Orlov Paris Orlov & Flame of Gold

In the second part of my look at Orlov Paris‘ debut collection, I thought we’d look at Dominique Ropion‘s woody oriental parfum, Flame of Gold, and the floral, Orlov. The latter was not a success on my skin, so let’s start there.


Orlov Orlov via Luckyscent.

Orlov’s Orlov via Luckyscent.

According to Luckyscent, Orlov’s namesake fragrance is built around:

Bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla, white musk

Orlov opens on my skin with clean, fresh, green-white flowers drizzled with crisp bergamot, sweet vanilla, and lemony musk. The flowers are faceless at first but rapidly turn into gauzy, non-indolic, syrupy orange blossoms. Within moments, their bright, sweet juices swirl around the lemony accords, making me think of a fruit salad, but in a good way. It’s a fresh, almost summery brightness that takes the edge off any acidity from the various lemony notes. But what really captures my attention is the vanilla accord. It rapidly takes on a very custardy quality that is appealing and works well with the bright fruit.

Continue reading

Orlov Paris Star of The Season & Cross of Asia

The Star of the Season diamond. Souce: am-diamonds.com

The Star of the Season diamond. Source: am-diamonds.com

The most famous gems in the world are the inspiration behind a relatively new perfume house, Orlov Paris, and its debut collection. Unlike many other brands that use jewels as marketing hyperbole, the link here is a personal and logical one. As Orlov’s website explains, its founder, Ruth Séry, comes from a family that has been in the diamond business for generations, and she herself seems to be both a diamond cutter and diamond dealer in Antwerp.

But she is also a perfume lover, and, when she learnt that all her favourite fragrances were made by the same man, she “told herself that if ever she founded her own fragrance house, she would work with Dominique Ropion. No one else would do.” He agreed to create five fragrances for her, each inspired by a different legendary gem, like the 100.10-carat “Star of the Season” or the 29-carat canary-yellow diamond called “Flame of Gold,” once owned by the Hollywood star, Greer Garson. All five are pure parfums (extrait de parfums), and were released in the fall of 2015.

Orlov fragrances. Photo source: Fragrantica.

Orlov fragrances. Photo source: Fragrantica.

Today, I’ll look at two of the five fragrances, Star of the Season and Cross of Gold, with Orlov and Flame of Gold to follow in the next post. In order to keep this review at a manageable length, I won’t provide the company’s official description for each scent in full as I usually do, merely the relevant portions regarding to the note list. I also won’t quote comparative reviews, but I will give you the general gist of people’s opinions on Fragrantica and a link for you to read their comments in full if you’re interested. So, let’s begin.

Continue reading

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Cuir Fetiche

Cuir Fetiche is a name that might conjure up thoughts of fetishes, whips, and bondage leather, but put that aside completely and think instead of grand floral oriental classics. Specifically, vintage Bal à Versailles, perhaps with a tiny drop of Serge LutensCuir Mauresque added in as well. This is not the world of 50 Shades of Grey or Etat Libre‘s Rien; it’s the 1950s world of Dior, Cecil Beaton, and Jean Desprez where women swirl in ball gowns and long gloves amidst clouds of sweet, lightly animalic floralcy, although some people think of Cuir de Lancome, Cuir de Russie, or Knize Ten instead.

Cecil Beaton photo of Charles James' ballgowns via wnyc.org

Cecil Beaton photo of Charles James’ ball gowns via wnyc.org

Regardless of which fragrance classic is referenced, you should put aside all thoughts of modern or masculine leathers with their smoky, tarry, blackened birch and you should think of clouds of flowers instead. They are infused with citrus and chypre-ish elements before being placed atop iris chamois or suede gloves that have been coated with civet, resulting in a sweet, lightly animalic floral bouquet that gradually turns more oriental through golden flourishes of amber and cinnamon-scented resins laced with vanilla. That’s Cuir Fetiche in the broadest of strokes. It’s an incredibly pretty fragrance, one that I’ve been tempted to buy for myself on several occasions, but it’s also sufficiently familiar that I’ve held off in actually doing so.

Continue reading

Reviews En Bref: Six from NISHANE Istanbul

NISHANE Istanbul is a fragrance brand that seeks to bottle Turkey’s ancient scent traditions along with Istanbul’s cosmopolitan style in a mix of the modern and the classical. Nishane was founded in 2012, which is probably why the company says it is Turkey’s very first niche brand. At that time, they put out colognes and scented candles, but they recently launched a 16-fragrance collection of extrait de parfums.

The Nishane Extrait Collection. Photo via Nishane's Facebook page.

The Nishane Extrait Collection. Photo via Nishane’s Facebook page.

I’ve tried six of them: Duftbluten, Spice Bazaar, Patchuli Khoza, Tuberoza, Munegu, and Afrika Olifant. Unfortunately, none of the six worked for me and none of them had sufficient complexity to warrant spending several thousand words analysing each one individually. Perfume reviewing is a subjective thing that is dependent on individual tastes, experiences, and skin chemistry, but it’s not easy to write exhaustive, detailed reviews on things one dislikes all in a row. So I’ve chosen to write what essentially amounts to blurbs by my (admittedly skewed) standards rather than skipping reviewing the fragrances entirely. In each case, I’ll eschew quoting Nishane’s full description for the scent and all the background information. Instead, I’ll simply give the company’s general categorization, the notes, and a link to either Fragrantica, Basenotes, or a positive review where you can read different perspectives as a counterbalance.

Continue reading