July 21, 2016

Perfumes of Summer 2016 Part 2

The heat waves and humidity started early this year and are set to continue around here and most of the country.  This state of affairs lends itself perfectly to floral perfumes.  Flowers have genetically engineered themselves to be the crowning glories of  the warm weather months.  They know how to handle it and are specialists in turning the sun's burning energy into beauty like no other.

They are the showcase for Nature's vigor, of how growth and energy poured into the lures of attraction will inevitably result in an abundance of continuing life.

I've never met a person who doesn't love the fragrance of real flowers, though perhaps with strong likes and dislikes among them. This can't be said of other materials that have been translated into perfume.

Flowers are the essence of universal appeal, and while their symbolism might be different among cultures, they all lay tracks in our scent memories and trigger emotions and vivid recollections of moments beautified by their presence.

Continuing the fragrance highlights of my summer:

Dreaming Eternal by Alexis Karl, is part of her Body Made Luminous series. A potent and almost narcotic floral perfume, made with an enormous dose of violet and muguet, anchored by black agar and fossilized amber, mediated by jasmine sambac, and lightly touched with white smoke.

In my estimation, it's best to be worn at night. As a night floral perfume, it is meant to represent the contented dreams of lovers finally sleeping and entering the shared dream of a physical and emotional Aurora Borealis.  It's about physical release, their excitement resolving into contentment. The ethereal aspects of violet and the air around the soprano aromatic waves of lily of the valley are folded within the warmth of amber and black agar.

This is a perfume to apply with one or two sprays, as more could even be overpowering. It's a strong perfume. I've never experienced violet and muguet to this exponential power.  I understand the perfume is at a strength of a full 33%. It's a rich brandy color.

This floral intensity is eventually much softened by the base notes. Those are rich enough to have a touch of the gourmand about them, with a subtly edible quality.  Personally I find all this comes out with the most clarity the more lightly applied, but I think there are times you can go for more.  It clings to the skin tenaciously and survives washing, truly staining the skin. It perfectly expresses the personality of the perfumer, which is expansive and enthusiastic, while obsessively drawn to the depths and ends of life's experience.

If you can imagine Vero Kern's Onda, crossed with an amped version of Guerlain's Insolence (Parfum) suspended over a deep Arabian amber, mediated by the use a sparing hand in application, you get the idea (ironically I found out about Insolence through an online recommendation as a perfume soothing enough to fall asleep to).

This perfume's florals are heady indeed, but soften over time with air and skin and enter a night time experience that includes a flash of lightening against a dark sky full of racing clouds. It's about another world, the night world, and I think using it as a night perfume will expand its other worldly quality of a dark night with the moon shining intermittently through massing clouds.


On the other hand, Romanza, Victorian Narcissus by Masque Milano's Cristiano Canali, is the essence of brightness and the rising sun.  Its immediate effect is as enlivening and strong as leaving a dim interior to enter sunny brightness outdoors. There's a lot of pure air mixed into the headiness of this narcissus-as-life-force.  The florals seem to quickly rise up far above the ground and pull you up along with them.

The note list of absinth, orange blossom, angelica, violet leaf, narcissus, jasmine, vetiver, cedar, patchouli, amber and civet skew, for me, to heavy on the orange blossom and narcissus, and the vetiver and cedar and absinth and angelica are a contrasting piquant support to the lush opulence.

This is a perfume that could dress up anything, including a worn house coat or a slapdash ensemble of jeans and a t-shirt. The Italian elegance is so strong as to permeate and transform all around, like a magical godmother could make Cinderella's rags into a couture ballgown.  Actually couture is the right word. Ultra refined and skillful, this initial big entrance lasts for some time until you might forget yourself, and then cools off into the shade of the drier, more subtle supporting players.  There is indeed Romance within this perfume, and a Victorian abundantly lush, singleminded focus on the sensation of a pure pleasure taken in beauty as a force sufficient onto itself.

This floral is round, bright, graceful and utterly itself, not to be influenced by anything, hence the ability to hold its own under whatever circumstances. Anyone could wear this perfume, from a girl child to an old man, a society lady to a casual student and it would shine an aromatic power over all that includes all who sense it within its generosity. That said, this is another perfume for those with a taste for the intense.


Rose Flash by Andy Tauer's Tauerville is a wake up call in terms of coming to one's senses, as a rose that gathers your wits about you in the best of ways. 

Roses are so versatile they can do almost anything as perfume. Rose may soothe, excite, overpower, mediate the notes that surround it,  calm, or lead toward hedonist or spiritual ecstasies. Rose as a classic icon is part of a long perfume tradition, that with all the attendant associations and status, may throw a highlight up against spare modernity. Rose has some baggage that comes from being strongly associated with the past, but its undeniable beauty will get through to anyone who allows themselves even the slightest susceptibility.

This time it is a tonic for the mind and heart.  Exquisitely beautiful, delicate, the core of a very precious grade of rose essential oil reveals all its facets simultaneously, like a clear cut gem, showing itself off on skin to your and its own best advantage. 

This is the kind of modern rose of refined simplicity and elegance that hints at the light in the eyes, a sparkle of engaged intelligence.  Easy to wear, the nature of the rose is the main event, without cliche or sentimental associations, fully itself on its own terms. This one is bright, even jammy, to start, energetic and a comfort at once.

This is a perfume that could be worn every day, anywhere, wholly relatable yet refreshingly and sensitively pared down enough in the right way.  It could be a signal to yourself and others that brings your to your senses, an intimate engagement with the beauties of nature. It shows you are willing to dive into the infinite references of historical culture, as roses are so full of symbolic significance, and then capably links you as wearer with this rose's sophistication, to carry it all off with ease and expansive good nature.  

Some ultra subtle mysterious deeper notes, possibly woods and resins, support the rose, an underpinning to the structure that strengthens and preserves the velvety rose petal sensations.  It's an extended wear experience. A modern rose for all sexes.

All three above are cross gender perfumes, all can be worn by everyone who has a wish to enter into their floral spirit.


Disclosure: sample of Dreaming Eternal provided by the perfumer Alexis Karl, who I have written about several times before, and been following her work with great interest.
Samples of Romanza and Rose Flash provided by Twisted Lily.
The above post is my independent opinion, not sponsored in any way.

Dreaming Eternal may be sampled through Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn by appointment, where Alexis Karl has taken up the title of resident perfumer. She continues to lecture there on topics related to beauty and fragrance.  There is also a Scent by Alexis site for the Utopian Body series.
Romanza and Rose Flash are available from Twisted Lily in Brooklyn.  Please check the above links for more information as to prices, samples, and additional stores.


I'm taking a break from posting here until the end of this year from perfume writing, though not perfume wearing, and probably some remarks about perfumes on other social media like Facebook and Twitter. There are projects and skills for my site Luccia that I must focus on with a single mind, until they gain more strength and momentum.  See you here later, around the New Year.  In the meantime, please enjoy the prior posts if you haven't seen them already, and if you are so inclined, try the Clarimonde posts which I will add to from time to time over the next months.


AustralianPerfumeJunkies said...

Good Luck with everything Lucy. See you back here when you can.
Portia xxx

Peter said...

Nice post. Thanks for the list