Tag Archives: 2014 launch

Sunny smile, Gabriella Chieffo Camaheu

Winter this year wasn’t really good for me. There wasn’t much snow and the temperatures were not awfully cold. That wouldn’t actually bother me since winter is a time for snow and cold. What bothered me more was the lack of sun. Thick layer of gray and heavy clouds were hanging above my head and they didn’t let a single ray of light to break through. It almost felt like a constant and never-ending evening. The world was dark and sad. People could easily get depressed.

Luckily the weather has finally changed. For the last 1-2 weeks the Sun was shining through white, wool-like clouds. There were even days with no clouds at all. That brought back some optimism to people’s lives and as it got warmer, birds started singing louder and first green buds start to appear on trees that means that spring is getting closer. And that is when I re-discover the most suitable perfume for right now. Ladies and gentlemen, acclaimed perfume lovers, meet Camaheu.

Gabriella Chieffo and her maison de parfum debuted for the first time at one of the best places they could, at Pitti Fragranze in Florence. A mecca of all things fragrant, where people from around the world gathered to share their passion and emotions. Due to unusual stand decorated with white pebbles and paper flowers the interest for this brand was very common among visitors. Camaheu is one of four perfumes that launched at that time (mind Gabriella just presented new scent, it will debut at Esxence this March). I liked it but I prefered to wait for the right season to review it. The timing is perfect now.

How does it smell? Camaheu opens with prominent and bright accord of zesty and juicy bergamot. It smells very lively, energetic and absolutely mouth-watering. It also smells very realistic, like a real citrus. Within a couple of minutes the opening citrus accord becomes stronger thanks to grapefruit essential oil. Now this blend smells very aromatic and spacious, like an open air, filled with citrus tones. Grapefruit specific property is that it has both sweet and sour elements which are both present in this Gabriella Chieffo creation as well. Citrus is just a beginning for this fragrance.

After a while, like 20 or 30 minutes Camaheu develops this enchanting green aroma. Ivy brings the feeling of light and airy morning in the garden behind a countryside house. It is green, sappy with a noticeable aroma of flower and green stems. It is also very crispy and still really aromatic. To me there are also hints of geranium and a tiny bit of mint too but those notes are not mentioned as part of this composition. Camaheu feels refreshing, positive and quite relaxing.

As the time passes by, Gabriella Chieffo Camaheu slowly keeps unveiling the other notes it hides within its structure. At 2 hours mark it presents a gracious floral tones of combined rose and jasmine. Rose note is very pretty here. It’s more pink than bright red and has a slightly cosmetic vibe that immediately brings the association of very light blush on your cheeks. Jasmine on the other hand is feels surprisingly clean and dewy in this composition. When I smell it I envision a very pretty woman wearing gentle white dress that dances as the zephyr blows. Camaheu, similarly to Lye is a perfume that feels pure and innocent.

In the next couple of hours the fragrance has a really great sillage and as my nose catches the fragrant molecules of Camaheu, I can smell crispy ivy, delicate roses and jasmine. It feels like a greenhouse filled with roses on a very early spring day. Drydown on this scent is just as beautiful as its earlier stages. We have here a sensuous, slightly erotic amber accord paired with powdery, tonka-like vanilla. At the same time oakmoss adds a woody substance to the base and makes it lasts for several more hours. Each time I smell my wrist it feels nice… and I smile.

Camaheu by Gabriella Chieffo is an aromatic fougere composition that feels so right to wear on the first days of sunny weather after many weeks of cloudy and saddening winter (without snow and frost). On my skin it feels clean, fresh and optimistic. Its decent sillage and lasting power that oscillates around 8-10 hours will allow you to enjoy it all day long, especially when you like the smell of citrus and fresh cut flowers combined with more substantial, woody-ambery base. This fragrance is available as eau de parfum in 100ml cube-shaped flacons with a stone cap.

[note] pictures via press and smellspell.ru; also see Camaheu visual.

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La Habana, Parfums de Nicolai Cuir Cuba Intense

At the end of 2014 Patricia de Nicolai, head of a brand and perfumer behind Parfums de Nicolai was celebrating 25th anniversary of the house. Apart from releasing the commemorative book, Patricia also composed a special anniversary perfume geared towards male audience. Together with a copy of this book I was lucky to receive a small bottle of this fragrance, Cuir Cuba Intense. I needed to spend some time with this composition before I could tell you more about my impressions.

Cuir Cuba Intense begins with extremely dry, think paper dry accord of lavender. At first it feels really herbal and a tad green just as if someone picked some fresh lavender in the garden and then left it for a couple of weeks to dry. Sunlight drained all water from the stems and tiny purple flowers. The beautiful, clean and fresh smell turned into dry, herbaceous concoction with kind of ashy undertone. After around 10-15 minutes lavender note is joined by some specific sweetness. Dry at first it becomes more syrupy and dark. That is licorice, bringing this specific vibe to this new Parfums de Nicolai creation. It smells like those black chewy sweets. I never liked those. Then the perfume gets more aromatic with some hay appearing right next to lavender.

When you hear “Cuba” and “tobacco” many fragrance lovers would expect a very prominent and persistent tobacco perfume that smells kind of dirty or filthy. Tobacco accord in Cuir Cuba Intense makes an appearance around 30 minutes after applying the perfume on skin. It does smell like old, chewy tobacco at first but as it stays longer on my skin it begins to smell more like a fine cigar that costs a lot of money. It’s rather rich and smoky, definitely having more masculine vibe to it.

After some time it becomes softer and more creamy kind of tobacco, mostly thanks to assisting ylang-ylang note which appears later on. This tobacco now feels warm and slightly honeyed (no honey note in composition though) and a while later it gains soft and spicy elements coming from star anise and coriander. The first one makes it feel a little bit medicinal, antiseptic (think anise sweets for sore throat) while coriander introduces a rather enjoyable dryness that suggests a gentle smoke coming from the tip of cigar. Cuir Cuba Intense gets quite complex over time.

As we’re getting closer to the drydown Parfums de Nicolai Cuir Cuba Intense smells a bit more animalic. This blend contains some civet and mixed with hay accord it just smells like coumarine and reminds me of all the classic fougere fragrances. There is also a little special portion of sweetness. Not the one from licorice but the one associated with tonka beans. In the drydown the perfume feels more woody and solid – there is some cedar wood as well as spicy cumin (no sweat effect detected.) In far drydown there is also a small hint of crispy geranium and just as crispy mint. Other notes include lemon and liatris.

All in all Cuir Cuba Intense from Parfums de Nicolai is a delectable smoky-fougere fragrance (although Fragrantica classifies it as leathery composition) with lavender, tobacco and licorice as three leading notes. The opening might seem a bit harsh at first but it becomes much milder over time so that the final impression is very pleasant. Smoky lavender with a leathery vibe? Why not. It also has great lasting power of around 8 hours. Sillage is big at the start and becomes moderate after a few hours. This eau de parfum comes packaged in PdN signature bottles of 30 and 100ml.

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