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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L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee ~ fragrance review

layers of pink petals

L’Artisan Parfumeur is one of the first “niche” perfumeries that won my heart — in a sense, it was the brand that got me seriously interested in perfume, back in the 1990s when my mother was wearing Mûre et Musc and I realized there were fragrance options beyond the perfume counters at the mall. I’m a longtime fan of L’Artisan’s two earlier rose fragrances, Drôle de Rose and Voleur de Roses, so I looked forward to trying Rose Privée as soon as it was announced.

Rose Privée celebrates the “rare and iconic” Rose de Mai of Grasse, and it’s a floral fragrance (obviously!) with notes of citrus, black currant, basil and Rose de Mai; carnation, magnolia, violet, and lilac; patchouli and hay. It was developed in collaboration by perfumers Bertrand Duchaufour and Stéphanie Bakouche. It will be released in May, just the right season for a new rose fragrance…

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