Patyka Organic Perfume: Ambré

Amber perfumes typically have a base of  labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla, sometimes with a balsamic note added for extra warmth. They tend to be powdery, full of depth, and natural amber blends are particularly soft and soothing. Because of amber’s coziness, I thought I preferred it in the colder winter months. Enter Patyka’s Ambré to shift my thinking. This is an amber of a different sort. Light and glowing, without a hint of powder that I can sense. It’s entirely seasonless.


It begins with bergamot, which initially was disorienting to me. I was not expecting a citrus blast when I sprayed a perfume named “Amber”.  Luckily, Patyka’s bergamot is gorgeous and vibrant. I now look forward to Ambré’s initial lively, green greeting. The citrus settles quickly though, making way for a simple but elegant vanilla/woodsy blend.


The creamy vanillic quality of Ambré is sublime. It melds into the skin effortlessly and is quite sensual. The woody aspect in Ambré is very subtle thankfully, as I would not want the cuddly vanilla to be overpowered. I perceive the woods as mainly sandalwood, mixed with the sweet, almost earthy/nutty quality of tonka bean. This gives Ambré’s vanilla solid footing as a smooth skin-scent rather than a gourmand. Because of their simple elegance, Patyka’s perfumes are beautiful when layered together. I will report my findings after I spend more time experimenting with these gorgeous fragrances. I have a good feeling about an Ambré and Boise blend.



Patyka grows its own organic ingredients and its products are certified organic by ECOCERT. In addition, Patyka’s products do not contain any petroleum, silicone, PEGs, parabens, or phenoxyethanol. They are available at Patykausa.com for $98 for a 50ml bottle or $59 for a 15ml bottle.

UPDATE! According to the SpiritBeauyLounge website, “Patyka is undergoing some company restructuring and has temporarily halted distribution in the US. What we have left is all we’ve got but expect to see the entire range to return early 2010 with even more wonderful products!”

You might want to wait until things are settled before you place an order with Patyka directly while they go through this transition. The relaunch will probably happen in July. I’ll keep you posted!

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: The sample of Ambré is from my own collection. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Interview with Alexandra Balahoutis

Alexandra Balahoutis is the the founder and perfumer of Strange Invisible Perfumes. She creates vibrant, compelling, beautiful perfumes, the latest being Essence of IX. Essence of IX is a limited edition fragrance, inspired by the “ghostly aromas” present in a wine glass. She collaborated with Ann Colgin of Colgin Cellars in creating this rich and complex fragrance that I will review at a later time. (Spoiler alert: I love it). It truly is an honor to have her answering questions here on Scent Hive.


Scent Hive: Your new fragrance Essence of IX was born out of a collaboration with Colgin Cellars. How was that experience for you?

Alexandra Balahoutis: I loved working with Ann Colgin and I learned so very much through the design of this fragrance. I shadowed the winemaking process and tasted wine in various stages of its development process. Spending time at the vineyard and inside the winery was heavenly. It was such a lovely collaboration.


SH: Is the process different when you create a limited edition vs. a fragrance for your permanent collection?

AB: What I love about creating limited editions is how impulsive I can be. I don’t have to put any thought into selling these fragrances on a larger scale. All of our fragrances are unique and stem from sincere inspiration, however these here-today-gone-tomorrow fragrances afford me artistic gratification without the commitment of a formal launch. Releasing limited editions is the marketing equivalent of a fling, no strings attached and no long-term commitment.


SH: I want to say congratulations on the launch of your new website design. It is aesthetically beautiful and so easy to navigate. How involved were you in the new design?

AB: Thank you very much! We designed the site completely in-house. I would say that I art-directed the look and experience along with our in-house designer/project manager who composed all the layouts. We hired a programmer and just sent him the precise artwork and content for each page. He was instructed not to change a single thing. We wanted the site to be distilled yet rich with nuance, in-depth or quite basic, depending on each person’s interest level and attention span. Most of all, we just wanted it to be true to the story and essence of our company.


SH: You are clearly very devoted to using only the highest quality, natural ingredients in your products. How do you ensure that quality, and make sure the botanicals are harvested ethically?

AB: Well, in many cases we distill our own essences. We own property in Ojai and Kentucky so we have unique opportunities to grow some of our own plants. We then hydro-distill them in-house with our full-time distiller. In other cases our distiller/head of production sources amazing essences from all over the world. We only buy essences from distillers we know. We do not buy from third parties or essential oil houses. The only way to know essences is to know the people who extract them. On a side note, our entire staff is going to Ojai at the end of April for a distillation we are doing of orange blossoms. We also recently distilled organic, locally grown Meyer lemons at our lab. We post photos of our projects on our Facebook page. People love to see the process of essences being crafted. It demystifies the process and connects them to the lovely reality of what they are buying.


SH: Your SIP alchemical lab is undergoing organic certification. What does that mean exactly?

AB: We currently use certified organic ingredients in our products whenever available. Once our lab obtains organic certification, everything we distill in our lab will be certified organic. This certification will be another measure we take to assure people as to the purity of our methods and products. Our standards of purity are often higher than those of organic certification, however we do respect the confidence that certified organic products inspire. As diehard purists, we address quality and purity from every angle.


SH: Why do you prefer hydro-distillation rather than steam distillation? And can you explain to us how the two processes differ?

AB: Steam distillation is a very commercial technique of distilling plant material. It is certainly the most common method used. In contrast, the technique of hydro-distillation is quite rare. It is not used nearly as often as it does not yield as much essential oil. Hydro-distillation does, however, ensure a beautiful odor profile that cannot be achieved with steam distillation. While steam distillation yields more essence, this method does not capture the fine aroma chemicals that make up an ideal odor profile. Sometimes these chemicals make up only 1% of the essence but they still influence the aroma significantly. Essentially, steam distillation loses very fine constituents of the plant vital to presenting the plant’s truest aromatic beauty.


SH: In terms of botanicals, what is really exciting right now for you to work with?

AB: There is a gorgeous, organic extract of black currant that I want to put in just about everything at the moment. Quite fittingly, I used it in Essence of IX, the fragrance we designed for Colgin Cellars. I’ve been using a lot of cedar leaf and cocoa as well. As for flowers, exquisite essences of ginger lily and kewda have found their way into many of my recent formulas.


SH: What are your current inspirations aside from scent?

AB: I’ve been wildly inspired by gems and music lately. I can’t seem to tire of canary tourmalines and the White Stripes.


SH: Moon Garden continues to be one of my personal favorites from your line. (I particularly love how you can smell the heat of warmed resins within the perfume). Can you speak to your feelings regarding Moon Garden?

AB: I am in love with Moon Garden! Tuberose has been my favorite flower for such a long time. People that know me very well tend to send me tuberoses on my birthday. I wanted to make a tuberose composition that told the whole story of tuberose blossoms, not one that smelled like a tuberose scented perfume. I used warm, eccentric resins to reinforce the deep textural scent of fresh, blooming tuberose petals. This flower has so many facets and I wanted to light them up. I didn’t want to glaze over them with the typical, confectionary interpretations of old-fashioned tuberose fragrances.


SH: You have traveled quite a bit throughout your life. If you could travel anywhere right now, would you revisit a special place, or take a new adventure? And where would that be?

AB: I automatically feel guilty for not answering “a new adventure.” Lately I have been thinking of places I haven’t been in a long time. I have been longing to revisit Paris. I almost feel like I want to reclaim something I left there. London is also calling. Afterwards, I think I will probably begin longing for new adventures. For now I’d like to have some new adventures in cities that are old favorites.


SH: You’ve mentioned in other interviews how childhood memories of scent have deeply affected you. Now that you are an adult creating perfumes, will you share with us how wearing your own fragrances affect you?

AB: I wear my own fragrances and the experience is somewhat fascinating. Have you ever wondered whether or not you are in love? You think and think and consider all of the variables as you experience the dynamics and chemistry between you and the person you are with. That is how it feels for me to wear my own perfume, which I do almost everyday. I tend to love and analyze each fragrance as I wear it. Right now, I am wearing a fragrance I designed called Tribute. It is something I made that reminds me of the perfumes my mother introduced to me to when I was little. My mother has a very good nose and excellent taste in perfume. In many ways she cultivated my nose when I was a little girl. When I wear this perfume it reminds me of the elusive reasons women wear perfume in the first place and of the admiration I had for time-honored, French perfumes. I have been enjoying the hell out of wearing it but I will never sell it. It is strictly for friends, family and the people that work for Strange Invisible. But you never know. I have been talked into relinquishing every private perfume I have ever made for myself. I really have to learn to say no. I just don’t enjoy doing so.


SH: What fragrances from your permanent line are you currently wearing the most? And are there fragrances from other natural perfumers that you enjoy?

AB: Honestly when it comes to perfume I’m a real tart. It is a different scent each week. I’m not a signature perfume wearer. I’ll entertain monogamy when it comes to romance but never fragrance. Magazine Street, Moon Garden, and Fire and Cream are very high on my list, however. As for the work of other perfumers, John Steele makes a botanical perfume called Mango that I love and wear from time to time. The distiller I work with also designed a floral perfume featuring ginger lily, especially for this past Christmas. I love it and wear it whenever I get really dressed up.


SH: And finally, (this is a request within a question), do you have plans to expand your lovely bath and body collection?

AB: Yes. I do. We are reformulating the collection and I have some plans to switch up the format a bit. That’s all I can say for now, but I promise there are some nice developments on the horizon.

Share

Printemps by Ajne

OK, so enough about nail polish! Let’s get back to natural perfumes.

Ahh, Printemps. You’re the lovely hippie chick who I admired from afar in college. Beautiful with your long flaxen hair and low slung jeans before they were today’s standard fare. But you’re all grown up now. Sophisticated. Complex. Yet, still clinging to your bohemian roots.


You are a musky white floral in the same vein as China Rain, but with gardenia at the helm. Lily of the valley is commonly the prominent note in the now ubiquitous healthfood store China Rain-esque blends. (No disrespect to lily of the valley, muguet takes my breath away when done properly). Instead, Printemps possesses gardenia and lime blossoms which bring fullness to this white floral fragrance which is much needed, so that it does not become too familiar. It’s also made by Ajne, a California based perfumery that uses only natural essences of the highest quality.

The opening of Printemps graces us with smoky woods, South Pacific barks, and drift woods per the website. This portion of the Printemps experience is too fleeting in my opinion. I tend to prefer woody florals over musky florals, and luckily have a full bottle of Ajne’s other gardenia based perfume, Fleur Blanche, which is of that ilk. But for those who do love musk, soft florals and a hint of powder, Printemps might be your girl, especially if you like Kai which it closely resembles. I am partial to the all-natural choice of Printemps as the pure botanicals lend a subtle complexity when compared to the sharper “fragrance oil blend” style of Kai.


As for sillage and longevity, Printemps has great throw and lasts for many hours. There are several sizes available that you can check out on Ajne’s website, but to give you an idea of price point, a 1 oz bottle is $140. A bargain when compared to Kai which goes for $45 for a 0.125 oz roll-on.


Posted by ~Trish

image from hiphappy.wordpress.com
Disclosure: The sample of Printemps is from my own collection. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Strange Invisible Perfumes Celebrates 10 Years!

Celebrate Strange Invisible Perfumes’ 10th Anniversary with a 10% off Promotion Code. It’s valid from February 23-March 4, 2010 online. The code is SIP2010. And do visit their new website, it’s beautiful and so much easier to navigate!

Here are some of my SIP reviews if your interested is piqued:

Lyric Rain

Fire and Cream

Galatea

Magazine Street

Posted by ~Trish

Share

Natural Perfumes by Tallulah Jane (And Giveaway!)

Now that the world of natural perfume has really taken off, there is speculation regarding the “greenness” of some of them. For those of us who prefer naturals, we have our own individual barometers as to what is “green” enough. Only you can decide what works best for you in terms of your lifestyle and beliefs. But we all should be savvy consumers since it’s well known that just because a company touts themselves as “green” or “natural” or “organic” does not necessarily mean its products are free of synthetics, parabens or petrochemicals. So if it’s important to you, read the labels. Also check a website’s fine print and if the language is fuzzy, you should be skeptical.


One of the newest natural perfumeries on the scene is Tallulah Jane, and when they state their fragrances are natural, they mean it. They use botanical essences, resins and balsams that are organic and wildcrafted whenever possible. They also use certified organic alcohols and carrier oils and their extracts are only from plants and trees that are sustainable. In addition, all of their products are vegan, not tested on animals, and free of parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals.


Tallulah Jane’s Tallulah is their signature scent and my favorite of the three offerings. Tallulah is described as a creamy jasmine in the PR info. I experienced more of a spicy jasmine sambac note with a fizzy lemon/lime accord and it remained bright and citrusy throughout its progression. A background of woods and charred frankincense, in the heart and drydown, did ground Tallulah’s upbeat disposition a bit. Describing a jasmine scent as “upbeat” might be interpreted as girly. Talluah is not. In fact, this is the first time I can remember thinking that a jasmine based fragrance would be wonderful on a man’s skin.


Tallulah Jane’s 333 fragrance has three different types of chamomile and lavender, as well as neroli, petitgrain and bitter orange. On my skin, this medley became a delicious Gin and Tonic, garnished with cilantro. 333 is boozy and fresh and entirely appropriate for either a man or a woman. I haven’t tried this on my husband, but will as my intuition tells me it’ll meld even better with his skin than mine. I might be one of the few that gets the soapy, herbal tones of cilantro from 333, and I’m curious about that. So if you’ve tried this, let me know. Like Tallulah, 333 is uplifting and I would anticipate reaching for both of these when the promise of warmer days is in the air. If you’re a man (or have a man in your life) that’s unsure about wearing fragrance, 333 is a great choice. In spite of its herbal/cirtus effervescence, 333 wears close to the skin and would not overwhelm the wearer or anyone else for that matter. It’s also short-lived which calls for more frequent applications, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me if I love a fragrance.


Gotham seems to be more of a wintery scent, as its rose and patchouli blend feels quite composed. My first impression of Gotham was that of a lovely rose scent, punctuated by a tame patchouli note. But after an hour or so, it did an about-face and became a patchouli perfume, softened slightly by rose petals. I enjoyed wearing Gotham, but it was lacking the deep vintage patchouli redolence I have become accustomed to in *Mandy Aftel and *Julie Elliott’s work. Having said that, Gotham’s patchouli is not your typical health food store patchouli, and if you’re a lover of rose and patchouli, it would be worth your while to at least get a sample.


If you’d like to have a full-size of Tallulah (that has been used gently by me), please leave a comment and I’ll enter you in the giveaway.  You can get extra entries, one each, if you follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. (Check the right sidebar for those as that’s 6 possible entries!) Please let me know in your comments what you did. You have until Sunday January 24th at 9pm PST to enter. We have a winner!


Sample sets are available at SpiritBeautyLounge, the only place you’ll find Tallulah Jane at the moment. You can pick 6 samples from their online shop for $15. The full-size of Tallulah Jane’s Tallulah, 333, or Gotham are $58 for a 8ml roll-on.


Posted by ~Trish


*Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes and Julie Elliott of In Fiore offer Antique Patchouli and Patchouli Royale respectively if you’d like to experience a deep, lush, earthy patchouli.


Disclosure: Samples from SpiritBeautyLounge were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Enter to Win a Bottle of Maoli Perfumes Colonia Dulce

nd.5982Maoli Perfumes loves a giveaway as much as I do, and they have generously offered to share their Aloha sweetness with Scent Hive readers. One lucky reader will receive a 1oz bottle of Colonia Dulce, a 100% all natural and organic perfume.

 

To enter, check out my review for Colonia Dulce here or the Maoli Perfumes website, and then leave a comment below as to why you’d like to be the winner of this fun tropical, floral gourmand. At least that’s what I like to call it. Once the lush florals settle, the vanillic drydown reminds me of  yummy Jordan Almonds.

 

You have until Sunday June 14th at 10pm Pacific to enter by leaving a comment below. The winner will be announced June 15th. COMMENTS CLOSED, COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

 

~to leave a comment, simply hit the word comments under the “share/save” button below.

 

Posted by ~Trish 

Share

Sexy Angelic by Honoré des Prés

Calissons1

Sexy Angelic  is an ideal gourmand scent for the summer. It’s a light air-spun confection that wears easily in the warm weather. Sexy Angelic is centered around a calisson accord which was inspired by the town of Aix-in-Provence in the South of France. Calissons are treats made from a paste of sugar, melons and almonds that are covered with royal ice (white icing). Sexy Angelic entices its wearer with notes of licorice from angelica seeds and I gotta be honest here, I-don’t-know-what from Hemlock flowers. If you do, please let me know!


47504So I’ll focus on what I do know, and that is that Sexy Angelic is delectable. The calisson accord is loaded with crystallized sugary-almond goodness that is uplifted by the herbal licorice aspect. It’s lovely on the drydown as the green herbaciousness dissipates allowing for honeyed woods to meld into a skin scent. It’s the farthest thing from cloying or heavy and it just might be the gourmand for those of you who don’t typically go for gourmands.

 

One of the complaints heard across the blogs is that the Honoré des Prés line does not last. At all. I have found this to be true with two of the scents, Nu Green and Honore’s Trip. They only lasted mere minutes on my skin. Chaman’s Party (reviewed here) on the other hand has wonderful staying power, which Sexy Angelic doesn’t quite match up to. But, when sprayed very liberally it lasts about 1-2 hours, considerably close to the skin. It wears more like an Eau Fraiche than an Eau de Toilette and if I were the owner of a full bottle I’d be spraying it with wanton abandon before getting dressed.


Sexy Angelic is one of five fragrances from the Honoré des Prés line of organic perfumes. Olivia Giacobetti created them and is well known for many other perfumes such as Philosykos for Diptyque, Navegar and Passage d’Enfer for L’Artisan, and Hiris for Hermes (just to name a few). She was asked by Christopher David, the owner of Honoré des Prés to create an all natural and organic line of perfumes and clearly she was up for the challenge. I am hoping body products are to follow as a body butter in Sexy Angelic would be absolutely heavenly.

 

Sexy Angelic is available at Luckyscent and Beautyhabit

 

Posted by ~Trish

 

Calissons image at Au Présent du Subectif

Share

Fragrance for Yoga

il_430xN.16826263

When exactly Patañjali wrote the Yoga Sutras is debated among scholars, but for our purposes, we’ll go with the broad range that Ravi Ravindra provides in his book, The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide, and call it anywhere between the 3rd century BCE and the 3rd century CE. In this ancient text, which many a yogi considers the foundation of yoga, Patañjali states per Ravindra’s translation:

 

A clear and tranquil mind results from cultivating friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion towards those who suffer, joy towards the virtuous, and impartiality towards wrong-doers.

Or from attention to the outward and inward flow of breath (prana). (1.33, 1.34)

 

For real? Is it possible that attention to the breath is as powerful as being impartial towards “wrong-doers”? Why not I suppose. Ultimately being mindful of the breath throughout our hectic days might be as difficult as impartiality, and therefore as potent. Attention to the breath can be quite astonishing in its simplicity, but it requires dedication. Actually observing the process of inhaling and exhaling brings you to the present moment, and allows you to let go of the trappings of the past and anxiety about the future. But it’s challenging to remind yourself to take a “breather” isn’t it? I’m still trying to achieve this at least once a day, even just for few minutes, and yoga helps keeps me on that path. 

 

il_430xN.49804887We fragrance hounds do a lot of intentional inhaling. And whether or not we do yoga, there are some scents out there made specifically for grounding and getting mindful. I wore Rouge Aromatics Ground Me Aromatic Balm a few times over the past couple of weeks to yoga class. I had never worn fragrance to yoga previously, and the experience was definitely fulfilling. Ground Me was created specifically for use during mediation and yoga, so it wears close to the skin and won’t disrupt your neighbor. Its blend of organic balsam fir essential oil, organic vetiver essential oil, and sweet grass infused oil is just what you’d expect from the description. That’s if you have high expectations. Kari Morford, the creator of Rouge Aromatics, is a certified aromatherpist and she knows how to blend. The fir is very well balanced by the earthiness of the vetiver and therefore never strays into the dreaded “Christmas potpourri” territory, and the sweetgrass lends a (shocking!) grassy greenness that again balances the piney balsam of the fir. 

 

Applying Ground Me set an intention right before my yoga practice as I had the thought of grounding in my mind while dabbing the balm on my skin. Every time my wrists passed my face as we moved through the various poses I was reminded to breathe. I have also worn Ground Me a few times outside of class when I needed a little reminder to slow down, and because the tins are so portable, doing this is very convenient. Kari makes many balms, Pamper Me being my other favorite. This is a delightful vanillic jasmine that is slightly indolic, really addictive, and makes for a gorgeous organic perfume. It’s loaded with goodies for your skin like mango butter, rosehip oil and vitamin e. The balms are just $9 for a one ounce tin, so I encourage you to check out her etsy site and consider giving Ground Me and Pamper Me a try.

 

01Renew Elixir by Drops of Nature is another scent for grounding as well as stress relief. The Drops of Nature website suggests applying the elixir to your neck, earlobes and temple to help clear your mind before yoga or pilates class. As with the Ground Me balm, Renew Elixir helps you connect with your breath. You intentionally inhale the clarifying aroma of peppermint, lavender, bergamot, and clary sage; and then hopefully exhale feeling more connected with yourself and maybe a little more relaxed. Jessica over at Now Smell This has already written a fabulous review for Renew Elixir, and I agree with everything she has said, and am loathe to risk repeating it. I will say that I mostly sense peppermint and lavender in the elixir which is wonderful as they are both refreshing and renewing, so breathing in Renew does what it sets out to do. On the skin, Renew lasts about 10 minutes, and I’m not sure the purpose of this product is to last longer than that like a perfume would. As Jessica mentioned in her review, I too enjoy having Renew in my bag for chaotic moments, as it’s a suggestion to reconnect with my breath and clear my mind. 

 

Both Drops of Nature and Rouge Aromatics use 100% all natural ingredients and do not use phthalates, parabens, or petrochemicals and are available at the above linked websites.

 

Posted by ~Trish

 

Breathe image by KathyMortonStanion on etsy

Share

Maoli Perfumes: Colonia Dulce Eau de Cologne

1753147542_446e013f4c

o20761Colonia Dulce Eau de Cologne by Maoli Perfumes is a sweet perfume (colonia dulce means “sweet cologne” in Spanish) that has a sweet story to go along with it. Two tween-age brothers, Kai and Kalani Hughes, had to leave their beloved Hawaii and move to the rainy Northwest. Homesickness set in, and they asked their mother if they could create a fragrance for themselves that would smell like the Hawaiian sunshine to help appease their moments of tropical solar longing. Mom said “of course, but let’s do it right”.

Kai and Kalani studied natural perfumery with their mother and Colonia Dulce was their final project. According to Kai and Kalani in this interview at Fragrantica, they never intended to create a business. But as it turned out, there were so many interested moms in the boys’ fragrance, that selling it seemed like a savvy idea.

When you read the interview, you get a real sense of the boys’ dedication to botanicals and natural essences. I love that they each have their own favorite scents. Kai’s are ylang ylang and vanilla, but he also loves to combine Turkish rose and lemon. Kalani’s favorites are tangerine and vanilla. All of the ingredients in Colonia Dulce are organic. When I spoke to the boys’ mom, she said that not all of the ingredients have been certified organic, but she assured me that they are all indeed organic and 100% natural.

So let’s get to what the fragrance smells like. The notes are listed on the Maoli website as: Mexican wild lime, pikake and orange blossoms, juicy Ka’u Gold oranges and vanilla. Upon the opening, it’s all about citrus and pikake, which reads as plumeria to my nose. And this is definitely a good thing in my opinion! There are many types of plumeria which have a variety of smells. But the common white ones with the yellow center, the celadine plumeria pictured above, have a decidedly citrusy neroli accord with a slight suggestion of jasmine and gardenia. Snapping a blossom from its branch and inhaling the aroma literally makes me weak in the knees. It’s one of the reasons I crave trips to the Hawaiian Islands and hopefully their Colonia Dulce makes Kai and Kalani feel comforted, not even more homesick!

 

o20851Regardless, the plumeria-like topnotes and heart definitely have a sweetness to them, undoubtedly due to the vanilla. This is afterall, Colonia Dulce. The drydown then loses the florals all-together and becomes a simple and sweet fragrance. It’s not cloying, or overly foody, because I can assure you it would have been scrubbed off without a second thought had that been the case. Rather, it’s like smelling the hard shell of a Jordan Almond before the first bite; subtly sugared.

 

There’s another aspect of Colonia Dulce to love aside from the plumeria scent, its being organic, and the fact that it was created by two boys. Its price; only $28 for 30mls. Or you can get a 4ml deluxe sample for $5. So go grab yourself some Aloha spirit.

 

posted by ~Trish

plumeria photograph by mad plumerian on flickr

Share

Strange Invisible Perfumes: Galatea

jeanleongerome-pygmalion-and-galatea

Galatea begets an image of a bitter-orange tree corridor. Blossoms opening from a balmy night of late spring. Dark silhouettes of lovers loosely hold hands, fingers intertwined. Boozy thoughts dance above them. The trees emit their balsam, finally released from the first true heat of the season. The bark has become balm and essence. It’s a lovely vision, a bit dark in my mind, and this perfume swirls around it like a trance. 

 

I am in love with Galatea and yearn to have a full bottle. Here’s the caveat; one has to really love this fragrance before buying it as it is only available in parfum strength and is $185 for 1/4 ounce. But neroli is a weakness of mine. I adore its sensual heralding of springtime and slightly spicy undertones. This lovely note of neroli, combined with the sweet warmth of benzoin and the leafy-green resinous quality of galbanum have been orchestrated with an artist’s skill and inspiration. Alexandra Balahoutis, the creator of Strange Invisible Perfumes composed Galatea for herself, which might explain why this is such a perfectly blended fragrance. 

 

To clarify, the benzoin used in fragrance is different from the medicinal benzoin which is a skin protectant and smells like camphor. Perfumery benzoin is a resin from the Styrax tree which is native to Southeast Asia. Cuts are made in the bark to release the liquid secretion, which later solidifies into a resin after being exposed to air and the sun. The resin smells sweet and vanilla-like, and according to Mandy Aftel in her book Essence and Alchemy, “people tend to find benzoin calming, seductive, sensual and rejuvenating”.

 

Tuberose plays its part in this perfume as well. But not in the typical bombshell-floral role it’s usually relegated. In Galatea, tuberose has soft curves that cradle the neroli. So subtle is the tuberose, that it only becomes apparent in the base. Providing a richness to the neroli and an evolution for the fragrance to move into deeper territory. But the resinous, booze-like quality that makes Galatea so dreamlike remains constant. 

 

Galatea is available at  Strange Invisible Perfumes.  Strange Invisible Perfumes does not use any synthetically derived chemicals and all of their products are crafted solely from ingredients found in nature. They use organic beverage-grade grape alcohol as the base for their perfumes. 85-100% of their product is organic and they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Please see their site for more on their green mission.

 

Galatea decants are also available at The Perfumed Court.

 

Posted by ~Trish

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome at Explore-Drawing-and-Painting.com

Share