Before I write a full review I thoroughly test perfumes on blotters and on my skin, during couple or more wearings. Some even in different seasons of a year, thanks to moderate continental climate I live in.
Some will get reviewed in more detail sooner, some later. Some never. In the meantime, I give you quick sniffs, my first impressions.
Most of these short reviews were published on The Plum Girl’s Instagram account
I hope this might help you to explore further or decide about your next purchase. Test before you buy!
Irisistible is an Art&Olfaction Awards, 2019 Finalist! This ode to Iris-the goddess of the rainbow, connecting heavens and Earth feels like you’ve been gently touched by this messenger of gods with pink fingertips: a flash of vibrant yet milky opening, with morning dew made of citruses. Different facets of Iris follow. It becomes rooty, flowery and smooth at the same time, at moments even slightly bitter. Buttery flow turns velvety, thick, at times powdery, with floral whiffs. Later on, its inner, musky-smooth warm glow of rainbow spectrum colors begins to shine from within.
I need to give it more wearings for a complete review: this Iris-centered fragrance most certainly deserves it! Also, as I always say: test before you buy. This is a “natural”: you need to give it your skin, patience, and love.
They really surprised me: Blackbird perfumes!
I just met them and went bananas over them. Literally.
Y06–S! Funky bananas. Very different, creative, and…millenial? American? Refreshing! Confusing? Definitely worth exploring. This is not just a banana fruit scent, no way. Nose tickling metalic intro, a very yellow and ripe sweet banana softened with jasmine just so that it is not “gourmand” at all, and – surprise! Enter oud. Or was it there all the time? Do test before you buy…
2019 – new! Universal Supreme: a sweet&sour gourmand staub-sugar-ground cherry-pits-freshly baked industrial pie with almonds!
Botafumeiro by Carner Barcelona – new, from the Orientalcollection – my first encounter with it was at Esxence Milano: I am testing it on my skin while taking notes for a full review in progress.
Dedicated to first pilgrims walking the routes of ElCamino, a scent that revokes rich Spanish religious heritage, emotions and feelings when you enter the cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela: flowers from the altar, frankincense, nutmeg, styrax and musks, peace within…heavenly unisex.
Well, it takes me at least two days to thoroughly test a perfume, a couple of days to do some research, sometimes days and nights to think about it and write notes for a full review…I am doing this at my own pace…no hurry.
Etat Libre d’Orange
Not a „nothing“. I would rather say – everything!
Non, rien de rien, je ne regrette rien…why do I keep singing this song? No regrets with this perfume: Rien by Etat Libre d’Orange is dramatic, different and…well, not what you might expect at the first sniff…
From the gorgeous bubbly blast of aldehydes, bitter iris, sharp civet to a healthy dose of leather and although it seems that everything hits you at once, it is complicated in its fine mixture of classical thrill and twisted, modern approach.
Created by Antoine Lee in 2006, a rebel rebel perfume. Just when I thought yey! Here comes the freshness! It sways and hits heavy on spices, patchouli, and ambers, turning dark, suggesting a bit of smoke, a couple of rose petals, a sniff of musk, a drop of oakmoss – sensual, yet so balanced and elegant. So Etat Libre d’Orange, so edgy, so unisex.
This day started with me singing this song, wearing this perfume and matching it with a pair of Trippen shoes: dare to be different!
Comfort comes in many different ways: thanks to Ana y el Perfume who graciously sent me a small vial of Ruby Wood not long ago (“you must try this!!!),
I found this gem in my magic-samples-box. I went searching for it. I needed it.
Ruby Wood by Exaltatum Parfum (released in 2018) feels like a thick, soft, and delicious duvet made of caramelized ruby-red rose petals. Lush, thick, velvety, meaty, dark red rose petals, the ones you want to dive into. I curled under it, inhaling traces of sweet and jammy raspberries, trails of almost smoky frankincense with occasional sparks of roses, all of this, all the time beautifully balanced. Later on, it releases delightful whiffs of coffee and patchouli, leaving a slightly bitter, earthy-woody-creamy sandalwood layers on my skin.
Call it a gourmand, a floriental, a woody-oriental, call it whatever you wish, it brought comfort to me when I needed it. It made me a most delicious bed of roses I don’t want to get out of.
What if I told you a story about a date palm tree? In full bloom, as this is what FO’AH means?
What if I told you that date palms are trees of life, ever since forever, that this gift of Nature in all its grace is captured in perfumes created by Olivier Paescheux and Michael Giraed for Emilie Dewell and H.E. Abdulla Al Masaood – as a gift to the World? Dancing between Grasse and Abu Dhabi? A warm embrace?
Those who know me better, know that I’m in love with deserts. As a desert lover, I am aware of the significance date palms have (and how I long for those juicy, sweet, opulent, collected by hand, huge – dates…)
The samples I received are going straight to my skin! At the first sniff, I am very fond of Palmarie08: Calabrian Bergamot, Juniper berries, Rose Centifolia/May Rose, Jasmine from Grasse, Palmier/Palm tree, Patchouly, and Musk…
You’ll be surprised if you are expecting bold and strong scents: these perfumes are silky, refined, smooth operators: 5 new fragrances – presented at Esxence Milano 2018!
Hello FO’AH, nice meeting you. This is going to be an interesting journey. It may take some time for me to hear what these perfumes whisper on my skin…
Although a sample was sitting on my desk for some time now (11/5/2019), I didn’t write about it yet simply because I’m still trying to find the right words: Francesca does it again! Its beauty and complexity are making me forget about writing a review and selfishly enjoy this fragrance on my own. For just a little bit longer…
It evokes memories of hot summer afternoons spent in the Mediterranean forest just above the sea, laying down in shade to cool off my skin, sometimes alone with a book, sometimes in company, my body still hot, skin salty after a recent swim at the beach. Kisses taste better there. Moments when you are relaxed, feeling comfortable and sexy in your skin with no effort at all…so natural. Etruscan Water follows the trail of immortal beauty of great old Chypre fragrances. It feels almost vintage, with scents of rich flora on a Mediterranean island layered with mossy, animalic tones, a healthy pinch of citruses, and an inevitable “Bianchi Orris” signature touch: sensual, unisex (leaning toward masculine).
“When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.”
Innocence and decadent sexuality at the same time is a lethally seductive combo. Francesca is killing me softly again with this subtle beauty. Francesca, we need to talk. You don’t have to disclose all of me…
A beauty. Full bottle worthy.
Fort and Manle
There are so many fine fragrances that I haven’t reviewed yet but wear and enjoy enormously. Like Charlatan…Maybe I just need to shake off its spell and find the right words. Maybe because it seduces me and leaves me speechless. I get lost in it, keeping the inner joy of wearing it just for myself. Its sensuality is dark and disarming, so irresistible. In its fine composition, I drown in that dirty dark rose I love so much…but it’s really about the atmosphere, mood and feeling, not each and every note or accord because this perfume is tricky. Refined yet strong, sweet yet earthy, it weaves its fragrant story of seduction and betrayal in such a memorable and unique way. Feeling like a bad girl with a secret weapon. My precioussssss🖤
Fatih Sultan Mehmed
Love the way it moves, develops, sways, and whispers: quite a story going on here, Rose is just one chapter in this book. A beautiful floral Chypre, definitely needs more wearings! It simply made me happy today.
Its sunrise is displaying lovely hues of orange blossoms and puffy, soft, bright yellow mimosa blossoms, feeling like hot sun rays on your skin in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
Sunset of this perfume is like thick oriental silk imprinted with a Tonka accord. Opoponax is giving a honeyed and sensual touch to Ambergris notes in the drydown… On my skin it performs quite long, lingering in a very elegant, even slightly powdery, soft oriental-spicy way.
I have never been to Australia (yet) so I’m imagining how it would be to sit under an Acacia tree in full blossom somewhere in deserts of South Australia. The tree has soft fern or feather-like leaves and thorns: I would probably wear a bright yellow hat with a very wide brim, casting a shadow upon my face, back of the neck and shoulders, breathing Mimosa polen surrounding me. It’s summertime. In February. In Australia…
Pacific Rock Moss
Light, aquatic, just a bit fruity on my skin, airy- “clean”, so easy to wear…and I don’t mind re-spraying. I missed all the alleged hype (as I usually do), so whateva, I like it and I don’t care. It seems that really, really hot weather suits it well! I’m enjoying Pacific Rock Moss by the pool more than ever. Ha. Vacation is a state of mind.
Sampling: 10amFlirt (former Highlight Flirt), Nitro Noir, Sunday Brunch (3/4 released). My choice: 10amFlirt (not because of its name, I swear!)
Perfumer: Mathieu Nardin/Robertret
Concept: urban, modern lifestyle in NYC, Manhattan Minds style, “for young individuals of all ages”
Presentation: Colorful packaging with original artwork.
Price range: Eau de Parfum 50ml 78 USD.
10amFlirt: a bright Spring day opening, clean as the early morning air. It reminded me of getting dressed in a rush before going to work, putting on a freshly ironed white shirt on a bright and optimistic workday morning. Optimistic mood. Fig centered fragrance opening, nicely dry and green with white buds of gardenia protruding at the beginning. I like those fig-leaf moments, not too dry, never heavy or wet green either. Later on, gardenia becomes dominant, it emanates a silky, white and lush floral cloud: a jolt of gardenia buds, yet keeping it cool. Linear, not overly demanding or complicated: fig-gardenia-Cashmere/Sandalwood combo, not spectacular but nicely executed.
An easy-to-wear, everyday breezy fragrance, for work or fun. I would say for ideal for warmer weather.
Ithaka (Odori d’Anima Collection) is a fragrant poem about life journeys, destinations, new ports and harbors you sail to or return to ones well known. Ithaka brought tears to my eyes: I lost words. It carries traces of seawater, the opulence of stunning incense, Amber and Vanilla…ah.
Talento (Talismans Collection): since I’m on a personal journey through a “year of roses” in 2019, this fragile, just-budding rose featuring mint leaves and soft, silky-woody comfort is definitely a different, optimistic, youthful rose – although I could smell its thorns, tiny green rose thorns as well, still soft but present. It is beautiful! Presentation is fascinating as always: that ceramic bottle cap…
These two are going immediately on my to-review-soon list: those few precious drops I brought home shall suffice. I just hope to find the right words…
No Boundaries Collection 2019
Florane: pulpy bitter-fresh grapefruit, ripe cassis carelessly cut and served with vanilla spiced brown sugar cubes on a festive table decorated with dainty Lily-of-the-Valley and jasmine flowers floating above trails of soft hinoki and musks. It feels like spending a sunny Summer’s day afternoon in a beautifully kept green and lush garden with a simple wooden table and chairs set in the shade of a big tree – filled with scattered, randomly picked flowers in small glass vases, bowls of fresh fruit cut into cubes, cold creamy-powdery fluffy cakes, laughter and sharing with friends and family you love and feel loved by.
Asteroid B-612. I hold the figure of The Little Prince. Murad, one of the founders of Nishane was really helpful, presenting Le Petit Prince at Esxence Milan 2018 – a new line of perfumes by Nishan Istanbul, consisting of two perfumes: Vain&Naive (a story about the Rose and love) and B-612…
B-612. Because everyone looked at the Rose first.
Because it is beautiful. It is.
As the story goes, It’s vanity grew and fed on praises. The Rose realized what is important only upon losing the boy who loved it, watered it and claimed it. Too late…
Asteroid B-612. Because my inner child looked up to the sky first. Filled with stars, shiny undiscovered worlds far, far away.
As I do every August, on my island. I lay on the beach, hot cobbly beach as comets, called “The Tears of St. Lawrence” swirl and shine even brighter when falling apart. Earth and stars. Hot and cold. Feeling humble and sensitive to the vast beauty of this World, with all its differences that make it so breathtaking and amazing.
Yes, Rose is beautiful.
An open mind is even more beautiful…
(Perfume B-612 notes? I find the melody alluring, forget about the notes for a moment! I will take my own written notes about Vain&Naive too…a new blog is brewing!)
“Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.” -Rumi
Fan Your Flames
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
Rumi wrote some of the most beautiful lines I love to return to (and yes, I’ve cried over some of his poems…). I am constantly on the lookout for perfumes that fan my flames, test many on a daily basis but…not many do.
Well, here’s a spark:
This is one of my 2 fav perfumes from Nishane: a marzipan-sprinkled-with-rum, dry sheesha tobacco smoke feeling (and I’ve smoked one, so I know what I’m talking about), a spicy-cedar-mossy, creamy-smooth liquid silk on my skin… which felt good on a cold Autumn day.
Seek perfumes that fan your flames: not all can do that.
Hundred Silent Ways
A gloomy Mordor-like day brightened up with joy and happiness!
Oh, the sweet nectar of fruit and flowers! It made me want to swirl around like a Sufi dancer, especially after the initial phase when it became a smooth, whirling gardenia-sandalwood cocoon.
Have you ever watched Sufi Dervishes dance? This is just what this perfume reminded me of. It’s an amazing experience! I’ve been going around on errands the whole day with that same smile on my lips – in harmony with the Universe…
Tonight I’ll read again some of his beautiful verses: “I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.”– Rumi
By Marjorie Olibere, in cooperation with Luca Maffei
Collection “Les Mythiques”
This is a new, unisex perfume (May 2018.) and the Nose behind it is Luca Maffei, who patiently presented it at Esxence Milano, showing and explaining the raw materials used (giving this perfume amazing silage) and answering all the questions with ease.
I remember the movie “Interview with the Vampire” very well, because that is what this perfume is all about… the olfactory feeling of this particular movie!
The atmosphere! Haunting. I remember watching it breathlessly for the first time (will it be as good as the book?), a movie about love, seduction, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger for life. It whispers and screams about addiction, the pain of separation, the fading of feelings, the promise of immortality. Haunting, sexy, funny and hypnotic.
The perfume? Both gourmand and carnal, it opens up inviting, seducing you in an almost innocent offering of fresh bergamot, almost edible spices and fruitiness – only to transform into dark rose absolute enhanced with oud. Gothic splendor, leaving you totally bewitched with the elegant darkness of its sensuality…
Bergamot, Passion fruit, Nutmeg, Pink Pepper, Cinnamon
Rose absolute, Styrax, Oud
Patchouli, Benzoin, Labdanum, Civet, Oakmoss, Musk
I fell in love with it the moment it touched my skin. Total surrender. All shields down.
Enigmatic, dark and broody, yet so calming. Youthful and tender, like fresh mimosa flowers in February of your life. Adult, earthy and serene at its heart. Calming, saying – requires. Rest. Let go. Make peace.
I needed it today, and this fragrance made me stop and think.
There’s a right time for everything…and Requiem patiently waited. It always does.
Indie. Hand made. Coming from Saskatoon 🇨🇦, having a story to tell!
A-ADH (AROMA DE HORMIGUERO)
Primal Waters Collection
This perfume has been haunting me ever since I first encountered it last year, and now – since Esxence – The Scent of Excellence 2019: the scent of an anthill! It opens crisp, very fresh, then slowly transforms into a most extraordinary earthy-edible-fresh-mushrooms accord – so addictive, energetic and uplifting. Later on, it feels much softer, calming – strangely peaceful. It seems like you are experiencing a whole day in an ant’s busy life: from rushing along a trail in midst of a dewy grass field, moving along many busy corridors inside a freshly constructed anthill – earth still damp, to moments of rest and satisfaction of work well done, expressed by soothing resinous-balsamic tones, softened by a remote hints of oakmoss-patchouli layers.
Formally a woody chypre, a truly remarkable fragrance by Rodrigo Flores–Roux. That’s a niche, innovative, different, and I like it!
Naturally occurring formic acid derivatives (formates), algae accord, fresh mushroom accord, geosmin, galbanum, mastic tree resin, patchouli, oakmoss, fir balsam, vetiver, artemisia, and petitgrain.
Palindrome Collection, No II
From the new PalindromeCollection, No II – testing it on my skin today! It started in a soft, sweet, woody, a bit spicy way, hugging me gently while I’m finishing my first cup of coffee. It made it taste better, I swear! Santiago Burgas Boa, now I am intrigued…
This perfume, released in 2017. was made in collaboration with Rodrigo Flores-Roux, a Nose with quite a portfolio.
Calabrian bergamot, angelica roots, sugar cane, white and black pepper, Nigerian ginger, Ceylonese cardamom, Castoreum, Chinese osmanthus, Maltese labdanum, cinnamon tree leaves, leather accord, patchouli & Mexican vanilla beans.
Sarah Baker Perfumes
I made a mistake. Read reviews, discussions, pros and cons, meaningless video acclamations or words of disagreement, so that’s why I avoided sampling it: Jungle Jezebel, created by Miguel Matos.
Ok, if you don’t like your perfumes to provoke – don’t. If you don’t like the bottle with a blond wig and false eyelashes – don’t buy it, there’s a “regular” bottle. Just keep in mind that the other one fits the concept of Divine perfectly.
Jungle Jezebel will do everything but leave you indifferent. It starts off with a punch of pink bubble gum chewed and rolled around big meaty lips. This wham-bam-in-your-face “cheap thrill” doesn’t last long, and just about when you think it’s going to turn into sweet mashed bananas and almost plastic fruits, the fragrance shows its vulnerable floral side, even a little powdery ylang twist.
Nothing is as it seems at first sniff: civet rises, deep, creamy, sultry flow begins, flirting with tuberose in a loud animalic trance, big bubble gum balloons appearing every now and then, popping loud, and amongst all that crazy rhythm- drops of ylang begin to glide down sweaty, shiny skin. It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s different, but you still can’t stop thinking about it!
This whole wild, under-the-spotlight, percussion colored ride settles down with quite retro-elegant sandalwood-tonka tones, turning later on woody and moist dripping vanilla sweet, making you wonder how in the world did “that” become “this”?
Does it have character? Tons of it. Is it pleasing all the time? It depends on what you find pleasing because what it definitely isn’t is – a mass pleaser. Will you like it? I can’t tell, just make sure to sample before you buy. Will you forget it? No, never.
Just like Divine. Now go and take a look at a Jungle Jezebel song video, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Nothing is as it seems to be…or maybe it is: Jun-gle Jezebel, Jungle Jezebel: now who’re you calling Jezebel???
Timothy Han Edition
She came to stay
She Came to Stay…inspired by the story (and the book) about Simone de Beauvoir’s relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre, 100% natural, a beautiful fougere!
Imagine an early Spring day during 40ties in Paris, meaningful conversations, sparkling intellect, and deep passion. Seduction with words. Relationship? It’s complicated…The perfume? It’s green, it’s leathery, it’s spicy, and it needs your skin to write different chapters of its story. Unisex, classical, finely blended. A very refined “natural’ with depth and complexity. I need to explore the whole collection!
The House of Matriarch
With a honey golden glow on my skin, featuring vintage ambergris. Yes, ambergris. Oh, how I missed you… Interesting!
Teatro Fragranze Uniche
Two ladies from Florence, developing a fine line of products: home fragrances, fabrics line, candles and perfumes with a lovely shop in the center of this amazing city. Special Edition Perfumes line: Black Divine, Oro, and Tabacco.
My SOTD is Tabacco, I decided to spray it on while having my Monday morning coffee. And there I was in a cloud of a spicy, woody, amber-toned cloud of per fumum! Even if you are not into tobacco notes, this perfume might catch your attention because the blonde tobacco note is present quietly, ever so gentle. After ten or fifteen minutes it becomes soft like a pillow stuffed with coconut and rosewood. As if you are floating on it, slowly sipping your first hot spicy green tea. Later on, small whiffs of vanilla sweeten up your teacup, never overly. It’s warm and cozy, semi-sweet yet quite refreshing – definitely unisex. Traces of clove protrude all the way to the drydown. Winter type of a fragrance, if you prefer that classification. Kind of retro, with a modern twist and a sparkle. I must tell my husband to try it on, I have a feeling that on his skin it might get a bit darker in performance. Interesting!
My office scent of the day.
EDP, 100ml/110 EUR.
HEADNOTES: Ceylon Cinnamon, Cloves, Wormwood
HEART NOTES: Vetiver, Rosewood, Blonde tobacco, Coconut, Green Tea Leaves
BASE NOTES: BASE NOTES: Heliotrope, Siamese Benzoin, Vanilla, Amber.
By Master Perfumer Luca Maffei of Atelier Fragranze Milano, 2019.
Luca does it again: what a Dolce Vita leather, on my skin boozy spicy suede – a gourmand garment…It glides from bitter to sweet…spicy to woody, at moments fruity too, in utter opulence – dat a “leather”! Beautiful. Congratulations! One of my Esxence highlights!
OR +-Damask (for women) is the newest addition (2018) to OR+- collection of UER MI perfumes.
When you’re feeling imperial, reach for Damask! Fit for a queen, I’d say. Not a princess: a queen…
My first associations: Damask, the Silk Road, heavy silk, roses, luxury, 14th century Italy, gracefulness, opulence…
My skin seems to be a great playground for it today: A Rose it is, but a carefully woven with petals glowing like silk, a rose-covered with morning dew. On the first sniff a fresh rose, then you notice that it is clad in all the Spring colors of Magnolia flowers, in full bloom.
This gives this rose a matte side, like the pattern on the damask fabric. Later on, thick creaminess of Magnolia is dispersed with a touch of berry-like fruity sharpness, only to settle down and reveal a rich undertone of feminine patchouli.
Released in 2018, the Nose behind it is Maurice Roucel.
I had my first close encounter with UER MI some time ago, the concept of olfactory feeling and presentation of different fabrics seemed perfectly understandable to me. Do you like the smell of your favorite jeans? Or a silk blouse? Latex (one of my favorites)? Different.
Doesn’t really each fabric your clothes are made of smell differently? UER MI means “wear me and there are some serious perfumers composing these fragrances.