Sakura by Parfum Satori
July 9, 2017
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.”
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
May 20, 2016
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
May 13, 2016
Name: adr_ett (menas “neat” or “dapper” in German)
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® 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
April 16, 2016
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.
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:
Fougère II – the smell of fern
March 12, 2016
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
March 11, 2016
Name: Fougère Royale
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
Supported by: Clary Sage, Spike (lavender), Bergamot, Petitgrain
Heart notes: Dry, Floral
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
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.
A lazy summer day of Noontide Petals
February 29, 2016
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):
A floral bouquet
February 25, 2016
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
February 18, 2016
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
February 16, 2016
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
Supported by: Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Lemon
Heart notes: classic elegant floral
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.