Spices: 21 posts

Hermes Epice Marine : Perfume Review

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When it comes to telling compelling stories, Hermès takes the prize. The house’s perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, is the author of Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent and The Diary of a Nose, and he is a natural storyteller. Perfumes in the Hermessence collection are like pages from his personal journal, some inspired  by his travels, others by his native Provence. Epice Marine, introduced earlier this fall, was likewise inspired by Ellena’s adventures, but this time it’s also marked by a collaboration with another artisan.

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The fragrance came together as Ellena met and corresponded with chef Olivier Roellinger. Ellena travels the world in search of interesting scents, while Roellinger’s quest is for spices. Back in Brittany, a fog shrouded region along France’s northern shore, he composes spices into complex bouquets. If your idea of a spice blend is a Madras curry mix, then Roellinger’s delicate, harmonious blends will come as a surprise. When I sprinkle his Poudre Sérinissima over a tomato salad, I also want to dust my skin with this ginger and saffron accented powder. Who else could be a better collaborator and muse for a perfumer?

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Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble : Perfume Review

Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble is my “reference” sandalwood fragrance, my baseline for other fragrances featuring this note.  It is part of MPG’s “Parfums du Levant” collection for men, the “Levant” broadly referring to a geographic area that is here stretched to include India and therefore the famous and now endangered Mysore sandalwood.

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Although marketed to men, Santal Noble is, in true niche fashion, genderless.  Sandalwood connoisseurs might find the sandalwood note somewhat too mild, but Santal Noble gives me a rush of pleasure each time I wear it.  It is creamy, smooth, and I would go as far as to say, bewitching.

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Comme des Garcons Red Series Harissa : Perfume Review

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Comme des Garçons Harissa is a quirky little citrus-spice scent from the imaginative Series 2: Red collection of fragrances themed around the color red as it is found in spices, woods, flowers, and fruits. The fragrance has its origins in harissa, the bright red condiment common to North African cuisines that contains red chili peppers, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, caraway, and cumin.  The condiment is used as a flavoring in stews and in couscous dishes.

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Harissa the fragrance is not so much an olfactory recreation of the condiment as it is a nod to the idea of it.  It is a citrus scent based upon what marketing copy says is a “North African blood orange”, and additional touches include red chili pepper, angelica, saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, and tomato.  The fragrance is only mildly spicy despite the list of notes.

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Pacifica Mexican Cocoa : Perfume Review

Today Andy takes a break from tea and talks  about the aromas of hot chocolate.

With whimsical packaging and fragrances inspired by exotic locales, Pacifica is a brand that makes it easy to fall in love with their perfumes. After all, with such a low price point ($22 for 30ml), the fragrances are hard to resist. The line offers a selection of simple, clean fragrances that are all easy to wear and layer, with generously scented soaps and body butters. There are also solid and rollerball versions of their perfumes, plus scented candles and diffusers for the home. The brand’s aesthetic shies away from being too serious, keeping their scents fresh and fun, lively and bright.

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Even though the fragrances aren’t profound or challenging, I’ve found that Pacifica’s scents are worth trying, because several are of outstanding quality, given the price. My first foray into Pacifica was with Mediterranean Fig, which continues to be one of my favorites from the line. It is a well-made, transparent fig scent that follows a nicely developed progression through all the fragrant elements of the fig tree: leaves, fruit, and branches. Another scent worth trying is Pacifica’s French Lilac, which captures an extremely realistic lilac note with a gentle, milky touch. Nerola Orange Blossom offers a simple, refreshing neroli and orange blossom cologne that smells surprisingly heady and sophisticated. Their Mexican Cocoa is addictive and comforting.

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Comme des Garcons Incense Series Jaisalmer : Perfume Review

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Jaisalmer is part of a quintet of incense-based fragrances marketed as Comme des Garcons Series 3: Incense.  Each location-themed fragrance (Avignon, Jaisalmer, Kyoto, Ouarzazate, and Zagorsk) conjures incense as liturgical, historical, ritual or mystical.

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In Jaisalmer, which is named for the driest desert city in India, it is the spice trade route upon which the fragrance is composed.  Jaisalmer ignites with cinnamon and then burns this sweet-hot spice slowly over gaiacwood and ebony. Much as the city of Jaisalmer is not on the usual tourist trail, so Jaisalmer the fragrance is the sleeper of the Series 3: Incense line.  It’s my favorite of the set and one that I reach for each fall when the weather turns cooler.

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  • Elisa in Perfumista Bait: It took me a long time to feel confident in, and “ready” for Coco too! Isn’t that strange, how we can completely fall in love with something but not buy… November 21, 2017 at 11:42am

  • Sandra in Perfumista Bait: I fell for fragrance when I smelled Obsession in the 90’s and Cristalle. Some fragrances that captured my attention, but at that time I was no confident enough to wear… November 21, 2017 at 11:37am

  • Elisa in Perfumista Bait: I’ve experience the same thing, Nora — I now love things that I originally thought I hated, whether it was materials or styles. There are now very few things that… November 21, 2017 at 9:47am

  • Elisa in Perfumista Bait: It’s like the Area 51 of perfumes! November 21, 2017 at 9:45am

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