aedes de venustas: 8 posts

10 Perfumes For a New Spring

Spring is the time when I crave to make a change–and when it seems that anything can be possible. I make plans to visit new places, learn new things, read more widely, research a completely new topic like Renaissance cuisine or Leonard Foujita’s paintings or the poetry of the late Tang period. I similarly want to push my horizons with new scents.

Neela Vermeire Niral

A chord of violet powder and rose petals, Niral starts as a flower fit for a Victorian corsage, but beneath the softness and candied violet sweetness lies the darkness of sandalwood. A cool touch of angelica, one of the materials that currently intrigues me, gives a sleek shape to this opulent composition. A blood relative of Mohur, the other plush perfume from Neela Vermeire’s line, and also of L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore. Created by Bertrand Duchaufour, who is able to interpret the French-Indian vision of the house’s founder without recourse to cliches.

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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 reminds me of crushed peppercorns and cardamom pods. 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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