Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beyond Love by Kilian

Tuberose, tuberose tuberose... I like it whenever I encounter it but always there is a big "but" waiting to be inserted into the scentence. "I like it but I'm not sure about that supporting coconut note" (Mona di Oro). "I like it but I wish there wasn't so much bubblegum" (Vamp á NY) or "I love it, but when will I ever find the right occasion to wear it?" (Tubereuse Criminelle). However, now, I've found a tuberose that is just right, just "me" and that is by Kilians Beyond Love.

It's no easy access however. The first hours are ... difficult. First there is a faint whiff of cloyingly sweet orange coconutty vanilla. I'm guessing i's there in order to smooth out the onset of the tuberose, because that is heavy stuff! If you've ever had flowers in a vase of water, then left home for a month, come home, found the flowers long dead and the stalks rotting in the water, or if you've had coworkers with bad breath, I'm not just talking garlic for lunch here but long term gum infections, those kind of notes are what I'm getting. I'm wondering, are these "indoles"? Are they part of how a real tuberose (the flower) smells (I've never smelled one in real life) or are they a byproduct of turning the flower into perfume? I'd be truly grateful if someone could educate me on these points!

Well, things do get easier. There is a Swedish proverb saying "Whoever waits for something good never waits for too long", and that is most true in this case. By then, there is this most gorgeous, inviting, tropical, suggestive (suggesting things in a wide open, come and get it type of way), sweetly intoxicating scent imaginable. I've spent the most part of the last couple of days just smelling and smelling and smelling my arm and then smiling because I smell so good. I love that feeling and fortunately this lovely drydown phase of Beyond Love lasts very long indeed.

So, wearing Beyond Love takes a bit of planning. This is not a fragrance to spritz on just before going downstairs in order to make a stunning impression on your prom date. This one you put on right away when you get out of the shower, before you get dressed, do your make up, do your hair, get that last bit to eat and text all your friends about how fab the night is going to be. Doing it that way around, if that date turns out to be a disaster, at least it won't be due to the way you smell.

For more reading on tuberose, the Candy Perfume Boy has published a great guide to tuberose here.

Official notes according to the by Kilian website: coconut, Egyptian jasmine absolute, tuberose concrete, tuberose absolute, green tuberose, tuberose petals accord, ambergris and tonkin musk.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Le Labo - Santal 33

I've had some very busy days lately. The main reason for this is that earlier this summer me and my husband found the house of our dreams - literary. We have been looking for a house for years but never found the right one, until we stumbled onto this one. The night after going there I dreamt about how wonderful my life would be in this house. And not just that, I kept having nightmares about when buying other houses, we'd find that the floor was rotting and we'd sink through it or just feel suffocated by bad vibes in general. I CRAVED that house but of course there was a catch for us getting it - it was way out of our price range.

But the days went by and we saw that the house was still out for sale, with a lower price tag now. "That would be the perfect house for us", we thought, but it was still too expensive. But later, again, it was out for sale for an even lower price. It was still nowhere near cheap but we just couldn't pass it up again, so we bought it. Now the only catch was that we really really needed to get a decent price for our apartment or else we'd be in big trouble money wise. And anyone who has read this far will understand that the real estate market here is not very hot at the moment... So we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and staged and staged and staged. By this time I was so tense I had a permanent headache from unconsciously grinding my teeth and clenching my jaws, I only ever do this when I'm VERY stressed out.

As I see it, there are two ways to use perfume as therapy. You can spray on the scents that you associate with whatever feeling it is that you want, but unfortunately is missing. Or you can just go with what you got, support your mindset by scent, live it and hopefully get over it in the end. I went for option 2. I wanted something that felt focused, assertive, energetic, absolutely no frills, a "there is only one way and that's forward"-type of scent and I reached out for Santal 33.

Santal 33 is woody and leathery. I get tiny whiffs of the same smoke as in Patchouli 24, but it's nowhere as dominating. This is the only Labo that I've tried that I've loved from the first sniff and I've been wondering why that is. I usually get annoyed with scents that have this degree of woodiness but there is something in this one that makes it just right for me. When I read the official notes I realized that it's probably the flowery softness of the violet note listed that balances everything else. This is now my "getting things done and cut the crap, we can smell the flowers tomorrow"-scent.

So, did we sell the apartment? No, not then. We had an agonizing week of people making way to low offers or wanting the apartment but not getting a loan from the bank. But in the end our real estate agent showed it again and than this lovely gay couple from heaven showed up. They seemed to mentally move in at first sight, talking about how they were going to rebuild the kitchen and where to put what furniture. The day after, papers were signed, they bought the thing and now everyone is happy :)

Official notes: sandalwood, virginia cedar, cardamom, violet, papyrus, spices, leather, musk and amber.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My holiday in Greece

Magrigialos, Crete

Ages ago me and my husband booked a holiday on Crete for this October and last week it was finally time to go. The vacation started with a patch of uphill though. The Greeks are very unhappy about the saving actions their governemty is taking and dicided to manifest this in a huge strike the day before our planned arrival. We thought we'd just escape but when we came to the airport it was announced that the Greek airport personnel hadn't arrived to work yet but would probably showed up later during the day(!)

But an airport isn't the worst place to be stranded if yuo're into perfume. I got to explore the perfume counters there for 4 hours. I remember sampling Prada Candy and Shalimar with flankers and liking them all but most of the time I spent chasing my 1 y.o. girl who is also into perfume, but more along the lines of displacing the bottles, licking them or running away with them...

But after that things went smooth. October is a great time to visit the Mediterrainian. The weather was warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt but not as scorching as it can be during hight summer. The sea was still warm enough for swimming. We had one day of rain and thunder but we just cozied up indoors, watching some amazing lightenings over the sea.

Before going I had planned to pack all my favorite summer scents, but when the time came to actually pack I felt "I've been wearing those for all summer, I'm sick of them,. I want something else", and I went for a little bag of not very much tried Serge Lutens samples.

The ones I wore (in order for how suitable I found them to be on a beach holiday) were:

A la Nuit - the winner of the week. Absolutely stunning! Starts off with a big blast of dirty white flowers and then gently settles into a great rendition of jasmine. We had real blooming jasmine on the premises and they smelled gergous, but, I have to say, "A la Nuit" smelled better! And, as an unexpected bonus, it worked perfectly with the coconut scented soap our hotel provided in all bathrooms.

Fleurs d'Oranger - a naugty little orange blossom sticking out her toungue. I don't love this one as a lot of others seem do, but it did make me smile.

Ambre Sultan - vanilla and oregano, who would have thought that they make such a stunning match? I'm dying to try this combo in ice cream, I bet it would turn out very unique. About the perfume,  I will have to try this one many many more times before I'm anywhere ready to write a review.

Claire de Musc - a very wearable, non-dirty musk. Liked it. Don't know what more to say.

Douce Amère - smells like the taste of those little sugar coated fennel seeds you get at Indian restaurants after finishing your meal. A disappointment. It's not that it smells bad, it's just that I 'd expected something more of the absinthe and anise. Meek and inoffensive.

Fille en Aiguilles - I love it on my husband but any more than a fraction of a drop on myself gets very tiresome. This one is now labeled "his".

Claire Gris - absolutely lovely but very strange on someone wearing a bikini on the beach. Smokey lavender, half masculine. Short listed for winter.

Miel de Bois  - dolled up ear wax. Note to self: Don't ever try this one again!

So, what happened more? I do complain a lot how, as I live in Sweden, never have the chance to smell lots of those plants frequently used in perfumesry. So now I thought I should really use the opportunity to smell as much as I possibly could. The biggest revelation was fig. I had no idea how those trees can scent up a whole street! I finally do understand why fig perfumes smell the way they do :) And those jasmines I've already mentioned. So many times i thought, what is that perfume? And every time there were some of those little white flowers somewhere with in reach...


Monday, October 3, 2011

Announcing a few weeks blog break

There are busy times ahead. During October I'm planning to stage and sell our apartment, spend a week in Greece, spend some more days going to a conference in North of Sweden, preparing to start working after more than a year of maternity leave and probably do a lot more. So I find it unlikely that I'll have time to blog. But I'll be reading my mails and I love to hear from you as usual. And when things settle down I'll have tried lots of new perfume samples during this time and hopefully I'll have some very well thought about things to say about them :)