Tag Archives: 2019 launch

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 62

It’s been a while since I last wrote about something from Laboratorio Olfattivo. I quite liked their earlier releases but what came later didn’t interest me as much & the number of new fragrances added went up quite fast. But I never fully gave up on the brand, that’s why I got me a decant of Mandarino. Laboratio Olfattivo is one of those brands that keep Jean-Claude Ellena busy after his retirement from Hermes and this perfume is also composed by him. Mandarino is a very simplicist creation, very much in line with the style of J-C.E. At first there’s a burst of Italian mandarin – a very juicy and realistic interpretation that makes my mouth water. Mandarin notes often turn flat after a while but this one stays round and firm. Maybe it’s because that right underneath this lovely juiciness there’s also this powdery, almost talc-y albedo facet that is additionally followed by the aromatic orange-colored peel. It’s a whole fruit. Once this part calms down the flavor changes. Enter blackcurrant note. In Mandarino it has a very tart character – more like actual buds rather than a jammy fruit. You can almost smell the acidic quality of these delicious black orbs. Mandarine and currant notes are quite linear here but they last for a good amount of time. When the perfume dries down it becomes lighter, softer and pleasantly musky. It’s a simple fragrance but it does the trick. Had I discovered it before the summer, I’d have worn it.

I rarely reach for gourmand fragrances at my own will so you have to blame my NST swap partner, Karina, for adding a sample of Cafe Cabanel by Teo Cabanel as a freebie in a package she sent me. In other circumstances I wouldn’t have been searching for this one. The perfume opens with a warm and slightly caramelized smell of freshly roasted coffee beans that are being ground a moment later – resulting in giving off a slightly powdery aroma. There’s a bit of cinnamon going on in this composition but while it adds a little bit of spicy tinge, Cafe Cabanel becomes sweeter and sweeter. Over time it develops that densely sugary scent of condensed milk – this bring back childhood memories as I used to buy it in tubes and eat it like regular sweets. This gourmand accord is enhanced by a smooth buttery note and an almost edible heliotrope. In the drydown there’s a lot of balsamic tonka that fuses with gooey and sticky concoction of caramel & vanilla. There’s a hint of sandalwood in this composition but it can be easily unnoticed due to all the sweetness that is oozing from this perfume. I can understand why some people like i; But not me. However after a couple of hours when the sweetness is not so drastic, the drydown reminds be of balsams from MFK Grand Soir.

Speaking of Maison Francis Kurkdjian, I was curious about their newly released L’Homme a la Rose a masculine response to their A la Rose perfume for women from 2013. For some reason MFK still stubbornly divides their offerings by gender but ok, let them have it their way. Personally I love roses, that’s why I was interested how the brand will approach the subject of a flower that is still considered dominantly feminine in Western perfumery. L’Homme a la Rose begins with a muted and slightly bitter note of grapefruit. It feels crisp and tad powdery, like a just ironed shirt. I guess that’s what makes if feel more manly. There seems to be the faintest sweaty undertone to the grapefruit but it’s gone in a blink under a damask rose. This rose smells green and fresh, the scent of flower stems is especially pronounced on my skin. I also pick that specific note of the flowershop spray they use on bouquets. Later on the rose blooms more rich (now it’s Rosa centifolia) yet the perfume maintains its elegant suit & tie vibe. Airy herbaceous tones of sage are well-aligned with the idea of this fragrance L’Homme a la Rose turns lightly woody and gains an ambery touch with a bit of labdanum to add some weight to the base. Overally it’s too light in my opinion.

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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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