Opardu, the fake reality.

When the rivers flow towards all possible directions and you don’t know where’s right and where’s left anymore; when every morning you walk into a soft fog and you observe yourself as it from aside; when you think and dream in another language, – everything becomes half real. Just another moment and you’ll wake up. Just another moment and all snowy mountain peaks will collapse and the blue sea will turn dark. Missing being there and missing here while there.

And then you don’t know your name anymore and you don’t know the people in your nightmares anymore and you don’t know who will tidy up the chaos in your head.

Puredistance Opardu, which sounds like the French I have lost, is just like another movie scene in the middle of fake reality. It brings the atmosphere of the last century with fabric wall tapestries, people with straight backs and women with a secret. Opardu is too beautiful to be true. It’s so rich yet extremely fragile, that you want to sit aside and admire it from a distance. Slowly.

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Opardu opens with amazing lilac and white flowers. A whiff of freshness with a smooth and hardly noticeable candy note. Creamy gardenia, milky tuberose and not overwhelming yet consistent jasmine also carry a huge musky cloud. Indeed, during the first half an hour you can clearly perceive white soapiness which reminds me a lot of the great discontinued Sicily by Dolce&Gabbana. However, the scent doesn’t get banal and doesn’t only smell of clean linen. The flowers bring a lot of sensuality and a soft butter-like feeling. In fact, the perfume is so thick it seems you can almost touch it like a bath full of milk or like a handful of a luscious body butter to melt on your chest.

Opardu is calm and mature. It makes me think of serious people who seriously talk about outer space without getting their head spinning.

Opardu has an incredible quality and lasts for ages. The flowers in it never show their angles and no, they never remind of an air freshener. On warm skin they rather turn into a soft white fog. And then it lingers almost as if it was a reproach for the lost beauty or for you ceasing looking for it along with soft voice and decent manners.

It’s like a prayer to something you have lost or you would have liked to know. Or simply to something that never really existed.

 

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Promenade a Versailles Pour Elle: Versailles and popcorn.

Sofia Coppola’s movie on Marie Antoinette has been praised by teenagers as much as Amélie when it was launched years ago. Very girlish, very soft, very crisp, very innocent. The movie has immediately provoked the oh-so-so fashionable macaron wave. Everybody’s buying, dying and taking pictures of them because Paris is fashion – I love Paris – I am fashionable. Be that as it may, the movie is really worth watching for its impeccable aesthetics.

Parfums du Château de Versailles claim to have restored perfume compositions of Versailles from real old recipes of the royal family. With some synthetics they’ve brought back to life fragrances which surrounded the kings and the queens of France during the 17th and the 18th centuries. Don’t think macaron is enough to perceive Marie Antoinette’s reality. She probably smelled like Promenade a Versailles Pour Elle. Even if I doubt if popcorn and pineapple listed among the notes were taken directly from the Versaille’s archive; if the latter ingredients help it reveal the atmosphere or if they are perfect substitutes of some other plants or concoctions, one could only applaude for such creativity.

Promenade a Versailles Pour Elle is truly a joie de vivre perfume. The very first notes come out with a blast of juicy cherries, tangerines and pineapples. The beginning is sour, fresh and already mouth watering. Then everything is covered with sparkling champagne bubbles and the fragrance obtains its fruity-chypre character. After a few minutes the sourness gets softer and reveals a more subtle and balanced floral side. Nonetheless, no single fruit and no single flower stands out by itself; it’s rather huge bouquets and baskets of flowers, it’s vases of pears and oranges. It’s incredibly rich yet doesn’t get heavy and oversweet. Finally, the heart of the perfume unveils musky rose with a warm note of… popcorn.

Surprisingly, all that popcorn fuss isn’t fake. When you sniff carefully you can clearly identify the toasted and pleasant smell of a movie theatre. Popcorn and patchouli make an unusual base for a fruity-floral fragrance, yet never break its classic image. It’s a bit tipsy and flirty; it’s succulent, sparkling, shimmering and it smiles with its eyes closed. Being fresh and girlish, it is never cheap.
A perfume for a sunny day when the only thing you care about is which cheek to choose for your beauty mark today.

MdO Tubéreuse: the reason to wear tuberose.

It’s a nice habit to connect perfumes with cities. It makes you instantly remember the squares you’ve seen, the language people were speaking and the ice-cream you were eating on a bench every single time you smell that perfume. Undoubtedly, it’s quite an expensive tradition to buy a new perfume for every trip abroad. However, a similar result can be obtained by simply entering a random perfume store and trying a scent you don’t know yet. Even if you won’t buy it immediately, it will be enough to take you back to the holidays each time you’ll smell it by chance. I experienced the same feeling in Milan when I was a teenager and blindly bought Après l’Ondée; and every time I go to Rome I find it in Mona di Orio Tubéreuse.

Rome greets you with a unique smell you can find only there, no matter what season it is. I usually start my tour in Piazza di Spagna with horses waiting for curious tourists who want to take a carriage ride. The famous Spanish Steps are always covered by bright fuchsia flowers; the air is full of cold travertina and fountain water scents; you can easily catch a whiff of coffee in the mornings and a steam of roasted chestnuts in the evenings; you sniff freshly shaved and elegant men, high quality leather and ironed crispy shirts.

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Mona di Orio Tubéreuse is probably the most wearable tuberose for those who are normally afraid of this extravagant flower. Usually it’s unbearably intoxicating and sometimes can even lead to a headache. That’s why few people choose tuberose for everyday use and often leave it only for special evening occasions or at least sniff it from the bottle never daring to spray it on themselves (because strong and excessive perfumes could and should be appreciated and loved even if you don’t use them as you’re supposed to).

Mona di Orio’s tuberose has become love at first sniff and it at once reminded me of something I can never figure out. Sugar and lemon? Lemon with sugar? Indeed, the top notes smell of citrus and something bitter, officially listed as bergamot and pink pepper. I can feel a slightly bitter and sour peel of a juicy lime, floating in a frozen Martini Bianco glass. The scent is fresh, crisp and green, but not too much. It seems as if there was some vegetable note, then I see an airy coconut. It soon starts to change and reveals marvelous benzoin and heliotrope, emphasizing the milkiness. Being beautifully milky and smooth, it doesn’t drown the green tuberose, which never gets intense and sweet, but rather remains raw and transparent. The scent is really more about the leaves of the tuberose and wet soil (though with no mushroomy patchouli!)
A graceful tuberose after rain, very lightweight and floating, yet never simple and bathroom-fresh. The base notes are creamy and musky, however Tubéreuse is quite a linear fragrance. Extremely lively and shimmering but intimate and caressing at the same time. Like Rome.

A wonderful unisex, which stunningly works on men and literally makes you go crazy no matter who you are. Unfortunately, it lasts just a few hours on skin, but then again – for a moment of euphoria you could forgive everything to The Eternal City.

Rose Oud, mind blower.

Released in 2013, Parfums de Nicolaï Rose Oud would seem appealing to those who can’t stand medicinal and tickling oud and who aren’t afraid to experiment with different types of rose. Here neither Rose nor Oud are as we are used to smell them, – that’s why it took me a while to understand it. Or rather to try to understand, because even now it’s still difficult to find the right adjective to describe such a fashionable rose&oud couple, composed by Patricia de Nicolai.

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The first seconds bring a wide blast of classic fruity rose which immediately gets dirtier and carnal. The rose almost instantly disappears and makes way for musk and animalistic notes. The scent becomes saltier and more sour. There’s the soft presence of oud, amber and wood, however they don’t get too heavy due to the still sparkling rose. It seems that in the heart Rose Oud gets more relaxed and leans back in its chair, becoming more and more black, smooth and leathery. Unfortunately, such feeling doesn’t last until the base, which remains only with a simple (even if elegant) musky rose. It lacks depth and imagination; it would be much nicer to see the dirtiness and wildness of it come to a more dramatic end, instead of simply vanishing on its way without daring to step out. On the other hand, maybe it suits those who are beautiful and flawless, yet want to show a part of their wild side… but then stop and put their mask back, because they’d better not. You might be dying to take its clothes off but time’s up and everything comes back to normal.

Pitti Fragranze 2014: news and impressions.

Florence, which is always so full of Americans, is the most beautiful in September when the famous fair-event for all perfume lovers Pitti Fragranze takes place. However, as we know, all good things come to an end, and naturally Pitti wasn’t an exception. Three days (with only Saturday open to the public) this year could count more than 200 brands which presented perfumes, skincare products and selective accessories. A great variety of new launches, bags of samples and, most importantly, the possibility to chat with the noses have been a priceless experience, enough to fill the weekend with sun and happiness.

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Even if the brand has been known since 2011, I discovered it only last Sunday (better late than never). Ys-Uzac is a Switzerland based company, especially (as they told me) loved by Russians. Their complex compositions contain black currant, angelica root, mint, mushroom, smoke and hay notes, which is also what a typical Lithuanian childhood is made of. Each fragrance has a story behind it represented by the name. The design is solid and attractive, the scents are intriguing, the overall impression is more than positive. The newest Ys-Uzac release is this gorgeous Sacre du Printemps. Shortly I’m going to write a more explicit review on all seven fragrances (+Dragon Tatoo).

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Histoires de Parfums presented their new Opéra collection. Carmen is saffron, white flowers, incense and wood. La Dame de Pique is loaded with dark spices, amber, patchouli and leather.

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Turandot is basically about jasmine, orange blossom and patchouli. Norma – aldehydes, ylang-ylang and smooth resins. Lastly, Madame Butterfly expresses its Japanese nature through mandarin, iris and musk. Such an interesting metaphor comparing art with jewels inevitably raises curiosity and encourages to re-study the famous opera pieces to compare the fragrance with the characters. Art inside art. Maybe it could change the angle we used to look from to classics?

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Amouage and their new Journey: the feminine version is fresh and apricoty, revealing warm notes of honey and spices. Extremely feminine, deep, comfortable. Journey for men is more classic, harder, more peppery, has more citrus and wood. The heart opens with tobacco leaves, juniper berries and finally tonka bean turns everything into a divine balsam.

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My beloved Etat Libre d’Orange with Rien Intense Incense must have shocked the sensitive souls. Even the leaflet warns you to apply the product with caution, and there’s a reason for that. The black bomb is loaded with incense, hard leather, spices, amber and patchouli. Oakmoss and musk lift the whole compositon in the air and iris softens it up. Dark as tar, strong as black magic, crawling in circles like a witche’s cat. But suddenly pssss… and everything turns into smoke.  

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Heeley and 100% natural Vetiver Veritas. Slightly bitter, green and smelling of mate.

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Tauer Perfumes with the marvelous gardenia – Sotto La Luna Gardenia. The extremely interesting content smells both of mushrooms and cookies. Somewhat gourmand. The base leaves a warm tonka bean cloud. Andy Tauer announced that next year he’s going to present a perfume dedicated to hyacinth, and in 2016 we should expect tuberose. Can’t wait.

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Another gardenia was launched by the deadly Parisian Robert Piguet. Their Gardenia is a real touch of class and elegance. Ylang-ylang makes it smooth and leather with wood give it that royal quality all Piguet fragrances are famous for.

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“Our perfumes are round”, – says Mona di Orio and changes the famous cube with a champagne cap into smooth oval bottles. At the same time they release the masculine (and Mona’s favourite) Lux and the feminine Nuit Noire. New launches are Orris Fontana and Myrrh Casati. Having sampled both, I remain loyal to my favourite ones – the lemon-and-sugar tuberose and Violette Fumée.

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Miller Harris presents La Fumée Collection, decorated with real gold. Four new fragrances are Arabie, Classic, Ottoman and Maroc. The latter is extremely nice: what would be better for the cool autumn days than a warming scent of dried fruits, honey and incense?

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Penhaligon’s with Trade Routes Collection, dedicated to London, represents the rarest treasures in dizzying abundance; London was the Warehouse of the World. Innocent and naive as an English girl Empressa, spicy Levantium and classic fougère Lothair.

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Grossmith and Sylvan Song, which will be sold only at Fortnum&Mason in London. It smells of extremely graceful incense and flowers, decorated china and the elegance of Lady Violet.

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The black lady Diane Pernet has finally released her perfume line, even blacker and with more spiders. Heavy compositions of patchouli and wild strawberries are quite macabre and exaggerated. However, with such an extravagant creator one simply couldn’t expect something modest. To Be Honest is worth a second try.

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Byredo and their pleasant dusty fruits in Mojave Ghost.

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Jardins d’Ecrivains’ divine candle Memento Mori. A must have.

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Other discoveries to be reviewed separately: perfume through pharmacy in Peccato Originale, Southern Italy in Gabriella Chieffo‘s creations, the elegant French company Paul Emilien and Antonio Alessandria‘s Hommage à la lune mysterious trilogy. Other interesting releases are Lalique, Inspiritv and Carrière Frères candles, pampering La Sultane de Saba body scrubs and Eau d’Italie body and home line. Moreover, Pitti Fragranze every year comes up with a special installation. This time we saw Verba Olent – a hanging exhibition of many different books and excerpts talking about scents and perfumes.

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Chandler Burr made a speech on Aedes de Venustas and had a discussion with the Italian journalist Giovanna Zucconi on her freshly launched home fragrances and perfumes as a form of memory.

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Pitti Fragranze 2014 has been a wonderful event with an unusually strong rise of international visitors. It’s only good news if high quality niche fragrances are expanding not only onto the shelves of selective stores but also in our (dark!) wardrobes/drawers/or wherever we keep our small pleasures. There’s a wide variety of choices to meet the cold 2014 season decently. Don’t get caught unprepared. There’s nothing better than to smell good.

Images – Fragrantica, Style, Pitti Immagine

Pitti Fragranze 2014: parfumerinės naujienos.

Visus metus lauktas Pitti Fragranze renginys amerikiečių užgultoje Florencijoje baigėsi užvakar, rugsėjo 14-ąją. Trys dienos, iš kurių tik šeštadienis atviras visiems lankytojams, šiemet buvo užpildytos daugiau nei 200 prekinių ženklų, pristačiusių nišinės parfumerijos, odos priežiūros ir rinktinės bižuterijos gaminius. Gausybė naujienų, maišai mėginėlių ir galimybė pakalbinti pačius kūrėjus yra neįkainojama patirtis ir džiaugsmas, kurio buvo pilnas šis saulėtas savaitgalis.

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Nors ir pavėluotai, bet negaliu nesipasidžiaugti atradusi Ys-Uzac parfumerijos liniją. Itin sofistikuoti šveicarai atskleidė esantys ypač vertinami Rusijos rinkos. Sudėtingose kompozicijoje susipynusios juodųjų serbentų, šventagaršvės, mėtos, grybų, dūmų ir šieno natos norom nenorom traukia prisiminimus ir iš lietuviškos vaikystės. Įdomūs pavadinimai, susiję su kiekvieno kūrinio gimimo istorija, solidus dizainas, intriguojantys kvapai, apie kuriuos plačiau – greitu metu. Šių metų Ys-Uzac naujiena – Sacre du Printemps.

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Histoires de Parfums pristatė naują Opéra kolekciją. Karmen – šafranas, baltos gėlės, smilkalai ir mediena. Pikų dama – tamsūs prieskoniai, ambra, pačiulis ir oda.

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Turandot – jazminai, apelsinžiedžiai ir pačiulis. Norma – aldehidai, kvapnioji kananga ir švelnios dervos. Madam Baterflai – mandarinas, irisas ir muskusas. Dar neregėta meno ir brangiųjų akmenų metafora, įspūdinga dėžutė. Verta įsigilinti idėmiau vien dėl pačios operos nuotaikos ir jos pagrindinių charakterių išraiškos. Gal tada ir pats kūrinys nušvis kita spalva?

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Amouage ir naujieji Journey: moteriškieji – gaivūs ir abrikosiniai, vėliau atveriantys šiltus medaus ir prieskonių tonus. Itin moteriški, gilūs, jaukūs. Vyriškoji versija daugiau klasikinė, kietesnė, pipiriškesnė ir su daugiau citrusinės medienos. Širdyje išlenda tabako lapai, kadagio uogos ir viską palaimingu balzamu paverčianti tonka pupelė.

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Mano numylėti Etat Libre d’Orange su Rien Intense Incense, delfio žodžiais tariant, susprogdino bombą. Jau ant prezentacinio lankstinuko įspėjama produktą dozuoti atsargiai, ir tikrai neapsirinkama. Juodulys užtaisytas smilkalais, stipria oda ir prieskoniais, iš po kurių lenda pačiulis ir ambra. Kvapą į orą pakelia briedragė ir muskusas, sušvelnina – irisas. Juodas it smala, įtaigus kaip burtas, einantis ratais kaip nuodinga raganos katė. O tada pšš… ir viskas pavirsta į dūmą.

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Heeley ir 100% natūralus Vetiver Veritas. Karstelėjęs, žalias ir kvepiantis mate arbata.

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Tauer Perfumes su nuostabiąja gardenija – Sotto La Luna Gardenia. Itin įdomi, lengvai grybiška, sausainiška ir gourmand. Bazėje palieka šiltą tonka pupelės rūką. Andy Tauer prasitarė 2015-ais pristatysiantis hiacintui, o 2016-ais – ir tuberozai dedikuotus kvepalus.

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Dar vieną gardeniją pristatė iki kaulų smegenų paryžietiški Robert Piguet. Jų Gardenia – klasė ir elegancija kubu. Suminkštinta kvapniosios kanangos, ji švariai ir skambiai atsiskleidžia odos ir medienos fone.

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“Mūsų aromatai – apvalūs”, – teigia Mona di Orio ir keičia savo įžymųjį kubo dizainą su šampano kamščiais į nugludintus ovalius flakonus. Tuopat perleidžia vyriškuosius Lux ir moteriškus Nuit Noire. Naujienos – Orris Fontana ir Myrrh Casati. Išbandžiusi abu, lieku ištikima savo favoritams – citrininei tuberozai ir Violette Fumée.

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Miller Harris išleidžia tikru auksu dekoruotą La Fumée Collection Arabie, Classic, Ottoman ir Maroc. Pastarasis – ypač gražus: džiovintų vaisių, medaus ir smilkalo dūmas tobulai įsilietų į šalantį rudenį.

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Penhaligon’s su Trade Routes Collection, dedikuota Londonui – pirklių miestuiAngliška nekaltybe spinduliuojanti Empressa, prieskoninis Levantium ir klasikinis fougère Lothair.

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Grossmith ir Sylvan Song, kuris bus parduodamas tik Londono Fortnum&Mason. Kvepia itin subtiliais smilkalais ir gėlių žiedais, angliškais servizais ir Lady Violet elegancija.

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Juodoji dama Diane Pernet pagaliau pristatė savo kvepalų liniją, dar juodesnę ir apkabinėtą vorais. Dusinantys pačiulio ir žemuogių aromatai pasirodė gana makabriški ir perspausti, bet su tokia autore aukso vidurio net ir nereikėtų tikėtis. Įspūdį paliko tik smilkalinis To Be Honest.

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Byredo ir puikus vaisinis apdulkėjęs Mojave Ghost.

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Jardins d’Ecrivains dieviško kvapo žvakė Memento Mori.

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Kiti atradimai, apie kuriuos plačiau jau greitai: kvepalai per vaistinės prizmę Peccato Originale, Pietų Italijos gyvenimą atspindintys Gabriella Chieffo kūriniai, švelnūs prancūzai Paul Emilien, Antonio Alessandria Hommage à la lune trilogija. Kitos rugsėjo naujienos – Lalique, Inspiritv ir Carrière Frères žvakės, La Sultane de Saba šveitikliai ir Eau d’Italie kūno priežiūros linija. Kaip ir kiekvienais metais, renginyje buvo pristatyta ir parfumerinė instaliacija: šįkart – Verba Olent, ištraukos iš knygų apie kvapą ir kvepalus.

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Chandler Burr kalbėjo apie Aedes de Venustas ir diskutavo su žurnaliste Giovanna Zucconi apie jos naujos namų kvapų linijos gimimą.

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Nuostabus renginys, šiais metais kaip niekad šokęs viršun pirkimais ir dalyvavusiųjų skaičiumi, paliko tik gerus prisiminimus. Lieka tik džiaugtis, kad kokybiška ir nišinė parfumerija užima vis daugiau vietos tiek parduotuvių, tiek mūsų (aklinai užtamsintų!) spintų lentynose. O rinktis yra iš ko: šaltojo sezono parfumerinį garderobą galima planuoti jau dabar.
Juk nieko nėra geriau, nei gerai kvepėti.

Nuotraukos- Fragrantica, Style, Pitti Immagine

Rosamunda, one hundred years of solitude.

Rose, patchouli, saffron, oud wood, cedar, amber, musk.

Rosamunda is pure neoclassical beauty seduced by thick patchouli and animalic notes.

Lately a lot of perfumers seem to particularly like the rose&oud wood combination. A lot of perfume lovers and buyers think though that enough is enough and want to switch the channel. Laboratorio Olfattivo‘s Rosamunda, released in 2012 tries to catch our attention not with a banal rose oud but with a pinch of warm golden spicy patchouli put in the popular duet.

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The creators of Rosamunda have compared the main flower of the perfume with the feminine characters of Gabriel Garçia Marquez’s novels: they used to put roses in their hair. Women are always women; but maybe more gunpowder can be smelled in their reality. Anger is more real, love is hotter and tears are saltier…and the rain pouring for entire months, is wetter…and incest and brothers and grandfathers and cousins and sorrow and life.
Maybe everything is a little bit more sensed and more lived.

Rosamunda embodies fresh and crispy rose and its remarkable transparency, purified with cedar notes. Nose tickling oud wood and saffron powder slowly but assuredly fall in the arms of warm and cozy patchouli. However, Rosamunda is at its best after an hour, when all smoothness and creaminess become clear. They bring soft fresh spices which fortunately do not drag the whole thing down towards suffocating oriental markets. There is something animalistic and dangerous perceived: perhaps a vibrant sense of trouble or maybe belief that big beauty must also hide big sorrow. 

If you close your eyes, Rosamunda really brings you in Colombia, to the surrealistic and rainy state of being or to the love in the time of cholera which never asks your name. However, this Laboratorio Olfattivo creation is not weeping. It is not desperate and characterless. On the contrary – it makes you want to stand for yourself and punch someone in the face if it is necessary to fight injustice.

Cuir Velours, suede tobacco.

Saturday mornings in many European big cities often consist of an early walk to the farmers market looking for some fresh fish and fruit for a big long dinner with a couple of well-mannered guests who never forget a bottle of good wine and chocolates for your kids. The dinner goes on and on, everybody gets sleepy and drowns in comfortable armchairs to smoke or to have a drop of something stronger and fermented. There is no hurry, it is getting dark outside, the first street lights appear and suddenly the time stops.

Naomi Goodsir is an Australian hat designer who is trying to embrace the perfume world. In 2012 she presented a nice fragrance Cuir Velours. For those who are used to hard thick leather in perfumes, Cuir Velours will reveal quite the opposite version of it. 

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Cuir Velours is soft suede drowned in a smooth tobacco cloud and framed with four bowls of peaches. The first notes are resinous and waxy. Then immediately rum and peach come in, or better peaches in rum, left to soak properly for gourmand desserts. There is creamy and embracing rising fog with a bit of incense and light vanilla: one can almost see the sleepy dining room after the chic dinner and lazy half-empty glasses. The room is filled with shadows and nobody turns the lights on, because several luxurious home candles are just right to create intimate and cozy atmosphere. 

Cuir Velours carries its creamy immortelle sweetness through all the stages of development and so the overall result is complete laziness and drowsiness in an elegant room where you can relax on a soft champagne leather sofa. Just as people say that money does not bring happiness but somehow it is more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

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Naomi Goodsir Cuir Velours is a slightly tipsy, careless, full and satisfied Saturday afternoon with no sense of guilt. Smooth, velvety, not too sweet and with no headache yet. Dense, creamy and a little buttery. A hug which makes you relax and warms up your fingers and toes.