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5 Fragrances & Me

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After reading Joey’s well written article, here ; I felt so inspired that I am going to do my own version……

It’s always extremely delightful & insightful when a blogger decided to share something personal, something significant, some historic pieces that make up the present.

Estee Lauder Private Collection

My first ever signature scent, courtesy of my mum’s dresser; I was amused by the name Private Collection, and must have been lured by the illusion of exclusivity then, one whiff & I was hooked ~ The rest is history. I was basically addicted to this throughout my secondary school days.

Private Collection by Estée Lauder was launched in 1973 after having been part of Estée Lauder’s own very private collection of fragrances – at least this is how the story goes. A reflection of Mrs Lauder ( Estee ) chic, elegant style and confident, assertive personality. Although Estée Lauder had created Private Collection for herself, it soon gained serious fans, and became part of the commercial line.

It’s the dark green/dark floral quality of this composition that makes it so unusual, particularly the use of Pine. Its green notes can smell almost metallic, although this coolness is offset by a powdery-soft background. The scent seems to have the diffusion and luminosity of a chypre although it also feels more like an oriental thanks to its warm woody base.

Private Collection also stays clean and bright, as crisp as a starched white shirt; Polished enough for a princess ( literally, as it was a beloved scent of Princesses Diana and Grace )

Darkly exuberant, it smells truly American – big, blunt, unabashed  and unaffected.

Given its potent strength and obvious retro feeling harkening back to the 70s when this type of green Chypre was popular and mainstream, Private Collection remains a uniquely elite classic.

Chanel Cuir de Russie

A precious fragrance with extremely limited distribution that someone significant had kindly gifted it to me.

Chanel’s Cuir de Russie came out in 1924, a time at which the impact of Les Ballets Russes ( 1909-1929 ) was palpable. Russian émigrés having fled the motherland because of the revolution in 1917 had populated Paris and had lent it their own mark of decadent sophistication. Suddenly the Exotic East becomes all the rage and the embodiment of everything forbidden and alluring.

Ernest Beaux, guided by Chanel’s desires to dare, made women indulge in what is essentially a men’s scent formula, garlanding it though with sparkly, dry aldehydes and the eternal feminine flowers: jasmine, rose and ylang ylang; The inclusion of rectified birch tar along with styrax, gave it the brutish animalic touch. Sublime cadenzas of amber and resin provide the warm, hinting at a bygone luxury. A subtle hint of tobacco satisfied the smoking fetish of the upper classes in that era.

Notes: Aldehydes, Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Mandarin, Clary Sage, Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Cedarwood, Balsams, Vetiver, Styrax, Incense, Cade, Leather, Amber and Vanilla.

Amanda Lacey, famed London facialist described Cuir de Russie as: “ There’s something about it that makes me emotional – It reminds me of Paris and of times gone by when people had an elegant approach to life. I feel I’m wearing a wise grand dame around my neck.”

I would say that this is the most opulent, decadent, sophisticated & complicated fragrance ever made. It’s a scent that spells grandiose, flamboyance, notoriety & trouble.

Please note that I am talking about the extract de parfum of Chanel Cuir de Russie, not the reformulated, tamed & bleached version of the Les Exclusif CdR.

Tom Ford Tuscan Leather

The first designer scent that cost me more than £100; Once you ever spend that amount, there’s no return, no looking back. This is the fragrance that leads me to ridiculously priced luxurious & exclusive perfumes; Fragrance Heaven / Credit Hell as I would describe.

Tuscan Leather is “ an original take on a classic leather scent. Saffron, Raspberry, and Thyme, open to Olibanum and night-blooming Jasmine,” while “ Leather, Black Suede, and Amber Wood add an intricate richness.”

According to nymag.com ” Does TFTL actually smell like cocaine? ” , here’s the verdict ~ ” Well, according to cognoscenti of that drug, yes, a bit. “ That’s what everyone says,” admits a counterboy at the Ford store on Madison, who adds that one customer even bought a bottle because he thought it smelled like coke. Tuscan Leather goes for $165 for a 50-ml. bottle, about 49 grams, which is way cheaper than the real stuff from Bolivia. :-)

If it wasn’t due to custom restriction, I would have bought a huge flacon bottle of this sexy, sophisticated EdP back while I was in Sydney. To me, Tuscan Leather is an extremely well composed & orchestrated scent that whispers ……sensuality & extravaganza.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom

The niche ( once ) British cologne that gets me into ” trouble ” [ private contents censored by Editor ]; Will always remain a special fragrance for me; However, I no longer wear this nowadays due to the sentimental values & heartache factors.

Jo Malone describes Orange Blossom as follows:
The scent of clementine leaves in the morning dew sparkles above a heart of orange blossom and water lily, transporting the wearer to a garden oasis.

Created in 2003, notes include clementine leaves, orange blossom and water lily.

This starts with fresh orange juice and possibly some orange zest, and dries down to a crisp, lightly sweet white floral blend. I don’t really smell any water lily, or anything leafy or green, but there are certainly other floral notes here, and it stays citrusy straight through to the end.

A very refreshing, pleasant & decent cologne that’s citrusy, tangy, youthful, clean & innocent; JMOB used to evoke an euphoric state in me. Now it’s just too much to bear.

PS: If you could, never link a scent you love to any person/event/experience.

Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus

The most expensive  perfume I had ever owned ( at least as of Oct 2011 ). Of course, it’s also the biggest bottle of pure perfume / parfum in my current collection.

Like a deliciously crisp spring day, this uplifting creation with Japanese Osmanthus absolute is a beautifully composed bouquet of flowers, embellished with golden citrus notes. Layered on a bed of Egyptian sweet herbs, it is intense, fresh and yet uncomplicated.

Top:
Pomello, davana (sweet Egyptian herb), pimento
Heart:
Osmanthus absolute, water lily and sambac (Indian jasmine)
Base:
Cedarwood, labdanum resin, musk and vetiver

This rich, sultry scent is delicately intricate; I feel like bathing in a pedal infused milk spa under the warm winter sun every time I apply this.

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About LPB

Beauty junkie, Style addict, Fashion victim, Shopaholic anonymous......

4 responses »

  1. I love fragrances and njoy reading your post. I m based in Malaysia but used to live in London for 14 years (1986-2000), how i miss it. I do plan to go back whenever i can afford it. It is good to know new things to look out for. Is Ormonde Jayne a new shop? Where is it?

    I like the new Elie Saab perfume

    Reply
    • Hi Faridah. Apa Khabar? Ormonde Jayne is not really new, been around for more than 5 years for sure; The oldest store is in Burlington Arcade, close to Royal Academy of Arts & Fortnum & Masons.

      Did you get Elie Saab? I heard about the raves but have not tried it yet.

      Reply
  2. Great to have inspired you =)
    Oh my, I love everything you have here!!
    And you have some rare gems which I am looking forward to explore..

    Reply
    • Your blog is always enjoyable & informative to read. Keep up with the GREAT work, Joey. Ormonde has a sampling set that you could order through its online store.

      Reply

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