2013 launches: 55 posts

Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait : Perfume Review


Elisa talks about gardenia, tiare, and leather as she reviews Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait.

Searching for a natural gardenia perfume is a little like hunting for unicorns – gardenias, notoriously, don’t release a natural oil. As Victoria once put it, “gardenia, temperamental flower that she is, does not give up her essence to any distillation methods.” Accordingly, gardenia in perfumery is necessarily a re-creation, using other materials to approximate the flower’s scent: sweetly tropical, but with an earthy element often likened to dirt or mushrooms.


I was surprised, then, when I heard that Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes was releasing a gardenia scent, since Aftel is known for her all-natural creations. As it turns out, Cuir de Gardenia is based on the Tahitian gardenia, or tiare flower, which can be made into a (costly) enfleurage (termed monoi when using coconut oil). Aftel has bolstered this material with jasmine and benzyl acetate, an isolate that occurs naturally in jasmine and ylang-ylang and is also used as a solvent in plastic and resins.

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Vero Profumo Les Voiles d’Extrait : Mito and Rubj Perfume Reviews


Although I make accords of various materials as part of my work, they’re not what I would call “perfume.” Most of them are meant to explore combinations of specific ingredients or to showcase a raw material. Even so, I often return to some of my favorites well after the project is over to add a little touch here or there. Imagine how much more tempting it must be for a perfumer to revisit her creations down the line, but also more frustrating, since loyal clients don’t want their fragrances to change.


For indie perfumer Vero Kern the solution was to present Rubj, Mito, Kiki and Onda, the quartet that makes up her Vero Profumo collection, as three different concentrations–Eau de Parfum, Extrait de Parfum, and now Voile d’Extrait. As I quickly discovered, they could easily be different perfumes, and so I’ve waited with anticipation for Les Voiles d’Extrait.

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Atelier Cologne Gold Leather : Perfume Review


Patricia takes Gold Leather to task.

In the first two offerings of their Collection Métal, Silver Iris and Gold Leather, Atelier cologne gives us two fragrances that have many things in common. Both are Absolues, which means they have a higher than usual concentration of perfume oil, 18 percent, giving them a depth and longevity more similar to an Eau de Parfum than a cologne.


Silver Iris and Gold Leather were created by perfumer Jérome Epinette. Both have over-the-top bottle designs in real gold or silver and “handcrafted leather caps.” The 200 ml size of these bottles comes with complimentary engraving. Both fragrances are accompanied by overwrought ad copy promising the wearer of these fragrances the “absolu” man or woman of one’s dreams.

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Best of 2013 in Perfume : On the Linden Trail

My most profound scent experience of 2013 happened as I walked down an avenue lined with linden trees not far from my apartment in Brussels. Suddenly I smelled the Kiev of my childhood–the heavy odor of wet asphalt, honeyed lindens and gasoline, and the longing to see my family gripped me  so intensely that I cancelled a pending seaside vacation and instead traveled home. That trip to Ukraine started a series of other visits and other quests.  Several months later as I was having a cup of tea–incidentally, it was linden from my great aunt’s garden–with a cousin I knew only from my parents’ stories, I realized that this year I’ve been on a linden trail.

20 years laterlinden3

While experiences like my linden triggered journey don’t happen often, all of my favorite perfumes transport me out of the routine of my day and spark fantasies. In making my best of 2013 list, I included the most interesting fragrances I’ve encountered, but also the ones that made me dream. Patricia and Elisa will also share their favorites below.


Marni charmed me instantly. I loved its combination of rose and Indian incense, its quirky accents of ginger and cardamom and its lingering drydown of patchouli. The notes are rich and heavy, but the interpretation is sheer and effervescent. It’s a skin scent, rather than a perfume that announces your presence a mile away, but it has plenty of character.

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Parfums de Nicolai Amber Oud and Rose Oud : New Perfumes

Parfums de Nicolaï presents a new collection called Oud. Amber Oud and Rose Oud are two new launches built around this rich woody note.  According to the press release, ” ‘I have created perfumes based on oud because I wanted to enrich my collection of powerful and long lasting fragrances’ explains Patricia de Nicolaï. ‘I wanted to combine the extraordinary richness of agarwood with amber for one perfume, and for the other, with rose, all the way retaining the tradition of French elegance.’ Patricia de Nicolaï added noble essences of patchouli, Atlas cedarwood, castoreum, tonka bean, costus or nagarmotha to magnify her oud.”


Amber Oud includes notes of lavender, thyme, sage, davana, cinnamon, saffron, agarwood, Atlas cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, styrax, musk, castoreum and amber.

Rose Oud features raspberry, davana, osmanthus, rose, lily of the valley, agarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, castoreum and amber.

Rose Oud & Amber Oud will be available in 30ml (58 €) and 100 ml (174 €) Eau de Parfum starting November 19th. Via press release

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