Frapin Nevermore ~ fragrance review

Poe's grave and Frapin Nevermore

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before…

In late 2014, niche line Frapin launched Nevermore, a new fragrance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” I love any reference to Poe, and Frapin’s characterization of Nevermore as a “spicy woody metallic rose” appealed to me, so I looked forward to trying it and writing about it here.

Nevermore was developed for Frapin by perfumer Anne-Sophie Behaghel, and its composition includes notes of black pepper, nutmeg, floralozone and aldehydes; rose oxide, rose de mai, rose damascena and “bonded wine”; saffron, Atlas cedar and amber wood. Its concept is inspired by the legendary “Poe toaster,” a mysterious figure who for several decades visited Poe’s Baltimore resting place annually on the writer’s birthday (January 19) and left a bottle of Cognac and three roses…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Oeillet Sauvage ~ fragrance review

carnations

If you’re perfume-obsessed, it’s always a crushing blow when one of your favorite scents is discontinued. Once gone, a fragrance almost never returns; today I’m happy to be able to discuss one of the rare exceptions to that rule. If you’ve been keeping track of this sort of thing (as I have!), you may have recently been cheered to learn that L’Artisan Parfumeur was reissuing several fragrances that had been discontinued, including Tea for Two, L’Eau de Caporal and Oeillet Sauvage. (Bois Farine has also become easier to find than it was at this time last year, thank goodness.)

Oeillet Sauvage was developed by perfumer Anne Flipo and originally launched in 2000. Its current press release describes it as a “spicy and vibrant fragrance – an ode to carnations in bloom in the wild” that captures the flower’s “exuberance” and “sensuality.” Oeillet Sauvage’s composition includes notes of pepper, pink peppercorn, carnation, rose, ylang-ylang, white lily, wallflower, vanilla, cedar and musk…

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Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Velours ~ fragrance review

A rose is a rose

Apparently I’m hosting my own little Rose Parade for Spring 2015, since there have been so many new rose fragrance releases lately that I feel the need to try each and every one. The scorecard so far: I’m very fond of L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée and Divine Spirituelle (reviewed by Angie), less captivated by Aerin Rose de Grasse and Maison Francis Kurkdjian A la Rose.

Flipping back to last year’s somewhat shorter list of rose releases, however, I just noticed one perfume that I meant to cover and almost forgot until now. It’s Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Velours, from the jewelry brand’s Collection Extraordinaire fragrance line…

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Maison Francis Kurkdjian A la Rose ~ fragrance review

Maison Francis Kurkdjian À la Rose, brand banner

Roses, roses all the way! It’s the annual spring rush of my favorite flower in fragrance. I’ve recently reviewed L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée and Aerin Rose de Grasse, and today I’m taking a close sniff of Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s À la Rose. Yes, it’s another “ode to femininity,” another homage to the rose fields of Grasse, another pink juice…but I’m still not tired of roses, so onwards we go.

In À la Rose, “an eau de parfum that evokes the crisp tenderness of rose petals and a radiant aura” as well as “a free-spirited elegance,” Francis Kurkdjian has brought together notes of Damascena rose, Centifolia rose, bergamot, orange, violet, magnolia blossom, cedar wood and musk. (As Robin earlier noted, the fragrance was inspired by Marie Antoinette’s love of roses and the painting Marie-Antoinette à la Rose by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun…)

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Aerin Rose de Grasse ~ fragrance review

Aerin Lauder for Aerin Rose de Grasse

I saw Aerin Lauder in person once, just for a few fleeting seconds. She was sitting in a lunch meeting at an uptown eatery in Manhattan. She looked just as she often looks in photographs: very pretty, very polished, reserved and just a touch skeptical. I kept thinking of that sighting when I was trying out Rose de Grasse, a new floral fragrance for women recently launched by Lauder’s namesake Aerin brand.

Rose de Grasse is described as a “captivating scent — pristine, sophisticated, unexpected and iconic,” and an homage to several varieties of roses. It combines notes of centifolia rose, Bulgarian rose and “rose absolute” (no specific rose named here) with ambrette seed, a “watery accord,” violet wood, ambrox and musk. My main impression is that Rose de Grasse is made with good-quality ingredients, even if leans more towards the “pristine and sophisticated” rather than the “unexpected and iconic…”

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