Monday, June 30, 2014

Café Cacao by Shelley Waddington - En Voyage Perfumes

To F.J.

I fell in love for Shelley Waddington (En Voyage Perfumes) creations back in 2010 and it has been a pleasure to review her fragrances ever since. My favorite fragrances from her collections are Pêche Noir, Makeda, Lorelei, and Zelda - all reviewed in the past and linked here if you missed.

Joséphine

Her newest collection came in a very good timing because my most recent posts were all about gourmet fragrances and it seems that Shelley decided to take a tour into the world of smell and flavors by launching a new collection called Souvenir de Chocolate Trio with 3 new scents or gourmandises: Indigo Vanilla, Capture in Amber and Café Cacao. All presented in 2 concentrations - Perfume Extrait (0.14 oz) and Eau de Parfum (0.5 oz).

Today I am reviewing Café Cacao EDP - a perfume version of the Parisienne Café Mocha, that according to the brand has a surprisingly aphrodisiac effect and it is also inspired by Marie Antoinette amber flavored cocoa and Josephine musk scented chamber's walls.


Souvenir de Chocolate Trio samples 
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

Notes revealed are:
TOP:  Vanilla Powder, Rose Sugar, Ground Cardamom, Bergamot Peel
.

HEART:  Espresso Cafe, Steamed Milk, Salt, Dark Cacao, Rich Whipped Cream.

BASE:  Soft Amber, Himalayan Musk, New Zealand Beach-combed Ambergris.

CAFÉ CACAO EDP is a real treat for those who love the sweet combination of chocolate, vanilla and amber, with a velvety touch of coffee with a vintage aura of roses, musk and ambergris.
It seems that Shelley is again following the path of vintage scents that started with Zelda and this is exactly what Ioved about this fragrance. 
Most fragrances surrounding a coffee notes contain a urban contemporary aura and the idea of Lattes. Shelley is going to a total opposite direction.


Café de Flore Paris, 1953
Photo credit: Ed van Elsken

If Pêche Noir was a jazzy rendezvous in smokey bars, taverns and cabarets starting with a carnal dark acid peach, Café Cacao EDP brings a morning dark bitterness opening which is quite striking - a bitter Bergamot-vanilla combo awakens the senses that slowly is mellowed down by a sweeter touch of rose and milky notes. It is a foamy layer that caresses the skin. Two lovers meeting for breakfast and something more perhaps?


Le Baisier de L'Hôtel de Ville, Paris - 1950
Photo credit: Robert Doisneau

As the perfume continues to develop so does its sensuality. Saltiness come play a part in a melting dark chocolate. The caress on the skin is substituted to a long lasting kiss.
Needless to say that breakfast will end in the nearest hotel where ambergris and musk will remind us of Josephine and the lust of Napoleon for her.

In a letter he wrote to her "I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night's intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses/"Je me réveille plein de toi. Ton portrais et le souvenir de l'enivrante soirée d'hiers n'ont point laiseé de repos à mes senses..." *



It is not a secret that I love fragrance with coffee notes. I have reviewed some that really made me smile in the past:



*BONAPARTE, Napoléon (1769-1821) : Lettres de Napoléon à Joséphine.- Paris : M. Vox, 1945.- 56 p. ; 17 cm.- (Brins de plume. 1ère série ; 4).

Friday, May 16, 2014

STEAMPUNK EDT by Erik Kormann (1000 & 1 Seife)



ERIK KORMANN STEAMPUNK (VIOLA) EDT SAMPLES
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog

It is no secret that I am fascinated by the Victorian Era  and also my love for Violet scents.
In the beginning of this year my dearest friend and perfumer Erik Kormann from 1000 & 1 Seif sent me his latest fragrance launch STEAMPUNK (VIOLA) EDT, a delicious retro-futuristic Victorian-violet fragrance inspired by Jules Verne's masterpiece - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


STEAMPUNK EDT
photocredits: Erik Kormann

The fragrance according to Erik contain notes of limette, ionone, carrot seed oil, ylang-ylang, elemi, cedar oil, cashmeran, amber, musk and moss. 
"A fresh, cooling, steel  feeling with a slightly flowery-powery touch" he says.
And this is exactly what it is! Erik mastered the concept of modernity and retro by giving  a violet perfume a new modern hip approach. 






It contains all this metallic approach of the Steampunk movement and fashion style coming from the Industrial Revolution of the Victorian Age, and a woody-powdery touch that remind us of an era where some things were still handmade and artistic.


To me Steampunk EDT strikes slightly different. It is a gentle, neat, clean, "just got out the shower" kind of perfume, but I still can relate to this game of Victorian retro-futuristic vibe in a certain way if I bring back the memory of one of my favorite childhood retro movies: Time Machine 1960 version.
The Time Machine is a science fiction story written in 1895 by H.G. Wells about a journey into the future made it possible by the development of a time machine by a Victorian man called George, played by the charming perfectly dressed and groomed Rod Taylor.
So this is what Steampunk EDT is to me: Elegant Rod Taylor in a perfectly tailored suit, crisp look of the classic business man of the 60's, with the hair style with slick-side parts perfectly combed!


Rod Taylor in the Victorian movie The time machine - 1960

Rod Taylor



Steampunk EDT It is another option for the MAD MEN look - remember that I have already written about it when I reviewed Fantastic Man by Byredo?

The thing is that Steampunk EDT can also be a great option for women, while Fantastic Man can't.

Steampunk works perfectly for feminine women. It is flowery and powdery and very gentle as I have mentioned. A VERY GOOD VIOLET PERFUME and perfect for every season and daily wear.
I am in luuuuuve!












Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ANTONIO ALESSADRIA PARFUMS - A NEW Italian Niche Brand!

ANTONIO ALESSANDRIA PARFUMS SAMPLES

This week I had the joy of receiving the samples of 3 fragrances created by Antonio Alessandria. Mio carissimo Ermano was a super gentleman to make the introduction.
So here you will get to know a bit more about the perfumer and owner of the brand and his fragrances before its commercial launch!

A little bit about the perfumer:

Antonio Alessandria is Italian, born in Catania - Sicily. Although his love for fragrances comes from childhood he pursued a carrier in Electronic Engineering and started to work in the semiconductor industry (probably where he met Ermano, no?) for many years. The passion for fragrances could not be forgotten, so in 2005 he opened a niche fragrances shop in Catania after he finished his professional training in perfumery. Soon Bourdoir 36 became famous in the region and Antonio's expertise recognized in all Italy and abroad.

The collection:

In 2008 Antonio Alessandria began to create the collection Hommage à La Lune with 3 EAU de PARFUMS (Nacre Blanche, Nuit Rouge and Noir Obscure). Its debut was in this last Exsence - Milano 2014, to be launched for consumers this incoming month.

The collection tells a story divided into 3 fragrances, or 3 olfactory tomes of a poem dedicated to the moon, because Antonio feels that the moon is the natural expression of his idea of perfumery: Mystery, sensuality and seduction.

Note: The fragrances has in common not only the initial letter N in their name, but also the scent of a leather note combined in different ways in each fragrance. You will also find patchouli and musk notes in all his fragrances.

ANTONIO ALESSANDRIA PARFUMS



NACRE BLANCHE EDP - 50ml
DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: "The light of the moon, white as a pearl, enters the window and through a mirror illuminates the skin of a young woman, white and transparent as alabaster. The intense fragrance of the night blooming tuberose, drifting from the garden, mergers with the scent of a private chamber."

Olfactory family: Floral
Description: green, amber-oriental, leather
Olfactive notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, petitgrain, coriander, tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, osmanthus, benzoin, vanilla, soft leather, patchouli, sandalwood, musk.

+ Q PERFUME BLOG IMPRESSIONS: It is a tuberose exuberance! It is very luxurious, very chic and it contains an animal background. It both sexy - carnal. As Antonio A. mentions in his own description...you will want to meet this young woman in her private chambers! 
Here you won't find the plastic doll hair note that I mention when describing tuberose fragrances. Here tuberose also has nothing to do with doll's hair or laundry! (if you are my follower you know what I mean!). If not - go to: HERE or HERE or HERE.

Top notes bring a citrus blast that makes me think of summer right away! The transition to the heart is quite fast and the bridge is the coriander. Slightly soapy, slightly green. Very gentle on the skin. The heart contains a chic and kinky luxurious bouquet. 
The image that comes to my mind is the perfect tanned skin and voluptuous body of Luisa Ranieri. Her full lips, intense eyes and class... yes darlings...Italian women are hot and classy...and so you will be wearing NACRE BLANCHE EDP.

LUISA RANIERI

LUISA RANIERI

If you are not familiar with Italian actresses you will see what I mean with Jennifer A. in Just Go for It video:




NUIT ROUGE EDP - 50ml
DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: A silvery moon illuminates the frosty night. The volcano looms volatile in the dark. The red glow of a sudden eruption inspires both fear and attraction."

Olfactory family: woody
Description: green, leather, soft-spicy
Olfactive notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, black currant buds, rhubarb, geranium, iris, saffron, black pepper, nutmeg, coffee,  vanilla, leather, patchouli, tonka bean, incense, sandalwood, musk.

+ Q PERFUME BLOG IMPRESSIONS:
This perfume is by far one of the best unisex fragrances I have ever tried - Black Bulgari by Annick Ménardo has the same quality for that matter. It is also one of the best perfumes I have ever encountered - for its personality, structure and combination of notes.
Nuit Rouge is the perfume of Russian Nobility Dvoryanstvo.
It is a royal deep red elixir with a gentle iris-y cloud. A haze, better describing it.
Saffron, coffee, patchouli  and vanilla creates an virile accord that brings a bit of lust to this beautiful perfume and that is why I also think of Excalibur and Medieval Kings. I think of sensual Igrayne dancing for the Knights of the Round Table.
I have been wearing this fragrance for 3 days now and each day I find another aspect to love. Another facet to explore. Another pleasure to enjoy.
If you relate to Russian Dvoryanstvo, you will find both austerity and attraction (Alessandria mentions fear...In this case I would say is not exactly a fear, but a respect for the power). 
Nobility - either Russian or English brings both sensations - we are drawn to their power. 




NOIR OBSCUR EDP - 50ml

DESCRIPTION BY THE BRAND: In the dark still night of a new moon, the memory of the light makes its way through the maze of the soul to lead the way along unknown paths. Soft as a cloud, sensual as velvet, sweet as sin."

Olfactory family: Floral
Description: amber-oriental
Olfactive notes: Orange, tangerine, davana, rum absolute, spicy notes, Bulgarian rose,  jasmine, iris, osmanthus, leather, patchouli, cedarwood, incense, amber, musk.


+ Q PERFUME BLOG IMPRESSIONS:
How can I explain what I feel smelling this fragrance? It is a combination of an old English austere library and a cozy hug? Or being the daughter of Jeremy Irons and receiving a loving hug from him? Wearing a fluffy cozy blanket or robe in a sauna? Crazy. Hard to explain!



If you saw the movie THe Book Thief you will remember the scene of Liesel in the mayor's library in his home reading books. Her beauty and the joy she encountered inside that library is maybe what I relate to with NOIR OBSCUR.

The thing is - the movie is too sad and too touchy and Alessandria perfume does not contain any sadness at all. So let's just pretend Liesel was not in Nazi Germany. Lets just see this amazing 10 yrs old creature discovering the beauty of words in a cozy library!

NOIR OBSCUR EDP has a serenity and a gentleness that makes me want to meet Antonio Alessadria. In fact, all 3 fragrances contain a large dose of gentleness.

Thank you Ermano for introducing me to Antonio and Grazie Tanto Antonio for being such a wonderful perfumer and a gentleman!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PERFUME TRENDS FOR SUMMER & SPRING 2014

In these last posts we entered into a journey of sex, food and perfumes to understand how these 3 elements are related. Today I will bring you the trend for the next incoming seasons: Gourmet Fragrances!


CALVIN KLEIN EAU FLORALE

According to Seven Scents in an article for perfumerflavorist.com in the next incoming months we will see rose to gourmand perfumes strongly evident: “The spring-summer season always marks a move towards lighter fragrances more suited to sunny days and 2014 is no exception. Inspired by farmers’ markets and flower stalls, we’ll see a return to summery accords which this time feature fresh strawberry, delicate rose and gentle hints of sweet gourmand aromas,” said Miri Scott, fragrance insight manager for Seven Scent.(copied from the magazine)

The main trends are:

Rose—offering a modern twist on tradition, the floral scent gives a light and refreshing direction, enhanced by feminine fruity notes and accents of clean aldehydes and musk.

Strawberry—the sweet and juicy fruit gives a distinctive fruity-green aroma with sublime  flowery and spicy nuances and a hint of caramel.

Gourmand—continuing to exert influence, the new season sees a subtle suggestion of caramel and chocolate.


PRADA CANDY FLORALE


Examples of these trends:

Calvin Klein Eau Florale
Prada Candy Florale by Prada
Ange ou Démon Le Secret Edition Croisière by Givenchy
L L'Aime de Lolita Lempicka
Roses de Chloé
Rosabotanica de Balanciaga
Manifesto L'Eclat by YSL
La Vie est belle EDT by Lancôme
La perla in Rosa EDP by La Perla
Yves Saint Laurent Paris Premiere Roses 2014
Relaunch of Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel
Angel Eau Sucree by Thierry Mulgler
The new collection by Envoyage Perfumes - Indigo Vanilla, Café Cacao and captured in Amber





Monday, April 7, 2014

SEX, FOOD & PERFUMES - PART II


But how to explain the relationship between sex and food? Is it biological?
My guess is that it is evolutionary. As all carnivore animals, we are all hunting - mating beings. That said, he who brings the food gets to mate with the female. Food and sex were and still are the main factors of human survival in this planet, therefore the ability to supply food establishes the relationship between a male and a female in which men demonstrate how well they are able to provide and take care of themselves and their future offspring. 

Back in 2009 I interviewed Dr. Avery Gilbert, a smell scientist, author of the book What the Nose Knows and blogger about the sense of smell and some aspects of their influence on human behavior. Back then he said that smell preferences has a lot to do with our biological and genetic constitution:

"...People often disagree about individual smells but there is agreement about general classes of smells. For example, fruity and floral notes are liked, while fecal and rotten ones are not. If there were no broad trends in preference there would be no perfume industry. Are odor preferences due to learning and experience? That’s the default assumption of most psychologists, who tend to dislike biological theories. I think the more we look for biological or even genetic bases for differences in odor perception, the more we will find".

Still interested in his opinion about human behavior and scents I asked him last week what were the food aromas that in his opinion triggered sexual attraction.  "Sweet notes and ripe fruit" he answered. Sharing the same line of thought that I have on human evolution and social interaction and also choosing fruits like Norman Veenker, he thinks that these notes in a hunter-gathering world would occur briefly in season, and would be associated with indulgent feasting; a nice compliment to sex. Also fruits were rare, desirable and exciting to find, therefore they were treasured, just like lovers.


I raise another question - Is it possible that linking food to sex has to do with the fact that we are breast fed mammals? Is it possible that men are sexually attracted and aroused by female breasts because they still have that satisfying rewarding sensation of being fed in their memory? An equation Food = female = sex?
Researching this subject I found out that nipple stimulation induces the production of oxytocin and its release not only can result to female sexual arousal, but also increases the feeling of bond and trust. Normally the stimulation that brings the nipple to pop out (erection) is for breast feeding. Funny thing is that when humans are not breastfeeding they are also able to feel the same sensation during breast stimulation as a foreplay and erotic stimuli (just like they do when breastfeeding).
Breasts hold two basic functions: nutritional and sexual.
I found the most primal relationship between food and sex in the nipples.

Does this answer the question of why gourmet fragrances are so successful?


In 1992 Thierry Mugler launched Angel, a perfume that was created to evoke the tenderness of the memories of a childhood, and for the first time food aromas were used to compose a fragrance for women. The notes were sweet as a childhood memory must be. Caramels, chocolate, vanilla, honey, coumarine, associated with dewberries, red berries, bergamot, helional, hedione and patchouli opened a new olfactive family in perfumery - the oriental gourmets. 
For year the success was explained by the fact that we all have a sweet tooth and that the fragrance brought to women the memories of their childhood.
I disagree by saying that we don´t need a fragrance to bring back our child memories.
All it takes is to open a family album and look at the pictures.
Angel brought a warm sensation to fragrances that was broad and new. Mature ladies felt young wearing Angel. It had a emotional "botox" effect on them. Today I think that the love for Angel has to do with the fact that youth equal being sexually active and fertile. What this means is that in a monogamic society, if a man secures a mate, he needs to finds one with the most reproductive potential. Choosing a younger woman maximize reproductive success, therefore women need to be young to be desirable. 
Our culture values youth and 22 years later Angel is still a success, and not only that, the advertising of the fragrance became over the years more and more related to sex, exposing more skin and displaying sexier models. 
Asking Dr. Gilbert if fragrances can enhance sexual attraction and desired he confirms my thoughts on Angel:

"...Smell is a major channel of social communication for most mammals, and a lot of the broadcasts are about sex: gender, maturity, availability, and so on. That’s our evolutionary background. Being human, we also interpret smells symbolically. So all sorts of odors can become eroticized".

But explaining the success of gourmet fragrances, he also adds:
"They are easy to enjoy—even a beginner can recognize food-related aromas. Also, they spark more psychological associations than do floral and botanical notes: for example, to hunger, flavor, eating, and mouth-feel."


I have had been thinking of writing about the food - sex- fragrance interrelationship for a long time, but never really took the time to research it properly until I met Hervé Mathieu.
Hervé Mathieu is French and an international consultant for marketing strategy and luxury perfume development and blogger, and in his blog I discovered the video series Chromatic Porn Food.  Hervé's article was not only my starting point to this journey, but also very kind to share with me his thoughts on the matter. His insights are really interesting and worth reading:

"My personal theory is that fragrances are a substitute for the sense of smell that the human species has lost with time and evolution. As mammals, we used our sense of smell to identify our potential mate. Throughout the millennia, the accuracy of the human sense of smell has constantly decreased, and during the recent ages it has been “civilized” a lot: as described by Patrick Süskind, people used to live in stench. Nowadays, in most developed countries we cannot stand strong smells anymore. As a consequence of that, I believe that fragrances are not only used for pleasing the senses, but also to convey a message within a socially acceptable seduction ritual. This message must not be too obvious or explicit, but nevertheless most of us can easily decipher its implicit code: some fragrances are “hot” and some are not, some are overtly sexual while some are business-like and casual and this is readable by anyone".

When I asked about food aromas that can trigger sexual desire he explained:
"Aromas that can trigger sexual desire can be classified in two main groups. The first group are aromas that “disguise” the skin, pretending it is something that it is not... According to studies, Vanilla is the most-liked aroma in the world. Obviously, so a skin wrapped in vanilla will be attractive. Other aromas which are related to vanilla such as chocolate or caramel can have a similar effect. The other group is made of those aromas that enhance the natural fragrance of the skin, such as spices. Cumin, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, clove and of course chilli have the ability to excite the senses when it comes to “spicing things up”, as we say! Some voluptuous flowers can also have an effect on one’s libido like gardenia, which I consider as the sexy side of jasmine. Femme de Rochas, which was created in 1944 by Edmond Roudnitska has a lot of spices in its original formula and it is by far the most erotic fragrance I know!"

But how do we explain the success of gourmet fragrances, I asked Hervé?
"They are a different, somewhat more explicit way to express sexual desire: “I want you, I love the taste of your skin, I want to devour you” are things that lovers commonly say to each other. With those gourmet notes, we are getting closer to one’s appetite for the desired one. They are a new way to express a very ancient feeling".

Luca Turin once said that the scent that drives men wild is bacon and Farginnay tends to agree.


As the brand describes the fragrance "bacōn Classic is designed for men and women.  A common question, does this fragrance really smell like bacon?  The answer is yes & no.  Our Classic formula is a sophisticated spicy maple fragrance with just a hint of bacon and the fun… is in finding it.  This artisanal Classic formula is lovingly crafted with the pure essential oil blend of bergamot, orange, lime, grapefruit, black pepper, cedar wood, vetiver, guaiacwood and two pinches of Bacon salty goodness.  What on earth could you be waiting for?  Available while supplies last." 



Pork Barrel, a brand of sauces and Spice Rubs for barbecued pork meat whiffs pork on the skin with their QUE Cologne or Eau de piglet as it has been called by other reviewers. As the brand describes it it is an intoxicating bouquet of smoke, meat & sweet summer sweat "Que is an intoxicating bouquet of spices, smoke, meat & sweet summer sweat, and is the latest development in wearable scents and is quickly becoming a hit among meat lovers, grill masters and backyard BBQ’ers. Recognizing the absence of a barbeque-scented cologne and perfume, Pork Barrel BBQ worked with a team of craftsmen and fine perfumers to create the perfect barbeque aroma. Until now, no fragrance manufacture has ever succeeded in bottling the intoxicating scents associated with barbeque and its mixture of spices, smoke and meat. This product is 100% real and sure to make you a hit at your next backyard BBQ and makes a great gift for your favorite BBQer."


My question is: Do we really want to smell like food?
My guess is NO, but as advertising teasers or attention capturers fragrances with food and beverage aromas became really trendy. Burger King, Pizza Hut, Stilton Cheese and many other brands are developing their perfumes as a marketing strategy to leverage sales.
It is odd, it is fun and most of all they are multi-sensorial marketing strategies. 
The last marketing campaign is the launch of EAU DE TOST by The Federation of Bakers to challenge the fashion for bread-free diets. The perfume was developed by The Aroma Company and the composition brings hints of caramel and bitter-sweet notes, yeast and malty base notes to produce the aroma that reminds of a toasted bread.
Smelling of bakery goods is not new in perfumery. We have over the years many launched perfumes that contain in their composition the smell of cookies, cakes and pastries.

To end this journey I made here a compilation of articles and lists of fragrances for you and I leave a question: Do you like to smell like food?

I end this article by saying goodbye because for me now it is lunch time and I am craving for a steak, potatoes and bacon!


Sweet readings:

A beautiful essay on Angel EDP by Luxury Activist

Le Whif

Sweet tooth fragrances table

Vive La Gourmandise!

Cooking with your nose

A brand with a vast collection of gourmet fragrances: Parfumerie Générale
Read - Delicious Perfumed Gourmandises
Recommended gourmet fragrances from PG - Tonkamande EDP, Praliné de Santal EDP

Bakery goodies:
Eau de Tost 
Mefisto EDP by Xerjoff
Tommy Girl 10
Matin Calm by Comptoir de Sud
PooPoo Pidoo EDP by EgoFacto
Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens

Chocolateries:
Piment Brûlant - L'Artisan P
Bond N9 So New York
Eau de Frohliche by Erik Kormann
Iris Ganache by Guerlain
Coromandel by Chanel
Angel by Thierry Mugler

Lovely Gourmandises:
Prada Candy EDP
Royal Rose by M. Micallef
L by Lolita Lempicka

Perfumed Food Porn:
Le 6 by Ida Delam
Secrétions Magnifiques by ELO

Strange Gourmandises:
Poivre Piquant - L'Artisan P
Bois de Farine - L'Artisan P
Love EDP by Killian
L'Heure Defendue VII - Cartier
Womanity by Thierry Mugler
Lobster by Demeter
Bacon by Farginnay
Stilton Cheese by Stilton
Pizza Hut fragrance
Burger King fragrance
Tamale by Demeter
BBQ Pork Body spray
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