Vanilla

Mood Scent 4 : Frankincense and Myrrh Perfumes


It’s Mood Scent 4 time again! Our monthly blogging project where Portia, (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In St Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked frankincense and myrrh perfumes.

Frankincense is often associated with church by those who visit or used to (Catholic) church.  I used to go to a Dutch Catholic church as a child but frankincense was not used in this very modern 1970s church. I have only fairly recently started to appreciate frankincense when visiting churches as a common visitor. All my choices here are my personal favourites and not meant to give a list of the ‘best’ frankincense fragrances. I only included one myrrh perfumes as these are not easy to find and I wanted to include a fragrance which is still sold for a decent price.

 

Maria Candida Gentile Exultat and Sideris
Exultat brings a feeling of awe and wonder by combining dry frankincense with sweet violet candies. Imagine yourself as a small child sitting at the back of an old empty Mediterranean church, the priest has left a faint trail of frankincense hours ago and now you are eating violet candies secretly next to your grandmother who is visiting the church to pray. My Spanish grandmother was fond of visiting the cinema together instead of going to church with me, so this image was a mere fantasy, but I love these two fragrances combined: the violet candies and scent frankincense in a Catholic church. They make this a special fragrance while light powder and dust give it a more worldly aura.

Sideris, another creation from perfumer Maria Candida Gentile takes the frankincense to different territory by adding pungent pepper, very dry Mediterranean herbs, light sweet rose and balsamic benzoin. The fragrance was dedicated to a poem written by Cesare Pavese and inspired by walk along the Mediterranean Sea in the North West Italian area of Liguria. The frankincense is liturgical in both Italian creations, reminiscent of the smell a Catholic church hours after the priest has wafted a barrel on a chain of smoking frankincense. While Exultat is sweetened by violet confectionary, Sideris is adorned by sweet powdery rose petals, precious saffron and peppery spices.

Comme des Garcons:  Series 3  Ouarzazate
While Avignon gets all the attention from the Comme des Garcons Incense series, Ouarzazate is well worth a try. This incense series was inspired by 5 different world religions. The fragrance Avignon relates to Christianity and Ouarzazate to Islam. Mark Buxton was inspired by the fortress (kasbah) in this Southern Moroccan city. Ouarzazate is the gateway to the Sahara Desert and features in many series and films including Game Of Thrones (season 3) and Gladiator.

Ouarzazate is a sweet caramel like and spicy frankincense scent. Hints of black pepper, nutmeg and dry clary sage on a translucent olibanum/frankincense and dark woody base make it easy to wear. It is a little too light for my taste especially compared to the Ouarzazate incense sticks which I bought first but an interesting frankincense fragrance full of spices and well worth a try.

Caron Parfum Sacre Eau de Parfum
In Parfum Sacre lush dark red velvet rose petals are enveloped by pungent black pepper and warmed by cinnamon. Parfum Sacre feels like wearing a crimson long satin dress, the soft light fabric touching your skin. Resinous dry myrrh and soft vanilla add a comfortable sensation while rich orange blossom and a light cinnamic touch bring an overall feeling of smoothness. This velvety feeling reminds me of Guerlain Samsara which makes me wonder if sandalwood was not added as well.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer
In Passage d’Enfer perfumer Olivia Giacobetti combines the white lily flower, symbol of the virgin Mary in Christianity, with translucent cold frankincense and clean ‘laundry like’ musk. Passage d’Enfer translates as passage to hell and was originally created to pay homage to the first office of L’Artisan Parfumeur in the Passage d’Enfer in Paris in the 1970s. Lily flower is toned down here and transparent in true Olivia Giacobetti style leaving a light impression of its essence. Passage d’Enfer comes as an accompanying body lotion and shower gel as well.

Boujee Bougies Gilt Scented Candle
The recently launched Boujee Bougies scented candle Gilt plays with the idea of gold, guilt and confession. Golden sun rays shine through the stained glass lightening up a dark church and the metallic touch of golden leaves. Frankincense was burned hours ago still leaving its light smoky and pine tree trail, embellished by the cold scent of copper from the frankincense barrel. Gilt has amazing throw even for a small 60 g candle and burns evenly which is a great bonus as you use the whole candle until the end.

These are my frankincense and myrrh perfume and scented candle picks. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose,  to read they choices too!

I Love To Hear From You
What are your favorite frankincense and myrrh perfumes? What do you think of my choices? Do you know them?

Disclosure: All fragrances, candles and samples mentioned were bought by me personally. Photographs were made by me as well and are an artistic expression. Bottles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs.

 

Mood Scent 4 🎄 Christmas Gifts Galore 🎄

It’s Mood Scent 4 Time again! Our monthly blogging project where Portia, (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In St Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked scented gifts for the upcoming holidays.

As many of us are spending a lot more time inside and washing our hands I picked soaps and scented candles as gifts. This year has been an exceptional year for many of us. Some will have more money to spend than others. Local shops and small business can use all the help they get from us. Because of this I chose scented products from local or small fragrance businesses starting with the UK based company Olfiction and their new Boujee Bougies Scented candles.

Boujee Bougies Scented Candles

Scented candles Boujee Bougies were recently launched by Pia Long, Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley from Olfiction. The candles intend to be novel and fun by telling a different story from what we are used to. There are two sizes of candles available:  large 220 grams and mini’s 60 grams and come in 5 different scents, green Succulent, fruity rosy Queen Jam, leather Cuir Culture, futuristic floral Hellflower and golden frankincense Gilt.

The small size candle is an excellent gift and great way to try this collection. There is a very informative podcast (FumeChat) about the candles and the stories behind them well worth to listening to. I haven’t tried the candles yet but ordered a set last week and can’t wait to smell and gift them.


April Aromatics Vanillicious Eau de Parfum

April Aromatics perfumer Tanja Bochnig just launched a new gourmand fragrance called Vanillicious Eau de Parfum. Vanillicious was introduced earlier as a lighter version in the gourmand collection. It is an ode to the natural vanilla pod which has a more leathery even slightly dirty scent compared to what we normally know as vanilla from sweet vanilla ice cream.

Vanillicious is slightly powdery, leathery but woody as well. It smells as if a vanilla pod was soaked in an old wooden barrel of rum, the vanilla pod was taken out after absorbing the boozy rum and old oak wood. The fragrance is soothing, placing you with both feet on the ground. As an avid lover of vanilla perfumes it was love at first sniff as it doesn’t become cloying or overly sweet. I would recommend Vanillicious for lovers of vanilla fragrances. Smaller 15 ml bottles are available online which will make an excellent gift for the holidays if you have a bit more to spend. Longevity of this Eau de Parfum is excellent as it can be scented on skin for almost 24 hours!

Werfzeep / Werf Soap

The Dutch Soap brand Werfzeep (literary yard soap) has been making organic and artisanal soaps since 2009. All soaps are handmade in the centre of the city of Utrecht. Depending on the season a different soap is introduced. At the moment they have a autumnal soap with star anise, sweet orange, cinnamon and fennel. One of my favourites soaps is Tayyibah, a spicy soft scrub soap full of clove and coffee which makes your bathroom smell of Christmas.

These soaps are excellent for people with sensitive skins as they only use plant based materials and very affordable costing around 7 euro for a bar of soap. For my Dutch readers: Werfzeep can be found at the organic store Ecoplaza as well so you don’t have to pay for shipping. I have given a lot of these soaps to friends as they are all natural (some of the herbs, roots and flowers are hand picked in a nearby forest or in their garden) and a (soft) delight to use. Did I mention the quality of the soap is excellent?

I found a lot of artisanal local brands selling hand made soaps on Instagram in the UK and US. It is well worth the effort to look around for local hand made presents there if you can’ t order Werf Zeep. Perfumers Bruno Fazzolari  (US based) for example and Ayala Moriel (Israel based) sell artisanal soaps as well.

Oriza L. LeGrand Soaps

Other winners are Oriza l. LeGrand soaps which offers a fine soaps selection as well. They can be ordered online on their website. An exquisite set of 3 soaps is available for 30 euro which you can split. Each soap is wrapped in a beautifully decorated paper and these soaps are of high quality as well. I loved their violet scented soap, a scent you will not find in your local drugstore. The soaps on the photograph were bought by me some years ago so you will find other packaging in the stores and online.

These are my Holiday Gift picks. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose, to read their choices too!

I Love To Hear From You
There have been some troubles with leaving comments before.  I hope you are able to share your gift ideas as well and let me know what you think of my choices.

Disclosure: All photographs were made by me and are meant as creative expression.

 

Mood Scent 4 : Duvet Day Perfumes

 

Its Mood Scent 4 time again! Sam (I Scent You a Day), Megan (Megan in St. Maxime), Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies) and I write about a different  theme every month. This time we have chosen to post about our favorite Duvet Day Perfumes. Which perfumes do we reach for on our days off when we relax in bed or stay comfortably in our pyjamas all day? I have chosen 4 fragrances with comforting and relaxing notes of sandalwood, vanilla and Turkish apple tea.

1. Pierre Guillaume Paris 18 Cadjméré Eau de Parfum 

One of my absolute favorites Duvet Day perfumes is Pierre Guilaumes 18 Cadjméré. The comforting creamy sandalwood pairs extremely well with the light milky coconut creating a harmonious fragrance which makes you want to stay in bed or on the sofa all day in your pyjamas. A light touch of spices uplift it slightly.

Some say Cadjméré refers to the soft touch of Kashmir and mère” (mother in French). As the most important note sandalwood is often qualified as “maternal wood” due to its creamy and comforting qualities. I love to wear this fragrance when I want to slow down or before going to bed for its soothing effect.

Cadjméré includes notes of tangerine, aromatic sap, rosewood, Kenyan cypress resin, sandalwood, ambrette seed and vanilla.

2. L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore Eau de Parfum 

The relaxing Traversée du Bosphore is a good choice for your occasional duvet day. It was inspired by a trip to Istanbul in 2010 by French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and opens with sweet Turkish apple tea and a pinch of cinnamon powder. The apple is slightly covered with sugar powder and softly baked in delicious browning butter. This is not a fresh crisp green apple more a sweet warm appetising apple desert. The Turkish apple tea note is mixed with Turkish delight, both very sweet at the beginning but never too candy like. It is just the right amount of sugar.

After a few minutes the scent of almonds appears. Comforting vanilla is the base of this fragrance with a little sweetness probably from the sugar powdered apple and Turkish Delight. Traversée du Bosphore is a wonderful little comforting tourist trip to Turkey with its sweet apple tea and turkish delight while remaining at home in your pyjamas.

Traversée du Bosphore includes notes of apple, pomegranate, tulip, iris, leather, saffron, Turkish delight accord, vanilla and musks.

3. Guerlain Shalimar 

Although Shalimar makes me feel like a movie star from the roaring twenties with natural glamour and sensual elegance I love to wear this at home for its comforting and relaxing effect. The balsamic properties of Vanilla sooth me and I love to wear this before going to bed. It’s a wonderful duvet day perfume and one I can’t live without honestly.

Shalimar notes include bergamot, rose and jasmine, opopanax, vanilla, iris and tonka bean.

4. Le Labo Labdanum 18 Eau de Parfum

More suited for our upcoming theme Sexy Duvet Day (no, just kidding here!) but, an honorable mention go to Le Labo Labdanum 18, created in 2006 by master perfumer Maurice Roucel. This cosy and warm powdery fragrance envelopes you like a soft cashmere blanket. Civet and castoreum add a sensual ‘dirty’ touch making it very seductive while still remaining incredibly confortable.

Labdanum 18 notes include labdanum, tonka beans, vanilla, castoreum, patchouli.

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 duvet day perfumes.

What are your favourite duvet day choices on your day off? Did you like my choices?

Disclosure: all photographs were made by Esperessence