New Perfume Review Givenchy Pi Air- Fraiche Redux

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Ever since the release of Cool Water in 1988 blue has been the color of fresh in fragrance. Whenever I walk up to a bottle of perfume and there is blue in the name or the bottle is blue or the perfume itself is tinted azure I can almost guarantee it will be fresh. What usually accompanies that is clean. No perfume brand seems to go broke by going this route which makes it one of the most ubiquitous tropes in the department store.

Back in 1998 when Givenchy Pi was released perfumer Alberto Morillas provided a warm vanilla accord consisting of coumarin and benzoin. It is still one of those perfumes which elicits unsolicited compliments when I wear it. To Givenchy’s credit they haven’t gone flanker crazy only producing five since the initial release. At the beginning of the month I received the sixth addition to the Pi collection, Pi Air.

Alberto Morillas

Once again Sr. Morillas is the perfumer as he has been for three of the other Pi flankers; 2001’s Pi Fraiche, 2012’s Pi Leather Edition, and 2015’s Pi Extreme. Of all the flankers Pi Fraiche is my favorite because Sr. Morillas transformed the warm vanilla into a fresh herbal and pine which retained the benzoin from the original. It was also in a frosted blue bottle.  When I first tried Pi Air I was strongly reminded of Pi Fraiche as Sr. Morillas has decided to update that version of fresh in an even more blue bottle akin to the color of ice. That seems to be the theme for Pi Air as Sr. Morillas employs a couple of the most expansive aromachemicals in the heart to create a perfume which feels like it fills up my olfactory horizon with a frosty fresh fragrance.

This icy nature shows up right away in what is called a “frozen neroli” accord. What that means is a neroli chilled by grapefruit and ginger. Both of those notes provide a closing in of the neroli. It means most of the green facets are muted while the sweetly floral is also subtler but struggles out of the ice to make its presence known. Then the iciness leads to a heart where paradisone and lavandin provide a high altitude mixture of fresh aromachemicals. Rosemary is an herbal complement to everything in the heart. Sr. Morillas manages to harness both of these strong notes into a well-balanced accord which I enjoyed a lot. The base keeps it simple with a dry cedar, a couple of white musks, and benzoin which is the connective tissue to the Pi heritage.

Pi Air has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

Pi Fraiche has been discontinued for a few years now. It is hard not to think of Pi Air as Sr. Morillas’ making a 2017 version. There is nothing particularly different here but somehow, I found Pi Air to be a pleasant fragrance to wear on the days I wore it. Sometimes that is all I need.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Macy’s.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo- Pick Me Up

Mrs. C and I became obsessed with the Italian dessert tiramisu a few years ago. We were still living in Boston and we traveled the North End comparing the different versions. From modern chefs to recipes handed down through generations. One of the things we learned during our tasty tour was that despite the origin of the dessert being attributed to the restaurant La Beccherie in Treviso, Italy in 1960 it was widely disputed. The dessert was seen as a layered version of the more classic dessert zuppa inglese. As we learned more I have come to agree with that assessment. Tiramisu roughly translates to “pick me up” The mixture of coffee, cocoa, mascarpone cheese and lady finger cookies is simple but can be made even more complex at whim. When we started making it we added coffee liqueur as a different kind of pick me up over the caffeine from coffee. When I heard the new release Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo was going to be a perfumed take on tiramisu from two of my favorite perfumers Alberto Morillas and Aurelien Guichard I was definitely interested.

Alberto Morillas

Salvatore Ferragamo as fragrance producer has been much more hit than miss for me. If not for the perfumers involved and the tiramisu theme my interest would have been tempered. Even with that, because the brand has been so uneven in the past my expectations were set low. Another reason was the burgeoning of this gourmand mainstream sector in the last year. The great majority of those have lacked focus replacing it with a giant slug of vanilla and ethyl maltol. When I finally got around to Uomo every one of those concerns disappeared. Messrs. Morillas and Guichard have turned in one of the more genial mainstream gourmands of the last few years.

Aurelien Guichard

The first moments of Uomo are a pick me up of a different sort as a snappy spiced citrus is the top accord. Bergamot is enveloped with cardamom and black pepper in a zesty first few minutes. Just as I am ready to ask, “where’s dessert?” here it comes. The mixture of cocoa and coffee is supported with some other sweet notes. I think a touch of maltol provides a bit of toasty sweetness but if not that something else is adding a warmth to the main ingredients. The tiramisu accord is balanced and delectable to experience. Another excellent choice is the perfumers choose tonka bean as the deeper sweet note in the base. Instead of overwhelming everything which came before with vanilla, the tonka picks up the coffee and cocoa transporting them to the final ingredients a cocktail of dry woody aromachemicals. These are the particularly austere versions and they provide a surprisingly good framing set of notes for the final moments of Uomo.

Uomo has 18-24 hour longevity and average sillage.

For a mainstream gourmand fragrance Uomo gets almost everything right. If you are a fan of this style of perfume this is one of the best. If you have shied away from gourmands in the past because the vanilla can become too much give this a try. I give credit to Messrs. Morillas and Guichard for their perfumed tiramisu recipe it has been a favorite Holiday pick me up this year.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Eric Buterbaugh Florals Kingston Osmanthus- Filling In The Blanks

I complain a lot about receiving these large collections. Truth be told as I am digging out samples and I get above five with more still in the envelope a slight irritation sets in. If there are one or two which grab me then things tend to work out. If I start with the ones that are less appealing even when I find the one or two I might have been more forgiving to; if they are last they get consigned to the “not going to review” bin. This was what happened a year ago when the initial sample set of Eric Buterbaugh Florals landed on my desk. Seven soliflore-like perfumes featuring a different floral. Eric Buterbaugh is floral designer to the stars in Los Angeles. He branched out in to fragrance in the back half of 2015. When I tried them I expected to like a couple of them but they all left me sort if cold. I wasn’t sure whether it was collection fatigue or something else. I recently received a sample of the latest addition to the line Kingston Osmanthus; this was one which I had no problem connecting with.

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Eric Buterbaugh

Mr. Buterbaugh was working with a strong roster of perfumers right from the start. Alberto Morillas designed two of the original set; Apollo Hyacinth and Fragile Violet. Kingston Osmanthus is his follow=up to those earlier releases. This fragrance grew out of a conversation between the two as Sr. Morillas explained his fascination with osmanthus. It made it a natural to become the eighth Eric Buterbaugh Florals fragrance.

Osmanthus is always a good choice as the focal point of a soliflore because of its inherent dual nature of apricot and leathery facets. What made me enjoy Sr. Morillas’ treatment of it is he uses that bifocal character as a way of filling in blanks in the top and base accords animating the osmanthus even more.

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Alberto Morillas

Sr. Morillas opens Kingston Osmanthus with a vivacious duet of violet leaves and jasmine. The indolic nature of the jasmine is dialed way down so the sharp violet leaf has an opportunity to rise to the same level. Now is when the osmanthus enters promoting its apricot forming a funky fruity floral top accord. Over time as the osmanthus develops a leatherier aspect Sr. Morillas uses sandalwood and orris to assist with that transition. Then he injects it into a patchouli fraction called Clearwood. Clearwood is a patchouli oil altered to remove the earthy components while also making it much less powerful. Because the leathery part is not overwhelming the Clearwood becomes an ideal partner. The final touch is a cocktail of musks to help the leather become more musky over the final stage.

Kingston Osmanthus has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Sr. Morillas shows how a raw material like osmanthus can be used as a clever nucleus to stitch the top and base accords together. Kingston Osmanthus is another excellent osmanthus in a year of them.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Eric Buterbaugh Florals.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aedes de Venustas Grenadille D’Afrique- Alberto’s Ebony

There are a few perfumers who always capture my attention no matter what they do. One of those is Alberto Morillas. He has been responsible for some of the greatest mainstream perfumes of the last 30 years. Before I knew who he was I knew him through his perfumes that I owned. In those days knowing who it was who had made the perfume was unheard of. Since 2000 that has changed and it allows M. Morillas the opportunity to be seen as the artist that he is. The overwhelming majority of his perfume making still takes place in the mainstream sector. Except over the past few years he has been making some forays into the niche space. 2016 looked like it was going to come to an end without that happening. Then I received my sample of the new Aedes de Venustas Grenadille D’Afrique.

Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner

Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner

Starting in 2012 the owners of the New York City boutique Aedes de Venustas, Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner, have been creatively directing a compact collection bearing the store name. Grenadille D’Afrique is the seventh of these. Working with M. Morillas for the second time, after last year’s Palissandre D’Or, they return to woody themes. This time they describe the new perfume as “a tribute to ancient ebony”. While it does get up to that concept, especially in the base, the early going is all modern fougere territory.

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Alberto Morillas

The opening is that fougere accord. M. Morillas uses juniper berry, lavender, and violet. They form a gin-tinted set of purple flowers. The violet works to keep the lavender from hewing too close to its herbal nature because the juniper berry surely tries to accentuate this. M. Morillas balances this perfectly as it achieves a contemporary lavender effect. Now that promised ebony wood shows up. M. Morillas mixes some of the cleaner woods, like cedar, with a particularly lively vetiver. That vetiver provides the sappy nature that the creative direction called for making it feel as if the wood is straight from the tree. The final phase is a lilting smoky vanilla over a few musks. It provides a soothing ending to a brisk woody fougere.

Grenadille D’Afrique has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.

Grenadille D’Afrique is a great example of everything I think makes M. Morillas stand out. As a perfumer who has probably made dozens and dozens of fougeres he still manages to find new areas to explore. The final “ebony accord” shows his way at intricately constructed chords. His accords are so layered that they always seem to be subtly in motion while still retaining the overall effect. I am very happy that M. Morillas found his way back to the niche side of the street before the end of the year. Grenadille D’Afrique is another triumph for him.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Aedes de Venustas.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue- Tangled Up In Blue

2016 is going to be a very good year for perfumes that were released in the mainstream sector. The primary factor which I think have made this year better is the desire of the big perfume brands to connect with the younger fragrance buyer. What this has led to is a few interesting takes on existing tropes. One of the more consistent things this has produced are perfumes which take half chances. Willing to let the top notes or the base notes carry some risk but the other half needs to be safe. If the interesting half is engaging enough that might be enough. The latest example of this is Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue.

Versace pour Homme Dylan blue is ostensibly a flanker to Versace pour Homme. While it shares the same perfumer, Alberto Morillas, this is pretty much a very different fragrance. It shares some of the same freshness of the original but that’s pretty much where I would end any comparisons. Dylan Blue is making a play for the player in his 20’s or 30’s.

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Alberto Morillas

M. Morillas’ plan to ensnare this perfume wearer is to take that stale aquatic fresh accord and really add some pizazz to it. This is that half of Dylan Blue which really succeeds. M. Morillas combines a whole host of synthetics which bounce off one another in a very engaging fashion. The problem is that ends and what we are left with is a very generic ending which lasts longer than the opening.

Dylan Blue opens on the tried and true citrus of grapefruit buttressed with bergamot. Right away M. Morillas switches things up by adding fig leaves and an aquatic accord. The fig leaves are a really nice touch adding a creamy green quality. This juxtaposes with the aquatics and the citrus. Then M. Morillas just keeps adding in kinetic energy; black pepper, violet leaves, and papyrus all come in and find a dance partner. The papyrus inserts itself with the aquatic accord and the fig leaves. The violet leaves provide a sharpness to the grapefruit. As this all comes together this does feel like an attempt to reach out to a new younger fragrance wearer with the plea “I’m not your father’s cologne.” The unfortunate part is the base is just like your dad’s cologne. A very generic ambrox, musk, and tonka is what is left behind.

Dylan Blue has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Dylan Blue is half of a very good fragrance. On the second day I wore it I topped it off three times during the day so I could enjoy the early moments again. Even though the title refers to a color of fabric used by fashion designers I was reminded of Bob Dylan’s great song “Tangled up in Blue”. In that song the lyrics tell of a search for love that always begins well but ends with him back in the same place heading down the road. Versace pour Homme Dylan Blue begins well only to end up in the same place but that beginning is worth getting tangled up in Dylan Blue.

Disclosure; This review was based on a sample provided by Versace.

Mark Behnke

Flanker Round-Up: Kenneth Cole Black Bold, Bulgari Rose Goldea, Anna Sui Romantica Exotica, & Giorgio Armani Si Le Parfum

I am sitting here with a desk overflowing with samples. As I was attempting to organize them I was pooling all of the flankers in one stack. As I was doing this I noticed there were four new versions of perfumes of which I liked their original iteration. I have infrequently done a round-up of flankers when I think there is something worth mentioning. I did not give these perfumes which I will write about below my typical two days of wearing. These all got the same day and about the same amount of territory on my two forearms. They were not enough alike that it did set up a bit of olfactory cacophony but I do think I learned enough to make some broad assessments.

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Kenneth Cole Black Bold- The original Kenneth Cole Black is one of those great workhorse masculine fougeres which is probably underrated. Perfumer Harry Fremont did Black and he has returned to do Black Bold. As almost all flankers do they keep the basic structure of the original in place and either pump up one of the supporting notes or add an extra one in. Here M. Fremont enhances the mint in the top accord so it is more prominent. It adds a cooling effect to the ginger and basil with which it is matched. The bold is a big slug of oak in the leather focused base. The oak roughs up the smooth leather and for someone wanting a bolder version of Black I think Black Bold does that.

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Bulgari Rose Goldea– I really liked last year’s Goldea for the way perfumer Alberto Morillas used his supernatural skill with musks to create a unique mainstream release. Rose Goldea feels like what happens when you release something different; the brand asks for something more conventional. M. Morillas provides a very classic rose focused fragrance bracketed with sandalwood and incense. He couldn’t keep the musks entirely out and they appear in the base providing the similar golden glow they do in the original. I preferred the strong musk thread which ran through the original. If you wanted a lot less musks and more floral, Rose Goldea might do.

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Anna Sui Romantica Exotica– I was not a fan of last year’s Romantica it was an overheated fruity floral that I could barely stand on a strip. A change of perfumer also gave a change in style as Jerome Epinette likes to work in more focused accords with clear connections. Romantica Exotica moves from a crisp blood orange and lemon top to an orange blossom and gardenia heart. Cottonwood and sandalwood provide the base accord. Of the four things I had on this was the one that almost got another day of wear out of me.

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Giorgio Armani Si Le Parfum– The latest Giorgio Armani release to turn into a sea of flankers is 2013’s Si Eau de Parfum. It has been a pretty bleak grouping as the main thing which was altered was the concentration of the rose de mai focal point. I never understand who these kind of flankers are meant to entice. With the new Si Le Parfum perfumer Julie Masse, who worked on the original with Christine Nagel, makes a massive change from rose de mai to osmanthus in the heart. Almost everything else is the same cassis and vanilla top; amber and labdanum base. The heart is transformed as osmanthus steps up with its leathery apricot quality and wraps the patchouli, benzoin, and jasmine into something that does resemble the desired modern chypre accord. This is the most different of the four from the original because Mme Masse massively reworks the heart accord; for the better.

Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by the perfume brands.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Mizensir Bois de Mysore- How to Build an Accord

I have been having multiple discussions lately on who the greatest living perfumer is. It is a silly debate with no clear-cut correct answer. Any perfumer in the discussion has the credentials to deserve the dubious accolade. It also brings out what qualities I see as important in my own personal assessment. One name I mention almost immediately is Alberto Morillas. For over thirty years M. Morillas has worked at every level of perfumery. If there was a sector where he hadn’t been quite as prolific it was niche. Which was why when I heard he was going to make perfume for the Swiss brand Mizensir I had to find out more.

Last summer I dove in blind to pick up a bottle of Eau de Gingembre. Since I posted that review I have acquired all the subsequent releases. If there is an emerging aesthetic it is that of M. Morillas fusing high quality natural ingredients with high impact synthetics. The entire line has the feel of an ongoing masterclass in how to get the most out of both sides of the perfumer’s palette. The latest release, Bois de Mysore, is an example of how to build an accord to replace an endangered species.

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Alberto Morillas

Mysore sandalwood was so overharvested for its qualities that the Indian government had to step in and regulate it to protect it. There is no other source of sandalwood which provides the nuance and depth of genuine Mysore sandalwood. Perfumers have turned to other sources from other countries. These are all great sandalwoods but they lack the grace notes of the Mysore version. This leaves a perfumer in the position of having to create an accord to replace the unobtainable. In Bois de Mysore it feels like M. Morillas is presenting his version of a Mysore sandalwood accord.

Bois de Mysore is not meant to be just a sandalwood soliflore. M. Morillas wants to create a complete perfume; it is only in the final half of the development where the sandalwood accord is most prominent. Before that Bois de Mysore opens with a breezy mix of mandarin and neroli. It makes a very enticing first impression. Jasmine holds the heart picking up both of the top notes to form a citrusy floral opening. Now M. Morillas begins to assemble his pieces. First are green cardamom and violet leaf. One of the things I always remark on in Mysore sandalwood is there is a bit of a raw green underpinning. The cardamom and violet leaf provide that to the Sri Lankan sandalwood M. Morillas uses here. As the sandalwood rises the green notes fall into line behind the wood. There is another quality I associate with Mysore sandalwood and it what I call an “ashy” character. It is almost a mineral kind of effect but not quite. M. Morillas uses the synthetic musk ingredient Vulcanolide to provide this. When this all comes together it is a beautiful reminder of what an expertly constructed accord can do.

Bois de Mysore has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

Throughout my days wearing Bois de Mysore that final part of the development always was on my mind as I would enjoy the slow build to the complete accord. Just one more data point when having that discussion about great perfumers.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review By Kilian Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi- Pretty Girl not Working Girl

Sometimes the name and the press release throws me for such a loop I can’t give a perfume a proper assessment. Last fall’s By Kilian Voulz-Vous Coucher Avec Moi caused me this confusion. It has taken a few months for me to return to it with less personal baggage. What I found was a pretty faux-white floral.

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi is the fifth perfume of In The Garden of Good and Evil collection. With a name like that I expected a collection of dangerous seductive fragrances. For the most part they have been more PG than R-rated. This latest release was maybe going to embrace those qualities I was looking for. Perfumer Alberto Morillas was present to follow-up his previous entry in this collection, Good Girl Gone Bad.

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Alberto Morillas

The name comes from the song “Lady Marmalade” sung by Patti LaBelle in 1975 and done by the quartet of Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya and P!nk. The song is about a New Orleans prostitute. Her come on; Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi is repeated throughout the song. It translates to “Do you want to sleep with me tonight? It became the one French phrase armchair Lotharios added to their come-on in the 1970’s. It is almost impossible not to hear the song while wearing and writing about the perfume. Which was my mistake. The song and the perfume have nothing to do with each other.

Furthermore, the imagery on the By Kilian website has women also looking seductively in to the camera. All together with a note list featuring tuberose and gardenia I wanted a fishnet wearing sassy lady of the evening daring me to take her on. M. Morillas has composed something which is more about the demurest of the white flowers, orange blossom. The gardenia and tuberose are only there for support and not to be the focal points. Which makes the perfume more a pretty girl than a working girl. That was what I had to wrap my expectations around.

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi opens with a lovely mandarin which disappears as the orange blossom arrives. The keynote in the heart is ylang-ylang in all its deep floralcy. The other floral is a Bulgarian rose which adds a pinch of spiciness. Not enough to make this even the slight bit sultry. In the base M. Morillas pulls out the vanilla. The overwhelming sweetness is cut a little bit by cedar but the end is very sweet. Very late on the softer white musks make an appearance.

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi has 18-24 hour longevity and average sillage.

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi is best described as a softly sweet floral. I wonder how different this would be had M. Morillas unleashed a gardenia and tuberose indolic swagger but that is a different perfume. The one which is here is a nicely constructed floral perfume which will only call to mind innocent beauty.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by By Kilian.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Bvlgari Goldea- Burnished Musks

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Brands, if they stick around long enough, will ebb and flow. This is a natural effect of shifting priorities, changes in creative direction, or just plain laziness followed by industriousness. Bvlgari has done this and after a long fallow period it seems like the fortunes of this brand are on an upswing. It started with Eau Parfumee au The Bleu. I’ve recently received samples of the three new additions to the La Gemme collection and these are significant improvements over the first set of La Gemme releases. The last sure sign of a change in the wind direction is the launch of a new mass-market release. That attempt is Goldea.

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Alberto Morillas

One of the reasons for this upward trend is Bvlgari has been using two perfumers fairly exclusively over the last 18 months; Daniela Andrier and Alberto Morillas. I think when a couple of perfumers can help define the brand aesthetic for a brand like Bvlgari it can be an asset. When I learned M. Morillas was the perfumer behind Goldea I was particularly interested beacuase of this line in the press release, “this patina are brought by the very modern and nearly tangible musks”. There is no perfumer who uses the various synthetic musks better than M. Morillas. His perfumes which feature musk are my own personal reference library on what can be achieved with them. It sounded like Goldea had some new things to show me.

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Goldea is based on Cleopatra. Despite the PR imagery using Isabeli Fontana doing her best to channel her inner Egyptian queen it is the bottle next to her that gives the best indication what Goldea smells like. A light polished golden orb. The press materials spend a lot of time talking about gold and that is what Goldea does resemble. It has the feel of well-polished gold held up to sunlight. The musks plus one very inspired choice of floral note make this a golden glowing musky floral.

Goldea opens with what M. Morillas describes as a “crystal musk”. This is one of those musks that almost has an ozonic aspect to it evoking a sea breeze quality. It is sharp and clear as a crystal. To soften that M. Morillas uses a little bit of orange blossom and raspberry. This is not as interesting as the rest of the development as it is pretty standard fruity floral top accord territory. The heart is where things become very interesting as jasmine arrives wrapped in a furry musk. This is a mass-market perfume so when I say furry musk it isn’t enough to scare the customers but it almost replaces the reduced indolic nature of the jasmine used. What turns the heart of Goldea into a glowing globe is a beautifully chosen ylang-ylang. A perfumer has at their disposal almost every version of ylang-ylang and most often they go for a version with a specific effect. I prefer the full version which has an almost fleshy floralcy. M. Morillas doesn’t push that far but he is using a fuller version of ylang-ylang than you will normally run into in the department store. The ylang-ylang here is much more tropical in its effect and it is also matched with another animalic trending musk. Together the two musks and the two florals form a fantastic heart accord. The base is a couple of the cozier musks snuggling up with patchouli with one final surprise in the green veil of papyrus adding in a sheer woody aspect. It glows like a sunset.

Goldea has 18-24 hour longevity due to the musks and average sillage.

Goldea is a bold step away from the releases of the past few years. I am pleased to see Bvlgari back to taking a few chances instead of releasing another set of flankers. At least for the moment Bvlgari is riding high and Goldea is one of the reasons.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I received with purchase.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Mizensir Eau de Gingembre- Warm-Weather Gingerbread

One of my favorite perfume notes is that of gingerbread. There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of gingerbread perfumes out there. When I see one with it in the name it always captures my attention. As I was browsing the latest arrivals at the French department store Colette in preparation for some purchases I saw the French word for it “gingembre” in an unexpected place.

If we are going to have a discussion about the greatest living perfumer it will never take place without Alberto Morillas being part of it. In 1999 M. Morillas founded the company Mizensir to produce home fragrance in the form of candles at first and later expanding to room sprays. Earlier this year it was announced that Mizensir would begin to produce perfumes. The initial collection is comprised of nine new perfumes. I am interested in trying all of them but the one which caused me to use my credit card and buy it blind was Eau de Gingembre.

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Alberto Morillas

Gingerbread is almost always a fall through spring fragrance choice for me. In the heat of the summer it is just too sweet. What intrigued me about the note list for Eau de Gingembre was this looked like it might be a gingerbread for the warm-weather months. As I waited patiently for it to find its way to my mailbox I was completely delighted to find out that this was a gingerbread-based perfume which I could wear on a hot day. This is very much a gingerbread eau de cologne even though it says eau de parfum on the box. The architecture of cologne is present while the strength of eau de parfum adds longevity.

M. Morillas opens Eau de Gingembre with a citrus flare of bergamot and petit grain combined with neroli. This is a classic cologne-style opening and M. Morillas allows it to provide that sunny energy these notes generally provide. The heart is where M. Morillas’ brilliance comes into play. His source of ginger is the supercritical fluid extracted version of ginger. This has the effect of having a much more multi-faceted scent profile. There is definitely more of the rooty character and there is also a subtle woody quality. It takes the normal synthetic versions of ginger and makes them seem flat and one dimensional. But ginger is not gingerbread something has to provide a creamy base. M. Morillas makes a fantastic choice in using fig leaves. The fig leaves provide that creamy quality converting the ginger into something richer and more gourmand. The other inspired part of this choice is it creates a very transparent version of gingerbread with this accord and not something too heavy. It all ends with the clean lines of cypress forming the woody base.

Eau de Gingembre has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Based on Eau de Gingembre I am very much looking forward to trying the other eight perfumes in the collection. There are definitely a couple, Mythique Vetyver and Musc Eternal, which almost ended up in my shopping cart too. I expect M. Morillas to have some more surprises for me when I finally try those and the others. For now the ability to cover myself in Eau de Gingembre while the summer continues on is enough for me.

Disclosure: this review was based on a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke