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  1. #1

    Default My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Yesterday I was in a shop which specializes in organic products. I sometimes buy soap and incense there. Imagine my amazement to see a new perfume line, Florascent . The store carries 5 of the fragrances by the company. I asked the SA for some more information, and after some pleasant conversation with her, I left the store with their entire inventory of 25 sample vials!! *gasp* She signed them out to me and I promised to return them in a couple of weeks.
    Florascent promotes itself as an organic, natural perfume company. Their scents are grouped into the following categories:
    Aqua Floralis (spring-like florals)
    Aqua Colonia (various masculine blends)
    Aqua Orientalis
    Aqua Aromatica (EDC style scents)
    EDTs (soliflores)
    Aqua Composita (imaginative blends)

    Well folks, it will take me a while to work through these samples. I checked the website and I am only missing four of what is offered in total -- but the site doesn't list the EDTs. I've started with the Colonias and will post brief notes on each category when I complete it.
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  2. #2

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Thank you, OdyM, for sharing this.

    As summer approaches, I reach for my lighter scents and started sampling the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria line. Mandarine Basilic is a wonderful unisex and very wearable for a man. Very citrusy balanced by the herbal basil.

    Do write a full report and let us know what you think!
    Last edited by Primrose; 26th April 2010 at 06:33 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    I took a look @ their website. Most of the listed ingredients seemed to be aromachemicals, not EOs. Forgive a fragrance newb for what may be a silly question, but doesn't this sort of go against the whole "natural perfumery" thing? I sort of expected to see various EOs, absolutes & concretes listed, not aromachemicals. Am I mistaken?

  4. #4

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    That's interesting! I'm certainly no chemist, but what you say makes sense. I'll have to check into this further... and maybe some more tecchie types can offer informed comments.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  5. #5

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    You must have misread. Florascent is explicity a natural perfume producer, that is their selling point. Please keep in mind that linalool, geraniol, coumarin etc.pp. are contained in natural oils and thus listed in the INCI declaration of organic natural products.
    I'm not particuclarly taken with most florascents (they're a German company, by the way), precisely because they suffer from the weaknesses of many naturals (too little structure, clarity, very dense and short-lived), but there are some quite nice ones among the huge portfolio.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    You must have misread. Florascent is explicity a natural perfume producer, that is their selling point. Please keep in mind that linalool, geraniol, coumarin etc.pp. are contained in natural oils and thus listed in the INCI declaration of organic natural products.
    I didn't misread, but neither did I know this information. Actually, I was wondering if that was the case so "misinformed" is probably a better word. Come to think of it, "lack of being informed" is even more accurate. But now I know better, don't I.

    Thank you very much for the information. It's much appreciated!

    Evan

  7. #7

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Here's what the Florascent site says, in the Production Techniques section:
    "For the production of our natural fragrances we use in our manufactory [sic] the purest flower essences and specially produced aromatic plant extracts - also known as `macerates`. They are the very basis our creations are built on. Therefore most conservative distillation and extraction techniques are used to preserve natural and untainted the unmistakable aura of our materials. In a maturation period of several months our scent compositions are given time to develop their distinctive and mellow character."
    http://www.florascent.co.uk/index2.html
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  8. #8

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Here are my notes from the AQUA COLONIA line of Florascent.

    Aqua Colonia Patchouly
    Notes: Turkish rose, bergamot, sage, ginger, patchouli
    I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I don’t usually care for patchouli, finding it to be sweet, heavy, overbearing, and nutty-brown. The patchouli is given a different treatment here, revealing its similarity to mint.
    This scent is herbal, very medicinal, green and cool. I get a lot of minty-eucalyptus notes. There are hints of rose in the background. At times, it reminds me a bit of Tiger Balm! As the scent develops, it settles into a slightly sweet, earthy tone that is pleasant.

    Aqua Colonia Santal
    Notes: spices, rose, jasmine, davana, sandalwood
    This should be more. It is quite a spice chest (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), and it is dry and attractive. The lack of sandalwood is its downfall. Sure, there are woody notes here but I don’t think they are the creamy and deep notes which good sandalwood should present. I find this to simply be a spicy scent with a hint of wood.

    Aqua Colonia Habanna
    Notes: orange blossom, gardenia, briar, rosewood, pimento, cardamom, oakmoss
    This scent is intended to evoke the scent of a distant fine cigar. I think it achieve that – it reminds me very much of Czech & Speake’s interesting Cuba.
    The citrus and floral notes are very attractive. Quickly a smoky note appears, framed by peppery spices. The scent settles into an interesting and haunting vibe, with something akin to old stones in the sun, or minerals.

    Aqua Colonia Vetyver
    Notes: grapefruit, geranium, clove, bay leaf, pepper, vetyver root
    In my opinion, this is high-class bay rum. The clove spice is peppery and the bay leaf is dusky, dusty and herbal. The vetiver is done in an earthy style with a strong tang of iodine. The overall effect is dry and somewhat medicinal. An interesting scent, but I’m not a big fan of bay rum style scents. It does have great longevity.

    Aqua Colonia Du Soleil
    I had high hopes for this one – it is supposed to deliver a ‘garrigue’ vibe. The idea of a resinous, herbal, warm-earth breeze is very appealing to me. This scent falls short of that ideal. It is a light (very light) herbal scent… and that’s about it.
    The herbal notes are either ‘refined’, ‘restrained’, or barely existent (depending on one’s point of view). The character of the scent is translucent and dry (which is good) but it lacks any sort of distinctive presence (not so good). A clean, refreshing sort of scent which is pleasant but perhaps not worth the expense.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 5th May 2010 at 05:53 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  9. #9

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Thank you for these reviews. The one that really interested me was the Santal but it was mostly the Sandalwood element I was curious about. And if it's not there -- or at least not enough of it -- then what's the point?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Enjoyed your impressions. My favorite of that lot, by far, is Vetyver, which to me is both a true vetyver and interesting. I never managed to connect with Habanna and much prefer C&S Cuba. Regia, to me, is far more interesting as a cologne than du Soleil, in fact, my favorite of the brand. Looking forward to more reviews.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  11. #11

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    These scents are in the AQUA COMPOSITA line. The first two are not in the BN directory. There are other scents in this line, but I didn't get samples of them.

    Monsieur Balode
    Notes: aromatic hay, davana, barrique wood, linaloe, patchouli, tonka bean
    What a complex scent! I don’t quite know what to make of it. It has a very aromatic and fairly sweet opening, with notes of dried fruit and syrup. This is from the davana. Very quickly a note of dried grass or hay appears. The effect is like Sweetgrass, a pleasant smell of the prairies and the indigenous people of North America. Then a smell like old leather hovers in the background. Then a kind of gourmand note appears, one that is nutty and sugary like pralines. And finally, there is a sort of salty, even marine, note. The image of a barnacle-laden pier comes to mind. What does this all mean? I don’t know, but this is an intriguing scent.

    Umami
    Notes: yuzu, vanilla, pimento, ginger, tonka bean, sandalwood, osmanthus flower
    This opens with a bright green note from the yuzu. It is grassy and leafy, and is quite pleasant. Too quickly, the sweet vanilla note emerges and takes over. It becomes so sweet I feel a toothache coming on. Vanilla and spice provide the gourmand note, which is the intent behind this scent. Definitely not my style. At times, there is a slightly odd tinny or metallic aspect; unexpected in what is an all-natural scent.

    Tango
    Notes: gardenia, wild orchid, opoponax, patchouli
    This is an interesting scent. It is a very sweet and assertive floral – not my style at all. Yet, for a while I find things to appreciate.
    The opening is rich, heady, sweet and quite floral. It creates a powerful presence; at once sharp, resolute, steely and not at all shy or demure. In other words, not the usual floral chord. This deepens with myrrh tones, and the patchouli is only a minor note.
    However, in a short time the florals get too big and put out considerable sillage. As I said, that is not my style. I’ll give it a neutral rating for its interesting character.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 5th May 2010 at 05:53 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  12. #12

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Welcome to the latest installment of the Florascent reviews. Today we are looking at the AQUA ORIENTALIS line. There are others in this group, but I only got samples of the following.

    Casbah
    Notes: mimosa, black tea, cardamom, Moroccan rose, spices, precious woods
    This opens with a lovely floral note which is deep, mysterious and not too sweet. Then the scent brightens up. Perhaps the tea is mint tea, which is popular in the Middle East. Perhaps the precious woods are in fact oud, which would add a compelling, bright note. This is not a heavy, opulent oriental; it is better understood as a spicy floral. I appreciate it.

    Medina
    Notes: artemesia, sage, hyacinth, precious spices, pathouli, saffron, Atlas cedar, iris, vetyver.
    This is a dry oriental, and I like it! It has an appealing dusky, dusty green herbal opening. It opens into a good display of spices, principally cinnamon and cardamom. The cinnamon is dry, in a woody rather than apple-pie style. Cedar and vetiver add woody and grassy notes. The dry-down is cool and expansive. In many ways, this reminds me of another good dry oriental: Czech & Speake Frankincense and Myrrh.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 5th May 2010 at 05:53 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  13. #13

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Today we look at the AQUA FLORALIS line.

    Violetta
    Notes: Parma violet, iris root, bergamot.
    I take marks off because the scent fails to deliver much in the way of a violet note. It is neither bright and piercing (the leaf) or soft, earthy and heady (the flower). The bergamot gives a fruity note, and the product notes claim that violet typically has a framboise (raspberry) character. Well, that’s news to me. There is slightly tart character to this, the scent reminds me of a sour berry pie. At times, there appear to be pencil-shaving cedar notes. This is not an unpleasant scent, but I don’t particularly care for it.

    Lavande
    Notes: lavender, sage, thyme, rockrose, amber.
    The lavender is regrettably brief. At its peak it comes across as well-done: aromatic, dry, herbal, invigorating. It blends well with the other dry herbal notes. Unfortunately, the pleasant side does not last, and is replaced by a sort of metallic note. It reminds me a bit of violet leaf. The scent loses its dryness and gets slightly sweet. I have high expectations for a lavender scent, and this one fails to deliver what I’m seeking.

    Thé Vert
    Notes: Chinese green tea, citrus, jasmine, osmanthus, cedar wood
    This is an aromatic green scent. Those notes are dusky and interesting. Certainly it evokes (among other things) a cup of cooled green tea. There is a sort of haunting note at work. The florals are not sweet, and perhaps could be more distinct – they come across as generic rather than specifically jasmine or osmanthus. I don’t get a particular wood note.

    Regia
    Notes: bergamot, lemon, neroli, rosemary, clary sage, cassis bud.
    This is intended to be a classic EDC (lemon and light herbs) which organically-minded people can choose. As such, this not re-inventing any wheels – it simply is intended to be that type of product for those sort of consumers. The opening notes are lovely, with lemon and orange blossom. Light herbs are enjoyable. The scent has roundness and some depth. As usual, it is short-lived, typical for a citrus scent and especially a natural one.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 5th May 2010 at 05:52 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  14. #14

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Today we are looking at the EDT line, which essentially are soliflores. None of these are in the BN directory.

    EDT Freesia
    I’m not sure what to make of this. I’ve smelled freesia flowers, and they have a lovely and delicate scent. This has a very different sort of scent. It is green, a bit vegetal, with peppery spices. There is also the hint of tender woody shoots. The scent is not sweet at all. I think it is a very nice scent – but I fail to see the connection to freesia!

    EDT Wisteria
    This scent is floral and rather ambery. It also is a bit sharp, and green. I’ve smelled wisteria, and they are much more heady and full than this.

    EDT Les Lilas
    This is a soft, perfumed floral. It does a good job of presenting the scent of lilac, a difficult one to execute. The scent is lovely, and sweet

    EDT Osmanthus
    The osmanthus flower has a strong, fruity-floral note, something like apricot. This scent delivers that. It is very interesting, even intriguing. It has powdery and yet woody aspects. The centre is something like fruit cocktail or tinned peaches/apricots. I like it, although I don’t think I would buy a bottle.

    EDT Chabana
    Note: narcissus
    “Chabana” means “tea flowers” in the art of Japanese flower arranging. The goal is simplicity and a natural character. This is an appropriate quality for an all-natural scent. Does it succeed? Since I’m not familiar with narcissus flower scent, I’m not sure. I can say that this is very sweet and floral. It is heady and full-bodied. It develops a sharp, smoky and spicy character; even a bit metallic in tone. Somewhat interesting. I don’t find it either attractive or unattractive.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 5th May 2010 at 05:51 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  15. #15

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Here is the final chapter in my reviews, featuring the Aqua Floralis line. I hope this has been helpful. There are about 4 or 5 scents which were not in the sample box, and thus I have not been able to post comments about them. Cheers! ody

    Aqua Floralis Rose
    May roses from Grasse, white flowers.
    This is a lovely, spring-like scent. Delicate notes of greens and blossoms, particularly lily of the valley. Gradually rose notes appear, at first green and then they deepen into a traditional rose note. Restrained, but nice.

    Aqua Floralis Ylang
    Ylang-ylang, tuberose, orange blossoms
    I don’t care for this scent, it isn’t my style at all. It starts soft, sweet and rich. It turns aromatic, powdery, and a bit metallic. Then it develops salty, earthy, vanilla and leathery notes. It gets less sweet as it develops.

    Aqua Floralis Jasmine
    Tangerine, benzoin, tuberose, jasmine
    This has a good opening note of citrus, slightly sweet. The tuberose is rich and earthy. It is complex, with various notes (earth, clean-minty, chocolate). Don’t get much jasmine here.

    Aqua Floralis 1er Mai
    Green tangerine, galbanum, rose, jasmine.
    This is a very delicate, spring-like green scent. There is not much citrus nor galbanum. The jasmine is hay-like. The rose starts off fairly green, and then deepens into a conventional rose note. A pretty scent.

    Aqua Floralis Pivone
    Peony, Sicilian lemon, rose, jasmine
    I think peony must be a difficult scent to replicate or evoke. Peony flowers have such a marvelous scent, like rose and lily of the valley. With the added notes of rose and jasmine, we should have a gorgeous floral here.
    What we do have is a lemony scent, which develops into a generic (and fairly green) floral scent. The scent is light, not too sweet, and somewhat translucent. I don’t get any specific floral notes. As the scent develops, it shows a vague and somewhat metallic or even aquatic character. Given the disconnect between what it should be and what it is, I can’t endorse it.

    Aqua Floralis Mimosa
    Mimosa, rose, violet leaves, tonka beans, rosewood
    This is a green, bright, spicy-cool floral. It is not sweet and not heavy. At times there are faint earthy notes, and at other times a slight herbal note that is a distant cousin to celery leaves. The rose note is also subdued, but apparent – a combination of rose blossoms and rosewood. The rosewood also brings a restrained but pleasant woody note to the scent. Due to its green and translucent nature, this reminds me a bit of Bond No. 9 Gramercy Park. I like this, it is a very pleasant scent.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  16. #16

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    So Ody, what's your summary view of the line? I found it not nearly as impressive as, say, Via del Profumo. While there's a handful of decent ones and a few real hits, most of the line evokes a "meh" or worse from me. I find most of the scents lacking in "character" and clarity, confirming in a way that they indeed represent premodern perfumery, which Mandy Aftel in her book characterized as mostly hodge podge thrown together with little knowledge of the nature and interaction of oils . There's a reason Farina's EdC constituted a revolution
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  17. #17

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Tom, here's my summary. Florascent makes products which will appeal to those who (for various reasons) feel they cannot wear non-natural scents. These people will be reassured by the claims for natural products, and they will not mind compromises in distinctiveness, longevity, or character.

    For me, (as for you, I gather) there were a few interesting scents. None of the ones I tried seemed bottle-worthy to me. Of the 25 I sampled, only 3 or 4 stood out as something interesting. In my opinion,that is a pretty low percentage. Some scents were pleasant, but seemed to me to be faint replicas of things well represented on the market. More than a few had an odd, metallic note which was unexpected.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  18. #18

    Default Re: My Florascent sample bonanza!

    Thanks for the reviews and dicussion Ody, tgl et al. This line has just appeared over here unannounced and I had a look thru, will be going back soon. It looks like there may be another designation that differs from the taller bottle that appears in the dircetory and it seems to be more soliflore in nature. I tried the Bergamotte (sic) and Sandalhouf (?) and I'm actually quite surprised at the clarity of both on my wrists.

    The citrus seems like a nice clean lemony inclined EDC, but the Sandalwood seems to be creamy Mysore with very little else going on - I will investigate further but it is very similar to the Santalum Album from La Via del Profumo - in other words it smells like the real deal, albeit a more diluted version.

    I will see if they have Casbah - I noticed a few of the taller bottles but just concentrated on the smaller spray ones (there were also splash bottles). Again, thank you for taking the time to run thru them all, Ody

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