Tag Archives: 2018 launch

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 61

How is this even possible that it’s been 2 months since my special yuzu edition of MQS? Is it just me or do you also have an impression that in the times of Covid the time flies even faster than usual?

Amouage introduced Interlude Man in 2012 and it was a challenging perfume due to heavily accentuated notes of oregano and pimento. 8 years later Interlude Man Black Iris is born. It’s the first flanker in the long history of the brand and also one of the first (if not first) launch after a major shuffle within the brand’s structures. This perfume starts with an oily & zesty bergamot note accompanied by herbaceous & aromatic rosemary. After a moment a crisp dewiness of violet leaf emerges. Instead of oregano there’s orris – deep and rooty, silky-cold and elegant. It’s warmed up by generously dosed frankincense that is followed by ambery tones. Going further there is labdanum and myrrh that give Interlude Man Black Iris its resiny vibe. A hint of vanilla (which smells like a bourbon) adds a bit of sweetness to this dark fragrance. Base is a mixture of hefty woody notes such as sandalwood and cedarwood, combined with leather and oud. In general it feels like a more streamlined, more wearable version of its predecessor.

For any perfume writer the number of reviews dedicated to a specific brand is probably the best measuring scale to determine if they like the fragrances from this house or not. Considering the fact that I have never written about Xerjoff before – so that’s a clear signal for you, no? Apollonia, named as a tribute to a successful lunar landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, its composition starts with an abstract white blossoms accord. Abstract because there’s not a single floral note that would dominate it. It’s like a mass of flowers among which you can’t tell which is jasmine, tuberose or an orange flower. There’s a lot of airy creaminess to it with a pollen-like sweetness. Gradually the density of the perfume changes and the focus goes towards the orris butter. In this perfume it is viscous, blending the fatty aspect of iris with its waxy tones. When you smell it you get an impression of reserve, of restraint. It’s kind of like a statuesque persona, like someone who feels they are better because they’re rich. But it is a pretty iris note nonetheless. The perfume dries down to an abundance of white musk in variety of forms – there’s a bit of cotton candy effect, a bit of something like a meringue and a tad of something plush & fluffy. On my skin Apollonia is not very complex, it’s rather linear and lacks something that sparks interest. At this price point I can easily pass, even if the bottle is covered with moon dust…

I liked the initial releases from Altaia (an offspring brand from the owners of Eau d’Italie) but the fragrances that joined their portfolio later were not really my cup of tea. Just like Purple Land from 2018. The fragrance starts with a prominent note of grapefruit that feels juicy but also bears the sweaty undertone that does not contribute to a pleasant experience. It subsides after some time, making room for exotic fruitiness of guava and papaya. Both give the perfume a strong fruity vibe that feels summery, mouth-watering and quite fleshy. Over time the floral aspect of the scent rises up, with lily of the valley taking a lead role in it. Muguet gives Purple Land a watery, gently floral feel that is reminiscent of a morning dew. Frangipani on the other hand makes the flowery phase more lactonic & creamy. The base is warmed up by ambrox molecule – combined with the other notes of this perfume it smells quite similar to popular sun tan lotions. Lush tropical flowers over the warm base, like a sun-kissed skin. Everything is finished by air-whipped, creamy musks. These notes seem a bit odd for one scent, but on general thought it’s not a bad perfume. None of these 3 Quick Sniffs are bad.

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Provencal Mood, Chabaud Orangerie Musicale

Over the last couple of days Poland has been setting their new records in terms of new confirmed Covid cases. We are on the rise again which is scary and which adds the element of uncertainty about what might happen soon. Even if I wanted to have fabulous summer holidays I don’t feel confident to travel abroad, no matter if the numbers were growing or not. That’s why I’m thankful for the fragrances that let me escape the daily routine & cheer up a bit. I have a soft spot for scents that are inspired by Provence, and this Chabaud perfume takes us to the heart of Aix-en-Provence.

chabaud-orangerie

Orangerie Musicale starts with a high-pitched tone coming from neroli. Initially it’s strong, stepping dangerously close to the border of pungency. On my skin I find it quite screechy for the first couple of minutes. Afterwards it becomes more round and softer thanks to the fruitiness of orange and zesty bergamot. Together with these two neroli reveals its cleaner, soapier side but it quickly develops an odd note that makes it really medicated, to the point that it feels almost iodized, astringent. It’s the kind of a medicinal smell that makes me think of the antiseptic liquids at the dentist.

I wonder if it could have something to do with star anise which can contain some eugenol in the essential oil. This clove-smelling substance can sometimes be associated with medicinal smells. After some time this impression subsides and we get to smell the orange blossom absolute. Unlike neroli, the absolute is obtained through organic solvent extraction, resulting in more dense & powerful aroma closer to white flowers and their animalic tones. Paired with jasmine, orange blossom is in the centerpiece of Orangerie Musicale. It’s a kind of weird yet interesting perfume.

orangerie-musicale

If top notes were kind of medicated and uninviting, the base of Chabaud Orangerie Musicale is quite the opposite. Creamy vanilla makes this perfume very cuddly and delicious – on my skin this note is reminiscent of a valvety meringue or of a macaron with hints of almond and orange blossom to add flavor. These impressions are supported by musky tones. Benzoin adds a balsamic, caramelized texture while calisson accord – an accord based on Provencale treat made of almond waffer & dried fruit paste with orange liquor. Better be prepared to salivate when you smell this delicious sweetness.

I have to admit that I was hesitant if I really wanted to tell you about the experience I had while wearing Orangerie Musicale. Why? Because I had a feeling that the medical aspect of orange blossom might scare some of you – even if you enjoy fleur d’oranger note in general. It’s somehow challenging but aren’t we looking for some uniqueness in our perfume? We all love our crowd-pleasers but sometimes we want something more challenging. Perfumer Marie Schnirer created an intriguing composition – the accord of calisson is what definitely makes it worth a sniff.

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