Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sucree – Perfume From An Enchanted Forest

Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sucree – Perfume From An Enchanted Forest

There is one perfume I am regularly reaching for, which is unusual for me. Specific perfumes that I enjoy “regularly” are few and far between, as my nose is fickle and sensitive. I either love something one day, then wonder what I was thinking the next. Or love something upon first spray, then have to remove every last trace of it when my nose goes into overload. Don’t get me wrong, I like to wear intense perfumes too, but they have to be masterfully blended. But this one perfume has me mesmerized. 


One of my favourite things is to wear perfumes that are rare and unique. Oh don’t get me wrong. I love mainstream perfumes as much as the next person, but there is something so satisfying about wearing something fresh and out of the ordinary. The ones that are less likely to pervade the air in public places. I went to a movie and the entire theatre smelled like D&G Light Blue – ok I get that it is popular, and for good reason. It smells good. But come on people – use your imagination. You don’t have to smell like everyone else, and that’s one of the reasons I avoid the latest greatest department store and Sephora launch offerings.

It was with great joy that I tried the Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger line. I had some samples last year and fell HARD for their Collection des Inédits (translates to Collection Never Before Released more or less) which are based on the classics of perfumery, like lavender, rose, violet, iris, tuberose and the like. However they have a beautiful and subtle twist which makes them deliciously modern. The bottles are works of art on their own. Heavy, substantial white opaque glass with solid ash caps.

dalybeauty_Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger_Violette Sacree

Being a lover of violet perfumes (my violet perfume obsession is chronicled here and here) I knew I would love Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sacrée even before I sniffed it. I just didn’t know how much until I wore it. It smells so beautiful and sensual, as the name “Sacred Violet” would imply. From Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger:

The opening of bright bergamot is instantly captivating as we move to a blend of lily of the valley, roses and white flower. Deep in the woods, wild violets bloom under a verdant canopy of violet leaves as the sun sets. The scent of vetiver and sandalwood appear and the soul of this fragrance is revealed, rich and confident.

Top: Bergamot, violet, violet leaves.
Heart: Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom,
Lily of the Valley.
Base: Cedar, Vetiver, Musk, Wood Accord.

The violet leaf ads a rich almost soapy aspect that I adore. It has a green almost grassy and clean note that makes me think of rainforest waterfalls. This takes the violet out of the too-sweet candy category, but it’s still sweet enough to smell delicious. What elevates Violette Sacrée and makes it irresistible is the divine base. All of the flowers in the top and middle notes are beautiful and gentle. They play up the violet top notes and play soft supporting roles – they’re there, but stay close to the skin and just glow. But the rich woods, smoky vetiver and warm skin musks are what sets this apart. It’s soft and sexy, dries down to an enticing and gorgeous skin scent that is irresistible.

Film Title: Snow White and the Huntsman

If I had to give it a colour, it would be a smoky purple grey. If I had to give it a texture, it would be a silk tapestry, with many shades of purple and grey. Ethereal and soft, but never lacking in substance. This ghost is earthbound.

Verdict – LOVE.

You can buy Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger at Twisted Lily and at Beautyhabit, and in Canada at White Oaks Spa in Niagara on The Lake, at around $125 for a 100ml bottle.

Guerlain Jicky Eau de Parfum

Guerlain Jicky Eau de Parfum

Guerlain Jicky eau de parfum refillable

I’ve written about my love for Guerlain Jicky before, but that was the eau de toilette. If you know Guerlain perfumes, you will know that each formulation- the parfum/extrait, the eau de parfum and the eau de toilette – of each fragrance is different. Different notes and ingredients shine in each formulation, and they smell different on the skin.

The impressive history of the perfume Jicky is in my previous review – it is the oldest perfume in continuous production, which is pretty impressive considering the beautiful perfumes that have come and gone over the past century. It was the signature perfume of Brigitte Bardot, & also worn by Jackie Kennedy (she also wore Patou Joy, the woman really did have impeccable taste….) but incredibly, it was worn by both Sean Connery and Roger Moore. It is a shape shifting perfume that really manages to take on the skin of the wearer. It warms on the skin and becomes part of you – so I would find it hard to call it a feminine or a masculine scent. I’d call it feminine in that I love it, and for myself I tend to favour softer less “butch” fragrances and on me, Jicky is anything but butch.

Rhett to Scarlett: You should be kissed and often, &  by someone who knows how
Rhett to Scarlett: You should be kissed and often, & by someone who knows how

I described it the synaesthetic sense as  “purple velvet”. It’s creamy, with the top notes of lavender and citrus woven together like an exotic desert. It then starts to get a bit darker and sensual, with the sensual aspect likely coming from the civet. The lavender sparkles in Jicky eau de toilette, and with the lemony notes, feels quite sunny and bright. In the Jicky eau de parfum the civet is the yang to the yin of the lavender, bringing it down to earth….waaaay down. The earthiness becomes a deep musk-y skin scent, that smells naughty and, well, sexual. Without offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities I’d say there is a “dirty knickers” note that you can pick up deep in the dry down. It’s not outwardly or in your face SEXY but more sensual. There is a deliciously sweet vanilla and woodsy dry down to the eau de parfum that is much warmer than the eau de toilette and just smells…voluptuous.

There is a fantastic literary reference to Jicky in Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers. in the first chapter, “Unspoiled Monsters”, in which Capote describes a visit to Colette’s apartment:

The room smelled of her perfume…at some point I asked what it was, and Colette said: “Jicky. The Empress Eugénie always wore it. I like it because it’s an old-fashioned scent with an elegant history, and because it’s witty without being coarse—like the better conversationalists. Proust wore it. Or so Cocteau tells me.”

It’s easy for me to say that Guerlain is my favourite perfume house with Jicky and Apres l’Ondee being my ultimate perfumes. Chanel comes a close second.

“What remains of a woman when she is in the dark? When she has undressed, when we can no longer see her make-up, her wonderful hair, her beautiful eyes, when she’s taken off her jewellery, what is left? Only her charming voice and her perfume.” Jean Paul Guerlain

guerlain jicky

Guerlain Jicky eau de parfum is available at select Guerlain counters and at Guerlain Boutiques. A 50 ml bottle with the gold cannister is around $160 with refill bottles around $90.

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Smell Like The Future: Robert Piguet Futur Perfume

Robert Piguet Futur is one of their original fragrances, originally released in the 60s.  At some point it was discontinued, likely due in part to the 60+ ingredients in the original version. Yesterday’s Perfumes has an enchanting review of the vintage formula. It’s been re-released and reworked with published notes of  bergamot, neroli, violet, jasmine, ylang, vetiver, cedar, patchouli. This perfume makes me think of the sounds of brilliantly discordant jazz. It seems haphazard but somehow it works and is strangely beautiful.

Futur is a “green” scent, and true to a good green perfume, I smell a ton of forest and resinous galbanum. It’s not listed as an ingredient but that may just be because by today’s perfume note listing standards, it’s more about advertising than actually listing the “notes”. My first impression of Futur is neon Irish Spring soap in a field of wildflowers. The floral notes just sing, in a gorgeous classical perfume way. I get an impression of floral/green classics like Joy, Ma Griffe, a hint of Miss Dior (original) and even a bit of Guerlain Chamade. The fresh florals give way to sexy jasmine and ylang and then become smoky vetiver. It’s like a ghost of classic perfumes with a crisp clean modern perfume built around it. It is clean and sexy at the same time – the sexy has something to with the woodsy patchouli base. It’s almost like an incense with that intoxicating smoky resinous goodness. I feel engergized when I wear Futur, and like I can do anything. Futur can go from jeans to the boardroom to a night out on the town. I love it, and wish I could try the parfum/extrait version – it must be so dense and gorgeous. The chewy mouth watering green-ness of Futur is addictive. I huff my wrists when I wear it.

Verdict is love, but I would caution buying this without sniffing. It’s not for the faint of heart, even though in the end it dries down to a sexy skin scent that smells like heaven to me. It’s not easy to love, and it doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, Pink Sugar. If you are willing to step outside of the average perfume box and smell special, you should sniff it out. Also – if you like Irish Spring. Manly, yes, but I like it too….


Robert Piguet perfumes are available at specialty department stores, listed here on their website. And at The Perfume Shoppe in Canada. I don’t see Futur on their site but perhaps they can order it in. Ogilvy in Montreal carries the line as well.

Mysterious Perfume: A Lab On Fire’s L’Anonyme

Mysterious Perfume: A Lab On Fire’s L’Anonyme


I like perfumes that take a chance. They try to step outside of the box, either in the actual scent (which can be risky) or in design, style, distribution or what have you. The name A Lab On Fire conjures up a dramatic mental picture for me, and makes me think about the process of perfumery. It is a very small perfume house, with 3 scents, each designed by “the brightest talents in the industry”.  They have three scents, and if you like to step outside the perfume box, I really suggest you give these a try. I love the modern aesthetic of the packaging and the pitch. Elegant, I’d call it.

L’Anonyme (the anonymous) is what I would call a soft woodsy scent, with soft & sexy musk base that I could almost describe as mouth watering. That doesn’t mean it is foody or gourmande, rather,  it plays tricks on your senses. I find some musk molecules can make me wonder if I am indeed sniffing or tasting a fragrance. The Lab on Fire website describes it as “deep, unique” and “an enigma”. I have to say, I almost prefer this to a laundry list of perfume notes. Yes, maybe there are notes of woods, suede, bergamot and geranium, but tossing those notes around doesn’t really help to describe this scent.

The talented and handsome Olivier Polge…

The perfumer, Olivier Polge, most recently known for his Balenciaga scents (Paris and Florabotanica), really knows his way around a perfume. Amazing to me that he could create the baroque confection known as Flowerbomb and then use his magic on this minimalist and elegant scent. But, he also created Dior Homme, which is one of best woodsy iris scents out there. Seriously, so elegant. And I suppose I can detect a hint or shadow of  the Dior Homme impression here, without it being identifiably masculine. L’Anonyme could be worn by a man or a woman, easily. There is something so delicious about the woodsy notes – I had my nose buried in my arm while the dry down of the scent progressed. The dry down on the skin is simply beautiful. Soft, clean yet sexy- that is the magic of those musk molecules. I love L’Anonyme- it is everything I wanted Escentric Molecule 01 to be and more. If one could describe a perfume as urban and otherwordly at the same time, L’Anonyme would be that perfume.

I got my A Lab On Fire L’Anonyme from MIN New York

I.C.O.N. India Line For Heavenly Hair

I.C.O.N. India Line For Heavenly Hair

I love I.C.O.N. hair products- MESH Styling Cream (also known as the best curl cream ever) and CURE Conditioning Spray are permanent parts of my hair care routine and I can’t imagine not having them. Not only do they work perfectly, but they smell like heaven. I.C.O.N. is known for the beautiful scents they use in their hair care line, and it just enhances the incredible effectiveness of each product. I have been asked what perfume I am using when I wear MESH in my hair, of course usually only when someone is *that* close to my hair….

ICON India Oil Shampoo, Conditioner & a touch of serum does this.

I was keen to try their ICON India line after seeing it at my salon. After my stylist used the India shampoo and conditioner on my hair, I floated away on the gorgeous scent of ambery goodness and  silkiness left behind by the active ingredient, Moringa Oil. I knew they had to come home with me. They are the same gorgeous top quality products I have come to expect from ICON, and you can feel it the minute you pour it into your hands. ICON India Shampoo is thick and rich, with a pearly look to it, and even on my massive mop of hair, I only need to use the tiniest amount. The lather is medium, not crazy, and it rinses out beautifully, and my hair feels soft and smooth, not oily or matted. As Goldilocks would say, “just right”. And the sultry amber scent wafts in the steam of the shower. It is exotic and wonderful, sort of a woodsy amber, and would work wonderfully on a man as well. Not a “girly” scent, and frankly, it smells expensive.

The ICON India Conditioner is just as wonderful. It has a thick almost paste like consistency, yet melts into my hair beautifully. Again, an unbelievably small amount is all it takes. I apply it from mid point of my hair (around the ears) to the ends, massage it in as much as possible, then use a wide tooth comb to distribute it evenly. I like to do this right after shampooing, and that right after I get in the shower. Tip: this way I am able to leave the conditioner on for as long as possible while I go through the rest of the shower routine. So it’s like a mini deep conditioning treatment everytime I use it. It rinses out beautifully and my hair feels soft and bouncy. Tip: I often like to use a nickel sized amount of conditioner as a leave-in product, especially if my hair has been punished by sun, sea or pool water. I apply to the ends of my hair after I take my hair out of the towel, and scrunch it in, then comb through. This is helpful for dry or coarse hair, but would likely be too heavy for finer that hasn’t been abused by highlights.

I am seriously in love with the ICON India line! Stay tuned for my review of the India Oil serum (yes- I am using a serum….) and their India Healing Spray (just got it today!) which is a protein rich repairing leave in treatment. How exciting!

No frizz on a hot summer morning. Seriously, this is right out of bed.NO COMB.

I.C.O.N. India line and their other products are available online and from authorized salons.

I Pour Champagne In My Bath

I Pour Champagne In My Bath

The story goes that the perfume house of Caron created Royal Bain de Caron exclusively to satisfy the whims of a Californian millionaire who wanted to replace his extravagant champagne baths. It was originally called Royal Bain de Champagne, but, like Yves St Laurent’s Champagne perfume that became Yvresse, the Champagne people of France had something to say about the use of that word, so it became Royal Bain de Caron. Whoever it was created for, it was originally launched as a perfume to scent the bath (an “eau parfumée pour le bain” if you will) in the 20s, and became an eau de toilette in the early 40s. It is also allegedly one of the first scents marketed as a unisex or shared scent. The ad below encourage one to use it “Before the bath. During the bath. After the bath”. Rather clever marketing, I’d say, as one would need a pretty steady supply of this perfume to keep that up.



Ad from the 60s

I have the current eau de toilette formula of Royal Bain de Caron. There isn’t any discussion out there regarding reformulation, so I imagine the scent is fairly true to what it once was. I absolutely love it. I can smell the “Champagne” scent in there for sure. There is a slightly sweet and effervescent fruity note, sort of peachy or apricot, that eludes to the sweet fruity nature of the drink. But there are no fruits listed in the notes, so perhaps it is a lovely perfume mirage. The top notes are listed as floral, and the Caron website mentions lilac. I can smell it for sure, but it is more like a soft powdery lilac soap than a strong floral note. The heart notes are delicious creamy and resinous- opoponax, benzoin and incense- but they are never strong or overwhelming. I adore these notes, especially the incense. They are so smooth that they are almost meditative, which seems reasonable for incense in perfume. The base is a soft woodsy vanilla, with a gentle powdery aspect maintained throughout the development of the scent. And I definitely pick up some soft sexy musk notes. The bottle itself is cute and cheeky, and to this day, it still is meant to look like a bottle of Champagne.


An orignal ad from the 20s


The fruity “mirage” I mentioned gives a a sweet, almost candy-like impression, that adds an almost edible aspect to Royal Bain de Caron. This is what makes this perfume so remarkable to me- it is a clean, soapy perfume meant to approximate an utterly decadent bath, all the while smelling like sweet skin that invites you in to snuggle up and get closer. It is never strong, never overwhelming, and just basically purrs on the skin. Personally, I can’t wait to pour some in the bath, because the idea of perfuming my bath with, well, perfume, is my kind of decadent. And of course, with a glass of Veuve Cliquot to go with. Pink Veuve, even…..


Yes, I wear my jewels in the bath…


Happily, Royal Bain de Caron is available for a very reasonable price online. Google it.

The Gorgeousness of Ivoire de Balmain

The Gorgeousness of Ivoire de Balmain

Most people describe Ivoire de Balmain as “soapy” or “clean”. I suppose it is those things, but to simply describe it as that would be like calling Ottawa in January as “cold”. Ivoire is, to me, a gorgeous meditation on warm, sexy skin. It was released in 1980, and is described as a Green Floral, but it is not an 80s perfume bomb. It definitely has more the of 70s modern, clean & still very sexy vibe, yet you can sense the depth of mega ingredients used in the 80s making it’s way in there. It’s a neat balance, actually.

But it never goes where perfumes like Giorgio and Poison go, which is TOP VOLUME. Ivoire never put on her shoulder pads, and never teased her hair. She kept her slinky wide leg pants and silky blouses, and her centre parted soft and sexy hair. It does have the Kitchen Sink list of notes that can works beautifully but never goes nuclear. Here are some notes that I’ve assembled from various points the web – with the ones I detect the most in bold, and the supporting notes in italics:

Top notes: green accord, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, aldehydes

Heart notes: Lily of the valley, rose, hyacinth, jasmine, carnation, orris, orchid, geranium

Base notes: Cedar, musk, oakmoss, amber, raspberry, sandalwood

Eau de Toilette, gorgeous, & what I wear…


Vintage parfum, stunning if you can find it…

The galbanum top note is particularly interesting in Ivoire. The classic green Balmain scent, Vent Vert, especially in it’s vintage formulation, is known for its uber doses of galbanum. Perhaps Ivoire was an ode to Balmain history? It is a somewhat “old fashioned” note in that you just don’t see it in modern perfumery very much as it’s not “pretty”, per se, nor easy to fall in with right away. It needs to settle on the skin to be appreciated for it’s true beauty. Galbanum is a peculiar note, and smells, off the top, a bit bitter and acrid, then can go quite green, spicy, woody and balsam like. It can be reminiscent of pine, evergreen, parsely, sour green apples,  musk or simply just “intensely green”. Hello, mama, sign me up. I often get a “skanky” accord from galbanum and to me that just reads as sexy. If Ivoire is soapy, it is only soapy in the “soap covering up warm, sexy skin right out of a post-rendevous bath” sense.

Once the galbanum naughty notes dissipate, the warm florals start to come out and bloom on the skin. The extreme sweetness that could come from the florals is tempered softly by the citrus top notes and galbanum, so the florals come out sweet but somehow are perfectly balanced. Then…this is the best part. The woody mossy base is simply to die for. I’m not sure what the oak moss deal is with Ivoire – real?  Synthetic? Old stock would mean real oak moss for sure. I’ve yet to smell an Ivoire I don’t like, so from where I stand the oak moss question is a mystery. Add some warm sweet amber and then, this is the kicker- sandalwood and raspberry. Fruits in the base add up to simply gorgeous in Ivoire. The woody dry down of Ivoire goes on for hours on my skin and is so rich, sexy and mysterious I can’t get enough of it. I get compliments on it constantly and have even been followed by men asking me what perfume I’m wearing. It is not a loud projecting scent at all, but nor is it a quiet mouse of a scent- it teases with it’s feminine wiles. To my nose it is drop dead femininity in a bottle. If squeaky clean is white, then something not-quite-clean is ivory….

Ivoire is one of my Top 10 favourite perfumes of all time and always will be. Inexplicably it is still available for a song online, and I mean a big bottle for under $40. If anything I have written here appeals to you, get yourself some now.