Salty Jasmine Candies

Salty Jasmine Candies

Persephenie's Salty Jasmine Candies  indeed induce passion, as their subtitle promises. This is done by taking you by surprise with an explosion of jasmine absolute in your mouth These are little, unevenly sized and shaped flat sugar candies that are dusted with powdered sugar, which gives them the appearance of a dangerous substance. They are generously flavoured with jasmine oil. The result is a very bold, uncompromising experience, not unlike licking one's nose after it has accidentally touched the bottle of jasmine absolute you've just sniffed... Its saving grace from being too perfume and soapy is the balancing effect achieved by salt and a hint of vanilla. Both these elements enhance the flavour of the candy, its sugariness transforming into a more luxurious and caramel-like sensation in the mouth (even though in reality these are hard candies*). That mineral note is really quite fantastic and like what I've experienced in saline floral perfumes such as Vanille Galante (which is more of a lily-based concoction), and Emotionelle. For extra boost, eat those while you're wearing Emotionelle, for the salty-yet-sweet effect it creates by pairing jasmine with cantaloupe and violet.

* Interestingly, in the heat of the summer, they have become more soft and taffy-like.

Salty Jasmine Candies

Au Delà

. by mariehochhaus
., a photo by mariehochhaus on Flickr.
Au Delà ("The Beyond" in French) creates a dynamic movement of warmth and light on a backdrop of dark and cool elements.

The first inhalation is bright: notes of bergamot, linalool and neroli shed a sudden light on the skin and create a brief reference to herbaceous, lavender-tinged Provencal cologne.

Simultaneously, there is a rise of honeyed resinous amber, like warm water flowing quietly from a hot spring. Orange blossom brings even more nectar and sunshine to the heart notes. The second violin of jasmine intensifies the orange flower's indole, sinking even deeper into the edgy, earthy, salty and slightly bitter tones of green oakmoss and dry, almost smoky cedarwood.

From there on, there is a certain saltiness to Au Delà, the oakmoss relating to the amber like fleur de sel to caramel, and the amber in return echoing the sweetness and sunny warmth of orange blossom.

Au Delà defies definite categorization - aromatic, but not quite a fougere; floral, but with far more depth than a pretty floral bouquet; it is not a Chypre either in the usual sense of the word (but then Chypres are never "usual", so this might be the best way to related to it). But with the amber dominating the dry out notes - a sweet yet clear and bright amber, reminiscent of the base of Obsession - it might just be an oriental (note that Obsession has also a prominent presence of oakmoss).

Stepping back a bit, I you realize that it's only one definite personality is change itself. However, technically speaking - it might be that the dynamic shift between its phases will morph into something entirely different and more stable as the perfume matures a bit longer in the bottle. The musical influence on this creation is apparent (it was inspired by the complex rhythms and harmonies of 20th century composer Olivier Messaïen - and in particular his last piece, Éclairs sur L'Au Delà, and in particularly the movement titled Demeurer dans l'Amour, which you can hear in the clip below).

The perfume readily lends itself to adjectives borrowed from the musical and movement worlds: counterpoint, harmony, tension, rythm and flow. Movement and air seems to be the theme of Au Delà. It seems to live in the element of dry, warm air for the remainder of the piece.

Top notes: Bergamot, Neroli, Coriander
Heart notes: Orange Blossom, Jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Oakmoss

Burning Leaves & Salty Waters

DSC04027.JPG, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

October's arrival hasn't diminished my desire to immerse my body in the cold Pacific ocean. On the contrary. Swimming in those salty glacier waters seems to be my connection to both the inner and outer world. The chill of the water is felt in every inch of my skin, each one of them sending a screeching signal to my brain that I’m alive and breathing. I admit, that under 15 degrees Celsius it becomes very painful, but not any less worth it. And the sensation of coming out of the ocean, after struggling for some 10-15 minutes to maintain a healthy body temperature, is like a lesson in the laws of relativity – the air always feels so much warmer… But still not warm enough to not warrant a very hot bath as soon as possible.

October 1st was so warm and dry (relatively speaking, of course) I nearly got a sunstroke… And of course, I had to go to the beach. I went swimming as usual, pretending I’m on the white sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, and that nothing could be more natural than going for a swim. It felt quite normal. Sunsent Beach café was open as usual, serving their usual array of British Columbian beach food. Some people on beach blankets and lawn chairs chatting and reading a magazine. Even the water was pretty normal summer temperature (16 Celsius, that is…). So in I go and breathe in the coldish air floating just above the water, smelling of salt, seaweed, fish, perhaps a little boat engine oil too. I’m almost convinced this Indian Summer is a real summer when it hits me: a smoldering, thick and sweet smoke of burning leaves. A little like Choya Loban, come to think of it. I’m swimming and marveling at this strange scent combination: ocean and burning leaves. Cold air and warm smoke. Wow.


dreaming of you, originally uploaded by Amsterdamned!.

In Dans tes Bras, Maurice Roucel brings up the unspeakable topic of intimacy. Intimacy is something that is difficult to describe, but easily felt. It's a subtle emotion and a state of mind that occurs when we somehow connect to another person on the deepest level through closeness or proximity. It's one of those strange connections between spirit and matter: looking into someone's eyes and having a glimpse into their soul; being so close you can hear their heartbeat and sense their breath on your skin and breathing in the invisible scent of their skin.

Seemingly, there is nothing unusual about Dans tes Bras. It is very perfumey at first: violet accord that is both powdery like orris and wet and woody like cassie underlined by noticeable dosage of heliotropin - that vanillic molecule that makes heliotrope smells so sweet, almondy and plasticky all at once.

It is not until a few hours in that the intimate aspects of Dans tes Bras reveal themselves. At which point, technically speaking the woody base notes (most notably patchouli) are exposed, along with foreign molecules which I’ve never smelled separately and which create the sensation of minerals and salt on hot skin. From a more sentimental point of view, this is the point where Dans tes Bras begins to smell like perfumed skin that has been immaturely washed away in a warm salty ocean, but not completely. Whatever is left on the skin is going to dry out in the hot sand and sun and become only a vague memory of that violet perfume but an even stronger memory of that sunny afternoon on the beach. But if you wait till the morning, you will wake up to remnants of Nag Champa incense smoke that has stuck to your clothes, sheets and everything you've ever possessed.

Top notes: bergamot, clove

Heart notes: violet, jasmine, cassie, orris

Base notes: sandalwood, patchouli, incense, cashmeran, heliotrope, white musk

Sel de Vetiver

The concept of using minerals as a theme in perfume is relatively new. Although there are distinct mineral notes in perfumes such as Aqua Allegoria Pampeloune (Sulfur) and l’Eau d’Issey (Chlorine), the mineral presence in these fragrances was kept hush-hush only to be noticed by the keen noses; Yet the Elena family seems to be taking this concept into a whole different direction, spearheading the elemental or mineral movement in perfumery, with Sel de Vetiver by Celine Elena (Salt) and Terre d’Hermes by Jean-Claude Elena (Flint) and in general by their minimalist approach that is more mineral than organic.

Sel de Vetiver (Vetiver Salt) from The Different Company meant to evoke the barely-there scent of ocean salt on a sun warmed skin. Although I can understand the salty reference and association with vetiver, warm it is not. Rather, it’s a cool, dusty vetiver with a clean earthy presence. It may recall the gritty, ground-sea-shells sand, salt sticking to driftwood and the rough dryness of skin that was soaked and masked with mud, salt and sulfur for too long. But it does not quite smell like salt or skin.

Sel de Vetiver opens with an astringent, clean accord of grapefruit, ginger and a hint of cardamom that reminds me roasted dark coffee more than the spice itself. I can smell hints of ylang ylang, but they are not obvious at all, being rather heady and fleeting. Other notes that are mentioned are orris and geranium, but I can’t say I was aware of their presence at any given point. Vetiver and refined patchouli (smells more like a patchouli isolate rather than the full-bodied oil) step in pretty fast and dominate Sel de Vetiver for most of its life on the skin – the sweet, clean scent of these two earthy essences combined.

Top notes: Grapefruit, Ginger, Cardamom
Heart notes: Ylang Ylang, Geranium Bourbon, Orris
Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli

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