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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Divine Spirituelle: fragrance review and samples draw

Certain perfumes give an illusory first impression like people who come into a party seemingly underdressed only to impress you with their smarts and true chic as the night unfolds. Spirituelle, the latest Divine fragrance, an at once delicate and spirited take on the rosy powdery floral, took me a cursory first sniff and then a much more attentive one to appreciate its twists that put the chic into the chica. It ended up winning me and might win you too if you're either a floral phobic or a rose hater, so lend me your eyes for a sec.

Bulle Ogier via Photobucket/francomac123

Two major themes play into the blueprint of Spirituelle. The first one is a dessert-worthy succulent note that derives from the two rose absolutes (one from Turkey, the other from France), flanked by rosy, fresh spice on one side and a smooth lightly ambery caress on the other. The feeling is not unlike the deliciousness of Neela Vermeire's Mohur eau de parfum, rendered here more ethereal and a bit less dense. Never too sweet, but inviting.

The second theme is the wink of a smoky cigarette note that rises only from a certain distance. The French are known for their predilection for smoking and I don't smoke myself as a rule, so the illusory effect is not a trail off my clothing or skin. Rather it recalls the practice of French perfumes of yore which had a compatible ambience to human habits: food, sex, drink and smoke. The hand is quicker than the eye (or the nose, as circumstances apply): the effect is lightweight and imperceptible if not told about beforehand. Chapeau then for such a clever little conjurer's trick which makes Divine Spirituelle go beyond the polite, prim and beige rose perfume that so many fragrance companies issue for Victoriana admiring fans, without on the other hand falling into the commonality of either patchouli nor oud.


Spirituelle comes as the 11th creation for Divine, the small niche brand by Yvon Mouchel, founded in the small town of Dinard. Perfumer Richard Ibanez who worked on Spirituelle has been a longtime partner with the Divine brand: he was the one composing the word-of-mouth cult first Divine scent, Divine by Divine.

I have 6 perfume samples for an equal number of lucky readers. Please let me know your experiences with rose in the comments to be eligible for the draw. Draw is open internationally till Friday midnight and winner will be announced in the weekend.

Fragrance notes for Divine Spirituelle:

Top: pink pepper, Sichuan pepper, geranium, cistus
Middle: May rose absolute, Anatolian rose absolute
Base: Texas cedarwood, white amber, white musk, incense.

Spirituelle is available as eau de parfum (50, 100, 200ml splash bottles or 30 and 50 refillable spray bottles) and as pure parfum extrait 20ml.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The winner of the draw....

...for the Advent Calendar by Tauer Perfumes is Matt. Congratulations and please email me using Contact to claim your prize.

Thanks everyone for the enthusiastic participation and check out our next giveaway shortly!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Classified Ads: Reader Swaps Amouage Candles. Takers?

A dear reader of mine wants to swap some Amouage candles she has got (but never lit), preferably for vintage Guerlain Mitsouko or Caron Bellodgia perfume or alternatively "for something pretty and happy", as she specified.
The candles are in their original packaging and are unlit: Amouage Oriental Oud and Divine Oud are both intact in their original sealing, Eternal Oud has been opened only to be sniffed.
These are perfect for the holiday season. Preferably US shipping.

These are a $90 retail value each. Anyone who thinks they have something swappable for these, please comment below stating what you have to offer, so she can read, and watch this space for her pick/comments so she can eventually contact you through email.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giveaway: Tauer Advent Calendar & Musings on Perfumes to Be Confused

First things first: We are honored to participate for the 6th consecutive year in the Advent Calendar of Tauer Perfumes. You know what this means: prizes by Andy Tauer!!! The winner can pick an Explorer Set from Tauer, 3 x15ml fragrances of scents of your choice! Cool, if you ask me.  (it even gives the choice on some of the less popular but quite interesting in my books Vetiver Dance, Incense Extreme, Carillon pour un Ange, Zeta, or Noontide Petals, among many others such as the gorgeous and limited Phi Rose de Kandahar or the modern classic Une Rose Chypree.
Enter a comment on this post, below, to be eligible.
[NB. Limitations/shipping restrictions apply. Find them on bottom of this post].


And now on to musings on something that happened to me recently and put me into thinking.

I smelled a GORGEOUS scent on a very efficient and smart lady the other day. She was wafting it copiously, but the scent wasn't at all "thick" nor "cloying", it trailed beautifully as we walked through a gallery display, she guiding me, I listening attentively, distracted only by the amazing sillage. Initially I thought it was something along the lines of Teatro alla Scala (Krizia) which is a beautiful spicy oriental with a rich, satiating citrusy top note that I know pretty well, own and wear myself (and was wondering whether this is the trail I leave behind!). The lady in question was munching on a juicy mandarin at the time, too, as she was showing me around.
Before parting I had to confirm. I asked, point blank. Turns out it was .....Aromatics Elixir (which I otherwise recognize immediately on other people, I am practically surrounded by it, Athens adores this fragrance), her "signature for 20 years", as she added. Plus juicy mandarin orange...

And I got thinking. Much has been made of the growing resemblance of Aromatics Elixir by Clinique to (parent company) Lauder's Youth Dew and orientals in general. Maybe there's a bit of truth there, though I always remembered AE as very patchouli rich and powdery-mossy, and still do. But surely there are other elements at play and I assume we all have gotten confused as to what someone wears at a given moment, even if it is something we know perfectly well and could otherwise pinpoint.
Do you have such examples? What was it that confused you and what did you confuse it with? I'd love to read in the comments.   

LIMITATIONS: The draw is worldwide. Some exceptions apply: Italy, Spain, Croatia, Russia, Greece (Swiss FedEx cannot ship there). The prizes will be shipped for free from Switzerland, through FedEx. Local taxes, VAT, and import fee may apply and are not covered by Tauer. The winner is responsible to make sure that they are allowed to import the prize.
Tauer ships to the address given and do not contact the addressee afterwards nor will use the contact information for any other purpose than sending the prize, nor will they forward the address to anybody else except for the purpose of shipping the prize to the winner.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Poll: Your Most Worn Fragrances in 2014

In the interests of research (if you have been following the Best Seller and Best of/Top annual lists you know how historical archiving warms the cockles of my heart) I am throwing out a question to you, dear readers, today.

As simple as that: Which fragrances did you wear most in 2014? Not need for elaborate statistics, I need your assessment and feeling.


It could be something mainstream from Cartier (La Panthere launched this year) or Armani's Si (last year) or more researched, something from niche such as Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale or Copal Azur or even artisanal such as Phi Rose de Kandahar by Andy Tauer...It could also be something older, such as Chanel Coco, which many readers rediscovered, or a celebrity perfume, or a natural oil, no shame in anything....Please divulge!
I will do a sum up and include it as an addendum on the Best Of 2014 List to follow.

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