Iris Gris returns- Scent of Hope by DSH perfumes

The wait is over! Iris Gris, one of the most elusive scents ever, is back.

Iris is one of my absolute favourite notes in perfumery, and the combination of iris and peach is a particularly seductive combination. I was lucky enough to get my perfume paws on a bottle of the real deal, which I wrote about here, and the short of it is; Iris Gris is all my greedy iris-lover perfume heart could ever wish for and more. Needless to say, when I heard about Dawn Spencer Hurwitz new project, trying to recreate Iris Gris, I was very excited. Would I never have to worry about running out of Iris Gris again? DSC02108

So what does Scent of Hope smell like? The opening is a very juicy peach, really sunny and fleshy. It goes from there slowly into the perfect duet between the voluptuous buttery orris and the still glorious peach. The end of the song becomes slightly darker, the vetiver and suede gets to dominate although all through the fragrance the peach is noticeable.

When I do not elaborate it is simply because I can’t say much without repeating everything I said about Iris Gris already, that’s how close I feel that they are. What I can do is write about the few differences I notice along the way, but really, these are the tiniest of differences.

Now, where Scent of Hope starts off incredibly juicy, energetic and vibrant, Iris Gris is a bit more elegantly subdued in its aura. I would say Scent of Hope plays the violin to Iris Gris cello. I should put this in part down to age. Though my Iris Gris is in perfect condition, it’s of course a fact that materials change over time. I am confident that Dawn’s version is how Iris Gris would have smelled had it been hot off the bottling machines. After this, and for quite a while, they smell as close to identical as I would think possible, and it isn’t until the end that I notice differences again. Once more, Scent of Hope comes out sunnier whereas Iris Gris has a more austere appearance. In the dry down Iris Gris has a touch more depth and moist earthiness (due to age?), and I smell more vetiver, whereas perhaps I smell something a little animalic in Scent of Hope.DSC02117 Perhaps a fashionably cool suede jacket, to a vintage worn-in leather version of Iris Gris.

There is nothing old-fashioned about Iris Gris, and now that it actually exists in this splendid new version as Scent of Hope, it feels as niche fresh as you could dream of from any new launch. The quality is sublime, Scent of Hope is cool and warm, sun and shadow in one.

With DSH Perfume’s Scent of Hope, Iris Gris is no longer hope, but a dream fulfilled, now remains to hope the good fortune will spread to her customer, and everyone who will benefit from the proceeds of sales which go to Sense of Security, an organization dedicated to helping those coping with breast cancer afford their treatment and living expenses.

Thank you for Scent of Hope.

Scented Summer Shenanigans- Guerlain La Cologne du Parfumeur, Aroma Allegoria Vitalisant, Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance



The Harbour of Copenhagen, view from langebro bridge

We have enjoyed the most amazing summer weather here in Copenhagen. It’s safe to say, that I don’t remember it ever having been so consistently beautiful. So writing about perfume has come in second, and being outside enjoying the Danish summer won. It also seems the fragrance flies of my skin in these temperatures, of course that’s just an excellent excuse for spraying lavishly.

Here are a few photos from Copenhagen over the last weeks, as well as a sort of scent diary, and I apologise for the quality of the pics as they are taken with camera phone.


Park in central Copenhagen

Park in central Copenhagen


So what have I been wearing; to the nearby Amager beach (no photos, sorry), predictably, it has been Terracotta and Lys Soleia. A bit of tropical inspiration to make the environment even more enticing, adding imaginary palms and coconuts.





I have enjoyed the life out of my Cologne du Maghreb sample and have also been dozing myself in Guerlain’s La Cologne du Parfumeur. A classic cologne which to me feels like a cooling veil. The notes are all typical cologne; citruses, amalfi lemon, african orange flower, mint, rosemary and lavender.

Bumblebees and lavender, does it get more summery?

Bumblebees and lavender, does it get more summery?

But the orange flower is quite sweet and smooths out the hesperidic notes, to make LCdP a mellow kind of cologne with only the slightest whiff of lavender and rosemary, just enough to make you think of freshly ironed, crisp, white shirts. It all comes together to something that smells almost a bit nutty and perhaps a tiny bit musky in the end. A refreshing but intimate smell of summer.


View from the Opera at Holmen over Amalienborg Palace and Marmor Kirken ( Frederiks Church)

I also had to go and dig out an old favourite. Had I not once loved it so dearly, I’m not sure if I’d really tolerate it today, perhaps it has just the tiniest bit too much laundry musk, but there’s no denying that (the now discontinued) Relaxing Fragrance by Shiseido (1997) has something going for it in the summer heat. The notes are artemisia, tea rose, cassia, raspberry, cucumber and bamboo, peony, gardenia and cardamom. I’d say it’s green, sheer and watery. A minimalistic Spa-pampering-feel-good fragrance.



DSC_0216Another discontinued summer favourite has been Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Vitalisant. The notes are, citruses, bergamot, green notes, tea, jasmine, peach, saffron and woodsy notes. What you see is what you get, a really gorgeous blend, starting out with an ensemble of citrus notes, followed by a feeling of a green jasmine ice tea added a touch of peach, and floating above the composition is a glorious saffron note which instills sunbeams and warm happiness. Truly sunshine in a bottle.

A peek through a side gate into Kongens Have (the kings garden, a public park) and Rosenborg Palace.

A peek through a side gate into Kongens Have (the kings garden, a public park) and Rosenborg Palace.

The old Stock Exchange seen from the water

The old Stock Exchange seen from the water



Also working its wonders has been a vintage bottle of Diorissimo EdT- which at some point deserves a post of its own, and then I have been wearing the new version of Carven’s Ma Griffe. I’ll be writing more about that shortly.


Summer and sunshiny greetings from me to you.

Highsummer sunset. View from my window at 23.00 (11pm)

Highsummer sunset. View from my window at 23.00 (11pm)

A Guerlain Summer- Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain

For summer I like to wear lush, white floriental scents, the ones that remind me of hot days spend somewhere on a fantasy beach I’ve never been to. For this feel, in past years I’ve been turning to Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia and Terracotta Voile d’Été, but there’s a new kid on the (sun-) block, Terracotta Le Parfum.

Imagine yourself surrounded by an azure sea, palm trees and exotic white flowers and the quiet lullaby of waves hitting the shore. In the shade, the scent of skin, warm and fragrant from sun, sun lotion, a light breeze carrying the scent of salty sea towards land, and sand, too hot to thread onto with bare feet.

The scent is of tiare flowers, jasmine and ylang-ylang intertwined, the bouquet is sensuous, sweet. The balmy coconut is flirty, with a bit of ‘come-hither’ even, a feeling supported by vanilla and musk embracing the composition warm like suntanned skin, with a touch of bronzer. I feel a slight saltiness to it all, like the salt left on the skin from bathing in the sea. And it all comes together to something smooth and elegant like flowery white garments and sunshades, as elegant as it is possible to be in the heat.



The overall feel of Terracotta le Parfum is much less dessert like, and beachier than the sunny Lys Soleia, and although Terracotta le Parfum could have held notes of tuberose, it’s much easier to wear than the lovely but perhaps more grown-up feisty Mahora. It does however have that quintessential Guerlain feeling; it’s an oriental for the summer.

Truthfully, as much as I love the fantasy, I think I’d prefer a Mediterranean beach holiday or even a gorgeous summers day on my own local beach, but that doesn’t change the fact that Terracotta Le Parfum conveys the quintessential holiday feeling. Something to wear all summer, or in the long winters when I long to dream myself away.


For more reviews of Terracotta le Parfum visit anotherperfumeblog, perfumeshrine,(with comparisons to Voile d’ete and Terracotta Sous le Vent), bestthingsinbeauty, colognoisseur, and possibly many many more.

Top picture is mine.

Pas de Deux- Ombre & Lumière Armani Privé Couture Collection

I happened to be in Paris when Armani Privé launched their first ever limited edition Les Éditions Couture perfume: La Femme Bleue. How I loved that one; iris, chocolate and smoky incense, it was just fabulous, and yet, with the price tag at 550€, out of reach. Those Éditions Couture still are, and when smelling this newest addition to the line Ombre & Lumière (Shadows & Light), how do you avoid comparing fragrance to price?

The blurb says; “It contrasts Iris Shadows, featuring warm ambery woods and powdery Iris, with lights of jasmine petals.”

iris ballerina 001

This much is true it’s all about iris and jasmine. I felt the opening very green, like both the green aspects of the jasmine and of the iris hit it off together. Apparently it is jasmine sambac, which I believe since the jasmine keeps reminding me of tea- perhaps a cooled green jasmine tea and it never turns indolic. The iris in Ombre & Lumièreinstantly made me think of Iris Pallida, I guess its dryness and sophistication over a carrot-note or powdery iris is why I think it has to be Iris Pallida. Ombre & Lumière is never sweet (at least it isn’t on the blotter or on my sweet notes eating skin) and never turn into a powder puff, it is very slightly leathery as it manages to stays cool and elegant.

The composition is simple, focussing really only on those two notes, making each of them shine in what seems like various grey-green nuances. I really hardly notice other notes at all, and yet I know they are there, because otherwise this little chiaroscuro trick would not be possible. It’s clear that perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin has put a lot of effort into the balancing act, which is like a ballerina in arabesque. And so really nothing else is necessary, no real pyramid or other notes fighting for attention, just iris and jasmine going back and forth in pas de deux to let the other one have a bit of the light, while one withdraws for a moment to the shadows. Ombre & LumièreHowever, Ombre & Lumièreis neither timid nor showy; it’s unspectacular in its aura, even if it has normal sillage. I would be tempted to say that it might not have heart (-notes) but it does have a pretty soul.

And now to the issue of cost; at such a price tag I must admit it’s a challenge for me to see the beauty beyond the price, an obstacle to smell the fragrance without preconceptions, to not constantly compare it to what you would have to pay for it- should there not be warning signs at the end of every description? In the end I tried to be fair to the fragrance, and write as I would with any other leaving it to those who read to decide, because in the end price is a highly individual thing and what it comes down to is; are you willing to pay that amount for perfume or not? Personally, I wouldn’t pay that amount of money for a fragrance no matter what it was, and Ombre & Lumière, although very pretty and skilled, will not be the perfume to make me change that. How about you, have you or would you pay that amount if it was something you really wanted?


Pics are mine.

I couldn’t find on-line reviews for Armani Privé Ombre & Lumière, I will update if I find some.

Sport or No Sport- Cologne du Maghreb Tauer perfumes and No Sport by Parfumerie Moderne

It’s Wimbledon time! So what better subjects for today than Tauer’s Cologne and an essentially English ‘No Sport’ fragrance.

The fresh lawns, the yellow tennis balls, the athletes and the spectators, and of course; tradition. In opera, like in sports, you tend to get quite close with other people. I mean that literally; you’re sweating, you have coffee breath (at the least) and you’re wearing perfume. I have on occasion worn powerhouse perfumes, when I thought it appropriate for the role (or just appropriate for me, which perhaps was not really very nice), but a good cologne does comes in very handy.

When Ronaldo is not to be seen, is he in the photo? And how does it smell down there?

When Ronaldo is not to be seen, is he in the photo? And how does it smell down there?

5 opera singers on a PK22 chair

5 opera singers on a PK22 chair










Andy Tauer’s all natural Cologne du Maghreb is quite a perfect little cologne for this purpose. Tried and tested in action, it has kept me in a pleasant hesperidic aura for the whole duration of a performance, and the woody-labdanum base well beyond. Initially the cologne has a raspy edge, I’m thinking it’s the sage, but it only lasts a short while before it blends into the citric notes. A triumvirate of lemon, bergamot and neroli, is superbly blended into one silky bergarolimon with the bit of ‘green stem and petal’ that was casually left on the fruits. Then I get more herbs, but again beautifully intertwined, the lavender toned down, so it doesn’t cast purple shadows on this lawn green coloured fragrance. A flower or two hiding in the heart hold everything together and lead nicely into the base. The base on my skin is really quite woody, and perhaps the cedar, which takes on a slightly pencil shavings character, is the only thing that ‘betrays’ the fragrance as being a 100% natural one.

Where Maghreb comes in, in this Cologne I don’t know as it wears beautifully in the Scandinavian Midsummer nights. Sport or no sport, it’s really very suitable whatever you should choose.

Notes; lemon, bergamot, clary sage, rosemary, orange blossom, lavender, neroli, rose, atlas cedar, labdanum, vetiver and amber.

You don’t care for World Cups or Wimbledon, perhaps you should try the new release by Parfumerie Moderne called ‘No Sport’- I LOVE that name, it has humor and says exactly what it is. It’s an easily wearable fragrance, perhaps more masculine but at least unisex or ‘boyfriendy’.

the tennis party Mary Hayllar

the tennis party Mary Hayllar

It does feel like the wearer does not intend to do sport any time soon, it smells like the equivalent of a man smoking a pipe in an armchair in a ‘Gentlemen’s Club’- somewhere in Old England, perhaps after having watched a game of a very gentlemanly outdoorsy sport. It’s about slightly dusty greens; galbanum, hay and vetiver, almost more about green tweed than open air-green, it’s about old-fashioned comfy-cosy perhaps talking about taking a stroll in the park, rather than actually engaging in it.

It’s a very pleasant fragrance – with a tongue-in-cheek stiff upper lip, and it wears lighter than the notes might suggest. I don’t know that I’d give it a lot of wear, but it would smell very snug on a man.

Notes; galbanum, patchouli, vetiver, rose, geranium, hay, almond and tobacco


*The Cologne du Maghreb sample was given to me by Andy Tauer, and No Sport by a friendly Perfumista. Thank you both.

* For reviews of Tauer’s Cologne du Maghreb see Bonkers,The Non Blonde, CaFleureBon, Chemist in the bottleKafkaesque