Autumn potions

Autumn is probably my favourite season. It is a sweet transition between the often unbearably hot summer weather and the usually severe cold, wintery conditions. This transition is best depictured in the Ancient Greek myth of goddess Demetra and her daughter Persephone.

According to the myth, Hades, god of Underworld and the dead, “steals” Persephone from her mother Demetra, marries her and anoints her Queen of the Underworld. Then, Hades proceeds to an agreement with Demetra, according to which Persephone will spend 6 months of a year in her mother’s arms on Earth and 6 months by her husband’s side in Underworld eternally.

Joseph-The-Elder-Heintz-The-Rape-of-Proserpina.es.wahooart.com via es.wahooart.com

The rape of Persephone. Joseph Heintz. 1595. Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.

Breaking down the myth, Demetra and Persephone symbolize vegetation, crops and Hades death, absence. The myth basically narrates the end of cultivation and growing season for 6 months, during which Persephone has descended to the Underworld. This is Autumn’s starting point!

As we are getting ready for the opulent warmth of furs, spicier meals, fireplaces, excessive consumption of chocolate and other sources of warmth and coziness, the scents of neroli, tuberose and sparkling citruses, feel more and more irrelevant.

Today, I present you some carefully selected scents that would dress perfectly your days and nights for the following months.

MAGNETIC SCENT- UNTITLED 2 (2012)

untitled2_head

Personality

Have you ever drunk Karak tea or Masala chai? Do you remember the sugared- creamy spices that instantly carried you away? This is what happens in Untitled 2 case too… Warm and spicy in a moment, sweet and mellow in another; I cannot think of any better scent to accompany the first rainy afternoons with.

History

Spyros Drosopoulos, the captain behind Magnetic Scents’ wheel, loved masala chai that much, that decided to create a wearable recipe! The perfume belongs to the “Untitled” collection of the brand, leaving its aura to imply more than a name would.

Composition

Masala Chai, Cacao, Rose, Milk, Vanilla.

Untitled 2 comes as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for 110Euro.

SERGE LUTENS- ROUSSE (2007)

Rousse

Personality

If Rousse was a sweet, it would be an apple pie. If it was a material, it would be brick from clay and if it was a colour, it would be copper. Rousse smells sweet spices and specifically sweet cinnamon and cloves. It is intense yet refreshing and I liked mostly wearing its after numerous cold morning showers. Downside is its average longevity.

History

Rousse is a Christopher Sheldrake creation. I had bought Rousse a year after its launch in a 50ml regular Serge Lutens bottle. Overtime, Rousse did not have the expected feedback and centrals decided to withdraw its version from market and pour it in Bell Jar bottles from Luten’s Palais Royal Exclusive line, ever since.

Composition

Cinnamon, cloves, resin, amber, cedar, mandarin.

Rousse is available as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 140 Euro.

THIERRY MUGLER- MIROIR DES VOLUPTES (2010)

miroir des voluptes

Personality

Miroir des Voluptes is a perfume with double identity, as if you deal with a person you knew for quite a while but having not seen that other side of him. Behind the big picture, there is a small surprise hiding. Miroir de Voluptes has a complex yet mainstream scent with an impressive alteration in it that changes everything: a sparkling oud. In my opinion, it could be crafted in a better way and with less synthetic ingredients. However, I included it in my list because of the choice of notes, the less -than other perfumes of its league- vulgar oud and its strong trail. Among the awful trend of “plastic” oud perfumes that have filled up perfumery, I find Miroir des Voluptes a decent oud perfume despite all its flaws.

History

Miroir des Voluptes is the 6th entry in Mugler’s exclusive Mirror Mirror Collection and was created by Nathalie Lorson and Daphne Bugey.

This Mugler fragrance is almost exclusive to the Middle Eastern- Gulf market. It can be found in almost all Gulf beauty shops and airports. For international buyers, try out Thierry Mugler’s online boutique.

Composition

Top notes: Bulgarian Rose, African orange flower.

Middle Notes: Oud, Tobacco.

Heart Notes: Tonka bean, patchouli, amber, musk, sandalwood.

Miroir des Voluptes is available as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for Dhs550 or $150 in Mugler’s online store.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER- GAULTIER² (2005)

jean-paul-gaultier-gaultier2-eau-de-parfum-120ml

Personality

Gaultier² is a smart composition with a very sexy scent. Though belonging to the mass production and its ingredients are more or less over worn, Gaultier² is nicely done and constructed in a way like being almost exclusive. Deep amber and bitter vanilla courtship endlessly in this long lasting, sensual fragrance.

History

Created by Francis Kurkdjian, Gaultier² is a unisex-marketed perfume that truly appeals to all.

Composition

Vanilla, Amber, Musk

Gaultier² is available as Eau de Parfum in 40ml and 120ml. The range involves shower gel and body lotion as well.

HERMÈS- TERRE D’ HERMÈS (2006)

TERRE-D'HERMES-1

Personality

Terre is undoubtedly a men’s perfume with personality and both its legs on the ground. It is very earthy, fresh, lightweight scent that matches all occasions; from office to first dates. It has a sweet-spicy vetiver hint that reminds me a better Tom Ford’s “Grey Vetiver” version. What I mostly sniff from this beauty is: orange, vetiver and cedar. For a detailed review, check this video by fellow blogger and perfume specialist Pelle Suringa, aka Geurenland heer.

History

Jean-Claude Ellena, who has been the exclusive In-house perfumer for Hermès since 2004, crafted Terre in 2006.

Composition

Top notes: Grapefruit, Orange.

Middle Notes: Pepper, Pelargonium.

Heart Notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedar, Benzoin.

Terre is available as Parfum in 80ml for $120 and 200ml for $215, and as Eau de Toilette in 50ml for $79, in 100ml for $110 and 200ml for $178. The complete range involves shampoo, shaving Foam, after-shave balsam, after-shave lotion and deodorant stick.

ROUGE BYNNY ROUGE- EMBERS (2013)

Embers RBR

Personality

I sniff a success story here! Embers will be popular for its richness and how well it “cooked”. All the notes compliment each other perfectly and leave one want more… Initially you get spices shock with cloves and nutmeg that transforms into a balsamic and soothing trail. Personally, my favourite out of all Rouge Bunny Rouge creations.

History

Embers belongs to the second line of unisex perfumes launched by Rouge Bunny Rouge, called “Provenance Tales”, including also perfumes Cynefin and Silvan. The “nose” behind he entire collection is Alexandra De Montfort, creator of the brand. “Provenance Tales” debuts in October 2013.

Composition

Top notes: Cloves, Nutmeg, Pink Pepper.

Middle Notes: Labdanum, Jasmine, Freesia, Incense.

Heart Notes: Styrax, Peru balsam, Woody notes.

Embers comes as Eau de Parfum in 50ml for 97Euro.

CHANEL- ÉGOÏSTE (1990)

Egoiste Chanel

Personality

Simply irresistible, it is a scent that separates men from the boys! Égoïste is a timeless perfume that enchants nevertheless. It is a character full of various light woods, showered in tobacco and spices throughout its longevity. It would be perfect for rainy evenings in all occasions.

History

Égoïste was created on 1990 by Jacques Polge, head perfumer at Chanel since 1978.

Composition

Top notes: Coriander, Brazilian rosewood, Mahogany, Sicilian mandarin.

Middle Notes: Damask rose, Cinnamon, Carnation.

Heart Notes: Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Leather.

Égoïste comes as Eau de Toilette in 100ml for $84.

CHRISTIAN DIOR- HYPNOTIC POISON (1998)

Hypnotic poison CD

Personality

Confession: Hypnotic Poison was my very first fragrance in full bottle ever since it was launched (yes I was too young) and my signature scent for years! It didn’t happen to me not to get a compliment about it every time I was wearing it and I have classified it as men’s “trap”. It has fruity opening and a prominent creamy plummy note -classifying it as Fall scent- that plays around with vanilla and sandalwood and gives a long lasting and very seductive result. Highly recommended for sensual situations…

History

This mythical creation, by Annick Menardo in 1998 was the 3rd addition to Dior’s “Poison” collection. Hypnotic Poison turned out though to be the most successful “Poison” of all.

Composition

Top notes: Plum, Coconut, Apricot.

Middle Notes: Brazilian rosewood, jasmine, caraway, tuberose, rose, lily-of the valley.

Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk, Almond.

Hypnotic Poison comes as Extrait in 7,5 ml  for 107 Euro and as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 47Euro, in 50ml for 66Euro and in100ml for 94Euro and in a couple of Eau versions. The range also includes shower gel and moisturizing lotion and deodorant spray.

PRADA- AMBER WOMEN (2004)

Prada Amber women

Personality

Amber for women is a perfume true to its name: filled with amber. A sweet, balsamic amber that is perfect for Fall. The scent is light and wearable throughout the day. It opens boldly with green, bergamot and amber but gets smoother soon after, when musk and vanilla get more prominent.  As with all Prada perfumes  Amber is also not very long lasting.

History

Amber is Prada’s first attempt to penetrate into international boudoirs. Up to that point Prada had launched only three perfumes exclusively though its boutiques. Amber was launched in 2004 and was created by Carlos Benaim, Max Gavarry and Clement Gavarry.

Composition

Top notes: Green notes, Tarragon, Fruity notes, Bergamot.

Middle Notes: Rose, Ylang-ylang, Carnation, Honey, Jasmine.

Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Benzoin, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla.

Prada Amber comes as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 48,50 Euro, 50ml for 78,50 Euro and 80ml for 102,50 Euro. There also are bath gel, body lotion and soaps.

PRADA- AMBER MEN (2006)

Prada men

Personality

Such an original and enchanting scent! Absolutely a head turning perfume, which fits nicely the cool and warm days of Autumn. Amber for men is aromatic with a hint of spice from saffron and a beautiful balsamic-soapy trail mostly due to the musk-vanilla-leather-myrrh mix. Tonka bean and vetiver play also their part in the creation, but from backstage. Amber as a name is misleading as there is none in the ingredients.

History

Launched in 2006, there is an oxymoron fact about Amber pour Homme: it was created by two women! Successful perfumer Daniela Roche Andrier and Prada’s CEO Miuccia Prada, played around accords, they decided what they wanted to smell like if they were men and they crafted Amber, as Miuccia confessed.

Composition

Top notes: Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Cardamom.

Middle Notes: Myrrh, Geranium, Vetiver, Musk, Orange blossom.

Heart Notes: Saffron, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Labdanum, Leather, Tonka bean.

Prada Amber comes as Eau de Toilette in 50ml for 60,50 Euro and 100ml for 81,90 Euro. There are also available travel sized flacons in a special packaging of 3 in 10ml each. The range also includes shower gel and after-shave balm.

HUGO BOSS- BOSS BOTTLED (1998)

Hugo_Boss-Boss_Bottled

Personality

I decided to include Boss Bottled in this list of perfumes because it is the rare case of a mass production perfume that succeeded to impress me with its aroma. It is very refreshing and smells mostly of vanilla and woods. It is super easy to wear all day long, though its longevity is weak and suits pretty much all ages.

History

Boss Bottled is another beautiful creation by Annick Menardo, also launched in 1998.

Composition

Top notes: Plum, Geranium, Lemon, Bergamot, Apple, Oakmoss.

Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Carnation, Mahogany.

Heart Notes: Sandalwood, Cedar, Vanilla, Vetiver, Olive tree.

Boss Bottled is available as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 35 Euro, 50ml for 47 Euro, 100ml for 62 Euro and 200ml for 71 Euro and in two more versions: Night and Sport. The range includes after-shave lotion in two sizes, after-shave balm, shower gel, deodorant stick and deodorant spray.

NASOMATTO- DURO (2011)

duro-2007-30-ml-0135-floz-1

Personality

There is nothing feminine about Duro. Duro is a man whose aura tames before his presence. It deserved to be worn by men with confidence and “fist”. The fragrance has great longevity and is full of woods, mostly agarwood that stands out, even if not mentioned in the ingredients’ list.

History

Duro is a fragrance made by Alessandro Gualtieri, the maestro behind all Nasomatto fragrances.

Composition

Leather, Spices, Woody notes.

Duro comes as Extrait de Parfum in 30 ml for 108 Euro or in a 4 ml roller bottle for 38 Euro.

TOM FORD- ARABIAN WOOD (2009) 

Arabian wood

Personality

I had underestimated Arabian Wood for years, until I tested it again few weeks ago, seeking for Autumn-y scents. This is such a chameleonic scent! It twists and alters its own skin several times throughout wearing it. I included it in Autumn potions because its nature is similar to the seasonal transitions, so you could wear it in a day that experiences both sun and rain.

Do not let the preconception dictating that all Arabic perfumes must contain oud or heavy woods to fool you. I have came across Arabic juices fresher than spring! Having said that Arabian Wood fills in the category with its light woody-mossy notes, which transform into powdery-flowery during the chameleonic hours. Longevity-wise is not perfect, as it fades after few hours, however the hour that stays on, definitely performs in its grandiosity.

History

Arabian Wood belongs to the Private Blend Collection and was launched as part of the second batch of perfumes for the collection in 2008 regionally, in the Middle East and internationally a year later.

Composition

Woody notes, Bulgarian Rose, May Rose, Jasmine, Freesia, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Bergamot, Orris, Orange blossom, Cedar, Oakmoss, Honey, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Amber, Tonka Bean, Lavender, Galbanum.

Arabian Wood comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 166 Euro and in 250ml for 400 Euro.

TOLA- MISQAAL (2013)

Misqaal Tola

Personality

Aromatic, woody and spicy, Misqaal is such a rich scent with many layers and high quality ingredients, that not only will not disappoint but is highly intriguing.

History

Misqaal is a measurement system of weight that was used to measure gold and expensive goods such as spices, back in the days in the regions of Gulf and India. Misqaal is a fragrance made by Dhaher Bin Dhaher and comes from Dubai, UAE. Tola is a new and promising brand in Perfumery, focusing on good marketing tools and premium quality ingredients.

Composition

Top notes: Mandarine, Grapefruit, Plum, Pineapple, Raspberry, Pink pepper, Lemon, Bergamot, Nutmeg, Anise, Coriander, Fir, Honey.

Middle Notes: French orange flower, Heliotrope, Geranium, Orris, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Juniper, Wormwood, Orchid.

Base Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Labdanum, Leather, Tonka bean, Cypriol oil, Agarwood, Incense, Siam Benzoin, Castoreum, White musk, Ambergis.

Misqaal comes as Extrait de Parfum and Eau de Parfum in 45 ml for 235 Euro.

HIND AL OUD-WAQAT

Waqt

Personality

This is a head turning scent that has accompanied me in many fun nights last year! I was always asked what was it, when I was wearing it, and was always receiving exclamation points when I was saying: it is downtown Arabic! During the opening, almonds and flowers take over, while its trail is similar to cream chocolate and rum. Balmy, lightly woody and powdery, this perfume is at least ethereal…

History

Waqat means time in Arabic. Waqat was created by Mohammed Hilal, the mastermind behind my favourite Arabic perfumes brand: Hind Al Oud.

Composition

Top notes: Cyclamen, Almond blossom.

Main notes: Jasmine, Peony.

Base notes: Ambergis, Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood.

Waqat comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for Dhs 550 or else 110 Euro.

AMOUAGE- DIA MAN (2002)

dia_mens_large_normal

Personality

The first time I sniffed Dia for men I thought “Oh my! Whoever wears this, turns automatically a level of dangerousness up before I even see him…” and I crowned it as one of my favourite men’s scents of all time! Dia man smells basically like dry and spicy woods that get deeper, hour after hour and to me is a much simpler composition than the rest of Amouages. In addition to that, Dia man soaps make a spectacular gift for hosts and hostesses.

History

Dia for men is a Bertrand Duchaufour’s creation for Amouage, launched in 2002.

Composition

Top notes: Incense, Cardamom, Landanum, Bitter orange.

Main notes: Orris root, Plum, Ylang-ylang, Peony.

Base notes: Brazilian rosewood, Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Leather.

Dia for men comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 175 Euro and in 100ml for 220 Euro.

AMOUAGE- JUBILATION 25 WOMAN (2007)

jubilation_25_womens_large_normal

Personality

Such a beloved perfume! Jubilation could be “Dia’s” first cousin, who is coming from Indian Ocean’s side of the Middle East, while Dia is from the Versailles. They both have the same floral lightness but Jubilation is way deeper, having all the three: incense, myrrh and amber working hard throughout its longevity and making it balsamic and autumn-y. I suggest you layering it with its fabulous bath products that add extra balsamic notes.

History

Celebrating Amouage’s 25 years of creations, Jubilation 25 for women was created by Lucas Sieuzac and was launched in 2007 along with its male counterpart, not only to commemorate its Home’s birthday but also to stigmatize the beginning of a successful route with Christopher Chong at the wheel, as Creative Director.

Composition

Top notes: Lemon, Tarragon, Rose, Ylang-ylang.

Main notes: Rose, Labdanum, Artemisia, Incense.

Base notes: Myrrh, Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Musk.

Jubilation 25 for women comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 205 Euro and in 100ml for 240 Euro. 

AMOUAGE- FATE WOMAN (2013)

fate-woman-big

Personality

This is how luxury smells like! Fate for woman is bold but not aggressive at all. I can smell most of the ingredients in just one application and to me is a genderless perfume. It has a “Jicky” effect on me, or else an effect like a chewing gum with sparkling spice in it, yet sweet taste. Fate woman is full of transitions. For me, labdanum, peppers, vanilla and benzoin backed up with few florals stand out in Fate. Smells very original and unique, out of what exists in the market.

History

Dorothee Piot is the “Nose” behind Fate woman that was launched this year.

Composition

Top notes: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Red chili pepper, Pepper.

Main notes: Rose, Labdanum, Narcissus, Jasmine, Incense.

Base notes: Benzoin, Patchouli, Vanilla, Castoreum, Incense, Leather, Oakmoss.

Fate woman comes as Eau de Parfum in 50 ml for 240 Euro and in 100ml for 290 Euro.

AMOUAGE- TRIBUTE (2009)

tribute oil

Personality

If anyone knows a scent identical to Tribute, in eau de parfum spray form and is willing to share the knowledge, I would highly appreciate it…  It is a dark perfume with prominent smokey, leathery and lightly woody notes but neither heavy not flooding; definitely, one of Amouage’s best perfumes. Long lasting, sensual and warm, Tribute is from its opening to its end an interesting perfume to let it stand out alone or layer it under vanilla-ish and rose scents for a sweet effect or under incenses for bolder situations.

History

Tribute belongs to Amouage’s Attar collection. Fellow blogger Kafkaesque explains in depth, what Attar is to perfumery in here.

Composition

Top notes: Spices, Taifi Rose, Saffron.

Main notes: Rose, French Labdanum, Amber, Jasmine, Incense.

Base notes: Cedarwood, Juniper, Vetiver, Patchouli, Leather, Tobacco.

Tribute comes as oil in 12ml and 30ml, starting from 270 Euro in European markets and from 192 Euro in Omani markets.

GUERLAIN- L’INSTANT MAGIC (2007)

l'instant magic guerlain

Personality

If I had to pick one, and I say one perfume only, from Guerlain that represents Autumn, this would be L’Instant Magique. The almonds, vanilla and musk, create such a cashmere like, powdery and warming up sense that makes it perfect for every occasion and every mood throughout Fall. I recommend trying it with the whole body range to prolong the somehow poor longevity.

History

L’instant Magic was created by Sylvaine Delacourte and Randa Hammami.

Composition

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Anise.

Main notes: Rose, Freesia, Carnation, Mimose, Violet.

Base notes: White musk, Almond, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Iris, Cedar.

L’Instant Magic comes as Extrait de Parfum in 7.5ml for 112 Euro and as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 60 Euro, in 50ml for 85 Euro and 80ml for 104 Euro. The range includes bath gel, body lotion and body cream.

GUERLAIN- SHALIMAR (1925)

Shalimar Guerlain

Personality

Who hasn’t had a dose or hasn’t heard of Shalimar? And even if you haven’t, get ready to be bombardized by Guerlain’s new marketing campaign the following months. Though Shalimar is a 92 years old perfume, it is timeless and for all ages.  Bergamot, Vanilla, powdery notes, all star in this legendary creation, which is perfect for those late afternoons in a friend’s house for cocooning or in your favourite café drinking hot chocolate and watching the rain falling….

History

Shalimar was created in 1921 by Jacques Guerlain, inspired by the legendary Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire, who built Taj Mahal mausoleum to honour the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Despite having received an award in France, Shalimar became a success story not later than 1925, when Madame Raymond Guerlain (Raymond had designed the fan-like Shalimar bottle) wore it during a transatlantic trip to New York and allured everyone! In a blink of an eye, the rumour of Shalimar was spread from mouth to mouth and from the boat to New York City. As a result everybody wanted a bottle of Shalimar. To know more on this legendary creation read House’s connoisseur and fellow blogger Monsieur Guerlain here.

Composition

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Citruses, Cedarwood, Mandarin.

Main notes: Rose, Vetiver, Jasmine, Patchouli, Iris.

Base notes: Leather, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Incense, Vanilla, Opoponax, Musk, Civet.

Shalimar comes as Extrait in 7.5ml for 112 Euro, in 15ml for 166 Euro and in 30ml for 270 Euro. It also comes as Eau de Parfum in 30ml for 60 Euro, in 50ml for 85 Euro and 90ml for 114 Euro and as Eau de Toilette in 30ml for 52 Euro, in 50ml for 72 Euro and 90ml for 98 Euro. The range includes bath gel, body lotion, body cream, soap, deodorant and powder.

GUERLAIN- IRIS GANACHE (2007)

Iris Ganache

Personality

My well-educated readers will already know that Iris Ganache is a discontinued perfume since last year. You will then ask me “Why did you include it?” I did so because, for me, Iris Ganache along with L’Instant Magic are the epitome of Autumn. Iris exhales warmth, as powdery iris and sweet chocolate take over throughout longevity. I consider it worth trying and worth looking for it in online perfume shops and small corner stores that might still carry few last pieces.

History

Iris Ganache was a Thierry Wasser creation, launched in 2007 and was the 5th addition to the exclusive collection: L’Art et La Matière.

Composition

Top notes: Cinnamon, Bergamot, White Chocolate.

Main notes: Iris, Patchouli, Cedar wood.

Base notes: White musk, Vanilla, Amber.

Iris Ganache came as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.

GUERLAIN- CUIR BELUGA (2005)

cuir beluga

Personality

Cuir Beluga is an irresistible amber and vanilla composition that is perfect for Autumn! Its dry-down smells something like flowers and creamy leather, very smooth and powdery too, as every Guerlain perfume that respects its origins. Here you will find an insightful review for Cuir Beluga by fellow blogger Olfactoria.

History

Cuir Beluga is an Olivier Polge creation and was launched in 2005, along with Rose Barbare and Angélique Noire. Coinciding the opening of the renovated at that time “La Maison Guerlain” boutique at 68 Avenue des Champs-Elysée, Guerlain launched these three perfumes in collaboration with three celebrated perfumers, as part of the L’Art et La Matière range.

Composition

Top notes: Tangerine, Aldehydes.

Main notes: Patchouli, Immortelle.

Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Suede, Heliotrope.

Cuir Beluga comes as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.

GUERLAIN- MYRRHE & DÉLIRES (2012)

MYRRHE & DÉLIRES

Personality

Even if some would classify it as a scent for Spring, I will keep it in this list for its delicious and cozy myrrh. Myrrh is the indisputable protagonist in this perfume, with frankincense, licorice and faint florals completing the mise-en scène. Myrrhe & Délires is an unisex and kind of “joker” scent that can be worn from day to night, in every occasion and can support numerous combinations when layered.

History 

Myrrhe & Délires is a Thierry Wasser creation and was launched in 2012. It is the 8th and most recent release for L’Art et La Matière range.

Composition

Top notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit.

Main notes: Violet Leaf, Rose, Jasmine, Osmanthus.

Base notes: Patchouli, Incense, Tonka Bean, Myrrh, Vanilla, Licorice.

Myrrhe & Délires comes as Eau de Parfum in 75ml for 180 Euro.

Disclaimer: All the pictures of perfumes are extracted by the Perfume Houses’ websites.

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Perfume? Do it like Khaleejis!

With pride and thrill I announce you my debut into the ParfumPlus universe!

cover-2013-jul-sep

“Wearing Perfumes: Khaleeji Style” marks the beginning of my collaboration with the very first printed magazine exclusively for perfumes, which is published in Dubai, UAE and distributed in the Middle East, South East Asia and India.

This initial input of mine gives you the chance to explore what perfumes mean to Arabs from the Gulf and how they utilize them in several circumstances of their lives. For more browse into page 16.

Enjoy!

Salome: A festive post

14 of September is a very important date for christian religion and for my family. Christianity commemorates the symbol of its substance, the holy cross. My family celebrates my annual age reduction!

Every 14th of September, since I was only crawling, my grandmother Ioanna used to take me in the same monumental temple to celebrate my birthday and symbolically receive blessings along with the feast of cross. The 17th century monasterial temple is located in Southern part of Naxos and was called monastery of True Cross. Today, is known as Pyrgos of Bazeos or Bazeos Castle and serves as an international landmark for important, seasonal, educational and cultural events on the island.

The Apparition. Gustave Moreau.1876.1? the-apparition-gustave moreau

The Apparition. Gustave Moreau. 1876. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

My timed date at Cross’s temple in such a special date for me in conjunction with my childish mistake that led me to believe for years that John the Baptist was celebrating too, draw me closer by fate to that biblical figure of the same name. I perceived John the Baptist as an Initiator and his ascetical, yet popular to the masses life, intrigued me. Most of all… his scandalous end!

What fascinated me the most was how in his story there is a great alteration of intellect and sexuality; of spirituality and primitive instincts. How it took the “voice of the dessert” only 4 minutes to be muted; exactly how long the dance of 7 veils lasts…

In this festive post, I share with you my friends how big painters and illustrators fantasized and portrayed the femme fatale of 14AD; the quintessence of dangerous female seductiveness: Salome!

2. 1905 ca. - salome-georges-olivier-desvallieres

Salome. George Olivier Desvallières. 1905. Private collection.

2.a 1865 - Pierre Bonnaud

Salomé. Pierre Bonnaud. 19th century. Unknown current location.

3. 1890ca_leon_herbo_salome_alt

Salome. Léon Herbo. 1889. Private collection.

4. Joanna_Chrobak_Salome

Salomé. Joanna Chrobak. 2007. Private collection.

5. 1899 - Salome_Jean_Benner_c1899

Salomé. Jean Benner. 1899. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France.

5b.salome-lovis-corinth

Salome II. Lovis Corinth. 1900. Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany.

6. Bernardino-Luini-Salome-with-the-Head-of-Saint-John-the-Baptist-not-dated-painting-artwork-print

Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist. Bernardino Luini. 16th century. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA. 

7.titien?

Salome. Titian. 1515. Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome, Italy.

8.1607 - Caravaggio

Salome with the head of John the Baptist. Caravaggio. 1607. National Gallery, London, UK.

Der Tanz de Salome by Leopold Schmutzler

Der Tanz der Salome. Leopold Schmutzler. 19th-20 century. Private collection.

9.nude salome- l.schmutzler.

Salome. Leopold Schmutzler. 19th-20th century. Unknown current location.

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Salome. Franz Von Stuck. 1906. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany.

Galerie-F GmbH 

Salomé. Ernst Fuchs. 1991. Private collection.

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Judith and the Head of Holofernes (Judith I). Gustav Klimt. 1901. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria.

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Judith II. Gustav Klimt. 1909. Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Venice, Italy.

Salome. Adolf Frey Moock

Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist. Adolf Frey-Moock. 1910. Private collection.

Queen Salome

Queen Salomé. Salvador Dalí. 1937. Private Collection.

15.Gustave Moreau, Salome Dancing before Herod, 1874-76.

Salome dancing before Herod. Gustave Moreau. 1886. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

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Salomé. Gaston Bussière. 1914. Private collection.

Salome dancing

La danse de Salomé ou les papillon d’or. Gaston Bussière. 1928. Private collection.

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Salome. Francisco Masriera. 1888. Private collection.

19.Salome by Robert Henri, 1965-1929. An oil painting circa 1909.

Salome. Robert Henri. 1909. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.

22.Gustave moreau. Study for Salome. 1876.

Study for Salome. Gustave Moreau. 1876. Musèe Gustave Moreau, Paris, France.

21. Manuel Orazi Salome 1930

Salome. Manuel Orazi. 1930. Unknown current location.

20.Julius Klinger- Salome

Illustration of Salome or Judith from Julius Klinger’s black-white work in #21 of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration. 1907. 

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Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations for  the English version of Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome”. 1894.

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Salome. Erté. 1981. Private Collection.

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Film poster for Salome (1953), starring Rita Hayworth and Stewart Granger.

26. Salome-Theatre poster by Lernert & Sander. won theatre poster prize 2010

Theatre poster by Lernert & Sander for theatrical production “Salome” (2010).

Guerlain Blanc de Perle

This article is the extension of a post I did a while back: the complete guide to Guerlain foundations.

The current additions have to do with the liquid foundation of Blanc de Perle and the exclusive corrector/highlighter of the Blanc de Perle range, which are available mainly in the Middle Eastern and Asian markets.

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Blanc De Perle – Brightening Foundation 

Blanc De Perle is Guerlain’s renewed name of a range formerly known as Pearly White. This is a collection of a complete set of skincare and make up products/solutions for skins suffering discoloration, pigmentation and many more. I am able to talk about both, Pearly White and Blanc de Perle and the huge hiatus between them and argue about why cosmetic brands some times do not only change the name on the etiquette, but also what is inside the jar, for better.

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without flash

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with flash

Onto the product itself, the liquid version of Blanc de Perle is a medium to full coverage foundation with a thick, consistent texture. The finish is beautifully matt yet glowy and its longevity is great, even without a single drop of primer. I would suggest this product for oily and for combination skins. If you find your skin particularly oily only in the T-zone, you could apply Blanc de Perle there and choose another foundation, even a shade darker, for the rest of the face. This would not only ensure a matt T-zone, but also a J-Lo make up effect (bronzed out, light and glow in the middle). I have noticed that this foundation is best applied with fingers. It comes in 5 shades (01 Beige Pale, 02 Beige Clair, 03 Beige Naturel with beige undertones and 32 Ambre Clair with yellow undertones). It also has an SPF of 20. In the pictures you see Beige Clair 02 on my super tanned hand.

I also want to add that Blanc de Perle foundation is a far better version of Pearly White, as it is more consistent, less runny and it does not leave my skin grey as Pearly White used to do, when I hardly had any sleep the night before.

For more information check Guerlain’s website . To check out the compact version of this foundation visit my previous post on Guerlain foundations.

Coverage: Medium to Full

Finish: Matt

Best for: Oily and combination skins

Blanc De Perle – Corrector 

This is the highlighting corrector from the Blanc de Perle range and it comes in two shades, 00 with pink undertones and 01 with yellow undertones. In the pictures below you see 01.

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without flash

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with flash

Very often I think about how this would be a great concealer if only it would come in darker shades, as it has good longevity and nice, workable texture. It has thin to medium, yet buildable coverage and I find it works better over and not under my foundation. It dries matt, complementing amazingly its matching foundations in liquid and compact forms. I like it a lot more than Guerlain’s precious light pen and for me it is an ideal dupe of YSL’s Touche Eclat pen, as it is a little more long lasting than that. The applicator is a wand, which makes it hygienic and easy to use. I like using it as a highlighter and to cover my pigmentation spots in the centre of my face, building it over my foundation. Check it out here.

Coverage: Thin to Medium

Finish: Matt

The shameful scent of Dutch Film Festival

If you happen to be around Utrecht, Netherlands this September, do not miss the chance to watch first the documentary/ artistic journey of Alessandro Gualtieri, which is going to be screened in NFF, the Dutch Film Festival.

Alessandro, who claims to be for perfumery what Elle McPherson is for modelling; (One is the “Nose” and the other is the “Body” respectively), is the mastermind behind the eccentric perfume brand: Nasomatto (meaning crazy nose in Italian).

A.G. Nasomattopic taken from thenose.com

Carrying the title “The Nose- Searching for Blamage”, the hour long documentary unfolds the quest, journeys and experiences of a Perfumer in the way to creation. Gualtieri is traveling mainly through Asia and other parts of the world to trigger his creativity, get inspired and most importantly make mistakes, in order to decide what “Blamage” should smell like.

Meaning “shame” in German, Blamage will mark the end of a cycle, as it will be the 10th and last perfume for Nasomatto.

The documentary, will be screened on September 28th, October the 2nd and 3rd in the Dutch Film Festival and on November 12 in Dutch television.

The Italian Perfumer, who is based in Amsterdam, established Nasomatto in 2007, after years of working for big companies. He has created 9 perfumes for his brand, with “Black Afghano” being probably the most popular one.

For more information regarding the peculiar documentary and Perfumer click here.

http://www.thenosefilm.com/THENOSE_FILM_Home.html

Oman’s Muttrah souq: The burning vesta of resins

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This is the second post dedicated to Oman’s adventure and involves pictures, scents, tastes, memories from one of Oman’s oldest and most historical souqs ( traditional market) called the Muttrah Souq or else Al Dhalam (darkness) for locals. Muttrah and in extension its Souq, was the centre of Oman’s trade and commercial activities way before the discovery of oil.

The souq has two main entrances, one in the front side of the corniche, watching the Sultan Qaboos Port and another at the back side, connected with the Mutrah high street, which is located between houses, a police station and plenty of small shops.

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Muttrah Souq is a point of reference for the Omani families, who run into it looking from household goods, to shoes, garments, knitting and sewing tools and accessories.

Needless to mention the countless tiny stores and autonomous sellers (mainly located in the narrow side streets) selling the best frankincense quality from Salalah, oud and bukhoor and a variety of unique perfume oils.

In the souq I also found silver jewelry with precious stones (mainly turquoise, lapis lazuli and more), mbakhar from clay and electrical mbakhar for burning bukhoor, oud and olibanium and khanjars, the traditional Omani daggers.

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My personal shopping experience involved lots of frankincense from Al Mahri corner shop, right at the end of the souq (he has the best price in market) and bukhoor named “Oud al Shams” from a shop called Arabian. Even though it was August, my trip to the Souq ended up with a pleasant surprise: it rained!

Enjoy the post!!!

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Mission to Oman’s treasure: Amouage

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1st of August found me in the most exotic, beautiful and less advertised country of the Arabian Gulf, Oman. Despite the little time I had in my possession to explore Arabia’s, Africa’s and India’s crossroad, Muscat, I made sure to include first in my scheduale –for my nose and your eyes only- a name synonymous to Oman: the headquarters of the House of Amouage.

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Amouage in Arabic means waves. Amouage in Perfumery means the waves of emotions. Ever since 1983, when the Perfume House was founded by His Highness Sayed Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi, a senior member of the Omani Royal family and established by Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Amouage is inspiring and crafting exceptional fragrances in regal quality.

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At the moment Amouage operates three major global offices, in Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia, Muscat- Oman and London- United Kingdom and three sales offices in Dubai –UAE, Riyadh- Saudi Arabia and Doha- Qatar. Behind the wheel we find Mr. David Crickmore as CEO and Mr. Cristopher Chong as Creative Director for the company.

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The Initial Tour

At first, an Omani Mademoiselle named Ameerah toured me around the raw ingredients organ and got me to know all about Amouage’s fleet.

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Raw materials

Sourcing materials for Amouage is an exclusively French job. French buyers have undertaken the responsibility of tracking and buying raw materials for the House, which uses more than 120 natural ingredients.

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Frankincense is one of the most commonly used materials in Amouage’s fragrances. Our French friends buy the resin from Salalah, which has a rich incense trading history since 13th century. There is the house of the most rare and purest species of all kinds of olibanium. Frankincense is not only a common ingredient to use in perfumes, but also to burn in bukhoor for houses and several religious activities.

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Myrrh and Roses are also widely used in Amouage perfumes and they are being sourced from Oman’s Jebel Akhdar area. More specifically, the essence of the rare, Omani rock rose – a flower found across Jebel Akhdar’s mountain range- is used in “Gold”.

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The bottles

Omani as it is, Amouage wanted to provide a tangible memory along with its Arabic “flavour”. The bottles and caps reminisce familiar Omani symbols: men fragrances the shape of Khanjar, the traditional Omani dagger and women fragrances the dome and shape of Ruwi mosque, in Muscat.

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Timeline of existing perfumes

1983

Amouage’s first launch came in 1983 and was “Gold”, an ultra sexy, very long lasting and timeless scent for women, by well-known perfumer Guy Robert. That very first juice was hosted in pure French crystal bottle, which was dressed in 24-carat gold plated decorations.

90’s

1995: Amouage launched “Ubar” commemorating the lost city of Ubar, near Salalah, in Oman.

1998: Gold’s male pair was created 15 years after, by Guy himself with only two extra notes: oakmoss and patchouli.

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00’s

2002: -the floral, aldehydic and matching with Gold, “Dia” (female and male versions).

– “Silver” for men.

2003: the cool, fresh and full of gardenia “Ciel” (female and male versions).

2007:

-The sharp, green or powdery (men’s), light floral “Reflection” (female and male versions).

-“Jubilation 25” for women and “Jubilation XXV” for men. This is the turning point in Amouage’s creations as it is the mark of the beginning of storylines for future launches and Christopher Chong’s undertaking of duties as Creative Director. Jubilation was created in honour of Amouage’s 25 years of existence.

2008: “Lyric” (female and male versions). Lyric is full of roses in both versions and “tells” the story of lyric music. Lyric is also a direct implication to Mr. Chong’s past as a Baritone.

2009: “Epic” (female and male versions).  Epic is such a theatrical and unique scent! Epic creations celebrate the legendary trade routes of Silk Road, from China to Arabia.

2010’s

2010: my favourite “Memoir” (female and male versions).  . The perfumes celebrate the black swan story and the endless dramatic narratives of woman and man chronicles.

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2011: “Honour” was created to honour the tragic story of Madame Butterfly. (female and male versions).

2012:

-“Beloved” for women, my second favourite from this line of Amouage.

-“Interlude” (female and male versions), came giving a symbolic meaning to humanity. Interlude is another indirect reference to Mr. Chong’s Lyric past and a direct reference to what the world’s needs: a break from all this destruction and misery.

2013:

-“Fate” (amazing female and male versions).  Fate is the swan song of Amouage’s storylines and the call to take our lives in our hands and strive for the best with whatever means we have.

-Beloved for men.

The Library Collection

In 2010, Amouage introduced us the “Library Collection”. It is a line with a sense of exclusivity and I dare to say, deeper, challenging and more complex scents, for demanding noses. The library collection is Mr. Chong’s personal bet and has hosted different Perfumers for each creation. Opus I to IV, were launched all in 2010. Since then Amouage releases one Opus per year. 17

50% of Opus IV global sales go to the National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program (NAP) in Oman, an initiative supported by the Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation, United Nations Children’s Fund and United Nations Population Fund.

Opus III and Opus IV drive me nuts! Opus III has a light flowery scent and it strongly reminds me of Guerlain’s Insolence, when the middle notes are in charge. On the other hand, Opus IV has a magical, authentic olibanium scent. I appreciate Opus II and Opus VI as well. The first evolves into a crispy, yet spicy beautiful aroma and the second, smells mostly of oud.

The Factory

Menjie, Sales Associate and Amouage connoisseur for more than 10 years toured me around the manufacturing area and the gift shop.

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On the left you can see the Initial Perfume Organ, that was used during the first years of Amouage.

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Enfleurage. This is an initial, traditional process, during which flowers and plants are placed on odourless vegetable fat (3 tones each time) in room temperature, to capture the fragrant compounds. Absolute is a product of enfleurage.

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Distillation process involves strictly petals and water.

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Chilling machine contains 22% of concentrate.

In 1983, Amouage had only 6 tanks in possession to make only its 4 different kinds of perfumes. It is significant that all filling was done manually.

Today, the perfumes are created in Grasse, France and spend the last process of manufacture (the maceration) and bottling in Amouage’s factory in Oman. Maceration lasts from 6 to 8 weeks.

Production

Amouage produces maximum 2500-3000 bottles daily. Depending on the demand, the production can reach 5000-10000 bottles daily.

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Absolutes and perfumes are being bottled and packaged in Oman, while creams, soaps and lotions in France.

The gift shop

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Leather goods

Impressively, Amouage sells outstanding leather goods as well. Leather is Italian cow skin and the goods are made in Italy. In particular, Amouage’s leather goods are made in the same factory that produces the Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo products.

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My Shopping

Shopping in Amouage factory was an undoubtedly pleasant experience, thinking of all the variety, benefit of playing around endlessly, Menjie’s helpful assistance and a complimentary 10% discount one has at the end of the day! Keep at the back of your mind though that Amouage’s corner shop at Omani Airport offers an even greater discount. My shopping costed originally 73 Omani Riyals. After discount I paid 65 O.R. and I received plenty of Amouage perfumes samples, which I will review soon.

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I bought the “Dia” super luxurious, perfumed cream in jar for my mum, which she adores using since 2009. It smells exactly like Dia for women and it has great longevity. It also compliments perfectly her beloved perfume, Coco Chanel. Original price was 38 O.R.

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For myself, I got the Memoir perfume in solid wax. I wear it for over a month now and I am totally happy with its scent, even though its sillage and longevity are pretty weak. I use it to refresh throughout the day- something like a scent booster! Original price was 35 O.R.

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The factory is located in Muscat’s Al Seeb area, near to the airport. Below you can have a look at the map and driving instructions, provided to me by the company.

Amouage location map

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Amouage’s corner shop at Oman’s Al Seeb airport

Wrapping up my experience I can only confirm of what I saw and sniffed:

Amouage IS the gift of kings!