Monday, August 27, 2007

Montale Paris Musk to Musk

My search for the perfect musk has ended!! After experimenting with Lorenzo Villoresi Musk eau de toilette, Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and others, Montale Paris Musk to Musk can be called "my musk." Thanks to my August sample pack from Lucky Scent, I am relieved to find a love within the Montale Paris line as well. (I knew my readers were right about this house!)

After a slightly dry and medicinal beginning, most certainly due to the aoud note, Musk to Musk quickly softens and smooths into a simultaneously sexy and creamy musk. Previously described as spicy and resinous, I find it simply and utterly delicious. Perhaps the combination of nutmeg and woods lends greater coziness to the lustrous musk, appealing to my nesting sensibilities. After researching grey amber or ambergris, I discovered it is a precious fragrance originating from the sperm whale which produces a very strong amber accord and serves as a fixative for scent. In this case, it serves to intensify the already exquisite combination that has me swooning with delight. Staying power is fantastic with the sensual woodsy/musky accord lingering for hours.

This is musk for the fashion forward. Not too transparent nor too rich, it suggests sexuality without screaming it. Musk to Musk does so in very chic and classy form. It goes on my "to buy a large decant" list promptly.

Montale Paris Musk to Musk retails for $95 for a 50mL bottle. I have found it available only at

Image source:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Profumum Acqua Viva

What an incredible duplication of the lemons I had the pleasure of experiencing in Italy - as my husband and I dubbed them, "lemons on steroids." This refreshing, citrus fragrance has the distinct honor of smelling of lemons without reminding its wearer of Pledge. Lacking sweetness and instead offering an intense, fresh, warm and zesty lemon scent, this could make a great layering scent or summer essential for citrus lovers. Unfortunately, at this price point, you had better really, really love lemons.

Profumum Acqua Viva is available at A 100mL bottle retails for $215.

Image: my own of a street market in Sicily. To give perspective, these lemons were about the size of a large grapefruit.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Did You Know ...

Last year alone, women spent $1.92 billion on fashion designer scents? (According to Allure magazine.)

How about a few new designer scents to check out, if you haven't already? Listed in order of intrigue:

  • Prada Infusion d'Iris - Florentine iris

  • Emilio Pucci Vivara - galbanum, bergamot and amaretto

  • Emporio Armani Diamonds - rose and ??

  • Eau de Givenchy - grapefruit, tangerine and tuberose

  • DKNY Delicious Night - crushed ginger, blackberry martini and amber

  • Dolce & Gabanna The One- bergamot, lychee, Madonna lily, muguet, plum and vetiver

I usually carve out a few hours and head to Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue to try the new fall designer offerings. Perhaps this year I will find a full-bottle worthy scent. What are you excited to try?

And a discovery over the weekend: Stella McCartney In Two. I adore the original Stella and Stella Rose Absolute. This one combines a playful peony, pepper, amber and patchouli eau de toilette with a perfume solid that focuses on amber. I don't know how crazy I am about layering a solid perfume with a spray - it might be too much work - but the peony spray made my Sunday more delightful.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Once you enter the realm of fragrance love and develop a perfume collection worth talking about, you will undoubtedly discover that full bottles are no longer practical. For one, if you like to travel, they are cumbersome to pack into a suitcase and heaven forbid they break in transit. Second, it may not be humanly possible to single-handedly utilize all the juice you have collected. Therefore, decanting some of your favorite fragrances into smaller containers, for yourself or to share with a friend becomes a fantastic idea! In addition, you can purchase smaller amounts of fragrances you like from several e-tailers who specialize in decanting from their fantastic collections. I highly recommend doing both.

First of all, let us discuss your own collection. I have found this website to be a fantastic resource for all decanting supplies. Their inventory changes frequently and the supplies they send to you will make any virgin decanter more comfortable! I also purchased my own label maker for my decants to speed up the process of identifying each fragrance. They also look much better with a professional label but it is certainly not necessary. A handwritten label will do but definitely make sure you do not forget to label. I think most of us have experienced the frustration of spraying an unidentifiable fragrance.

Now, for purchasing decants, this link from our friends at Perfume Posse offers an exhaustive list of decant e-tailers. I personally have had excellent experiences with Fragrant Fripperies, Bois*Bois, Dragonfly00 and Fishbone96. In addition, I am considering creating my own decanting website since my collection has now grown out of control.

[Please don't take this as solicitation, but in case anyone is craving any of these scents, this is some of my collection:

  1. Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien

  2. Annick Goutal Quel Amour

  3. Annick Goutal Songes

  4. Bvlgari BLV For Her

  5. Bvlgari Omnia

  6. Calvin Klein Eternity Summer 2005

  7. Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon perfume

  8. Chanel Coromondel

  9. Chanel No. 5 EDP

  10. Creative Scentualization Perfect Nectar

  11. Cristiano Fissore Cashmere for Women

  12. Escada Collection

  13. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

  14. i Profumi di Firenze Caterina de Medici

  15. Jean Patou Enjoy

  16. L'Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz

  17. Laura Mercier Tarte Au Citron

  18. Nasomatto Absinthe

  19. Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

  20. Stella Rose Absolute

  21. The Different Company Un Parfum D'Ailleurs & Fleurs

  22. Tocca Florence
If you would like anything from my collection, please don't hesitate to contact me directly!]

Decanting provides a convenient, hassle free and cost-effective avenue for collecting and traveling with your favorite fragrances. If you have not ventured into the world of decants, try it. You might like it!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Hello readers! My life has experienced a few shifts lately and I want to keep you informed. First of all, I have decided to make this blog exclusively about perfume. When I began blogging last January, I mentioned that I would write about various topics. What I have found is that perfume is what I enjoy writing about the most. Therefore, from this point forward 100% of my posts will be related to the world of fragrance. Second, my new job has literally taken flight and I am tremendously grateful. It fulfills me so much yet it takes time away from blogging, preventing me from posting every day. My goal is to make what I do post interesting and informative.

Now, I need a few things from you. What topics do you find most interesting? Perfume reviews? New release updates? Perfume tips? Any particular fragrance you would like me to review? Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.

Thank you for your loyalty and have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Olivier Durbano Rock Crystal

As a young girl who had a little too much "freedom," my step-father was intent on finding an environment that would create more structure for me. My mother had done her best after raising me single-handedly for a few years to implement discipline. After changing schools every year between kindergarden and third grade, I have to admit I was a bit of a lost child. My step-father was convinced that parochial schools would offer the structure I so desperately needed.

That was one of the wisest decisions my parents ever made. Upon entering parochial schools, I found the structure, attention and accountability I had been searching for. I began taking piano lessons, I started excelling at writing and English, and I felt cocooned within a system that genuinely cared about my well-being and academic progress.

One of the many aspects of growing up in parochial schools was the regular attendance at Mass. Very few children enjoy going to church and I was no exception. However, during the hundreds of services I attended, I found a certain comfort in the ritual, pomp and circumstance of the whole ordeal. You see, Mass was a fiber of the cocoon that enfolded me during what could have been very tumultuous years. The scents I encountered in St. Agnes Church will stay with me for the rest of my life. Burning candles, lillies at Easter time, pine needles at Christmas - and the most glorious of all scents - frankincense for especially important holidays. According to Catholic tradition, frankincense represents the continuity of faith between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Olivier Durbano Rock Crystal instantly transports me to the old (since destroyed) St. Agnes Parish, the beautiful architectural structure that housed my slow spiritual progression as a young woman/child. I recall various events, including my first confession in which I literally had to make up something to confess, singing Christmas carols with the choir as Sister Margaret Sienna played the organ, and trying to prevent myself from laughing out loud (lest I get pulled out of church by my ear) after I clumsily fell and missed the kneeler. They were formative years indeed and they taught me self-restraint, poise and politeness at all costs.

So, let's talk about this gem of a fragrance. It is deep, resinous, heavy, woodsy and rich. It begins with a note that reminds me of pine needles and gradually gives way to the plenteous frankincense. It is no doubt a church-y fragrance. However, it lacks overwhelming strength, and in this case I am not disappointed. I cannot wear other fragrances in the same category such as Donna Karan Black Cashmere or L'Artisan Passage D'Enfer, simply because I detect an inordinate amount of incense from which I recoil. They also overwhelm me with their concentration.

Rock Crystal, on the other hand, is subtly rich and woodsy. It contains many notes, including orange, pepper, coriander, cardamom, cumin, cistus, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, everlasting flower, oakmoss and musk. Their combination creates a highly resinous, benzoin fragrance. The frankincense pronounces itself with a deep sniff of the skin, but it does not surround the wearer with a cloud of smoke, like the puffs of frankincense I would avoid as a child. It is akin to deeply inter-woven brocade frabric, that looks nice from afar but must be inspected closely to detect its subtle nuances. In fact, if this fragrance could be characterized by a fabric, it would be dark plum brocade: ornate, expensive, subtle and luxurious. The frankincense slowly gives way to a musky, slightly sweet dry down that leaves me wanting to reapply and begin the experience all over again.

I am grateful to have found a fragrance that so instantly transports me to the influential, parochial days of my youth. And yet, I know this fragrance may not appeal to a mass market. But for those who enjoy incense-y and woodsy fragrances, yet are looking for something less pronounced than others in the same category, it will be a welcome alternative.

Image sources:; St. Agnes Church - my own photo; plum brocade -

Olivier Durbano Rock Crystal can be purchased at www. A 100mL bottle retails for $105.