Category Archives: perfume review

Viva la Vida, Hiram Green Vivacious

In some of the posts that I have written over the last couple of months I mentioned how much more difficult it is to speak about and fully enjoy perfume and that I felt kind of guilty by doing so while there were reports of the numbers of victims increasing in more and more countries. Many of you send their positive words of encouragement – that we all love perfume and if it helps, it helps – so do it. Of course you were right! So I decided to find something that sparks pure happiness right from the start. Thanks to Hiram Green and his new perfume, this weekend I found my true joy.

Vivacious opens with a zing of bergamot that feels particularly green and almost biting in the first impression. For a short moment it smells to me like something else, bringing ivy or vines to my mind. Once that first feeling fades away, a more juicy, tart, yet bittergreen side of bergamot is revealed. It effuses a pleasant and joyful scent that differs from the usual hesperidic rendition of this citrus fruit, at least on my skin. This non-obvious opening doesn’t last for long and just a couple of minutes after I invited this perfume to spend the day with me, the composition started to evolve in a floral direction.

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As Hiram Green described on his website, Vivacious is centered around violet flower and is a nod to Victorian times. Little purple flowers were one of Queen Victoria’s favourites. Not only were they used to perfume fine toiletries but they also found their way into confectionery. Victorians enjoyed eating candied violets and using them in various pastries & cakes. They were also popular cut flowers used to adorn one’s outfit. In England of older days these flowers became a symbol of fidelity and modesty. All these various elements are beautifully reflected in this new perfume.

Vivacious transitions into its floral heart without any visible seams. Violet, like a queen, claims the center place on a throne almost immediately. At first the scent is more reminiscent of violet leaf as I identify something freshly green, crispy & with a little bit of dewiness. But then the flowers open up and the air is filled with their mesmerizing fragrance. If magic was translated into scent, it would smell like this. Violets here give off a sweet, pollen like aroma that feels delicious. It’s tad sugary feeling, quite edible but far from any definition of gourmand. Later on violet becomes more powdery and gains that characteristic facet that makes it feel more like a luxurious cosmetic.

Powdery aspect of violet is often associated with lipsticks, press powders and boudoirs. But when I smell this new perfume I completely don’t get that vibe. Instead Hiram Green Vivacious gives me some type of freshness that’s hidden inside. Somewhere in the background there’s also a smell of violet candy I remember from my childhood. Ah, nostalgia! When carnation joins the composition the floral bouquet becomes a little spicy with that charismatic fiery flair you might know from Prada Infusion d’Oeillet or Aedes Oeillet Bengale. The perfume feels warmer on the skin thanks to it & in my opinion carnation is also what makes Vivacious a perfume suitable for both men and women.

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I was excited for orris in Vivacious and I have to tell you that it makes a big difference. At the moment it becomes noticeable on the skin, the whole composition becomes incredibly elegant & sophisticated. Buttery, waxy facets of iris give the perfume a smooth, velvety finish with that luminous sheen. Light woody element of this accord makes me think of some vintage furniture piece – old but glossy & polished. Powdery amber in the drydown has a cosy, reassuring effect. It gives Vivacious warmth, as if you were wrapped by a fluffy blanket with a favourite hot drink in your hand.

Vivacious by Hiram Green is a bottled elixir of joy. It’s the kind of perfume that can brighten a worse day and bring smile to your face. I just love how refined and carefree it feels when you wear it. Not to mention that Hiram once again mastered his ingredients giving them so much energy that this 100% natural composition lasts all day on me. To me Vivacious is a celebration of life & nature around us – a path of light that will guide us towards the better days. Just what many of us need right now to cheer up. I seriously think I might need more of this gorgeous perfume. Vivacious is an eau de parfum and is available in 50 ml bottles. It’s a must try if iris or violet make you swoon.

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Summertime Brightness, Ormaie 28°

It was just a few days ago when the summer solstice marked the beginning of a summer season with the longest day of the year. Isn’t it ironic that no matter how many plans we’d normally have for the summertime, each day from now on will be slightly shorter? But this year is not normal at all and even though the borders of other countries are starting to open up again, many of us will chose to go on vacation locally instead of grand voyages across the world. To make it more enjoyable you should have some great perfume with you & I have another one, from Ormaie, that is just right for that!

28° has a very harmonious opening, serving a beautiful citrus blend. At first I could smell a cheerful lemon note which is way more complex than one could expect. Not only does it smell like a juicy, yellow lemon pulp but you also get a nicely pronounced zestiness coming from the peel. In addition to that there’s also that sort of powdery, muted back note coming from albedo – that white layer that hides right underneath the rind. After a short moment bergamot joins the composition and introduces a bit of lively tanginess with a little hint of green element, same shade as the citrus itself.

It doesn’t take long until the zestiness is balanced by a mouth-watering sweetness of mandarin. The latter brings the most cheer to the fragrance and also on my skin it feels very realistic – as if you just enjoyed a ripe fruit and some juice spilled on your skin. Pink pepper gives a bit of vibrancy. Later on 28° steps on a path adorned with white flowers growing all along the way but this perfume is also a very unusual way to present these powerful floral tones. Ormaie took the most supple elements of each and put them together into a mesmerizing decoration worthy of the most luxurious resorts.

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Jasmine sambac doesn’t emanate cloud of indole here, instead it scatters in the air around the wearer an addictive scent that to my nose is a perfect combination of pure floral scent, very airy, with the smell of something breezy, summery. It also has a lovely facet of sea minerals – salty, crystalline, beachy. Tuberose gives Ormaie 28° more richness in this floral phase. It also introduces a creamy sensation that has a little bit of a coconut undertone. But don’t be scared, this milky feeling is very faint. It’s also airy like a mousse. Orange blossom turns this perfume into a solar goodness.

Together with a light touch of rose, orange blossom makes 28° a composition that shimmers with light pink and warm orange reflexes. Actually orange flower becomes the most prominent ingredient in this perfume. I love the bright & luminous character it gives to this Ormaie fragrance. Drydown tones down the flowery notes. There’s a nice sandalwood accord – substantive, with nice weight and more smooth than not. Vanilla makes it rounder and more cosmetic-like, to the point that the scent on my skin reminds me of an expensive sunscreen lotion. There’s also a whiff of immortelle.

No matter how difficult are the times we live in, summer still remains the time to enjoy oneself. And what better way than by gifting yourself with a new fragrance. 28° from Ormaie is an ideal choice if you do like summery scents  but you prefer to stay away from hesperidic compositions. This one is a dreamy, summery floral concoction that is ideal for an evening walk when 28°C outside – that’s actually from where this perfume took its name. I sign up with my name under this idea from the brand. I recently learned that Ormaie fragrances are all natural which makes me like them even more. Together with Les Brumes you have an ultimate perfume dream team. Sounds good?

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