Author Archives: lucasai

Travelling Box of Perfume, notes from Ann

Our now famous Travelling Box of Perfume got much closer to the US East Coast at the end of last week. We should give Hajusuuri some time to explore and have fun with it. That’s why in the meantime let’s hear from Ann who had the box for 2 weeks before it was sent to New Jersey.

Your general impression of the box once it arrived…
What a delight to receive the Travelling Box of Perfume! I only wish I could have more time to test everything in the box.  But, as this is a busy time for my work, I was happy also to have the two week limit.

Favorite perfume in the box…
My favorite perfume in the box was Assam of India!  I would have never sought this out, outside of the box 😉

Least favorite perfume in the box…
My least favorite perfume was Phlur Greylocke – I had to wash it off.

5-10 mini reviews (Tweet length or longer if you’d like)
Berdoues – Assam of India.Immediately love, I smell faintly a familiar scent from Shiseido toner my mom used, not sure if it’s still what Shiseido smells like, but I also picked this up in MFK a la Rose, I wish I knew if it was 1 ingredient, or a blend of several that give me this impression.  Then I get a bit of fruity candy.  I think I over sprayed a bit.
By Kilian – Liaisons Dangereuses. Fuity, reminds me of al fresco dining in a hot place for some reason.
By Kilian – Straight to Heaven, White Cristal.Hmmm, chocolate? Coconut?  It’s nice and intriguing, but I don’t know that I want to smell like this. Something sharp about it. Why do I even try these, they are too expensive. Just turns into coconut skin scent, money saved, as they say!
Guerlain – Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra.Begins with a nice sharp astringent smell, followed by cherry cough syrup, briefly, then jasmine/corn.
Heeley – Cocobello.Unripe coconut, green.  It’s OK
Hiram Green – Arbole Arbole.Something delightful, thick baby powder, like if you made a cake out of baby powder and cut a thick slice out. 10 minutes in – I think I’m smelling almond now, no trees yet.  I really like this, but I have no idea why it’s called Arbole Arbole?
Hiram Green – SlowdiveStarts out with a powerful burst of fruity bubblegum. Some sort of chalky wall. Dusty – fruity – thick. Old dusty corner in an old house with light coming through the window. Thick in the same way an attar might smell, but with different scent. Not for me.  Only 5-10 minutes in do I smell what reads as honey to me – I think you would have to really be a honey lover for this one, I suppose that’s obvious.  I like honey, but the beginning is too much for me. This is a must for a honey lover.
Jo Loves – Pomelo. Lemon lime, sweet & bright, reminds me of sweet tarts candy.
Judith Leiber – Night. Fruitchouli?  It’s OK
Masque Milano – Romanza.Bright, there something that reminds me of cactus, a watery vegetal feeling. Vetiver? Herbal rose.  I really like it but I wouldn’t call it romance.
Memo Quartier Latin. Reminds me of pastry.
Memo Tiger’s Nest. Very nice incense, cozy, sweet but not too sweet.  Reminds me a bit of Neela Vermeire Trayee. I like it but I don’t need more.  This reminds me that I don’t like perfume names with animals in them – this is why I’ve never sought out the Zoologist line.  The thought of a living animal with fur or what not does not give me the feeling I want when I wear perfume. Can you tell I’m not much of an animal lover? Ha 😉
Papillon Anubis. Rubber Wall.
Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale. Whoah! Stewed spice pot.
Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin. How wow – this is perfume, I love it, classic, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Oakmoss. LOTV.  Makes me think someone when into a garden & forest and pulled everything – all the flowers wild & domestic, herbs, moss, tree branches and put in in a magical perfume blender. It gets a little overwhelming 5-10 minutes in – I should have sprayed more lightly, yikes! We are approaching Youth Dew territory. For classic perfume lovers!
Phlur – Greylocke.1st try: food, rice, grass? Bronx? Trees, apples & grass. Vetiver? Lemon? I’m not getting much else. I mean, it smells nice. I wouldn’t mind if my husband wore this. I was interested to try this because I remember the corny marketing, and wanted to know if it would affect my opinion. I guess I’d say it’s more masculine leaning. Good summer scent, starts blooming 1/2 hour in. 1 hour in – somethings gone wrong – it smells like my aunt’s powder room, not horrible, but clean bathroom scent! It’s turned into a scrubber!
Santa Maria Novella Citta di Kyoto.Reminds me of worms, earthy
Teo Cabanel Early Roses.Roses with the green on them, but not syrupy. It’s potent, subly strong = good.

Out of the box…
Out of many things that are in the box Ann decided to keep the following 5: Guerlain Rose Barbare, Atelier Cologne Pacific Lime, Berdoues Assam of India, Jacomo Silences and Marni Rose.

Into the box…
The list is just too long to post the entire thing but you must know that Ann has been amazingly generous and she added circa 50 different things – couple of decants and a while bunch of samples. Just as a teaser I will tell you there are fragrances from Aedes, Byredo, D.S & Durga, Juliette Has a Gun or Mona di Orio and many, many more that I just won’t list this time. Hajusuuri is in for a surprise.

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Red Sun, Perris Monte Carlo Arancia di Sicilia

Year ago in September I departed for my summer holidays. I flew all the way to the South of Italy to spend a week in Sicily. Little did I know that it’s going to be one of my most memorable vacations. Waking up at 5 AM almost every day wasn’t my best idea for dolce vita but the weather and all the sights compensated shorter sleep. It was also a naturally fragrant time as ripe fruit, orange granita and freshly pressed orange juice were available at almost every corner, first announced by their scent. Iconic blood orange from Sicily deserves a perfume. Perris Monte Carlo just did one!

Arancia di Sicilia welcomes you with a great bounty only a Mediterranean country like Italy could offer. First impression – a refreshing, full-bodied and photorealistic scent of blood orange. Zesty aroma of the peel and sweetness of the ruby-tinted fruit light up the senses, wake you up and create a craving for the juiciest & most delightful bite ever that will drip down from your chin onto a t-shirt that you’re wearing. It’s this kind of scent that feels lustful and mouth-watering at the same time. There’s a beautiful complexity and dimension to this inconspicuously simple Sicilian orange opening. This effect has been achieved by using two varieties of Sanguinella Orange essential oils.

Brown essential oil comes just from the rind while Sfuma Torchio oil comes from a full fruit pressing followed by separation of the oil from the juice. Right from the beginning Arancia di Sicilia is a very sunny perfume but after a little while it really starts to warm up. This warmth gradually evolves into a sweet smoothness of almond. This new facet intrigues me because initially it smells to me like limoncello, I swear, but then after a couple minutes more it becomes more like an amaretto, with a fine liqueur smell to it and some booziness. Don’t expect something very alcoholic here as it’s only just a hint. But this hint is exactly what this perfume needs to be different among citrus fragrances.


Following after this liquory almond trail is a small portion of cinnamon. Just a small bit is enough to spark a delicate tingle of spiciness in one’s nose and to give Arancia di Sicilia a twist nobody would expect from a perfume dedicated to blood orange. It’s not a prominent element of this fragrances but is noticeable among other ingredients. Shortly after vanilla joins the composition, only this one smells quite unusual too. It’s got some airiness to it and volume, like a creme chantilly which combines whipped cream, sugar and vanilla. Like a more sophisticated way of presenting a perfume note to the wearer, if you know what I mean. It’s delicious but you can still eat some more.

Drydown of Arancia di Sicilia is a toned down combination of notes that via their olfactive profiles evoke the ending of a long and sunny day in paradise. Labdanum enriches the perfume with balsamic, slightly gooey smokiness. It has elegance and charm. When I inhale the perfume on my skin I can still pick the scent of orange and how well it combines with cistus. Then there’s some powdery iris, not much but it still grabs my heart, an absolute of coffee that adds a little bit of darkness. Last but not least there are some ambery tones that add delicate oriental touch to new Perris Monte Carlo scent. Fluffy musky sensuality is what brings the perfume to its finale.

Perris Monte Carlo surely deserve praise for creating Arancia di Sicilia. You simply cannot be indifferent to something so delightful and mouth-watering. It’s a citrus elevated to a new level due to unusual use of ingredients like almond, cinnamon or labdanum that are normally not associated with fresh perfume for summer. Arancia di Sicilia is a beautiful and honest homage to the Island of Sicily and its iconic Sanguinella Orange. It brought back memories from year ago when I visited Etna, Lipari Islands and Palermo among other places. Perfumer Gian Luca Perris did a great job sharing a part of Italy with us. This eau de parfum has nice longevity and sillage. Available in 100 ml bottles.

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