Tag Archives: Esxence 2017

Lyrical – Magical, Anatole Lebreton Grimoire

Magic has been deeply rooted in my life ever since I was young. As a little boy I loved listening to fairy tales that my parents read to me & I enjoyed watching cartoons or children movies about wizards, witches and their adventures. For a long time I even believed that magic truly exists (sometimes I still do!) and I wanted to be able to use it too. Of course with age I had to rectify that witchcraft is not only used for good but also for bad causes. I have a sentiment for Harry Potter books and fantasy-magic genre still remains my favorite choice for a good read.

Some time ago I learned that Anatole Lebreton has been working on a new fragrance. In social media he revealed that its name and inspiration are tied closely with a magical world. Imagine an old book with damaged leather cover and aged, yellow pages that are all shabby and falling apart. A book that contains ancient spells. Such book is called Grimoire and so is the perfume. A very first waft brings to my nose an intense smell of aromatic lavender. It has a rich, medicated smell that has some pungency to it. The style of it makes me think of some old apothecary where pharmacists in white aprons would actually take different herbs, combine them and grind them in mortar in order to create a curing remedy. It’s quite enchanting because of its richness and complexity.

Lavender is a multifaceted note of Anatole Lebreton Grimoire. In the opening it’s more herbal, medicinal but after some time it unveils the smell of green, aromatic stems as well as some floral tones of tiny purple flowers themselves. Green vibe gains additional dimension thanks to addition of basil leaves and lime that makes it smell more juicy with a sparkling effect. Later comes a downfall into a dark pit of olibanum. Its resinous, balsamic properties come out immediately. This particular note expands the aura of mystery – it has depth and specific darkness but it doesn’t frighten. Paired with elemi it emanates a warm fragrance that is surprisingly cosy & comforting.


Incense aroma created with combined olibanum and elemi is quite like a visit to a church. It has undeniable spirituality that goes in an unexpected direction. In general I find a lot of churchy insense compositions to be quite cold. Grimoire is different. Its encens part is warm in a way smoked wooden boards would smell. It’s pleasant and relaxing and I want to compare it to cracking logs in the fireplace (maybe with few lumps of olibanum thrown it too) at some mountain chalet. This warmth continues for a couple of hours and it gradually develops some spiciness.

Spiciness of this perfume is very mild, tactful – with a specific elegance to it. Anatole mentions cumin but please, fret not! In my opinion it doesn’t smell like cumin at all. It’s more like a black pepper, nutmeg (with its paper-like effect) and cardamom blend. The only way cumin would participate in this stage is by providing this sensual, carnal atmosphere to Grimoire. Few hours later a drydown begins to step in. It has some roughness coming from the uneven surface of cedar wood and some gorgeous chypre quality given to it by oakmoss. Last but not least there are some dirtier musks that give it an aphrodisiac like smell that could be associated with warm body.

In my opinion it wouldn’t be an excessive talking if I said that Grimoire from Anatole Lebreton is a fantastic perfume. If someone made me to list of top 5 fragrances that I smelled at Esxence 2017, it would be one of them. With its level of complexity and wonderful development I can feel that this perfume is really worthy a name of a spellbook tome. It has great sillage and lasts all day easily. This magic in a bottle comes in eau de parfum concentration. Purchase options include a 50 ml bottle or a 10 ml travel spray that is a part of 3 x 10 ml travel set (you get to choose your fragrances, multiples of the same scent are also possible). There’s also a sample set at Anatole Lebreton website.

[note] photo – my own; all rights reserved

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Silver dust, Aedes de Venustas Pélargonium

They just moved into a new appartement and were looking for an extraordinary decorative item to add more character to their living room. They were almost ready to give up as for the last few weeks they didn’t find anything suitable. But then one day they found this really old antique shop. Lazy rays of sunlight were pouring in through aged glass. Among tall shelves of dusty books they noticed a bunch of flowers. It was a bouquet, made of naturally dried flowers. The colors were so aged but the arrangement was so pretty. It had its own soul. They found a perfect still life for their home.

New fragrance from Aedes de Venustas is named Pélargonium & is the eighth element in a brand’s collection. For a first minute I could barely smell anything coming up from my skin but once the composition captures some warmth from my body it begins to develop. At first whiff I can sense a lot of pepper. At first it’s cold but it warms up quickly as the spiciness feeling intensifies. This blend of black and Sichuan pepper surprisingly doesn’t have the metallic facet I often get from it.

To be honest with you, this peppery opening is so gentle and well-balanced that at first I though that a perfumer used white pepper. When I smell it, it reminds me of the way parchment can smell – the aroma of paper, somewhat aged. Spiciness from the opening stage blends in with bergamot and mandarin. These two citrus don’t give much juiciness, however they counteract the spicy vibe with hints of sweetness and occasional tart effect that sometimes peeks through, as one may notice.

After around 15 minutes Pélargonium initiates the reveal of geranium note. Rising above the peppery molecules it smells almost like mint. No, not like spearmint, much warmer, green and sappy – like it was more related to basil. This effect doesn’t last for long & subsides preparing the stage for geranium, a star of this fragrance. This new Aedes features Egyptian geranium – Pelargonium graveolens. It has a truly complex scent that combines airy aromatic facets and crispy green leaves with facets that imitate rose but in a more balsamic way. You can notice them all!

Geranium at first effuses an aromatic side that is almost like a fougere, with fern and lavender. Afterwards it gradually transforms into the aroma of green sap coming from crushed stems and leaves of geranium. Finally it becomes similar to rose… But when rose could become more rich and fruity, Pélargonium turns more balsamic and enveloping. Once this key accord settles down after a while the composition is ready to evolve even further. Background for the perfume starts to crystallize in a slow, lazy manner, allowing the wearer to admire its varied elements.

First there is iris – but to fully enjoy Aedes Pélargonium you’ll have to forget about everything you know about iris, at least for a moment. For it smells different. Velvety petals have been replaced by a layer of parchment, so thin you can almost see through it. Moist, buttery texture has been swapped for a dry, more dusty feeling that complements the paper-like smell with true grace. Then there is a bit of carrot, very subtle and almost not there. It didn’t bother me so I doubt it will bother you – but you’ll sense its presence. Plus Hedione adds some bright sunlight to it.

Further into depths of fragrance structure lies a possibility to observe how base of Pélargonium solidifies in front of your eyes (in front of your nose?) If new Aedes was a painting, cedar would be like a wooden frame to stretch fragrance canvas on. Cedar wood brings substance and dimension to the blend, releasing its austere beauty. No sweaty aspects have been noticed by me, just pure wood with a whisper of cardamom that adds warm, roasted spiciness to it & more playful style.

Woody aspects are later somewhat “disturbed” by vetiver. There are quite a few handfuls of this ingredient. In Pélargonium I sense it in a way dry tall grass or hay smells to me. It’s a blend of earthy, green and woody sensations. It’s also relatively shady. The finale of the fragrance is much darker that the rest of the fragrance. Gaiac wood provides a dense, almost resinous and gooey odour that combines with elemi. The latter one has a smell of salty incense. Moss – really dry and musty gives the impression as if it was covering everything with a layer of dust.

Musk participates in this feeling, at the same time adding some of its own dirtiness. Last but not least there is Ambermax. This aroma chemical from Givaudan adds warm, sensual ambery facet that lights up the darkness that fell upon Aedes de Venustas Pélargonium at its late stage. As you can notice, the perfume is really changing over time and has a lot to offer.

Natalie Feisthauer – a perfumer of this fragrance did a really good job interpreting such a simple ingredient like geranium into such a non-simple perfume. Pélargonium is housed in Aedes signature 100 ml zamak bottle, which is made of  bright red glass this time. Also the box of Pélargonium is covered with intensively red plush. This eau de parfum will be available as of mid April.

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