From L’Attesa to Zaffran- mini reviews PK perfumes, FM parfums, Opus Oils, Masque and Slumberhouse


I have a bit of a thing for saffron, in food, in perfume, to look at… It’s quite magical, so I’m always exited to see if perfumers can give this a twist, or make it stand out in a particularly beautiful way.

Zaffran was sent to me by the kind Paul Kiler of PK perfumes. It’s a strong saffron opening which is both leathery and astringent thanks to vivid orange-citrus notes, before slowly mellowing into a mélange of discreet warm spices and taking on the skin like quality of costus. Definitely does what it says on the box, and does it with aplomb.

Pouvoir Mystique by Fabio Luisi (FM Parfums) has almost the exact opposite development of the Paul Kiler’s Zaffran. It’s a skin and fur-like opening, which at first gives a gauzy impression which surprisingly develops into a smooth leather. The saffron here is wafting softly above the composition throughout, lending a little bite to the caressible opening and an edge to the leather of the dry down. It’s a fragrance which would lend itself to lavish spraying as a snug undercoat, the way I sometimes use EdC, with perhaps another perfume dabbed at the wrists.

Ode de Vampyre by Opus Oils, isn’t a soli-saffron. Although quite a perfumey-perfume it’s a bit of an enigma as it seems to shift a lot on me. While reminding me of other perfumes, especially certain 1980s creations, it isn’t easy to pin down. (Mostly) It opens slightly mossy on a beautiful fruity-rose note accompanied by saffron giving off a ray of sunshine. The milky sweet sandalwood blends beautifully with buttery iris. I like this perfume oil a lot, and would be very curious to try the EdP version. There’s no vampirism about this one, that’s unless you bathe in it, and you imagine vampires the equivalent to being locked in a confined space with ladies having massively over applied their 1980s perfumes. And BTW the notes of cedar wood, saffron, dark Rose, orris root, sandalwood, black agar, vetiver, honey and temple incense, make it sound a lot darker than it is, with neither oud, incense or honey being very dominant just adding to the overall oriental plushness.

Still talking of perfume notes I love, but moving from indie to niche, how excited was I to read of the new perfume L’Attesa from Italian House Masque Milano iris and champagne!

The opening is all iris, a rooty orris, leathery in feel. It’s modern sensual, creamy perhaps but not powdery. I do understand the talk of the yeasty part of champagne being what is tried to achieve here, and perhaps I get a whiff of it, though sniffing at an open bottle of Cremant (opened solely for purpose of writing this naturellement), I must say that L’Attesa never really smells like this, nor has it got the bubbly feel of my two go-to champagne fragrances; Arpège and Vega. (I realise talking of iconic fragrances is setting the bar high.). I was quite surprised when in the middle of the development of L’Attesa I was suddenly reminded of the sorrowful chrysanthemum in the outstanding Lutens’ De Profundis. If you’re looking for a leathery iris which still has a floral quality, this one is worth a try.image

Another Champagne perfume I was keen to try was Sådanne by Slumberhouse (how cool to finally have a perfume name for which my Danish keyboard has the letter, without needing to symbol-insert). The name doesn’t mean much by the way. Sådan means ‘such as’, ‘which are of a kind’ or ‘(t)here you are’, sådanne would be dialect of sorts and doesn’t exist as a correct word. It opens on a great big authentic strawberry syrup note. I’ve seen it compared to Victoria’s Secret Strawberry and Champagne, which I happened to come across in the Super Market the other day, and I don’t see the similarity. Sådanne has a beautiful sweet and dense strawberry note whereas S&C is like tinnitus for the nose. comparing them is like comparing silk and polyester. Anyway, in Sådanne I do get a tiny bit of a yeasty undertone from sparkling wine. After the strawberry has faded away, although animalic ambergris is mentioned, the sensation I get is that of soft moss, cedar and musk, no beasts to be scared of here (says the vintage-lover 😉 ). It’s a bit of fun, but not quite enough Champagne for my taste.


Pics my collages, in the main one, you might be able to see an amazing necklace by my friend of Trine’s Treasures


9 thoughts on “From L’Attesa to Zaffran- mini reviews PK perfumes, FM parfums, Opus Oils, Masque and Slumberhouse

  1. Oooh loved these mini reviews. I’ve been curious about L’Attesa and heard it’s rather subdued. Portia was kind enough to send me a couple of PK samples so I will go home tonight and check which ones – hoping there’s Zaffran. I’m intrigued by the sound of Ode de Vampyre by Opus Oils but the comparison to 80s perfumes does rather scare me.

    Fabulous main pic (I will check out your friend’s website now) and you also get the best soundbite award for “tinnitus for the nose”!

    • Thank you dear. Zaffran might be too much saffron for you, but on the other hand I know you love Lancome Cuir, so… Yes, L’attesa is honestly too subdued for me too, I’m not sure it convinced me, but then I am picky, especially when it comes to iris. I’ll send you the Vampyre one, a parcel is long overdue 🙂

      • Thanks! Fingers crossed it gets past the perfume parcel police.

        • Oh, I forgot, but it’s an oil, which I’ll write LOUD AND CLEAR 😉

  2. I am also ‘mad about saffron’ – I even had a cat of that name once – and would be up for trying most of these, except the strawberry one you mention last – I also chuckled at the tinnitus image, ditto the distinction between silk and polyester. Like my mother before me, I am a bit of a fabric snob. And the 80s smellalike one does sound a bit full on, come to think of it, but the first two – and l’Attesa – sound strikingly lovely. I am on a bit of a costus kick at the moment, and always have a bottle of Cremant de something on hand. When I catch up with L’Attesa I may recreate your side-be-side experiment. 😉

    I know how thrilling it must be to have the accent on your keyboard already. I remember being taught how to say the store Ahlens properly, though I realise that is Swedish! See, I don’t have that symbol, or not without inserting it into Word and copying it over, hehe.

    • I encourage you to ‘side by side’ test L’Attesa with whichever sparky wine you prefer, I mean, it doesn’t make sense otherwise 🙂 And these bottles of emergency bubbles need to be replaced now and again.
      And Saffron for a cat’s name, how cute is that. Siblings Saffron and Ginger then?
      I would say one can do excellent saffron- champagne risottos, and/ or drinks if you want to take the experiment even further 😉 No, seriously, I’m glad to have a fellow saffron fan, too often the note is ‘just’ paired with rose, or used as a substitute oud, although those two smell very different to me, so I always like to see new fragrances which highlight this note.
      Ditto, fabric snob here. And thanks for understanding my Åhléns/Sådanne moment of happines.

  3. I’m curious what has happened to that bottle of Cremant after it served its main purpose? 🙂

    I haven’t tried any of the perfumes from you mini-reviews but I hope to try L’Attesa eventually.

    I like saffron note in perfumes but I do not actively seek them out. And I never really paid attention to saffron in food so I don’t know if I like it (but probably I do).
    As to champagne, I definitely prefer it in a flute… and now I want champagne. I have to check my wine cabinet – just to properly get what you’re writing about those perfumes, you know.

    • I hope you got yourself a nice bottle of Champagne out together with those perfect flutes (I agree, they keep the bubbles better) and had a good sniff while you were at it. As for me, I’m sure the bubbles tasted even better knowing that it was all ‘for the cause’ 😉 I do love decadence now and again, and what could be more decadent than perfume and champagne? I also thought of another very worthwhile champagne perfume afterwards; Dom Rosa by Liquid imaginaires. Truly lovely. Unfortunately it doesn’t stick around long enough on my skin, but don’t let that keep you from testing it, because my friend had no issues of that kind.
      I think you would like saffron in food, it’s a little bitter so for me risotto, as I mentioned to V., is a great combo.

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