jueves, enero 03, 2019


 Sahara Noir by Tom Ford is one of those fragrances that share a strange (hi)story with me. At the time i acquired it, it wasn't yet discontinued from the line and it was still widely available. Its pretty attractive price tag gave me the option to buy it without having tried it before hand. I wasn't sure if it was a successful buy when i receive it, mostly because i was expecting a warm and cozy incense scent that spiritually uplifts one's mood, and instead i received a the dry, dusty and smoky incense that made me feel like trapped in an ancient Catholic church wondering if i should pray or should I run away. I didn't understand its meaning. But, patiently and day after day, i tried to deconstruct Sahara Noir into small puzzle pieces to put them back together... until finally one day i saw it raising beautifully before my eyes like a temple that was visible only to myself. We bonded in such a special way that it created an invisible connection between us and made me feel like I found my nirvana.

My sister came to stay with us for a while.
She was lost and in a personal and spiritual need for guidance. Her inner void was screaming for love, caring and understanding. We gave her all of us, and, after the bad dream was over, she slowly opened the eyes and started to see through the blurred lines directly into the light. Soon her eyes were bright and alive again. Love made us stronger.

I thought fragrance would also help, as it helped me at so many hard times, so i offered her scents of comfort. Sahara Noir was among them. After a short sniff her conclusion was final: 'It smells like a waxing salon'. It didn't even gave me the time to reply or make her reconsider it, because her words, like a wrecking ball effect, destroyed my temple leaving behind only  the bricks and mortar of a waxing salon. It took less than a second to destroy my vivid image of peace and serenity and replace it with the smell of walls that entrap nosy people, smoke and plugged hairs. My silence was suddenly hold hostage by scary screams.
 After the terrible happening, every wear of Sahara Noir was like a screech of pain. I couldn't deal with it anymore. She felt quilty, but it wasn't her fault, in the end it was my mind the one that pulled the trigger. After my sister left, full of hope and desire to start a new life, i decided that is time to let Sahara go. And so i did, as cheaply as i bought and without considering its discontinued nor sentimental value.

I sold, swapped and gifted many treasures over the time and i never had any regrets. Except for Sahara Noir and Ode à la Vanille Sur la Route du Mexique. Luckily i recovered the latter. But i was desperately looking for my spiritual oasis back. My cry for help reached my sister, my vintage and discontinued treasures dealer. No luck whatsoever.

After years of missed Christmases as a family, we decided that it's time to turn back to traditions and spend the Christmas holidays together, as a whole. It felt so real and blissful that it hurt of joy to the deepest of my soul. 

We exchanged gifts and while i was recharging my heart with their laughter, happiness and excitement, i almost forgot to open mines. 'Hey, open yours!' i heard  my sister's voice like in a dream. And so i did. First it was a book i wanted - the famous and controversial The Perfume Guide 2018, a reading i was impatiently looking for. The second gift was the lost Sahara Noir. The very next second after unwrapping it the thought of waxing salon that took over my mind years ago shakedown and disappeared like dust in the wind. My sister didn't see the tears of gratitude in my eyes, but maybe without even realizing it she replanted the seeds for me for a new sanctuary to grow. I don't remember the other gifts. Actually i do, and i appreciate every single one that i opened after it, but let's say that unintentionally Sahara Noir created a special bond between my sister and i, and even though she doesn't like it, it will always remember me of her. The rest is history. 

Not sure if my story has a moral lesson. If it does, could it be to never allow anyone to interfere with what you really feel, like or love? Or maybe that things have their own language and when the right time they'll get back into your life a way or another? Karma? Destiny? Call it whatever you want to call it, but I'm sure that everything happens for a reason and it happens when it should happen and without kindly asking us first.

domingo, diciembre 30, 2018

A step ahead of 2018

Year after year we, the bloggers, sit down in front of the laptop and try our best to summarize the greatest of the new releases. Every year I find it more difficult to put together such list. First of all, because of the large (immense would be a more appropriate word) number of new fragrances and the impossibility of testing all of them, and secondly, because as we know, a perfume is something personal and, in consequence, subjective.
The (few) perfumes I have chosen are, according to my criteria, memorable, bring a breath of fresh air to an oversaturated market and have created enough sentimental material to weave in me new emotions and dreams. 

A line that I discovered this year and that opens a portal between present and past, creating a wonderful connection between new and classic, is Exaltatum London.
Osmathus Noble, the first introduction of the brand, is a traditional elegant fragrance that plays with a soft and sensual suede chord on a cold and dusty iris and a warm heart of tobacco.
Pergola, the last release, opens the heart of the spring itself to flood the air with its green, fresh and warm aroma. Hyacinths and daffodils are mixed with green and almost aquatic elements on a dry base of oak moss. Timeless!

The Lover's Tale by Francesca Bianchi. Intense, dense, daring. Although it turns out to not be a fragrance for everyone's liking, it's definitely worth experimenting and allowing it to properly evolve, because after the huge opening, in the heart and, respectively, in the dry down the mix of birch tar and castoreum softens considerably leaving enough space for the flowers and the peach to shine on with their presence, and to, later, discreetly merge into a deep, warm and powdery laudanum. That's where the magic resides. Wonderful!

Y06-S by Blackbird, although it came out in 2017, was not released until April 2018 in Esxence, Milan. At least is where i was introduced to its skankiness. A very realistic banana that gets lost in a field of indoles and ends up on a vinyl record, struggling to find its way in between the smell of plastic and synthetic woods. It sounds, and it is, quite futuristic, but if you survive to the not-so-modest opening, it is an interesting and novel composition.

Blond by Hendley Perfumes. The name fits like a glove. A dark and animalic leather that thanks to a narcotic bouquet of white flowers and a clean musk is transformed into a velvety suede with woody touches of sandalwood. Elegant!

L'Iris de Fath. The recreation of Fath's famous Gray Iris comes from the hands of Patrice Revillard, a young promise of the modern perfumery. Patrice has managed to create a multifaceted and multidimensional iris, starting from its buttery and milky facets to the shades of carrot seeds, apricot and violet leaf, all on a dense base of woods and oak moss. Beautiful!

Veil de Oliver & Co., an explosive combination of ozonic, mineral and metallic notes and chords recreated with ginger and aldehydes, iris, rose, violet, patchouli and amber. Unique, original, definitely creative!

The Gardener's Glove of St. Clair Scents. A garden in the height of summer, flowers, tomato leaves and leather gloves. A bunch of flowers hold by the astringent greenery of the tomato leaves covering a butyraceous leather that brings memories of my grandfather's leather gardening gloves.
Sweet memories!

Paper White and Eau Cerise by DSH. A green chypre created especially around a paperwhite daffodil that dances innocently with its aroma mixing tuberose-jasmine and hyacinth in one, and an oriental with a ripe heart of bitter cherry and flower crown on a mossy and woody base. Classy!

Special mentions:

Bois Sikar from Atelier des Ors. A fragrance based on dried tobacco leaves and whiskey that create an olfactory effect of being close to a bonfire while next to it a barbecue is prepared. I love it, although I see it a bit difficult to wear.

Daria by Sammarco. A beautiful recreation of gardenia with honeyed specks where an indolic jasmine plays an important part.

Although my nose or skin don't agree with any of Chloé's fragrances, this year they've pleasantly surprised me with Nomade. Quentin Bisch has created this unusual classic/modern. In Nomade he succeeded to recreate the classics of the 60s mixing in the right amount fruity, floral and mossy elements in order to obtain a contemporary fragrance. Still, I find the aroma chemical compounds they used quite irritating in the first two hours.

Here is where my 2018 ends. I wish you all a Happy New Year and many new wonderful illusions! Thank you for being by my side during 2018, for reading and commenting on my publications and most of all, thank you for sharing together with me the love for this amazing art.