Thursday, May 31, 2007

Calypso St. Barth Jala EDT

Not to be confused with Calypso founded by Christiane Celle, Calypso St. Barth has created two winning fragrances, Lea and Jala. A new fragrance has also been released this year - Lily. Today's pick, Jala, was recently reformulated into an eau de parfum which is available online at beautyhabit. However, for today's purposes I will discuss the older more linear EDT formulation, also available at beautyhabit.

With my delayed honeymoon to Italy quickly approaching, I am combing through my collection to select those scents I think will best fit the mood and tempo of our romantic Italian getaway. For the Taormina portion of our trip, Jala may be the uplifting, invigorating, Mediterranean scent I seek. With fairly linear tropical floral notes of pink magnolia, frangipani and Italian jasmine, this scent echos the Sicilian love of the sea and value of simplicity. Heady yet light, simple yet lush, Jala seems the perfect summer day at the beach scent. The tropical flowers bloom abundantly with this, and their scent wafts rather than overpowers, escorting the wearer, with a few flowers in her hair, to a long stretch of sand and an ocean breeze. The prominent note without a doubt is sweet jasmine. For those who require spicy notes with floral bouquets, this scent will be étouffant. For floral lovers, Jala is a special occasion, once in a blue moon fragrance that may not require a full bottle but rather a small decant. For my purposes of lolling at the beach, browsing the market, and speaking with the locals, Jala will provide a great accompaniment.

Calypso St. Barth Jala EDT is available at beautyhabit, 100mL retails for $85.

Image source:, the beaches of Taormina, Sicily

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Calvin Klein Eternity Summer 2005

The year was 1991 and the place was the concrete jungle of Chicago. As I meandered through my senior year of undergraduate work in Commerce and Marketing, I shared a tiny studio apartment and studied with a woman who made the monotony a little easier to bear. She was gorgeous - a beautiful, tall blonde with crystal blue eyes, bronzed skin and a killer intellect. As she whizzed through Finance classes with straight A's while I lumbered by with low B's, I wondered how one person could be so lucky. To make her more enviable, she had a successful, extremely handsome fiance. What kept my entire being from turning an unattractive shade of green was her genuinely sweet and kind nature. She could disarm any similarly envious woman with a smile and an innocent, interested greeting. And she managed to help keep me sane in the face of an inordinate amount of work and writing. She taught me the nuances of Word Perfect, which drastically increased my ability to quickly write reports and term papers for my English and Marketing classes. She inspired me to achieve more than I ever thought possible. She was and always will be a bright light during a pivotal and trying time in my life. The fragrance that instantly reminds me of that year and those challenges, her fragrance, was Calvin Klein Eternity.

I cannot wear Eternity. It belongs to her. And I find it too ... too ... 1991. However, what I can wear and will continue to wear as long as possible is the 2005 version of Eternity Summer. What a luscious green and casual specimen, along the same lines as Chanel Bel Respiro. Now before you gasp at my emboldened comparison, I realize putting Calvin Klein and Chanel in the same fragrance category is quite a stretch. However, Eternity Summer 2005 does possess a similar reminder of waking up in a grassy field, with the added touch of lily of the valley and a garden of verbena close by. Like a bed of soft, cool grass under a shady oak tree, it comforts and soothes, refreshes and awakens. Juxtaposed to the original Eternity, Summer 2005 has none of its sharpness and heady florals. In fact, I cannot find a single resemblance between the two. Instead, Summer 2005 sparkles and shines independant of its namesake. Its dewy, refreshing, green scent could easily be unisex. With notes of hydroponic (grown in nutrients rather than soil) lily of the valley, verbena, violet leaf, white jasmin, gardenia, lotus, green island fig, and mimosa, this soft, office-friendly fragrance is perfect for summer. Right around now, late May, I will pull it from the back of my collection for regular rotation. And thank goodness, I am able to stay grounded in present times and not be thrown back to the scholastic and intellectual challenges of 1991.

Eternity Summer 2005 can be found on Perfume Bay. A 3.4 oz. spray retails for $45.90.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger

I feel very fortunate to live in a climate where orange trees prosper. I feel even more fortunate to have one in our back yard. During the month of March, the blossoms create such a gorgeous bouquet that I spend more time than usual on the patio. The calming yet uplifting qualities of the scent keep me going back for more and hoping to catch an additional whiff from a neighbor's tree. My imagination transports me to a sunny orange grove, where hundreds of trees are in full bloom and the sweet air that surrounds them has a transformational effect on anyone who pays attention. The world could be a better place if the fragrance of orange blossoms filled it abundantly.

Since I will not be harvesting a grove of trees anytime soon, I have settled upon an orange blossom scent that literally "takes me away" from stress, aggravation and worry. It transports me to a lounge chair on the patio, a grove of orange trees in Sicily, or a sunny day without a care in the world. And it does so with aplomb and the honorable distinction of a creation from Serges Lutens. It is Fleurs d'Oranger.

Of the orange blossom fragrances I have tried, including L'Artisan, Jo Malone and others, I have found most to vanish from my skin quite rapidly. Not so with Lutens'. The combination of notes unexpectedly adheres and lingers. They include white jasmine and Indian tuberose, which serve to enhance the orange blossom note, making it multi-dimensional, not heady. White rose adds interest while cumin, nutmeg, musk and hibiscus seed add depth and mystery. I would not call this scent deep, however. It is all about subdued sweetness and light. For those who find most orange blossom fragrances too linear or too sweet, this multi-faceted take on the flower could intrigue. I find it perfect for a lighthearted afternoon or to ease the mind during a difficult day of work.

Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger can be purchased at Neiman Marcus in the U.S., 1.7 fl. oz. retails for $100.

Image sources:,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Chanel Bois des Iles

Every once in a great while, I try a scent that has been touted as admirable, decide it does not fit for me, and toss it back into my decant basket to revisit another time. And every once in a great while, I retest that scent that has fallen to the bottom of the decant basket and wonder how I let it slip away. Was it the wrong season? The wrong clothing I was wearing? Perhaps my tastes have changed drastically? Or perhaps, my nose has become more refined? Whatever the reason, this week, Chanel Bois des Iles has charmed me from the bottom of the decant basket.

What renders Bois des Iles so masterful is the gorgeous interplay of floral and wood notes, with a tiny bit of spice. The jasmine, damask rose and ylang-ylang opening pronounce the fragrance a Chanel. Bitter almond, gingerbread and vanilla compose the heart while tonka bean, sandalwood and vetiver round out the base.

I must repeat that this fragrance is irrevocably Chanel, with its aldehydic opening and Ernest Beaux designer stamp. When sniffing from afar, it vaguely reminds me of others - No. 5, No. 22 and the like. However, upon closer inspection, this masterpiece of blending stands beautifully on its own two feet. The notes wrap around one another in energetic fashion, like a whirlwind at first, opaque and indiscernible. As they settle and slow, what they reveal can be described as warm brilliance. They evoke the image of an impeccably dressed, perfectly coiffed, svelte French woman, who purchases only the best designer clothes, loves to read and discuss world affairs while she sips spiced tea. She is feminine and strong, an accomplished career woman. She dislikes frills, unnecessary details and verbose comrades. She is timelessy beautiful, unashamedly smart yet emotionally distant. When you are around her you cannot help but be mesmerized by her beauty, vitality and energy. She makes an indelible impression wherever she goes and she knows it.

I am so pleased to have resurrected this scent and yet somewhat frustrated that yet again, I have grown to admire a scent so undeniably exclusive and expensive. I can only assume that missing the comforts of home prompts me to enjoy a scent so warm and inviting. I will covet my tiny decant until the last drop.

Image source:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Traveling Decants

Good Saturday Morning perfume mavens! Greetings from San Francisco. It has been quite a busy and stressful week of learning, testing and training. Nothing makes me happier than to know my husband is holding house, home and blog in my absence. (Hehe.) Following my singlehood for much of my adult life, I fully appreciate having such a dynamic partner. Thank you for your warm reception of his elegant writing. Who knew he had such beautiful melodies to write regarding the scents he wears? I intend to ask for his contributions more often! I also have one more week until I return, so stay tuned to hear more from Mr. TMH256.

Today I would like to briefly discuss the decants I brought with me this week. Perhaps more important than the clothing I will wear, the scents I pack are nervously and carefully chosen, like a child chooses a piece of candy with only 50 cents to spend. I certainly cannot pack my entire collection in my suitcase, and being away from it for long periods of time often inspires anxiety and dread. Therefore, I attempted to pack scents that would satisfy nearly every scent craving I may have. For this 11-day trip, I packed the following:

  • Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia - Beautiful, feminine gardenia with a cardamom twist. Girly and elegant, it elicits compliments nearly every time I wear it.

  • Alfred Dunhill Desire for Women - A standby in my collection for years. With a beautiful blend of tiare, rose, freesia, vanilla and caramel, it satisfies my sweet tooth.

  • Gendarme Sky - A gorgeous soft, fresh simultaneously exhilarating and comforting scent. I have been wearing this one upon my return from work to wind down the day.

  • Chanel Bois des Iles - An extremely popular, yet exclusive Chanel scent, reserved for the fancy dinner I will attend next week with my colleagues and trainer. A dry, woodsy floral -exuberant and posh.

  • Bond No. 9 So New York - An espresso mocha in a bottle, for those nights when I need to cram and I cannot summon the energy. With notes of mirabelle, "espresso accord," and cocoa powder, it energizes and intrigues.

  • Marc Jacobs Blush - A sleeper with outstanding longevity and beautiful blending. By sleeper, I mean one that has been picked over and ignored too many times to count. However, it has received lots of attention in my little corner of the world this week. I absolutely adore this one and could purchase a full bottle. "A gorgeous blend of jasmine nectar, sweet orange flower, enticing cashmere wood and luxurious pink musk," it reminds me of sunny days lounging on the patio while the orange tree blooms. A cheerful, frilly scent.

  • Ginestet Bortrytis - The best dupe I have found of Escada Collection, although it was not created as a duplicate. It satisfies my need for decadence without potentially damaging my gorgeous bottle of Collection.

  • Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey - Sweet happiness.

  • Amouage Reflection - A new one I have yet to try to satisfy my need for novelty.

  • Ormonde Jayne Frangipani - Heady, floral concoction that dries down to an understated, still floral scent. The only one of the lot I feel uncomfortable wearing to work.

  • Annick Goutal Heure Exquise - Sadly, one of the few Annick Goutal scents I cannot wear. I brought a tester with me, dabbed it at 7:30am and found it was not likeable at all by 10am. It simply is too sharp and perfume-smelling to me. I abhor pronouncing to the world I am wearing perfume for the sake of wearing it and not particularly to smell nice. Heure Exquise falls in that category on my skin.

I have the chemistry that tones down sweetness; therefore, the scents I have selected are certainly uplifting and sweet. Uplifting is a quality I often look for when I am working ten hours a day, surrounded by walls and artificial lighting. Otherwise, I simply feel as if I am dying on the vine.

With that, I am headed to explore the city today and get some much needed exercise and sunlight! I hope your weekend is fragrant and fun. Please feel free to share what you're wearing today.

Image source:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bvlgari Blv Notte Pour Homme

Riding a huge wave of momentum I return for a second crack at this textually aromatic art form. And if that incipit sounded sensual then not only do I have your attention, but your intuition is accurate. Bvlgari Blv Notte Pour Homme is what I would call a bucolic, romantic aphrodisiac in a bottle.
Take this commercial for example, and imagine replacing the featured product
with Bvlgari Blv Notte:

So now that you have the image of THAT man, we can begin to tackle a scent that needs only a few words to speak of its masculinity.

What demands your attention immediately are the top notes of tobacco and dark chocolate (for the man wearing this, you didn't really think it was going to be white or milk chocolate, did you?). These two notes combined approach you without hesitation, like a man making the first move on a woman he desires. He doesn't ask, he simply embraces you with enough force to assure you that you're his and that he wants you but with the tenderness that allows you to trust him. He then puts down the smoldering cigarette and grabbing a piece of dark chocolate he asks in a soft, bass-filled whisper if you would care for a taste. You probably can smell the tobacco in his beard and the chocolate as he exhales.

And if this onslaught of sensuality does not breach your senses the galanga will certainly raise your body temperature and peak your interest. This hot, gingery spice is commonly found in Thai cuisine (probably introduced by the man from the commercial during a hunting expedition in Thailand). The spicy galanga should never be underestimated in this scent, as it propels itself into the seductive element found in Bvlgari Blv Notte.

The trinity of tobacco, dark chocolate and galanga, creates an incredibly poetic, seductive and masculine creature. Perhaps you know a man such as the one I'm describing. He could be single or married, older or younger. Regardless, Bvlgari Blv Notte suddenly adorns the wearer with the ability to say and do the right thing at just the right moment. He is noticed in the room but he is not the center of attention. It carries all of the characteristics that I would wish to embody: intellectual, adventurous, experienced, confident, strong, protective but yet, tender and emotionally available. I know my wife appreciates these character traits. I don't have them all but Bvlgari Blv Notte Pour Homme will always afford me those I'm lacking.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme--1994

A bit intimidating, stepping on to such a grand stage created by my lovely, fragrant wife. I know she has been hiding her apprehension about my inaugural review, like parents who have left their 16 year-old son at home for the weekend...alone with the keys to the Beamer. Although I am not as talented in the ars dictandi of fragrance review, I do believe I can offer some insight not only into the world of men's fragrances but also into the mind of the creature who hails from Mars.

I am Mr. TMH 256. I have always been a lover of men's cologne. But sadly, until the arrival of Mrs. TMH 256, my attraction to men's fragrance could be categorized as elementary. Superficial. Sort of like those who attend Nascar races to watch the horrific crashes. I simply could not appreciate the nuances of fragrance that exist on so many levels. So...without delay...let's talk about Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme. A fragrance that has become my favorite and one that makes me jealous when others wear it.

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is one that is immediately identified by whispers of citrus. The sweetness is what initially draws you in. Example: you are shopping and a man passes by who is wearing it. You catch it on the inhale, unexpectedly, and your mood immediately changes. You follow. He's now in the lawn mower section and you now realize you have never been within 20 yards of a lawn mower. But you don't care.

Secondly, the lavender and sage engage you on an intellectual level. It's as if you woke up with the citrus and are now in a lecture at the Universita' di Bologna with the lavender and sage around 1PM. You take notes and you realize that you are actually really interested in the subject matter. The lecture is on the difference between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It's the same boring material but it's being presented in such a way that you can't take your focus off of it, even if you tried. It's mesmerizing.

When the bell rings it's time to play. So cedar and tobacco show up in a rustic Alfa-Romeo convertible and promise to have you home by 2AM...Italian time (5:30AM if you're lucky). The cedar and tobacco are a devastating tandem. They remind me of going to the clubs in Rimini and staying out until they delivered fresh pastries to the corner cafe' around 6AM.

This is a scent that requires a certain maturity, a titanium-fortified confidence in ones sexuality and masculinity. It does not disappoint. It's like a Ferrari F340 as you merge on to the A-1 Autostrada from Bologna to Milano. You have absolutely no fear that your engine has perfect timing, what Italians call "sprezzatura"(nonchalance, effortless).

This scent can change my whole attitude in an instant. It takes me back to the summer of 1997 in Florence. The summer in which I never wanted to come back to the states, when the English language seemed so unrefined and when my Italian soul was officially born.

Thank you for reading my first fragrance review.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

I celebrate my mother's strength, elegance, sweetness, love and comfort and my grandmother's humor, love, and resilience today. For ladies with no children, remember you are a mother to someone whether it is your pet or children in general. I celebrate you!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Jobs

I am ecstatic to say that I have received a new position with a top notch company in my field. It allows me to continue in a similar capacity and affords me numerous opportunities. My field is very demanding, however. As you may have noticed, I have not been able to post as often.

The next two weeks present quite a challenge. I am without a laptop and will be attending a very intense, out-of-town training course. Therefore, Mr. TMH has agreed to post in my absence. Hopefully, he will keep you entertained with reviews and musings about his favorite fragrances. He has picked up quite a bit of fragrance lingo just by listening to me and reading my reviews. If nothing else, he will hopefully make you laugh as he does me every single day.

Please enjoy and feel free to comment to him as well. He will certainly relay any messages to me you would like. And when I do have computer time, you can rest assured, I will be reviewing the umpteen decants I'll be bringing with me!

Image source:

Random Collection Selection: Bulgari Blu

Bulgari ranks among houses such as Cartier and Dior for producing refined, sophisticated fragrances. The Bulgari's descend from an ancient family of Greek silversmiths. In the mid-19th Century Sortirio, the founder of the family, emigrated from Greece to Rome where he set up shop. Following years of gemstone design and fashion, Bulgari perfumes established itself in Switzerland in the 1990's. Today the house produces over eighteen fragrances for men and women.

Bulgari Blu's top notes are bergamot and ginger, with middle notes of fresh wisteria, musk, sandalwood, and flax flower. The scent concludes with a mix of vanilla and acacia. When the invigorating, exhilarating aspects of bergamot and ginger fade, a fresh, waxy, clean and somewhat soapy heart emerges. This is not your grandmother's soap, however. It is a dry, simultaneously cold and warm, sensually clean bouquet. What keeps the flax flower and wisteria from squeaking with cleanliness is the ever so light musk and sandalwood, which deliver a truly woodsy undertone. Finally, vanilla and acacia, while not pronounced, maintain the soft, sensual effect all day on my skin. I characterize this scent as captivating and soft. My husband buries his nose in my neck and my pet cat moves a little closer when I wear Blu. (Yes indeed, pets respond to fragrance!)

Bulgari Blu, described as "fire and ice, passion and poise," found its way into my collection about six years ago. I reach for it when I am seeking comfort or desiring a scent that is at once soft, sexy and clean. Despite its cobalt blue rather masculine bottle, the fragrance inside reminds me of an ivory silk pashmina, seemingly plain but nonetheless swank. Like Blu, an ivory pashmina has the ability to transform any outfit from drab to chic with a simple toss around the shoulder. In addition, Blu is delightfully flexible in its appropriateness. A day at the office? Sure. A night on the town? Most definitely. Throw it on when you want to add style to your ensemble or captivate others enough to say, "What smells so good?" Those words are music to a perfume maven's ears and I find them spoken abundantly when Blu is my fragrance.

Bulgari Blu
can be found at numerous online fragrance discounters. See my post about online shopping for suggestions.

Image source:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Perfume Blogging

I must offer my response to a controversial topic that has received a lot of attention this week. To my regular readers, I must thank you for your loyalty and attention. To others who may be reading for the first time, I would like to clarify the nature of this blog. Point blank - I do not accept money to review fragrances. Hopefully you will find all of my reviews quite wonderfully subjective. It is, after all, my opinion. I list notes and how they play with each other for objectivity's sake. But to write completely objectively would take the fun out of blogging for me. I continuously point out that scent love is extremely personal. What I abhor you may love and vice versa.

Second, I purchase samples, swap for them and occasionaly receive them from generous SA's at departments stores and through the web. A free sample in no way indebts me to write a good review and I have written several that are obviously unaffected by marketing. If you find most of my reviews to be positive, it is simply because 90% of the time I choose fragrances that I like to discuss. I find my page grimly blank when I do not like a scent.

Those who do accept money from perfumers, I wish them well. My value system prevents me from making a dime doing this. All of the links you see to other blogs follow this same value system. After all, it is only for the love of perfume that we write. Thank you for reading!

Image source:

Scent of the Day

I am wearing Kai Body Glow scented moisturizing oil, a perfect light gardenia blend for a long, hot day. What are you wearing? I will be back later today for a Random Collection Selection review. Have a great day!

Image source:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Caron Coup de Fouet

After glancing through my list of reviewed fragrances, I discovered that the house of Caron eluded my radar for the past four months. This illustrious house, which recently celebrated a century of fragrance devotion, remains true to fragrance as an art form by bucking fashion trends. Caron persists in employing an in-house nose. In so doing, it ranks among one of the last original perfume houses. Caron has created magnificent fragrances like Aimez Moi, Parfum Sacre and Lady Caron.

Today's pick, Coup de Fouet, translates to "crack the whip." This is no wallflower scent and yet it does not smack you in the bum as the name suggests. Similar to Poivre which is the extrait de parfum of this wonderful scent, Coup de Fouet's blend is based upon a spicy accord, within which carnation and other florals weave beautifully. At first dab, the scent is spicy and sharp, featuring quite vividly red pepper and black pepper. However as the fragrance dries, carnation blooms with ylang ylang to create a soft, sweet, and floral bouquet. The fiery floral heart is what I favor, as the aromatic spices and innocent flowers play together agreeably. This aspect of the fragrance vaguely reminds me of a Chai tea latte, with its savory, creamy merging of sweetness and spiciness. As in the making of Chai, sweetener must be added to highlight the robust spices. So it is with Coup de Fouet where contrasting elements create an exquisite harmony. Opoponax, sandalwood, vetiver and oakmoss compose the balsamic base of this fragrance, giving it a smoky, woodsy quality. The entire effect creates a sophisticated, classic, surprising and refined blend.

I find it entirely wearable for evening and dressier occasions. It will most certainly inspire curiosity as to its origins, for not one currently marketed fragrance remotely resembles it - one of the many loveable aspects of a creation from Caron.

Coup de Fouet, like so many masterpieces, has proved quite difficult to find. I am open to suggestions for places to purchase!

Image source:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

5 Minute Review: Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose

Today, I am wearing Ecume de Rose, a generous sample from the lovely CourtD from MakeupAlley. This is my 5 minute impression, written a few months ago: Ecume de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine means quite literally "rose foam," but we will stick with the French pronunciation since it fits this fragrance so beautifully. An ode to roses, this complex scent wraps its wearer oh so lightly in a rose-scented veil. The top notes of tart blackcurrant leaves and green water lilies set the stage strongly, evoking images of sunlight, beaches and gardens. As the heart of the scent shines through and the beauty of dune roses delicately make their appearance, the unexpected notes of strawflowers and St. John's Wort keep the fragrance from overwhelming its wearer. At the base, vetiver, amber and white musk ever so slightly add warmth to this fragrance, making it unlike any other rose scent. Indeed, this is the scent of garden strolls, straw hats and frilly sundresses. I find myself wanting to go to the beach with this lovely, light veil.

Scent of the Day

Hello and good morning perfume mavens! My work is monopolizing my time of late so in lieu of a fragrance review this morning, I would love to hear what you are wearing today! I plan to review Caron Coup de Fouet later today, when my schedule allows. Have a wonderful Tuesday!
Image source: antique perfume bottles from

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Successful Mini Sniffa!

Four of us met at the Arizona Biltmore Fashion Park - pattyaz, spell_me (from MUA), L. and myself. We started off the day with coffee and chit chat followed by a mini swap! Each of us brought fragrances and samples that needed new homes and we were delighted to be able to re-home most of them.

We then headed to Product which carried some of the iProfumi di Firenze line but not the newer offerings. Therefore, we sampled Zenzero, Caterina de Medici, Florentia 22, Florentia 16, Ambra del Nepal, Cedro and others. None of us purchased here as the SA was not super knowledgeable or aware of the new scents available. (This is more of a cosmetics shop than a fragrance boutique.) Despite spell_me's and my plan to split Florentia 22, we just weren't that impressed with it today and therefore decided against it.

From there we proceeded to Saks Fifth Avenue where we stopped momentarily at the Jo Malone counter. Each of us found one that intrigued. Today Verbenas de Provence had me swooning. I literally could buy a new Jo Malone every time I shop there. Others we liked were Amber & Lavender, Nectarine Blossom & Honey and Black Vetyver Cafe. We also tried the new Paris springtime at the YSL counter and none of us were impressed enough to buy it.

We meandered to the main fragrance counter and spoke with Paul who completely took care of us!! He had us sniffing for a good 1/2 hour, mostly Annick Goutal and Bond No. 9. A few hits and purchases - Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace, Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien, Jill Sander Style, and Bond No. 9 West Side.

My purchase was quite a bit more than I anticipated but I am happy to say that my long-term love/hate relationship with Le Baiser du Dragon has finally materialized into extreme like. I purchased 1 oz. parfum in this gorgeous scent! (Often parfum is the truest formulation, especially for Cartier fragrances.) Paul and his team were extremely good to all of us. He truly exemplifies what great fragrance customer service can be. Thank you Paul!

We decided to sit at another cafe to chat, sip tea and have a bite to eat. L.'s husband joined us as we discussed our findings of the day, swapped more samples and prepared to go home. I thoroughly enjoyed our little get-together!! What wonderful women I am fortunate to live close to!! As we exited, we called ourselves the original "Fab Four", in the hopes that our Sniffas will continue to grow. Thanks gals!! Enjoy your new fragrances and samples. ;-)

Image: my own, from left to right - me, L., pattyaz and spell_me

Friday, May 04, 2007

Les Parfums de Rosine Poussière de Rose

A flame-haired beauty, with thick locks rolling down her shoulders dressed in a pink silk brocade gown, pearls around her neck with tiny golden slippers on her feet, slowly strolls through a spring garden, sniffing roses as she passes by. She langorously anticipates the upcoming rendezvous with her love interest, the Prince. She has all the time in the world and not a care about her, other than presenting herself in a most alluring fashion. She has not always been so privileged. This spring has given her the opportunity to live with her honorable aunt and uncle at their estate. Graciously, she takes extreme pleasure in her surroundings and appreciates the exquisite beauty of the countryside, the clothing in which she is dressed and most of all the perfume she wears, gifted to her by her cousin. It is Poussière de Rose.

Not unlike our heroine, I was gifted with this exquisite rose fragrance from my east coast mother. Perhaps she thought I had forgotten about this scent or ... worse yet ... disliked it. Oh, no. No, no, no. This scent could inspire novels. Delicate, elegant, sophisticated and understated, Poussière de Rose combines magical, romantic rose with plum, incense, tea and cinnamon. The plum is sweet, the tea green and the faint incense and cinnamon sensual, creating a fragrance altogether romantic, soft and dreamy. Literally meaning "dust of a rose," it requires bright colors, feminine frills, fresh lipstick, a sunny day and perhaps a romantic rendezvous. It also requires a wearer who can appreciate its absolute refinement.

Creator Marie-Helene Rogeon is not new to the art of perfumery. She was born into a family of perfumers and enjoyed from a very young age her grandparents' Rosine collection by Paul Poiret. She gained experience in perfume with Givenchy, Jean Deprez and Pierre Balmain before launching her own firm in 1991. Her rose scents are arguably the most cultivated in the perfume industry. With such offerings as Un Zest de Rose and Rose d'Amour, among many others, she has brought Rosine and her childhood to the world. Of the three I have tried, Poussière de Rose is by far my favorite.

Les Parfums de Rosine Poussière de Rose is available at and A 5omL bottle retails for $85.00.

Image sources: Virgin from the movie Perfume,, Rosine bottle

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Creed Virgin Island Water

I seem to be drawn to tropical scents this week. Perhaps I am longing for another honeymoon? After wondering what to review after an arduous day at a new job, I grabbed a sweater I had worn on Tuesday, when I first tried Creed's Virgin Island Water. Delightfully, I picked up remnants of the scent and thought perhaps I had worn Estee Lauder's Azuree Oil or Bobbi Brown Beach that day. When I remembered that it was Virgin Island Water I knew that I must review this one.

If Satellite Ipanema captures the beach, this scent has captures it times ten. While Ipanema evokes the pleasures of vacation and compliments a beach-going day nicely, Virgin Island Water renders its wearer a cool-smelling sun queen. With wet hair, tanned skin, freckles along the bridge of her nose, beautiful blue eyes, and smelling faintly of coconut oil, she enjoys an occasional game of beach volleyball and loves to swim. Lest I suggest Virgin Island Water is for the younger crowd, rest assured this scent is fluid and sophisticated enough for anyone.

Colombina of Perfume-Smellin' Things listed the notes beautifully: "essence of copra (the white inner portion of the coconut), coconut toddy (a liquid derived from the sweet sap of the palm tree), lime, bergamot, mandarin orange, hibiscus, ginger, ylang-ylang, jasmine, sugar cane, white rum and musk." The obvious top notes are lime, ginger and a sprinkling of coconut. The tart, cool citrus provides just enough bouyancy for the remainder of the notes to blend cheerfully. Although I cannot detect hibiscus or jasmine, when the citrus notes evaporate what remains is a lustrous merging of faint coconut, sweet sugar cane and tantalizing white rum. Overall, this light-hearted, pleasing scent merits a large decant for the dog days of summer ahead.

Creed Virgin Island Water is available in EDP, 1 oz. retails for $98, 2.5 oz. for $185 and 4 oz. for $208 at Neiman Marcus and other select stores.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Arizona Mini Sniffa

I am pleased to announce the first ever Arizona Mini Sniffa to be held this Saturday, May 5th at the Arizona Biltmore Shopping Center. Edit: We have changed the date to Sunday May 6th to take advantage of the fragrance event at Saks Fifth Avenue! We plan to explore the i Profumi di Firenze scents as well as Annick Goutal offerings. If you live in Arizona and would like to join us, please e-mail me for further details!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Random Collection Selection: Angel Lily

As a collector of fragrance since I was a young child, I possess what I consider to be an inordinate amount of perfume ... inordinate for one person, that is. This borderline obsession feels like a hoarding illness at times. When I give serious thought to exactly how much I own it inspires anxiety. How will I ever use it all? Therefore, I share quite generously and recently decided to purchase decants rather than full bottles. Although I fancy reviewing new, niche scents, the thought dawned on me yesterday to randomly pick a full bottle from my robust collection weekly to review. After all, if I felt compelled to purchase a full bottle at one time, the scent(s) certainly moved me. Enough said?

Today's pick is Thierry Mugler Angel Lily. I recall testing this at Nordstrom and firstly being quite impressed with the manufacturer's gadget to refill the bottle. (Mind you, I rarely empty bottles but the thought of refilling was ingenius enough to inspire a purchase!) I also recall turning my nose at the thought of giving Angel* another spin after smelling this scent on every woman and her sister at the mall. My second and lasting impression after trying the scent on my skin, despite my initial reluctance, is one of amazement. The brilliance of adding a few notes to the original overwhelming blend to create a much more wearable fragrance enchants me to this day.

Angel Lily launched in 2005 to appeal to fans of the original Angel as well as those, like me, who could not wear it. The year 2005 holds a dear place in my heart for it was the year my husband entered my life. Angel Lily held a prominent place at the beginning of our courtship. Following its green beginning, Angel Lily becomes a heady concoction, akin to sweet, honey-drenched lilies. True to the nature of the flower, the scent endures incredibly well and lasts the entire evening. The word "evening" is intentional. Parallel to the original Angel, this scent inspires a "love it or hate it" relationship due to its bold, intrepid bouquet. However, the night becomes darker, the moon brighter and the love sweeter for the woman who enjoys donning this ultra feminine scent. I still find it full bottle worthy.

Notes - Top notes: "Dew" Note, Green Stem. Middle notes: Nutmeg, Lily, Honey. Base notes: Patchouli, Vanilla Notes.

A free sample goes to the first reader to guess whether or not I have refilled the original bottle I purchased in 2005.

Thierry Mugler Angel Lily is available at multiple discount websites, .8 oz. EDP as low as $55.99 on

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*After its launch in 1992, the original Angel became an instant success due to its unique blending of chocolate, vanilla and patchouli notes among others. Unfortunately for those who do not like it, the sillage of this persistent fragrance can fill a room.