Long Board by MiN New-York
February 4, 2018
Scented Stories by MiN New-York
Vol. 1, Ch. 2: Long Board
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:
Warm Sun on bare skin.
Sea birds sing as the ocean whispers.
Balmy, suspended moments
of storytelling & laughter
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
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.
Narcisse Noir by Caron
October 27, 2017
Narcisse Noir creates an illusion of a non-existent flower which is quite convincing. The dry green bitterness with oil-paint like nuance evokes the image of narcissus. And the animalic darkness of civet in the base does paint it black. Although reading about this fragrance makes me to think that the original version of this perfume was much heavier on civet than its modern interpretations. But to me Narcisse Noir is mostly about the orange blossom. It represents an interesting aspect of the orange flower which I perceive as a slow thickening of sunlight during a sunset. The color changes from a warm orange glow to a dark orange and almost brown before it falls into the darkness. Warm, sultry, heady and definitely fatal.
Pyramid according to H&R Fragrance Guide:
Top notes: Fresh, Flowery
Supported by: Mandarin, Petitgrain, Lemon
Heart notes: Dry, Floral
Main: Narcissus, Jasmin
Supported by: Jonquil, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Floral, Sensual
Supported by: Civet, Musk, Sandal
Perfumer: Ernest Daltroff
Year of creation: 1912 (or 1911)
Classification by H&R Genealogy:
Feminine, Oriental, Sweet (1985 version)
Feminine, Oriental (end 2000’s version)
Classification by Symrise Genealogy: Feminine, Oriental, Woody, Animalic
Classification by SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs): B1f-09 – Floral, soliflore, Narcissus
Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral, Rich/Profond, orange blossom, feminine
Luca Turin Guide verdict: ** 2 stars of 5 calling it “woody jasmine”. In her review Tania Sanchez shares her regrets on reformulations of this great classic and describes the modern version as followed: “Fragrance Wheel (by Michael Edwards) classification: Floral, Rich/Profond, orange blossom, feminine.”
Smelling a modern version can raise a question about the placing this scent inside an oriental family. I guess the key here is the reformulation Tania Sanchez is complaining about. I think the animalic note of civet was much more pronounced in original and made it much closer to those animalic musk attars from the East. But it’s in the past. And nowadays Michael Edwards describes it as a floral perfume with a predominant orange blossom note.
Barbara Herman in her “Scent and Subversion” mentions that Ernest Beaux, the creator of Chanel N5 described Narcisse Noir as “a perfume of the most striking vulgarity.”
Ostrom, Lizzie in her “Perfume: A Century of Scents calls” it “a lawsuit perfume” as “Caron lawyered up against several firms, including Du Moiret for their Moon-Glo Narcissus, and Henri Muraour & Cie for their Narcisse Bleu. […]
Caron, holding the trademark for the complete phrase ‘Narcisse Noir’, argued that any use of the word ‘narcisse’ in fragrance from a competitor should be disallowed.”
The new (for the time of creation) aromachemicals para-cresol and its esters were used in Narcisse Noir for the first time (according to Perfumer&Flavorist, Vol. 15, November/December 1990). Para-cresol and its esters (like para-cresyl acetate) possess a harsh phenolic smell with heavy floral nuances (when diluted) resembling the smell of narcissus, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, lily and animalic accents.
Cuir Venenum: sweet dangerous temptation
May 13, 2015
Cuir Venenum (PG03) by Parfumerie Générale
Cuir Venenum… the name I liked from the moment I saw it. My imagination created the pictures of alchemist’s labs from the Dark Ages full of mysterious potions. The secret recipe of one of them must have been found by Pierre Guillaume to be used in his PG03 creation. Curiosity mixed with excitement were dominating my emotional state when I smelled the perfume. But the potion was very good in keeping its secrets. A mix of wine and sweet viscous honey was filling the whole space with a syrupy sweetness preventing me from smelling through. Delicious but also suffocating at the same time. As a good poison should be.
From my experience I was already familiar with such a phenomenon. When several notes are tightly stitched together forming a firm conglomerate that doesn’t let the brain to recognize its parts. The only way to deal with it is to keep smelling and trying to recognize the scent. Reading the experience of others may help as well. Luca Turin helped me a lot to reveal the secret of Cuir Venenum. And finally I could enjoy the scent in all its beauty instead of just sinking in a suffocating sweetness of the honey wine. So, let’s see what is inside this scent.
The inspiration behind Cuir Venenum is the aroma of a dark model’s skin after wearing a leather dress during a Jean Claude Jitrois show. To recreate an impression of the smell Pierre used a combination of Tunisian orange blossom from Nabeul and a leather skin accord on the base of cedarwood, honey, musk and myrrh. Tamanu oil was also used. I don’t know much about this exotic ingredient except it comes from a tropical blossoming tree and has an earthy, nutty and woody smell. Another exotic ingredient used in Cuir Venenum is coconut polyalcohol that is common cosmetic compound helping the bioactive ingredients to penetrate the skin. It possess a smell recalling a human skin scent and at the same time it helps the perfume to act like a true venom by penetrating the skin and attaching to it. Can it really do that? Well, not sure, but I like the idea.
Cuir Venenum was released in 2004. Perfumery Générale classifies it as oriental floral leather perfume. Michael Edwards places it into Dry Woods family of leather chypres under classical subgroup. Luca Turin gives it 4 stars of 5 and refers as “rye leather”. The last one is a very interesting effect of orange blossom and leather combination that creates and illusion of rye of malt. As if you smell an empty beer glass with a film of dried bier left on its walls.
Cuir Venenum starts with a bitter freshness of leafy petitgrain that cools like a leafage shadow. It goes deeper and darker until it turns into a honeysweet nectar of orange blossoms shining like a piece of amber in the rays of the descending sun. The slightly smoky flatters of leather arise like the dusk. The smell of ale and wine are joining the scene and then the honey smelling skin. The play of Cuir Venenum may begin. Sweet, dark and dangerous temptation.