Scent Sample Sunday: Noel Au Balcon

Scent Sample Sunday: Noel Au Balcon

In an earlier post focused on Bond No. 9’s I Love New York for Holidays, I mentioned that I had also been getting a lot of holiday use from Etat Libre d’Orange’s Noel Au Balcon. As January is now almost over, together with the winter holidays, I’d better post about it!

Now Smell This says that the name refers to an old French saying: “The proverb ‘Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison’ means that a warm Christmas — warm enough to spend on the balcony — will be followed by an unseasonably cool Easter (requiring ‘firebrands’).” (I actually think the phrase “tisons” here is more likely to refer to the embers of a fire that require poking to stay warm, as in “tisonner le feu”).  That review also notes that “the expression ‘avoir du monde au balcon,’ or ‘the balcony is crowded,’ is a reference to a shapely bosom.” So basically this fragrance’s name, true to ELDO traditions, is a play on words meaning something like Christmas among the warm, if not smoldering, bosoms. I love it!

And I really like the fragrance a lot. It opens with notes of apricot, honey, and orange. To my nose, the apricot is very noticeable, sweetened by the honey but not too much. The middle notes are supposed to be chili pepper, cinnamon, and orange blossom, and it does get spicier than the opening, but to me the spice is not very strong and it complements the apricot and honey instead of superseding them. Base notes seem to be patchouli, musk, cistus, vanilla, and another aromatic spice which I’ve seen listed either as cinnamon or caraway.

Reviewer Tammy Schuster wrote a hilarious review on CaFleureBon, complete with references to her “redneck Christmases” in the mountains of North Georgia. As she notes, Noel au Balcon is a fun date that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is just here to make sure everyone, including her, has a good time. Speaking of time, this scent lasts a good long time, too, without being overwhelming.  On me, the apricot, honey, and vanilla are the strongest and most lasting notes, with warm musk, patchouli, and spices chiming in but not dominating. In short, for a winter holiday fragrance, Noel au Balcon has plenty of “sugar and spice, and everything nice”, and a warm, come-hither smile full of good cheer.

Featured image by Earl Moran.

Fragrance Friday: Hair Spray/Colette

Fragrance Friday: Hair Spray/Colette

I’ve now tried something that has tempted me for a while: fragrance for one’s hair, which seems to be a lasting trend. It makes sense, because many people think that fragrance lasts longer on hair than on skin, hair won’t react to allergens as skin might, and most of us are used to scented shampoos. Hair fragrance is a logical next step, and probably more effective than shampoo that gets rinsed out.

When I found two of Tocca’s hair mist fragrances on sale locally, and they happened to be two of their scents that I have previously liked, Liliana and Colette, I pounced. The first one I’ve used is Colette, and I’m happy to say that it is delightful! Fragrantica describes the EDP as “the natural scent of a woman”, a “warm, spicy and sweet” fragrance, with  notes of “bergamot, mandarin, lemon, juniper berry, pink peppercorn, jasmine, violet, cyclamen, incense, sandalwood, musk, amber, vanilla and cedar.” The hair fragrance seems to have the same notes, but it is based on a light, sheer oil instead of alcohol. I don’t detect any oiliness on my hair after I spray it on.

The hair mist definitely opens with a nice light burst of citrus notes, then it quickly moves into a more floral middle stage. None of the flower notes are strong or overpowering, including the jasmine. The vanilla note emerges soon after that, and remains as the base note most evident to my nose, while the other warm base notes gently support and enhance it. It’s a little powdery, and very pretty. It is a peaceful kind of fragrance; it would work well for a quiet afternoon reading at home, or a walk in the park with a friend, or a cuddle session with someone you like — romantic partner or child. I have worn it to bed a couple of times, and it is a soft, serene scent to waft one to sleep. The bottle is really pretty too, heavy with an ornate top. This design may have been discontinued, however; I saw smaller, simpler bottles on the Tocca website, in other scents.

If you like soft, feminine scents and want to try something in your hair, I can recommend this one. Have you tried any other hair fragrances, from Tocca or other brands? Has anyone tried the Chanel No. 5 hair mist?

Bottles of Tocca hair fragrances

Hair fragrances from Tocca; photo from Fragrantica.

 

 

Festival of Scents: A History Through an Olfactory Lens

Fascinating exploration of scent in a historic setting. I agree, I hope more museums do this kind of exhibit.

I make scents

It has been a while since I last composed a reflection. But despite the hectic period with personal decisions and career transition, I have not forgotten to pen my thoughts here and there, and with this piece, I assemble them together to describe my fascination with scents from a recent visit to a festival dedicated to olfactory experience.

Festival der Düfte, literally for ‘Festival of Scents’, took place between 17th and 22nd October 2017 at Wildegg Castle. It aims to expose members of the public to the rich history of scents and perfumes. With the help of perfumers, some of the rooms and halls of the baroque-ised castle were equipped with scents inspired by their historical contexts.

schloss wildegg view

As I made my way through the rooms, I was greeted by olfactory exhibits that brought their histories to life. Suddenly, these chambers could narrate the lives of the Effingers…

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Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah perfumes (candle menorah) apped by Robert H Hannukah perfumes? We will get to that … first some history. Almost every religion worldwide has a winter celebration dedicated to the return of the light in the dark days of winter. After the Roman Saturnalia or Solstice celebrations, the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah is one of the…

via The Eight (plus 1) Perfumes of Hanukkah + Hanukkah Perfumes Draw — Cafleurebon – Perfume and Beauty Blog

O Pioneers? A Reaction to Allure’s Recent Perfume Coverage

O Pioneers? A Reaction to Allure’s Recent Perfume Coverage

Thank you, Professor Jessica! This is really important, and I’ve updated my own post on the Allure article to share your insight.

Perfume Professor

IMG_20170724_210642738.jpg

First things first: I’ve been reading Allure magazine since the 1990s. And I’m always happy to see in-depth coverage of perfumery in a mainstream magazine.

However.

When I noticed a feature article titled “The New Fragrance Frontier” by contributor Liana Schaffner in the July issue of Allure, I settled down with anticipation to read it. In keeping with the issue’s “American Beauty” theme, it was a discussion of independent perfumers who create offbeat blends inspired by the American landscape.

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Fragrant Femmes : Perfumed Words with Liz Moores from Papillon Artisan Perfumes — Megan In Sainte Maxime

In this edition of Fragrant Femmes I’m absolutely delighted to introduce Liz Moores from Papillon Artisan Perfumes who is about to release her fifth perfume, the woodland beauty otherwise known as Dryad. Liz has a small but wonderfully formed collection of fragrances and I know that many perfume lovers are anticipating this new creation with fervour. Salome, […]

via Fragrant Femmes : Perfumed Words with Liz Moores from Papillon Artisan Perfumes — Megan In Sainte Maxime

Why You Don’t Smell What I Smell

A recent article in Inside Science describes more evidence that people experience scents differently. (Perfume In Progress has followed this research topic for a number of years; you can find a series of posts about it by searching for the #genetics tag on our posts.) In this experiment, researchers broke the common smell of potato chips into three main aromatic […]

via More research on the differences in our scent perception — Perfume in Progress