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 gave a quick first impression of Odin Nomad long ago, but have finally had a chance to give it, along with the other two samples I had, some more attention.
Odin 03 Century – Beautifully blended. For the initiated, you won’t think it’s anything new and certainly relatively. For what it is though, it’s really quite nice. The cypress peeks through nicely, and the musk and amber in the base sweeten it just enough. It does have some unique elements here and there, but ultimately, you’ve got a mild-mannered woody amber with a hint of patchouli to give it some punch. Century is not in-your-face, but seems to have pretty surprising longevity.
*UPDATE* Century has killer longevity – 12 hours and a shower later and I can still smell the musk aromachemicals on my hand!
Odin 01 Nomad – This one holds my interest a bit more than Century. The initial blast has a cleaning supply vibe, but not in a bad way; it’s probably the juniper in the head. That passes within a minute or two and it turns into a tart, creamy cedar. It settles quickly into another variation of the sweetened woody base, this time with tonka instead of amber. The bright tartness (perhaps the bergamot?) hangs around for a while giving a bit of interest. There’s something floral to me as well, but I might just imagining it. Nomad doesn’t have much more tenacity than Century.
Odin 02 Owari – A blast of mandarin with a realistic grapefruit right out of the gate. It’s not the kind of grapefruit I usually loathe, but like freshly torn peel and tart spray. It fades into the heart soon after and a great neroli plays center stage. It’s supported by a slightly sweet base (seems to be a trend here). I can see some resemblance at times to Diptyque’s Eau de Neroli.
Owari seems like something I’d love in warmer months, but I’ve got a stockpile of great neroli scents, so it would have to blow me away to get my wallet out. Century would be nice for someone looking for a safe, woody amber who doesn’t have any of the genre. Nomad is the only of the three that I could imagine for me – it’s nothing daring, but it’s a great, close-wearing scent with decent longevity that would be perfect for office wear. The bergamot, juniper, and sandalwood are a really pleasing combination.
I am participating in a musk project called Mystery of Musk over on basenotes and will be sniffing 12 different musk perfumes over the next few weeks made by members of the Natural Perfumer’s Guild. First up is Sharini’s Graines de Paradis, a perfume created by Sharini Parfums Naturels in the south of France.
This opens as a bright floral citrus – refreshing and comforting. Sparkling grapefruit zest, spicy ginger, and wild cherries picked just last month in the valley of the Herault (wow!). The cherry note, sweetened by the 18 month aged tincture from Madagascan vanilla pods, has an almost chocolate covered cherry cordial feel to it. Those cherry cordials were my dad’s favorite growing up, so the image of them makes me smile. The sweetened citrus floral opening reminds me of Guerlain’s 68, but obviously a bit easier to relate to and simpler given the 19 ingredients rather than the huge 68 in the Guerlain. I only have experience with a few all-natural fragrances but what always strikes me is just how… well, natural they smell. Something about that makes you feel closer to the scent as it feels like it’s come from the earth, rather than a lab. It’s fascinating picking out notes in a natural perfume because what you’re smelling is actually what you’re smelling, rather than an attempt to recreate their scent artificially.
The opening is fleeting, but what’s next is the star of the show. This has a gorgeous floral heart of everything from Linden blossom, Genet flower (got me on what those are) and white rose to more traditional notes such as jasmine, gardenia and neroli. You’d think from what you see on paper thus far that this would be a very feminine floral, but it’s not. There’s nothing light or dainty and the supporting base notes bring a sultry tone to it. None of the floral notes are absolutes, but rather obtained by manually washing enfleurage pomades nearly 20 times. I’m not familiar enough with the process to know the precise affect that has, but perhaps it contributes to the much earthier feel to the florals.
It doesn’t take long for those florals to subside and allow the fabulous base to emerge. I sense a considerable amount of Ambrette with just the right amount of earthy patchouli to round it out. Notes of genuine oud, dusty iris and something that reminds of of the spicy warmth of cinnamon sticks (perhaps just the oliban?) are present. It’s at this point that it hits its stride and actually lasts an incredibly long time. I’ve worn it a few times now – the first time I sprayed it on the back of my hand around 7am and an earthy and warm base was still easily detectable a full 12 hours later – incredible for a natural perfume.
It very apparent that the ingredients here were obtained in a painstakingly careful way and in the traditional manner. Photos of their workshop and traditional extraction methods can be seen here on their site. A full description and complete list of notes can be found here.
Only 25 50ml bottles in eau de parfum strength were produced and are priced at 120€. Their bottles are gorgeous – each topped with a handmade ash wood cap, complete with the exterior bark.
Wow. I love Ulrich Lang Nightscape.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first sampled it, but reading reviews about its icy patchouli, I had to try it. At first sample, it had to be mine. I’ll try to keep this quick and simple.
Patchouli lovers – you need to try it. It’s not like head shop patchouli, but rather a smooth, crisp, woodsy patchouli. I can totally buy into their marketing; a man out on the town, dressed in great jeans, a dark cotton blazer, a white button down, and an air of confidence. It dries into this gorgeously sleek leather/musk/amber with just a gentle touch of citrus to give a tart, bright element. By the way, if you like this, you might like Montale Pure Gold. And if you like Pure Gold, you might like Chanel Coromandel. Nightscape smells nothing like Coromandel, but just saying… if you like one, etc.
Have some pics – great bottle, with a nice feel in the hand. The cap is a let down as it’s just molded plastic, but without a considerable price hike, there’s not much else they could do with it.
There you go! A gorgeous scent and a great bottle. Check it out – Nightscape by Ulrich Lang.
Pure Oud by By Kilian. It’s expensive. The bottle’s gorgeous. I have no idea the cost of the actual formula. I want it.
It’s fabulous – it is the most natural, smoothest oud centric scent I’ve tried. I don’t know if that means it is any more or less authentic than other oud scents, but I do know that it’s wonderful. It has magnificent staying power as well. Just a few swipes on my hand and 7 hours later, it’s still going strong. It’s a silky smooth oud trip with touches of scratchy spice here and there to help out. I doubt I’ll buy it in its standard packaging, but the much better $/ml of the 100ml refill is much more appealing. Check out Pure Oud at Luckyscent.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer. Passage from Hell. It’s one of my top 5 or 6 Artisans. It’s loaded with a light, shimmering white incense and a great, dry frankincense, all smoothed with just a bit a clean musk. Does it have a slight touch of what seems like bug spray? Sure. It might. That part is not totally unlike the same experience you’ll get with Kyoto by Comme des Garcons. It’s a good bit “lighter” and vastly easier to wear though. When the GF wears it, it’s so unique on her that I sometimes don’t even recognize it and have to ask what she’s wearing. I’d recommend trying this one, but it needs to be sprayed fully rather than just dabbed to get the whole experience. This is also one of the few incense based scents that’s great in all temperatures (and also great to people new to incense scents).
Oh, and I buckled. I ordered the great pyramid Comme des Garcons LUXE Patchouli bottle from Luckyscent. I really need to buy a new digital camera so I can start putting more pics on here (and the GF’s cybershot doesn’t quite cut it ).