Perfumed impressions: Onda by Vero Kern

Russian version - click here

Website of Vero Kern - http://www.veroprofumo.com/

The begin of Onda was like taking a thin transparent ochre scarf from an antique wardrobe and getting a tail of fragrances from the past. The gramophone starts playing, the world starts turning around and I feel a long fall… back in time. Is it a fall or are you sliding the wave into the depth of the fragrance?

Onda reminds me of Marlene Dietrich. A femme fatale who was attractive and desirable in furs or leather or even a man’s suit. A woman whose manlike habits and lineaments made her even more feminine and attractive. Someone who jumps into the depth to taste the intensity of life. She is charmingly seductive and provocatively embarrassing at the same time. She is warm and caring, but also heavy and fatal.

It’s not possible to understand the complexity of this fragrance from the blotter. Only intimate contact with skin allows this perfume to blossom and show all her facets.

In the top of Onda I smell a fresh spicy basil that interacts nicely with a leather note for awhile and than turns into a heavy aromatic bouquet of bitter herbs with a touch of warm sweet spices. After another wave sliding into the depth of Onda I sense warm notes of coriander and a wonderful combination of clary sage with a pinch of black pepper. A random clash of the last two notes against the vetiver in the base reminds me of Andy’s Vetiver Dance just for a second. One more slide and the clear light yellow honing starts to drop slowly on herbs and leather. Slightly chemical on the blotter the honey note of Onda opens nicely warm on the skin – it’s viscous and mellow, but not sugary sweet. It’s not the sugar but rather ginger and mace mentioned in the pyramid that sweeten the honey. Although my nose doesn’t recognize the mace and barely recognizes ginger. May be because they are perfectly implemented into the honey accord. Another wave gliding brings me to vetiver and leather. The leather in Onda is rough and a bit harsh on the blotter, but on my skin it turns into soft and delicate suede with a pleasant smoky note. A touch of cumin gives Onda very attractive animalic quality. I don’t know if other animal notes are used as I am not familiar with them. But Onda has very animal character – sometimes it’s almost embracing to smell it from a bare skin.


Michael Storer perfumes

Russian version - click here

Image comes from the website of Michael Storer

Michael Storer is an independent perfumer from Los Angeles who has begun to make fragrances after almost 30 years in the fashion industry. So far he has created six eau de perfumes “designed for individualist”. Very soon they will be available in Russia.

My “virtual” acquaintance with Mike began a year ago when I joined a perfume-making Yahoo group where independent perfumers can discuss different fragrant issues and support each other with advice. Mike is a very active member of this group who enthusiastically participates in almost any discussion and generously shares his perfume knowledge. He is a man with a great passion for perfumes and fragrances.

Being a beginner in fragrance making myself, I was very interested to try the creations of an experienced fellow perfumer. The perfumes of Michael Storer were not easy for me to understand. My impression about his style and vision of fragrant reality may be compared to looking at a piece of abstract art form for the first time. His style is like an emancipation of classic art. And based on contrasts, his fragrances are provocative and unique. This uniqueness makes them very suitable for wear by individualists.

More information on the fragrances of Michael Storer and the sample pack are available through his website http://michaelstorer.com/

The six fragrances created by Mr. Storer so far are “three sisters” for women – Genviève, Yvette and Stephanie; two perfumes for men – Djin and Monk and one unisex creation – Kadota – the newest one. All are made at eau de parfum strength.

According to Mike it’s a classy and unabashedly feminine floral rose fantasy. To my nose it’s All About the Rose, indeed. An emancipated one. It begins with a quiet, powdery flower. But very soon she reveals a sharp metallic note surrounded with fruits and fresh green accords. The sharpness of this metallic note is like an unabashed nudity that rather provokes than seduces. On my skin this note is too powerful, but on the blotter it’s better integrated in the fruity floral accord of peach, raspberry and tropical flowers like jasmine and ylang. Rhubarb, muguet and mimosa keep it fresh. Amber and resins warm the perfume up and musk and civet bring just enough animal power to keep the perfume seductive. My mind doesn’t show me an image of a rose garden, but draws a silver rose with electric metallic petals – a fine modernistic sculpture of a classic flower. The background for this rose is a fruit dish standing in the shadow of a big tree somewhere in the country.

She is so green… That was my first impression. First I couldn’t smell anything else but the depth of galbanum, bitterness of chrysanthemums and the freshness of pepper – there was green jungle everywhere. But soon I smelled something I love so much – a trail of my favourite tropical flowers leading me to a seductive heart made of Jasmine and Tuberose. And maybe Gardenia.
It’s interesting to note that according to Mike, Stephanie is a recreation of the headspace of Gardenia. But you don’t see any Gardenia in a pyramid of the scent. The most unique aspect of this perfume is that Gardenia isn’t there, but she is born on the edges of a clash between tropical flowers and green freshness. The Gardenia of Stephanie plays hide and seek in the jungle. And her secret is – she really wants to be found.

She is the most elusive creation to my nose. Smelling this complex fragrance is like watching a thin oil film upon water that creates a kaleidoscopic interplay of iridescent colours. Tea notes, plums, fruity rose, honey, leather, exotic flowers and even an aroma of make-up… it’s all in her. Mike emphasizes the gourmand quality of Yvette based on buttery and pastry-like accord with the notes of tarragon running through. Yvette is seductive and a true temptress, yet aloof and elusive, which makes her all the more intriguing.

Someone called this fragrance Chanel No. 5 for men. And it is almost true – Monk opens with a punch of aldehydes. But under them my nose smells only chocolate refusing to recognize any other ingredient from the rich, fragrant pyramid of Monk. The combination of chocolate and aldehydes is unusual. This contrast between ancient and modern aphrodisiacs is juxtaposed, but attractive. If you are not as chocolate attuned as I am, you might also recognize incense, smoky tobacco and a smell of the dark, musty monastic cell with a touch of animal notes. Monk is heavy, dark and mysterious as well as masculine and sexy.

Is a fresh green citrusy masculine perfume with a pinch of spice. The fragrance opens with sour lemon and bitter grapefruit warmed with pepper and sweetened with cardamom. The green depth of galbanum together with aromatic freshness of geranium leaf contrasts with the tenderness of white muguet. A touch of musk, castoreum and teakwood support the fragrance. Djin is a fresh male eau de cologne with a spicy oriental twist – light and ethereal, but powerful as any Djin should be.

Kadota consists of green fig leaves together with a sweet, creamy delight made from the fig’s fruits and flowers. It plays like a gift from Mike to modern-day Adams and Eves. To my nose Kadota remained a forbidden fruit. A sophisticated clash of the notes yielded an unusual accord that initially recalled some unpleasant aroma associations from my childhood. It made me a bit jealous of all those people who could enjoy the beauty of Kadota. I smelled it many times and eventually was able to break through my personal olfactory block to enjoy the pleasant contrast between the bitterness of green fleshy leaves and the creamy fruitiness of the fig.