Saturday, January 21, 2017

Oriflame Mirage: fragrance review

One of the few and far in between fragrances composed by Françoise Caron for Oriflame (as per the company's official info), Mirage had the stunning visuals to turn heads even before smelling its intense "magical broth" scent. The intensely green bottle and the red-haired heroine representing it, dressed in emerald flowing gowns (red enhancing the green) had me salivating even before holding the lovely rollerball vials they used to make and trying it on my own skin with all the apprehension reserved for ritualized experiences.

This most striking of colors, green being the color of horror movies and sorceresses' brews, is taken for a wild ride in Mirage. The peppery, mysterious and lush smell of vetiver and sticky, sweetly spicy peppery resins engulf its core of dark, gothic rose with thorns attached. One can almost feel the ache of those "pricked thumbs" and the foreboding of [the] "wicked [which] our way comes" as per Macbeth's second witch's famous lines. But unlike Lady Macbeth you won't long to wash it off your hands, if it catches your heart. And it very well might, unless you're of the gourmands and fruity florals brigade, in which case step away like hordes of Huns are stampeding down your path.

Unusual for Oriflame fragrances Mirage was very potent and with a high sillage, making it a true love-it-or-hate-it perfume. And I say "was" because it is discontinued. In the hopes of having it re-introduced, even under another name, I am writing this elegy of its emerald-hued heart of darkness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tijon Heartlink Scented Necklace in The Scented Letter Magazine

You know that our sponsor here at PerfumeShrine, the ever gracious and brave Jovan Van Drielle, is a formidable woman.

It is with great joy that I discovered Tijon Fragrance Lab and Boutique was featured in The Scented Letter Magazine during the holiday season. The story of the Tijon Heartlink Necklace is as moving as it is poignant.

Please consider visiting www.tijon.com to discover more.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Joop Homme: fragrance review

When King Kong punches his pectorals in wild dominance, you know there's an ominous threat of being squished into pulp any minute now. When Joop! Homme approaches, thundering like the bass off a distant Jeep with the speakers in full volume, you know you're in trouble. This thing is (or rather used to be) HUGE.

It shouldn't come as a surprise being conceived by perfumer Michel Almairac in the decade of excess, the 1980s, but it always comes into my mind with a chuckle when I consider that Joop! Homme is just 3 years senior to the perfume that needs to be applied with a Q-tip shaken before one's self to apply, i.e. Angel.

Much like that other Godzilla of perfumery it is a sweet perfume. And it's a deep pink; it's an ingenious counterpoint of a male fragrance being tinted in the color of Barbies and kids' cough syrup, and of a female fragrance (Angel) tinted in the hues of male childhood since at least Edwardian times!

The clustering of vanilla, coumarin (described as tonka beans), and heliotrope in Joop! Homme accounts for a furry-embrace experience from a King Kong in amorous disposition. And when you think your favorite primate is doing all the love motions known to primates since time immemorial, and drowning everything out with a welcome splash of Coca Cola, a beautiful, clean orange blossom note emerges like the corolla of a blossom. And then gets engulfed with fluffy notes like cherry pipe tobacco.

If "you beast!" is the desirable moan off the lips of a potential partner doing the down and dirty, Joop! Homme is a mighty fine choice. The Newland Archers of this world might find it crude though, be warned.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Frapin Caravelle Epicee: fragrance review

The road from Kerala has been finally constructed and the cargo all the way from its verdant backwaters is getting delivered to the ship traveling from the bays of the Indian ocean to Southampton. It carries on it a small quota of the spices of the East, in wooden chests decorated with the coat of arms of the port commander for his personal use. Amongst them nutmeg is the crowning glory, the seed of the Myristica tree, cool and tingling at the same time, redolent of that curious contradiction of serenity and languor that is the east to a westerner's mind.


All the splendour of the spice-laden ships has been translated into Caravelle Épicée by Frapin, a fragrance intended for armchair pirates contemplating looting one of them and sailing off to the Seychelles to enjoy the fruits of this escapade. And behold, what do I see in my pocket telescope? Here is a band of them storming the agile vessel with their sabres in hand!

They're inhaling the spicy notes escaping the small hold, caraway and coriander with their cool piquancy, a counterpoint to the hotness and dryness of black pepper, a potent mix never ceding to sweetness. They're already intoxicated with the good-smelling treasure they captured. Maybe too intoxicated to get through the risky voyage to the islands. I can see it even from here. The captain lies in ambush, his particular type of pipe tobacco lingering on the vessel long after he hid. There's hope for the ship yet!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque: fragrance review

Fumerie Turque (Turkish smoking salon) is one of the most majestic scents amidst the Serge Lutens impressive line-up of orientalise compositions that draw upon the vast tradition of the Middle East and its specific languor of the senses. It evokes the honeyed, rich tobacco blends which the Seljuk sultans reserved for their seraglios overlooking the Bosporus, the narguilé blends warming up with milky, rosy substances added to prolong the languorous enjoyment, the hour of contemplation.

Lutens and his perfumer, Chris Sheldrake, created an autumnal oriental for sensualists, men and women who appreciate the tender, soft embrace of a leather-lined guest salon, where the smell of sumptuous balsams, rich tobacco, dried fruits and honeyed rose loukhoums waft from across the canopied beds of the harem.

Its scent never fails to make me yearn for inchoate habits I never indulged, traditions which call upon a far heritage passed on by generations, and of lands which are never as far as away as imagined, but instead lie within a day's reach. Fumerie Turque is my personal piercingly erotic dare to the deceptively familiar.

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