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Travelling Box of Perfume, notes from Cathy

Our Travelling Box of Perfume didn’t have a long trip to go until it reached the next person who was waiting for it. Cathy and her nose must’ve been very busy as within a week of time she came back to me with impressions. Let’s see how she liked the experience…


Your general impression of the box once it arrived…
When the box arrived, I was excited beyond belief (I thought I would pee my pants). Fortunately, I had time to open the box immediately and start the incredible journey. I really enjoyed the handwritten notes from the previous recipients.  The notecards were so elegant and added an intimate touch to the box.  It felt like I was receiving a gift from a dear friend.

Favorite perfume in the box…
The three fragrances I kept were equal favorites.

Least favorite perfume in the box…
The Chanel Gardenia was my least favorite.

Mini reviews
The large bottle of First EDP by Van Cleef and Arpels immediately caught my eye and before I could control myself, I gave my arm a liberal spray.  It is a soft, clean floral and reminded me of a fragrance from my youth that was worn by my aunt. It has a very elegant quality but unfortunately developed a staleness on my skin after a few hours.
I have an adoration for gardenia, and the sample of Chanel Gardenia was next.  Wow, I am embarrassed to say it was quite a disappointment AND a scrubber.  For me, it did not smell anything like my beloved gardenia flower.  So far in my search, Dame Gardenia is the closest gardenia fragrance, but I will never stop searching!
Next, Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose (mini). I love the clean citrus and slightest touch of rose. I have not had a chance to try many Hermes fragrances, and I really love this one.  Unfortunately, longevity is lacking.  It is such a lovely fragrance that I would not mind frequent applications!
Zoologist Camel (sample) was next.  I love Hummingbird and Civet and really wanted to try some of the other fragrances.  With Camel, I catch the amber, fruits, incense, cedar, and a warm animalic quality to this fragrance.  As with all of the Zoologist fragrances I have tried, they last all day.  I really enjoyed this fragrance!
Last but not least, I tried JD Vanille Farfelue EDP (sample).  I am a great fan of Jeffery Dame fragrances and have yet to try this new one.  It was unexpected and gorgeous!  It is so refreshing and bubbly.  I could smell delicate florals, ylang ylang, and later soft vanilla and sandalwood.  It reminded me of a happy scent at Christmas from my childhood (yes, I give strange descriptions and reviews)!

Out of the box
I decided to keep Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Zoologist Camel, and JD Vanille Farfelue. I did smell many of the fragrances bottles, but settled on the few above.  I really dislike giving negative opinions about fragrances. I may not like one but it could be your favorite, and you may smell fabulous!!

Into the box
Atelier Cologne – Ambre Nue, Bois Blonds, Cedrat Enivrant, Gold Leather, Grand Neroli, Mistral Patchouli, Oolang Infini, Rose Anonyme, Trefle Pur, Vanille Insensee, Vetiver Fatal
Ava Luxe – Dancing Queen, Rasa
Dame Perfumery – New Musk Oil, Soliflore Freesia, Soliflore Mimosa, Soliflore Narcissus, Soliflore Orange Flower, Soliflore Wisteria
EnvoyageCarmel Boheme, Makeda
For Strange WomenTarantula
LancomeCuir De Lancome (3/4 of a 1.7 bottle)
Lili BermudaCedarwood, Paradise
MadiniMusk Gazelle, Musk Pierre
Solistice ScentEstate Vanilla, Ginger Spice Cake
Marc JacobsDaisy

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All the pieces, Masque Milano Kintsugi

In modern world we often forget about the value of our posessions… As soon as something breaks down we tend to throw it away & we buy a new thing instead of trying to repair it. It might be an easy way but it generates waste and makes us forget to have some respect and care for our belongings. Japanese people however believe that every item has a soul and even if it breaks it can be still put back together. Such are the teachings of Kintsugi, a Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold. “Don’t hide your scars, show them proudly” says Masque while introducing their new perfume.

Kintsugi opens in a very delicate & transparent way which is very appropriate for a perfume inspired by Japanese culture. At first the composition is translucent but minute by minute it gets more color thanks to the warmth of one’s skin. Pastel pink hue of magnolia flowers surround the wearer with a sheer veil of scent. At first this veil is calm & watery, like a still surface of a pond in Japanese style garden. After a few moments it becomes more floral in a way that it reminds me of mimosa and osmanthus woven into a bouquet of white flowers. It’s a very tranquil and harmonious opening.

Silky petals of magnolia eventually begin to exude more citrus, lemony aroma that is very much associated with this flower and with spring season. This scent, combined together with the essential oil of bergamot, Kintsugi becomes more brisk, tangy and charged with a solar energy. It has the uplifting and sparkling vibe when you smell the perfume with your nose close to the skin. Some time later the composition develops a warm and salty facet of a rather delicious, savoury amber. Honestly it’s like a perfume version of a salted caramel. It provides a nice twist to this beautiful scent. After the arrival of amber tones and onwards the structure of Kintsugi starts to be a little bit heavier.


From the salty amber the composition transitions seamlessly into a suede note. The latter one is nice and fuzzy, with a very soft and almost plushy texture. It feels luxurious as the softest gloves. When I smell this part of Masque Kintsugi it makes me think of a very light brown color with some golden and copper tones. Afterwards a violet leaf note arrives. It makes the perfume more aquatic again by effusing its characteristic scent that is simultaneously fresh, green, ozonic and crispy. If you looked at the notes pyramid for Kintsugi you’d notice Rosa Centifolia among its heart notes, however on my skin it remained somewhat hidden and didn’t mark its own presence in a noticeable way.

The brand wanted their new perfume to be a chypre but with more strict regulations for oakmoss it was a hard task to do. The perfumer worked with raspberry leaf absolute which recreates a dark, murky greenness of the lichen in a surprisingly good way. By marrying it with moist & earthy patchouli the impression of chypre was complete. Kintsugi additionally features benzoin which gives it a nice balsamic, resinous feeling with a hint of burnt caramel. Vanilla absolute is like a cherry on top here, introducing an oriental vibe with a tad of sweetness. It’s a darker and chewier kind than an average vanilla. It adds some density and structure to this multi-layered fragrance composition.

Kintsugi by Masque Milano is this kind of fragrance that feels simple in its construction but turns out to be a really intricate being when it comes to notes interacting with one another. I really like the Asian influences included in the formula but in general this scent has quite a European vibe to it. Kintsugi was one of the fragrances that gave me the best 1st impression while smelling stuff at Esxence couple of weeks ago. Perfumer Vanina Muracciole deserves a lot of praise for creating this scent. Kintsugi is an eau de parfum that will come in 35 ml bottles. Does it sound interesting to you?

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