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  1. #1

    Default More Samplers from Ayala Moriel

    It's like Chrismas when I get a box of samples from Ayala Moriel.
    This batch was wonderful. Some were fragrances that I had already tried (on my second sample, which means that they are slated for purchase) such as Palas Atena, Zohar, Film Noir, Indigo, Democracy, and L'Ecume des Jours.
    Here are reviews of the new ones I tried:
    L'Herbe Rouge - Move over, Jicky. I'm going to get into trouble for saying this, but I prefer this to Jicky. Admittedly, I am not comparing them side-by-side, nor am I claiming that they smell alike. I love Jicky, but I hate what commercialism has done to vintage formulas. The "dumbing down" of artistic creation takes the form of satisfying regulations, increasing profits, and catering to mass markets. Can anyone believe that Jicky smells the same in 2007 as it did in 1889? Does anyone believe it smells better? L'Herbe Rouge and Jicky are both lemon-lavender-hay-amber fougeres. Whereas one has undergone centuries of adjustments, the other is a new, all-natural, handmade fragrance. L'Herbe Rouge smells zingier, more spirited, more alive. It is full of grasses, hay absolute, lemongrass, lavendar, even vetiver, plus red carnation. This results in a three-dimensional aroma that is the hallmark of quality ingredients. Itr isn't creamy or leathery like Jicky, but it sure takes you outdoors. At first, it smells of lemon, but wait, it changes slowly and surely until you wonder if you accidentally applied it over something else--something deeper, sweeter, woodier.
    The grasses are rustling in the dry wind. A haystack dries to sweetness in the sun. The herbs are crushed underfoot. A meadowlark sings on a fencepost. It is late summer, and you are outside. The different notes move around, unlike a "wall of fragrance" that signifies cheap perfume. This is listed as a men's fragrance but, like Jicky, that should not deter women from wearing it.
    If you don't like it (and I bet that won't be the case) or if you crave more leathery sweetness, try Democracy (a citrus and amber fragrance) or if you want to skip the lemon and go straight to the crushed lavender, try Lovender (with its exquisite vanilla drydown).

    Yasmin - This is not a good jasmine--it is a great jasmine. I can't think of enough complimentary words to say about it. Highest marks for a jasmine soliflore. I used to hate jasmine because of a horrible experience involving a cheap bottle of head shop essential oil, which I accidentally spilled. It is only because of my recent exposure to high-quality jasmine that I have forgiven this note. Incase you wonder where my tastes lie, I like Montale Jasmin Full, too. The Montale is paired with orange blossom, but Yasmin has a better partner. Gardenia is the accompanying note. Gorgeous, rich, full gardenia and jasmine--like putting your nose straight into the soft, cool flower petals and inhaling until you pass out from bliss. Ecstatic jasmine. I'm going to buy some of this. Enough said.

    Lovender - As true as true can be to the actual flower. Breathtaking, clean, not soapy (the downfall of many lavendar fragrances). Neither harsh nor bitter, but "zoom!" aromatic like pinching blossoms off the plant and crushing them between your fingers and breathing the rush of herbal freshness. This is real lavender, a real natural ingredient, so it isn't long before it succumbs to the vanilla and sandalwood base, but the drydown is exquisite. Sweet, herbal, diffusive, vanillic. Absolutely delicious. FBW and I will buy some. Relaxing, meditative, mesmerizing, soporific as the ultraviolet flower itself. Hallelujah, I found a lavender perfume.

    White Potion - Full, rich floral with well-incorporated fruity notes. Has the fascinating vintage characteristic of all notes moving together in unison to create an aroma that is different from any note in particular. I can pick out the grapefruit, gardenia, and coconut because they are listed (all favorite notes of mine) but the tuberose and ylang-ylang are also bewitching. Nothing stands out and calls attention to itself. This well-crafted perfume has popular appeal. Soft, pretty, far superior to the floral blends that sell so well in the commercial market. Deserves more recognition.

    Bon Zai - I tried this because I was curious about shiso. It smells herbal, live and green, spicy and delectable. It pairs nicely with evergreen notes; therefore, it is presented with cedar and juniper. Tangerine leads the way into this fragrance and gives is a citrus edge, along with lemony verbena. Woody vetiver is apparent in the base. Overall, the fragrance is a bit light for me. It is the scent of the needless and the wood of the tree, but not much below the trunk. I wonder if more earthy patchouli would allow this little tree to grow. But then, it would no longer be a miniature bonsai.

    (I reviewed half of the discontinued zodiac fragrances on the Emergency Forum and will obtain the other six to review in a month or so. Incase you missed it, I was surprised that Capricorn fared the best on me. And I don't need to tell you what sign I am. Also loved Scorpio and Virgo. All three were unusual, unique fragrances and I'm sure the rest of the array will be fascinating as well.)

  2. #2

    Default Re: More Samplers from Ayala Moriel

    I've got a small collection of Ayala's perfumes, and would like to recommend the last two I acquired: Roses et Chocolat, and Rosebud. Since Roses et Chocolat is a limited edition, you can't get samples anymore but there are some bottles left. I bought it for Valentines day, 2007, and wore it continuously when I got it. Its spicy, sweet, gourmand notes were perfect for a cold February.

    Then, last month, I got the Rosebud and love its freshness and clarity. Here are the notes:

    Top notes: Grapefruit, Cabreuva, Rosewood
    Heart notes: Turkish Rose Otto, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Rose de Mai
    Base notes: Ambrette, Sandalwood, Vanilla

    Roses et Chocolat
    Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Nutmeg, Mace
    Heart Notes: Turkish Rose, Rose Maroc, May Rose
    Base Notes: Cocoa Absolute, Benzoin, Amber

  3. #3

    Default Re: More Samplers from Ayala Moriel

    Thank you so much for the post purple!
    I really enjoyed it...i have to say though that not only the dumbing down of the new re-re-re-formulations of beloved scents change their original way they smelled but plain 'ol aging as well. You know i have some old (some very old) jicky bottles and some have turned and some have slightly changed and some haven't changed at all.
    I am not entirely sure what was the reason for each change, maybe it was the way it was handled by past owners, maybe it's chemistry, maybe they changed the formulas more than we think they did...i can say that a well-kept bottle of jicky from the 60s -maybe even the 50s- can still smell great, and more importantly -can still smell like Jicky!

  4. #4

    Default Re: More Samplers from Ayala Moriel

    I love smelling vintage perfumes but you are correct, they don't always survive the aging process. Similarly, Like Bois de Jasmine said (in reply to one of my old posts about the reformulation of Mitsouso) it's not only the change in formulation, but the change in ingredients that makes a difference. The percentage of natural ingredients may be lower, ambergris is no longer used, nitro-musks are no longer used, aged patchouli might be replaced by a more readily-available patchouli for a big production run.

    Re: Rosebud, is one of my favorite fruity florals (about which I am very picky). I also have Taurus, which is a similar rose with patchouli. I think you would like it, because the patchouli is very chocolatey. PM me if interested.

    The deal is, with Ayala Moriel, even "discontinued" does not mean discontinued. She saves all of her formulas and maintains her inventory of ingredients, and will make a special order as long as the buyer can wait for it to age properly. Limited edition or discontinued only means that it is no longer stocked, ready-made, on her shelf, able to be shipped the next day. That's the benefit of working with independent perfumeurs.

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