The 13th edition of our “He says, she says” column. He: Jakub and She: Aleksandra of Persefume — two people, two genders, two opinions, both valuable, both sincere. Sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting — we test without checking each other’s impressions. Choose what fits you better. Write your own part in comments.

This time we revisit some of major recent niche launches, partly mentioned in our Persfume Top 21 Round-up, adding several totally new reviews. All before tests of major Esxence- The Scent of Excellence novelties which would dominate our magazine very soon. So here they come, in alphabetical order:

Aedes de Venustas Palisandre d’Or


Top Notes: Ambrette
Heart Notes: Pink pepper, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon
Base Notes: Sandalwood, copahu balm, cedarwood, patchouli, ambroxan

He — Woody, luminous, comforting. Very well chosen name: Alberto Morillas‘ Palissandre d’Or is like golden mixture of sandalwood and spices boosted by ambroxan. Bravo, Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner of Aedes for such a great artistic direction of this signature line. And soon at Esxence: Fabrice Pellegrin’s Aedes Cierge de Lune!

She — Smells a little like dusty wood with an inner light – rather one ray than full sunshine. Very refined, well mixed, lots of ingredients, very nice sandalwood, rather close to the skin.

Maria Candida Gentile Elephant and Roses


Top Notes: Thyme, Custus, Osmanthus
Heart Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Grey Amber
Base Notes: Java vetiver, Sandal wood, Animal accord

He — Rosy, herbal and animalic at the same time. It is fragrance full of twists, composed with hint of smart humour. Very refreshing idea. Another take on rose – Rrose Sèlavy is launching at Esxence, I am sure it will suprise me as well!

She — A dark, sappy rose with tough skin and lots of nectar inside. Also there’s something gasoline-like on the verge of perception. Not a bright star, rather a shadowy overlord. Intriguing!

Masque Romanza

Masque logo – new bottle for Romanza is coming soon!

Notes: Absinth, orange blossom, angelica, violet leaf, narcissus, hyacinth, woods, amber and civet

He — Romanza Victorian Narcissus – the first fragrance of IFF’s Cristiano Canali for Riccardo Tedeschi and Alessandro Brun‘s Masque Milano. Ode to narcissus and dandies, with hidden animalic undertones. Romanza’s beginning reminded me Canali’s work for Rubini Fundamental, but soon the scent changed its path into more narcotic and seductive direction. Long-lasting and very classy work! Romanza will be finally launched in April 2016, in the brand new 35ml packaging – just after the official presentation of Masque L’Attesa by Luca Maffei – combination of iris, white flowers, leather and champagne notes.

She — Naughty narcissus! I very much admire the scent of these flowers, now’s the time to have them on the table, and that’s exactly what is happening at my home. Compared to the real flower Romanza stays far from that heartbreaking innocence of narcissus. It has some very radical, faecal traits to it, more down to earth than meadowy and windy. Still, a rendition good enough to wear it. And I’m longing for someone to repeat the beauty of L’Artisan’s Fleur de Narcisse.

Naomi Goodsir Iris Cendre

Notes: Bergamot, tangerine, orris butter, violet, amber, cistus, tobacco

He — Collaboration of Naomi Goodsir with young and talented perfumer Julien Rasquinet’s collaboration with Naomi Goodsir resulted in one of the most glorious iris compositions ever. Incense and spices makes it even more perfect. Longevity in my case is a small issue, yet the overall effect is just breathtaking.

She — Raw, deep and slightly earthy opening shimmering with watery carrot overtones. What smells classical at first, reaches an interesting, buttery twist, just to melt in a smoky, slightly salty mass. Very polished, too grounded to my taste.

Olivier Durbano Chrysolithe

Flacon Chrysolithe
Top Notes: Hyssop, cumin, vervain, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger
Heart Notes: Sage essence, rosemary, jasmine
Bases Notes: Cedar wood, vetiver, sage Absolue, ambergris, musk

He — Olivier Durbano’s scents are like his jewels – poetic, raw, yet full of nuances. Chrysolithe continues this parth with aromatic spicy and herbal undertones. Perfect spring scent, perhaps bit brigher than earlier offerings. I know that figue is not in the notes, but Chrysolithe has same green character. Very enjoyable.

She — There’s something unmistakeably bright in all Durbano’s creations- as if the perfumer was able to embed the light of gems into his scented poems. Chrysolite is no exception. It shimmers with that beautiful, once-a-year hue of spring green trimmed with gold. It is very hard to describe on material level: I detect traces of ginger, lavender and rosemary, but the overall result is totally abstract, a fruit of joyful brightness.

Olfactive Studio Selfie


Top notes: Elemi, Ginger, Star anise, Incense, Angelica
Middle notes: Accord of Maple syrup, Cinnamon, Lily, Cabreuva
Base notes: Accord of Suede, Styrax, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood

He — Selfie by perfumer Thomas Fontaine turned out to be modern, full-bodied and multi-faceted fragrance blending aromatic spices, styrax and woods. Spicy, sweet and green at the same time – it is far from being average! And the newest Still Life in Rio continues this good path of this Celine Verleure‘s brand – our review is coming soon!

She — Strange, sweet and burnt feeling, clashed with a juicy flesh underneath. Sounds a little bit flat overall.

Pictures and notes via brands’ press releases.

Jakub (left) and Aleksandra (right)—photo edit by Jakub Grabarczyk. All rights reserved.