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  1. #1
    michaeld39's Avatar
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    Default Caldey Island Monastery

    This house (can a monastery also be a house?) has been mentioned on a small number of previous threads, e.g.

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ghlight=caldey

    The main interest has been in the lavender cologne as it was recommended by Luca Turin as the purest lavender scent available.

    The Cistercian monks on Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire make a range of fragrances, which seem very reasonably priced.

    http://www.caldey-island.co.uk/


    I just wanted to share with BNers that I visited the island years ago. I think it was 1997. We were on holiday touring down the Welsh coast and ended up in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. There was a day trip over to the Island. It was a typical breezy day and the small boat ride was rather choppy. The Island is very beautiful. There were buddleia shrubs covered in butterflies all around the jetty and small beach. Most of the island is covered in gorse and small dairy fields. The monastery is a relatively modern building (it looks like it belongs up the coast in Portmerion), though there are some very interesting older buildings on the island.

    There was a tour of the monastery which, I think, included the perfumery. It was only open to men though and I declined to leave my wife for an hour for the tour. I did though buy a bottle of Caldey for Men EdC.

    It is a light, pleasant but rather unexceptional classic cologne type. The citrus top notes last a short time and it settles down into a clean powdery barbershop scent.

    I've read some of the comments on the lavender cologne, but lavender has not been one my favourite notes so far. I wonder if anyone has tried some of their other fragrances, particularly the Fern and the Gorse colognes?
    Last edited by michaeld39; 28th January 2007 at 06:44 PM.
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    "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for", Allan Chalmers.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Thank you Michael. This may be one of the most esoteric "houses" discussed here. While the Mens' cologne may not be distinguished in the sense of uniqueness of fragrance, you will win the price of "who else is wearing that?"

    Would you recommend this scent to others NOT visiting the Island, if we could get it via the Web? How long did it last?

    Joe

  3. #3

    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    it's too bad the site makes no effort to communicate what the scents are about.

    well I just emailed them asking if I couldn't get more information about them...
    Last edited by supermarky; 29th January 2007 at 10:15 AM.

  4. #4
    michaeld39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Frances
    Would you recommend this scent to others NOT visiting the Island, if we could get it via the Web? How long did it last?

    Joe
    I couldn't honestly recommend the Caldey For Men EdC. It is inexpensive but there are many better classic colognes. Longevity is not great.

    I'm still interested in trying the Gorse and the Fern colognes. Supermarky - could you let us know what they have to say?

    I agree that the fragrances could be better marketed - if I had a lavender scent that Luca Turin called the best of its type in the world I would be boasting about it much more - but then I'm no Cistercian

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    "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for", Allan Chalmers.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Hello Chris

    Thanks for your enquiry. Below are some brief descriptions of the perfumes we offer:

    NUMBER ONE: Elegant and light - delicately balanced with undertones of jasmine and rose

    ISLAND BOUQUET: Smooth and luxurious - a deliciously rounded perfume with a classic floral bouquet

    ISLAND GORSE: The aroma of gorse - capturing the rich wild sweetness of spring

    ISLAND FERN: Crisp and fresh - a leaf green fragrance with a breath of woodland magic

    ISLAND MADRIGAL: Subtle and sophisticated - with an enticing hint of spice

    BROCADE: Alluringly feminine - with a woody tang and a touch of tropical mystery

    ISLAND LAVENDER: The timeless scent of lavender - beautifully balanced for freshness and depth

    ISLAND ROSE: The classic fragrance of roses in summer

    CALDEY FOR MEN: Wholly masculine - blending subtle strength with restained notes of incence and spice

    I hope this is helpful.

    Regards
    John Cattini
    Caldey Island

  6. #6

    narcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Women not admitted to the monastery is nothing unusal - but then:
    " BROCADE: Alluringly feminine - with a woody tang and a touch of tropical mystery.."
    Last edited by narcus; 2nd June 2007 at 08:08 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  7. #7
    A Site For Sore Eyes

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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Thanks for the heads-up Chris. A trial order seems worth the risk of interception during transit to US if they will indeed ship to US.

    I know of many Benedictine and other religious orders' products sold to the public but this is the first time I have ever heard of scent being sold.
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  8. #8
    michaeld39's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Yes - thanks Chris.

    It doesn't really expand much on the site descriptions. I think the brothers need a marketing consultant

    I'm still tempted to try some Island Gorse. I see gorse in the moors above my home town and all over the countryside in my father's home village in the North-West of Ireland (and even in the hills of Andalucia) and I've never smelled it. The prices are very low so it seems reasonable to sucuumb to temptation in this case.

    I'll let you know if it worth it.
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    "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for", Allan Chalmers.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    After reading about the Caldey Island Lavender in Luca Turin's article I recently posted [Luca's exact words were: "I like its abstraction. It's quiet and nondescript"] - I decided to find the Caldey Island site and the scent mentioned. The Lavender, among many scents is very affordable - so I ordered a 28 ml bottle of it. $16 - after the pounds/US dollars conversion including shipping. The website is pretty 'dated' but was fairly easy to navigate and order.

    Hey - if the Lavender is good enough for Luca Turin...

    I will post my 'review' when it arrives.

  10. #10

    hirch_duckfinder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    As a lavender lover, this was irresistible to me. I've ordered some too.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    Thanks for the heads-up Chris. A trial order seems worth the risk of interception during transit to US if they will indeed ship to US.

    I know of many Benedictine and other religious orders' products sold to the public but this is the first time I have ever heard of scent being sold.
    Some good news for you:
    Next time you`ll be in Rome (quite a marvellous city!), try to direct yourself to Corso Rinascimento - it`s near Pantheon, and in a tourist zone.
    There`re two shops devoted to monasteries products.
    One is famous Santa Maria Novella shop (Rinascimento 47), and you know about it quite well: colognes, triple extraits, perfumes for handkerchieves, toothpastes, cremes, elixirs, etc.
    Another is little and not so popular, closer to Piazza Navona and to get there you should go from SMN for Piazza del Popolo and take other side of the road. Sorry, I don`t remember the number.
    They carry liqueurs, something else - and 3-4 types of colognes!!! And also quite cheap

  12. #12

    hirch_duckfinder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Well my Island Lavender arrived yesterday and I have to say that this is a really good lavender water. I do recommend it, but only to lavender water lovers. As these go, this may well be my favourite one.

    To me it smells French rather than English; it is less savoury than many but also not sweet. It smells fresh but also calming, light and also present. It reminds me a little of the lavender in Acqua di Parma lavanda but without the other notes underpinning it. This has a touch of a non-sweet vanillic note at the bottom which manages to retain a crispness without that synthetic smell. It is bright and distinctive and smells a little airy which leaves me with a "monastry" impression.....or is that just my imagination? It is difficult for me to separate my smell experience of this from my knowledge of the environment from which it comes. The fragrance does nothing to disturb these associations.

    Anyway, I have been looking for my Holy Grail lavender water for some time, and may just have found it .
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 1st June 2007 at 10:00 PM.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    I haven't received mine yet!

  14. #14

    hirch_duckfinder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I haven't received mine yet!
    mine took some time and that was within the UK, I expect you need to add a week for shipping to the USA
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Caldey Island Monastery

    Just bumping this old thread.

    I just received a bottle of Island Gorse Skin perfume from
    a friend whose brother is a monk on Caldey island.
    Never having smelled gorse, I was very interested to try it.
    Well it smells rather sweet - like a combination of wild honey and
    coconut - slightly retro (i.e. old fashioned!) I do like it but can imagine it
    being worn by an older woman than me, wearing a tweed suit and walking boots maybe.
    A woman without perfume is like a flower without a scent.

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