Parfumerie Generale Cedre Sandaraque

Cedre Sandaraque is, unfortunately for me, the only fragrance I currently have access to from Parfumerie Generale. But judging by how lush Cedre Sandaraque is, I’m going to have to get some more.

Cedre Sandaraque

Cedre Sandaraque

In Bottle: Warm and dusty with a bit of sweetness to it.

Applied: Warm honeyed amber fragrance a touch of sweetness and a delicate tinge of cedar. There’s also a slight tartiness that helps enhance the sweetness of the warm honey-like scent. This is sweet without the obnoxious presence of candy. It’s sophisticated sweet that knows exactly when to stop. It’s an enticing fragrance that draws you in just enough to hook you, not an overwhelming fragrance that gives you what you want and a little too much of it. There’s something about the opening of Cedre Sandaraque that really appeals to me. Maybe because I liken it to the anticipation of satisfaction. It’s like it keeps me there in that giddy stage. It’s really very delightful. As the fragrance ages, a bit more of the cedar comes into the picture adding a dusty woodsy side to the warm honey in the opening. The fragrance dries into an elegant dry and warm woodsy scent. Be careful and go easy on the trigger for Cedre Sandaraque it’s potent and very long lasting.

Extra: Parfumerie Generale is a relatively young company. It was launched in 2002 by perfumer, Pierre Guillaume.

Design: Most of Parfumerie Generale’s bottles are the same. They’re a functional shape, made of good glass and materials with the company’s logo and the fragrance affixed in a circle on the body of the bottle. There’s not a whole lot to say about this except that it has a likable classic rectangle perfume bottle design with a functional form.

Fragrance Family: Oriental

Notes: Amber, praline, cedar, vetiver, resin.

It seemed like it had been a long while since I smelled a really good oriental fragrance. Cedre Sandaraque’s beauty and warmth make me wonder why I ever take breaks from the orientals at all.

Reviewed in This Post: Cedre Sandaraque,  2011, Eau de Parfum.

Al Taif Rasasi

Not sure how I ended up with a little sampler vial of this. Not that I’m complaining. It just looks out of place sitting with the likes of Acqua di Gio and Creed’s later releases. Al Taif by Rasasi is an exotic creature that gives the Amouage house a run for its money.

Al Taif

Al Taif

In Bottle: Beautifully blended rose with a bit of oud and sandalwood. It’s sensual, complex and very warm.

Applied: The rose is what I smell the most upon application. It warms up very quickly as the fragrance takes on this dense and dark oud and a light curtain of sandalwood that seems to stick around for hours on end. It’s hard to describe what Al Taif is exactly beyond a nicely done rose and oud blend. This is something you might have to grow into if you’re not used to complex scents (and definitely if you aren’t used to strong ouds) because the perfume is so well blended but it is also very rich in its oriental personality. The longevity is excellent and the projection, on me, is moderate. This being a perfume oil, you wouldn’t expect any less anyway.

Extra: Rasasi is a United Arab Emerites based company that was founded in the late 1970s. It seems their full bottle fragrances are a bit of an adventure to track down if you live in North America. When people talk about a taif rose, they’re referring to a type of Arabian damask rose. In terms of product accessibility, I’ve found a bottle on eBay but you will have far more luck contacting Rasasi to see where you might be able to score yourself some perfume.

Design: I’ve never held or seen a Rasasi perfume bottle. All I have is a little sampler vial. But based on some images, their bottles are distinctly middle eastern with its intricate designs. They all look luxurious and quite beautiful.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Rose, florals, oud, sandalwood, resin.

Aside from the rose and the oud, I cannot give you a more solid estimation of what else is the notes for this fragrance. It’s listing on Fragrantica says ‘rose, florals, resin’, but there’s more in Al Taif than just those three notes. So treat my list of notes as an estimation of what I got out of it as it is not an official list by any means.

Reviewed in This Post: Al Taif, 2010, Perfume Oil.

BPAL The Zieba Tree

When I tried the Zeiba Tree I had expected a much woodsier fragrance than I actually got. While it does contain a bit of sandalwood, the majority of the fragrance depends on its fruitiness to get by. The Zieba Tree

In Bottle: Fruity and sweet, like lemons, peaches and–for some reason–a little bit of apple.

Applied: Perhaps it’s the citruses (particularly lemon) mixing together with the ultra fruitiness of peach because I smell a little bit of apple in The Zieba Tree. It’s odd, because it’s more of an authentic apple note than any of BPAL’s actual apple notes. I quite like it even as the sandalwood waffles in and out of the fragrance like it’s uncertain whether or not it wants to hang out or get out of there. The musk in this fragrance is a very light clean musk that makes me think of a tree that someone’s soaped up and scrubbed down. The rest of the fragrance isn’t too deep the resins add a little more of a tree-like quality to the fragrance but in general, The Zieba Tree is a predominantly clean and fruity fragrance with little hints of sandalwood.

Extra: The Zieba Tree, being a mythological entity was said to have housed bare-chested individuals in its branches.

Design: Bottled the same way as most of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s other 5ml fragrances.

Fragrance Family: Fruity

Notes: Sandalwood, musk, resin, davana, lemon blossom, orange blossom, white peach.

I’m rather delighted at how fun the morph was when I first applied this and smelled apples. I’m not the only one who noticed as many other Zieba Tree testers have noted a whiff of Ye Olde Forbidden Fruit too.

Reviewed in This Post: The Zieba Tree, 2009, 5ml Bottle.

Common Perfume Notes Made Easy

Ever try to read out and make sense of a notes listing for a fragrance you love? Just what on Earth is muguet supposed to be? How do you even say that? And what’s this coumarin that everyone keeps talking about? And if you thought the notes list was complicated enough, just wait until you hear about the stuff they don’t list.

The following is a brief overview of some perplexing but common notes you might see in perfume.

Benzoin: Pronounced, “ben-zoh-in”, can refer to either the “benzoin resin” from trees in the Styrax genus or the organic compound, “benzoin”. Benzoin resin has a creamy, honey and vanilla fragrance.

Champaca: Pronounced, “cham-puk-uh”, is a tree from the magnolia family. It smells woodsy, spicy and green.

Coumarin: Pronounced, “koo-muh-rin”, is a chemical compound found in tonka beans, sweet grass, and a wide variety of other plants. It has a sweet hay scent.

Galbanum: Pronounced, “gal-bun-num”, is a gum resin from plants of the Ferula genus. It has a green, herbaceous and bitter scent.

Labdanum: Pronounced, “lab-dun-num”, is a resin obtained chiefly from plants of the Cistus genus. Labdanum smells sweet, dry and woodsy.

Muguet: Pronounced, “mew-gey”, is Lily-of-the-Valley. It has a light, very sheer but distinctive sweet aroma.

Olibanum: Pronounced, “O-lib-bun-num”, is frankincense. Smells like incense to me.

Opopanax: Pronounced, “oh-pop-pan-nax”, is a gum resin that smells woodsy and lightly floral undertones.

Oud: Pronounced, “ooh’d”, sometimes referred to as agarwood is the resin that is produced when an Aquilaria tree is infected with mold. Oud is said to smell dense, sweet, warm,  and woodsy.

Ylang Ylang: Pronounced, “ee-lang ee-lang”, is a flowering tree. Ylang ylang has a delicate, white floral fragrance.