Tag Archives: 2015 launch

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 56

jasmin-angelique

I’ve been a fan of Atelier Cologne since 2010 when the brand was established. Over the years they released many fragrances that I liked and have in my collection. When Jasmin Angelique was introduced 4 years ago I got a travel spray as a freebie when swapping with someone. But I didn’t like it at that time. After spending years in purgatory drawer I found it while looking for something else. I tested it once more and to my surprise I find it pleasant now. The opening combines spicy sharpness of sichuan pepper with a brisky smell of lemon, both its juicy flesh and aromatic zest. After a few minutes angelica joins the composition and from that moment the scent will remain green until the end. Angelica introduces stem-like kind of green, quite crispy and warm at the same time. Addition of fig makes Jasmin Angelique more fruity and milky, therefore rounder and more approachable. Galbanum is a source of more sappy & resinous variety of green note, there’s something tad more dark behind it. When jasmine appears the perfume is very verdant, like a secret garden in which white flowers begin to unfold their petals. Jasmine is rich and strong, heady a bit but not indolic. In dries down revealing notes of soft and sensual tonka mixed with frankincense and amber. It’s a rather elegant and unobvious take on a green theme.

orange-x-santal

Essential Parfums is a new brand that debuted in 2018 and in the world of niche perfumery, where price increases are seen almost everywhere, it’s like a breath of fresh air. The brand works with perfumers of well-known names, their packaging is minimalistic, fragrances are totally fine and yet they charge less than 70 Euro for a 100 ml bottle. At Esxence I tried the entire range of five compositions and I liked Orange x Santal the most. Welcomed by a duet of super juicy and naturally smelling Italian orange and bitter orange, I can smell the pulp, the juice and the rind. It’s an uplifting and invigorating opening that is sure to wake you up. It’s almost as if someone served you a glass of freshly squeezed juice. A touch of basil introduces and aromatic vibe of green, Mediterranean landscape. This picture is even more visualized in my head thanks to cypress which brings forward a slightly different aspect of verdant note, more dry and shrub-like. Cypress is also like a prelude to the woodiness that Orange x Santal has to offer. Sandalwood (from Australia) in this perfume is really pretty. It’s more on a dry and rugged side rather than on creamy side and there’s something about it that makes me think of color red. It combines nicely with the juicy fruitiness of orange. Oakmoss introduces a parched, aromatic vibe that’s slightly like a chypre. It’s a nice option for summer days.

memo-oriental-leatherThe collection of Cuirs Nomades at Memo Paris has just gotten bigger thanks to Oriental Leather that joined the family very recently. As someone who thinks that all 6 (now 7) leathers are well done, I’m quite eager to smell what new ideas Memo might bring to this range. Oriental Leather opens with a soothing scent of aromatic lavender. The smell is quite deep, relaxing, inflected with fougere elements. Geranium introduces a green-aromatic and crunchy facet. Pimento and coriander bring something spicy and dry to the scent. Very soon patchouli joins the composition and completely changes the scent. Oriental Leather becomes dark and mysterious. Patchouli is very earthy and damp here, also carrying the facet of rotting vegetation. There’s an impressive depth and multi-dimensional effect to it but the scent is specific. Finally leather appears – it’s quite bulky, rugged and still smelling slightly of the chemicals it was treated with at the workshop. It blends with patchouli making these 2 hard to separate. Later on things get more round and smooth. Cinnamon adds a nice fizziness and clove appears next bringing a spicy vibe that is more tenacious. After a few hours there’s a vanillic trace hovering in the background but it quickly gets lost under a resinous, balmy, slightly caramelized benzoin. To me it’s probably the most oriental part of Oriental Leather. Additional notes include anise and tea but I didn’t notice either of them. Some will like this one, some will like it less.  It sure is far from the one I like the most. I’m ready to forget it.

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Light before the Night, Prada Marienbad

Hello 2019! Since a new year has begun I’m going to kick it off with my traditional review of a Prada fragrance. The idea of boutique exclusive perfume collections launched by big fashion houses like Chanel or Dior is nothing new these days. Of course not all fashion labels have joined this bandwagon (think Versace). Prada was one of the latecomers to this game, introducing Olfactories collection in 2015. But… it wasn’t their first attempt as between 2004 and 2012 they released a bunch of boutique-only fragrances but those came without much echo in the fragrance universum.

Marienbad starts as a luminous amber perfume but that’s just how it looks (smells?) on the outside. Its take off is full of brightness, feels exhilarating, kind of fresh even… but there’s way more complexity hiding underneath this external layer. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes until the perfume starts to put on weight and develop greater density. Amber becomes more resinous, having a slight fudgy sweetness in the background. The perfume still has a bright nature at this point.

However some shadows start to sneak in as well. Those shadows smell of black leather. This accord is introduced to Prada Marienbad in a seamless manner, as if it emerged straight from the sea of amber. Leather feels very elegant and sophisticated in this perfume. Stylish. Its glossy, shiny finish combined with the way it smells suggests a very expensive pair of shoes or a luxurious hand bag. Of course both would have to come from Prada boutique. This leather doesn’t feel offensive at all.

Next up in the fragrance development we have insense. Its smokiness – immaterial, clear but present only adds to the overall elegant feeling that Marienbad evokes. It’s contrasting with radiance of amber and merges with leather that itself has a darker side – some sort of chiaroscuro effect is created with these notes. Adding more to the noir of this Prada composition there’s oud. This wood-derived resin creates more depth and enriches the impressions with a bit of dramatism.

Agar in Prada Marienbad feels oily, balmy and rich. It also gets a tiny bit animalic because of some civet. But those are countered with boozy oriental vanilla note so that the fragrance has a good balance between dark and light elements. Tolu balm makes everything feels very smooth & seamless while the signature Prada iris brings some powdery tones to this perfume, giving it a nice finishing touch. I think of this Olfactories release as a fudgy, cuddly amber – ideal for winter.

Among original (read: first) boutique collection of Prada Olfactories, Marienbad stands there as one of the more complex ones to be honest with you. Great part of the other ones focus on 2-3 ingredients and those have a tendency to get more linear. In case of Prada Marienbad you can experience more interaction between the ingredients, there are different layers that entwine and overlap with one another. Perfumer Daniela Andrier  did a great job. The entire collection is available in eau de parfum concentration in 100 ml heavy glass bottles, each perfume comes with a pouch.

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