Empress Cixi

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Empress Cixi

Post by Boudicca »

Known as "The Last Emperess of China" she started her life as one of the concubines to the emperor. After giving birth to a son she rose in power as the Emperor died. She was the ruler of China and banned foot binding of women, a practice which caused untold misery among her subjects. She is credited with setting the stage for a constitutional monarchy. She was widely hated among powerful men but was a remarkable woman who held her country together in hard times.

So, how would you paint a portrait of a woman like that in perfume? I chose an extreme of Dragon's Blood, but not just any kind of Dragon's Blood: a dark blonde sandalwood, Chinese incense, tarry myrrh, "white" amber, and a very dry vanilla. It's quite a recipe and goes on your skin as a subtle veil of scent but persists and commands in ways others really don't expect, and does it delightfully.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by Petticoats »

Really beautiful! I was afraid at first that the dragon's blood would take over, as sometimes happens with my chemistry, but after drydown it is just present enough without overwhelming the other notes. The overall combination is magnificent--deep and powerful. Possetiers who love the dark Cambiennes should give this a try.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by stellamaris »

:pom: yay my Yules are here!!!!!!!
Love this one. Just tested fresh, the dragons blood is almost orangey. I love it. Very plush and sexy.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by Atropos »

Petticoats wrote:Really beautiful! I was afraid at first that the dragon's blood would take over, as sometimes happens with my chemistry, but after drydown it is just present enough without overwhelming the other notes. The overall combination is magnificent--deep and powerful. Possetiers who love the dark Cambiennes should give this a try.
PETTICOATS!!!! *GLOMP* :hug: I had this on my maybe yes, because I worried about the dragon's blood overpowering everything else on my skin too!. Happy to read that you didn't have that problem, as you and I in the past, seem to share a similar reaction to Fabienne's perfumes. Skin twins...heheh.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by marisaviola »

Empress Cixi surprised me as I often don't do well with Dragon's Blood. I had a similar experience to Petticoats' description. On me it started out as a very elegant fragrance that reminded me somewhat of a classic French perfume of the old style--it reminded me of my mother coming to kiss me goodbye before she and my father would go out--she always looked beautiful and she smelled delicious. Empress Cixi has that type of fragrnace to me--full-bodied and rich, not sweet but smooth, a lovely and sophisticated woman's fragrance. It then transforms some more and the incense for me came out more toward the end. I still smell a touch of incense on my left wrist, where I had put it last evening.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by Atropos »

marisaviola wrote:Empress Cixi surprised me as I often don't do well with Dragon's Blood. I had a similar experience to Petticoats' description. On me it started out as a very elegant fragrance that reminded me somewhat of a classic French perfume of the old style--it reminded me of my mother coming to kiss me goodbye before she and my father would go out--she always looked beautiful and she smelled delicious. Empress Cixi has that type of fragrnace to me--full-bodied and rich, not sweet but smooth, a lovely and sophisticated woman's fragrance. It then transforms some more and the incense for me came out more toward the end. I still smell a touch of incense on my left wrist, where I had put it last evening.

Oh this one was on my wish list for samples, but with the budget...now I'm thinking maybe I should get one while the getting is good.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by warriortwo »

Ooh, I hadn't given this one a proper go before voting. I love it. I was craving a scent that I could wear that reminds me of the smell of the many Himalayan shops here in Berkeley, and this totally fits the bill. Heavy on the Dragon's Blood, but full, round, multifaceted. It feels like deep red brocade. Gothic. And I can't really explain it better than that. It's quite intense--major throw and longevity here--and you must love resins, for sure. SUPER happy I got a full bottle.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by marisaviola »

I had tried this on several more times after my first review above, and it continued to evolve as a fragrance in the sample vial. I have been considering for a long time getting a full bottle. I vacillated in getting more because the Dragon's Blood began to be more prominent on me over time, though it still is not a traditional straight Dragon's Blood fragrance and is complex and beautifully blended. I agree with Warriortwo, I wish I had held off on voting and tried this one more time before making my decision. Empress Cixi stands on its own beyond labels and is beautiful, unique, complex and has great longevity. It is a sophisticated fragrance and really conveys the portrait and person it is named after. I think this really deserves to be in the permanent collection.
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by Apollonia »

I would almost swear there was patch in this since it has a little of that lovely, dreamy headshop vibe. If you love BPAL's LE Womb Furie or Snake Oil, I think you would most likely adore this. But where SO has a kind of acerbic tang when it's fresh that needs to be aged out, the Empress is soft and gorgeous straight up. It really brilliantly captures the idea of a woman with a wooden core who must enrobe herself in a soft outer layer to get by in the world.
Aging is only going to make this more exquisite and I'd be very surprised if she doesn't make it to the permanents.

Atropos: you will just love this!
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Re: Empress Cixi

Post by Atropos »

Apollonia wrote:I would almost swear there was patch in this since it has a little of that lovely, dreamy headshop vibe. If you love BPAL's LE Womb Furie or Snake Oil, I think you would most likely adore this. But where SO has a kind of acerbic tang when it's fresh that needs to be aged out, the Empress is soft and gorgeous straight up. It really brilliantly captures the idea of a woman with a wooden core who must enrobe herself in a soft outer layer to get by in the world.
Aging is only going to make this more exquisite and I'd be very surprised if she doesn't make it to the permanents.

Atropos: you will just love this!

I hope it makes the permanents then, I missed out on a yule sample (apparently the lady is well loved!). She sounds like a perfume I would love.
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