Saturday, 23 November 2019

Ill communication

Just a quickie to say thanks to anyone who comments on the blog and an apology to say that you won't get a response from me!
For some reason I can no longer comment on my own blog. I may have unwittingly banned myself. 
I shall try and sort it out before I offend my readers and nobody ever comments again. In the meantime, please bear with...


Well not really. It's a problem with Safari. But if I switch to Chrome it's fine. I imagine that's probably the best option for anyone with disappearing comments. 

Puredistance GOLD, a tender Oriental

I can divide my perfume collection into roughly two camps. On one side sit the fabulous oddities, scents like Robert Piguet Visa with its strange odour of overripe fruit and leather trousers, and the original Gucci Eau de Parfum, an exercise in darkly spiced vanilla with an air of antiseptic dental clinic. Whilst I adore them, I wear these scents infrequently, their personalities being so huge that they serve to accompany a specific mood, usually a gregarious one!
On the other side sit my faithful companions, those with a tender beauty, gentle compositions that I’m happy to let in to my space whilst dressing for work at 6.30am. Mitsouko is often reached for at this sensitive hour, as her subtly earthy aroma caresses rather than engulfs me, a hint of peach peeping through to perk up the dark morning. 
These tender beauties are a rarity in contemporary perfumery, especially within the niche market, who’s creations are often either artfully odd or bombastically bold, sometimes linear creations, ‘full on’ from the first spritz. 
A rarity is the perfume house who refuses to follow contemporary trends, a house that simply desires to make extraordinarily splendid perfume. No novel quirky concept, no loud space domination, simply sprayable beauty. One such house is Puredistance
When I smelt GOLD, their latest release, I was immediately struck by the complete absence of novelty. The brief was simple, Jan Ewoud Vos, founder of the company, desired an exceptionally fine fragrance that would synesthetically communicate the concept of Gold. 

With the release of GOLD, Perfumer Antonie Lie describes his latest creation for Puredistance as “naturally rich, warm and harmonious”. The aspect of synesthesia relates very much to the colour of Gold. Aesthetically, gold radiates warmth in the same way as silver emits iciness. Gold is voluptuous and sensual whilst silver is spartan and cool tempered. Gold welcomes us into her glow, Silver shines from a distance. Lie’s GOLD is a sprayable good mood, a cosy embrace, she's a deeply congenial scent. 
Gold could alternatively signify prestige, superiority and wealth, Amouage have a Gold creation, popular in Arabia where Gold is a much utilised sign of wealth. Kim Kardashian and Jay Z have their own Gold scents, again hinting (or pointing obviously!) to a lavish lifestyle. But that is most certainly not what Puredistance GOLD is about. 
JAY Z loves a bit of bling

I’ve said it before, Puredistance make ‘proper’ perfume. GOLD harks back to a time when perfume was a mysterious elixir that we applied with joy rather than ingredient analysis. Indeed Gold smells vintage, almost as if you remember it from the past but realise it never existed. 
The notes for GOLD are:
Top Notes
Green Mandarine Essence - Italy, Bergamot Essence - Calabria, Pink peppercorn Essence - Reunion Island, Rosemary Essence - Morocco, Clove buds Essence - Madagascar

Middle Notes
Jasmin Absolute - India, Ciste Absolute - Spain, Geranium Essence - Morocco,
Cinnamon Bark Absolute - Madagascar

Base Notes
Styrax Essence - Honduras, Benzoin Resinoide - Laos, Myrrhe Resinoide, Patchouli Essence - Indonesia, Vanilla Green Beans - Madagascar, Tonka Beans Absolute - Venezuela, Castoreum Absolute, Vetiver Essence - Haiti.

But you don’t really need to know that. 
You’ll most certainly smell the Cinnamon, Pepper and Clove buds. They’ll greet you from the first spritz and dance around your olfactory bulb energetically. But then everything seems to become one, a harmonious composition where no individual fights for domination. Despite some strident notes, the overall effect is soft and mellifluous, a grand oriental with the volume turned low. 

GOLD is not a ‘statement’ perfume, she’s your companionable accessory. And you’ll always feel content in her glow. 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Forest Therapy - The unexpected Parfum

We shell out oodles of cash for the joy of owning a ‘parfum’ or perfume extract. They are often considered to be the finest version of a fragrance, comprising of the highest concentration of raw materials (usually above 30%) and possessed of the most tenacious grip to our skin. Vintage perfume collectors talk about parfum as being authentic i.e. the Perfumer’s original vision in the creative process. 

Vol de Nuit - The prettiest parfum in the world

Curiously, the difference in raw material content in an eau de parfum and a parfum is often only about 10 to 20%. So why is it usually at least 100% more expensive?

I don’t have the answer. But I have discovered an unusual and significantly less purse-hurty alternative.

My passion for forest themed scents is well documented at Odiferess. I’ve written of the witchy delights of Ormonde Woman, the festive cheer of Fille en Aiguilles, and the outdoorsy vibrancy of Wrappings with deep adoration. As a sufferer of Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, these scents give me a much needed burst of green sapped clarity to cut through the oppressive fug of the dark nights.

With this in mind, I treated my morale to a bottle of the latest bath oil offering from Aromatherapy Associates - Forest Therapy. This 100% natural bottle of oily goodness promised to raise my spirits and give me a sense of serenity which I tend to think of as a little bit of tree magic. 

Aromatherapy Associates specify an application method. You don’t just pour it into your bath and step in, you are encouraged to apply the oil to your torso, deliver a quick massage and a take a deep mindful huff of your hands before climbing into the bath. This works brilliantly as the oil disperses from your body into the bath but retains a great volume of aromatics right underneath your nose. It works similarly in the shower but it feels a bit wasteful in a short-lived experience.

Whilst pondering the emerald scented steam from my bath tub, I considered what this product actually is, a 30% concentration of essential oils in a carrier. It’s essentially a perfume extract. That evening I swiped a little Forest Therapy over my wrists and d├ęcolletage to explore the idea of wearing this bath oil as a perfume. Much in the same manner as Estee Lauder’s clever oily origins of Youth Dew, it worked. I delighted in several hours of it’s scent in full technicolour and fell asleep to a soft earthy drydown. 

Forest Therapy isn’t a ‘Judderman’ style scent. It doesn’t have the glacial Swedish element of cool air breezing through Pine. It feels much warmer, giving the sensation of a Southern European landscape, the arid element of sun soaked evergreens and dense herbal scrubland. When worn on skin, the Lemon note dominates the opening, giving a grand sunny tone to your walk in the woods. It’s definitely more High Summer than Christmas, which is exactly what I need right now. 

“Native to the Peruvian Andes, exotic Pink Pepper berries lend their spicy, fruity scent to uplift and energise, revitalising the senses while also easing breathing. Gently steam distilled from delicate young Cypress needles, soft, woody Cypress essential oil fills your bathroom with the scent of fresh forest air, washing a sense of calm and comfort over you. Our Juniper Berry, foraged from the mountainous regions of Macedonia, grounds and balances emotions as if you were taking a soothing stroll under the canopy of tall, majestic trees.
A woody heart of balancing Petitgrain, cleansing Ho Wood and earthy Patchouli, complemented with sweet, floral notes from the Davana plant, warm, buttery aromas from luxurious Mimosa flowers and sparkling Sicilian lemon, all our ingredients come together to form a fragrance that is synonymous with the crisp smell of nature. Open the cap and be transported to giant evergreens and woodland walks.” (Aromatherapy Associates website)

Indeed, you will be. 

Other foresty treats for the bath:

Badedas foam bath: bright green bubble juice with the unique woody green scent of Horse Chestnut. It hasn’t changed since my childhood, for which I’m grateful.

Olverum bath oil: More Judderman than Forest Therapy, distinctly Pine and herbal with a dominant Lime note. This has been loved and sold at London perfume emporium - Les Senteurs for years. 

Make your own: I favour a combination of essentials oils of Spruce, Eucalyptus and Rosemary blended in a little fractionated Coconut Oil or a cupful of Epsom Salts. 

N.B: Since my discovery, Aromatherapy Associates have released a Forest Therapy wellness mist which is actually designed to be applied to the body (or spritzed into your surroundings). This might be an alternative for those concerned about safety as it features a lower concentration of essential oils. I haven’t had any reaction to the bath oil when applied to the body, just don’t put it on your face!