A selection of fragrances from the perfume house Frederic Malle
It’s Mood Scent 4 time again! Tara from A Bottled Rose, Samantha from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St Maxime and I are all writing on the same subject every couple of months. This time we write about fragrances which work for everybody else except us. It might be due to skin chemistry, hormones or just personal taste. You can find the links to the others blogs at the end of this article.
I have chosen two fragrances very much loved amongst many perfume lovers: Parfum d’Empire Azemour and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Portrait Of A Lady. Unfortunately both don’t work for me, here’s why.
Parfum d’Empire Azemour Les Orangers Eau de Parfum
Notes: orange, clementine, tangerine, grapefruit, coriander, cumin, black pepper, pink pepper, blackcurrant, galbanum, neroli, geranium, orange blossom, rose, hay, moss, henna and cypres (as of to Luckyscent)
Fragrance Family: Mossy Woods / Chypre (as of Michael Edwards)
Azemour was introduced in 2011 and created as a tribute to Morocco where it’s perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato was born and raised. The Eau de Parfum is said to contain all the parts of the orange tree from pulp, fruit, peel, leaves, to bark and earth. I found the use of all parts of an orange tree very appealing as I love everything from the orange tree. Azemour has had many positive reviews online (Bois de Jasmin, The Scented Hound and Olfactoria to name a few).
Azemour starts very promising on my skin with golden sweet orange to continue quite rapidly into a very sour citrus. The glorious orange shines through from time to time showing a glimpse of the chypre I would like it to be but the dusty moss/hay and sour citrus notes ruin this Eau de Parfum completely for me. I was given a tester bottle when I purchased a fragrance a few years ago and used Azemour from time to time hoping for the better but alas the dusty moss/hay and sour citrus notes make it rather difficult for me to wear. My partner wore Azemour this summer and it smells amazingly warm bright and golden on him. I wish it smelled like this on me. My skin and Azemour just don’t match.
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Portrait Of A Lady Eau de Parfum
Notes: rose, blackcurrant, raspberry, clove, patchouli,sandalwood, frankincense (as of the official Frederic Malle EU website)
Fragrance Family: Mossy Woods / Chypre (as of Michael Edwards)
Another well loved fragrance among many perfume lovers which doesn’t suit me is Frédéric Malle Portrait Of A Lady (often called in short PoaL). PoaL is said to originate from an accord of Frédéric Malle Geranium pour Monsieur. Some describe PoaL as a jammy rose with incense or as a dark rose. On my skin PoaL is very much about patchouli which I am not very fond of when it plays a prominent role. I get whiffs of jammy rose but mostly of very earthy patchouli which I can appreciate at certain moments but not for a whole day. Unfortunately the rose is not too noticable on my skin.
Bottomline: A perfume might not work for you due to personal taste, skin chemistry or hormones. Parfum d’Empire Azemour didn’t work due to my skin and probably hormones and Portrait of a Lady due to the prominent patchouli. So always test on your skin before buying a fragrance and monitor how it develops during the day. If you can test a few times.
Are there any perfumes which seem to work for everybody else except you?
Welcome to Mood Scent 4!
We are four perfume bloggers based in France, Holland, England and Wales who post on a different jointed subject every couple of months. This time we have chosen uplifting perfumes as we moving into the autumn and winter season. At the end of this article you will find links to the blogs of A Bottled Rose, I Scent You A Day and Megan in St. Maxime.
I really enjoyed choosing 5 uplifting fragrances for our joined project. The fragrances I choose were the joyful L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons Eau de Toilette, invigorating Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade, contemporary British Heeley Oranges and Lemons, bright April Aromatics Ray Of Light and energising Hermes Eau D’Orange Verte.
1. L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons Eau de Toilette
Notes: Linden Blossom, Lemon Tree Blossom, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Tuberose Perfumer: Anne Flipo Year: 1999
La Chasse aux Papillons (Chasing butterflies) is a happy, joyful, floral bouquet of white blossoms of orange, jasmine and tuberose with some green leaves and creamy coconut. It is one of my favorite uplifting fragrances and I gladly use the Eau de Toilette, the accompanying body lotion and shower gel on grey rainy days to cheer me up.
In a few words*: innocent, romantic, joyful, young and light, white
2. Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade
Notes: Bitter Orange, Cardamon, Pepper, Hay, Cedar Wood Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena Year: 2001
In true Ellena style this cologne is stripped from any distractions* by leaving out the traditional cologne herbs lavender or rosemary and concentrating fully on the bitter orange essence in all it’s splendour. It’s incredibly energising and an excellent choice for a dull grey autumn or winter morning. I used the shower gel some years ago and loved it too.
In a few words: refreshing, invigorating, clean, casual chic
3. Heeley Oranges And Lemons Say The Bell’s Of … St.Clements
Notes: Oranges, Lemons, Bergamot, Mandarine, Neroli, Petitgrain, Earl Grey Tea, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver Perfumer: James Heeley Year: 2010
Together with La Chasse Aux Papillons a beautiful name for a fragrance. Oranges and Lemons was inspired by an old children’s rhyme from the 18th century. The Bell’s Of St. Clements refer to church bells which can still be found in the historic and financial centre of the City of London.
Oranges and Lemons starts as a contemporary cologne with bright bitter orange flowers (neroli) with their green leaves to change into a slightly sweeter orange lemonade. There is a right balance between the shiny bitter neroli and sweeter orange. Longevity on my skin is good for a cologne style fragrance as it lasts several hours. Unexpectedly the dry down was quite calming. If the fragrance would have a color it would be vibrant orange.
In a few words: modern cologne, relaxed, contemporary British, colour of bright orange
4. April Aromatics Ray Of Light
Notes: Lime, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot, Galbanum, Mint, Vetiver, Tobacco. Perfumer: Tanja Bochnig Year: 2014
Ray of Light is an all natural fragrance made by Berlin based perfumer Tanja Bochnig. The fragrance opens with bright sunny bitter green citrus leaves which quickly change into warmer lightly sugared lemon followed by some sweeter orange and a mellow herbal tobacco base. The galbanum adds an overall green bitter scent to the whole fragrance. When smelling and experiencing this fragrance the colour that came to mind was vibrant yellow. I find it a very cheerful and encouraging fragrance. It’s dry down is quite relaxing as well. Ray of Light will work well on those dark days in winter to get you out of bed and running as it will your energy rapidly moving.
In a few words: cheerful, bright, sunny, vibrant yellow, encouraging
5. Hermes Eau D’Orange Verte, I reviewed this energising scent and the shower gel previously on my website. If you like Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade you will probably like this too. Eau d’Orange Verte is a cheaper alternative as it is often on sale at discount websites. I use it quite often to refresh in summer and uplift in winter time. You can read my article here.
Bottom line: my top 5 choices for uplifting fragrances were the joyful L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons Eau de Toilette, invigorating Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade, contemporary English Heeley Oranges and Lemons, bright April Aromatics Ray Of Light and energising Hermes Eau D’Orange Verte.
You can find Tara’s choices from A Bottled Rose, Megan’s from Megan in Sainte Máxime and Samantha’s from I Scent You A Day by clicking on the names of the websites. Go to their website to read their choices of uplifting fragrances. I am very curious to read which fragrances they choose!
Do you use fragrance to uplift you? If so, what are your favourite uplifting fragrances?
*in a few words was inspired by the excellent The Scented Hound website.
*read Clayton’s more elaborate and interesting article about the making of Cologne Bigarade on What Men Should Smell Like
Disclosure: all photographs were made by me.