Category: Perfume review

Emeraude by Coty

An eBay picture via
The Muse in Wooden Shoes blog.

Name: Emraude

Brand: Coty

Perfumer: François Coty

Year of creation: 1921

Pyramid according to the H&R Fragrance Guide:

Top notes: Citrusy, Fresh
Main: Bergamot, Lemon
Supported by: Lemongrass, Orange

Heart notes: Sweet, Floral
Main: Rosewood
Supported by: Rose, Jasmin, Ylang-Ylang

Base notes: Sweet, Balsamic, Powdery
Main: Vanilla, Ambrein
Supported by: Opoponax, Benzoin, Sandal, Patchouli

Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet

Classifications according to the Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards:
Oriental, Classical subgroup

Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs):
F3f – Ambrée, Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber) according to the old classification. In 1984 classification F3 is reserved for Ambrée hespéridé (citrusy amber) and F1 is Ambrée doux (sweet/soft amber).

Luca Turin verdict:  1 stars of 5, cheap oriental

In his review Luca Turin admires the original version (smelled at Osmotheque) as well as a scratch sample from a magazine in 1967, but calls the modern drug store release “crap value even at the bargain-basement price”.

This fragrance is often compared to:

Shalimar by Guerlain


Inspired by the emerald jewels of Persian temples François Coty wanted to create “the soul of the emerald in fragrance.”

The bottle:

Initially was presented in flacons by Lalique and Baccarat. Latter perfume bottles were made by Coty’s own glassworks in Pantin.

A Moth Stopper Parfum Flacon by Lalique originally made for Muguet by Coty (source: eBay)

Interesting facts:

Choosing a perfume to match the hair color was the order of the day when Emeraude came out. This perfume was suggested for brunettes and red haired.

In 60’s Coty used the following slogan to advertise Emeraude: “For the woman who dares to be different.”

Personal notes: Emeraude vs. Shalimar.

Similar age, same classification, roughly the same pyramid construction, so the comparison is inevitable. There are even rumors about Coty selling his formulation to Guerlain, but also a contradicting legend about Guerlain creating Shalimar by adding vanilla to Jicky. The truth is there somewhere… The fact is that the structure of both compositions is very similar indeed: a contrast between a classic citrus freshness and a sweet powdery vanilla with a touch of leather or smoke. An in depth comparison is difficult as both perfumes have undergone many reformulations. And the modern version of Emeraude seem to be a pale image of the original.

A modern cologne version of Emeraude
Picture from

Unfortunately I can’t say anything about the original – never smelled the vintage perfume. But I own a modern chartreuse colored cologne version in a squared bottle (see the picture above). It smells a bit cheap to my nose. So I agree with Luca Turin on this, but have to admit that the “cheap” impression is often defined by our olfactory experience. I get a whiff of something that reminds me of a cheap cologne from my past together with a slight soapiness of Emeraude’s floral part and a smoky aspect that makes me think of a burnt incense stick. Those three aspects are making the modern version of Emeraude smelling cheap to me (especially compared to Shalimar).

But once I recognize where those “cheap” associations come from and set them apart, I find Emeraude quite a comforting scent. A nostalgy of a classic bitterness from a fresh citrus top with a lemon candy touch against a sweet and comforting amber with a vanilla powderness and a touch of smoke. I understand the numerous positive reviews. But to me personally it’s rather a house robe I put on at home when feeling chilly than an accessory to complete a look for going out. The floral part is less pronounced here to my nose. And instead a velvety iris of Shalimar I smell just a whiff of ionones here. Can’t get Opopanax or a leathery animalic aspect of Shalimar here, but rather a smoky note of a burnt incense stick (not unpleasant though). The last one also reminds me of Tabu by Dana.

Further reading:

  1. A study on Coty perfumes with a detailed story on Emeraude flacons on the Coty perfumes blog.
  2. The Muse in Wooden Shoes shares her personal connection with Emeraude and compares different versions.
  3. An overview of Coty fragrances at Ça Fleur Bon blog.

Long Board by MiN New-York

Vol. 1, Ch. 2: Long Board

Illustration to Long Board scent by MiN New-York on their website

On my skin Long Board opens predominantly as a coconut sweetened orange flower mixed with an undertone of sea salt and used to perfume a suntan lotion.

This scent is about surfing, tanned skin, sea, coconut trees and tropical beaches.

According to the creators Dune Road is supposed to be an illustration of:

“Salty Surf.

Warm Sun on bare skin.

Sea birds sing as the ocean whispers.

Balmy, suspended moments
of storytelling & laughter
with friends.”

This scent appeals to the memories I don’t have. Azure colored skies and ivory white beaches, tanned surfers sliding on a turquoise colored water… I’ve seen it on TV. But my own vacations I rather spend in a forest area. And the North Sea I visit sometimes doesn’t look much like a perfect image of a tropical beach.

So the closest picture I can get from the “Long Board” is me watching a TV-program about surfing while sitting next to a warm fireplace. Smelling the cocos and orange flower scented lotion from my skin. Probably mixed with the residues of salty water soaked into my bathrobe after relaxing bath.

Top: Cardamom & Marine Notes
Heart: Coconut, Solar Cream & Orange Blossom
Base: Amber, Vanilla & Vetyver

Illustration for Long Board scent by MiN New-York (an older version)

Similar fragrances to explore: 
There are many fragrances that recall a feeling of summer, tanned skin and a tropical beach. Like the Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder which smells like a coconut scented body oil on a warm skin. Or Musc Monoi by Nicolai Parfumeur created to recall the smell of Ambre Solaire oil on the skin.

I was wearing Long Board while walking on the North Sea beach a couple of days ago. Hiding my face into a warm scarf from the drafts of a cold wind and looking at the heavy clouds above the rough see I could observe a striking contrast between what the perfume was trying to suggest and what I could see around me. But once I reached a beach pavilion I saw a different picture. A warm open fire and a piece of wooden art with a nostalgic memory of summer were a quite close match for the “Long Board” perfume.

My own experience while wearing a Long Board.

Dune Road by MiN New-York

Scented Stories by MiN New-York
Vol. 1, Ch. 1: Dune Road

Official illustration for Dune Road scent from MiN New-York

It opens like a fresh breeze bringing the smell of rain, wet earth and an intense green scent of foliage after the rain. A light whiff of tropic flowers entwine themselves into the ozonic freshness of the air with the nuances of crushed leaves and wet wood.

A “scented image” is a good name for this collection. To me they are much more “olfactory impressions” than “perfumes”.

According to the creators Dune Road is supposed to be an illustration of:

“Summer walks.
Crisp ocean breeze. Foamy Sand.

Whispers of herbs,
wildflowers & sea grass
from a distance.

Ethereal, captivating
& hazy pleasures.”

Though I recognize the elements from this descriptions in the scent, my own perception of “Dune Road” doesn’t show me much of sea grass and creates the image of a tropical forest after the rain with it’s reach smell of wet soil and sappy green leaves. And on the skin… it’s like running back home after mowing the lawn because of the sudden rain.

Top: Absinthe, Cardamom & Ozone
Heart: Marine, Salt, Sea Grass, Seaweed & Driftwood
Base: Vetyver, Cedarwood & Musk

Similar fragrances to explore:
As in my own perception “Dune Road” is more about a tropical forest after the rain I’d recommend to try Fleur de Liane by L’Artisan Parfumeur (2008) and may be Jangala from the Collection Croisiere which is a fantasy image of a jungle by Pierre Guillaum.

I was wearing this scent during my walks among the dunes here in Netherlands, on the Texel island. The following image would express my feelings of these fragrant walks.

Dune Walks on Texel as an illustration for Dune Roads by MiN New-York

The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

The Unicorn Spell

Nose: Isabelle Doyen

What can you find in the bottle:
The Unicorn Spell came into my path as a part of a quest for green fragrances. I was looking for a different take on a violet leaf theme from Grey Flannel and so I met The Unicorn Spell introduced by a friend. Both scents explore the theme of a floral freshness on a background of cold and almost harsh greenness. Something that reminds me of the early spring when the first flowers are coming from the ground resisting the drafts of cold wind. In The Unicorn Spell the different tints of white and green are painting an image of а misty glade where the pearled with dew grass intersperses with little snowdrops. The glade is a part of an enchanted forest surrounded with dark trunks of ancient oak trees surrounded with a purple glow. And once you carefully look between their massive roots, you might find the violet flowers hidden there.

The Unicorn Spell is a violet fragrance with a twist. Instead of showing the fragrant floral heart or play around the candied violet leaves, this fragrance emphasizes the green nuances of a violet leave and the woody aspect of the flowers.

Luca Turin verdict: **** (4 stars of 5), green violet

LesNez on their creation:
“If by dawn still linger on your skin mixed scents of leaves, frost and violet blooms, and that relentless yearning for stellar sights, you will know that, at night, you felt the milky breath of a unicorn.”

Lucky Scent on this fragrance:
“Inspired by the scent of leaves, frost and violet blooms at dawn, by moonlight and transparency”

There are no notes mentioned on LesNez website.

Fragrantica mentions the following notes: Violet, Green notes, Woody notes.

Lucky Scent describe the pyramid as following: “The cold, green top notes, the subtly sweet, berry-like accord in the middle, the delicate woodiness of the drydown.”

Similar fragrances to explore:
1. Fresh takes on violets like in La Violette by Annick Goutal or an eau de cologne violette in Lumen_esce by Nomencalture.
2. Cool florals on a green background like in Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene, Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford, Green by Byredo and may be also Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermès.
3. Violets share some similar aspects with iris, so the fragrances with iris and green notes combination may be interesting to explore here. From classic Chanel N19 to the modern takes on the same subjects like Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens or the green iris from Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir.

Gucci Guilty Absolute

What can you find in a bottle:

  • On a blotter it opens with a civet-like note which is almost shocking. Something rather to expect within a niche range of perfumes than in a mainstream scent. Camels, horses and cowsheds may come into the mind, though oud is not mentioned here. But on the skin it becomes less zoo-like and brings warm and sensual depth into the fragrance.
  • An intimate close to skin scent what you might smell under a worn out leather jacket on a bare male skin. The jacket seems to keep the history of its wearer. Just a few nuances like mineral notes of oil and gasoline or residues of modern fougère perfumes and woody scents ingrained into leather.
  • A very comforting warm and dry woody base.
  • A slightly metallic aromatic vibe recognizable from many modern masculine fougère fragrances.

Fragrant notes: Woodleather®, Goldenwood®, Nootka cypress, Patchouli, Vetiver

Perfumer: Alberto Morillas

Creative Director: Alessandro Michele

Year of creation: 2017

Face of the advertising campaign: Jared Leto (photographer – Glen Luchford).

Alberto Mirullas on his creation: “Absolute speaks to a new generation of men, his wants, needs, passions and his modernity.”

Woodleather® is a new Firmenich captive with an oud scent profile. Also used in “Original Oud” by Mizensir, the fragrance project by Alberto Morillas.

Goldenwood® is another Firmenich captive. As long as it’s under patent protection (as well as Woodleather®), not much information will be revealed.

Nootka cypress (also known as Alaskan Cedarwood) is a conifer growing in the Northwest Rainforest area. Firmenich describes the smell of Cedarwood Alaska essential oil as “sparkling with a fresh and breezy grapefruit crisp due to its Nootkatene and Nootkatone content (grapefruit odorants)”and “less camhoraceous and smoky, but stronger, longer lasting and more linear than the regular Cedarwood oil”.  Also used in Penhaligon’s Blasted Heath Бертрана and Mizensir Perfect Oud ( gives the following list of fragrances using this note –

The campaign:


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.”

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.

efflor_esce by Nomenclature


Picture from

Name: efflor_esce

Year: 2015

Perfumer: Frank Voelkl

Featured aromachemical: Paradisone®

Notes: Paradisone® (citrus-floral), neroli, tuberose, bergamot, bigarade, osmanthus

Paradisone® is an aromachemical with an intensive floral smell. It’s related to cis-jasmone, a fragrant component naturally occurring in jasmine (which is also found in other aromatic plants). It’s also related to Hedione (a very popular jasmine molecule often referred as “water jasmine”). To make a long story short… Hedione is not a single molecule, but a mix of four isomers. Paradisone® is one of them. The one possessing the most intensive floral smell. It’s like Paradisone® being the floral heart of Hedione.

Among others Paradisone® is used in the following Armani perfumes – Aqua di Gio Essenza, Aqua di Gio Profumo and Ombre & Lumière as well as in Eau Océane by Biotherm and Iris Prima by Penhaligon’s.

Nomenclature describes efflor_esce as:

“The flower of angels Paradisone® is “the angelic aroma of one million flowers… a storm of delicacy and diffusion,” in the poetic words of the perfumer Arcadi Boix-Camps. In the astonishingly radiant efflor_esce, Frank Voelkl blows its heavenly breeze over an edenic Sicilian orchard. Touched by the luminous soul of jasmine, the fruit, leaves, twigs and blossoms of the orange tree unfurl their heady, sun-gorged scents. Bergamot adds its peppery sparkle; osmanthus, the yielding velvet of its apricot and suede flesh; tuberose, its narcotic sillage. This is nature, but better: Paradise found.”

My own impression of efflor_esce:

Spraying efflor_esce on my skin is like surrounding myself with a floral aura. As if I was standing in the middle of the garden where thousands of flowers warmed by the sun are saturating the air with their perfume. On the foreground my nose recognizes the lemony smell of magnolia and apricot jam scented osmanthus. And further I smell a transparent veil of jasmine and lilies-of-the-valley with fruity sweetness of tropical flowers on the background.

The light citrus aspect gives me an impression of a bright day and fresh air. Efflor_esce feels transparent and airy, but at the same time saturated or even mouth-filling.

Although the intensity of the floral impression fades quickly, the airy aura of this perfume is quite long lasting. With time I also recognize aspects of jasmine tea, which reminds me that Hedione (used in this perfume next to Paradisone®) is often used as a main component of a tea accord.

adr_ett by Nomenclature

Nomenclature 4 scents

Nomenclature perfumes from

Name: adr_ett (menas “neat” or “dapper” in German)

Year: 2015

Perfumer: Frank Voelkl

Featured aromachemical: Helvetolide® (synthetic musk)

Notes: Helvetolide®, pink pepper, iris, amber gris, vanilla, tonka bean

Helvetolide® is a synthetic musk molecule patented by the Swiss company Firmenich in 1991 and named after Swiss Confideration (Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin) for its 700th anniversary. Helvetolide® belongs to the generation of acyclic or linear musks. For the first time it was used in 1997 in Swiss Army scent sold on Swissair planes.

Firmenich describes this molecule as: “A sophisticated, modern musky note with a fruity pear aspect. Helvetolide® brings also richness and warmth reminding  Ambrette seeds.”


Helvetolide molecule from

Helvetolide® is considered to be a “top note” musks, it is very diffusive, not heavy and doesn’t flatten the fragrance. It’s also called the Hedione of musks. It is an elegant and expensive smelling musk with aspects of ambrette seed and pear. It belongs to the most influential molecules in perfumery of the XXI century.

Helvetolide® was used in Miracle by Lancôme, Ultraviolet Woman by Paco Rabanne, Flower by Kenzo, Cologne by Thierry Mugler, Pleasures Intense by Estée Lauder, Freedom by Tommy Hilfiger, Bvlgari Omnia and many others.

Nomenclature presents adr_ett as a Zero Gravity Musk and gives it the following description:

“Helvetolide® gives off a softly enveloping, long-lasting aura; an otherworldly feeling of stillness and weightlessness. Rather than using Helvetolide® in a “classic” way to enhance other notes, Frank Voelkl boosts its ethereal vibe in a futuristic composition that seems to conjure the scent of zero gravity. A pink pepper comet brings out its fruitiness. Cool, metallic iris underlines its affinities with ambrette (which has an iris facet). A nebula of vanilla, tonka bean and ambergris underline its sensuousness. In German, adrett means “neat” or “dapper”: in this spare, smartly trimmed scent, each element is essential – as it would be in outer space.”

My own perception:

Adr_ett is quite a minimalistic scent. It’s based on Helvetolide® and other notes are just emphasizing the different aspects of the main ingredient. Being sprayed on the skin it feels rather like a personal signature smell than a perfume. But even being minimalistic adr_ett feels quite complete with its fully developed aspects.

The opening of adr_ett gives me an elegant feeling of an iris perfume with a touch of sweetness of fresh watery pear.  The musky aura triggers the associations with a fresh clothes and corresponds with a “neat” or “smartly dressed” meaning of the German “adrett”. The “zero gravity” aspect of the scent appears to me as a sense of a soft cloud slowly floating above the ground. Adr_ett is subtle and transparent, stays close to the skin, but leaves an elegant aura and an impression of a groomed person which makes it a good scent for an office wear.

Vanille Tonka by Patricia de Nicolaï

Vanille Tonka

Picture from Nicolaï Paris website

The general impression of Vanille Tonka reminds me of a High Key concept where the slightest touches of shadows are creating an image on what seems to be an endlessly white background.  It opens with a tingling sensation in my nose caused by the crispy lemon tickling against the fuzzy vanilla. A very similar effect I get in Habit Rouge and to a lesser extent in Shalimar by Guerlain.  Then the scent almost disappears flowing out to a white canvas. The citrus brightness calms down and descends in form of an orange flower mist. The touches of warm spices are draping the fabric of canvas into a shape of an exotic flower. Incense deepens the curvy contours of the fluffy vanilla clouds spilling the bittersweet flakes of tonka.

It’s a very soft scent spreading a delicate aura of a classic vanilla and tonka accord. To my nose it’s  too muted perhaps, but it’s a great skin scent for those searching for quiet perfume with an attitude. A nice light perfume for a day wear for the admirers of Habit Rouge or Shalimar.

Olfactory pyramid:

Top notes: Basil, lemon, mandarin
Middle notes: Orange blossom, black pepper, cinnamon
Base notes: Incense, vanilla absolute, tonka bean

Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolaï

Year of creation: 1997

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

Trying to visualize the scent I found this great picture by Pete Tombs to be very similar to my perception of Vanille Tonka:

A lazy summer day of Noontide Petals


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):