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Scented Thoughts and Experiences

What i have to share.....

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May not interest many intelligent noses here, and i feel as though some may read me, and view me as uninspired, uneducated, amateurish, a bit of a fragrance redneck. But at the same time, that may just be the way i feel, and i am guilty of projecting my feelings of fragrance inadequacy onto others here.

What i do not lack, is enthusiasm. I don't feel, that to be a member of Basenotes, i need to possess some sort of College Degree, to enable me to appreciate an aroma, and state my views and impressions of it. I am not good at it, because i am anxious about appearing, as i stated, uneducated.

I often feel, that, when people in the industry, or those with a vast collection of bottles, those who effortlessly expound forth with knowledgeable tracts of unintelligible phraseology - they see my latest blog entry, and roll their eyes, or lift their eyebrows, at my amateurish attempts to share my enthusiasm, and again, this may just be me. I am often told, i am my own worst enemy, and need no criticism from anybody else, as i am far better at beating myself up, than you are.

So, i will describe a niche fragrance i tested today, in my modest, uneducated way.

It was from the house of Royal Apothic and was, according to the website, an eau de perfume entitled Terra Firma

The bottle was rectangular, with a chrome top, and a pink atomising bulb attached. The box was very pretty, and luxurious, because they are handmade, surrounded by Venetian Linen paper, and a hand tied ribbon, and a picture of the Queen of England. That might suggest this is an English house. However, the founder, or creator, Sean o'Mara, is not English, though his inspiration for these fragrances, was discovered in Notting Hill, London.

He apparently discovered an old Apothecary Manual, from the eighteenth century, on an antique stall. He found within, formulas of concoctions, created for the great monarchies of Europe.

Having had experience with the companies of Estee Lauder, Proctor and Gamble, and Murad, Sean had the necessary expertise to recreate the formulas, upon his return to the United States.

And so we have his impressions of these ancient formulas available to us. I tried 2 today, but will concentrate my descriptive effort on my favourite, which was the more unusual of the 2 i tried, in my opinion.

I sniffed the top of the bottle, and a bitterness assailed me, which immediately elevated my mood and heartbeat, though i cannot recall the particular memory that this first aromatic impression evoked. It's got to be a good memory, as i was instantly excited by the scent.

I puffed the pink bulb several times, to the back of my hand, as that was the only place unperfumed. This may not be the best way to test a fragrance. I appreciate guidance in these matters, criticism will be taken as an opportunity to learn more, so i welcome comments.

My first impression, is of Lemon Geranium leaves, of rubbing them between my fingers, and being left with that bitter lemon scent, sharp, tangy, and redolent of youthful days. I also got a blast of orange, but the geranium lingered for a couple of hours.

I kept sniffing, and that bitter tang attracted me so much, which seems strange, i cannot see why i would find bitterness attractive, but that's why i loved it so much.

Other notes present in this, taken from the website, i am assuming they go from top to base;

Orange, Magnolia at the top, with Geranium, Muguet, and Bay Rose in the heart, with the warmth of Sandalwood and Moss for the base.

Truthfully, i did not detect all of these, but i do tend to sample fragrances, whilst having already applied my fragrance of the day, then 2 or 3 in the shop as well. My nose is probably very confused.

And that is my excuse for my lack of comment on the sillage, i did not feel it is good, but i did not test this in a controlled manner. It seems to wear close to the skin, but this could maybe be improved upon, by applying it to the traditional areas. It's longevity is average - a few hours at best.

The description regarding the Room Spray of this particular fragrance (or Interior, as they are referred to) enthralled me, as it seemed somewhat coincidental:

"Attar of: Terra Firma transports you to a cold morning in the north of England. As a smooth fog moves over the mossy earth, one can almost hear the crunch of boots across the meadows of Norfolk. Notes of fragrant Orange and Magnolia mingle with the sweetness of Geranium, Bay Rose and Muguet with a mellow base of Sandalwood"

I say coincidental, as this is where i lived for most of my life, so maybe this fragrance is taking me home, in a way. I can however, point out that Norfolk is not situated in the North of England. Anyway, they are extremely competitively priced, and i think i will definitely buy the Eau de Perfume of Terra Firma imminently.

Next to test: Japonesque.

Updated 4th September 2012 at 10:12 AM by Scent-imental



  1. Hayven's Avatar
    Don't be hard on yourself! It takes time to develop a nose for discerning notes. You did very well here with your review and are more articulate than I could be.
  2. Scent-imental's Avatar
    Thank you Hayven, i appreciate your feedback. Its very welcome
  3. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    I'm certainly going to check out Sean O'Mara's work now. How fascinating! Excellent review.

    Anyone who would look down on your enthusiasm would be a jaded goose. The only thing that keeps places like BN fresh and interesting at all is the mix of different types of voices. I too am a relative beginner and sometimes get swatted down when I mention something that is apparently "old hat," but for the most part everyone puts up with it nicely and we learn from each other. I think a fresh perspective is a rare and valuable thing in the world of fragrance, and you seem to have it. I must admit I sort of miss when I first picked up a perfume only a few months back and it seemed magic instead of like a collection of notes to discern. I must get back to that feeling!
  4. Scent-imental's Avatar
    I have not yet been back to the store to purchase this frag, as i need my husband to drive me there. However, I would be delighted to offer a couple of mls for you to try aei
    I dread to think of you making a blind buy, and must save you from such a fate. I shall pm you and obtain your address to mail you samples, the very moment i get home from the store. I shall the be able to sleep soundly, knowing i did the right thing.
    I think I Must have been having a bad day, the day i wrote this entry, because i have not received any derogatory comments or sarcasm, regarding anything i have posted on BN. i do enjoy reading everyone's reviews, i particularly love when someone hates a frag, how wonderful their sarcasm, and sense of humour. I admire the eloquence, and imagination of others, and learn from it all. I cannot imagine you ever being swatted down; your blog entries are extremely well thought out, knowledgeable, and interesting. We all make our contribution, and i love different views and perceptions. We owe it to others to share ours
  5. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Oh that swat, it's the gentle swat of a mother bear, you know "down, cub. We all know how good Mitsouko is!" and all of that. Negative reviews are fascinating. I would certainly sample before blind buying. If I can't find a sample source, I'll surely take you up on your kind offer.

    Oh my silly books+perfume fixation. When I love two things I want them to go together and fit, even if they don't. It just adds to the pleasure to combine two passions. Even if it is ultimately like 'what the heck is she on about with Nabokov and Guerlain?'

    Your blog entries remind me of what's fun about the vintage perfume hunt.
  6. Scent-imental's Avatar
    You combine them wonderfully, I have yet to explore literature, that is part of the journey i've not yet reached, maybe. I admit i did just order one book today. But not literature, a guide, by Turin and Sanchez, i'm looking forward to browsing through it.


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