Tag Archives: smoky woods

Comme des Garcons Hinoki

20 Apr

Okay. So I decided not to be a B*TCH.. (just kidding), and covered my forearms with two generous sprays of Hinoki.

It is deeply resinous, coniferous woods: cedar and pine, with camphor upfront (but not too much), and frankincense. The addition of camphor makes the darkness sparkle. Woooo… That’s seriously good stuff. On my skin it is never hamster cage, never disinfectant. As it dries down on my skin, a beautiful treatment of slightly earthy green vetiver emerges and joins with the other elements.

The frankincense never steals the show, the moderate projection never crushes my windpipe between two logs, and the woods are just gorgeous. This is such an expertly balanced, meditative fragrance. I find it extremely relaxing, dry, smoky and silent. It has great, steady longevity as well. Though it is not cloying, it is persistent, so in warmer temperatures I would apply with discrimination.

It reminds me of a deep silence with just the darkness of the woods surrounding me, fresh air laced with incense, and the sound of running water.

Hinoki reminds me of a more silky, dry, and refined version of Espirit du Tigre by Heeley, not because they have the same notes, but because they both convey the sensation of a camphor-laced, deep, resinous forest. I would go for Hinoki over the Heeley whenever I really wanted to relax. Heeley uses peppermint, black pepper, and cinnamon creating a kind of spiciness that interrupts the silence. Not a bad thing, but definitely more stimulating and boisterous than Hinoki.

Like a deep, sparkling forest laced with smooth smoky dry incense, Hinoki works any time of day, any time of year, in any situation where you feel there is not quite enough peace and quiet, or when there is already peace and quiet, and you want to pair something with your surrounding sanctuary.

It makes me extremely nervous to say this but…it just might be perfect. I don’t think I would change a single thing.

Parfum d`Empire Wazamba

12 Apr

If you desperately miss the forest, Wazamba is the perfect fragrance for you.

Wazamba opens with warm resinous dark green pine needles. I can see where the sap has hardened and turned opaque on the bark of the trunk, and where it still drips, fresh and potent.

As it warms up, the warm, dry and smoky authentic church incense and hints of fresh apple emerge to join along with the pine forming an absolutely gorgeous synergy. As it dries down, the almost peppery, woody incense takes the stage in all of its smoky sacred glory, along with occasional appearances of cypress. The final notes on me are a mild fruitiness and labdanum with the last traces of smoke..

Wazamba is welcoming, simmering and wearable. It projects decently but definitely is not a sillage monster. Will have to try again in summer.
I wouldn’t hesitate to wear Wazamba year round as it contains many of my favorite notes and is not too heavy. It has great longevity.

If you are the least bit reluctant to smell like a coniferous forest, you might consider this as an alternative means of scenting your home (as other reviewers have suggested), because it is so warm, natural, and inviting-smelling.

It’s also much less messy than moving all of your furniture into a cathedral and then covering the floor with pine needles.

airplanes

L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu

24 Feb

I have repeatedly attempted to review this fragrance, but have found that it is more challenging to describe than I expected. However, I have finally found enough time to spend with it to write about my experience. Sometimes really beautiful understated and complex fragrances take more time. Do NOT write this one off! Spend some time sampling it so you can see how wonderful it truly is. L Artisan is very understanding about the need to sample.

Timbuktu smells like an early Morning walk while camping, with smoky earthy incense notes which smell like a campfire that has gone out. There is leather, pepper, and wood, but despite the depth of the individual notes, Timbuktu is a dry, light and airy fragrance. Projection and longevity are pretty poor, but I enjoy that it wears close to the skin.

It is an intimate fragrance without being warm, seductive without being too spicy. It makes my skin smell as if I have just returned from somewhere very far away, where there is nothing familiar to cling to.

In its animalic earthiness, I get the feeling of clean dry mud, of drawings made from homemade charcoal on stone, tea made from bark and twigs, and the perfume of fine, parched earth. It is cool dry, exotic smoothness, and becomes subtly intoxicating.

Timbuktu reminds me slightly of Emir by M. Micallef, but Timbuktu is more subdued, muted and airy, the blue/grey and raw umber color of smoke and earth. I feel like I could douse myself with it, and it still wouldn’t project any more than it does with three sprays. As it opens on the skin, the fresh earthiness of vetiver becomes more apparent.

Timbuktu smells magical because of what it contains, but especially because of what it DOESN’T. Each of its elements fit together perfectly, with nothing to distract or over-complicate.

I get the distinct feeling that it is intended as an ingredient in a solution made for self-protection. It is a whispered reminder of one’s own inner strength.

James Heeley Esprit du Tigre

21 Feb

This unique fragrance opens with a subtle blend of spices, mint, and incense with dark smoky wood. There is a trace of sweetness in the wood, either from the incense or from the resinous quality of the wood itself. There is also a bitterness to the wood, which may be from the camphor.

I envision this as an extremely well constructed and unique, masculine interior space,(which is not to say that it is a “masculine” fragrance..it’s very unisex to me). Perhaps it is the interior of a hunting lodge, or a cabin deep in the forest, intended for solitude, reflection, and meditation.

In the dry down, there is the resinous wood, tempered by the cardamom and incense with a slight trace of the remaining camphor. The wearer of this fragrance displays an invisible sign which reads, “Do not disturb, or else.”

M. Micallef Emir

21 Feb

Thank you MM for the lovely samples.

So far, Emir is my favorite offering from the MM Exclusif collection. Though it is unquestionably a dark earthy and sensual fragrance, it reminds me of a cleaner, lighter, and more accessible relative of Puredistance M, by Puredistance.


Puredistance M has longevity that is beyond comprehension, whereas Emir lasts as long as you would want to smell from it (which for me is all day and into the night, instead of several days). The sillage is good and a little goes a long way, especially in warmer or humid climates.

Emir opens with peppery geranium and leather. Soon after, the patchouli and citrus appear, with cedar following close behind.

As the fragrance continues to open up, the cedar becomes quite prominent. The ceder/patchouli/oud combination smells pungent, rich, and quite earthy. There is something mysterious and also visceral about Emir.

It has an animalic,spicy,smokiness to it. It is complex and seductive like a firm masculine embrace. Though it is very masculine in nature, I have no reservations about wearing it myself, since I wear whatever I enjoy, regardless of its masculine/feminine leanings.

Emir is at once alluring and affirming. It’s like walking confidently into complete darkness without a flashlight or the slightest trace of fear.

It’s intertwining yourself with another person as you share heat in the dead of Winter, under a thick heavy blanket. Your breathing synchronizes in the darkness as sleep moves in and takes both of you in silence.

Tasha Pilot-Slow

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