Red Poppy and the Queen Akbar

Russian version: http://aromax.livejournal.com/5229.html

Recently I’ve been to the garden centre to buy some new flowers for my balcony. And they had a poppy – a nice red bunch of fire on a hairy stalk. A simple, but very attractive flower. I couldn’t resist its charm.

The perfume I am wearing today is a Queen Akbar. Please, don’t grasp for the Turin&Sanchez guide to find it there. It's a perfume I made following the formula and using fleuressencesb (ready to use perfume bases) from the ABC-kit of the perfumersworld (http://www.perfumersworld.com/).

Top notes:
fresh citrus

Middle notes: jasmine with a touch of orchid and spice

Base notes: wood, amber, vanilla

A nice blend reminding me of Opium pour homme by YSL. Mostly based on heavy dark jasmine with spice notes just breaking through. Amber is a combination of Benzoin based balsam and vanilla. Dry out – vanilla. It’s a heavy, oriental, spicy, sweet fragrance.

There is a green note in this perfume that seems to “be looking for its place” on the skin making the scent a bit soapy for a while, but disappearing later. May need some more maturation – it’s only a week ago I’ve made an alcohol dilution.


Arpège - a classic french floral aldehydic.

Arpège is a perfume that can be referred as floral aldehydic together with Chanel N5, Madame Rochas, Calandre, Rive Gauche and White Linen. The base of this perfume consists of woody notes of Sandalwood and Vetiver in combination with sweet Vanilla, Coumarin and Musk. In its heart there is a classic combination of Rose, Jasmin and Lilly-of-the-valley together with Tuberose and Iris warmed with spices like Clove bud and Coriander. The top notes consist of Bergamot, Aldehydes and Neroli sweetened with Peach. Well, with another words it's a very classic French flowery perfume – elegant, stylish and very suitable for a special occasion like an evening in the theater or an reception.

Very special of this perfume is that originally it was made of a high-quality flower bases. There are finest naturals used, like huge amount of Sandalwood next to Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin absolute, Ylang-Ylang and Neroli. It gives this perfume a sumptuous character. The recent reformulation in 90’s was performed with all respect to the original attempting to keep the spirit of the perfume unchanged.

The slightly spicy floral part Arpège is less spicy than Madame Rochas or L’Air du Temps and has more natural floral character than Rive Gauche. Compared to Chanel N 5 Arpège has less striking aldehydic character. Therefore it's a nice perfume for someone who find Chanel N5 too sharp, but loves classic French style flowery perfumes. The difference between Arpège and Chanel N5 is easy to understand when you look to the main purpose of the both perfume houses. The goal of Chanel was emancipation – liberating of woman that you can smell in a defiant character of Chanel N5. Lanvin’s goal was to embellish a woman.

The embellishing quality of Arpège reminds me of The Necklace (La Parure) by Guy de Maupassant. Mathilde Loisel who is not content with her middle-class state and dreams about luxuary life is invited to an official ball at the Ministery. She has got a dress already but is very desperate because she doesn’t have any jewel to embellish her dress. Finally she borrows a necklace from a friend of her. She steals the evening completely. Arpège is such a necklace to me – a nice finishing touch of class and elegancy for a formal reception. A potion for a young middle-class girl to become a noble lady for one night.

This perfume is made in 1927 by a perfumer André Fraysse by order of Jeanne Lanvin who intended this as a gift for the 30st birthday of her very beloved daughter Marie-Blanche. The strong connection between mother and daughter you can see in a golden logotype of Lanvin. It’s a stylized picture of Jeanne giving an embrace to Marie-Blanche. Mother wanted only the best ingredients in the most precious gift for her daughter. The name is chosen for the perfume, because Marie-Blanche liked music as much as perfume and could see the affinity between both arts.


Rive Gauche pour homme by YSL

Russian version: http://aromax.livejournal.com/4734.html

Rive Gauche pour homme by YSL – a tough man's perfume.

Well – I’ve noticed a couple of excited comments about this fragrance on basenotes and it was enough to make me curious. Not really a “wow” feeling for me, but still a good aromatic fougère. Later I’ve got a chance to buy it for a half of price and I couldn’t resist the temptation. It’s also nice to have a bitter herbal scent next to my mostly sweet opiating Serge Lutens fragrances.

What is Rive Gauche? A green opening of fresh citrusy bergamot. Later bitter herbal heart of lavender, geranium, spices and herbs. All supported by Vetiver – Patchouli combination finishing the typical picture of a fougère. Vetiver and Patchouli combination gives often a kind of dark leather note – neither a smoky one, nor soft suede, but a bitter sharp army boot. A combination of vetiver, geranium, lavender and herbs gives a kind of soapy note (also sensed as barbershop effect) – is also very common in fougères. Like Paco Rabanne pour homme – it has a very clean soapy note to my nose.

It becomes softer later – the bitter leathery note settles down revealing some sweetness and spiciness of clove and star anise. I can’t recognize yet what’s in vanillic background of this sweetness, but it’s probably coumarine from tonka beans.

On my skin the leathery bitterness is less prominent, but not absent at all. It makes more place for warm spicy and even creamy sweetness from the beginning.

It’s long lasting classic elegant scent. The herbal lavender scents are often associated with something velvety, nostalgic and reliable to me. This one may be not velvety, but definitely classic and reliable.

What kind of man is Rive Gauche? Well – he is a good mannered elegant man, wearing a suit at work. You can trust him, you can rely on him. He has definitely his macho side – you can see it. But he can keep it under control without suppressing it. Yes, he is – composed. Rive Gauche completes his image, but what’s about his personality? Well – in a weekend, when his suit stays in a closet he can be very different from shown above. But in a weekend he wears another fragrance ;-)

Rive Gauche pour homme is very close to Azzaro pour homme. The same aromatic fougère, same herbal spicy lavender. But basil of Azzaro is very unique making this fragrance very distinguished.


AromaX goes English on Blogger

Well, it looks like I can better continue my blog in English here. The Dutch version is not really popular for visitors. And almost every Dutch speaks English.

My previous Dutch blogs are going together here in English:

My previous English blog is going Russian from May 20, 2008:

The fragrant highlights of my vacation

Nederlands: http://aromax-mijneigen.blogspot.com/search/label/vakantie%20mei08

Image #1. Somewhere in South Lorraine in Vosges department there is a small city Remiremont. A small road full of twists and turns leads you higher to the hills through a forest. You go Girmont-val-d’Agol direction and take a smaller path to Le Moulin Picard. A handful of houses without numbers on a road without a name - a quiet and peaceful place lost between green hills and dark bosses. A cosy house near a pond with a big balcony and a fireplace. Not easy to find, but nice to forget the rush of a big city and just fall out of time flow and relax. Green grass carpet with dandelions and small blue flowers (viper’s bugloss?), virgin green veil of opening leaves on the trees, blooming apple tree and broom. A smell of green grassy freshness and intoxicating honey sweetness of broom…

Image #2. Visiting Zürich. Well – it was almost 3 hours riding, but not without reward. I don’t know why but I did feel home there, although I’ve never been there before. Was it falling in love for the city from first sight? Nostalgic feeling about the city somewhere from the previous life? Well – I had not much time and could visit only the Bahnhofstrasse, cause I had meeting with Andy Tauer at 14.00.

Bahnhofstrasse is a paradise for a perfume lover. Christian Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Armani, Douglas and much more perfumeries and boutiques. And of course Oswald perfumery – a small place full of niche pearls. They just have too much for me – couldn’t easily choose what to sniff.

Image #3. Meeting Andy Tauer. A wonderful experience. Andy - an independent hobby perfumer who can make and sale his perfume under his name is a source of inspiration for me. I am not sure yet if my own perfume making adventure as ambitious, but it’s nice to have an inspiring example. Andy is a very easygoing person and nice to chat with. He gave me a short tour in his house – I could even try his creative chair and sniff some of perfume materials. Of course I was curious on his new creations and limited fragrances – Orris, Hyacynth and Mechanic, Vetiver, Chypre Rose… I did love his Vetiver very much – soft, deep, with some green notes and a touch of white flowers. Really looking forward for the day it’s available to buy. Andy has shown me some of basic books for a perfumer – like Essence and Alchemy of Mandy Aftel that was a source of inspiration for him. Well, I’ve already ordered this book. I’ve nosed through his perfume collection and could put my nose into Véga of Guerlain, vintage Jicky and Chypre by Coty – what a masterpiece! Well I left Andy with a bottle of L’air du desert Marocain – a gift from the hands of its creator, nice olfactory experiences, a couple of tips and warm feeling in my heart and full of excitement.

Image #4. Aldehydic perfumes. Well – I’ve got my first assignments for the perfumery course. The practical one was to make an aldehydic floral perfume according to a given formula and than to improve it. I have spent three whole days on it with all the pleasure. Trying to understand the formula and to figure it out how you can improve it without change the spirit of perfume self. I did smell some famous perfumes reading about their components – Chanel N5, Arpège, Madame Rochas, Rive Gauche, Calandre, White Linnen. Finally I’ve made two improved versions that I send for review soon to my supervisor.

Well those are the most excited images from the vacations. If I have time I will put some more or give more details on those.


On vacation from May 3 till May 17

Nederlands: http://aromax-mijneigen.blogspot.com/search/label/vakantie%20mei08

On vaccation May 3-17.

Well – I go to Girmont-Val-d’Ajol in France. A small town in North Lorraine between Alsace and Jura. The purpose is to combine relaxing in a house in the middle of nature near to a lake and some perfume adventure. I may visit Strasbourg, Nancy, Mulohuse, Besançon, Colmar, Belfort and also Freiburg (D) and even may be Zurich and/or Berne (Sw). I have already found some nice perfume shops I’d like to visit in these cities. I’ll see – no planned routes – relaxing first. My perfume aormachemicals and perfumery books are going with me – looking forward to play with them.

No e-mail or Internet communication for two weeks. Let’s see if I can handle it ;-)