Lemon Fresh – Perfume Review: Atelier Cologne Cédrat Enivrant

By Tara

Cédrat Enivrant (“intoxicating Citron”) Cologne Absolue is the most recent release from Atelier Cologne and has a 15% concentration. It contains notes of cédrat, lime, bergamot, mint, basil, juniper berry, tonka bean, vetiver and elemi.

cedrat atelier cologne

As you may know, a cedrat (or citron in English) is a citrus fruit which is related to both the lemon and the lime. That’s pretty much what Cédrat Enivrant smells like to start with; a big hit of lemon zest with a shot of green lime. As a result it’s very bright and zingy.

Unlike a few of Atelier’s recent fragrances – take Gold Leather for example – this really does feel like cologne. It would give you a brisk slap around the face to wake you up in the morning or thoroughly cool you down during a hot and sticky day.

It doesn’t smell synthetic or cheap and will appeal to those who like a dominant lemon note. Unfortunately, the aroma of lemon doesn’t have a positive association for me because it brings to mind functional fragrances. It reminds me of a product used to clean or scent the kitchen, leaving it smelling nice and fresh.

The invigorating lemon with a twist of lime lasts a good couple of hours before it gradually begins to shrink in intensity and the mint, basil and juniper berry add some aromatic interest.

Cédrat Enivrant now begins to resemble its inspiration; the French 75 cocktail made from gin, Champagne, lemon juice and sugar. Created in 1915, the drink was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun or “75 Cocktail”.


It has to be said that this bracing fragrance certainly lives up to its backstory.

While I find this cocktail stage more appealing, it’s still just that bit too lemony and herbal for me to find it mouth wateringly drinkable, the way some thirst quenching scents can be.

I had expected the masculine, bone-dry theme to continue with a vetiver base but it actually turns sweeter, probably thanks to a good dose of tonka bean.

Cédrat Enivrant feels classic and well done but ultimately I find it uninspiring. I do wonder if there are cheaper alternatives out there but I guess that’s where Atelier Cologne’s unique selling point comes into play. How many citrus colognes are going to last several hours?

cedrat atelier cologne image

Well, to join Olfactoria in evangelising Hermès for a moment, their colognes (take my current favourite Eau de Mandarine Ambrée for example) have surprisingly good lasting-power, captivating compositions and a more accessible price-point.

Some colognes in Atelier Cologne’s line-up such as the refreshing tea of Oolang Infini or the masculine vanilla of Vanille Insensée really do bring something new to the genre. However, I can’t help feeling that Cédrat Enivrant is lacking an original angle to elevate it to something more befitting a niche house and justify the significant retail price.


What do you think of Atelier Cologne? Do you have a favourite fragrance from the brand?

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Posted in Atelier Cologne, By Tara, Citrus, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

People In Perfumeland – Carrie Meredith Of Eyeliner On A Cat

Carrie of the beauty and perfume blog Eyeliner On a Cat was one of the first people in Perfumeland I had contact with when I started out and she was so welcoming and such a warm person I felt I had come to the right place.

Carrie is from Chicago, loves cats, punk and Mandy Aftel.

She has recently drawn back a little from perfume blogging, so I am glad to feature her here to let us all have a glimpse at the lovely person behind that eyeliner…

eyeliner carrie

A good day starts with…

Coffee! Preferably Ethiopian Yergacheffe in a French press, along with some good music to get the gears of my brain moving, like Stevie Nicks or Frank Ocean.

I’d never leave the house without…

A notebook and a pen, lip options (balms galore, nude lipstick, fuchsia, merlot and something kinda crazy like brownish-gray metallic lip gloss), Tatcha blotting papers, hand sanitizer and aromatherapy wet wipes, two or three fragrances, usually in small size bottles or decants. One of the most important things is an all-purpose moisturizer, like an oil or a balm. I like Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil or Shea Terra’s Nilotica Eastern Ugandan shea butter, which is soft and smooth yet pretty much unaffected by heat or cold, so it won’t melt all over the place or freeze and take forever to spread. It’s never grainy. Grainy drives me crazy.

I always feel good when…

I have no loose ends, or at least very few of them. Also, I feel good when money is not occupying my thoughts, and I’m free to think about other things and enjoy the blessings I have unencumbered.

My favorite thing in the world is…

The feeling of helping someone deserving or in need, or a charitable organization. The act of giving back in creative ways as opposed to monetarily, because I’ve not had any kind of real material abundance in my life yet. That doesn’t stop me from giving away my last dollar if I’m able to.

The next thing I want to buy is…

I’m dreaming of one of those new Valentino fringed leather totes- in black or brown.


The place I always come back to is…

The place of trusting my authentic creative self. I do stray sometimes, though.

My personal style is…

Studded leather and motorcycle boots meets American Indian meets The United Nations.

My favorite perfume…

…is like a horse with no name. I have a small but very exciting stable of favorites that never fall out of favor with me, from Le Labo, Mandy Aftel, Neela Vermeire, Comme des Garcons, Guerlain, Liz Zorn and Serge Lutens. My favorite perfume is the one I haven’t met yet, it’s still a dream in the aether.

When I travel I always …

…make sure I’m as prepared as I possibly can be. I hate unpleasant surprises. I much prefer the pleasant ones, but either way, I want to make sure I’ve planned well so that I can maximize mobility and time. The planning part of travel is rather thrilling to me.

To relax I need…

Incense, and lots of it. I love Shoyeido or Nippon Kodo for Japanese incense and several types of Nag Champa and others from India. If I’m feeling anxious, I will usually smudge my entire apartment and myself with a bundle of white sage, sweetgrass, lavender, cedar or mugwort- or Palo Santo if I’m really feeling some bad vibes or am severely crabby. I’ve got something for whatever is ailing my psyche, or those of the people/pets that I love.

When I have a bad day…

There’s nothing in the world that can happen to me that copious amounts of rap music, kitty love, beauty products and perfume can’t fix. Luckily, I have regular, fairly unlimited access to all of those things. Bad days happen, but they will happen whether we handle them well or not, so we might as well treat them as fixable problems instead of infecting the other beings in our environment with poisonous mojo. Nobody deserves that.

I like to gift people with…

Oh, gifts! I love sending them so much. Lately, I’ve had TERRIBLE luck sending care packages to a certain dear friend/perfume creator in Paris. We’ve both had packages to each other vanish somewhere around customs, probably. Expensive packages that are expensive to ship. It’s got both of us down in the dumps for sure, but I was going to tell you what I like to send people: If I’m sending a package to a friend in another country, I like to include stuff they won’t be able to find where they are. Local US micro beauty and skin care brands, favorite edible treats, delightful oddities and various beautiful cards and drawings. Preparing care packages is an art that I’m always looking to improve upon. One successful package I’ve sent recently just before Christmas was also for a housewarming gift for my soul sister in California. It was really good. Vintage Sgt. Peppers record, cool, quirky t-shirt, couple pairs of fuzzy socks, skin care products, organic laundry detergent packettes– stuff for she and her sweetheart to enjoy together. It got the reaction I was hoping for: Pure delight!

I find my inspiration…

…in the faces of the people and sentient beings who love me, and the often hilarious things they do and say. Humor. I’m hugely inspired by comedians and humor. The people who have devoted their lives to comedy are the most interesting people in the world to me. Zach Galifianakis, Maria Bamford, Peter Serafinowicz, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, Neil Hamburger, Patton Oswalt, Mitchell and Webb, Sarah Silverman, Michael Ian Black, Dave Foley– all the way back to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and Redd Foxx- the great so-called “alternative” comedians, the ones who never saw any real benefit to following the status quo– what they do is what I love the most and it sets my mind spinning in interesting directions.

Something I would never want to miss…

With the addition of my new kitty, Computer Blue, to the family, I feel like I have another chance to develop a true soul-mate type relationship with a cat. The pain from losing other kitties in the past 4 years hasn’t faded, but CB has breathed new life into me, and I know it’s partially because I got her when she was really little. I don’t ever want to miss a single moment of our time together unless totally necessary. I have no regrets about the past and all of my memories of my BFFs from the past (Maggie and Troutie) are wonderful, but it’s the loss of them that makes the highs and lows of life with CB more intense, and more meaningful to me.


Carrie’s new kitty Computer Blue

My last mistake was…

Sometimes I feel like I’m living out a series of mistakes, without beginnings or endings– which in reality, is not as dramatic as it sounds. There are places and times in my life when I went left instead of right, etc, and as it goes with those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from my childhood, you have to wait until you travel to the end of that path to find out what’s going to happen. At that point, I’ll dig my way out somehow and find my next English garden maze.

In my fridge there is always…

A case of Ayala’s Herbal Water- usually Lavender Mint or Lemongrass Mint Vanilla. As long as I have that and coffee, food is kind of secondary. But I do enjoy my Greek yogurt a lot.

On my nightstand I keep…

Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne Pyto-Aromatic Mist for body, hair and linens (perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti), an array of lip balms by HURRAW! Balms, my face care kit which contains products from Aurelia and Shea Terra, a variety of body oils and a few bottles of my most-used perfume. Currently, those are: Ramon Monegal Cuirelle, Neela Vermeire Trayee and Ashoka, Le Labo Oud 27 and Aftelier Oud Luban and Tango. Nothing super-new, but they are my go-to scents that I think suit me always.

The perfect weekend starts with…

Usually a “home-spa” evening with some combination of facial, hair treatment and a manicure. This is also my favorite prescription for chasing the blues away. To me it’s like music- you can try all you want to be crabby, but it’s going to do its magic on you whether you like it or not.

My role model is…

I’m not sure I would use he term “role model” for any person, but one of my heroes– I guess that’s a better word–is Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, as he later wished to be known). As an American, learning our black history is very important in school, but I have done extensive reading and research about Malcolm X’s life– what he taught, what he gave us, and how he wasn’t afraid to admit it when he had a change of heart. There hasn’t been anyone in the United States who has been able to fill his shoes since his passing, to be there to inspire people with action and compassion. Since Trayvon Martin was murdered and his killer went free, it’s created a brand new fire in people that we haven’t seen since Rodney King. I believe that every adult has the responsibility to learn the truth and to stand up for human rights, and be willing to do what we can for justice. There are a lot of lazy, apathetic people in this country, and I hope that changes, little by little or all at once– it doesn’t matter. We need change, badly.

Malcolm X in London

Malcolm X in London

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is…

Um, how about this: If you could be any animal, what would you be? And my answer would be a spider. I want to know what it’s like to create a web and to move on eight legs; to have the power of stealth. I’ve always felt connected to spiders, and I’ve never killed one. I’m the annoying girl at parties that clears the screaming people from the room while I collect the spider and place it somewhere safe outside. Nobody kills spiders in my presence. That’s a serious faux-pas.

A drawing of Carrie by her friend Niko

A drawing of Carrie by her friend Niko

Whenever I read anything by or about Carrie, I thought to myself: What an interesting woman! I think it is clear that her interview confirmed my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better through her answers and I hope you did too!


Posted in Interview | Tagged | 25 Comments

Carnations For Louis – Review: Oriza L. Legrand Oeillet Louis XV

Hey Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse to chat about a fragrance house that I discovered properly on my trip to Europe. It is, in the fashion of the day, a resurrected house from history and we (Michael & I) were lucky enough to be invited to their 18 Rue Saint-Augustin, 75002 Paris, France headquarters and store for a visit.

The house was resurrected by two gentlemen whose love of fragrance and dedication to their ideal shines from them, and during our 2-3 hours in their company they took us through their whole range, showed us their fragrances, soaps and candles, laughed, instructed and generally entertained us.

Oriza Portia #1Here are Hugo, myself and Franck

One of the things I liked most about Franck & Hugo was that they presented their re-issue of old world fragrances as being “as close as we could get with today’s perfumery while keeping it modern” which showed me that they are interested in the truth as well as good fragrance. As the house’s creation Horizon is currently up for an Olfaction Award I thought we’d look at another of their stand out fragrances, this one for an entirely different, softer style.

Oeillet Louis XV was created by Hugo Lambert for Oriza L. Legrand in 2012.

Oeillet Louis XV Oriza L. Legrand FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pink Pepper, Mandarin
Heart: White Carnation, Carnation Absolute, White Orchid, Iris, Rose, Spicy Clove
Base: Rice Powder, White Musk, White Honey, Woody Notes

Pink pepper is so often done cheaply and nastily and I thought I didn’t like it. Well, here set in this surrounding of powder and sweet citrus, I am thinking it was the creators not the note I used to dislike. In Oeillet Louis XV it works as a shimmering patina over the very fluffy powder (I think when I say powdery I mean that the powders of my memory were scented with iris and citrus) that is as cozy and soft as the clouds painted in churches with cherubs.

The carnation is a soft and fluffy one too, for some reason I was expecting it to be sharper and greener, here we have a veil of luxurious carnation that wears surprisingly close to the skin. If your major carnation fragrance reference is Bellodgia by Caron then you are in for a much more intimate, wearable ride that plays quite primly. Conversely, if you don’t like carnation because of it’s BIGness in many fragrances here you will be pleasantly surprised.

Oeillet Louis XV is quiet enough to be a work/everyday scent but interesting and different enough that you will still be waving your perfumista freak flag.

Oeillet Louis XV Oriza L. Legrand Raffael Madonna_Sistina WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

As we move further through the Oeillet Louis XV lifespan, the carnation becomes more pronouncedly clove-ish and the honey adds a murmur of sweet, clean, domesticated, animal. All the while there is a powdery feeling, a lovely, fresh, soft and elegant waft that is never intense or confronting but works as a glistening, a gild over your own smell.

Even deep into the heart of the fragrance I get wafts of something juicy, maybe the boys chose a zingy, fruity rose accord but it harks back nicely to the opening mandarin and creates a more circular sensation in the story. Iris doesn’t really play a starring role until well into the heart either, though it has been doing marvelous chorus work.

The woods are amorphous, a backing that never makes much noise for me and feel more like tobacco and I completely miss the orchid through the heart, but seriously it’s probably my skin and nose that often misses things until given a fragrance and the part separately to sniff the piece then the frag and work out connections.

Oeillet Louis XV frag life is average at under 6 hours and it wears pretty close to the skin, you will have a quiet sillage though and anyone lucky enough to come in close will be gifted a beautiful fragrant hug.

Oeillet Louis XV Oriza L. Legrand Paris Store Oriza L. LegrandPhoto Stolen Oriza L Legrand

Powdery and peppery, silky and spicy, Oeillet Louis XV soothes yet confuses with its paradoxes. Reminiscences of an ancient time, powder fades and gives way to spicy notes of clove. Oeillet Blanc is homage to the beloved French King Louis XV who saw Oriza’s birth and became its most illustrious customer.

- from the Oriza L Legrand site

Further reading: Ca Fleure Bon and Kafkaesque

Oriza L Legrand does sample sets of their line €9/ 7 x 2ml spray samples of their line
Oriza L Legrand has Oeillet Louis XV €120/100ml

First In Fragrance has the Oriza L Legrand line €120/100ml and €4/3ml samples

Hope you’re all well, it’s spring up there and this will be a perfect spring scent. Also, if you get to Paris you must visit the boys!

Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Carnation, Floral, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Monday Question – Your Top Five Part I: Books

Today is the first Monday question in a series of five where we share our Top Five lists for several things. First up are books. (Advance warning: perfume will be last, so we have some time to pick our five most beloved scents.)
So let’s get started with Part I:

What are your Top Five books of all time?


My Answer:

Here we go, after much deliberation:

1. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years Of Solitude (RIP, one of the most wonderful, magical authors ever). – A sweeping story of generations full of magic and unforgettable characters.

2. John Irving: A Prayer For Owen Meany - the story of a very unusual man and how he saved the world.

3. Umberto Eco: Foucault’s Pendulum - everything you ever wanted to know about arcane wisdom, the occult and more. There is almost nothing Eco doesn’t touch. He is a true renaissance man.

4. Wally Lamb: I Know This Much Is True - a rich, intricate novel about identical twin brothers dealing with their family history in very different ways. One is schizophrenic, the other is not. Impossible for me to summarize in a few words, this is a book that won’t ever leave you again.

5. Pat Conroy: The Prince Of Tides - deeply touching family history set in the deep south. Also made into a very good movie with Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand.

Special mention (because I just can’t leave them out!):

Stephen King: The Dark Tower Vol. I-VII - King’s opus magnum, the culmination of his entire body of work. A must-read for fans and just a fantastic story for everybody else.

Isabel Allende: The House Of Spirits - what can I say? I am a big fan of South-American magic realism.

Irvin D.Yalom: When Nietzsche Wept - a ficticious story about real people. What happens when Friedrich Nietzsche goes into therapy with Josef Breuer. Oh yes, a young medical intern is also important to the story, his name is Sigmund Freud.

Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island - dizzying crime story about a murder set on an isolated psychiatric hospital on Shutter Island. A psychological closed door murder mystery with a twist you’ll never forget.

I cannot wait for your Top Five Books!


Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , , | 94 Comments

Happy Easter! – And A New Old Perfume Love

We are busy with family visits and easter bunny watching so I want to wish you a relaxing and lovely few days and a very happy Easter!
See you again after the weekend!

polish easter eggs
I’ll leave you with this link to an old review of a perfume I have found again in my closet and have been wearing with delight the last few days.

Happy Easter!

Image source: inspirebohemia.com
Posted in Ramblings | Tagged , | 27 Comments

A Spanish Guitar – Review: Parfums MDCI Nuit Andalouse

By Sandra

Parfums MDCI is a perfume house which exudes elegance and style with its beautiful perfumes. I was eagerly awaiting the two newly launched perfumes from 2013 – Nuit Andalouse and Cuir Garamante. Today I want to tell you about Nuit Andalouse.


The perfume was created by up and coming star perfumer Cecile Zarokian. Fragrantica lists the notes as follows: „Top notes are orange, violet and green notes; middle notes are gardenia, ylang-ylang, rose and orange blossom; base notes are vanilla, sandalwood, musk and amyl salicylate.”

The perfume is meant to be a scent centered around gardenia. Let me tell you it is not as straight forward as that. This is a perfume that has many facets and blooms beautifully on my skin all day long, in fact I get a good 8-10 hours.

Nuit Andalouse opens up with a wonderful burst of orange laced with violets. It is only slightly green and the violets are gently sweetened with sugard blending the orange and violets beautifully. The orange and green notes actually temper the sweetness making sure that it does not veer into cloying territory. This is a simply beautiful opening. It is the start of my day sitting in the sunshine dreaming of a summer vacation that it seems will never come.

As the perfume warms up on my skin, the violets come forward with a bit of the powdered fluff that I associate with that flower.

The middle notes are smooth and the only note that I can discern with any certainty is orange blossom. At this point in time I understand what others are saying when they get a gardenia smell. I love gardenia plants and wish that I was able to care for them properly as the perfumed air they give off is delightful. I have not tried too many gardenia perfumes and I believe it is because I am somewhat disappointed that most are not as gardenia as I want them to be. However, what I get at this point in the development of Nuit Andalouse is much more of a visual association with gardenia with a modest relation to the actual gardenia bloom with its waxy white petals and fluffy feel.

My absolute favorite stage of Nuit Andalouse is in the drydown when it all comes together with a hint of vanilla and sandalwood. Music now comes to my mind – in particular – the spanish guitar. The music to this day makes me feel alive, cheerful and comforted all at once.

The Spanish Guitarist by Auguste Renoir

The Spanish Guitarist by Auguste Renoir

This is a beautiful joyful perfume to wear. It will be a perfect addition to my summer wardrobe.

Have you tried any Parfums MDCI perfumes? Which gardenia perfumes do you think I should try next?

Take a look at Olfactoria’s reviews of other MDCI perfumes here.

Posted in By Sandra, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Parfums MDCI | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Vero Kern At Bloom Perfumery, London on Wednesday 9th April 2014

By Tara

Vero Kern is one the real gems of the perfume world. She is an amazingly talented and inspiring woman who proves that you can make your dreams a reality at any age. Her perfume line, Vero Profumo, is a master-class in excellence and demonstrates the way perfumes used to be made, but rarely are now.


Invitiation to the event, courtesy of Bloom Perfumery London

Onda, Kiki, Rubj, Mito and now Rozy, showcase top quality ingredients in moving interpretations. Her creations go right to the core of your being. Vero is also a fascinating individual as you will have already discovered if you have read her People in Perfumeland profile here on OT. Considering Vero is based in Zürich, I couldn’t miss the opportunity of meeting the lady herself on her recent visit to London.

Tara and Freddie of Smelly Thoughts

Tara and Freddie of Smelly Thoughts

Vero was at Bloom in east London to hold a workshop and introduce her latest perfume, Rozy. I went along with the wonderful Freddie from SmellyThoughts and his lovely mum, who are both big Onda fans. I also recognised a few other familiar faces among the 20 or so people there; such is the small world of perfume.

Vero was accompanied by Lisa Taylor from Campomarzio70 niche perfumery in Rome and said she was happy for me to roughly reconstruct her words below:

Vero Kern and Lisa Taylor of Campomarzio70

Vero Kern and Lisa Taylor of Campomarzio70

The Beginning

Vero Kern: I got into perfumery through aromatherapy, at the age of 54. I became very interested in the raw materials that had been used in classical perfumery for a very long time. Perfume could not be made the same way after the 1990s because of globalisation. After that, they had to conform to a certain standard from Honolulu to Hong-Kong.

I had a great love of the old Guerlains, Chanels and Carons. The Guerlains are not the same as they were. I bought a lot of bottles from the 90s, but they have been updated since. In a good way I think, to keep up with modern tastes.

I began with three perfumes; Kiki, Rubj and Onda. My perfumes contain a large amount of natural raw materials. I started with extraits which are an erotic way to perfume yourself – by applying to the pulse points – but also it meant I could produce the perfumes myself. This is because one kilo of extrait makes a lot of these little bottles.

However, people like to spray, it’s a cultural thing. So for the EDP I changed the formula a little. The differences are not big but they are there. The Voile d’Extraits have the same composition as the Extraits but at a different concentration.

A Fun Test

Vero: Now we are going to do a little test. We are passing around paper strips with a raw material and I want you to write down on a piece of paper two words which describe it.

Tara: I immediately recognised cumin, mainly because I make curry with it. So I wrote cumin – spicy, warm.

Vero: Lisa, please read the answers.

Tara: Lisa then read out all the answers which were mostly cumin with a few people identifying it as turmeric or curry spice.

Vero: This has never happened! Amazing! People usually say “sweaty” but cumin is cumin. I guess it’s because you cook with it and have so many Indian restaurants here and smell it in the streets.


vero kern kiki edp

Vero: Now we have a raw material from Kiki to pass around. Can you tell what it is? (General agreement on lavender).

That’s right. There are two types of lavender in Kiki. A steam distilled lavender and a lavender absolute. The absolute is just as the word suggests, it is the whole thing. You see the green colour of the raw material? That’s completely natural.

This is another natural material from Kiki being passed around now. What does it smell like to you? (Most thought it smelt like caramel). It’s a synthetic material called Maltol. It’s like crème caramel.

Kiki was a muse of the photographer Man Ray in the 1920s/30s. She was a very free woman, an artist, a very special woman. This was also the beginning of the feminist movement.

I learnt to make perfume in Paris and I was influenced by Guerlain, which I had loved and had worn for a long-time. So Kiki was also influenced by Jicky which came out in 1889 and is still in production, which is really amazing. Aimé Guerlain named it after a nephew of his who had the nickname Jicky.

It was originally intended for men but was popular with woman and became a very famous feminine perfume. It’s very androgynous. I don’t like the expression “unisex”. It’s horrible. It’s like “uniform”. There are no sexes in my perfumes.

Lisa: There is a lot of sex in your perfumes, to be honest. (Lots of laughter)

Vero: That goes too far!


vero rubj voile

Vero: Now we are trying a raw material used in Rubj. What do you think it is? (A couple of people say neroli). It’s actually orange blossom absolute but neroli is made from orange blossom also. There is something oily about it, almost like gasoline. I made a kind of reproduction of orange blossom for Rubj with other materials to make it fresher. Orange blossom is not easy to work with alone. It’s too heavy.

The next raw material we are trying is tuberose which is also in Rubj. This is a synthetic which is more flowery than natural tuberose.

Now on the blotters you have the complete Rubj Voile d’Extrait which is a 14% dilution.


vero kern onda edp

Vero: Onda means “The Wave” in Italian. It is dry, spicy, woody, there’s a little tobacco, a little honey.

We are now going to smell Onda Voile d’Extrait. It has a prominent note of vetiver. The natural material is Vetiver Bourbon.

I call Onda an oriental. It is a flying carpet to the spice market. It is also a chypre because it has oakmoss and patchouli. It is seen as difficult, just because we’re not used to this kind of scent.


mito voile

Vero: Mito came out 2 years ago. It’s a green perfume inspired by a visit to Villa d’Este near Rome. There is a beautiful renaissance garden there. I wanted to recreate the feelings I had in that garden. It was very mystical to me. There was a very specific scent in the air. The green, the water, the moss on stones, statues…

We now have a raw material from Mito to pass around. This is Indian magnolia known as champaca white. I have reproduced a base of this for Mito. It also has other green notes, galbanum, hyacinth and tuberose.

Now here is the Mito Voile d’Extrait for you to try. Mito means “myth”: The myth of eternal beauty and eternal time.




Vero: I wanted to create a rosy perfume, not a rose perfume. Being passed around is the main material. It is both a natural and synthetic rose made by myself. I also made the labdanum base which is very special. It is warm and balsamic with benzoin.

Now being passed around you have the Rozy Voile d’Extrait. It is very spectacular. Very dramatic.

There is melon, cassis, tuberose, rose and a base of labdanum, vanilla and sandalwood.

The EDP has a passion fruit base with peach. It has a heart of rose and honey, as well as geranium which gives it some freshness. It has a powdery base.

Rozy was inspired by Anna Magnani who was a great actress and a great woman. She starred in the 1950s black and white film “The Rose Tattoo” for which she won an Oscar.

The image for Rozy is a rose tattoo and there are similarities between tattoos and perfume. They are both about identification and recognition. Both go onto and under the skin. So I was influenced by Anna Magnani in this film. I think I made a good choice!

Bloom kindly gave us all samples of Rozy to take home. I am a big fan of Vero’s Voile d’Extraits and thought nothing could replace Mito Voile d’Extrait in my heart, but Rozy Voile d’Extrait has done just that. It’s that amazing smoked honey over rose that lingers through the night and into the next day. I am truly smitten.

After the workshop, Vero spent lots of time talking to people and answering questions. We had a lovely chat in which we bonded over getting into perfume through aromatherapy and the importance of tension in art, fashion, food etc as well as perfumery. Vero gave the example of adding a touch of cumin to orange blossom. This piques your interest and stops the perfume from being merely pretty but bland. We laughed about how surprising it was for Vero that so many of us recognised cumin. That’s multi-cultural London for you!

Tara and Sabine of Iridiscents

Tara and Sabine of Iridiscents

She told me she has been running workshops for private clients including banks and marketing executives. This focuses on the importance of olfaction when interacting with people. We also talked about the people in the blogosphere we both know including our mutual friend Val the Cookie Queen and of course, Olfactoria, about whom Vero exclaimed “I love Birgit!”

Many thanks to Vero, Lisa and everyone at Bloom for a wonderful evening.

Do you have a favourite perfume from Vero Profumo? Are you eager to try Rozy?

Posted in By Tara, Rose, Vero Profumo | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Roses In Milan – Review: Vero Profumo Rozy Eau de Parfum

By Val, the Cookie Queen

.rozy. is the fifth creation in Vero Profumo’s unique collection. Vero Kern has fulfilled a long-cherished wish with her own unique interpretation of a rose scent. It is a tribute to Anna Magnani, the great Italian actress, who played Serafina Delle Rose in the movie “The Rose Tattoo”, a drama written by Tennessee Williams in 1955.



Rozy was created by Vero Kern in 2014 and includes notes of Rose d’Orient, lilac, peaches, passionfruit, honey and sandalwood. Rozy will be available from May 2014.

I have been wearing the .rozy. EdP for a week now.

It opens with a burst of rose and peaches that is so innocent that you can only smile in glee.

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peach blossom at the in-laws garden

But hot on the tracks of this seemingly virtuous haze, comes lilac, sweet peaches and the ever suggestive passion fruit. It has now become lascivious. Which means to incite or evoke lust.

If that is not enough, there is still the long, slow, teasing, drydown. Honey, with just a hint of sandalwood. Not the sharp, indecent honey of Onda, but whipped, creamy honey. You know the kind? Also known as honey fondant or spun honey. It is so soft and beautiful on the skin you need time to realize the eroticism of it.

I am in love with this.

“I did not want to just imitate the scent of a rose such as we find in nature, always garnished with the same notes or even with oud, as is the current trend. This scent is supposed to be the rosy playback for the secrecy, the vibrancy, and the divine in the rose. The rose is the flower of virgins and women, but also of vice and prostitution.
Thorns and roses symbolize the ambivalence of love and sorrow – the drama of finite love.”

- Vero Kern

I spritzed the last of it in the shop today as I prepared to go deliver cookies. (I don’t usually spray perfume in the shop, but I was pushed for time.) My husband came out as I was about to drive away, banged on the car window and said “Don’t spray that
perfume in here again, it’s supposed to be a bike shop and it like smells like a bordello.”

I drove away smiling as he rarely compliments me on my perfume.

From a distance it appears innocent enough, but come closer at your own risk.

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Val and Vero in Milan

Editor’s Note: I can’t help but butt in at the end. I was a bit taken aback by Val’s husband’s reaction, but judging from Val’s smiling face in the end, it was a good thing. :)

I have tried Rozy myself for a few days now and I will add my own perspective in a review eventually. Such big releases warrant as many reviews and points of view as possible.

Photos by Val.
Posted in Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Honey, Powdery, Rose, Vero Profumo | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Vetiver Perfume?

Today it is time for another Favorite Note question. Let’s hear your vetiver recommendations!

Is vetiver among your favorite notes or do you tend to avoid it?

Which perfume that prominently features vetiver is the best in your opinion?

Do you like vetiver in a starring role or more in the background?

Is your favorite vetiver smoky and dry or green and plush?

Do you think vetiver is a more masculine leaning note or is it perfectly gender neutral?

What is your most-worn vetiver scent?


My Answer:

I like vetiver. That was not always the case, it was more of a cautious friendship turning into love kind of thing between us.

My preferred vetiver is fresh and not too smoky. I like Chanel Sycomore for its dependability and the strength it seems to infuse me with. Hermès Vetiver Tonka is my absolute favorite, because I love the way it dances with hazelnut and mixes coolness and warmth in that way.

Guerlain’s Vétiver our Elle is a beauty that is sadly discontinued, so I treasure the small vial I still have. A recent vetiver newcomer I use often is Olfactive Studio Flash Back, where a bracing vetiver note is surrounded by grapefruit and rhubarb to make a unique and interesting fragrance that makes me alert and feels invigorating.

The husband loves Jean-Claude Ellena’s reconstruction of a classic, Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver and no vetiver list would be complete without the wonderful Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental.

What are your favorites?


Posted in Monday Question, Vetiver | Tagged , , , | 78 Comments

Take Note – Smythson of Bond Street Makes Writing Luxurious

When I was in London I found myself entranced by something I normally don’t tend to spend a lot of money on – notebooks. I have been carrying around my trusty Moleskines faithfully for years, they are black and unobtrusive and do their job well enough.

I knew of Smythson of Bond Street and its aspirationally priced range of leather goods and stationery of course, but I had never actually taken note (yes, bad pun, I know!).

I managed to pass by the Bond Street flagship store twice without caving, but when repeatedly confronted by their concessions at Harrods and Selfridges I could no longer resist. The time was right for me to explore their offerings in-depth.

A pretty package

A pretty package

I brought home with me this gorgeous nile-blue package containing a nifty diary for those of us who find they don’t want to go on with their lives Smythson-free in the middle of the year.

This diary starts in Mid-May (on the 19th to be exact and as that is my birthday, I had no choice but to take it as a sign) and runs until July of the next year. So all my dire diary needs are taken care of until the middle of 2015.


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Smythsons own image is of slighly better quality... ;)

Smythsons own image is of slighly better quality… ;)

The diary is covered in navy-coloured lambskin, the pages are gilt-edged and made from very thin, lightblue paper called “feather-weight” that is fountain pen proof and watermarked. In short: one could say it screams luxury, but I find it rather whispers class and elegance.

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In addition to the diary I just had to pick up a companion to hold my notes for blogging, writing my book and life in general.

There is one more...

There is one more…

This notebook is a warm grey colour, features lined pages in the same Smythson signature paper as the diary and has an inner back pocket to fit cards or whatnot.

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Smythson paper is fabulous to write on if you are using a fountain pen, which I do. I find a fountian pen writes so much nicer than any ballpoint pen or pencil and my handwriting is much improved when I write with the easy flow of ink rather than dragging a ballpoint pen across the pages.

On the cover: Inspirations and Ideas

On the cover it says: Inspirations and Ideas

smythson grey

The notebooks and diaries are available in a plethora of colours and sizes and yes, they are not cheap. At all.

Hopefully there will be no accusatory discussion about money, because it is everyones business how and what to spend their money on. We don’t need any of the little luxuries that make life pretty of course. But need is not the point here.

If you are looking for something that makes writing feel like a pleasure, something that makes mundane things like organizing your life special, Smythson will surely make you happy. Just looking at those two small books makes me smile, handling them is a sensory pleasure and writing in them feels just plain great.

I try to look to beauty everywhere in my life. I want to be surrounded by beautiful and functional things. If I have to have something anyway, it might as well be pretty too.

Take a look at the Smythson of Bond Street website here.

What do you use to write? Are you like me drawn to good old pen to paper action or is it digital all the way for you?

What is your take on functionality vs. beauty?

P.S.: Please excuse the wobbly photos but my phone’s camera seems to be shot, because I dropped the thing. :(

Posted in Travels | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments