Tag Archives: Berdoues

Me & You, Labdanum for two

Hello November! Yesterday we celebrated All Saints’ Day while today it’s All Souls’ Day. Despite the fact 1st of November is a happy day, meant to commemorate those who are in Heaven, in Polish culture it’s still considered more sad and pensive. It’s on that day when we all visit graves of our passed relatives, light torches for them and pray. Such thoughtful atmosphere of these days encouraged me to wear more resinous, incense-themed fragrances as my own way to pay respects.


My first choice is Labdanum 18 from Le Labo. It starts bold and powerful yet at the same time it’s full of grace. The opening is richly resinous and dense. Cistus labdanum blends with castoreum and a little bit of civet. Such combination creates a whirl of incense smokiness that also has something animalic to it. But on my skin I don’t consider the animalic part as dirty. It’s more sensual, carnal. There’s also a lot of vanilla that beautifully sweetens the composition and make it very smooth and mellow. Labdanum and vanilla are both present in perfect proportions and they enhance each other. It’s the feeling of gently sweet, resinous smokiness that gives me a dreamy mood when I wear Labdanum 18. Cinnamon with its warm & spicy tingle makes the perfume more interesting and also gives it a delightful spark that feels slightly caramelized. Gurjun balsam introduces another faced to overall balmy vibe of this Le Labo fragrance, but this one has a slight green tinge. Tonka bean which appears after some time makes the perfume more creamy, also introducing something roasty. Patchouli wasn’t very much pronounced on my skin, but the perfume had depth and longevity, so it was also a fixative. Additional notes include hawthorn and birch tar. Le Labo Labdanum 18 starts like a bomb but in the end it becomes a furry cat, purring loud with content. It’s a cuddlefluff.


As a second perfume for this double review I decided to go with Maasai Mara, one of the most recent releases from Berdoues. This perfume opens much lighter compared to the previous one but it’s not even a bit less interesting. At first there is a Spanish labdanum note that gives a transparent, fog-like smokiness that wears very nicely on the skin. It’s a bit balmy and resinous but it doesn’t feel heavy nor overwhelming. Shortly it’s followed by a juicy plum note that has a bit of smokiness to it. You could say that it’s a fruit at the beginning of a smoking process. Some other dried fruit join later on but plum remains the most significant one. Maasai Mara also features quite a generous dose of cinnamon – it makes the perfume feel kind of powdery, kind of dusty, with that tingly spiciness that tickles inside your nose. Chamomile and buchu appear after a while. They introduce a herbal-like, aromatic facet. It combines very nicely with a labdanum aroma. It’s also worth noticing that this herbal-aromatic effect is strong enough to notice it, but not stronger than the resinous part. It always remains peripheral. Benzoin introduces this slightly gooey, sweet & balsamic feeling that smells to my nose like a melting toffee that’s burning a bit. Vanilla adds a nice flavor to this scent, making it a close relative to Labdanum 18. There is also hints of rose in Maasai Mara – they add a lovely rouge hue here and there. Such floral touch really suits here. Patchouli makes it overally feel more earthy and dirty. There’s something playful about this scent. And it’s a cuddlefluff too!


Both Labdanum 18 and Maasai Mara are beautiful cistus-centered fragrances. They share many similarities, like being balsamic, mild and a tad sweet too. The biggest differences is that they are placed at completely opposite price levels, Le Labo one being much, much more spendy than Berdoues, which is very affordable. These two perfumes are very round and sensual and they’ll make a great choice for the time of autumn and winter. I’m happy I have decants of both of them. I’m sure I will be using them more often soon. Do you like labdanum? Did any of these 2 appeal to you?

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Triple trip with Maison Berdoues

In the past every now and then I could hear people talking about Maison Berdoues and their perfumes. However it hasn’t been until few months ago that I actually got a chance to try what this brand has to offer. I was surprised to learn that Berdoues history began in 1902 and that it was quite flourishing. But at Esxence they didn’t present any of their classic fragrances. Instead they flew with the current of time, presenting a modern like of Collection Grands Crus. The packaging is eye-catching & juices have a lot of fun in them. It’s actually hard to decide which one I like the most. Therefore I decided to write about 3 of them that I think are very suitable for summer season.


Scorza di Sicilia

Its Italian name means Sicilian Bark. Composition of this fragrance opens with a vibrant cocktail of citrus. Ultra fresh and energetic, it feels like a deep dive into a swimming pool. The citrus accord is exhilaratingly chilly so you’ll definitely experience a cool-down effect once you spray it on skin. Within few minutes the juiciness boosts up and becomes aromatic. To me Scorza do Sicilia smells like a just picked, sun-drenched fruit. I can clearly smell zesty rind as well as tart and sweet pulp. On their website they mention citron but to me it’s more complex, like a combination of lemon, lime, orange & bergamot. After a while the composition warms up. There is a cedarwood accord that brings substance and weight to otherwise fleeting citrus. Its woody aroma is gentle, blending harmoniously with citrus notes. There’s a certain warmth to this woody aspect as well as a tiny hint of soft spiciness. Vetiver has a grassy, kind of lemony vibe in this scent. It’s also a sunny but contrasts with juicy citrus as itself it has some dryness to it. It’s an aromatic blend that is truly mouth-watering. Great and optimistic blend for vacation in Italy. Perfumer – Sebastien Martin.


Assam of India

Immediately after applying this one on skin I experienced a green wave going through my nose. There’s something wild about it but then it leaves the impression of green grass on a summer morning, when it’s still covered with dew drops. There’s something certainly watery about the opening. Lightweight substantivity arises few minutes later and you realise that what you smell on the skin is a tea note. Since it’s Assam of India, the tea is nothing else but assam, a black tea. It smells aromatic and somehow comforting, with this specific vibe that tannins are able to introduce. Then we have a true lemon – juicy and a bit sour it blends so well with assam that it smells like a cup of your favorite beverage (hello tea lovers!). Assam note also gives me this blurry impression of something woody but it’s very faint. Freshness of tea with that extra drop of lemon juice is definitely a key aspect to Assam of India. At some point sandalwood joins the composition and it really adds few extra kilograms to this perfume. Now it sits on the skin with more confidence and substance, it no longer feels like it could be gone by next time you’ll want to smell your wrist. There’s even something balmy about it now. Truly amazing perfume for summer. Perfumer – Jennifer Riley.


Vanira Moorea

Out of the bunch featured in this post I find Vanira Moorea to be the most interesting and unusual perfume. At first whiff all I get is a very naturally smelling orange. I can literally smell a whole, round fruit. There’s some zing coming from the zest, tart & aromatic albedo and the sweet scent of its juicy flesh. It’s a very playful scent that puts a smile on my face any time I smell it on my wrist. Some time later a gorgeous vanilla joins the composition. There are many words to describe it. It’s lush, luscious, creamy, sweet, balsamic – all this at the same time. Its smell reminds me of vanilla ice cream but the best way to sum it up perfectly is to say that Vanira Moorea is a tropical vanilla. There’s something really exotic and fruity about it, even though no exotic fruit is mentioned anywhere in its press release. To me this perfume also smells like an expensive suntan lotion with a glittery shimmer. It’s a yummy smell of having fun in the sun. Later on this vanilla accord develops a powdery facet. This facet is very pretty and has some moisture to it, which instantly brings to my mind the association with a coconut pulp. It even smells slightly similar. Addition of petitgrain adds a warm freshness. It’s vital part of Vanilla Moorea, otherwise there would be a high chance the perfume would feel to heavy and cloying to wear during hot days. Nothing like that happens and I wore it on a day when it was 30°C. I can’t get enough of this one. Perfumer – Alexandra Monet.


Not only these three from Berdoues Collection Grands Crus are playful scents because the other ones are just as playful. There’s a lot of fun to these perfumes & I’m sure they will bring you lots of pleasure when you get a possibility to test them. All of them are concentrated at eau de parfum level – this provides great lasting power and decent sillage. Bottles of this collection are absolutely an example of perfume bottle porn. Each 100 ml flacon is decorated with a special motif assigned to each composition. They are also very good value for money, as a big bottle costs only 79 €. I am seriously tempted to buy that pretty bottle of Vanira Moorea and douse myself in it regularly.

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