Les Indémodables Fougere Emeraude & Cuir de Chine

Today’s further examination of Les Indémodables centers on Fougère Emeraude (hereinafter spelled without the accent) and Cuir de Chine. One is far more of an aromatic floral and a floral gourmand than an actual fougère, in my opinion, while the other is a lovely fruity osmanthus leather.

Individual photos: Les Indemodables. Collage: my own.

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Bortnikoff Sir Winston

As a tuberose lover, I was eager to try Bortnikoff‘s Sir Winston, a pure parfum whose notes included oud, ambergris, tobacco, and green tea. After trying it, I think you should not be misled by the name because, in my opinion, this is not a masculine fragrance focused on the many things associated with Sir Winston Churchill like, for example, cigars. Instead, it is a unisex, dense, candied floral vanilla amber gourmand dominated by tuberose and loads of real ambergris.

Photo: my own.

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Téo Cabanel Lace Garden: Spring Rhapsody

Gardini Giusti, Verona. Source: wild-about-travel.com

Gardini Giusti, Verona. Source: wild-about-travel.com

Close your eyes and imagine palatial, perfectly manicured, green gardens, perhaps in Verona’s Giusti Gardens or Rome’s Villa d’Este. An endless vista of green is covered by a powerful but translucent web of embroidered lace made from fresh white petals. Magnolia flowers drip a milky juice that smells like figs. Orange blossom buds have just started to unfurl and waft a delicate scent that is as green as the tuberose and jasmine that encircle the garden like tall statues. Ylang-ylang hovers in the shadows, while creamy white trees stand as sentries in the distance, shedding benzoin and a wisp of delicate, warm powder like their equivalent of pollen. The wind blows little puffs of vanilla over the gardens, but this is not a tale of sweetness. It is a rhapsody of spring, celebrating the marriage of the freshest white flowers with greenness, as a choir of soft woods surrounds them to sing their praises. It is the tale of Lace Garden from Téo Cabanel.

Source: Téo Cabanel.

Source: Téo Cabanel.

I should disclose at the start that I have a huge soft spot for Téo Cabanel Parfums. Their scents are always solid and high quality for a really reasonable price. I admire that they work hard at putting out the best scents they can, one a year, instead of a deluge every few months. They aren’t driven by greed or commercialism, don’t put out flashy campaigns, or don’t try to be provocative for the sake of appearing “edgy.” Instead, they seem to care only about the actual scent and its quality. Plus, they’re so hugely under-appreciated that they seem like an underdog in the perfume world, which always brings out my protective side. All of this is separate from the fact that this small, relatively unknown perfume house makes one of my favorite modern fragrances (Alahine). When you add in the house’s fascinating history — complete with the notorious style icon, the Duchess of Windsor, as its most ardent fan — and the fact that I’m a history fanatic, then Teo Cabanel becomes a brand that I always root for.

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Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola

"Cleopatra," by  John William Waterhouse via Wikipedia.

“Cleopatra,” by John William Waterhouse via Wikipedia.

One fateful morning, Cleopatra sailed up the Nile to meet Antony on a barge whose billowing sails were made from gossamer-light orange blossom petals. Her white silk robe bore a long train made from even more orange blossoms, carried by her handmaidens, Neroli and Mandarin, who wear garlands of jasmine in their hair. The trio danced joyously and exuberantly, sending out a bouquet far and wide like a royal proclamation, one whose sweet floralcy was redolent with tart tanginess from green fruits and the zesty oils of the rind. The fruits’ sun-ripened juices poured off their bodies to drip below decks on sailors hewing oars of buttercream sandalwood and green vetiver. It was as though the Queen had captured every part of an orange tree —  from the bright floralcy of the fresh flowers to the multi-faceted fragrance of its fruit, the green leaves which surround them, and the wood which bears them on the tree — and made them all genuflect in worship before enveloping her like a protective shield.

Artist unknown. Source: ldmark.com

Artist unknown. Source: ldmark.com

As the barge moved up the Nile, the scenery changed and the mood softened. The white-blossomed sails now merely fluttered in a soft breeze; the pulvarizingly energetic, zesty, brightness of the wild Bollywood music became a slow dance; and the Queen of the Orange Blossoms lay languidly in sensuous repose on a pile of greenness as a golden haze of velvety ylang-ylang and sweet jasmine hung heavy in the air. The barge itself almost seems to melt into creaminess, and the water glistened with a shimmering of benzoin powder. They occasionally passed bits of driftwood, overly desiccated and oddly out-of-place, but they were small pieces that soon passed out of sight. When they arrived at the meeting place, the barge docked and you could see its name: Pichola.

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