Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver ~ fragrance review

Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver visual

One of my most memorable introductions to a perfume happened in Mexico, when a child-shopkeeper handed me, with grace and a touch of theatricality, a bottle of original Bel Ami by Hermès. It was not love at first sniff (even though I bought a bottle immediately) but now, if some evil genie commanded I use only five perfumes for the rest of my life, Bel Ami would be one of the five…even one of three (if the genie were especially nasty and restrictive).

I was excited to try the tweaked Bel Ami — Bel Ami Vétiver — but was wondering if the light touch of perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena would make the perfume too contemporary for me. With a bottle of original Bel Ami in one hand, and a sample of new Bel Ami Vétiver in the other…here goes…

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Persephenie Vetiver Attars ~ perfume reviews

Persephenie Vetiver Attars

Longtime readers know I’m a vetiver fiend, so I was excited when I heard about the new Vetiver Attars from Los Angeles based aromatherapist and perfumer Persephenie. They’re attars in which the florals (and other notes) are hydro-distilled into a base of vetiver oil instead of the more traditional sandalwood. And those of you who read the original announcement might remember that they’re expensive — $64 each for 4 ml — as is generally the case when a small indie brand is doing their own distilling (Strange Invisible Perfumes being another example).* I tried all five; here are brief reviews of three: Blue Lotus, Parijata and Tuberose…

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LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front & Tableau de Parfums Dark Passage ~ fragrance reviews

Today, I’m looking at two niche fragrances: LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front and Tableau de Parfums Dark Passage. They don’t really have all that much in common other than that they’re both limited edition fragrances made in support of outside projects. Oh, and I like them both.

LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front

LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front

Turtle Vetiver Front is the latest from Swiss niche line LesNez. It’s the second in their series of vetiver fragrances made in support of the Turtle “anarchic” salon (about which I know nearly nothing, but you can read more here). Vetiver Front was developed by perfumer Isabelle Doyen, and I adored her first in the series, Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1. I thought of Exercise No. 1 (which I believe is now sold out) as a kind of vetiver for vetiver freaks…

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Vero Profumo Onda ~ fragrance review

Vero Profumo Onda Eau de ParfumIt’s rare to smell a fragrance that seems completely new, like nothing else on the market. It’s even more rare to find something that smells not only new, but at the same time ancient, as if unearthed from an Egyptian sarcophagus. Astonishingly, Vero Profumo Onda manages this last trick. There’s nothing of the focus group about it. If someone told me Onda was Mata Hari’s secret weapon, I’d believe it. If she told me Onda was Comme des Garçons’ latest fragrance, “Bilge Water Supreme,” I’d believe that, too. It’s a marvel.

Vero Kern, the nose behind Vero Profumo, released three fragrances in extrait — Onda, Rubj, and Kiki — in 2008. In 2010, she released Eau de Parfum versions of each fragrance. These three perfumes are Vero Profumo’s only offerings. Vero Profumo is one of the few perfume houses that doesn’t hustle one or two new perfumes out the door each year. While it’s a relief not to have to field a regular raft of new perfumes, Onda, Rubj, and Kiki are so interesting that I’m eager for her next release.

I first smelled Onda extrait when a Now Smell This reader passing through town slid a spray sample across the table of a Thai restaurant…

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More quick sniffs: Roca Parfums Lemon Cloud, Especially Escada, Lalique Encre Noire Pour Elle

Another round of quickie reviews: Roca Perfums Núvol di Llimona / Lemon Cloud, Especially Escada and Lalique Encre Noire Pour Elle.

Roca Perfums Núvol di Llimona / Lemon Cloud

Roca Perfums Núvol di Llimona

The opening is truly good enough to eat, and it should be. Núvol di Llimona (or “Lemon Cloud”) was developed by pastry chef Jordi Roca of the renowned Cellar de Can Roca. It’s supposed to be a lemon muffin soaked in milk — or “an all-pervading, ethereal cloud of lemon surrounding a sponge cake treated to milk and sweeties”, take your pick — and that’s just what it is, a sheer lemon sugar fragrance with subtle cake notes, lightly charred, lightly milky, not overly sweet. It’s sort of like a foodier version of Fresh Lemon Sugar, and it’s highly enjoyable — if I still worked in an office, it’s just the sort of thing I’d want to have in my top right desk drawer for a quick dose of comfort and cheer in the late afternoon. Even though I don’t work in an office, I’d still like a bottle, and it would be an excellent (if spendy) choice for a very young girl who wanted her own perfume…

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