When I recently got a new perfume to celebrate me turning 31, I had a chance to select a couple of free samples as a gift with purchase. I took some time to carefully select what I’d like to test as a bonus to my new flacon of L’Ivree Bleue. Two of today’s sniffs are based on those samples.
I haven’t tried anything from Bon Parfumeur before but from the look at the brand it seems they take a very minimalistic approach when it comes to their bottles and labels. Not only that but all fragrance names are numbers (random or there is a key, I don’t know) and they include few descriptives, notes featured in a composition. I made my choice of sample solely relying on these. I chose 102 which lists the, cardamome and mimosa on a pastel pink label. The perfume bouquet starts with a mild and brisk bergamot note that has a sunny and juicy vibe. It’s additionally warmed up by coriander and cardamom that both add texture & a faintest hint of spiciness. After a couple of minutes the fragrance starts to become more translucent as green tea accord starts to flourish. It has a watery, slightly tangy aroma that becomes more flowery along with the arrival of jasmine. 102 literally becomes a jasmine tea, a flower infused in hot water. It’s quite clean, blurry and soft, lacking any of its grand, indolic facets. Violet introduces a powdery touch, a mix of ozone, dew and floral powder. Mimosa hides in the drydown – it only adds a bit of honeyed sweetness and radiance to the powdery note, making it more like a pollen. It doesn’t stand out as much as it should. Some oakmoss and musk mark the drydown and with them the perfume ends. Stick to Mimosa & Cardamom by Jo Malone, I say.
A sample of Ege / ΑΙΓΑΙΟ came to me via a different channel, namely when a bottle of Nishane Nanshe was sent to me from Istanbul. The blue color of a sample box, same as a bottle if you had it in your hand, is very eye-catching and really invites you to smell. Right off the bat this perfume could be classified as masculine and more mainstream than niche. But speaking of the fragrance itself – Ege opens with a burst of yuzu, it’s an explosion of bitter, sweet, tart and juicy. It’s absolutely mouth-watering. Violet leaf adds its specific ozonic crispiness with a green, vegetal tinge and aniseed adds a tad of cold spiciness with a slight sulphuric inflection that almost immediately directs my thoughts towards a seaweed note. Heart of Ege is a kaleidoscope of green shades. There’s bright green color of basil with a scent that is lush, verdant and edible. Then there’s refreshing mint, kind of watery and cool and green cardamom that is sort of off-green and adds some spiciness to the fragrance. Through these notes the marine aspect continues to peek through – the smell of wet sand and salty breeze can be easily picked by the nose. The drydown of this new Nishane is built with mineral notes such as olibanum, which despite resulting in an incense accord also has a salty aspect to it. The list of notes also mentions licorice but I didn’t notice it, unless that’s what a slightly burnt sensation was. Nishane Ege is quite a summery perfume, ideal for vacations (once we can travel again), inspired by Aegean Sea. Somehow it fits together with popular aquatic fragrances for men like Acqua di Gio or Bvlgari Aqua pour Homme.
The only perfume that I tried from Vilhelm Parfumerie so far was Modest Mimosa. Because I liked it a lot (but not strongly enough to justify the steep price) I thought it won’t hurt to explore this line a little bit further. Many people at Now Smell This commented that they liked Morning Chess so I asked for a sample when buying a birthday perfume. This composition starts with a freshly sliced bergamot note, very realistic, slightly acidic, tart and also very aromatic & fragrant. After a couple of minutes a cutting edge of green galbanum pierces through the citrus and cuts it into smaller pieces. There’s a certain sharpness to the note accompanied by a metallic facet that stands out in this resinous note. After some time Morning Chess develops more density as the leather accord is unveiled. The brand specifically names it as Tuscan leather. I don’t know exactly what’s that supposed to mean but perhaps it’s a reference to the fact that it smells very soft, fuzzy, almost plush when you smell it. It’s more like a suede rather than the smell that could be associated with a new car interior or a pair of new shoes. The drydown provides a warm and comforting blend of earthy, slightly camphorous patchouli and resinous amber tones. It’s a very pleasant perfume but as soon as the leathery tones came to the fore I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite leathers – Memo Italian Leather. The one from Vilhelm doesn’t have that lovely sweetness of vanilla and Memo has that tomato leaf note that makes me go wow, so my preference still goes towards Italian Leather.