I’m not a big fan of resurrected perfume brands: in many cases there is nothing to really connect the reincarnated entity and the brand, from which the history was taken, other than a desire of new owners to have some history to show for the brand hoping that it’ll sell perfumes better.
I make some exception to brands reinvented by descendants of the original owners: my feeling is that there is something noble and romantic in bringing back to life parts of the family history, sharing with the world proud moments and achievements of one’s ancestors.
Blocki Perfumes is this kind of brand. You can look up this brand’s history milestones on the website (it’s quite interesting but I don not want to just regurgitate it here). What captured my imagination was their patent in 1907 for “novel method of placing a preserved natural flower within the perfume bottle.” They do not do it now – pity. I wouldn’t mind having a bottle of perfume with a real flower inside, though I completely understand why they cannot do it these days with perfumes being transported thousands of miles.
Previously I came across some reviews for this brand’s perfumes but it took me a while to get to testing some of them. I can’t remember what the turning point was, but I recently gave in and ordered a couple of samples.
This brand’s approach to naming their compositions is the opposite to the slightly annoying ALL CAPS take by my another favorite brand: Blocki does not use capital letters at all, which also annoys me. But since those names are supposed to be short passages, a couple of words from a sentence that landed on the bottle – without the beginning or the ending – I try to look at them as at something open to interpretation and leaving some space to our imagination rather than a nod to the modern World’s hasty messaging habits that I do not condone. And that thought reconciles me with them.
Both perfumes that I’m sampling today were created in 2015 by Kevin Verpsoor; and though they were inspired by the house’s history, they are not recreations of the previously existed perfumes.
for walks is a perfume for people who do not want to smell like they are wearing perfume. With the notes of violet leaf, mint, fir needle, violet, boronia flower, orris, vetiver, sandalwood and cedar, it presents like a completely unisex composition. I like fir in perfumes but in for walks I do not smell it at all. Neither can I smell iris or vetiver. Mint and violet are there, as well as some kind of wood (I’d say it is sandalwood sharpened by cedar wood). It is not linear, and develops over time, so you’ll have something to do if you decide to take it on a couple of hours’ walk.
While for walks is absolutely “not my” perfume (I take my unisex perfumes either citrus-y or dry amber-y), it is not boring or banal. It is not a perfume to gather compliments, but if you’re looking for a soft but present perfume that is not cologne or a quiet white musk number, give for walks a try.
this grand affair
this grand affair fits its name very well: nobody would mistakenly assume that they smell your shampoo or a dryer sheet. It is unapologetically PERFUME, in the classic sense. Initially I thought of it as leaning feminine but since I think that Jicky Extract, about which I’m somehow reminded by this grand affair (not in the way it smells but in feeling it evokes), is also feminine, my perception might be off compared to conventional.
Official notes: grapefruit, neroli, davana, lavender, rose, petitgrain, lemon, mandarin, vanilla, musk, tonka bean and patchouli.
this grand affair smells like the most beloved today vintage perfumes must have smelled before they became vintage. One wouldn’t have to wear a gown to match this perfume but it would be a very appropriate combination.
I tend to like and buy this type of perfumes even though I do not have enough occasions to wear them (I’m working on that), so this grand affair has won me over from the first time I tried it. And since the brand smartly produces their perfumes in very reasonable 10 ml travel bottles, I could not think of a reason not to add it to my collection (but since it’s still in transit, I cannot bribe Rusty to pose with it for this post, so I’ll go with the floral composition that visually illustrates the name).
Blocki line consists of four perfumes: 3 from 2015; and one more they released this year. I’m curious to try the remaining two.
Blocki perfumes come in 50 ml and 10 ml bottles. Also, you can buy samples from the brand’s site, which makes sense only if you want to try just one: you’ll be getting a 1.5-2 ml for $10, including S&H, which is the same price as you’d pay for a twice smaller dab vial delivered from perfume stores or decanter sites. Until April 1st, you can use the code AMOUR14 to get a 14% discount (no affiliation). Twisted Lily and Smallflower also carry these perfumes.
Have you heard about the brand? Have you tried any of their perfumes?
Images: my own
I’m so glad you liked this grand affair (I didn’t notice the lower case, probably did it wrong in my review). I agree totally that it’s a lovely vintage style perfume that makes you feel special just for wearing it. I wasn’t aware about the 10 ml bottles. I could be tempted so thanks for the code! I haven’t tried any of the others but it is on my to do.
I’m waiting impatiently to see that travel spray in real life but on pictures it looks very nice. And since I hardly need more than 10 ml of any perfume, it was just a perfect fit – even though it’s more expensive per ml.
My pet peeve, how most perfumes are double in price for the smaller size (per ml). I know there is expense in the bottle, but still! But I do agree it’s nice to not have to buy a big bottle you know you probably won’t use.
I’m writing a post on the topic of perfume prices. Come back in the next week or two, and we’ll discuss it more.
I have never heard of this brand before, not to mention that it existed before and was brought back to being ‘alive’. Well at least it’s nice it’s descendants of the founders who decided to take care of the brand again. Same thing happened with Grossmith years back.
Thank you for your lovely impressions.
For a change, it’s an American brand, so I’m not surprised that your paths haven’t crossed (yet?).
I have heard of this brand and also remember reading about their patent and have actually tried both of these fragrances in sample size.
Judging by the laconic response, those weren’t your cup of tea :)
Actually I did not dislike them but just did not like them enough to want more :) The samples were more than enough…
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Undina, as you know, for many reasons I’m sort of “off” perfume right now, but if ever there was a review that could reignite that interest, it is this one of yours. Your intro got my attention: I quite agree with your feelings of largely being unimpressed by resurrected perfume brands, but as you note so beautifully, this brand is different. I had never heard of Blocki before, but your admiration of their “noble and romantic” efforts to bring back to life their great, great grandfather’s achievements led me immediately to their website.
The fact that they chose Kevin Verspoor as their perfumer is impressive to me, too, as I am a huge fan of a fragrance he once composed for Stefano Canturi (the name of it is Canturi, a beautiful chypre scent that smelled like plum-wine layered over a dreamy sandalwood base, I think it might be discontinued now).
Lastly, I’ll say that I love your description of the scents themselves. They are concise and have references that make me feel that I know exactly what you’re smelling. Great review!
Suzanne, it’s so wonderful to see you!
I’m not familiar with the perfume you mentioned but I read that the perfumer was a contributor at Ca Fleur Bon – so, he is almost a fellow blogger.
I think you’ll like this grand affair (being “off” perfume aside) but I’m not sure about for walks: I think it would depend on your mood at the time of testing.
I had never heard of Blocki, and am prepared to forgive their persistent use of lower case letters on the same grounds that reconciled you to the practice. ;)
Neither of these scents sound like they would be my thing – though like you I am partial to the grand bal genre in principle – it is just that I have problems with davana, lavender and grapefruit, hehe. I still had a ‘grand’ old time reading your take on both, even if Rusty wasn’t playing ‘bal’ on this occasion.
When I tested these I thought that they probably wouldn’t be your first choices in a blind testing – one on the court of being too “loud” and the other one for not being whisper-y enough.
Now I’m curious how davana smells (just to know if I like it ;) ).
I’ve tried these at Twisted Lily and IIRC, and I liked them well enough to not complain about them but not enough to ask for samples. Your succinct reviews make me want to try them again although Twisted Lily may not have the testers anymore. I’ll find out though as I am very likely to go Sniffapalooza Friday, whenever that is!
If you go there, please check for the other two as well and report back if they are worth trying.
this grand affair requires skin time: it’s not enough to do it on paper (while it’s true for many perfumes, since your and my tastes are very similar, I think it’ll work for you if you give it some skin time – not that you need more perfumes :)
The first time I have heard of this brand, Undina. This Grand Affair sounds magnificent. R
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I’m not surprised since they are a small brand from the U.S. Hopefully, they’ll find their place on the market, and you’ll get a chance to experience their creations.
Never heard of this brand! Especially of interest as I come from Chicago and did research for a play into Chicago history and the Exposition. They both sound interesting and like I’d enjoy them. I love vintage classic fragrances. And woodsy ones. It’s pleasing to me to sometimes wear scents that are contrary to situation. It makes the experience complex/rich for me. I enjoy the stimulation. So although I too have few grand occasions in my life (best to you on shifting that!) I might like it for a not so grand affair (just a dab for myself to enjoy). But then again my mom is an artist, and taught me to experience life in a different sort of way, hence I was late in learning lots of those sorts of “appropriate” things…
Wearing great perfume while doing something mundane is good way to go about using one’s favorite perfumes. Unfortunately, many of my favorites I cannot wear to the office (where I spend the biggest chunk of my life) because my work involves meetings in smallish conference rooms with some people who are sensitive to perfumes I wear. So now it’s a constant struggle between the desire to wear my favorite perfumes and self-consciousness about causing discomfort to others. But I try to balance these feelings. And wear more perfumes whenever I can :)
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Ah, I totally understand and respect this. It’s like you live a double life in scent! It’s actually an exciting idea! Kind of like a super hero.!
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