The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide To Violet – Perfume Lovers London, The October Gallery, London, 23rd October 2014

By Tara

I’m so glad Thomas’s talks have become an annual fixture at Perfume Lovers London. After a couple of fantastic Summer Specials this time The Candy Perfume Boy was back with his Jasmine Award winning Guide To Violet – Live!

As usual I’ve condensed what was said so just imagine everything Thomas says being even more articulate and entertaining and you’ll be on the right track.


Thomas in action (Plese note that despite the rigours of the evening there is not a hair out of place!)

Why Violet Perfumes?

Thomas: I very much see violet as an underdog. It has a reputation for being old fashioned or grannyesque (always a compliment, IMHO).

I wear violets to work and people always say they hate them. Once I swanned in a cloud of Insolence (a mushroom cloud) and after about two hours my colleague called our maintenance department because he thought the generator outside was leaking fumes. Yeah, I’m fabulous.

The truth is that there are lots of intriguing and contemporary violets out there. I wanted to explore them all and prove that violet could be cool.

The History of Violet Perfumes

Violet perfumes were made popular in Victorian times. They were worn solely by the rich due to high cost. Synthesized materials (alpha and beta ionones) revolutionized the industry. As violet perfumes became affordable, their popularity grew.

Basenotes lists over 200 fragrances with violet in their name, most of which are late 1800s/early 1900s. Their popularity has waned because they feel very Victorian.

I have some synthetic materials for you to try.

Synthetic Materials

Alpha Ionone

Thomas: Most people smell it and immediately say “Parma Violets”.

Sweet, floral and jammy, alpha ionone is recognisably a violet smell. There’s also a bit of paint thinner in there. As it dries down it becomes airy and ethereal. I think it’s pretty cool.

Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays addswhen people smile and yell out that alpha ionone smells of Parma Violets during a sniffing session, she says “Not exactly. Parma Violets smell of alpha ionone.”

Beta Ionone

Thomas: This is much more earthy and woody with a mineral feel. It’s used to create a dirty violet. It becomes sweeter as it dries down.

What do you think of it?

Audience member: It smells of hessian sacks.


The Straight Up Violet

My Queen, Alexander McQueen

Notes include almond, violets, orange, white musk, heliotrope, white flowers, patchouli, cedar, vetiver, iris and vanilla.

Thomas: This is a straight-up, traditional violet but quite multi-faceted. There are lots of other things in there which accentuate and extend the violet, like iris, almond, heliotrope, patchouli and vanilla.

It’s demure without being old-fashioned. It has lots of alpha ionone and I think it’s very pretty. It’s one of my mum’s perfumes.

Lila: Although it’s been discontinued you can pick it up quite cheaply at the discounters.

The Commercial Violet

Violet Blonde, Tom Ford

Notes include violet leaf, Italian mandarin and pink pepper, iris absolute, orris butter, jasmine. musk, suede, cedar, vetiver and benzoin.

Thomas: This is a modern violet aimed at a young audience. It’s part of the signature collection, although its sister perfumes, Black Orchid and White Patchouli, are more high fashion. Violet Blonde feels more casual and ready to wear.

It’s spicy/peppery with wet flowers and a green feel. Jasmine strengthens the violet and makes it bold. It becomes creamier in the drydown. It’s probably my favourite violet but it’s being discontinued.

The Hairspray Violet

Insolence, Guerlain

Notes include red fruits, violet, rose, orange blossom, raisins, balsams, iris and tonka bean.

Thomas: I actually call this “The Ridiculous Violet” because it’s so over the top. It opens with a big blast of violet hairspray. This is the EDP which has less hairspray than the EDT.

My husband has just said I wear this one too much.

It’s an abstract gourmand with a pastry vibe. I think it’s very Guerlain, with a nice nod to Apres L’Ondee and L’Heure Bleue.

The Naked Violet

Dans Tes Bras, Frederic Malle

Notes include heliotrope, jasmine, woodsy notes, patchouli, pine tree, cashmeran, sandalwood, musk, incense and violet.

Thomas: Like Insolence, this was done by Maurice Roucel. I like that it’s not in his usual opulent style. It’s the dark little weirdo in the corner. It’s very subversive and pared down. I think it smells of earthy, purple mushrooms. It has lots of beta ionone.

Lila: It really reminds me of 1950s men’s aftershaves.

Thomas: It’s a bit salty, like bodies intertwined. It also feels very academic and clever. Technically very well done.

Audience member: It’s a sweaty professor!

Thomas: I don’t wear it but I like to sniff it.


The Homicidal Violet

Violet Tendencies, Smell Bent

Notes of earthy violet leaf, rough and worn leather, rich agarwood and dark spruce.

Thomas: We’re going from the sublime to the ridiculous. This pushes violet to the very edge, to the limit of acceptability. It’s wonderfully terrifying. It’s plasticky, dank and ozonic. I also like to call it “the kitchen knife wielding violet, dressed solely in a bloody rain mac”.

This is the scent that Divine would wear in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos.

Audience member: It the smell of dusty radiators being turned on for the first time after the summer.

Thomas: It’s violent, obscene and disgusting and I can’t stop sniffing it.

The Doughy Violet

Love in Black, Creed

Notes include violet, jasmine, cedar, iris, cloves, tonkin musk, black currant and Bulgarian rose.

Thomas: I know this is a polarising brand but they do have one to two good fragrances. Love in Black is mostly iris with violet. It’s hissy blackcurrant, doughy/bready iris and a skyscraper violet.

It’s an odd one – it took me a long time to fall for it. Definitely a slow burner.

The Urban Violet

Kerbside Violet, Gorilla Perfumes (Lush)

Notes of violet, jasmine. ylang ylang and rosewood.

Thomas: This recent release is supposed to be about chance encounters on the street. It’s green with a mineral facet that does evoke cold concrete. It’s very grey and sparse. They describe it as fresh, sweet and uplifting.

I find it to be powdery in a very dry and green way. The violet is a bit dowdy, almost seen in monochrome.

Audience member: Algae-ish and not in a good way.

Lila: It’s like snapping pea-pods.

Audience member: Eau de Mange Tout.

Thomas: You have to be a hipster to like it.

Thomas: I hope this evening has given you some insight into violet and made you see it’s not uncool in a granny-ish way. It’s actually cool in a granny-ish way.


Thomas and his husband Nigel

L’Heure Bleue, Guerlain

Lila then passed around some L’Heure Bleue pure parfum for us to try as it features a violet note. I feel sheepish admitting it’s one of the Guerlain classics I’ve never got on with. My excuse is that it gives me a headache. I have to say though, that the extrait is beautiful and quite different to the EDP, being smoother and much less powdery.

Lila pointed out that pure parfums actually have to have a slightly different formula, so they do vary from the other concentrations.

Some other violet accented perfumes available to sniff on the night were:

Violetta, Penhaligon’s
Bois de Violette, Serge Lutens
Tuca Tuca, Gorilla Perfume
Aimez Moi, Caron
Lipstick Rose, Frederic Malle
Apres L’Ondee, Guerlain
Putain des Palaces, Etat Libre d’Orange


Many thanks to Thomas and Lila for a great evening.

Thomas is such an engaging and well informed speaker. He has such a great nose and finds clever and novel ways of describing scents.

Do check out his excellent “Guide To” series on The Candy Perfume Boy, if you haven’t already. The other instalments are Lavender, Oud, Chocolate, Orange Blossom, Vanilla and Lily.

So far I’ve struggled to find a violet perfume that suits me, but recently I was impressed by Violette Fumee from Mona di Orio.

Please share your own favourites and feelings about violet fragrances in the comments.

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Posted in By Tara, Violet | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Pretty But Soulless – Review: Tommy Bahama Set Sail Martinique

Hiya Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

Imagine you are cleaning out your cupboards and you find a home made decant of something you can’t remember buying, maybe you got it as a swap or in a fragrant care package, maybe it was an extra in something you bought on the boards or Facebook? Oh well, you say to yourself, why not give it a whirl? Spritz!!!

Set Sail Martinique was created for Tommy Bahama in 2010.

Set Sail Martinique Tommy Bahama FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, apple, wild raspberry
Heart: Floral bouquet
Base: Creamy musk

Yes, the note list has it. Wet, dewy apple and pithy citrus with a little squeak of berry. Wet and sugared, pretty but 100% unnatural smelling. Like a fragrance created for a robot. Artificial like cheap lollies, and just as disgustingly more-ish. Repulsive and addictive, I want to spritz it again. The fun, silly, yucky, fabulous fruity opening is completely generic, but where I would usually be making faces and pulling my precious nose away with Set Sail Martinique I find myself glued to my hand and putting my head in my shirt.

Set Sail Martinique Tommy Bahama Candy WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Though it is a fruit confection, sugared and watery smelling there is something quite dry and constrained running behind the shiny exterior. Do I know what it is? NOPE! No idea but there is a pithy dry furry undercurrent that could be a musk?

You will probably hate Set Sail Martinique if you are a dyed in the wool perfumista or if you like your fragrances to smell like they have been introduced to a natural ingredient. If you’ve spent any time with teenagers and their fragrances then this will be something you’ve smelled a thousand times and are probably sick to death if it. Set Sail Martinique is like a high octane Tocca fragrance for the young ‘uns.

ViviCam 6300Photo Stolen Wikipedia

I can’t see that this fragrance has anything to do with the Caribbean. Though fun and fruity there is no richness, no impression of heat, sweaty bodies, beautiful bright colours and the heartbeat of a living island. Set Sail Martinique is pretty but soulless, though I can see why it is successful in its price point and for that price you will smell very nice. Better than very nice, you will smell good and as you waft past someone they will get a lovely blast of clean, sweet candy-flowers.

Will I purchase Set Sail Martinique? No, I can’t see myself buying it, I want my fragrance with a little more depth and charisma. I would think about it for a present though.

FragranceNet has $19/50ml

Have you tried any of the Tommy Bahama fragrances? Which did you like?

Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Musk | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Monday Question – Which Perfume Name Do You Find Especially Fitting?

This MQ is inspired by Undina’s post of yesterday, where she recounted her story with Serge Lutens Boxeuses, a perfume that has a name that seems very fitting to the situation she describes.

What perfume name do you think is right on point?

What name inspires you?

Which perfumes are better than their names and would deserve a more fitting one?

Which perfumes do not live up tp their great name?


My Answer:

I think many perfumes would deserve a more creative name than the descriptive one they have, I’m thinking about all the Jasmin Ouds and Santal Roses, Vanille Incenses and Gardenia Tuberoses out there. To add an adjective (noir, blanc, extreme, intense, legère…) does not gather any points on the creativity front either, adding more than one, as is par for the course with the legion of flankers out there, is a quick way into ridiculousness.

What I absolutely hate is names that are numbers. I just cannot retain them, no, that is not  really true, I possibly could, but honestly I just can’t be bothered.

I like perfume names that evoke a whole story by themselves. I love most older Guerlain names (Shalimar, Guet Apens, Mitsouko, Liu…), they give you an idea what the perfume is about and provide a bit of history and context – you can even learn something just by researching your perfume. I also like the names of Aftelier perfumes, Palimpsest (one of my favorite words ever), Tango, Secret Garden – there are stories in these perfumes and their name gives me a first glimpse.

The perfume name I love most of them all is one that never made it on the bottle: Les Ailes du Désir by Frapin. It became a number scent, 1697, after copyright issues that made the poetic name impossible. Ouch. Still, it inspired me so much…

Whether the perfume lives up to the name is a different story altogether, and unfortunately often it doesn’t. But that is not the point today anyway.

Which names do you find evocative? Which names spark your interest? Do you ever pursue a perfume solely for its name?

Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , | 49 Comments

Show Time – Review: Histoires de Parfums Olympia, Music Hall

By Tara

L’Olympia Music Hall in Paris was founded in 1888 by the same gentleman – Joseph Oller – who created the Moulin Rouge (which also inspired a fragrance by Histoires de Parfums reviewed here). The legendary theatre put on a varied array of entertainment including music, circuses, ballets and operettas.


After it re-launched in 1954, Edith Piaf gave a series of recitals there and it hosted many international acts, including Judy Garland and Josephine Baker. It’s still used as a music venue today.

The nose behind the fragrance inspired by the theatre is Gerald Ghislain. Olympia, Music Hall was released in 2012 and notes include orange, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, pink berries, black pepper, saffron, rose, freesia, lilac, peony, blond wood, patchouli, frankincense, styrax, suede, vanilla,chocolate, licorice and white musk.


On spraying, the fruit in the top is juicy, ripe and generously dusted with black pepper and a good amount of saffron. There is a gauzy veil of musk covering the whole thing and its constant presence is a main feature of the fragrance.

The overall effect is powdery and personal, mimicking the aroma of performers getting ready in the dressing rooms backstage. The smell of lipstick and face powder fills the air, mingling with talc and body heat as everyone rushes to get dressed in time for curtain-up.

The flowers in the heart are pretty and sweet, once again overlaid by musk but now it’s stronger and more heady. The effect this time makes me think of vintage fur coats and well worn suede which have taken on the odour of the wearer’s make-up and floral perfume.

The base surprises me by being rather low-key by comparison. I was expecting bold patchouli and incense but I get a lightly resinous, softly musky, skin scent.

Everyone has left the theatre for the night and the aroma left hanging in the air is all that remains to tell the story of the evening’s spectacle.

Olympia is not a chuck-it-on-and-forget-about-it fragrance. It’s a sexy statement perfume with a striking character. Once it takes to the stage it makes you sit up and take notice. Like Josephine Baker herself, it’s attention grabbing and flirtatious.


It’s an interesting, abstract composition that’s not easily categorised. I really like the powdery, vintage feel and the way it’s a little bit seedy. Flowers, fruit and fur rub up against spice, suede and skin in a hot, enclosed space.

This style reminds me of Penhaligon’s recent Tralala. They don’t smell alike but they both have that eclectic, retro vibe. I’m sure different people will perceive it differently, depending on which of its facets they pick up on.

Maybe those with better tolerance would be fine but eventually the unrelenting musk just pushes it over the edge for me. It’s a shame because I like its playfully seductive personality a lot.

Olympia has gone to the trouble of applying full make-up and dressing up for the night in furs and feathers, determined to have a raucously good time.

If you’ve tried Olympia, Music Hall I’d love to hear how you found it.

I’d also be interested to know what your tolerance for musk is like. Please let me know in the comments.

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews, Histoires de Parfums, Musk | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

A Perfume Apart – Review: Amouage Memoir Man

By Michael

I’m not really sure how I ended up purchasing Memoir Man.

I’d never tried it and I’m not a big fan of either green notes, lavender or fougères.

Yet there I found myself late one night adding it to my shopping cart along with a small bottle of Givenchy Insense Ultramarine.

The Givenchy is a dismal fragrance and was a very poor choice. Luckily though Memoir Man wasn’t, in fact it turned out I love it.

MBottle Front

Memoir Man is a fragrance created by Karine Vinchon-Spehner for Amouage in 2010.

According to Amouage, Memoir Man

is a woody and leather fougère inspired by the sombre mood of an existential journey. Both alluring and philosophical, it defies conventions and moves beyond sense and reason.Top notes: Absinth, Wormwood, Basil, Mint.


Um, okay…

Heart notes: Rose, Frankincense, Lavender Absolute.
Base notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, Amber, Vanilla, Musk, Oakmoss, Leather, Tobacco.

Wow! The opening of Memoir is amazing and so very addictive.
It throws a distinct combination of lightly camphorous minty green notes and incense all laying on fine woods and lavender.

The incense in Memoir Man brings to mind soft smoke trails of frankincense and is never resinous or sour.


The lightest dusting of fin sugar keeps Memoir Man from being too dry and austere although it still leans in that direction.

Wispy smoke trails flow seamlessly into a base of soft woods.

Later, the camphorous minty notes and smoke lead into a forest scattered with powdered fir and pine. In fact, I get quite a lot of soft fir and pine through to the drydown which thrums satisfyingly of powdered incense and woods.


Despite the black glass bottle and the marketing that accompanied Memoir Man it never feels particularly dark to me.

Nor do I get the leather. If I try really very hard I can make out the slightest suggestions of leather but I’m not sure I would have noticed without the power of suggestion.

In the end, Memoir Man is a fragrance apart from other Amouages.

It is soft, versatile and easy to wear and yet not at all boring.

I enjoy my days in Memoir very much.

Here is Olfactoria’s review of Memoir Woman.

Posted in Amouage, Fougère, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Sunday, Foodie Sunday (Yes, On A Tuesday!) – The Humble Brownie

By Val, The Cookie Queen

Brownies are named for their rich, dark, chocolatey colour. Although chocolate has been paired with sugar in sweet pastries for about 400 years (it was introduced to Europe from America in the early 16th century) brownies have only really been around since the late 1890s.


It would be fair to say that they really are an American speciality. Brownies are divided into cakelike and fudgelike categories. I don’t care for the cake like variety myself and will stick with the fudgy ones.

It has been such a long time since I have featured a Foodie Sunday here, that as way of an apology I would like to share over the next 4 posts, four of my favorite brownie recipes. As well as today’s, we will do vegan brownies, gluten-free brownies and brownies sweetened with date purée.

These are the recipes that I use in my business.
Exactly as I do them. The only thing that I have that you probably don’t have is my brownie pan! It is from 1962, beaten up, belonged to my mother, and yields perfect brownies every time. You may need to experiment a little to find your perfect pan.

I know my past couple of posts have featured recipes or ideas that don’t need weighing, but the brownie recipes do need a little more care.

In most cases the ideal brownie pan is 8 inch x 8 inch. (20cm x 20cm). 9 inch x 9 inch (23 x 23cm) will do at a pinch but it will give a slightly different result.
You can also use a rectangular brownie pan.

A fudgy brownie is done when you put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out with crumbs clinging to it. If it comes out clean they are overcooked.
That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them of course, but you will have to try again!!

I use a mixture of ounces, grammes and American cup measurements
and hope that it works for you as well as it does for me.

Let’s bake.


photo 1 (17)


4 ounces butter (112g) softened

1 cup of brown sugar (the soft moist kind) otherwise use white sugar (half brown and half white works too)

100 grams unsweetened chocolate MELTED (You need about 90 grams, but I allow 100 in case you have to taste it!)

1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup of flour

1/4 tsp salt (added to the flour of course)

About 170 grams of chopped chocolate. I use about 2/3 milk and 1/3 white, use what you want!
(You can also add about half a cup of chopped pecans – I personally just don’t like nuts in brownies.)

As ever, please use the best quality chocolate you can – baking does not turn bad chocolate into good chocolate.

Line your brownie pan with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 350°f or 170°c.


photo 2 (18)

Finished batter, before adding chocolate chunks


Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer, Kitchen Aid or similar. Add the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla.

(I always melt my chocolate in the microwave, despite being told not too. Just melt it slowly and on a low wattage. Make sure the bowl that you use is totally clean, and absolutely dry before adding the chopped chocolate. Open the microwave door every 30
seconds and stir it)

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the flour and salt. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold the chopped chocolate chunks in by hand. Turn the batter into the lined pan and level the surface.

photo 3 (13)

Batter in pan with added chocolate chunks

Bake for about 25 minutes, it depends on your oven. The top should be kind of shiny and dry. It may crack a little when you test it with a toothpick. that is no problem. Let them cool for about half and hour before cutting them into squares.

photo 4 (5)

Finished brownies cut into squares

If there are any left over, store them in an airtight container. I put mine in the fridge but you don’t have to.

Let me know how you get on!

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Cosy Stay-In Perfume?

Nights are getting colder and longer and cocooning at home in front of a fire with a good book and a cashmere blanket seems incredibly attractive and preferable to braving wind and rain outside.

Which perfumes are your best companions for stay-at-home cosiness?

What perfume completes this scenario for you?


My Answer:

I love cuddling up with a soft blanket, a book, a cup of tea (yes, and chocolate) and a warming perfume.
My favorites this time of the year are Nabucco Amytis, JHAG Calamity Jane, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale and Mon Precieux Nectar and of course my beloved L’Ambre des Merveilles.

What can you recommend as the ideal cosy perfume?

Posted in Amber, Monday Question | Tagged , , , | 59 Comments

Intimate Decadence – Review: Laboratorio Olfattivo Daimiris

By Tara

Created by the prolific perfumer Pierre Guillaume, Daimiris was one of the four fragrances in Laboratorio Olfattivo’s first collection launched in 2009. It contains top notes of saffron and cardamom, heart notes of rum, iris and daim (suede) candy accord and base notes of amber and musk.


From the name and list of notes I expected Daimiris to be an iris suede, however that would have made it too similar to its stable-mate, Nirmal. What I actually get is a sensuous, spicy amber.

This extract from Laboratorio Olfattivo’s story behind the scent explains it:

“This fragrance is a tribute to a female divinity, enchanting and enchanted at the same time. It whispers forth notes of amber and spice and suggests delicate and harmonious movements.”

On spraying, the saffron is jewel-like and combined with the soft spice of cardamom it makes for a luxurious opening. The boozy rum is listed as a heart note but is almost immediately evident. It doesn’t belch alcohol fumes but instead adds a dizzying feeling of loucheness.

The alcohol burns off before the main course arrives, which is a spice speckled amber with a slightly powdery texture. The sublimated iris is a smear of orris butter on fine suede. Daimiris also has some saltiness which makes me think of skin and gives it that sensual touch.

The amber stays on in the base but it loses a little of the spice and gains a chocolatey nuance. It’s full of nuzzle-your-nose-into-your-skin goodness.

Daimiris is not a fragrance of that feels like pale hued chiffon, it swaths you in rich velvets of claret and gold. This is in direct contrast to the brand’s laboratory aesthetic with its functional looking bottles and talk of perfume “experiments”.

It doesn’t feel at all streamlined or avant-garde. It feels baroque and voluptuous. However, it’s a lot quieter than it sounds, embodying decadence of an intimate kind rather than a conspicuous show of wealth and status.

Daimiris whisks me off to the interior of a lavish suite in a Venetian palazzo with sumptuous fabrics, frescoed ceilings and ornate furnishings. Here, my beloved and I spend our days as well as nights lounging in bed, consuming the finest chocolate and sipping the rarest vintages.

Pierre Guillaume does sensuality so well. Whether it’s the knee trembling come-hither of L’Ombre Fauve or the private story told here, for me he sets the tone just right. Never too obvious or overpowering (although I know that style has its fans too).

It’s a rich composition but nowhere near Serge Lutens bold. It feels comfortable, relaxed and easy to wear. Daimiris would make a quietly intoxicating amber for autumn and winter with its boozy opening, exotic spice and warm skin feel.

Bedroom-from-the-Palazzo-Sagredo-1 (1)

Over the course of a day’s wear, I get soft sillage and decent longevity.

Plush ambers may be more Olfactoria’s thing than mine, but Daimiris is very inviting.

Are you a fan of amber fragrances? Any favourites?

Posted in Amber, By Tara, Fragrance Reviews, Laboratorio Olfattivo | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Life Is Good When You Smell Fabulous! – Review: Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur

Hello Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse thrilled to be with you all today. I hope life is treating you all well.

Mohur has been a constant in my fragrance wardrobe since first discovering it. It has been the subject of full posts and often wins in my Top 10 lists for seasons, desert islands and all other lists (we perfumistas love a list) because I find it so easy to wear as a spritz and go, but I also love to spritz lavishly when there are a couple of spare hours and totally immerse myself in it luxury and intricacies. Today I am re-reading Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent and spending a lazy day before getting ready for work and I have spritzed for my own selfish pleasure. Why don’t you enjoy my lovely lazy morning with me.

Mohur was created by Bertrand Duchaufour for Neela Vermeire Creations in 2011.

Mohur Neela Vermeire Creations FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica, LuckyScent and Neela Vermeire Creations give these notes and accords, each site is slightly different so I have melded them all:

Top: Cardamom, coriander, ambrette (musk mallow), carrot seeds, black pepper, elemi oil
Heart: Turkish rose oil, Moroccan Rose Absolute (rose accords around 11%), jasmine, iris/orris, aubepin (midland hawthorn), almond milk accord, leather, violet
Base: Sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oudh Palao from Laos, benzoin, vanilla, tonka bean

Freaking hell, even looking at the note list makes me sleepy. This is kitchen sink perfumery in theory but something that Mohur does do every time is give me a new and different ride. While the main player rose is a constant, on some days it will be incredibly vanilla heavy, another day I will really notice the herbaceousness and on others it will feel like an iris, pepper, patchouli, sandalwood or almond fragrance. Though rose is the constant even its facets will be slightly different, boozy, citric, fruity or tea-ish depending on the day.

mohurPhoto Stolen Neela Vermeire Creations

I think Neela & Bertrand have used a large amount of naturals in with the synthetics and that gives everything a real chance to interact with your chemistry, what you bathed or moisturised with, even down to your exercise and eating habits at the time. That on top of your environment, which can change how the fragrance lives, makes Mohur a real chameleon.

How was my ride today on this lovely 19C spring day? Gorgeous as ever. So yes, I get loads of the notes but to be perfectly honest today I just lay reading and enjoying how freaking amazing I smelled. ALL DAY! A big fat spicy rose and resinous woods, ALL DAY LONG! Life is good when you smell this freaking fabulous…

Part of the fun can be parsing the notes while wearing, and I do try to keep my nose in gear, but sometimes it’s nice to just let the fragrance wash over you as a whole creation. As the perfumer and curator have intended, as a finished and wonderful fragrance. Mohur is particularly good for this because it is such a tapestry, a beautiful Kashmiri carpet all woven tegether of fragrant strands and it is thick, rich and luscious enough to float you away to other more exotic places.

Neela Vermeire Creations sends to Europe and has an excellent set of 8ml samples of the whole range
LuckyScent has EdP $250/60ml and Extrait $465/50ml and sends to the world Surrender To Chance has $7/.5ml

What do you wear when you want to drift away on an exotic miasma?
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Fragrance Reviews, Neela Vermeire Creations, Rose | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Monday Question – Let’s Talk Make-Up!

Last week it was fun to talk about skincare. Your responses were so interesting and I think we all enjoyed a peek into each others bathroom cabinets.

So to stay a bit sideways of the perfume topic once more, I’d like to take a peek into your make up bags today.

Do you wear makeup?

If yes, everyday or just on special occasions?

What are your favorite products?


My Answer:

I love makeup. I wear it every day. My surgeon commented on my flawless look on the way to the OR when I had my children (via C-Section). So it is a rare and usually not a great day when I am without it.

But makeup for me is about enhancement not transformation.

I am of the nude look/natural makeup school of thought, coloured eyeshadows and bright red lips are not for me.

My favorite product is definitely concealer – a good concealer is a life-saver (Clé de Peau is amazing!!!). Foundation and mascara are also important for me and I have never left the house in almost three decades without applying lipgloss.

In my handbag I carry a leather pouch holding concealer, powder, cream blush, lipgloss and of course a perfume decant, at all times.

I love luxury lines like Burberry, Edward Bess, Chanel and Dior, but my workhorse items often come from MAC.

Favorite products: Chanel Glossimer lipglosses, Dolce&Gabbana Powder Foundation, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, MAC lipsticks, Chanel Le Volume mascara, Paula’s Choice Resist Anti- Aging foundation, Clé de Peau Concealer.

Makeup was a big no-no when I grew up, my mother hasn’t worn a stitch of makeup in her life, so I think at least part of my use and enjoyment of it came out of rebelling against that prohibition.

What is your relationship with makeup?

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