Amberene by Liz Zorn

My newest perfume love is a little unexpected as a fragrance centered around an amber accord is not what I usually gravitate towards on a warm summer day. But I’ve been digging through my sample stash lately, and when the name “Amberene” piqued my interest, I threw caution to the wind and gave it a try.

Amberene is part of Liz Zorn’s Demi-absolute collection which are high concentration eau de parfums (18-22%) and include all natural fragrances as well as “Mixed Media” which are mostly natural, but do utilize synthetics. Amberene is one of her all natural offerings, of which there are many on her site.

If you’ve never worn a Liz Zorn creation, you really should. Her perfumes are almost always complex and intriguing so even if you don’t fall head over heels in love with something, you will most certainly appreciate the experience. Amberene is one of her creations in which, for me, love and intrigue come together.

I know there’s nothing particularly newsworthy about a spicy amber, or one touched by pathchouli and floral notes, but it’s the chosen essences that feel inventive. To start, Amberene is given a refreshing sparkle from grapefruit and clove which is the perfect entrée to this lighthearted amber. The hit of piquant citrus speaks to the warmth of summer while the clove keeps it spicy and appropriate for cooler temperatures.

The heart of Amberene is exceptionally beautiful as the classic pairing of heliotrope and violet surfaces and quietly engulfs the citrus topnote leaving only a whisper of clove. Tonka is also present and mingles joyfully with violet and heliotrope, like a modern Guerlinade confection. The powdery violet, almondy heliotrope and vanillic tonka are inherently soft and sweet, which provides the ideal setting for cardamom and cinnamon to lend a spicy-earthy quality while maintaining a feeling of comfort and familiarity.

The drydown is where you’ll find the true ambery essence of Amberene. Benzoin steps up in this late stage bringing the culinary spices along but leaving the florals behind. I sense a touch of labdanum and maybe a hint of woods, but really, this amber base is all about the benzoin. And this is a very good thing. Benzoin alone encompasses what I love in a perfume. It’s sweet, earthy, a little musty, and wafts a most intoxicating vanilla aroma.

Liz Zorn states that Amberene can “easily be worn for daytime and as a year round soft amber.” I am in full agreement. For these late summer days, the bright opening combined with its soft ambery-violet glow melds right into the skin along with the warmth of the sun. And I anticipate that Amberene’s sweet florals and cozy spices will be the perfect antidote to the winter blues.

Amberene is available at LizZornPerfumes.com 11 ml for $35 and 35 ml for $95.

Disclosure: A sample was sent to me for consideration by Liz Zorn. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Image: Fire Fanices by Arthur Hacker at artmagick.com 

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Patyka Organic Perfume: Ambré

Amber perfumes typically have a base of  labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla, sometimes with a balsamic note added for extra warmth. They tend to be powdery, full of depth, and natural amber blends are particularly soft and soothing. Because of amber’s coziness, I thought I preferred it in the colder winter months. Enter Patyka’s Ambré to shift my thinking. This is an amber of a different sort. Light and glowing, without a hint of powder that I can sense. It’s entirely seasonless.


It begins with bergamot, which initially was disorienting to me. I was not expecting a citrus blast when I sprayed a perfume named “Amber”.  Luckily, Patyka’s bergamot is gorgeous and vibrant. I now look forward to Ambré’s initial lively, green greeting. The citrus settles quickly though, making way for a simple but elegant vanilla/woodsy blend.


The creamy vanillic quality of Ambré is sublime. It melds into the skin effortlessly and is quite sensual. The woody aspect in Ambré is very subtle thankfully, as I would not want the cuddly vanilla to be overpowered. I perceive the woods as mainly sandalwood, mixed with the sweet, almost earthy/nutty quality of tonka bean. This gives Ambré’s vanilla solid footing as a smooth skin-scent rather than a gourmand. Because of their simple elegance, Patyka’s perfumes are beautiful when layered together. I will report my findings after I spend more time experimenting with these gorgeous fragrances. I have a good feeling about an Ambré and Boise blend.



Patyka grows its own organic ingredients and its products are certified organic by ECOCERT. In addition, Patyka’s products do not contain any petroleum, silicone, PEGs, parabens, or phenoxyethanol. They are available at Patykausa.com for $98 for a 50ml bottle or $59 for a 15ml bottle.

UPDATE! According to the SpiritBeauyLounge website, “Patyka is undergoing some company restructuring and has temporarily halted distribution in the US. What we have left is all we’ve got but expect to see the entire range to return early 2010 with even more wonderful products!”

You might want to wait until things are settled before you place an order with Patyka directly while they go through this transition. The relaunch will probably happen in July. I’ll keep you posted!

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: The sample of Ambré is from my own collection. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Roxana Illuminated Perfume: Lyra

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My sister’s birthday was a few days ago, and she’s particularly enjoyable to shop for because she loves fragrance as much as I do. After considering the many new natural scents I have come to love over the past several months, I settled on Illuminated Perfume’s Lyra for her gift. Ultimately it was an easy decision because like my sister, Lyra is beautiful, interesting and loved by many.

I have a tiny pot of Lyra, created by Roxana Villa, that I purchased from etsy.com. It came in the Botanical Solid Mini Set, and is housed in the cutest little pink pot with a wax seal on the lid. Knowing that dipping my finger in this tiny pot gives me much pleasure, I am hoping that the full size in a metal compact, presented in a crocheted pouch will be even more special for my sister. The crocheted pouches are made by Ms. Villa’s mother who sells her crafty creations with her granddaughter (Ms. Villa’s daughter) and you can read more about their family’s story here.

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Lyra in the solid form is very lovely to apply. It’s smooth and warms easily on the skin. Lyra is described as an ambery floral on the Illuminated Perfume etsy site. I agree with that, but the vanilla aspect of the amber lends a sweetness that softens the scent and polishes any harsh edges that amber will oftentimes possess. A sense of honeyed woods puts forth its own nectar as well, and sparked a wonderful memory in me that I’m certain my sister will remember.

We were both in the Girl Scouts as children and spent some time, not a lot, but some time on camping trips outside Phoenix with our respective troops. My troop leaders loved to have us bright-eyed Girl Scouts smell the pine trees which they named the “Ice Cream Cone Trees” since their bark smelled just like vanilla ice cream. Lyra takes me back to inhaling the vanilla scented bark as a young girl, and the wonderment at how a tree in the woods could smell so sweet. Jasmine and ylang ylang augment the smooth sweetness of this memory and depending on the day, the florals move from tropical lushness to a subtler background foundation. Either way, the evolving blend flows flawlessly on the skin and creates comfort and delight.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume is a gorgeous and bewitching line of 100% all-natural and botanical perfumes to discover. Whether you explore her website, blog or etsy site you will find Ms. Villa’s work inspirational. Please also take a look at the current April 15, 2009 edition of  Sniffapalooza Magazine for my review of her Vespertina perfume. There, you will also find an informative and engaging interview with Roxana Villa in the Natural Perfumers Page.

posted by ~Trish

Lyra is available at Etsy for $65 for the solid perfume compact.

Lyra image ©Greg Spalenka, see more at www.spalenka.com and at http://www.spalenka.etsy.com

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Pacifica Egyptian Bergamot Rose & French Lilac

 

Link to “Pacifica Update” post. Pacifica does indeed use synthetics, and is not transparent about that in their ingredient lists. Until they are, I cannot endorse their products. 

Pacifica has introduced Egyptian Bergamot Rose into its perfume and body butter line this spring. It has been a favorite scented soap and candle for years, but Pacifica’s perfumer and co-owner Brook Harvey-Taylor decided it was time to expand its horizons. Personally, I am glad she did because Egyptian Bergamot Rose is a lovely ambery floral fragrance that will appeal to the casual fragrance lover along with the devoted perfumista. For this review, I sampled the perfume solid which is incredibly convenient in its portability and price ($9), but is also available in the perfume spray ($22).

pacifica-roseEgyptian Bergamot Rose begins mildly herbal with a bright hit of bergamot. The citrusy freshness dissipates rather quickly and allows for a powdery, gentle spicy rose to move forward, but it’s all very subtle. The amber base settles in after an hour, but not like Spanish Amber. Egyptian Bergamot Rose is more floral and powdery, and it’s laced with a stronger hint of vanilla. The vanilla in Egyptian Bergamot Rose is not  particularly potent, but it has more of a presence than in Spanish Amber. I’d call this is a very pretty fragrance, and I don’t mean it diminutively or in a belittling way. Sometimes that is just what you want.

il_430xn296327521Another very pretty fragrance from Pacifica is their French Lilac. This is also a new offering in their solid perfume line, but previously existed only in the other forms (spray perfume, natural soap, body butter, and candles). For those of you who love lilacs, I cannot recommend this enough. I have this on right now, a few dabs from the perfume solid, and I feel like there is a bouquet of fresh lilacs in the room. It is that realistic. There’s not that much more to say about it. French Lilac smells like lilacs! I have never tried Pacifica’s natural soaps, but here is a rave review for the French Lilac soap. This is definitely going on my shopping list.

Pacifica is available at their websiteSephora, Whole Foods, and probably your local health food store.

Posted by ~Trish

Antony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1883
Lilacs photograph by BroomhillPictures on Etsy.com

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