Friday, June 24, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream Perfume Event ~ Reviews by Scott Ellis

Athens, The palace of Theseus

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate and Attendants.

Theseus  Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draws on apace; four happy days . . .

. . . and thus begins this ever magical, mystical and fair perfume event . . .

Scott Ellis writes:

Providence Perfumes, Charna Ethier parfumeur ~ Eva Luna. This perfume starts out floral and musky. There's an earthy quality about it, like walking on on little flowers growing out of wet black dirt. This perfume is really well made. It feels like one thing, one kind of flower that smells like musk, jasmine, violets and dirt all rolled into one petal. This is definitely a floral perfume. I really, really like this perfume. I don't know what else to say about it. This one goes on my dresser so I can spray it on whenever I want. The notes in this perfume are Russian carrot, mimosa, fresh mint, rosewood, tuberose, frangipani, jasmine grandiflorum, French violet leaf, orris, Oman frankincense, and ambrette. Perfect.

Artemesia Perfumes, Lisa Fong parfumeur ~ Orchard eau de parfum. Right off the bat I smell the jasmine and chamomile. It smells like this tea cocktail I had on my 21st birthday that was made with Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka, jasmine green tea and honey. Just like that. Sweet and innocent with a kick. This perfume gets heavier and darker the longer it's on my skin. It goes more mossy and grassy. There isn't any citrus listed on the ingredients card but I swear I can smell something citrusy in it. The notes in this perfume are wild chamomile, vetiver, oak moss, clary sage, jasmine sambac and mimosa. Surprising.

Parfum Phyto, Yuko Fukami parfumeur ~ Dreams. Oh! I know this one! Violet leaf. The first thing I smell is violet leaf and then the perfume starts to change. I get other green things, some woods, some creamy flowers, and then the perfume starts to smell like one thing. Like a dream or a memory that disappears the minute you know you are dreaming. This is another perfume that smells really good on my skin. More of the floral parts of it come out on me than on my girl. On her it smells more green and musky. On me it smells like creamy flowers. The ingredients in this perfume are coriander, Virginia cedar wood, tuberose, violet leaf, cassie, hay, flouve, ambrette seed and ambergris. Languid.

Envoyage Perfumes, Shelley Waddington parfumeur ~Titania. This one is minty and green out of the bottle, like my favorite mint soap. For just a second I thought it was going to smell like gum but it changed too fast for that impression to stick. This perfume smells like a mountain meadow. Early spring. Cold water. I can almost hear the bees buzzing and the water in the creek trickling. It makes me want to take a nap! I feel really relaxed and happy when I smell this perfume. Ms. Waddington describes this perfume as peacefully playful and it is exactly like that. The notes in this perfume are fir needles, spice, citrus, basil, mint, geranium, lavender hidcoat, ylang-ylang,wild rose, heliotropin, juniper, ho wood, aromatic woods and nuts, moss, fern, savory leaves, iris and honey. Peacefully playful and relaxing.

JoAnne Bassett Perfumes, JoAnne Bassett parfumeur ~ Reine de Nuit eau de parfum. This smells like an expensive perfume that you could find on the shelf at Lucky Scent in LA. If I didn't know it was all natural I wouldn't know it was all natural, understand? Night queen is listed as one of the ingredients of this perfume and isn't something I am very familiar with. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard of night queen before. This perfume, according to Ms. Bassett, is based on the night and not on a certain character from the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. This definitely isn't a fairy's perfume. Not even a little bit. This is a big, loud, sexy perfume. It might belong to Titania if she wasn't such a fairy herself. The best way to describe this perfume is to say that if Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Madonna and Lady Gaga all got together to make a perfume, then this is what they would come up with. The other ingredients in this perfume include rhododendron, peru balsam, rosewood, damask rose oil, neroli, tuberose, vintage jasmine sambac, frankincense, yuzu, clove bud, tulsi, frankincense noir, champa, vetiver, violet leaf and ylang-ylang. Smells really great on me, my girl and our roommates. Scary sexy.

Perfumes by Nature, Ambrosia Jones parfumeur ~ Pan. This perfume is definitely a man's perfume. It is dark and smoky with a lot of green in it. It smells like a forest with pine trees and moss. There's something like pine resin or some kind of pitchy resin in it. Maybe it's frankincense or cedar wood. I don't know what the ingredients are in this one either but I like it. It actually smells better on my girl than on me. My skin eats it up but my girl smells like a little forest beast when she wears it. The ingredients in this perfume are undisclosed. Primal.

Artesa Perfumista, Ane Walsh parfumeur ~ First thing, I have to say that the packaging of this perfume is beautiful. It came in a real perfume bottle, like a half an ounce, with a glass cork and a really pretty hand written label and string wrapping around the neck of the cork to the neck of the bottle and then held down with that pretty label. It was a luxurious presentation for an equally luxurious perfume. Robin is this perfume's name and it is based on the fairy Puck (Robin Goodfellow) who is mischievous and doesn't take things seriously. Robin, the perfume, is pretty serious though. It opens brightly with lemony notes and then turns into a big floral (jasmine) with nice soft woody notes holding it all together. I would say this is a fat floral perfume and not even a little bit whimsical. My girl loved when I wore this perfume. For some reason the perfumes that are made for women wear better on me than the ones made for men, so I don't even bother with buying perfumes that are classified by sex. I wear what smells good, and Robin by Ane Walsh smells better than good. It is seriously sexy. 

Blossoming Tree, Lisa Abdul-Quddus parfumeur ~ Fair Thee Well, Nymph. This is a spicy sweet orangey floral perfume that smells like it has some kind of really strong resin in it, so I had to look it up and see if it did, and sure enough Ms. Abdul-Quddus used omumgorwa. That's a resin. This is another perfume that starts out quiet and gets louder the longer it's on the skin. It begins like a bowl of oranges and ends like a bowl of melted caramel vanilla ice cream with a big bunch of jasmine on top. This one smells more like food to me than any of the other perfumes I got. It lasts for a long time too. There is some of that night queen in this one too and I'm going to guess that the blend of night queen and the omumgorwa are what makes this perfume so heavy and deep. I like it. It jumps back and forth from the vanilla caramel smell to a smell that's almost like cola. It's cool.

Ayala Moriel Perfumes, Ayala Sender parfumeur ~ Smiling Country. This perfume starts out fresh and crisp. It smells really clean, like morning air in the country. I guess naming it Smiling Country works.  Ms. Sender didn't list the ingredients because I guess we are supposed to guess what they are. I don't know if I can do that but I will try. It smells kind of peppery. I smell something like tobacco, and there's something in it that smells a little bit like dill. I get the feeling of swimming when I smell this perfume, like swimming in a cold, cold lake early in the morning or late at night when the water is really still and the water that is just around your mouth is warm but everywhere else on your body the water is like ice. The ingredients in this perfume are anybody's guess. Mysterious.

Esscentual Alchemy, Amanda Feeley parfumeur ~ Amanda Feeley sent me two perfumes to review. Pixie Dust and Bottom's Dream. I don't read what is in these perfumes before I start smelling them because it wouldn't make a difference in what I think about them if I did. I don't know what half these ingredients are supposed to smell like but I do know what I like and what I don't so I figure that is good enough. Pixie Dust is sweet and spicy. I definitely think of little fairies flying around when I smell this perfume. It is charming and whimsical and pretty strong, too. I like it. *It has some little fairy huevos. The ingredients in this perfume are antique oakmoss, angelica root, fire tree, vanilla, poplar buds, lilac tincture, violet leaves, honey/beeswax tincture, rosa damascus, karo karounde, rosewood, lavender reserve, bergamot, davana, balsam fir, heliotropin natural isolate, strawberry furanone natural isolate. Fiesty. The second perfume that I got is Bottom's Dream, and it's completely different from Pixie Dust. It's a heavy, thick smelling perfume, like mums and dark green leaves. The longer it is on my skin, the bigger it gets, and the bigger the flowers in it grow. This is a surprising perfume. It's one of those perfumes that when you first put it on you don't think it's going anywhere, like it's not very complicated, but then the longer you wear it the more stuff seems to come out and maybe if you didn't think it was all that great to begin with, you end up really liking it. It smells like a drive through the orange orchards on the way to the river on a really hot day, only the orange blossoms grow and grow and mix with the smells of the slow moving murky green water of the river. The ingredients in this perfume are handmade peach accord, palmarosa, phenyl ethyl acetate natural isolate, jasmine grandiflorum, rose maroc, tagetes, araucaria. This perfume is a trickster.

A Wing and A Prayer, Jane Cate parfumeur ~ Dreams and Visions. The first note I got straight out of the bottle was cinnamon. Not a heavy cinnamon though. There was something in this perfume that made it go soft and powdery. Jane Cate lists mimosa as one of the ingredients in this perfume so I'm going to assume that is what is giving it that sweet softness. There is also sandalwood in this perfume and I love sandalwood; it makes perfume turn warm and sensual. Even though there isn't anything like lemon or orange in this perfume, the blend still smells a little bit like it has a citrus in it somewhere. It is very whimsical and charming, just like a little fairy. I think it would be a good perfume for a young woman to wear, something that might be comparable to  L'Air du Temps or Anais Anais.

April Aromatics, Tanja Bochnig parfumeur ~ This perfume is sweeeeet! Vanilla and chocolate sweet. Cotton candy sweet. I really, really like it! I guess I like the perfumes that smell like flowers and desserts more than any other kinds of perfumes. There is also something soft in this perfume, like the wings of the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It starts off really sweet and almost overpowering but changes into something more complex and less sweet, it's hard to describe. For some reason it reminds me of changing the bedding from summer to fall when you pull off all the thin blankets and throw on the big thick fluffy comforters. That's it. This perfume is comforting. This also smells great on my skin and my girl was double dipping on my wrist when I was testing it so she agrees it smells great on my skin too.

*Editor's note: When I first read this, I thought it said, "little hairy huevos".


  1. Thank you for the stellar review of Reine de la Nuit. I enjoyed reading all of your reviews.

    Scary sexy...I love it.

  2. Thank you so much for such a lovely review of Dream & Visions, it is very much appreciated.All your reviews are so positive it is a pleasure reading them,thanks again. JaneC

  3. Scott, thank you for taking part in this scent even and for your review of Fair Thee Well, Nymph.

  4. Scott, your descriptions are sensory and evocative. I love swimming (in the cold Pacific ocean), and was so happy to discover that Smiling Country brought this kind of association to you. Loved how you described it!
    P.s. Not revealing the notes upfront wasn't so much about making you try to guess them, but to get more authentic feedback on the associations each of you had based on the scent alone.

  5. Thank you for a beautiful a beautiful description of "Nectar of Love". Greetings from Berlin,

  6. Great reviews Scott~ agreed an all! Lucky JoAnne Bassett hehe- but I'd say a personal best for her (for ME anyway) with Reine de Nuit! A great set of perfumes- all perfectly as Scott described.