Tag Archives: 2018 launch

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 46


Maison Francis Kurkdjian recently issued Aqua Celestia Forte, which is a flanker to Aqua Celestia introduced in 2017. I think forte is meant to be stronger and it’s just how it seems to be. It unfolds with a lightweight lime note that brings a little burst of juiciness to the skin. Shortly it is followed by blackcurrant. But instead of using a fruit the perfumer decided to use its bud. As a result a new green facet appears in the composition and it has a little bit of tarness – similar to the one that blackcurrant as a fruit provides. Addition of petitgrain brings more of a crispy freshness to Aqua Celestia Forte while mint makes it more invigorating and ice-chilled. Clean musky softness wraps around the wholeness of this MFK scent like a puff of fluffy cotton. Additional hints of mimosa and jasmine introduce a soft floral sensation but it’s very fleeting and barely there. I admit that Aqua Celestia Forte has more presence on skin than its predecessor. On the other hand I don’t think that this kind of perfume is worth its price tag. But the perfume is nice in general.


Latest composition introduced by Olfactive Studio is Flash Back in New York. It borrows part of its name from Flash Back (2013) but is a completely different perfume and shouldn’t be considered a flanker. Inspired by a photo of New York City in a snow storm the perfume is meant to present a contrast between cold and warm elements. At first the perfume is spicy, with a lot of saffron, bit of cumin and clary sage that make it feel more masculine. Then I get a whole lot of violet flower. On my skin it really becomes an overwhelming part of the perfume & through its dewiness it smells cold. Later a leather accord kicks in – it’s rather strong and bold. A dark leather that entwines with the smell of birch tar. As I see the progress of Flash Back in New York the perfume becomes dry, peppery. We have vetiver and papyrus that give this impression. In the drydown the fragrance becomes more aromatic & creamy thanks to tonka. Additional notes that slipped my attention include jasmine and cotton flower. Perfumer behind it is Jerome Epinette.


I have a feeling that Kilian has a lot of liking for exclusive fragrances and limited editions of some. The last one that I learned about is named Miami Vice (rolls eyes) and features two fragrances ‘inspired by the sun, sin and style of the city of Miami’. Love the Way You Taste is a straightforward evocation of mojito. It starts with a vibrant mint accord that is very green, aromatic (almost fougere, like fern) and has quite a resemblance of basil leaves. This scent makes a pairing with zesty lemon to provide explosive freshness that really is similar to mojito cocktail. Addition of magnolia makes the composition slightly milder although floral-lemony signature of magnolia matches this theme really well. More green elements introduce dewiness. Vetiver in the base makes Love the Way You Taste feel more grassy and it also provides a specific dryness that could remind of gin scent. The perfume indeed has something that gives it its alcoholic vibe. Otherwise this limited edition from Kilian is a simple, non complicated fragrance that mimics a popular beverage is a nice way. In this case I also have a feeling that price tag is way too high. Sidonie Lancesseur is the perfumer who created this limited edition fragrance.

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Warble of the Cranes, Berdoues Péng Lái

My fascination for the culture of far East countries started when I was only few years old. I would watch National Geographic with my parents and episodes about Japan were always most interesting for me. I also watched some anime which was quite an entertainment. Later on I would also develop an interest in other countries in the East. In their newest fragrance Maison Berdoues takes us through a narrative of a Chinese legend of eight immortals who lived on Penglai Island and who fought evil with their special powers. Goddess of flowers – He Xiangu was among those 8.


Péng Lái has a fresh and juicy beginning that brings to mind mandarin orange from a Mediterranean orchard somewhere in Italy, Spain or Greece. There’s some sweetness to it but it’s less pronounced than in other fragrances featuring this note. Maybe it’s because I could already notice that something tart & exotic is beginning to develop in the background. Few minutes later that thing got stronger and it smelled like pomegranate. Its sour tastes balances the citrus sweetness. The opening is calm and serene but it has something that awakens the senses. It’s like a shot of energy for a good day.

15 minutes later Berdoues Péng Lái becomes gently fruity but in a non-straightforward way. Apricot-like aroma builds up over time but it’s actually more floral than fruity from some point. There’s an easy explanation to that happening as in a central place of this perfume there’s osmanthus. It’s this little flower that introduces the apricot impression when you smell Péng Lái on your skin. It’s very pretty and calm; at the same time it effuses some floral tones that blend nicely together. These nuances make the perfume more interesting & piques curiosity about what’s coming next.

In a further development stage osmanthus presents yet its another facet – this time it’s the smell reminiscent of green tea. It has a pleasant and inviting warmth. Then Péng Lái transforms into something aquatic and more transparent. It continues to smell floral & has a gently creamy backnote. Could it be that this stage was meant to evoke the smell of lotus flower? No matter what I’m happy with the result. Péng Lái is a light perfume but this is exactly what I’m often looking for in the spring/summer season – a perfume that smells on the surface of my skin, nowhere farther.


Drydown of this new Berdoues composition is somewhat surprising. From fresher fruity-floral tendencies Péng Lái ventures towards more oriental direction. Mouth-watering benzoin adds a balsamic smoothness to the blend. Its aroma that combines elements of caramel, balms and resins melts with your skin. The perfume almost becomes your second skin. Additionally tonka bean from Brazil adds a creamy & aromatic sensation that makes you salivate even more. Péng Lái is far from being gourmand but it’s end phase smells really delicious. The whole perfume is really well-made.

Péng Lái from Berdoues is a great addition to the line. It’s true that I don’t like all of the offerings from their Grands Crus collection but the ones that I like – I like them a lot. It’s a perfect fit for the upcoming warm months. Also please note that brand only provides 3 main themes for Péng Lái – these are Chinese Osmanthus, Laotian benzoin and Brazilian tonka bean. Therefore my review and some notes I suggested might not be accurate. A bottle of Péng Lái is decorated with white cranes and colorful lotus pattern. It’s a very light composition, lasting around 5 hours… but it’s oh so pretty!

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