Thursday, May 17, 2012

Le Labo Baie Rose 26

There was a time when I thought I'd never ever enjoy smelling cloves again. The reason for this is a trip to Malaysia me and some fellow exchange students did 20 years ago. Somehwere I'd read about Kretek, Malaysian cigarettes made of tobacco mixed with cloves. At the time, they sounded amazing! And, with the power of initiative only found in teenagers about to something that's bad for them, we did manage to get some. I can't say they were that spectacular. Yes, they did induce a spinning feeling in my head and the cloves made my mouth go numb. From a "smoking-weird-stuff"-point of view they were very lame but what they DID do was making me sick every time I smelled cloves for a very long time afterwards.

Fortunately, this has now passed. Le Labo Baie Rose 26 opens with rose, pepper, allspice and lots of cloves. It's a spicy rose fragrance, not soft spicy in the way orietals are spicy, full of vanilla and cinnamon, this is sharp and spiky spicy. The peppers and cloves are contrasting against the rose like a new punky haircut and a fresh facial peircing look on an otherwise sweet and innocent looking 15 years old.

As the scent wears the pepper dissappears, the spices soften, but they never leave  completely. After about one hour, there is a metallic phase when I can almost feel the taste of iron in my mouth. This might not sound very pleasurable, but I don't mind. The rose part of Baie Rose 26 is deep red and prominent.

During the long dry down the rose softens and melds into the wooden notes. The scents mellows and matures just like I imagine the girl in the picture, first hanging out with her edgy emo friends at school but then going home, removing the eye liner, slipping into somthing comfortable and at the end of the day she's in bed, reading Nietzsche.

Official notes:  aldehydes, clove, pink pepper, rose, pepper, musk, virginia cedar, amber

And, yes, I couldn't resist this image that came up when googling for kretek:

This guy has very little to do with the smell of Baie Rose 26

Friday, May 11, 2012

Early spring scented egotrip of 2012.

Spring in Sweden can be divided into two phases. The latter is "real" spring when the trees starts getting leaves, there are tiny flowers on the ground and the air starts to warm. And there is the "not-really-spring" (yes, I'm paraphrasing Undina here :) ). A season that is winter by most peoples standards, it's just that it happens during months normally associated with spring.

When peeking at what other perfume bloggers seem to like during that fragile time of the year many seem to mirror their environment in the scent they choose, going for taut green scents and cold florals, especially roses. I've been doing the very opposite. When the view outside my window says "snow" I've been reaching for my biggest and boldest florals, compensating for everything that's not there. I'm naming this trend of mine "Escapism by Florals".

And, for "not-really-spring" of 2012, there are 3 notes I've been craving more than anything else, they are:

Tuberose - it started out when I unintentionally scented my phone with by Kilian Beyond Love. All of a sudden I wanted to cuddle that poor thing and never let it go. Then, again and again, when I went to stores to sniff perfume, and when I found a tuberose I just relaxed and thought, "Mmmmmmmm, yummy, THIS is what I've been looking for!" Tuberose has become my "relax" note. The note I "slip into" when I come home on Fridays after a hectic work week and want to get a break from any professional, responsible and serious parts of myself. Some scents featuring tuberose that I've loved to wear are Honore de Près Vamp á NY, Penhaligons Gardenia, L'Artisans La Chasse aux Papillons and Frederic Malles Carnal Flower.

Aldehydic florals - in my blog post Winter recap 2012 I wrote about how I was starting to appereciate the "aldehydic clean" note. I guess the next logical step was "aldehydic florals". So, I've been enjoying scents like Amouage Gold, Chanel 22 and Lanvin Arpege. I love how they have this old fashioned luxury feel. While wearing them I can imagine being a wealthy lady during the 50-ies whose biggest worries are weather the servants are careful while cleaning her fur coats or if she's gonna wear rubies or diamonds for dinner. It's a little fantasy I like to nuture when, in reality, my dinners mostly consist of me watching my daughter mash her fish fingers into her hair...

Peach - all of a sudden, I smell peaches everywhere. They're in the exquisite dry down of Amouage Gold Woman, they're in Mitsuko (yes, I seem to be her type, after all). Ormond Jaynes Frangipani comes across very peachy and there is Etat Libre d'Oranges Vrai Blonde. First time I tried it, about a year ago, I was expecting the detonation of a fruit bomb. That's not what I got, and I was dissappointed. Fortunately I've tried it again since and after having unintentionally prepared myself using all those aldehydic florals, I was able to approach the composision from another angle. And it's lovely! Bright and happy like a Bellini champagne cocktail - and it's a well know fact we all need lots of thos in order to get through winter ;)

And, since this is such an ego tripping post anyway, let me share my current music love, Frida Hyvönen. This is a great love song and big nostalgia trip for anyone who grew up with Dirty Dancing...


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wedding Bouquets

A while ago Undina, one of my fave perfume bloggers who always writes very down-to-earth posts on perfume in her own, personal style, did a stunning post on "Bouquet to Art 2012: Craft Imitates Art". This is an event that takes place at the "Fine Arts Museum de Young" in San Fransisco every year. The idea is that florists choose a piece of art from the museum and do an interpretation of the art work, through the creation of a flower arrangement. And there are some absolutely stunning arrangements in that post, so if you haven't seen it - head over here and take a look!

Now, a few days after Undina did her post I went to a gardening fair. My aim was to buy some bulbs or flowers for my garden, and I did get some tuberose and lily bulbs that I'm very curious about how they'll turn out. I also stumbled over a florist competition. One of the diciplines was wedding bouquets. So, I figuered it was in order I did a little break from the usual perfume routine and shared some of the bouquets on display, tagging along with Undinas floral theme.

I find weddings interesting. There are some basics that hardly ever change, there is a white dress, beautiful bride, flowers and some kind of party. But within these fundaments, the trending is severe. The cuts of this years wedding dresses are not the same as last year. And the trends in flowers come and go. This year the bouquets seemed to be mostly round, the size of a small roundish hat. The colors were pastels with something either brighter or darker to accentuate them and several of the bouquets contain elements of fabric.

Here's a classic. I love the way the fushia flowersand deep green sprigs offset the pale pink roses and peonies. I had a similar bouquet when I got married, maybe that's why I like it so much :)

Another great bouquet, I love the contrast of colors and the irregular shape (sorry about the mess in the background).

An orgy of pastels with little beads. Very sweet and romantic.

An upside down bouquet. First time I've ever seen one of these!

Playing with chords and ribbons.

Another unusually shaped bouquet. An intense mix of bright colors.

Creative use of a pink cotton ball and chords. Whimsical and happy looking.

And this is the winner. I love how the whole bouquet is based upon the shape of a rose, just letting it go on and on, expanding outwards. My photo is bad and blurry but fortunately I found out that the girl who did this bouquet has a blog of her own. And she knows how to take pictures! So, here's a (stolen) picture of the same bouquet from her blog,  And feel free to check it out, there are LOTS of georgoeous pictures over there!

So, do you find any favourites among these? And do any perfumes come to mind while looking at the pictures? The last one is Annick Goutals Rose Splendide, to me, but I'd love to hear what YOU think!