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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Scented Palette: The Aroma M Geisha Series (Part 2)

By Donna
Last time, I explored some of the wonderful oil perfumes from the Aroma M Perfumes Company. This is the second and final chapter and I have to say that I am very impressed with this line; I would gladly wear any of the fragrances and several of them are going on my must-have list.

Do not fear the name of Geisha Blue; unlike far too many mainstream perfumes, the “blue” does not signal the presence of any aquatic/ozonic notes and there is nothing remotely sporty about it.  The central note is blue chamomile, a soothing aromatic herb that is well known for its use in aromatherapy and various natural skin preparations. Here it is matched with green tea, leafy notes and very soft, pillowy jasmine. I could wish that it lasted longer, but since it does not seem to have any base notes, it is not surprising that it only stays around for a couple of hours on my skin with an occasional waft for several hours after that. Something about this one reminds me of a favorite bubble bath I had as a child, so smelling it is a trip down memory lane. I don’t remember the name of that long-ago bath delight, but now I know what to do if I feel a bout of nostalgia coming on. Geisha Blue is a true comfort scent even if your own childhood is not evoked by smelling it, and it would be nice to keep around when you want something with which to snuggle as needed.

Geisha Blanche manages to have a distinct presence right from the start, opening with a sparkling duet of lemon and lychee fruit. This white floral scent is crisp and bright yet not very sweet, one of those fragrances that just begs for wearing on a humid summer day to lighten the burden of the heat. I am one of those people who can take all the cool white florals anyone can dish out and ask for more, so I have a bias toward this genre; that said, this is a particularly good example of it. If it were a synthetic fragrance it might well cross the line toward what Luca Turin calls the “overexposed floral,” since all its notes are in the upper register, but since it is done with good quality natural materials that is certainly not the case here, because something wonderful happened to it after several hours on my skin – it softened and got sweeter, though still not overly so, and with the citrus gone the florals and lychee made beautiful music together. The really good news is that Geisha Blanche is one of the few in the line that is now available in Eau de Parfum as well as the oil version, and it’s a perfect fit for this type of scent. I know I want a bottle of that, especially if our Northwest weather bucks tradition and we actually have summer this year.

Finally, I come to Geisha Rouge, one of the company’s most popular scents, and it’s easy to see why that is so. Oriental style spice and wood is the name of the game here, in the general style of classic scents like Opium or Cinnabar. This is a type of fragrance that I admired back in the day, but I never wore any of them. I found Opium to be far too strong and it always seemed, along with others of the genre, to be more suited for use as a room spray than something I would want to wear. (Chanel’s Coromandel is another in this category for me.) The difference with Geisha Rouge is that has a vanillic softness that makes it come alive on skin, along with Tonka bean and tobacco. When I first applied it I thought “oh, Cinnabar” but instead of just sitting there, dense and chunky and as tightly packed as a spice rack, it developed into a honeyed skin scent that was a pleasure to wear. It is more of a winter fragrance to my nose but I think I could wear it in warmer weather too; it lacks that claustrophobic I’m-drowning-in spices feel of Opium and its kin that usually occurs when the temperature rises. Finally, an all spice, all the time perfume that works for me.

There are still a few of the Aroma M perfumes I have yet to try, including Geisha Marron, Geisha Pink and the few scents in the line that are not named by color. I did recently try Geisha Nobara-cha, a rich, heady rose with incense, but I need to test it again since I only dabbed it on once and I did not have time to give it a full test drive. After sampling all the ones I have, I feel confident that the remaining scents will be just as good, and I can recommend this line very highly.

Image credit: Brilliantly colored Japanese Yuzen paper from
Disclosure:  Aroma M sent the samples to me for testing at my request.



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