Monday, April 13, 2020

My Perfume Collection: Puredistance Candy

Sheiduna parfum, purse gift set, photo by Elena Vosnaki

Puredistance M and Opardu, parfum spray, photo by Elena Vosnaki

Monday, April 6, 2020

Gucci Memoire d'Une Odeur: fragrance review

A comrade of mine in fragrance said, taking the 2019 fragrance launches in retrospect, "In today’s world, chamomile will never be a major perfume trend, unless this world does a 180 degree turn. It’s not that its extracts smell bad: it’s the mythology that comes with it. The most successful things in modern perfumery are sensual — white flowers, sweet stuff. Chamomile, with its tea and eczema cream connotations, is about as sensual as baby's colic. So, no sex in chamomile, but a lot of other things — calm, serenity, memories (hence the name of Gucci’s perfume.) Memories of that field behind Grandma’s house, of that distant time someone special took such good care of you." She was talking about Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur, i.e. memory of a smell.


The fragrance was an innovation based on a concept by the new creative director at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, whom we have to thank for the innovative outlook that gave us recently niche-quality smelling Gucci Guilty Absolute for men and the worthwhile Gucci Bloom collection of scents.

 “Everything comes from my obsession with scents: my memory is primarily olfactive so, for me, my sense of smell is my memory. I thought that, deep down, perfume is that thing that even with your eyes closed, brings you to a precise moment in space and time. When we began to work on Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur, I tried to imagine the recollection of a scent that couldn’t easily be identified; a hybrid scent that resembles memory as much as possible”..

Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur is an elixir that transcends gender by its individuality, to establish a new olfactive family, Mineral Aromatic. The transcendent accord features unexpected and enigmatic ingredients, and is defined by a note of Roman chamomile.
Alessandro Michele envisioned this particular flower inside the scent, blended by master perfumer Alberto Morillas.

The famous perfumer mentioned upon launching that ”the musky mineral accord is the keystone of the fragrance: it links all the other olfactive elements together with pure softness. I had to think quite carefully about why Alessandro chose chamomile. When I started to work with the scent of chamomile itself, then I understood. “No one had done it before. Chamomile is known all over the world. Everyone has smelt it at some point, but as a dream, a memory of childhood, something timeless, and never in a fragrance. This flower is much underestimated and is a plant with an exceptional olfactive signature.”

 I'm thinking that the world has since indeed done a 180 degree turn, nothing is the same anymore, and the feeling of someone taking good care of us is such a precious, precious thought that Gucci's Memoire d'une Odeur has become sort of an amulet against evil. Its softly musky, clean trail is a promise of a happy ending in a tangled bedtime story.

Memoire d'une Odeur by Gucci is a special breed apart, even among modern fragrances. A most refined, botanical take on the clean whisper of a scent of woods and chamomile that can be so popular for discreet company. The scent is best retained on fabric (and paper); it tends to seemingly vanish on the skin in a short time which prompts complaints from consumers. In reality it's still there, but the big musk molecules are too large to be perceptible by some individuals.

 The sparse bottle is inspired by a vintage Gucci fragrance bottle discovered by Alessandron Michelle and used for Mémoire d’une Odeur’s bottle. Grooved like a column from an ancient world, the bottle casts a refined silhouette in heavy transparent light green glass, crowned with shiny gold cap. Printed gold foil frames the label, revealing the Gucci logo together with the name of the fragrance.

“The packaging comes from the past, inspired by an old Gucci perfume from the early 90s. I didn’t want the bottle to take on a shape or size that is too feminine or too masculine because the perfume could be very much for women or very much for men,” said Alessandro Michele.

What can we say? We're smitten. 

My Perfume Collection: Some Chanel Eye-Candy

photo by Elena Vosnaki
photo by Elena Vosnaki
photo by Elena Vosnaki
photo by Elena Vosnaki
These small pleasures amount to a great deal in difficult times. These Chanel perfumes are part of my fragrance wardrobe and don't get to take an outing regularly, for no apparent reason. This specific time-frame is pointing that maybe they should go out and see some action. They have been cherished and used, as you can see, but they probably need to be drained and replenished! Ho ho ho!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid: fragrance review

Tom Ford is eagerly awaited by fashionistas during New York Fashion Week due to his excellent finger on the pulse, in both sartorial as well as beauty endeavors, coaxing women (and men) out of their comfort zone and augmenting everything to a great big ooomph that's sure to get noticed. Velvet Orchid, a floral-oriental fragrance in a ribbed retro bottle in purple, is one such perfume.


Tom Ford Velvet Orchid opens itself with bergamot, mandarin, Succan absolute (I knew you'd ask, it's purified rum extract), and honey. At the core of this creation (made of "corporeal floral notes") is Tom Ford's distinctive, “timeless” signature that we have experienced in the original Black Orchid (fragrance review linked), from when first it exploded on counters like Alexis Carrington-Colby did when a minion or two were deemed unsatisfactory: an imaginary accord of black orchid blended with notes of velvet orchid, which gives the perfume its name, with intense Turkish rose oil (discernible as such) and jasmine and a new accord of purple orchid. The latter is a fantasy note that is comprised of aromachemicals that take over the scene and diffuse slowly and lengthily. Long story short, the bittersweet myrrh resin embraces all those sophisticated floral notes and makes them one hell of a floral oriental fragrance!

Like most tom Ford fragrances, Velvet Orchid is not the coy type at all, she wears her knickers on her head and is fine, thank you very much.

There are additional floral notes in Velvet Orchid, if you can believe it, of orange blossom, rose absolute, narcissus, hyacinth and heliotrope. The base is warm due to the rich flavors of Peru balsam, myrrh, labdanum, sandalwood, suede and vanilla.

photo by Matthew Roharik, borrowed via for educational purposes

The luxurious perfume is available in dim purple bottles of classic Tom Ford design in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum concentration. Velvet Orchid was created by Yann Vasnier, Calice Becker, Shyamala Maisondieu and Antoine Maisondieu. Usually that many perfumers in one fragrance composition means the headquarters didn't really know what they were aiming at, but unusually Tom Ford does keep a tight involvement in his namesake brand, despite the ownership by the Lauder Group, so it's not a mess as one might expect; on the contrary, it's rather good and worth sampling for sure. And thankfully not part of the rather more expensive or elusive Tom Ford Private Blend.
Do take note that there is also a variant, called Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Lumière, in a slightly lighter purple bottle, launched in November 2016, as a new edition of the glamorous fragrance Velvet Orchid from 2014 from the collection ruled by the vamp perfume Black Orchid from 2006.

Whereas Velvet Orchid is a floriental with a warm woody base, Velvet Orchid Lumière is a floral - oriental composition with gourmand accents instead.
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