I am so curious about the Profumo.it scents! Please report to us!
When I returned from vacation, I brought home only one scent to sample: Ruth Wuerth's My Racing Heart (Parfumerie of Chenoweth), and I was glad to have at least one new item to share with you.
While I was away, however, more fragrances showed up in my mail than I could have imagined. Thank you Shadesofbleu for samples of some classic scents! Thank you Princess Jelisaveta of Serbia for Princess E! (I won a bottle in a Fragrantica contest, and it appears Her Royal Highness may have mailed it herself, judging from the name on the return address.) And a very special thank-you to Abdes Salam Attar, proprietor of Profumo.it for a bounty of natural perfumes to sample!
Given the rarity of some of the items pictured above, I had to devote a special thread to discussing them. Plus, I have an experiment planned on which I need to report: Scenting Dr. Bonner's castile soap, which I picked up from Merz Apothecary. (If you've tried scenting liquid soap, please speak up.)
I'll start with product descriptions, and as I wear each one, I'll post my daily impressions.
My Racing Heart: A unisex edp, "reminds one of warm and sensual earth tones brightened by a splash of Kentucky Bluegrass." For background and ordering information, visit myracingheart.org.
Elizabeth E: Composed by Sophia Grojsman--citrus, lily of the valley; jasmine, hyacinth, orange blossom, white iris; and a base of woodsy and musk notes.
If you're anxious to sample some Profumo.it scents, you can order all of them directly from Italy or a limited variety from The Perfumed Court.
Sea Wood: Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, ambergris, vetiver.
Hindu Kush: "Hindu Kush is like taking a walk in an Indian market, where clouds of incense smoke escape through the open doors of temples to be mixed with the perfumes of the east, ginger, cumin, nutmeg and pepper." Note that Luca Turn and Tania Sanchez awarded four stars to this scent, to Tabac, and to Grezzo d'Eleganza in The Guide.
Tabac: "absolute of tobacco ... uses spicy and resinous essences traditionally used to scent pipe tobacco--vanilla, cistus, tonka etc."
Grezzo d'Eleganza: Dubbed a masculine, but not very butch imho. Woods, herbs, castoreum, vaniglia, neroli, incense, rose.
Tcharas: "Resins that possess a powerful and inebriating fragrance characterised by the strong animalic tone of the mountain farm barns ... with a base of civet and castoreum."
Chocolate Amber: Chocolate, vanilla, tonka.
Gringo: Patchouli, frankincense, peppermint, sandalwood, vanilla, rose, castoreum, lemon.
Acqua Santa (Holy Water): Sandalwood, incense, rose.
Cologne de l'Empereur: I haven't found a description, but this smells of citrus, perhaps grapefruit and lime. Not too sharp or rough. Look forward to wearing it.
Feromone Donna: Not found on website; a complex floral.
Fiore della Notte: Translates as "night flower," but from just smelling the vial, I can't confirm which night-blooming scent it is (but it's not just a jasmine).
And then, as an assist to my partial anosmia for iris and violet molecules, he gifted me with a vial of iris--which I CAN SMELL! Mercy, it's wonderful and rich. I can really smell it. And then, a vial of what appears to be macerated violet leaves, a green liquid with particles floating in it. It's very green smelling. My heart is full of gratitude. The problem: Which scent to wear today?
I am so curious about the Profumo.it scents! Please report to us!
First report, just for you Chestnut.
Sea Wood: As I mentioned in SotD, upon application the sillage just floated around me like bubbles, so nice. There's nothing harsh or offensive at any stage. After about an hour, I began to detect a hint of something like cedar or citrus occasionally popping through the smooth, grounded woodiness. A little later I thought I caught wind of a patchouli, then a salty-sea accord. As the hours went by, the sillage shrunk, so that the last few hours required nose-to-skin smelling. The scent grew softer and sweeter. Right at the end I found some peppery vetiver and amber. It's now nine hours into drydown, and there's still fragrance to be found if I sniff hard enough.
Official notes: Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, ambergris, vetiver.
What's funny is: I don't particularly care for perfumes with cinnamon, and I really don't care for the scent of cloves or ginger, but in Sea Wood, I liked them all. Go figure. Since I own Sel de Vetiver, I was able to appreciate the sea-and-vetiver effect in SW.
I think I have to attribute my comfort with Profumo.it scents to their being natural. I found a lot to like with Ayala Moriel's natural scents, too, but they faded quickly for me, so I assumed that might be the way of most natural perfume. I just keep finding new ways to correct my thinking.
For Tuesday, election day, I wore Cologne de L'Empereur.
The official notes: Neroli, Damascene rose, civet.
When I smelled the bottle, I caught citrus, but on the skin I'm finding some pine, too, and something else I can't put my finger on. A man would wear this and find nothing feminine about it, but I'm wearing it and not feeling particularly masculine. I'm starting to formulate a theory that the alcohol used to suspend Profumo.it's fragrances is part of their appeal to me. I so often can't get past that somethun-somethun that invades and ruins a lot of American perfumes.
(Later) As with most refreshing colognes, the scent was not long lasting, so by the afternoon I rubbed on some Floris Cefiro moisturizer, which complimented Cdl'E as it trailed off.
* * *Today I've applied Tcharas. Of course I've been sneaking spritzes and sniffs of all these scents since they arrived, but now I'm wearing Tcharas full on to delve deeper into understanding it. The scent was inspired by the barns in mountainous Afghanistan, and I close my eyes and try to put myself in such a place. I like the dusty quality, but it's spicier than the old timber farm buildings I'm familiar with. While I was sampling this on a knuckle last night, I was shocked to find myself transported to a moment several months ago when I was standing outside a motel in Florida. It was morning, very quiet, and I was sensing the heavy vegetation and the chlorine from the motel pool. Now that's about as opposite from what I should have conjured as can be. But I think there was a harmonic relationship between a note that was loose and pervasive (the humid plants) and a note that was tight (the chlorine), and it was that harmonic resonance that was familiar--not the actual notes at all. I like it when you seem to be smelling two things at once, like hearing two harmonic songs being sung on top of and against each other.
If there's a pattern emerging from this collection of scents, it's that they are not definable by the usual parameters. I could tell you that the civet and castoreum and subtle spices create a kind of patchouli note, but I don't think that's altogether helpful for you. Let's put it this way: If you feel bored and think you've "smelled it all," sample profumo.it scents. There are alternatives to the notes you're used to smelling.
As far as wanting more Tcharas, I probably wouldn't, but that's because Hindu Kush (which I'll discuss last) satisfies me more greatly. Also, I see that The Perfumed Court sells samples of profumo.it's Hay, and that may fulfill the barn craving I've had for years--dried hay, as opposed to the still-green sweetgrass oils I've found. Mmmm, dried hay.
Last edited by Quarry; 5th November 2008 at 02:44 PM.
Thanks, Quarry, I love how synesthetic your descriptions are. It's interesting, re Sea Wood -- I find that Patchouli has a certain aspect (which I love) that I smell as salty-scratchy. Wonder if this what you're smelling in Sea Wood. Feel I have to try it! And can't wait to read about Hindu Kush.
You are right Quarry, natural perfumers use natural alcohool without denaturants. Denaturant is a poison.added to alcohool that makes you vomit if you drink it. It definitly has a smell, but denaturated alcohool is tax free and costs about 10 times less than the pure grain organic alcohool that I use.
Last edited by Profumo; 6th November 2008 at 04:06 AM.
And, yes, everyone please share your questions with member-perfumist Profumo. He can answer your questions specifically.
Quarry, your enthusiasm and the beautiful bottles sent me scurrying off to order samples of my own. Maybe I'll have questions once I start sniffing, though I'm a long way from having your ability to describe what I smell.
Thank you for offering to answer them, Profumo.
Thanks for the fabulous reviews, Quarry. Can't wait to hear more!
For sale: JL Scherrer parfum (reduced price) and more!
"One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen
“Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume” ~ Jean de Boufflers
Today's sampling: Grezzo d'Eleganza.
I don't have much opinion about this one. It's very mild.
Luca Turin seemed to be praising the accomplishment of using all natural essences to achieve a "cheerfully delicious" ... "woody-fruity confection based on an accord that smells like cedar and apricots." It wears very close to the skin. Probably a good choice for men or women with certain sensitivities who still want to smell very pleasing, or those in an office setting where they dare not wear aggressive scents.
Interesting that it should be so polite. The description kind of makes me salivate (I love the floral-sweet- and-almost-vinegary-sharp scent of hot cooked apricots, and I have yet to find a scent that captures this.)
I look forward to your "second opinions," Chestnut.
I've been sniffing Chocolate Amber for a couple hours now. There are very few purely sweet frags I care to wear, so I knew there would be no fireworks between CA and me. I don't really smell amber and barely recognize the chocolate because the two elements combined vibrate into an almond molecule or amaretto scent.
For Sunday I wore Tabac, another one of Luca Turin's favorites, "... without being overly sweet or honeyed. A deliciously comfortable masculine."
Have to admit, I'm not quite man enough for Tabac, but it has my respect. Starts out quite strong, but soon wears close to the skin. Not smokey, more like freshly cured leaves.
Here it is Monday, and my days of testing this house are dwindling. I wanted to apply Fiore della Notte today, but that vial has leaked to the point of offering only vapors. Sad to report this since I think this may be one of the best of the lot. Not unlike Hindu Kush, it also brings to mind Neil Morris's Gotham and other NM fragrances along those lines.
Moving on, I've applied Acqua Santa (Holy Water). Now we're getting into territory where I feel like I lack vocabulary and interpretive skills. This doesn't smell aquatic, yet there something wet about it, or maybe stone-like. I'm not expert in cyphering the nuances of the incenses, but that's the other element in play. Since I spent Sunday mornings romping in the sunny prairie rather than in a roofed holy place, I also lack the associative memories that could be evoked by AS. I'm relaying much of the Profumo.it juices to Chestnut, and she can probably expand on my comments.
In any case, all of three these fragrances deserve . Even if I might not choose them for myself, I can truthfully endorse them.
Thank you for your reviews! I cannot wait to try my samples. So far I have been more than pleased with my experience ordering from profumo.it. Professional, gracious, helpful, kind... what more can one ask?
Gringo. Lately I've been attracted to patchouli and just bought a little bottle of The Body Shop's patchouli oil, so it should come to no surprise that I'm enjoying that note here. However it is the incense that calls attention to itself the most. I might have guessed sandalwood also present, but would never have been able to name the remaining elements: vanilla, rose, castoreum, lemon. Pleasant, mild, Gringo wears close to the skin. My image of a gringo is more overt. This scent would be best for a rainy weekend afternoon, cuddling up with your favorite guy and watching a movie. Very soothing.
Last edited by Quarry; 11th November 2008 at 04:02 PM.
Later that same day ... I've moved on to Feromone Donna. This is primarily narcissus to me. While the fragrance is still wet, I'm reminded of forcing paperwhites (flowering bulbs) in March. There is a particular funk to those flowers and to FD's top notes. Happily that fades as soon as FD dries on the skin; what remains is a milky floral (perhaps some lily and musk?), mildly sweet. That sounds like the formula for an old-fashioned product, but that's not the vibe it gives off. It's really lovely, even if it's not what I crave at this time of year.
When you're in the mood to test narcissus scents, be sure to put this on your list along with CB I Hate Perfume's M1 Narcissus. They are two vastly different, high-quality interpretations. Fun to compare and contrast them.
Thank you so much for this, Quarry. My samples arrived yesterday. They're not exactly the same set as you tried, but I'm really looking forward to exploring them.
I'm sincerely excited to learn your thoughts, Ailuros. I've just put most of my samples in the mail to Chestnut, so we can triangulate our impressions. In general, I like these fragrances. Only the Chocolate Amber struck me as ordinary, since sweet frags like it are commonplace amongst home perfumers here in the States.
Today I'm wearing my favorite: Hindu Kush. Since it's comprised of spices, incense and woods, no one here would have pegged HK as Quarry's kind of scent. Spices? Incense? These are generally overwhelming for bland, timid me to wear alone for any length of time. But it's exceptions like this that break the rules and make sampling an enlightening journey.
Quoting from HK's promo text: Hindu Kush is like taking a walk in an Indian market, where clouds of incense smoke escape through the open doors of temples to be mixed with the perfumes of the east, ginger, cumin, nutmeg and pepper.
Luca Turin labeled it "resinous oakmoss," the floor-wax-and-church-incense start of Mitsouko. That's right, LT compares HK with Mitsouko. Of course I had to do a side-by-side comparison, and yeah, there's a slice of commonality there--and Hindu Kush represents the better portion, imho.
I thought I also found some common ground with Neil Morris' wonderful Gotham, so I ran a side-by-side test. Gotham is the twin who lived in the city and wore modern perfumes, Hindu Kush is the country sibling. Going back and forth between the two highlighted my perception of synthetic molecules in Gotham, which I'd never perceived before. HK smelled real to me, you know? That's not to knock Gotham, which is so good in its own way. It just helped me to find another angle from which to judge HK.
Knowing that today would be Hindu Kush day for me, I applied some as soon as I got up, as opposed to my habit of application after breakfast. When I exited my powder room, I was met with the smell of coffee-making by my husband. Wooo! What a great combination: HK and coffee.
The only drawback to this wonderful scent: Needing to recharge it hourly to sustain the full effect of HK's soft, rich top notes.
I've decanted a 1ml sample for Chestnut and kept the balance of the HK decant. I won't know if I'll crave a full bottle until I'm done with the decant.
Last edited by Quarry; 12th November 2008 at 02:51 PM.
I've just done a bit of random sniffing so far - but there's been nothing I didn't like. None of those perfumey smells that can be overwhelming. I had trouble opening the Tea of the Isles - so ended up with my fingers generously coated and smelling of quatre-epices (heavy on the cloves) for a few hours. I'll try to get a bit more systematic in my sampling. I'm very happy to have these, though. I think I'm going to enjoy them.
I'm looking forward to trying Hindu Kush after your description (and quote of Turin), because I loved the start of Mitsouko, and also the way it smelled on paper, but not the dark heart it develops on my skin. If I can find a way to keep some fo the good bits, I'll be very pleased.
Last edited by Ailuros; 12th November 2008 at 03:27 PM.
What wonderful reviews Q! You've really peaked my interest in this line, and I look forward to reading others thoughts on these unique and interesting scents.
I'll be checking out the Perfumed Court for possible samples.
Thanks for taking the time to do this for us!
"Woe to the one who's love of elixirs, grows into madness"
Wow, I'm getting excited. Hindu Kush sounds good for a grown-up hippy girl like me. Thanks, again, Quarry. Can't wait to report back.
Today I'm reviewing the perfume contained in the bottle shown in the first post of this thread. The bottle itself is rather nice with it's swishy, clear cap and the simple letter E with the crown over it. The fragrance was designed by Sophia Grosjman for Her Royal Highness Jelisaveta Karađorđević, princess of Serbia. The "E" signifies the Duchess Elena Romanoff, Jelisaveta's grandmother. The princess goes by the name Elizabeth in U.S., so the whole naming thing can get a little confusing.
Top notes are said to be citrus with lily of the valley, but they are not so high-pitched as those items might lead you to believe. There is something anchoring this fragrance throughout its life, but I can't say what it is. I thought the heart developed a chypre-like aura, but now I think it's more of a soap-thing, and there's an old-fashioned quality to it, a little powdery. The base notes take an unexpected turn toward the gourmand as a sweet, toasty quality takes over. The base is the nicest part for me.
I've dispersed samples to some of BN's loveliest ladies, and I trust Purplebird7, especially, to provide greater insights.
I like E well enough, but don't love it. If you're interested in a sample or decant, do let me know. I can't abide juice just sitting around. Or maybe I'll put the bottle on ebay so one of its many fans can take advantage of this while it's fresh.
I didn't know Sophia Grojsman crafted this one; how elegant. Here are just a few thoughts from a very novice nose here.
On an initial test I would say that I agree with you about the described initial citrus and lily notes, and that they are not high-pitched--they feel very young and green to me, but descend quickly within 15-30 minutes, and feel anchored by and then overshadowed by what I can best describe as powdery "rootbeer," for lack of a better description. It becomes heavy and a bit masculine, and oddly familiar. Increasingly more powdery too. I can't put my finger on it, but I've smelled it before. I can see the chypre effect too, Quarry. I'm not getting soap, though, or anything particularly gourmand (unless this thing I'm callling rootbeer is gourmand). But yes, bitter-spicy, powdery, earthy rootbeer. What I'm calling "rootbeer" is not sweet, smooth sasparilla to me either, it's sasparilla, woods, and something musky and earthy. Balanced, but not light. I haven't read anything about this yet, so these are my raw experiences. I'll read up a little and see if anything strikes a chord with my blunt description.
The only thing I can find in English is from Fragrantica. If anyone finds anything else, please chime in. From Fragrantica: "And one of the four flowers of this fragrant bouquet was devoted to her - orange blossom, the scent of which Princess Jelisaveta vividly remembers from the garden of Grand Duchess Elena Romanoff in Athens, in which the orange trees smelled heavenly. The four white flowers are the heart of this fragrance – jasmine, white iris, orange blossom and white hyacinth. Beside these, E has captured other white flowers, gardenia and lily of the valley."
Well, no, not to me. This is not a white floral, particularly after the first 15 minutes. This is a grounded, earthy, almost dark scent, imho.
Thanks so much, Quarry, for letting me sample this!
I'll be very curious also about Purplebird's and others' experiences too. (Tell me what I'm really smelling!)
Last edited by lushsoup; 18th November 2008 at 05:39 PM.
Today, thanks to Quarry's overwhelming generosity, I was able to start my Profumo Experiment So far, I have tried Grezzo d'Eleganza and Tabac.
I agree with Quarry that Grezzo is mild. I thought: neroli, citrus, not apricot, something that might be cedar or a certain herb that I don't take to (could it be coriander?) and a lovely, tenacious, creamy-woody element that I am guessing is sandalwood -- of the best quality I have smelled since receiving the gift of an Indian sandalwood necklace in childhood.
Profumo, is the "precious wood" sandalwood?
After four hours or so the best layer uncovered itself. The listed castoreum? It kept my nose plastered to my wrist until it gently faded. Though Grezzo is too old-world-manly for me to wear, I felt as if we had had a good conversation.
Then Tabac: really striking. I am not a smoker, but I have a real fetish for the scent of tobacco -- even stale tobacco smoke on a jacket is compelling to me. Profumo's Tabac makes you think of what the English must have felt on first encountering tobacco. The scent that coalesces a few seconds after application is lively, organic, and a bit biting, like drawn smoke in one's throat. I wear tobacco centered-Chergui and Mauboussin but Tabac is more surprising and evocative though also less suited to a woman, and fades to mildness very quickly. It is great while it lasts.
Last night: Gringo: Even though ginger is not listed, I could have sworn this was a mix of patchouli and ginger -- not the fresh root, but the dried spice. I love the former but don't like ginger of any kind in perfume. So Gringo, while gentle and pleasant was not for me.
Today I tried Sea Wood. Thiis started as a vivid twining of ginger and vetiver that, somehow, added up to grapefruit: cleanly bitter and acidic. I didn't really like the gingeryness and the very strong grapefruit illusion, but if you like those two scents, you might need to smell this. Then, it settled down to a fresh, herbal vetiver that sustained itself for around four hours, which is very long-lasting on me. I'm not a vetiver-wearer, but my husband is, so I just spayed some on him, and -- mysteries of skin chemistry -- got little ginger and no grapefruit. Mostly bright, complex vetiver. He really likes it.
There is also vetyver, Patchouli, Castoreum and Frankincense.
You found the Neroli. The herb you cannot identify is probably the clary sage which blends with the Thyme to give the warm and elegant top note.
There is a central ingredient in this perfume that you will recognize only when you know it is there, it is rosewood. Rosewood blends the woods, the spices and the flowers (there is also rose flower) into a coherent identity. A manly but gentle personality.
About the perfume Tabac, now some olfactory psychology: Tobacco is a scent that gives positive emotions to many a women, and this is often due to the attachment to the father, who like many of our parents was a smoker, or who came back home after work with the smell of tobacco smoke on his clothes.
It makes many of you turn again as small girls in the arms of their loving and protective Daddy.
I opened the page...
I want to sample "The Scents Of The Soul."
well, who wouldn't.
I haven't figured out the price of the samples in US $, yet, but the page has been saved to Favorites.
-thanks, J. They look & sound gorgeous.
(hope they don't use real civet and deer musk, though. I didn't read the site thouroghly. will do so if/before I decide to order.)