Patricia de Nicolai

Mood Scent 4 : Mid Season Magic : Autumn Perfumes

It’s time for a new episode of Mood Scent 4 together with fellow bloggers Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies!  This month we have chosen to write about “mid season magic”.  Portia will be writing from Australia about Spring fragrances, the rest of us about Autumn perfumes.

Autumn is a wonderful season in The Netherlands with its beautiful orange, red coloured leaves and the sun shining it’s filtered golden warm light. I love Autumn in Amsterdam especially sunny days can be very magical.

Warmer, sweeter or woody perfumes might be more suited to wear during Autumn as it is getting colder outside. I have chosen 5 fragrances which are very suited for this season, starting with Nicolaï Parfums New York Intense, Nicolaï Ambre Cashmere Intense, Imaginary Authors Memoir Of A Trespasser, Diptyque Volutes Eau de Parfum and Maison Marghiela Replica By the Fireplace.

Nicolai Discovery Set

Nicolaï Parfums New York Intense 

Notes: bergamot, Sicilian lemon, clove, thyme, cinnamon, black pepper, pimento, oakmoss, vetiver, amber

New York Intense starts with sunny citrus notes of petit grain of the lemon tree, sweet lemon and bergamot like golden Autumn sunlight shimmering through Autumn leaves brightening up your day. Interestingly the citrus notes last for hours. Changing much later into a warm base of patchouli, vanilla, incense with sweet brightening accents of orange rind. It is perfume critic Luca Turin’s favorite for a very good reason. Made by one of my favorite perfumers Patricia de Nicolaï, current president of the scent archive in Versailles Osmothèque.

Nicolai Ambre Cashmere Intense

Nicolaï Parfums Ambre Cashmere Intense 

Notes: black pepper, mandarine, lemon, iris butter, violets, clove, vanilla, benzoin, styrax

Ambre Cashmere Intense is a sweet, warm powdery feminine fragrance which envelopes you like a cashmere blanket keeping you warm and comfortable for hours. It is a rather sweet fragrance but leaves out sugar cotton candy accents that have defined many perfumes in the last decade. The added boozy notes make it well rounded and interesting. Ambre Cashmere Intense could easily be called London Intense with its luxurious easygoing style like some Ormonde Jayne fragrances without the accompanying price tag. This is the first fragrance perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï created with her son Axel.

Imaginary Authors Memoirs Of a Trespasser

Imaginary Authors /  Memoirs of a Trespasser 

Notes: vanilla, gaiac wood, myrrh, benzoin, oak barrels accord

A must try for lovers of vanilla perfumes, Memoirs of a Trespasser wears like a soft vanilla blanket with an accompanying glass of high quality cognac. Uncomplicated and comfortable.

Diptyque Volutes

Diptyque Volutes Eau de Parfum 

Notes: honey, opoponax, cinnamon, iris accord

A trip along the former spice route by ship with spicy pepper, cinnamon, sweet tobacco and clove. Lightly dusted, leaving a powdery trail with some added honey and almond accents in the beginning. Inspired by transatlantic journeys by ship from Marseille to Saigon by one of the founders Yves Coueslant with elegant ladies on the deck smoking sweet tobacco cigarettes wearing powdery lipstick.

Maison Marghiela MMM Replica By the Fireplace 

Notes: pink pepper, orange blossom, cloves, chestnut, gaiacwood, juniper, vanilla, peru balsam, cashmeran

This warm, earthy and sweet fragrance was created (not very surprising) with the idea of spending an evening by the fire. Imagine marshmallows burning over a fireplace, sweet vanilla and light burning wood, damp mac raincoat and wellies drying on a nearby chair and you get an idea. Makes you wish for winter to come (pun intended).

Autumn in Amsterdam, Vondelpark

 

Have a look on the Sam’s blog I Scent You A Day, Megan’s  Megan in St. Maxime and Portia’s Australian Perfume Junkies to read their picks for autumn and spring.

What are your favourite autumn choices? Have worn one already?

Disclosure : all photographs were made by Esperessence, all fragrances were my own acquisition or a gift with purchase.

Mood Scent 4 : Guilty Pleasures

It’s with great pleasure I am writing a new episode together with fellow bloggers Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and our latest marvelous addition to our Mood Scent 4 project: Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies. Regrettably Tara has left our project for personal reasons, I wish her well with her wonderful blog A Bottled Rose!

Together we choose a different subject every couple of months and link fragrance to mood or occasion. This time we have chosen to write about “guilty pleasures”.

When you think about guilty pleasures relating to perfume you might link this to celebrity, chocolate centred or seductive perfumes. But I have a different “guilty” and more private olfactory pleasure. Some of my favorite perfumes are elegant classic French fragrances like Guerlain Chamade, Hermes Caleche or Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur Odalisque. Fragrances which you might expect from someone wearing a made to measure two piece exquisite suit not the jeans, outdoor sweaters or hiking boots I prefer to wear.

Esperessence Guilty Pleasure Perfumes

Guerlain Chamade 

One of my favorite perfumes when staying at our garden cottage is Guerlain Chamade. Starting green like a sunny spring garden in the morning, fresh hyacinths with small drops of dew on their petals Chamade dries down to leave a scent of very light soft dusted vanilla powder and a contrasting green lightness and freshness.

Esperessence Mood Scent 4 Guilty Pleasures

Hermes Caleche

The very soft clean and floral elegant Caleche is another favorite. Named after a special type of light carriage, Hermes Caleche invokes a feeling of Parisian sophistication with classic silk dresses, expensive leather bags, beautiful handmade scarves and soft leather gloves. Created as an elegant easy to wear and not too cloying fragrance sadly the newer Caleche has a become a more agressive aldehydic soap floral. But it’s still a refined creation.

Esperessence Nicolai Odalisque

Nicolai Parfumeur Odalisque

With its musky base, bright citrus bergamot orange blossom opening and classic white rich bouquet of flowers, Odalisque is a very classic French creation as well. Launched in 1989 it harks back to the past, some say the eighties. I would say even before that. Although I don’t like the musky salty base on my skin and normally don’t wear lily of the valley fragrances I notice I grab this Eau de Parfum from time to time as a “guilty pleasure” or when I feel a bit melancholic. Like revisiting an Art Deco café once in a while as it reminds you of happy times when you used to visit with your grandmother or another older loved one.

Esperessence Guerlain Mitsouko to Sleep

Guerlain Mitsouko

Finally I have another confession, I like to spray the balancing and relaxing Guerlain Mitsouko on my cushion when I go to sleep, inspired by the impressario Sergei Diaghilev of Les Ballets Russes who used to spray Mitsouko on his drapes. Talking about a guilty pleasure…

Concluding: Hermes Caleche, Guerlain Mitsouko, Chamade and Nicolai Odalisque are the “guilty pleasure” fragrances I have chosen for our Mood Scent 4 Project. I am very curious about the choices of my fellow bloggers. You can read the picks of Sam from I Scent You A Day , Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies by clicking on the links.

How about you, what are your “guilty pleasures”? I love to read your comments and thoughts! Please share them with me and visit my fellow bloggers as well.


Interesting to know:

Hermes Caleche (1961) Perfumer: Guy Robert. Fragrance Family*: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Caleche features the notes of: aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, gardenia, iris, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver. ** I tested a recent Soie de Parfum, vintage Extrait and vintage Eau de Cologne version of Hermes Caleche for this post.

Guerlain Chamade (1969) Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain  Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental. Chamade features notes of: hyacinth, galbanum, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, blackcurrant buds, vanilla and woods. **

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Odalisque (1989) Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolai, Fragrance Family: Floral. Odalisque features notes of bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, ylang ylang, patchouli, oakmoss, amber and castoreum.

Guerlain Mitsouko (1919) Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain, Fragrance Family: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Mitsouko features notes of: bergamot, jasmine, peach, rose, oakmoss, pepper, cinnamon, vetiver. **

* As classified by Michael Edwards in Fragrances Of The World 2014

** Notes were taken from Perfume Legends by Michael Edwards

Disclosure: All photographs were made by Esperessence. The cards on the last 2 photographs feature costume designs created by Leon Bakst for Les Ballets Russes (Narcissus and Shéhérazade).

Nicolai Rose Royale A Youthful, Pretty and Elegant Rose

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Rose Royale is a pretty youthful elegant rose fragrance and the latest release of this French perfume house. It starts with a fresh citrus bergamot note, changing  into a slightly warmer dusty natural rose scent. This rose is large, full and light pink. The overall feeling Rose Royale brings, is one of comfort and easiness.

Like Rose Oud, another creation of perfumer Patricia de Nicolai, Rose Royale feels very soothing. There is a fruity touch, making it more contemporary and giving the impression Patricia de Nicolai follows new trends in the fragrance industry well. I would not call it an exciting fragrance but no soliflore (a fragrance dedicated to one flower) generally is. If you like natural rose scents, Rose Royale is certainly worth a try.

The inspiration for this scent was taken from the roses in Palais Royale, which is situated closely to the new Nicolai laboratory in Paris.

While doing research for this article I found this citation in the Nicolai, Parfumeur-Createur, un metier d’artiste book, which suits the essence of Rose Royale very well.

“A beautiful perfume, worn, makes others want to be near you..(..) A beautiful perfume is one that you want to keep, like a child who tries to catch clear water from a fountain.” Patrica de Nicolai

Rose Royale captures the natural scent of a rose very well but still remains interesting. It wears quite close to the skin and on my skin it had medium longevity (2-3 hours) Something I experience with Nicolai Rose Oud as well.

I find Rose Royale to be full bottle worthily. It is well made, wears easily and can be worn to many different occasions like work, at the weekend or to all kinds of celebrations. There is a certain easiness and informality to it. I expect Rose Royale will get more love in the Nicolai shops than amongst perfume bloggers for this reason and can imagine it becoming one of their bestsellers. It will make an excellent gift.

Notes: Top Blackcurrent Buds, Passion Fruit, Bergamot, Middle Rose (Turkish Rose), Coriander, Ambrette seeds, Base Immortelle, Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood and Musk.

Have you tried fragrances of the Nicolai Parfumeur Createur perfume house ? Do you have a favorite one?

Wishing you all a very happy Easter!

Disclaimer: This review was based on a sample provided for PR purposes. My opinion and photographs are my own. The fragrance was tested directly on skin.