Dear Polly by Vilhelm Parfumerie

Notes: bergamot, green apple, black tea, oakmoss, black amber, and musk.

I first came across Vilhelm Parfumerie at Barneys in New York. I had never even read about the house online before. It’s interesting when your first experience is in person without any preconceived ideas about what scents you might enjoy or not. The Sales Associate was helpful and not pushy. She let me test a couple on the skin, and Dear Polly was my favorite. It stuck in my mind for a few months and I ended up purchasing this travel size in October of 2018.

Dear Polly opens with green notes, in bergamot and a green apple that grabs my attention every time I spritz this. The green apple is tart but bright. It really adds dimension to the composition. I think the other Vilhelm Parfumerie scent I tested on the skin was Room Service and it just couldn’t compete with this yummy green apple note.

The other signifiant note is the black tea note at the heart of the composition. I did not sense much of when I first tested Dear Polly. However, it’s one of the dominant notes now. It’s probably due to the cold weather we’re currently having. The black tea is coming across as extra smoky, and almost recalls the opening of Tea for Two. I absolutely love this aspect of the composition, and the way in which the bright apple transitions into a smoky tea note.

The one surprise is that the base is really not present on my skin right now. Again, I’m chalking this up to the exceptionally cold weather we’re having. My skin is absorbing fragrance like crazy and there just isn’t much of the musky base by hour 6 on my skin. I first tested this in humid weather while walking around Manhattan, so the oakmoss and musk were definitely more present then.

One upside is that I think Dear Polly is appropriate for year-round wear. If you’re a seasonal perfume person like me, you’ll appreciate something that wears well all year round. Of course, you’ll get different aspects of the composition depending on the time of year. As I’ve detailed here, winter will bring out a smoky, almost incense-like black tea. Summer will bring out that sharp bergamot and textured oakmoss in the base. All of these notes are yummy and work well in conjunction with each other. The green apple gives Dear Polly that unique twist to make it stand out. This one is worth sampling for sure. I have a hard time seeing anyone dislike it, unless one of the notes really plays havoc with your body chemistry. Dear Polly is the best kind of crowd-pleaser in that it’s appealing and manages to be thought-provoking, too.

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I purchased the travel sized bottle from Barneys. I personally don’t like the shape of the full size bottles. If I purchase something else from this line, I’d stick with the travel bottle again.

The information on notes is from fragrantica.

The photo of my travel bottle was taken by me.

What I Wore This Week: SOTN Edition

I’m back with a round-up of the scents I wore this week! As I said last week, this is a round-up of my scents of the night rather than my daytime scents. I’m not sure if it’s a more varied list than usual, but it’s something different!

  • Monday: Diptyque Volutes EDT
  • Tuesday: Guerlain Jicky extrait
  • Wednesday: samples from 19-69 Capri & Rainbow Bar
  • Thursday: Dear Polly by Vilhelm Parfumerie
  • Friday: Frost by St. Clair Scents
  • Saturday: Hotel Costes EDT

What did you all wear this week?

Now Sampling: Sylvaine Delacourte

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I’ve been wanting to smell Sylvaine Delacourte’s creations for some time now. I debated ordering the sample discovery boxes offered directly on the house’s website over the holidays, but restrained myself. Ms. Delacourte has created two collections: the Vanilla Collection and the Musk Collection. There are five individual scents in each collection, with each of the five scents exploring a different facet of the two raw materials.

While browsing Indigo Perfumery one day, I noticed that they carry the brand, so I chose one each from the Vanilla and Musk collections to sample!

Vahina (Vanilla Collection)

This is a vanilla scent that I would describe as yummy, without being a gourmand. In addition to vanilla, Vahina features notes of tonka, orange blossom, and osmanthus. The osmanthus in particular adds a full-bodied texture to the composition. It’s almost as though I can reach out and touch this fragrance. And yet, it’s not heavy. It’s a light and pretty composition, and it’s effortless to wear. I could easily imagine almost anyone pulling this off. I’m not considering a full bottle of Vahina (I’m supposed to be on a full bottle low-buy!) but it’s a lovely fragrance to sample and sniff.

Dovana (Musk Collection)

With Dovana, I can tell these have been composed by the same perfumer. There is a similar delicate touch to both of these scents, with Dovana being the most delicate, almost fragile. Sylvaine Delacourte says she composed this to smell like a childhood soap that she loved. Indeed, Dovana is a fresh musk. There’s also a lovely iris note, which adds just a powder puff of texture to the composition. There is supposed to be some mandarin orange and neroli as well, but I don’t get much beyond a fresh musk and powdered iris. Dovana is breathtakingly pretty in its delicate nature. However, I find it too linear. Just to try something fun, I layered it over my Narciso For Her EDT today, and the result was perfect! This might be how I use up the rest of my sample.

Overall, I’m glad to have sampled these two from the house, and I can’t wait to sniff more! I’m particularly intrigued by the sound of Helicriss from the Musk Collection. What have you all sniffed and tested from Sylvaine Delacourte?

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I ordered my samples from Indigo Perfumery. The Sylvaine Delacourte Paris website offers discovery boxes of both collections.

I took the photo of my two samples.

 

Jicky Revisited

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I have documented my love for Jicky many times over the years on this blog (here and here) and I like to check back in with my current thoughts on it every now and then. There is something about January and the start of the new year in particular that makes me want to revisit it. So, here are my current thoughts on the Jicky extrait!

I’ve had my extrait bottle since 2011, which means it’s been quite a few years now. The juice is aging in a beautiful manner and is still mostly in tact. The main difference when I smell it now is that the citrus notes are beginning to fade, which is natural. I get a burst of lemon when I open the bottle, but it fades very quickly on the skin. The lavender, however, has become even more bold. I haven’t smelled a lavender quite like this before, even in other concentrations of Jicky. It’s a really full-bodied smell, combined with the spices of the extrait, it’s a rich lavender.

There is definitely civet to my nose in the extrait, although it is not like the huge civet of the EDP. There is no “dirty diaper” smell.  I believe the civet here is an animalic note as it would have smelled in the 1890s. It’s a skin sweat smell that mingles with your own body chemistry in a natural way, the way it would have done before indoor plumbing and daily showering became widespread. This civet wouldn’t knock your socks off unless you have never smelled an animalic note before. Rather, it’s smooth and blends effortlessly with my skin chemistry. It’s animalic with a little salt-like sweat note that I actually find really appealing. It goes well with the lavender, which remains the dominant note to my nose even through the heart notes.

Of course, the courmarin and vanilla come in for that Guerlainade base, which is lovely and always a comfort scent for me. The Jicky extrait wears very close to the skin and sometimes I really have to sniff to get the base notes. In this exceptionally cold winter weather we’re having right now, my skin is just devouring fragrance. Especially since the extrait has such a high concentration of oil, my skin is drinking it in. I don’t reach for my Jicky extrait as often in the summer, but it certainly wears longer in humid weather.

It sounds a bit silly, but the extrait has become meditative for me. Maybe it’s the development of the lavender note, but the extrait has taken on an introspective and almost intellectual vibe. It’s suited to bedtime wear and, indeed, I most often wear it as my scent to bed. I don’t wear it out and about in public very often these days. The truth is, my Jicky extrait has become like a companion, a familiar old friend to me. And I sometimes don’t want to share it with other people. Writing this down makes me realize that it should be shared because it’s such a beautiful composition. I will make an effort this year to wear it out and about more often. As Marie Kondo would say, Jicky sparks joy for me. And I want it to do the same for other people, too.

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The photo of my extrait bottle was taken by me. I believe Guerlain has slightly changed the packaging and label of the extrait since I purchased mine in 2011. And, of course, the EDPs are all packaged in the bee bottles now.

What I Wore This Week

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Hi everyone! I’m back with my weekly round-up:

  • Monday: Misia EDT Les Exclusifs de Chanel
  • Tuesday: YSL Cinema
  • Wednesday: Costes EDT by Olivia Giacobetti for Hotel Costes
  • Thursday: La Religieuse by Serge Lutens
  • Friday: Tea for Two by L’Artisan Parfumeur
  • Saturday: Chanel No. 19 EDP

As for today, I’m just wearing a Bath & Body Works body mist, In the Stars. It’s a sugary amber, and it definitely fits the mood for a relaxed Sunday morning. I’ll put on something else later, but I’m not in a rush on this Sunday snow day.

So far, I’ve done round-ups of my scents of the day each week. Perhaps next week I’ll do a round-up of scents of the night? I usually take my shower in the evening post-yoga. This gives me a chance to wear samples and test out more indie and niche brands in the evenings. I’ll try it for this coming week and see if it ends up being interesting!

Frost by St. Clair Scents

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Notes: bergamot, mandarin yellow and green, coriander, petitgrain sur fleur, Meyer lemon, honeysuckle accord, rose geranium, elderflower absolute, petitgrain absolute, cistus, labdanum absolute, vanilla absolute, vetiver, cedar, smoke, and clove absolute.

St. Clair Scents is another independent artisanal fragrance house. I wrote about their newest scent, Casablanca, here. Diane St. Clair has a dairy farm in Vermont and, luckily for us, she also makes perfumes! The dairy farm sounds lovely and happens to be near to Robert Frost’s historic summer writing cabin. Frost the scent is based on Robert Frost’s poem To Earthward:

I had the swirl and ache

From sprays of honeysuckle

That when they’re gathered shake

Dew on the knuckle.”

To Earthward, Robert Frost

The poem is full of olfactory references like the honeysuckle mentioned here. There is indeed a noticeable honeysuckle note in Frost, along with a whole cavalcade of other notes. Frost opens green and bracing for me. There’s a sparkling bergamot note and a fir note that really gives me that fresh evergreen vibe. The blend of other notes prevent this from coming across as a Christmas-y evergreen, so it’s completely fine wearing this in the post-Christmas winter.

The opening of Frost mostly smells like the outdoors. It smells like fresh air and open countryside. This puts me in mind of Jane Austen novels where the local doctor often prescribes going to the countryside or to the seaside for a “change of air.” It’s good for the mind and the body. I get the honeysuckle and more of a floral bouquet around 3 hours into wear time. I get something slightly animalic underneath the florals, which makes the heart notes well-rounded and substantial.

As Frost wears, I get much more of the underbelly of the countryside, and a representation of the darker themes of To Earthward. There’s a cedar note that smells very true to real cedar. The clove note here is the richest clove I’ve smelled. Again, this is a true clove. The vetiver is definitely there, although my nose has a hard time specifically pinpointing it among so many other notes. What I sense most in the base, is a smoke note underpinning everything. It’s sort of distant and close at the same time, as though the next neighbor over has a bonfire going and the scent is wafting to your backyard.

The wood/spice/smoke accord gives Frost an Autumnal feel to me, which I find interesting. I feel this would wear well during all seasons. The sparkling citrus opening would play well in warm weather. I will have to save up my sample to try this out during spring weather. But there is something special about the name “Frost” and wearing it during winter. It just feels right.

I have now tried two of the offerings from St. Clair Scents, and, all I can say is, I want to smell more! I will sample their other two scents Gardner’s Glove and First Cut when I am able to, and I will definitely do a write-up here when I do! The house offers a 13 ml travel size bottle, so you don’t have to commit to the full bottle if you happen to love multiple scents. I will say that the full bottle price point is not cheap at $125 for 30 mls. On the other hand, the fragrances that I’ve smelled so far are extremely high quality, vibrant compositions, and long lasting. I’m at the point where I would rather give more of my money to independent and creative perfume houses, but it’s all a personal choice. Either way, St. Clair Scents is an independent house well worth seeking out and supporting.

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I ordered my sample directly from St. Clair Scents. It arrived in this adorable matchbox-like packaging. The house offers a general sample pack as well as 2 ml individual samples of each fragrance, so there is plenty to choose from.

The info on notes is from St. Clair Scents.

The photo of my sample was taken by me.

What I Wore This Week

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Hi everyone! I’m back with another round-up of what I wore this past week:

  • Monday: Woody Mood by Olfactive Studio
  • Tuesday: Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens
  • Wednesday: Mon Numéro 10 by L’Artisan Parfumeur
  • Thursday: Wood Sage and Sea Salt by Jo Malone
  • Friday: Narciso Poudrée by Narciso Rodriguez
  • Saturday: Nirvana Bourbon by Elizabeth & James

The Elizabeth & James Bourbon is one in particular that I’ve wanted to wear more during this cold weather season, so I’m glad I got that in my rotation this week! I’m also trying to use up some samples thanks to Thunking Thursday, and that’s why I made the Narciso my scent of the day.

What did you all wear this week?

Tauerville Rose Flash

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Notes: rose, woody notes, and resins.

When I first started this blog way back in 2012 (yes, all the way back in 2012!) Andy Tauer was *the* perfumer to get into. He had all the buzz, and well-deserved. I wasn’t really drawn to the independent perfumery scene at the time though. I wanted to explore Guerlain, Chanel, and high-end niche houses like Serge Lutens. Now that it’s 2019, I’ve had plenty of time to explore designer scents and I’m ready to embrace independent perfumers. Tauerville is like a fashion diffusion line, in that it’s the more affordable and approachable line of Tauer Perfumes. That doesn’t mean lower quality though, as I discovered with Rose Flash.

Rose Flash opens with a blooming jammy rose. There’s a touch of orange citrus, which feels like orange marmalade to me. It’s textured, it’s pretty, and rose is definitely the star. I haven’t always gotten along with rose soliflores and rose-centric perfumes in general. Part of the reason I chose Rose Flash was to challenge myself to make this scent work. There aren’t many other notes for me to cling to and distract from the rose. Fortunately, I love the rose here, so I don’t mind the lack of distraction!

There are some woody notes that become more apparent as the composition develops. This helps to anchor the rose and balance that huge blooming opening. The resinous notes come through a little stronger than the woods for me, which is lovely. The rose becomes dry as it wears, almost like a dry red wine. This blends beautifully with the resinous notes of the base.

The really remarkable thing about Rose Flash is that it’s an extrait de parfum, and it has the longevity to prove it. I can easily get 12 hours of wear time from this. If I wear it in the evening or to bed, it’s still quite noticeable the next morning. The sillage is heavy here, particularly during the first two hours of wear. And this one is easy to over spray. I apply one spritz on each wrist and that’s it! I personally wouldn’t wear this to work or the doctor’s office. I prefer it for myself in the evenings just because the rose is so rich, but I’m sure there are people who like this as their every day rose scent.

If Andy Tauer can make me finally embrace rose scents, he can probably do pretty much anything! I have more Tauer samples on the way, this time directly from Tauer Perfumes. It’s always nice to support the actual brands and perfumers when possible, and it is one of my 2019 resolutions to support independent artisans! Thankfully, independent perfumers are much more on-board with samples than the mainstream designer brands, so it’s possible to support the indie houses without having to do the dreaded blind buy.

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I ordered a sample of Rose Flash from The Perfumed Court. The Tauerville Flash series is available directly from Tauer Perfumes.

The info on notes is from Fragrantica.

I took the photo of my Rose Flash sample with a print of Botticelli’s Primavera panel painting.

What I Wore This Week

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I’m back with another round-up of what I wore this past week. I came down with a 24-hour stomach bug from Wednesday to Thursday, so you’ll see that Wednesday was the rare day that I did not wear any fragrance. But I’ve recovered well!

  • Sunday: Twilly d’Hermès
  • Monday: Plum Japonais by Tom Ford (Plum Japonais)
  • Tuesday: Paris – Deauville by Chanel
  • Wednesday: nothing
  • Thursday: Tendre Madeleine by Laurence Dumont
  • Friday: Honeysuckle & Davana by Jo Malone
  • Saturday: Narciso For Her L’Absolu by Narciso Rodriguez

What did you all wear this first week of the new year? Do you wear anything scented when you’re feeling under the weather?

Now Sampling: Hendley Perfumes

Hendley Perfumes is an independent, artisanal house based in Brooklyn. Hans Hendley is the perfumer. I actually learned of Hendley through instagram and was intrigued by some of the fragrance names I heard people mentioning. Here is what I’m sampling:

Amora: This is a very interesting jammy red berry mixed with rose. To my nose, it’s strawberry mingled with a wine-esque rose. It reminds me of a yummy summertime rosé. There is also a resinous note that adds some warmth. It all sits on a base of musk and ambergris that melds beautifully with the skin. Amora is a fun and unique fruity floral.

Blond: Surprisingly my favorite of the bunch! I was certain Amora would be the one for me, but Blond just spoke to me right from first spritz. It starts as a powdery orris that develops into a creamy and beautifully textured suede and sandalwood. It’s both smooth and a little spiky in just the right way. There is also a melon note in the composition that I don’t get on my skin, but I shall keep wearing and see! I’ll be purchasing this one, whether it’s the 9 ml travel size or a full bottle.

Rosenthal: This is a rose/patchouli very much in the vein of Portrait of a Lady. I get a camphorous medicinal scent in the opening before the rose really settles into the skin. If you’re a POAL fan, this might be one to check out, as the price point is a little more approachable than the typical Frederic Malle level. Again, this is available in a 9 ml travel size.

There are some shady brands on instagram and social media, who are only in it for the sponsorship and influencer opportunities. (Hello to those annoying skinny detox teas!) I suppose perfumery is not immune to this kind of behavior. Not everything you see on instagram is going to be amazing in person. However, Hendley Perfumes is the real deal. Hans seems very genuine about creating intriguing and high-quality scents.

As I said, I have my eye on Blond. I also want to sample Fume and Bourbon. Look out for a full post on Blond and more details on the other Hendley scents when I do another sample haul!

Have any of you tried Hendley? What are your thoughts?

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Samples are available directly from the Hendley website, which is where I purchased these three samples. Just as a heads up, it looks like Amora is currently out of stock. You can sign up for an email notification when it’s back in stock.

The photo was taken by me.