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Byredo Flowerhead ~ perfume review & quick poll

Byredo Flowerhead ad visual

..this project was sparked six years ago when I gave away my cousin at her Indian wedding, which was my first traditional Indian wedding. This fragrance was about capturing the idea of an Indian bride, rather than just the wedding and I called it Flowerhead, because it was really the fictional memory that I can imagine from my own Indian wedding. The idea of marrying someone you don’t know was very interesting. There’s anxiety and excitement, and I described this person as a ‘flowerhead’, because the bride is completely covered in floral hair arrangements. — Ben Gorham of Byredo1

Flowerhead is the latest from niche line Byredo, not a brand known, I don’t think, for their florals, although they’ve done a few, including La Tulipe and the newer Inflorescence. Flowerhead got my attention in particular because it’s centered on rose, jasmine and tuberose, three floral notes I adore. Plus, the Flowerhead visuals are lovely, and the idea of a fragrance inspired by flower garlands at an Indian wedding, what’s not to like? So I tried not to be dissuaded by Gorham’s statement that it was “done in a modern way” in contrast to most floral fragrances which are “old-fashioned and not modern and smell like grandma”2 — not exactly words to warm a perfumista’s heart.3

Fear not, Flowerhead is modern, but it’s not too modern…

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Atelier Cologne Gold Leather ~ fragrance review

Atelier Cologne Gold Leather, brand visual

Atelier Cologne introduced Gold Leather in 2013, as part of the new Collection Métal fragrance series that also included Silver Iris. Like Angie, I thought Silver Iris was nice enough, but it couldn’t compete with the fabulous iris fragrances already in my collection. Gold Leather, which seems to be less widely distributed, was much more interesting to me after a quick sniff on paper.

Gold Leather starts off boozy and rich, with a sweet, spicy rum (although it smells like something heavier) and a twist or three of orange peel. There’s a generous dollop of plum jam…

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Atelier Cologne Silver Iris ~ fragrance review


Sometimes I think iris perfumes should come with rootiness scales, with ten being “Smells like a head of dirty hair” and one being “You mean there’s iris in here? I thought that was grape juice.” Perhaps perfume houses could post labels along the line of “This fragrance rates a 9 for rootiness” (Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist) or “This fragrance registers 2.5 on a 10 turnip scale” (Frédéric Malle Iris Poudre). With this scale and information about the fragrance’s fruit, powder, cream, and earth, the iris lover would be able to quickly zero in on a few to sample from the growing number of iris soliflores on the market.

On the rootiness scale, I would give Atelier Cologne Silver Iris a solid 6, making it a good bet for most fans of iris perfumes and a terrific introduction for the iris newbie. Silver Iris’s rootiness is present but never veers toward the odor of composting carrots. That said, the iris aficionado might find his or her attention wandering before long…

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Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme ~ fragrance review

Atelier Cologne, mood board for Rose Anonyme

Perhaps a day will come when I tire of wearing (and writing about) rose perfumes, but that day has apparently not arrived yet. This week I’ve been sampling Rose Anonyme, a fairly recent release from niche fragrance house Atelier Cologne. Rose Anonyme is personified as “a breathtaking seductress caught in a stolen affair between light and dark,” in a narrative about a (female) jewel thief who leaves nothing behind except a rose and the scent of her perfume.

This fragrance was developed by perfumer Jérome Epinette and features top notes of bergamot, ginger and Turkish rose essence; heart notes of Turkish rose absolue, incense and velvet oud accord; and base notes of patchouli, papyrus and benzoin. Rose Anonyme is definitely rose-centered, but nothing else about it was quite what I expected. Not that it’s a shocking fragrance in any way: it’s actually quite pretty. It’s the most feminine Atelier fragrance yet…

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