Monday, August 31, 2015

NEW Arquiste Parfumeur Nanban REVIEW

Arquiste Parfumeur is a house founded in 2011 by Carlos Huber, an architect specializing in historic preservation, but who also has a longtime love of perfumery. His vision was to create a fragrance collection that transports the wearer to evocative moments in history. Nanban debuts in September 2015, and is the tenth perfume in the collection. It was developed with perfumer Rodrigo Flores Roux, collaborator since the inception of Arquiste perfumes. 

Photo by Hisao Oka and Edwin Pabon

Nanban (南蛮, "southern barbarian") is a Sino-Japanese word, originally referring to foreigners arriving to Japan from the south sea. Carlos Huber explains it to me further, as well as some other information on the development of Nanban, on a video interview I recently did with him at Twisted Lily (click here to view).

As per the Arquiste website: "January 1618, a Japanese galleon, the Pacific ocean. Following a diplomatic mission to the West, a galleon carrying a delegation of samurai charges through dark ocean currents. Loaded with a rare and precious cargo, the ship’s hull is redolent of sweet-smelling tropical woods, heady Spanish leather, frankincense, fine black pepper and other exotic ground spices—the intoxicating spirit of a singular, extraordinary voyage of discovery"

Every now and then, I will smell a perfume so smoothly blended, that it is almost difficult to discern all of the different notes and developments of the composition. Nanban was one of those perfumes. Upon first spray, my nose detected pepper, leathery saffron, black tea, and just a whisper of apricot like osmanthus. A sensual leather accord soon surfaced, which gave way to a dry down of incense, resins and sandalwood.

Nanban is rich and full bodied, but never over powering, despite being composed at a 21% concentration. In comparison to the rest of the Arquiste collection, Nanban falls more in line with Anima Dulcis than it does to the other citrus and floral perfumes. A different direction than previous releases, a bit daring, while still remaining true to the refined quality and aesthetic of the brand.

Longevity and projection is very good, surely to delight those lucky enough to be around your scent cloud.

Nanban will soon be available at Twisted Lily and Osswald NYC and will run you $190 for a 100ml bottle.

Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental
Top Notes: Malabar black pepper, Persian saffron, black tea accord and Chinese osmanthus.
Heart Notes: Coffee absolute, Spanish leather, sandalwood and myrrh.
Background Notes: Frankincense, styrax, copaiba balsam and cade.

DISCLAIMER: This review was based on a sample sent by Arquiste Parfumeur, and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale First Impressions with Suzanne of Nezbar + Sample DRAW

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale Artist Collection

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale is a modern American perfume house founded by Jeffrey Dame, who is also the perfumer. He has an exciting line of smooth and VERY wearable perfumes. Although we only feature 4 perfumes in the video below, he has many others to offer on his website. You won't hear me say this often, but I didn't find one perfume in the line that I didn't like. Jeffrey is offering Brooklyn Fragrance Lover subscribers an amazing draw. Enjoy my video with Suzanne from Nezbar and find the draw details down below.

Dame Perfumery Scottsdale founder and perfumer Jeffrey Dame

Thanks to the generosity of Jeffrey Dame, he is offering a draw for TWO 7ml trial size sprays of anything on his website to TWENTY FOUR, yes twenty four winners! Just wow. You can visit his website here to browse the entire collection. To be entered, please leave ONLY ONE comment here on the blog, NOT at YouTube, of what you would choose if you were to win this draw. Very sorry, but this draw is US ONLY. Good Luck!

DISCLAIMER: This review was based on samples provided by Jeffrey Dame.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jul et Mad Les White Collection REVIEW

Jul et Mad Paris is a company founded in 2012 by Julien Blanchard and Madalina Stoica-Blanchard. The first three perfumes they released, Stilettos on Lex, Terrasse à St-Germain, and Amour de Palazzo were inspired by their love story, which began with a chance meeting at a Parisian sidewalk café. Their 2014 release Aqua Sextius, was inspired by the house in Aix-en-Provence where Julien and Madalina were married, and now live and enjoy their life together. The latest collection released in 2015 is called Les White Collection. There are three Extrait de Parfum in the collection, called Néa, Nin-Shar, and Garuda, and were inspired by Julien and Madalina's love for culture: music, art, history, philosophy.


Néa is a gorgeous gourmand with floral and Oriental nuances. It opens with a blend of dates, pomegranate, and plum that is not overly sweet, but more like a dry fruit accord. A duo of rose and jasmine join in behind the dry fruit accord, never overpowering or becoming too heady. The composition is finished off with light woody notes of patchouli and cashmeran, a hint of resinous benzoin, and a sprinkling of vanilla and caramel. Néa is a luxurious perfume that is blended like fine silk by perfumer Luca Maffei.

Head: Date, Davana, Pomegranate, Palm Leaf, Black Pepper
Heart: Jasmin Sambac, Rosa Damascena, Dry Plum
Bottom: Patchouli, Cashmeran, Vanilla, Benzoin, Caramel, Tonka Bean, Ambroxan, Musk

Nin-Shar is all about rose. A boozy rose opening sets the stage for the glorious Turkish rose absolute that is the heart of Nin-Shar. Supporting woody notes of oud, patchouli and cedar add depth, but never over power the rose, which seems to last throughout the whole evolution of the composition. Perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur has created a full bodied elegant rose perfume that will thrill rose lovers.

Head: Bergamot, Rose Liquor, Essence de Davana 
Heart: Turkish rose absolute, Egyptian jasmine, Patchouli
Bottom: Oud, Benzoin, Vanille Bourbon, Virginia cedar, Sandalwood, Incense absolute

Garuda is an oud perfume. In regards to this genre, I am not a fan of the pungent or animalic variety. Thankfully, this was not the case with Garuda. Perfumer Luca Maffei used Cambodian oud, surrounded it with saffron and rum, which gave it a warm and rich aura. There are other notes listed, but all my nose detected were the ones mentioned, and then a seemingly never ending woody dry down of cedarwood. I later learned, that it was actually the IFF aromachemical Timbersilk, a woody synthetic (thank you Mark Behnke).

Head: Bergamot, Orange, Cumin, Pink Pepper 
Heart: Cambodian Oud, Saffron, Rhum
Bottom: Patchouli, Timbersilk, Vetiver Java, Cedarwood, Cashmeran, Amber, Vanila, Musk

Les White Collection all have excellent longevity and moderate projection, with the exception of Garuda which had excellent projection.

The Les White Collection is available at Min New York.

Thanks to the generosity of Jul et Mad, we are offering a Love Dose set, which is 5ml of each perfume in Les White Collection. To enter, please leave ONE comment with which perfume intrigued you the most, or your favorite Jul et Mad perfume. Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: This review was based on samples sent by Jul et Mad.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NEW Amouage Sunshine Man Eau de Parfum REVIEW + Sample DRAW

Sunshine Man is a forthcoming perfume addition to the Amouage 'Midnight Flower Collection' of candles and complementary room sprays.. It is slated to debut in September 2015.

Although opinions were split, I personally really enjoyed Sunshine Woman, despite it being a departure from the typical opulent offerings from the Omani based perfume house, with no incense to speak of. You can watch my review here.

As per the Sunshine Man official press release: "This male interpretation of the collection suggests the darker, more mysterious elements of the sun expressed in its full intensity. Inspired by the movement of an eclipse and the interplay between cool and warm, light and dark, this is an intensely constructed fragrance created to thrill. Enticing layers of freshness and warmth with a ‘Rock n Roll’ twist, Sunshine Man is a multi-facetted and complex experience"

Fragrance Family: Spicy aromatic
Top: Lavender, Orange Brandy, Everlasting Flower
Heart: Bergamot, Juniper Berry, Clary Sage
Base: Cedarwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Sunshine Man opens with a HUGE blast of lavender with a capital L. I can only imagine that this is what a field of lavender would smell like. The hot sun beaming down on the flowers, and their herbal aroma surrounding me. Lavender is the star of this show, clearly. Even when the fresher notes of bergamot and juniper berry join the composition, lavender is still holding it's head up high. It isn't until the final dry down, that the lavender is softened by a base of cedarwood, creamy tonka bean and soft vanilla.

Lavender is not one of my favorite notes, especially when used as the main focus in a perfume. Does Sunshine Man smell good? Yes. Do I love it? No. Will it find an audience? Absolutely.

Sunshine Man is composed of quality ingredients and most definitely lives up to Amouage standards. It has excellent projection, and good longevity. My friend Igor of Nosedom was by my apartment last weekend trying several of my perfumes. He put on about 5 different ones, and Sunshine Man over powered all of them. True story.

In summary, Sunshine Man was not my favorite release from Amouage. Not because it's a bad perfume, quite the contrary actually. It's just that lavender and I have had a rocky relationship.

I would like to share some of my sample with one lucky reader. To be entered in the draw, please leave ONLY ONE comment down below about what your favorite Amouage perfume is. A winner will be chosen by next week. Good luck, and thank you for reading.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample sent by Amouage.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Shout Out To FragComm Splitters and Unboxing Of.....

The work of Slurpees Splits

The work of John A. Stagg aka The Bopper

Another photo of The Bopper

The work of Lance Vo

Another of Lance Vo

One more of Lance Vo