martes, julio 23, 2019

Ani, Nishane

  No Boundaries is the name of the line that Nishane launched at Esxence earlier this year and it includes Ani, Florane, Muskane, Nefs, Safran Colognise and Unutamam.
Ani`s concept and inspiration is one that melts hearts and glues them together as one under the sign of peace. Ani is a ruined Armenian city, now situated in Turkey close to the border that separate the two countries. Called The City of 1001 Churches, Ani`s splendor was suddenly muted during the 13th and 14th centuries, first by the Mongols, who captured and sacked the city, and later by an earthquake that diminish it to a village that soon fell into abandonment. Disputed by both countries during years, once symbol of Armenia`s magnificence, Ani`s beauty is now reduced to ruins whose walls hide the history of its prosperity and the darkness of its deterioration. It has inspired many poems and songs, one of the most beautiful poems, written by Hovhannes Shiraz, was turned into a song by the Turkish-Armenian composer Cenk Taşkan in 1999 on Ara Gevorgyan`s Ani album and reproduced by many artists since then. 

Ani also inspired the Nishane`s No Boundaries line through an audible and fragrant message of peace when Cécile Zarokian, a perfumer of Armenian origin, was chosen to create a fragrance to represent its spirit. Cécile is well known for her special way of "playing" with spices, and although in Ani doesn't make much use of them it are here to support with their intense aromatic warmth other accords. I'm not aware if it was intentional or not, but Ani starts into an energetic burst of ginger and it dries down to a completely different scent, vanilla dominated, as almost an analogy to the town`s past flourishing years and the desolation and soulless of its present.
Ginger and citruses combine together to create a sharp and bright opening for a succulent heart of blackcurrant with a beautiful dusty vanilla accord in the background awaiting for the other notes to dissipate and to allow it to properly shine. This first phase is quickly taken over by a sweet tangy fruitiness enveloped in creamy and smooth woods - the argumentum ad populum dominating stage of the fragrance - where the blackcurrant`s sweetness is amplified by rose whose fruity-florals qualities are complemented with pink pepper. Although there is a crispy green scent with aromatic touches sofly cutting through the sugar-coated cassis fruits, it isn't recognizable as the ammoniac characteristics of their leaves, more as the intensive, sweet and fruity smell of the flowers.
After an hour of intensive sweetness and a short sour transition, the blackcurrant slowly loses its strength and vanilla grows in, dusty, powdery, almost antique-like smelling. Its resinous, slightly earthy and warm nuances are provided by a blend of benzoin, patchouli and ambroxan that together contribute to create a rounder, beautifully put together, vanilla accord, similar to the one Cécile used in Aura Sublime and Van-Île. The drydown is predominantly Ambroxan smelling like, with its mineral to wet stone tonalities, partly salty partly sweet. 

If you love vanilla and don't mind it mixed with fruits that enhance its sweetness then Ani is where you should be.

During the Summer days the heat pushes Ani`s gourmand qualities to a high level, for which i suggest the colder months for its wear and maybe a different experience of its development. 

Cécile Zarokian is, next to Luca Maffei, Patrice Revillard and a few others (without including the indie perfumers), the elite of this new generation of independent perfumers. However, I must admit that there is a certain pattern in her latest work (Remember Me, Red Shoes, Café Cabanel) that keeps repeating in many great perfumers`s case nowadays, and under the brands` requirements, and that is the closeness of their work in the niche field to the mainstream market by following certain trends - like, in this case, fruity-gourmands - and by creating approachable fragrances that are heading out of the exclusivity zone in order to become visible to a larger audience.
I miss the golden era of Epic, Tango or Kashnoir and i hope she'll continue to work and evolve on that path, because, despite the wonderful message of no boundaries, some invisible limits need to be marked on the perfume market between niche and mass-appealing. She won't disappoint with Cabaret Nocturne for V/siteur, that's sure.

A bottle of Ani of 15ml was gifted to me by the brand. Opinions are my own. 

lunes, julio 22, 2019

Sexo, Mar, Neroli y el baile de las Náyades

  Las ninfas en la mitología griega son deidades inferiores o seres sobrenaturales asociadas con el agua, los mares, los bosques o el aire; mujeres  jóvenes hermosas, espíritus divinos protectores de la naturaleza representados en muchas obras de arte, en mitología o literatura y divididos en varios tipos en los lugares que viven (d), lejos de los humanos, - Nereides (mares), Hesperides o Atlantides (tardes y  puestas de sol), Oceanids o Náyades (agua), Dryads y Hamadryads (árboles y bosques), Aurai (vientos) y Alseids (arboledas y cañadas). A menudo están vinculados a los dioses como sus hijas, amantes o madres.

  Náyades, ninfas de agua, ríos, vapores, lagos, fuentes y marismas, extraen fuerzas de las aguas en que vivían al absorber sus cualidades mágicas. Las ciudades fueron nombradas en honor a la Náyad que le ofrecía una fuente de agua dulce. Una Naiad puede curar con agua o puede desatar su ira sobre las aguas cuando se le provoca.
Eran, con la ayuda de la diosa Artemisa, protectores de niñas jóvenes y supervisaban su transición de niño a adulto. A veces juegan con las mentes de los humanos como una distracción de sus vidas.

Dance of the Naiads, Adolphe la Lyre. 

La primera vez que olí el Sex and the Sea de Francesca Bianchi noté mis mejillas sonrojándose y mi pecho palpitando como si un tema tabu surgiese inesperadamente y tenía que hacerle frente de inmediato. Un sentimiento de erotismo casi prohibido. Imágenes de libertinaje, desvergüenza y hedonismo estaban persiguiendo adictivamente mis pensamientos a un nivel audaz de disfrute. Como si una Ninfa hubiera tomado mi territorio en un exceso de furia envenenando las aguas de mi mente (relativamente) decente con placer. Una tentación a la que sucumbí lentamente.
Sex and the Sea Neroli siguió los pasos de su precursor, como el pecado sin confesar de Francesca, en un mundo de cambios y confusiones, marcado por las mismas constantes pero con una trayectoria ligeramente diferente porque Sex and the Sea y Sex and the Sea Neroli no son tan diferentes al final.  Como el día y... más tarde ese mismo día.

Con Sex and the Sea Neroli la protección de las Náyades parece llevarme de un lado a otro entre la edad de la inocencia y la edad adulta, curando los pecados originales con una cantidad significativa de neroli que juega entre la dualidad de su simbolismo - de la pureza y la seducción sexuales /  Inocencia y fertilidad.  Una novia solía proclamar su virginidad con flores de azahar en el pelo mientras que las mujeres madrileñas de la noche usaban neroli para atraer a sus clientes en el juego de los placeres carnales.
SSN es más calmado que SS, más brillante, más aireado, casi incorrupto y más romántico, desplegando bellamente todas las facetas de neroli sobre el mismo núcleo seductor de civeta y salinidad adictiva. Su dulzura se mantiene en equilibrio mediante una mimosa suave y una inmortelle atrevida, pero se reduce considerablemente en comparación con el original debido a la eliminación del acorde de piña y la reducción del coco cuyas cualidades cremosas se dejan en el fondo como un soporte con sus aspectos vanílicos para otras resinas con olor a vainilla y especias.  Pierde su camino en una versión más ligera de SS cuyas sombras nunca dejan la luz de SSN.

Sex and the Sea Neroli (también conocido como SSN) se puede encontrar en la web de Francesca Bianchi a 98 euros / 30 ml Extrait de Parfum.

miércoles, julio 17, 2019

Sex and the Sea Neroli, Francesca Bianchi

Nymps in Greek mythology are inferior deities or supernatural beings associated with water, seas, woods or air; young beautiful women, divine spirits protective of Nature depicted in many works of art, in mythology or literature and divided in various types upon the places they live(d), away from humans, - Nereides (seas), Hesperides or Atlantides (evenings and sunsets), Oceanids or Naiads (water), Dryads and Hamadryads (trees and forests), Aurai (winds) and Alseids (groves and glens). They are often linked to Gods as their daughters, lovers or mothers.

Naiads, nymphs of water - rivers, steams, lakes, fountains and marshes, draw strength from the waters they lived in by absorbing its magical qualities. Towns were named in honor of the Naiad that offered it a source of fresh water. A Naiad can either cure with water or it can unleash her anger over waters when provoked.
They were, with help from the goddess Artemis, protectors of young girls overseeing their safe transition from child to adult. Sometimes they play with humans` minds as a distraction from their occupied lives.

Diver Terry Steeley picture published on Daily Mail. 

When i first smelled Francesca's Sex and the Sea i felt my cheeks blushing and my chest pulsating like a tabu subject was unexpectedly put down on the table in front of me and i had to immediately deal with it. It felt almost erotic and forbidden. 

Images of debauchery, shamelessness and hedonism were addictively haunting my thoughts to an audacious level of enjoyment. Like Nymps would have taken my territory in an excess of fury poisoning the waters of my (relatively) decent mind with pleasure. A temptation i slowly succumbed to.

Sex and the Sea Neroli came to follow its precursor`s steps, as Francesca`s guilty pleasure, into a world of change and confusion, marked by the same constants but with a slightly different trajectory because Sex and the Sea and Sex and the Sea Neroli are not that different afterwards. Like day and... later that day. 

With SSN, Naiads seems to be leading me back and forth between the age of innocence and the adulthood curing the original`s sins with a significant amount of neroli that plays between the duality of its symbolism - sexual purity and seduction / innocence and fertility. A bride used to proclaim her virgity with orange blossom in her hair / Madrid`s women of the night wore neroli to lure their clients into the game of carnal pleasures.
SSN is more calmed than SS, brighter, airier, almost uncorrupted and more romantic, beautifully unfolding all of neroli`s facets over the same seductive core of civet and addictive saltiness. Its sweetness is kept in balance by soft mimosa and daring immortelle, but considerably reduced compared to the original due to the elimination of the pinnaple accord and the over-tropical coconut whose creamy qualities are left in the background as a support with its vanilic aspects to other vanilla smelling resins and spices. 
It gradually loses its ways into a ligher version of SS whose shadows never leave SSN`s light. 

Sex and the Sea Neroli (aka SSN) can be found on Francesca Bianchi Perfumes website at 98 euro / 30ml Extrait de Parfum.

sábado, julio 13, 2019

Hegoa de Teo Cabanel

Almuerzo encima de un rascacielos. El 20 de septiembre de 1932, 11 trabajadores de la construcción "casualmente" almorzaban en una viga de acero sobre 30 Rockefeller Plaza, cientos de pies sobre Manhattan, durante la construcción del Rockefeller Center. Publicada el 2 de octubre de 1932 en el suplemento fotográfico del domingo del New York Herald Tribune, Almuerzo en lo Alto de un Rascacielos es un homenaje al arduo trabajo de miles de emigrantes que se manifiesta en una imagen que causa revuelo hasta el día. Un momento en el tiempo inmortalizado para simpre en el horizonte y en la hisyoria de Nueva York.

La vida está hecha de este tipo de momentos aparentemente fugaces que deben vivirse con la intensidad inversamente proporcional a su brevedad.  Especialmente los alegres que agregan sal a nuestro tiempo y nos hacen brillar como una burbuja de jabón bajo los reflejos de un sol brillante que lo rompe en pequeñas partículas de agua que contaminan el suelo con su resplandor.
Hegoa, como lo sugiere su (simple) botella de diseño artístico, ofrece una gran sensación de placer y felicidad reflejadas metafóricamente a través de la emocionante danza de varios paracaídas de diente de león (conocidas como pappus) arrastrados por el viento. Su aroma etéreo se compone de un té verde efervescente con motas cítricas y matices de una rosa inocente. El acuerdo de té de Hegoa es uno de los más hermosos y realistas que he olido, mejor recreado que la línea de té de Bvlgary, en mi opinión, una combinación suave y clara de jazmín (hedione), que agrega un hermoso toque floral al la composición, con cítricos (diría que el limón es culpable por el brillo del comienzo y la mandarina por sus facetas dulces), hoja violeta y una gota de heno que acentúa sus aspectos secos de hierba cálida / terrosa.  La transición a la base de ámbar suave es animada a través de un velo de almizcles limpios.
El aroma de Hegoa persiste en la piel durante horas con su suavidad en el silencio y el equilibrio, brindando comodidad y serenidad a su portador, como esas manchas de sombra bajo un árbol lleno de hojas que ofrecen protección contra el calor cruel del verano.

Hegoa by Teo Cabanel

Lunch atop a Skyscraper. On September 20, 1932 11 construction workers "casually" lunching on a steel beam atop of 30 Rockefeller Plaza hundred of feet above Manhattan during the construction of the Rockefeller Center. Published on the 2nd of October 1932 in the Sunday photo supplement of the New York Herald Tribune, Lunch atop a Skyscraper is a tribute to the hard work of thousands of emigrants manifested in a picture that causes stirring up to the day. A moment in time forever immortalized on the skyline of NYC.

Life is made of these kind of apparently fleeting moments that must be lived with the inversely proportional in intensity to its shortness. Especially the joyful ones that add salt to our time and make us sparkle like a soap bubble under the reflections of a bright sunshine that breaks it into small particles of water contaminating the floor with their radiance.

Hegoa, as its (simple) artistic design bottle suggests it, offers a great feeling of pleasure and happiness metaphorically imagined through the thrilling dance of various dandelion`s parachutes (aks pappus) blown away in the wind. Its ethereal scent is composed as a fizzy green tea accord with citric specks and sheer rose nuances. Hegoa`s tea accord is one of the most beautiful and realistic I've ever smelled - better recreated than the Tea line from Bvlgary in my opinion - a smooth and clear combination of jasmine (hedione), that adds a beautiful floral touch to the composition, with citruses (I'd say the lemon is guilty for that brightness in the beginning and the mandarin for its sweet facets), violet leaf and a drop of hay accentuating on its dry aspects of warm / earthy grass. The transition to the mellow ambery base is lively through a veil of clean musks.
Hegoa`s scent lingers on skin for hours with its softness in quietude and balance providing comfort and serenity to its wearer, like those spots of shadow under a full of leaves tree that offer protection from the cruel Summer`s heat.

Bottle won in Teo Cabanel giveaway, to whom i thank very much for the wonderful communication and service. They were kind enough to send me the sample set before committing to a full bottle, and this was the best way for me to choose the one i truly liked.

martes, julio 02, 2019


There's an abandoned house on the hill outside the village. Its surroundings are just as deserted as the inside. The old stone fence that once defended the area lays on the ground kissing the remains of what it seems to have been a glorious garden in its times. A soft wind pushes the swing in swirls playing with the air around trees that survived the desolation by reaching through their roots to the deepest of the earth in search of water to feed the green of its leaves in their obstinacy to shadow on the house, like loyal guardians. Laughter and joy of tens of parties haunt the old porch that leads to a loose and about to fell off front door whose hinges sound sinister each time i open it. It's only a dark cover to keep the visitors away from the inside. The buckled hardwood flooring creak from the first step i take in willing to raise its boards only for the fun of it and to the desperation of my curious mind. At the entrance a vinyl record is waiting for my fingers to slowly fit the gramophone`s needle into its groove. The vibrations pass from diaphragm to the horn and the sound of Peggy Lee`s music follows my steps into the house. "Someday we'll build a home on a hilltop high / You and I / Shiny and new a cottage that two can fill / And we'll be pleased to be called / 'The folks who live on the hill'... /..."
The smell of long time unoxygenated space created a cloud of dust cut through by rays of a sun shyly invited in the living room by the blurry lines of discoloured curtains. This peacefulness is cure to my spirit. Various pieces of wood habitate the old ashy fire place adorned by uneven river rocks and traces of smoke. Dense and thick, the aroma of fur that was once lived in merge, almost levitating, into the darkness of the house only perturbed by an earthy, resinous, antique-like and sweet silence that is slowly reaching out from the ground floating the air around. The almost compact fragrance of moldy wall paper diffused over the dinner room is taken in by a massive table and its 18 chairs dressed in green velvet washed in shiny particles of dust reflected by the see through crystal pieces of an impressive chandelier. A small door connects the floor to the kitchen whose big windows create a pitoresque view for the orchard behind the house. I close my eyes and breathe in the warm aroma of spices and caramelized sugar that were abundantly used in lucious dishes and desserts with the feeling of heart and home. "... / Our veranda will command a view of meadows green... /..." keeps me company on the way to the master bedroom that hosts a forged iron bed with a nightstand on each side and a frontal vanity whose mirror reflect the weight of what's occurring in my mind. My favorite place in the house. The smell of resins, balsams and dried flowers is a welcomed guest. I lay on the floor measuring the ceiling and begin to fumigate my inessential thoughts until i feel safe and at peace with my inner self. 
I take another look at the room before leaving it and lead myself to the way out.
There's a sign above the door i open with the same relief as every time i leave all of my burdens inside:
Ana`s Q. P.
V. A. A. N.

There's an abandoned house on the hill outside the village... of my mind.

I smile to myself and open the eyes into the mess of papers and the screen decorating my  desk among other desks and stressed out people. I needed to pause and take a bite of my special space, where other Visitors Are Allowed, Not.
A`s quiet place.