Coralle, Revamped

Pineapple 112

Revamping Coralle  was a spontaneous act. One thing led to another - to begin with, I had to test a new kind of alcohol. I tested it with some ylang ylang. It didn't dissolve. I decided to try to fix the matter by adding more alcohol and the only scent I could think about making with ylang ylang was Coralle. And then, instead of just making a straightforward bath of the original formula, I decided it was time to put to use my research on fruit tinctures. Pineapple, if to be more specific. It was a total streak of luck. I had no experience using pineapple extract before. I just had a hunch that it will work beautifully with the banana-like notes of ylang ylang, and with the davana (a strawberry-and-hay like essential oil) cassis absolute that are already in the formula.

But of course, I did not have any pineapple extract. So I had to make my own. I've began some experiments this summer with fruit extracts, using freeze-dried fruit that can be procured for rather hefty price but with a lot of fresh-fruit-flavour. Pineapple was one of them, and the one that preserved the fresh fruit aroma the best. I was so surprised by the result. It was one of those things that sounded too good to be true when I read about it on Charna Ethier's blog. And perhaps it is too good to be true with some fruit - because the freeze-dried pear and apple I found didn't taste at all like the fresh versions of themselves and their crispy, fluffy-crunchy texture was the only thing going for their bland persona.

I also tinkered with the base notes, adding a few things that make it a bit less agreeable and more three-dimensional. nothing that is veering too much off the theme of tropical flowers, creamy notes and dry woods. But still.

The result was pleasantly surprising: A distinctively old-fashioned Fruity-Floral perfume, leaning slightly towards the Chypre-Fruity, Floral-Aldehydic zone. Although there is not a drop of oak moss to be found there, it has a certain dryness at the base that along with the ylang ylang, herbaceous-fruity dabana and the fruit accents, creates a Chyrpesque personalty. Not in the teeny-bopper fruity-floral sense, but rather in the retro 50s and 60s style Chypre-Fruity and Aldehydic florals. More along the lines of Fidji, and definitely not anything similar to Escada's serial fruit-punch perfume releases.

Top Notes: Ylang Ylang Extra, Grapefruit, Clementine, Pineapple
Heart Notes: Ylang Ylang Cream, Bourbon Geranium, Davana
Base Notes: Spanish Amber, Bourbon Vanilla, Papyrus, Vetiver 

I realized to my dismay that I don't even have proper bottle labels for my current packaging of eau de parfums: only the tags from days of yore, when I still was bottling all my alcoholic beverages in frosted tear-shaped flacons. Therefore, I am using hand-written labels for now; and once the High Holidays in Israel come to a close I will print new labels - which would be my first time doing so since moving my headquarters to Israel.

Ananas Fizz

What Olivia Giacobetti has done for fig on several occasions (Philosykos, Premiere Figuier), Anne Flipo (Verte Violette, Mimosa pour Moi, Fleur de Narcisse) has done to pineapple in Ananas Fizz. Premier Figuier and Ananas Fizz share quite a bit in common: the milkiness of coconut and the dryness of cedar, and the fuzzy, green top notes and overall impression. While Premier Figuier has green notes added to the green fig, Anans Fizz is a bubbly citrus that is more like a tangy citrus soda than the ripe juicy fruity. The citrus notes chosen are not the sweetest either – bergamot, bitter orange, grapefruit and lemon. There is a hint of cinnamon-like warmth on first spritz, and this warmth fades in and out, as does the actual “pineapple” note, which is more of a tangy and green pineapple, acidic slices of the under-ripe fruit rather than the dripping sweetness of the juicy nectar that follows once the pineapple has turned yellow-orange from the outside. Ananas Fizz settles into sweeter notes of coconut and the soft powderiness of cedar and sheer clean and barely-there musk which make the base, as the pineapple weaves in and out, alternated by lots of fizz. Overall, I’d say there is more fizz than ananas in Ananas Fizz.

Ananas Fizz makes a great summer scent as its presence, though refreshing, is quite subtle and non-obtrusive. The tangy pineapple and citrus are refreshing - both literally and mentally, as this scent does offer something new to the realm of light, summery citrus eaux.

Ananas Fizz is the second or third perfume by perfumer Anne Flipo which I think smells very Olivia-Giacobettian. The two talented parfumeuses must have gone to school together, or as they say “Great minds think alike”. It’s often that I get confused between the style of both, and quite a few of their perfumes share some similarities in concept as well as they manner in which they are carried out.

Pineapple as a note in mass marketed fragrances is only achieved artificially, by a simulated aroma, usually by using primarily either one of two molecules pineapple heptadienone, which is greener or the overripe type pineapple hydroxyhexanoate. Being an entirely simulated aroma, pineapple fragrances often smell utterly artificial, and presenting more of a symbol of the aroma rather than the true aroma of the fruit itself. Referring to other pineapple scents in the history of perfume, pineapple appeared first very sporadically in fruity chypres (i.e.: Revlon’s Intimate from 1955 which included pineapple as well as papaya and green tea – all notes that were very unusual at the time). However, pineapple didn’t make a real entry into the world of perfume until the very late 70’s (Charles of the Ritz – a floriental; and Lauren – a fruity-floral) and truly in the early 80’s where it was used in several perfumes. But it was not until the age of watery-marines and fruity-florals of the 90’s that simulated pineapple notes started being used more frequently. Pineapple seems to be used either in its more tart and “gree”, acidic character (i.e.: in scents such as Cool Water and Aaqua di Giò for women). In the later 90’s, when the fruity florals started to emerge, the tartness of pineapple added an extra oomph to otherwise very sweet concoctions such as Baby Doll (and similarly in Anna Sui’s Secret Wish from 2005). Later on, it’s the overripe sweetness of pineapple that we find in more and more pineapple-tinged scents during the early milenia (which were probably preceded by the sweetness of Sophia Grojsman’s Sun, Moon, Stars for Karl Lagerfeld) such as Vanilla Pineapple (Comptoir Sud Pacifique), Live (J Lo), and the like.

P.s. According to the Journal of Food and Science, the molecules that make up the aroma of pineapple areacetoxyacetone, dimethyl malonate, trans-tetrahydro-α,α,trimethyl-5-vinyl fur-furyl alcohol, methyl cis-(4?)-octenoate, γ-butyrolactone, methyl β-hydroxybutyrate, methyl and ethyl β-hydroxyhexanoate, methyl and ethyl β-acetoxyhexanoate, γ-octalactone, and δ-octalactone.

Image: Taken by moi near the Juicery of Sheinkin street in Tel Aviv. You can see in the picture a pineapple, wheatgrass and a little miniature orange tree in the background. All were on a top of a beetle car!

From Little T's Dresser

I promised you all a while back around Mother’s Day to tell you all about Tamya’s favourite smells. So, here we go. This post is about a few real tangible products, and the next post will be about her favourite fruit and food etc.

Tamya’s dresser (not that she really has one, it’s more part of her shelf-full of little treasures and little girl’s jewelry), includes two perfumes that she actually used at certain point or antoher, and a few minis that are there waiting for her to get interested. I think we can easily wait a few years before splurging in Diorissimo, Champs Elysee, Mitsouko and Narciso Rodriguez. For now they will just get occasionally splashed on the floor by little visitors who admire their attractive miniature packaging.

Petit Guerlain, the first perfume I ever bought her, is a wonderful scent, that can be applied in abundance. I got it for her when she was about 4 years old and she liked it right away. Everything about this little perfume is made right:
The smooth, pebble-textured frosted glass of the oval bottle and it’s round cap with matching texture (easy for little hands to grab on, open and close).
The liquid within is alcohol free, which is basically a solution essences-infused Turkey Red Oil emulsified into water (with a few preservatives and other emulsifiers judging by the ingredient listed on the box).
It is prevented from spillage by a reducer in the neck of the bottle…
As for juice itself: pure and delicate. It is soft, clean, gentle and fresh. Truly delicate, like you would want your little one to smell without overwhelming their senses. It can be applied with abundance with no risk involved. Notes include lemon, orange, lavender, mimosa, rose, orange flower, and tonka bean.
It makes for a wonderful eau whenever you need a simple, clean fragrance. I am referring to the Eau de Senteur, which comes in a splash bottle and safe enough for toddlers to apply on their own. It is also available in an Eau de Toilette, which is alcohol based, and is better used by older kids.

Tamya used to splash this all over in the morning or before bed time, usually turning the bottle upside down on the upper part of her wrists, in the most cute manner of all. It’s been a long time since she wanted to wear it though.

Petit Parfum, the first perfume I made especially for tamya, is a roll-on essential oil, and looking back I think it’s a bit too strong for kids, but wonderful scent to wear around them without overwhelming their senses. The formulation is very concentrated, as it is in parfum oil. The notes include lemon, lavender, neroli, lavender absolute, agarwood and olibanum. The lavender absolute is a stunning turquoise colour, and gives the yellow jojoba oil a lively green shade; when made into almond oil it’s more turquoise-y. The bottle is decorated with a handpainted red ladybug.
To wear it the classic Tamya way, smear the roll on up your arm and around your neck before bedtime. You will have the best sleep, guaranteed.

At certain point, Tamya was really jealous of my Perfumed Pendant and was almost ready to rip it off my neck. So I filled one with Tamya Crème Parfum, and she is happy ever since. She rarely wears it, but it is still frargrant with yuzu, jasmine sambac and cedar. Jewelry for her is not really meant to be worn, it’s meant to be played with. This weekend you could read about the story of the creation of Tamya parfum.

Orange Flower Water – also know as Zaher or Blossom Water – are an excellent skin toner, especially for oily or zit-prone skin of adolescents. Soak a cotton pad with the fragrant water and wipe face thoroughly, enjoying the euphoric scent of orange blossoms. You can find orange flower water in most Mediterranean markets, as they are used to flavour pastries, drinks and sweets. Or you can opt for a more expensive one from aromatherapy companies. The most luxurious orange flower I have ever smelled was Neroli Hydrosol from A Little Olfactory.

Tamya loves coconut and pineapple, so I will also include two items that in her life are not so much a vanity, but a necessity.
Coconut Escape Body Milk
For moisturizing her fast-paced growing pre-teen skin, after bathing Tamya gets covered from head-to-tow with a mist of Coconut Escape Body Milk from Escents. It is scented with coconut and tonka bean. This is by far the smelliest, fastest way to get your teenage girl to prevent stretch marks.

Cirlce of Friends Abebi’s Safari Detangler
Aside from its delicious pineapple aroma, I would be lying if I said that Tamya love this product. But her mommy sure does, as it has proven to be the most effective way to combat those bird-nests that appear daily in the hair of a little girl who hates brushing it. Spray it on the affected area, work it in, and brush. No pain, guaranteed - from a perspective of a young lady who hates her head and hair being touched in any way. The Canadian based line is tested on parents only, and promotes cultural diversity. It is full of fun products that are available online or from The Hairloft – the only hair salon that can get Tamya’s hair done, and in less than 30 mintues while watching (or ignoring) her favourite music video. Judging by the performance of this item alone, if we were allowed to visit there more often, we would have had the entire line by now.
P.s. I wanted to include photos of the other products, but I am experiencing some technical difficulties with uploading more photos. I recently switched to Blogger's Beta, and some things have improved since than, but others are a bit problematic... Hopefully I will be able to add all the other images later.


The little ananas seller, originally uploaded by gobou.

Resisting the shortening of days and the decreasing temperatures, there is one thing this season that can help create the illusion of summer: fresh pineapples from Hawaii. Contradictory to most of what I read and thought I know about pineapples, Fall seems to be the best time to get them here, and Vancouver is apparently close enough to Hawaii so that they get here fresh and fragrant. So much so, that the entire fruit store smells like deliciously juicy pineapples throughout the fall. I would buy an entire pineapple and leave it on the table like a vase with flowers, the only thing keeping me from eating it, is the knowledge that the longer I wait – the longer my home will smell like a tropical island. This fragrance is unmatched by any floral bouquet I have ever smelled.

Vanille-Pineapple smells not so much like fresh pineapples as it portrays the idea of pineapples as we know it through the flavoring industry. Nevertheless, I like it. A lot. The beginning is so juicy and sweet, it feels just like sucking the sugary fluids out of a pale-coloured pineapple-flavoured popsicle. And while I am at it – if you ever make it to Israel, you must try this delicacy, which costs less than a quarter and is the best treat on a hot day (my other favourite flavour is lemon – the classic). The fragrance is intensely sugary-sweet, to the point that it feels as if it is underlined by warm melted chocolate, but than it mellows down. The icy sugary syrup than becomes more like chewing on a pina-colada flavoured bubbled gum - a really good one that makes huge bubbles! – and still very sweet and mouthwatering.

Once this sugary pineapple phase cools down, it becomes smoother and less juicy, as milky aspects start soothing their way through – coconut milk, and the slightly chalky, yet comforting oatmeal milk, which than warms up almost to an oatmeal porridge with a hint of cinnamon. This simplistic baby-phase is really fun, and gives an interesting spin on the pineapple theme, as it doesn’t stick to a tropical cliché too much.

The powdery oat milk becomes smoother as the base notes take over, as if boiled down into a caramely, thick sweetness. The caramel is flavored with vanilla and for extra warmth and sweetness; a shot of rum was sneaked into the base. The dry down is more vanillic, with some musk. Sounds like we smelled this before? Yes, but not quite. Some trails of pineapple tartness remain at the base.

Vanille Pineapple is a fun fragrance to wear, the type of scent that adds a smiley sunlight into an otherwise grey day. It might be too sweet for the summer though, so when it’s hot an you crave a pineapple fragrance my recommendation will be the slightly more tart, green and powdery Ananas Fizz by l’Artisan.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique fragrances are becoming more and more avaialble. To my delight, I just found them in none other than Shoppers Drug Mart beauty boutique in Yaletown.

Notes (base on Basenotes; for some reason,): Pineapple, Vanilla Cream, Passion Frit, Cinammon, Frangipani, Vanilla Sgar, Coconut Milk, Musk
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