It starts with an alluring, sugary burst. Impeccable oud and gentle rose mixes with almond. Musk and patchouli are at the base. But it’s a bright gourmand with a dash of subtle coffee flanked by opulent, airy, and utterly sensual cedar and balsam. And while it certainly has the open, expansive beauty found in some of the best contemporary fragrances it’s not without a unique sincerity and depth that is rare in today’s scents. As the name would suggest it’s truly romantic.
Top notes: bergamot, agarwood (oud), cardamom and rose. Middle notes:agarwood (oud), almond, atlas cedar, coffee and heliotrope. Base notes: amber, musk, patchouli, vanilla and tolu balsam.
Nose: Daniel Josier
This is a particularly spicy scent (Amouge 2017). But it’s spicy in an amaretto, cherry blossom and vanilla sweetened manner… And there’s a dense and deep rose, suede and amber the warming on the horizons. All the notes blend well and elegantly. It’s smoky, sensual and yet sleek. And it’s perfect for both genders.
Top notes: heliotrope and lime. Middle notes: cherry blossom, rose, amaretto, and ylang ylang. Base notes: amber, seude, vanilla and tonka bean.
Soapy florals mix with green and spicy patchouli leaf (Maison Francis Kurkdjian 2014). There’s a lyrical, silvery iris and a bouquet of other lovely florals chilled by a proper vetiver. And yet, the light provided by the patchouli leaf warms the room.
Notes: iris, violet, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, vetiver and Indonesian patchouli leaf.
Nose: Francis Kurkdjian
As far as celebrity fragrances go this is one of my favorites. I first sampled it when a dear friend on Instagram sent me a package filled with treats years ago. It’s a warm, juicy floral. The sweet plum and blackberry are very well blended with sandalwood. And the florals are fun, slightly spicy and yet somewhat delicate. It’s the sort of fragrance you want to wear on a sunny, pretty summer day – upbeat and optimistic.
Top notes: plum,
Atropa Belladonna (Shay and Blue 2013) is proof that it’s not always the notes as they are listed per se but the quality of them and the masterful nose mixing them all together to perfection. Certainly the black currant is noticeable in this lovely one but it isn’t heavy or cloying. It is sweet, especially mixed with the fruity narcissus and jasmine. And the patchouli and rich vanilla are warm, a bit caramelized and savory. But it’s also a little herbal, truly clean and most importantly: smooth, airy and light. And the drydown is definitely pleasant. It’s another contemporary fragrance I really like and that’s really a nice treat!
Top note: black currant. Middle note: narcissus and jasmine. Base notes: patchouli and bourbon vanilla.
Nose: Julie Masse
While the notes and concept are relatively “simple” Sicilian Limes (Shay & Blue 2013) isn’t boring or tired but lovely, airy and ultimately a fresh beauty. It’s the perfect mix between new and old: clean & open meets herbal, delicate quality. As a true loyalist to old perfumery I rarely make exceptions but some current formulations and new ideas are elegant mixes of everything I love with something a little original. Oh and the lime note is fantastic!
Top note: lime. Middle note: rosemary. Base notes: moss and cedar.
Nose: Julie Masse
As a dry oil that softly wafts bold citrus, a sweetened rose and powerful and warm neroli, Glow (Maison Martin Margiela 2016) is indeed aptly named. It’s like a gentle embrace of nostalgia and quiet, but tender happiness. And simply put, I like this fragrance a lot.
Notes: rose absolute, grapefruit, neroli and bergamot.
Calyx begins with a sparkling fruit and citrus blend (Clinique 2013). The honeyed mango, guava and papaya are fresh and succulent. A bright, ebullient freesia is enshrined in a bouquet of other classic floral notes that are delicate without every being prim or cloying. A warm but pleasingly sharp base adds depth and character to this watery, elegant remake of the 1987 Calyx by Prescriptives.
Top notes: grapefruit, mandarin, passion fruit, mango, guava, green leaves and papaya. Middle notes: lily of the valley, freesia, neroli, lily, rose, marigold and jasmine. Base notes: oak moss, sandalwood, orris and vetiver.
Nose: Sophia Grojsman
Although certainly aquatic and bold, there’s a cool mistiness in Rainy Day (Derek Lam 10 Crosby) that is surprisingly engaging. It’s almost a sort of salty beauty; a sea breeze on a fall afternoon.
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A sweet, elegant tangerine comprises Satsuma (The Body Shop 2012). It’s authentic, bold and even a little juicy, yet restrained, fresh and very clean. If sunshine on a chilly day had a smell, I believe Satsuma might come close to it.