Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Perfume - Spikenard Oil and more

Around Easter I won a giveaway that was hosted by The Perfume Dandy but created by The Fragrant Man. The prize was a little bottle of spikenard in sweet almond oil, meant as a massage oil, and a sample of a perfume blend that goes by the name of Alabaster Wrists. These blends were made by a lovely lady by the name of Brie who apparently enjoys making perfume in her spare time but who doesn't have a shop or sell her creations (yet?).

I knew next to nothing about spikenard before winning this giveaway. I had seen it as a note in some perfumes, but not in any that I had tried. Fragrantica tells me that spikenard is a flower that grows in the Himalayas and that the roots of the plants are used for both medicine and perfume. I am also told that this plant was used by both the ancient Egyptians and the Romans for its fragant properties. The scent is described as herbaceous, resinous, spicy and animalic.

It seems that the scent of spikenard is one that you either love or hate. When I wore the spikenard oil as perfume yesterday my mother asked "What's that stench??" and my friend (and skin chemistry guineapig) Blomma hated it too, but personally I love it! It has a sweet and musky herbal smell in the bottle. On my skin it is more spicy and is more distinctly animalic in nature. It doesn't smell like any musk that I have smelled in perfume though... It smells more like wool, unwashed fatty wool (where have I smelled that?)! So, yeah, if you want to smell like wool, try spikenard! ;D I love it though, I seriously do, spikenard is all the things I like right now, dark, herbal, sweet, resinous, animalic and spicy!

I have no list of notes for the Alabaster Wrists sample but it is a gorgeous scent!  I think I smell vanilla and tuberose. This was a very familiar smell for me and I couldn't  understand why, but then I remembered what it reminded me of... I have one scent, Saffron and Balsam, that is from a lovely Etsy shop called Plume Perfume and when I ordered that scent I got a sample of another scent, Vanilla Tuberose. I fell so much in love with that Vanilla Tuberose scent and it was on my FB list, but then Plume Perfumes went on vacation and has been so now for more than a year... :( I still have that little empty sample of Vanilla Tuberose and I sniff it vistfully from time to time... But Alabaster Wrists reminds me a lot of Vanilla Tuberose! Finally I get to indulge in that luxurious and sensous smell again!! I'm guessing that there is both vanilla and tuberose in this blend too! Jordan River at The Fragarant Man mentioned that there would be a post about Alabaster Wrists on that blog before long and that this post would disclose the contents of the scent, so I'm keeping my eyes open for that!

You might have noticed that there are also two little bags of peppercorn in this package. Those really confused me, literally had me scratching my head! However I later read at The Fragrant Man that these peppercorns aren't just any old peppercorns... They are Cambodian Kampot pepper, apparently one of the worlds best peppercorns! Who knew! I will have to get a pepper grinder and try them!

This was such a great package of olfactory experiences!

Oh, and I faintly remember promising to post some pictures of our dogs, so here you go!

Paavo male Jack Russell Terrier, Tyyne female Miniature Pinscher and Irmeli female Jack Russell Terrier.
Paavo and Irmeli.
Tyyne. Although she might look quite dangerous here, this is actually her way of imitating  a human smile.


  1. Those dogs are seriously cute! And Tyyne doesn't look dangerous at all! :)

    I'm glad you liked your prize - it found the right person. As to the peppercorns -areyou sure you need to grind them? Can't you use them as is in cooking?

    1. Shame on me for not answering comments lately... Sorry about that...

      I find it quite difficult to get much flavor out of peppercorns if I use them whole. Unless I make something that cooks for a very long time that is...

  2. Your dogs are amazing! So cute!

    I haven't smelt spikenard by it's own before but I am always interested ir raw materials in perfumery. This one sounds right up my alley.

    1. Another comment that I have neglected to answer, och the shame!

      I do believe that you would enjoy spikenard, Amanda!

  3. My silly blogger account thought one of your previous comments was spam, and put it in the spam folder and I marked it as not spam now I can't find it :( Hope that hasn't happened to a lot of other comments! Anyway thanks for commenting, sorry it got lost! :)

    wow, your dogs are so cute!

    I LOVE the word Spikenard, don't you think it would make a good character name!

    1. My Blogger account has done the same... Marked perfectly ordinary comments as spam that is but so far I have always been able to save them. *knocks on wood*

      The word Spikenard would definitely work as a name, for a very special and interesting character!