eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Tempting Trio: Liz Zorn Perfumes Blood Cedar, Domino Viole and Vanillaville

I have made no secret about the fact that I am a huge admirer of Liz Zorn Perfumes. I'm going to review a few of the scents that have recently captured my heart.

When I first heard about Blood Cedar (demi-absolute), just the name alone was evocative enough that I knew I must have it. I love cedar almost more than any other note in perfume, and Liz' treatment of this particular essence is singularly delightful.

From Liz Zorn's website: "Blood Cedar, distilled from the Virginia cedar heartwood is a warm wood embellished with a citrus opening, lightly floral with a base of tonka, sandalwood, labdanum and vanilla."




Blood Cedar is warm, nutty and delicious from opening until extreme drydown. The cedar note does not carry the high-pitched sharpness that cedar is often known for, instead, this has a rich, wet wood quality that, blended with the subtle sweetness of vanilla and labdanum speaks of sleeping cats, curled up in front of a fire on a cool night, thin cashmere blankets and expensive tea. Blood Cedar is a mood piece, as are so many of Liz' perfumes. There is an intense sense of comfort and well-being when I wear Blood Cedar, almost unequaled by anything, perfume or otherwise. The labdanum in particular is used strategically here, just when you think the intensity is waning, its softly animalic depth comes out for the duration. It's clear that I'm going to need a bottle of this.
[11ml spray for $30,  35ml spray for $80]

The next one I'm going to mention is Domino Viole (absolute).
From the website: "a rebirth of our beloved Domino in a lush absolute, dark earthy violets, oakmoss, oud, herbals and musk, with a sprinkling of jasmine absolute, orris root, roses and lavender"




Domino Viole is a very rich blend highlighting violet and orris with a dark mossy background. It is a floral fougere with mystery attached. The violet used here is not the light-hearted, candied kind, but reminds me of the violet in vintage Coty L'Origan, but lacks any of the powderiness traditionally associated with violet. The orris is slightly spiced, no doubt aided by the subtle and lovely lavender. The reason Domino Viole is rather thrilling to me is that it does indeed give the impression of a vintage classic perfume, before the days of watery musks and fruity floral abominations. This is perfume for a woman who knows herself, and cares enough to treat herself very, very well.
[4.5ml is $70, 15ml is $180]

The third and final perfume I'll be reviewing (today, anyway, I've got more!) is Vanillaville (demi-absolute). There is a smoky, tea-like, rich herbal signature that Liz has in some of her fragrances that frankly, I am powerless against. If her Meerschaum is your sort of thing, you'll definitely want to try Vanillaville.

From the website: "a rustic leathery vanilla with overtones of pipe tobacco, including sweet fennel, pink pepper, coffee absolute, cinnamon, cepes, rectified birch tar, sandalwood, amyris, floral accord, benzoin, almonds"


If you're anything at all like me, just reading the notes list is enough to make me weak in the knees. Vanillaville is smoky, sweet and rustic indeed. This is not the kind of scent that needs to be treated with kid gloves, it exists on the same plane as Le Labo's Patchouli 24 (Annick Menardo), it's rough and tumble, giving the impression of a fine smoky tea and a leather saddle. This is not by any means a traditional gourmand fragrance; Vanillaville is so good, it hurts. It hurts so much, that you're probably going to want to buy it not only for yourself but for all your friends. Do it.
[11ml spray is $30, 35ml spray is $80]
Samples of all scents are also available at lizzornperfumes.com.

Samples were sent to me for review by the perfumer.

22 comments:

  1. I absolutely have to try these. You're right, the notes alone are enough to send me straight to Liz Zorn's website, and your descriptions are so ... good. (Adjective retrieval isn't functioning yet this morning. Need more coffee!). Thanks for the reviews!

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  2. Thank you kindly! I hope you find some gems while you're browsing her site. :)

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  3. Why haven't I tried this line yet? I'm a bit embarrassed that I haven't. Each one that you reviewed sound like something that I'd love. Each one sounds comforting in their own way.

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  4. Aaargh, Carrie!!!! These sound so good, especially Blood Cedar and Vanillaville. Liz Zorn ships only Fedex to Europe, for a fortune...
    It is a good thing I should not buy anything anyway, but I sure want to, and you sure make it sound like it would be worthwhile...

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  5. Where do I sign, who do I ask, and can I sell something besides my soul to try them? (Since we know where my soul went...;-) )

    I wouldn't know what to try first, so one of everything should be a good start! But I have to say it - that Domino Viole sounds mightily intriguing...And the Blood Cedar, too!

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  6. Aside from Sonoran Leather, I have only tried Liz's extrait line (which are all amazing). This cements it, I need to get my hands on some of the EDP samples.

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  7. Victoria: I am sure there are some LZ scents you would love. I've been a cheerleader for her work for some time now, and that's not going to stop anytime soon.

    Birgit and Sheila, I will commence to hookin' you two up, just drop me an email with your scent choices.

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  8. Elisa: Sonoran Leather is droolworthy, as is Journeyman. The way she does leather/tobacco/smoky scents is so... words fail me. Just, unbelievable.

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  9. Yes, her leathers are awesome. And Meerschaum is such a great tobacco scent. So Vanillaville sounds fantastic to me. I'm trying to cut back on my unsniffed bottle purchases but I'll definitely be getting a sample of that one to try!

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  10. Drool...Great reviews, Carrie.

    I love Liz's fragrances, but you already know that!! We should do a split of one of her fragrances sometime!

    JoanElaine (for some reason I can't comment through Blogger/Google)

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  11. I have never tried any of her perfumes, but I am so intrigued by them. :)

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  12. Joanne: we must talk about a split! Here are the ones I have in mind... Meerschaum, Sonoran Leather, Journeyman, Green Oakmoss, Vanillaville. Would you choose any of those?

    I also need to try the new EDTs, retro collection, etc. etc. I'm toast!

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  13. I could be interested in a split of some of those too. Notably Meerschaum and Vanillaville...

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  14. If you do a split of Vanillaville... perhaps I could beg to get in on a couple miL???

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  15. Elisa: Meerschaum would be a good one to split three ways, we'd each get 5ml for about $73 apiece. Vanillaville would be 11.6ml for $26, so there's quite a bit of a price difference. Let's wait and see what Joanne says and we'll go from there!

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  16. Dee: of course! I'll make a note of who is interested in a split so far.

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  17. Oh good lord! OK, Meerschaum will have to wait until after I move -- I can't justify that kind of purchase right now. V... or one of the other EDP's I could do. :) Thanks for doing the math and bringing me back to my senses.

    Actually, I've got a bottle of Sonoran Leather, and that stuff is powerful, I don't need an FB -- maybe we could trade small decants if you end up ordering one.

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  18. Looks like Joanne is down with Green Oakmoss for a split, and I'm inclined to want to do that- I just don't have many scents like that. It's going to have to wait a bit though, all of a sudden I have a bunch of expenses!

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  19. No problem, let me know if you want to do a split down the line!

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  20. I'm definitely down for it in the not-so-distant future!

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  21. I've read many glowing reviews of her fragrances and still haven't tried them. Now reading this, I feel almost guilty for not having done so yet: your descriptions of these three are so very tender and evocative. Just lovely!

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  22. Thank you very much Suzanne! I hope you get to try her creations soon, there is much to be discovered!

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