Scent Sample Sunday: Sylvaine Delacourte Dovana

Scent Sample Sunday: Sylvaine Delacourte Dovana

Sylvaine Delacourte is the former perfume creative director of Guerlain and current owner/founder of her own eponymous perfume brand and line. She has issued three themed collections of fragrances: the Vanilla Collection, the Musks Collection, and the Orange Blossom Collection. Dovana is one of the Musks Collection, and it is described as a “tender musk.” All of the Musks Collection are at 20% concentration, i.e. eau de parfum strength, and all are unisex.

The brand’s website says that Ms. Delacourte wanted this collection to feel like “olfactive pashiminas”, with a signature softness. These are synthetic musks, not derived from animals, used in fragrances for their fixative power, and conveying a certain warmth and sensuality. Dovana is especially soft, with top notes of neroli and mandarin; heart notes of heliotrope and ambrette (musk mallow); and base notes of iris, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk. The initial impression is immediately one of soft powder, after a fleeting glimpse of neroli. To my nose, the heliotrope comes forward right away, with its hints of floral, vanilla, and almond notes. The ambrette, or musk mallow, accompanies it with its signature softness. Over time, the iris, vanilla, and white musk base notes take over from the heliotrope and ambrette. I don’t really smell sandalwood as a separate note, but I think it is there anchoring the musk and giving it more depth and warmth.

The brand’s own description of Dovana is:

Dovana feels like a white and diaphanous vapor. It projects the softness of a light petal. This fresh musk evokes cleanliness, the fragrance of good old-fashioned soap, enriched with an overtone of iris, a touch of heliotrope and a hint of vanilla. All on a bed of musks selected for their softness, giving a clean and tender note.

Some commenters on Fragrantica have felt that the impression of a lovely soap is strongest for them. My nose picks up the floral notes most clearly, the heliotrope and iris, and associates them with soft powder. There is a hint of baby powder, but this is not as sweet. Another phrase used by the brand to describe it is “a lacework of light and tender flowers nestling in a cocoon of musks.” I would add that it feels fluffy to me, like the beautiful, ivory-colored mohair or angora lace shawl pictured above. I am not clever enough to knit one like this myself, but some of you may be!

I do find that Dovana leans toward the traditionally feminine side of the fragrance spectrum, but I suspect it could be very appealing on many men. It is cozy and reassuring, but also elegant. It is an ideal bedtime fragrance, as Ms. Delacourte suggests in this short video; I’ve applied it at night when in bed, drifted off to sleep soothed by its softness, and awakened the next morning with light wafts of Dovana still emanating from my wrist.

Have you tried any of Sylvaine Delacourte’s fragrances? Do you generally like musk-centered fragrances? I wasn’t sure I did, but I like this one very much!

Featured image from LaceShawlWorld on Etsy.

Perfume Chat Room, February 21

Perfume Chat Room, February 21

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly — I’ve been known to write on this blog about biryani, one of my favorite dishes to eat and one I am still learning to make! (If you have a great recipe for it, please share!).

This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is February 21, and tonight I will have the privilege Continue reading

Scent Sample Sunday: DSH Heirloom Elixirs

Scent Sample Sunday: DSH Heirloom Elixirs

My Valentine’s Day gift to myself was a subscription to Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’ Heirloom Elixir subscription for this year, all six releases. Dawn describes the origins of the idea:

Over the past few years we’ve had multiple requests for a “Subscription Service”… one that would automatically introduce you to a new DSH Perfume on a regular basis, filled with surprise and excitement.  With our creative new collection of Limited Editions, Heirloom Elixir, we felt that this was the perfect pairing of ideas to make that request a reality.

At the end of 2019, I took advantage of her end-of-year sale and bought the 2019 Complete Collection of six fragrances she released that year. They are, in order: Continue reading

Perfume Chat Room, February 14

Perfume Chat Room, February 14

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly — I’ve been known to write on this blog about biryani, one of my favorite dishes to eat and one I am still learning to make! (If you have a great recipe for it, please share!).

This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is February 14, Happy Valentine’s Day! What scent are you wearing? I’m in Papillon Perfumes’ Bengale Rouge, and I’m in love with it. You?

Featured image by Voth.

Perfume Chat Room, February 8

Perfume Chat Room, February 8

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly — I’ve been known to write on this blog about biryani, one of my favorite dishes to eat and one I am still learning to make! (If you have a great recipe for it, please share!).

This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is February 8, Continue reading

Perfume Chat Room

Perfume Chat Room

Fragrance friends: the sudden farewell of Australian Perfume Junkies has left a number of perfumistas wondering where they will find a place online to “hang out” with other fragheads. Portia and Val the Cookie Queen will be posting sometimes on A Bottled Rose (yay!), but Portia won’t be hosting weekly SOTD threads or Saturday Questions as on APJ. So I am humbly offering here a weekly “Perfume Chat Room”, where any readers so inclined can list their scents of the day(s), ask each other questions, give a “Weekend Update”, and generally take the conversations in whatever direction they want.

Retro cocktail party image

As at APJ, taking sides means never taking offense, always keeping things respectful and light, sharing information and opinions, and remembering that in fragrance, as in life, your mileage may vary. In other words, agreeing to disagree. YMMV. Welcome!

Vintage Avon fragrance ad, 1960s

Avon calling! Image from http://www.avon.com

 

Godspeed, APJ

via Welcome Back APJ

It seems so recent that we were rejoicing in the return of a beloved blog and fragrance lovers’ community, Australian Perfume Junkies, after the site was hacked. Now, sadly, its founder Portia has decided to end the blog at the end of this month. It has clearly taken a LOT of time to manage, although along the way Portia has shared many fun outings that readers vicariously enjoyed, and even a wedding to longtime partner Jin. I especially loved the Saturday Questions, and everyone’s updates on “thunking”, and earning “enabler pins”!

APJ was one of the first online perfumista communities I found when I went down this rabbit hole; thanks to Portia and friends, it was always a  kind and welcoming one. I will miss APJ, but I hope to keep seeing some of its regulars online, here and on other blogs I enjoy like Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, and Undina’s Looking Glass (I read and enjoy several others too, but these are the ones where I’ve found the most conversations with repeat commenters).

Thank you, Portia, for hosting those conversations and sharing your encounters in life and fragrance. Thanks for pleasant memories. I wish you and Jin the very best, and good health and happiness! I hope you might occasionally post an update on your doings and still drop by other blogs once in a while. Stop by here any time! Au revoir.