Sunday, April 28, 2013

PARFUMS LALUN: If Fragrances were Portraits

Qajar Dynasty, Iran, Late 18th Century

Painting; three horses (white, black, and tan) galloping across a bare landscape, 16th century, from Persia.

I am a fan of Maggie Mahboubian, an architect and perfumer. I have long admired her blog, Architecture of Perfume

It took me a while to realize that besides being an exquisite writer, Maggie's expression also spanned the world of natural skincare, and in September 2012 Parfums Lalun was launched. Her depth and intellect resonate through these five fragrances. They are studied like portraits, and classical in structure; at first they morph and transform, but ultimately they delicately settle on the skin. They make me wonder about her approach and all that went into making them. Here are some quick impressions as a way to begin to enter their complexity.  Hopefully I will bring some insight along with salutations.

Aqua di Callitris Comes racing out the bottle. It is spirited and spunky and uplifting. With one deep breath you can feel an expanding horizon in front of you, even if you are locked up in a tall city building. A bold fragrance. Rosemary, lime,  there is a bitterness, pine; it has a slight anisic quality countered by a juiciness. I can’t help but think of Guerlain Vetiver, “Captures the freshness and vitality of nature.” Aqua di Callitris is restorative, it's like making it to the summit.

Blanche du Bois brings me back to A Streetcar Named Desire under Liv Ulmann's direction. If it were a color it would be GOLDEN. A powdery silky scent. I detect a menthol aspect, woody. Lowers the blood pressure, slows down time, white woods. I love it.

La Lune de Miel is both warm and glittery. Coriander and cinnamon on top. Spicy, sticky beeswax. Smells thick almost syrupy-like hot unsweetened cocoa. Rose/beeswax heart. The patchouli elevates this deep fragrance, and reminds me that patchouli is from the mint family. The vanilla rounds it. Cumin gives depth. Somehow this fragrance finds a way to sparkle. It feels like Maggie pulled the formula from out of her soul.

Galbanum and pomegranate are alive. Qajar Rose-instantly transports one back in time. This dark rose is greeted by a resinous oud. Saffron comes in mid-way, enhancing the rose leaving an aromatic impression. Geranium adds spice, and ambrette and patchouli give lift.  When I smell Qajar Rose I see a bow touching strings, all the time the notes are being pulled and pushed. All that was lost is now found. Qajar Rose was a 2013 Indie FiFi® nominee.

A herbaceous hypnotic glowing amber that is a dream on the skin, Phenomene Verte. That's all she wrote..

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Maria Candida Gentile Maître Parfumeur: Sideris

Island Beach State Park, NJ

Instantly Maria Candida Gentile Sideris took me back in time to take an imaginary stroll with my entire family.

Monday, April 22, 2013

D.S. & Durga: Poppy Rouge

Mississippi John Hurt
Robert Mapplethorpe Poppy 1988
It's great when a fragrance can get you listening to blues and thinking about art while simultaneously enjoying the comforts of home. That's exactly how it happened with D. S. & Durga Poppy Rouge.