Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vetiver for all seasons: D600 by Carner Barcelona

Luck hasn't been on my side lately when it comes to winning anything. So, when I learned I was the lucky winner of D600 samples on Ca Fleure Bon, I took it as a good sign.
And I was right to do so. :)

I might be repeating myself with my love of vetiver, but I really can't help it when many of those perfumes hit the right spots for me - warm, dryishly sweet and green (sometimes more yellow) and spicy enough to tickle your nose and refresh it in summer and give off warmth in winter.

Therefore, it was really to be expected I would love D600 as it's one of those vetivers. :)

Top notes: Madagascan Black Pepper, Sicilian Bergamot, Grapefruit.
Mid notes: Guatemalan Cardamom, Italian Iris, Egyptian Jasmine Absolut.
Base notes: Virginian Cedar Wood, Madagascan Vanilla Absolut, Vetyver

It is difficult to put into words the notes of this perfume. For me it starts dryishly sweet, lightly fruity and peppery (it really just tingles your nose a bit). You can smell from the start that this is a vetiver perfume and it took me several wearing to finally locate that grapefruit (and bergamot).
There is a masculine quality to this perfume (masculine in terms if what is sold today as masculine) as there is a bitter and sharp quality to the vetiver in the beginning, even though it has a sweetness underlying all that (I guess vanilla is doing its thing).

And I do believe vanilla is doing its thing from the beginning because at some point there is a spicey-warm quality to the perfume, possibly of the rum variety and I thought there might be some clove in this, but as the notes don't mention it, I'll settle for cardamom, iris, cedar and vanilla working their magic.
Basically, I love it from the start to its dry, woody and hayish finish.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sharing the wor(l)d

Like I said many times before, I'm slow, but I get there in the end (can be applied to my running as well). ;)

So, I finally have a page up with Undina's great informational post on perfume shopping around the world.

I sincerely hope it comes useful to many a perfumista traveling the world and visiting these places.

Happy sniffing!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paris perfume highlights

Even though we managed to visit and sniff our way through many perfume shops (Serge Lutens, Costes/Iunx, Colette, Rosine, Guerlain, JAR, several stands at Printemps) there are two places that stand out in my mind as the highlights of the trip.
I knew Asali was disappointed we didn't get to visit Jovoy together in December and we decided this time around, it was one of the non-negotiable stops.
And I now understand completely why someone who's been there would be disappointed if another perfumista in Paris skipped the store and the experience.

I don't think my words will do justice to the whole experience. I believe we spent over 2 hours there, taking some time to rest on the couch and sofas located in the back for just that purpose.
Even the espresso we all received upon arrival couldn't keep us on our feet after the sniff-a-thon we had there.

As Asali is already known there, she was the one discussing perfumes with Monsieur Hénin the most while we slowly worked our way through the store, coming together to check who tried what and sniff each other's arms and then went on our own again to discover new fragrant wonders.

At some point we all converged on the oud range by Xerjoff and had a lively discussion with Monsieur Hénin there over oud while smelling the Oud Stars. And when I say lively, I mean we all had fun and laughed a lot as Monsieur Hénin is this charming, smiling, elegant man with a slightly wicked sense of humor which he wields as part of his charm. And he even burned oud chips for us. :)

If I remember correctly, the whole Xerjoff oud series is very good - there is something to be found for every taste (possibly not wallet). ;)

I will let the girls tell you their side of the story - I just know I'd go to Paris just so I could go and have fun at Jovoy again.
The bottles  I came out with were Mona di Orio Vetyver (which I knew I would finally buy in Paris) and Brecourt's Haram - another oriental for my ever growing collection.
(I should also mention a bag full of samples of everything I wanted to get to know better)

Mark's photo of the three of us outside Jovoy

The other place that stands out in my mind as a great smelling experience was a stand at Printemps which holds several collections, among others: Nez a Nez, SoOud, Boadicea and Nasomatto.
Asali is also known there, and she recommended the place as there is a great SA working there who, lucky for us, was there when we arrived.
His name is Alexi(s) (we didn't get to hear it right) and he also remembered Asali (like Suzanne said, men love her).
So he proceeded to familiarize us with the ranges and we smelled our way through many of the perfumes on display there. At the end of the session I fell madly in love with Nez a Nez Bal Musqué and promptly took the bottle home with me.

In the end, an honorable mention goes to the nice man at the JAR boutique who was very generous with his time since we entered the boutique after its closing time (the doors weren't locked) and we asked if it would be ok to smell the perfumes even though it was after closing time, and he was very nice and said we had enough time for a quick tour (only it didn't seem quite that quick and he was displaying the perfumes for the four of us rather elegantly, without any hurry).
The one I fell for is the Bolt of Lightning. It is THE perfume I imagined in my post here. It has that metallic smell of lightning in the warm air and the smell of wet asphalt is in the mix. The fact that all this is possible through white flowers never ceases to amaze me. (I knew the price would amaze me too, so I didn't even ask) ;)

The pic of all of us in front of Jovoy is Mark's and Suzanne's.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The fragrant air in Zagreb

I must say, I don't remember ever so vividly smelling and remembering the period when the linden trees were blooming in Zagreb.

And I'm only just becoming aware of the fact, that along the chestnuts, those must the most common trees around Zagreb. Because when you're walking (or being driven on a motorcycle) you pass through these wonderful linden-smelling parts of the city.
Each time that happens, I try and inhale as much of the scent as I can, it is just so full of memories for me.

So, is it just me or does linden smell a bit wistful to you?
It is quite possible that is just my state of mind...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Paris - the place to meet perfumistas

Some of you might know, and for those who don't, this Sunday I returned from a 4-day trip to Paris where I got to spend time with perfumista friends, one of which I only knew virtually, one I already met in Paris a few months ago, and a new one. :)

Suzanne, Asali, Mark (Suzanne's husband) and I met on Thursday afternoon and from that point on, we went together on a perfume journey through the streets of Paris - and on a culinary one as well, through the numerous possible choices of bistros, cafes and restaurants (and many other names the French like to call similar establishments).
You already know I met Asali in December, and now I met a pair of perfumistas from across the Atlantic Ocean, I cannot but think that the perfumistas of the world are the most wonderful bunch of people one could ever meet.
In case you were wondering about Suzanne, she is this wonderfully nice, petite and delicate (bossy if you ask Mark) lady.
I still feel ashamed that my first words to her were that I thought she would be taller. It's just that through her blog and some of the photos there, her strength and character came through so obviously so I somehow added height to that.
And once you meet her, the quiet strength she has is obvious (well, she also doesn't lack physical strength what with her regular running routine).
Also, her love of the sun, perfumes, reading and writing and her gently inquisitive nature makes talking with her (or just hearing her explain something) a great experience.
Btw, I believe the fact that in my mind I added height to Suzanne has more  to do with the fact I wish I didn't feel big when compared to other women (so I like to refer to my build as Amazonian, that sounds much better). ;)
Mark on the other hand is rather tall, with an inquiring mind, capable hands and teasing personality (it seems he always tries to learn how to do things himself - and he succeeds as well).
We didn't get to talk much about Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings (we got a little in during one dinner) but he's obviously as much of a fan of HP as I am since while walking around the city he also noticed an interesting street (this photo is for him). :)
So when I say Paris is a place to meet perfumistas, I am including Mark in that as well. He fits the picture perfectly (for the three of us girls you already know we fit the definition).

We had lots of fun sniffing perfumes and each other (for perfumes each of us decided to try) and keeping track of who was wafting what and how come it smelled like this or that. Then we would find a bistro and have a break for something to eat and drink.
Asali called it "nerding" about perfume and I admit, I kept waiting for someone to say, OK, enough of the perfume talk already, but that never happened. :)
Some people might not think it, but I found it extremely refreshing not having to curb my perfume enthusiasm and being able to indulge in talking about perfumes to my heart's content.

Where we went, who we met, and the perfumes we bought, to come in following installments.