July 7, 2010

The remaining reviews will be forthcoming... sorry for the delay

Due to circumstance, I was not able to complete all of the reviews by July 7th, but they will all be done soon.

July 6, 2010

Dionysus by Adam Gottschalk of Lord Jester's Inc.

Dionysus: The god of fertility and wine; a patron of the arts. He invented wine and spread the art of tending grapes. With a dual nature bringing joy and divine ecstasy and brutal, unthinking, rage... reflecting both sides of wines nature.

My first impressions: sweet, warm, sultry, primal, cognac, cigar, masculine, ripe Tuscan melon, sultry, exotic, gardenia and mocha, sweat, masculine, sexy...

Adam wrote about his scent in his blog: "...I know how and why it works, but the details of how it works is a conundrum. It works and that’s all I need to know. It’s got a distinct funkiness to it, and that’s just right. "

I couldn't have said it better, Adam.  It really does have a distinct funkiness that really works. It is so unique that at first I didn't  know what to make of it, but then I took a second sniff, and then a third... I was just so taken by it, but I couldn't put my finger on just exactly why.  It is true to the nature of the god it was named after... divine funkiness!

Adam considers this a unisex fragrance and I would have to agree.  It's qualities are such that it would combine with a person's own body chemistry and you might not realize it was a fragrance they were wearing... it smells like wonderful smelling skin on a person who had a few glasses of fine wine.  Does that paint the picture?  I hope so.
Nice work, Adam.  This is a perfect example of the reason I love natural perfumes.  They have the ability to smell so primal and yummy at the same time!

July 4, 2010

Graines de Paradis ~ Sharini Perfums Naturels

"a sweet floral-musk perfume fusing traditional enfleurage pommades and botanical musks..."

The perfumer states, "this natural perfume is completely unique" because it uses no floral absolutes and thus is hexane residue free.  Instead they used CO2 extracts and enfleurage (four of the enfleurages were harvested and prepared by Nicolas and Crystel themselves!)

There are 19 ingredients of which 98.6% organic certified and 100% of which have natural origin and without the use of solvent of any kind. The base is organic corn alcohol and organic orange blossom hydrosol.

You can view photos here: http://www.sharini.com/news.html

Top Notes:
white grapefruit
green mandarine
wild cherry and rooibos tea

Heart Notes:
white rose 
linden blossom
Tahitian Gardenia 

Base Notes:
Australian sandalwood

If the goal of this event was to create a Musk fragrance using only botanical ingredients this fragrance accomplished that goal beyond what I would have ever expected possible.  It is so very musky. Not in a cheap disco dance way, but in a rich, serene and beautiful way.

This sensual fragrance reminds me of the sweet scent of orange and gardenia blossoms wafting on a warm summer breeze while eating crème brule in a secret garden as I stare into the abyss of my lovers eyes.   (Too much??  I know, I know... but, seriously... that's what I thought of!)

I will just say right off the bat, the muskiness of this fragrance is not to be ignored! Initially it's flirtatious and coy as it sneeks peeks between the toasty-sweet toffee and flowers... taking its time before making a grand stand.  Then, it comes out in all its glory... both bold and seductive. A word of caution: This elegant and sensual fragrance sends a bold signal and should only be worn if one intends to back it up! :o)

To Nicholas Jennings, the perfumer: I applaud you! The effort it must have taken to source only orgainc and solvent free ingredients is an achievement in and of itself, but to also create, by hand, many of the ingredients through such labor-intensive processes is not to be understated!

Taking into consideration what went into the making of this perfume, each drop of this sweet elixir is something rare and precious. This is not only a gorgeous perfume, it's a labor of love.

Obviously, because of these labor-intensive process, this perfume is a very limited edition.  Only 25 numbered bottles exist.

Perfumista Cat

Yesterday my cat started acting goofy. I had dried some English lavender and started an infusion with some grape seed oil. The container wasn't large enough, so I transferred it to a larger mason jar. In the process, some of it spilled onto my hands... So, I did what any person would do , I rubbed the oil and lavender on my bare arms as a little bonus moisturizer. Not too long afterwards, my cat (Ziggy), came up to me and started sniffing and licking my arms. I had to laugh because it made me think of that another reviewer who's cat went crazy over one of the Musk scents. 

Then, today I've been wearing Sharini's Grains de Paradis... getting ready to write my review on it. Again, my cat found the spot on my wrist and began sniffing... and then licking it! I think it is just crazy because I've had cats all my life and I know how picky they are with smells and such. They have a very developed sense of smell. Most things send them running. I think it says a lot about natural botanicals and such. Either that, or my cat is turning into a perfumista!

Kyle and Ziggy
A Man and His Cat

July 2, 2010

Temple of Musk by Strange Invisible Perfumes

"When formulating this perfume I was inspired by the essential notion of a heavenly creature." ~Alexandra Balahoutis, Perfumer

This fragrance baffled me.  It stretched me.  It challenged me.  For the longest time, I didn't understand why.  I loved it and hated it at the same time.  It made me feel things and think about things.  It reminded me of all the things I am truly passionate about.  

I finally realized the reason:  This perfume is Art. It is art in the sense that it is not an imitation of anything that has gone before.  It is a unique and fresh perspective.

After much contemplation and several scent strip and skin tests,  I came to the realization that this scent is not predictable. But really, it is not the predictable things in life that move us.  Predictable things are what we expect.  They are the "norm."

Every once in a while you come across something that challenges the status quo and makes you reconsider what you had come to expect as "the right way to be." I have to say, this fragrance was such an experience. 

It has been said before that art is a reflection of life. I have come to the realization that the most profound art are the pieces that cause the most disruption to our sense of balance. They are the pieces that cause you to rethink and to reconsider. This perfume is one of these pieces. It causes us to rethink what we know.  It moves us in unexpected ways.

In the artists own words, an interview with Alexandra Balahoutis on September 5th, 2005 on "Now Smell This"  blog:

"The (perfume) house was named for a line from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: From the barge, a strange invisible perfume hits the sense of the adjacent wharfs."

"I wanted to make irrationally precious perfumes. When I was first collecting essences, the only ones I fell in love with were natural. When I smelled them I felt the immeasurable possibilities of interpreting them into compositions. They were rough, hypnotic, concentrated, and alive. I was so excited by the challenge of smoothing them into one another and taming them politely and respectfully. I just didn’t feel that potential in working with synthetics, nor did I feel the eagerness and electricity that a flavorist feels when they are completely inspired by the preciousness and rarity of their palette. Artisan wine makers and chefs, for example, are rarely beside themselves with anticipation to incorporate artificial flavors."

Temple of Musk

Perfumers Notes: 
"Selected hydro-distilled temple mandarin and organic black currant to brighten an otherwise unapologetic musk composition. Organic vanilla softens and reinforces the theme of something primal yet completely enticing, an idea so quintessential to the art of perfumery.  Last but not least, the myrtle in this fragrance is estate grown and hydro-distilled in Ojai, California at my family grove.  It is unlike any other myrtle I have ever encountered, possessing a strawberry-resin-like quality that makes me swoon. I hope that you enjoy Temple of Musk."

Four hours ago, I placed a small amount of Temple of Musk on the inside of my left wrist.  It started off bright and resinous... like no other fragrance I ever encountered.  It was so totally different than anything I ever smelled that I just didn't know what to make of it. Immediately, I thought of citrus peels... you know, as you dig your fingers into the surface and pith... the fine mist of volatile oils that spray into the air with a sharpness that makes your nose tingle.  Totally unexpected, yet totally intriguing.    It was like the feeling you get when seeing lovers kissing in public.  You are all at once uncomfortable, yet intrigued.  You want to watch, but you know your not supposed to. :o)

The initial fresh and sparkle of resin and fruit slowly evolves to a deep, rich seductive muskiness.  It is such a rich and unusual muskiness... nothing like you've ever smelled or come to expect... such a pheromonal muskiness.  Which, after all, is the point of musk:  It is a sex pheromone.

It is easy to like the predictable, but its the new and different that wakes us up and causes us to reconsider what we know to be.

beyond expectations
I listen from the inside
moving to my beat
outside the boundaries
there, I find a place
where uncertainty and joy
make art with their existence
the contrast offers
delicious acceptance
as all the shades
take their rightful place
clarity replaces
the voices of others
Peace is born.

~Chris Morrison

Musk Nouveau

Charna Ethier
Natural Perfumer

(W. T. Benda)


Perfumer's Notes: "Musk Nouveau is a nostalgic blend of aged patchouli, angelica and oud made new with the introduction of champaca, night blooming jasmine and a dash of coffee. Kissed with a boozy sherry top note and spicy black pepper.  It's sure to please dames and gents alike."

Since I'm not familiar with some of the components, my first impressions are thus: sophisticated, evening, sultry, unisex, musk, warm, wood, exotic, Mediterranean, figs and powder.

This is what I would call a power perfume.  Not for the faint of heart.  Nothing "girlie" about this one... its all femme and confidence...  I would even say unisex.  Its a fragrance that makes a statement...  It says: "You've come a long way, Baby!"  This one needs to be worn on a night out on the town, and will do the rest of its work when you come home later that night.

Its top is sweet and sexy.  The marriage of the jasmine, champaca and sherry give it a hint of ripe fruit.  As the night progresses, it evolves into it's spicy, grassy, woody notes of black pepper, coffee and patchouli.I absolutely love this fragrance! "It had me at hello!"

OlfactaRama: Mystery of Musk: An Introduction

OlfactaRama: Mystery of Musk: An Introduction