Horror of horrors...Labor Day is next Monday! Though some Northwesterners (not me! I'm still a Californian at heart) love the onset of dark, chilly days, stormy weather and rain, rain, rain, I'd prefer to be someplace sunny. I'm preparing for autumn in Perfumeland by clearing out many hundreds of perfume samples I've accumulated over the last six months (they will find good homes). I'm sad to report that out of those hundreds of samples, not many stood out; and I've already reviewed most of the ones I liked/loved. (Of course, my complaints of showers, clutter and fragrance disappointments are all ridiculous "problems," but getting lost for an hour in perfume fantasy is a refuge, and I can make people laugh when I lament: "What will I review NEXT week?" Such a weighty question....)
BUT: in this last clean-up, I've discovered three perfumes worth sniffing.
J.F. Schwarzlose Treffpunkt 8 Uhr
(Rendez-vous at 8 o’clock); mango, ginger, Clary sage, Naked Ladies (Amaryllis belladonna L.), vetiver.
Treffpunkt 8 Uhr has a zingy opening of ginger and Naked Ladies (the flower, not some approximation of woman-smell); this unusual combo is joined by dry sage and a hint of green mango. I never dreamed a perfume could conjure the aroma of Naked Ladies (mine are about to bloom and I can't wait) but this one comes close. Naked Ladies emit a high-pitched, sweet aroma, about as "pink" a smell as you can get. The scent is a cross between floral and vinyl notes; it's very "Mod." The photo of the pink flower in the J.F. Schwarzlose image above is of Colchicum (also known as Naked Ladies but most often referred to as Naked Boys) which is scentless; go figure!
As Treffpunkt 8 Uhr dries down, I continue to smell the flowers, and they're joined by some cologne-strength vetiver. The extreme dry-down is pleasant: a light floral musk.
Treffpunkt 8 Uhr is not a powerhouse perfume but it lasts for half the day on me (and longer if you make sure to get some on your shirt). As for "gender," this hits the spot right between masculine and feminine. Try before you purchase.
J.F. Schwarzlose Treffpunkt 8 Uhr is €129 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum.
Perris Monte Carlo Absolue d'Osmanthe
osmanthus, plum, baie rose, jasmine sambac, sandalwood, tolu balsam, castoreum, labdanum, vanilla, dry woods
Absolue d'Osmanthe begins with rich osmanthus, which is quickly joined by a sweet accord — rose-infused "plum jam" (this fragrance reminds me of the early days, and offerings, of Serge Lutens perfumes). Osmanthus reasserts itself in mid-development, this time with a darker character: I smell leather, beautiful cedar and sandalwood and fruity/dense amber with lots of labdanum and vanilla. If you were lucky enough to smell the original Féminité du Bois by Shiseido you may recognize its vibrant ghost in Absolue d'Osmanthe. In its base, Absolue d'Osmanthe becomes drier with a hint of muskiness. Absolue d'Osmanthe: 100 percent unisex, 100 percent tempting me.
Perris Monte Carlo Absolue d'Osmanthe is $180 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum.
Le Galion Special for Gentlemen
lemon, bergamot, lavender, galbanum, cinnamon, cistus labdanum, amber, patchouli, vanilla, oak moss, castoreum, opoponax
Mentholated bergamot and "crisp" cinnamon open Special for Gentlemen. A wonderful vintage aroma of cloves and lavender arrives next and is joined by a rich amber blend of moss, opoponax, vanilla and patchouli. Special for Gentlemen felt familiar on first sniff, but not in a bad way (its ingredients smell costly). Special for Gentlemen's scent reminds me of a shaving soap my father used when I was a little boy: masculine, spicy, "cool" yet hearty. Like Treffpunkt 8 Uhr, you'll want to be generous with Special for Gentlemen (a few sprays won't impress).
Le Galion Special for Gentlemen is €140 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum.
Note: top image of the author's own Naked Ladies.