Tag Archives: Our Modern Lives

Taste of Rainbow, Our Modern Lives – 7 Mini Reviews

I would expect that perfumer Sarah McCartney probably needs no introduction as most of you surely are familiar with a brand of 4160 Tuesdays. I know I haven’t spent much time writing about these fragrances but I find this whole line very British – mostly thanks to playful, quirky names. It’s a perfumery with touch of English humor. Last year Sarah created a new project: Our Modern Lives – a response to customers questions about natural scents & scents without allergens.

Yellow is a straight-forward citrus fragrance. It opens with a zesty & juicy lemon mixed with clementine and sweet orange that add a touch of sweetness to a more sour beginning. Additionally blood orange and yellow mandarin introduce more juiciness and a hint of something sugary in the back. After a while the perfume changes and I start to smell a coffee note – it’s got some bitterness and a little bit of acridity that I typically associate with coffee. Cardamom and fennel add a spicy & crunchy hint to it. Later on narcissus adds some floral creaminess to make whole thing smoother.

Orange is another citrusy composition in the range but is quite different from the first one. In here things start with a pleasant neroli which is citric, white-floral smelling note with some sharpness as well. After a couple of minutes it gets more honeyed and woody because of the honeybush CO2. Vanilla and cocoa bring a gourmand edge to this fragrance but not too much sweetness. Peach tones its down with a fruity and fresh smell of own flesh, it’s kind of lactonic too. Pelargonium adds the green-colored element with a crunchy texture. Cedar gives the perfume its woody, solid base.

Red starts with a rich rose accord that feels quite glamorous in the moment of applying. Soon a raspberry note arrives to add a fruity sweetness that goes well with the rose. To me it smells like a fruit but in the notes it says it’s a raspberry leaf. After some time I catch a whiff of hay, a coumarin smell goes deep inside my nose. Oak and hazelnut extracts add a mellow woody vibe to the scent that has a nutty, edible flavor. Pink pepper introduces an element of fizziness and leads to the olfactive effect that reminds me of how red wine smells. It’s fruity, floral and with some tannins.

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Indigo is a perfume that starts with a punch. Right from the start you can smell a cognac accord – alcoholic, bold and with hints of wooden barrels it’s been maturing in. Then I immediately get a mentholated smokiness or labdanum. It’s dark, kind of gooey & dense. When it dissipates a bit the fragrance profile changes more into a black tea one, it’s got tartness and some flavor coming from tea tannins. If osmanthus or jasmine are there, I cannot really smell them, because I smell cedarwood and rum, with its sugar cane sweetness. This perfume sure is a blasting experience.

Aquamarine is the most sheer and delicate in this line and it also smells very pretty. Grapefruit tang opens this fragrance and a rosemary note quickly surfaces, adding a delightful touch of aromatic verdancy that immediately reminds me of Eau Bord de L’Eau from L’Artisan Parfumeur. Olive extract provides an interesting Mediterranean twist – the smell is green, dusty, oily and vegetal at once. A bit of jasmine gives Aquamarine a sheer floral vibe while a touch of lavender turns this floral impression into more herbal and fougere one. It’s a dreamy and easy to wear scent for boys and girls.

Green starts with a distinctive verdant take on jasmine that smells like tree sap, fresh-cut flower stems, cut grass and finally like a more indolic version of jasmine itself. There’s also a tea note that blends in, creating the effect of a floral tea infusion. Watery and fresh aspect of cucumber is another prominent element of Green. Mandarin or bergamot should be adding some zestiness but I don’t get much from either of them. This particular creation features bergamot mint, which as Sarah explained, is a mint of a more bergamot-like scent. Perfume also features spinach but I wouldn’t focus on that.

Blue is an incense fragrance with inhalatory properties. The meditative, calm smokiness gradually transitions into the peaceful aroma of 2 types of lavender, for a very relaxing concoction. There’s something minty, eucalyptus-like about it in the background and as vetiver kicks in later the scent becomes more woody-grassy but still with that strong element of frankincense. Hyacinth brings some floral tones of more earthy, damp kind that correspond with patchouli that smells quite similar. Even though there are no directly spicy notes in Blue, it does feel spicy, and woody too.

All 7 of these compositions are natural fragrances (with allergens) and therefore their longevity is limited to 3-4 hours on my skin. There are also 2 synthetic, allergen-free ‘primers’ – α and β. All of Our Modern Lives eau fraiche can be worn separately or combined with one another. At 4160 Tuesdays website one can also read that a 10 ml roll-on and 50 ml bottle are in eau de parfum concentration while 100 ml is an eau fraiche that can also be used as room fragrance.

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Blooming inspirations of Pitti Fragranze 2017 – part 1

My summer holiday in Italy this year was a fantastic experience. For a really long time I had no idea where to spend my vacations so I’m happy that thanks to some research and tips found by my mom I planned such a great trip. I finally saw more of Milan, tasted a little bit of dolce vita during my stay at Lake Como & enjoyed my short stays in Genoa and Pisa. But most anticipated part of my Italian voyage was going to Florence for another edition of Pitti Fragranze. It was a true cherry on top.

I arrived early in the afternoon on Thursday, a little bit more than half a day before the show was starting. On the occasion of lovely weather I went for a walk to revisit popular Florentine places, such as Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio or Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This time I also went to a famous Santa Maria Novella apothecary & shop. It’s a beautiful place. I bought a bottle of SMN Citta di Kyoto, a gentle cologne combining iris with lotus flower.

As I was getting hungry I tried to ask my friends if any of them was already in Florence and wanted to eat something together. But it turned out that they either had different plans, didn’t arrive yet or were simply not interested in joining me. Just when I was ready to give up and just sit by myself and eat, I was passing next to a restaurant when I was spotted by Andy Tauer. What a coincidence! I joined him at the table for Aperol Spritz and a dish of pasta. We had a nice chat. We also met Sarah McCartney and Olivier Valverde. Florence was clearly being taken over by perfume people.

Next day the Pitti Fragranze fair was starting at 10 AM. I went there a little bit earlier but thanks to using Pitti App on my phone I didn’t have to wait for a paper press pass & was able to enter as one of the first. First round in Stazione Leopolda is usually greeting with all friends. First hour passed quickly and at 11 AM I attended a Mane conference of the RAW project. This time they focused on spices in perfumery, especially on pepper & sustainability of their resources. But before that I had a chance to chat to Olivier Durbano, who presented Labradorite, his perfume #13. It’s a smoked tuberose with some not overdone animalics. I also met Nicolas Chabot, a guy behind Le Galion and Aether. At his stand I smelled new Aether Celluloid, a fantastic iris with cashmeran.

When the clock was showing it’s almost 1 PM I went out for a planned meeting with Puredistance. The brand wasn’t attending Pitti this year but Mary Gooding and Nele Tammiste were in Florence to meet with some people. We went out for a lunch together. We decided to snack at a nearby cafe bar and it was the best decision. Each of us had a great piece of foccachia with tomato sauce and melted cheese, plus we had 3 different sweet treats. Puredistance is preparing for a global launch of Warszawa right now. I enjoyed meeting with them and seeing new graphics they made.

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Further explorations brough me to Andy Tauer. We laughed again because of our accidental meeting on previous evening. He has shown his new Tauerville Patch Flash to me which is pretty unusual and not very patchouli take on this note. There was also AT Attar in Tauer Perfumes collection. Andy outdid himself with the packaging. A 5ml attar is packed in a miniature pentagonal flacon made of blue glass. So cute! I also had a chance to smell his soaps. Loved mandarin one.

Gabriella Chieffo stand was eye-catching for another year in a row. Using metal fence, polyurethane foam and paint her team created an installation that was bringing clouds to one’s mind. A well thought background to present Quasicielo (‘almost heaven’) a lovely composition of tart citrus top notes with spicy, aromatic heart and warm, resinous base. At the end of the fair I concluded it was one of my favorite fragrances this Pitti. It’s not a perfect fragrance but it doesn’t have to be. It’s first perfume made entirely by Gabriella. Previously she had lots of help from Luca Maffei.

Sarah McCartney stand was nearby so I was offered a full presentation of Our Modern Lives, a new project next to 4160 Tuesdays. There are 7 natural fragrances inspired by yoga and different moods of the day, plus 2 synthetics that are free from allergens. You can mix & match, layer them. The idea is to select one natural and one synthetic and blend them. Body sprays with 3% fragrance (see photo) were quite nice already, but 10% EdP are also available. What is very attractive about OML are the labels, featuring gorgeous drawings of plants and herbs that match ingredients.

At a combined booth of Eau d’Italie and Altaia I was able to smell 2 novelties – one for each of these two brands owned by Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena. For Eau d’Italie they presented Rosa Greta. Inspired by a person of Greta Garbo and her love affair, the perfume is a delicate, feminine and innocent floral bouquet with dominant rose note. Altaia presented Tuberose in Blue, a gentle white floral, tuberose for non tuberose lovers as I called it after blotter test.

Among new faces that arrived at 2017 edition of Pitti Fragranze I noticed a familiar face from before. Barbara Herman was attending the fair. It was actually my first contact with her brand – Eris Parfums. I liked the idea of her initial fragrance trio, trying to create modern versions of big vintage perfumes. I especially liked Night Flower, which was inspired by Guerlain Shalimar. On the other hand the new release, called Mx. defies gender segregation. On my skin it smelled of super creamy sandalwood with a coconut tinge. It seemed popular, many people were buzzing about it.

That’s it for a round-up of 1st day at Pitti Fragranze. When you attend it for a few years there comes a moment when you realize that year by year you smell less perfume and you spend more time talking to people. We gradually become closer friends so it wouldn’t feel right to cut out the conversation after a few minutes. Yet I think I did my best and tried a decent number of new releases, especially on 2nd day of the show. More of Pitti report coming soon! Stay tuned!

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