Roman Holiday – A Travelogue

By Sandra

Rome is one of the cities on earth where I feel completely relaxed and at home.

We decided to take the one week of vacation that the Norwegian had, and fly to Rome for the full week. The week was the start of Ferragosto which many will know is basically the start of vacation in Italy. Knowing this in advance and understanding that it may be challenging to do any perfume sniffing (which is not that important in the grand scheme of things) we went with the assumption that we would be relaxing and kicking back our feet Roman style. So, we packed our bags and left the house at 0415 to catch a 0600 flight.

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There was a slight hiccup at the Fuimicino Airport on arrival. Blame the early hour but we followed the signs to baggage claim and ended up two terminals away from where we were supposed to be. Apparently this was of no concern to the security at the correct terminal (must happen often as there were several people lined up waiting to go back into the terminal) and they allowed the Norwegian entry in order to fetch our bags.

Finally, we got to our driver and were on the way to our favourite hotel in Rome. The sun was up and it was already at 90% humidity which coming from Vienna this summer left us drenched.

Rome delivered everything it promised and then some. We settled down quite quickly to relaxation mode and we strolled the streets of the inner city. Since pretty much everything was closed, including most perfumeries, we mapped out our days to get the maximum in sightseeing. No, it was not challenging with the 5 year old in tow – he was a trooper.

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If I ask my son what his favourite part of the trip was, it would be renting a family bike (sat the three of us) in the Borghese Gardens and biking and taking in the fresh air and the beautiful song of the cicadas. Or, he may say that dressing up as a gladiator after visiting the Coloseum was an experience not to be missed. The Roman Forum was an adventure and we kept him entertained by asking him to look out for wild cats. (None to be seen.)

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I was on a Bernini kick – hunting down statues and fountains by Bernini all over Rome. Timing is crucial in Rome as we soon found out. We hiked to one church to see a famous statue and got to the front door of the church to find out it closed 15 minutes earlier for a two hour lunch break. Ok. We moved on. You would think that I would learn to look things up but I thought ok we go to the next church on the list another day and just get there by 2pm. Believe it or not but that church was closed from 2-4:30pm. Argh! My favorites this time were the Coloseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Museums and the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The Norwegian loved every single day and I have not seen him so relaxed in years. This was the first vacation for him in over a decade without a laptop!

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The last full day of our vacation was also my birthday and it was the first day when many stores would reopen after the Ferragosto vacation. I wanted to visit a few more Piazzas and churches and had no intention of doing any shopping. On our morning walk to the Spanish Steps and to the Piazza del Popolo we saw that Amouage had a stand-alone store! In Rome!

Amouage boutique

Walking into the Amouage store after all of our sightseeing had me hooked as soon as I smelled the inside of the store. I swooned at the beauty around me. I wanted Fate Woman and as the SA found out that I know many of the Amouage perfumes for women, she suggested that she walk us (husband key person here) through the men’s line. Most importantly for me all of the extraits were in one area for me to explore. The Norwegian fell in love with Lyric Man and I fell hard for Lyric Extrait. Thankfully the SA informed us that they will deliver anywhere within Europe. Christmas shopping here we come! It was a truly beautiful shop with a knowledgeable, patient and friendly SA.

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Rome was magical. The pictures I took will always take me to the relaxed summer days of 2014.

Where have you all taken your vacation this year?

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Posted in By Sandra, Travels | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Monday Question – WHY Do You Love Perfume So Much?

In this space we talk about which and what, how and when, if or not to wear perfume, how to store it, when and where to buy it, what we love and what we hate…

Today I want to know what we rarely talk about: Why do you love perfume?

Why do you think scent and smell is such an important part of your life?

What makes you want to smell good?

What makes you seek out new scents?

Why is it that perfume makes you happy?

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My Answer:

When I think about my senses, I know that I like to look good for myself and for others, I like to hear and speak sense (whenever possible), I like to touch and be touched, so it only seems logical to me that I also want to smell good things and I want others to enjoy the way I smell.

To borrow the words of Jerry Maguire: perfume completes me.

I don’t feel ready to face the world without perfume. I need perfume to make myself presentable, to escape more mundane moments, to use it as an emotional crutch in times of anger, sadness and even happiness.

Perfume makes memories. Perfume is a way to connect, to anchor me in the moment as well as take me away from it if necessary.

Perfume is loaded with meaning and provides endless ways of inner travel and adventure.

Perfume is a means of escape as much as an everyday grooming tool. It is versatile and it is indispensible.

Perfume is such an easy way to make myself happy. When nothing else goes, when I’m stressed out, when I have no time for myself, when I need a break, I can still smell my wrist and smile about my secret getaway, my private breath of beauty.

Perfume is beauty. I soak it up, I shamelessly use it to fill myself to the brim with beauty in the hope to pass on some of it to world.

Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , | 42 Comments

Giveaway Winners Announced!

We have two winners to announce today, of the Roja Dove Fragrance Consultation and a decant of Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile.

Random.org has spoken and chosen the following winners among the entrants:

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The lucky winner of the consultation with Benjamin at the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrod’s sixth floor is

Shermeen

The Rosa Nobile goes to

Ankica

 Please get in touch with me under olfactoria at gmail dot com as soon as possible.

Posted in Giveaway | Tagged | 3 Comments

Fragrant Offering – Review: Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu

By Tara

The full title of this fragrance is Fils de Dieu, du Riz et des Agrumes which translates as “Son of God, rice and citrus”. It was created by Ralf Schwieger and launched in 2012. The note list appears to contain – among other things – the ingredients for a Thai green curry:

Ginger, coriander leaves, lime, shiso, bergamot, coconut, rice note, cardamom, jasmine, cinnamon, French May rose, tonka bean, vetiver, musk, amber, leather and castoreum.

fils de dieuI generally find the idea of smelling like food quite a turn-off. Maybe a dessert at a push, but a curry?
As it turns out, it’s not a literal interpretation. While it does have foody connotations, it comes across as a perfume rather than just an aroma.

Fils de Dieu opens with a fantastic hit of tangy lime, freshly peeled ginger (which smells more green than spicy) and a scattering of just picked coriander leaves. It’s both citrusy and aromatic.

The floral notes are low-key. Along with a nice scoop of cosmetic powder, they create an overall effect that is sweet and pretty, in contrast to the herbs and spices. Like a lot of South East Asian cuisine Fils de Dieu is an interesting mix of sweet and savoury elements.

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The rice note is what pulls it all together. It’s fluffy basmati rice with coconut cream swirled into it which adds a carefree “on vacation” vibe. It’s the perfect steamy base for the flower petals, fruit and spice to rest upon.

Interestingly a number of commentators liken Fils de Dieu to Shalimar. Although it’s not listed as a note, there is a sheer waft of vanilla throughout. Combined with the citrus in the top and amber/musk in the base, it could be reminiscent of the classic Guerlain, however the fruit, herbs and spice make all the difference.

Things get darker and more intimate in the far dry down. There’s sexy musk and warm amber but the faint scent of aromatic herbs lingers on. The blazing sun has set but the air still feels close. The windows are flung wide but no one is in the mood for sleep…

Fils de Dieu is the smell of exotic climes, heat and happiness. It is part of that joyful collective of fragrances which instantly spirit you away somewhere your worries can’t find you.

It’s distinctive like most of Etat Libre d’Orange’s perfumes, but unlike a lot of them I find it wearable, particularly in hot weather. It really comes into its own in the heat. The steam of the rice melds perfectly with the humidity while the citrus slices through it like a cold knife.

It has presence, but the whole thing feels balmy and lightweight. Sillage is moderate and lasting power on me is extremely good.

While wearing Fils de Dieu I’m reminded of the little offerings (known as “canang sari”) I saw on the streets outside homes while on holiday in Bali. Everyday there would be a new, artfully woven palm or banana leaf bearing fruit, flowers and a small amount of rice.

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An attractive and fragrant way to please the Gods.

How wearable do you find the fragrances by Etat Libre d’Orange? Have you tried this one?

Posted in By Tara, Citrus, Etat Libre d'Orange, Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand | Tagged , , , , , , | 29 Comments

An Exercise In Contrasts – Review: Bogue Profumo MAAI

By Michael

Until relatively recently I felt that exciting releases were relatively few and far between.

While the five hundredth variation on synthetic oud and pseudo Middle Eastern perfume is pushed onto the market there are exciting houses like Vero Profumo and Bogue Profumo taking classic themes and pushing them to the edge and beyond. These are not perfumers releasing endless micro variations. Their releases so far have been bold and exciting and not just an intellectual exercise or art perfume, no, the perfumes actually smell good. Amazing.

Bogue Logo

I first came to learn of Bogue when the now famous (or is that infamous? Editor’s Note: I’m quite sure it’s infamous!) Cookie Queen Val sent me a sample of Bogue’s original Cologne Reloaded.

Over the course of a few wears I fell in love this amazing birchy cologne, so with the first of Antonio’s offerings firmly under my skin I eagerly anticipated the release of another. Soon after, I was reading all sorts of wonderful comments about another more animalic addition to the Bogue fragrance family and I simply had to try it.

Enter MAAI.

MAAI is the latest offering from Bogue Profumo the Italian niche brand of Antonio Gardoni.

MAAI

I will admit I was scared of reviewing MAAI. What if I didn’t like it?

I need not have worried.

I not only like it, I love it.

I love it so much that reviewing MAAI now sets a different challenge.

When I really love a fragrance I don’t want to pull it apart. I just want to shut down the analytical part of my brain and enjoy the smell. Sure, there is this note and that note and they present in this way and that but ultimately this smells unique. It smells like MAAI.

MAAI includes notes of aldehydes, tuberose, rose, jasmine, resins, musk and civet.

Perhaps the best way to describe MAAI is animalic forest undergrowth.
There you are sniffing your way through some stinky moss and *whack* you’re slapped across the face with a healthy dose of shaving cream.

It remind me of one of my all time favourite fragrances YSL’s Kouros and like the mighty K, MAAI smells like a barbershop fragrance mixed with an old school animalic chypre. It’s an amazing combination.

MAAI simultaneously smells clean and dirty.

Fresh and lived-in.

Sanitised and human.

The contrasts continue with the fleshy florals smelling brand new one moment then ready to decay the next. They are almost decaying. The petals are drooping and the flowers are ready to fall.

MAAI smells classic and modern.

I must admit that I’m not entirely sure I would have realised MAAI was a modern fragrance if sniffed blind. Well not at first anyway. It could easily pass for a classic chypre from early 20th century or a barbershop fragrance of the 70s/80s.
This is the most appealing aspect of what Antonio has accomplished with this fragrance.
Instead of simply creating an old fashioned fragrance with modern materials he has captured the essence of the old while keeping the whole modern and original.

Antonio Gardoni

Antonio Gardoni

So what are you waiting for?
This is an absolute must try for fans of barbershop fragrances and animalic chypres.

Thanks to Bogue we have 8 samples of MAAI to give away.

Giveaway rules:
This giveaway is open to all readers worldwide. To enter you must leave a comment on this post about your favorite chypre or barbershop perfume and the reason why you think MAAI would be great for you.

The giveaway is open for one week, the winners will be determined by random.org and posted on the blog.

Good luck!

Posted in Fragrance Reviews, Jasmine, Musk, Rose, Tuberose | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Brides And Freshly Made Beds – Review: Chanel N°19 Poudre

Hiya Olfactoria’s Travelers,

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

I don’t know if you remember when today’s fragrance was released. The scentbloggosphere went ballistic. Lovers, haters, blamers and baiters all came online and there was a flurry of excitement. New regular range CHANEL No 19 flanker. So many people love CHANEL No 19 and how could they play around with it? Sacrilege!!! Then there were the people who were not so invested in CHANEL No 19 or found it was a complete horror on them, these people were thrilled that they may just get a bite of the apple. People snarking at Jacques Polge and barking at CHANEL, well tempers have had some time to cool so I wanted to re-examine a fragrance that I like very much.

CHANEL No 19 Poudre was created by Jacques Polge for CHANEL in 2011.

Chanel No 19 Poudre Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, galbanum, neroli
Heart: Jasmine, iris
Base: Vetiver, musk, tonka bean

Plush is the word that comes to mind when I spritz CHANEL No 19 Poudre . A softer, less uptight, modern update of the original that is all fuzzy and friendly. If you are after a stiff upper lip, give me some spine, arctic goddess fragrance then stick to that delightful evergreen the original CHANEL No 19. If though, you find the original too frigid but like the idea then maybe CHANEL No 19 Poudre could be the one for you.

Citrus, Galbanum, musk and (I think aldehydes) are what my skin throws on open, CHANEL No 19 Poudre is like sinking into a freshly made bed, cozy and comfortable but fresh and clean. MMMMMM. One of my favourite moments of the week is jumping into a Jin warmed bed on Wednesday nights after work. The house is clean, the sheets are new and the bed is just the right temperature. That feeling is exactly how CHANEL No 19 Poudre opens.

CHANEL No 19 Poudre Wedding Gown Mathilda Samuelson FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

This is the scent of someone who wants you to know they are soft, precious and beautiful but strong enough to stand up to life’s pressures. What a great idea for a Wedding fragrance. Unforgettably beautiful but ethereal and wishful too. Deep in the heart though hides a breathy, softly sensual jasmine, an earthy/rooty iris and the far dry down ends up as a warm freshly powdered skin scent that lasts and lasts at a very quiet hum just above skin level.

You will never smell overdone in CHANEL No 19 Poudre and I can wear it for every occasion, or no occasion. For better fully fragrant wear life I like to respritz in the first hour, it plumps everything up and gives the whole fragrance more oomph. Also, CHANEL No 19 Poudre over Kiehl’s Original Musk Lotion is a knockout.

Before I close out though I really do prefer and reach for the original CHANEL No 19 far more often than the CHANEL No 19 Poudre. I think the stark green is more fun and less fey, and feels much more powerful. CHANEL No 19 is all wasp waist and shoulder padded suits with high heels and makeup, CHANEL No 19 Poudre friendlier, smoother, fluffier and of course more powdery. Thankfully they are both available.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Posse
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $3.50/ml
You can try CHANEL No 19 Poudre at most department stores if they have a CHANEL counter.

Are you a CHANEL No 19 Poudre fan or is it the original that rocks your socks?

Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Monday Question – What Is Your “Back To School” Perfume?

Fall is here! The weather turns decidedly more unpredictable, rain, wind and cooler temperatures take over. School starts again and there is whiff of new beginnings in the air.

Fall for me is always a time to start over, a beginning of a new phase. We perfume people tend to mark such changes in mood with a new perfume. A new purchase or a rotation in our daily fragrant wardrobe is in order.

What is your fall perfume?

Which perfume marks the start of a new phase for you?

What is your going back to school scent (whether you actually go back to school or your kids do or you just remember the feeling)?

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My Answer:

When a new school year begins, it is usually the time for me to rotate my daily perfume collection. The summer scents go into hibernation in my closet and the cosy fall scents are allowed their time on the glass tray.

I look forward to take out Chanel Bois des Iles, Cuir de Lancome, Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles, Nabucco Amytis and maybe a Guerlain or two (like Cuir Beluga or Angélique Noire).

As for something new? I am contemplating to finally get a travel set of Hermès Brin de Réglisse and Paprika Brasil (prodded by Michael’s lovely review). If you click the link to my Brin de Réglisse review you might wonder if I finally lost it, but I did a complete 180 on this perfume and I’m so glad about it. Time to write a new review I guess… :)

I’m looking forward to hearing all about your new fall acquisitions, wishlists or “shop your own collecton” scents!

Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Summer In Italy – Scented Travels

We started our yearly trek to Italy once more in the city of Udine. It is very convenient to spend the night there, before venturing further south, since five hours of car travel are plenty for two young children.

We had a fantastic lunch at Osteria di Villafredda in the tiny hamlet of Loneriacco. It is near a castle and offers great food and a view that immediately relaxes the eye and the mind. A drink on the Piazza in downtown Udine later left me completely tipsy and happy (they know how to make their Aperol Spritz!).

 

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Osteria di Villafredda

Our hotel is a little outside of Udine, in Tricesimo. The view from our balcony never fails to get us into vacation mode. Life as usual gets left behind and we slide into the Italian way of life, which is slower, focused on sensual pleasures and infinitely more fun.

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View from the balcony of Hotel Continental, Tricesimo

My two little soldiers adore Italy, if it were up to them, they would happily spend their lives eating pasta and running wild. Italians are so much more accommodating with kids, it doesn’t matter when they don’t sit quietly all the time, they joke with them, they bring them extra food and the boys relish the attention and revel in their status of being “belli biondi” (beautiful blonds).

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The next day we went on to Florence. I didn’t plan out a whole itinerary of cultural exposure, since I would have only frustrated myself, we’ll keep the heavy museum tour for another time. Instead we wanted to explore the city on foot wherever the road took us, so to say. I wanted to boys to enjoy themselves, not complain about stuff all the time.

It worked out rather well that way, although many of you will probably be horrified that we did not get to the Uffizi or the Palazzo Vecchio. We did extensively walk the Giardini Boboli, saw the Palazzo Pitti, the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition and Santa Maria Novella.

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Our hotel was conveniently located near the Porta Romana in a quiet tree-lined street (Via Niccolo Macchiavelli) and looked fabulous. An old villa slightly gone to seed, but still exuding old-world glamour. It had a garden that might be best described as enchanted, with green labyrinths, hidden nooks and crannies, old statues and fountains, in short a children’s paradise.

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Entrance of the Classic Hotel in Florence

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Our third child, Dr O’s love of his life

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In the Boboli Gardens

 

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Fountain at Boboli

 

In Florence I steered my troops in the direction I wanted them to, of course, which was to the local Hermès boutique and to several profumerias. By now my children think it is completely normal and the done thing to visit perfume shops when abroad (or at home for that ;) )

The first interesting store was the Olfattorio, Bar a Parfum. I asked the SA whether I was allowed to make a few photos with my phone, but she didn’t allow it and wanted me to ask her boss (who was not there). I complied of course, but I honestly don’t quite see the damage some exposure on a blog could do to a store… (enlighten me if you can!)

Despite the no photo rule, I had come with a purpose and was not to be deterred. I wanted a summery perfume that didn’t require thinking and Diptyque Geranium Odorata was just it. It sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I am not, I’m really happy with the L’Eau line of Diptyque and currently own three of them (Neroli, Lavande and now Geranium, reviews are hopefully in my and your near future). To make up for the photo embargo, the SA showered me with samples and I left as a very happy Perfumista.

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Entrance to the Olfattorio

The next stop was the perfumery of Santa Maria Novella, a ringing name in the world of perfume, this old monastery still sells potions, creams and perfumes based on formulas from the 17th century (or so the PR lore says).

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Piazza di Santa Maria Novella

It was hot, the boys were tired (all three of them) and time was short, so I didn’t dally for too long, since Niki fell asleep on the stairs I quickly purchased my Pasta di Mandorle (the best handcream ever!!!) and smelled a few perfumes, among the standouts for me were Zagara, an orange blossom cologne and Tobacco Toscano, a sweet tobacco vanilla scent. I didn’t care so much for the famed Melograno, but maybe I’m doing it a disservice by not actually trying it on skin. The line comprises over 40 perfumes, so I’m looking forward to finding a few more surprises next time…

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Interior of SMN pharmacy – impressive.

 

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Young Master Paul professionally checking out the fragrance display.

A nap and some drinks later we moved on and eventually spent another two days leisurely strolling the city, having excellent food three times a day (as you should!!!) and enjoyed ourselves.

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The Palazzo Pitti

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Sculpture in the Amphitheatre of the Pitti

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Dr O in his Dolce Far Niente get-up. (Paul in the background can’t quite believe his eyes).

After almost a week on the road we went to our beloved seaside hotel on the Adriatic coast, the Hotel Maracaibo in Jesolo Pineta. This was the place the boys spent their summer for the past five years, and I am bit nostalgic, because it was the last time this summer. The boys are big enough now for us to venture further and show them a bit more of the world.

That said, we enjoyed our last vacation there like never before. It was such a relaxing and quietly peaceful time, I find myself wishing I was still there. (Which is a first as vacations with the boys tended to be more exhausting than anything else, but age has made them wiser by now ;) )

After a week of lounging by the pool, eating our body weight in fresh, delicious Italian fare and evenings of long talks on the veranda we made our way home to Vienna.

My fragrant souvenirs of this lovely summer are the two Diptyques, Eau de Lavande (brought back for me from the US by the ever generous Dr O who was in Oregon right before the Italy adventure began) and Geranium Odorata from Florence, and one more perfume I discovered and had to immediately buy, because it was love at first sniff – and continues to enchant me – Acqua di Parma Rose Nobile. More on that later…

Thanks for making it this far. If you are still reading you are in for a chance to win some of the newest addition to the Acqua di Parma Nobile line, Rosa Nobile (a 5ml sample drawn from my bottle) that is to be released widely in September.

Please leave a comment on this post about your ideal vacation destination to enter the giveaway. I’ll let random.org draw a winner in one week’s time.

 

 

Posted in Diptyque, Ramblings, Santa Maria Novella, Shopping, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , | 69 Comments

A Visit to the Perfumery at Roullier White, London – Sunday 10th August 2014

By Tara

Recently I finally visited the perfumery at Roullier White in south east London for the first time. It took me so long because if you live north of the Thames, it’s not the most straight-forward place to get to. This is primarily because it’s not served by the underground network we are so used to travelling around the capital on.

After taking two tube trains, I met fellow perfume lover Irum at London Bridge Station. From here we got the over-ground train to East Dulwich Station and then opposite we caught a bus (185, 40 or 176) to the North Cross Road stop on Lordship Lane. The shop is less than a minute’s walk at number 125. We were meeting our friends Nick of nickrgilbert.com and Sabine of Iridescents, who are both lucky to live locally.

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We found Nick and Sabine standing outside the front of the store enjoying ice-cream from the neighbouring Oddono’s Gelati. Not to be left out, Irum and I went off to indulge in exceptional blackberry sorbet and chocolate ice-cream (me) and salted caramel and pistachio ice-cream (Irum). Perfume people are nothing if not pleasure seekers.

Having consumed our cones, we entered the store. Roullier White is actually more than just a perfumery, it’s a life-style store. They stock everything from pet care and men’s accessories to scented candles and kitchen wares. There is also the Mrs White’s own brand range of home and beauty care products. After reading all this on their website I expected the shop to be pretty big but it’s actually just two rooms with a carefully edited selection of high quality products.

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Some of the perfumes are on the counters to the right, but they mainly line the shelves just behind them. The two sales assistants who helped us were knowledgeable and friendly. Straight away Irum and I asked to try the perfumes by Neela Vermeire Creations. These aren’t stocked anywhere else in London as far as I’m aware. I tried Ashoka for the first time, straight onto skin and liked it a lot. It is a beguiling beauty but the bright and bold personality of Bombay Bling! is still my favourite from this exquisite line which also includes Mohur and Trayee.

Sabine, Nick and I then had fun trying a few of the wacky Smell Bent fragrances, which are relatively cheap at £45 for 50ml. Tokyo Mama: Fizzzzz is so like the lemon flavoured fizzy drink 7Up that it made us laugh. Nick thought he may well buy a bottle next summer. Brussels Sprouted to my great relief was actually a green fig cologne and then there was Walk of Shame, which was not nearly shameful enough for Nick’s skanky tastes. However, after a fresh start on Sabine, it did start to reveal a little of the night before.

Irum was looking for something for her boyfriend and very much liked Norne by Slumberhouse which she found wintry and Nick described as “labdanum-y forest floor”. Slumberhouse is an American boutique cologne label inspired by urban culture, particularly “the new school of hip hop”. Slumberhouse may be a bro’s brand but they have bottles with pretty beads in them.

The hit of the day was Odd Fellows Bouquet by Atkinson’s which turned out to be a vanilla tobacco on skin. It was sweet on Nick to the point of resembling Spiriteuse Double Vanille, while to Irum’s slight disappointment it was a little drier on her. Atkinson’s is a British perfume house founded in 1799 and relaunched in September 2013 after a long absence. Prestigious customers of the past include the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson and Beau Brummell.

We also tried fragrances from Histoires de Parfums, Carner Barcelona, Calé Fragranze d’Autore, Jardins D’Ecrivains and Imaginary Authors, among others.

There was so much spritzing that it was hard to keep track as you can see from the photos.

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Do I spy a Flamingo jacket on Nick?

Some of the other brands stocked are Mona di Orio, Jovoy, Mark Buxton Perfumes, Hiram Green, Aedes de Venustas, Caron, Olfactive Studio, Maria Lux, Farmacia SS. Annunziata, Maison des Reves, Rance, Evody and Maira Jung, but there were quite a few more to explore. I recommend going on the website and writing out a list of things to try before you go.

After we were well and truly sniffed-out we retired to the House of Tippler next-door for gin cocktails and more chat, of a perfumed nature and otherwise.

So whether you are based north or south of the river, it’s worth seeking out Roullier White for some brands you just can’t find anywhere else in the city and like us, why not enjoy some top quality ice-cream and cocktails at the same time?

Posted in By Tara, Shopping | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Iris In Disguise – Review: Hermès Paprika Brasil

Editor’s Note: I want to welcome Michael today. He is an Australian, living in Sydney and I met him in person last January when he and the inimitable Portia of Australian PerfumeJunkies visited Vienna. Michael has a great nose and an equally great passion for perfume. He also is a charmer, because he knew that to win me over a review by Hermès is definitely the way to go. ;) So enjoy with me Michael’s take on Paprika Brasil and let’s hope for many more of his charming reviews in the future.

By Michael

Hi there!

My name is Michael and I’m a fragaholic…

It all started a few years ago when I sniffed Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles.
Instantly it transported me back to a place in my childhood. It was all orthodox masses and sacramental wine.

Many hundreds of fragrances later and here I am indulging myself with fragrant musings.
I hope you don’t mind.

I’m delighted to be writing on occasion for Madame Olfactoria and what better place to start than with one of her favourite houses, Hermès.

I was never a Hermès fragrance fan.
Well, not until recently.

A few years ago I tried Terre d’Hermès and sure, it was nice.
I then tried Voyage d’Hermès and liked that one a little more.

Based on these, and a few others I can’t recall, I thought “meh, Hermès just isn’t for me”. Moreover Jean-Claude Ellena’s minimalist style just wasn’t to my taste.

Fast forward to February this year and a bored jet-lagged wait at Bangkok airport had me searching for some retail therapy.
I settled on a set of four 15ml Hermès travel bottles – a fantastic size for those of us with far too many fragrances.
Little did I know I would discover my Hermès gateway: Paprika Brasil.

“A tinctorial wood to colour fabrics red, ‘brasil wood’ gave its name to the country. With its power of suggestion, “bois de braise” sparked my imagination and I chose paprika to illustrate it. By mixing and matching, I recreated its scent, which is more secretive and discreet than its taste.”
Jean-Claude Ellena

Paprika Brasil is part of the Hermèssence line and contains notes of Pimento, Paprika, Cloves, Iris, Green Leaves, Mignonette, Precious Woods and Brazilian Redwood and was created by Jean-Claude Ellena in 2004.

hermes paprika-brasil

Paprika Brasil contains iris and lots of it. To my nose it is the dominant note which is fantastic because I love iris.
Here it feels like the iris bedded on soft woods and highlighted with a healthy dose of red peppers.
It’s such a clever and unique idea.

The red peppers are fresh. Like a freshly cut chilli but with only a hint of heat. There’s little in the way of dried or stuffy powdered chilli.
I find the red pepper notes to be a little abstract. They are identifiable but not so literal and strong that spicy foods or food like smells ever come to mind.

The iris is neither heavy and buttery nor too light and powdery. It’s just floats along in a soft middle ground being brought a back to earth with the smooth combination of soft woody notes.

As the fragrance dries down some green notes appear and blend seamlessly into the woody iris. Sometimes, I’m sure I smell hints of leather through the sleeve of my shirt.

Applied liberally I get soft to moderate projection and enough longevity to last the working day.

While I enjoy wearing Paprika Brasil, I’d also love to smell it on a partner. After the first few hours it has a lovely soft skin like quality that I would love bury my nose into after a long day at the office.

Personally I have very few easy to wear fragrances. Inevitably easy to wear equals boring and I have far too many fragrances to try. Paprika Brasil however is one of the few fragrances that I can easily reach for every day and still enjoy.

PaprikaFonos_by_JanLauritzen_3

I hope everyone tries Paprika Brasil especially lovers of iris notes. Paprika Brasil is definitely one to add to an iris lover’s wardrobe if you don’t find it too spicy.

Do you have other Hermès or iris loves? Please tell me about them below. I‘d love to add them to my list of fragrances to try.

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