other notes of this perfume it smells quite similar to popular sun tan lotions. Lush tropical flowers over the warm base, like a sun-kissed skin. Everything is finished by air-whipped, creamy musks. These notes seem a bit odd for one scent, but on general thought it’s not a bad perfume. None of these 3 Quick Sniffs are bad.

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