February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

I always love Valentine's Day, no matter what, and take it as an opportunity to either look for a gift or treat myself to one.

This time among the many possible choices in Valentine's perfume experiences I have found these very special three, which will warm you to the core, in this harsh winter, or express your internal heat if you are in a warmer climate. I consider them to be good night-table perfumes; ones to keep beside you in the bedroom, for their warmth and opulence, to enhance either romance or rest.




Alexis Karl's Scent by Alexis has reformulated and re-released Body Made Luminous, using a Himalayan amber, re-balancing itself among mysterious cocoa and floral accords.  It makes an ultra-warm aromatic amber cloak, with natural cocoa of the deepest darkest kind, almost the bark of the tree, strong and a bit astringent, in a mist floating over roses. Predominantly cocoa, the deep amber keeps it from sweetness and shades into something like ebony, which dries down into more wood with a hint of cool cedar.

Fara Bad
It creates a definite aura that remains  private and close to the body. It does not throw itself out to the public, but reveals itself within your personal space, as is most appropriate for such a romantic perfume.  It was inspired by Foucault’s essay Utopian Body, to celebrate that hidden and seductive intimate landscape.  

The etched flacon comes with a black silk pump and a silver atomizer.  Two sizes are available -- 2 ounces or 1 dram.  There are more lovely photos and perfume thoughts on Alexis Karl's Body Made Luminous site. There is also the option of a bespoke perfume, calibrated to express the client's persona as a portrait painted in scent, as per this short video of Fara Bad, for example.

Alexis also has a new set of songs on Lost Cities, to be released on Valentine's Day in her guise as Ondyne's Demise. Here's a dark and stormy sample called "Rain" on Soundcloud.


Honey Perfume by Laurie Stern
Laurie Stern's Velvet and Sweet Pea's Purrfumery has a strong association with  the romance of engagements and weddings, as she frequently holds events with brides to be for wedding perfumes and other romance related events at her beautiful California atelier and garden. In a former life as a florist, she developed a great affinity for the opulence of scent and its effects on us.  She hand makes incredible fully natural enfleuraged whipped body and face creams that I have written about before, and has expanded that aspect of her fragrance endeavors. Among her many natural perfumes (more about them in a prior post) my current favorite is Honey, which is a luxuriant ode to the power and beauty of that essence, with French orange blossom, Moroccan and Bulgarian roses, vetiver, vanilla, honey, beeswax and propolis, antique clove, pomegranate and pink grapefruit.  It is both romantic and stately, it makes you feel like the heroine of a 19th century classic novel, with its richness of detail. Indeed it holds within itself the regal tone of the Queen Bee.


There is a Valentine's Beauty event today in San Fransisco, at Tiger Lily, with drinks and sweets and perfume and makeup and clothes, so if you are fortunate enough to be in the vicinity, I can't think of a better way to celebrate.





Aroma M Amber Rouge oil based roll on and EdP in alcohol spray form

Maria McElroy's Aroma M's Geisha Amber Rouge is a fiery, cinnamon and spice-charged perfume, balanced and softened by a big dose of amber.  I know it in the oil based roll-on version, and it also comes in an alcohol based spray edp. In order of appearance, the notes register as amber, cinnamon, clove, star anise, resins, and incense. but it dries down to an almost cognac toned amber infused vapor.  I have written about Amber Rouge in detail before, and it has been reformulated with a different amber accord, that makes it both softer and more pervasive over the whole. 

This is a perfume to ignite inner fire if there ever was one; Oriental in style but modern in execution, the spices are enhanced and tempered by the amber accord.  Not at all shy, in fact quite bold, for all that it still holds closely if tenaciously to the skin. It makes wonderful aromatic company for a quiet time, either alone or as an enhancement to romance, for that strong character held within ultra soft ornamental flourishes.


illustration by Jade Dressler
Valentine's Day is also the 20 year anniversary for Aroma M, and in honor of that major milestone, there is new option for bespoke perfume. Please visit the page for more details on the  process and price.

Aroma M has recently begun a line of body products, fully natural and madly effective, Camellia based, with a white floral fragrance that enhances the experience and effect, and a matching perfume. 


All of these perfumes are carefully sourced as to materials and hand made, with no phtalates or other scary ingredients.  I like to inhale and apply them with abandon.

Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure: samples received directly from the perfumers, this piece was not commissioned and is a completely independent opinion. 

4 comments:

Maggie Mahboubian said...

Such interesting contrasts you propose for this most auspicious of days. Love can be light, dark and a little playful, hopefully all at once!

Maggie M. said...

Such interesting contrasts you propose for this most auspicious of days. Love can be light, dark and a little playful, hopefully all at once!

Laurie Stern said...

Thank you so much, Lucy, I love Valentine's Day and to wake up to this is a purrfect Valentine's gift! I love your thoughts on keeping these perfumes on your night table. Beautiful. Geisha Amber Rouge and Body Made Luminous sound gorgeous, I hope I get to sniff them too! Love and XOXO today!

Ambi said...

Beautifully written. I especially like the Geisha Amber Rouge. This scent is really one of a kind. It is just so spicy and delicious and wonderful. And i love the fact that it is not sweet and does not contain fruit! One of my all time favorites.