Tag Archives: Sebastien Martin

Warble of the Cranes, Berdoues Péng Lái

My fascination for the culture of far East countries started when I was only few years old. I would watch National Geographic with my parents and episodes about Japan were always most interesting for me. I also watched some anime which was quite an entertainment. Later on I would also develop an interest in other countries in the East. In their newest fragrance Maison Berdoues takes us through a narrative of a Chinese legend of eight immortals who lived on Penglai Island and who fought evil with their special powers. Goddess of flowers – He Xiangu was among those 8.


Péng Lái has a fresh and juicy beginning that brings to mind mandarin orange from a Mediterranean orchard somewhere in Italy, Spain or Greece. There’s some sweetness to it but it’s less pronounced than in other fragrances featuring this note. Maybe it’s because I could already notice that something tart & exotic is beginning to develop in the background. Few minutes later that thing got stronger and it smelled like pomegranate. Its sour tastes balances the citrus sweetness. The opening is calm and serene but it has something that awakens the senses. It’s like a shot of energy for a good day.

15 minutes later Berdoues Péng Lái becomes gently fruity but in a non-straightforward way. Apricot-like aroma builds up over time but it’s actually more floral than fruity from some point. There’s an easy explanation to that happening as in a central place of this perfume there’s osmanthus. It’s this little flower that introduces the apricot impression when you smell Péng Lái on your skin. It’s very pretty and calm; at the same time it effuses some floral tones that blend nicely together. These nuances make the perfume more interesting & piques curiosity about what’s coming next.

In a further development stage osmanthus presents yet its another facet – this time it’s the smell reminiscent of green tea. It has a pleasant and inviting warmth. Then Péng Lái transforms into something aquatic and more transparent. It continues to smell floral & has a gently creamy backnote. Could it be that this stage was meant to evoke the smell of lotus flower? No matter what I’m happy with the result. Péng Lái is a light perfume but this is exactly what I’m often looking for in the spring/summer season – a perfume that smells on the surface of my skin, nowhere farther.


Drydown of this new Berdoues composition is somewhat surprising. From fresher fruity-floral tendencies Péng Lái ventures towards more oriental direction. Mouth-watering benzoin adds a balsamic smoothness to the blend. Its aroma that combines elements of caramel, balms and resins melts with your skin. The perfume almost becomes your second skin. Additionally tonka bean from Brazil adds a creamy & aromatic sensation that makes you salivate even more. Péng Lái is far from being gourmand but it’s end phase smells really delicious. The whole perfume is really well-made.

Péng Lái from Berdoues is a great addition to the line. It’s true that I don’t like all of the offerings from their Grands Crus collection but the ones that I like – I like them a lot. It’s a perfect fit for the upcoming warm months. Also please note that brand only provides 3 main themes for Péng Lái – these are Chinese Osmanthus, Laotian benzoin and Brazilian tonka bean. Therefore my review and some notes I suggested might not be accurate. A bottle of Péng Lái is decorated with white cranes and colorful lotus pattern. It’s a very light composition, lasting around 5 hours… but it’s oh so pretty!

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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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