Tag Archives: Jean-Claude Ellena

Morning Harvest, Two from Perris Monte Carlo

At Chemist in the Bottle there’s a certain pool of fragrances that are rarely being spoken of. Like soliflores or perfume with a specific level of oddity. Simple reason for that is the fact that I like to talk to you about the fragrances that speak to me, about the notes I love, scents I want to encourage you to explore. Hence no flourishing reviews on animalics or heady florals on my blog. But from time to time the rules can be broken when you find a perfume that is worth recommending even it it’s not your usual cup of tea. So here I have for you 2 classic compositions from Perris Monte Carlo.

Rose de Mai is a tribute to may rose that grows in the valleys surrounding Grasse. This perfume begins with lush bouquet of rose which feels much more airy and fragile than rich & opulent compositions associated with the Orient. This is a rose with pink petals that are delicate, as soft as silk fabric. In the opening Rose de Mai is undeniably feminine as rose absolute steals all the spotlight. After some time it becomes more mellow and develops some unisex qualities. Handful of geranium brings a wave of freshness to this perfume. It’s crisp, almost dewy scent paints an impression of an early morning in the French countryside.

Geranium effuses its green scent around the rose bushes, turning the scenery into a magic garden. On my skin there’s a moment when it becomes almost minty in character, adding an aromatic twist to this minimalistic yet pretty perfume. At the later stage of development Rose de Mai becomes just a tiny bit spicy – when immortelle joins, it adds that specific herbaceous-spicy nuance with a hint of curry. It’s really well-behaved and enhances the rose tones. Musk gives a soft, pillow-like base to the composition. It’s a pretty interpretation of a rose theme. Sometimes it’s all you need to feel happy.

Jasmin de Pays is a straight up jasmine served on a silver platter with perfumer initials engraved on its edge. This grand bouquet is made of thousands of white flowers that intoxicate the air with their heady fragrance. There’s no doubt about the presence of indolic molecules as the perfume effuses the scent that cannot be mistaken! It’s big and demanding attention but at least this jasmine doesn’t become beasty or overly animalic after a short time. The composition of Jasmin de Pays also lists clove but it really takes some time before jasmine becomes lighter and lets a little bit of that spiciness to peek through and be noticed.

One thing about Perris Monte Carlo Jasmin de Pays I could easily notice is that similarly to Rose de Mai the perfume feels relatively green, but that verdancy smells completely different. In jasmine one it’s more of a leafy type of green, like petitgrain… mixed with the smell of crushed stems of unripe flowers. Later on the scent becomes quite creamy, as if some frangipani joined jasmine for this performance, adding a hint of something exotic. For a soliflore Jasmin de Pays is very potent and lasts through a big part of the day. When it dries down it becomes soft and fluffy thanks to musk.

Both these fragrances are really well done and I appreciate their artistry and the way they try to convey the purity of the smell of rose and jasmine. Still I don’t think I’d wear any of these on regular basis. Perris Monte Carlo made a wise, strategic decision by teaming up with perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena to evoke Grasse flowers in Rose de Mai and Jasmin de Pays. You can clearly see his hand in these fragrances, the style that is light, minimalistic, even ascetic. Both fragrances are concentrated at eau de parfum level and they are available in 100 ml bottles.

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Bedside story, Hermes Eau de Neroli Doré

A peaceful stroll around beautiful zen garden arranged by Monsieur Li managed to restore my faith in Hermes fragrances. When I already thought the brand really has nothing to offer that would draw my attention I managed to find a gem hidden in a bottle of Le Jardin de Monsieur Li. Since then I kept my eye open on their next releases. Recently I tried two new eau de colognes that Hermes launched for the summer. I wouldn’t say about Eau de Neroli Doré that it was instant love. It was infatuation.

Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena speaks about Eau de Neroli Doré with the following words – “Whereas there’s usually very little neroli in perfumes, I used an abundance of it, out of love, out of the ordinary.” He’s telling the truth, however not the obvious one. To me Eau de Neroli Doré really overflows with essence extracted from orange blossom. But when I think of the perfumes with higher neroli amount that I know, most of them had the effect of an ice-cold slap in your face. In most cases this note is associated with cold and fresh sensation, with a burst of fragrance.

Interpretation from Hermes is almost like the very opposite. Neroli also bursts in this new scent in Les Colognes line but where one was expecting a big bouquet of white flowers with hues of yellow and orange, one in fact will find a very elegant and sunny warm bouquet in pastel colors with very little of brighter shades. Eau de Neroli Doré has this shy yet charming subtlety that I find truly captivating. The citrusy aspect of neroli blended with the smell of bitter orange is rather juicy, toned down and it feels as refreshing as a glass of handmade lemonade on a hot day.

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15 minutes later things start to spice up a little bit and Hermes Eau de Neroli Doré becomes even warmer than it was. Very unusual note used by Jean-Claude Ellena in this fragrance is a saffron note. This is not a clear choice for a cologne but then – it feels so right. Saffron introduces the element of warm spiciness that is just slightly earthy and then as it settles on the skin it kind of turns musky in a very arousing way. It becomes incredibly sensual and wears like a second skin. To me it even unveils a very delicate leather note in a drydown. It’s barely there but it’s there.

The concoction of neroli, bitter orange, saffron and the musky elements is seductive in its own, distinctive way. It’s also brings pictures to your mind easily and I’m sure each of us would have a different vision. The smell of Eau de Neroli Doré makes me think of a Monday morning. You just woke up next to someone you love and you don’t want to go out of bed. But you get up from the safety of your quilt & your body is still warmed up – your skin smells of bed linen, it also smells of the other person… and it smells of you. To me this perfume is like a veil of second skin. Addictive.

Eau de Neroli Doré by Hermes is a part of Les Colognes collection. The fragrance is in eau de cologne concentration and comes in 100 ml yellow glass bottle or in 15 ml bottle as a part of travel set. The small bottle is yellow too. Apart the fragrance there are also matching body products available: shower gel, liquid soap and face/body cream. Even if the lasting power of Eau de Neroli Dore is only around 2-3 hours it’s still worth a bottle to me, just for the pleasure it gives for this time.

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