Fragrant Holiday Gifts – Discovery Sets and Home Fragrances

In the Netherlands we are getting ready for the traditional day for gifts on the evening of December 5th, Sinterklaas. This period is accompanied by fragrant almond and spiced cookies speculaas, marzipan, chocolate letters and others sweets. Some families accompany their gifts with self made rhymes. This is my top 5 of personal favorite fragrant gifts including perfume discovery sets, scented candles and room diffusers. All of them have in common that they are made by perfumers running their own independent perfume company which (in my opinion) are worthy of our support.

inekescentlibrary1. Ineke Scent Library:  a beautiful gift with 5 large 2,5 ml samples from American perfume Ineke Ruhland Floral Curiosities Collection, it is a low risk and not too expensive but beautiful gift. I have not used this Scent Library but bought it as a gift recently for Sinterklaas for a avid book lover to introduce her to these fragrances. price: 20 euro

2. Lorenzo Villoresi Vintage Collection: a discovery set with 6 fragrances in 2 ml small sprays from the Vintage Collection of Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi including: Garofano, Ambra, Incensi, Tropicana, Vetiver and Ylang Ylang. They all come in a very practical small box which is perfect for travelling. price: 18 euro lorenzovilloresi3.  Parfums de Nicolai Room Diffuser (bamboo fragrance sticks): for a very special gift as they are not cheap but really worth its price. Most of French perfumer Patricia de Nicolai room diffusers last about 9 month but  less if put close a source of heat like central heating. This is high perfumery in a room diffuser for me as I prefer Patricia de Nicolai room fragrances to her perfumes. Personal favorites are Ambre Precieux and Maharajah.  ambre-precieuxAs a gift I bought a Route du Cedre room diffuser. They come in a beautiful box which can used afterwards to store perfume samples or jewellery. The Ambre Precieux room spray is excellent as well and works wonderful sprayed on skin be careful though if you have a sensitive skin as it is not made to spray on skin. price: 43 euro  (room diffuser),  37 euro (room spray)

4. Oliver & Co Scented Candles: (free worldwide shipping until the end of 2014)  wonderful strong scented candles made by the Spanish perfumer Oliver Valverde. My favorite candle for winter is Ambarina and Tuberosen for summer. Very suited for Christmas is Silver Fir which I am using at the moment. price: 42 euro (Oliver has regular discounts, it is wise to check his website regularly or subscribe to his newsletter on his website) image 5. A cheaper gift alternative are empty perfume sprays or a Travalo Perfume Spray. I always help my mother to refill her purse spray for her large Estee Lauder Beautiful eau de parfum bottle and noticed several friends appreciate empty perfume bottles as they do not know where to buy them.

This is a small selection for fragrant gifts. What will you be giving for Sinterklaas or Christmas ?

Disclaimer: all products in this article were bought by me

Photographs: from the official websites http://www.ineke.com/, http://www.lorenzovilloresi.it/, and http://www.pnicolai.com/en/ and http://www.oliverandcoperfumes.com/en/ Please check these website for further worldwide information where products can be bought.

Ormonde Jayne Tolu Scented Candle

Ormonde Jayne perfumery is a London based fragrance company. It was founded by Linda Pilkington. She says about its foundation: ” my goal was to combine elements which define true elegance, the quality of English craftsmanship, the art of French perfumery and the sensuality and natural harmony of the Orient.” Ormonde Jayne has a collection of 16 fragrances at this moment including her Four Corners of the Earth Collection with the exquisite Nawab of Oudh.

Tolu is sold as an eau de parfum, body lotion, shower gel, bath oil and a scented candle. From time to time Tolu is offered as an extrait, as a gift with purchase. I have the eau de parfum, extrait (pure perfume) and scented candle.

Tolu is a precious Peruvian tree resin used as a raw perfumery material. The eau de parfum Tolu was created in 2002. At the beginning it smells quite rich, deep and powerful but light and fresh at the same time. Later it becomes more ambery, golden, smooth and sweet. The fragrance has the structure of caramel. It is suited for colder weather. I found the extrait – scented candle to have more similarities than the eau de parfum and the scented candle. The pure perfume and candle are both more amber and golden than the fresher eau de parfum. My personal impression is that the extrait and scented candle are more concentrated on the original balsamic base notes and fresher lighter herbal (top) notes have been added to the eau de parfum.

The painting The Golden Temple captures the essence of the scented candle beautifully; golden from the frankincense, orange from the orange blossom, the caramel smoothness from the tolu and amber.

THE Golden Temple

The large scented candle holds 260 grams of wax according to the Ormonde Jayne website and has 2 wicks to burn very evenly in my experience. If you burn it one hour it scents a large room. I bought my candle during an online sale last year, used it during the winter time and just started using it again. It is one of the best scented candles I own but comes with quite a price tag (48 British Pound Sterling / 60 euro). I would recommend to wait for an online sale and I understand one is coming up very soon. So check the Ormonde Jayne website if you plan to buy one. To me burning this candle is the ultimate indulgence. It would make an excellent Christmas or Sinterklaas gift as well.

Tolu candles can be bought in London or in Ormonde Jayne’s online store. More info at www.ormondejayne.com

Notes: (according to the official Ormonde Jayne website)

Top notes: Juniper Berry, Orange Blossom, and clary sage

Heart notes: Orchid, Moroccan Rose and Muguet

Base notes: Tolu, Tonka Bean, Golden Frankincense and Amber

Fragrance Family: Deep Oriental (Michael Edwards) Oriental Woody (Fragantica)

Perfumer: Geza Schoen

Painting: The Golden Temple by Henriette Hackenberg www.henriette-hackenberg.nl

Disclosure: all products mentioned in this article were bought by me

Ineke Chemical Bonding

Just bite the sour apple

When I first heard the name Chemical Bonding I was a bit put off by its name. Bonding and chemical sound a bit sterile to me. The image I get is a chemical lab not the romantic idea of two people bonding. Chemical Bonding is based on two people bonding and alchemy as well. Chemical Bonding was launched in 2006.

I bought Ineke’s beautiful Deluxe Sample Collection Set with all of Ineke’s 7 perfumes. One of the samples was Chemical Bonding. The discovery set is an excellent way to get introduced to her whole collection. All of Ineke’s perfumes are categorized by alphabet, an abecedary as Ineke calls it herself. Ineke Ruhland has her own small perfume house in San Francisco.

When I first scented Chemical Bonding I did not like its opening note. It was (and still is) too harsh and loud for me. It smells like sour citrus. Ineke calls it a citrus cocktail herself. Or it could be the tea note in the beginning as I do not like tea perfumes, such as Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert or Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Blanc. After this loud sour citrus burst, surprisingly I got a more mellow clean musky base. Very pleasant and fresh. In Dutch you have a saying to bite through the sour apple to get something nice afterwards. In English the saying is to bite the bullit. It is like this in Chemical Bonding, after the sour part the really nice part of the perfume starts to kick in !

The principle of Chemical Bonding of two opposites attracting can be found within this perfume in the citrus and the more clean mellow musk. I found this quite interesting. The Fragrantica website classifies Chemical Bonding as a floral fruity and Michael Edwards as a crisp citrus fruity. Personally I would classify it as a musky citrus.

ineke1

Some find Chemical Bonding too mainstream and in general reactions are mixed. Personally I prefer to wear Chemical Bonding on a hot day. On these days it works best on my skin. It smells even better sprayed on clothing. Chemical Bonding will not end up in my top 10 list but I like to wear it from time to time in summer.

Ineke Ruhland just introduced a new perfume to her abecedary, H Hothouse Flower. This based is based on gardenia, one of my favorite flower scents in perfume. I really look forward to trying her interpretation of the gardenia flower.

Notes according to Ineke leaflet with Discovery Box and website:

Top: smooth citrus cocktail, tea, blackberry

Middle: dewy peony

Base: vetiver, amber, powdery musk

Longevity: very good for a citrus, several hours

Sillage: stays quite close to my skin

Origin of sample: my own  

Photograph: my own  

Originally published July 27th, 2012

Update November 26th, 2014

 

Youtube: Chemical Bonding by Ineke Ruhland