Category: Parfum

Poême de Lancômе

What can you find inside the bottle?

  • A bunch of sultry flowers like jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose, rose and ylang-ylang spreading their heady and suffocating aroma between the landscapes made of honey and vanilla.
  • A meadow full of yellow flowers bathing under the golden sunlight.
  • Daffodils. The poisonous greenish aroma along the lines of Chloé Narcisse.
  • Downy powderness that recalls the fluffy mimosa flowers.
  • Warm orange blossom that plays between the seductiveness of a white flower and the powdery blossom dust.
  • The poisonous Angel trompet flower or datura similar to Datura Noir by Serge Lutens.
  • Blue poppies from Himalaya supposed to be there. Can’t really find them, but can easily imagine the heat of orange and red poppies.
  • Abundant character combined with a very strong projection and tenacity. Beware, it can be suffocating!
  • An effect of a nourished skin as if it’s moisturized with a reach luxury body cream (similar orange blossom, lily, gardenia and tuberose aroma are often used to perfume luxury nourishing creams). I had a similar effect in Twilly by Hermès.
  • An ancestor (one of many) of modern floral oriental perfumes.

Pyramid (a compilation from various on-line sources):

Top Notes: Blue poppy, Datura (Angel’s trumpet or thorn-appel), Bergamot, Green notes, Mandarin, Narcissus, Peach, Plum, Blackcurrant

Heart Notes: Freesia, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Leather, Mimosa, Orange blossom, Rose, Tuberose, Vanilla blossom, Ylang-ylang, Jonquil, Daffodil

Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Tonka bean, Vanilla, Cedar

Perfumer: Jacques Cavallier

Year of creation: 1995

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Floral, Sweet (2000 – 2001 version)

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): F4f – Ambrée-Orientale (Oriental/Amber), Ambré Fleuri Boisé (Amber, floral, woody), feminine.

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral Oriental, Classical/Classique, feminine

Luca Turin Guide verdict: * 1 star of 5 calling it “horrid floral”
“…combining the worst of Amarige (the hideous tuberose), the worst of Spellbound (triple-distilled oil slick), and a novel, uniquely unpleasant, peppery-floral chrysanthemum note all its own.”

The fragrance was presented as: “A rich floral-oriental parfum created by Jacques Cavallier who used two flowers that had never been used in a fragrance before, the Himalayan blue poppy and the datura, desert flower.” according to Perfume Intelligence Encyclopedia.

Bottle design: by Fabien Baron

Sakura by Parfum Satori

 

Sakura, Parfum Satori, 2004
Premium Collection by Satori Osawa

“How beautiful the cherry blossoms are, that bloom to the end of the land, as if offering itself to adorn the hair of a beautiful lady or crown an elegant gentleman.”
Manyoshu

Cherry Blossom

There are several cherry blossom trees I can admire from my window. Each year when the spring reaches its peak they celebrate the moment with a magnificent sea of pink blossoms. It doesn’t last long as those pink clouds start to fade filling the air with a rain of tender petals. And in a week or two it’s all gone…

Those Sakura blossoms do not posses any smell, so for a long time I could only imagine what they might smell like. The most suggestions from the world of perfumery were tending towards the sugar plums trying to sell their pink sugar for Sakura blossoms. But now I’ve got a chance to try a Sakura perfume made by a Japanese perfumer Satori Osawa who knows many of cherry blossom variations from her land and studied the smell of the fragrant ones.

On a blotter the perfume smells more like wet white petals giving me an impression of blossoming blackthorn falling its petals into a dark cold water during the early spring. But warmed by my skin the scent becomes much more rosy. Like young pelican birds who believed to turn pink by sucking the blood from their mother’s chest, those pale petals eagerly drink the warmth of my skin to turn into beautiful pink blossoms. A ripe and fruity but yet gentle aspect of a plum appears from a background. In contrast with its sugar babe sisters Sakura by Satori serves her cherry blossoms without added sweeteners. In fact it becomes even salty closer to its woody base like the taste of tears about the spring gone too soon.

According to Satori the aroma of Sakura perfume is similar to a traditional Japanese scented sachet called “nioi-bukuro”. That is a little paper bag filled with Japanese incense to put into furniture, the sleeves of kimono or around the neck.

Fougère II – the smell of fern

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Ferns in a Dutch forest, picture by Aromyth

The olfactory family of fougères begins with Fougère Royale by Houbigant, a fragrance created by Paul Parquet in 1882 approaching the smell of ferns. It raises an interesting question: Do ferns smell?

An answer to this question can be as vague as an attempt to describe the smell of tulips for example. Some would say they don’t smell at all while others would mention a generic green smell without distinguishing notes. But as an exception one can also find a couple of very fragrant variations. The situation with ferns is similar. In general they do possess a generic green vegetal smell without distinct nuances. But there is also a hay scented fern or Dennstaedtia punctilobula, a plant releasing a haylike aroma when touched or broken. A fern from New Zeland with the name Asplenium lamprophyllum seems to contain methyl salicylate, a sweet smelling substance which is also responsible for the smell of wintergreen and sweet birch. There is also a Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina), a fragrant plant which looks like a fern, but is in fact a family of bayberry.

Two odorants are mentioned to be responsible for the smell of ferns – hexyl butyrate and octyl butyrate. They have a green odor with fruity and waxy nuances. But they are not used in fern fragrances. Fougères are fantasy perfumes approaching the smell of fern within its natural habitat (the nuances of forest, leaves, soil etc). The core of fougère accord is formed by lavender, coumarin and oak moss. Coumarin is responsible for the haylike herbaceous sweetness (think of hay-scented fern mentioned above). Herbs (rosemary, thyme), woody and camphor notes, salicylates (clover or wintergreen smell), mushroom nuances and iris/violet aspects can be used to adorn the fougère accord.

The earlier fern perfumes seemed to be quite floral with their hearts made of lavender, rose and jasmine with an addition of narcissus and hyacinth (with their haylike aspects). Later geranium and rose molecules, synthetic jasmine bases, clary sage and fresh floral molecules like linalool and linalyl acetate were used to accompany lavender in the heart. Three types of fragrances were considered to be fougères: complex lavender perfumes, Foin Coupe type of fragrances (perfumes approaching the smell of new mown hay) and chypres with lavender heart and spicy nuances.

Fougère Royale, the beginning of Fougère family

Fougère_Royale_by_Paul_Parquet_(Houbigant)

Fougère Royale, photo via Wikimedia Commons (provided by the Osmothèque for public domain)

Name: Fougère Royale

Brand: Houbigant

Perfumer: Paul Parquet

Year of creation: 1882 (re-launched and re-orchestrated in 2010).

Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Fresh, Herbaceous
Main: Lavender
Supported by: Clary Sage, Spike (lavender), Bergamot, Petitgrain

Heart notes: Dry, Floral
Main: Geranium
Supported by: Rose, Heliotrope, Carnation, Orchid

Base notes: Sweet, Mossy, Powdery
Main: Oakmoss, Musk
Supported by: Tonka, Hay, Vanilla

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Masculine, Fougère, Fresh (end 80’s version),
Masculine, Fougère, Woody (end 2000’s version)

Classification by Symrise Genealogy: Masculine, Fougère, Ambery, Vanilla

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): C1m (other version C1f) – Fougère, Fougère.

This fragrance is compared to: English Fern by Penhaligon’s and Wild Fern Cologne by Geo F. Trumper

Interesting facts:

Fougère Royale is a fantasy bouquet exploring the smell of fern.

Fougère Royale is often mentioned to be the first fern fragrance. But there seem to be other fern perfumes before 1882. Like Fougère Ambrée by Savonnerie Maubert and Fougère Dorée by Isnard Maubert Parfumeur both from 1870. Or Wild Fern Cologde by Geo F. Trumber from 1877, There also seem to be an earlier version a Fougère Royale made by Paul Parquet for Eugene Rimmel in 1875 for Princess Alexandra.

In fact the fern theme was popular in the time of creation of Fougère Royale, but fern scents were predominantly used for perfuming soaps. So, Fougère Royale is a rare example of a functional scent that found its way into the Fine Perfumery.

Fougère Royale is considered to be the first perfume utilizing a synthetic aromachemical coumarin. It possesses a bittersweet, herbaceous, haylike odor and is still one of the main ingredients of the fougère fragrances.

It is a milestone perfume. Its success made this fragrance to inspire many other creations and even to become an ancestor for the olfactory family of fougères.

Fougère Royale seemed to be created as a feminine scent. As also the first other fougères. Later it was marketed as an ultimate gentlemen’s fragrance as you can see on this advertisements below. The later and present fougère perfumes are exclusively men’s fragrances.

Fougere-Royale-Life-11mei37-p49-Ad

An advertisement from the LIFE magazine, May 11th 1937, p. 49

Fougere-Royale-Life-11okt37-p58-Ad

An advertisement from the LIFE magazine, October 11th, 1937, p3 58

A lazy summer day of Noontide Petals

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Name: Noontide Petals

Brand: Tauer Perfumes

Perfumer: Andy Tauer

Year of creation: 2013

Pyramid by Tauer Perfumes:

Head notes, a glittering opening:
Bergamot, sparkling aldehydes softened by Bourbon geranium

Heart notes, a seductive chord of bright petals:
Finest rose, ylang, tuberose, jasmine

Body notes, a supple and sensuous gleam:
Patchouli, frankincense, vanilla, sandalwood, iris, with a hint of styrax and vetiver

Impression of the scent by Andy Tauer:

Referring back in time, Noontide Petals is a bright, brilliantly glittering fragrance with a modern twist.

With NOONTIDE petals I am referring to a glittering age of perfumery. Then, in the first quarter of the last century, aldehydes found their way into some of the most beautiful fragrances. Aldehydes allowed to create the most stunning effects in perfumery. Together with and complementing the distinguished beauty of natural extracts of flower petals, leaves and precious woods, they were and still are the key to noble glamour.

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Soft Floral, Classical/Classique, feminine

My imression of Noontide Petals:

The floral aldehydic fragrances are like the ghosts from the past. The majority of them was born before the eighties, but just a few were launched within the last three decennia. The classic bloom of aldehydes seems to be out of date, but keeps to trigger the romantic hearts of those who follows the canons of classic perfumery. Like Andy Tauer who has created two fragrances in this style. Noontide Petals and Miriam (a part of Tableau de Parfums collection).

In contrast to Baghari (another aldehydic floral I tested earlier) my perception of Noontide Petals has nothing to do with winter, snow or cold. This fragrance is full of summer heat, sun and smell of flowers. It colors my imaginary canvas in all shades of yellow and brings me the pictures of a lazy afternoon in a summer garden.

The air is drenched with warmth and sun insomuch that I almost feel its vibrations. Or is it a hum of bees collecting the precious nectar from the garden? The fizzy power of aldehydes combines with bergamot freshness into a glass of lemonade as an attempt to soothe the summer heat. The mellowed flowers generously fill the air with their scent. To my perception the floral heart of Noontide Petals consists of yellow roses, lilies and ylang-ylang adorned with a sultry touch of jasmine and tuberose. A soporific bouquet inviting for a lazy noontide sleep.

The summer garden of Noontide Petals is enframed in a warm woody base with a touch of sweet vanilla and resins. The frankincense gives it an exotic nuance and brings a melancholic touch to its mood. Later it gives me an impression of a summer evening when the heat has left the air but found a shelter inside the wooden frame until the midnight.

Noontide Petals was not an easy fragrance to me. As many aldehydic florals. It took some time and effort to learn to love this classic family. It reminds me a bit of Chanel N22 with its aldehydes, resins and ylang-ylang. But when Chanel 22 is at the best in freezing weather, Noontide Petals seems to be its midsummer antipode. The sense of heat in combination with woods and frankincense also reminds me of L’Air du Desert Marocain and Lys du Desert.

A visual impression by Andy Tauer (from his blog):

noontide42s

noontidepetalslarge1

 

 

A floral bouquet

IMG_5213SW

Florals seems to be the most popular family within the world of perfumes. It embraces a huge group of fragrances with floral notes as a main theme. Whether it’s a smell of a single flower or a complex bouquet, an aroma of an existent flower, its abstract interpretation or a perfumer’s floral fantasy. The huge majority of them are marketed as feminine perfumes.

The H&R Genealogy of Perfumes places the entire floral family in the feminine section and makes the following subdivisions: Floral Green, Floral Fruity, Floral Fresh, Floral Floral, Floral Aldehydic and Floral Sweet. In the masculine section there was a separate group of Lavender perfumes as the only masculine floral. Later it was replaced under Fougères. The modern Symrise Genealogy recognizes much more subcategories under the floral family: Floral Citrus, Floral Aqueous, Floral Green, Floral Fruity, Floral Aldehydic, Floral Spicy, Floral Floral, Floral White Flower, Floral Orange Flower, Floral Woody, Floral Edible, Floral Musky. Florals also got a permanent place within the masculine section with two subcategories: Floral Green and Floral Woody.

The SFP classification (official perfumes classification by the Society of French Perfumers) divided florals into seven groups: florals soliflore (B1), florals lavender soliflore (B2), floral bouquet (B3), green florals (B4), aldehydic florals (B5), woody florals (B6) and woody fruity florals (B7). The newest version of this classification has a slightly different subdivision:

B1 – Soliflore with the smell of a single flower as the main theme. This subgroup refers to the beginning of the modern perfumery when the perfumers started to reconstruct the smell of flowers so they become more stylized and abstract.

Examples: Diorissimo by Dior (lily of the valley), A la Nuit by Serge Lutens (jasmine), Fracas by Piguet (tuberose)

B2 – Musky Florals with the central floral accord accompanied with the musky note presented from the beginning. May be accentuated with fruity, woody or aldehydic notes.

Examples: Musc Koublaï Khan by Serge Lutens, Pure Poison by Dior, For Her Musc Collection by Narciso Rodrigquez

B3 – Floral Bouquet with a complex harmony of different flowers combined into a bouquet.

Examples: Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant, Eternity by Calvin Klein, Elie Saab Le Parfum.

B4 – Aldehydic Florals – a combination of a floral bouquet with aldehydes that gives a fantasy touch to floral heart, a sparkle in the top in combination with citrus notes and a powdery base, especially with iris. Mostly those are perfumes with a classic structure, warm base of woods and resins and an animalic touch. Read more about this group here.

Examples: Chanel N5, Arpège by Lanvin, First by Van Cleef & Arpels.

B5 – Green Florals. A fresh floral bouquet with a touch of green notes like galbanum, cut grass or herbs. Hyacinth with its prominent green nuance is often used as a part of a green floral bouquet. The fresh and green aspects of Lily of the Valley, Freesia, Gardenia, Narcissus, Blackcurrent, Violet Leaf may also be used.

Examples: Vent Vert by Balmain, Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens, Pleasures by Estée Lauder

B6 – Woody Flruity Florals. A fruity bouquet on a woody base with a touch of fruity notes like peach, apple, plum, apricot.

Examples: Iris Gris by Jacques Fath, Amazone by Hermès, Lady Million by Paco Rabanne

B7 – Woody Florals. A floral bouquet extended with a woody base, mostly with a powdery touch of resins and vanilla. With a classic citrus of herbaceous top.

Examples: Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene, Fahrenheit by Dior, Balmya by Balmain

B8 – Marine or Aquatic Florals. A newcomer from the early nineties where a floral accord is combined with aquatic notes.

Examples: Escape by Calvin Klein, L’Eau D’Issey by Issey Miyaki, Tommy Summer by Tommy Hilfiger

B9 – Fruity Florals. The popularity of fruity florals started to increase in the late nineties with an explosive growth in the last two deccenia. A floral bouquet with an unmistakable presence of a fruity note .

Examples: J’Adore by Dior, Burberry London, Bright Crystal by Versace

The Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards describes three floral groups: Floral, Floral Oriental (a combination of sweet spices and a floral bouquet based on heavy florals like tuberose and orange blossom) and Soft Floral (corresponds with floral aldehydic group, but also includes iris perfumes and musky florals). It has separate groups for Green, Fruity and Aquatic (Water) perfumes.

Baghari by Piguet – a review

rose-339183SW

This is a review of a modern version of Bahjari from 2006. For the scent pyramid and classification, please see the “perfume dossier”.

While browsing through the reviews of Baghari one may easily notice two curious facts. First its comparison with Chanel N5. And almost opposite variations in the perceptions of this scent. It can be described either as sharp and difficult to wear or as smooth and pleasant.

The resemblance with Chanel N5 is quite understandable. Both fragrances belong to the floral aldehydic family and their olfactory pyramids are quite similar. But my personal perception of aldehydes in those perfumes is quite different. In Chanel N5 my nose tends to interpret them as a part of a fantasy floral bouquet. In Baghari aldehydic accord gives me a sensation of coldness. Combined with the fluffy powderness of iris and vanilla it paints a snow covered winter landscape. The candy-like citrus accord on the other side combines its orange brightness with the soft light of brittle resins creating a feeling of weak, but warm winter sunrays. All together it makes a picture of a nice sunny white winter day. The floral heart of Baghari seems to be frozen. It almost rasps with its metallic aspect at first, but later melts into an elegant bouquet of creamy lipstick roses. Sometimes I catch a picture of Chanel N5 in Baghari, but it reminds me much more of La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens.

When I smelled Baghari for the first time I was a bit shocked by the harshness of its aldehydic frost on the sharp edges of resins in combination with a dazzling effect of an abundant citrus accord. But later I fell in love with the sweet warmth of its base touching my skin like a soft fur. I think it’s in the nature of Baghari – it can appear hostile at first, but loses its spikes and turns into a warm furry housecat with wear.

P.S. The photo impression of Baghari used as illustration is based on the picture of Karin Laurila.

Baghari by Piguet

Baghari

Photo: Baghari parfum via www.robertpiguetparfums.com

Name: Baghari

Brand: Robert Piguet Parfums

Perfumer: Francis Fabron of the original; Aurélien Guichard of the 2006 re-orchestration

Year of creation: 1950 (discontinued, re-launched in 2006)


Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide
:

Top notes: aldehydic fresh
Main: Aldehydes
Supported by: Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Lemon

Heart notes: classic elegant floral
Main: Rose
Supported by: Lilac, Ylang-Ylang, Lily of the Valley, Jasmin

Base notes: sweet, powdery, warm
Main: Bourbon Vetiver
Supported by: Benzoin, Musk, Amber, Vanilla


Pyramid according to perfume databases Parfumo/Basenotes/Fragrantica:

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Neroli

Heart Notes: Bulgarian rose, Iris, Jasmine, Rosa centifolia, Violet

Base Notes: Ambergris, Musk, Vanilla, Vetiver


Notes mentioned by the Robert Piguet Parfums
:

Top notes: Aldehydic Notes

Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine

Base notes: Amber, Vanilla, Musk

Impression of the scent by Robert Piguet Parfums:
Escape and seek a romantic encounter with this exotic elixir. Baghari, warm and alluring, blends a bouquet of rose, jasmine, iris and fresh citrus with powdery amber and natural vanilla.


Classification by H&R Genealogy
: Feminine, Floral, Aldehydic

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B4f Floral aldehydic feminine

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Soft Floral, Rich/Profond, feminine

Verdict by Luca Turin: 4 of 5 stars called “orange chypre”

This fragrance is compared to: Chanel No. 5, L’Aimant by Coty, La  Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

You can read my own impression of Bughari here.

Floramye by L.T. Piver, the first aldehydic floral?

Name: Floramye

Brand: L.T. Piver

Perfumer: Jacques Rouché (perfumer and administrator of L.T. Piver) and George Darzens (fragrant chemist and the director of Piver laboratory); some sources refer Pierre Armingeat

Year of creation: 1905 (discontinued and re-launched in 1991)

Perfume notes: not much known except a floral bouquet with aldehydes on top

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B3f Floral, floral bouquet, feminine (probably based on the older version)

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Chypre, Crisp/Petillant, subcategory Green/Vert, feminine (probably based on the new version)

Interesting facts:
Being a fragrance chemist George Darzens has synthesized and introduced new aromachemicals into perfumery. One of them was 2-methylundecanal better known as aldehyde C-12 MNA (methyl nonyl aldehyde) in 1904. This new chemical was the first aldehyde used in perfumery in Floramye in 1905 on the top of the floral bouquet. Also it was used in the re-rofmulation of Rêve d’Or, another Piver creation from 1898. In 1905 its balsamic aspect was enriched by paring a newly discovered aldehyde with the incense note. In 1907 the same C-12 MNA aldehyde was used in Pompeia (again by Piver), but this time in combination with other aldehydes.

Some visual impressions:

An older version of Floramye from L’Art Français (http://www.artfrancais.nl/l-t-piver-floramye.html):

Floramye1

Another picture from the same website (http://www.artfrancais.nl/floramye-van-l-t-piver.html):

Floramye2

Another version of Floramye submitted to the Parfumo database by Florblanca user (http://www.parfumo.net/Perfumes/L_T_Piver/Floramye):

Floramye3

Chanel N5

 Chanel5official

Name: No. 5

Brand: Chanel

Perfumer: Ernest Beaux

Year of creation: 1921

Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Aldehydic
Main: Aldehydes
Supported by: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli

Heart notes: Elegant, Floral
Main: –
Supported by: Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Orris, Ylang-Ylang

Base notes: Sensual, Feminine
Main: Vetiver
Supported by: Sandal, Cedar, Vanilla, Amber, Civet, Musk

Notes mentioned by Chanel: Top notes Neroli from Grasse blend into the sensual, floral notes of two exceptional raw materials, May Rose and Jasmine from Grasse.

Aldehydes provide airy freshness and lend an abstract effect to the fragrance.

Impression of the scent by Chanel: N°5, the very essence of femininity.

A powdery floral bouquet housed in an iconic bottle with a minimalist design. A timeless, legendary fragrance.

Classification by H&R Genealogy: Feminine, Floral, Aldehydic

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B4f Floral aldehydic feminine

Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Soft Floral, Classical/Classique, feminine

Verdict by Luca Turin:
EDP – 4 of 5 stars called “aldehydic interrupted”
EDT – 5 of 5 stars called “peachy floral”
Also mentioned in his top 10 list “Best Florals”.

This fragrance is compared to: L’Aimant by Coty, Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere, Liu by Guerlain, Gold Woman by Amouage, Arpège by Lanvin, Nonchalance by Mäurer & Wirtz , Suddenly Woman I by Lidl,