Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I wholeheartedly agree with her. At first sniff, this scent is herbaceous, diffuse, like dew-covered fresh leaves. Thank goodness for the "vague" resemblance to Chanel No. 19 for I find that one unwearable, at least in the EDT formulation. The Bel Respiro top notes to me seem masculine and I'm sure they smell fabulous when mixed with male chemistry. As the green topnotes lead to the restrained floral heart I find myself wanting to spritz with abandon. Such a shame that I have a tiny sample vial. Unlike the hearty spices of Coromandel, Bel Respiro leaves the wearer longing for more from the heart to the drydown. That to me is the sign of a fabulous blend.
Saving the best for last, Bel Respiro's base conjures "your skin but better" images. How about "your skin but better on a hot summer day"? In truth this fragrance, due to its understatedness, could be reserved for warmer climes, more casual affairs, or occasions when the wearer wants to appear classy yet casual and relaxed. I can't help but think of a man in classic jeans, dressier loafers and an untucked open collared shirt: chic yet mellow and incredibly appealing. I find Bel Respiro full bottle worthy due to its versatility and ease of wear. And on those days when I can't have my nose glued to my wrist, I will have Mr. TMH douse himself with it.
Les Exclusifs de Chanel are available at Chanel Boutiques. Bel Respiro retails for $175 for 200mL.
Image source: memorysquared.co.uk
Edit: I just re-read Colombina's review from yesterday on Perfume Smellin' Things and we are amazingly in sync! I forgot she had written about Bel Respiro yesterday. She describes this one as a "green skin scent" and uses the word "casual" as well. C, I guess we think alike. The irony underscores my first paragraph!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Gabrielle Chanel owned a coromandel screen which she loved, a Chinese lacquered screen displaying intricate artwork. Coromandel acknowledges Gabrielle's love of Chinese antiques and it does so beautifully. I usually do not care for spicy, oriental scents. However, Coromandel is so appealing, sultry and interesting it may sway my tastes. At first sniff, I smell amber, a very sweet, palatable amber, underscored by patchouli. Considering my aversion to patchouli, thank goodness it never becomes the headline in Coromandel. This fragrance is, quite simply, gorgeous. As some of my friends on makeupalley have said, "It is everything I wanted Prada to be." Although I didn't particularly want Prada to be anything other than horrid on me as I had no desire to wear yet another designer scent, Coromandel suits my skin and I would imagine many others will adore it. I would happily purchase a decant and save it for decadent, opulent occasions.
For those like me who are unable to try these scents in person, several top ranked e-bay sellers are offering samples and decants. E-mail me for a few recommendations. Those fortunate enough to live close to a Chanel boutique, you must sniff this one!
Image sources: thestar.com, oneofakindantiques.com
Monday, February 26, 2007
- Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
- Bill Blass
- Donna Karan Gold
- Lanvin Rumeur
Additionally Dior, La Prairie, Kiehl's and Laura Mercier provide cosmetic gifts for the bag. Some ideas for a purchase? The new Hermes Eau de Merveilles limited edition Pegasus Bottle, Jo Malone Blue Agava & Cacao (if you haven't tried this yet, you must!), Stephanie Johnson jeweled mirror compact or Hanae Mori Magical Moon. Clarins, Annick Goutal, Narciso Rodriguez, Chanel, Guerlain and others are offering their own gifts with purchase on top of Saks' beauty bag. If you have been lemming a fragrance available at Saks, now is the time to purchase.
What are your planned purchases?
Not affiliated, just a PSA
Image source: thestylegroup.com
Sunday, February 25, 2007
"... The pink, mimosa-yellow and jasmine-white fields begin to appear, colored by the thousands of flowers that grow near this medieval French city that clings like a lover's fragrance to the steep hills high above the French Riviera. You have arrived in Grasse, the city of flowers and perfume.
The narrow cobblestone streets wind past well-kept 17th and 18th century buildings, sometimes going through handcrafted stone tunnels that open onto large treed squares. The slight patina that covers the buildings is from the centuries of fragrance laden clouds that have floated in from the flower fields nearby."
Sounds like heaven to me. Considering that Molinard found its roots in the perfume haven of Grasse, I would expect anything produced by this house to be incredible. The first fragrance launched by Molinard in 1924, Habanita, was a rapid success and became loved and coveted by noses worldwide. Those that followed included Le Baiser de Faune, Les Iscles d'Or, 1811 and Molinard de Molinard. As recently as 1994, single notes fragrances were released including Jasmine, Mimosa and Sandalwood.
Progressing to present day, I present the Molinard 1849 collection. This exclusive coffret offers seven Eau de Parfums with formulas similar to those of the original fragrances distributed in the 1920's, 1930's and 1950's. I have had the pleasure of trying out Air de Molinard, thanks to a very kind and generous woman, and I find it exquisite.
The bottle itself speaks of sensuality and femininity and the juice within continues the theme. The top notes are bright, cheerful, refreshing, green, an orchard of citrus trees warmed by the sun. Slowly the orchard leads to an abundant garden of lush roses, fragrant jasmine, colorful iris and delicate osmanthus. The scent lingers with just enough sillage to be recognized by others, and yet remains somewhat distant, understated and elegant, certainly not ettoufant and in fact, quite the opposite of suffocating. The base notes of vanilla, vetiver, musk and amber allow the scent to endure without overwhelming it. Air de Molinard is a classic beauty, a less obvious yet incredibly deep, sensual and intelligent scent.
With the Oscars pending this evening, my selection to represent this beautiful fragrance had to live up to its composition. In thinking about the actresses of today, what they represent and their personalities, one comes to mind who stands on her own. Her beauty is classic, timeless and her attitude confident. She refuses to fall prey to the modern ideas of beauty and body image, and instead focuses on developing her craft and being herself. And yet, she is not on every cover of tabloid magazines and remains somewhat inconspicuous. She is gorgeous, talented, intelligent and wise. She is
Let's hope that she wins for her recent performance in "Little Children". At the very least, she should definitely represent this gorgeous fragrance.
Un Air de Molinard is available at aedes.com, $185 for 3.3 oz. or $65 for the solid perfume
Image sources: aedes.com, celebrity-gossip.net
Friday, February 23, 2007
Two words: orange creamsicle. Straight up. In this case, the title is nearly longer than my review.
Image source: your-cosmetics.com
Antica Farmacista Vanilla, Mandarin & Bourbon is available on www.your-cosmetics.com, $58 for 50mL.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Most of the Goutal scents I find to be glorious in the EDP formulation. Therefore, please take that into consideration as I am describing Songes EDP. Upon initial spritz and the following ten minutes or so, I become surrounded by a cloud of white flowers - large, fully bloomed, heady white flowers. The topnotes are indeed exotic, tropical and floral. As the incense, vanilla, sandalwood and amber slowly make their appearance, the scent warms up significantly and adheres to my skin rather than surrounding me like a cloud. The combination certainly arouses the image of a garden walk at nightfall with white flowers close by, the cool, damp earth below, perhaps a cashmere pashmina on my shoulders and sandals on my feet. Songes is an extremely romantic scent, not for the faint of heart as it is a bit strong, but very pretty and feminine. I reserve it for dressier occasions where I would like to make a statement.
For lovers of frangipani and/or tiare scents, Songes should definitely be given a try. It has made my list of favorites from 2006.
Songes is available at aedes and select Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. The 3.4 oz. moon bottle retails for $165, and the 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $95. I also enjoy the body cream and 5 oz. is available for $65.
Image sources: di1shopping.com, static.flickr.com
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I will be back tomorrow to review Annick Goutal Songes. Have a great evening everyone!
Image source: sweetmavens.com
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
The smell of Velvet Rope surrounded me as I entered Fred Segal the morning of February 1oth. Oblivious to the fact that it was being blown through a machine to set the mood for the event, I just wondered how the folks at Fred Segal all managed to smell so good! When I discovered the amazing fragrance was Velvet Rope, I absolutely had to get my hands on some.
As I test it, I find it a rather unique and interesting vanilla fragrance. The grapefruit topnote strikes my nose immediately after spraying and because I love citrus in fragrance, I find it very appealing. After an hour or two, what remains is indeed a dry vanilla fragrance, completely different from any other vanilla I've tried. Now I should mention that I love vanilla notes. I can wear anything from straight up French Vanilla to iPdF Vaniglia de Madagascar and even the CSP super sweet vanillas. So while I do find this intriguing, dry and unique, Velvet Rope unfortunately has very little endurance in the EDP formulation. Fortunately, a body lotion and body oil are available and I'll reserve comment until I can try those. What I do experience for an hour, however, is quite lovely and appealing.
Please submit your name for a drawing of a sample of this interesting fragrance. I will select the winner randomly from entries submitted by Wednesday, February 21st.
Image source: www.apothia.com
Velvet Rope EDP retails for $75 for 50mL, $30 for 15mL, $58 for .33 oz oil, $33 for 8 oz. of body lotion. A candle is also available for $35.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
- Annick Goutal Quel Amour
- Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien
- Creative Scentualization Perfect Nectar
- Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey
- L'Artisan Ananas Fizz
- Thanks to Chaya, Air de Molinard
Image source: www.static.flickr.com
Saturday, February 17, 2007
My curiosity piqued, I posted on a fragrance board asking for a description of this "language of flowers" scent. Most women agreed that I had received a compliment, and they described Chant d'Aromes as cheerful, sublime, lovely and refreshing. You can imagine my delight when I received a generous sample of this from the lovely Songscent of http://pinkmanhattan.blogspot.com/. And then this week, Chaya sent me a generous spray decant out of the blue! Indeed, the universe is conspiring for me to wear this scent.
Chant d'Aromes was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1962, supposedly for the woman who wears fragrance for her own pleasure. Described as a "love token" on many websites, Chant d'Aromes sounds truly wonderful. The first pictured bottle is the reissue of 2005 for the Guerlain flagship store on the Champs-Elysees. To the right, the coveted perfume.
The fragrance starts off refreshing and cheerful. Hesperides, the citrus-y fragrance family, begin the symphony of notes along with honeysuckle. Refreshing, joyful and lighthearted accurately describe the introduction of Chant d'Aromes. Like walking through a garden on a sunny day, these notes uplift the spirit. The stroll is very short-lived. The middle notes of gardenia, jasmine and ylang-ylang, although I do detect them, unfortunately remain in the distant background to my nose. Rather the heart of oakmoss, cedarwood and vanilla, mostly oakmoss, remain in the drydown on my skin. Although I've read that tonka bean, frankincense and vetiver compose the drydown as well, I wish they would make themselves known. Oakmoss certainly is not offensive and it is used in a plethora of fragrances for men and women. I cannot say it is my favorite base note; therefore, I favor the lighthearted top notes of Chant d'Aromes. This is one instance where I wish citrus and honeysuckle molecules were not so small and would linger throughout the day. I would love to try the parfum, as I find the EDT too translucent to distinguish with any detail the wonderful composition of this fragrance.
I appreciate the suggestion that Chant d'Aromes is me, or rather I am Chant d'Aromes. While I enjoy this fragrance for a little while, I continue to search for my signature scent.
My heartfelt thanks to Sali and Chaya for their generous hearts and willingness to spread the joy.
Guerlain Chant d'Aromes is widely available on the web. The .5 oz perfume retails for $199 and the 3.4 oz. EDT retails for $85 although many discounted bottles may be found.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Fast forward to today, he has successfully marketed Gendarme, Grabazzi, GendarmeV and Carriere. Lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, I received a generous spray sample of his newest creation, Sky.
I am fully aware that this scent will probably be marketed to men. However, its soft qualities render it plausible for both men and women. The notes have not been published, so my somewhat naive nose is having a hard time distinguishing them. In their absence, I will focus on what images this scent invokes for me since that is what perfumery is all about, right? Stimulating the imagination? My imagination is triggered quite well by this billowy soft scent. I feel as if I am lying in a field of soft, warm grass, on a cashmere throw with a fluffy pillow beneath my head, staring up at huge, cottony cumulous clouds that transform into comforting shapes. The sun provides just enough warmth for my body as a soft breeze keeps me cool. Next to me, lies my baby wrapped in a silky blanket and I bend to kiss her cheek and sniff her warm, soft skin.
Okay, how many times did I say or describe the word soft? Hopefully, that characterizes Sky for you. What a beautiful scent, for men or women. It will fall into my collection of comforting scents, for those days when I don't want any sharp edges or hard work and love to watch movies, drink lattes and eat cookies. Or lie in fields making shapes out of clouds.
Sky will be launched and available to the public May 7, 2007. You can purchase it at www.gendarme.com or www.apothia.com.
Image source: www.bigfoto.com
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
This being my first Valentine's Day as a married woman, it was very important for me to choose a fragrance fitting the occasion. Sarah, you have created a masterpiece with this one. I absolutely love it. The notes that were outlined for us at Sarah's workshop escape me now, although I do remember chocolate being one of them. I've never been a chocolate scent lover. I'd rather devour an entire bag of M&M's dark than sniff chocolate on my wrist all day. Nonetheless, Perfect Kiss resonates chocolate covered strawberries and everything that goes with them, kisses, roses, hugs, and love. Perfect Kiss smells sweet but not overly so, interesting enough to be complimented and feminine. It quite simply is the perfect Valentine's Day scent! I smell delicious, huggable and snuggable today ... just how I'd like to be. My only regret is that I have a tiny sample vial. I could bathe in this!
A great aspect the Creative Scentualization line offers is the ability to layer with body cream, scent oil and EDP. The body creams are very true to scent so I foresee purchasing Perfect Kiss in the cream and EDP formulation when it becomes available March 21st (thank you R!). You can purchase the product directly from the Creative Scentualization website: www.creativescent.com. I imagine luckyscent and others will offer it as well. Happy Valentine's Day to my wonderful fragrance friends. You are loved today and every day!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
As I let the scent, both the cream and EDP, sit on my skin for a while my confusion dissipated and was replaced with like, extreme like. First of all, its staying power is fantastic! Secondly, the scent is simultaneously dynamite, sexy, sensual, contradictory and comforting. It captures for me everything I wanted to find in Fifi Chachnil but couldn't. I am not saying the two are similar. Rather the images evoked by the scents resemble one another. Anne Pliska reminds me of a natural, confident, effortless yet complicated and mysterious woman who at first comes across as wholesome, very descriptive of my idol, Julianne Moore. And by wholesome I mean the orange peel in the top note. It's sweet bitterness soon yields to vanilla, amber, geranium, patchouli and musk. But don't let the odd combination of notes scare you. I cannot detect a one. All of them combined render nothing more than a picture of sultry, red sexiness.
Anna Pliska has evaded my interest for years and yet what a gem. I am thankful to the kind soul who gifted this to me at the Sniffapalooza. Otherwise, I would never have discovered this subtle, non-commercial beauty. It is the scent of candlelit dinners, little black dresses, rose petals, and red wine. And how perfect that I discovered it just before Valentine's Day! A little goes a long way with this fragrance, so just a dab'll do ya. The lotion bears an almost identical scent to the EDP and could be an inspiring substitute or layering essential.
Victoria has a blog dedicated to this scent. Read more here:
Image sources: luckyscent.com, www.notwriting.com
Anne Pliska can be purchased at lusciouscargo.com and luckyscent.com, $55 for 60mL EDP.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sarah began the study of this fragrance by describing the gardenia plant - the creaminess of the petals, the lush green of the leaves, and the dirtiness of the earth from which it grows. Her goal with this fragrance was to capture the entire gardenia plant, roots to petals.
The fragrance begins with a burst of bergamot, followed by lush gardenia and clean freesia. To me, this is what you see of the gardenia plant, the green coinciding with white, the smoothness of the petals and shine of its leaves. The fragrance concludes with french vanilla and patchouli. These notes conjure up the feeling and smells of the plant itself, the silky and creamy texture of white petals above the cool dirt where they originate. Overall, Sarah has very successfully achieved the essence of an entire gardenia plant.
During the workshop, the patchouli was so offensive to my nose I couldn't even sniff it. What was most appealing? The bergamot, freesia and french vanilla. I've always guessed my favorite notes as citrus, white flowers and vanilla. Sarah's workshop definitely cemented my suspicions. In fact, I am so sensitive to patchouli that I detect it with the first sniff of Perfect Gardenia. However, the other notes are prominent enough to sway my senses and although this fragrance cannot be called my favorite gardenia, it is definitely beautifully composed and true to the perfumer's vision. And unlike so many gardenia scents available, it possesses mysterious, subtle and non-cloying qualities. Huge thanks to Sarah for her patience and most of all her passion! I look forward to reviewing her newest creations very soon. And I will most definitely purchase multiple fragrances from her unique line!
Perfect Gardenia can be purchased at www.luckyscent.com, 1.7 oz. retails for $75 and right now you will receive a free roll-on oil with this purchase.
Image source: www.luckyscent.com
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
From 8am to 7pm Saturday I will be experiencing fragrances, learning from perfumers and meeting other perfumistas. I am absolutely ecstatic and this event promises to be amazing and one-of-a-kind ... definitely something I have dreamt about since I was a little tike.
The best aspect of it is I will have many scents to inspire blogging next week. So although I will be out this weekend, please stay tuned to next week's reviews. They promise to be unique!
Image source: www.profumo.com
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The irony of the marketing campaign is quite abundant. The exotic nature of the lotus flower juxtaposed to a very generic bottle and a very Caucasian (although beautiful) woman clearly states its marketing target. Those of us with a penchant for more rare and exotic scents will find this .... well .... boring. Nice try Banana Republic. Although I am sure you sell quite a bit of this scent for its mass market appeal and inoffensive qualities, I need something a little more unique. Maybe I'll sniff Jade next time.
Image source: www.bananarepublic.com
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
So, perfumistas, I have a strange desire to wear a black fragrance today. I don't own any. Leather, incense, patchouli and woodsy notes have never struck my fancy. But right now, I wish I had one.
Image source: www.themysticcorner.com
Monday, February 05, 2007
When I became a teenager, I noticed she had a glass square container in the bathroom chock full of fragrance samples. I was amazed that she had amassed that many. How did she do it? I also remember Fracas and Cartier full bottles in her collection. And no one wore Chanel Coco better than her. In fact, I cannot wear Coco to this day because I strongly associate it with her. It belongs to her, per se.
I recall shopping with her when she discovered Cacharel's Anais Anais. She shopped the perfume counters as methodically and stealthily as a cat hunting for a mouse. And when she found it, she lingered awhile, exploring the object of her captivation. It did not take her long to decide that Anais Anais was full bottle-worthy. And in my effort to emulate her, I purchased a bottle of Anais Anais a few months later with the pennies I had saved from babysitting and wore it throughout my sophomore year of high school.
Today, I have definitely taken that childhood curiosity to a new level. With a collection of fragrances so large I'm embarrassed to admit how many I have, and a keen interest that inspired this blog, I can honestly say I have followed in Auntie's footsteps. And I am very proud of it. Here is a photo of the two of us at my wedding reception:
Thank you dear Auntie, for contributing so much to my young little life. Dear readers, my question to you is, would I be as fond of fragrance if it weren't for my Aunt Mary Lynn? Or, was it an innate fascination that Aunt Mary Lynn simply honed due to her interest? And please feel free to share your childhood stories. Reply in the comments section below.
Image source: www.crystalcavern.com
Delish! The scent starts off with a burst of lemon, quite tart and fresh. Within one hour, the vanilla, praline and musk become prominent with just a hint of lemon remaining. It reminds me of a half eaten plate of Lemon Passion, the cake mostly devoured with plenty of caramel and whipped cream remaining. And while this is not the scent for a fancy night on the town, it certainly provides a flirty, fun diversion on a casual shopping or errand day. And it elicits enough compliments for this wearer to keep it around for a while!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
When this fragrance was first created, Coco Chanel stated in so many words that she would like a feminine yet artificial scent. She believed in juxtaposing ugly and/or artificial things to pretty things. Therefore, rather than an over-the-top girlie perfume she longed for one not obviously so, to highlight the natural beauty of a woman. Mr. Beaux created six formulations total and it was No. 5 that won Coco's heart and fit her description.
Chanel No. 5 was the first fragrance created with synthetic floral aldehydes as top notes. In addition, neroli, ylang-ylang and iris open the fragrance. With mid notes of rose and jasmine and sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla at the base, its composition is beautifully, abstractly feminine. It just smells good without taking away from the woman who wears it, thus rendering it a classic.
About a year ago, I visited my local Chanel counter and gave all the fragrances a spin. Chanel No. 5 remains the one that to me is utterly wearable and gloriously feminine. Therefore, I purchased the EDP, Sensual Elixir, Body Cream and Soap (for my lingerie drawer). I find the body cream the smoothest and richest formulation and lasts all day on my skin. Sensual Elixir is a lighter formulation for those who may be sensitive to strong odors and/or aldehydes. And the EDP is luxurious. Certainly, I have enough No. 5 to last me a lifetime. And that's just fine with me.
Image sources: Wikipedia and www.chanel.com
Chanel No. 5 can be purchased at department stores, .5 oz. Perfume retails for $155, EDP spray 1.7 oz. retails for $80, Sensual Elixir 1.7 oz. retails for $59.50 and Body Cream for $75.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Fleurs de Citronnier starts off sharp but only for the first few moments. As it dries the beauty of lemon blossom flowers shines through, fresh, feminine, effervescent. However, honey, nutmeg and musk prevent it from wafting away like a petal in the wind. On my skin, FdC is a perfect combination of lemon blossom and orange blossom and since my skin loves those flowers, I can still smell this fragrance a full twelve hours after applying it. At first glance, I thought it would be perfect for summertime. I was wrong. Its gorgeousness showed through best in damp, cool weather. It must be musk at the base which is highlighted best in cooler temps.
Because the olfactory scent elicits emotions and experiences, Fleurs de Citronnier will always hold a special place in my heart. It has accompanied me on some of the most important days of my life, including my wedding day. And as a newlywed, I have to say that this fragrance elicits the most compliments from my husband of any I own or have tried. And not just any compliments, like "nice" or "cute". "I love the way you smell" compliments. That deserves applause in and of itself!