Not a care in the world- ’Tralala’ New Penhaligon’s fragrance


Normally a new Penhaligon wouldn’t excite me massively, but this beautiful description and the notes had me intrigued, especially the magic word: Saffron!

I do love this spice in perfume, and am especially interested whenever saffron is not paired with rose. Don’t get me wrong, rose and saffron is a wonderful combo, but not exactly unexplored (A quick search gave 398 perfumes which contain these two notes together). Some of the finest, where saffron is not just a substitute for oud, being: Noir de Noir, Safran Troublant, Agent Provocateur and Rose d’Arabie.

Apparently this perfume is a collaboration between Duchaufour for Penhaligon’s and Designers Meadham Kirschoff, whom I must admit to have not heard of before this perfume.*


‘Tralala’ opens on the aldehydes that I think of as the happy ones, those sparkly, rosy, soapy ones that put a smile on your lips. Without a doubt the soapiness is enhanced by the violets, which also adds a sweet cushiony feel. It also instantly makes me think of several vintage perfumes – but here it’s paired with a burst of warm yet sharp saffron and a tiny whiff of whisky, which makes it 2014 retro chic rather than something from mid last century. I am totally in love with this opening. It plays with the ambiguity; heliotrope á la Après l’Ondée, , oh no leather like in Traversée du Bosphore… and on it goes without ever becoming a patchwork, but being intricately weaved and playfully tailored like the couture items that inspired the perfume.

I smell golden ylang-ylang and spicy, velvety clove/ carnation all sunny and fun. The rubbery white flowers are only there to enhance the smooth and womanly feel of this perfume as a velvet backdrop.

Peggy Lee Benny Goodmann ‘Not a care in the World’

Up until this point the perfume is its own, like it doesn’t have a care in the world, but it’s as if the dry down didn’t quite dare to be different; ok, so let’s give them the musky-sweet cosy vanilla version that everyone loves. So let me quote the above song:

‘I view the scene
Like that queen of old Russia
As Kate the Great
Used to state long ago

Tralala! There are worse things in the world than nice vanilla dry downs touched up with a bit of almond macaron. And Tralala is a perfume that feels like spring sunshine on fluffy clouds, and the enjoyment of it rubbing off on everything in your wake… You do touch me, Tralala.

‘So if I move in a groove
With a giddy trot
I’m a trottin’ because I’ve got
Not a bean in my pot
Not a care in the world’



Notes from Fragrantica are aldehydes, saffron, whiskey and violet, leather, tuberose, incense and carnation, patchouli, vetiver, musk and vanilla

* Judging by the bottle design, it’s clear to me why. What say you, how do you find the bottle?

**can mean ‘quite ok’, ‘quite nice’ or ‘not bad’- along with many other things

Disclaimer: I was lucky to win a sample over at Magnifiscents ‘ La Gardenia nell’Occhiello-blog, already linked to in the first sentence.

For more perfume reviews of Tralala go to; Black Narcissus, Persolaise , CaFleureBon. Feel free to add more links in the comments if you reviewed this.

Le feu d’issey- catching fire…

Since I have already a couple of years sporadic blog writing behind me as a contributor at Ca Fleure Bon and as a guest writer for Ines at All I am – a Redhead where I was fortunate enough to tread my blogger-baby steps, I will, at least for now, skip further introduction or even the explanations and without further ado, get on with it; a warm welcome to my first post on The Sounds of Scent.

I have missed writing, but being between flats, living out of suitcases, moving out, in or around and redecorating have taken up a lot of time. There are fun things about moving too though; for instance how you rediscover things which you have managed to pack away for so long you truly had no idea of their existence. And so, in a box full of useless old things, stocked away in a Copenhagen basement, and before that in a loft somewhere in south London since its move from Germany, imagine my delight at finding a nearly full bottle of Issey Miyake’s Le Feu d’Issey*. I have no idea when or why I packed it away; I can even no longer remember when I got it, but the sight of the bottle and the quick spray brought back memories.

Of all the fragrances I ever owned, Le Feu d’Issey was perhaps the closest I ever came to having a signature scent. That was back when it was a new scent in the late ‘90s and early 2000, as it went with me through Music College. I wore it so often I get phantosmia just thinking of that red- orange crazy plastic ball. I am not sure anymore if I simply had enough of it one day, or if it was actually the unavailability that made me stop wearing ‘Issey’s Fire’, but little by little it drifted out of my sight and thoughts, and it wasn’t until much later, aware of its increasing rareness, that I tried to hunt down a bottle for nostalgic reasons.

Almost impossible to describe to the uninitiated, I’ll have a go at it none the less. The green juiciness of bergamot and coriander combined with anise/ wormwood are a punch of an opening.

I keep getting this absinthe-imagery; the green liquor which changes into a milky opalescence, by adding sugar and water which in turn will bring out the herbal aromas of the liquor. This could be Le Feu. As the coconut milk and a creamy- slightly sour- lily joins the greenness- the lactones underlined by the sandalwood from the base, it adds an extra subtle change to the herbs and spices.

The sweetness keeps vying with the sourness for attention, with a fickle pink rose thrown back and forth between the two, undecided where she stands. And the wormwood gives a last smirk, before it sinks into a supposedly comfortable woody-amber base.

le feu-soundsofscent

The perfume is instantly recognisably unique; it was different back then too, I had never smelled anything quite like it, and on the other hand it was clear that it tried to dig into that new genre; the Gourmand.  Perhaps it had even tried to do what Angel did before, be unashamedly different and become a success for it. Le Feu misfired, and was discontinued.

I moved on, and bought and wore different things, but it wasn’t until I sniffed Douce Amere by Serge Lutens, that I fell truly in love with perfume again; Douce Amere being of course another great (albeit entirely different) wormwood creation for lover of the woody-oriental genre. I wasn’t looking for a substitute, but I was looking for a new perfume to intrigue and beguile me and ultimately, unknown to me at the time, it was the one that send me down the fragrant rabbit hole. But that’s a different story, and that will have to wait for another time…

*Created by Jacques Cavallier in 1998

Notes vary, but here from Fragrantica: The top notes are bergamot, coconut, rosewood and anise. The heart is composed of jasmine, rose, milk and caramel. The base notes are cedar, sandalwood, Guaiac wood, vanilla and musk

For more perfume reviews of Le Feu d’Issey see Fragranticaolfactoria at perfume smelling things, PeredePierre, sorcery of scent

pics are mine