Fragrance Bottle Photos
Well, as is my M.O., it’s been a long time since my last post. It seems that while lacking in my reviews, people do enjoy bottle photos, so here are a few.
I was recently able to get my hands on some great sample from Yosh, including her new, reformulated Sombre Negra. She came up with one of the coolest ways of providing a sample too – along with the vial of Sombre Negra, she includes a stick with paper mustache attached that’s been sprayed. When you hold the mustache up to your face, you smell the gorgeous fragrance. It’s about the most clever way of making a sample and perfectly fitting.
I’ll leave the actual reviewing to those in better practice and reputation, but I will say that I enjoyed SN from first encounter and decided I had to get a bottle. It’s extremely masculine in the traditional sense of actual notes, but not necessary in actual wear – I’m sure I’d love it on my wife as well. After I got the sample and wore it a couple times, I had to head to CES in Las Vegas for work. It only dawned on me after I was on the plane that the Barney’s I have purchased so much from (and photographed on this blog) was across the street from the Mirage, where I was staying. One of the days I had a couple free hours, I headed over for some sniffing. After sampling some underwhelming Byredo scents (but one I did like – Accord Oud) and Arquiste Parfumeur (which I really loved and got a few samples of – I’m sure to add some of those soon), I liberally sprayed myself with Sombre Negra and continued poking around the store for a bit. It came down to the Yosh and one of the Arquiste scents I was wearing, but the Yosh ended up being the one I came away with.
I’d call my trip to Vegas a success – I came back $40 in the black, thoroughly tired, and with an incredible new scent. Here are a few shots of my unpacking it when I got home.
I’ve got a couple minutes of down time, so I thought I’d go ahead and get a few shots of Xerjoff 1861 on here. The new bottle shape for this release was a fun one to shoot, and the etching on its back is a really nice touch. 1861 is a perfect warm weather scent, but it’s not just a one trick pony. It can easily be worn for all kinds of occasions, and has a gorgeous, creamy undertone that feels fresh, yet velvety and exudes a warmth that you rarely find in citrus dominated scents. It’s a big winner for Xerjoff, as it’s both easily accessible, even by those new to fragrances, and priced attractively as well.
I’ve had Eau de Polder on my short list for much longer than it should have been. It was created by doing focus groups in Mastenbroek, led by the young artist, Birthe Leemeijer. She commissioned perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri, the nose behind the Nasomatto line, to realize her vision. Renate Boere created the packaging, which shows images of the polder on the inside of the box. It’s a gorgeous, earthy scent that starts out as hay and fields, and transforms into a sweeter, sheer, natural (not in the traditional ‘natural’ perfumery sense) scent that doesn’t come across as “perfumey” in any way. The story behind it is just as intriguing as the scent itself. When my birthday got closer, she asked for what I wanted – I gave her my LuckyScent wishlist in addition to a few other things, so I was completely surprised when I opened up this little guy.
You can find a really great, in-depth narrative around the creation and background of the scent here [Behind the Scene - The Smell of the Landscape].
This is from the accompanying papers:
This perfume is the product of a search to find the essence of the Mastenbroek polder – the essential elements that Mastenbroek what it is.
Situated between Zwolle, Hasselt and Genemuiden, Mastenbroek stems from the late Middle Ages and is an archetypal Dutch polder. Straight, narrow roads dissect the low-lying countryside; irrigation ditches reflect the perpetually fluctuating sky; farms sitting atop elevated knolls unfold into the horizon.
Mastenbroek’s residents, primarily cattle farmers who have lived and worked in this polder for generations, actively partook in the Essence club and eventually determined the aromas and scents that make up L’Essence de Mastenbroek.
Located on the polder’s periphery, near the old steam pumping station, is the Essence source. It is here where the bottles are filled, and packaged and where you can refill your empty bottle.
It goes on to tell more about the steam pumping station and directions, etc. One thing I got a kick out of was the additional blurb and “ingredients” listed on a stuck-on amendment at the back of the paper:
This perfume is part of the art project L’Essence de Mastenbroek and has not been dermatologically tested.
Ingredients: Scent extracts, clouds, water, cattle, grass and earth.
Gee, I hope I’m not allergic to real bits of cattle.
I just realized that I had taken photos of Derring Do a couple weeks back, but forgot to ever post them! I had spent the afternoon at The Galleria in Tyson’s Corner and after an absurdly comical experience in Joseph Bank (the guy I dealt with really reminded me of Gil, the car salesman from The Simpsons), I went over to a shop to do some sniffing. I wanted something light and crisp to have for the upcoming warm months. I had never been able to try any of the scents from Ineke, a niche brand based in San Francisco, and I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the line is somewhat geared towards the more feminine spectrum, but a few were really great unisex fragrances (I recall really liking Field Notes From Paris, as well). I generally don’t go for scents with things like “Rain Notes” in their pyramid, but this one was an exception. It’s not a scent that will reinvent your idea of the genre, but it does what it’s supposed to do perfectly and even gets a lot of compliments. I even got a “now that’s the way a man should smell.” Can’t complain!
Get comfortable – there are bunch of shots here.
I folded and bought the last bottle of Auguste’s Esprit de Cuir from Luckyscent. I got a sample from a generous basenoter (LS was out of samples) and it was exactly what it had been touted to be. A rich, warm leather in a very old style. Nathan Branch found it a bit sweet for his likings on his blog, but I think that’s what made it for me. Listed notes are citron, geranium, galbanum, jasmine, clove, birch, oppoponax, tonka bean absolute, and oak moss absolute.
I think NowSmellThis summed it up perfectly:
Esprit de Cuir smells like it looks in its glass sample vial: sweet, warm, thick, and golden. Imagine motor oil laced with honey, a pinch of clove, and a few drops of birch tar, and you’ve got Esprit de Cuir once the faint hint of citron dissolves.
The bottle and packaging were actually a bit of a let down for me. While the bottle is beautiful, it’s certainly not hand painted entirely, but maybe just some details here and there. The box it came in had the quality of a box you’d get with snap cracker fireworks. While the idea of the cork is novel and romantic, it’s certainly not going to keep the bottle sealed – I tried using it for a couple days and it was actually wicking the contents out and the cork was actually wet (but never touching the liquid). I ended up opting for keeping the plastic seal it was shipped with in and that seems to work just fine. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still quite lovely and I’m more than pleased. And the contents are what matters anyways!
Here are some shots of the porcelain bottle from Auguste: