Divine Spirituelle ~ fragrance review

petals

When I think of Divine‘s target customer, I imagine an elegant, gentle-mannered woman who wears pearls with élan and not stuffiness, and who appreciates the nuances of a good Darjeeling. That sort of woman could be happy with any of Divine’s feminine offerings, most of which are classic florals, subtly blended, designed to comfort and enchant in a lovely yet conventional way. Put another way, there’s a good chance that no Divine fragrance has ever been smelled in a mosh pit. Divine Spirituelle is true to the house brand.

Perfumer Richard Ibañez developed Spirituelle. Its notes include spices, Sichuan and pink peppercorns, geranium, cistus, May rose absolute, Anatolian rose absolute, light amber, white musk, Texas cedar and incense. In brief, Spirituelle is a warm, tender rose…

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Providence Perfume Co Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey & Summer Yuzu ~ fragrance reviews

Providence Perfume Co Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey & Summer Yuzu

Providence Perfume Co released a new collection of natural fragrances in October, which was good news for any fan of this “indie” company. The collection includes six perfume oils: Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey, Summer Yuzu, Ivy Tower, Sweet Jasmine Brown and Violet Beauregarde. I’ve sampled three so far, and I hope to get to the rest this week. Here are my quick thoughts on Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey and Summer Yuzu, written during a gloomy spell of early-winter weather when I really needed a fragrant pick-me-up.

Rose 802 is a floral with woody and gourmand notes — rose, black currant, cedar wood, fir, vanilla, bergamot and myrtle. (The “802” is a reference to Vermont’s area code, since the scent was inspired by summer travels to that region.) I generally enjoy rose-centered “fleurmands,” and I like this one, although it took me a few tries to figure out…

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A Lab on Fire Paris*LA ~ perfume review

A Lab on Fire banner image

The idea for Paris*LA, one of the recent launches from niche brand A Lab On Fire, is simple enough: “LA, captured through Parisian eyes…”, and the description, “a refreshing Coca-cola marries a smooth-shelled macaron”, is enticing, perhaps, depending on your predisposition towards soda-inspired gourmands. I love them, the fizzier the better.

Paris*LA starts off energetically, with ginger and tart citrus (the notes: key lime, ginger, cola accord, neroli, coriander, thyme, macaron accord, amber and musk) and slowly rearranges itself into its key elements, the cola and the biscuit. The cola, admittedly, I’m not sure I’d recognize if I wasn’t looking for it. Paris*LA is only lightly fizzy on my skin, perhaps because I’m dabbing from a vial, and while all the cola “pieces” are there, it’s not the exact cola I’m used to…

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Parfums de Nicolai Cuir Cuba Intense ~ fragrance review

Parfums de Nicolaï Cuir Cuba Intense, brand image

Taking into consideration perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï’s description1 (and name) of her new perfume and its notes list2…you might expect Parfums de Nicolaï Cuir Cuba Intense to be the scent equivalent of laying inside a new leather trunk on cushions stuffed with highly scented cured tobacco leaves. In press materials, Nicolaï raves about the aromas of dried tobacco leaf, unlit cigars, and even cigar boxes.

Cuir Cuba Intense is too sophisticated to simply replicate, literally, tobacco and leather aromas; it’s so sophisticated it barely brings them to mind at all…

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Parfums Montana Parfum de Peau ~ fragrance review

Montana Parfum de Peau

The best way I can sum up Parfums Montana Parfum de Peau (originally released as Montana) is like this: Imagine that Niki de Saint Phalle and La Nuit de Paco Rabanne had a daughter, and they amped her baby formula with steroids. Other kids at school made fun of her for her big nose, protruding eyes and exceptional height. And when she turned 19, she became a supermodel. Parfum de Peau may be the ultimate jolie laide fragrance.

Jean Guichard composed the original Montana perfume in 1986. It’s not clear when the name change took place, but by 1991 it was being referred to in the press as Parfum de Peau. It was apparently reformulated later in the 1990s by Edouard Fléchier, and has no doubt been tweaked since. Its notes include peach, cassis, plum, pepper, cardamom, ginger, rose, tuberose, jasmine, ylang ylang, carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, civet, castoreum, amber, musk and frankincense.

In Perfume, Nigel Groom describes Parfum de Peau as an “avant-garde chypre.” As its list of notes hints, Parfum de Peau is something between a symphony and raucous nightclub…

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