Serge Lutens – Fourreau Noir

source: sergelutens.com

source: sugarbombbakeryblog

If one were to sum up Fourreau Noir in brief, it would be this: Lutens takes lavender and gives it his signature oriental treatment. It dispels lavender’s common associations with ‘grannies’ (hopefully that’s not what you lot think) and fusty scented drawers, and instead marries its herbal elements with a very edible tonka bean that is delectably creamy, and dare I say… fluffy. Throw some musk into the mix and we get a perfume that is thoroughly warming through and through. This lends it a quality that can best be described as the olfactory equivalent of a mink stole – not that I have worn one, nor ever intend to wear an animal – a furry coat for the coldest of winters.

source: citysafe.org

But then midway through, the edibility gives way to the strangest olfactory flash mob – a turpentine note emerges, which I suspect to be the result of an interaction between the medicinal aspects of tonka bean and the herbal aspects of lavender, and the composition veers towards a woody dry down, which is pleasant enough. Once the surprise of the turpentine wears off, the mild shock on one’s face is replaced by the widest of grins that can only be an indication of the adrenaline stemming from a sensational roller coaster ride. I tend to have a hate-hate relationship with lavender, so it definitely is high praise when I say that this is my favourite lavender fragrance and that I actually love it. Sadly, as with most brands, prices have been inflating year-on-year, so all I can say is try it while you can still afford to.

~ The Smelly Vagabond

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Ann Gerard – Rose Cut

source: fragrantica.com

“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…
They don’t find it,” I answered.
And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”
Of course,” I answered.
And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

There have been a spate of rose-dominated fragrance releases recently. These include Vero Profumo’s Rozy, which has been the talk of pretty much the entire blogosphere. I must confess that even at the point of writing this, I have yet to try it… so yes, I am a blogging deviant and you may stone me. But to make up for it, I’m working on a special review of Vero’s Mito Voile d’Extrait, which includes maenads and yes, ‘erotic’ poetry. Yes, yes, it’s been out for ages already, but what can I do – I do write rather slowly and only when inspiration strikes!

Anyway, I decided to review another rosy perfume instead – Ann Gerard’s Rose Cut. I was sent a sample of it sometime back by the lovely folk of Bloom Perfumery (thank you!). Since then, I’ve worn it on and off to determine how I truly feel about it. Now Fragrantica lists Rose Cut as a chypre floral, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state flatly that it ain’t a chypre at all. It’s neither a proper chypre nor a pseudo-chypre nor even vaguely chypre-ish. No. Rose Cut belongs, through and through, to the genus also known as the rose-chouli, to which other notable species include Juliette Has a Gun’s Citizen Queen (more fruity vulgar) and Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady (more incense, more heft, and less restraint). Does the world need another rose-chouli perfume? In short, my answer is emphatically: ‘Yes.’

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The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part II)

The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 1
The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part I)

© The Smelly Vagabond I'm gonna lie and say that the person in that picture isn't me. So you still don't know what I look like.

© The Smelly Vagabond
I’m gonna lie and say that the person in that picture isn’t me. So you still don’t know what I look like.

It was time to make my way to the square just outside Palais Royal, where I was to meet Monsieur D. At exactly 1pm sharp, Monsieur D arrived, and we exchanged pleasantries before strolling into the Palais Royal. Our first stop was, naturally, the famed Serge Lutens boutique, where countless other perfumistas before me had no doubt made the pilgrimage to. The outside display held a bust wearing a metal helmet, presumably to promote the latest release, La Vierge de Fer. Inside, the lighting was dim and the décor an oppressive, sinister goth designed to swallow up the soul. Or perhaps it was meant to recreate the sense of quietude and respect that one would encounter in a cathedral, with the perfumes in their bell jars being the objects of worship, and the blotter strips laid out neatly in front of them being the incense to be offered. Continue reading

The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part I)

The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 1 (in case you haven’t read it yet). I’ve split Day 2 into two parts [EDIT: it’s now three parts!] because frankly it was so long that it was getting out of hand. And I thought it best to post something yet while figuring out some details about the trip that I’d forgotten. I also apologise for not having written in such a long time, I figure it’s cause I’d lost my mojo for writing (it happens!), and also because all my brain energy had been sucked away by pesky university essays. In any case, I’m back now, so enjoy!

Day 2 (Part I), in which I discover little gems and collect beautiful memories while hunting for something mundane.

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Serge Lutens – Louve

We’ve all heard or read the story of Little Red Riding Hood sometime in our childhood. Girl wearing a red hood meets a big bad wolf in the woods, who eats up her grandmother so that he can dress up as her grandmother in order to eat the girl subsequently.

I’ve never liked Little Red Riding Hood as a character. She’s always struck me as a whiny, bratty girl who disobeys her mother and goes traipsing into the woods. What’s more, she wears a hood that’s BRIGHT RED in colour, completely oblivious to the attention she is bound to attract on top of the fact that she’s a young girl walking ALONE in the woods.

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