Saturday, June 13, 2020

Happy Rosé Wine Day! Perfumes To Put You In The Mood

I envy those of you in the Northern Hemisphere entering summer because rosé wine is in season! Here in the Southern Hemisphere, I'm shivering, and it's red wine time, but when the sun is warm, there is nothing better than a glass of pink.  Rosé is the perfect balance between white and red; when the former is to light or tart and the latter is too heavy, rosé is just right! The fact that is comes in multi-shades of pink like a rosy stained glass window only adds to the perfection. The second Saturday of June is Rosé Day, so I decided to do a short post on perfumes that remind me of the wine.

The obvious choice would be rose perfumes, and wouldn't it be perfection if every time you tilted the glass toward your mouth you got a whiff of roses? Alas, this is not the case but there are aspects of rose to be found in the wine's scent. The most rose-centered scent I am putting forward that reminds me of the pink wine is:

Rose de Siwa by MDCI Parfums

Francis Kurkdijian created this beautiful rose perfume for MDCI and it is the sparkling litchi opening that gives it a wine-like feel to me. It opens with a slightly tart radiance, a little like the taste of grapes, and then rose and peony. The rose here is dewy fresh and remains fruity for quite some time. The overall feel of this scent is the euphoric serenity that rose can impose if you are susceptible and welcoming to the aromatherapy effects of rose scent, as I am.

Chloé Le Eau Eau de Toilette by Chloé 

Let's talk about Chloé perfume. I was a fan of the original Chloé; it was my signature perfume in college. It was a big tuberose bomb but this was in the era of Opium, Poison, Georgio, etc. so it actually was considered pretty tame and ladylike. So the first time I smelled the ravamped  Chloé many years later, I almost threw the bottle across the room, I was so shocked and not in a good way. And I know they still sell a version of Chloé which they cunningly call "The Original" but it is not. Did you see that Angelina Jolie movie about ten years ago called The Changeling? Her son has been kidnapped and disappears for a couple of years, when the local lawmen present her with a boy they've found and claim it is her missing son. She doesn't believe it and keeps telling everyone who will listen, "This is not my son!!!", and that is how I feel. "This is not my Chloe!"

However, we are not talking about the original, or the remake, which I still don't like. But the lighter, watered down version from last year, the Le Eau flanker, from a long line of flankers is one I can handle. It opens with rose, grapefruit, and litchi which give it a sour rose scent. Again, these sour fruits remind me of the pucker you can get from the grapes in wine. The rose is not too pronounced in this version. I get very watered down rose and magnolia, the tartness ever present, and eventually cedar and musk take over. I find this light and easy to wear, and I have to admit the bottles with their little ribbons and pleated glass, are cute.

My Buberry Blush 2017, Burberry Her 2018, Burberry Her Blossom 2019

All three of these are by Francis Kurkdijian, like the first one on my list. Does he possibly drink rosé? These are all somewhat similar in style, but emphasize different aspects of the fruits and rose notes.

My Burberry Blush is the most tart of the three, and if sour notes bother you, avoid. I find it a little weird, yet I also kind of like it. It does very much have the sour tartness which I find in wine. Lemon, pomegranate, and green apple are the fruity notes, along with rose, wisteria, jasmine, and geranium. Green apple is a strange note on my skin, so I think it's that note that keeps me unsure whether I like this. And although the juice is a pretty pink, the geranium gives it a very unisex edge.

My glass of rosé at Adelaide beach.

Burberry Her was introduced in 2018 to appeal to the youth market with Cara Delavigne as its face. I would like to think that Kurkdijian, being a class act, contained the fruity floral formula to a not too sugary format. Burberry Her is not earthshaking but it is pretty and easily likable. It has a nice strawberry note on the opening, but it also has raspberry, blackberry, cherry, and grape. Oh my gosh, it sounds hideous when I type the notes! But trust me, it's fine! The florals are subdued; it is the musks, cashmeran, vanilla, and amber that soften the fruitiness. This very much has the easy nonchalance of a glass of rosé.

Burberry Her Blossom is probably my favorite of these three, and on my skin has a sparkly, bubbly opening. The notes are quiet different from the original Her, less fruit and more flowers. The  mandarin is accompanied by peony and plum blossom. It lacks the tartness of My Burberry Blush, and the slight sweetness of Burberry Her which remind me of the wine, but it does have a slight effervescence. I wish I got more longevity.


Kelly + Jones Reserve, Notes of Rosé 

Kelly + Jones have a line of perfumes based on wine and spirits. I have a sample of the original Notes of Rosé, a light scent with rose, green herbs, blackcurrant, and suede. But when I went to their website I see that just like with wine, there is a new vintage of Notes of Rosé from 2019, and the notes have changed, not slightly, but completely. Now it features mimosa, pink jasmine, marine notes, cardamom, and tonka. It sounds like a totally different perfume, so I'll update when I get to try it.

Lust In Paradis by Ex Nihilo

This one has similar notes to the ones above: peony, litchi, musks, amber, cedar, and I feel like I smell a slight rose note, which is not listed. Well I'm no Scooby Doo, but there is an obvious trend going here. Evidently, to my nose, litchi=rosé wine. Lust In Paradise is not what I expected. With lust I thought it would be erotic white flowers, or in paradise, I expected beach, water, sand. In fact, Lust In Paradise fits in very neatly with the perfumes listed above. It has a soft peony rosy note with the sourness of litchi that fit my rosé profile. I find it very pretty, but again, I wish it lasted longer.

These are just a few rosé-leaning perfume selections. What are your favorites?

Top photo: 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume's Francois

I spend part of each year in Australia and I've been meaning to try some of Teone Reinthal's fragrances, but it was the glowing reviews that Christi Long of  Eau My Soul posted on her Facebook forum that finally inspired me to act. I have now been in Australia for five months on what was originally supposed to be a three month trip, separated from my embarrassingly large collection of perfumes and relying on the few samples and decants I bought with me. It was hard to pick as Australian-based Teone Reinthal knows how to spin a story around her scents and each one sounded like something I just had to try. Francois was a last minute addition to my sample pack selection but it has turned out to be my favorite from the collection.

It wasn't just the description of Francois, an orange blossom chypre, that drew me in, but also the notes: orange blossom, Calabrian bergamot, French rose geranium, Portuguese labdanum, Oakmoss, Sumatran patchouli, and Indian vetiver. The perfume is a veritable shipload of splendid ingredients from exotic ports of call.

I love to put on a fragrance and then have it immediately give that feeling of deju vu, we've been down this road before, and that is what happened when I put on Francois. Maybe it is because I am old enough to have a full lifetime of experiences to draw on that this reaction seems to happen to me more often these days. The path between our olfactory nerves and our brain is a short one and it has been proven that even those suffering from dementia can be stimulated by the reminder of a distant scent memory. In any case, when it happens it is always a joyful thing. Although the name, Francois, sounds very French, at first sniff I am transported to the Southern country roads of my childhood.

Visiting my Grandparent's small farm and its cozy house with a footprint no bigger than a three-car garage. Fields of green, the verdant earth, my Grandfather's tobacco spittoon; these scents are quiet background noise. Playing moonlit tag with a tangle of cousins, fireflies flickering in the inky sky studded with far away points of light. The adults gathered around a table playing card games and laughing. Magic nights built around a place one rung above poverty but bursting with life and magic.

The tobacco spittoon, a fancy name for what was usually an empty tin can with a picture of a red tomato on the paper wrapper or maybe niblets of corn, repurposed to catch my Grandfather's tobacco chew as he spit, was the most vivid memory that hit me when I first experienced Francois, and that is of interest because there isn't any tobacco note in the scent. What it does have is a beautiful note of patchouli, and I did a little digging. Patchouli is used to scent high-end tobacco products so maybe that's where I got this impression, or maybe it is just that it is a fresh green earthy scent, reminiscent of dirt and tobacco leaves. In any case, like magic this memory appears.

When I first spray Francois I smell the fresh bergamot. At the moment I have a lemon tree in my garden laden with fruit, and when I pluck the lemons from the tree the stems release a smell similar to bergamot,  fresh green, slightly bitter citrus. Then I got beautiful wafts of pungent patchouli along with a mossy green warmness. Just as you can't make Southern biscuits without a dollop of baking powder, labdanum is necessary for a good chypre perfume. The labdanum can throw off many nuances besides the expected amber and resins. It can give hints of leather, tar, spice, and light tobacco. The patchouli here is gorgeous. It is very green, and verdant with the scent of rich humus, and I even pick up fruity aspects.

Francois hums along for some time, but after about three hours it's intensity gathers steam. The scent becomes more lush, and the labdanum is spicy and throws a warm glow. This brought to mind the analogy of a party. When you first enter the vibes are good and you know it's going to be a good night, but it starts off fairly quiet, scattered laughter here and there. A few hours in the place is hopping, with the din of conversation, bursts of laughter, and good humor radiating through the space. Francois never become too big or overbearing on my skin, but it does seem to build up to a grand finale before eventually beginning a slow fade to dark.

In addition to the memories that Francois conjured, it also made this song pop into my head. It's an old one from the 80s or 90s, and it's indicative of the music I grew up with in Texas; a mixture of Southern twang, Texas country, and rock. For whatever reason this song and the singer's gravely voice captures the mood that this fragrance imparts to me. Ms. Reinthal, the perfumer, may have pictured Francois as a more sophisticated character than I've painted here, but I hope she doesn't mind that Francois led me to revisit some old county roads.

Toene Reinthal's website is here and she ships worldwide.


In light of recent events I think most of us are being careful to ensure we don't say the wrong thing and are sensitive to  others. Normally I would have posted this song without a second thought, but it is that Southern Redneck sound which at times can give the wrong message, so it gave me pause. So I did a little digging and I was delighted to find that Steve Earle, the performer and song writer, is a bit of a renegade in the country music world. He was raised in the South and today his music has the style we called Outlaw Country when I was younger, and in 2015 he put out a song called Mississippi It's Time, calling for the removal of the image of the Confederate flag from the Mississippi state flag. Here are a few of the lyrics:

Mississippi, don't you reckon it's time
That the flag came down, cause the world turned around
And we can't move ahead if we're looking behind.

I know this has nothing to do with the perfume, but it just seemed like such a happy accident that the song that spoke to me at the first whiff of Francois was by a singer who has a message so relevant in light of the events taking place in our nation.

Top photo from website. Road photo: I purchased my samples from the TRNP website.