Immortelle: 11 posts

Immortelle, everlasting plant, helichrysum. These words in the perfume descriptions refer to the essence derived from the Helichrysum angustifolium or Helichrysum italicum. Immortelle smells like maple syrup or burnt sugar, with a hint of smoked woods and tobacco. The steam distilled oil is earthier and greener, with a lingering fruity sweetness.

Majda Bekkali Tendre Est la Nuit : Perfume Review


Patricia’s reading of Tender is the Night via scent, Majda Bekkali’s Tendre Est la Nuit.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of my favorite authors in high school and later as an English major in college. Tender Is the Night, begun in 1925 but not published until 1934, is the story of Dick Diver, an eminent psychiatrist, and his wife and former patient Nicole. Nicole was modeled after Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda, who suffered from alcoholism and recurrent bouts of mental illness. Fitzgerald himself wrote, “Gatsby was a tour de force, but this [Tender Is the Night] is a confession of faith.”


Tendre Est la Nuit by Majda Bekkali was created with perfumer Delphine Thierry as homage to Zelda, who lived in the shadows, first of her famous husband, then of her own deteriorating mental state and subsequent institutionalization. Majda Bekkali “wanted to tell what may be the opposite of the noisy and turbulent world where we live…but when we extract ourselves from the noisy world, some danger lurks around and reason falters, the animality emerges.”

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Etat Libre d’Orange The Afternoon of a Faun : Perfume Review


By a coincidence, the first time I wore The Afternoon of a Faun, the latest perfume from Etat Libre d’Orange, was to a ballet performance. I applied it earlier in the day and by the time I sat in the darkened theater it already melted into my skin. My companion leaned in and whispered, “I love the smell of theater, the mix of wood and floor polish… Oh, wait! It’s you!” And she was right, Faun smells like worn wood, or something antique and patina covered.

Created by , the same perfumer who authored the brilliant Fils de Dieu, The Afternoon of a Faun is inspired by the ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes. It was first performed in 1912, with Nijinsky dancing the main role. Set to the score by Claude Debussy, L’après-midi d’un faune told the story of a faun who meets and teases a group of nymphs. The erotic subtext of the plot and the archaically styled dance ran so counter to classical dance that it caused a scandal, and Nijinsky could barely escape the angry fans.

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Amouage Interlude Woman : Perfume Review


I love Amouage, a unique perfume house that has created some of the best fragrances in the niche category. Amouage Gold is not just a grand parfum, it’s one of the best perfume symphonies.  The Jubilation duet blends wistful loveliness with edgy glamour. Wearing both Lyric perfumes, I finally grasp how it is that ‘bold and dramatic’ can also be ‘elegant and suave.’  Homage Attar transforms the lavish Middle Eastern oud and rose idea into a wearable but nevertheless sumptuous variation. Interlude, on the other hand, leaves me cold.

The fragrance opens with a sharp green, leafy note that smells at once like paint thinner and lawn clippings. It’s a bold move to overdose a fragrance with this rough and raspy note, and for a while it keeps my interest. After all, the diesel fumes that crown the top of Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle are similarly hard on the nose, but it feels like a natural part of the tuberose in the composition. Here, the green notes layered over the woods and incense feel jarring.

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Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee : Fragrance Review


Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The concept behind Annick Goutal Nuit Étoilée—”a starry night” in a reference to Van Gogh’s masterpiece–is so alluring that the idea alone should be enough to make me fall in love with the perfume. Add to this the signature Goutal bottle tinted sapphire blue, and Nuit Étoilée becomes even more irresistible. But while wearing this fragrance over the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized much to my regret that it doesn’t click for me. I enjoy some elements of Nuit Étoilée—the green musky sweetness, the delicious roasted almond of tonka beans, the sheer jasmine interlude, but admiring something on the blotter is not the same as wearing it on your skin. It evokes neither the moonlit forest nor the shimmering stars—it shuts me out of its dream world.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Tilda Swinton Like This : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Recently I found myself wishing for a woody oriental fragrance, where woods take the center stage, as opposed to the gourmand effects. While I love a mouthwatering dessert of a fragrance a la Lolita Lempicka or Prada Candy, I am even more partial to dark, rich blends with dry woody and incense accents. One such favorite is Etat Libre d’Orange Like This. Created in collaboration with the actress Tilda Swinton, Like This is a strange and unconventional blend. It is a cross between the woody richness of Serge Lutens Douce Amère and the smoldering darkness of Donna Karan Chaos, with plenty of its own surprising elements.

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