Sixteen92 Bruise Violet Extrait De Parfum, Claire Baxter (2016)

Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com,  28 April 2017

 

New Perfume Review: Sixteen92 Fragrances Bruise Violet Extrait de Parfum (Claire Baxter) 2016+ Naughty Bo Peep Draw

 
When Luca Turin notices and speaks highly of a new virtually unknown perfume house, and that same perfumer goes on to be nominated for a 2017 Art & Olfaction Award I, like the great eye of Sauron, swing about and focus my perfume-sniffing laser beam on finding out more!

Based in Dallas Texas, and named for the date of the Salem Witch Trials, Sixteen92 is the brainchild of Claire Baxter, self-described CEO and Head Witch, introvert, secret lover of race cars, gardening, and ‘90s video games. In her early 30’s Claire is passionate about singing opera, fragrance, and the scientific nuances that connect scent with memory. Her glorious scents, based on legends, myths and fairy tales, are for the most part vegan, and completely non-animal tested. The perfume oils run 35-40% fragrance concentration, and her new Extrait de Parfums a whopping 35-50%!!

“….I’ve always been a creative. I’ve also always been a lover of fragrances, and particularly fascinated by the science behind scent/memory associations. My journey actually began as a search for a creative outlet, something I could create with my hands; something tangible that could connect with people in a meaningful way. Fragrances are bottled memories, and during my earliest experiments I realized that the style of fragrance that I wanted to share trended more toward conceptual or atmospheric — the scent of my Grandmother’s garden, or how I imagine the forests of Grimm’s fairy tales or the bustling speakeasies of prohibition-era Chicago may have smelled. The challenges lie in finding a voice — much in the same way a designer or writer discovers their personal style. And I think that’s something that’s always evolving. Our perfumes are equal parts science, alchemy, and yes, a touch of magic!”
-Claire Baxter

Just recently nominated for one of the five Art & Olfaction Awards in the “Artisan 2017” category Claire joins the esteemed company of past A&O nominees including Neela Vermeire Creations, Yosh, Jules Et Mad, Luca Maffei, Dr.Ellen Covey, Zoologist Perfumes, and April Aromatics among others.

Claire’s nomination for 2017 is the playful and alluring Bruise Violet Extrait de Parfum. Inspired by Claires love of the early 90’s “Riot Grrrl” movement, a genre of underground feminist punk-rock bands founded here in the Pacific Northwest.
Bruise Violet is a rapturous time machine back to 1993, This extrait-strength sensuous liquid opens with a sweet and innocent lipstick and violet that morphs into anything but! Very quickly the scent veers towards the dark rebellious side as an almost animalic and very vintage vibe sets in. Imagine the young girly frills of Little Bo Peep but with a secret that’s hidden beneath her flouncy crinolines; a black leather bustier laced up the back, and a thigh tattoo reading “Born To Raise Hell, Not Just Sheep!” Her shepherdess’s crook, looking innocent enough hides a Shaolin blade sharp enough to shred a foolish heart into ribbons. She is the sexy wolf beneath the innocent sheep’s clothing. A total badass with a blinding 500 watt smile! The drydown highlights the woody and bitter orris aspect of iris, while constantly maintaining the violet innocence, a beautiful and intriguing emotional juxtaposition of good and bad. This is a scent that begs to be worn while out clubbing with your posse, and later in the bedroom, with your girlfriend/boyfriend (or both), in an increasing state of déshabillé. A boudoir scent, but so much more. Award winning or not, if you’ve got a thing for violet-centric perfumes, you’ll want this in your collection. Just beautiful!

Notes: Red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, Damascus & Bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Claire Baxter and Sixteen92 Perfumes for supplying the sample. The opinions are my own.
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En Voyage Perfumes: 3 To Wear Right Now (Shelly Waddington)

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Top: Shelly and Robert.

Bottom: Shelly at 1/2 of her perfumers organ. Photos by Robert Herrmann.

 

The Three En Voyage Perfumes You Should Be Wearing…….

(Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com  23 April, 2017)

 

One of the stalwarts of the West Coast Indie Perfume community, Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes has been pushing boundaries and winning awards since opening her studio in Carmel California in 2010.

As many perfumistas know, Shelley tells fantastical tales and vivid story lines through her scents, they change, grow, and morph throughout the wearing; defying any sense of linearity, and that makes her perfumes intriguing, cunning, often abstract, and frankly outright fantastic!

Zelda edp, Rainmaker edp, Fiore di Bellagio edp, Frida edp, Makeda edp, the Souvenir De Chocolate Collection, and Civet for Zoologist, and most recently Figa for Cafleurebon’s Talisman project, these are the perfumes that can be found in many collections, and I for one, love them all. For this article I’m focusing on three of my other favorites from Shelley’s vault, award winners all, and each and every one worth discovering! So If you haven’t tried these three, they will prove to be a perfect accompaniment to the warmer weather days and nights ahead…..
Go Ask Alice edp (2011)

“I wanted to compose a perfume that would define and contemporize the 1967 Summer of Love, a time when young Americans protested the Vietnam War, sold flowers, smoked pot, and trailed clouds of patchouli…”
-Shelley Waddington.
I’ve written before about having grown up in San Francisco in, and the associated scents of that magical City By The Bay, and yes in the late 60’s this is pretty what it smelled like., Sandalwood incense burning, the green grass in Golden Gate Park, the other grass (cannibis) whose feral and, funky scent was like a grey haze hanging over parts of the city, and of course patchouli, woody and earthy. Patchouli can be a difficult note for many people, myself included, but In Shelley’s creative hands this a patchouli that’s mellowed with time and all grown up. This Patch is as soft and smooth as a pair of well worn fringed knee-high buckskin boots. Gorgeous, and perfect for wearing to Coachella, Bumbershoot, Burning Man or anywhere else you plan to dance and frolic to your hearts content.

Notes: California Orange Peel, Bitter Orange, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Orange Flower laced with Raspberry and Strawberry, Patchouli Leaf tincture, Mimosa, Rose Absolute, vintage Patchouli Sumatra, Sandalwood, Cocoa, Vanille, Tonka, Labdanum, Balsam, Ambergris.

A Study In Water edp (2013)
“A Study in Water was inspired by the element of fresh water. My goal in making this incredibly sheer, wet, and innocent fragrance was to retain the elegance, longevity and sillage of the most excellent of classic perfumes.”
– Shelley Waddington

The beauty of “A Study In Water” never stops unfolding. Like a slow moving, languid stream on a warm summers day, this stunning edp actually does smell like sun-dappled water, a touch mineral and cold, slightly sweet and extraordinarily refreshing as only fresh water can feel. This will calm and energize at the same time, a slight wet scent of forest surrounded by blooming wildflowers. In the same way a cat stretches in the sunlight through a window, this perfume feels like the definition of cool sensuality and not unlike Marilyn Monroe, it’s the perfect scent for wearing to bed when you’re wearing nothing else.Positively bewitching.

Notes: Muguet, Lime, Green Apple, Bergamot, Dew, Floral Waters, Green Leaves, Orange Blossoms, Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood, Cabreuva, Water Notes, Musk
Lorelei edp

“Lorelei is unusual in the sense that it isn’t aldehydic like many other “aquatic” fragrances, and yet it’s almost incorporeal in its sheerness while still providing a distinctive character that is bright and not overbearingly floral”
– Shelley Waddington

An aquatic floral, Lorelei edp is as misty and haunting as the Lorelei of Germanic legend, a young maiden who, brokenhearted, plunged into a river and became a siren whose enchanted voice enticed men to their watery grave.

Lorelei is a paen to the beauty of purple florals, and the lilac, wisteria, and violet are center stage but tempered by the aquatic and sheer springlike feel. If you shy away from purple florals you might want to try this one which is proof positive that when something is done right, it can be miles above the rest. The combination of the florals with the dreamy aquatic and fresh green notes is a siren song that will engage your senses and capture you in its rapturous embrace.

Notes: Fresh Green Notes, Lilac, Wisteria, Violet, Jonquil, Daffodil, Lily, Musk

Disclaimer: the perfumes and opinions are my own.

-Robert Herrmann, Sr. Contributor

-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief.

Interview with our dear Terri Bozzo of Kyse Perfumes…

ÇaFleureBon Profiles in American Perfumery: Terri Bozzo of Kyse Perfumes + Scent and Salon Draw
Terry Bozzo of Kyse Perfumes I grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern CA. I had 1/4 mile walk to the school bus stop each morning.  I remember spring mornings where the smell of rain and woods would envelope me, every morning similar yet different.  I could pick out grasses, flowers blooming, the…

http://www.cafleurebon.com/cafleurebon-profiles-in-american-perfumery-terri-bozzo-of-kyse-perfumes-scent-and-salon-draw/

Thoughts on the Mon Guerlain FragComm drama….

Photos via

 

“Mon Guerlain” may not be “Votre Guerlain” (but it’s STILL Guerlain.)

Since the release of the new Mon Guerlain last month, the reviews have come fast and furious, and to my bewilderment many have been scathing bordering on sociopathic. Seriously. I’ve read statements along the lines of “Guerlain is finished” or “…a serious black-eye for Guerlain”, “….the end of Guerlain as we know it”, and my favorite which is just plain ignorant and insulting, “Mon Guerlain caters to the absolute lowest common denominator, people who buy perfumes from a chain drugstore” Hey! I happily buy from chain drugstores, especially when they offer perfumes like 2014’s “Love2Love” range for $7.00a bottle, created by such noses as Sophia Grojsman, Bruno Jovanovic, Calice Becker, and Maurice Roucel!

All this vitriol aimed at Guerlain seems irresponsible without stepping back to consider the whole picture, which is essentially a model for running a successful business. In my life I have created five different business companies in the past 35 years, two of those I successfully sold at the height of their popularity, two others I simply closed, and my current business which is going great guns and about to expand the brick and mortar plant for the third time. I know about business, I come from 5 generations of business owners, I was raised in my parent’s business environment.

So when it comes to Guerlain and the release of Mon Guerlain I have to ask, “Why all the hate”?

You don’t like it, I get that. Guerlain perfumes are a mere shadow of their former glory. I get that too. However Guerlain is simply doing what companies have done for generations, trying to expand their customer base by creating an entry-level product for a NEW generation. I say give them some slack, there will be other Guerlain releases in the future that will delight and excite. However without creating a whole new base set of customers, they likely WOULD close up shop. If Mon Guerlain is the scent that gets twenty-somethings interested in fine perfumes then I for one, am all for it. I and many others struggled with Shalimar when first introduced to it, but as I delved further into the perfume world, I came to understand and appreciate it’s complexity and beauty. It was an “Aha!” moment for me, that day I finally “got” what Shalimar is all about. Come to find out, it’s actually a fairly common experience. That ultimate love for Shalimar led me right to the edge of the Guerlain rabbit hole and pushed me in head first.

As for Mon Guerlain, I like it, but don’t love it enough to buy a full bottle, it just doesn’t register on my love-o-meter quite frankly, but there’s no disputing it is a simple and pretty scent, perfect for spring and summer, if that’s your wont. With 2000+ new perfume releases per annum, it’s ok to give a pass to the ones you don’t like, but to go out of your way to be spouting doom and gloom predictions for a venerated house, seems profoundly cynical and frankly quite a turn-off to potential readers. Why not discuss the perfume rationally, make it clear that the perfume is not to YOUR taste, and let people make up their own minds. Perfume reviews (mine included) are completely subjective after all. As my mother used to say “You’ll catch more flies with honey….”, and in the case of perfume I suspect that may be true. Dialing back on the venom will help readers take you more seriously and possibly ramp up the respect. Leave the smack-talking to the politicians, they’re better at it anyway and have had LOTS more practice.

Perris Monte Carlo: Ylang Ylang Nosy Be (2014)

Ylang Ylang Nosy Be by Perris Monte Carlo (2014)
In 1976 at age 21, (and with only 12% body fat- those were the days) and a well-traveled rucksack, I was bumming around the world as many kids my age were at that time. It was cheap, and I was aimless and carefree before settling down into my adult life.

Thanksgiving that year found me homesick and maudlin, stepping off the deck of a catamaran into what was then the small funky portside town of Gustavia on the island of St. Bartholomew a.k.a. St. Barts. I was lucky enough to find a small room to rent on the other end of the island.

After handing over my tattered passport, and the equivalent of $12.00 for the first night, I climbed the hill to my tiny apartment, threw my stuff on the bed, and threw open the white wide-louvered balcony doors.

And what I saw took my breath away.

Emerald green tropical forest cascading down the hillside and ending in a mile-long,
blinding-white sand beach melting into an utterly calm cerulean colored bay, and not another soul in sight.

And that’s when it hit me. The smell. The gorgeous smell of something akin to jasmine, orange blossom, pikake and a dash of vanilla.

I swooned. Honest to god, I swooned. I immediately ran down to the office and in my broken third grade french asked the kind young lady behind the desk what was that amazing smell??

She laughed, said something incomprehensible, and seeing my blank stare, wrote one word in english, on a piece of note paper….”Ylang.”

And that my friends, is what’s in this bottle of Perris Monte Carlo Ylang Ylang (grown on the island of) Nosy Be.   Exactly.

(…and I still have the note.)

 

Notes: Ylang- ylang, lemon, grapefruit, cardamom/ ylang-ylang, jasmine, orange blossom, damask rose/ ylang-ylang, labdanum, vetiver, cedar, vanilla and field scabious.

New Natural Perfume Review: Esscentual Alchemy Poir Indiscrète (Amanda Feeley, Inspired by Nava Brahe) 2017+ Spring Delight Draw

Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com  16 April, 2017

 

Of all the fresh fruit I love, a ripe and juicy pear would be near the top of the list. I often scoffed at the idea of the humble apple being the fruit that Eve was tempted with on the tree of knowledge. Apples are just not that sexy or mesmerizing albeit delicious. Nope, for my money it would be a fig with its notorious center resembling the feminine genitalia, or a pear bursting with honey-tinged juice and when perfectly ripe, sweet enough to have NON-diabetics reaching for the insulin. Every year my spouse and I receive a box of Royal Riviera & Verano Pears from the now-legendary Harry & David in Oregon, and geeky though it may be it remains one of the highlights of our holiday season. These, elixir-sweet pears are so juicy and fine, they need to be eaten with a spoon! They’re just that good!

So when writer and former perfume reviewer Nava Brahe approached perfumer Amanda Feeley of Esscentual Alchemy with the idea of a pear-centric perfume, it took the next two years of dabbling and modifications to create a scent that was exactly what Nava had suggested. The idea for the perfume that Nava suggested to Amanda was this… “What is it about the pear that intrigues us? It has an appearance, texture and taste unlike anything else in nature, and it is good for us. My love affair with pears started in childhood, with candy-sweet canned fruit cocktail. When I ate it, I would pick out the chunks of pear and pieces of cherries, saving them for last. As my palate became more sophisticated, I discovered that fresh pears were an enjoyable snack, as well as the perfect accompaniment to cheese. Then, of course, there is the inevitable pairing of pears with pastry, which makes for the most delectable tart”. I can’t pinpoint when exactly I decided I wanted to smell of pears, but as my perfume tastes evolved over the years, I found pear notes to be quite appealing, especially when mixed with white florals and maybe a touch of sweetness like vanilla or tonka bean. Pears are often a secondary fruity note in many commercial fragrances, but rarely are they the star of the composition. My goal is to have the pear be center stage with supporting notes that will enhance and compliment its juicy succulence without overwhelming the intrinsic characteristics of the fruit.” -Nava Brahe 2014

Two-plus years later, Poir Indescrète is ready for its official release on April 25th 2017, and it’s a stunner! As a perfumer Amanda Feeley works slowly and methodically, and the results are quite often complex and unforgettable. Her creations include scents that will always be in my collection (Come To Me), Little Black Dress created for CaFleurebon’s First Anniversary, and the two gorgeous perfumes created for the Traveling Unguetarium Project; Helena based on a two thousand year old Roman recipe for scented oil, and its contemporary version Helena II).

For Poir Indescrète Amanda has created an extraordinary pear accord that smells as if you have just bitten into the very best pear ever, the sweet, exotic scent rising up to your nose, slightly dusty and familiar yet so much more! The juice, like true nectar of the gods runs down your chin and you lean over quickly so the juice lands on the ground and not on your shirt. Absolutely delectable.

That pear accord is the very first note that hits you upon application, and at the top it’s at its most lush and gorgeous. When the blood orange and bergamot come forward and the florals are in play, this is akin to a joyous spring perfume, frothy and bubbly and not unlike a vintage Arpege, Chanel or Lanvin. It’s downright sunny. The honey and tea notes provide an astonishing sense of realness that will have you believing that, as bees in honey drown, you will be a magnet for anything or anyone who comes close, and remain intoxicated by your scent cloud.

Notes: Rose Geranium, Blood Orange, Bergamot, Pear Accord, Heliotrope accord, Honeysuckle, Honey, Jasmine Tea, Mimosa, Ylang-ylang, Green Tea, Musks, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Disclosure: Many thanks to Esscentual Alchemy and Amanda Feeley for supplying the sample. The opinions are my own.

-Robert Herrmann, Sr. Contributor

Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Poir Indescrète Amanda Feeley Esscentual Alchemy

Thanks to Esscentual Alchemy and Amanda Feeley, we have three 1 ml pre-release sample vials of Poir Indescrète for three registered readers Worldwide. Please be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what you were drawn to in Robert’s review, if you like pear notes or enjoy pears and where you live. Draw closes 4/19/2017.

We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so like Cafleurebon and use our RSS feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.

Aether Arts 420: Boho Chic edp. (Amber Jobin 2017)

 

Originally published on cafleurebon.com  14 April 2017

 

New Perfume Review: Aether Arts Perfume, Perfume 420: Boho Chic Perfume Oil
(Amber Jobin 2017)
“Colored cottons hang in air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped Djellabas we can wear at home
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh…”
-Crosby, Stills, & Nash; Marrakesh Express 1969

Created just in time for 4/20 Amber Jobin gives us a cannibis-inspired scent as an homage to the hippie jet-set of the early 1970’s discovery of Marrakech with it’s aura of easy-living and long languid days and nights devoted to intoxication of some kind. It was a heady time, ripe with possibility, and the cannibis and hashish that was easily available became the stepping stone for vivid imaginative dreams and blissed-out flights of fancy…..
The term 420 (spoken as four-twenty) is a bit more mundane than that, having originated in 1971 behind the high school in San Rafael, CA, then the hub city of Marin County just north of San Francisco. A group of friends coined the term “420” as a shorthand communication for “Meet us out back at 4:20p.m. and let’s smoke some weed”. As it so happened, just a block away from San Rafael High was a small music studio being used by The Grateful Dead for rehearsals, and the friends would hang out at the studio to get stoned and listen to the music. The Term 420 was picked up by Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, and the rest as they say, is history.

At the same time, on the other side of the planet, global nomads and hipsters, clutching their copies of Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky, were flocking to Marrakech in Morocco following the unmistakable lure of the unknown, or “the other”. Food and lodging were cheap, marijuana and hashish were plentiful, and the sun shined daily. These travelers, many in their late teens and twenties, adopted and embellished local Moroccan dress; the young ladies resplendent in vivid patterned and embroidered Kaftans and bangled head scarves, and the young men in billowing harem pants and bare-chested but for a mirrored cloth vest. Sexuality was fluid, the locals were non-plussed, and the hookahs and joints full of cannibis or hashish ironed out all the harsh edges and glaring realities”.

The warm Moroccan nights were rife with the scent of jasmine flowering vines, and magnolia trees loaded down with blossoms, their combined scents adding to the Aladdin’s lamp narcotic haze blanketing the city. As chef Anthony Bourdain described it “It was a station-of-the-cross for the bad boys of culture.”

420: Boho Chic Perfume Oil is the intriguing and photorealistic scent of this seminal early 70’s time and place. The burning and bitter hashish in the water pipe, the smell of the Medina tanneries juxtaposed on top of the goatish sweaty-wool aroma of the pillows used for reclining in the courtyard of a café or riyadh.The sweet and slightly indolic florals of a semi-arid oasis, a historical traveler-friendly caravansary caught between the turquoise blue and blinding tawny coastline of the Mediterranean, and the vast dry inhospitable desert to the south. The camel, donkey, and oxen sweat, the smells all intertwined and seeming to create an almost fugue state and psychedelic boots-on-the-ground experience, where you could forget your past and recreate yourself as your perfect near-eastern fantasy. It is quite honestly an astonishing and intoxicating scent!

Notes: Green cannabis accord laced with hashish, smoke, ash, jasmine sambac, magnolia, saffron, suede and leather accord, civet, musk, castoreum, costus.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Aether Arts Perfumes for supplying the sample. The opinions are my own
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Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Rose De Petra edp (2013)

 

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Invisible Rose Garden

“From what invisible rose garden
was flung this rose
whose perfume maddens
me and makes me lucid?

– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

 

Rose De Petra edp, is quite frankly my all-time favorite rose perfume. This unisex spicy floral scent has it all, a gorgeous rose center, middle-eastern style spiciness, and enough dark and sexy vibe to make it worth wearing anytime of the night or day. I just love it. My back-up has its own back-up.

Notes: Litchi, pomegranate, rose, bulgarian rose, pepper, cardamom and cumin.

Amouage Opus X (2016)

Amouage Opus X from the Library Collection, by Christopher Chong and perfumers Pierre Negrin and Annick Menardo (2016)
Inspired by the movie “The Red Violin” Amouage Opus X is the latest (and rumor has it possibly the last) entry into the Library Collection by perfume master Christopher Chong.

If you haven’t seen “The Red Violin” yet, do yourself a favor and watch it. One of my favorite films, it is a multi-faceted, dark and brooding tale of obsession, love and music. Beautifully conceived and compelling, not unlike this perfume Opus X.

Notes include:

Top notes: may rose, red rose and rose.
Middle: geranium, leather and varnish accord.
Base: metallic notes, laotian oud, ylang-ylang and ambrarome.

 

 
This perfume opens with a huge blast of rose, rose, and MORE rose, all of it from the roots and stems, to the thorns and blooms. I never did pick up the varnish/metallic vibe that so many people smell, which is disappointing to me ’cause I love the smell of varnish, and really went looking for it. It’s also SO integral to the plot of the movie, but no matter because this is a rose that is all business.

 

As a confirmed charter member of the “Society of Rose Ho’s International”, a new rose scent brings me no small amount of pleasure, and on the rose-front Opus X certainly doesn’t let me down. Regardless of the missing varnish/metal notes to my nose, this is a damned fine rose! Not in the slightest “jeunesse”, or High school girly, this is a grown up rose along the lines of Lyric, another rose-centric perfume by Amouage. Deep, dark, complex, and many-layered, this is a true rose or rather the dream or fantasy of a rose.

So if you’re a rose lover…….

 

 

(😁Follow-up comment from Christopher Chong….)

“Great review Robert! I normally stay away from commenting on social media. If we ever meet one day I will make sure you get the varnish accord! LOL. By the way, OPUS X is NOT the final fragrance in The Library Collection. I’m just taking a break from this collection in order to spend time to develop the other collections. The Library Collection will resurrect in a couple of years.”