aedes de venustas: 7 posts

Aedes de Venustas Grenadille d’Afrique : Perfume Review

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When Serge Lutens came up with an idea for Shiseido’s Feminité du Bois, he was asked so often about his “vision of a woman” that he got exasperated and said that he wasn’t making a perfume that smelled of any woman, that he merely wanted the smell of Moroccan cedar. That was in the early 1990s. I’d wager that today few briefs will surprise a perfumer, even as in the case of Aedes de Venustas’s Grenadille d’Afrique, the request is for ebony, “from crackling sap to balmy resin and from smoky wood to sun-heated stone… [and] also the primal landscape in which it grows.” For this, we have to thank Lutens and other niche pioneers.

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At first glance, Grenadille d’Afrique is a classical Aedes perfume–dry woods, peppery spices, amber, a hint of incense. With seven fragrances in its collection, the New York boutique has put together a coherent, well-edited lineup. Even if it’s famously enamored with incense, its touch is delicate enough, neither the church nor the ashram. Grenadille d’Afrique, however, brings a new element that I haven’t noticed before–retro glamour.

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Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or : Perfume Review

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Aedes de Venustas is a niche’s niche. A brand developed by Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner, the owners of the eponymous New York artisanal perfume boutique. In collaboration with several renowned perfumers, they’ve released Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum, Copal Azur, Iris Nazarena, and Oeillet Bengale, all four standing out in the crowded niche field. The fifth launch, Palissandre d’Or, likewise has much to recommend itself.

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The concept is a new take on woods. Palisander, rosewood, is a precious variety, with a bright, crisp aroma that doesn’t resemble a wood as much as a flower. At the same time, it has sharpness and vigor, ideal qualities to weave into woody and oriental perfumes. Rosewood, on its own, is not a common theme, however, so Aedes’s decision to let it strike out solo is brave. Even more so is the request to perfumer Alberto Morillas to make it new and modern.

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Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or : New Perfume

New York perfume boutique Aedes de Venustas is introducing a new fragrance in May 2015. It’s the 5th fragrance from the house, following Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum, Copal Azur, Iris Nazarena, and Oeillet Bengale. Palissandre d’Or is inspired by the Indian rosewood tree, but instead of offering a rendition of rosewood essence, it’s a fantasy based on the oriental woody theme. Created by perfumer Alberto Morillas known for his sensual and elegant compositions, Palissandre d’Or “sheds a new light on the immemorial scent of precious Oriental woods, in a smoldering palette of burnt sienna, lacquered red and molten gold.”

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As the press release describes the fragrance, “crystal-clear ambrette – a natural musk with rose, pear and iris facets – brightens rich inlays of cool spices: pink pepper, coriander and nutmeg. Then, as the torrid heat of cinnamon rises, the scent opens up its heart to deliver its secret: a rare sandalwood extract from Sri Lanka. Subtly smoky, rose-tinged and creamy, it is made more luscious still by the milky warmth of copahu balm and a silken patchouli extract.

A bold trio of cedar essences add structure and texture to the lustrous blend. Clean, bracing Virginian cedar gives it vigor and tempo. The Lapsang Souchong tea facet of Chinese cedar and the Russian leather smokiness of Alaskan cedar – another rare new extract showcased by Alberto Morillas – carve burnished patterns into the fine-grained wood.”

Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or Eau de Parfum will be available in 100 ml/$245. Also sold in a purse spray ($110) with three 10 ml refills ($195). Via press release

Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur : Perfume Review

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Andy on his love of incense.

If there’s one thing I smell to feel better, it’s frankincense. Whether I need a break from typing, am feeling stressed, need to be jolted awake—I often simply reach for my pouch of frankincense tears and take a deep whiff. Even if I rarely find the time to conduct an incense ceremony all my own, just a brief inhale of frankincense has come to feel like a special, private ritual to me. I mention my habit of smelling this special resin because Aedes de Venustas’s Copal Azur, created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, captures every element of frankincense I love, from brisk piquancy all the way down to rich, balsamic sweetness.

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Soon after Copal Azur melds into the skin, it emanates with the sparkle of citrus zest and spices, calling to mind the act of crushing peppercorns and cardamom pods together in a pestle. As this initial fiery sizzle begins to soften, the frankincense starts to shine through with a nearly pine-like, aromatic freshness. The overall effect is bracing and crisp, uplifting enough to widen one’s eyes for a moment, but devoid of any rough edges.

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Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena : Perfume Review

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Andy’s take on Iris Nazarena.

Some fragrances make me dream of faraway places, others awaken long forgotten memories. But Iris Nazarena, the second launch from New York-based fragrance boutique Aedes de Venustas, evokes various shades of the color grey (and no, I don’t mean the book by E. L. James). Grey is my favorite color, one that fascinates me in all its beautiful tonalities from light to dark. Likewise, there is nothing bleak or dull about Iris Nazarena, and as I smell through its layers of woods and incense-tinted iris, I’m taken by its complexity.

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As it unfolds on skin, Iris Nazarena remains fairly linear, with the focus on iris throughout the entire development. As it wears on, the iris is subtly transformed by various accompaniments, incense being one of them. Perfumer Ralf Schwieger reportedly composed Iris Nazarena with Chanel No. 19 in mind as a point of contrast, attempting to create a fragrance that interpreted iris in a different manner.

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  • Austenfan in Recommend Me a Perfume June 2017: Not exactly like Azurée but at least as daring is Rien by Etat Libre d’Orange. One of the most distinctive and uncompromising scents I own. June 27, 2017 at 6:31pm

  • Ann in Recommend Me a Perfume June 2017: Ooooh, great list! Thank you for all the recommendations SSB! June 27, 2017 at 6:15pm

  • Ann in Recommend Me a Perfume June 2017: That’s interesting, the more i smell perfume the more I appreciate it – I was repulsed by Angel at first spray, but have become a believer June 27, 2017 at 6:13pm

  • Karen A in Recommend Me a Perfume June 2017: Arpege was all I wore for a while, so I can relate! My suggestion is to just start trying whatever you can, either from the reviews here on BdJ or… June 27, 2017 at 5:40pm

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