Perfume Pen Pals: Gambling on Soivohle and Ayala Moriel


You're going to kill me, but I just bought M. Micallef Gaïac, as well as Ayala Moriel Film Noir and Vetiver Racinettes. I've tried and liked (not loved, mind you, but liked) the Micallef. But the other two? Hmm. I remember reading good things about the line and that's all.

Okay, Puckrik, you and your Nathan Branch recommendation are responsible for yet another reckless perfume purchase, this time from Soivohle' (I don't know what the accent after the "e" means either). I intended only to buy a bottle of Tobacco & Tulle and ended up with several more: Vanillaville, Cordovan Rose, Writing Lyrical Poetry and Domino Viole' (there's that accent again).

I bought Domino Viole' because of all the blog praise for it and also because I'm itching to buy Comme des Garçons Stephen Jones, which is such a weird little violet-rose-woody-amber and I want to smell how it compares. But, seriously, I don't know what I'm doing. You're dealing with a crazy person here. A lobotomized crazy person! (And everyone knows those are the worst kind.)

All of the reviews insist Soivohle' isn't your run-of-the-mill natural perfumery churning out simple feather-light scents, but rather the maker of intricate and lasting perfumes of great complexity. Let's hope so because I'm starting to see exactly how I'll end up dead in that alley.


P.S. I can't buy another thing for a month. Which means I'm only watching your negative reviews now.


I'm familiar with Gaïac - sweet cloves, big whoop. You have much more interesting things already. Have never smelled Ayala Moriel's creations, but I love reading her reviews on Basenotes and MakeUpAlley, because of her intimate familiarity with natural ingredients. The way I like to read the scholarly 1000 Fragrances for that dude Octavian's mad scientist aromachemical talk.



"Gaïac...big whoop"?

You're killing me! I know I made several bad decisions over the past week, but I was feeling compulsive. It's like when you're losing in Vegas and so you just start betting double and triple and before you know it, you have to sit alone in your hotel room for three days because you've run out of money. That doesn't ring any bells for you, does it?


Fumeheads - what are your favorite "natural" perfumes?


  1. Soivhole--hands down for me. Underworld is my autumn holy grail!! Vetiver has never smelled so great. Sinti my favorite rose...and Grand Canyon sent me vacationing all summer long. Blood Orange and Vetiver fabulous anytime. Solstice is incense heaven...
    Ayala Moriel is on my next to try list...

  2. Mwa ha ha ha....the cosmic gamble of the unsniffed...but, gotta say, as one of those whoe is a fan of LZ, I also think you will be pleased. They play like perfume...scratch that...they ARE perfume. Some naturals smell like aromatherapy--nothing wrong with that, but that's different--and some know how to take it in that directions.

    Kind of like how Wynton Marsalis can bring it to the classical table, but when he's playing jazz, it's jazz. Same ingredients, different presentation.

  3. Thanks for the input, ScentScelf and scentmuse. I haven't had a chance to really get my head around all the natural perfume offerings. My only experience is with Aveda Love, the ylang-ylang/sandalwood blend I wore on and off for years.

  4. Ayala Moriel and Liz Zorn are two of my favorite perfumers. I admit to being partial to natural scents. I've really enjoyed exploring both of their lines.

    Ayala's scents all have really delicate nuances to them, and many are surprising in a wonderful way. I love her ambery florals best, the green ones don't speak to me as much (but I don't love any green scents, so that has nothing to do with her compositions, more to do with my preferences). My favorite of hers: Tamya, Palas Atena, White Potion, Autumn, Hanami, Sahleb, Immortelle L'Amour, Megumi, Song of Songs, Cabaret.

    I love many of Liz Zorn's scents too, though I really dislike many of them also. More hit or complete miss. Her work seems to change a lot over time, plus she keeps changing up her collection, it's like a branding nightmare. I like her earlier stuff better as a whole. My favorites are: JoJo, Underworld, Calcutta, Journeyman, Writing Lyrical Poetry, Yin Hao, Misetu, Quan Yin, Sunset Rider.

  5. Ahsu, I can see I'm going to have lots of handy guidance from you and all the other "natural fume" buffs out there. Having lists to work from is helpful for me. I'm in the process of choosing a sample set from Ayala's creations, and you and I have some crossover.

  6. Ayala offers a "fragrance consultation" where you can fill out some questions and email her the answers and she'll recommend some scents from her line that might suit your tastes -- somewhere on her site it mentions this. I'd say, though, that most of my favorites are not the ones I chose for myself, but the ones I didn't have expectations for and fell in love with. So sample broadly I say!

  7. Oh, that is good to know. It's "assisted gambling".