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Jul 302015
 July 30, 2015  Posted by on July 30, 2015 13 Responses »
Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Fragrantica

Hey there Posse, The Ormonde Jayne brand has largely passed me by. I have a couple of the travels that I’ve bought in splits and a sample set bought from the Ormonde Jayne site. I have liked everything I’ve tried from the house and find them very wearable, though a couple are a bit too transparent for me to put down any money for bottle ownership. Sampaquita is different, quite hefty and with an awkwardness that is intriguing and beguiling.

Sampaquita by Geza Schoen for Ormonde Jayne 2004

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Ormonde Jayne gives these featured accords:
Lychee, Grass Oil, Bergamot, Magnolia
Heart: Sampaquita Absolute, Freesia, Muguet, Rose, Water Lilies
Base: Musk, Vetiver, Moss, Ambrette Seed

Sampaquita is the Polynesian jasmine, like but unalike the jasmines we are used to.

That super green opening is almost astringent and makes my lips pucker in happy anticipation. Bittersweet, like so many of the best things in life, and crisp Sampaquita opens like a fragrance from another time, its oiliness like the shimmer of aldehydes across citrus and vetiver. Once the snappy opening recedes I am given a beautiful resinous green bouquet of which I can mainly smell lily of the valley and some dewy jasmine. It’s a cool tropical bouquet, maybe a shady dell after a rainstorm, surrounded by lush tropical growth but shadowed and eerily green.

Across the road from our new apartment is one of Australia’s oldest cemeteries. The only others I ever see in there are a family of Ibis. There are only about 200 tombstones of the wealthier dead from some of our historical families and a celebrated explorer but there are apparently over 1500 people buried without headstones, mainly orphans, mentally ill and prisoners. There is a wall dedicated to them all with their names and date of death. The cemetery is surrounded and the wall is shaded by some large eucalyptus and other trees. Today while walking Gucci (my beautiful 15 year old rescue Greyhound) we stopped there amongst the sprinkling rain reading some of the names and dates and I was enveloped in a beautiful, ethereal scent that was both cool and melancholy. It was Sampaquita, a perfect accompaniment to wandering the halls of the many mainly forgotten dead.

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Parramatta Cemetery 2015 #4

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Parramatta Cemetery 2015 #1

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Parramatta Cemetery 2015 #5

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Parramatta Cemetery 2015 #6

Sampaquita Ormonde Jayne Parramatta Cemetery 2015 #2

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Olfactoria’s Travels
Ormonde Jayne has £70/4 x 10ml travels
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml

What is your green or melancholy fragrance? Do you like the Ormonde Jayne fragrances, which ones particularly?

If you liked this then drop on over to Australian Perfume Junkies and continue the fragrant conversation there, we love visitors.
Portia xx

Jul 282015
 July 28, 2015  Posted by on July 28, 2015 17 Responses »

Image stolen from Atelier twitter.

I was thrilled to receive a package in the mail last week – generous samples from Josie at Osswald, who wanted me to take a test drive of the Atelier des Ors fragrances, which are new for 2015, along with some other things. The Atelier des Ors are not cheap ($295 for 100 ml), but those little bits of gold drifting around in the bottle must cost something, right? The nose behind the fragrance is Marie Salamagne, who seems to be behind a lot of mid-2000s flankers I’ve probably never tried, along with a couple of my favorite Guerlain AAs (including Laurier-Reglisse) and, more recently, some Jo Malones. I’m going to hazard a guess that Ms. Salamagne was a lot more jazzed about Atelier’s briefs than, say, Miss Sixty Rock Muse or Jaguar Fresh Woman. Full disclosure that I tried these samples blind without researching beforehand, because it’s fun, and that if there’s a more explicit list of notes than what I have below, I couldn’t find them.

I asked Josie which I should try first (here’s a running snapshot of snippets of our FB chat) and she Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.46.43 PMnamed Rose Omeyyade. From Osswald: “An intense and bewitching velvety fragrance inspired by the precious and captivating Damask Rose. Named after the Umayyad dynasty, Rose Omeyyade tells of the grandeur of the lavishly decorated Levant palaces. A resounding ode to sensuality and refinement once captured in orientalist paintings.” It’s a delight. There’s a little bit of peppery-citrus in the opening but overall it’s a linear scent, developing rapidly into a dark, dirty rose, standing in damp earth (musk, civet and patchouli?) I am in general not a big fan of rose fragrances (with the illogical exception of vintage YSL Paris), so I’m not dying for a bottle of this, but the sillage is heady stuff with excellent lasting power, for you Big Bad Rose fans out there.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.47.12 PMNext up, Larmes Du Désert “reflects the tradition of perfumes in the Middle East with the use of amber and Incense. An homage to the birthplace of perfumery. Gold, myrrh and Incense confer a divine ascendance to that beautifully crafted and resounding fragrance. A spiritual nectar blending the sensuality of noble amber and magical myrrh with the mysterious spiciness of incense.” Oh My.  Does anyone remember that Baccarat Sacred Tears of Thebes thing? Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes? Patty got ahold of a squidge and I remember thinking how beautiful it was… well, never mind because you can’t have any, and if you could it’s a bazillion dollars an ounce. This thing, on the other hand, comes in a big ol’ 100ml bottle! It’s a frankinmyrrh-spice blend of the sort that (clearly) I can never, ever get enough of, halfway between church and souk. My favorite of the line thus far.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.47.49 PMLune Féline – “a symphony of dark and luxurious notes inspired by the moon. The fragrance opens on vibrant accords of warm spices melting with intense and precious woods at its heart. A dark and animalistic scent based on vanilla pods and sensual orchid warmed with balsamic notes and musky accords, these notes convey a rich, gourmand trail.” This is wonderful. Bit of a head fake in the opening, when it gave a hint of powder, and then WHOMP with the smoke and vanilla. I wouldn’t describe it as gourmand; this is a dry, autumnal plume of woodsy smoke over dark vanilla pods. Smelling it I imagined it as a deep, greyed-out purple, disappearing into black. Really delightful, surpringly so considering the heat.   Walking to work I thought, wow, think how great this would be in more appropriate, cooler weather, but I have to say it was pretty fabulous in 93 degrees, thanks to its refreshing lack of any amber-laden sweetness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.48.21 PMSo – as I said, I looked all these up after I tried them, and there are a few left in the pile for another day. The last one I decided to sample for this post was an outlier; it’s clearly the most modern of the group, by which I mean no, thanks. It was amusing – I thought, okay, here’s the mass-market fruity one they threw in because someone said they need at least one fragrance in the line that a normal person would wear. It just seemed so out of place! Which it was, because when I googled it, it’s a Micallef – Azure Crystal Woman, which I’m also pretty sure is new. Neroli, bergamot, mandarin, plum, jasmine, monoi, musk, amber, vanilla. And man, is that thing sweet, although I’m sure the fact that I was measuring it against incense and smoke didn’t help. The nicest thing I can say is it does have very good lasting power, and that in general I find Micallef bottle designs charming. It’s not bad— but with $265 to blow on a fragrance, why would anyone pick this one?

In other news:

my daughter (aka “snake snack”) is doing much better, although the recovery from a copperhead bite is apparently going to be slow and tedious;

I’m rocking some wrap dresses for work and thanks for that recommendation, they’re fab;

Finally, in beauty notes, my summer lip these days is sheer coral or shrimp pink – think MAC Sunny Seoul or Flamingo. I yearn to call it universally flattering, since Louise and I are both wearing it. With my cool-mauve lip undertones, the result is a soft nudie-pink lip that’s cheerful and office friendly.


Jul 272015
 July 27, 2015  Posted by on July 27, 2015 28 Responses »
Hermes Jour d'Hermes Gardenia review

Hermes Jour d'Hermes Gardenia reviewHermes Jour d’Hermes Gardenia is the newest release from Hermes, a flanker to Jour d’Hermes.

Never ready to like flankers, but since I loved Jour d’Hermes so much, I gave this a spin.  It’s great.  It’s that sophisticated, elegant floral that is perfect when you want a plush gardenia floral instead of something more earthy.  A fatty, plush floral that’s not too extruded – meaning it’s not super-loud or brassy, a touch of green in it keeps it dewy.  You could wear this lightly in an office, and it would be a beautiful wedding perfume as well. I am hoping they will do an absolu of this one.  There’s nothing groundbreaking in Hermes Jour d’Hermes Gardenia, but there is something beautiful, and no apologies for loving something that is easy to wear and really freaking pretty.  I always have a soft spot for perfumes that do that one job really well, go on, smell beautiful, and behave for the full time they are on.

Winners of the Malle Carnal Flower Hair Mist and potential Carnal Flower Shower Gel – LaDona, CbSutcliffe, Petunia and karibub.  Winners of an older drawing for a sample set of Armani Prive Sable Fume and Sable Or, Unum Lavs and Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino – Jackie B and jirish.

Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog, send me your name and address and remind me what you’ve won.  I’ll send you a quick “got it” e-mail so you know it didn’t drop into my spam filter and then get it sent to you.

So what’s your mainstream perfume that you think does that one job the best of being beautiful and a great go-to perfume?  I’ll draw out three winners from commenters to get a sample of Hermes Jour d’Hermes Gardenia.

Jul 262015
 July 26, 2015  Posted by on July 26, 2015 24 Responses »

weatherSorry to report that I’m feeling a bit under the weather today (back and wrist acting up, among other things) and have decided it’s probably for the best that I just take it easy and lie low for a day or two.

But first, some comforting aromatherapy. I do think that the right scents can help take your mind off your aches and pains. So perhaps I’l indulge in a dab of my happy place Le Labo Tubereuse 40 on one wrist, and Le Couvent des Minimes Eau des Missions Cologne on the other.

Speaking of which, I actually found this a while back at a nearby Ulta. It wasn’t in with the regular spray fragrances, but was over in the bath area. Very cool, and I was so excited to actually see it on the shelf that an SA came over to see if I needed help. After I went on and on about it, I got her to sniff it and she loved it, so think I made a convert.

Anyway, back to comfort: What scent(s) do you turn to when you’re feeling under the weather?

Although, the more I think about it, with this hot, humid weather we’re having here in my neck of the woods, shouldn’t everything be good and warmed up with no problems? I always thought chilly, rainy days made creaky joints, old injuries, arthritis, etc., act up, but I guess not always.

Stepping on a Snake

Stepping on a Snake

I was working on something else for today’s post, but then I got distracted. My daughter stepped on a snake. Unfortunately it was a copperhead, and it bit her. She’s in the hospital, getting all the appropriate care, and she’ll be fine, but some best-laid plans are out the window. The rest, please…

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