Tag Archives: Vilhelm Parfumerie

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 64

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.

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Silent Dance, Vilhelm Parfumerie Modest Mimosa

As the old saying goes, it is never too late to learn something new. I completely agree with that and I think it’s also very accurate for the perfumeland. With new brands emerging more often and with customer tastes changing faster than ever you can never say you know it all about the industry. Imagine my surprise when thanks to Ari (of Arielle Shoshana) I found out that Vilhelm Parfumerie is a house established in New York by Jan Vilhelm Ahlgren – a guy from Sweden, who now lives in Paris. Fragrances are also made in France. Such multicultural creative environment often results in broader & more open perspective. I’m discovering this new to me brand with their mimosa.

Modest Mimosa unfolds with a brisk neroli note, giving you an impression of stepping right out of the shower. It has that pleasant, clean & flowery feel that has this weird ability to cool you down by a few degrees. This neroli accord quickly adapts to the skin and transforms into much warmer self in just a couple of minutes. When that happens, I actually start to like it even more. Body temperature brings out the more fatty, slightly heavier molecules that contribute to the neroli scent. At the same time it becomes soapy & powdery on my skin. Think of taking a shower with orange blossom soap.

Just a little bit further and I start to notice the shift in this initial neroli mildness. Modest Mimosa becomes slightly greener, evoking plant leaves waving in the wind, right above the ground level. Moment later – a surprise! Orange! No, not a citrus. Orange color of a carrot sneaks into the composition. It’s obvious that it will change the character of the perfume to a one that feels more vegetal. I’m not very much into veggie notes in my fragrances as often an earthy, gardening vibe is introduced along with them. But this carrot is ripe & healthy, washed in a crystal clear water.

Carrot in Vilhelm Parfumerie Modest Mimosa even adds a sensation of freshness when it appears on the skin. That said – I’m glad that carrot didn’t bother me at all here. On the contrary, it has some charm to it. With time the fragrance reveals a crisp dewiness coming from violet flower. This transparent, watery feel, however, gradually brightens and becomes way more powdery. Finally I find myself surrounded by garlands of tiny little flowers that look like yellow pom-poms. They move with the faintest breeze and it’s like a dance in which they scatter their fragrant pollen like a magic dust.

Even though the season for mimosa comes early in the cycle of the year I associate its scent with summer months. I think I just like how happy the combination of watery, powdery and creamy facets of pollen smells like. Hints of wax or silkiness of iris in the background add elegance to it. And that’s exactly what Modest Mimosa is – an elegant perfume. In the drydown the musk tonalties have a slightly salty, mineral  feel. To me it’s the smell of the skin that’s still shiny from the sea water. Hint of white leather adds some strength & substantivity and casual mellowness to this optimistic blend.

Any time I’m introduced to a brand that I never tried before I try not to be judgemental but to approach it with an open mind. I remember looking at Vilhelm Parfumerie display at La Rinascente in Milan, in spring 2019 when together with ElenaThe Plum Girl we were going to the restaurant at the mall’s top floor before saying goodbye to Esxence and flying back home. The brand is finally available in Poland and I feel captivated by Modest Mimosa. I’m happy that this particular scent is the one that got me acquainted with the brand. The nose behind Modest Mimosa is Jerome Epinette. Modest Mimosa is available in 100 ml, 50 ml flacons, as well as in 18 ml travel-friendly size.

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