Voile de Violette by Sonoma Scent Studio

Voile de Violette is predominantly a violet fragrance, but, on me, the rose plays a strong supporting role, even though the list of notes indicates only a "hint" of rose -- maybe my skin brings it out.

I don't find this violet powdery in the least, despite the presence of iris. Rather, I think the vegetal/rooty aspects of iris are emphasized, and the iris, vetiver, and violet leaf combine to bring a green earthiness to Voile de Violette. It is NOT, however, mossy. It also isn't particularly sweet on me, but I tend to have a *very* high tolerance for sweet fragrances, so I may not be the best judge of how relatively sweet it is or is not.

This is Voile de Violette for me: picture a carpet of newly opened violets on wet earth in early spring after a good rain. The violet is both green and lush at the same time, and the rose gives it a jammy, almost plum-like quality in the opening. Then the violet, rose, and cedar share center stage for most of the wearing, at least on me. I have yet to locate the myrrh -- I hope I do find it because I love myrrh.

Like nearly all of Laurie's fragrances, Voile de Violette has *amazing* longevity. I wore it the other day and could still smell it in my hair in the shower after more than 24 hours.
Feb 23, 2013

What We Do In Paris Is Secret by A Lab on Fire

I was prepared to love this one more than I did. I love the notes, the sweetness is right up my alley ... but when I put it on, it was just a pale imitation of Chergui, with some added powderiness and nowhere near the longevity. I love Ropion, but Lutens already did this and did it better. I'll stick with Chergui, thanks.
Jul 10, 2012

Aomassaï 10 by Parfumerie Generale

I'll just admit this right up front: I love Aomassai. Of course, I'm also partial to sweet vanilla-based gourmands, so if neither vanilla nor gourmands are up your alley, Aomassai may not be for you.

But while the vanilla is there -- in all of its sweet, warm, gooey goodness -- it never takes center stage. That honor belongs to the hazelnuts, incense, and woods.

On me, Aomassai is all about warm, toasted woods, and I agree completely with the reviewer who feels "autumn" in this fragrance. Aomassai evokes the crisp, sunny autumn Saturday of a football game in New England, where roasted nuts predominate over smoked meats and where the sky is so perfectly blue you want to cry. And then, as the sun sets and the chill of the evening descends, it wraps you in the warm sweetness of the balsam, vanilla, and resins.

It's just lovely.

Aug 19, 2011

Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I've come to realize that iris and I will never be friends. If a fragrance has the slightest bit of iris in it, on my skin, the iris pushes and shoves its way to the front of the line, as playground bullies tend to do, and stomps out virtually every other note on its way there. Sigh. I think my chemistry is broken when it comes to iris.I really wish I got the incense, leather, and woods that everyone is raving about. All I get is IRIS, IRIS, IRIS, IRIS, and a touch of tea.
Sep 21, 2010

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

I love jasmine (A La Nuit, Sarrasins). I love tobacco notes (Fumerie Turque, Chergui, Pipe Tobacco Accord). I love jasmine and tobacco together. (Just try layering a dab of A La Nuit on top of Fumerie Turque -- to die for.) In fact, individually, each of the notes for Jasmin et Cigarette is included among my favorites.Together, though ... ugh. I get about 1 minute of a very nice jasmine, and then ... nothing but new vinyl shower curtain. Maybe there's something synthetic about the jasmine or the cedar. I would point to orange blossom as the culprit (every now and then I have a bad chemistry day with SL Fleurs d'Oranger and also get the new vinyl shower curtain effect), but there's no orange blossom listed among the notes.I'm stumped. I want to like it. Can't like it. Don't want to smell like vinyl.
Jul 9, 2010

El Attarine by Serge Lutens

Curry. Unbelievably realistic, unrelenting curry. And then ... bonus! ... cumin!

Now, I really enjoy the cumin in Feminite du Bois and Bois de Violette. But this...I don't want to smell like this.

And, although honey, vanilla, and amber can go a long way towards saving an otherwise unredeemable scent for me, there is just no rescuing this one, no matter how much honey Serge throws at me.

EDIT: so, 10 years on, it seems my tastes have changed. I think I tried El Attarine far too soon into the whole fragrance journey thing. Now, I love it. Frankly, I could do with more cumin, but, to be fair, it's nicely balanced as is. And now, finally, I can smell the orange blossom. Pairing orange blossom and cumin is like catnip.

El Attarine is not for everyone, and that's fine. But you do need to appreciate the sweaty factor that comes from cumin and the Lutensian stewed fruit and spice melange. I do. And so I love this.
Jul 8, 2010

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens

My current holy grail perfume is Chergui, which I fell for immediately and irretrievably. I was anticipating that my reaction to Fumerie Turque would be similar, based on its notes and reviews. But my first try with Fumerie Turque was NOT a success, and I nearly scrubbed it. Its opening was very pungent, and I didn't get any of the honey and smoke I was promised. I tried again 5 days later and had a different experience. The pungence was gone, replaced by a slight sharpness, followed by swirling smoke, and, finally, honey. I waited 3 more days, tried it again, and, finally, I GOT what everyone has been raving about. On me, the opening of Fumerie Turque remains piquant but in a subdued Lutensian fashion -- warmly spicy but not overly sweet at this point (unlike Chergui or Arabie). This is where I get the currants, the candied rose, and the patchouli. The smoke is lightly swirling around the spices at this point.After about 30 minutes, the currants and candied rose retreat, and the patchouli and smoke intertwine and begin their dance, with the smoke clearly leading. It's a dry, controlled dance at this point, with just a hint of honey in the background. Then the jasmine briefly cuts in for the patchouli, before the smoke and honey begin a long, incredibly sexy tango. The heart of Fumerie Turque is even better than Chergui and, for me, that's saying something.The end of Fumerie Turque is softer and more restrained than I would like (this is where Chergui wins out for me), but it's still very nice. I don't get the amber or leather than some other reviewers do, just really warm honey and vanilla.Fumerie Turque stays close to the skin all the way through its development. I tested this in the heat of a Great Plains summer (read: hot, hot, hot, and HUMID), and the sweetness was not overbearing, but it stayed center stage longer than I suspect it will in cooler weather. This review is also based on Fumerie Turque dabbed rather than sprayed.
Jul 7, 2010

Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens

Dark cocoa -- check. Camphor -- check. Dry patchouli -- check. I enjoy the opening and heart of Borneo 1834 even though, unlike most Lutens scents, I don't get any sweetness or syrupy spices. Just dry chocolate, patchouli, and that very interesting camphor that makes the back of your throat cold when you sniff. So, my problem with Borneo 1834 is not the opening but the dry-down. The combination of the dry patchouli plus the labdanum doesn't create the dry, textured incense I typically love. All I get is dust. Dry silk dresses in a trunk that haven't been moth-eaten (thanks, camphor) but have become really, REALLY dusty over the years. Where the camphor makes the back of my throat cold, the patchouli + labdanum just unpleasantly tickles the back of my throat and makes me want to sneeze.I also agree with the other reviewer who noticed that the sillage on this one smells different from its up-close scent. I get the dust up close. I get just great, dry patchouli from the sillage.Because I can't slavishly sniff my wrist and get all up-close and personal the way I love to do with other Lutens scents, this one gets a neutral. Personally, I prefer ELdO's Nombril Immense. No dust.
Jul 7, 2010

Chêne by Serge Lutens

This is a review of Chene dabbed rather than sprayed. On me, Chene does not unfold according to the published fragrance pyramid. Instead, I immediately get a lot of rum and oak and just a touch of smoke. Chene is sweetest/booziest for me in the first 30 seconds after application, and it's one of my all-time favorite openings. Then the sweetness disappears entirely, and I get lots and lots of hot, dry, smoky oak, with the smoke giving off just a hint of scorch. Chene is utterly fabulous in this stage. Yes, Chene is more overtly masculine than many SL scents, but I feel very comfortable wearing Chene. It wears close to the skin, but once you've been drawn in, it reaches out and grabs you, demanding to be not simply sniffed but inhaled. It's just wonderful. After about 3-4 hours, I start getting the thyme and immortelle which, in combination, seem to smooth out the slightly scorched oak, and the smoke retreats to a smolder. And there it remains for a good 2 more hours. Like most SL scents, I suspect the longevity will be significant when sprayed, given that it lasts a good 5-6 hours dabbed on me. Wonderful stuff. I can't wait to wear it in the autumn.
Jul 5, 2010

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