Floris Santal

Santal, like with most men’s fragrance samplers, fell into my lap through some exchanges or trades. Its little glass vial sat pretty much untouched since I received it due to its unspectacular name. But like books, you really shouldn’t judge a fragrance by its cover–sometimes.



In Bottle: Soft gentle spice with a sandalwood heart.

Applied: Bergamot with a lemony friend in the opening. The spices roll in quickly, but very elegantly. It’s a gentle spice, like a nice little dusting of cardamom and nutmeg and clove on top of your cup of tea or coffee. It smells light, doesn’t come on too strong and imparts this sense of confidence without being loud and obnoxious about it. This smells like a refined gentleman with a nice sandalwood upon entering the latter midstage. The dry down is marked with a warm, light spice and heavier dose of woods. Santal is not young smelling. It’s not the aqua deluge of modern mens fragrance. It smells more classical and has a nice, subdued sophistication to it.

Extra: Santal was released in 2002 and is still available today in an EDT concentration, bar of soap, aftershave, shower gel, or shaving balm.

Design: Looks nice enough. The Floris label is really the focal point of this design with a nice classical air about it. The bottle itself is unassuming with an easy to hold design and subdued but mildly flashy gold detailing.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy

Notes: Bergamot, pepper, cardamom, grass, lemon, nutmeg, clove, lavender, amber, cedar, sandalwood, olibanum, vetiver, vanilla, musk.

Some scents never cease to surprise me. I ended up liking Santal quite a bit.

Reviewed in This Post: Santal, 2011, Eau de Toilette.

Floris China Rose

Floris is one of those crazy-old houses that no body thinks is really that old. But it is. I attribute this misconception to most people not knowing about the House of Floris. But tune your noses to receive because they’ve got some beautiful stuff out there.

China Rose

In Bottle: Sweet, warm roses with a fruity header and a delicate note of some non-rose floral that balances out the opening.

Applied: China Rose, I think, is a very well-balanced fragrance from the top to the bottom. It starts off with a nice fruity rose note and as the fruits fade you get more rose. This isn’t modern, cleaned up, scrubbed rose, but a more sensual rose of times past that isn’t afraid to get her elbows a little dirty. The clove in China Rose gives the fragrance a spicy, sultry, irresistible charm. This is an oriental rose fragrance, a light one that will hold close to your skin and remain a rose fragrance until its dry down where the rose gives way to the stronger, warmer, clove and spices that dominate the remainder of the fragrance.

Extra: Floris was established in 1730–yes, the 1700s. As far as I’m concerned they are among one of the oldest surviving fragrance houses out there and they are still pumping out beautiful fragrances almost three hundred years later. Keep rocking, Floris.

Design: China Rose isn’t bottled in any special way that sets it apart from the usual Floris bottles. It’s a glass bottle, looks a bit old-fashioned and plain, but suits the purpose just fine. The label is a soft, deep pink bearing the name of the fragrance house and the fragrance name. The fragrance house name is also etched into the cap of the bottle.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Floral

Notes: Raspberry, peach, rose, violet, cloves, geranium, patchouli, amber, tonka, vanilla, vetiver.

Floris tends to do these delicate, soft, intimate fragrances that don’t project or shout their presence and for someone who enjoys going light as much as I do, their perfumes are beautifully balanced with just the right amount of sillage and longevity.

Reviewed in This Post: China Rose, 2008, Eau de Toilette.

Floris Lily of the Valley

This is probably one of the oldest fragrances that I’m going to review in this blog–In terms of the fragrance’s release date, anyway. Floris’ Lily of the Valley was released in 1847. It’s a sheer, wonderful little floral fragrance that’s seen more history than anyone alive today. Lily of the Valley

In Bottle: Bright green citrusy floral with a hint of sweet lily of the valley. Very clean and smells quite classic.

Applied: In case it wasn’t already immediately obvious, Lily of the Valley is a soliflore dedicated to one of the most popular notes in perfumery. Real lily of the valley smells like a white, ethereal floral with a touch of sweetness. It’s a very delicate and fine scent. Floris’ Lily of the Valley plays up this type of fragrance. It opens with a clean lemon that clings onto the fragrances as it takes a turn for the floral middle notes. There’s definitely lily of the valley in there as its predominance is bolstered by a lightly sweet floral backing where I assume is where the rose and jasmine are hanging out. As the fragrance enters its base notes, you get a hint of the tuberose peaking through a greenness that reminds me of pinching herbs to see how they smell.

Extra: Lily of the Valley was one of Floris’ first perfumes. It was actually composed by Juan Floris, the founder and it is still hanging around today. Though without a doubt, some things in the formula have probably been changed to meet with changing standards and economic times.

Design: Floris is contained in a no nonsense glass bottle with a simple label declaring the fragrance name and house. It’s a simple and sharp design that doesn’t boast of any thrills or frills and I like it. It’s an appropriate echo for the the fragrance itself in its simplicity.

Fragrance Family: Soliflore

Notes: Green leaves, lemon, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, tuberose, musk.

Lily of the Valley does smell like classic and as such, it’s often accused of smelling “old”. But there’s nothing old about it except how long it’s been around. It’s just a very light, ethereal soliflore with a classical scent to it. And okay, the lemon makes it smell a little bit like window cleaner.

Reviewed in This Post: Lily of the Valley, 2009, Sampler Vial.