Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
As if Saturday were not plentiful enough in sights, sounds and smells, Sunday offered an abundant array as well. I only wish I had been able to enjoy the entire day, but catching a flight home cut my day short. However, the highlights I experienced were the following:
Bond No. 9
This was by far my favorite shopping experience of the trip. The artistic store, the helpful sales associates and their willingness to cater to my needs was tough to beat. I felt as if I could spend hours there without concern for over-stepping my welcome. I also discovered some incredible scent combinations, with the help of my perfumista friends and the sales associates. I had no idea blending these fragrances could be so swoon-worthy!
- New scent discoveries include Saks For Her, Fashion Avenue, New York Fling, Chelsea Flowers (which I had previously dismissed), and the new deeply rich and resinous Andy Warhol Silver Factory. The newest Andy Warhol fragrance was presented by the delightful Laurice Rahm, founder of Bond No. 9.
- New scent combination of fragrances I already love: Scent of Peace over Chinatown (!!!)
- Another incredible combination worth investigating: Saks for Him over Saks for Her. Yes, I meant that.
- My infatuation with West Side has only been augmented by the availability of a positively luxurious body cream which perfectly softens the skin and makes the scent last!
- This store was extremely generous with their gift package. They understand the needs and desires of their clientele and it was obvious they prepared for us! I could not be happier and I anticipate reviewing many more of these chic fragrances.
My experience here was marginal at best simply because it was so crowded when I arrived. I had no guidance regarding their fragrances and I felt overwhelmed. However, despite this I did discover a wonderful fragrance, Tubereuse 40. I am intrigued and I would love to learn more about these fragrances, just not when I am competing with 30 other perfumistas.
Santa Maria Novella, Lorenzo Villoresi and Eau d'Italie were all offered at this beautiful, fragrant store. The space and location in the heart of SoHo make this store truly inspiring. Unfortunately I was not able to find a fragrance I truly loved here, but I did sample some nice scents, including the powdery soft Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige, the herbal Lorenzo Villoresi Spezie and the fruity Santa Maria Novella Melograno.
Lunch at Country Cafe
- Sitting with my wonderful friends Linda and Rob and enjoying the gorgeous New York sunshine on a beautiful fall day.
- Hearing from Debra Courtright at Floris of London (which I need to explore further!), Francois Duquesne at L'Artisan and Raphaella, editor of Sniffapalooza Magazine. Raphaella is positively one of the kindest and most sincere people I know! And I adore the CD of songs of scent that I won in the raffle.
- I am interested in L'Artisan Perfumeur's new home fragrance gadget, Chez Moi, after listening to Mr. Duquesne and his beautiful wife describe its ability to safely and fully fragrance the home.
My last and most appropriate stop was at L'Artisan across from Country Cafe to experience the new 2007 Orange Blossom and 2007 Iris Palladia. I enjoyed them both and found the Orange Blossom especially beautiful and sweeter than the previous edition. I also tested various other fragrances and spoke with Mr. Duquesne, his wife and the helpful Michelle. They are lovely people and I only wish I could shop at this store more often and stop by the other store to see Colombina!
There you have it my fragrance friends. What an incredible weekend it was! If only I could go back in a few weeks and do it all over again. I am sure I am not alone in that sentiment.
Image of interior of Bond No. 9 store courtesy of basenotes.net
Monday, October 22, 2007
- Meeting the illustrious Aurelien Guichard, creator of Bond No. 9 Chinatown and the new offering from Piguet, Visa
- Meeting Antonia Ballanca of Antonia's Flowers
- Discussing one of my favorite houses, Annick Goutal, with their charming representative Tom Crutchfield
- Listening to Neil Morris describe his love of Tom Ford's Purple Patchouli
- Discovering the new Kilian fragrances and falling in love with them
- Other discoveries included Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, Etro Magot, Etro Vicolo Fiore
- Scents further explored and liked included Chanel Bois des Iles (Oh, how I wish I could get a smaller bottle of this than the gargantuan EDT!), Annick Goutal Mandragore, Annick Goutal Passion
- Meeting my dear friend Chaya Ruchama face-to-face
Lunch at Seppi's
- Meeting sweet, fun and fabulous new perfumista friends Azjavagirl, My3sons, R. and L. and seeing Rbrewer!
- New offerings from Crazy Libellule and the Poppies
- Discussion from Chandler Burr on his new book The Perfect Scent
- Neil Morris' discussion of his new scents Storm and Coral
- Sniffing offerings from Yosh in wine glasses - discoveries included Winter Rose and Ginger Ciao
- Speaking with owner and perfumer of Ineke perfumes and experiencing her unique A, B, C and D fragrances
- Meeting Estesmcc in person, an angel of kindness who sent me a fabulous package overflowing with perfume last spring!
- Listening to owner of 06130 and experiencing Feuille de Reglisse, Lentisque and Lierre Rose, all created by Jacques Chabert and meant to evoke the scents of Mediterranean flowers
- Red Velvet cupcakes from Sunshine bakery
- Meeting owner of Summerscent perfume and experiencing her exquisite fragrance
- Sampling Detaille, Fragonard and Sage lines!
- Experiencing L'Artisan Jour de Fete sprayed onto my skin rather than dabbed with my tiny sample
- Memoire Liquide!!!! Remember my review of Voleur? (see it here) I expressed intrigue in exploring the line further and wow, did I get my fill along with many others! This unique line calls to the creative nose in everyone by allowing the customer to come up with their own blend of two or three fragrances. After nearly an hour experimenting, I chose Enfant Innocent and Ivoire for a beautiful, soft, skin musk fragrance.
All of this activity was followed by drinks at the top of the Peninsula Hotel with my fantastic new friends! Cheers!
I will continue tomorrow with details regarding Sunday. If you can believe it, Sunday was just as packed with glorious sights and smells!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The notes include an invigorating top of bergamot and fennel leaves. The fennel adds a dash of uniqueness. Since I adore the use of fennel in many types of cuisine from pasta to salad, I easily appreciate the use of the fragrant, faint liquorice-smelling leaves in a fragrance. Even so, those averse to any form of anise or liquorice in fragrance still have a great chance of loving Note Ambrée. It is not the prominent note by far.
The enthralling floral heart is what sets this fragrance apart. A delicate combination of jasmine, rose and ylang ylang, the soul of this fragrance is at once soft, sensual and emotional. The use of ylang ylang, literally meaning "flower of flowers", in fragrance and aromatherapy has long been touted for its sensual and soothing qualities. It eases stress and squelches anxiety. Therefore, this floral heart captures the attention of others without holding them hostage and it soothes and comforts the wearer with a warmth and sensuality that is difficult to find in many fragrances. I faintly smell vanilla somewhere in there as well, giving gourmand fragrance fanatics a chance to love Note Ambrée.
Being its namesake, I would expect the base of Note Ambrée to be pronounced and it most certainly is. Amber and iris fuse beautifully and linger on the skin for hours.
This scent has all of the qualities that inspired my infatuation with Bond No. 9 West Side and then some. The delicate and classic flowers combined with the sensual warmth of amber make this fragrance very "me." For those averse to West Side due to the peony note, I suspect this fragrance will captivate them. The packaging, as you have seen from my previous reviews of this line, is what really sets these fragrances apart. It is charming, artistic and truly original. If it weren't for my wanting to preserve the fragrance by avoiding exposure to direct sunlight, and the desire to contain my pocketbook, I would gladly display all three bottles on my dresser. The resplendent Note Ambrée would be front and center!
M. Micallef Note Ambrée retails for 117€ and 150mL bottle retails for 156€.
Image source: mmicallef.com, scentable.com
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Diva was created by master perfumer Jacques Polges in the year 1983 - the year of Rubic's cube fanatacism, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Swatches, big hair and parachute pants. Women loved wearing off-shoulder outfits à la Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. Subtlety was a lost art. Michael Jackson's and Cyndi Lauper's popularity drove the outrageous style trends. Along with the focus on loud, primary colors, big, floral chypre fragrances were also the rage. Like a perfect, colorful, red blooming rose in the midst of fields of wildflowers, Emanuel Ungaro's Diva is a statement making fragrance of the richest kind. It will always remind me of my mother.
Diva's colorful list of notes begins with aldyehydes (added to bring a champagne sparkle to a fragrance and enrich floral notes). Following the sparkling, opulent opening, the focus is on beautiful, rich red roses (Turkish and Morrocan) lightly dipped in honey with a dab of delicate tuberose and powdery orris root thrown in for interest. Not to worry about the mention of honey. This scent is not in the least bit sweet. An ample sampling of spices, woods and earthy notes including cardamom, coriander, patchouli, narcissus, oakmoss and sandalwood catapults this fragrance into the classic chypre floral category. With a heavy base of amber, vanilla, musk and civet, the fragrance lingers on the skin for hours.
This is one fragrance which has the perfect name that aptly describes the woman who wears it. Diva is heavy without being overbearing. It has a softness not found in many other fragrances in its category. Rather than simply pretty and nice, it is gorgeous - beautiful from every angle, or in this case, from start to finish. It is most certainly a dramatic fragrance true to its 1980's roots, perfect for an occasion when one wants to make a statement. Despite this sensational quality, it will not elicit my step-father's response to most fragrances by overwhelming those close by, but it will render the wearer unforgettable with its sensual trail of scent. Finally, because of its masterful, complex combination it maintains a strong sense of class as most floral chypres do. All of these qualities are easily attributable to my strong, gorgeous, chic, persistent and undoubtedly original mother.
Unlike any other and superbly done, Diva should be worn by strong women willing to buck recent trends. For those, it is very worth the effort. With its unparalleled, rich blend that has stood the test of time, this scent has entered the distinguished realm of classic fragrances. The gorgeous bottle design evocative of a designer garment beautifully compliments the exquisite jus. Mom, this one is for you!
Please be sure to check out Divina's lovely review of this same fragrance here!
For some even better news, Diva can be found on many fragrance discount websites. A 1.7 oz. EDP spray is as low as $29.20 at www.fragrancex.com.
Image of bottle courtesy of punmiris.com; rose courtesy of mccullagh.org
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
As my love of perfume has solidified, I find myself searching for "perfects." The perfect musk, the perfect amber, the perfect citrus ... you get the picture. As elusive as the Holy Grail, perfects don't come along very often and many times are replaced with a new release. My dears, I believe we have in our midst the perfect vanilla. Walk on by L'Artisan Vanilia, Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, L'Aromarine Vanille, and (dare I say!) Il Profumo Vanille Bourbon, as lovely as all of them are in their own right. Note Vanillée strikes the perfect balance between rich, sweet, sensual and boozy. I would be remiss if I did not list the text on M. Micallef's website. It is as follows:
"The new Perfume of Parfums M. Micallef is like a symphony of a grand perfume orchestra.
At first there are the Mandarin’s and Hesperide.The heart note is based on Jasmine and valuable Flowers. These will create the very special Perfume Note of this Scent.
Santal, Amber, Bourbon-Vanilla, Cognac and Rum will round off the whole composition.
A new Masterpiece is born."
One sniff of my wrist and I am transported to the most decadent of bakeries, my grandmother's kitchen, a cozy lit fire on a cold evening and a hot cup of tea after a long day of snow skiing. I mention all of these images not for their olfactory qualities, but for their soothe-the-soul qualities. Note Vanillée is a comfort scent on the grandest of scales. I have always found vanilla to be comforting with its rich sweetness. Note Vanillée is so beautifully composed that it creates its own melody, without need for other notes. It lacks the smokey/woodsy qualities of several of its contemporaries. Rather the combination of citrus, jasmine, amber and rum create a lush, boozy scent that I find utterly irrestistable.
M. Micallef Note Vanillée is available here. A 75mL bottle retails for 117€ and 150mL bottle retails for 156€.
Image source: mmicallef.com, kitsixteen.co.uk
Image source: mmicallef.com
Monday, October 08, 2007
I did some research on my own by polling a few perfumistas. Much to my surprise, I found answers to run the gamut. "It depends upon the weather" was a very popular answer. Okay, elusive enough considering October, November and December weather varies throughout the world. Here, they are arguably the most beautiful months of the year with sunny days and cool nights, very light jacket required. That coupled with personal preferences make brainstorming a hard and fast list nearly impossible. Still, I offer a few suggestions based upon my own preferences and those of others.
Semi-formal to casual affairs in a friend or associate's home. Because the focus is food and drink, a fragrance with less sillage is optimum unless your scent matches the menu, akin to Chandler Burr's opulent evenings. Light, low sillage florals or delicate gourmand fragrances work best in these situations. I have chosen a few that suffice from various fragrance families, depending upon your preferences:
- Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse - For a more formal party where you want to be noticed. An uplifting, cool, clean and very French fragrance. With a nutmeg note, perfect for the holidays!
- Guerlain Chant d'Aròmes - An understated and beautifully composed chypre that will not overwhelm you or those around you.
- L'Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fête (new formulation) - A holiday tradition in my home since I can remember is to make candied almonds and pecans and display them throughout the kitchen and dining room in holiday decorated bowls. It creates a warm atmosphere and a sweet, nutty scent. This fragrance reminds me of the savory snack. A soft, bitter almond based gourmand with vanilla.
- Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Soie Rouge - A surprisingly quiet skin scent featuring carnation, pepper and fruit. Short staying power for me, so make sure to spritz just before the party.
- Miller Harris Coeur d'Eté - Another slight whisper of a scent; light and delicate gourmand floral.
- Serge Lutens Rousse - A "well behaved" cinnamon scent that will serve only to augment the spicy dishes and sweet desserts you will devour.
No other scent comes close to Parfumerie General Un Crime Exotique for this category. It smells of the most scrumptious, fresh out of the oven gingerbread cookies. Enjoy!
Update (10/9/07): Thanks to Divina, I add Etro Heliotrope for this occasion. Delightfully sweet, nostalgic and comforting, Heliotrope will only augment a festive home filled with the delicious aroma of warm cookies.
Corporate or more formal Holiday Parties
Classic, opulent and sparkling scents are deemed most appropriate for these events. While you do not want to offend other party-goers, you certainly want to make a good olfactory impression. The scents from my collection that always deliver are:
- Chanel No. 5 Parfum or EDP - For those who can wear this, it is an incredibly soft, stunning fragrance. Classic and sparkling enough for any black dress.
- Escada Collection - Simply gorgeous, surprisingly subtle gourmand oriental.
- Frederic Malle Carnal Flower - The most refined tuberose scent I own. If you have not yet tried it and you like creamy tuberose, you must give Carnal Flower a whirl. Its refinement and stunning beauty make it a perfect choice for an event!
- Jean Paul Gaultier Classique - A floriental with pizazz and come-hither qualities. A mainstay in my collection and a fantastic choice for winter events.
Enjoy your upcoming events, from the very casual to the formal. A general rule of thumb that will always serve you is to match the description of your scent to the description of the evening. And if your description is any less than captivating, why waste your precious time attending?
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
- Italian (like my husband)
- Reminiscent of Sicily (where I spent a portion of my honeymoon)
- Warm, slightly spicy, cozy and creamy (all qualities that I adore in scent)
- Artistic (need I say more?)
- Neither masculine nor feminine (so I can share with Mr. TMH and we'll both smell amazing)
The appeal to the sensibilities of one fiery Irish woman endures and yet I know that I am not alone in my adoration of this scent. A long thread on the MakeupAlley perfume board confirms, Vento Canale has many of us scrambling to find more.
So who is Gianni Campagna? He is a tailor turned designer who received his inspiration from watching classic Hollywood films at the Taormina, Sicily film festival. He desired to create similarities to the images he saw on the big screen - actors in fashionable suits and jackets. He has turned that vision into success and now designs clothing that attracts many celebrities including Pierce Brosnan and Sharon Stone. Read more here.
Now, let us discuss the scent. Firstly, the notes are admirable and mysterious. They include the following:
- Head: caribbean rum, clary sage, carrot seeds, davana
- Heart: cedar, lily
- Base: curry herb, ambra, tobacco, musk, honey, raspberry, vanilla, cacao, pine balm, vetiver
With a boozy, intoxicating beginning no doubt underscored by rum, Vento Canale vaguely reminds me of Escada Collection with all its oozing warmth. However, as the scent progresses similarities elude me. A soft tobacco/honey accord is showcased through the second stage of the scent's development and while it is sweet, it is far from overwhelming. Wading through the other plentiful notes, pure spiced cocoa becomes prominent at the base, reminding one of a sweet, hot drink on a cool day. The effect envelops the wearer,
like the breezes that caressed me as I gazed at the soft waves of the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Sicily. No doubt about it, this is a comfort scent and one that I will wear repeatedly to reminisce on carefree warm days browsing the market, lounging at the beach, enjoying Italian folk music and breathing the fresh, salty air. Closer to home, it will soothe and comfort, ground and refocus my energy during the hectic, planning and activity-filled days of fall and winter.
Gianni Campagna Vento Canale is truly exclusive, only available here that I know of. Hopefully some savvy U.S. retailers will stock it soon. Without even seeing the bottle design, I gladly deem it full-bottle worthy.
My own images of the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Taormina, Sicily