Category Archives: perfume review

Sapphire Lace, Puredistance No.12

In the world of numerology number 12 doesn’t really exist as the main number attempting to describe someone’s character & personality. This however doesn’t reduce the value of this number. It only takes a moment to look around and realize that number 12 is a number of great importance. There are 12 months in a year and 12 zodiac signs, there were 12 apostles in the Bible. In Greek mythology there were 12 Olympian gods and Heracles had to complete 12 labors. In culture this number represents balance and harmony. No surprise Puredistance wanted to treat their fans to something very special as their 12th fragrance which also sort of marks the completion of their story.

No.12 opens up with the elegant whiff of citrus notes, namely mandarin & bergamot. These two however break from the stigma of summery freshness by presenting themselves in the brand new light. The adorable zestiness remained but there’s much more richness and density. While smelling it closely to the skin it feels like smelling something oily & viscous, like an essential oil in its pure form. After a couple of minutes a gentle tingling sensation arrives as the fragrance progressively warms up. It warms up thanks to the body heat but also thanks to the cardamom and coriander notes that have been used. The spicy aura they create feels embracing and somewhat decadent.

From this refined spiciness with a hint of a crunchy, roasted nuts undertone, Puredistance No.12 slowly begins to move in the floral direction. We can find first evidence of this still at the top of the composition where ylang and narcissus start to drape a yellow-colored ribbon scented with the creamy notes of flower petals. The heart of the new Puredistance is a real treasure chest when it comes to the bounty of textures and smells it provides to delight our senses. My nose is particularly thrilled to detect the rich & buttery goodness of orris. I can smell it very clearly with all of its earthy and powdery nuances as well. It’s the indulging aroma that makes me feel pampered.

Of course there is more to this magnificent floral arrangement that just the iris. The more carefully I smell my wrist the more elements I’m able to trace. Another one in No.12 is lily of the valley, effusing a dewy, gentle yet strong scent of tiny white bells that are the undeniable symbol of spring. There’s also plenty of jasmine in this composition but it’s harmoniously woven into the body of No.12. Its sultry-smelling blossoms compliment the rest. There are also hints of delicate rose and of orange blossom. Even a bit of geranium found its way into this perfume, giving it a tad of green tinge of freshness. Osmanthus provides a tea-scented undertone while heliotrope gives more smoothness.

When it comes to the complexity of Puredistance fragrances – they have been very intricate, rich & sublime from the very beginning and Puredistance No.12 is no different in that matter. Its floral bouquet is very complex and it wasn’t an easy task to “deconstruct” it. It’s just like in ikebana where every flower has a special place in the arrangement but you can tell them all apart. In No.12 the boudaries are close to impossible to notice. I tried my best to break down its different elements but of course these impressions are strictly personal and what you smell while experiencing No.12 might be dramatically different. I highly encourage you to discover this latest creation with your own nose.

As for the base of No.12 it’s also rich & complex but the floral accords step down to make room for sensuality and intimate delicacy. Glossy finish of milky sandalwood has been paired with a slightly rooty and unevenly textured vetiver for the contrasting junction that match in a strangely good way. Patchouli, although more clean, creates a murky depth that sends shivers down my spine. It’s kind of magical. The velvety tonka is highlighted with a golden shimmer of warm & radiant Ambroxan. All this is assisted by a beautiful oakmoss for the well fitted chypre vibe – earthy, woody, slightly evergreen and retro. Mellowness of ambrette and carnal softness of musk complete the image.

Fun fact from the development process of Puredistance No.12 – submissions presented to the Puredistance team by perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer were originally intended to potentially become Puredistance Gold. Jan Ewoud Vos, founder of the brand, felt emotionally connected with one of the proposals bearing a work title “Gold Taffeta” but the scent wasn’t aligned with his vision for Gold. He did not want to lose a fragrance that felt like it had his brand’s DNA so he proposed to use it as the next one in the lineup. Turns out the most important part for the twelfth composition was already approved even before the perfume number 11 was in the works. It’s a fascinating bit of story.

Puredistance No.12, a creation dreamed and composed by Nathalie Feisthauer is a very complex and structured perfume with an aspiration to go beyond any brackets of classification. It’s an uber feminine bouquet of notes – timeless and elegant, which very much fits the values of Puredistance as a brand. It’s a potent fragrance that gently lingers on the skin for many hours thanks to 25% concentration of the composition. With the launch of No.12 Puredistance completes their concept of Magnificent XII – in the future the new release will cause one of the older fragrances to be moved to a “Private Collection” (limited sales, on demand) so that always only 12 perfumes are promoted.

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Scorched Ground, Memo Sicilian Leather

Do you think that Covid pandemic will permanently change our habits & behaviors? I have been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer vaccine but still there’s a lot of hesitation inside me when it comes to go back to travelling abroad. For now I’m still staying on a safer side and limit my voyages to the ones within Poland. Especially that the shadow of the 4th wave is looming nearby. Of course I miss friends who live abroad and I miss the opportunity to try so many new fragrances at the perfume shows but it is what it is. That’s why I was happy to see Memo introduce Sicilian Leather – a promise of wonderful trip without leaving home. Does it smell like one of my past summers?

Smelling Sicilian Leather really does bring back memories of my past vacations. On my skin the leathery tones come righ up but they are not the only ones that my nose can pick up. Tangy citrus notes brighten up the opening like the rising sun – a symbol of Sicily. Bitter orange with its mouth-watering juiciness starts an energetic dance when Italian bergamot & lime join this magnificent performance of smells. I feel caught in a vortex of yellow, orange and green-ish hues as my nose registers the hesperidic smells of various type. Some of them are more zesty, the others are more dry like a gin. But at least for me it’s that beautiful orange scent that leads the rest of the notes.

Not much later the bright citrus opening becomes more low-key and at that point some spicy notes become more pronounced. Coriander and cardamom introduce a grainy texture to Sicilian Leather and they make the perfume venture into spicy direction in a way that feels very dry to my nose. When I smell it what comes to my mind is the smell of old paper, old books, parchment but also of the cracked clay ground that has been scorched by the Mediterranean sun. It’s a specific type of smell but to me it’s very pleasant and what I think better defines this new fragrance as “sicilian”.

Over time the character of Memo Sicilian Leather shifts its character towards more aromatic side. Balsam fir is what gives this perfume more dimension as depth by emanating the slightly coniferous smell that I perceive as “warm & cold” at once. It’s warm because the noter per se is quite balsamic and enveloping. Cold because it gives me this weird feeling of solitude in the dark & deep forest. Violet leaf breaks away from this vision as it introduces a fresh verdancy, a crunchy and dewy smell of the flower leaves. There’s something elegant and sophisticated about it, I must admit.

The drydown of this composition is when the leather accord really shines. The leather becomes particularly soft and suede-like in Sicilian Leather but there’s also something a bit rough and austere to it. It certainly does carry the scent reminiscent of tanning and colorants. The scent is rich but not overpowered – and it smells like a brand new bag from an expensive artisan. Cedarwood gives more density while gaiac wood provides an effect that I’d compare with waxing. The scent is woody, deep but also oily, with some heft. Patchouli introduces some earthiness that is a fitting effect for a perfume of this sort. Akigalawood which is a woody-patchouli molecule completes the picture.

I was writing this review on a particularly ugly day – it was raining heavily and the temperature dropped by 10 degrees compared to the previous day. It really made me wonder if the end of summery weather is near. Sicilian Leather from Memo and perfumer Yann Vasnier rekindled the memories of super hot days I spent in Taormina, Palermo or at the hills of Etna couple of years ago. I’m grateful any perfume that has the ability to brighten up the day and make you feel warm when it’s cold. Whenever I’ll want to remember those days again I’ll reach for Sicilian Leather, it’s such a great fragrance. (but Italian Leather still remains my number one among Cuirs Nomades series)

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