Category Archives: perfume review

Italiamore, Three from Perris Monte Carlo

Summer is almost over and while most people already managed to forget they were on holiday and children are about to go back to school, there are still some who didn’t get a chance to enjoy their summertime away from work. Me included – but that’s about to change. Out of many vacation destinations I have never been to, for a 3rd year in a row I chose Italy for my time of a wind down & relaxation. This time I will visit yet another part of it. How could I not write about fragrances from Perris Monte Carlo inspired by Italy before taking my annual break from blogging?

cedro-diamante

Cedro di Diamante focuses on bounty of citron. This composition opens with a wonderfully juicy, freshly squeezed lemon aroma. It has an oily facet that adds more richness and intensity. Its take on lemon is quite sweet until citron and lime come to the center of attention. These 2 are also very juicy and lively but instead of sweetness they are built of several layers – One is fresh & green, the next one is more tart and zesty while another one gives Cedro di Diamante a tad more bitterness and acidity. It’s totally mouth-watering and drinkable (but don’t!) Verbena CO2 extract adds a lemony floral vibe that is more balsamic and harbaceous in perception. After 20 minutes the scent warms up. There’s a sparkling sensation coming from pink pepper (CO2 again!) and is followed by a fresh, citric tingle of ginger. Over time peppery vibe gets bulkier so that metallic particles can be smelled. Cedro di Diamante also features sichuan pepper which surely participated in strengthening this part of fragrance. I didn’t get very much of cardamom. After some time the perfume became rounder, softer and muskier. At this point I could smell some powdery iris serving as a background to the citrus main actors. And oakmoss created some duskiness built around shrubs and woods. A truly pretty fragrance.

mandarino-sicilia

Mandarino di Sicilia couldn’t be a composition built around anything else than mandarin. This fragrance doesn’t open, it literally bursts in contact with your skin, releasing a delicious cloud scented with super freshness. Invigorating splash of chilled green mandarin from Italy provides an instant mood-boost. So tasty that I’m salivating & so close to the real thing that if I felt warm breeze on my skin and heard leaves rustling, I would probably feel as if I were in Italy. Bitter orange adds even more flavor and its bitter facets entwines with mandarin sweetness. Some time later Mandarino di Sicilia becomes greener in a Mediterranean way. Paraguayan petitgrain has a dry green scent, reminiscent of succulents & it has some dusty facet too. Heart of the composition reveals floral notes – there’s a sheer and airy jasmine that makes the perfume more sensual and pretty. I call it a summer jasmine note – that reminds me of California Reverie by Van Cleef & Arpels. Of course there’s also orange blossom that introduces white-tinted freshness with a citrus background with a tiny screech to it. Contrasting with it and appearing later is geranium that adds a crunchy green vibe. Couple of hours later reveal the smell of cedarwood chips and some muskiness blended with delicate amber. Very relaxing.

bergamotto-calabria

Finally we have Bergamotto di Calabria, an olfactory nod to bergamot which at the same time is probably the most iconic fragrance ingredient coming from Italy. It opens with a very tart and sour bergamot scent. It’s quite pungent citrus opening at first but after a couple of minutes it calms down. When it does, zestiness of bergamot becomes much more pronounced and dominates with its aromatic molecules. Petitgrain and peppers (pink and sichuan) kind of create the impression of a jungle filled with lush verdancy with a spiced up feeling in the distance. Heart of this one is similar to Mandarino di Sicilia. It has jasmine, neroli and orange blossom but all 3 feel more saturated and definitely more acidic & zesty. When drydown kicks in I firstly notice the dryness of vetiver gradually taking over. It’s grassy, reminiscent of hay smell but with coumarin replaced by more woody, rooty scent. Lucky for me that it doesn’t smell earthy. Sandalwood and its substantivity smooth any sharp edges and allow a seamless transition to further elements of the base. There’s a soft, fluffy muskiness that sort of melts with natural skin odour but is enhanced with iris that in this case has a silky-powdery finish. It feels elegant and I have to say that bergamot is still there somewhere, even after couple of hours.

All three fragrances from Perris Monte Carlo Italian Collection are really well made. They are fresh, uplifting and effervescent, combining a traditional eau de cologne summery charm with modernity of other ingredients like woods and spices.To accent lightness of these compositions the brand decided to use sleek transparent bottle with golden cap & name plate. Bottle features brad’s signature white pattern that kind of gives it a frozen look. Cedro di Diamante was developed by Luca Maffei, Mandarino di Sicilia by Gian Luca Perris and Bergamotto di Calabria is their joint work. These eau de parfums have decent sillage and longevity but I still wish they lasted longer on my skin.

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Taste of Rainbow, Our Modern Lives – 7 Mini Reviews

I would expect that perfumer Sarah McCartney probably needs no introduction as most of you surely are familiar with a brand of 4160 Tuesdays. I know I haven’t spent much time writing about these fragrances but I find this whole line very British – mostly thanks to playful, quirky names. It’s a perfumery with touch of English humor. Last year Sarah created a new project: Our Modern Lives – a response to customers questions about natural scents & scents without allergens.

Yellow is a straight-forward citrus fragrance. It opens with a zesty & juicy lemon mixed with clementine and sweet orange that add a touch of sweetness to a more sour beginning. Additionally blood orange and yellow mandarin introduce more juiciness and a hint of something sugary in the back. After a while the perfume changes and I start to smell a coffee note – it’s got some bitterness and a little bit of acridity that I typically associate with coffee. Cardamom and fennel add a spicy & crunchy hint to it. Later on narcissus adds some floral creaminess to make whole thing smoother.

Orange is another citrusy composition in the range but is quite different from the first one. In here things start with a pleasant neroli which is citric, white-floral smelling note with some sharpness as well. After a couple of minutes it gets more honeyed and woody because of the honeybush CO2. Vanilla and cocoa bring a gourmand edge to this fragrance but not too much sweetness. Peach tones its down with a fruity and fresh smell of own flesh, it’s kind of lactonic too. Pelargonium adds the green-colored element with a crunchy texture. Cedar gives the perfume its woody, solid base.

Red starts with a rich rose accord that feels quite glamorous in the moment of applying. Soon a raspberry note arrives to add a fruity sweetness that goes well with the rose. To me it smells like a fruit but in the notes it says it’s a raspberry leaf. After some time I catch a whiff of hay, a coumarin smell goes deep inside my nose. Oak and hazelnut extracts add a mellow woody vibe to the scent that has a nutty, edible flavor. Pink pepper introduces an element of fizziness and leads to the olfactive effect that reminds me of how red wine smells. It’s fruity, floral and with some tannins.

our-modern-lives

Indigo is a perfume that starts with a punch. Right from the start you can smell a cognac accord – alcoholic, bold and with hints of wooden barrels it’s been maturing in. Then I immediately get a mentholated smokiness or labdanum. It’s dark, kind of gooey & dense. When it dissipates a bit the fragrance profile changes more into a black tea one, it’s got tartness and some flavor coming from tea tannins. If osmanthus or jasmine are there, I cannot really smell them, because I smell cedarwood and rum, with its sugar cane sweetness. This perfume sure is a blasting experience.

Aquamarine is the most sheer and delicate in this line and it also smells very pretty. Grapefruit tang opens this fragrance and a rosemary note quickly surfaces, adding a delightful touch of aromatic verdancy that immediately reminds me of Eau Bord de L’Eau from L’Artisan Parfumeur. Olive extract provides an interesting Mediterranean twist – the smell is green, dusty, oily and vegetal at once. A bit of jasmine gives Aquamarine a sheer floral vibe while a touch of lavender turns this floral impression into more herbal and fougere one. It’s a dreamy and easy to wear scent for boys and girls.

Green starts with a distinctive verdant take on jasmine that smells like tree sap, fresh-cut flower stems, cut grass and finally like a more indolic version of jasmine itself. There’s also a tea note that blends in, creating the effect of a floral tea infusion. Watery and fresh aspect of cucumber is another prominent element of Green. Mandarin or bergamot should be adding some zestiness but I don’t get much from either of them. This particular creation features bergamot mint, which as Sarah explained, is a mint of a more bergamot-like scent. Perfume also features spinach but I wouldn’t focus on that.

Blue is an incense fragrance with inhalatory properties. The meditative, calm smokiness gradually transitions into the peaceful aroma of 2 types of lavender, for a very relaxing concoction. There’s something minty, eucalyptus-like about it in the background and as vetiver kicks in later the scent becomes more woody-grassy but still with that strong element of frankincense. Hyacinth brings some floral tones of more earthy, damp kind that correspond with patchouli that smells quite similar. Even though there are no directly spicy notes in Blue, it does feel spicy, and woody too.

All 7 of these compositions are natural fragrances (with allergens) and therefore their longevity is limited to 3-4 hours on my skin. There are also 2 synthetic, allergen-free ‘primers’ – α and β. All of Our Modern Lives eau fraiche can be worn separately or combined with one another. At 4160 Tuesdays website one can also read that a 10 ml roll-on and 50 ml bottle are in eau de parfum concentration while 100 ml is an eau fraiche that can also be used as room fragrance.

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