L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis ~ fragrance review & very quick comfort scent poll

Bûche fumée praliné et noisettes de Philippe Conticini

Noir Exquis is the latest Bertrand Duchaufour production from L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s another gourmand, and was “inspired by an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie” — it promises all sorts of delicious things, from glazed chestnuts to coffee to maple syrup.

And the start is delicious: a bright citrus top note disappears almost as soon as it arrives, then it’s a lovely swirl of sugared chestnuts with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee bean, with mild fruity undertones. It’s rich and warming, and perfect for the October chill…

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The Different Company I Miss Violet ~ fragrance review

The Different Company I Miss Violet

I Miss Violet is the latest from French niche line The Different Company, working with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (shown above left). It’s a unisex floral / vegetal leather, and the brand’s description is reasonably close to reality:

Discover a vegetal leather accord at the heart and the base of the sillage. Bertrand Duchaufour creates the fragrance like a sculptor and brings out green notes with the freshness of basil and tangerine right behind a vibrant and sparkling champagne note…

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Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola ~ perfume review

Neela Vermeire Créations Pichola

I haven’t reviewed anything from French niche line Neela Vermeire Créations so far, primarily because I know Neela — in the online sense; we’ve never met in person. Pichola so caught my fancy that I’ve been wearing it for weeks, though, and this time I couldn’t resist. Do see my disclaimer below.1

Pichola is named for Lake Pichola, and looking over images of the lake and its palace-studded islands is a pleasant way to while away your morning online, if you were in need of one. So like the other perfumes in the Neela Vermeire Créations line, Pichola was inspired by India. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour’s composition, like that of his recent Ostara for Penhaligon’s, comes with a long list of notes…

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Penhaligon’s Ostara ~ perfume review

Penhaligon's Ostara

I have fallen woefully behind on Penhaligon’s — and on many other brands as well, but right now I’ll focus on Penhaligon’s. Someone do comment if any of the four fragrances in their Trade Routes collection (Empressa, Levantium, Lothair and As Sawira) are absolute-must-tries, otherwise, they will remain four more faceless (smell-less?) entities in the sea of niche releases. Who can keep up?

As I’ve said in the past, I’m a bit lukewarm about Penhaligon’s anyway. They do a good job at what they do, but what they do, with one exception, doesn’t especially suit me. The latest, Ostara,1 got my attention because a) it’s narcissus, and b) the graphics are pretty (yes, I’m that shallow) and c) it’s perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, but a solar floral fragrance that promised to “capture the optimism and sunlight that spring brings” did not sound like his usual…

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Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse & Ciel d’Opale ~ fragrance reviews

Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse & Ciel d'Opale

For months now, my backyard has been a dull landscape of pea gravel and weeds with a naked plum tree in the middle. Practically overnight, the garden — I see it from my desk right now — has erupted in color: shocking pink peonies and rhododendron, purple iris, yellow roses and pale, newly green leaves. It’s the perfect time to drain my samples of two tender, warmer weather fragrances, Ann Gérard Perle de Mousse and Ciel d’Opale.

Perle de Mousse and Ciel d’Opale (along with Cuir de Nacre) were created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and released in 2012. To me, the Ann Gérard perfume style is classic, subtle and sophisticated…

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