Tuesday, January 22, 2013

S-A-D #17: Aftelier 'Cassis'

Sample A Day Review: Day #17
Cassis
Retired line
Custom orders available
"Fruity, complex, spicy and warm, with notes of black currant and rum. Creating a fruity perfume with only natural ingredients is quite a challenge, since most fruity aromas are synthetic. An opulent black currant absolute blended with sparkling rum enabled me to create a fruity perfume with the tonality of winter fruit.  
Featured Notes: 
Top: Rum CO2, blood orange. 
Heart: pimento berry absolute, black currant. 
Base: black tea, patchouli."

Cassis opens with a really dense rum note. Like the description says, berry/black currant is not the fruity medicinal berry that is can often be found in many of those blackcurrant perfumes. It is a deep essence of blackcurrants like ripe fruit macerated in rum. The rum is not overly boozy either and goes very well with the fruit. Berries/currants mixed with rum smells like some kind of exotic liqueur. The patchouli emerges and takes the boozy fruit in a totally different direction. It adds a lot of depth and makes the perfume very interesting. In the dry down, orange seems like it appears from nowhere but on careful sniffing, it is the fruit that gradually shifts into orange. Orange is very mildly spiced. Blackcurrant, spiced orange with hints of rum makes me think of christmas pudding but it is not literal, only the abstract essence of it. It does not smell like anything edible, thanks to patchouli.

I am a fan of Mandy's natural perfumes and Cassis makes me appreciate her perfumes even more. I think Cassis is a perfect non-tart, non-gourmand perfume based on blackcurrant with a beautiful depth. I bought this sample long ago and it is 1/4th ml, which is just enough to get a feel of the perfume but very less to actually say about how long it lasts on the skin. My full bottle purchases of Aftelier perfumes in the order of my preference would be Tango, Amber, followed by Cassis. If I can afford, that is!

17 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm a new follower. I actually started following you not so long ago because I wanted to know more about perfumes and how you identify them and everything. I have to say that I have learnt a lot from you :) And yeah, I just nominated you for the Liebster Award, you can see what's this is about on http://mee-line.blogspot.com/2013/01/liebster-award.html

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    1. Hi Meeline! I am so glad you find my blog useful :) I am following your blog too and love reading yours :)
      Thanks so much for the nomination! Means a lot :) x

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  2. Hmmm... I love the smell of blackcurrants! I don´t think that I´ve ever sniffed a blackcurrant perfume though, but I won a sample of one in a giveaway on fragrantica in December... It hasn´t showed up though, so I think it got lost in the mail.. :( That one was a woody and resiny one, Ecnhanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince. If it shows up one of these days, I´ll review it! :)

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    1. I hope that fragrance ends up showing up for you- it sounds really nice! :D

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    2. Oh, that sounds very nice! I really hope you get your sample, not good when it gets lost in mail :(

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  3. This sounds quite pretty! Though I don't generally go for fruity or alcohol (rum,whiskey) type of scents, I am always open to try new scents. For example, I didn't know if I'd like Maura Mae by OHWTO since it has both fruit and whiskey notes, but I ended up really loving it!

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    1. Maura Mae sounds lovely! I don't particularly like fruity scents. I can wear them if they have something interesting like booze or patchouli or resins. It is amazing how you fall for something unexpectedly :)

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  4. I'm not much for boozy fruit, either, but I have wanted to try Aftelier! I will have to take a look the next time I'm in the mood for new perfume :)

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    1. Oh Larie, you should try Aftelier! The samples are 1/4th ml, tiny amount but at $6 it is nice to have a try. There are some green scents which I think you'll like :)

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  5. From your description I thought I could smell it! My mother makes all kinds of liquers and I think, maybe it smellS similar minus the patchouli.

    My boyfriend bought me a book of hers "Essence and Alchemy" and I loved it so much! I want to try her perfumes ever since but I can't afford it right now.

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    1. It is great to know that you have the book! That must sure be an interesting one to read and very useful for DIY. I may get it at some point in future. The samples are fairly priced, $6 for a ml of EDP. I can't afford the full sizes but have a bunch of samples. Tango is so good :)

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  6. I have Tango and it is DIVINE. This one doesn't sound much like something I'd enjoy but what do you think?

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    1. Oh, Tango is simply divine! Just last night I poured the two drops that were remaining in my vial on my wrist and took the last few whiffs of the gorgeous perfume. Cassis is very different from Tango. This is more of a deep ripe fruit smell. You will like it if you like fruity perfumes but bored of the sugary sweet ones :)

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  7. Greetings, Su
    My apologies for posting off-subject. I've been reading a while, but haven't set up a personal account for my posting, yet. I absolutely LOVE your site! I started reading it from the beginning and am amazed by how far you have advanced in a relatively short period of time.
    I've "played" with fragrance blending a few times in the past, but came across the Key accords from PA a few weeks ago and my curiosity was stirred.
    After skimming (so far) through some of your entries, I am newly inspired!
    I have a major body chemistry dilemma...95% of all fragrances I've tried smell like bug repellent within a few minutes after applying. No exaggeration. I've had a number of people ask me if (my office, my house, my car, etc) had just been sprayed for insects.
    Highly embarassing!
    One of the few fragrances that do not "turn" on me is Dior "Poison" (original, 1985 version in purple bottle).
    I've been reading details and see that tuberose may be the dominant fragrance.
    Can you recommend some accords or or other bases that may be worth trying out? I realize that everyone is different and hope that by telling you I can wear poison will trigger some suggestions for fragrances (natural or chem) that may be compatible with my quirky chemistry.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Bren

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    1. Hello Bren! Thank you for your comment. I am so glad to hear that you are experimenting with your own blends. That is so exciting! I am sad to hear that your chemistry turns perfumes into bug spray smell. That must be frustrating! Good to know you can wear Poison.

      Poison, in my opinion is tuberose with lots of spice and sweetness. It is difficult to recreate the smell of tuberose using base blends. Tuberose is a sweet/honeyed, quite heady, green floral (think mashed fresh flowers). I suggest you go for a floral base blend like combination of muguet + gardenia or sampaquita (very little), a bit of woody base to hold them (cedar), a bit of hay absolute may give that honeyed sweetness. Easiest to recreate tuberose is with some tuberose natural extract or essential oil but they can be pricey (cheap option: fragrance oil). If you get something like that you can add it in your blends. Remember all these base blends are very strong and little goes a long way (fragrance oils are more dilute and you may need more of it). Once you get the tuberose note, you can work on it by adding some fruity/spicy/incense-y accords to the base blend and make it smell close to Poison. This is just my suggestion as I have never tried making anything like this.
      Other perfumes which you may like if you like the tuberose in Poison are: Serge Lutens Cedre, Elemis Exotic, Lou Lou Cacharel. You can also try Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Beyond Love By Kilian, Robert Piguet Fracas but they are more floral than warm or sweet. I hope they don't turn vile on you.
      Have fun experimenting. I hope you can make something you like and something that works with your chemsitry. Good luck :)

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    2. Hi Su,
      Thanks so much for the advice and info!
      I will start searching for the various components today. :)
      When I smell poison directly from the bottle, it smells...well, purple. *smiles* Almost grape-ish. I've also heard Poison described as mixed berry and, as you mentioned...honey. I have a Jasmine Sambaquita key accord, which is lovely. I'm always surprised when I hear the green floral, woody cedar, incense and hay ~ seperately, I don't care for green, cedar or incense but I've read the same description several places. Interesting how combining several fragrances that I find offensive individually are delicious when combined. :)
      I have recently purchased 4 key accords: Dewfruit, Vanilla, Rose and Sambaquita. Plus a few fragrance oils: vanilla sugar, freesia, Plumeria and Jasmine (I obviously like the rich, sweet fragrances).
      I still need to wrap my head around the not-so-obvious fragrances that pull it together and give it balance. I've always been aware of the need for the proper proportions of top-heart-base note balance, but when "shopping" I have a hard time steering away from the individual fragrances I'm attracted to. Time to summon my inner-'Gestalt' & stifle my stubborn instinct. :)
      btw...back to one of your early posts. I've put Iso-E Super on my list to order next. I don't know much about it but want to experiment with the possibility it may help neutralize the interaction with my own chemistry.
      Oddly, my mother, 2 daughters and I all have an odd chemistry...when we wear wrist-watches, quartz batteries will shut down with a couple of days, and non-quartz...wind-up batteries (relics from the past) go crazy: speed up &/or slow down, or simply stop working when we wear them. I can take off one of the older watches and have a friend put it on ~ like magic it works fine for days. As soon as I get it back. *sigh*. Have you ever heard of such a strange thing? When my mom wears 14k-18k yellow gold, (I guess it's the tiny bit of copper in the yellow gold) it turns her skin green as if it were pure copper. She gets different reactions from all types of metal on her skin, she gets strange rashes & blisters. Maybe we are magnetized or human conductors. *silly smile*
      Sorry for the rambling. I've always wondered if this metal anomoly is related to the fragrance turning.
      Thanks for your time, Su!
      Off to investigate olfactory families and accords.
      Bren

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    3. You are welcome Bren. I am happy help with what little I know :)

      Today I was at the shops and I tried Poison both on paper strip and on my skin (thought of you!) You are right, there is something berry like at the beginning that is very strong. And of course a lot of tuberose. Interestingly the dry down on my skin was tuberose with a very powdery honey. So I was thinking if you should use some honey that is strong on powder or maybe amber because some kinds of ambers can be very powdery. Yes, it is surprising how a perfume can be a pleasant cumulative effect of various strange notes!

      I was reading up on aroma molecules and *Methyl Benzoate* sounds like something that you could use to mimic tuberose. *Cyclopidine* is another one you could try. Your list of accords sounds awesome! I too like sweet and rich perfumes. I am sure you'll have fun mixing and blending. Who knows, you may surprise yourself by coming up with something you like unexpectedly. Go for it! Here's to serendipity :D

      Iso E super is so good! It is not so prominent but it will surely make feel like there is an aroma cloud surrounding you! You should try it because it may suit your chemistry. Would be intersting to know how it works for you. It is a nice woody base for other perfumes blends.

      I am perplexed to hear your family history of odd chemistry! It is like you were touched by aliens or something!! I have heard of metal allergy and I have heard of sweat turning the colour of metals, fading gold polish, etc but the magnetised effect is just so bizarre! Strange case of biomagnetism, perhaps! I really enjoyed your story! Thanks so much for sharing :) x



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