Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sacree & Rose Irisee ~ fragrance reviews

Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger Collection Les Inédits

The Neroli Blanc Collection from French niche perfumery Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger was one of my happy discoveries of early 2014: it’s a trio of well-made, reasonably priced interpretations of neroli and orange blossom, and my samples brightened a few long winter days for me. This fall, I’ve been exploring the company’s Collection Les Inédits, a range of more complex fragrances. My two favorites are Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, both developed by perfumer Jean Claude Gigadot and released in spring 2014.

With Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger presents two classical perfumery themes reinterpreted with a modern sensibility — and you know I can never resist that kind of promise…

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Aerin Iris Meadow & Waterlily Sun ~ brief, only slightly cranky perfume reviews

Aerin Iris Meadow

I wasn’t sure what to expect when the Aerin fragrance brand launched in 2013, but after smelling the first five, I got the general drift. The latest two, Iris Meadow and Waterlily Sun, are in the same easygoing light floral mold as Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Gardenia Rattan (the other two, Amber Musk and Evening Rose, had a little more heft). None of them are the perfumista-bait some of us had hoped for, but they’re wearable enough, and I’ve come to think of the Aerin brand as a sort of mashup between the (early) Jo Malone brand and the (later) Guerlain Aqua Allegoria range: (ostensibly) material-driven, clean, youthful and easy to wear. The bonus factor, I suppose, is the casual-luxe “Aerin lifestyle”, which seems to be the key selling point of the advertising

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Scent of Hope ~ fragrance review, with an aside on Jacques Fath Iris Gris

Iris

I can’t think of another fragrance that matches the mystique of Jacques Fath Iris Gris. Sure, perfume lovers scramble for vintage Mitsouko and study its qualities by the batch number, but Mitsouko is still on the market, and vintage bottles are relatively easy to find. Jacques Fath, perhaps Dior’s closest competition in the New Look years, died in 1954 at the stupidly young age of 42, and Iris Gris — even the name is mysterious and moody — disappeared soon after. Scent of Hope is a recreation of Iris Gris that indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz originally made for a private client.

Perfumer Vincent Roubert developed Iris Gris in 1946, just as France was shaking free of World War II.1 Thanks to Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, I’ve been lucky enough to smell a sample strip dipped in a bottle she bought unopened. I was surprised at how clean it smelled, and how rich the iris was, but of course that bottle was at least 60 years old. I cherish the amber-stained but now-scentless strip as a talisman. But how would Iris Gris smell fresh…

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Thierry Mugler Oriental Express ~ perfume review

Postcard of Constantinople: the Harbor

A tribute to precious oriental perfumes. Balms, resins, vanilla and powdery effects create intensely sensual and addictive blends. A startling and unusual base of carrot, seed and wood adds an unexpected twist. An original edginess in an oriental perfume that loses none of its sumptuous opulence. In fact, quite the opposite… An extraordinary blend, green and creamy.

«For me, Oriental Express is a fur-like perfume… I decided to enhance the harmony of sandalwood and vanilla by blending it with carrot and basil, for an aromatic green effect. This striking contrast gives birth to a feminine or masculine oriental fragrance, with an unexpected personality.» Olivier POLGE1

Oriental Express was my immediate favorite of the Les Exceptions collection from Thierry Mugler (see Tuesday’s review of Supra Floral), and after spending more time with all them, it’s still top of my list. The description above is reasonably accurate: it’s a unisex woody iris-y carrot…

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Ys Uzac Satin Doll ~ fragrance review

Ys Uzac Satin Doll

A “spicy iris modern chypre” that “exquisitely mirrors Duke Ellington’s unforgettable masterpiece”? I adore iris, chypres, and Duke Ellington. Sign me up! At least, this is what I thought when I read the launch announcement about Ys Uzac Satin Doll in July. Satin Doll’s PR copy included another teaser, saying that the iris was “embraced by a bitter and dry tuberose.” I adore tuberose, too, but often it doesn’t sit right on me. Maybe a bitter and dry tuberose would be just the ticket. The rest of Satin Doll’s notes are entrancing, too. Besides iris and tuberose, they include pink pepper, elemi, pepper, rose, jasmine, myrrh, incense, patchouli, opoponax, and benzoin. Really, doesn’t this perfume sound perfect?

Sadly for me, although Satin Doll is nice, it doesn’t communicate the beauty, swing, and freakiness of Ellington’s song

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