This is an all natural fragrance that is in Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH “Gaia Perfume Collection”. This is as the name applies, a spicy fragrance. I really do like spicy fragrances but I think I have “low-brow” spicy fragrance tastes. I seem to always use Old Spice as my spice fragrance point of reference. Well, Epices d’Hiver is spicy and citrusy like Old Spice but much more high-brow. At first it is a wonderful winter citrus explosion. You can smell bitter oranges, blood oranges, perfumey bergamot, and grapefruit. It is citrusy but nothing like the “citrus” you would grab in the middle of summer. This is definitely a “cold” citrus blend. I mean that it doesn’t smell like fresh citrus juices but more like citrus essential oils. I then smell lots and lots of star anise. This is a good thing because I love the smell of star anise. I know other spices are present but I pick up on the star anise the most. I get a hint of cloves and nutmeg. The spiciness of this fragrance reminds me a lot of Pae-lo or Chinese Five Spice. Or Sambuca mixed with a bay rum aftershave blend or Old Spice. The dry down is  soft, warm, and resiny. It reminds me of non-burning incense. It is “round”, mellow, and wears closely to the skin.

This is a nice scent for cooler weather. It is spicy without smelling “Christmasy”. It has been a great fragrance to wear during this past week when the temps have been about 19° F. It reminds me of a beautiful bay rum (I guess because of the davana mixed with citrus and spices) with a dash of Pae-lo. This is a spice fragrance that both sexes can wear. It is a great “classic” scent for the kind of male that spends his winter holiday eating clam chowder by a fire in a wool sweater that he got in Novia Scotia last year before he goes out yachting. I also see it for the kind of confident female that wears Old Spice, Hepburn-ish pant suits, and red lipstick. I see both wearers as an “adventurous” type.

This is a long-wearing scent because that wears closely to the skin most of the time because of the expensive essential oils used in the blend. I really do like this scent and I don’t mean it any harm by comparing it to Old Spice. That is just my low-brow reference for spicy blends. For a “spice” blend this one is beautiful and complex. It reminds me of anything from warming Sambuca cocktails to “faraway”, “exotic” spice blends. I really do like this fragrance and I find it very easy to wear for a spicy fragrance. I wear it and it doesn’t wear me. My husband also likes this one. He says it smells of Compari and Sambuca. He says that this is the most sophisticated bay rum in the world. I would say that this means a lot coming from a guy that wears bay rum in the winter and has a very limited scent vocabulary. Notes include: bergamot, bitter orange, citrus oils, coriander seeds, davana, pink peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon bark, clove bud, jasmine, Moroccan rose, nutmeg, spice notes, ambrette seeds, labdanum, Siam benzoin, tolu balsam, tonka bean, Arabian myrhh, and vanilla absolute. A few sizes are available. The 5 ml bottle in an antique inspired bottle goes for $90. I recommend this fragrance for the person that loves spice fragrances, The Different Company Un Parfum d’Ailleurs & Fleurs, Annick Goutal Madragore EDT, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Absinthe EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar EDT, Byredo Parfums Fantastic Man, Etro Anice, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique EDP, and/or Old Spice 🙂  It is available on DSH’s website.

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Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH The Color Orange is a fragrance based on the color orange used in Rothko’s no.12. Appropriately it is heavy on citrus. Oranges are orange. At first spritz it is a juicy but rugged citrus. It smells like fresh, hand squeezed oranges. It’s a mix of the juice and the peel. It’s a bounty of mid-winter ripe citrus: juicy blood oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit. These are listed as the top notes and you can really smell them. Citrus crops are one of the few things that I enjoy about winter. Who doesn’t love the feel of a blood orange awakening the senses in the dead of winter? I can smell the lushness of blood oranges, the tartness of little mandarins, and the rugged sweetness of grapefruit. It is like an olfactory vitamin C bomb. It’s bold and refreshing, tart and only sweet in the way that a pink grapefruit or blood orange can be. Surprisingly, The Color Orange becomes “lighter” and flirtier. It has a whimsy blend of neroli/orange blossom. It’s still “citrus” but with a breeze of neroli/orange blossom. It becomes much more feminine, smooth, and less rugged. It’s just flirty, coy. It blends smooth like the oil paints used in a Rothko painting, seamless but with definition. I love the base. This flirty, coy citrus-floral turns in to a moody, Medieval animalic citrus pomander. The dry-down is spicy and rich with wintery myrrh, ambrette seed, and sensual musks. This isn’t a Christmas time craft project type pomander, heavy on cinnamon, stuffing an orange peel with cloves. This is how I imagine a Middle Ages pomander, animalic heavy on ambergris, rich resins, and orange rinds, all carried from distant, warm lands. Something to outweigh the less than perfect wintery weather of the land where you reside. This is a reminder of warmth, sunshine, and bountiful groves. Not the rain, cold, frost, snow, grayness of December.

I really like this fragrance for winter. It is refreshing, warm, and very much like the citrus in season. I would say that you would like this if you like “rugged” citrus, something “orange”, winter citrus blends, Diptyque L’eau de Tarocco, Keiko Mecheri Sanguine, Red Flower Organic Ambrette, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus. Oh, or Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper body cream. The fragrance wears for about 4 hours.

A few sizes of this EDP are available. A 1 oz spray goes for $65. It can be purchased at DSH Perfumes website.

Rothkos no.12

Rothko's no.12

Eau D’Iparie is a beautiful warm fragrance. It wears closely to the skin and smells rich and warm without being sweet. Eau D’Iparie is more of an imaginary fragrance that evokes mood. It just smells warm and comforting but exotic without being too “exotic” for everyday wear. It smells like incense and warm resiny ingredients like amber. L’Occitane describes the fragrance as such:

“A town of magical fragrances. Imagine a place where myrrh and incense reign – Iparie. Its generous walls contain a blend of precious resins. The air is filled with myrrh and incense, a blended scent which is like a limitless gift. Transported along the ancient incense road to the eastern Mediterranean countries, these rare ingredients are now combined to create the intense, sensual and mysterious wake of Eau d’Iparie”

Pretty mood evoking, huh? Well, I’m sure ancient incense road journey isn’t as pretty smelling as L’Occitane is claiming. The scent is warm, woody, and a bit tobacco-ish. Initial spritz is a bit strong and “old fashioned”, like a men’s cologne. It smells of cedary myrrh like notes and earthy patchouli. It dries down to a nice close wearing fragrance that smells sweeter than the woody first spritz notes. It smells a little sweet but not in a fruity or gourmand way, in an amber and dried tobacco way. It does smell like some mystical spice trade caravan. What you hope it smells like. It smells of exotic woods, rich spices, fragrant incense, and sweet, dried tobacco. It dries down to a nice “greener” feeling fragrance that is stilll really resiny. I’m really happy that I picked this up on sale for about $31 for 4.2 ounces. It wears nicely and the lasting power isn’t too bad for an EDT since it wears intimately close to the skin. I am really impressed with this fragance, especially in comparison to other things found on the mainstream market. This is more interesting and complex. It actually smells sexy and “exotic”. I really hope L’Occitane doesn’t discontinue this one (I’m pretty sure they are). It is just too good. I really feel it would smell amazing on a man or a woman. I like it, it has an adventurous, tour the world type of attitude.