Author Archives: lucasai

Shade & iridescence, Armani Privé Iris Celadon

I was never very fond of the idea of popular designer brands launching special new collections branded as “exclusive” or “boutique” lines. As if they tried to prove they can go beyond their own mass-market offerings and produce something more unique, less mainstream and from higher quality ingredients (supposedly). Many of those special fragrances are limited to designer’s own salons and that often triggers the feeling that the harder something is to get, the more tempting it is. Armani Privé is one of those exclusive side lines with limited distribution. Even though they are available in Poland in large Douglas salons I haven’t tried a single one of those. Until now.

The perfume in this line that felt interesting enough for me to actually seek for a sample holds a name of Iris Celadon and was launched in 2016. When I saw someone offering a small-ish decant I immediately made an offer and it worked out. A week later I could give it a try & decide if it was worth the effort. On my skin the perfume opens with a tart, slightly dusty bergamot that quickly fades away. When that happens a glimpse of elegant aldehydes appear on top, making the perfume much more glamorous and charming. The aldehydic vibe is fizzy but has some weight to it. It kind of feels like a nod to Chanel No.5 or 1932. However Iris Celadon feels less bright because there is cardamom that smells dusky. Maybe 20 minutes later iris enters the composition. Powdery, almost chalky at first, it smoothly changes into a silky, gently floral self. It feels modern and old-fashioned at the same time.

iris-celadon

Heart of Armani Prive Iris Celadon hides a secret – for there is iris again but in a different form. There’s no possibility to mistake iris concrete for something else. The smell is very rich, buttery with some creamy nuances to it. Sometimes it might feel a bit gooey and in different moments the smell of iris butter entwine with the scent of dried roots with a little bit of earth. After a while the perfume becomes darker. Chocolate note adds a new color to the perfume, making it feel slightly powdery. The smell of cocoa is distinctive but not overpowering. It blends nicely with iris concrete – combined they smell like chocolate ganache. I didn’t detect mate absolute mentioned among notes. In the drydown there is a handful of semi-dirty patchouli with earthy, rooty vibe with a hint of balmy qualities. Musk and ambrette make it softer but they also have a dirty facet. Luckily iris as dominating aroma wraps around it all making it smell really good. Few hours later there’s a suede-like effect.

Iris Celadon by Armani Prive is a lovely perfume after all. It’s true that it’s not innovative or especially creative but I still find it very pleasing. It was created by perfumer Marie Salamagne, has good longevity and moderate sillage. Yet at a price of almost 200 € for a 100 ml bottle I don’t think I’ll be ever tempted to buy it. If you tried Iris Celadon and thought the same way you may be pleased to know that I found this fragrance to be very similar to Moonlight Patchouli by Van Cleef & Arpels which retails at a lower price, so maybe this is some sort of solution. The flacon of Iris Celadon has a simple form, it’s black with a gold name plate. Cap that looks like a stone is made in celadon color (neither blue, green or grey) but it’s apparently made of synthetic resin. Try this perfume if you can.

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Road trip, two from Gallivant

It’s incredibly flattering for me when once in a while I receive an email from a perfume brand stating that they’ve been following my blog for a while & like my writing style, therefore they’d like to send me samples. For me it’s a great way of discovering new things but also to develop more personal relationship with a brand, because I have that 1 message I can later use for further contact. Few weeks ago I was approached in a way mentioned by Nick Steward, founder of Gallivant. The name rang a bell in my mind, so of course I was happy to try their fragrances. Gallivant as a verb means “to go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment” while the brand sources their perfume ideas from nomad life and being a traveller. Perfume is a destination here.

gallivant

Istanbul (shown above left) embodies “this feeling of an ancient city, but with a freshness, a modernity. An old luxury and a new confidence.” Its composition starts with a tart bergamot that is so diffusive it feels more like a shade cast by a citrus tree on a sunny day. It’s gone in a quick poof, stepping down to make room for cardamom. The latter one is more and spicy, with a crunchy and roasted background. There’s even something slightly caramelized about it. Its impression is followed by red thyme which gradually builds up an herbal aspect of the scent. This one is also a bit sweaty. Heart of the fragrance hides lavender absolute that is a marriage between floral and herbaceous elements. As far as I’m concerned I found its aroma to be quite dry & more herbal than floral. Geranium is a source of temporary feeling of something crispy and green but later it develops a sharp, minty undertone. Because it seems a bit metallic it feels slightly disturbing, at least to me. Later on I get opoponax and patchouli. They blend nicely together to create a multi-layer of woody, balsamic, earthy and sweet notes. It’s a source of pleasure in Instanbul the fragrance. The base is firing up with generous dose of rich vanilla, supported by beautiful, creamy spiciness of tonka bean. Amber adds a sensual warmth while sandalwood brings forth a seductive vibe. The drydown has some heft to it but doesn’t feel too heavy. It’s definitely the most interesting part of this scent.

Brooklyn (shown above right) according to the brand is about “non-stop go-go-go” while the perfume is meant to be “energetic with a creative and intellectual fizz.” In this case the opening is build around bergamot again but it lingers on skin, effusing tart, aromatic and zesty molecules. As soon as lemon and orange add their values, the perfume starts to be a kick of energy, very juicy, tasty and mouth-watering like a glass of freshly squeezed juice you could grab on your way to work. We have cardamom here again but much less accentuated, it’s all about citrus at the moment. However there is a twist to it when incense starts to sneak in, bringing some sheer smokiness with it. Who would have thought that it would smell so nice with lemon or bergamot. Later on Brooklyn juiciness becomes more clean. It smells of fresh air, clean cotton sheets with a little bit of ozonic notes. From citrus it gradually goes to pale, aquatic florals. I can smell silky magnolia and perhaps a little bit of water-lily but Gallivant uses a general term of transparent flowers. It does feel sheer, airy and with pastel colors. There’s also a gentle powdery vibe of iris here. The drydown has a fluffy musk accord blended with white woods that are delicate and that don’t add much weight to the scent. Amber (much lighter than in Istanbul) raises temperature a bit while benzoin listed among notes was barely there on my skin. Perhaps it was very subtle and got overlooked because of ambery note.

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Both Istanbul and Brooklyn have decent projection and good longevity. They are interesting and quite easy to wear. Gallivant team decided to work with young perfumers  – Istanbul was created by Karine Chevallier while Brooklyn is a composition from Giorgia Navarra (trained by Bertrand Duchaufour). These 2 are a half of initial collection from Gallivant, other 2 represent London and Tel Aviv. Plus there will be another two appearing this fall. All fragrances are in eau de parfum concentration and since the brand is about exploring and discovering places, their bottle is travel friendly (and perfumista friendly) since it’s a 30 ml size. Feel like going to any of these two places?

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