Marina’s Project - Page 2

Holy Grail. Mod 3. Marina’s Review

This concludes Marina’s Round 3 with mod R3/H.
I have received my third Mod, Holy Grail R3/H, and these are my impressions…Actually, I have received it several weeks ago, it just took me this long to make up my mind about it. The more I tested it the more I liked it and I am happy to say that I feel like we are on the right track now. It has spice, it has warm, slightly animalic musk and it even has a strong leather note in the drydown.

What I would love to happen next is …I can’t believe I am saying this…I want the spicy note (which, on my skin, is mostly saffron) to become subdued. Right now, the note is very prominent; it overshadows other ingredients and makes the scent feel almost like saffron “soliflore”. In fact, perhaps we could try it without any saffron at all, just to see what it would be like? I know I asked for saffron in my proposal, and I am sorry to change my mind, but somehow the note just isn’t working for me, it is too strong, too persistent. I am over saffron. Perhaps, we could even have two mods next time, one without any spice, one with a different spice, for example cardamom?

In general, I would love for the scent to become a little softer, even warmer, sort of “rounder” in feel, perhaps even a little sweeter. I was wondering if adding more vanilla wouldn’t achieve that comforting, soft effect? I know I am asking too much, but I’d love for Holy Grail be to simultaneously intense and soft. Right now it is a little sharp, and I would like it to lose that spicy edge a little. So this time I am not asking for more “skank” and more “darkness”, I am asking for more “comfort”.

An Interview with Clement Gavarry

clementvideo.jpgFor your enjoyment, here is an interview with Clement Gavarry, a short film by Miss Liz. Clement talks about his source of inspiration, his favorite perfume ingredient and the creation of his that makes him most proud. Personally, I had only one comment running through my head when I was watching the interview…so handsome, so young, so talented! Enjoy!

If you would like to ask Clement a question, please do so in the comments section. He will try to answer some of them in a future post. [by Marina]

Marina’s Message to Clement regarding the second mod of Holy Grail

This concludes Marina’s Round 2 with mod R2/D.
My second mod, Holy Grail R2/D has arrived! This is my message to Clement regarding the mod:

Dear Clement,

I was so thrilled to try my second mod! It started with a spicy explosion of saffron and my heart rejoiced. I do like this version more than Mod No. 1, simply because it is spicier, warmer and more “substantial”, not as ethereal.

For the next mod I was wondering if we could make it even warmer, heavier and more animalic. I know that my proposal said that I want my scent to be spicy, but I was thinking that perhaps we could tone down the spice (which I perceive to be mainly saffron) a little, not so much by reducing the amount of it as by making the other notes stronger. As it is, to my nose and on my skin,” saffron” overwhelms everything else. I do smell a little musk and some amber in the drydown, but apart from that the scent seems rather linear, like a saffron “soliflore”. (If you are familiar with Safram by Laura Tonatto, this is how Mod 2 smells to my nose.)

I would absolutely love the scent to have more woods, particularly sandalwood. And I would be so happy if the musk was made much, much stronger. I also want this musk to be very obviously “dirty”. No clean musk for me, please. I don’t know if you had a chance to read the comments made by our readers about the first mod…One of my wonderful fellow bloggers, March, came up with an idea of Marina’s Skank-o-Meter. On a scale of 1 to 10, where Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens is 1 and Muscs Koublai Khan is a perfect 10, I would like my Holy Grail to be 8,5 or maybe even 9. Please don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to scare me off with animalic notes. I love my scents to be dark and dirty.

I also wanted to note that some of the people who received the 2nd mod told me that they smelled a leather note there. I was a little upset that there seemed to be no leather on my skin. However, after a couple of more tries, I did actually start to smell leather, albeit faintly, in the very late drydown. I would love for that note to be much stronger! Paired with the dirty kind of musk I have in mind, spiced up by some saffron and cardamom, softened by the velvety sandalwood and perhaps some vanilla…oh my!

To sum it all up and hopefully to amuse you, here are my impressions and wishes:

This is how Mod R2/D smells right now- bright, thrilling, but essentially insubstantial:

Fireworks

This is how I would like it to smell- warm, sensual, generous, inviting, like a fire burning in the darkness of the night:

Fire

I also want it to be “dirty” and not at all innocent. I would go as far as to say that I want it to smell “dangerous”, perhaps even a little sinister…Like this:

 

Franz von Stuck, Sin

Thank you very much again! I am looking forward to hearing from you and to the next mod!

Best wishes,
Marina

The images are from art.com.

The samples of R2/D are now available in the online shop.

Made by Blog: Round 1 Trial Set Now Available

A set of the three trial fragrances from Round 1, which includes Holy Grail R1/A and Auxeos R1/B and R1/C, is now available for purchase via the online store. Each sample in the set comes in a 3.5ml plastic spray vial. Please note that the availability of these samples is quite limited, and will be sold on a first come, first served basis only. Thank you so much for your support!

Clement’s response to Marina’s message

Below is Clement’s reply to my message about the first mod, Holy Grail R1/A:

Hi Marina,
 
First of all, there is no problem in criticizing a fragrance, I mean that’s what makes the perfumer go forward! So any opinion is more than welcome!!! Then it’s my job to interpret them to modify the fragrance.
Actually, I found your comments pretty clear and accurate…When you talk about the almond note… that aspect of the fragrance is created by the combination of some powdery milky and sweet notes like cinnamon and vanilla, and citrus notes such as mandarine and orange. And I will remove that effect in the further mods.
Also, from what I understood, it’s pretty clear you want something much richer, raw, straight to the point,  with much more signature and personality, I guess I was a little too shy in my first trial…
Work is already in progress so be ready!

Clement.

Marina’s Message to Clement

This concludes Marina’s Round 1 with sketch R1/A.
The first Mod (trial, version) of my Holy Grail has arrived! Below is my reaction / message to Clement:

Dear Clement,
 
I am so very excited to receive my first “Mod”! Thank you so much once again for agreeing to make my very own Holy Grail. I have never had a perfume done especially for me before and I find it difficult to review something that was so kindly created for me and even harder to actually criticize. It feels awkward to say the least.
 
I want to start by saying that I think my first Mod, “Holy Grail R1/A” is a very pretty scent. It smells feminine and light, almost ethereal. I also smell a lot of almond here. Perhaps my nose is playing tricks on me and there is no almond there? It is not one of my favorite notes and, unless it is crucial for the composition, I would prefer not to include it. If I had to describe how the scent smells right now, I would say it smells of almond, light vanilla and a little bit of musk. It reminds me of scents like Castelbajac, Lea St Barth and Strenesse. In my opinion, these are light, somewhat fresh, “cool” scents. I would like my fragrance to be quite a bit heavier, more “substantial”, much “warmer”, much spicier and much “darker” than it is now.  I wonder if what I am saying actually makes any sense and I apologize if it doesn’t.
 
To sum it up, I would like the scent to become heavier and spicier. More sultry, more sensual. I would like the musk note to be less transparent than it is now, in fact I would love for it to become “dirtier”, more animalic. A more pronounced cardamom note would also make me very happy as would an addition of a warmer, more robust woody note and some amber.
 
I would love to hear from you regarding the scent, the first Mod and my ramblings about them.
 
Bestest of wishes,
 
Marina.

Please tune in next week for Clement’s response to my review of the first Mod.

Marina’s Holy Grail


Dear Clement,

Before I begin my proposal, I wanted to thank you in advance for agreeing to create my very own perfume. I cannot describe how exciting it is for me to have this opportunity to work with you. I promise to try not to be a very difficult client.

I want my scent to be spicy. I adore cardamom and saffron, and would love my scent to be centered on these two notes. These would be soft, velvety spices, as opposed to “red hot” and “dry”. To achieve that kind of softness, to balance the spices, I believe that iris, with its delicate, smooth, rooty quality, might be a great ingredient to use. I think that a little (and I really mean just a little) vanilla might also be necessary in order to achieve the kind of velvety softness I have in mind for this scent. I also would like the fragrance to have a certain sensual depth, that is why I also imagine musk as one of the notes. Again, this would be a soft, understated note, simply serving as a background for the spices. Finally, to complete and further balance the composition, the drydown would have notes of sandalwood and perhaps cedar.

To sum it up, the notes in the scent would be: cardamom, saffron, iris, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, cedar. It might also include cinnamon and amber for added spiciness and “fuller body” as well as violet to enhance the iris note. But in this case, I would rely on your judgment whether these extra notes or any other notes might be needed.

Velvety, warm, spicy, sensual are the descriptions that I would like for my scent to evoke. This would be a golden, candlelit perfume, enveloping the wearer in the smoothest embrace. I would love for this scent to be sensual and romantic, and, yes, sexy, but I also want it to be easy so wear, in other words I would like it not to be too heady, too heavy, too overwhelming ... too demanding.

I am undoubtedly drawing inspiration from some of my favorite perfumes. I want a fragrance that would be sensually-musky like Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle, sweetly spicy like Safran Troublant by L’Artisan, exquisitely floral like Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain, and velvety-woody like Bois des Iles by Chanel…all the most wonderful qualities of my favorite fragrances, combined in one glorious scent, my Holy Grail…

And that brings me to the question of the name…I am a member of a wonderful site called Makeupalley.com. It is a place where perfume addicts like me meet and chat about perfumes and write reviews. On that site, a perfume that one considers to be the most favorite and/or the best of its kind is called a “Holy Grail”. For example, one would say something like, “Bois des Iles is my Holy Grail scent”. Or, “Musc Ravageur is my Holy Grail musk perfume”. Or, “Hermes Hiris is my Holy Grail iris”. So…I thought of naming my scent just that, Holy Grail.

Thank you again! I would love to hear your opinion about all and any aspects of my dream fragrance.

Best wishes,

Marina

Marina’s Bio »

Marina (Perfume Smellin’ Things)

pst.gifCliché as it is to look for the roots of one’s interests and obsessions in childhood and to hold one’s parents responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly traits of one’s character, my fascination with perfume has indeed started when I was a small child enthralled by mother’s fragrances displayed on her vanity table and absolutely forbidden for me to touch. This was during the Soviet times; the Western perfumes were extremely hard to find, and I really cannot imagine where my mother unearthed her beautiful bottles. If I close my eyes, I can see some of them now…Madame Rochas in its exquisite box ornamented with golden lace. Magie Noire in the black, mysterious flacon. The light, feminine bottle of Anais Anais…They looked so chic, so “French”; when I surreptitiously applied the fragrances to my wrists, they transported me to the glamorous, thrilling world so unlike my mundane everyday existence.

Ever since I have been interested in perfume. When a couple of years ago I discovered various fragrance forums and perfume blogs, the interest has blossomed into an obsession, an addiction. Before I knew it, I had a perfume blog of my own, Perfume Smellin’ Things. It was my own little corner of the Internet, where I could indulge in talking about perfume, only perfume and nothing but perfume. Nothing pleases me more then finding and reviewing an interesting, evocative scent that touches something in my soul, that stirs a memory, that takes me to the faraway lands. I love it when a scent makes me think of a painting, a book, a song, a poem (I am prone to quoting Baudelaire and Neruda at any given opportunity and at great length in my blog).

In my non-blogging life I am a mother of a sweet little girl and a wife of a man who is thankfully very tolerant towards my perfume “hobby.” My education and professional experience lie in the field of sociology and social anthropology; neither my studies nor my work has ever been perfume-related in any way. So if you asked me what qualifications I have for writing about fragrances, my honest answer would be that I have none. My only qualification is my undying love for perfume.

I am incredibly thrilled to be a part of this project. I have always dreamed about a perfume created just for me, just the way I wanted it to be. However I am also looking forward to learning more about the process of perfume creation, to getting a peek into an exciting, mysterious world of perfumers.

Marina’s Proposal: “Holy Grail” »