A dear friend of my mine is dealing with stress issues in her life. One way or another many of us do, these days. This got me to think about fragrances which can help to relax and unwind. Fragrances which help me personally are A Lab on Fire What We Do In Paris Is Secret and Carner Tardes. I find Tardes to be especially relaxing. Both fragrances have an almondy gourmand scent (probably due to the heliotrope in both fragrances) which I love. I do not find them too sweet but have read some do.
While doing research on the internet and in aromatherapy books I found lavender (true lavender) to work soothing and comforting and clear the head (this will not come as a surprise) and neroli to help with anxiety and stress related conditions. A lavender fragrance which is easily available online is Caron Pour Un Homme and one more exclusively Chanel Jersey.
Some of my favorite neroli fragrances are Atelier Cologne Neroli, Penhaligon’s Castile, Roja Dove Neroli and Chloe Eau de Fleurs Neroli. I used to spray Chloe Eau de Fleurs Neroli before going to bed. Hermes will introduce Eau de Néroli Doré in its cologne collection this month. This is a release I really look forward to. Yves Rocher has a neroli fragrance in its Secrets d’Essences line with matching body products which one could use before going to bed.
All these fragrances could help you to unwind and relax, but this is always personal. So it is worth to try different fragrances and experience what works for you.
Which fragrances are relaxing for you and do you use to unwind?
Rose Oud is very soothing for the heart. Especially when you are suffering from heartache or confronted with difficult emotional situations in your life and want some elevation of stress/anxiety in a soft and gentle way.
Interestingly Patricia de Nicolaï made Rose Oud as a powerful very rich deep fragrance (see video) But Rose Oud wears very close to my skin. It is more the light stroke of a rose. Caresse in French. Caresse de Rose would have been a better title for the fragrance. I can only scent Rose Oud when I smell my wrist very closely, at less than 5 cm. Which is a pity but I reapply several times during the day. Longevity is not very good either. Very powerful rose perfumes on my skin are Guerlain Nahema edp and Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre.
Although I love rose fragrances I find it hard to find rose perfumes I wear regularly. They can either be too the linear like Jo Malone Red Roses, too uplifting like the spicy Amouage Epic or Majda Bekkali Mon Nom Est Rouge or too activating like Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre. I have found Rose Oud to be very appealing and wore it quite often last summer. Of all my rose fragrances, this is the one I used most.
Rose Oud could give an uncomplicated impression at first sniff. But I find it an interesting modern, elegant, radiant and subtle fragrance. You can wear it when you do not want others to smell your fragrance for example at your office or for a job interview.
What do I smell?
Personally I do not scent any oud in Rose Oud but some other male bloggers (Chemist in a Bottle and Geurengoeroe) say they do. At the beginning I get a fruity peach note probably due to the osmanthus. At the same time I get a lot of aldehydes the first few minutes adding lightness and brilliance. The aldehydes are not used in a retro vintage style like Antoine Lie in Rien Intense but in a more modern 21th century way. What remains afterwards is an oily fragrance according to Perfume Shrine due to Nargamotha/Cypriol*. I get a sweet raspberry/rose note as well which is very similar to the Oliver and Co Santalum scented candle.
What does it do ?
Rose Oud is very soothing for the heart. Especially when you are suffering from heartache or confronted with difficult emotional situations in your life and want some elevation of stress or anxiety in a soft and gentle way. I used it a lot when my mother was in the hospital last summer. Part of this soothing effect could be a result of the usage of cypriol or to the calming effect of the rose.
Which image do I get ?
I get the image of the fur of my cat, Rubio as caressing him has a similar calming effect on me as wearing Rose Oud.
Composition: (according to the official Nicolaï website)
Top note: raspberry, davana, osmanthus
Heart note: rose, lily of the valley
Base note: agarwood, patchouli , sandalwood, musk, amber
Fragrance family: according to Patricia de Nicolaï chypre due to the rose and patchouli absolute (I would say floral chypre with fruity accents due to the raspberry or fruity chypre, Michael Edwards classifies it as a rose soliflore which makes sense)
* Nagarmotha/Cypriol is a plant of the Cyperaceae family belonging to the papyrus family. Cypriol essential oil is harvested through steam distillation. Lotus Garden Botanicals states on its website that its fragrance has similarities with vetiver and oud. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is said to have an emotionally calming effect. According to an article of Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer most of the oud in perfumes are bases often made with Cypriol.
Give away: we are giving away a 2 ml sample of Rose Oud
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According to his website Oliver & Co Spanish perfumer Oliver Valverde created his scented candle Santalum in 2010 together with four other candles, Ambrarem, Tuberosen, Terralium and Muskal. Ambrarem, Santalum and Tuberosen are still in production at this moment. The design of the container was simple and stylish to change in 2013 into a more futuristic and personalized one, inspired by space ships. I preferred the older packaging as I find it more suited to the fragrances. Oliver Valverde made the futuristic packaging to contrast the fragrances.
Like Oliver Valverde himself, these candles represent their own style both in packaging and fragrance. Compared to his perfumes the scented candles are less outspoken. Their throw off is marvelous and one of the best I have encountered so far to the point that the scent can be overwhelming at times. I tend to burn some of them (Ambrarem and Tuberosen) no more than one hour for this reason. All details, from the packaging to the design and fragrance are thought through and made by the perfumer himself.
One of the things to keep in mind when buying a scented candle is its size. Most of the scented candles are 190 grams (for example Diptyque) but Oliver & Co candles are 225 grams so they last longer. These scented candles include a wooden lid (where some other brands charge for them) and the containers can be re-used easily. So far I have used scented candles in the scents Tuberosen, Santalum, Silver Fir and Ambrarem. They are tempting to collect and easy to re use as their colours are beautiful with all different designs.
The most important thing remains its fragrance though. I believe Santalum to be my favorite one but have to admit it depends on the weather and season. The same as the scented candle Ambrarem, I wish Oliver made a perfume from it. Tuberosen and Santalum are suited for summer as they are based on the summer/late summer flowers rose and tuberose. Silver Fir and Ambrarem are both very appropriate for cold winter weather.
What does Santalum smell like to me:
A beautiful feminine elegant light ethereal rose and raspberry fragrance which would make an excellent perfume and reminding me of Nicolai Rose Oud. If you like Nicolai Rose Oud Eau de Parfum you will probably like this scented candle.
What does it do ?
It brings softness, soothes and relaxes.
Official notes: Sandalwood, Raspberry and Rose Petals
Burning time according to label: 50/60 hours
Size: 225 gr
Price: 50 euro (sign up for the official newsletter as Oliver & Co has regular sales)
Disclosure: all candles mentioned in this article were bought by Esperessence