Today is part 2 of my Volnay reviews. You can view part 1 here:
Brume D'Hiver has an absoutely divine, cool opening of tea-like bergamot and a touch of juniper. The clarity of the top notes in this allows notes of jasmine and rose to come through. This is an ethereal rose, very light......like the impression of a white rose as opposed to a red. Fitting, for a perfume meant to give the impression of a winter breeze. The herbs play with the flower, elevating the sense of freshness and perhaps the first hints of springtime, apparent in the use of violet. Every winter here we are treated to baskets of violets in early springtime, one of the first blooming spots of color, and the late February air is always redolent of juniper bark and the sharp purple green of early flowers. This scent captures that impression of lengthening daylight and a clearing of the mind, yet retaining the cool detachment of wind and snow. The use of heliotrope also serves to temper the violet and for an brief
period of time I am mildly reminded of Apres L'Ondee. However, this is a
winter fragrance and the spring-like feel quickly dissipates, as if
reminding you that it's still winter. Oud and incense make their introduction at this point, toning down the bright elements and adding a smooth internal sense of warmth. Once again, these notes are not obviously recognizable. It's as if the feeling is one of familiarity but, if pressed for explanation, the note would be on the tip of your tongue,...however, the recollection of what it was would be just out of reach. For the duration of the development, we are left with a bed of rich, dry and bright green wood effect. The powder and spice Volnay base is made definitively unisex here due to the use of a lovely dry green vetiver and touch of labdanum, which adds further depth and definition. Very enjoyable and would smell great on a man, but a woman could definitely wear it as well.
The next fragrance is Yapana, which takes us to the completely opposite landscape...... described as "an odyssey of mysterious and captivating notes, a magical and sensual embrace'. I can immediately tell on the opening that this is one I love. The impression I get upon spraying is white chocolate and a note mildly reminiscent of licorice, followed immediately by underpinnings of sweet ylang and lashings of vanilla orchids and amber. It feels vaguely tropical, and a bit gourmand without being overly sugary or obvious. I like the use of the base here....it's used as a heart note and mellows the sweetness somewhat but it has a whole different feel and character from the other Volnay scents. This one is a pleasant diversion from the theme, a bit like a very high-quality Angel (don't yell at me!) without the patchouli punch...there is patchouli here, but it stays in the far back corners of the scent simply providing some strength to the vanilla while simultaneously keeping it from overwhelming. The powder is turned down, and the whole composition is given a twist with helional, adding a pale white/green freshness, but in no way does it feel aquatic. It just adds a touch of humidity to the atmosphere, allowing the florals to exude their scent to maximum effect. The clove in the base is apparent here, enhanced by the amber, and gives the impression of sweet rum without being boozy. It's the sugar that is left after the alcohol evaporates from the spirit, leaving you with pleasant associations of evening.
This is the Islands at their best, beautiful and sweet and holding more than a bit of mystery.
Tomorrow I will review the last of the Volnay scents, Perlerette. So far we're 4 for 4 as far as beauty goes.......looking forward to my last sample!
All samples purchased by me, so to ensure honest reviewing.